Wednesday, June 30, 2010


LutherRocks taught me a new word - discombobulation, a fantastic word to describe what is happening. I repeat his comments in one of the posts he mad here and which was featured by Dr. Ichabod due to my lack of time. I thank Joe for making the arguments for us more concrete. I inserted my comments in red.


You make a great testimony regarding this that is hard to argue against.

Before I ran across Ichabod almost two years ago I never heard of UOJ. As I have studied this it doesn't serve scripture well by interchanging justification with atonement[absolutely]. And the more UOJ is defended, the more discombobulated it gets and I don't believe this is good for the body of Christ. (For example the WELS pastor Buchholz' paper) The Gospel is simple as Jesus meant it to be; so simple a child like faith is saving faith. Now if you understand when a proponent of UOJ speaks of UOJ he means the atonement I can live with that as long as that's what he means; although it is not prudent use of the English language[correct, it is because it is not accurate to do so anyway]. To me, and it always has been, Christ died for the sins of the world and makes it possible for salvation but this is only received through faith[correct, in fact in the BoC it is called an "offer"]; hence cometh justification, righteousness and sanctification. I cringe when I read point #1 under Justification in 'This We Believe' in the WELS[not just WELS but the other US synods too. In fact we have one small synod here outside of LCAust who has similar statements].

"1. We believe that God has justified all sinners, that is, he has declared them righteous for the sake of Christ. This is the central message of Scripture upon which the very existence of the church depends. It is a message relevant to people of all times and places, of all races and social levels, for "the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men" (Romans 5:18). All need forgiveness of sins before God, and Scripture proclaims that all have been justified, for "the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men" (Romans 5:18).

To me what is said contradicts scripture as the passage says at the end of the point...yes it is one act of righteousness and it is justification but it says it brings life; it makes it available; it does not justify before faith. It has become my opinion that the way WELS[not just them but those who propound it in general] uses Romans 5 it is taking it out of context. In the very first verse of Romans 5 Paul says therefore since we have been justified by faith so it is already in context. He is talking to believers already[correct, and when you get to Romans 5:18 etc, that is already in view]. I think it would go far to throw out this term 'UOJ' and do some re-writes[agree, as you say, it does not promote health in the body of Christ].

Now does all this UOJ contribute towards CGM? I don't know[in the sense that the Means of Grace, the pure Word of God is not taken seriously as a way to bring unbelievers, then it does]. I suppose that is fodder for another blog post. I do know that we constantly fight against our sinful flesh and the enthusiasm that we can partake in our own salvation and that of others. This is most certainly not true.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

You'd better be good to me, I could give you a job

Life is so fantastic. Everyday I get tons of email of these lovely people who wanted to give me money and make me a millionaire. I am counting, if I really pursued their kind gesture, I should out do Bill Gates' billions by now. The only thing that kept me from being a millionaire is that lots of money is not everything for me. Geeks are very poor when it comes to this sort of thing like money.

Look at the number of church programs I could have helped if only I accepted the many millions of dollars people wanted to share with me. I mean, some people have these monies being left behind by their loved ones hidden somewhere and these families are more than happy for me to have their inheritance. What did I do to deserve all of this love?

Other times a lottery group would say they picked my ticket. That really puzzled me because I do not buy lotto tickets. Take this organization here who wrote to me...

Re: Notification of your payment new arrangements.

This is to inform you that the officials have scheduled your payment of US$1.5Million through Western Union Money Transfer. This method of payment had been

designed by the officials to avert fraud perpetration or stoppage of your funds anymore.

So you should be advice to re-confirm your information below: YOUR FULL NAME, DIRECT TELEPHONE NUMBER, CURRENT ADDRESS, and CITY COUNTRY.

Also send the details to the WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER OFFICE IN BENIN REPUBLIC for you to start receiving your money immediately. And you should note

that the maximum amount you will be receiving every day is ($5,000,00USD) with install mental of US$2,500.00 twice on daily basis and you will be receiving

each copy of the Western Union Money Transfer Slip with the details which that will enable you to cash your money from any western union office in your


You should therefore be advice to re-confirm your information to MR PETER JODAN of western union money transfer office in Cotonou Benin republic to the

E-mail address on his contact details below:

Contact Person; MR PETER JODAN.

Western Union Money Transfer Office.

Tel; 00229 99 44 18 63

Contact Email;

Who knows, this might be what Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland and Joyce Meyer called "abundant life" Jesus promised, no? Watdayatink?

Cotonou Benin republic? This is the first time I have heard of this nation, where in the world is that?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

How do you like it?

I just noticed there is a new template design. I am experimenting.

So to my friends, and to those who do not wish to be my friends, since this blog is just as much as yours so to speak, could you take a look if this is pleasing to read. Is this template easy and comfortable to read? Or does it hurt your eyes.

Let me know.

BTW, I am on the run lately, looking for proper work. I am maxed out on software engineering. I did it on and off for 20+ years I like to do something else. I really like to teach now, so have been busy looking for tenured positions, hence blogging will be slow.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Theological Fallacies I

Now I confess, I am not a theologian by training. My training is in Maths and Philo and in Biblical Languages. However I read often and I do research. As you know Dr. Jack Kilcrease wants to engage non-UOJers on UOJ. Because of lack of time on my part I will post a series of replies mainly I offer my critique on what I see are his fallacious arguments. Please note I am directing my comments to the arguments and not the person or the persona. We are human beings we can always fall into bad or unsound arguments. I or anyone else can be taken by our own blind spots. That is why in Scripture it says in the multitude of counselors, there is safety.

I expect him to disagree with this post. Let you be the judge if my critiques are reasonable/fair or not. Let me know for my own correction too.

In the comments to me found here, Jack says

But if a sin is paid for, why is not forgiven? I would suggest that it is. I mean, if you deny that payment=forgiveness, what sort of ontological status does the payment have? To clarify: If a sin is "washed away" then how can it still be around? Did Jesus only potentially make a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, which we then activate via the means of grace?

There are a couple of fallacies here

a.) Begging the question. He assumes what must be proven by definition. If it is to be a valid it is to be grounded on Scripture but in this case he did not say what Scripture warrants this assumption, just by deduction. Hence a type of hand waving.

b.) Faulty use of deductive method. Between deduction and explicit statement of Scripture we are to go for the latter whenever possible. I believe the BoC did this in its doctrine of single predestination. The BoC refused to conclude that since there is predestination of believers to eternal life, there must be predestination of unbelievers to condemnation. Hence, it refused to go the double predestination route. Why? Because predestination in Scripture is never used in connection with an unbeliever, always when you find this word it is always connected with a believer. Also reliable conservative theologians (for example Rolland Wallace) have said that Scripture writers were very purposeful when they use a word, they were carefully chosen and never haphazardly used. This makes sense and Scripture also teaches this about itself- it complies with what Jesus said - Luke 16:17. Every WORD was breathed by God literally speaking.

c.) Faulty Assumption. Jack asks if sins are washed away how can it still be around? Attempting to do a reductio or proof by contradiction the reduction does not work. Proof by contradiction only works if you get a contradiction in the end. Yet is there a contradiction? In his mind there must be (which he assumes)! Hence for the question, to reply to this, I will do a WWJS on this i.e what would Jesus say? John 8:24 "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." Why would Jesus say to the pharisees they will die in their sins if Jesus will be wiping them away by atonement before they believed? Did not Jesus intend to pay for their sins in the atonement? Of course he did. But why did Jesus say this, if these pharisees are at foresight forgiven in status by his impending atonement without reference to faith as Jack enjoins, why say sins will remain? Incidentally, notice, the language, remaining of sin and wiping away sins are at logger heads as concepts. Yet Jesus said if they do not believe their sins remain! That means Jesus must have been telling us what forgiveness constitutes (my suggestion), which something Jack understands differently from Christ.

d.)Jack then says Did Jesus only potentially make a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, which we then activate via the means of grace To answer this, I offer an analogy no matter how imperfect; consider a creditor there in the US who is exacting payment from me. I owe it U$100 and I wrote a check payment and mailed it. The creditor's clerk called me and asked for my payment saying "pay us what you owe -- U$100". What if I replied, but I paid you already, I wrote a check, I paid for the stamps and mailed it, so stop hassling me. Stop hounding me, my debt is wiped off already according to Jack, payment = wiping away/ forgiveness. The clerk says "you still owe us, the check has not arrived", and I replied "you should not say I still owe you, I paid already, for payment is the same as forgiveness it is the wiping away (Dr. Kilcrease said payment = forgiveness/wiping away) the books". The clerk insists (for if I were him I would) - "you may have written us a check but unless it gets to my desk, you still owe us". What if I followed Jack's logic once more, and said "hey don't you know my debt is already wiped away, for I paid you"! The clerk (for if I were him would) says "you may have paid us but unless I hold the check in my hands, no matter what you say, the sheriff will be at your door, comprende?"! Now is the clerk within rights to continue to hound me? Was he within rights not to deduct U$100 from my account statement? Was he within rights on record to let that balance stay at U$100, even though I have paid? Of course he is within his rights! Get the picture? I hope so.

This is similar to the situation to the means of grace. The HS is the deliverer of this check and uses the means of grace to deliver the gift God has given to us, so unless the gift is received, the Law will still hound us, and hound us to death. This complies with the wrath of God in John 3 17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

From the BoC (copied from Ichabod):

"These treasures are offered us by the Holy Ghost in the promise of the holy Gospel; and faith alone is the only means by which we lay hold upon, accept, and apply, and appropriate them to ourselves. This faith is a gift of God, by which we truly learn to know Christ, our Redeemer, in the Word of the Gospel, and trust in Him, that for the sake of His obedience alone we have the forgiveness of sins by grace, are regarded as godly and righteous by God the Father, and are eternally saved." Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, III. #10. Of the Righteousness of Faith before God. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 919. Tappert, p. 541. Heiser, p. 250.

"For neither you nor I could ever know anything of Christ, or believe on Him, and obtain Him for our Lord, unless it were offered to us and granted to our hearts by the Holy Ghost through the preaching of the Gospel. The work is done and accomplished; for Christ has acquired and gained the treasure for us by His suffering, death, resurrection, etc. But if the work remained concealed so that no one knew of it, then it would be in vain and lost. That this treasure, therefore, might not lie buried, but be appropriated and enjoyed, God has caused the Word to go forth and be proclaimed, in which He gives the Holy Ghost to bring this treasure home and appropriate it to us. Therefore sanctifying is nothing else than bringing us to Christ to receive this good, to which we could not attain ourselves."The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III, #38, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 689. Tappert, p. 415. Heiser, p. 194

Hence, unless the gift of atonement is received (and this is by faith in Christ) no one actually gets freed from the Law i.e. justified or forgiven. Why do I object to calling atonement as justification? It is because Scripture does not do this. If I held to UOJ terms and concepts (for concepts are carried by the term) there will be a justification/forgiveness once at Atonement (which Jack equates with Justification) and then once again at point of Faith.

Notice at Ichabod how UOJ position does a double talk which I find hard to appreciate. Jack says there...

So, yes, God in Christ did forgive the whole world as a result of the cross and the empty tomb. I will interact with him on that basis, if I enter that sphere by faith. It is how God has actualized himself in relationship to the world "in Christ." Nevertheless, realm of the law persists and therefore "God external to Christ" persists as law, hiddenness and wrath.

So B. Meyer is correct in his critique of UOJ, it does see the world as both forgiven at the same time in God's wrath! This is an absurdity and not a paradox as Jack wants us to believe. Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, the Scripture says over and over. It does not say God has already forgiven the whole world. Forgiveness is reserved only for those who believe this dying for the sins of the world.

This double talk was repeated about my atheist friends... when I asked Now is that atheist down the street who is denying God confessing so, forgiven? Jack says:

The atheist is forgiven from within the sphere of God in Christ, but because of his unbelief he remains within the sphere of God external to Christ. He remains within law, wrath, and hiddenness, and consequently interacts with God not preached and therefore does not receive that forgiveness.

This IMHO double talk is blatant sophistry muddying the waters by using artificial categories of "sphere etc". Notice that Jack does not want to declare plainly that atheist forgiven, he knows full well that the atheist is not in Christ. Yet he wants to be redundant by his first sentence. Of course someone is forgiven if that person is in Christ, but the whole world is not in Christ, so how can that atheist be forgiven, the person is not in Christ! In summary, by that statement, the atheist then is forgiven in Christ but since he is not in Christ, he is not forgiven #?!?! Which is which? Am I being unfair in unpacking that answer to my atheist question? So where is the UOJ evidence or assertion here? So this is UOJ doctrine?

This is where American Synodical Lutheranism I say is different; whereas exegetes of all sorts including Lutherans/non-Lutherans and non-Americans ground justification on the atonement (hence not equal though definitely related), and whereas they view Justification to be the effect of the Atonement, American Synodical Lutheranism make atonement = justification, thereby making cause and effect the same. IMHO, this is where UOJ is peculiar than the rest of known Biblical scholarship I am aware of.

This is where I believe UOJers and non-UOJers differ. The question to decide is which one portrays the Biblical data accurately?

I am so sorry for the long post, this is what happens when I do not have much time, as you can appreciate. My personal needs made me always on the run.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Meyer on Kilcrease.

Dr. Jack Kilcrease of Theologia Crucis has been trying to engage us on the subject of UOJ and is not succeeding. He thinks we are a bunch of high school kids that do not know what terminologies nor concepts mean. Arrogance? He is being ignored - the reason? He does not have any passage from Scripture where the concept may be found and examined. All that is needed to do is to demonstrate from Scripture of God forgiving people without reference to faith - to demonstrate that someone got forgiven by God be they believe in Christ or not, be this an OT or an NT passage. IMHO Dr. Francis Pieper and Pr. Jay Webber are more sensible. The two knew that to enjoin others to believe you must be able to demonstrate the teaching from Scripture. They gave the most possibly strongest Scripture to back up UOJ (though they failed), mainly citing from Romans where Justification is pointedly discussed. I honestly admire them for this.

I am featuring Meyer's reply to Jack. Incidentally, I notice that Jack replied here and I am closing it to move the thread here. I got this already ready to post so as not to waste the posting here is Meyer on Kilcrease....

Dr. Jack Kilcrease said...
It is not a red herring. You ignore the context of my argument. You are reasoning from the perspective of God.
Here's the deal. For me to take your arguments seriously you need to stop appealing to specific language and start talking about conceptualities.

You've said this many times in the discussion on your blog site:
Jack said, BTW, quoting me million Bible verses and Confessional quotations will not some how overwhelm me. Defining our terms correctly and then debating actual conceptualities is a more meaningful way to respond.
One that I would highly encourage.
JUNE 9, 2010 9:45 AM

Jack, you reject God's Words in preference to what your reason deducts as concepts. You do not take God's Word for what it says but pervert it. That's why you confess:
This is why Luther says that we are already forgiven before we repent in the LC. JUNE 10, 2010 8:32 AM

Christ declared in Mark 13:31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Luke 9:26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.

2 Timothy 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

I post this here because what you have written on your blog serves as a testimony to the contradictions and sophistry of UOJ. That is of great benefit that you and many other people in the Lutheran Synods have been convinced that in order to confess Justification, as you falsely claim God does, you need to declare UOJ in it's fullest, in the glory of it's conceptualities. This will cause the clergy to stop feigning a confession of Justification by Faith Alone as the Scriptures declare and Confessions confirm but expose the false gospel for what it really is.

Revelation 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Rejecting Christ's righteousness as clearly declared in His own Words you've gone about to establish your own way to righteousness as He says in Romans 10:3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.


Jack, you've claimed that Luther taught the forgiveness of sins before repentance and faith worked by the Holy Spirit, outside of and without the Word.

Note here that in the BOC under Luther's Smalcald articles Luther declares the Chief Article of Christian faith:

Note in the Smalcald articles that Luther quotes common UOJ proof passages (all have sinned and are justified freely …) and having done so immediately makes the declaration in point four that faith alone justifies us. This is all in context and shows that Luther's confession and that of the BOC is that in Christ all sins are paid for - the Atonement. That all righteousness that avails against sin is in Christ and never apart from Him. That is the result of the Atonement. That Christ is everything. We are only in Christ through faith and thus are only forgiven by God through faith worked by the Holy Spirit through the gracious gift of the Means of Grace.

Part II, Article I: The first and chief article.
1] That Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, died for our sins, and was raised again for our justification, Rom. 4:25.

2] And He alone is the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world, John 1:29; and God has laid upon Him the iniquities of us all, Is. 53:6.

3] Likewise: All have sinned and are justified without merit [freely, and without their own works or merits] by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, in His blood, Rom. 3:23f

4] Now, since it is necessary to believe this, and it cannot be otherwise acquired or apprehended by any work, law, or merit, it is clear and certain that this faith alone justifies us as St. Paul says, Rom. 3:28: For we conclude that a man is justified by faith, without the deeds of the Law. Likewise 3:26: That He might be just, and the Justifier of him which believeth in Christ.

5] Of this article nothing can be yielded or surrendered [nor can anything be granted or permitted contrary to the same], even though heaven and earth, and whatever will not abide, should sink to ruin. For there is none other name under heaven, given among men whereby we must be saved, says Peter, Acts 4:12. And with His stripes we are healed, Is. 53:5. And upon this article all things depend which we teach and practice in opposition to the Pope, the devil, and the [whole] world. Therefore, we must be sure concerning this doctrine, and not doubt; for otherwise all is lost, and the Pope and devil and all things gain the victory and suit over us.

Jack what you confess and UOJ teaches is condemned by the BOC here:
Part III, Article VIII. Of Confession.
3] And in those things which concern the spoken, outward Word, we must firmly hold that God grants His Spirit or grace to no one, except through or with the preceding outward Word, in order that we may [thus] be protected against the enthusiasts, i.e., spirits who boast that they have the Spirit without and before the Word, and accordingly judge Scripture or the spoken Word, and explain and stretch it at their pleasure, as Muenzer did, and many still do at the present day, who wish to be acute judges between the Spirit and the letter, and yet know not what they say or declare.

10] Therefore we ought and must constantly maintain this point, that God does not wish to deal with us otherwise than through the spoken Word and the Sacraments. 11] It is the devil himself whatsoever is extolled as Spirit without the Word and Sacraments.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

I listened and got bored

Last weekend, we went for our favorite past time, country joy ride even though though there was rain in some parts. I thought to maybe inspire us, I powered on the car radio and I tuned into a regional Christian radio station here called Rhema FM. I got bored.

The station played as usual contemporary gospel music by local and international artists. In this station, the music rather than preaching predominates. I got tired of listening to these mushy songs. They suck.

Lets be frank, these Christian artist/musicians like to sell their CDs, no? So they cater to pop-Christian culture, what did I expect? Don't get me wrong, I have heard of good recent contemporary hymns and I would use them if I were to do worship service. However, these Christ centered, Cross focused contemporary hymns are rare. They also do not come from seeker-sensitive groups so you really have to do hard labor to smoke them out. Sound theology in contemporary hymns is like finding a needle in a hay stack.

So as I listened to these songs played by the station, I went through several emotional upheavals. First I felt numbed by these yucky Christian songs. Then I got bored. After that I got depressed. Finally, to fight back, I just listened to get entertained. It worked.

I realized I was using the radio station improperly. So now I found something I can use the radio station for, if I want to be entertained, I will tune in, then check out.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Intrepid Lutherans

Over here it is not unusual to have granny flats. It is a type of bungalow where a member of the family can stay with you but not with you. Well they are sort of staying with you in that they are in the same compound but not in the same roof.

What has this to do with granny flats? Well Christians and in particular most Lutherans, treat doctrine like a grandma living in a granny flat. She is there but nobody dares to bring her into conversation. She is ignored but everyone knows she is still alive. She is just avoided. No one talks to her, no one talks about her.

I am glad that some WELS folk have decided to blog about what everyone in WELS knows but no one bothered to talk about. I congratulate the people at Intrepid Lutherans for being so bold to face up and debate issues that matter to them the most.

In a way, I see this as analogous to recognizing that grandma is out there in the granny flat, now what are we going to do about her?

Good on Intrepid Lutherans, I admire their courage. I hope they produce a lot of meaty discussions. I made it a point to read the blog daily.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The Journey Has Begun

I confess I have been treating myself out lately since graduation. Being tied to my dissertation for some 6-7 years, I felt I am entitled to some rest and recreation. It took a lot out of me. One of my classmates said he just wants to turn off the brain and do nothing, trying to take it in, figuring out what it all means. I am the same.

For example, I am so amazed at Australia. Where do you find a country which encourages you to take higher degrees? Where do you find a country which not only will give to you an education, but will also pay you for doing it? That is right. Your first degree (like a Bachelor's) is covered by a type of study now and pay later plan. When you graduate and get work, that is the time you pay them back through the taxation system. There is also financial assistance like Austudy for those mature students taking their first degree. Of course if you go for a Master's degree you will have to pay but not when you go for a Doctorate. The laws may have changed but in my case as a citizen, I got a university scholarship (this is how they paid me) for 3.5 years, tax free, then on top of that, I paid no cent on my tuition fees. I do not even recall paying amenities fees unlike when I was back home. So what else did my uni do for me? They gave me a computer, an office, paid for my stationaries, gave me travel allowance for conferences, paid for my books, gave me of course free library access, free printing and internet access. Then to help me get additional income, they gave me paid tutorial work. I met a friend the other day, he does not have a scholarship since he wanted to do it part time, yet he is not charged any tuition fees for his Doctorate program (in another uni). Tell me, is this a good country or not? So I am humbled by these and I thankful to the Lord for these blessings.

By the way, just for information, mathematicians around the world are involved in what is called the "maths genealogy project". It is a type of database that tracks the educational pedigree of the mathematician, i.e. who was his/her teacher, which university graduated the person, the person's dissertation etc.

Sometimes I wonder what my new journey might look like. I am sometimes afraid that as I journey on, I might fall into the ditch of weasel talk as I have seen others fall into the hole unable to climb back up. If you do not know what I mean, let me explain it by example, consider this statement:
The set theoretical and logical definition of procedures for
assembling algebraic constructions in mathematics, and the
constructions themselves, are normally considered to reside in a
universe of discourse, which is neutral and abstract from any
computational implementation. Recent work suggests such discourse
exhibits implicit notions of computation, which are rooted in tree
based formalisms divorced from abstract denotational environments. In
particular, it is argued such discourse has a sequential nature, and
is asynchronous and recursion oriented.

Hehehehe, you got that? Right. That is clear isn't it? There you go, that is weasel talk or weasel words. What apparently sounds so sophisticated and deep is nothing but bull dust.

Moving forward (now that is a weasel term), now that I am ready to be a change agent (another weasel word), I shall now engage new challenges using emergent and transformative technologies that deliver high impact to the betterment of communities (more weasel words).

My prayer in short, may the Lord deliver me from the sin of obfuscation.

credits: Pr. Greg for post title.