Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Hunnius proves Steadfast Waltherians are Huberites

UOJers, all of them, teach that there is a justification that has occurred 2000 years ago to the whole human race. Since this occurred before you were born, then this occurred outside of faith. They call this objective justification.

What is the favorite Scripture they use to promote this?

 It is Romans 4:25. They believe right here in this verse, St. Paul is teaching a justification that occurred without any reference to faith

 Here is an example.

 1.) From again Steadfast Waltherian group found here, Jim Pierce writing:

In wrapping up my answer, we can talk about the entire human race, or the world, being justified—just as the Scriptures do (Ro 4:25)—as the action God took in response to Jesus’ resurrection from the dead where the Law is concerned
2.) From my interaction with one adherent of UOJ:

ME: "Joe it is different because Brett and I do not believe in the starting point that there is justification that has happened FOR all men without faith or without regard to faith. That is difference. The difference is that we do not posit or assert a universal justification." 
Joe: You are speaking against Romans 4:25.

3.) Again from a post just recently by a Steadfast Waltherian blogger found here. To prove the existence of an objective justification that occurred outside of faith, the blogging pastor says this (apparently taken from Francis Pieper):

Romans 4:25: He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. “To refer to the words: Who was raised again for our justification,” to the so-called subjective justification, which takes place by faith, not only weakens the force of the words, but also violates the context.”3

It is evident just from the sampling on how Romans 4:25 is being used that without a doubt, UOJers in general and the Steadfast Waltherians in particular believe in a justification that occurred without reference to faith.

What does Aegidius Hunnius say?

Hunnius : 
Thesis 6
Hence Paul, when he expressly discusses justification in Romans 3 and 4, does not know of a justification apart from faith, and especially as Galatians 2 plainly says, "Man is not justified except by faith in Jesus Christ."

Did you read that? According to Hunnius, in Romans 3 and 4, St. Paul DOES NOT KNOW OF A JUSTIFICATION APART FROM FAITH.

Since UOJers are quoting Romans 4:25 to prove this, and obviously verse 25 is part of Romans 4,  these people I quoted above KNOW of a justification without faith.  Here Hunnius, a well known old orthodox Lutheran assails them or they boldly contradict him.

This is where American Synodic Lutherans are peculiar to the rest of the Protestant world.  It is only they who take Romans 4:25 that way. They are also peculiar amongst the rest of the Lutheran world! According to Bruce Church if we count the Lutherans who believe this stuff, there are only 2.5 Million of them who teach this stuff, out of some 45 Million (or so) Lutherans in the world.

The Hunnius quote I provided proves that the Steadfast Waltherians are Huberites or at least shares the conviction of Huber on this point...and that is not a good thing. If I were you I won't get involve with that. False teaching is a dangerous thing and we ought to be fearful of it. I know I am.


Pastor emeritus Nathan Bickel said...


I have to take exception to what you mention. I quote:

>>>>> ..... According to Bruce Church if we count the Lutherans who believe this stuff, there are only 2.5 Million of them who teach this stuff, out of some 45 Million (or so) Lutherans in the world...... <<<<<<

If my memory serves me correctly, I think it was Winstin Churchhill who said something like the following:

"A lie goes halfway around the world before the truth puts his boots on."

2.5 million is a huge figure. The devil has shown what he did with just one person - Judas.

Furthermore, I beg to differ with Bruce Church. I rather think that this false teaching "stuff" permeates the rest of Lutheranism and much of Christianity. This false teaching is so subtle at times that Christians themselves don't even realize how they are being molested by it:

Part 2: How does the false teaching of universal objective justification molest Christians’ faith?


Pastor emeritus Nathan Bickel


LPC said...

One of the reasons I am involved in this debate is because UOJ does trickle down in here in Australia.

Most pastors I know have not made a full study of the issue that is why they are not in the debate.

You are right 2.5M people is a lot when we are talking about souls that can wind down perdition road, it should not be taken lightly.


Steven Goodrich said...

You are also wrong on your point about Romans 4:25. Scholars who hold to the same view of the UOJers include the following: J.R. Kirk, Adolf Shlatter, F. Godet, Harris, Leon Morris, and Thomas Schreiner.(this is from the excellent essay by Bird, who actually supports your understanding of Rom 4:25). Brendan Byrne, N.T. Wright,

Murray who ultimately rejects the retrospective view wrote that retrospective view cannot be ruled based on grammar. Vincent Taylor also points out that the prospective view of dia is rare in classical Greek, the Papyri, and the LXX.

LPC said...


I have a couple of replies.

1.) You have to deal with the force of my argument. In this case you are saying - Hunnius is wrong and Huber is right, for if you say these scholars agree with UOJ (some of those you name I doubt, like Morris) then certainly you are claiming Hunnius is wrong. Not that Hunnius could never be wrong but you are speaking of a Lutheran who had the pedigree of being reliably orthodox and a respectable interpreter of Lutheran theology. That is pretty serious allegation, are you sure you want to go that direction?

2.) Correction Steven, the scholars you mentioned do not believe in UOJ, I know, at least the late Leon Morris, I know his theology and he even had me for coffee in his home when I visited him. Let me explain.

The taking of dia to be prospect though it may be rare is not determined by the statistics, Steven. You know that right? It is not the statistics that determines what is meant by the preposition, it is the context! Hence, if you take on the context where that dia in Romans 4:25 occurs, it should be prospective. In fact Romans 4:24 gives that away.

The issue further is which one is plausible?

Secondly, even if you view it as retrospective, that there by does not mean it implies people being justified without faith. The key is the "our" pronoun. Who was Paul speaking about? Was he speaking about "our" as generic human beings (as you UOJers do?) or was he speaking of "our" in the sense of we, the believers?

Like I said, even if there are scholars you mention that would disagree with me, none of them thereby implies that they would agree with your LC-MS teaching that the "our" there referred to the whole human race without respect to anything.

I know you know the answer to that - All you have to do is go back to his argument, the "our" there is meant to be believers. That is obvious.

That is where the debate is - the "our" bit. It is only the UOJers who believe the "our" there refers to the whole human race, forget my dia, that is really moot compared to the "our" issue.

So these two arguments I give back to you needs your work to demolish, and might I suggest --- plenty of work on the UOJer side.

PS. In this connection see hapax legomenon. You should see my point.

Steven Goodrich said...

It seems I misunderstood your statement about what made American Synodic Lutherans peculiar. Anyway the scholars I listed understand that the second dia retrospectively. Some of them do think that justification was universal and objective. I know of at least one Lutheran, who believes in UOJ and takes the dia prospectively.

The "our" refers to Paul and his audience as a group. It does not account for whether those in the audience are Christians or not.

If you insist that the "our" only refers to believers you are saying that Paul embraces limited atonement. The "our" most likely has the same referent in both parts of the sentence; so if Jesus was raised only for believers' justification, He was handed over only for believers' sins.

LPC said...


I kinda anticipated what you said up there in your latest comment.

Firstly you said The "our" refers to Paul and his audience as a group. It does not account for whether those in the audience are Christians or not.

You mean the "our" there can not be determined? You mean we do not know to who the "our" referred to? You mean we are epistemologically agnostic about this?

Let us be honest, let us not deny the obvious, it refers to the "us" in Romans 4:24.

You further said
If you insist that the "our" only refers to believers you are saying that Paul embraces limited atonement. The "our" most likely has the same referent in both parts of the sentence; so if Jesus was raised only for believers' justification, He was handed over only for believers' sins.

You would be correct in your rationalisation and I repeat again, in your rationalisation, if and only if,
the atonement is the same event as justification.

I emphasised your rationalisation because in that statement you made, it is not Scripture dominating but your own deduction.

But we have many times, even hundreds of times we have continually said that THE ATONEMENT IS NOT THE SAME AS JUSTIFICATION

If that is hard to understand let me unequivocally DENY that atonement is the same as justification.

There I hope that is clear.

Therefore your assertion does not stick. Steve, you are committing a common fallacy that many of your UOJ colleagues fall into. This fallacy has many names - it is called tertium non datur (W A Meier II called it that) also false dichotomy, also non-sequitur.

Steve, do you know which Christians equate the atonement with justification? It is the Calvinist. You just did that in your reasoning as you stated in the comment.

Christ died for all people but only those who believe in that work of Christ are saved. This is JBFA.

Romans 4:25 coheres and is co-joined with the teaching of Romans 10:9. For if Jesus was not raised, there is nothing to believe, if there is nothing to believe about Christ, then no one can be justified.

Would people believe in a person we said have died to pay for our sins and remained dead? Do you think that claim is believable?

Why, we could claim any one who died in the electric chair as person paying for the sins of the world!

Pr. Rydeki just translated John Gerhard's commentary on Romans 4:25. I do enjoin you to look at Gerhard's take on that verse in context. You would note it does not promote your theory of UOJ. In fact faith lingers around that commentary of Gerhard.


Steven Goodrich said...

1. I did not say that you equated Atonement and justification, nor did I. That is a straw man.

2. Romans 4:25 has two clauses. The first clause is

"who was handed over for our trespasses"

What is the referent of that "our"?

LPC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LPC said...


I reread,
I did not say that you equated Atonement and justification, nor did I. That is a straw man.

But you implied it entertaining it as "must" be conclusion in your assertion.

The "our" there in the first refers to sinners in general which so happened to be now believers.

You said If you insist that the "our" only refers to believers you are saying that Paul embraces limited atonement.

Like I said, this is non-sequitur. You are saying that if I differ the usage of "our" there is only one possibility -- that I should be saying Paul embraces limited atonement. There is not just one possibility.

To prove limited atonement, one must prove it like the Calvinists do. For example explain away 2 John 1-2, John 3:16. Calvinists do not prove limited atonement from passages in Romans.

J. Gerhard takes the "our" in Romans 4:25 in reference to believers, are we then thereby going to charge Gerhard of saying St. Paul embraces limited atonement? The answer is obvious - nonsense.

This is why I sent you to the Romans 4:25 of Gerhard at Intripid Lutherans yet I am not getting the sense you are taking his exposition seriously, which I think you should.


LPC said...

Here is my suggestion...Steven,

You should charge me of teaching limited justification in the sense that God only justifies believers - I am happy with that.

You can even charge me of saying that St. Paul teaches limited justification, I am happy with that.

You will find no arguments from me on that. On that I would have nothing to say.


Steven Goodrich said...

"The "our" there in the first refers to sinners in general which so happened to be now believers."

Why doesn't the "our" of the second clause refer to the same?

Brett Meyer said...

Romans 4:
22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;

24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

Taken out of the context of Scripture Romans 4:25 can mean any number of things. All but one are contrary to God's singular Word. In context and certainly pointing to verse 24 Christ's righteousness is only imputed to believers. Therefore no one is justified without faith in Christ. UOJ is a bald faced lie that propogates private interpretation of Scripture and outright and clearly seen lies. As Scripture states and the Confessions confirm - Christ is only apprehended as mans Mediator through faith - then in what beautiful way have unbelievers ever been justified of their sin. UOJ is Calvanistic for it separates forgiveness of sins from faith in Christ which only comes through His Word and Sacraments. UOJ is enthusiasm for the New Age apostasy.

LPC said...

Why doesn't the "our" of the second clause refer to the same?

It does, read my definition again. Both "ours" there refer to sinners who believe.

If you substitue "sinner" for "ours" and follow the future sense of the latter then you would see that
Jesus was delivered for the sinner's offences and was raised with a view to the sinner's justification.

The UOJ mistake is to take that latter phrase as already past tense and completed. This is not true.

Today sinners who believe are getting justified it is on going still since Jesus' resurrection.

The latter phrase taken in the future coincides with the sinner who believes, that is the sinner who gets justified. It respects v.24, and Brett, highlighted the words most properly, "if we believe".

That is why it is "with a view" because God justifies the sinner who believes. There are still sinners out there who will believe and so will be justified. The sinner that does not believe will not be justified simply as the Lord Jesus said. What is the problem with that?


Robert E. Waters said...

He's referring to subjective justification. Paul clearly does know about objective justification, since he wrote 2 Corinthians 2.

LPC said...

This is the fallacy of anachronism, it is btw begging the question too.


Gregory L. Jackson said...

Simply isolating Romans 4:25 is a fundamental error. It is part of a sentence and part of a chapter. (Yes, I know the chapters and verses came later. Thematic breaks are obvious - or should be.) To give authority to a grammatical label is circular reasoning. Grammar follows literature; grammar does not create literature. "X is true because it is a retrospective dia." - that is laughable. Human authorities mean nothing when listed, one after another. The only real authority is the plain Word of God. Lito's point about Hunnius is that orthodox Lutherans already addressed the claim being made now by people who falsely claim to be orthodox Lutherans. Once people become familiar with Hunnius and the situation at Wittenberg, these false claims about Romans 4:25 will be met with Rolling on the Floor Laughing Out Loud.

LPC said...

Thanks Dr. Greg , UOJers are so thick they never see the point no matter how hard it is put to them.


Mr. Mcgranor said...

Now i know. Can an objective justification be because Christ wants to?

LPC said...

God justifies only those who trust/believe in his son's work.


Joe Krohn said...

To answer your question, Mr. Mcgranor, yes. The universal reconciliation and redemption of the human race is this objective justification.

LPC said...

What Joe really is confessing is that people are justified without regards to faith.


Joe Krohn said...

What Lito really is confessing is that Christ did not take away all the sins of the world. (Atonement)

LPC said...

What Joe confesses is that whole world has already been justified at the atonement. Since the atonement happened before you were born and hence before you could ever possibly have faith, then justification happened before you were born or could ever possibly have faith.

This confuses the atonement with justification.

You can test his thesis from Scripture, did Jesus teach the same thing?
Mk 16:16


Gregory L. Jackson said...

From Joe Krohn on April 25, 2011 - "I enjoy reading the graphics with the quotes in them by the reformers.

Brett Meyer is pretty sharp. He had nice posts on the Spencer sermon. It would be nice to see a rebuttal from the Intrepids on these posts. I think they are more about traditions than they are doctrine. They were going to dissect Maier last fall and instead gave us Marquart. I was disappointed."

LPC said...

Yeah, Brett and I were just talking about this a few weeks ago. I only read once Spencer's post and that was many years ago and I detected right away where he is positioned. From then on, I never bother reading any of his posts.

I just posted just now a blog post something in line with this.