Tuesday, October 05, 2010

JBFA in Luther's Rose

I was in my son's church the other day and I took a tract produced by my synod that explain's Luther's rose. The tract was the explanation of Luther about his seal.

I was amazed at the words of Luther (note for Lutherans: that means how un-UOJ the words are). My admiration for his Biblicism and dogged understanding of justification rose another level. To use Wesley's words - it strangely warms my heart.

Here are the words which he penned and addressed to Lazarus Spengler:

Grace and peace from the Lord. As you desire to know whether my painted seal, which you sent to me, has hit the mark, I shall answer most amiably and tell you my original thoughts and reason about why my seal is a symbol of my theology. The first should be a black cross in a heart, which retains its natural color, so that I myself would be reminded that faith in the Crucified saves us. "For one who believes from the heart will be justified" (Rom. 10:10[2]). Although it is indeed a black cross, which mortifies and which should also cause pain, it leaves the heart in its natural color. It does not corrupt nature, that is, it does not kill but keeps alive. "The just shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:17[3]) but by faith in the crucified. Such a heart should stand in the middle of a white rose, to show that faith gives joy, comfort, and peace. In other words, it places the believer into a white, joyous rose, for this faith does not give peace and joy like the world gives (John 14:27[4]). That is why the rose should be white and not red, for white is the color of the spirits and the angels (cf. Matt. 28:3[5]; John 20:12[6]). Such a rose should stand in a sky-blue field, symbolizing that such joy in spirit and faith is a beginning of the heavenly future joy, which begins already, but is grasped in hope, not yet revealed. And around this field is a golden ring, symbolizing that such blessedness in Heaven lasts forever and has no end. Such blessedness is exquisite, beyond all joy and goods, just as gold is the most valuable, most precious and best metal.This is my compendium theologiae [summary of theology]. I have wanted to show it to you in good friendship, hoping for your appreciation. May Christ, our beloved Lord, be with your spirit until the life hereafter. Amen. [7][1]

Dr. Luther, I do appreciate it my friend, the emphasis are mine.


Brett Meyer said...

I was looking for the Book of Concord (BOC) style declaration and explanation of Universal Objective Justification (UOJ) to compare to Luther's Justification by Faith Alone confession found in his explanation of his painted seal. There isn't one. Nothing. There are only modern theologians trying to explain this new doctrine of UOJ. Each of them having a different take on what it teaches and doesn't teach, what it accepts and what it rejects. Some confess that UOJ isn't in the BOC while others say it is found in Luther's explanation of the Office of the Keys. Those who say it's in the BOC state that it isn't specifically confessed but merely referenced to in Luther's explanation of the Keys. Brief research shows that they pervert and contort the explanation of the Office of the Keys to find support for UOJ. In the BOC section on Justification it states, what do the Keys effect if sins have already been forgiven?? Good point, and one that crushes the doctrine of UOJ.

Now UOJ would certainly be one of the chief articles of Christian faith, one that should have taken it's rightful place in the BOC. Yet, it didn't. Some say the BOC was only addressing the Catholic Church's works righteousness, but this rejects the confessors declaration that the BOC addresses all the chief articles of the one true Christian faith. Certainly UOJ would war even more rigorously against works righteousness! UOJ teaches that God declared the entire unbelieving world righteous without and before faith. What a silly and baseless explanation for UOJ not being confessed in the BOC.

Can anyone point to the universally accepted BOC style confession of the WELS, LCMS, ELCA, CLC etc central doctrine of faith, Universal Objective Justification?

While we wait, I too would like to express my appreciation for Luther's explanation of his seal and wish that other's would see the faithfulness of this confession and turn from the false gospel of UOJ.

LPC said...


If UOJ was believed by Luther, I would have expected it to be given attention in his symbol, in his seal, wouldn't you?

For let us admit it UOJ as a message is much better news than anything out there for it is universalistic.

He would have said that all have been justified even before faith etc.

Some of my readers love me not to talk about this UOJ stuff anymore. I can see my follower list going up and down.

However, I just keep on stumbling and discovering new arguments why UOJ does not make sense. Luther's explanation on his seal is case in point.


Ichabod the Glory Has Departed said...

You left a good comment on Tepid Lutherans, about John 1:29.