Found on Cyberbrethren — The State of Lutheranism in America: Dominated by Negligence and Indifference, But Not Without Hope

July 8th, 2011 Post by

In anticipation of October 25, 2011, the 200th anniversary of the birthday of Dr. C.F.W. Walther, there are a lot of people posting items that he wrote. This one is from 1846 .. a reminder that nothing is new under the sun. Thanks to Paul McCain for posting this on Cyberbrethren:

 

“In America no denomination has suffered any deeper fall than this fellowship that is called “Lutheran.” All the sects of this land are more zealous to preserve the false doctrines upon which they’ve been founded, and that give them their unique character, than the present so-called Lutherans intend to hold fast to the holy and pure doctrine which is founded upon the clear Word of God, that was entrusted to her through God’s unspeakable grace. Yes, we see the American Lutheran Church is not only dominated by negligence and indifference, but even by enmity against the true Lutheran Church. She has retained nothing but the name. She has lost the ancient truth and the ancient spirit of witness. Yet we also see that we have no reason to despair over the condition of the Lutheran Church in America. God has obviously once again picked up his winnowing fork to beat his threshing floor and to sift his wheat. God has obviously resolved to no longer sit back and watch the hidden mice, those false saints, those fish in muddy waters. God has once again begun to open eyes here and there, who fearfully acknowledge the apostasy of which the Lutherans have become guilty. Here and there God is awakening men who are loudly demanding those who have abandoned their first love to return. God be praised! After a long winter the turtledoves are again heard in our land. (Song of Songs 2.11-13)

“Rise, get up then dear brothers! Let us not idly watch as false brothers band together ever more tightly to bury the foundation of our church and create another beside it. Since these do all this while still fraudulently fighting under our name, they are more dangerous than our declared enemies. They are their compatriots even while they bunk in our camp. He who dwells in heaven surely laughs at them and the LORD mocks them, for “even if the sea billows and rages, and the mountains erode in their storm, yet the city of God remains vibrant and well with her fountains, where are the holy dwellings of the Highest. God is with her, so she will remain well. God will help her early.” But as impossible as it is for Luther’s doctrine, that is, God’s Word to be driven out of the world, yet it is just that easily possible, if we do not hold on tightly to it (Tit 1:9–11) and fight for it (Jude 3) to lose this gem, (2 John 8.9) and someday be rejected as unfaithful stewards.

“Therefore, if we do not wish be called hypocritical Lutherans, but want to be and remain Lutherans in deed and truth, let us walk together and again gather around the banner of the ancient, unchangeable doctrine of our church; pleading together that the LORD awaken and create help that comfort again be taught; together fighting against all deceptions with the sword of the Spirit and together bearing the shame by which the LORD strives to designate his servants. We dare not hope that the church in these latter, horrible times will be established again in a condition of glorious bloom, yet we may also not abandon hope that our witness and our battle will not be completely in vain, but rather will give way to praise of the LORD and convert many souls from the errors of their way.”

Source:
C.F.W. Walther
Der Lutheraner
Volume 2, Number 11
January 1846, pg. 42-43
Translated by Joel Baseley

 


 

For Pastors or others suggesting bible studies for the fall: Remember that the Walther DVD is coming out from Concordia Seminary this September. We wrote about it previously here.

Plan to use this DVD for a 5-week bible study this fall in anticipation Walther’s Birthday.






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  1. July 8th, 2011 at 17:18 | #1

    Pastor Baseley’s Walther translations and other delightful resources can be found at:

    http://www.markvpublications.com/documents/newofferings.html

  2. Jason
    July 8th, 2011 at 17:38 | #2

    Wow, nothing is new under the sun. This describes our current situation so well. If only all of our congregations will go through the WMLT Bible studies coming out…

  3. Kari
    July 8th, 2011 at 18:33 | #3

    I think once more people begin to read and study the Lutheran Confessions again, they will realize the Lutheran Confessions are true to Scripture and support what we believe. Then they’ll want to be Lutherans again. (some don’t realize they haven’t been taught what Lutherans believe, so think they are truly Lutheran) Many lay people today have never even heard they even exist. (Except maybe the Small Catechism and the Creeds) And they don’t realize that they are still relevant for today. There is truly nothing new under the sun!

    I hope we can watch the Walther movie this fall, and have a study from it. There is also the new study the LCMS is sending out called “Witness, Mercy, Life Together” that I’m hoping many people will be able to study at their churches.

  4. John Klieve
    July 9th, 2011 at 13:49 | #4

    Does anyone know how to get promotional materials for the Walther film ( trailer, articles, news releases etc.); I would like to start promoting it in the congregation so by the time I can build some enthusiasm.

  5. July 9th, 2011 at 15:33 | #5

    I have researched and posted somewhat haphazardly over a long time an unintended continuation of C.F.W. Walther’s above article. I was spurred to complete the compendium when my Pastor tried out a “new” confession. any feedback would be deeply appreciated!

    http://www.lutheransonline.com/martinluther

    IXOYC

  6. mames
    July 9th, 2011 at 23:12 | #6

    @John Klieve #4 I have read some histories of Walther that reference that he kidnapped 2 children away from his parents and that he was an enthusiast who never fully became objective. Is any of this true and if so will it appear in the film?

  7. #4 Kitty
    July 10th, 2011 at 07:55 | #7

    I think once more people begin to read and study the Lutheran Confessions again, they will realize the Lutheran Confessions are true to Scripture and support what we believe. Then they’ll want to be Lutherans again. (some don’t realize they haven’t been taught what Lutherans believe, so think they are truly Lutheran) Many lay people today have never even heard they even exist.

    Almost everyone I know and associate with confesses to be a Christian. Not one of them reads and studies the Lutheran Confessions. Most of them have never heard of these articles. Instead, they read the Bible. That’s not going to change.
    But even if I were to restrict this argument to just those members of my church the results would be the same. The chief problem is that they aren’t capable of reading anything on a level higher than our weekly newspaper (w/lots of pictures of grandchildren). And as the discussions on this blog bears me out Lutheran Confessionalism is an intellectual pursuit.

  8. July 10th, 2011 at 08:15 | #8

    #4 Kitty :

    But even if I were to restrict this argument to just those members of my church the results would be the same. The chief problem is that they aren’t capable of reading anything on a level higher than our weekly newspaper (w/lots of pictures of grandchildren). And as the discussions on this blog bears me out Lutheran Confessionalism is an intellectual pursuit.

    I would venture to say that the chief problem is NOT capability to read the Lutheran Confessions, but rather people do not want to read them. People who paint the Lutheran Confessions as beyond the reach of people’s thinking and understanding are giving up to easily or taking the easy way out.

  9. July 10th, 2011 at 10:04 | #9

    @Perry Lund #8

    Desire often enough will overcome incapacity, if desire endures. I agree with you that it is a matter of whether people want to read the confessions.

    If we are correct about this, the next step is to diagnose why congregants don’t want.

  10. Carl Vehse
    July 10th, 2011 at 12:36 | #10

    mames (#6): “I have read some histories of Walther that reference that he kidnapped 2 children away from his parents and that he was an enthusiast who never fully became objective.”

    The Walther brothers did kidnap their niece, 15, and nephew, 10, but not, based on the wording in your statement, according to page 130 in a spin-doctored revisionist biography of Martin Stephan hawked by his descendents and shamelessly hyped in an official Missouri Synod ‘theological’ publication and at a seminary conference. Or else garnered from reading repetitions by Stephan relatives posted on their Stephan adulation forum, or repeated on other internet sites operated by religious cultists and kooks in their manic blog attacks on the Missouri Synod and the doctrine of objective justification.

    For an informed view of the kidnapping, in which the Walther brothers were involved, I suggest you read Walter O. Forster’s Zion on the Mississippi (CPH, 1953), particularly pages 194ff and page 355.

    Also read what C.F.W. Walther wrote in a May 4, 1840, letter to his brother, Hermann, about his part in the Stephanite debacle (Zion, p. 515):

    “Every sad look of a member from our congregations is to me like an accuser before God; my conscience blames me for all the broken marriages which occurred among us; it calls me a kidnapper, a robber of the wealthy among us, a murderer of those who lie buried in the sea and the many who were stricken down here, a member of a mob, a mercenary, an idolater, etc. I now no longer dare to say: our emigration was premature; it is a big question whether we pastors should ever have emigrated, whether we should not perhaps have tolerated all restrictions, so long as they did not require something plainly sinful, in order that we might at least as faithful shepherds have cared for, protected, and watched over the little good which was still present in the German congregation.”

    Within nine months Hermann was dead in St. Louis after a brief illness, as was their niece, Maria, and shortly later the nephew, Theodor.

  11. July 10th, 2011 at 13:05 | #11

    It is a remarkable favor of Almighty God that in these last times and in this old age of the world He has willed, according to His unspeakable love, forbearance, and mercy, that after the darkness of papistical superstitions the light of His Gospel and Word, through which alone we receive true salvation, should arise and shine clearly and purely in Germany, our most beloved fatherland. And on this account, indeed, a brief and succinct confession was prepared from the Word of God

    How could anyone not want to read this exciting book!

    A bestseller and “THE BOOK TO HAVE!”

    Spread like wildfire through Europe ;

    “I just could not put it down!” The Pope.

    “loved it!” the Empror of Rome.

    “I actually used it to start a state religion!” king of Sweden.

    “I had to pull the writers of this book out of all the trouble they started” The LION HEART.

  12. July 10th, 2011 at 13:48 | #12

    @Perry Lund #8

    I agree. Having read the Book of Concord through twice now, I don’t think it is outside the grasp of any of us to read and understand. Probably the most difficult reading is going to be in the Formula of Concord where terms from Scholasticism are used, but even so the text is still understandable.

    Sadly, I think most Lutherans growing up in our confession see no need to go beyond their reading of the Small Catechism. Is this a problem with pastors being sold a bill of goods, thinking that the Book of Concord is passe and is otherwise not interesting? That it will not pull people in, so why bother?

    CPH has a few workbooks that are good introductions to parts of the Book of Concord, such as the Augsburg Confession. I really wish pastors would seriously consider jump starting confessions reading in their parishes by using the CPH materials which will help make reading the Book of Concord more accessible for some… or at least will remove the excuse that it is so darn hard to read.

    One other thing that I wish would happen is a synod wide effort to challenge all congregations to pick up our confessions and read them. I would like to see something like the compact version of the Reader’s Edition of the Book of Concord given away to congregations who will commit to a year long effort to read it. I would guess that enough copies could be purchased for most of our congregations with the amount of money synod has wasted in the past on hiring church growth consultants. Maybe we need a catchy slogan to get people on board? How about “Put down the church growth bong, sober up, and pick up the BoC?” ;)

  13. John Koopman
    July 10th, 2011 at 14:04 | #13

    #4 Kitty :

    The chief problem is that they aren’t capable of reading anything on a level higher than our weekly newspaper (w/lots of pictures of grandchildren).

    Well it’s a good thing the Holy Spirit is the teacher then, huh.

  14. Carl Vehse
    July 10th, 2011 at 15:04 | #14

    Unfortunately, the kidnapping version in Robert Koenig’s novel, Except the Corn Die (the book on which the “Walther” film is based), is an expanded fairy tale rescue operation, complete with drama and hair-raising action.

    In order to save the children, who are being held captive against their will by their ‘wicked stepmother’ (actually, the children’s aunt) and her husband (the children’s legal guardian), Ferdinand and Herman, masters of disguise, secretly transfer two more passengers on board the Olbers – a strangely effeminate “bewhiskered gentleman” and a giggly short “grandma in a long dress, sunbonnet, and spectacles, walking along as nimbly as a ten year old boy.”

    In the meantime, the Bremen SWAT team breaks down the door to Christiane Buenger’s room at the inn, terrifying six of her children, who are left alone and screaming as their mother is tasered and dragged off for interrogation. Despite the extensive waterboarding torture the Bremen gestapo apply to the brave and loyal Christiane, she refuses to divulge the Schubert childrens’ whereabouts until they are safely well out at sea. Eventually Christiane is release from the rat-infested Bremen dungeon, sails to New York, travels across the land to Missouri, fights off Indians along the way, rejoins her joyful family in Perry County,… and eventually marries her daughters off to Missouri Synod pastors.

    Even though it’s not mentioned in Koenig’s novel, or most historical accounts, the real Lutheran legacy of Christiane Buenger is that she was the originator of the recipe for making lime green jello with tiny marshmallows.

  15. Old Time St. John’s
    July 10th, 2011 at 16:30 | #15

    Jim Pierce :

    Maybe we need a catchy slogan to get people on board? How about “Put down the church growth bong, sober up, and pick up the BoC?”

    Heh.

    “Witness, Mercy, and Life Together–put down the church growth bong, sober up, and pick up the BoC”

    Nah, maybe not. Tempting, though.

  16. Lloyd I. Cadle
    July 10th, 2011 at 22:17 | #16

    With the new accurate and easy to read edition of the Book of Concord put out by Concordia Publishing House there are no more excuses. The easy to read “Readers Edition” also has some great Lutheran art in it.

    It is now up to the pastors, district presidents and our good SP’s in the LCMS, WELS and ELS to make the push for folks to read the BOC.

    There is no better way to grow as a Lutheran than a deep study in the BOC and the Bible. We should not just assume that the laity won’t read it.

  17. helen
    July 11th, 2011 at 08:19 | #17

    Desire often enough will overcome incapacity, if desire endures. I agree with you that it is a matter of whether people want to read the confessions.
    If we are correct about this, the next step is to diagnose why congregants don’t want.

    Many congregations have never been asked. Their Pastors consider the BOC a seminary text…. (and boring). Or they are trying to move to the “excitement of Baptist style worship” and knowing the BOC too well could cause problems for that!

    A BOC class requires persistence. We started off with 6-8; lately we have 15-20.
    (If your Pastor doesn’t think he should spend the time preparing for so few, you will never get to more.)

  18. Johannes
    July 11th, 2011 at 08:46 | #18

    @#4 Kitty #7
    You said, “But even if I were to restrict this argument to just those members of my church the results would be the same. The chief problem is that they aren’t capable of reading anything on a level higher than our weekly newspaper…”

    Kitty, you have a good point (and I tend to agree), but it goes further than that. I submit that a great many people have no idea that the (1) Confessions exist in the first place, (2) What they are, and (3) Why they should be read. Fifty years of poor catechesis is the main reason–and this is due mostly to the errant and false teaching at CSL. When the Bible is suspect, why even bother with the Confessions? No doubt that reading the Confessions requires intellectual effort, and is time-consuming. Many are not up to that–but when pastors and teachers relegate the Book of Concord to the dust-bins of the church library (at best), Lutheranism suffers.

    Johannes, Lutheranist (Still don’t like the term “Lutheranism”.)

  19. Johannes
    July 11th, 2011 at 09:31 | #19

    And another thing–

    The “I Believe” series by Bjarne W. Teigen is a great place to begin a study of the BOC. Published by the Lutheran Synod Book Company in Mankato, Minnesota this series is in five volumes: (1)The Three Creeds, (2) the Formula of Concord, (3) the Smalcald Articles, (4) the Small and Large Catechisms, and (5) the Augsburg Confession and Apology, which is the largest at 80 pages. The others are about 30 pages max. They can be purchased separately or as a collection. It ought to be in every church library at least.

    Johannes

  20. Carl Vehse
    July 11th, 2011 at 10:28 | #20

    Where is the series volume on the “Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope” (Tractatus)? Is it combined in the volume on the Smalcald Articles as an appendix (as indicated in the FC)? Or is it in the volume on the Augsburg Confessions an appendix (as suggested by Bente, Tappert, and the Reader’s Edition of the BOC)? Or will a separate volume on the Tractatus (in line with the Tractatus subscribers) be coming out later?

    And as Bjarne Teigen’s nephew, Erling Teigen, noted, will the volume refer to the German translation of the Tractatus included in the 1580 BOC, or the Latin translation of the German translation in Selneccer’s 1580 Latin edition of the BOC, or the original Latin text of the Tractatus that appeared in the 1584 Book of Concord?

  21. July 11th, 2011 at 10:49 | #21

    @Johannes #17

    Lutheranist (Still don’t like the term “Lutheranism”.)

    Interesting comment. Would you be willing to expand on that a bit?

  22. July 11th, 2011 at 11:06 | #22

    @Johannes #18
    The “I Believe” series by Bjarne W. Teigen is a great place to begin a study of the BOC.

    Sadly, these books appear to be out of print according to Amazon. If someone knows where to buy copies please let us know.

  23. July 11th, 2011 at 11:30 | #23

    Interesting discussion.

    The reason why we published “Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions” five or so years ago was precisely to reach laity with the Lutheran Confessions. As I explained to a lady just this morning on Facebook, consider “Concordia” to be a “study edition” of the Book of Concord. The whole content is there, along with a wealth of supplemental study helps, notes, articles, extensive background articles, explanations, even a reading guide, along with an article by article summary of the importance of what the Confessions are saying.

    We are approaching 100,000 copies of Concordia in print.

    The overwhelming reaction to it has been nothing short of amazing. I lost track of the many hundreds, if not now, thousands of time people have said things like this:

    “Why didn’t we ever know about this book before?”
    “It is so interesting, and I’m learning so much?”
    “Why didn’t our pastors share this with us before?”

    The Concordia edition of the Book of Concord is a self-contained course in the Lutheran Confessions that will be a rich blessing to anyone who studies and reads it carefully.

    http://www.cph.org/concordia

  24. mames
    July 11th, 2011 at 11:39 | #24

    @Carl Vehse #10
    Thank you for the clarification. Some of the finest help I received regarding “looking for ones own faith” was delivered by Walther’s Law and Gospel as he relayed the story of his own dabbling with enthusiasm and how he finally found comfort in the ojective Gospel. It is a trap easily fallen into, this looking for your own faith, as the inward focus always leads to despair. Walther’s theological and practical writings have always been of great help to me and having read the kidnapper stories I was a little puzzled.

  25. July 11th, 2011 at 21:40 | #25

    size:1.82 M
    Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church Friedrich Bente

    I cleaned this books text up and and did some light reformatting, all kidding aside the book is a very good intro to the BoC. In places it reads like a “thriller”. just A click of my name and get it. Free. You might like some of the other books and articles for the taking as well just right click the rectangles and save. ENJOY !

    IXOYC

  26. A Beggar
    July 11th, 2011 at 22:56 | #26

    Johannes :
    And another thing–
    The “I Believe” series by Bjarne W. Teigen is a great place to begin a study of the BOC. Published by the Lutheran Synod Book Company in Mankato, Minnesota this series is in five volumes: (1)The Three Creeds, (2) the Formula of Concord, (3) the Smalcald Articles, (4) the Small and Large Catechisms, and (5) the Augsburg Confession and Apology, which is the largest at 80 pages. The others are about 30 pages max. They can be purchased separately or as a collection. It ought to be in every church library at least.
    Johannes

    Thanks, Johannes for the ‘Library” suggestion!

  27. July 12th, 2011 at 07:49 | #27

    @Mark Huntemann #25

    This is also found at http://bookofconcord.org/historicalintros.php … a version that has gone through several textual corrections beyond the source that you used.

  28. Brad
    July 12th, 2011 at 08:51 | #28

    Indeed. It has become the staple of studies in our parish, and I commend it to all our parishioners. I frankly feel a little self-concious with my old and tattered red Tappert edition, but I can’t bring myself to part with the many mariginal study notes I’ve scribbled in it over the years. Perhaps when the binding finally gives way, and it is beyond the rescucitation of duct tape, I shall have to replace it.

    I’ve been pleasantly surprised how many of our people have found Concordia accessible, enjoyable, and enlightening. Kudos to the CPH crowd.

    @Rev. Paul T. McCain #23

  29. Johannes
    July 12th, 2011 at 09:07 | #29

    @Carl Vehse #20

    The “Treatise” is found in the volume on the Smalcald Articles. Interestingly, Tiegen claims that the Treatise was written by Melanchthon, not Luther. I quote (p.21):
    “In 1580, the authors of the Book of Concord assumed that the so-called ‘Treatise (or Tractate) on the Power and Primacy of the Pope’ was written by Luther as an appendix to his Smalcald Articles. It is difficult to see how this could have happened, since it is quite clear from the reports of the meeting at Smalcald in February 1537 that Melanchthon is the author.” Tiegen goes on to say that, “Since Luther was confined to his quarters because of another attack of his illness, Melanchthon was asked to prepare the document [about the Papacy]. Kolb-Wenger agrees with this position (p. 329). So does the Concordia.

    I’m sure this will generate some discussion here.

    Johannes

  30. Johannes
    July 12th, 2011 at 09:30 | #30

    T. R. Halvorson :@Johannes #17
    Lutheranist (Still don’t like the term “Lutheranism”.)
    Interesting comment. Would you be willing to expand on that a bit?

    The reasons for my dislike of the term “Lutheranism” are more visceral than logical, I’m afraid. However, your request has caused me to do some thinking about my objections.
    Let’s begin with the primary definition of “ism” (noun suffix) is “a distinctive doctrine, cause, or theory.” Secondary definitions have a definite and clear pejorative connotation (noun or noun suffic) , i.e., “an oppressive or discriminatory attitude” or practice.

    1. For one thing, I don’t like reducing my faith to an “ism.” Being a Lutheran is much more than following an “ism.” No matter which definition of “ism” you choose.
    2. I don’t like the negative baggage that attaches when appending “ism” to “Lutheran.” A purely subjective attitude, I’m sure.
    3. I am a follower of Christ, not of an “ism.”

    To be a Lutheran, is in my view, much more than following an ism. Christianity is not an “ism”, either, in my opinion. Altho it’s a perfectly legitimate term, I simply don’t like it. I use the term “Lutheranist” only to further underline my antipathy. I am a Christian, not a Christianist, or follower of Christianism. I am a Lutheran, not a Lutheranist, or follower of Lutheranism, or a Lutherite. The little book “Lutheranism 101″ could have been called “Lutheran 101″ as far as I’m concerned, without losing any of its impact.

    ‘Nuff said?

    By the way some of my best friends belong to Lutheranism.

    Johannes

  31. Johannes
    July 12th, 2011 at 09:48 | #31

    Jim Pierce :@Johannes #18 The “I Believe” series by Bjarne W. Teigen is a great place to begin a study of the BOC.
    Sadly, these books appear to be out of print according to Amazon. If someone knows where to buy copies please let us know.

    I just talked to Paul at the Bethany Bookstore in Mankato. Altho their website is currently experiencing some difficulty, you can call him at the store and order the books. They are $3.50 each, except for the Augsburg Confession/Apology, which is $5.00. There is a discount for the whole set, but at $19.00, it’s still a bargain, and all the money goes to them. Here’s the skinny on the bookstore:
    Bethany Lutheran College – Bookstore
    700 Luther Drive
    Mankato,MN 56001
    (507)344-7777

    Happy reading!

    Johannes (Lutheranatic)

  32. Carl Vehse
    July 12th, 2011 at 10:20 | #32

    @Johannes #29 (Lutheranologist?)

    According to Friedrich Bente, in his “Historical Introductions to the Lutheran Confessions”:

    73] At Smalcald the first duty imposed upon the scholars and theologians was once more to discuss the Augustana and the Apology carefully, and to acknowledge both as their own confessions bv their signatures. Thereupon they were, in a special treatise, to enlarge on the Papacy. The Strassburg delegates report: “It has also come to pass that the scholars received orders once more to read the articles of the Confession and to enlarge somewhat on the Papacy, which they did.” (Kolde, Analecta, 298.) However, since neither the Augustana nor its Apology contained an article against the Papacy, the demand of the princes could only be satisfied by a special treatise, the “Tractatus de Potestate et Primatu Papae,” which Melanchthon wrote and completed by February 17, where upon it was immediately delivered to the princes.

  33. July 12th, 2011 at 10:27 | #33

    By the way, Brother Norm has referenced one of my favorite web site:

    http://www.bookofconcord.org

    It really is quite an amazine site, if I do say so myself, and provides more resources on the Lutheran Confessions than any other location on the Webbernet, with somewhat obscure and heard to find supplemental resources/secondary resources the Confessions that are pretty hard to find elsewhere, without going on a scavenger hunt of source across the ‘net.

    I’m referring specifically to these goodies:

    – 1517 Luther’s 95 Theses

    – 1518 Heidelberg Disputation

    – 1520 Condemnation of Luther

    – 1521 Excommunication of Luther

    – 1529 Admonition to Confession

    + 1530 Johann Eck’s 404 Theses

    – 1530 Luther’s Exhortation

    – 1530 Roman Confutation

    – 1549 Consensus Tigurinus

    – 1580 German BoC

    – Translation of German BoC

    – 1592 Saxon Visitation Articles

  34. Johannes
    July 12th, 2011 at 10:29 | #34

    @Carl Vehse #32

    Although “Lutheranologist” has a nice ring to it, I still prefer good old “Lutheran.” But thanks for trying. Based on previous postings, I would have to say that you are more a Lutheranologist that I.

    I guess I had always thought that Luther wrote the Treatise. It appears that my Lutheranistic opinion was sadly mistaken. Thank-you for adding to the evidence.

    Johannes (Lutheraner)

    P.S. I’ve got a few more left.

  35. Johannes
    July 12th, 2011 at 10:32 | #35

    @Rev. Paul T. McCain #23

    You have verified what many of us are saying here: Fifty years of lousy catechesis, resulting in ignorance of and indifference to (1) the Confessions, (2) our heritage, (3) the central article.

    Strong statement? I’ll stand by it.

    Johannes (Lutheranophile)

  36. July 12th, 2011 at 10:41 | #36

    Thank you very much. I know and visit the site often and have asked if I can post the PDF on my site as well. IXOYC @Norm Fisher #27

  37. Carl Vehse
    July 12th, 2011 at 11:01 | #37

    Given Melanchthon’s earlier qualified subscription to Luther’s Smalcald articles, in which Melanchthon indicates his willingness to recognize the pope’s iure humano supremacy, his comment in a February 23, 1537, letter to Justus Jonas about the condemnation of the pope as the Antichrist in his Tractatus is a major understatement: “I have written this [Tract] somewhat sharper than I am wont to do.”

    Bente comments in his “Introduction” on the Tract, para 79: “Today it is generally assumed that by 1553 it was universally forgotten both that Melanchthon was the author of the Tract, and that it was originally composed in Latin. However, it remains a mystery how this should have been possible – only twelve years after Dietrich had published the Tract under a title which clearly designates Melanchthon as its author, and states that the German text is a translation.”

  38. Johannes
    July 12th, 2011 at 12:24 | #38

    @Carl Vehse #37

    A good post, and I suspect that we can put this one to bed. My apologies for the rabbit trail–on the other hand, it’s important information.

    Thanks, again

    Johannes (Lutheranicist)

  39. July 12th, 2011 at 13:26 | #39

    @Johannes #30

    Thanks. I thought it might be something like that, and I have had many of the same thoughts. When I sense that the negative connotations are causing problems, I avoid the suffixes. The rest of the time I am too lazy to keep up the vigil, but maybe it would be better if I were to develop consistency on this.

  40. Johannes
    July 12th, 2011 at 16:50 | #40

    @T. R. Halvorson #39

    Well, it’s kind of “straining at gnats” in some ways. There’s a lot more things to get upset about, like TCN, indifference to our doctrines, open communion, and the lack of concern for the inactive members, just to mention a few. But I digress….

    Johannes (Lutheranische)

  41. July 12th, 2011 at 19:04 | #41

    Mark: I’d prefer you simply link to the BOC.ORG site, if you don’t mind.

  42. July 12th, 2011 at 19:12 | #42

    @Rev. Paul T. McCain #41

    Thanks, will do. IXOYC

  43. Denton
    July 12th, 2011 at 21:37 | #43

    Amen, Kari. Amen.
    @Kari #3

  44. July 13th, 2011 at 10:25 | #44

    Blogging is new to me so I am looking at it with innocence. What I am impressed with is how the individual can stand on a stage and shout! The point of connection to the above subject is the strange “QUIET” I hear so loud when a “PROBLEM” is voiced about Church actions and “OFFICIAL ” Church rubric of the major Lutheran Synods. What I notice is the creation of very radical blog sites when the person is ignored of worse excommunicated. As I have looked over these I see one constant; the offended has a very good Lutheran classic BoC education! The conclusion I have been forced to consider is do the synods want their members to be ignorant. I think the Roman Catholic Church largely depends on this! Look what Luther and Tyndale delt with! I shudder at the realization that in large measure this it what BoC Lutherans are having to face today. may the LORD GOD defend his Children. In my Lord and Saviour’s name I pray.

  45. July 13th, 2011 at 11:13 | #45

    @Johannes #38

    My apologies for the rabbit trail

    It might not be a bunny trail. The same aversion to isms that you have could be at play in the aversion many Lutherans have to the Book of Concord.

    For example, I have a long time, good friend who attends a confessional Lutheran church because he married a woman raised in the congregation. When I talk to him about grace and faith, word and sacrament, every so often he refers to “the Book of Luther.” He means this in two senses. In a narrow sense, he is referring to the Smaller Catechism. In a wider sense, it is almost like saying “the Ism of Luther.” The concept he has in mind is partisanship, and his distrust of partisans. It is his polite way of saying,, “that’s okay for you, because you are a Lutheran, so you follow the Book of Luther, and I respect you for it, but I am not so sure about partisan positions for myself.”

    The Confessions, the Book of Concord, might have a partisan image among Lutheran laity, and even though it is, so to speak, their own party, still they have an aversion to the perceived partisanship.

    I have tried various approaches to overcoming this “Book of Luther” aversion, with mixed results. Of course, the Holy Spirit works where and when He wills, granting and withholding what He wills, and He wills to work through Word and Sacrament. Things go better when I can get him, and others like him, to sit with me, each of us having an open Bible, and looking straight at the Word. But what seems to have the greatest impact is pointing to infant baptism. They usually have seen more baptisms than they have read Bible texts on their own, so they feel they are not being set up by my selection of texts. Pointing to the helplessness of an infant, and the infants complete lack of effort or contribution to the sacrament is usually the best thing I can do to get them to stop and consider the purity of grace and that faith itself is a gift.

  46. July 13th, 2011 at 18:20 | #46

    Today I discovered that Rev. Todd Peperkorn (Messiah Lutheran Church, Kenosha, WI) published weekly readings from the Book of Concord which correspond to the appointed readings (OT, epistle, or Gospel readings) for each Sunday in the Church for the one-year lectionary. It would be a lot of work, but that suggests the idea of doing the same thing for the 3-year lectionary. It might require funding. But once done, and if well and nicely done, then the inserts could be used throughout the world. Think of the potential. Could this be a CPH project? Could a donor be found who would patronize the project. Could Issues, Etc. issue a call?

  47. July 13th, 2011 at 18:42 | #47

    @T. R. Halvorson #46

    http://lcmssermons.com/boc 3 year series produced by Pastor Doug May

    http://lcmssermons.com/boc1 1 year series produced by Pastor Kurt Hering

  48. July 13th, 2011 at 20:59 | #48

    @Mark Huntemann #44
    I ran the above comment by a friend and he told me that the comment was poorly written and was unintelligible. I am making another attempt. Please be patient…

    Blogging is new to me so I am looking at it with innocence. What I am impressed with is how the individual can stand on a stage and shout! The point of connection to the above subject is the strange “QUIET” I hear so loud when a “PROBLEM” is voiced about Church actions and “OFFICIAL ” Church rubric of the major Lutheran Synods. What I notice is the creation of very radical blog sites when the person is ignored, or worse, excommunicated. As I have looked over these I see one constant; the offended has a very good Lutheran classic BoC education! The conclusion I have been forced to is that the synods want their members to be ignorant. I think the Roman Catholic Church largely depends on this! Look what Luther and Tyndale delt with! I shudder at the realization that in large measure this it what BoC Lutherans are having to face today. May the LORD GOD defend his Children. In my Lord and Saviour’s name I pray.

  49. July 14th, 2011 at 08:27 | #49
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