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.