Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Discombobulation.

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.



Lito,

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.

Peace,
Joe

17 comments:

LutherRocks said...

Ha...I never know what to think when I get get blog recognition. Thank you. If I ever get to Australia I must travel to meet you, Lito.

Here is a better dissertation...not sure if I will get a response though.

http://jackkilcrease.blogspot.com/2010/06/romans-518.html

Peace!

Joe

jim said...

Dear Lito,

Before we can believe in the active righteousness and passive righteousness of Christ we must believe in the righteousness of the Father in raising Him from the dead. Imputation is believing in the Father:

Rom 4:24 "but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness–for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead."

Salvation is belief in God that raised Christ:

Rom 10:9 For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

The focus of the above two verses is the love and power of the Father before the active and passive obediance of the Son.

Printed above, Rom 4:24 specifically says that imputation is from the Father resurrecting Christ.

Therefore the Theology of The Cross alone does not yield faith. We must do more than believe that the Father was appeased. We must believe that He always loved Jesus and us. And we must believe that He delivered us from satan:

Col 1:13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,

Submitted humbly in love for your consideration in Christ.

In Christ Jesus,
Jim

LPC said...

Jim,

Your do more theology contradicts Jesus' it is finished.

Also you are off topic and I will from now on delete your comments if you do not stay on the context of the post.

LPC

LPC said...

Joe,

May the Lord grant you see down under. It will be a pleasure.

Your interpretation of Romans 5:18 is actually the same point that Walther Maier III has made in his paper. Search for the Maier name on this blog and you will be lead to his article/paper.

Kilcrease's interpretation is a dream and wishful thinking. This is why I say if you follow UOJ interpretation of this verse, you become peculiar because non UOJ Lutherans, Reformed, Anglican etc do not take it the way Kilcrease/Walther/Pieper do.

In short your position becomes at odd with standard scholarship.

UOJ and Calvinists confuse the "we" and "us" language of St Paul.

When St Paul uses the "we" language, Calvinists get it right when he meant we believers and the UOJ wrong. When it mean "we" as we human beings - UOJ get it right and the Calvinist wrong.

JBFA Lutherans interpret it rightly when "we" means in cases "us humans" or "us believers". Both Calvinists and UOJers get these things mixed up. JBFaers distinguish these rightly I'd say.

Also, Kilcrease has to do more. He needs to show that Maier's interpretation can not possibly be right for if Maier's interpretation gives possibility of correctness, then Kilcrease's position is weakened. He must show Maier's interpretation has no plausibility of correctness. I do not think he succeeds.

LPC



LPC

Brett Meyer said...

Joe, I want to extend my support as you work through the doctrine of Justification as taught by God's Word and confirmed in the Lutheran Confessions. Very happy for you and thankful to the Lord. I did see a contradiction in your recent statements and wanted to pose some points for your consideration.

In the above post you correctly state, "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." This is confirmed in Scripture here: Acts 13:39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

On the Kilcrease blog under the post Romans 5:18 you state, "There is no justification before faith. Is the debt of sin paid for? Yes! Can you say then that the debt is forgiven? Yes;"

The contradiction that I see is that in one place you say that a man is not justified before faith and in another you say that a man's sins have been forgiven before faith. Consider that the forgiveness of sins is justification which, if I remember correctly, you've stated in past comments. Thus just as a man is not justified before faith neither is his sins forgiven although they have been paid for by Christ it is God who has elected, calls, justifies and saves.

Scripture that speaks to this:
Mark 4:12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Joe, I hope this helps in your study of Justification by Faith alone. May the Holy Spirit guide you into all truth, His Word is truth.

In Christ,
Brett

LPC said...

Joe.

I support Brett when he says this...

Thus just as a man is not justified before faith neither is his sins forgiven although they have been paid for by Christ it is God who has elected, calls, justifies and saves.

This is what is taught in Scripture - just read the verses that has the phrase "receive the forgiveness of sins".

The Means of Grace is being used by the HS to deliver the benefit of the atonement which is forgiveness of sins. Hence Brett is correct, though man's sins are atoned for and since the Gospel is an offer, the sins of man remains if he stays in unbelief.

Jesus said this which Kilcrease could not answer - Jesus said to the Pharisees - if you do not BELIEVE I am he, you shall die IN YOUR sins.

This is where the Means of Grace comes - so that man may enjoy the benefit of the atonement which is forgiveness/justification. Clearly atonement and justification are not co-equal nor synonymous. You are already on this, Joe - follow that through.

DO not allow people to bully you. The Word is already in your hands. Use it.

LPC

LutherRocks said...

This from Wikipedia of all places...(I was unaware of this etymology of the word until now)

"The word atonement was invented in the sixteenth century by William Tyndale who recognized that there was not a direct English translation of the biblical Hebraic concept. The word is composed of two parts "at" and "onement" in order to reflect the dual aspect of Christ's sacrifice: the remission of sin and reconciliation of man to God. Tyndale's concept overcomes the limitations of the word reconciliation whilst incorporating aspects of propitiation and forgiveness."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atonement_in_Christianity

Seems we have a limitation in the English language and really we can only use the word atonement to describe the work of the cross. Words like reconciliation, forgiveness, et al can not be used since none of them is adequate whether on their own or coupled with another. More food for thought.

Incidentally, wasn't Tynale an influence on Hus who was an influence on Luther?

Joe

Brett Meyer said...

Joe, what do you think of the points concerning Justification that Lito and I presented above?

LPC said...

Joe,

At any rate, the context where the word is found i.e., atonement, is the determining factor. See Romans 3:21-26 specially the last verses. Look at the object of faith, the blood of Christ, then look at how justification happens.

Again and again, exegetes even Lutherans (Germans not Americans) say that justification is grounded on the atonement. I site Stuhlmacher known for being a conservative Lutheran who points that the atonement is not the same as justification for the latter is grounded on the former. If one is grounded on another, then the two are not the same.

Yes, Tyndale was Lutheran.

I hope you dwell further on what Brett and I presented.

jim said...

Dear Lito,

St. Augustine put it this way, “In the essentials we have unity, in the non-essentials we have diversity, and in all things we have charity.”

In Christ Jesus,
Jim

LutherRocks said...

Jim's quote is timely.

I was off on Hus' influence. It was John Wycliffe who influenced Hus and Hus who influenced Luther. Tyndale came after Luther and was influenced by Luther.

This is what I think. The fact that Tyndale had to coin the word atonement to express the Hebrew concept shows a linguistic deficiency that still exists today that contributes to the problem. I now vaguely remember my time in confirmation class where my pastor instructed us on the atonement and actually dissected the word as "at - onement". That is still bad in my opinion. I believe the objective and subjective come about simply because of the deficiency of the English language.

Atonement carries with it aspects of forgiveness, reconciliation, propitiation, righteousness and justification and vice versa. The problem is none of them are interchangeable.

I need to dwell on this some more, but I will say I can not disagree with Brett and Lito. But let us show charity to those who may be saying the same thing but just not using the terms correctly.

More later...I'm off to a July 4th show in a land called north Texas.

Peace,
Joe

LPC said...

Joe,

That is still bad in my opinion. I believe the objective and subjective come about simply because of the deficiency of the English language,

I do believe it came from a translation of Knapp's book.

At any rate, responsible exegetes or NT Scholars do not exegete the English Bible, they exegete the original text - i.e. NT Greek. For this reason please see Leon Morris' Apostolic Preaching of the Cross. There Morris studies the meaning of atonement - in Greek lutron.

But let us show charity to those who may be saying the same thing but just not using the terms correctly.

But you should say this to UOJers like Rev Paul McCain who alluded to me as a false teacher.

There is more to that Joe, for when one questions UOJ one is also questioning Walther and Pieper and for Synodicals these Christians are never wrong. In fact these Synodicals preach easily that Luther was wrong in places but never Walther nor Pieper.

I need to dwell on this some more

You do that and may God guide you to all the truth.
LPC

Gregory L. Jackson said...

LPC, you are a model of blogger politeness and precision. Paul McCain and Jack Kilcrease are teaming up to pound the critics of Knapp's Pietism-based UOJ. McCain's allies are either teaching at a Roman Catholic school (Kilcrease), headed toward Rome, or already on the other side (Rome or Eastern Orthodoxy).

I have to commend Joe Krohn for honestly dealing with the issues in public. Wondering out loud is not permitted in the synods. I believe doctrinal friction is a positive factor in creating doctrinal clarity - as evidenced in the Formula of Concord.

Justification by faith, like subnet masking, is learned rather than taught. Going over every issue is essential in sorting out the Biblical truths.

The first step is getting past the new categories invented by later theologians. For example, if I filter everything through the Social Gospel topics of Rauschenbusch, I am already making a commitment to his crypto-Unitarian exegesis of the Bible. His seminary produced New Ager Leonard Sweet, so that would not be a good thing.

LPC said...

The first step is getting past the new categories invented by later theologians. For example, if I filter everything through the Social Gospel topics of Rauschenbusch, I am already making a commitment to his crypto-Unitarian exegesis of the Bible

Correct indeed. One's presupposition leads to where the conclusions go.

You comment on the necessity of friction is so timely, I used it in the new post.

LPC

LutherRocks said...

Lito/Brett,

So if I were to say that the atonement of Jesus for our sins cancels the debt of sin; forgives the debt of sin, you have a problem with this because scripture says that no forgiveness takes place before faith, period.

In other words; The atoning sacrifice of Jesus for our sins clears the way for salvation; makes salvation possible. To access this salvation we need a redemption coupon and that is Jesus. This all comes through the gift of faith. There is no decision to accept this gift, but a surrendering of our will to God's who has called us according to His purpose.

Greg,

Thank you for the commendation. You are somewhat of an enigma. When I read your posts in various places other than Ichabod, I see a different person. When I read your books I see a different person than what I read on Ichabod. First impressions are hard to shake. My first encounter with you was Ichabod and it made me quite angry. It did start me on a journey and I have seen things along the way. I have learned and re-learned things I had forgotten. For that I am thankful. When I was a younger man the end justified the means. That philosophy has changed as I grow older. I get the big picture of what you are trying to accomplish on Ichabod, but I do call into question the means. And I mean that sincerely.

Peace,
Joe

Brett Meyer said...

Joe, I’ll quote your statement above and intersperse my comments.

In other words; The atoning sacrifice of Jesus for our sins clears the way for salvation; makes salvation possible. Yes, as Scripture declares in Romans 1:6, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

To access this salvation we need a redemption coupon and that is Jesus. Yes, and Jesus and all that He is and has is ours only through faith. Scripture uses the words Mediator and Propitiation to make this same doctrinal point. Christ is only our mediator through faith. So that UOJ errors when they make Christ the Mediator for the whole unbelieving worlds forgiveness. UOJ in fact creates a new way to Christ’s righteousness and a new way to the forgiveness of sins. UOJ states that the whole world has been declared righteous by God because Christ paid for the worlds sins. But Scripture rejects this in Romans 10:10, For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Note it’s through belief in Christ, gracious faith given as a free gift by the calling of the Holy Spirit, whereby a man has Christ’s righteousness for the forgiveness of sins.

This all comes through the gift of faith. There is no decision to accept this gift, but a surrendering of our will to God's who has called us according to His purpose. I would contend that it’s not a surrendering of our will to God’s. You may not have meant to state this, but your statement may confess synergism where that which is ours, our will, is being surrendered by our power to God’s will. You include a reference toRomans 8:28 which declares that God calls those He has chosen to faith. Through the faith of the Holy Spirit we die to sin and are raised again to live in God’s grace, our carnal minds are changed to spiritual minds in Christ. It is by this spiritual mind that we wish and desire our will to be God’s will. Prior to faith we are unable in our sinful state to do this. So if this is your contention, I agree. Galatians 1:15, Romans 8:30, “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” This is one of the passages that establish the doctrine of Election and also rejects the man made doctrine of UOJ which states that God has given His grace to and justified the entire unbelieving world with the blood of Christ for the forgiveness of their sins, but they have not been called and neither are they glorified (saved).

Some UOJists want to contend that yes God declares the whole unbelieving world forgiven but they aren’t unless they believe they are. This is how they, with subtle sophistry, try to nod toward justification by faith alone but fail miserably since they say faith doesn’t bring anything into existence that wasn’t already there before (the forgiveness of sins – justification). Or they may take the path of Jack Kilcrease who in his reason states that with God all things happen simultaneously and therefore Christ’s atonement which is the payment for the worlds sins is the exact same act as God forgiving the whole world through faith so that God declares the whole world forgiven of all sin when Christ paid for the worlds sins. You called him on that error when you pointed to Abraham being justified, forgiven of his sins, through faith alone.

LutherRocks said...

Brett, I meant surrender in the sense that we are powerless. We are capable of nothing but evil. But by grace through faith we are renewed in Christ.

Joe