Monday, June 14, 2010

Theological Fallacies I

[Updated]
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.

LPC

39 comments:

Steven Goodrich said...

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.

It is no an absurdity then teaching that believers are simul iustus et peccator

L P said...

Steven

Look at your own sentence, you mentioned "believers" being saint and sinner - are you saying that a believer is under God's wrath? I hope you are not saying this, for if so, you contradicted not me but St John's 3:36!

For UOJ the unbeliever is both forgiven by virtue of atonement without reference to faith and at the same time under wrath (i.e. not forgiven) -hence forgiven without reference to faith (by virtue of UOJ )and not forgiven at the same time and in the same sense!

This position is ex falso quod libet.

Because this is a contradiction, then one may prove that a square is a circle and vice versa, that 2+2 = 4 and 2+2 = 5. ex falso quod libet fallacy says from a contradiction you may assert anything under the sun and over the sun, go for it.

In logic (my field) when your system of reasoning can prove anything, you'd better be scared, if it is able to prove too much. Why? because you got a contradiction in your system. In this case a contradiction in your psyche/ mind. Ideas in your mind leads to action. What you believe you will eventually live.

LPC

Brett Meyer said...

Christ's doctrine declares that everthing regarding the sinner is effected by faith, worked by the Holy Spirit through the Means of Grace, instantaneously when the person believes that Christ died for thier sins. Through faith the person dies to sin having been under the Law, is raised again to life to live under Grace in Christ - literally in Christ, receives all that is Christ's which is righteousness, the forgiveness of sins, justified and saved eternally. All this is instantaneous through faith when our whole trust rests upon Christ's payment of our sins.

The differences between this and UOJ are many.

Faith - UOJ says it does nothing and can do nothing otherwise what it does would become a work of man. Christ says faith is from the Holy Spirit so it does all of this by the grace and power of God. Faith is that righteousness by which we trust alone in Christ's payment for sins.

Condition of man - UOJ claims that following Christ's payment for sins the whole world stands righteous, justified, guiltless and sinless by God's divine verdict. They only need to believe they have this right standing with God for it to be true for them. Christ states that before faith in Christ man is under the Law, alive to sin, dead in sins actively rejecting Christ and as such REMAINS (a big word like OFFERS, MANY, IF that UOJers ignore) under God's wrath and condemnation. Thus it is that UOJ teaches in most of it's versions, for instance Boaz has his own version, that God will always see man as both justified and at the same time condemned. Lotsa peace with that little ditty which leads to the next point...

Christ - UOJ teaches that God sees the whole unbelieving and vile world as being IN CHRIST so that they are cleansed from all thier sin and also outside of Christ so that they are condemned. Christ teaches that no one is in Him except by faith so then only by faith is anyone in Christ and thus Christ in them and receives the instantaneous benefits of faith in Christ by the grace of the Holy Spirit.

This can go on with GRACE, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WORLD etc. UOJ perverts all of it in different ways at different times according to the tastes of the person promoting it. Give me the holy grail of UOJ doctrine where all Lutheran (sic) UOJists can agree - A BOC of sorts that hold UOJists to one common confession - where is that? Where is this confession of their central doctrine? Doesn't exist so we argue the doctrine as it presents itself in it's many perverse and heredical forms.

People who are pro Justification by Faith Alone quote alot of Scripture because we know that if someone is to come to faith in Christ, no longer rejecting the Holy Spirit's faith and the truth of God's Word they will only be converted with the Word. The Word that we apply is appropriate for the discussion at hand as God's Word is the most clear and is solely efficacious in that conversion if it is God's will. We quote the Confessions because it is the Ruled Norm which has already explained the Scriptures and Chief doctrines of Christian faith revealed to us in God's Word. Jack and others in the UOJ camp cannot show UOJ in the BOC so they push the BOC aside and go about to explain Scripture as part of their new enlightenment saying - this is the conceptuality that God is trying to teach. Quoting Scripture and the BOC is fun because they are clear, Scripture is the fullness of God's power, it is Christ Himself, it works wrath in those who reject it and are hardened and contrition and faith in those God calls through it. Notice how the UOJers became wrathful when Scripture is quoted saying "stop quoting Scripture as if to convince me of something - speak in conceptualities as I've formed the discussion!!" - wrath.

L P said...

B.M.

Thank you for this...

People who are pro Justification by Faith Alone quote alot of Scripture because we know that if someone is to come to faith in Christ, no longer rejecting the Holy Spirit's faith and the truth of God's Word they will only be converted with the Word

Exactly, which Jack would not do and complains about it. The reader can read his words in the previous post comments on not using Scripture.

Jack and others in the UOJ camp cannot show UOJ in the BOC so they push the BOC aside and go about to explain Scripture as part of their new enlightenment saying - this is the conceptuality that God is trying to teach

This leads to anything goes Lutheranism, complete chaos because he has extracted the meaning of the words from what the words convey.

The reliable scholars I read, insists that the Bible authors, used their words purposely with carefulness. They are not idle terms. Jesus said, my words they are spirit and they are life. The very words themselves, are God's chosen terms and words for us. That is why it does not return void and we live by every word that proceeds from God's mouth. The words came from His mouth - theopneustos, inspired breathed etc.

Lately he posted Lev 16 and 17 but deo volente, I hope to respond soon on why though he uses these chapters there is something wrong when compared to the overall teaching of the NT on the subject of atonement. As far as I can gather, no UOJer bothered to use these verses of Jack because the best they can see with respect to Justification are in Romans to build their case. Rightly so.

I suspect Jack is trying to do better than Pieper on this regard. I am sure he is reading so over to him.

LPC

Steven Goodrich said...

Are you stating that you obey the Son at all times? Why do you pray "and forgive our trespasses as we forgive those you trespass against us"? Have you been completely purified of the Old Adam?

To state that you are not still a sinner is to contradict St. Paul (Romans 7)

Btw, congrats on earning your PHd.

By nature a sinner and by grace a saint,

Steven

Brett Meyer said...

Scripture teaches that all men by nature are completely sinful in flesh and mind. Both flesh and mind are under God's Law being slaves to sin and thus under God's wrath and condemnation because God is perfectly just. Without faith, confidence not just knowledge, in Christ God does not account them righteous, justified or forgiven of sin because they are not in Christ nor do they have His righteousness. The unbelieving world is carnaly minded.

Scripture teaches that through faith we put on Christ. He is in us and we are in Him and having His righteousness we are born again, dead to sin, alive and slaves to grace. Believers are no longer carnaly minded, under the Law, but spiritually minded and under God's grace.

Romans 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

While believers are on this earth they still have earthly bodies which are sinful and still struggle against sin due to our flesh but with our God given spiritual minds we serve God. Because we are in Christ and Christ in us by faith God sees us as sinless, children of God. Christ has replaced our filthy rags with his pure robe of righteousness. Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. This is the Biblical meaning of being both sinner and saint. Romans 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Romans 6:17-18, Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

UOJ perverts this by saying that while the world is dead in sins, under the Law, slaves to sin God sees them as being in Christ totally forgiven, justified and righteous and at the same time under his wrath and judgement because they are slaves to sin. Romans 6:20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. Because UOJ perverts Christ's doctrine they go on to teach, as Pastor Jay Webber confessed in an Extra Nos UOJ discussion, that even after someone comes to believe in Christ God still sees them as both in Christ and outside of Christ, under God's wrath.

The comfort UOJ provides is to declare the unbeliever righteous, justified and forgiven before faith since those who confess it have rejected the Holy Spirit's faith and everything it does. Thus UOJ's war on faith and it's teaching that we are not to look at our faith for comfort that we are forgiven. UOJ condemns Christ when He declares 2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

UOJ is supposed to be the ulitmate comfort for those needing to be justified while rejecting the Holy Spirit's faith and work except they have no comfort since UOJ teach that even while Christ died for their sins God condemns them for unbelief. So UOJ teaches Christ didn't die and pay for the sin of unbelief - then how does that sin get paid for? According to UOJ it wasn't paid for, it wasn't wiped out and since faith doesn't do anything every UOJist is still condemned for the sin of unbelief that they committed. This issue has been clearly dealt with by the anti UOJers, the pro Justification by Faith Alone Christians on this blog and elsewhere.

L P said...

Steven,

Have you been completely purified of the Old Adam?

To state that you are not still a sinner is to contradict St. Paul (Romans 7)


I did not say that, I what I do state is that a believer in Christ is no longer under God's wrath.

Wrath of God is the operative word that I am on about. Romans 8:1.

UOJ says that the unbeliever is forgiven by God by virtue of the atonement (by virtue of UOJ) and yet still remains under God's wrath.

Rather I say that though the unbeliever's sins have been paid for by Jesus' atonement, that unbeliever remains in God's wrath because the benefit of the atonement has not been grasped by faith in that atonement. Atonement and Justification are not the same categories. They are related but not the same, just like justification and sanctification as categories are not the same. Please read my post above point d.)

LPC

L P said...

Steve,

If I may add, all are sinners in this world presently. However, there are two kinds, the sinner who DOES NOT not believe in Christ and the sinner who DOES believe in Christ.

I assert the first kind IS under God's wrath, but the second kind IS NOT not under God's wrath.

There is more to be said by this, but I hope this captures what I am about.

LPC

L P said...

Hi all,

I updated the text of the post!
B.M. alluded to Pastor Jay Webber confessed in an Extra Nos UOJ discussion

That discussion I believe is found here...

http://extranos.blogspot.com/2010/03/grinding-my-ax.html

LPC

L P said...

Steve,

You said this in Jack's post...
Jack, I too wish that someone could explain to me what atonement means if it does not mean that our sins are forgiven.

See point d.)

LPC

Steven Goodrich said...

Re: The World simultaneously saved and condemned

Your analogy actually shows that you believe that Christ only potentially saved the world. John 3:17* contradicts this unless you believe that Jesus did not accomplish what the Father sent Him to do.

John3:17b: ἵνα σωθῇ ὁ κόσμος δι’ αὐτοῦ

ἵνα...σῴζω (aorist, passive,subjunctive, aorist + ἵνα = purpose clause) is probably best translated "to save the world" or "in order to save the world"

To correct the analogy, I would offer this. You owe a bill of a 100 million dollars with an effective APR of 100% to your father. To say the least you are not in your father's good graces.

Your father decides that in stead of being angry at you, he will show you mercy. After all you are is son and he loves you. He and your your brother because they are both merciful and knowing that you can not make the payment decide that your brother will pay the bill for you.

In order for your brother to make the payment, he empties his life savings, sells his house, and then sells all of his organs to pay the bill for you.

The bill is paid. You and your father are reconciled because the thing (the loan) that stood between you is gone, but your brother is dead because he sold all of his organs.

Your brother miraculously comes back to life and sends a messenger to tell you that bill has been paid and that you and you are back on your father's good side. In response, you tell the messenger that the bill is still unpaid, and you make the payment yourself. You conclude therefore that your dad is still angry with.

The messenger pleads with you and pleads you that the payment has been paid, etc. You take the messenger out back and kill him. Your brother and father get wind of this, and now the next time you see them, they throw into debtor's prison.

This will be my last comment. The last word is yours.

LPC said...

Steven.

This will be my last comment. The last word is yours.

Thanks.

Your analogy actually shows that you believe that Christ only potentially saved the world.

Not at all, I think you fail to seriously consider the moods of verse you quoted. You mention the subjunctive but I wonder why you disregard it.

ἵνα σωθῇ, this is subjunctive mood. This subjunctive move does not mean all are already saved, that is why the accurate translation says " might be saved". That means not all are automatically saved.


See John 3:16, previous, whosoever believes should not perish hence, others will who do not believe in Christ.

You do not agree with the Scripture there is a future aspect of salvation? See Mk 16:16, future tense.

I wonder what would you say with C F W Walther who said "we are saved, to believe". Would you agree with this?

Farewell,

LPC


So you believe all are

Dr. Jack Kilcrease said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LPC said...

Jack,

I do not know if you read my other comments, I am not interested in winning points! Or winning debates. I have never been. I am just asking for clarity/precision on what to believe.

"trash" is, to use your "conceptualities", a strong concept I do not like to convey in my critique. We are faulty human beings, our minds still need renewing, that is why I do not appeal to reason at first instance when it comes to theology.

Very funny stuff
We are making each other laugh then. That is better than crying.

I mean, you're trashing Luther and you think that your representing authentic Lutheran theology

I never claimed the title fides difensor of Lutheranism. I am just a believer who happens to observe. I leave it to the professional theologians to do this, though I do not always believe them. I take responsibility for what I ought to believe, not something dictated to me. See Eph 4:14-15. I am now determined to give faith bullies a hard time.

We differ in theological method. Whereas you go for the jugular - quote Luther right away, I do not do that. Your first tack is to appeal to authority which I don't buy, that is why we can never meet.

I do not do what you do and why? Well because we have to go into the exegesis of Luther to validate what you claim. Why should I invest my first and best efforts there? Scripture is primary evidence - prima facie. If I am going to exegete, I might as well exegete Scripture first and find the teaching there. You are reluctant to do this, something that Pieper knew well. He grounded his UOJ in Scripture , though he failed.

It was Scripture which convinced me to become Lutheran. I was never born Lutheran. The only relationship I have with Luther was that we were both Roman Catholics.

I consider Luther wiser than me and I go to him for further insight, but I do not go to him at first sight of an issue, I go for Scripture first. I thought this is Lutheran tradition.

In the short, yes I do appeal to authority except my authority is not the same as yours.

Also from where I am, I am not asked to sign my name to every quote of Luther found in Tabletalk or LW. They asked me to sign on the BoC which I did even before I joined a Lutheran Church here. Maybe you guys there have a different practice than us, no?

Frankly, I think you have signed your names to C F W Walther's works too. I consider this -extra-Confessional.

If 'trashing' is the word to use, I do think I am indeed trashing Walterian version of Luther and Lutheranism. I am happy to be accused of that. I will admit this, for I believe Walther overstated his case as I read in his teachings.

I conclude with Bruce Church this thesis: Walther extracted American Synodical Lutherans from the rest of the Lutheran world, in fact the rest of the Protestant world, I might add.

Farewell,

LPC

Brett Meyer said...

Jack, I'm looking for the direct Luther quote but will post this until I find it.

From the preface to Luther's Commentary on Galatians translation and quote by Theodore Graebner.
"There is one book that Luther himself like better than any other. Let us begin with that: his Commentary on Galatians ..."
http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/luther/gal/web/gal0-00.html

I think this is a strong case for my statement.

Gregory L. Jackson said...

I always go to ELCA seminary professors for my insights about Luther! (G. Forde)

ELCA is 100% UOJ - everyone is forgiven.

In contrast, Luther taught justification by faith alone.

LPC said...

Consider this innovation by Walther himself. I illustrate his over statements. I kid you not, the following from Curia's paper. I quote Curia, quoting Walther...

What? Then are the impenitent to be absolved as well, and therefore also an absolution spoken to an impenitent be valid? To this we answer: The absolution remains valid and powerful, even if it is spoken to a Judas, for the Judas is already completely redeemed by Christ and in Christ already JUSTIFIED and absolved by God himself. [emphasis mine]

This means, whether he grasps it or not he is already forgiven, he is just believing what he is already. If he does not believe, then he is not.

So I say again, this is similar to Word of Faith. Believe that you are healed already and so you are. Believe you are not and so you are not. What you believe is what you get. Get the circular?

If no one finds something suspicious in that quote, I must be thick.

LPC

Brett Meyer said...

Dr. Jack Kilcrease' confession is the same, Thanks Steve- I would of course also point to Luther's statement that we are forgiven before we repent in the LC (and no Brett, it's not in view of our repentance).
JUNE 10, 2010 1:31 PM
Discussion on UOJ

Also Jack confesses this again and reveals the rationalism that forms the foundation of UOJ and Jack's confession, So, to speak the gospel, you must make a promissory statement and a promissory statement presupposes a reality that's already present. If it's faith that does the justifying and not the reception of justification, then we're not speaking the word of the gospel as a promise-since faith must trust in an already existing reality that is completely fulfilled. This is why Luther says that we are already forgiven before we repent in the LC. We receive Christ's work already completed through the gospel as promise and therefore speaking the word of the gospel means saying that forgiven is already present and fulfilled.

The bold text of Jack's confession shows the rationalism being applied to God's Word. Jack rejects that the Atonement, Christ's payment for the worlds sins, is the 'completed reality' and has decided that forgiveness of the worlds sins can only be the completed reality that the Holy Spirit's faith can cling to. By his confession Jack rejects the truth of Scripture that in Christ is all righteousness for the forgiveness of the worlds sins but they are not forgiven because Christ is only the worlds Mediator through faith - God's declaration - not ours. Christ's righteousness is only ours through faith and His righteousness is the only thing that removes sin and with which a man must be clothed in, wrapped in, for the forgiveness of sins, justification and eternal life.

BOC:
"71] but we maintain this, that properly and truly, by faith itself, we are for Christ's sake accounted righteous, or are acceptable to God. And because "to be justified" means that out of unjust men just men are
made, or born again, it means also that they are pronounced or accounted just. For Scripture speaks in both ways. [The term "to be justified" is used in two ways: to denote, being converted or
regenerated; again, being accounted righteous. Accordingly we wish first to show this, that faith alone makes of an unjust, a just man, i.e., receives remission of sins".

http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php

Luther:
"29. You cannot extricate yourself from unbelief, nor can the Law do it for you. All your works in intended fulfillment of the Law must remain works of the Law and powerless to justify in the sight of God, who regards as just only believing children."
http://www.trinitylutheranms.org/MartinLuther/MLSermons/Galatians4
_1_7.html

According to Scripture, the BOC and Luther God only regards as justified those who believe in Christ. Justification is the forgiveness of sins. Jack argues that God sees the unbelieving world as in Christ and as such forgiven of all sin but Scripture says only believers are in Christ all others are outside of Christ.

Note that Jack confesses one version of UOJ, Boaz another, WELS Becker, Zarling and Buchholz all confess other versions. Each contradict each other in different ways. Where is the written Confessional foundation of what UOJ teaches? UOJ is the Lutheran Synods central doctrine that has no universally accepted document establishing it's teachings. A doctrine birthed in the wisdom of man.

Brett Meyer said...

Jack's second quote above is in the same UOJ discussion stamped
JUNE 8, 2010 2:42 PM

Dr. Jack Kilcrease said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LPC said...

, Thanks Steve- I would of course also point to Luther's statement that we are forgiven before we repent in the LC (and no Brett, it's not in view of our repentance)

And the LC quote of Luther was taken out of context. It is a snippet which disregards the preceding and ending paragraphs.

Also in
So, to speak the gospel, you must make a promissory statement and a promissory statement presupposes a reality that's already present. If it's faith that does the justifying and not the reception of justification, then we're not speaking the word of the gospel as a promise-since faith must trust in an already existing reality that is completely fulfilled. This is why Luther says that we are already forgiven before we repent in the LC. We receive Christ's work already completed through the gospel as promise and therefore speaking the word of the gospel means saying that forgiven is already present and fulfilled.

Indeed philosophizing and I present a counter example, " I promise to give you a box of chocolates". Is the box of chocolates now a reality? Rather, if you believe what I promised though you have not seen it yet, that is, if I may be crass - the faith of Abraham. Faith according to Heb 11:1, is certain it will be a reality even though it has not come to pass yet.

The denial that it is faith that does the justifying is the denial of the BoC (if not a misunderstanding)...AP IV, I quote the whole paragraph so we are certain of what is meant by "promise" in AP IV, 53-56. The "promise" is the "promise of mercy" (on the ground of Jesus' propitiation) which is of a different category than what Jack assumes in his quote.

53] As often, therefore, as we speak of justifying faith, we must keep in mind that these three objects concur: the promise, and that, too, gratuitous, and the merits of Christ, as the price and propitiation. The promise is received by faith; the "gratuitous" excludes our merits, and signifies that the benefit is offered only through mercy; the merits of Christ are the price, because there must be a certain propitiation for our sins. 54] Scripture frequently implores mercy; and the holy Fathers often say that we 55] are saved by mercy. As often, therefore, as mention is made of mercy, we must keep in mind that faith is there required, which receives the promise of mercy. And, again, as often as we speak of faith, we wish an object to be understood, namely, the promised mercy. 56] For faith justifies and saves, not on the ground that it is a work in itself worthy, but only because it receives the promised mercy.

Jack's paradigm will not allow him to understand what we mean and why we believe as the BoC states, faith justifies.

As a suggestion, to understand what we mean - just go back to the time of Abraham, Gen 15.6 And he (Abraham) believed in the LORD, and HE accounted it to him as righteousness

To what does "it" refer to? The "believing". That is the thing God reckoned as righteousness.

I find the Scripture marvelous and consistent all over. Even Jesus said to the woman he healed - "your faith has saved you". And the BoC simply echoed what was already in Scripture. Good on the BoC.



LPC
man on the run.

jim said...

Dear Lito,

I agree that the word "predestination" in the text is always positve.

But the text does say that God "never knew" and "hated Esau". While "reprobation" might not constitute "double predestination" the absence of election suggests that the Holy Spirit will never effectually call those atheists. Revelation says "those whos names are not written in the Lambs book of life." The "Lamb" is not the exact same thing as "Jesus". The "Lamb" is a specific reference to His atoning work. "He was delivered for our offenses and raised for our justification" in the greek is "He was delivered through our offenses and raised through our completed justification." The Holy Spirit applies the work of the atonement in the hearts of the elect but not for those who He "never knew" and like Esau He "hated" and "whos names were not written in the Lamb's book of life". However I have repented from negative predestination. Reprobation is the absence of positive predestination. But the Holy Spirit does not reveal Himself to the reprobate.

In Christ Jesus,
Jim

P.S. As to your train escaping the barking dogs...

Eccl 9:4 "Anyone who is among the living has hope even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!"

Like I said The Theology of the Cross condemns Hagin while only Hagin empathsizes with The Theology of The Cross. You left what you never truly grapsed for a weaker tradition.

LPC said...

Jim,

You said

But the text does say that God "never knew" and "hated Esau".

But the Holy Spirit does not reveal Himself to the reprobate.

Fair enough. If what you say is true and that is what Scripture means (which I doubt), then I wish to quote you what one guy said about the reprobated...

Then they can say "God we hated you for you FIRST hated us".

Hope that is fair enough as well.

BTW, I do not think I miss the Christian Science of Hagin.

LPC

Steven Goodrich said...

Indeed philosophizing and I present a counter example, " I promise to give you a box of chocolates". Is the box of chocolates now a reality? Rather, if you believe what I promised though you have not seen it yet, that is, if I may be crass - the faith of Abraham. Faith according to Heb 11:1, is certain it will be a reality even though it has not come to pass yet.


Two things come to mind. First, it seems that the box of chocalates analogy is actually the UOJ position as I believe it. Reconcillation has already happened on God's part (the box of chocalates), now all that is left if for you accept (that is agree with what God tells you) that you are reconciled to the Father through the Son, which the Holy Spirit offers to you through the Word and Sacraments (see Luther "the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation").

Secondly our faith differs from Abraham's faith in this regard that the Abraham trusted that the Father would send the Son, but we believe that the Father has sent the Son. That is the "planned something better for us" of Hebrews 11:40.

Also maybe I did not clarify this enough. I was not saying that "to save us" of John 3:17 indicated result (your alreay saved). I was saying that indicated purpose, so my point is that if the Father sent the Son for the purpose of saving the world.

ἵνα + the subjunctive is syntactically equilevent to the infinitive at least that was what I thought. You can find this in Wallace and Voelz so either translation is technically correct.

Steven Goodrich said...

BTW - and I know that I said that I was finished, but I couldn't resist the temptation to post more. I hope you will forgive and not hold it against me that I reneged on that - here is the official LCMS position on justification.

http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/mosynod/web/just-02.html

http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/mosynod/web/just-01.html

This jumped out to me immediately:

Under section 8:

It is contrary to Scripture and the pure Gospel to teach:

That it is proper to speak of saints in hell or to use similar expressions in describing justification;

LPC said...

Steven,

Two things come to mind. First, it seems that the box of chocalates analogy is actually the UOJ position as I believe it.

That is interesting you should say that. Your owning my example to show that it is not a counter example at all shows a breakdown of what is commonly regarded as a promise. My box of chocolates has not become a reality to you yet has it? If so can you tell me how sweet it is? (I am being rhetorical to a point).

To the contrary UOJ says that justification has happened ALREADY for the world in Christ. I quote to you the faulty part of Statement 17 of the Brief Statement of 1932

Scripture teaches that God has ALREADY declared the WHOLE world to be righteous in Christ

This is incoherent against Scripture in the way "IN CHRIST" is used. How can the WHOLE world be righteous in Christ when in fact we all know not all the world is in Christ? If it said, anyone who is in Christ is declared righteous by God, I can agree with that. This presents a confusing paradigm for reading the Bible, it puts your understanding of Scripture out of orbit.


Secondly our faith differs from Abraham's faith in this regard that the Abraham trusted that the Father would send the Son, but we believe that the Father has sent the Son. That is the "planned something better for us" of Hebrews 11:40.

I quite disagree. In the sense that Abraham looked to the future, we also look to the future. Kindly realize that UOJers skirt over Rom 4:
23But(AC) the words "it was counted to him" were not written for his sake alone, 24but for ours also. It will be counted to us(AD) who believe in(AE) him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord,

To them there is no future side of justification? All have happened in the past. This is not what the Scripture says, rather it is the Atonement for us that has happened in the past, not justification. I believe by that Scripture I have proven that atonement is not equal with justification! You must go into the idea of identities to get more what I am saying.

Also, Abraham is our father, we have the same faith of Abraham, the Scripture does not do double talk on this and does not equivocate. We are not yet in heaven but we are assured by God's word that our future is bright and confident of this. This faith that believes what has not happened will happen simply because God says it cannot be created by anyone or anything. This confidence is a gift and creation of God. What future does the UOJer believe in? Nothing. All are past to him, God does nothing to him today or tomorrow. Can you see why UOJ is absurd contra Scripture?

ἵνα + the subjunctive is syntactically equilevent to the infinitive at least that was what I thought. You can find this in Wallace and Voelz so either translation is technically correct.

Subjunctive mood got its name from the word "subject" meaning, to be true it is subject to something. For example over here I can make a deal with a real state agent to buy his listed house, subject to my selling my house old house. Hence, if I fail to sell my old house, I am released from the obligation.

Thus is John 3:17, it is still purposeful, so it may be translated "with the consequence that world might be saved". The "might" should still be there. KJV is more literal and faithful; with your Wallace and Voelz, one has to read it with some theological a priori understanding already. Moule says that consecutive take on ἵνα is consistent with Hebraism.

LPC

LPC said...

Steven,

but I couldn't resist the temptation to post more. I hope you will forgive and not hold it against me that I reneged on that - here is the official LCMS position on justification.

I am an ex-calvinisticus so I will quote to Calvin to you without endorsing him "I hold no animus".

I have no animosity with those who disagree with me. This not a matter of personal pride or reputation but truth.

I was a UOJer myself a few years ago until I examined it for myself.

Re: Your links.

Here is what LC-MS did in 1932.

BY statements 17 it asserts A.
However if A is asserted which it did, it also implies B.
Now with statement 37 you are now commanded DO NOT ASSERT B.


Well what can I say,this shows they allowed inconsistency to be present in the documents. Hence, once again, ex falso quod libet.

QED. :-)


LPC

jim said...

Dear Lito,

Adam and Eve worshipped satan voluntarily.

I am wrong to still cling to the word "reprobation" now that I think about it. It is only a forsaking. Not proactive hatred.
Satan does the proactive hating. God only does not show mercy. The lack of love is not the same as proactive hatred. But satan does not ever love.


Hagin never said that matter was imaginary like Christan Science. It is about the authority of the word of faith over matter. Fear by imputation gives satan authority over us. Faith by identification gives us authority over satan. I think that Christan Science denies the real existance of satan. WOF educates you about him for signs and wonders over matter.

Lutheran "preaching faith into the heart by the spoken word" is the word of faith concerning salvation from God. Hagin elevates it to the word of faith over satan. But identifcation transcends imputation.

In Christ Jesus,
Jim

Dr. Jack Kilcrease said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LPC said...

Dead Jack,

I am glad you finally are getting into the NT. Frankly your take on proving UOJ from Lev 16 and 17 is something I believe procedurally unacceptable though you try to be novel. I was taught never to use OT to establish an NT teaching unless the NT says nothing about it, but in this case of Atonement, the NT is not silent. Consequently Leon Morris' Apostolic Preaching of the Cross dealt with how the apostles taught and preached about the Cross, not what OT saints taught about it. Your take on Lev 16 and 17 to say the least is anarchronistic.

Re: Rom 5:18. You say that if we do not take it your way we must posit limited atonement. I believe Maier dealt with this already. One has to respect the way the words in Scripture are used respecting idioms and figures of speech such as euphemism etc.

I as a mathematician/logician. I was taught never to mix categories unless you have evidence to the contrary, see Leibnitz' (another Lutheran of long ago) rule on identities. The safe assumption as first rule is to assume them to be different. It does not mean they are not related, but it does mean they are not co-equal.

Since you presuppose that atonement is the same as justification, you see what you wanted to see.

See Maier on Rom 5:18. The rebuttal was anticipated.

LPC

jim said...

Dear Lito,

The "many" made sinners and "many" made righteous means limited atonment. The topic of the verse is the "many" made righteous and the "many" became sinners is retroactive. The logic is from the "many" made righteous are the "many" became sinners. The verse is not about sinners it is about those made righteous who stared out as sinners. Not about sinners becoming righteous. The many that were made righteous were once became many sinners. Otherwise only many became sinners.

The word is the word. But interpretation is not neccesarily the word. Tradition is not neccesarily the word. The word "heresy" in Scripture means "sect". When you oppose limited atonement on the basis of "us" Lutherans verses "them" Calvinists you are become a sect and are not truly free to pursue God. I am not a Calvinist but I am not a Lutheran. I am a Christian.

But I have learned from Luther.

In Christ Jesus,
Jim Cronfel

Dr. Jack Kilcrease said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LPC said...

Jack,

In some cases Jesus did not respond to every thing that he was accused of in the Sanhedrin. I do the same. Notice if I have responded to Jim here? I do not respond if IMO the argument is worth any seriousness.

Re:Kippur.

I asked you this. ..
"Lastly, since you speak about "kuppur", is there someone from the OT who got forgiven who did not believe in the ritual of atonement?"


You responded to this
No. But that's not the UOJ position. The UOJ position is that although God has forgiven the whole world, he only communicates that forgiveness through faith in Word and sacrament.


1.) What you should prove is that there is someone who got Justified without faith using Kippur. Since you cannot show it to me, I am still waiting (perhaps till Jesus comes) for your evidence.
2.) Here is what I observe about the way this is going. You assert X. I say ok prove X. You present as warrant for X is Y. I rebut you saying Y is not a warrant for X. Then you retreat, you reposition yourself and say no X is not my position anyway.

3. Look here your words The UOJ position is that although God has forgiven the whole world, he only communicates that forgiveness through faith in Word and sacrament

Indeed the criticism of Jackson and Meyer is accurate and not only them, this has been tackled before during Walthers time. Your statement has a contradiction. Let me lay it down to you why I object to UOJ. You say God has forgiven the whole world but God communicates this forgiveness in word and sacrament and if the world does not receive this by word and sacrament, they are not forgiven after all.

The above has an equivocation. Rather saying what you say, instead the Scripture says, Jesus died for the sins of the whole world (atonement) - God delivers this peace and good message to sinners by Word and Sacrament and faith in this atonement is justification (is forgiveness of sins). Hence no faith no justification.

The non-UOJ position contains no equivocation because it respects the categories and is closer to Scripture and Confession.

Atonement is payment for sins, the bearing or covering for sins, justification is to be accounted righteous. NT scholars have time and again even Lutheran ones (not from your synods) said that justification is grounded on the atonement. If one is grounded on another, the two are not the same. Further, justification is alway by faith.

As I said, your kippur take is a bad procedure because the NT interprets the OT, not the other way around, and your take from Leviticus 16 and 17 is anachronistic.

Lastly, the concept of being saint and sinner is not the same as being under God's wrath and not under God's wrath at the same time and same sense. The believing sinner is not under God's wrath. He may be under God's discipline - just like David was, but he is not under God's eternal wrath.

Here Meyer's criticism of your position is correct if I may say it as an outsider playing DA.

LPC

LutherRocks said...

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. 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. 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; hence cometh justification, righteousness and sanctification. I cringe when I read point #1 under Justification in 'This We Believe' in the WELS.

"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 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. I think it would go far to throw out this term 'UOJ' and do some re-writes.

Now does all this UOJ contribute towards CGM? I don't know. 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

LPC said...

Joe,

Funny I was reminded of you last Saturday, I brought Mrs ExtraNos to a theatrical play of Sammy Davies Jr. The band played well and I enjoyed the trumpet section.

Anyway you said...
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; hence cometh justification, righteousness and sanctification. I cringe when I read point #1 under Justification in 'This We Believe' in the WELS.

You are coming to the conclusion I have made when I studied this. Correct, the in fact the BoC calls this death of Jesus as and "OFFER". That is why there comes the Means of Grace. The Means of Grace is the vehicle of the HS to present this work that Jesus did on the Cross as an offer to the Sinner, he presents Christ's life and work to the Sinner as a gift. Such that when faith created by the Means of Grace grabs a hold of Christ, God imputes, reckons, treats, this faith as righteousness because it is holding on to Christ. In fact the righteousness that God imputes is the righteousness of Christ why? Because it is holding to Christ, the righteous one.

I do not like UOJ because it for example violates the wisdom of the Formula of Concord authors. The FC authors has a manner of thinking which I believe is so wise. In the discussion of election, the authors saw that predestination was always used by the Bible to describe believers. It is never used to describe unbelievers. Calvinist make the conclusion that if God predestines believers to heaven then he must predestine unbelievers to hell. Yet, and Yet (I repeat), the Lutherans would not go there. Why? Because they were keeping close to the way Scripture uses language. However, this method is violated by UOJers and it leads to all sorts of inconsistencies and sophistries.

Further, to see how strange UOJ is recall what the Law accuses us - it says to us that we have sinned and by that we are rightly deserving of eternal punishment. What about the Gospel, it says that although that is right, Jesus took your punishment.

Now from above substitute justification (forgiveness) for atonement. UOJ says of the Gospel, yes you are guilty of sin and deserve punishment in hell, but God has forgiven you (you can even attach there in Christ etc).

So what happened to the punishment? In UOJ it is skipped and not dealt with.

In UOJ scheme, the payment for the punishment is skipped and went right down to forgiving sin. In UOJ punishment has been overlooked by God and just wipes and ignores sin.

However, the Scripture teaches again and again, Jesus paid a ransom, his life for our life. JBFA maintains this language - it never says people are forgiven without faith or forgiven prior to faith. UOJ runs on a fallacy that in order to believe something that something must already be there!

UOJ has a bad understanding of faith. They also have a bad understanding of what a promise is.

cont...

LPC said...

cont...

Faith is believing a promise that is why it is so special to God. God looks at it as more precious than silver or gold. If I say to you I will meet you in you office tomorrow at 2PM and you believe me does that mean it has happened already? If you follow UOJ understanding of faith/belief, you will never believe me, because for you to believe me under UOJ mindset, tomorrow must come and I am there in your office 2PM, that is when you will only believe me! Hence, in UOJ faith is seeing what is already there.

Rather in JBFA, when you trust my WORDS then you trust my character that I am no liar. That is special.

In UOJ faith is no longer by what one cannot see. It walks with what it can see. But if we already have what we need to believe in, then what is the point of faith? It is not needed. And when faith is not needed, you get down to being an antinomian.

God is always wanting to produce faith in us. Chemnitz says that even that one who wants desperately to believe, i.e. one who thinks he does not have faith yet wants to have faith, that doubting one already believes too!

Joe again I quote to AC IV.Article IV: Of Justification.

1] Also they teach that men cannot be justified before God by their own strength, merits, or works, but are freely justified for 2] Christ's sake, through faith, when they believe that they are received into favor, and that their sins are forgiven for Christ's sake, who, by His death, has made satisfaction for our sins. 3] This faith God imputes for righteousness in His sight. Rom. 3 and 4.


Joe, may God continue to enlighten you to this wonderful message that Jesus paid for your sins, and that believing in this is believing in him, and that faith - God imputes the righteousness of Christ.

LPC

LPC said...

Joe,

additionally

It has become my opinion that the way WELS 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. I think it would go far to throw out this term 'UOJ' and do some re-writes.

Correct!

Not only WELS Joe, also LC-MS. Fortunately my synod has no official statement on this and I foresee a fight if UOJ is insisted. Our website though contains some UOJ terminology which one of the pastors here, our friend Pr. Mark has written to complain already.

UOJ terminology does not promote proper understanding of Law and Gospel. Mixing categories is never good.

Joe when I am studying a serious issue, such as this, I was taught not to look at the personal styles of the one arguing. I was taught to first and foremost look at the evidence presented. Is it Biblical? Is there sound warrant for his evidence? For the person's argument may be good but the style might be abysmal - but that does not mean that the evidence is false or is not true. It only means you can take the argument but don't take up the friendship.

God bless,

LPC

LutherRocks said...

UOJ maintains that all sinners are forgiven and therefore justified. But this justification is only in a forensic sense. The sinner has been declared justified but is not made justified. To be made justified comes through faith. This is what clouds the picture. This is God we are talking about. Since He does not lie and he makes a declaration wouldn't it follow that it is so? Why would I then have to be made justified if I already am by His divine declaration? How does UOJ work in the context of Abraham, the father of our faith? Was he justified and forgiven twice?

As I work through this Abraham was justified subjectively and then objectively when Jesus died and rose from the dead, right? But I was objectively justified and then subjectively justified; a reverse order from Abraham simply by my existence in time in reference to Jesus life? It seems like we are crossing the streams here and mom always told us boys not to cross the streams...makes for a big mess.

JK

LPC said...

Dear Joe,

You are arriving at the same conclusions as I did when I looked deeper on UOJ in which I was once an adherent of. I was like you I thought they were talking about atonement but when you hear them articulate it, it is obvious they equate justification with the atonement. This is exactly what Calvinism does though they arrive at a different conclusion.

Also your take on Romans 5 is spot on. UOJers present to me Rom 5:18. But as you pointed out, Romans 5:1 already presupposed we are already believers in fact St Paul says that, he includes himself when he says "we have peace with God".

Then further, I asked for a single incident in Scripture where God pronounced someone righteous without faith, or before faith. No Scripture forthcoming. Nada. Zip. Nothing.

The problem is that when one questions Walther's teaching, you are branded a heretic. Now how cultic is that practice of persecution?

May God guide you as you study these things.
LPC