Saturday, December 14, 2013

Merry Christmaths

My postings have been scarce this year.

It will be even more so because I am writing a booklet for first year maths students on proofs. I got dismayed when I encountered senior maths majors having no clue and no rigour when writing proofs.

God's blessings for Christmas to those who often come here.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

UOJ Huberites do not know why faith justifies.

Over at so called LutherQuest (really HuberQuest, if you asked me), my dear friend and brother in Christ, Mr. Brett Meyer was busy evangelising its  Huberite members. Brett's interaction with these self appointed so called 'orthodox' Lutherans (just like Huber applied the label to himself and called those who disagreed with him as Calvinists) can be found here.

You can see that the Huberites are allergic to the notion of faith causing anything. They are horrified to think that faith in Christ may actually make something happen, like say cause you to be declared righteous in Christ. See the drift I am heading?

In truth, though the BoC signers did not consider faith as meritorious, they did consider it as a cause of Justification under the premise that such a faith came from the HS created through the Means of Grace.

The technical term they used for this is instrumental cause. What the BoC denied faith to was its meritorious cause as if it was inherent to man. They did not deny to faith its instrumental cause. Thus it is of some cause nevertheless.

Pr. Paul Rydecki has a lengthy post on this and you can find it here.

When these Huberites engage Brett, they are like wasps ganging up on him. They often drop names for themselves, with the intent that an outside reader might think they are genuine Lutherans. For example in answering Brett, they start off by claiming "we orthodox Lutherans believe blah blah blah, yada yada yada". You now wonder what "orthodox" means. They think they are when in fact they are devotees of Walther.

Yet, if these people have studied the orthodox Lutherans they claim they have affinity with, they would have showed knowledge as to why faith justifies as the BoC authors said and not malign faith as if each time we mention it, we are promoting faith in faith. So these Huberites are just faking it.

Let them come to this turf, if they have the fortitude to leave the safety of their haven, I dare them and would welcome their dirt and venom.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Be sure to tell Linden and Mueller about this

Dr. Ichabod reported that so called LutherQuest forum (WaltheQuest), a certain Linden responding to my characterisation that UOJers are like Calvinists who lump Atonement and Justification as the same event. You can read about it here..

Franz Linden  remarked:

This is nonsense! UOJ does not treat the atonement with justification as one and the same event. The atonement was necessary for the justification to take place. They aren't the same event, but they necessarily go together, like heads and tails on a coin.
It is the deniers of UOJ that are the Calvinists, because they drive a wedge between the atonement and justification, trying to separate heads from tails, as it were. They give a passing nod to the atonement, but the thing they really crave is justification, as though it could be obtained for us in any other way than the atonement that was made for the sins of all on the cross.
If you ask them how they can be certain that their sins are forgiven by God and that they stand justified, what answer can they give? They can't point to the cross, because they have already debased that act by their theology that so as to deny that it is a guarantee of their justification. Instead, they point to the Means of Grace, as if the Means of Grace do anything other than deliver to the sinner the very same forgiveness that was obtained by Christ at the cross for the sins of all.
This is Calvinist theology. It's been repudiated again and again by faithful preachers of the Gospel. Alas, it must continue to be repudiated until the end of time. Sometimes I wonder if Calvin might not be the AntiChrist. He's got almost as many people believing the same lie as the papacy.

LPC: Well if Linden wants to be technical, of course to them the Atonement and Justification can be made to be different events but that distinction is artificial. For in UOJ doctrine, UOJers practically or effectively make them One and the same thing. Why do I say that? It is because they teach that when Jesus died on the Cross and rose again, which is the whole of the Atonement,  they teach that right there and then, the whole world has been declared righteous already. They do this by logic and out of context extraction of Scriptural verses. Do I need to quote LC-MS Brief Statement 1932 Article 17b again? You find that it has been quoted to death in this blog.

Just ask the UOJer when did God declare the sinner righteous already? That would be a surprise if they point out a Scripture that does not involve Romans 4:25,which again has been thoroughly dealt with in this blog.

It is nice to be quoted disrespectfully by your enemies. Dr. Ichabod reported that at WaltherQuest another UOJ fanatic objected to my accusation of their Calvinism in treating the Atonement and Justification as co-equal and categorically the same  and you can read it here.

Mueller had this to say:
I'm curious, Brett. You quoted this guy Cruz. Why? I had never heard of him before and now it appears that he was trained as a Calvinist. So why are you quoting a crypto-Calvinist to attack the Lutheran doctrine? What's even worse is that this guy criticizes us orthodox Lutherans for agreeing with Calvinists on the intensive perfection of the vicarious atonement! So he thinks that as a "Lutheran" he has to abandon, not only the errors of Calvinism, but the truth they teach as well!

LPC: What is Mueller saying? He is saying that I do not have to abandon the truth that Calvinists teach. What is this truth we may ask? Well, it is the truth that as UOJers they agree with the Calvinists that the Atonement and Justification are co-equal and equivalent categories only the UOJer and Calvinists arrive at different conclusions depending on where that interchange of categories lead them. Yet make no mistake, this UOJ Lutherans admit that the Atonement and Justification are co-equal and equivalent categories.

Folks, when you equate the Atonement with Justification you can go either of two ways which I have elaborated before and have been reported by Dr. Ichabod. You can arrive at only two options:

a.) Seeing that the Atonement and Justification are assumed to be co-equal interchangeable categories, and seeing that Justification is only for a few, you can pull Justification to the left towards the Atonement since they are the same; thus you conclude that the Atonement is only for some, hence - Limited Atonement. What is the L in TULIP of the Calvinists? That one - Limited Atonement.

b.) Seeing that the Atonement and Justification are assumed to be co-equal interchangeable categories, and seeing that the Atonement is for all, you can pull  Atonement to the right towards Justification since they are the same; thus you conclude that Justification is for all irrespective of faith, or irrelevant to faith since Atonement happened without it. Hence Universal Objective Justification - UOJ.

Item b.) was the conclusion of Samuel Huber, a Calvinist turned Lutheran in the 16th century. This was his conclusion. Huber never abandoned the categories he was accustomed as a Calvinists even though he became Lutheran. He was still operating in its philosophy. Folks if you think that Calvinism is just TULIP you are wrong, it is a philosophical framework and all its roots have to be abandoned if you become Lutheran or you will wind up in a lot more mess, just look at Huber's fate.

The Reformed, allows reason, rationalisation or deduction quite a leverage in their method of theology. Hear what the Westminster Confession says I.VI.

The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture
You will notice that things that are not expressly set down in Scripture but can be so called "good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture" is allowed in their theological method. Rationalisation carries some currency with the Reformed.

The same is true with Halle Pietists descendants we call UOJers.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

The favourite UOJ Gambit - Faith In Faith

Universal Objective Justification (UOJers) teacher say that if you do not believe in their doctrine, then there is no other way but for you to believe in your faith - or, you must have faith in your faith.

This argument is directed to people who believe in One Justification Through Faith Alone, i.e. the JBFA people. This ploy is also commonly levied to people who are shaky in their confidence with UOJ and to keep these people in a coral, they throw a guilt trip saying to them - if they abandon UOJ then you must believe in your own faith.

This is also called the fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc, i.e., because of this, then this follows, and so on. People not accustomed to spotting fallacies are prone to slip and go along this UOJ fallacy.

Let us examine this conclusion a bit - it says if you do not believe in UOJ then you must believe in faith in your faith, or you will then have faith in your faith.

Now no where in the Bible does it teach that there is a thing called faith in your faith. Jesus often tells people who believed in him that their faith has saved them. For example  Lk 7:50. Yet it is Jesus who says this about these people's faith. No where do we see anyone who believes in Jesus commend himself/herself's faith. The very nature of the faith taught in the Bible is that it's object is not directed to itself but away from it, to Christ's person as Lord and his work of atonement. By the Bible's definition, saving faith has Christ's person and work as its object.

Consider now the published teachings of UOJ teachers we have encountered in this blog. We have clear evidence (if you search here) that for the UOJer, the object of faith is directed at that so called "justification" that has happened on all people 2000 years ago when either Jesus breathed his last or when he was resurrected from the dead (which one event specifically caused our "justification", no one knows).

Consider further what UOJers teach about people who do not believe this general or objective justification. They teach that if you reject this general objective justification you are not subjectively justified and hence, one can say you are "unjustified". It is somewhat laughable and hypocritical that they throw the "faith in your faith" on to JBFAers when in fact the same is true for them. For is it not reasonable to say the same thing applies to UOJ teaching? For if you want to be justified, you must believe that you already have been and if you don't then you are not. This too results in faith in faith and in fact far more so and worst because the object is not Christ and his work. Let us not go very far, let us simply quote their famous saint C. F. W. Walther

"For God has already forgiven you your sins 1800 years ago when He in Christ absolved all men by raising Him after He first had gone into bitter death for them. Only one thing remains on your part so that you also possess the gift. This one thing is—faith. And this brings me to the second part of today's Easter message, in which I now would show you that every man who wants to be saved must accept by faith the general absolution, pronounced 1800 years ago, as an absolution spoken individually to him."
C. F. W. Walther, The Word of His Grace, Sermon Selections, "Christ's Resurrection—The World's Absolution" Lake Mills: Graphic Publishing Company, 1978, p. 233. Mark 16:1-8.
The emphasis there is mine. Yet note what Walther said - one thing remains ON YOUR PART... and EVERY MAN WHO WANTS TO BE SAVED MUST ACCEPT. It is indeed amazingly weird to think that the UOJer's faith can not result in faith in that faith, as if it could never happen to a UOJer.

There is one thing I want to ask a UOJer - are you sure that you believe in that general absolution pronounced 2000 years ago? For if you are not, as per Walther's teaching you are not saved.

On the other hand, the faith spoken of by JBFA teaching is a faith that can not boast and can not look at no other object except Christ's work and person. It locks the believer into the proper place to rest one's faith and hence, its very nature can not look at itself nor somewhere else.

2 Timothy 1:12

New King James Version (NKJV)
12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

My reply to those who say - I've never been to seminary

Some pastors from the UOJ camp dismiss my views because my religious education was from a university not from a seminary. So they imply it is not worth much because I have never been to seminary. Here is my reply.

Corollary Proof from St. Mark - Faith in Christ Is Forgiveness of Sins

It is understood in Christendom that 'justification' is tantamount to the forgiveness of sins. All major Christian streams, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Protestants agree essentially that when one is  justified, one is forgiven. Where they differ is how that justification occurs. Except for Reformation based Protestants, the others teach a mixing of faith + works to be justified.

In the Lutheran confessions we have these words...

"86] But since we receive remission of sins and the Holy Ghost by faith alone, faith alone justifies, because those reconciled are accounted righteous and children of God, not on account of their own purity, but through mercy for Christ's sake, provided only they by faith apprehend this mercy. Accordingly, Scripture testifies that by faith we are accounted righteous, Rom. 3:26. We, therefore, will add testimonies which clearly declare that faith is that very righteousness by which we are accounted righteous before God, namely, not because it is a work that is in itself worthy, but because it receives the promise by which God has promised that for Christ's sake He wishes to be propitious to those believing in Him, or because He knows that Christ of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, 1 Cor. 1:30."


71] But when it is said that faith justifies, some perhaps understand it of the beginning, namely, that faith is the beginning of justification or preparation for justification, so that not faith itself is that through which we are accepted by God, Apology of the Augsburg Confession, That Faith in Christ Justifies.

I offer further proof that the Lord Jesus Himself taught that faith in him is justification and so is also forgiveness of sins when we look at how the BoC view repentance.

In the Apology, Article XII (V) on Repentance, the Apology broke repentance into two parts - contrition for sin and faith in Christ.

In Mark 4, Jesus spoke the parable of the sower and the seeds. His disciples asked what this parable meant and why he spoke to the people in parables. He replied...

11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
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.

The word used for converted is EPISTREPHO, meaning to turn around and so to repent.  A few more points...

  1. Repentance results in the forgiveness of sins. So says Jesus and repentance is contrition of sins and faith in Christ, so says the BoC.
  2. Repentance occurs through the Word. Note that repentance is linked to understanding the mystery of the Word, i.e. in this case the parable. Jesus said that to the disciples it is given to know the mystery of the Kingdom of God, to understand his Word.
  3. Clearly then, repentance comes from the Word. Since this comes no other way except through the Word of Christ, repentance is never the work of Man and is completely in a different category from works.
  4. If we observe faith, it is really an amazing thing. It is really of a divine origin to see when someone believes or trusts in Christ for the forgiveness of sins. There is indeed a mysterious aspect of faith in Christ. See John 20:29, how blessed are people who have not seen yet believe in Christ. It is not a trivial matter no matter how many times we see it often in Christians.

This passage dispels many UOJ gambits. It dispels the UOJ contention that if you do not believe in UOJ, then you must believe that faith is a work of Man. It dispels the idea that man can repent before the Word is proclaimed, i.e., before the Means of Grace is applied. It also dispels the UOJ error that everyone is forgiven before repentance, before they could believe, before they were born.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Quoting the BoC Fathers?...That's a no no!


A few weeks ago, Rev. Paul Rydecki wrote a fine essay entitled  The Forensic Appeal to the Throne of Grace in the Theology of the Lutheran Age of Orthodoxy: A Reflection on Atonement and Its Relationship to Justification

In this well written paper, Rydecki quoted Scripture and from the Concordian Fathers that Atonement and Justification are not one and the same thing. It should be admitted that they are related but that does not mean the two are one identical. Rydecki's paper is filled with the statements of the orthodox Lutheran fathers that showed that from their perspective, atonement and justification are not equivalent concepts where one can be used as a substitute for the other. The action of God in the Atonement is not a simultaneous action that God has Justified the whole world ALREADY right there and then.

Now we have been pointing this difference of concept to universal objective justification (UOJ) adherents for many years. Such a category mistake results in confusion, and lots of it. Let me name one right off the hat...

It makes the Means of Grace, that is right, Baptism, The Word, and the Sacrament (Lord's Supper) merely symbolic and thus Zwinglian. It other words, the Means of Grace does not confer justification when it is used and applied. They thus do not confer the present grace of Justification.

Take the case of Baptism. Here, it becomes a reminder of a Justification that has already occurred before the individual is baptised. It becomes a memorial. The same is true for the Lord's Supper, it becomes a memorial of a Justification that has already occurred. Likewise the Word does not convert but tells you to believe the Justification that has already occurred before you were born, before you could hear. These are all contrary to Scripture, for example, Romans 6:1-4, Psalm 19:7, etc.

What would the famous UOJ promoter, the late C. F. W. Walther might say about the wisdom of quoting the BoC fathers, if he were alive today?

Normal people might consider what Rydecki did a reasonable procedure but Walther would have considered Rydecki a very naughty boy.

Here is what he said when he was being challenged in his doctrine of Election...

The principal means by which our opponents endeavor to support their doctrine, consists in continually quoting passages from the private writings of the fathers of our Church, published subsequent to the _Formula of Concord_. But whenever a controversy arises concerning the question, whether a doctrine is Lutheran, we must not ask: "What does this or that 'father' of the Lutheran Church teach in his private writings?" for he also may have fallen into error;

In a typical cultic fashion Walther dismissed the words of the BoC fathers assuming that they were wrong, ... because they disagreed with his innovative view.

In cult like fashion, ala Samuel Huber, Walther did not bother to argue what might the said father meant but rather he dismissed their words as something that should not be taken seriously, a none event. That shows you the attitude of Walther towards his critics. Huber did the same, he purported to know more than the Wittenberg Reformers even charging them of Calvinism, the ideology he claimed he eschewed.

When it comes to UOJ, even UOJ famous proponents admit that it could not be found in the BoC. All of the said portions where UOJ is said to appear in the BoC is what might be called pareidolia (Google it) It is just like finding a rat amongst the rocks in mars or like seeing the Virgin Mary in a tortilla corn chip.

Friday, May 24, 2013

M. Suzuki's Bach Passion of St John

I so love this rendition of J. S. Bach's Passion of St. John, BMV245.
You will enjoy this, it has English subtitles.
One thing I notice about J. S. Bach as a writer and a Godly composer. Bach does not leave the story out there, he brings the story down to you. An example is the denial of Peter when he repented. Towards the last of the 1st Part we hear these words...

Jesu, blicke mich auch an,
Wenn ich nicht will büßen;
Wenn ich Böses hab getan,
Rühre mein Gewissen!

Jesus, look on me as well,
When I feel no sorrow;
When I wickedness have done,
Stir thou up my conscience!

Monday, May 06, 2013

Steadfast Lutherans- your neighbourhood Lutheran Pub?

I often listen to music while I work and I wondered off to Issues Etc.

The episode I was listening had a few seconds sound grab from Steadfast Lutherans (sic)(Waltherian/Antinomians).

Here is what the sound advertisement said, I quote...

Imagine as the Internet version of a Lutheran Pub. Your neighbourhood Lutheran Pub, that is, where the finest Lutheran conversation is going on in every table and at the bar, sometimes contentious but always informative... we are only serving Wittenberg ale...etc.

Are you a bit unimaginative? Why would you use the motif of a pub to advertise your religious website? Don't you have any other ideas you can use to attract listeners to your website? Is that the best you could do? Can you not use other analogies to get the listeners interested in your website?

I did not realise there is such an animal called a Lutheran Pub. This reminds me of my Pentecostal years. You go to a "Christian" barber, a "Christian" butcher, a "Christian" mechanic, a "Christian" this and that.

Unless of course, being Lutheran is understood to have the propensity to be imbibed; and that advert shows your desire to be relevant, relational and even missional. Unless of course, you understand that it is tradition and normal for a Lutheran to be a bit tipsy and that is just being Lutheran! Not to be like that is just unLutheran.

Well of course, if you are a UOJer, God has forgiven you even before you repent and believe and that includes before you got intoxicated also. You are of course proud of your lack of sanctification and no big deal if those Evangelical pietists get offended. The main thing is you show off  your liberty in your "Gospel". You need to take pride in your justification, your "freedom" (from the Law, if you asked me).

Don't get me wrong, over here, I have been to the pub about 10 times. One time I worked in a country town and I went to the pub to buy lunch; over here, the cheapest lunch meals are found in a pub.

Don't get me wrong either, I often have a glass of wine with my meal specially in special occasions, like yesterday. I went to a wedding and I enjoyed the finger food with a glass of white. It made the food delicious.

But please do not slap me in the head because of those. Rather, kick me in the head for my lack of deft when it comes to imagination.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Walther: The closer to Luther the better the theologian...unless

I have been looking over the Net on some striking Walther quotes.

How many times have I heard the famous C. F. W. Walther quote - the closer to Luther, the better the theologian?

Walther is held up as a guru by Synodical Lutherans; this pastor even said that the closer one is to Walther, the better is the theologian.

There is one example of fanatic if you ever want to find one.

During Walther's controversy on the doctrine of election, learned men frequently quoted to Walther the fathers of the Lutheran church.  Here is what Walther said, you can find the full quote in here.

The principal means by which our opponents endeavor to support their doctrine, consists in continually quoting passages from the private writings of the fathers of our Church, published subsequent to the _Formula of Concord_. But whenever a controversy arises concerning the question, whether a doctrine is Lutheran, we must not ask: "What does this or that 'father' of the Lutheran Church teach in his private writings?" for he also may have fallen into error;

Those words of Walther are an epitome of the quip - take my advice, I am not using it.

In reality, what Walther really meant in practice was - the closer to Luther, the better the theologian, unless, the theologian teaches against me (because the said theologian must be in error).

The words in red are my interpretation of his behaviour on how he handled criticism. In fact his UOJ followers have the same attitude towards their critics... they must be wrong.

When a person falls for a fallacy, one does not stop at swallowing just one fallacious argument. The person invariably swallows the next one and the one after that and so on and on.

Here is another Walther quote from this site and IMHO, shows that Walther and Huber were cut from the same cloth.

We are not reconciled to God when we believe, but we are already redeemed, are already reconciled to God, so that we believe.  This is also true regarding justification.  The whole world is already justified in Christ.  Faith is not the condition under which we are justified but the way and means by which we become partakers of the justification which God has long ago given us

There is the fallacy of misreading Romans 4:25.

A fish is caught through its mouth.


Monday, April 01, 2013

Happy Bachday to you

March 31st was the day when J. S. Bach was born. So happy bach-day to you.

Sometimes I listen to Lutheran Public Radio, Sacred Music to the World. Some of the hymn versions they play lately leave me depressed.  I am sorry for the fans of this Internet station, that is just honestly how some of the hymn versions they have been playing affect me. For example, the tempo of those versions do not match the lyrics of the hymn. It somewhat undermines the truth found in the hymns.

This is not my experience with Bach's cantatas. It is hard to be gloomy even if the music had a somber message. In 2009, my eldest daughter gave birth to a disabled boy. He has cerebral palsy. Each morning as I went to work (I had a software development contract then), I had to struggle getting out of bed. When I get to work, I would play Bach's music again and again as I worked. It got me out of depression and mind you I had experienced some serious ones in the past.

Have a listen to this BWV75

Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan,
What God does ,that is done well,
Dabei will ich verbleiben.
I shall keep to this thought.
Es mag mich auf die rauhe Bahn
It may be that on the rough road
Not, Tod und Elend treiben;
I shall be driven by distress, death and misery;
So wird Gott mich
yet God will
Ganz väterlich
just like a father
In seinen Armen halten;
hold me in his arms;
Drum lass ich ihn nur walten. (Samuel Rodigast 1674,
Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan.)
therefore I let him alone rule over me.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Bach, I get ya and thank ya

The church I go to has a Bach foundation and it sponsors Bach's cantatas in the divine service. They have cantatas at a minimun I think 6 times per year.

A few weeks ago I went with my missus even though I had to wake up quite early in the morning, it was worth it. Now, as you know, I must not name the church because I am like Peter Parker, the Spiderman; those who are associated with me could get hurt. The people I criticise can be nasty.

The cantata for that Sunday was BMV 40.  I am listening to it as I type.

In Scripture we read,1 Corinthian 14

16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?

Well it was a blessing that they printed the cantata both in English and German.  Since I can sight read music, I could follow the singers as they sang. The music was in the bulletin. I understood what was being conveyed by the cantata, as I looked at the English translation.

I tell you I was extremely edified and my heart was bursting in praise to God. It was beautiful, Bach was indeed a genius, the words and music as it were dropped down from heaven. I do not mind saying  even in a facetious way, I got a "religious experience".

Many years ago, when I was getting my degree in Religious Studies, my Greek professor said to me that doing scholarly work in the original Biblical Languages requires one to learn either German or French. If you confine yourself to English, you will miss the other results other scholars from other countries have discovered, since there are lots of scholarly work in those languages.

I am toying learning German so I can read Bach's music and Luther's writings but I only have 24 hours in a day, so what to do?

Bach, I get ya, and I thank God for ya. You are a good Lutheran contribution to the world.

The semester is on next week and so blogging will be slow.

Monday, February 25, 2013

UOJ - the source of antinomianism

I have Evangelical friends in USA. I felt their shock when I told them I have become Lutheran.
What I know horrified them was the thought I have become antinomian. These friends of mine seeing Lutherans in their midst and how they behave, believe that Lutherans are antinomians.

To them, they are "anything goes" Christians. Well of course, anything will go. For if you have been taught that God has ALREADY forgiven you before you were born, before you even believe and before even the Sacraments got applied to you, why won't anything go? Why won't anything go if you are forgiven even before you could repent and even believe? What sin is there that would make you uneasy when that sin has already been forgiven even before you commit it? Nothing.

UOJ does not produce trust, or Biblical faith. Rather it produces assent similar to what the Devil has, an agreement. Notice how UOJers malign faith. Sometimes, I sense their real hatred for the concept.

Since UOJ does not produce faith and since it is to them believing already what is there, it does not bring a change in the one who has "faith". So by Biblical teaching, the faith they speak of does not justify and since there is no justification and there is no consequent sanctification. Hence antinomianism.

If there are American Lutherans who are bothered by the antinomianism in their camp, they should look at the tree,  and examine its fruit.

Let me categorically say that lest you think antinomianism is my MAJOR objection to UOJ, then you are absolutely wrong about me. My MAJOR objection to UOJ is simple - it is CONTRARY to the Scripture and the Confessions. Antinomianism is just one of the fruits of a MAJOR error. For as can be expected false doctrine leads to false behavior.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Jack's weird definition of debate

Dr. Jack Kilcrease complains (or so thinks) that Rev. Rydecki does not want to debate him. Now how did Jack Fallacious come up with that conclusion? Well folks, it is.because Pr. Paul does not post comments in his blog to answer his fallacious claims. How weird is that definition of non-debate?

There must be something wrong in his comprehension if he did not see some of the points Rydecki enumerated in Faith Alone Justifies.

Jack made the same claims that I do not debate him directly. But why do you think that? Well I stopped posting my rebuttals in his blog because he does not publish them. Other times I am too busy to take bad arguments seriously. Answer not a fool according to his folly, so the Scripture says in Proverbs 26:4.

I got a life outside the Internet. I know a year or so ago, I encountered LC-MS UOJ defenders at Steadfast Waltherians. As a result of that I got banned from posting. Do not make a mistake we do not debate.

So what do people like me or Rev. Rydecki do? We publish our rebuttals in our own blogs. Apparently for Jack, this is not called debate?

You might say it is not a live debate but we are debating you Jack. In as much as we have been posting rebuttals in our blogs, this is as much debate as there is one in the Internet world. There is a time to speak and so sometimes I do answer a fool according to his folly Proverbs 26:5.

Jack, I know you are reading this blog, and you know well I do not moderate my blog as a general rule. I only step in when I see profanity in the post. Please do not be ridiculous to claim we do not debate you because we do not post comments in your blog, that is another fallacy which you manufacture. The posts we have in our blogs are rebuttals to UOJ and your defense of it.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Americans singing a Filipino folk song

Just to take a break from the fight, here is something cross cultural.
It is a song about a field butterfly. They sang it really good, they gave me goose bumps.

I am amazed, they pronounced the words so well. They sang it like Filipinos do.

Well done!

Saturday, February 09, 2013

The fallacy of C F W Walther and his disciple Jack "The Strawman" Kilcrease

Universal Objective Justification (UOJ) started with a fallacy and so it still produces more fallacies even today. JBFA people discussing UOJ errors with a UOJ adherent need to first step back and give the UOJ adherent a course on Critical Thinking 101. When you point to a UOJ a fallacy, the UOJer treats it like water off a duck's back, it just does not hit them like normal people would.

In fact if you examine the posts and comments here and you look at how a UOJers interact with us, you will soon discover UOJers do not have a capacity to evaluate a fallacy.

For a clue on logical fallacies you can find a good read here.

A few days ago, I responded to a post by found at Intrepid Lutherans found here.

There I was responding to a comment that the BoC Writers may have fallen into error in their own writings. In the election controversy ignited by C. F. W. Walther and based on his on account, his opponents were quoting to him the understanding of the BoC Lutheran “Fathers”. Here is what he said…

The principal means by which our opponents endeavor to support their doctrine, consists in continually quoting passages from the private writings of the fathers of our Church, published subsequent to the _Formula of Concord_. But whenever a controversy arises concerning the question, whether a doctrine is Lutheran, we must not ask: "What does this or that 'father' of the Lutheran Church teach in his private writings?" for he also may have fallen into error;

Indeed they may have, but the issue is not to state what in general is possible, but to demonstrate clearly in actuality where they erred against Scripture on a particular subject. The fallacy of Walther above is what can be called “If you do not believe me you are a heretic” fallacy. This is another force of argumentum ad baculum. This is a form of bullying, psychological bullying.

What else was Walther saying – if the Fathers disagreed with me, it is they that is in error not me. The test is not to put the Fathers first on the stand, rather the test is first put Walther on the stand.

Walther was an arrogant churchman, and so is his modern fan – Dr. Jack “Fallacious” Kilcrease, to which I now turn.

In his post found here, he titled it To Reject Objective Justification is to Reject Election.

As usual, Jack’s post is overflowing with fallacy, it is a lot of fun dissecting it and using it when I give a course in Critical Thinking. He provides me plenty of material for a seminar I would like to give and I would entitle as – How to argue like a bad Theologian.  I do not have time that is why this took a few days to write but I will give you a few samples. These few examples are warning enough for you not to be misled by false reasonings:
1.     The first fallacy is found by observing the title of the post. Remember I just spoke about argumentum ad baculum? The title sets the reader up to swallow a fallacy called argumentum ad consequentiam, the negative form.
2.     The false testimony “He [me, LPC] does not believe in it [election]” is so pregnant with fallacy, in fact a very abysmal attempt to put me – an anti-UOJer in a bad light.  He was able to conclude this because of the quote I just made?  This is the usual tertium non datur fallacy, the denial of a 3rd possibility fallacy. Jack “The Strawman” Kilcrease wants you to believe there is a false dilemma.  It is just like saying  - if you do not believe in the Democratic Party’s policies, then you must be a Republican. Huh? Are there not independents in USA? That is the form of reasoning Dr. Strawman wants you to follow.
3.     He then says Believers are only bound to writings that serve as a public confessions of faith and not necessarily to the private writings of a particular theologian”. This is the non sequitur fallacy. I do not subscribe to the private writings of particular theologians as if they were a confession also.  This is jumping the shark fallacy.  Jack is the one who misunderstands when one uses the quotation of the Fathers and so Walther misunderstood too in quickly dismissing them. Rather the writings were being used to support an argument, it is not because the opponents of Walther subscribe to them as a confession. This is Jack’s favorite fallacy – The Strawman fallacy. He makes arguments on my behalf or asserts them as if I was doing them and then tares them down. Voila!  The point is disposed (so he thinks).
4.     He then says, “In other words, if in response to Christ's death God does not speak forth a universal word of reconciliation, but simply pronounces reconciliation on those who believe, we are left with two options”, he is again setting up the believer to accept false dichotomy. Let me illustrate, they say if you reject OJ you must believe in Limited Atonement. Do Brett Meyer, Dr. Jackson and Pr. Rydecki and Pr. Bickel believe in Limited Atonement(LA)? I was a Calvinist! I know what Limited Atonement is when I see one. Jack has no clue as to the Scriptural arguments being used by Calvinists to support LA.
5.     Lastly Jack shows his own self-negation of his title post which is a thesis he believes in. He says, “In a word: rejection of OJ also compromises the Lutheran doctrine of election (something I do not think Paul Rydecki appreciates, since he still claims to believe in election!)”. Dear folks, here he provides a counter-example to his own thesis, by his admission! We know Rev. Rydecki rejects OJ yet by Jack’s very own admission, he states Pr. Paul still believes in election. A fish is caught in the mouth. Jack negated the thesis title of his post. So Jack illustrates how fallacious he himself is.

I see he has lots of registered followers. I pity those folk who admire him.They do not know they are following a "blind man".

Monday, January 21, 2013

Faith alone justifies

I am very much impressed with the scholarship shown by Rev. Paul Rydecki.

In case you have not realised yet, Pr. Rydecki started a blog of his own and he entitled his blog
Faith Alone Justifies. Click on the link to be directed there.

I have read some of Pr. Paul's expositions and how he handles the Biblical text. He is brutally honest and that what makes an exegete competent in his work. A quick survey of what Lutheran pastors and theologians are doing in the Anglo world will reveal that majority of them are into Historic Theology followed by few who are into Systematic Theology. You can count with your fingers the Lutheran scholars and pastors that are into Exegetical Theology and that is a shame.

These disciplines have their place but a church body that have no focus in Exegetical Theology becomes weak and will not be able to jump in to resolving controversies.

This is the reason why UOJ gained further ground in the Western Lutheran churches; the Lutherans there have thought that all exegetical issues are now moot and void, since C. F. W. Walther has spoken. So what is happening today? Well we have what might be called theology by proxy. What I mean is that they do not do the hard work of going deeper in interpreting the Biblical text, what they do is just find out what so called authority said on a topic and by default they adopt the pontifications of that so called "accepted authority". It is a type of Romanism in a small scale. So the Lutherans pick their own little pope like Walther and find out what he said and then settle the question based on that.

This is so far from what Luther did. Indeed scholars I read say that one of the many contributions of Luther was the use of the grammatico-historical method of finding out what the text of Scriptures say. In other words, putting the text into its context and drawing out the meaning of the text based on that.

This is one of the reasons that the Synodic Lutheran is thrown to and fro by any wind of doctrine that comes along, Eph 4:14. They have done their theology by proxy rather than doing it on their own. You do not need to be a Greek expert to handle the Scripture, you just need a faithful translation.

Going back to Pr. Rydecki's work, I find it a joy to read his expositions and translations. This is my opinion: between the work of Dr. Jack Kilcrease (who admits that UOJ practices equivocation) and Rev. Paul Rydecki, the latter exhibits sound and trustworthy scholarship in my book. So I would go to Rev. Rydecki's insights all the time and pray God keeps him trustworthy.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Will the real oddball please stand up?

I, along with Dr. Jackson, the Ichabod, have been called an oddball by a Lutheran Internet blogger. The actual quote by Martin Yee can be found here, at Beggars All Reformation run by a good Internet acquaintance, James Swan.

No one calls you an oddball unless the person is opposed to what you stand for and since I am known as an anti-UOJ, I can only assume that the gentleman who called me by that label must be pro-UOJ. I am not deluded in thinking I am well liked by people, I am not. Now,  I have been to his blog and I could not detect if he has his own articulation of UOJ since most of his posts are bits and pieces of items normally from various authors, i.e., theologians or scholars, and since he recommended to James Swan to read Marquart on UOJ, I can safely assume Yee accepts the authority of the UOJ masters.

So let me consider some of the creative ways UOJers are using Scripture to promote the idea that all have already been justified, declared righteous and hence, forgiven automatically at the Cross.

The first attempt was in Romans 4:25. In this post I have outline why their favorite verse does not teach their theory but rather that if an individual swallows such interpretation, he/she must swallow other inconsistencies against Scripture. Indeed, this is where the Synodic Lutherans of USA are quite peculiar to the rest of the Lutheran world. In fact, they are peculiar also to the rest of the Protestant world.  Only the subscribers to UOJ take Romans 4:25 to mean that by that verse the whole world even those yet to be born are already justified.

The second one is Colossians 2:14 found in this blog post by a member of Steadfast Lutherans [sic] (so they call themselves) found here.  Let me repeat what was said and let me put my emphasis on a bad interpretation of Col 2:14

This is to say, there would be nothing real for faith to receive and cling to. When we talk about the objective nature of justification, the terms used relate to Christ’s work as it satisfies the legal requirements of the Law with the whole of mankind in view. That is, the record of debt against the world, with all its legal demands, has been blotted out (Col 2:14), the sins of the world absolved, and this pardon is now freely offered to all in the Word and Sacraments. Some will receive through God given faith this gift to their joy, while others will sadly continue to reject this gift to their own damnation (Mark 16:16)

I have reacted to this interpretation and you will find my counter discussion of this found in my posts, here and here. I have continued to reflect on this passage over the past months and in this occasion I shall add more argument why Col 2:14 is being misused in that quote.

According to Pierce, by virtue of Col 2:14, all legal demands against the world are gone; the Law has no more teeth to bite anyone. Something fishy is going on in here because the word “world” is being used without qualification.  Is this true, that the world has already been absolved of the Law’s demands? If so, why do we baptize anyone? Scripture says that sin is transgression against the Law. If the Law has no more claims on anyone, even perhaps a Christian, why do we confess our sins and why do we have the promise that if we confess them God, cleanses and forgives (1 John 1:9)?

If we read the whole context of Col 2:14, i.e, verses 8-14 inclusive we see that St. Paul was referring to the Christian, it is only to the Christian where the demands of the Law have been thwarted because as v.12 says he/she has been baptized, meaning the sinner has been incorporated into Christ by that Means of Grace. St. Paul was addressing the Christian living in Colossia. The thwarting of the Law’s demands happens only to the believer and not to the whole world without qualification.

This is sometimes where I find how UOJers are like Calvinists in the reverse order. When the Bible uses pronouns, like “us”, we” and they are a referent to the Christian, the UOJer interprets it to mean the whole human race. On the other hand when the pronouns “us”, “we” as a generic referent to the human race, the Calvinists confine it to believers.   It is only through the JBFA Lutheran that I find there is consistency and respect for the language of Scripture.

Scripture interprets Scripture, in fact according to St. Paul which I have stated in the said posts, it is the Christian who is not under the Law, because he is now under grace -  Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Who is now under grace? It is the believer, the sinner who trusts in Christ. It is the one united with Christ who is freed from the claims of the Law because he/she has died with Christ in baptism. The Law has no more claim on dead people yet only those in whom the Means of Grace have been applied are the ones declared dead by St. Paul in Romans 6.

So here once again, we see a peculiar way of taking Scripture found in Col 2:14.

Please do not get me started on Ephesians 2:15.  Luckily no one has yet attempted to say the same thing in the Ephesian passages.

So I say, who is the real oddball here? The UOJ Lutheran or the JBFA Lutheran?