This is a post on the run. I apologise for being brief, I am in between editing my conference papers and marking of student work.
What I notice with UOJers is that they love to repeat their well worn out mantras. However the issue is that they offer no Scriptural proof for their repeating of parroted slogans. A mantra mostly works not for the one who is hearing it but in actuality it works for the one pronouncing it, it is a type of psycho cybernetic self talk to make one's self believe in what the mantra says. Here are a few mantras I have heard them self talk:
1. If you do not believe in objective justification then you must be a Limited Atonement believer.
Me: I grin. I was a Calvinist, and these Lutherans claiming JBFA people believe in LA do not know what they are talking about. In order to be an LA believer, two things must happen. First, one must equate the atonement with justification. That is to say, when Jesus died on the cross or resurrected, people have been already forgiven automatically too. Who is doing this equating? Not JBFAers, it is the UOJ. Second, to be an LA believer, must deny the mention of the word "world" in 1 John 2:1-2 to mean the whole world without exception, rather it is asserted to be the world of Gentile believers. This is done to similar passages. JBFAers do not do such thing.
2. In order to believe in something, that something must already exists.
Me: Test this for a moment. This is clearly false and we can even give evidence of this from Scripture. It is Romans 43For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. We could even follow this with Romans 4: 9b or we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. Their mantra is fallacious in many counts but do not talk to them about fallacy, they have no clue as to what such a thing is. For example, Abraham believed that the Messiah was to come and would die for his sins. From Abraham's perspective, it has not happened yet. From Abraham's time frame, the event was still in the future. This is the reason why faith is miraculous though miraculously created by God through His chosen means - Word and Sacraments. This is the reason why faith is precious to God and in fact, Jesus is the author of it. Even in human terms, this idea is not even true. We believe in people's promises all the time. I render work for a company on the promise that after the job is done, I would get paid. I meet people for an appointment on the promise they will be at a set time and place. These are all future promises.
There is one vital aspect in this debate that must be brought to light. The two camps, JBFAer and UOJers differ in the object of faith. Consistent UOJers are unanimous in this, that for them the object of faith is not the Atonement that happened in the past as payment for sins, for them the object of faith is the Justification that has already, so they say, occurred 2000 years ago. In this regard the commentator R. C. H. Lenski is correct in his criticism of them. In his commentary on Romans 1:17, Lenski was well correct that in the UOJ scheme of things, there really is no declaration of righteousness that happens when a person believes because the declaration already happened in the past. Whereas in JBFA, the object of faith is the Atonement in accordance to Romans 3:21-26, specially, v.25. UOJers are quick to claim that we are twisting their words, but deny as much as they want, the effect of their teaching is that it simply makes justification a mythical. Lenski rebuts well the idea that if you believe in such a way, you are being synergistic. So to keep the laymen from the truth, Walther and Co. and the rest of UOJers ran a propaganda of bad mouthing Lenski. Yet, even non-Lutherans held Lenski in high esteem as a NT scholar even today.