Just a Quote from Hunnius

In arguing against the Huberian error that because Christ has redeemed all men he therefore elected all men, Hunnius maintains:hunnius

But we respond from the start that we steadfastly teach that Christ, by the decree, counsel, ordination, good pleasure and command of the eternal Father, has freed each and every mortal, without any exception at any time or in any place, from sin, death and eternal damnation.

~ Aegius Hunnius, Theses Opposed to Huberianism: A Defense of the Lutheran Doctrine of Justification — Wittenberg, 1597, Translated by Paul A. Rydecki (Bynum, TX: Repristination Press, 2012), 51 (Thesis 152).

About Pastor Andrew Preus

Pastor Andrew Preus is the pastor of Trinity Lutheran/St. Paul Lutheran, Guttenberg/McGregor, IA. He is the eighth of eleven sons, with one sister. He received his seminary training at Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary, St. Catharines, ON (MDiv) from 2009 to 2013, and Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN (STM) from 2013 to 2014. His main theological interests include Justification and Church and Ministry. He is married to Leah Preus (nee Fehr), and they have three children: Jacob, Solveig, and Kristiana.

Comments

Just a Quote from Hunnius — 138 Comments

  1. @Thomas #46

    My version: A person who individually rejects Christ and the benefits of His atoning death does not negate Christ and the benefits of His atoning death to those who believe.

  2. @Thomas #50

    I don’t disagree with anything in your post.

    I do not believe that those who spend eternity in hell have been redeemed. When you are redeemed, you spend eternity with Christ.

  3. Stephen Lee :@Dave Schumacher #43
    If a President or Governor frees a prisoner, it costs that President or Governor nothing.
    God redeems us. The blood of Christ is the cost.

    Stephen, that is not a valid analogy. God frees no one without the price being paid. That is the very point.
    Study that Scripture!

  4. Stephen Lee :@Thomas #50
    I don’t disagree with anything in your post.
    I do not believe that those who spend eternity in hell have been redeemed. When you are redeemed, you spend eternity with Christ.

    Not if you reject Christ.
    Study that Scripture. Talk with your pastor.

  5. @Stephen Lee #1

    Mr. Lee, that’s not Lutheranism. One more time, than I’m exiting.

    Jesus died for the sins of the whole world. His resurrection is proof that the Father has accepted His payment for the sins of the world. That is objective justification. The benefits of Christ’s death and resurrection are subjectively appropriated by the individual person through the Word and Sacraments. That’s confessional Lutheran doctrine.

    You don’t have to agree, that’s fine However, the position you’re advocating is a form of limited atonement. That’s Calvinism.

    Good luck.

  6. @Stephen Lee #6

    I’m was not trying to be rude in my last post. I believe you’re very sincere. I just don’t think that my repeating the same thing will be helpful to anyone. Have a great day!

  7. @Thomas #5

    I agree with that statement. The phrase “subjectively appropriated by the individual person” means that we are not all going to heaven. I do not believe that Christ redeems us all, but sends some of us to hell.

    I think a Calvinist believes that Christ came to save a few. I don’t believe that. I believe that Christ came to save all of us. But, only some of us get saved.

  8. Stephen Lee :@Dave Schumacher #4 Exactly ” not if you reject Christ” Therefore those folks have not been redeemed.

    No, not “exactly”. When you are redeemed, you are forgiven. If you reject that forgiveness, you are condemned – despite being redeemed.

  9. @Thomas #50

    “Salvation is individually appropriated by a person…”

    To me, this sounds like we need to do something to gain salvation: in this case, make ourselves available to the means of grace and the Word.

  10. @Dave Schumacher #10

    Piece of cake :)

    “God has forgiven all people, but if you don’t believe, then you’re forgiven but not forgiven, even though all people are forgiven, and you stand both righteous and condemned before God at the same time.”  Paul Rydecki

  11. Stephen, read what Luther says.
    “This is the most joyous of all doctrines and the one that contains the most comfort. It teaches that we have the indescribable and inestimable mercy and love of God. When the merciful Father saw that we were being oppressed through the Law, that we were being held under a curse, and that we could not be liberated from it by anything, He sent His Son into the world, heaped all the sins of all men upon Him, and said to Him: “Be Peter the denier; Paul the persecutor, blasphemer, and assaulter; David the adulterer; the sinner who ate the apple in Paradise; the thief on the cross. In short, be the person of all men, the one who has committed the sins of all men. And see to it that You pay and make satisfaction for them.” Now the Law comes and says: “I find Him a sinner, who takes upon Himself the sins of all men. I do not see any other sins than those in Him. Therefore let Him die on the cross!” And so it attacks Him and kills Him. By this deed the whole world is purged and expiated from all sins, and thus it is set free from death and from every evil. But when sin and death have been abolished by this one man, God does not want to see anything else in the whole world, especially if it were to believe, except sheer cleansing and righteousness. And if any remnants of sin were to remain, still for the sake of Christ, the shining Sun, God would not notice them. …”

  12. John Rixe :@Dave Schumacher #10
    Piece of cake
    “God has forgiven all people, but if you don’t believe, then you’re forgiven but not forgiven, even though all people are forgiven, and you stand both righteous and condemned before God at the same time.”  Paul Rydecki

    John,
    I can’t believe that you would promote such nonsense!
    “…but if you don’t believe, then you’re forgiven but not forgiven…” No one has said this except for Rydecki. If you don’t believe, God does not revoke forgiveness. No one goes to Hell because they were not forgiven. They go to hell because they reject God.

  13. @Leah #11

    I don’t mean to sound like a jerk, but this stuff is really basic Lutheran theology. It’s kind of boring to keep restating it. I really mean this time. One more time, then I’m out.

    Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of the world. He earned salvation and the forgiveness of sins for the whole world. This is objective justification. The benefits of Christ’s atoning work (forgiveness and salvation) are subjectively appropriated by the individual person through the Word and Sacraments. This is subjective justification.

    There are many great resources available that explain all this much more clearly and eloquently than I can. The best is Pieper’s Christian Dogmatics.

  14. @Dave Schumacher #14
    Luther’s use of the word ‘we’ means he is addressing believers. That is different from addressing non-believers. If Luther were addressing non-believers he would likely use the pronoun ‘you.

    Luther: ” By this deed the whole world is purged and expiated from all sins, and thus it is set free from death and from every evil.” This likely refers to after the second coming. Obviously at this time the whole world has not purged and expiated from all sins

  15. @Thomas #17

    I guess that didn’t sound jerky, it actually was jerky. Sorry. But if anyone would like to have the doctrine explained, see Pieper. He’s a master. Or Luther, of course. He is the master.

  16. @Stephen Lee #18

    This is completely wrong. I’m sorry. But that is a utterly and totally incorrect reading of that passage. Now you’re just making stuff up because for some reason you refuse to accept the basic Lutheran doctrine of objective/subjective justification.

  17. @Thomas #23

    I know what I wrote that makes you think that. I believe that Christ came to save all, but not all are saved. There is nothing un-Lutheran about that. What stuff did I make up?

  18. @Thomas #17

    “Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of the world. He earned salvation and the forgiveness of sins for the whole world. This is objective justification. The benefits of Christ’s atoning work (forgiveness and salvation) are subjectively appropriated by the individual person through the Word and Sacraments. This is subjective justification.”

    I know what you mean Thomas, but I can also see where Leah is coming from. The “by” can be taken to mean that we are the one’s doing the work in appropriating the means of grace rather than God delivering them to us.

    The line could say: “…are subjectively appropriated to the individual person…”

  19. @T-rav #27

    Anything could be “taken to mean” anything. For some reason, people seem determined to “misunderstand” this point of theology. It’s been proven countless times with impeccable Scriptural proofs on this thread and several others. I’m out of patience with this one. Objective/subjective justification has been thoroughly established by the great Lutheran dogmaticians. Hanging one’s hopes on what the word “by” could “be taken to mean” is pretty thin. Enough already. If people don’t want to accept this Scriptural truth, then they can go on their way.

  20. @Thomas #28

    Agreed. I was only meaning in the realm of who’s doing the work. The word “by” can be misunderstood so that the focus of the activity is on us rather than God.

    The way you’ve laid out objective/subjective justification several times now is very good, by the way.

  21. @Thomas #17

    So the only way to be saved is to make oneself available to the Word and Sacraments and believe them, correct? Despite the “objective justification” Christ won on the cross, something else needs to be done by the individual believer to be in heaven when s/he dies? Such as, believe and/or make oneself available to the word/sacraments. What happened to “saved by grace, not by works, that no man may boast”? You’re using the “salvation” language with the subjective justification. So either we’re saved by grace or by works. You’re suggesting works, since the condition to receive the benefits of OJ you need to go to church to get the sacraments and hear the word.

    All I ever hear from Lutherans is that “there’s nothing we can do to earn salvation. Christ has done it all” (having been one my whole life, gone to 3 Lutheran dayschools, a Lutheran high school, and a Lutheran college). You’re telling me there is something I can do, and must do, to earn salvation. You can’t see why this is problematic? Why this doesn’t fit in with the great Lutheran catchphrases?

  22. @Thomas #28

    See, that’s another problem with confessional Lutheranism. You insist that people who don’t see doctrine the way you do are “determined to ‘misunderstand.'” When in reality, you are advocating a very confusing, logically contradictory way of looking at how we are saved, and I’m just trying to make sense of it.

    – Lutherans say, “we are saved by grace alone, there is nothing we can do to earn salvation, Christ has done it all”

    – Lutherans say, “Christ has saved us, but in order to get the benefits of this salvation, you have to go to receive the Sacraments and hear the Word. You are not really ‘saved,’ as in heaven-bound, unless you do these things. You will go to hell unless you do these things” (in other words, do these works)

    Does this honestly not seem contradictory to you? For real, I’ve been a Lutheran my whole life, but am starting to really have an issue with this. But sure, I’m “determined to ‘misunderstand.'” Sorry for wasting your time.

  23. Leah, a Sacrament is not a work, it is a gift of pure grace given by God and received by the sinner through faith in the Son. I do not see how this is problematic because it isnt. This isn’t my teaching. This is purely Scriptural. Your dispute isn’t with me.

  24. Leah, you seem to be advocating a kind of personal decision theology, which in reality is works-righteousness. There is no certainty in decision theology. Orthodox Lutheranism, with its Scriptural, Sacramental theology offers the sinner total certainty of salvation because it demonstrates clearly that we play no role whatsoever in our own salvation. Of course, a sinner may still fall away, but that would only occur through the willful rejection of the pure grace freely given by the Triune God.

  25. Also, Lutherans do not teach that reception of the Sacraments is a prerequisite for salvation. Of course, a person who has never heard nor believed the Gospel is probably not saved, but that’s hardly a teaching unique to the Lutheran Church.

  26. @Leah #30
    Despite the “objective justification” Christ won on the cross, something else needs to be done by the individual believer to be in heaven when s/he dies? Such as, believe and/or make oneself available to the word/sacraments. What happened to “saved by grace, not by works, that no man may boast”?

    Nothing “happened”. He forgot to mention that even this basic believing is a gift from God. By ourselves we can’t do anything positive toward salvation. [We can say “I don’t believe it” for what ever self constructed reason we choose.] Because of refusal to believe, and even though Christ died for all, all will not be in heaven. They loved something else more than Christ.

    Those sacraments are gifts, too, to forgive us the daily sinning that we can’t help doing even if we are baptized and to bring us closer to God. It’s not a “have to”, it’s a “we get to”, as someone else said. We get to thank God, the Giver of all things, praise Him and receive His body and blood at the altar. You can’t “earn” a gift.

    And since I came in at the end (?) this has been said a hundred times already, no doubt!

  27. Leah,

    Perhaps this will help. I have never seen an unbelieving person “go to receive the means of grace.” I’m sure it has happened, but I have not seen it. I have always seen that person brought to the Word by a friend or even by an invitation they receive, or by being brought — often times carried — by parents down the aisle to receive the gift of Baptism. I have also seen people receive the word when it has been brought to them — on the street, in their living rooms, even on-line.

    The image I would hold before you is the friends bringing the paralyzed man to Jesus, carried — can’t come himself.

    I also sometimes use Paul’s declaration that we believers were dead in sin and trespasses before God made us alive. Physically, of course, we were alive, but our spirits were dead — unable to do even one good thing.

    Picture it like Adam after being formed, before God breathed into Him. Spiritually we need the Holy Spirit to come and breathe life into us.

    Like a man who has had a heart attack who is lying on the ground, we are dead, unable to help ourselves, unable to participate in our resuscitation. the person who brings a defibrillator is like the Christian who brings the Word and/or Baptism to the one dead in sin. Through these means the Spirit gives life where and when He chooses, just as the electric shock restores life to the dead body of the heart attack victim.

    Like the victim, we cannot ask to be saved, we can’t participate in our salvation, we cannot go to church to get the means of grace. We can just lie there, dead in spirit, until the Holy Spirit gives us life.

    Now, as to why some hear the Word and are saved and other are not, we are not given that information by our Lord. We are simply informed that He desires all to be saved, that all who are saved are saved entirely through His gracious (undeserved gifting) action, and that all who are not saved are responsible for their own condemnation. To go beyond that is blaspheming the Word, and every human attempt to reconcile these three has led people astray in such a way as to deny one or the other of them.

    God is greater than we are and so there will be times we can speak truth but not fully understand its workings (think Holy Trinity), and times when God simply chooses not to reveal something to us. This is for our good. Remember that Adam and Eve did gain a knowledge that had been hidden from them when they ate the fruit — they learned evil. We should inquire of God about all things, but we must accept His answers, even if we cannot understand them, or do not like them.

    I am not suggesting you are transgressing this principle, simply teaching that there will be limits to our human minds, and to accept them in peace and joy.

    Hope this helps.

    Pastor Bagnall

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