The Calvinist case against Lutheranism

Darryl Hart, a Reformed theologian who favors  “confessional” Protestantism over against the new American varieties–including  “neo-Calvinism”–takes up and interrogates the Calvinist critique of Lutheranism.  He quotes the venerable B. B. Warfield:

Just as little can the doctrine of justification by faith be represented as specifically Lutheran. It is as central to the Reformed as to the Lutheran system. Nay, it is only in the Reformed system that it retains the purity of its conception and resists the tendency to make it a doctrine of justification on account of; instead of by, faith.

It is true that Lutheranism is prone to rest in faith as a kind of ultimate fact, while Calvinism penetrates to its causes, and places faith in its due relation to the other products of God’s activity looking to the salvation of man. And this difference may, on due consideration, conduct us back to the formative principle of each type of thought. But it, too, is rather an outgrowth of the divergent formative principles than the embodiment of them.

Lutheranism, sprung from the throes of a guilt-burdened soul seeking peace with God, finds peace in faith, and stops right there. It is so absorbed in rejoicing in the blessings which flow from faith that it refuses or neglects to inquire whence faith itself flows. It thus loses itself in a sort of divine euthumia, and knows, and will know nothing beyond the peace of the justified soul.

Calvinism asks with the same eagerness as Lutheranism the great question, “What shall I do to be saved?” and answers it precisely as Lutheranism answers it. But it cannot stop there. The deeper question presses upon it, “Whence this faith by which I am justified?” And the deeper response suffuses all the chambers of the soul with praise, “From the free gift of God alone, to the praise of the glory of His grace.”

Thus Calvinism withdraws the eye from the soul and its destiny and fixes it on God and His glory. It has zeal, no doubt, for salvation but its highest zeal is for the honour of God, and it is this that quickens its emotions and vitalizes its efforts. It begins, it centres and it ends with the vision of God in His glory and it sets itself; before all things, to render to God His rights in every sphere of life-activity.

via Old Life Theological Society » Blog Archive » Did Warfield Make the World Safe for Piper?.

Now let’s think about this.  Lutheranism rejoices in the comfort of the Gospel.  But Calvinism is not content with that, going on to rationally speculate about where faith comes from–that is, according to that system, in double predestination and limited atonement–to the point that the comfort gets lost!

Furthermore, here is what Dr. Hart has to say about this quote, drawing on Luther’s Theology of the Cross:

Several items are worth noting in this quotation. First is Warfield’s notion that Reformed Protestantism is not content with faith alone but embarks upon a deeper quest to find the origins of this faith. He does not explain here what this quest looks like, but his could be an argument in favor of the kind of introspection that experimental Calvinists like Edwards and Piper favor.

A second curious feature of Warfield’s contrast is the idea that Lutheranism emphasizes justification while Reformed Protestantism stresses the glory of God. This suggests common view in some union with Christ circles that Lutheranism manifests an anthropocentric view of Christianity (e.g., man’s salvation) that contrasts with Reformed Protestantism’s theocentric outlook (e.g., God’s glory). After all, an oft-made contrast between Heidelberg (which is considered a catechism that made concessions to Lutheranism) and Westminster is that the former catechism begins with man’s “only comfort” while the Shorter Catechism begins with “God’s glory” as man’s chief end.

The danger in this contrast so far – man’s salvation vs. God’s glory – is that Lutherans had good reasons for not becoming absorbed with God’s glory. Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation was a forceful warning to theologians who were tempted to identify God’s glory with outward and external signs or forms. In other words, writ large in Luther’s theology is the idea that God’s ways are not man’s, and so God may not actually glorify himself the way that man expects. The cross is folly. Preaching is weak. Christians are poor and humble. In which case, God saves an unlikely people through surprising means. And that may also mean that God’s glory is not always as glorious as human beings expect it.

If God’s glory can be a complicated affair, then perhaps Warfield is wrong to draw the contrast between Lutheranism and Reformed Protestantism the way he does. If Lutherans actually believe in God’s glory but are also aware that it comes in surprising ways, then maybe Reformed Protestants need to learn a thing or two about how to be truly theocentric. The Lutheran theology of the cross could teach Reformed Protestants a measure of humility in their self-ascribed ability to locate God’s glory in every nook and cranny of the created order. Reformed might also consider that Lutherans understand better than Reformed triumphalists and experimental Calvinists that God’s glory is nowhere more on display, at least in this world, in the justification of sinners. After all, if man is the crown jewel of the created order and if Christ took on human form to save fallen sinners, then contra Warfield, we may not need to go much beyond justification and man’s salvation in seeing the glory of God.

If this is so, then Reformed Protestants may need to be content with the glory that is revealed in the cross and the salvation it yields instead of yielding to the temptation to find God’s glory in human powers of discernment. If Reformed Protestants followed the lead of Lutherans more, we might be spared many of those neo-Calvinist efforts to show the “Christian” meaning of calculus, Shakespeare, or Dutch history.

So while the game of saying that Reformed highlight God’s glory and Lutherans stop with justification sounds theocentric, it may turn out to be an unintended example of anthropocentricity in which believers try to prove their own godliness by discovering God’s glory through forced interpretations of general and special revelation. Perhaps Lutherans are the truly biblical ones who rest content with the glory that God has revealed in the salvation accomplished by Christ for weak and poor sinners. What could be more glorious than that!

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • inexile

    I’m curious how the deeper search for the ‘whence of faith’ enhances the Christian life or furthers our worship of God. I smell a theology of glory that is not satisfied with the incarnation. Lutherans want to focus on Christ crucified FOR ME. Reformed want to get past all of that and focus on the glory of God. They miss the point that the glory of God is only seen in the blood and death of the cross. I’m afraid that the deeper search for the glory of God necessarily leads to the doing of theology from the unrevealed will of God.

  • inexile

    I’m curious how the deeper search for the ‘whence of faith’ enhances the Christian life or furthers our worship of God. I smell a theology of glory that is not satisfied with the incarnation. Lutherans want to focus on Christ crucified FOR ME. Reformed want to get past all of that and focus on the glory of God. They miss the point that the glory of God is only seen in the blood and death of the cross. I’m afraid that the deeper search for the glory of God necessarily leads to the doing of theology from the unrevealed will of God.

  • Michael Lynch

    I can’t pretend I completly understand the debate, but since a debate has been posted I’d like to address and issue that’s been on my mind. First, I’d just like to say I’m a Calvinist and I greatly appreciate your work Dr. Veith.

    My issue. I have a friend who recently converted to Eastern Orthodoxy. His chief argument seems to be that they existed before Roman Catholicism and the Reformation and they can trace their Christian heritage back to the Apostles. Included in that heritage are doctrine and practice which they would say has gone unchanged since the early church fathers.

    How should Reformed theologians (I’m including Lutherans in that)respond to this? One of my friend’s arguments is that the “evangelical” church is so splintered and there are som many differences how can they all share in the same Holy Spirit? Is the Holy Spirit divided? I am sympathetci to his argument and I understand the appeal of converting to a faith with the history of the EO. If anyone knows of any good resources on this subject I would greatly appreciate letting me know.

    I apologize if this is way off the topic. But I wonder how significant the argument of the post is and it’s debates like this that help me understand the appeal of the EO. Do we need something else to disagree over? I’m not even sure what the disagreement is. Do not Reformed and Lutheran value both God’s glory and justification? Ultimately, I would have to say yes.

  • Michael Lynch

    I can’t pretend I completly understand the debate, but since a debate has been posted I’d like to address and issue that’s been on my mind. First, I’d just like to say I’m a Calvinist and I greatly appreciate your work Dr. Veith.

    My issue. I have a friend who recently converted to Eastern Orthodoxy. His chief argument seems to be that they existed before Roman Catholicism and the Reformation and they can trace their Christian heritage back to the Apostles. Included in that heritage are doctrine and practice which they would say has gone unchanged since the early church fathers.

    How should Reformed theologians (I’m including Lutherans in that)respond to this? One of my friend’s arguments is that the “evangelical” church is so splintered and there are som many differences how can they all share in the same Holy Spirit? Is the Holy Spirit divided? I am sympathetci to his argument and I understand the appeal of converting to a faith with the history of the EO. If anyone knows of any good resources on this subject I would greatly appreciate letting me know.

    I apologize if this is way off the topic. But I wonder how significant the argument of the post is and it’s debates like this that help me understand the appeal of the EO. Do we need something else to disagree over? I’m not even sure what the disagreement is. Do not Reformed and Lutheran value both God’s glory and justification? Ultimately, I would have to say yes.

  • larry

    Religious speculation, “while Calvinism penetrates to its causes, and places faith in its due relation to the other products of God’s activity looking to the salvation of man.”

    And

    “Perhaps Lutherans are the truly biblical ones who rest content with the glory that God has revealed in the salvation accomplished by Christ for weak and poor sinners. What could be more glorious than that!”

    Bingo!

    Inexile, you are right on the money as they say. And that kind of “deeper search for whence of faith’…ad nausem, simply reeks of the gnosticism (and/or neoplatonism) that Calvinism ultimately is and is displayed PRECISELY at and on the issue of the Sacraments, particular the sacrament of the altar. Luther predicted this post Marburg WELL before Calvin became full bloom and the extension of Calvin’s and Zwingli’s theology increasing unravels through time until its gnosticism is so grossly revealed that even a child can pick up on it.

    Being an ex-Mason this language literally JUMPS of the page to one, “searching for the DEEPER” things. And in reality the SEARCHING term itself reveals an unhappiness with that which was REVEALED alone to us. It’s one thing SAVOR the revelation of Christ for us, SAVOR baptist, SAVOR the Lord’s Supper, another to go gnostically SEARCHING in the DEPTHS for DEEPER things.

    Warfield’s not alone on this check Herman Bavinck and all the gnosis sounding “deeper search” statements, “The difference seems to be conveyed best by saying that the Reformed
    Christian thinks theologically, the Lutheran anthropologically. The Reformed person is not content with an exclusively historical stance but raises his sights to the idea, the eternal decree of God. By
    contrast, the Lutheran takes his position in the midst of the history of redemption and feels no need to enter more deeply into the counsel of God. For the Reformed, therefore, election is the heart of the
    church; for Lutherans, justification is the article by which the church stands or falls. Among the former the primary question is: How is the glory of God advanced? Among the latter it is: How does a human
    get saved? The struggle of the former is above all paganism- idolatry; that of the latter against Judaism- works righteousness. The Reformed person does not rest until he has traced all things retrospectively to
    the divine decree, tracking down the ‘wherefore’ of things, and has prospectively made all things subservient to the glory of God; the Lutheran is content with the ‘that ‘and enjoys the salvation in which
    he is, by faith, a participant. From this difference in principle, the dogmatic controversies between them (with respect to the image of God, original sin, the person of Christ, the order of salvation, the
    sacraments, church government, ethics, etc.) can be easily explained.” -Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, vol. 1 p. 177

    Luther would say, what is a reformed distinctive, is in fact original sin, this searching the “deeper things”. In fact in his commentary on the fall with Eve he comments the cleverness and craftiness of the devil not immediately pointing men to the fruit but first putting faith on trial by unhinging faith from the Word, “hath God really said”. Thus, faith without the Word, now, must inwardly curve (original sin) and in vain try to search out and seek for itself being so no longer able to nakedly trust the Word ALONE…death thus comes.

    Thus, in totality and sum total what the Reformed preach is not religion of the Cross but fallen religion with “sprinkles” of Christian things here, there and yonder. In fact they have to return to Luther to even remotely get their Gospel bearings again. Lutherans who have lost their bearings don’t run to Calvin to get their Gospel bearings again, they too return to Luther and the Confessions.

  • larry

    Religious speculation, “while Calvinism penetrates to its causes, and places faith in its due relation to the other products of God’s activity looking to the salvation of man.”

    And

    “Perhaps Lutherans are the truly biblical ones who rest content with the glory that God has revealed in the salvation accomplished by Christ for weak and poor sinners. What could be more glorious than that!”

    Bingo!

    Inexile, you are right on the money as they say. And that kind of “deeper search for whence of faith’…ad nausem, simply reeks of the gnosticism (and/or neoplatonism) that Calvinism ultimately is and is displayed PRECISELY at and on the issue of the Sacraments, particular the sacrament of the altar. Luther predicted this post Marburg WELL before Calvin became full bloom and the extension of Calvin’s and Zwingli’s theology increasing unravels through time until its gnosticism is so grossly revealed that even a child can pick up on it.

    Being an ex-Mason this language literally JUMPS of the page to one, “searching for the DEEPER” things. And in reality the SEARCHING term itself reveals an unhappiness with that which was REVEALED alone to us. It’s one thing SAVOR the revelation of Christ for us, SAVOR baptist, SAVOR the Lord’s Supper, another to go gnostically SEARCHING in the DEPTHS for DEEPER things.

    Warfield’s not alone on this check Herman Bavinck and all the gnosis sounding “deeper search” statements, “The difference seems to be conveyed best by saying that the Reformed
    Christian thinks theologically, the Lutheran anthropologically. The Reformed person is not content with an exclusively historical stance but raises his sights to the idea, the eternal decree of God. By
    contrast, the Lutheran takes his position in the midst of the history of redemption and feels no need to enter more deeply into the counsel of God. For the Reformed, therefore, election is the heart of the
    church; for Lutherans, justification is the article by which the church stands or falls. Among the former the primary question is: How is the glory of God advanced? Among the latter it is: How does a human
    get saved? The struggle of the former is above all paganism- idolatry; that of the latter against Judaism- works righteousness. The Reformed person does not rest until he has traced all things retrospectively to
    the divine decree, tracking down the ‘wherefore’ of things, and has prospectively made all things subservient to the glory of God; the Lutheran is content with the ‘that ‘and enjoys the salvation in which
    he is, by faith, a participant. From this difference in principle, the dogmatic controversies between them (with respect to the image of God, original sin, the person of Christ, the order of salvation, the
    sacraments, church government, ethics, etc.) can be easily explained.” -Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, vol. 1 p. 177

    Luther would say, what is a reformed distinctive, is in fact original sin, this searching the “deeper things”. In fact in his commentary on the fall with Eve he comments the cleverness and craftiness of the devil not immediately pointing men to the fruit but first putting faith on trial by unhinging faith from the Word, “hath God really said”. Thus, faith without the Word, now, must inwardly curve (original sin) and in vain try to search out and seek for itself being so no longer able to nakedly trust the Word ALONE…death thus comes.

    Thus, in totality and sum total what the Reformed preach is not religion of the Cross but fallen religion with “sprinkles” of Christian things here, there and yonder. In fact they have to return to Luther to even remotely get their Gospel bearings again. Lutherans who have lost their bearings don’t run to Calvin to get their Gospel bearings again, they too return to Luther and the Confessions.

  • larry

    The encouraging thing is that Reformed theologians like Dr. Hart, Dr. Horton, et. al. and others are leaning back toward Luther. Now they can expect to not be well received by other Reformed theologians and excoriated as “crypto-Lutherans” for it. And they can expect a “drain” of reformed laymen, eventually, into confessional Orthodox (Lutheranism), a good thing. When their ideas on the sacraments start sounding like a little too much is actually there in that sign, then the other Reformed, especially those of the Owenian and Baptist strains, will reject them and rebuke them.

    E.g. I very good friend of mine who is a Baptist that hails a lot of Lutheran doctrine, as much as one can in that setting was baptizing a couple of folks a year ago. During the “liturgy” he didn’t go the normal Baptist route and lift on high the person’s confession of faith being the basis of the baptism, but that God actually gives something, forgiveness in this baptism.

    Well, the Sanhedrin descended upon him after the service for that and said, he was telling me, “That is not Baptist.” During his recollection of this to me I said, “They are right you realize.” Almost Lutheran but he just doesn’t want to admit it or come all the way. That’s a STRONG pull to those that grew up and remained within a heterodoxy all their lives.

    The devil has done his job well once he began loosing the full formerly undisclosed deception under Rome during Luther’s reformation. All the devil really did was to take the same false Roman theology, denude it of its externals, redress it under Zwinglian/Calvinistic religion and then send it back out to capture folks. So if something “looks” or “smells” RC its denied out right. I.e. he kept the sacraments up in the Gnostic air and ineffectual.

    An epiphany for me, once, as a Baptist was that Roman Catholics no more trust their baptism then do Baptist. That was an eye opener to me because as a Baptist, and Reformed, one is taught that that is the problem, that RCs trust in their baptism “we don’t”. But yet I began to see from RC friends that they were running around doing church yard duties for fruit just like we were. In fact, one of the GREAT ironies of my early journey was in our hometown FBC. The ONLY person that re-walked that aisle one more time as much or more than I did, was an ex-RC turned Baptist friend of mine. I watched him go up there with the same anxiousness that I did about every other Sunday.

  • larry

    The encouraging thing is that Reformed theologians like Dr. Hart, Dr. Horton, et. al. and others are leaning back toward Luther. Now they can expect to not be well received by other Reformed theologians and excoriated as “crypto-Lutherans” for it. And they can expect a “drain” of reformed laymen, eventually, into confessional Orthodox (Lutheranism), a good thing. When their ideas on the sacraments start sounding like a little too much is actually there in that sign, then the other Reformed, especially those of the Owenian and Baptist strains, will reject them and rebuke them.

    E.g. I very good friend of mine who is a Baptist that hails a lot of Lutheran doctrine, as much as one can in that setting was baptizing a couple of folks a year ago. During the “liturgy” he didn’t go the normal Baptist route and lift on high the person’s confession of faith being the basis of the baptism, but that God actually gives something, forgiveness in this baptism.

    Well, the Sanhedrin descended upon him after the service for that and said, he was telling me, “That is not Baptist.” During his recollection of this to me I said, “They are right you realize.” Almost Lutheran but he just doesn’t want to admit it or come all the way. That’s a STRONG pull to those that grew up and remained within a heterodoxy all their lives.

    The devil has done his job well once he began loosing the full formerly undisclosed deception under Rome during Luther’s reformation. All the devil really did was to take the same false Roman theology, denude it of its externals, redress it under Zwinglian/Calvinistic religion and then send it back out to capture folks. So if something “looks” or “smells” RC its denied out right. I.e. he kept the sacraments up in the Gnostic air and ineffectual.

    An epiphany for me, once, as a Baptist was that Roman Catholics no more trust their baptism then do Baptist. That was an eye opener to me because as a Baptist, and Reformed, one is taught that that is the problem, that RCs trust in their baptism “we don’t”. But yet I began to see from RC friends that they were running around doing church yard duties for fruit just like we were. In fact, one of the GREAT ironies of my early journey was in our hometown FBC. The ONLY person that re-walked that aisle one more time as much or more than I did, was an ex-RC turned Baptist friend of mine. I watched him go up there with the same anxiousness that I did about every other Sunday.

  • http://snafman.blogspot.com Snafu

    Hart is like all the Calvinists around there:

    Luther climbs a mountain and carries a little Calvinist with him in his rucksack. “Look, we got to the top of the mountain! Gott sei Dank!”, says Luther. “Trés bien! Wouldn’t it be cool to run back down?”, says the Calvinist and happily runs away.

    Luther is left astounded standing on the mountain.

  • http://snafman.blogspot.com Snafu

    Hart is like all the Calvinists around there:

    Luther climbs a mountain and carries a little Calvinist with him in his rucksack. “Look, we got to the top of the mountain! Gott sei Dank!”, says Luther. “Trés bien! Wouldn’t it be cool to run back down?”, says the Calvinist and happily runs away.

    Luther is left astounded standing on the mountain.

  • http://snafman.blogspot.com Snafu

    By this I mean that an essential part of the Lutheran justification by faith is NOT to go where Hart says the Calvinists go after that.

  • http://snafman.blogspot.com Snafu

    By this I mean that an essential part of the Lutheran justification by faith is NOT to go where Hart says the Calvinists go after that.

  • Bart

    This is why I think Hart et al. will never be content as Presbyterians.

    @inexile: I think your comment regarding the Incarnation is an important key to the whole discussion. Christians have been given the peace of God in the Sacraments. However, what happens when Real Presence of some physical sort is removed? We try to find the peace of God somewhere else. I think the Calvinists (and their nephews, the Baptists) do that. I think this has led to the whole host of efforts ranging from Kuyper to radical postmillenialism.

  • Bart

    This is why I think Hart et al. will never be content as Presbyterians.

    @inexile: I think your comment regarding the Incarnation is an important key to the whole discussion. Christians have been given the peace of God in the Sacraments. However, what happens when Real Presence of some physical sort is removed? We try to find the peace of God somewhere else. I think the Calvinists (and their nephews, the Baptists) do that. I think this has led to the whole host of efforts ranging from Kuyper to radical postmillenialism.

  • Tom Hering

    Michael Lynch @ 2, there are arguments within in the Eastern Orthodox Church, as well as rejection of one branch by another. See here for starters.

  • Tom Hering

    Michael Lynch @ 2, there are arguments within in the Eastern Orthodox Church, as well as rejection of one branch by another. See here for starters.

  • Michael Lynch

    Thanks, Tom.

  • Michael Lynch

    Thanks, Tom.

  • Tom Hering

    You’re welcome, Michael. The Eastern Orthodox disagree with both Calvinists and Lutherans. You could ask your friend how that is any different from Calvinists and Lutherans disagreeing with one another. ;-)

  • Tom Hering

    You’re welcome, Michael. The Eastern Orthodox disagree with both Calvinists and Lutherans. You could ask your friend how that is any different from Calvinists and Lutherans disagreeing with one another. ;-)

  • Michael Lynch

    Tom. My friend made it pretty clear that the EO consider themselves the true church. This is the issue that I believe the church at large may need to address. What about their Christian heritage? They believe it’s possible that one can be saved outside of the EO, but all other denominations are essentially apostate. I think we are called heterodox. He even is questioning his own salvation prior to conversion to EO.

  • Michael Lynch

    Tom. My friend made it pretty clear that the EO consider themselves the true church. This is the issue that I believe the church at large may need to address. What about their Christian heritage? They believe it’s possible that one can be saved outside of the EO, but all other denominations are essentially apostate. I think we are called heterodox. He even is questioning his own salvation prior to conversion to EO.

  • larry

    Bart,

    This, “We try to find the peace of God somewhere else,” nails it. That call it what you will, pro me, for me, how do I know is intrinsic to the need of fallen man PER man who has lost God and is alienated. Thus, the RC that seeks out miracles and Mary apparitions, the Pentecostal that seeks out X spirit filling experience, the Arminian that seeks out putting to work his/her faith to work to “make sure”, the Calvinist that seeks out X fruit proves I believe, and the pagan that seeks X sign of God all show two things: First the positive, fallen men need and must have a “for me”, that God has saved them, not just His will but actually given the gift. The negative, short of where the Word and Sacraments have said this is and happens, men will then seek out a (not “THE”) pro me in something else; a sign, tongues, apparitions, experiences, changed life, fruit…etc…

    If one “unhinges” (doctrinally) the pro me of the Gospel, removes absolution, changes baptism, alters the Lord’s Supper (the literally means of grace), then one is forced to seek a new, albeit false (Wordless) “pro me” which in turn leads to idolatry. E.g. Luther points out that basing baptism on faith is in fact idolatry and against the first commandment, and second and third.

    Gnosticism wishes to escape earthly means as to “beneath God”, yet it never really does, it just replaces them with false means every single time.

    Here’s a list of actual professions/confessions I ran into over and over again among those in baptistic/reformed circles when posed with the question “how do you KNOW YOU are saved”, I know because I was desperately searching this out and hung on every word of testimony I could so I could find out for myself, these are the “pro me’s” invented:

    1. “I got saved and you just know that you know that you know, (looking to the affirming crowd) you know what I mean.” (No I’m not kidding on this one)
    2. “God works different with everyone, but God gave me a supernatural revelation that I was saved” (from a Calvinistic SB theologian professor at Southern)
    3. “I just know that I believe”
    4. “You can feel it in your heart” (rather Mormonesque)
    5. “I know I was saved because I was once ___________(fill in the blank with bad things), but the Lord took that away from me.” (a pretty standard one is SB circles)
    6. “I prayed the prayer” or “I walked the aisle”.
    7. “I gave all my heart over to Jesus”
    8. “I did what the rich young ruler didn’t” (no kidding, and from a SB Calvinistic pastor no less)

    Along side of these you will hear, “You can’t trust baptism”, “baptism doesn’t mean anything”, “baptism doesn’t do anything”.

    When a family member who is baptist and doesn’t have their child baptized was asked, “Well how do you teach them the Lord’s prayer and to say, “Our Father….” How do you do that to your unbaptized, presumably heathen, child? Their response? “Well you can’t trust that (the Lord’s Prayer), it doesn’t mean anything.”

    Think about that for a minute, you say “sola Scriptura”, the “bible only”, the Word of God only and you just said – of the very prayer that the incarnate Son of God with His fleshly lips said, “Pray like this…Our Father…” THE WORD WORDING THE WORD to us – you can’t trust that and it doesn’t mean anything.

    That’s a far cry from, “with these words GOD tenderly invites us to believe that He is our true Father and we are His true children, so that with all boldness and confidence and assurance we may come and ask of Him as dear children ask their dear father”.

  • larry

    Bart,

    This, “We try to find the peace of God somewhere else,” nails it. That call it what you will, pro me, for me, how do I know is intrinsic to the need of fallen man PER man who has lost God and is alienated. Thus, the RC that seeks out miracles and Mary apparitions, the Pentecostal that seeks out X spirit filling experience, the Arminian that seeks out putting to work his/her faith to work to “make sure”, the Calvinist that seeks out X fruit proves I believe, and the pagan that seeks X sign of God all show two things: First the positive, fallen men need and must have a “for me”, that God has saved them, not just His will but actually given the gift. The negative, short of where the Word and Sacraments have said this is and happens, men will then seek out a (not “THE”) pro me in something else; a sign, tongues, apparitions, experiences, changed life, fruit…etc…

    If one “unhinges” (doctrinally) the pro me of the Gospel, removes absolution, changes baptism, alters the Lord’s Supper (the literally means of grace), then one is forced to seek a new, albeit false (Wordless) “pro me” which in turn leads to idolatry. E.g. Luther points out that basing baptism on faith is in fact idolatry and against the first commandment, and second and third.

    Gnosticism wishes to escape earthly means as to “beneath God”, yet it never really does, it just replaces them with false means every single time.

    Here’s a list of actual professions/confessions I ran into over and over again among those in baptistic/reformed circles when posed with the question “how do you KNOW YOU are saved”, I know because I was desperately searching this out and hung on every word of testimony I could so I could find out for myself, these are the “pro me’s” invented:

    1. “I got saved and you just know that you know that you know, (looking to the affirming crowd) you know what I mean.” (No I’m not kidding on this one)
    2. “God works different with everyone, but God gave me a supernatural revelation that I was saved” (from a Calvinistic SB theologian professor at Southern)
    3. “I just know that I believe”
    4. “You can feel it in your heart” (rather Mormonesque)
    5. “I know I was saved because I was once ___________(fill in the blank with bad things), but the Lord took that away from me.” (a pretty standard one is SB circles)
    6. “I prayed the prayer” or “I walked the aisle”.
    7. “I gave all my heart over to Jesus”
    8. “I did what the rich young ruler didn’t” (no kidding, and from a SB Calvinistic pastor no less)

    Along side of these you will hear, “You can’t trust baptism”, “baptism doesn’t mean anything”, “baptism doesn’t do anything”.

    When a family member who is baptist and doesn’t have their child baptized was asked, “Well how do you teach them the Lord’s prayer and to say, “Our Father….” How do you do that to your unbaptized, presumably heathen, child? Their response? “Well you can’t trust that (the Lord’s Prayer), it doesn’t mean anything.”

    Think about that for a minute, you say “sola Scriptura”, the “bible only”, the Word of God only and you just said – of the very prayer that the incarnate Son of God with His fleshly lips said, “Pray like this…Our Father…” THE WORD WORDING THE WORD to us – you can’t trust that and it doesn’t mean anything.

    That’s a far cry from, “with these words GOD tenderly invites us to believe that He is our true Father and we are His true children, so that with all boldness and confidence and assurance we may come and ask of Him as dear children ask their dear father”.

  • Tom Hering

    Michael, ask your friend what makes the True Church true. Is it the claim to apostolic succession, or is it the Truth of the Word of God – that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone? What is the True Church if not the sum total of all those, in all denominations, who put their trust in Christ, and Christ alone? Isn’t Christianity one from God’s perspective?

  • Tom Hering

    Michael, ask your friend what makes the True Church true. Is it the claim to apostolic succession, or is it the Truth of the Word of God – that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone? What is the True Church if not the sum total of all those, in all denominations, who put their trust in Christ, and Christ alone? Isn’t Christianity one from God’s perspective?

  • WebMonk

    Michael, the EO (I’ve come to learn, though not fully understand) have some different conceptions of what “the true church” is. It’s not the RCC definition, and it’s not the various Protestant views saying they have the best/true understanding of Christ.

    The EO claim of being the true church is more of a heritage concept than that of the RCC or Protestant views. So, when an EO says they are the “true church” they don’t mean it to say that other churches are not valid churches (which is sort of what the RCC view communicates) and it doesn’t mean that all the other churches have erroneous views (which is what most Protestant churches communicate).

    Their concept of being the “true church” is that they have a continual, unbroken practice and heritage back to the earliest churches. (and that involves and means a lot more than the standard American conception appreciates)

    I’m not sure that view is something that ” the church at large may need to address”, as you seem to think.

    (As an aside, it would probably be best to learn about EO from a non-recent convert and to take the statements of a recent convert with a bit of salt. I thought I knew what EO views were from discussions with some EO converts. Then I met and started talking with a lifelong EO priest. It was night-and-day differences. I still don’t understand it well, but I’ve learned enough to recognize some of the fundamentally different approaches and meanings that the traditional EO church has, and realize I don’t always understand them correctly with my externally normed concepts.)

  • WebMonk

    Michael, the EO (I’ve come to learn, though not fully understand) have some different conceptions of what “the true church” is. It’s not the RCC definition, and it’s not the various Protestant views saying they have the best/true understanding of Christ.

    The EO claim of being the true church is more of a heritage concept than that of the RCC or Protestant views. So, when an EO says they are the “true church” they don’t mean it to say that other churches are not valid churches (which is sort of what the RCC view communicates) and it doesn’t mean that all the other churches have erroneous views (which is what most Protestant churches communicate).

    Their concept of being the “true church” is that they have a continual, unbroken practice and heritage back to the earliest churches. (and that involves and means a lot more than the standard American conception appreciates)

    I’m not sure that view is something that ” the church at large may need to address”, as you seem to think.

    (As an aside, it would probably be best to learn about EO from a non-recent convert and to take the statements of a recent convert with a bit of salt. I thought I knew what EO views were from discussions with some EO converts. Then I met and started talking with a lifelong EO priest. It was night-and-day differences. I still don’t understand it well, but I’ve learned enough to recognize some of the fundamentally different approaches and meanings that the traditional EO church has, and realize I don’t always understand them correctly with my externally normed concepts.)

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    It’s interesting that Hart is not just Calvinist, but (see Baylyblog for details) also subscribes to a portion of “two kingdoms” theology, which the Baylys describe as “radial 2 kingdoms” or R2K.

    That said, it’s interesting to me (a Baptist with not much of a dog in this fight) how it’s being debated; it appears to be on the basis of the effects of the theology, not on whether it’s true with regards to the Scriptures. Sentio ergo sum, more or less. Gary North uses the same argument against dispensationalism; “well, this predicts such and such, and the horror of it!”, to paraphrase. Not asked by North is whether it is….true in light of the Scriptures.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    It’s interesting that Hart is not just Calvinist, but (see Baylyblog for details) also subscribes to a portion of “two kingdoms” theology, which the Baylys describe as “radial 2 kingdoms” or R2K.

    That said, it’s interesting to me (a Baptist with not much of a dog in this fight) how it’s being debated; it appears to be on the basis of the effects of the theology, not on whether it’s true with regards to the Scriptures. Sentio ergo sum, more or less. Gary North uses the same argument against dispensationalism; “well, this predicts such and such, and the horror of it!”, to paraphrase. Not asked by North is whether it is….true in light of the Scriptures.

  • katy

    I read this last week on Old Life Theology Society, and it’s just as concise and true a second read around. I have a hard time expressing/pinpointing sometimes the the chasm between Lutheran and Reformed theology, because there are so many nuances, rabbit trails, preconceived notions (and that’s just between the confessional, conservative strains!). But Hart communicates well what I have felt since I first converted to Lutheranism (and married into a Reformed Baptist family)

    I, for one, am glad there are blogs like OLTS and Confessional Outhouse.

  • katy

    I read this last week on Old Life Theology Society, and it’s just as concise and true a second read around. I have a hard time expressing/pinpointing sometimes the the chasm between Lutheran and Reformed theology, because there are so many nuances, rabbit trails, preconceived notions (and that’s just between the confessional, conservative strains!). But Hart communicates well what I have felt since I first converted to Lutheranism (and married into a Reformed Baptist family)

    I, for one, am glad there are blogs like OLTS and Confessional Outhouse.

  • WebMonk

    And in addition to my @14. You should probably also take my explanation of the EO concept of the “true church” with a grain of salt too. I’m pretty sure Fr. Estephan wouldn’t choke (too much! :-) ) at what I wrote, but that’s about all the reassurance I can give that I’m providing an accurate summary of their view.

  • WebMonk

    And in addition to my @14. You should probably also take my explanation of the EO concept of the “true church” with a grain of salt too. I’m pretty sure Fr. Estephan wouldn’t choke (too much! :-) ) at what I wrote, but that’s about all the reassurance I can give that I’m providing an accurate summary of their view.

  • http://www.cyberbrethren.com Rev. Paul T. McCain

    Over the years, I’ve come to recognize that the most fundamental and fatal flaw in Calvinism is that it really does think that “God’s glory” or as they often put it, “His sovereignty” is his chief and most important characteristic and attribute and more than often than not they then move on to postulate that it is our duty to guard that glory or safeguard it. It is therefore not surprising that in much Calvinist theological discussion it is possible for them to go on for pages and not once mention Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

    Calvinism is a continuation of the rationalism that developed in the Middle Ages and is truly the heir of that theological tradition.

    It offends Calvinists to hear this, but because they are so caught up in “God’s glory” they squeeze out the chief attribute of God: which is mercy and loving kindness. Very simply put, they fail to realize that, as Scripture teaches, “God is love” … not “God is glory”

  • http://www.cyberbrethren.com Rev. Paul T. McCain

    Over the years, I’ve come to recognize that the most fundamental and fatal flaw in Calvinism is that it really does think that “God’s glory” or as they often put it, “His sovereignty” is his chief and most important characteristic and attribute and more than often than not they then move on to postulate that it is our duty to guard that glory or safeguard it. It is therefore not surprising that in much Calvinist theological discussion it is possible for them to go on for pages and not once mention Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

    Calvinism is a continuation of the rationalism that developed in the Middle Ages and is truly the heir of that theological tradition.

    It offends Calvinists to hear this, but because they are so caught up in “God’s glory” they squeeze out the chief attribute of God: which is mercy and loving kindness. Very simply put, they fail to realize that, as Scripture teaches, “God is love” … not “God is glory”

  • larry

    That is exactly right, the rationalism. It’s not about the effects but the rationalism that asserts itself above the Word, i.e. what scripture says.

    As painful as it is the Lord’s Supper is the perfect example. No one actually rejects Jesus’ words because they are confusing, they quiet simple and crystal clear. One must ask one’s self why one, rejects (via re-interpretation of His Words), why one does not take them at their word. Well, enter the philosophy and rational speculation, “the finite cannot contain the infinite”. Right there, plain, simple and obvious is eisogetical tool over top of ‘what scripture actually says’.

    Do these words match, the Zwinglian/Calvinistic/baptistic words of what they say Jesus is saying?

    Zwinglian/Calvinistic/baptistic: “This represents My body….”, “This is a sign/symbol/representation of My body”, “This is not My body”.

    What Jesus/Scripture says: “This is My body…”

    Do those match? No. Why not? “the finite cannot contain the infinite”. So that philosophical axiom ‘takes the lead’, i.e. over top of Scripture, i.e. man’s word over God’s Word. But that’s not Scripture, that’s philosophy, the wisdom of this world. And so it takes the lead and then reads INTO the Scripture telling Scripture what it is saying (the above examples).

    Does this then have other heretical implications? Well yes, Jesus body is now in heaven locked up seated on the right hand of God. What then is the right hand of God? Well it depends if “the finite cannot contain the infinite” is one’s worldly wisdom and philosophy fundamentally leading and telling Scripture what Scripture says, or if JUST Scripture (true sola scriptura) is speaking point blank to you, as is. If the former, then one must develop another heresy, heresy spawns heresy, about what is God’s right hand and where Jesus’ body. This then spawns yet another heresy about the two nature, Nestitorianism, in which the attributes are not communicated. This then spawns another heresy about Jesus actually incarnation and how He suffered and died and that then directly effects faith, attacks it, kills it. It then spawns other heresies about creation and evolution. And this goes on and on and on. (Luther by the way predicted this right after Marburg).

    The same rationalization occurs concerning the Trinity, how can three be different but the same (= the finite cannot contain the infinite). The same rationalization occurs over justification, “how then is one actively righteous before God without actually becoming, even imperfectly, righteous by at least exercising themselves toward righteousness (Aristotle). The same rationalization occurs over baptism, as Spurgeon blasphemed once, “how a little bit of water do all this”. Luther answers, “not just any water but water with the Word in, with and under it” (paraphrasing). Not watered Word, but WORDED water! Why not just ask, “how can preaching the Gospel in sound waves do such great things?”

    Rationalization, “hath God really said”, “the finite cannot contain the infinite”, “how can water do such things”, “how can there be three in one”, “how can the death of the Son of God make me righteous who never is”, “how can things be created ex nihilo”. See every single article of faith is denied by this same principle rationalization, the tripping stone, the Cross, the foolishness of God.

    In fact the revelation of the Cross, suffering, the nothingness, is entirely against the Calvinist sovereignty. For God did not choose to win by power but by suffering and weakness. This is what has thrown the religious aspirations of mankind ever since the fall of man.

  • larry

    That is exactly right, the rationalism. It’s not about the effects but the rationalism that asserts itself above the Word, i.e. what scripture says.

    As painful as it is the Lord’s Supper is the perfect example. No one actually rejects Jesus’ words because they are confusing, they quiet simple and crystal clear. One must ask one’s self why one, rejects (via re-interpretation of His Words), why one does not take them at their word. Well, enter the philosophy and rational speculation, “the finite cannot contain the infinite”. Right there, plain, simple and obvious is eisogetical tool over top of ‘what scripture actually says’.

    Do these words match, the Zwinglian/Calvinistic/baptistic words of what they say Jesus is saying?

    Zwinglian/Calvinistic/baptistic: “This represents My body….”, “This is a sign/symbol/representation of My body”, “This is not My body”.

    What Jesus/Scripture says: “This is My body…”

    Do those match? No. Why not? “the finite cannot contain the infinite”. So that philosophical axiom ‘takes the lead’, i.e. over top of Scripture, i.e. man’s word over God’s Word. But that’s not Scripture, that’s philosophy, the wisdom of this world. And so it takes the lead and then reads INTO the Scripture telling Scripture what it is saying (the above examples).

    Does this then have other heretical implications? Well yes, Jesus body is now in heaven locked up seated on the right hand of God. What then is the right hand of God? Well it depends if “the finite cannot contain the infinite” is one’s worldly wisdom and philosophy fundamentally leading and telling Scripture what Scripture says, or if JUST Scripture (true sola scriptura) is speaking point blank to you, as is. If the former, then one must develop another heresy, heresy spawns heresy, about what is God’s right hand and where Jesus’ body. This then spawns yet another heresy about the two nature, Nestitorianism, in which the attributes are not communicated. This then spawns another heresy about Jesus actually incarnation and how He suffered and died and that then directly effects faith, attacks it, kills it. It then spawns other heresies about creation and evolution. And this goes on and on and on. (Luther by the way predicted this right after Marburg).

    The same rationalization occurs concerning the Trinity, how can three be different but the same (= the finite cannot contain the infinite). The same rationalization occurs over justification, “how then is one actively righteous before God without actually becoming, even imperfectly, righteous by at least exercising themselves toward righteousness (Aristotle). The same rationalization occurs over baptism, as Spurgeon blasphemed once, “how a little bit of water do all this”. Luther answers, “not just any water but water with the Word in, with and under it” (paraphrasing). Not watered Word, but WORDED water! Why not just ask, “how can preaching the Gospel in sound waves do such great things?”

    Rationalization, “hath God really said”, “the finite cannot contain the infinite”, “how can water do such things”, “how can there be three in one”, “how can the death of the Son of God make me righteous who never is”, “how can things be created ex nihilo”. See every single article of faith is denied by this same principle rationalization, the tripping stone, the Cross, the foolishness of God.

    In fact the revelation of the Cross, suffering, the nothingness, is entirely against the Calvinist sovereignty. For God did not choose to win by power but by suffering and weakness. This is what has thrown the religious aspirations of mankind ever since the fall of man.

  • http://www.cyberbrethren.com Rev. Paul T. McCain

    I’ve also discovered that one of the best ways to garner scads of comments on your blog site is by posting something discussing the difference between Calvinism and Lutheranism!

    The other sad, but interesting, thing is that whenever I press a true “five point” Calvinist on how they know they are among the elect, they can never answer in any other way than by pointing to something within themselves for assurance. And that is precisely the problem with Calvinism, and ironically, the very same problem with Romanism.

  • http://www.cyberbrethren.com Rev. Paul T. McCain

    I’ve also discovered that one of the best ways to garner scads of comments on your blog site is by posting something discussing the difference between Calvinism and Lutheranism!

    The other sad, but interesting, thing is that whenever I press a true “five point” Calvinist on how they know they are among the elect, they can never answer in any other way than by pointing to something within themselves for assurance. And that is precisely the problem with Calvinism, and ironically, the very same problem with Romanism.

  • Austin

    My head is spinning. And I can’t help but wonder how much of this discussion is just a bunch of lobbing rocks from ivory towers. I don’t see these accusations against the reformed church reflecting what is actually happening ‘on the ground’. It is very possible that I lead a sheltered life – I can’t claim the same level of education or understanding as the rest of you. It would be a real benefit to us weaker brothers if you would all be cautious and constructive and supply a few more accessible references and examples if possible.
    There certainly are some differences between denominations, but are we not all ‘one Holy Catholic Church’? If a church operates more on the premise that these sheep need to be fed and has a focus on the gospel instead of such mind bending theological discussions are we not all pretty much on the same page?
    My next question is – these writings of Luther and Calvin were the beginnings of the Reformation. Where is the movement today? Have some of these ideas changed or evolved? Or are we just as vain and proud of our traditions?
    I’m trying to understand – please help.

  • Austin

    My head is spinning. And I can’t help but wonder how much of this discussion is just a bunch of lobbing rocks from ivory towers. I don’t see these accusations against the reformed church reflecting what is actually happening ‘on the ground’. It is very possible that I lead a sheltered life – I can’t claim the same level of education or understanding as the rest of you. It would be a real benefit to us weaker brothers if you would all be cautious and constructive and supply a few more accessible references and examples if possible.
    There certainly are some differences between denominations, but are we not all ‘one Holy Catholic Church’? If a church operates more on the premise that these sheep need to be fed and has a focus on the gospel instead of such mind bending theological discussions are we not all pretty much on the same page?
    My next question is – these writings of Luther and Calvin were the beginnings of the Reformation. Where is the movement today? Have some of these ideas changed or evolved? Or are we just as vain and proud of our traditions?
    I’m trying to understand – please help.

  • Jerry

    God protects us from Himself by hiding His glory. He reveals Himself only in the Word and Sacraments. God is everywhere, but if we look for Him in places in which He has not chosen to reveal Himself, we will not find the merciful God. That’s why it’s important.

  • Jerry

    God protects us from Himself by hiding His glory. He reveals Himself only in the Word and Sacraments. God is everywhere, but if we look for Him in places in which He has not chosen to reveal Himself, we will not find the merciful God. That’s why it’s important.

  • Michael Lynch

    Austin has kind of made a point I was going to say but was resisting. The type of dialogue above is one of the reasons my friend has converted to a faith that has virtually gone unchange for more than a thousand years. This type of argument is tiresome and I wonder if it’s edifying. As I said in my first post, I’m a Calvinist and some of what has been said here about our ideas on God’s glory isn’t quite fair. This aspect of Calvinism doesn’t diminish other doctines.

    By the way, thank you again to Tom and Webmonk.

  • Michael Lynch

    Austin has kind of made a point I was going to say but was resisting. The type of dialogue above is one of the reasons my friend has converted to a faith that has virtually gone unchange for more than a thousand years. This type of argument is tiresome and I wonder if it’s edifying. As I said in my first post, I’m a Calvinist and some of what has been said here about our ideas on God’s glory isn’t quite fair. This aspect of Calvinism doesn’t diminish other doctines.

    By the way, thank you again to Tom and Webmonk.

  • EGK

    Paul @20

    Yet, when we say that God Himself tells us we’re saved with those marvelous words “for you,” they accuse us of arrogance!

  • EGK

    Paul @20

    Yet, when we say that God Himself tells us we’re saved with those marvelous words “for you,” they accuse us of arrogance!

  • Paul

    I am not a pastor or have I been theologically trained as some of the respondents may be , but might I offer the the following for consideration. Let’s keep it simple here so every reader can understand. God is glorified because He is Love. Lutherans are unique because they, unlike the Calvinist, Catholics or any other religion, who teach there are strings attached for salvation, (what I must do) Lutherans trust only in the pure grace and mercy of God’s promises. (What God has done for us) Grace alone, Faith alone, Scripture along . For the just shall live by faith-by faith (Greek properly translated) What a shame it is then for the person that goes for instance to a Billy Graham crusade, hears a law and gospel sermon, but is lead to believe, now it is up to the person to make there own decision to come to faith. Does this bring Glory to God or to oneself? What if the person doesn’t come down to the arena floor ? Decision theology is contrary to Holy Scripture. We can not chose to come to faith any more than we could chose to be conceived in the first place. i.e. “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” and again Eph 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast” Yes, a person that comes to faith brings glory to God, in fact, Scripture reveals that even the angels in heaven rejoice. While the differences addressed above may seem like splitting hairs yet any false doctrine should be taken seriously. How ironic that a group of Christians who teach Glory over love, take away from glory when human reason overshadows the manifestation of God’s love? We are right with God because he made us right through the redemptive work carried out on the cross. Jesus died for my sins, your sins and even the sins of those who would reject him and hate him. We get that assurance through His Word, when we kneel at the alter, or witness the pouring out of God’s Grace through Holy Baptism. Either we believe God is truly present through His means thus glorify God by believing the truth of His Holy Word, or we allow human reason to dictate our thoughts. Rejecting God’s Word is really rejecting Christ. To say a person must reach an age of accountability before being baptized, to say that God is not truly present in the sacrament, to say that we must decide to come to faith, these false teachings strip God of his glory. They disregard the personal assurance found in these very means. Glory be to God for his amazing grace (Undeserved love)

  • Paul

    I am not a pastor or have I been theologically trained as some of the respondents may be , but might I offer the the following for consideration. Let’s keep it simple here so every reader can understand. God is glorified because He is Love. Lutherans are unique because they, unlike the Calvinist, Catholics or any other religion, who teach there are strings attached for salvation, (what I must do) Lutherans trust only in the pure grace and mercy of God’s promises. (What God has done for us) Grace alone, Faith alone, Scripture along . For the just shall live by faith-by faith (Greek properly translated) What a shame it is then for the person that goes for instance to a Billy Graham crusade, hears a law and gospel sermon, but is lead to believe, now it is up to the person to make there own decision to come to faith. Does this bring Glory to God or to oneself? What if the person doesn’t come down to the arena floor ? Decision theology is contrary to Holy Scripture. We can not chose to come to faith any more than we could chose to be conceived in the first place. i.e. “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” and again Eph 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast” Yes, a person that comes to faith brings glory to God, in fact, Scripture reveals that even the angels in heaven rejoice. While the differences addressed above may seem like splitting hairs yet any false doctrine should be taken seriously. How ironic that a group of Christians who teach Glory over love, take away from glory when human reason overshadows the manifestation of God’s love? We are right with God because he made us right through the redemptive work carried out on the cross. Jesus died for my sins, your sins and even the sins of those who would reject him and hate him. We get that assurance through His Word, when we kneel at the alter, or witness the pouring out of God’s Grace through Holy Baptism. Either we believe God is truly present through His means thus glorify God by believing the truth of His Holy Word, or we allow human reason to dictate our thoughts. Rejecting God’s Word is really rejecting Christ. To say a person must reach an age of accountability before being baptized, to say that God is not truly present in the sacrament, to say that we must decide to come to faith, these false teachings strip God of his glory. They disregard the personal assurance found in these very means. Glory be to God for his amazing grace (Undeserved love)

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  • http://jdueck.net Joel D

    I used to be very anti-calvinist in much the same way that many people are calvinist: on intellectual grounds. In my mid-twenties I had a crisis of faith (not brought on by any major outward circumstance, fwiw) that left me without any ground to stand on. I felt as lost and as damned as Luther must have felt with no way to go forward. It was after God saved me and I began experiencing the natural fruits of that conversion that I began to arrive at a reformed view. But it was more from the “bottom up”, by the experience of faith. Like a Shepherd, God broke my legs and then held me close to him in love (referring to Ps 51:8) – I eventually came to see that this was all His work and it is freeing to realize that He will build sanctification in me by the same means, by the tension between my circumstances, my old desires, and the overriding desires of the Spirit He has placed in me.

    As many of you see, however, this “needing to understand whence faith” isn’t necessary for many people’s relationship with God. To borrow an analogy from CS Lewis, one can hold a nut without necessarily having to crack it. The early church was very probably like this with regards to the doctrine of the Trinity.

    The experience of each person’s journey of faith is different, some God brings along gently, others are characterized by a crisis or series of crises. God is like a mountain that is too big for any one person to take in solely through their own experience. “Calvinists” too often seem like those whom God has led up a steep cliff, and then told everyone else they’re not fully experiencing God unless they climb the same cliff.

  • http://jdueck.net Joel D

    I used to be very anti-calvinist in much the same way that many people are calvinist: on intellectual grounds. In my mid-twenties I had a crisis of faith (not brought on by any major outward circumstance, fwiw) that left me without any ground to stand on. I felt as lost and as damned as Luther must have felt with no way to go forward. It was after God saved me and I began experiencing the natural fruits of that conversion that I began to arrive at a reformed view. But it was more from the “bottom up”, by the experience of faith. Like a Shepherd, God broke my legs and then held me close to him in love (referring to Ps 51:8) – I eventually came to see that this was all His work and it is freeing to realize that He will build sanctification in me by the same means, by the tension between my circumstances, my old desires, and the overriding desires of the Spirit He has placed in me.

    As many of you see, however, this “needing to understand whence faith” isn’t necessary for many people’s relationship with God. To borrow an analogy from CS Lewis, one can hold a nut without necessarily having to crack it. The early church was very probably like this with regards to the doctrine of the Trinity.

    The experience of each person’s journey of faith is different, some God brings along gently, others are characterized by a crisis or series of crises. God is like a mountain that is too big for any one person to take in solely through their own experience. “Calvinists” too often seem like those whom God has led up a steep cliff, and then told everyone else they’re not fully experiencing God unless they climb the same cliff.

  • Porcell

    Larry, at 4: The encouraging thing is that Reformed theologians like Dr. Hart, Dr. Horton, et. al. and others are leaning back toward Luther.

    I’m about half-way through Michael Horton’s thousand page systematic theology. While Horton is very respectful of Luther, he really doesn’t lean back toward him in any way that diminishes Calvin, for whom he, also, has great respect. He is principally a Reformation theologian who pays careful critical attention to Luther, Calvin, Melanchthon, Turretin, Chemnitz, Edwards and many other leading Reformation thinkers. He, also, brings in the patristic theologians, especially the Cappadocians, along with Augustine, Aquinas, and many other orthodox Christian theologians.

    Horton remarks that the older theologians of the Reformation and Post Reformation eras were so convinced that their interpretations fell far short of the majesty of God that they called their summaries and systems “our humble theology” and “a theology for pilgrims on the way.” Truth to be told, any serious Christian is a pilgrim on the way with a long way to go, knowing that those stuck in the weeds of narrow sectarianism have rather lost their way.

  • Porcell

    Larry, at 4: The encouraging thing is that Reformed theologians like Dr. Hart, Dr. Horton, et. al. and others are leaning back toward Luther.

    I’m about half-way through Michael Horton’s thousand page systematic theology. While Horton is very respectful of Luther, he really doesn’t lean back toward him in any way that diminishes Calvin, for whom he, also, has great respect. He is principally a Reformation theologian who pays careful critical attention to Luther, Calvin, Melanchthon, Turretin, Chemnitz, Edwards and many other leading Reformation thinkers. He, also, brings in the patristic theologians, especially the Cappadocians, along with Augustine, Aquinas, and many other orthodox Christian theologians.

    Horton remarks that the older theologians of the Reformation and Post Reformation eras were so convinced that their interpretations fell far short of the majesty of God that they called their summaries and systems “our humble theology” and “a theology for pilgrims on the way.” Truth to be told, any serious Christian is a pilgrim on the way with a long way to go, knowing that those stuck in the weeds of narrow sectarianism have rather lost their way.

  • Louis

    Having “swam the Rhine” from a Calvinist shore, I should maybe add my 0.02c here.

    I came to Lutheranism more because I had become a sacramental Christian than anything else. I suppose I could have tried Anglicanism, but there weren’t any decent Anglican congregations around. I could have tried Orthodoxy, and some of my closest friends are Orthodox, but I balked at accepting a faith where so much depended on my personal actions. Same with swimming the Tiber.

    That said, over time many things have come into focus, with a lot due to simple retrospection. Rev Paul is quite correct, in that Calvinism has much in common with Scholastic Theology, but, in my opinion, it is worse, in that it takes away the efficacy of the Sacraments, leaving the believer only with his mind. The natural result of this, and this I’ve seen in countless personal interactions, is that Calvinists relinquish Justification by faith in Christ, and replace that with justification by believing in justification by faith in Christ. See the difference? The one is faith in a Person, the other is faith in a doctrine, faith in a statement. BIG Difference. You see, the poor Catholic peasant can still have faith in God working through, let’s say relics, as per our discussion yesterday. The Calvinist has to have faith in his own comprehension of a doctrine. The latter is worse, because the faith nis inward looking, whereas the faith of the peasant, though problematic, is outward looking. In this we can see how Calvinism spawned the abominations of Evangelicalism today, in that many look to THEIR works, THEIR obedience, THEIR faith. Thus they relinquish even the poor hold of the Catholic peasant, who believes “through” an object in God, even though that faith might be displaced as it were.

    Of course there are many Calvinists who actually trust Christ, and not their doctrine. But this is IN SPITE of their doctrine, not because of it. Just as there are many Orthodox and Catholics that in essence do the same.

    This is the heart of the matter, in my opinion. The example Gene uses above, that plays on the Theologian of the Cross vs. the Theologian of Glory debate, in my mind is but a logical outworking of these root differences.

    As to the question raised by Michael at 11, Webmonk is quite right, in that learning about Orthodoxy from (recent) converts is not a good idea – the “convertitis” runs exceptionally strong. Of course, whereas the Western Church has had many more upheavals, it doesn’t imply that the Western Tradition is any more rootless than the east. Furthermore, if one becomes acquianted with intra-Orthodox debate and polity and politics, one realises that the united front portayed is a bit farcical. The good Orthodox people I know are much less concerned with making disciples of THEIR church, and proving you wrong on some level, than with your looking to God for your salvation, and respecting the Church in general. That is one reason I tend to stay away from overt apologetics, because doctrinal and historical distortion is very much the flavour of the day.

  • Louis

    Having “swam the Rhine” from a Calvinist shore, I should maybe add my 0.02c here.

    I came to Lutheranism more because I had become a sacramental Christian than anything else. I suppose I could have tried Anglicanism, but there weren’t any decent Anglican congregations around. I could have tried Orthodoxy, and some of my closest friends are Orthodox, but I balked at accepting a faith where so much depended on my personal actions. Same with swimming the Tiber.

    That said, over time many things have come into focus, with a lot due to simple retrospection. Rev Paul is quite correct, in that Calvinism has much in common with Scholastic Theology, but, in my opinion, it is worse, in that it takes away the efficacy of the Sacraments, leaving the believer only with his mind. The natural result of this, and this I’ve seen in countless personal interactions, is that Calvinists relinquish Justification by faith in Christ, and replace that with justification by believing in justification by faith in Christ. See the difference? The one is faith in a Person, the other is faith in a doctrine, faith in a statement. BIG Difference. You see, the poor Catholic peasant can still have faith in God working through, let’s say relics, as per our discussion yesterday. The Calvinist has to have faith in his own comprehension of a doctrine. The latter is worse, because the faith nis inward looking, whereas the faith of the peasant, though problematic, is outward looking. In this we can see how Calvinism spawned the abominations of Evangelicalism today, in that many look to THEIR works, THEIR obedience, THEIR faith. Thus they relinquish even the poor hold of the Catholic peasant, who believes “through” an object in God, even though that faith might be displaced as it were.

    Of course there are many Calvinists who actually trust Christ, and not their doctrine. But this is IN SPITE of their doctrine, not because of it. Just as there are many Orthodox and Catholics that in essence do the same.

    This is the heart of the matter, in my opinion. The example Gene uses above, that plays on the Theologian of the Cross vs. the Theologian of Glory debate, in my mind is but a logical outworking of these root differences.

    As to the question raised by Michael at 11, Webmonk is quite right, in that learning about Orthodoxy from (recent) converts is not a good idea – the “convertitis” runs exceptionally strong. Of course, whereas the Western Church has had many more upheavals, it doesn’t imply that the Western Tradition is any more rootless than the east. Furthermore, if one becomes acquianted with intra-Orthodox debate and polity and politics, one realises that the united front portayed is a bit farcical. The good Orthodox people I know are much less concerned with making disciples of THEIR church, and proving you wrong on some level, than with your looking to God for your salvation, and respecting the Church in general. That is one reason I tend to stay away from overt apologetics, because doctrinal and historical distortion is very much the flavour of the day.

  • http://jdueck.net Joel D

    OK, that was just my experience, now something of historical interest.

    In 1525, Erasmus published The Freedom of the Will, and in response Luther published The Bondage of the Will. In the conclusion to this work, Luther does two things:

    First he states, and briefly demonstrates, that “there can be no “Free-will” – in man, – in angel, – or in any creature”.

    Second, he praises Erasmus for discussing free will as the central issue, “the grand turning point of the cause,” rather than “irrelevant points about popery, purgatory, indulgences, and other like baubles.” He says, “You, and you alone saw, what was the grand hinge upon which the whole turned, and therefore you attacked the vital part at once; for which, from my heart, I thank you.”

    So from this it seems that was Luther himself was a kind of proto-Calvinist, one who did move beyond “the comfort of the Gospel” into the question of causes, and found it to be the foundation on which all his positions had rested.

    (With acknowledgements to Rob H., who pointed these things out to me several years ago in the context of a discussion about Catholicism. It wasn’t until much later that I saw his point.)

  • http://jdueck.net Joel D

    OK, that was just my experience, now something of historical interest.

    In 1525, Erasmus published The Freedom of the Will, and in response Luther published The Bondage of the Will. In the conclusion to this work, Luther does two things:

    First he states, and briefly demonstrates, that “there can be no “Free-will” – in man, – in angel, – or in any creature”.

    Second, he praises Erasmus for discussing free will as the central issue, “the grand turning point of the cause,” rather than “irrelevant points about popery, purgatory, indulgences, and other like baubles.” He says, “You, and you alone saw, what was the grand hinge upon which the whole turned, and therefore you attacked the vital part at once; for which, from my heart, I thank you.”

    So from this it seems that was Luther himself was a kind of proto-Calvinist, one who did move beyond “the comfort of the Gospel” into the question of causes, and found it to be the foundation on which all his positions had rested.

    (With acknowledgements to Rob H., who pointed these things out to me several years ago in the context of a discussion about Catholicism. It wasn’t until much later that I saw his point.)

  • larry

    Porcell,

    There’s always a modern day danger of reading Luther into Calvin in order smudge over the differences and then say “the differences are significant, but then again they are not”.

    These debates today are nothing new under sun and have already been principally dealt with in the Confession. Now reformed may not like the Confessions, because of what they say, but that’s nature of such things.

    The fact that there are so many sects, heterodoxies (false churches) does not diminish the veracity of Scripture, it in fact predicts and confirms this. In fact if there were not any we’d have to question scripture, “there will be heresies among you”, “the great cloud of locust arising out of hell”, etc… This should encourage the Christian because THIS is predicted and coming go pass. But often it does not. Why so? The biggest reason is the reluctance to call heterodoxy heterodoxy and false false and heresy heresy, etc… and that means not just gross apostasy like say Mormonism, but false denominations (confessions) like the Reformed, Baptist, etc… God does not give multiple interpretations of His Word nor His Sacraments, in fact He says avoid them.

    Now, in theory every single Christian confession that thinks it is the confession of the Scriptures should in principle say this. I.e. the Baptist should say of the Reformed and Lutheran, your confession if heresy and false, and vice versa, etc. The reality is that most of the confessions out there are false, heresy and yes out of hell. I know that sounds harsh, but it is reality. If one confesses X on a sacrament, they must affirm it to actually BE the Word of God on the issue or else they hypocrites. So, confession on the Word and sacraments is NEVER EVER a neutral endeavor and the confession on these means that confession either really proclaims and teaches the real Gospel or another gospel which is no Gospel at all. “Patch jobs” won’t do, the Word of God never says, “eat the meat but spit out the bones”.

    To come at this as if we are all confessing the same thing is “out of the door” error. People that loose the Gospel in baptist churches, Reformed churches, Roman churches, and pietistic heterodox Lutheran churches loose Christ for real – the Judasian despair is VERY real. I’ve heard it from tender souls more times than I can now count. Works righteousness, whether overt or clandestine ONLY produces one of two kinds of people, the despairing and those thinking they are “humbly” pulling it all off, I don’t care who they are.

    Now there is a difference between a Christian journeying and false confession. This clear. Real Christians exist in heterodox denominations and journey, but heterodox denominations are precisely at the same time false. The presence of real Christians in such no more makes a false heterodoxy true than does the presents of the actual Word of God.

    Put another way, the FACT of real dear and true Christian brothers and sisters in a Reformed or Baptist confession, does not extend to that confession the validity that it is true, it remains false in and of itself EVEN with real Christians in and among its ranks.

  • larry

    Porcell,

    There’s always a modern day danger of reading Luther into Calvin in order smudge over the differences and then say “the differences are significant, but then again they are not”.

    These debates today are nothing new under sun and have already been principally dealt with in the Confession. Now reformed may not like the Confessions, because of what they say, but that’s nature of such things.

    The fact that there are so many sects, heterodoxies (false churches) does not diminish the veracity of Scripture, it in fact predicts and confirms this. In fact if there were not any we’d have to question scripture, “there will be heresies among you”, “the great cloud of locust arising out of hell”, etc… This should encourage the Christian because THIS is predicted and coming go pass. But often it does not. Why so? The biggest reason is the reluctance to call heterodoxy heterodoxy and false false and heresy heresy, etc… and that means not just gross apostasy like say Mormonism, but false denominations (confessions) like the Reformed, Baptist, etc… God does not give multiple interpretations of His Word nor His Sacraments, in fact He says avoid them.

    Now, in theory every single Christian confession that thinks it is the confession of the Scriptures should in principle say this. I.e. the Baptist should say of the Reformed and Lutheran, your confession if heresy and false, and vice versa, etc. The reality is that most of the confessions out there are false, heresy and yes out of hell. I know that sounds harsh, but it is reality. If one confesses X on a sacrament, they must affirm it to actually BE the Word of God on the issue or else they hypocrites. So, confession on the Word and sacraments is NEVER EVER a neutral endeavor and the confession on these means that confession either really proclaims and teaches the real Gospel or another gospel which is no Gospel at all. “Patch jobs” won’t do, the Word of God never says, “eat the meat but spit out the bones”.

    To come at this as if we are all confessing the same thing is “out of the door” error. People that loose the Gospel in baptist churches, Reformed churches, Roman churches, and pietistic heterodox Lutheran churches loose Christ for real – the Judasian despair is VERY real. I’ve heard it from tender souls more times than I can now count. Works righteousness, whether overt or clandestine ONLY produces one of two kinds of people, the despairing and those thinking they are “humbly” pulling it all off, I don’t care who they are.

    Now there is a difference between a Christian journeying and false confession. This clear. Real Christians exist in heterodox denominations and journey, but heterodox denominations are precisely at the same time false. The presence of real Christians in such no more makes a false heterodoxy true than does the presents of the actual Word of God.

    Put another way, the FACT of real dear and true Christian brothers and sisters in a Reformed or Baptist confession, does not extend to that confession the validity that it is true, it remains false in and of itself EVEN with real Christians in and among its ranks.

  • http://jdueck.net Joel D

    Louis @28,

    The Calvinist has to have faith in his own comprehension of a doctrine…Of course there are many Calvinists who actually trust Christ, and not their doctrine…But this is in spite of their doctrine, not because of it…

    This could be said of anyone who approaches their creed intellectually. It’s not a unique feature of Calvinism, nor does its presence invalidate anything.

  • http://jdueck.net Joel D

    Louis @28,

    The Calvinist has to have faith in his own comprehension of a doctrine…Of course there are many Calvinists who actually trust Christ, and not their doctrine…But this is in spite of their doctrine, not because of it…

    This could be said of anyone who approaches their creed intellectually. It’s not a unique feature of Calvinism, nor does its presence invalidate anything.

  • Austin

    Thank you all, these comments have been much more helpful.
    Question about the apparent ‘strings’ attached to the Calvinist theology redemption – is it the ‘gratitude’ part of the heidelberg confession that is of issue? I fail to see where the heidelberg disputation and the confession directly conflict. Or am I looking in the wrong place (cannons or Dordt maybe?)
    I want to understand the differences between christian reformed and Lutheran theology – is there a good source out there that examines this?
    Thanks again

  • Austin

    Thank you all, these comments have been much more helpful.
    Question about the apparent ‘strings’ attached to the Calvinist theology redemption – is it the ‘gratitude’ part of the heidelberg confession that is of issue? I fail to see where the heidelberg disputation and the confession directly conflict. Or am I looking in the wrong place (cannons or Dordt maybe?)
    I want to understand the differences between christian reformed and Lutheran theology – is there a good source out there that examines this?
    Thanks again

  • Louis

    JoelD, I disagree. Calvinism is scholastic without being Sacramental. Thus the only thing they have is doctrine, which means that it is the only thing the offer, and thus the crux of all matters is the correctness of the doctrine, NOT the Person behind. Thus also the Calvinst descent into absurdities via speculative doctrine that have no affect on Salvation whatsoever.

    One gets overt intellectualism in any denomination, true. But in Calvinism it is the rule, rather than the exception, and that is BECAUSE of the focus of their creeds.

    Remember, I used to be one. Both Dutch Reformed as well as more Presbyterian.

    Footnote: The Anglo-Reformed, if I can invent the term, in my experience, tend to be a bit worse at this than the Continental Reformed. I haven’e found the “more Calvinst than Calvin” phenomenon as much amongst the Continetal Reformed as I have amongst those that prefer Westminster to Dordt/Heidelberg. Not to mention the Reformed Baptists (London, 1689), which are the worst of the lot BY FAR.

  • Louis

    JoelD, I disagree. Calvinism is scholastic without being Sacramental. Thus the only thing they have is doctrine, which means that it is the only thing the offer, and thus the crux of all matters is the correctness of the doctrine, NOT the Person behind. Thus also the Calvinst descent into absurdities via speculative doctrine that have no affect on Salvation whatsoever.

    One gets overt intellectualism in any denomination, true. But in Calvinism it is the rule, rather than the exception, and that is BECAUSE of the focus of their creeds.

    Remember, I used to be one. Both Dutch Reformed as well as more Presbyterian.

    Footnote: The Anglo-Reformed, if I can invent the term, in my experience, tend to be a bit worse at this than the Continental Reformed. I haven’e found the “more Calvinst than Calvin” phenomenon as much amongst the Continetal Reformed as I have amongst those that prefer Westminster to Dordt/Heidelberg. Not to mention the Reformed Baptists (London, 1689), which are the worst of the lot BY FAR.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Try this:

    Rome with St Thomas Aquinas and Late Melancthon and Calvin with St Augustine kept Aristotelian logic and categories in their theology. Eastern Orthodoxy too relies on Greek philosophical categories. These are all fish that that do not know they are wet with aristotle.

    Luther started with St Augustine. His BOW is still mostly there. But Luther decisively broke with St Augustine and went with St Paul.

    So where can we see exactly where that break is?

    Two Places:

    Luther broke with scholasticism in Romans 8. Scholasticism read “flesh/body vs spirit/Spirit” to be a movement from vice to Virtue, profane to Transcendent, earthly to churchly, material to spiritual. sin to goodness. So what does Luther say it is?

    Flesh vs spirit is the movement from Virtue and goodness to faith alone in Christ alone. Flesh/body=everything we can see and do. Spirit = Invisible faith alone in Christ alone.

    2) Rome, calvin and the orthodox identify the Image of God with those aristotelian “higher powers” of man that are what separate man from beast. They then locate the Divine revelation of that Image of God where? In the Law of God both as reason, conscience, Decalog, and observed Nature. Natural Law is a big idea here.

    So then the Image of God is not entirely lost in mankind. It is corrupted, burdened, fractured. It is like a shattered mirror. We see it in bits and pieces.

    And so total depravity and Original sin are not so total as any of those groups would say.

    So what is the Lutheran view?

    Lutherans say that Original sin is this:

    Original Sin is the total lack or absence of the Image of God, which is Adamic Original Righeousness. Which is what? Invisible faith alone in Christ alone. So Lutherans even take faith alone and Christ alone there!

    And Original sin is one more thing: In the void of the Original Righeousness of Faith alone in Christ alone… something else entered;

    What entered was a viscious faith-in-anything-but-Christ. Lutherans call this faith-in-anything-BUT-Christ by the names “concupiscence”, “Lust”, “Coveteousness” and “Idolatry”. The idea behind all of those though is that once true faith in Christ leaves, faith-in-any-thing-at-all-BUT-Christ viciously and relentlessly rules the heart of man.

    So where would Lutherans locate the Image of God?

    Lutherans locate the Image of God as that which is restored to sinful man in Holy Baptism. And Lutherans say that the Law written by God in both conscience and the Decalog reveals not God´s Image but rather his Eternal Will. And even this eternal will cannot be known fully until one has that Image of God restored.

    You can imagine that the practical unraveling of these two views are pretty profound.

    Here is a great summary of how image and likeness are used in Hebrew, and then a good summary of where non-Lutherans have located God´s Image.

    http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/beliefs/imago_dei.htm

    You can find the Lutheran view in the Lutheran Confessions about everywhere, but especially in the Apology, art II “On Original Sin.” here:

    http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_2_originalsin.php

    By the way , Paul Mc Cain gets the credit for putting this valuable resource for the Lutheran Confessions on the internet. Thanks Pastor Mc Cain! This has been an incredible blessing!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Try this:

    Rome with St Thomas Aquinas and Late Melancthon and Calvin with St Augustine kept Aristotelian logic and categories in their theology. Eastern Orthodoxy too relies on Greek philosophical categories. These are all fish that that do not know they are wet with aristotle.

    Luther started with St Augustine. His BOW is still mostly there. But Luther decisively broke with St Augustine and went with St Paul.

    So where can we see exactly where that break is?

    Two Places:

    Luther broke with scholasticism in Romans 8. Scholasticism read “flesh/body vs spirit/Spirit” to be a movement from vice to Virtue, profane to Transcendent, earthly to churchly, material to spiritual. sin to goodness. So what does Luther say it is?

    Flesh vs spirit is the movement from Virtue and goodness to faith alone in Christ alone. Flesh/body=everything we can see and do. Spirit = Invisible faith alone in Christ alone.

    2) Rome, calvin and the orthodox identify the Image of God with those aristotelian “higher powers” of man that are what separate man from beast. They then locate the Divine revelation of that Image of God where? In the Law of God both as reason, conscience, Decalog, and observed Nature. Natural Law is a big idea here.

    So then the Image of God is not entirely lost in mankind. It is corrupted, burdened, fractured. It is like a shattered mirror. We see it in bits and pieces.

    And so total depravity and Original sin are not so total as any of those groups would say.

    So what is the Lutheran view?

    Lutherans say that Original sin is this:

    Original Sin is the total lack or absence of the Image of God, which is Adamic Original Righeousness. Which is what? Invisible faith alone in Christ alone. So Lutherans even take faith alone and Christ alone there!

    And Original sin is one more thing: In the void of the Original Righeousness of Faith alone in Christ alone… something else entered;

    What entered was a viscious faith-in-anything-but-Christ. Lutherans call this faith-in-anything-BUT-Christ by the names “concupiscence”, “Lust”, “Coveteousness” and “Idolatry”. The idea behind all of those though is that once true faith in Christ leaves, faith-in-any-thing-at-all-BUT-Christ viciously and relentlessly rules the heart of man.

    So where would Lutherans locate the Image of God?

    Lutherans locate the Image of God as that which is restored to sinful man in Holy Baptism. And Lutherans say that the Law written by God in both conscience and the Decalog reveals not God´s Image but rather his Eternal Will. And even this eternal will cannot be known fully until one has that Image of God restored.

    You can imagine that the practical unraveling of these two views are pretty profound.

    Here is a great summary of how image and likeness are used in Hebrew, and then a good summary of where non-Lutherans have located God´s Image.

    http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/beliefs/imago_dei.htm

    You can find the Lutheran view in the Lutheran Confessions about everywhere, but especially in the Apology, art II “On Original Sin.” here:

    http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_2_originalsin.php

    By the way , Paul Mc Cain gets the credit for putting this valuable resource for the Lutheran Confessions on the internet. Thanks Pastor Mc Cain! This has been an incredible blessing!

  • http://jdueck.net Joel D

    Louis, I guess I don’t understand what your terms mean then. You speak of sacraments and doctrine as though they were two separate things. What, then, is it about the doctrine of sacraments that separates it out from all other doctrines?

    I think of doctrine as the all-encompassing set of an individual’s beliefs. If someone practices sacraments as a means of grace then we would say their doctrine includes the use of sacraments as a means of grace…right? What am I missing?

    It’s interesting, since I’ve heard all my life from my formerly-catholic relatives that the focus there is on sacraments, not “the Person behind.” So again, it seems to be an error that is common everywhere, and your implied claim that believing/practicing sacraments will somehow prevent you from making this error doesn’t make any sense to me.

  • http://jdueck.net Joel D

    Louis, I guess I don’t understand what your terms mean then. You speak of sacraments and doctrine as though they were two separate things. What, then, is it about the doctrine of sacraments that separates it out from all other doctrines?

    I think of doctrine as the all-encompassing set of an individual’s beliefs. If someone practices sacraments as a means of grace then we would say their doctrine includes the use of sacraments as a means of grace…right? What am I missing?

    It’s interesting, since I’ve heard all my life from my formerly-catholic relatives that the focus there is on sacraments, not “the Person behind.” So again, it seems to be an error that is common everywhere, and your implied claim that believing/practicing sacraments will somehow prevent you from making this error doesn’t make any sense to me.

  • Porcell

    Austin, at 32 : I want to understand the differences between christian reformed and Lutheran theology –is there a good source out there that examines this?

    I’d suggest Mark Noll’s basic book, Confessions and Catechisms of the Reformation, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1991. For an advanced treatment, you might try Richard Muller’s book, The Unaccomadated Calvin: Studies in Historical Theology. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

  • Porcell

    Austin, at 32 : I want to understand the differences between christian reformed and Lutheran theology –is there a good source out there that examines this?

    I’d suggest Mark Noll’s basic book, Confessions and Catechisms of the Reformation, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1991. For an advanced treatment, you might try Richard Muller’s book, The Unaccomadated Calvin: Studies in Historical Theology. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

  • katy

    @Pr. McCain (20): Yes, consistent Calvinists have no assurance, but my Reformed Baptist mother-in-law says her assurance is in God’s promises in Scripture to her (she says this without irony, and I believe many other Calvinists do also).

    @ Louis (33): But, in a way, Reformed Baptist are more consistent and logical about Calvinist doctrine. It is hard for me to follow serious Presbyterian arguments on the Lord’s Supper, Baptism, etc., especially if argued from Scripture.

  • katy

    @Pr. McCain (20): Yes, consistent Calvinists have no assurance, but my Reformed Baptist mother-in-law says her assurance is in God’s promises in Scripture to her (she says this without irony, and I believe many other Calvinists do also).

    @ Louis (33): But, in a way, Reformed Baptist are more consistent and logical about Calvinist doctrine. It is hard for me to follow serious Presbyterian arguments on the Lord’s Supper, Baptism, etc., especially if argued from Scripture.

  • Louis

    Joel D – As Lutherans, we receive God’s grace by way of the font and the Elements. For Calvinsts they must make sure that all doctrine is correct – especially the ones regarding Single-, Double- and double-double Predestination, Election, super-, supra- and infra- lapsarianism, or they are hell-bound for all eternity. Every jot, every title, because if you dont dot and cross everything, you’re sure as hell not elect, and then nothing can save you, boy.

    I exaggerate very mildly here.

    As a Lutheran, I believe that Christ is present in the Elements. I believe that the water of baptism saves. but those believes do not save me, they do not prove anything beyond the correct understanding. We are saved by faith in Christ. Not by faith in the correct doctrine. Practically almost every Calvinist I have ever known believes that the key is intellectual understanding, as per my third paragraph @ 28. And here is the key:

    More than anything else, the Calvinist makes intellectual understanding the key to salvation. It is his work. Of course, all christians tend to turn to works righteousness. But in Calvinism, it is implied, if by work you mean intellectual grasp. But as I said, there are many Calvinists who truly believe, but I do maintain that it is IN SPITE of their doctrine, not because of it.

    That said, there are Lutherans and others who fall into the same trap. But it is not because that trap is endemic to their systematics.

  • Louis

    Joel D – As Lutherans, we receive God’s grace by way of the font and the Elements. For Calvinsts they must make sure that all doctrine is correct – especially the ones regarding Single-, Double- and double-double Predestination, Election, super-, supra- and infra- lapsarianism, or they are hell-bound for all eternity. Every jot, every title, because if you dont dot and cross everything, you’re sure as hell not elect, and then nothing can save you, boy.

    I exaggerate very mildly here.

    As a Lutheran, I believe that Christ is present in the Elements. I believe that the water of baptism saves. but those believes do not save me, they do not prove anything beyond the correct understanding. We are saved by faith in Christ. Not by faith in the correct doctrine. Practically almost every Calvinist I have ever known believes that the key is intellectual understanding, as per my third paragraph @ 28. And here is the key:

    More than anything else, the Calvinist makes intellectual understanding the key to salvation. It is his work. Of course, all christians tend to turn to works righteousness. But in Calvinism, it is implied, if by work you mean intellectual grasp. But as I said, there are many Calvinists who truly believe, but I do maintain that it is IN SPITE of their doctrine, not because of it.

    That said, there are Lutherans and others who fall into the same trap. But it is not because that trap is endemic to their systematics.

  • Louis

    Katy @ 37 yes and no. I mean, decision baptism doesn’t make sense in a strict double-predestination world, does it? I never figured out how they connect those two doctrines exactly.

    JoelD: Here’s a question: Which doctrinal group is most fond of reading and writing big heavy books? :)

  • Louis

    Katy @ 37 yes and no. I mean, decision baptism doesn’t make sense in a strict double-predestination world, does it? I never figured out how they connect those two doctrines exactly.

    JoelD: Here’s a question: Which doctrinal group is most fond of reading and writing big heavy books? :)

  • Porcell

    Larry, at 30: The fact that there are so many sects, heterodoxies (false churches) does not diminish the veracity of Scripture,

    Which is to say, according to your view, that the Lutherans follow scripture, while the Calvinists and others apparently do not.

    Jean Calvin actually followed Luther’s view that Christian authority ultimately derives from Scripture. His book Institutes of the Christian Religion rigorously adhere to Scripture, as does all of Luther’s books. Both of these men put their lives on the line with this view.

    My sense is that you regard yourself as having escaped from what you mistakenly regard as the dim lowlands of Calvinist Baptist faith to the sunny, uplit lands of the Lutheran faith, though, should you read Luther and Melanchthon carefully, you would find that they are far from rigidly certain of their views.

    In fact, you have become a rather breathlessly rigid sectarian advocate of Lutheranism, unable to see the basic of coherence of Christian faith. Too bad, as you actually have a well intentioned mind.

    Michael Horton in his systematic has the good sense to take the best of all branches of Christian theology and weave them together into a coherent whole while Knowing that no single Christian theologian, whether himself, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Aqinas et al knows the whole of Christian truth.

  • Porcell

    Larry, at 30: The fact that there are so many sects, heterodoxies (false churches) does not diminish the veracity of Scripture,

    Which is to say, according to your view, that the Lutherans follow scripture, while the Calvinists and others apparently do not.

    Jean Calvin actually followed Luther’s view that Christian authority ultimately derives from Scripture. His book Institutes of the Christian Religion rigorously adhere to Scripture, as does all of Luther’s books. Both of these men put their lives on the line with this view.

    My sense is that you regard yourself as having escaped from what you mistakenly regard as the dim lowlands of Calvinist Baptist faith to the sunny, uplit lands of the Lutheran faith, though, should you read Luther and Melanchthon carefully, you would find that they are far from rigidly certain of their views.

    In fact, you have become a rather breathlessly rigid sectarian advocate of Lutheranism, unable to see the basic of coherence of Christian faith. Too bad, as you actually have a well intentioned mind.

    Michael Horton in his systematic has the good sense to take the best of all branches of Christian theology and weave them together into a coherent whole while Knowing that no single Christian theologian, whether himself, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Aqinas et al knows the whole of Christian truth.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell said (@40), “[Calvin's] book Institutes of the Christian Religion rigorously adhere to Scripture, as does all of Luther’s books.” Which would then necessarily mean that Calvin’s book agrees perfectly with “all of Luther’s books” as to understanding of Scripture. I have reason to believe this is not so.

    “Should you read Luther and Melanchthon carefully, you would find that they are far from rigidly certain of their views.” Is there some passage in particular you have in mind, Porcell? Most of the Book of Concord seems to be a discussion of what “we believe, teach, and confess” — and not what “we assume, are reasonably certain of, and guess”.

    “No single Christian theologian, whether himself, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Aqinas et al knows the whole of Christian truth.” How do you know that? Are you rigidly certain about that? What does it mean to you to “rigorously adhere” to the truths God has revealed to us in Scripture, if you simultaneously assert that this adherence cannot be certain, and cannot even know everything that God has revealed to us?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell said (@40), “[Calvin's] book Institutes of the Christian Religion rigorously adhere to Scripture, as does all of Luther’s books.” Which would then necessarily mean that Calvin’s book agrees perfectly with “all of Luther’s books” as to understanding of Scripture. I have reason to believe this is not so.

    “Should you read Luther and Melanchthon carefully, you would find that they are far from rigidly certain of their views.” Is there some passage in particular you have in mind, Porcell? Most of the Book of Concord seems to be a discussion of what “we believe, teach, and confess” — and not what “we assume, are reasonably certain of, and guess”.

    “No single Christian theologian, whether himself, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Aqinas et al knows the whole of Christian truth.” How do you know that? Are you rigidly certain about that? What does it mean to you to “rigorously adhere” to the truths God has revealed to us in Scripture, if you simultaneously assert that this adherence cannot be certain, and cannot even know everything that God has revealed to us?

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Appreciating the discussion here – special thanks to Joel D, Austin, Louis, and the rest of you too.

    The greatest example of comfort I find is Lutheran theology and practice for the cognitively disabled, especially the members of Christ’s body suffering through Alzheimer’s who I have been so privileged to learn under and serve as a Lutheran pastor.

    These sisters and brothers have confirmed for me more about the Christian faith than anything else I have ever experienced. There are good visits and their are especially challenging ones, but Christ’s comfort in Word and Sacrament remains the same for them (just as for me). And the power of the Spirit of God, delivering Jesus, through the forgiveness of sins in audible and tangible ways, to those the devil and our very culture marginalizes so, is a beauty and privilege to be one with in Christ as I get to receive and rejoice right alongside of these most blessed members of the Body.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Appreciating the discussion here – special thanks to Joel D, Austin, Louis, and the rest of you too.

    The greatest example of comfort I find is Lutheran theology and practice for the cognitively disabled, especially the members of Christ’s body suffering through Alzheimer’s who I have been so privileged to learn under and serve as a Lutheran pastor.

    These sisters and brothers have confirmed for me more about the Christian faith than anything else I have ever experienced. There are good visits and their are especially challenging ones, but Christ’s comfort in Word and Sacrament remains the same for them (just as for me). And the power of the Spirit of God, delivering Jesus, through the forgiveness of sins in audible and tangible ways, to those the devil and our very culture marginalizes so, is a beauty and privilege to be one with in Christ as I get to receive and rejoice right alongside of these most blessed members of the Body.

  • Louis

    Gene writes “Lutheranism rejoices in the comfort of the Gospel”. And the Calvinist version of that is – “Calvinism rejoices in the knowledge of it’s election”.

    And THAT is the difference. Election vs Gospel. Proposition vs Cross. Comfort vs knowledge.

  • Louis

    Gene writes “Lutheranism rejoices in the comfort of the Gospel”. And the Calvinist version of that is – “Calvinism rejoices in the knowledge of it’s election”.

    And THAT is the difference. Election vs Gospel. Proposition vs Cross. Comfort vs knowledge.

  • Austin

    Louis (@ 43)
    Now that sounds familiar – I have heard of Christian Reformed churches falling into that description. I have heard accounts of our church fitting that description in the past and really suffering loss because of it. This is all making much more sense to me now.
    It’s a real balancing act isn’t it? Trying to explain enough of the mystery to understand and share it, and to let go and accept the mystery and paradoxes at the same time without becoming all new-age touchy-feely emergent.
    I am glad to report that in my experience in the christian reformed church the emphasis on election has given way to true gospel.

  • Austin

    Louis (@ 43)
    Now that sounds familiar – I have heard of Christian Reformed churches falling into that description. I have heard accounts of our church fitting that description in the past and really suffering loss because of it. This is all making much more sense to me now.
    It’s a real balancing act isn’t it? Trying to explain enough of the mystery to understand and share it, and to let go and accept the mystery and paradoxes at the same time without becoming all new-age touchy-feely emergent.
    I am glad to report that in my experience in the christian reformed church the emphasis on election has given way to true gospel.

  • http://confessionalouthouse.wordpress.com/ Zrim

    Bike, the Bishops Bayly sure have a funny way of spelling “Reformed,” r-a-d-i-c-a-l. But of all the slurs from fellow Reformed, I have to admit that “Lutheran” is my favorite. And if it’s a biblical argument for a theology of the cross and against a theology of glory isn’t it practically dripping off Paul’s pen in 2 Corinthians against the super-apostles? And how about that bit in 1 Cor. 1:18-25:

    For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,

    “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
    and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

    Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

    Katy, we’re glad for readers like you. And I feel your pain. Try starting out in broad secularism and happily marrying but hesitatingly converting into broad funda-evangeliclaism and then into narrow Reformed confessionalism. I was this close to Lutheranism but it seems like Calvinism had superior categories for the Christian life. Lutheranism, however as Hart suggests, seems to have superior categories in other ways.

  • http://confessionalouthouse.wordpress.com/ Zrim

    Bike, the Bishops Bayly sure have a funny way of spelling “Reformed,” r-a-d-i-c-a-l. But of all the slurs from fellow Reformed, I have to admit that “Lutheran” is my favorite. And if it’s a biblical argument for a theology of the cross and against a theology of glory isn’t it practically dripping off Paul’s pen in 2 Corinthians against the super-apostles? And how about that bit in 1 Cor. 1:18-25:

    For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,

    “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
    and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

    Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

    Katy, we’re glad for readers like you. And I feel your pain. Try starting out in broad secularism and happily marrying but hesitatingly converting into broad funda-evangeliclaism and then into narrow Reformed confessionalism. I was this close to Lutheranism but it seems like Calvinism had superior categories for the Christian life. Lutheranism, however as Hart suggests, seems to have superior categories in other ways.

  • http://jdueck.net Joel D

    I’m still interested in any responses to my comment at 29, the gist of which is that it seems Luther was “Calvinist” even before Calvin was.

  • http://jdueck.net Joel D

    I’m still interested in any responses to my comment at 29, the gist of which is that it seems Luther was “Calvinist” even before Calvin was.

  • Porcell

    Todd, at 41, while both Luther and Calvin rigorously adhered to Scripture, in the final analysis, they both, being fallen humans, may not be regarded as final authorities, notwithstanding any Calvinistic or Lutheran pieties. Every generation of Christians ought to critically regard the tenets of our fathers, without succumbing to skepticism or cynicism.

    Horton in his book argues in the introduction that:

    We can exhibit spiritual pride in our experience or morality. However, it is the goal of good theology to humble us before the triune God of majesty and grace. As we will see more fully, the older theologians of the Reformation and Post-Reformation eras were so convinced that there interpretations fell short of the majesty of God that they called their summaries and systems “our humble theology” and a theology for pilgrims on the way.

    The trouble today is that assorted sectarian religious groups often defensively declare their absolute Christian truths with little regard for the underlying coherence of the Christian religion. Yesterday, Bror, a usually sensible guy, averred on another thread that Baptists and Calvinists are joined at Satin’s hip.

  • Porcell

    Todd, at 41, while both Luther and Calvin rigorously adhered to Scripture, in the final analysis, they both, being fallen humans, may not be regarded as final authorities, notwithstanding any Calvinistic or Lutheran pieties. Every generation of Christians ought to critically regard the tenets of our fathers, without succumbing to skepticism or cynicism.

    Horton in his book argues in the introduction that:

    We can exhibit spiritual pride in our experience or morality. However, it is the goal of good theology to humble us before the triune God of majesty and grace. As we will see more fully, the older theologians of the Reformation and Post-Reformation eras were so convinced that there interpretations fell short of the majesty of God that they called their summaries and systems “our humble theology” and a theology for pilgrims on the way.

    The trouble today is that assorted sectarian religious groups often defensively declare their absolute Christian truths with little regard for the underlying coherence of the Christian religion. Yesterday, Bror, a usually sensible guy, averred on another thread that Baptists and Calvinists are joined at Satin’s hip.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Joel D,

    Lutherans believe that no one is capable of coming to Christ on their own. That is not JUST a Calvinist doctrine. It’s Lutheran through and through.

    Lutherans don’t rely so much on reason (you knopw what Luther said about reason being “the devils whore”), but on the promises of God.
    When Christ commands us to do something, baptize, teach and preach about Himself, and partake of His Supper…we know that He is really there, in it for us. “This IS my body”, “this IS my blood”.
    Calvinists reasonably believe that Christ can’t be at the right hand of God, and in the bread and the wine, too.

    And to that we say, ba-lon-ey. This is why we have assurance, based on something outside of ourselves, and Calvinists muck around in ‘their seriousness’ and ‘their deeds’ , and ‘their feelings of being saved’, rather than the objective promises of God.

    It really is a huge difference.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Joel D,

    Lutherans believe that no one is capable of coming to Christ on their own. That is not JUST a Calvinist doctrine. It’s Lutheran through and through.

    Lutherans don’t rely so much on reason (you knopw what Luther said about reason being “the devils whore”), but on the promises of God.
    When Christ commands us to do something, baptize, teach and preach about Himself, and partake of His Supper…we know that He is really there, in it for us. “This IS my body”, “this IS my blood”.
    Calvinists reasonably believe that Christ can’t be at the right hand of God, and in the bread and the wine, too.

    And to that we say, ba-lon-ey. This is why we have assurance, based on something outside of ourselves, and Calvinists muck around in ‘their seriousness’ and ‘their deeds’ , and ‘their feelings of being saved’, rather than the objective promises of God.

    It really is a huge difference.

  • Arfies

    One of the reasons I love this blog is the quality and the perceptiveness of the comments–even (or especially) when contributors disagree with each other.
    As a retired Lutheran pastor, and knowing that many of those perceptive contributing readers are also Lutheran, it surprises me somewhat that in presenting our point of view nobody thought to quote Luther’s explanation of the Third Article of the Creed: “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or understanding believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts,” and so on. Here we freely acknowledge the source of our faith and the means by which it is sustained; we know very well that faith is solely God’s gift, created and nourished by God himself through his word and the sacraments.
    We are saved by God’s grace through faith, and that not of ourselves, as the Scriptures teach. Anything less cannot be scriptural.

  • Arfies

    One of the reasons I love this blog is the quality and the perceptiveness of the comments–even (or especially) when contributors disagree with each other.
    As a retired Lutheran pastor, and knowing that many of those perceptive contributing readers are also Lutheran, it surprises me somewhat that in presenting our point of view nobody thought to quote Luther’s explanation of the Third Article of the Creed: “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or understanding believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts,” and so on. Here we freely acknowledge the source of our faith and the means by which it is sustained; we know very well that faith is solely God’s gift, created and nourished by God himself through his word and the sacraments.
    We are saved by God’s grace through faith, and that not of ourselves, as the Scriptures teach. Anything less cannot be scriptural.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Nice one, Arfies!

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Nice one, Arfies!

  • Larry

    Porcell,

    “Which is to say, according to your view, that the Lutherans follow scripture, while the Calvinists and others apparently do not.”

    Yes, that is exactly what is being said. In fact that’s precisely what Luther was saying, Melancthon, yes he fell off the wagon post-Luther and hanging around Calvin.

    That’s precisely the point of confessing orthodoxy and not heterodoxy. It is utterly absurd for a Christian to say, “Maybe this is what God says”, in one breath then say, “you must believe” in another.

    That was the surprise of Luther and the Lutherans when they went to Marburg that Zwingli et. al. did not “turn them over to Satan” too. Because there is NO MIDDLE GROUND. This was a sign to Luther and the Lutherans that they didn’t even perceive their own doctrine as true. This is why the Reformed can so easily mingle with the Baptist doctrinally today, and why they loosing baptism to the Baptist.

    There cannot be two or more doctrines on the Lord’s Supper, not two or more doctrines on baptism, not two or more doctrines on justification, the Trinity, the incarnation, the two natures, creation, etc. Not one single article of faith CAN have two or more doctrines. We are not “speaking past one another in differing terms” we are speaking entirely differing religions on these issues, and one is a faithful confession of “what scripture says” the others are not.

    It’s utterly absurd for you or anyone, me, to argue “this may or may not be true…so affirm it as true anyway”.

    True sectarianism is to in fact NOT confess the truth rigidly and absolute, then come in by the back way and say of orthodoxy, “You are tearing Christianity apart”. That’s what you don’t see, orthodox confession is what forms the church and NOT a basic congregating of heterodoxy. Heterodoxy is the false the doctrine. No where in God’s word, new or old testament, are we entreated to mingle false doctrine. Contrary, EVERYWHERE in scripture we are called to “separate out from them”, “do not even bid them the hand of fellowship”, “heresies come about so YOU WILL KNOW who is called and not”, etc.

    The Lutherans were ready and DID put their very lives on the line for the confessions, even more confessed that they could not wait with intrepid hearts to confess before the judgment seat of the Son of God that this was their confession of faith and it was true to Scripture. In fact of the confessions it is said they are not ‘true in as much as they agree with Scripture”, as Preuss says you can say that of the telephone book and the book of Mormon. The confessions are faithful expositions of what Scripture actually says. They come about because heresies lie about Scripture and clarity must be reasserted. Prior to Calvin and Zwingli it was unnecessary to go beyond, “this is My body” but due to their craftiness it was necessary to clarify “we believe…and don’t believe what Zwingli and Calvin say.

    In fact the authors of the Book of Concord, which includes the confessions of the church historic within it, that by this confession we intend to measure all controversies and heresies.

    But you cannot do that in the Reformed or Baptist churches, by their own admission, which confession, WCF, Heidelberg, LBCF, SB F&M, Chicago, Dort? And not one of these even entirely agree within their own denomination, especially the Baptist – its all over the maps.

    You cannot maintain the true Gospel without the sacraments and one cannot maintain the sacraments without the Gospel, these go hand in hand, but Calvin and Zwingli, et. al. violently shred these apart by the use of foolish reason.

    Doctrine is, also, not true or false because of X effects are produced, but is in and of itself the Word of God and thus extra nos true. Yet, doctrine, true or false, does produce effects. E.g. the terrorized souls under Rome were so due to the satanic doctrines, likewise in Baptist and Calvinistic churches. Yet the doctrine is first not the effect, but the effect is nonetheless there.

    A systematic theology that attempts to ‘weave’ the best of all theologies is in and of itself by design false. That was Calvin’s error. He thought to mediate a way between Luther and Zwingli, not understanding that one was of the Holy Spirit and the other of a Satanic spirit, something Luther recognized. Thus, Calvin did what Scripture explicitly forbids, marrying Baal up with God’s Word, “what does light have to do with darkness”.

    One will NEVER come to the truth that way, in fact one will increasingly be led astray. One has to realize one is true the rest are false under some superficial truth lingo white wash at the outset and then be the Berean and check it with Scripture.

    Scripture is in fact very clear on articles of faith. “This is My body” is so simple to understand that even a child may grasp it. “Let there be light” is completely simple to grasp. “This baptism saves you” is not hard at all. Men reject these plain and simple articles of faith NOT because they are confusing, nothing confusing about this simple statement “this is My body” and Whom said it (nor the others). Men reject these statements PRECISELY because it is clear in what they say.

    By reason the pope rejected justification by faith alone, by reason Mohamed rejected the Trinity, by reason Zwingli/Calvin rejected the Word’s of Christ, by reason the Baptist reject the doctrines of baptism. They are in fact rejected because they are all too clear.

    True ecumenity is as Sasse states;

    “The unity of the Lutheran Church may not be confused with the unity of the Church of Christ in general; for we do not confuse, as do the Roman Catholics, our church with the Una Sancta. In what does the unity of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church consist? The 7th article of the Augsburg Confession teaches that: wherever the gospel is announced so that humans can thereby come to faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior, and where the sacraments are still administered according to the institution of the Lord, there is the one holy church, the community of saints, i.e., the sinners who have faith and who are justified in faith. That can happen inside of, and outside of, our denominational church. Indeed, Lutheranism has never given up the faith, that the true church of Christ is all around the earth, hidden among the historically metamorphosed “churches”, wherever even only the voice of the Good shepherd can still be heard. Here is the great and authentic ecumeny of our church, which has found its most powerful expression in that which the Apology to the Augsburg Confession, article 7/8, says about the “comforting article” of the ecclesia catholica:

    this remains certainly true, that the group and the individuals are the true church, which here and there in the world, from sunrise to sunset, truly believe in Christ, which then have one gospel, one Christ, one baptism and one sacrament, governed by one Holy Spirit, even if they have different ceremonies. (Müller, pg. 154)

    This church and its unity are a reality in the world, but a reality which must be believed, as the explanation of the third article in Luther’s large catechism so clearly says:

    I believe that there is on earth a little holy flock or community of pure saints under one head, Christ. It is called together by the Holy Spirit in one faith, mind and understanding. It possesses a variety of gifts, yet is united in love without sect or schism, (Müller, pg, 457)

    True ecumeny, which sees the one church of Christ wherever the means of grace are yet preserved – through which the Lord calls to His church -even beyond the boundaries of one’s own ecclesiology, stands opposed to false ecumeny, which treats Christians of all denominations as brothers in faith. This false ecumeny tries to make visible and tangible that which we humans cannot see and touch, the church as the people of God, as the Body of Christ, as the temple of the Holy Spirit. This false ecumeny changes the “article of faith” about the church into an “article of sight.” It understands the unity of the church, which only the Holy Spirit can create and maintain, as something which we humans can produce. And it tries to produce this unity, in that it works to realize the one faith, the one baptism, the one sacrament of the altar as a compromise of various forms of faith, various interpretations of baptism, and various understandings of holy communion. In so far as it does that, this false ecumeny overlooks [the fact] that the various understandings of the means of grace are not only different possibilities of understanding the truth, but rather that soul-murdering errors and church-destroying heresy also hide among them. True ecumeny sees this. Therefore, it is able to recognize the true unity of the church only there, where it recognizes the one correct faith, the one correct baptism, the one communion of the Lord Christ. True ecumeny asks, therefore, not first about unity, but rather about truth. It knows that where the true church is, there, and there alone, is also the one church. In this sense it understands the high priestly prayer of the Lord, too, in which the “that they may all be one” is linked inseparably with “sanctify them in Your truth; Your Word is the truth” (John 17:17,21)”

  • Larry

    Porcell,

    “Which is to say, according to your view, that the Lutherans follow scripture, while the Calvinists and others apparently do not.”

    Yes, that is exactly what is being said. In fact that’s precisely what Luther was saying, Melancthon, yes he fell off the wagon post-Luther and hanging around Calvin.

    That’s precisely the point of confessing orthodoxy and not heterodoxy. It is utterly absurd for a Christian to say, “Maybe this is what God says”, in one breath then say, “you must believe” in another.

    That was the surprise of Luther and the Lutherans when they went to Marburg that Zwingli et. al. did not “turn them over to Satan” too. Because there is NO MIDDLE GROUND. This was a sign to Luther and the Lutherans that they didn’t even perceive their own doctrine as true. This is why the Reformed can so easily mingle with the Baptist doctrinally today, and why they loosing baptism to the Baptist.

    There cannot be two or more doctrines on the Lord’s Supper, not two or more doctrines on baptism, not two or more doctrines on justification, the Trinity, the incarnation, the two natures, creation, etc. Not one single article of faith CAN have two or more doctrines. We are not “speaking past one another in differing terms” we are speaking entirely differing religions on these issues, and one is a faithful confession of “what scripture says” the others are not.

    It’s utterly absurd for you or anyone, me, to argue “this may or may not be true…so affirm it as true anyway”.

    True sectarianism is to in fact NOT confess the truth rigidly and absolute, then come in by the back way and say of orthodoxy, “You are tearing Christianity apart”. That’s what you don’t see, orthodox confession is what forms the church and NOT a basic congregating of heterodoxy. Heterodoxy is the false the doctrine. No where in God’s word, new or old testament, are we entreated to mingle false doctrine. Contrary, EVERYWHERE in scripture we are called to “separate out from them”, “do not even bid them the hand of fellowship”, “heresies come about so YOU WILL KNOW who is called and not”, etc.

    The Lutherans were ready and DID put their very lives on the line for the confessions, even more confessed that they could not wait with intrepid hearts to confess before the judgment seat of the Son of God that this was their confession of faith and it was true to Scripture. In fact of the confessions it is said they are not ‘true in as much as they agree with Scripture”, as Preuss says you can say that of the telephone book and the book of Mormon. The confessions are faithful expositions of what Scripture actually says. They come about because heresies lie about Scripture and clarity must be reasserted. Prior to Calvin and Zwingli it was unnecessary to go beyond, “this is My body” but due to their craftiness it was necessary to clarify “we believe…and don’t believe what Zwingli and Calvin say.

    In fact the authors of the Book of Concord, which includes the confessions of the church historic within it, that by this confession we intend to measure all controversies and heresies.

    But you cannot do that in the Reformed or Baptist churches, by their own admission, which confession, WCF, Heidelberg, LBCF, SB F&M, Chicago, Dort? And not one of these even entirely agree within their own denomination, especially the Baptist – its all over the maps.

    You cannot maintain the true Gospel without the sacraments and one cannot maintain the sacraments without the Gospel, these go hand in hand, but Calvin and Zwingli, et. al. violently shred these apart by the use of foolish reason.

    Doctrine is, also, not true or false because of X effects are produced, but is in and of itself the Word of God and thus extra nos true. Yet, doctrine, true or false, does produce effects. E.g. the terrorized souls under Rome were so due to the satanic doctrines, likewise in Baptist and Calvinistic churches. Yet the doctrine is first not the effect, but the effect is nonetheless there.

    A systematic theology that attempts to ‘weave’ the best of all theologies is in and of itself by design false. That was Calvin’s error. He thought to mediate a way between Luther and Zwingli, not understanding that one was of the Holy Spirit and the other of a Satanic spirit, something Luther recognized. Thus, Calvin did what Scripture explicitly forbids, marrying Baal up with God’s Word, “what does light have to do with darkness”.

    One will NEVER come to the truth that way, in fact one will increasingly be led astray. One has to realize one is true the rest are false under some superficial truth lingo white wash at the outset and then be the Berean and check it with Scripture.

    Scripture is in fact very clear on articles of faith. “This is My body” is so simple to understand that even a child may grasp it. “Let there be light” is completely simple to grasp. “This baptism saves you” is not hard at all. Men reject these plain and simple articles of faith NOT because they are confusing, nothing confusing about this simple statement “this is My body” and Whom said it (nor the others). Men reject these statements PRECISELY because it is clear in what they say.

    By reason the pope rejected justification by faith alone, by reason Mohamed rejected the Trinity, by reason Zwingli/Calvin rejected the Word’s of Christ, by reason the Baptist reject the doctrines of baptism. They are in fact rejected because they are all too clear.

    True ecumenity is as Sasse states;

    “The unity of the Lutheran Church may not be confused with the unity of the Church of Christ in general; for we do not confuse, as do the Roman Catholics, our church with the Una Sancta. In what does the unity of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church consist? The 7th article of the Augsburg Confession teaches that: wherever the gospel is announced so that humans can thereby come to faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior, and where the sacraments are still administered according to the institution of the Lord, there is the one holy church, the community of saints, i.e., the sinners who have faith and who are justified in faith. That can happen inside of, and outside of, our denominational church. Indeed, Lutheranism has never given up the faith, that the true church of Christ is all around the earth, hidden among the historically metamorphosed “churches”, wherever even only the voice of the Good shepherd can still be heard. Here is the great and authentic ecumeny of our church, which has found its most powerful expression in that which the Apology to the Augsburg Confession, article 7/8, says about the “comforting article” of the ecclesia catholica:

    this remains certainly true, that the group and the individuals are the true church, which here and there in the world, from sunrise to sunset, truly believe in Christ, which then have one gospel, one Christ, one baptism and one sacrament, governed by one Holy Spirit, even if they have different ceremonies. (Müller, pg. 154)

    This church and its unity are a reality in the world, but a reality which must be believed, as the explanation of the third article in Luther’s large catechism so clearly says:

    I believe that there is on earth a little holy flock or community of pure saints under one head, Christ. It is called together by the Holy Spirit in one faith, mind and understanding. It possesses a variety of gifts, yet is united in love without sect or schism, (Müller, pg, 457)

    True ecumeny, which sees the one church of Christ wherever the means of grace are yet preserved – through which the Lord calls to His church -even beyond the boundaries of one’s own ecclesiology, stands opposed to false ecumeny, which treats Christians of all denominations as brothers in faith. This false ecumeny tries to make visible and tangible that which we humans cannot see and touch, the church as the people of God, as the Body of Christ, as the temple of the Holy Spirit. This false ecumeny changes the “article of faith” about the church into an “article of sight.” It understands the unity of the church, which only the Holy Spirit can create and maintain, as something which we humans can produce. And it tries to produce this unity, in that it works to realize the one faith, the one baptism, the one sacrament of the altar as a compromise of various forms of faith, various interpretations of baptism, and various understandings of holy communion. In so far as it does that, this false ecumeny overlooks [the fact] that the various understandings of the means of grace are not only different possibilities of understanding the truth, but rather that soul-murdering errors and church-destroying heresy also hide among them. True ecumeny sees this. Therefore, it is able to recognize the true unity of the church only there, where it recognizes the one correct faith, the one correct baptism, the one communion of the Lord Christ. True ecumeny asks, therefore, not first about unity, but rather about truth. It knows that where the true church is, there, and there alone, is also the one church. In this sense it understands the high priestly prayer of the Lord, too, in which the “that they may all be one” is linked inseparably with “sanctify them in Your truth; Your Word is the truth” (John 17:17,21)”

  • Grace

    tODD – 41

    Porcell – 40 – “No single Christian theologian, whether himself, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Aqinas et al knows the whole of Christian truth.”

    tODD – 41 – “How do you know that? Are you rigidly certain about that? What does it mean to you to “rigorously adhere” to the truths God has revealed to us in Scripture, if you simultaneously assert that this adherence cannot be certain, and cannot even know everything that God has revealed to us?”

    Grace – - The obvious commandment of Jesus is ignored, all too often – and yet many fail to see the deception, therefore, no one knows the whole of Christian truth, let alone statement Jesus made which should be adhered to – - “LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR” – - how many so called theologian’s have practiced this truth, or taught it? More importantly, why take ‘their’ words to be factual, many, many times quoting your favorite denominational books, rather than God’s Word.

    If you believe that some – “knows the whole of Christian truth” then why did Luther fail miserably, Calvin fell down as well – both forgot the commandment to “love our neighbor” – they not only forgot it, both turned from Christ’s words down their own hateful path, and this, after they supposedly understood and had studied the Gospel. Wouldn’t that obvious command from Christ Jesus stand out to even the most simple of men? We all make mistakes, however hating others to the point of having them burned at the stake for not agreeing upon doctrine, or driven from their homes and towns, is not at all what Christ preached, that isn’t love.

    Porcell is correct in his statement above. The real truth can only be obtained from the Word of God. This doesn’t negate reading men’s works, but it most certainly doesn’t trump the Word of God, .. that must come FIRST, not alongside, but FIRST in a Believers quest for truth.

    If one knows to do good and supports evil, they have either not understood the LORD Jesus Christ commandment – or – they are willfully turning their back on Him, and DO NOT KNOW the truth.

    Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. James 4:17

  • Grace

    tODD – 41

    Porcell – 40 – “No single Christian theologian, whether himself, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Aqinas et al knows the whole of Christian truth.”

    tODD – 41 – “How do you know that? Are you rigidly certain about that? What does it mean to you to “rigorously adhere” to the truths God has revealed to us in Scripture, if you simultaneously assert that this adherence cannot be certain, and cannot even know everything that God has revealed to us?”

    Grace – - The obvious commandment of Jesus is ignored, all too often – and yet many fail to see the deception, therefore, no one knows the whole of Christian truth, let alone statement Jesus made which should be adhered to – - “LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR” – - how many so called theologian’s have practiced this truth, or taught it? More importantly, why take ‘their’ words to be factual, many, many times quoting your favorite denominational books, rather than God’s Word.

    If you believe that some – “knows the whole of Christian truth” then why did Luther fail miserably, Calvin fell down as well – both forgot the commandment to “love our neighbor” – they not only forgot it, both turned from Christ’s words down their own hateful path, and this, after they supposedly understood and had studied the Gospel. Wouldn’t that obvious command from Christ Jesus stand out to even the most simple of men? We all make mistakes, however hating others to the point of having them burned at the stake for not agreeing upon doctrine, or driven from their homes and towns, is not at all what Christ preached, that isn’t love.

    Porcell is correct in his statement above. The real truth can only be obtained from the Word of God. This doesn’t negate reading men’s works, but it most certainly doesn’t trump the Word of God, .. that must come FIRST, not alongside, but FIRST in a Believers quest for truth.

    If one knows to do good and supports evil, they have either not understood the LORD Jesus Christ commandment – or – they are willfully turning their back on Him, and DO NOT KNOW the truth.

    Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. James 4:17

  • http://jdueck.net Joel D

    Louis, Steve

    I tried to wrap my head around both of your sweeping generalizations. I guess your experiences with self-identified Calvinists must have been more personal and uniformly negative than mine (although my impressions have been similar in kind if not in degree, see No. 26).

    I had a quibble with you about how you excoriate Calvinists for having and holding to a doctrinal framework, and then say “we believe in sacraments, which are ‘outside ourselves’, unlike doctrine.” That just doesn’t make any sense to me; when I asked about it, all I got were more points about how hoity toidy all Calvinists are. But as I say, it was a quibble and not really important, I just wish you would have understood my difficulty and answered my question.

    I seriously may have just walked into the wrong room, having neither a sacramental background nor Calvinist credentials, if so I am genuinely embarrassed and apologize.

  • http://jdueck.net Joel D

    Louis, Steve

    I tried to wrap my head around both of your sweeping generalizations. I guess your experiences with self-identified Calvinists must have been more personal and uniformly negative than mine (although my impressions have been similar in kind if not in degree, see No. 26).

    I had a quibble with you about how you excoriate Calvinists for having and holding to a doctrinal framework, and then say “we believe in sacraments, which are ‘outside ourselves’, unlike doctrine.” That just doesn’t make any sense to me; when I asked about it, all I got were more points about how hoity toidy all Calvinists are. But as I say, it was a quibble and not really important, I just wish you would have understood my difficulty and answered my question.

    I seriously may have just walked into the wrong room, having neither a sacramental background nor Calvinist credentials, if so I am genuinely embarrassed and apologize.

  • Porcell

    Larry, at 50: “Which is to say, according to your view, that the Lutherans follow scripture, while the Calvinists and others apparently do not.”
    Yes, that is exactly what is being said. In fact that’s precisely what Luther was saying,

    Neither Luther nor Calvin ever argued that they held absolute truth. While both had strong views and put their lives on the line for them, they were sensible enough to know the limitation of even the most brilliant of any Christian view. Both of these great men understood with Paul that For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

    Only lesser, defensive followers of Luther and Calvin claimed absolute truth.

    It is rather a trial to suffer the moralism of reformed drinkers, smokers, and Baptists.

  • Porcell

    Larry, at 50: “Which is to say, according to your view, that the Lutherans follow scripture, while the Calvinists and others apparently do not.”
    Yes, that is exactly what is being said. In fact that’s precisely what Luther was saying,

    Neither Luther nor Calvin ever argued that they held absolute truth. While both had strong views and put their lives on the line for them, they were sensible enough to know the limitation of even the most brilliant of any Christian view. Both of these great men understood with Paul that For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

    Only lesser, defensive followers of Luther and Calvin claimed absolute truth.

    It is rather a trial to suffer the moralism of reformed drinkers, smokers, and Baptists.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell, Larry has answered you quite well (@50), if you will take the time to understand what he wrote — which, it appears at the outset (@53), you will not. (And, I’ll be honest here, your writing could use an editor, Larry — I love your insights, brother, but it does take some rereading!)

    I’ll be honest with you, too, Porcell. I very much get the impression from your comments — both on this thread and on many, many others — that it is you who are uncertain in your faith. You are unsure of what the truth is. And, as you are wont to do, you project this uncertainty onto every other Christian out there. For those of us who are certain of what we believe (and this not of ourselves, mind you, but rather God working faith in us to grasp the very words that God spoke to us), it’s a bizarre, if potentially amusing tactic — something like a student in a math class shouting out that, since he failed the test, then the subject was simply unlearnable.

    The problem is that, in so doing — and I certainly hope this is unintentional — you very much run the risk of injuring the faith of our weaker brothers here. As they struggle with doubt, you only throw more doubt their way, potentially snuffing out a smoldering wick. This is all, of course, contrary to what God would give us in his Word, which is his assurance, the truth, and many promises.

    The question is why you would revel so much in your uncertainty. And it’s hard to conclude but that you do — notice how you lash out (here, as elsewhere) at those who, by faith, are sure of what they believe! And then go on to make seemingly historically revisionist claims on the certainty possessed by long-dead theologians.

    Of course, even as you tell us that we can’t “know the whole of Christian truth”, you also assert your own possession of sufficient knowledge by which to decry those who claim they are certain. To wit, you are very certain, very sure of yourself when it comes to believing, to having faith in, your proposition that we can’t be certain of the truth that God has revealed to us in Scripture. That is the article of faith on which your assertions hang, and on it you will brook no dissent.

    Which does prompt the question: how can we know for sure that we can’t know for sure? But see how the condemnation flows from your one true assertion (@53): “Only lesser, defensive followers of Luther and Calvin claimed absolute truth”! The one absolute truth is that there is no absolute truth … and Porcell is its prophet!

    Anyhow, I’m still awaiting any sort of textual evidence for your claim (@53) that “Luther [n]ever argued that [he] held absolute truth.” To put it a different way, show me from the Lutheran Confessions where either they differ with Scripture, or where any uncertainty in truth is expressed. Otherwise, I’m pretty certain you’re making things up.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell, Larry has answered you quite well (@50), if you will take the time to understand what he wrote — which, it appears at the outset (@53), you will not. (And, I’ll be honest here, your writing could use an editor, Larry — I love your insights, brother, but it does take some rereading!)

    I’ll be honest with you, too, Porcell. I very much get the impression from your comments — both on this thread and on many, many others — that it is you who are uncertain in your faith. You are unsure of what the truth is. And, as you are wont to do, you project this uncertainty onto every other Christian out there. For those of us who are certain of what we believe (and this not of ourselves, mind you, but rather God working faith in us to grasp the very words that God spoke to us), it’s a bizarre, if potentially amusing tactic — something like a student in a math class shouting out that, since he failed the test, then the subject was simply unlearnable.

    The problem is that, in so doing — and I certainly hope this is unintentional — you very much run the risk of injuring the faith of our weaker brothers here. As they struggle with doubt, you only throw more doubt their way, potentially snuffing out a smoldering wick. This is all, of course, contrary to what God would give us in his Word, which is his assurance, the truth, and many promises.

    The question is why you would revel so much in your uncertainty. And it’s hard to conclude but that you do — notice how you lash out (here, as elsewhere) at those who, by faith, are sure of what they believe! And then go on to make seemingly historically revisionist claims on the certainty possessed by long-dead theologians.

    Of course, even as you tell us that we can’t “know the whole of Christian truth”, you also assert your own possession of sufficient knowledge by which to decry those who claim they are certain. To wit, you are very certain, very sure of yourself when it comes to believing, to having faith in, your proposition that we can’t be certain of the truth that God has revealed to us in Scripture. That is the article of faith on which your assertions hang, and on it you will brook no dissent.

    Which does prompt the question: how can we know for sure that we can’t know for sure? But see how the condemnation flows from your one true assertion (@53): “Only lesser, defensive followers of Luther and Calvin claimed absolute truth”! The one absolute truth is that there is no absolute truth … and Porcell is its prophet!

    Anyhow, I’m still awaiting any sort of textual evidence for your claim (@53) that “Luther [n]ever argued that [he] held absolute truth.” To put it a different way, show me from the Lutheran Confessions where either they differ with Scripture, or where any uncertainty in truth is expressed. Otherwise, I’m pretty certain you’re making things up.

  • Jacob

    At the risk of being unfair, I cannot but help think of the cult leader Harold Camping. I am not at all saying that Calvinists are like him. However, one can see how far one can stray if one focuses on finding the hidden meanings in scripture and the secrets of God.

    I remember sometimes listening to his program many years ago when he was less heretical. One big point he always made is that you cannot know if you are saved. He still teaches that but he also teaches that you can, through careful reading of hidden meanings in scripture and clever numerology, know the exact date of the end of the world. Get that – you cannot really know anything about salvation (God hasn’t told us much about that) but God has hidden (presumably useless) secrets about his timeline that you can know.

  • Jacob

    At the risk of being unfair, I cannot but help think of the cult leader Harold Camping. I am not at all saying that Calvinists are like him. However, one can see how far one can stray if one focuses on finding the hidden meanings in scripture and the secrets of God.

    I remember sometimes listening to his program many years ago when he was less heretical. One big point he always made is that you cannot know if you are saved. He still teaches that but he also teaches that you can, through careful reading of hidden meanings in scripture and clever numerology, know the exact date of the end of the world. Get that – you cannot really know anything about salvation (God hasn’t told us much about that) but God has hidden (presumably useless) secrets about his timeline that you can know.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Of course, Porcell, it is appropriate that your one absolute truth have a proof-text. I mean, you have to have a proof-text!

    And there it is (@53)! 1 Corinthians 13:12. Entirely contextless, of course. It’s the proof-text way. I mean, is 1 Corinthians 13 about how we don’t really know anything with certainty, or is it about love? You have clearly concluded the former. Which does cause one to wonder a wee bit how Paul could have, all of two chapters earlier, spoken with such certainty and authority on the Lord’s Supper — using the very words which, if I or Larry were to say them, would be decried by you as “narrow sectarianism”!

    Anyhow, let’s pretend for a moment that Paul’s discourse about love is actually about how we can’t know anything for sure. Fine. Did you notice what Paul actually says? “Now I know in part.” Wait, what’s that, Paul? “I know.” Huh. He almost sounds … certain!

    Of course, he doesn’t claim to know everything about God, as it is clear God has not chosen to reveal everything about himself to us. But Paul seems quite, yes, certain about those things that God has revealed to us in his Word. Indeed, one could hardly read the Pauline epistles and conclude otherwise. And yet, you seem to think that you have found in the contextless 1 Cor. 13:12 a decoder ring by which all of Paul’s writings can be seen to be suffused with uncertainty. Fascinating.

    Anyhow, have you considered the ludicrousness of this statement of yours?

    The trouble today is that assorted sectarian religious groups often defensively declare their absolute Christian truths with little regard for the underlying coherence of the Christian religion.

    I’m not sure I know where to begin, but … you’re saying that … “the Christian religion” — that is to say, the teachings of, the truth claims made by Christianity — is threatened by people … who claim they have truth? And, by extension, that … the Christian religion would be better off … if Christians just denied that they did know the truth?

    Let me try this out by way of analogy again. A teacher has put a math problem on the board, and asked her class to work in groups to solve it. Some groups arrived at one answer, others at a different answer, and yet others at a third one. The teacher patiently listened to them argue their points for a while before saying, “The trouble today is that you all are defending your group’s claim on the correct answer with little regard for the underlying coherence of mathematics.” I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t send my child to be taught by that teacher!

    Yesterday, Bror, a usually sensible guy, averred on another thread that Baptists and Calvinists are joined at Satin’s hip.

    Yes, that’s because Bror believes in truth. And he’s not indifferent to false, anti-Christian teaching.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Of course, Porcell, it is appropriate that your one absolute truth have a proof-text. I mean, you have to have a proof-text!

    And there it is (@53)! 1 Corinthians 13:12. Entirely contextless, of course. It’s the proof-text way. I mean, is 1 Corinthians 13 about how we don’t really know anything with certainty, or is it about love? You have clearly concluded the former. Which does cause one to wonder a wee bit how Paul could have, all of two chapters earlier, spoken with such certainty and authority on the Lord’s Supper — using the very words which, if I or Larry were to say them, would be decried by you as “narrow sectarianism”!

    Anyhow, let’s pretend for a moment that Paul’s discourse about love is actually about how we can’t know anything for sure. Fine. Did you notice what Paul actually says? “Now I know in part.” Wait, what’s that, Paul? “I know.” Huh. He almost sounds … certain!

    Of course, he doesn’t claim to know everything about God, as it is clear God has not chosen to reveal everything about himself to us. But Paul seems quite, yes, certain about those things that God has revealed to us in his Word. Indeed, one could hardly read the Pauline epistles and conclude otherwise. And yet, you seem to think that you have found in the contextless 1 Cor. 13:12 a decoder ring by which all of Paul’s writings can be seen to be suffused with uncertainty. Fascinating.

    Anyhow, have you considered the ludicrousness of this statement of yours?

    The trouble today is that assorted sectarian religious groups often defensively declare their absolute Christian truths with little regard for the underlying coherence of the Christian religion.

    I’m not sure I know where to begin, but … you’re saying that … “the Christian religion” — that is to say, the teachings of, the truth claims made by Christianity — is threatened by people … who claim they have truth? And, by extension, that … the Christian religion would be better off … if Christians just denied that they did know the truth?

    Let me try this out by way of analogy again. A teacher has put a math problem on the board, and asked her class to work in groups to solve it. Some groups arrived at one answer, others at a different answer, and yet others at a third one. The teacher patiently listened to them argue their points for a while before saying, “The trouble today is that you all are defending your group’s claim on the correct answer with little regard for the underlying coherence of mathematics.” I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t send my child to be taught by that teacher!

    Yesterday, Bror, a usually sensible guy, averred on another thread that Baptists and Calvinists are joined at Satin’s hip.

    Yes, that’s because Bror believes in truth. And he’s not indifferent to false, anti-Christian teaching.

  • Porcell

    Todd, at 54, just how would you, Larry, or Luther claim to go beyond Paul’s For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

    I’m secure in faith mainly through biblical revelation, though I understand that this revelation, while principally guided by the Holy Spirit, is subject to historic and linguistic imperfection both in its writing and interpretation.

    Also, I pay attention to the great theologians including the Cappadocians, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Melanchthon, Calvin, Chemnitz, Turretin, Edwards Barth, the Niebuhrs, Rahner, Von Balthasar, John Paul II,Benedict XVI, and at present, Horton, none of whom to my knowledge ever claimed absolute truth. Should you have knowledge that any of them, including Luther, made any such claim do enlighten us.

  • Porcell

    Todd, at 54, just how would you, Larry, or Luther claim to go beyond Paul’s For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

    I’m secure in faith mainly through biblical revelation, though I understand that this revelation, while principally guided by the Holy Spirit, is subject to historic and linguistic imperfection both in its writing and interpretation.

    Also, I pay attention to the great theologians including the Cappadocians, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Melanchthon, Calvin, Chemnitz, Turretin, Edwards Barth, the Niebuhrs, Rahner, Von Balthasar, John Paul II,Benedict XVI, and at present, Horton, none of whom to my knowledge ever claimed absolute truth. Should you have knowledge that any of them, including Luther, made any such claim do enlighten us.

  • Grace

    55 – Jacob

    “At the risk of being unfair, I cannot but help think of the cult leader Harold Camping. I am not at all saying that Calvinists are like him. However, one can see how far one can stray if one focuses on finding the hidden meanings in scripture and the secrets of God.”

    Using Camping’s name in any way to compare Calvinists isn’t just “unfair” it’s ignorant.

    Nothing about Camping has a thing to do with the those who are Calvinists. Of course you could think of Camping/Calvinists, that’s because you don’t know the difference, that might be the secret you are looking for. Try studying, it’s the best medicine for ignorance.

  • Grace

    55 – Jacob

    “At the risk of being unfair, I cannot but help think of the cult leader Harold Camping. I am not at all saying that Calvinists are like him. However, one can see how far one can stray if one focuses on finding the hidden meanings in scripture and the secrets of God.”

    Using Camping’s name in any way to compare Calvinists isn’t just “unfair” it’s ignorant.

    Nothing about Camping has a thing to do with the those who are Calvinists. Of course you could think of Camping/Calvinists, that’s because you don’t know the difference, that might be the secret you are looking for. Try studying, it’s the best medicine for ignorance.

  • Grace

    Jacob – 55

    “I remember sometimes listening to his program many years ago when he was less heretical. One big point he always made is that you cannot know if you are saved. He still teaches that but he also teaches that you can, through careful reading of hidden meanings in scripture and clever numerology, know the exact date of the end of the world. Get that – you cannot really know anything about salvation (God hasn’t told us much about that) but God has hidden (presumably useless) secrets about his timeline that you can know.”

    Is this the sort of nonsense those who are Lutheran believe? – is this the logical conclusions you come to? – do any of you actually know what others believe outside your Lutheran denomination? –

    If you are cradle Lutherans, I can see why you have no real understanding of those of other denominations – you classify most everyone as Baptist of one stripe or another, and throw in the RCC when you’re really confused – nothing could be further from the truth.

    I was on the board of a Christian womens group. We were having our monthly luncheon, of which a well known Christian was to speak. I invited a neighbor of mine, and she invited her pastors wife. They were both totally oblivious to anything but the speaker, they listend with such longing. The speaker spoke of Salvation, and Christs love for them and everyone, she told how one must repent and believe in the LORD Jesus Christ – Both of these women were Lutheran – one a pastors wife.

    At the end many people left notes on the table. Since I was on the board, I was expected with all the other members to read what was written – both these women wanted Salvation, they prayed to God for forgivness of their sins, and accepted His free gift of Salvation. Obviously these two women had never heard anything like this before.

    Christ opens mens hearts – when the Gospel is preached, many people are hungry as though they have never had dinner. They open their hearts to Christ, and believe on Him for Salvation. Church denomination means nothing if you don’t understand repentance, belief and Salvation. And yes, I believe everyone needs to be Baptized.

  • Grace

    Jacob – 55

    “I remember sometimes listening to his program many years ago when he was less heretical. One big point he always made is that you cannot know if you are saved. He still teaches that but he also teaches that you can, through careful reading of hidden meanings in scripture and clever numerology, know the exact date of the end of the world. Get that – you cannot really know anything about salvation (God hasn’t told us much about that) but God has hidden (presumably useless) secrets about his timeline that you can know.”

    Is this the sort of nonsense those who are Lutheran believe? – is this the logical conclusions you come to? – do any of you actually know what others believe outside your Lutheran denomination? –

    If you are cradle Lutherans, I can see why you have no real understanding of those of other denominations – you classify most everyone as Baptist of one stripe or another, and throw in the RCC when you’re really confused – nothing could be further from the truth.

    I was on the board of a Christian womens group. We were having our monthly luncheon, of which a well known Christian was to speak. I invited a neighbor of mine, and she invited her pastors wife. They were both totally oblivious to anything but the speaker, they listend with such longing. The speaker spoke of Salvation, and Christs love for them and everyone, she told how one must repent and believe in the LORD Jesus Christ – Both of these women were Lutheran – one a pastors wife.

    At the end many people left notes on the table. Since I was on the board, I was expected with all the other members to read what was written – both these women wanted Salvation, they prayed to God for forgivness of their sins, and accepted His free gift of Salvation. Obviously these two women had never heard anything like this before.

    Christ opens mens hearts – when the Gospel is preached, many people are hungry as though they have never had dinner. They open their hearts to Christ, and believe on Him for Salvation. Church denomination means nothing if you don’t understand repentance, belief and Salvation. And yes, I believe everyone needs to be Baptized.

  • steve

    It’s as unfair to link Camping and his followers with Calvinism as it is to link Swedenborg and his followers with Lutheranism. Each man rejected the orthodoxy of his mother church in order to pursue his own obsessions and ended up leading many people astray. That’s all there is to it.

  • steve

    It’s as unfair to link Camping and his followers with Calvinism as it is to link Swedenborg and his followers with Lutheranism. Each man rejected the orthodoxy of his mother church in order to pursue his own obsessions and ended up leading many people astray. That’s all there is to it.

  • Grace

    About the passage in 1 Corinthians -

    For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 1 Corinthians 13:12

    Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.
    1 John 3:2

    We don’t know everything right now, but we will know Him as we are known one day. We will be like Him because we will see Him just as He is.

    Lets be glad and joyful that we believe in the risen Savior, lets take delight in His Word, grateful for His Sacrifice on the Cross for a wicked sinful world, including you and me.

    Much is a mystery right now, we don’t know when our LORD will return, but let us look forward to His returning.

  • Grace

    About the passage in 1 Corinthians -

    For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 1 Corinthians 13:12

    Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.
    1 John 3:2

    We don’t know everything right now, but we will know Him as we are known one day. We will be like Him because we will see Him just as He is.

    Lets be glad and joyful that we believe in the risen Savior, lets take delight in His Word, grateful for His Sacrifice on the Cross for a wicked sinful world, including you and me.

    Much is a mystery right now, we don’t know when our LORD will return, but let us look forward to His returning.

  • Jacob

    Grace, I believe I identified Camping as a cultist, not a Calvinist. He maintains the hyper-Calvinist idea that you cannot know you are one of the “elect”. He does not have many other traditional ideas, whether Calvinist or not.

    I think it ironic that he denies you can know you are saved but you can know with absolute certainty secrets about God’s timeline. I do think there is a danger looking for the “deeper meaning” of things. This danger exists in Calvinism but is not limited to it. Camping is an example of what happens when a speculative Gnostic mindset takes over.

  • Jacob

    Grace, I believe I identified Camping as a cultist, not a Calvinist. He maintains the hyper-Calvinist idea that you cannot know you are one of the “elect”. He does not have many other traditional ideas, whether Calvinist or not.

    I think it ironic that he denies you can know you are saved but you can know with absolute certainty secrets about God’s timeline. I do think there is a danger looking for the “deeper meaning” of things. This danger exists in Calvinism but is not limited to it. Camping is an example of what happens when a speculative Gnostic mindset takes over.

  • Grace

    tODD – 54

    “The problem is that, in so doing — and I certainly hope this is unintentional — you very much run the risk of injuring the faith of our weaker brothers here. As they struggle with doubt, you only throw more doubt their way, potentially snuffing out a smoldering wick. This is all, of course, contrary to what God would give us in his Word, which is his assurance, the truth, and many promises.”

    tODD, if there is a “smoldering wick” that might potentially be snuffed out, you most certainly would be in first place with posts 54 and 56 to do the job.

    I have met and listened to many pastors, teachers, lecturers and Bible teachers, read blogs, posts, etc,…. but I have never read anything as loathsome – hateful statements against another brother in Christ as you have to Porcell. You have been harsh to Dust and Ramona and others as well.

  • Grace

    tODD – 54

    “The problem is that, in so doing — and I certainly hope this is unintentional — you very much run the risk of injuring the faith of our weaker brothers here. As they struggle with doubt, you only throw more doubt their way, potentially snuffing out a smoldering wick. This is all, of course, contrary to what God would give us in his Word, which is his assurance, the truth, and many promises.”

    tODD, if there is a “smoldering wick” that might potentially be snuffed out, you most certainly would be in first place with posts 54 and 56 to do the job.

    I have met and listened to many pastors, teachers, lecturers and Bible teachers, read blogs, posts, etc,…. but I have never read anything as loathsome – hateful statements against another brother in Christ as you have to Porcell. You have been harsh to Dust and Ramona and others as well.

  • Grace

    Jacob – 62

    YOU WRITE: “Grace, I believe I identified Camping as a cultist, not a Calvinist. He maintains the hyper-Calvinist idea that you cannot know you are one of the “elect”. He does not have many other traditional ideas, whether Calvinist or not.”

    You post in circles – your comment doesn’t make sense.

  • Grace

    Jacob – 62

    YOU WRITE: “Grace, I believe I identified Camping as a cultist, not a Calvinist. He maintains the hyper-Calvinist idea that you cannot know you are one of the “elect”. He does not have many other traditional ideas, whether Calvinist or not.”

    You post in circles – your comment doesn’t make sense.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Joel D.,

    No need for apologies.

    If you don’t have a real grasp on the two theologies, I hope we have helped explain some of the differences, and why Calvinists look to themselves for their assurance (ultimately) and why Lutherans look oitside of ourselves and solely to the promises of God, given freely to us in Word and Sacrament.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Joel D.,

    No need for apologies.

    If you don’t have a real grasp on the two theologies, I hope we have helped explain some of the differences, and why Calvinists look to themselves for their assurance (ultimately) and why Lutherans look oitside of ourselves and solely to the promises of God, given freely to us in Word and Sacrament.

  • Grace

    Steve Martin – 65

    “If you don’t have a real grasp on the two theologies, I hope we have helped explain some of the differences, and why Calvinists look to themselves for their assurance (ultimately) and why Lutherans look oitside of ourselves and solely to the promises of God, given freely to us in Word and Sacrament.”

    Please expand on “Calvinists look to themselves for their assurance (ultimately) and why Lutherans look oitside of ourselves and solely to the promises of God”

    Please give definition for each.

  • Grace

    Steve Martin – 65

    “If you don’t have a real grasp on the two theologies, I hope we have helped explain some of the differences, and why Calvinists look to themselves for their assurance (ultimately) and why Lutherans look oitside of ourselves and solely to the promises of God, given freely to us in Word and Sacrament.”

    Please expand on “Calvinists look to themselves for their assurance (ultimately) and why Lutherans look oitside of ourselves and solely to the promises of God”

    Please give definition for each.

  • BW

    Glad to see Daryl Hart give a fair explanation of Reformed and Lutheran theology…

  • BW

    Glad to see Daryl Hart give a fair explanation of Reformed and Lutheran theology…

  • Porcell

    Todd, at 56, your analogy of theological matters to a math problem is fallacious. Theology and math are rather distinct realms of knowledge. While Paul and most other theologians write with as much certainty as any fallen men may muster, most of them quite understand with Paul that n earth men see through a glass darkly. That’s why theology is an interesting topic.

    Christianity has a rich tradition of theology based essentially on to some extent varying interpretations of scripture. When you remark: Yes, that Bror believes in truth. And he’s not indifferent to false, anti-Christian teaching., you suggest that somehow he has a corner on the truth and that his Calvinistic or other interlocutors are anti-Christian. While all of us strive for truth, only an arrogant person would claim to have a corner on the truth.

    Paul’s remark that we on earth see through a glass darkly fits perfectly in context with the whole of his thought. Are you suggesting that the remark is contradictory to his thought?

    Reinhold Niebuhr toward the end of his life wrote in the final introduction to his classic The Nature and Destiny of Man the following:

    Thus it is apparent that old men are incapable of changing their essential emphases and must in any case stand by the record, hoping that the moving drama of history may validate that part of the truth they sought to discern. We will say nothing of the insights which have been refuted and cast into the dustbin of history. Would that we all could share this candor and humility of one of the great Lutheran theologians.

  • Porcell

    Todd, at 56, your analogy of theological matters to a math problem is fallacious. Theology and math are rather distinct realms of knowledge. While Paul and most other theologians write with as much certainty as any fallen men may muster, most of them quite understand with Paul that n earth men see through a glass darkly. That’s why theology is an interesting topic.

    Christianity has a rich tradition of theology based essentially on to some extent varying interpretations of scripture. When you remark: Yes, that Bror believes in truth. And he’s not indifferent to false, anti-Christian teaching., you suggest that somehow he has a corner on the truth and that his Calvinistic or other interlocutors are anti-Christian. While all of us strive for truth, only an arrogant person would claim to have a corner on the truth.

    Paul’s remark that we on earth see through a glass darkly fits perfectly in context with the whole of his thought. Are you suggesting that the remark is contradictory to his thought?

    Reinhold Niebuhr toward the end of his life wrote in the final introduction to his classic The Nature and Destiny of Man the following:

    Thus it is apparent that old men are incapable of changing their essential emphases and must in any case stand by the record, hoping that the moving drama of history may validate that part of the truth they sought to discern. We will say nothing of the insights which have been refuted and cast into the dustbin of history. Would that we all could share this candor and humility of one of the great Lutheran theologians.

  • Larry

    It goes back to how our fallen reason so very easily deceives us and we wish to see rather than believe (i.e. suffer/passion/passive what the Word says), even the doctrine of the church which the quote from Sasse above reveals.

    The temptation always goes back to our reason. This is the point Sasse is making concerning even the ecumeny of the true church, that it is not a thing seen or touched but believed. That it asks not first of unity but what is the truth, it is formed by the truth not by its congregating in unity.

    Porcell, to put it another way: Forget for a moment the specifics and details of each doctrine of faith (i.e. which is true and which is false). One must FIRST come to realize what Sasse, Luther and others say, the question first is “what is the truth”. Yet, even before that in our time I’d say the question is “One must realize there is but one single truth about which admixture of falsehood is utterly forbidden”.

    But our reason (reason NOT subdued to the Word and its servant), and I do not even deny that even within myself I’m tempted GREATLY to this against the faith (no honest Christian can doubt this fleshly thing), tempts us on every single article of faith. Even within day to day this happens to us. There days when evolutionist, whom I work around a lot, say things and in my mind and heart GREAT temptation arises and I have to quell it immediately with the Confessions. The same thing occurs with all articles of faith including justification and the sacraments and even the unity of the church. The false unity of the church Sasse alludes to is a GREAT TEMPTATION of our faith, you must see this, I confess it as a greater temptation to me than bikini clad woman running by. For in temptation we cry out in prayer, “Lord why the disunity”. Temptation away from the faith is much much much more than one’s stomach growling and lusting after co-worker Bob’s Big Mac. The White Devil is MUCH worse than the Black Devil.

    Thus we are tempted from the truth, via reasoning (worldly wisdom via our senses and experiences) so that when it appears to reason that this is “just water, just bread, just wine, a fractured Christendom, three in one is absurd, creation ex nihilo when all appears to be process, the finite cannot contain the infinite, look at all these baptized that fall away, real sinners in the church, God born of Mary a woman, God was crucified by mere men?, etc…reason concludes in unbelief against every single article of faith that this is not true and explains them away. Explains them away that God uses process to create, that Christ only appeared to have a body or avatar, that maybe he swooned and was not really dead, that Jesus was a good man or prophet, that this is just water, that this is just bread and just wine that are symbols and signs pointing elsewhere, that if Christianity is true it be united without disunity, etc…”

    Thus, reason denies these articles of faith and seeks to RE-explain them away and in an unbelieving way that is acceptable to reason. Thus, creating a new false doctrine and wholly other gospel.

    Porcell, that’s why I tried to explain, ask why are not Christ’s words in the supper taken just as is? It is an article faith, the LS, this you must admit. Now why take His words otherwise? Just be honest with one’s self on this and say, “why must I reinterpret this”. When I myself was going through this on this particular article of faith it boiled down to “I couldn’t understand and ‘needed to know’ how.” That unbelief, due to my fallen reason, was withholding this Word of God from me – RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY VERY OWN EYES AND EARS.

    I’m not pointing my finger at you as if I’m not capable of this and do not constantly battle this, the flesh within ALL of us does this. E.g. the doctrine of justification by faith alone, you yourself affirm this. But do you not wrestle with your own forgiveness constantly. I’m sure you do as we all do, it’s impossible to believe without hearing it again and again. Do you not, as we all do, find your reasoning say, “Yea but, MAN, I still sin so much both grossly and piously it seems that’s all I do if I’m deadly honest”.

    This wrestling between our flesh and the spirit NEVER disappears on any article of faith, creation, the Trinity, baptism, the two natures, forgiveness, the Lord’s Supper, etc… Ever have those moments when an unbeliever says something that gives you that sick feeling in your stomach and doubt about the faith arises, THAT’s temptation and reason begins to attempt to reassert its original sin and usurpation of the Word (hath God really said). I recall, the story not the particular names, in one of the first debates over Darwin between a certain Biship and a Darwinist. Prior to the debate the Bishop was telling his wife that “they say we come from monkeys due to this evolution”. His wife’s response was, “Oh I hope not.” Oh can you not hear the GREAT temptation to her faith in that!

    Luther has some rather eye opening observations concerning Christendom and disunity due to the sects, that throughout history from an “organizational” point of view those who professed to be Christians have given great offense by their disunity:

    “From the very beginning this chaotic condition of sects, errors and all sorts of offenses existed in a Christendom, so that a more quiet, a better and finer order than that among the Christians appeared to have existed even among the heathen, where the devil incarnate rules. As a result, the great rulers of the Roman Empire could say with good reason and without exaggeration: Observe these rogues, how they devour one another; and yet they want to subdue the world and bring it to their faith!…Amid these offesnse of the church one must pay no attention to what people suffer or do, whether there are many or few, whether Turk or pope; but one must note where and with whom the Word of God is.”

    Luther’s next insight on the same is simply brilliant and identifies just how easily the devil uses our reason to deceive us:

    “Reason is ESPECIALLY offended because, while the Word teaches Christians to be united, greater disunity, dissension, and schism are found among those who boast that they are Christians than are found in the papacy. Since the Word teaches that Christians should not condemn one another and yet those who bear the name and are called Christians condemn on another more than in the papacy, reason concludes: This doctrine is of the devil and was nicely though up to create this very misery and trouble in the world. I defy reason and all the world’s wisdom to overcome this offense. But this is the only conclusion reason can draw: If the doctrine were to produce the works which it should produce, it would be the right doctrine; but since actually the very opposite is found, how can it be the right doctrine? This is also the reason why our adversaries stand more firmly on their own righteousness and increasingly despise, hate, and persecute the doctrine of faith which we preach. For the sects frighten them away from the Gospel and confirm them in their hypocrisy, so that they grow ever more hardened.”

    Luther points out that the enemies within Christendom are more dangerous than those without, but the enemies within will focus on the enemies without and ‘let pass’ the enemies within.

    “An apostle, a bishop, a priest, one of those who are of the best, had to being the crime of killing Christ. Just so Christendom must be ravaged by no others than those who ought to protect it. Yet they remain so insane that they want to devour the Turk. So they themselves set house and sheepcote on fire at home and let them burn with the sheep and everything else that is in them while they worry about the wolf in the woods. This characterizes our time. This is the reward we have earned by our ingratitude for the infinite grace which Christ has freely won for us with His precious blood, burdensome labor, and bitter death.”

  • Larry

    It goes back to how our fallen reason so very easily deceives us and we wish to see rather than believe (i.e. suffer/passion/passive what the Word says), even the doctrine of the church which the quote from Sasse above reveals.

    The temptation always goes back to our reason. This is the point Sasse is making concerning even the ecumeny of the true church, that it is not a thing seen or touched but believed. That it asks not first of unity but what is the truth, it is formed by the truth not by its congregating in unity.

    Porcell, to put it another way: Forget for a moment the specifics and details of each doctrine of faith (i.e. which is true and which is false). One must FIRST come to realize what Sasse, Luther and others say, the question first is “what is the truth”. Yet, even before that in our time I’d say the question is “One must realize there is but one single truth about which admixture of falsehood is utterly forbidden”.

    But our reason (reason NOT subdued to the Word and its servant), and I do not even deny that even within myself I’m tempted GREATLY to this against the faith (no honest Christian can doubt this fleshly thing), tempts us on every single article of faith. Even within day to day this happens to us. There days when evolutionist, whom I work around a lot, say things and in my mind and heart GREAT temptation arises and I have to quell it immediately with the Confessions. The same thing occurs with all articles of faith including justification and the sacraments and even the unity of the church. The false unity of the church Sasse alludes to is a GREAT TEMPTATION of our faith, you must see this, I confess it as a greater temptation to me than bikini clad woman running by. For in temptation we cry out in prayer, “Lord why the disunity”. Temptation away from the faith is much much much more than one’s stomach growling and lusting after co-worker Bob’s Big Mac. The White Devil is MUCH worse than the Black Devil.

    Thus we are tempted from the truth, via reasoning (worldly wisdom via our senses and experiences) so that when it appears to reason that this is “just water, just bread, just wine, a fractured Christendom, three in one is absurd, creation ex nihilo when all appears to be process, the finite cannot contain the infinite, look at all these baptized that fall away, real sinners in the church, God born of Mary a woman, God was crucified by mere men?, etc…reason concludes in unbelief against every single article of faith that this is not true and explains them away. Explains them away that God uses process to create, that Christ only appeared to have a body or avatar, that maybe he swooned and was not really dead, that Jesus was a good man or prophet, that this is just water, that this is just bread and just wine that are symbols and signs pointing elsewhere, that if Christianity is true it be united without disunity, etc…”

    Thus, reason denies these articles of faith and seeks to RE-explain them away and in an unbelieving way that is acceptable to reason. Thus, creating a new false doctrine and wholly other gospel.

    Porcell, that’s why I tried to explain, ask why are not Christ’s words in the supper taken just as is? It is an article faith, the LS, this you must admit. Now why take His words otherwise? Just be honest with one’s self on this and say, “why must I reinterpret this”. When I myself was going through this on this particular article of faith it boiled down to “I couldn’t understand and ‘needed to know’ how.” That unbelief, due to my fallen reason, was withholding this Word of God from me – RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY VERY OWN EYES AND EARS.

    I’m not pointing my finger at you as if I’m not capable of this and do not constantly battle this, the flesh within ALL of us does this. E.g. the doctrine of justification by faith alone, you yourself affirm this. But do you not wrestle with your own forgiveness constantly. I’m sure you do as we all do, it’s impossible to believe without hearing it again and again. Do you not, as we all do, find your reasoning say, “Yea but, MAN, I still sin so much both grossly and piously it seems that’s all I do if I’m deadly honest”.

    This wrestling between our flesh and the spirit NEVER disappears on any article of faith, creation, the Trinity, baptism, the two natures, forgiveness, the Lord’s Supper, etc… Ever have those moments when an unbeliever says something that gives you that sick feeling in your stomach and doubt about the faith arises, THAT’s temptation and reason begins to attempt to reassert its original sin and usurpation of the Word (hath God really said). I recall, the story not the particular names, in one of the first debates over Darwin between a certain Biship and a Darwinist. Prior to the debate the Bishop was telling his wife that “they say we come from monkeys due to this evolution”. His wife’s response was, “Oh I hope not.” Oh can you not hear the GREAT temptation to her faith in that!

    Luther has some rather eye opening observations concerning Christendom and disunity due to the sects, that throughout history from an “organizational” point of view those who professed to be Christians have given great offense by their disunity:

    “From the very beginning this chaotic condition of sects, errors and all sorts of offenses existed in a Christendom, so that a more quiet, a better and finer order than that among the Christians appeared to have existed even among the heathen, where the devil incarnate rules. As a result, the great rulers of the Roman Empire could say with good reason and without exaggeration: Observe these rogues, how they devour one another; and yet they want to subdue the world and bring it to their faith!…Amid these offesnse of the church one must pay no attention to what people suffer or do, whether there are many or few, whether Turk or pope; but one must note where and with whom the Word of God is.”

    Luther’s next insight on the same is simply brilliant and identifies just how easily the devil uses our reason to deceive us:

    “Reason is ESPECIALLY offended because, while the Word teaches Christians to be united, greater disunity, dissension, and schism are found among those who boast that they are Christians than are found in the papacy. Since the Word teaches that Christians should not condemn one another and yet those who bear the name and are called Christians condemn on another more than in the papacy, reason concludes: This doctrine is of the devil and was nicely though up to create this very misery and trouble in the world. I defy reason and all the world’s wisdom to overcome this offense. But this is the only conclusion reason can draw: If the doctrine were to produce the works which it should produce, it would be the right doctrine; but since actually the very opposite is found, how can it be the right doctrine? This is also the reason why our adversaries stand more firmly on their own righteousness and increasingly despise, hate, and persecute the doctrine of faith which we preach. For the sects frighten them away from the Gospel and confirm them in their hypocrisy, so that they grow ever more hardened.”

    Luther points out that the enemies within Christendom are more dangerous than those without, but the enemies within will focus on the enemies without and ‘let pass’ the enemies within.

    “An apostle, a bishop, a priest, one of those who are of the best, had to being the crime of killing Christ. Just so Christendom must be ravaged by no others than those who ought to protect it. Yet they remain so insane that they want to devour the Turk. So they themselves set house and sheepcote on fire at home and let them burn with the sheep and everything else that is in them while they worry about the wolf in the woods. This characterizes our time. This is the reward we have earned by our ingratitude for the infinite grace which Christ has freely won for us with His precious blood, burdensome labor, and bitter death.”

  • Larry

    Todd,

    Thanks and I do very much agree and appreciate your help concerning my editing. It is one of my weakest “abilities”, my wife tells me the same thing. That and sometimes I’m wrestling with a few minutes to write while wrestling a 7, 6, 2 and one year old! It’s hard to hold one’s mind on paper very good during those times.

    So I do hear you and thank your for you kind honesty on that very much!

    Larry

  • Larry

    Todd,

    Thanks and I do very much agree and appreciate your help concerning my editing. It is one of my weakest “abilities”, my wife tells me the same thing. That and sometimes I’m wrestling with a few minutes to write while wrestling a 7, 6, 2 and one year old! It’s hard to hold one’s mind on paper very good during those times.

    So I do hear you and thank your for you kind honesty on that very much!

    Larry

  • steve

    Camping also believes in modalism, numerology, pretribulational rapture, that God no longer works through the church, and that he is the sole arbiter of the faith. Where is Calvinism in all of this? This just smacks of stone-throwing.

    With all of the truly wacky theologies being promoted these days on television and behind thousands of pulpits every week, I think orthodox Protestants can find better ways to focus their energies.

  • steve

    Camping also believes in modalism, numerology, pretribulational rapture, that God no longer works through the church, and that he is the sole arbiter of the faith. Where is Calvinism in all of this? This just smacks of stone-throwing.

    With all of the truly wacky theologies being promoted these days on television and behind thousands of pulpits every week, I think orthodox Protestants can find better ways to focus their energies.

  • Porcell

    Larry, how say you to the following statement of Hermann Hasse, particularly the closing part, This applies also to the understanding of God’s Word by the Reformers. Thay are fallible like us.

    How it is possible for Christians who really want to obey this Word, and seriously ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten them, to arrive at contradicting conclusions as to the meaning of a certain passage no one can know. The reason is not, as the Catholic churches claim, the lack of an infallible teaching office which through the unfailing enlightenment of the Holy Spirit is able to decide authoritatively which exegesis is right and which is wrong. Otherwise, one should expect that the churches which reject the sola Scriptura, the church of Rome and the Eastern churches, would agree which that infallible teaching office is. The reason is rather to be found in the nature of God’s revelation. God’s Word always comes to us hidden in his humanity. Thus, not by our own reason, but rather by the grace of the Holy Spirit, can we perceive the divine truth in faith. This applies also to the understanding of God’s Word by the Reformers. Thay are fallible like us.

    From This Is My Body, Luther’s Contention for the Real Presence in the Sacrament of the Altar (Revised Australian Edition, Lutheran Publishing House, Adelaide, 1977) p.232.

  • Porcell

    Larry, how say you to the following statement of Hermann Hasse, particularly the closing part, This applies also to the understanding of God’s Word by the Reformers. Thay are fallible like us.

    How it is possible for Christians who really want to obey this Word, and seriously ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten them, to arrive at contradicting conclusions as to the meaning of a certain passage no one can know. The reason is not, as the Catholic churches claim, the lack of an infallible teaching office which through the unfailing enlightenment of the Holy Spirit is able to decide authoritatively which exegesis is right and which is wrong. Otherwise, one should expect that the churches which reject the sola Scriptura, the church of Rome and the Eastern churches, would agree which that infallible teaching office is. The reason is rather to be found in the nature of God’s revelation. God’s Word always comes to us hidden in his humanity. Thus, not by our own reason, but rather by the grace of the Holy Spirit, can we perceive the divine truth in faith. This applies also to the understanding of God’s Word by the Reformers. Thay are fallible like us.

    From This Is My Body, Luther’s Contention for the Real Presence in the Sacrament of the Altar (Revised Australian Edition, Lutheran Publishing House, Adelaide, 1977) p.232.

  • Louis

    JoelD, my apologies if I came over a bit strong – personal history you know :) . Maybe I could illustrate the difference between Calvinists and Lutherans this way – at the heart of Reformed/Presbyterian service is the sermon, which most comes as a lecture. At the heart of a Lutheran service is Holy Communion. Calvinism – knowledge and doctrine, Lutheranism – grace and forgiveness.

    But I do appreciate what Austin says, in that some Reformed are changing their focus. One would hope that that journey continues…

  • Louis

    JoelD, my apologies if I came over a bit strong – personal history you know :) . Maybe I could illustrate the difference between Calvinists and Lutherans this way – at the heart of Reformed/Presbyterian service is the sermon, which most comes as a lecture. At the heart of a Lutheran service is Holy Communion. Calvinism – knowledge and doctrine, Lutheranism – grace and forgiveness.

    But I do appreciate what Austin says, in that some Reformed are changing their focus. One would hope that that journey continues…

  • Jacob

    #71
    Camping is relevant in the sense that once one goes into speclative things, seeking hidden meanings, one can really go off the deep end. I did not mean to present him as a Calvinist straw man – I think I identified him as a cultist. He is an extreme example of where seeking the “deeper” meanings of scripture can lead one to a bad place. But this danger exists everywhere, yes including Calvinism. People seem uncomfortable that he was pretty orthodox a very long time ago and now not Christian in any recognizable sense.

  • Jacob

    #71
    Camping is relevant in the sense that once one goes into speclative things, seeking hidden meanings, one can really go off the deep end. I did not mean to present him as a Calvinist straw man – I think I identified him as a cultist. He is an extreme example of where seeking the “deeper” meanings of scripture can lead one to a bad place. But this danger exists everywhere, yes including Calvinism. People seem uncomfortable that he was pretty orthodox a very long time ago and now not Christian in any recognizable sense.

  • reg

    With regard to the (pre-Camping rabbit trail) point counterpoint of comments, to paraphrase1 Corinthians 1 I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Luther,” or “I follow Calvin,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Were Luther or Calvin crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Luther or Calvin?
    While I think we can (and should) civilly debate the meaning of Scripture and general theological questions, I think this should be done with more kindness and gentleness than I see in some of the comments to this post. Titus 3: “Remind them . . . to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” or as stated in Ephesians 1 “I therefore . . . urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

  • reg

    With regard to the (pre-Camping rabbit trail) point counterpoint of comments, to paraphrase1 Corinthians 1 I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Luther,” or “I follow Calvin,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Were Luther or Calvin crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Luther or Calvin?
    While I think we can (and should) civilly debate the meaning of Scripture and general theological questions, I think this should be done with more kindness and gentleness than I see in some of the comments to this post. Titus 3: “Remind them . . . to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” or as stated in Ephesians 1 “I therefore . . . urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

  • Louis

    Porcell, you know, I think I understand where you are coming from. As someone who came to Lutheranism from a varied background, and who searched around, I understand your point about different theologians etc. But Todd’s point that boils down to “they can’t both be right!” – that is also valid.

    That means that we have to judge between the different truth claims. In my personal journey I wrestled a lot with questions that cast this debate within Historical context. Because Holy Scripture itself is a document which, though divine oin origin, was given in time and space, and interpreted by the Church, as in the Ecumenical Councils and creeds one has to be very careful in how one deals with these questions. No one is without bias, and one has to admit that – and I believe you understand that. But, at the same time, one cannot descend into full blown post-modernist relativism, which, though I know you despise that, I believe your position is in danger of. Thus one has to carefully weigh the evidence, the Text of Holy Scripture, the context of the text, and how the Church, especially the early Church, handled it.

    And here is the clincher. Examining the Text, and the witness of the early Church, indicates a Sacramental Christianity. This, all in itself, disqualifies Calvin. Then one is tempted to ask why? Why did Calvin err here? After all, the evidence states that he was a pretty intelligent fellow. The answer lies in the fact that Calvin approached Scripture like the laywer he was, being heavily influenced by the Rennaissance thought around him. Calvin is not comfortable with mystery. Luther, as one who honours the text, is, and in this stands with the Church Fathers. Calvin wants to remake the faith. Luther wants to trim off the overgrowth so to speak. Rome wants to keep the overgrowth, overgrowth that, such as one find in its teachings about indulgences, directly contradicts the Text and the Creeds. For Luther there is reason, but there is also a limit to reason, and mystery is perfectly ok. For Calvin, as well as for the Scholastics, there is no limit to reason. And that is wrong on so many levels. In this, Luther has a tad more in common with the Orthodox than most, but one should acknowledge that there is not a little overgrowth on the other side of the Bhosporus as well.

    Indeed, though we can appreciate, we cannot have our cake and eat iot too. And this,m my friend is exactly what you appoear to be doing.

  • Louis

    Porcell, you know, I think I understand where you are coming from. As someone who came to Lutheranism from a varied background, and who searched around, I understand your point about different theologians etc. But Todd’s point that boils down to “they can’t both be right!” – that is also valid.

    That means that we have to judge between the different truth claims. In my personal journey I wrestled a lot with questions that cast this debate within Historical context. Because Holy Scripture itself is a document which, though divine oin origin, was given in time and space, and interpreted by the Church, as in the Ecumenical Councils and creeds one has to be very careful in how one deals with these questions. No one is without bias, and one has to admit that – and I believe you understand that. But, at the same time, one cannot descend into full blown post-modernist relativism, which, though I know you despise that, I believe your position is in danger of. Thus one has to carefully weigh the evidence, the Text of Holy Scripture, the context of the text, and how the Church, especially the early Church, handled it.

    And here is the clincher. Examining the Text, and the witness of the early Church, indicates a Sacramental Christianity. This, all in itself, disqualifies Calvin. Then one is tempted to ask why? Why did Calvin err here? After all, the evidence states that he was a pretty intelligent fellow. The answer lies in the fact that Calvin approached Scripture like the laywer he was, being heavily influenced by the Rennaissance thought around him. Calvin is not comfortable with mystery. Luther, as one who honours the text, is, and in this stands with the Church Fathers. Calvin wants to remake the faith. Luther wants to trim off the overgrowth so to speak. Rome wants to keep the overgrowth, overgrowth that, such as one find in its teachings about indulgences, directly contradicts the Text and the Creeds. For Luther there is reason, but there is also a limit to reason, and mystery is perfectly ok. For Calvin, as well as for the Scholastics, there is no limit to reason. And that is wrong on so many levels. In this, Luther has a tad more in common with the Orthodox than most, but one should acknowledge that there is not a little overgrowth on the other side of the Bhosporus as well.

    Indeed, though we can appreciate, we cannot have our cake and eat iot too. And this,m my friend is exactly what you appoear to be doing.

  • Louis

    Reg, fine, but you also have to realise that Camping and Joseph Smith and all those will have followers that enter their names into those verses. So then, we admit that a line exists. Otherwise we would descend into that postmodernism I mentioned to Porcell.

    And if we look at the context of the verses, and the background, you would find that Apollos and Paul did not have issues with each other. Thus one has to be careful with these verses.

  • Louis

    Reg, fine, but you also have to realise that Camping and Joseph Smith and all those will have followers that enter their names into those verses. So then, we admit that a line exists. Otherwise we would descend into that postmodernism I mentioned to Porcell.

    And if we look at the context of the verses, and the background, you would find that Apollos and Paul did not have issues with each other. Thus one has to be careful with these verses.

  • reg

    Louis,
    You surely are not suggesting that either Luther or Calvin are outside of the realm of orthodoxy on matters of first importance (to use Paul’s phrase). Smith and even perhaps Camping of late are off the reservation, but are not Lutherans and Calvinists brothers, beloved by God in their common salvation in Christ? Or is Christian brotherhood still the realm of dog eat dog like the world around us? All I was suggesting was a little less vitriol and a little more love in the back and forth. And by the way, aren’t we supposed to be gracious even with those outside the church. See Colossians 4:5-6 (” Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”)

  • reg

    Louis,
    You surely are not suggesting that either Luther or Calvin are outside of the realm of orthodoxy on matters of first importance (to use Paul’s phrase). Smith and even perhaps Camping of late are off the reservation, but are not Lutherans and Calvinists brothers, beloved by God in their common salvation in Christ? Or is Christian brotherhood still the realm of dog eat dog like the world around us? All I was suggesting was a little less vitriol and a little more love in the back and forth. And by the way, aren’t we supposed to be gracious even with those outside the church. See Colossians 4:5-6 (” Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”)

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Grace,

    Calvinists do not have any means of assurance outside of themselves because they do not hold that the true body and blood of Christ Jesus is in the Sacrament. (and Lutherans do hold that)

    So, Calvinists look to their faith, or their feelings, or their seriousness, or their obedience. There is nothing tangible for them to grab a hold of outside of themselves.

    That’s why there are so many ‘religious projects’ going on inside of Calvinism. “Am I really one of the elect?” Well, I’m not sure…but I’d better get serious about all this stuff to prove to myself (and others) that I really am saved.

    Lutherans (ideally) look to God’s promises in their baptism, in the Lord’s Supper, and in the spoken and written Word, totally apart from how they “feel” about it.

    We don’t have to feel saved to know that we are saved.

    Thanks.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Grace,

    Calvinists do not have any means of assurance outside of themselves because they do not hold that the true body and blood of Christ Jesus is in the Sacrament. (and Lutherans do hold that)

    So, Calvinists look to their faith, or their feelings, or their seriousness, or their obedience. There is nothing tangible for them to grab a hold of outside of themselves.

    That’s why there are so many ‘religious projects’ going on inside of Calvinism. “Am I really one of the elect?” Well, I’m not sure…but I’d better get serious about all this stuff to prove to myself (and others) that I really am saved.

    Lutherans (ideally) look to God’s promises in their baptism, in the Lord’s Supper, and in the spoken and written Word, totally apart from how they “feel” about it.

    We don’t have to feel saved to know that we are saved.

    Thanks.

  • reg

    Steve,
    Actually Calvinists look to the promises of God for their salvation not some inner feeling. Those promises are found in Romans 10 for example. I do not know many Calvinists who are fretting about whether they are truly elect or who look to works to attain salvation or reassurance. Even without a salvific view of baptism (which I don’t believe is scriptural) they still hold fast to God’s promises in his word.

  • reg

    Steve,
    Actually Calvinists look to the promises of God for their salvation not some inner feeling. Those promises are found in Romans 10 for example. I do not know many Calvinists who are fretting about whether they are truly elect or who look to works to attain salvation or reassurance. Even without a salvific view of baptism (which I don’t believe is scriptural) they still hold fast to God’s promises in his word.

  • Grace

    Steve Martin,

    “So, Calvinists look to their faith, or their feelings, or their seriousness, or their obedience. There is nothing tangible for them to grab a hold of outside of themselves.”

    I know I’m saved, I do not question my Salvation, nor do I know anyone else who has repented of their sins, Believed in the LORD Jesus Christ and Baptized, questions their Salvation. You are living under a myth. Just to set the record straight, I am not a Calvinist, but I certainly agree with them much more than Lutheranism.

    This is one of the problems you suffer as a Lutheran, you really don’t know what other denominations believe, and that would include those who stylize themselves as Calvinist. Your information sounds very much like that of indoctrination from Lutheranism.

    We hold to the truths of God’s Word, that’s what we have, HIS WORD!

    15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

    16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3

    He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:18

    He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. John 3:36

    Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. John 6:47

    All from the LORD Jesus Christ found in Saint John -

  • Grace

    Steve Martin,

    “So, Calvinists look to their faith, or their feelings, or their seriousness, or their obedience. There is nothing tangible for them to grab a hold of outside of themselves.”

    I know I’m saved, I do not question my Salvation, nor do I know anyone else who has repented of their sins, Believed in the LORD Jesus Christ and Baptized, questions their Salvation. You are living under a myth. Just to set the record straight, I am not a Calvinist, but I certainly agree with them much more than Lutheranism.

    This is one of the problems you suffer as a Lutheran, you really don’t know what other denominations believe, and that would include those who stylize themselves as Calvinist. Your information sounds very much like that of indoctrination from Lutheranism.

    We hold to the truths of God’s Word, that’s what we have, HIS WORD!

    15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

    16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3

    He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:18

    He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. John 3:36

    Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. John 6:47

    All from the LORD Jesus Christ found in Saint John -

  • Grace

    Luther is constantly brought forth as the answer to all questions concerning the Gospel, or the use of the Book of Concord. Very rarely is the Bible used solely as the means for study and understanding You put far more importance upon Luther’s explanation than you do the Word of God, if it were not so, Luther’s name would not be mentioned continually, including BoC.

    Its as if the LORD spoke another unknown language, which was given to pen the Word of God through the Holy Spirit, His infallible, inerrant words, and then …… it took Luther to translate those words into human consumption, (German) and only through study of Luther’s words and the BoC can one comprehend the HOLY Word of God.

    Nearly every argument you make is predicated on Luther and the BoC .. only a man/men, not the LORD Jesus or His Apostles but a man. This is exactly what the Roman Catholic Church did, they have reworked the entire Word of God to suit their traditions and beliefs, looking to the Pope of Rome to choose what they will believe. You quote Luther, and esteem him to such a degree, it’s shocking. The Bible is only interpreted through Luther’s eyes.

    In essence, by Lutheran thinking, man needed to wait 1500 years to understand the LORD’s design, His laws, grace and faith, before anyone could comprehend the Word of God.

    14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.

    15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

    16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 2 Timothy 2

    Study – Strongs Greek – spoudazo-spoo-dad’-zo

    do (give) diligence, be diligent (forward), endeavour, labour, study.

    Approved – Strongs Greek – dokimos-dok’-ee-mos

    approved:–approved, tried.

    workman Strongs Greek – ergates-er-gat’-ace

    labourer, worker(-men).

    dividing Strongs Greek – orthotomeo-or-thot-om-eh’-o

    to make a straight cut, i.e. (figuratively) to dissect (expound) correctly (the divine message):–rightly divide.

    Word Strongs Greek – logos-log’-os

    by extension, a computation; specially, (with the article in John) the Divine Expression (i.e. Christ):–account, cause, communication, X concerning, doctrine, fame, X have to do, intent, matter, mouth, preaching, question, reason, + reckon, remove, say(-ing), shew, X speaker, speech, talk, thing, + none of these things move me, tidings, treatise, utterance, word, work.

    Truth Strongs Greek – aletheia-al-ay’-thi-a

    true, X truly, truth, verity.

  • Grace

    Luther is constantly brought forth as the answer to all questions concerning the Gospel, or the use of the Book of Concord. Very rarely is the Bible used solely as the means for study and understanding You put far more importance upon Luther’s explanation than you do the Word of God, if it were not so, Luther’s name would not be mentioned continually, including BoC.

    Its as if the LORD spoke another unknown language, which was given to pen the Word of God through the Holy Spirit, His infallible, inerrant words, and then …… it took Luther to translate those words into human consumption, (German) and only through study of Luther’s words and the BoC can one comprehend the HOLY Word of God.

    Nearly every argument you make is predicated on Luther and the BoC .. only a man/men, not the LORD Jesus or His Apostles but a man. This is exactly what the Roman Catholic Church did, they have reworked the entire Word of God to suit their traditions and beliefs, looking to the Pope of Rome to choose what they will believe. You quote Luther, and esteem him to such a degree, it’s shocking. The Bible is only interpreted through Luther’s eyes.

    In essence, by Lutheran thinking, man needed to wait 1500 years to understand the LORD’s design, His laws, grace and faith, before anyone could comprehend the Word of God.

    14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.

    15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

    16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 2 Timothy 2

    Study – Strongs Greek – spoudazo-spoo-dad’-zo

    do (give) diligence, be diligent (forward), endeavour, labour, study.

    Approved – Strongs Greek – dokimos-dok’-ee-mos

    approved:–approved, tried.

    workman Strongs Greek – ergates-er-gat’-ace

    labourer, worker(-men).

    dividing Strongs Greek – orthotomeo-or-thot-om-eh’-o

    to make a straight cut, i.e. (figuratively) to dissect (expound) correctly (the divine message):–rightly divide.

    Word Strongs Greek – logos-log’-os

    by extension, a computation; specially, (with the article in John) the Divine Expression (i.e. Christ):–account, cause, communication, X concerning, doctrine, fame, X have to do, intent, matter, mouth, preaching, question, reason, + reckon, remove, say(-ing), shew, X speaker, speech, talk, thing, + none of these things move me, tidings, treatise, utterance, word, work.

    Truth Strongs Greek – aletheia-al-ay’-thi-a

    true, X truly, truth, verity.

  • Porcell

    reg, at 80:Actually Calvinists look to the promises of God for their salvation not some inner feeling.

    Very true, Calvinists are fully focused on the promises of God through Christ, not on some inner feeling or abstract Platonic reasoning. Should any Lutheran Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion they would understand this.

    Somehow, Lutherans have a need to distinguish themselves from Calvinism, thought the differences between them are, as far as I can tell minimal. Calvin was far closer to Luther in his view of the eucharist than to Zwingli, though most Lutherans claim otherwise.

    Gilbert Meilaender, a Missouri Synod Lutheran professor of church history, writes as follows in the February First Things:

    Moreover, once we Lutherans give up the obsessive search for something distinctively Lutheran—some teaching such as justification or the law/gospel distinction that must serve as the organizing principle of our entire theology—we will be free to recognize and augment the considerable contributions made by catholics of the Lutheran communion to the life of the one Church.

    The truth is that Calvinists are just as understanding of the Law/Gospel distinction as Lutherans, though they don’t have anything like the defensive craving of Lutherans to be distinctive. Meilaender argues that all Protestant churches should be focused on the sort of catholicity that both Luther and Calvin originally intended. This business of sectarian distinction is carried much too far.

  • Porcell

    reg, at 80:Actually Calvinists look to the promises of God for their salvation not some inner feeling.

    Very true, Calvinists are fully focused on the promises of God through Christ, not on some inner feeling or abstract Platonic reasoning. Should any Lutheran Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion they would understand this.

    Somehow, Lutherans have a need to distinguish themselves from Calvinism, thought the differences between them are, as far as I can tell minimal. Calvin was far closer to Luther in his view of the eucharist than to Zwingli, though most Lutherans claim otherwise.

    Gilbert Meilaender, a Missouri Synod Lutheran professor of church history, writes as follows in the February First Things:

    Moreover, once we Lutherans give up the obsessive search for something distinctively Lutheran—some teaching such as justification or the law/gospel distinction that must serve as the organizing principle of our entire theology—we will be free to recognize and augment the considerable contributions made by catholics of the Lutheran communion to the life of the one Church.

    The truth is that Calvinists are just as understanding of the Law/Gospel distinction as Lutherans, though they don’t have anything like the defensive craving of Lutherans to be distinctive. Meilaender argues that all Protestant churches should be focused on the sort of catholicity that both Luther and Calvin originally intended. This business of sectarian distinction is carried much too far.

  • Porcell

    Pardon me, in the second paragraph above it ought to have been

    Should any Lutheran read Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion, they would understand this.

  • Porcell

    Pardon me, in the second paragraph above it ought to have been

    Should any Lutheran read Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion, they would understand this.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Grace,

    How is it that you know you are saved?

    Is it your belief? Your faith, that gives you this assurance?

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Grace,

    How is it that you know you are saved?

    Is it your belief? Your faith, that gives you this assurance?

  • Grace

    Steve – 85

    “How is it that you know you are saved?
    Is it your belief? Your faith, that gives you this assurance?”

    I believe what Jesus Christ stated in the book of John, I take Him at His Word (see #81). The Gospel isn’t difficult to understand – it is man who wants to distort the plain teaching of Christ the LORD.

    It is just those questions you pose in post 85, …. which I answered in post 81 – that confuse you. You aren’t able to comprehend the Scripture, and my fervent belief in Christ my Savior. You like many others want to complicate what the LORD made simple, easy to understand.

  • Grace

    Steve – 85

    “How is it that you know you are saved?
    Is it your belief? Your faith, that gives you this assurance?”

    I believe what Jesus Christ stated in the book of John, I take Him at His Word (see #81). The Gospel isn’t difficult to understand – it is man who wants to distort the plain teaching of Christ the LORD.

    It is just those questions you pose in post 85, …. which I answered in post 81 – that confuse you. You aren’t able to comprehend the Scripture, and my fervent belief in Christ my Savior. You like many others want to complicate what the LORD made simple, easy to understand.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Calvinists may have an understanding of the law/gospel distinction, but they lack a proper understanding of the Sacraments and what it actually is that God is doing in them.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Calvinists may have an understanding of the law/gospel distinction, but they lack a proper understanding of the Sacraments and what it actually is that God is doing in them.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    There may be some Lutherns who don’t believe that Lutherans have anything different to offer to the rest of the Christian world, but that shows me their lack of understanding of eith Lutheranism, the other theologies in other traditions, or both.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    There may be some Lutherns who don’t believe that Lutherans have anything different to offer to the rest of the Christian world, but that shows me their lack of understanding of eith Lutheranism, the other theologies in other traditions, or both.

  • Porcell

    Steve, another Lutheran who came to question the Lutheran proposition was Søren Kierkegaard, who wrote in his Journal:

    Lutheranism is a corrective—but a corrective made into the norm, the whole, is eo ipso confusing in the next generation (when that which it was meant to correct no longer exists). And as long as this continues things get worse with every generation, until in the end the corrective produces the exact opposite of what was originally intended.

    And such moreover is the case. Taken by itself, as the whole of Christianity, the Lutheran corrective produces the most subtle type of worldliness and paganism.

    Prof. Meilaender commented on this passage as follows:

    It is, unfortunately, not hard to illustrate what Kierkegaard had in mind. If I am an inattentive, thoughtless, or even abusive husband and father—and my neighbor is just the opposite, an exemplary husband and father—what Lutheranism too often has to say to us is exactly the same: that before God we are sinners in need of justifying grace. And if I want help to become more like my exemplary neighbor, the message is likely to be precisely the same: that I am a sinner in need of grace.

  • Porcell

    Steve, another Lutheran who came to question the Lutheran proposition was Søren Kierkegaard, who wrote in his Journal:

    Lutheranism is a corrective—but a corrective made into the norm, the whole, is eo ipso confusing in the next generation (when that which it was meant to correct no longer exists). And as long as this continues things get worse with every generation, until in the end the corrective produces the exact opposite of what was originally intended.

    And such moreover is the case. Taken by itself, as the whole of Christianity, the Lutheran corrective produces the most subtle type of worldliness and paganism.

    Prof. Meilaender commented on this passage as follows:

    It is, unfortunately, not hard to illustrate what Kierkegaard had in mind. If I am an inattentive, thoughtless, or even abusive husband and father—and my neighbor is just the opposite, an exemplary husband and father—what Lutheranism too often has to say to us is exactly the same: that before God we are sinners in need of justifying grace. And if I want help to become more like my exemplary neighbor, the message is likely to be precisely the same: that I am a sinner in need of grace.

  • Grace

    Steve,

    The first and foremost important thing is to repent, and Believe that Christ is our Salvation, and Believe upon Him. The church can save no one, it is only believing in the LORD Jesus.

    Roman Catholics, Lutherans and a few others have rules, catechisms, rituals indoctrination, that must be learned and obeyed, in order to understand they have Salvation – the Bible doesn’t teach it, Jesus made clear we were to believe, repent and be saved, in order to obtain Eternal life with Him. We don’t need to go through any sort of pre-training, we need to believe in Christ our Savior, know that He and He alone died for our sins.

    Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

    22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

    23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

    24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

    25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

    26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

    27 Neither give place to the devil. Ephesians 4

  • Grace

    Steve,

    The first and foremost important thing is to repent, and Believe that Christ is our Salvation, and Believe upon Him. The church can save no one, it is only believing in the LORD Jesus.

    Roman Catholics, Lutherans and a few others have rules, catechisms, rituals indoctrination, that must be learned and obeyed, in order to understand they have Salvation – the Bible doesn’t teach it, Jesus made clear we were to believe, repent and be saved, in order to obtain Eternal life with Him. We don’t need to go through any sort of pre-training, we need to believe in Christ our Savior, know that He and He alone died for our sins.

    Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

    22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

    23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

    24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

    25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

    26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

    27 Neither give place to the devil. Ephesians 4

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell (@83), if all the assertions that you make are true:

    1) “the differences between [Calvinists and Lutherans] are, as far as I can tell minimal”

    2) “Calvinists are just as understanding of the Law/Gospel distinction as Lutherans”

    3) Calvinists “don’t have anything like the defensive craving of Lutherans to be distinctive”

    4) “all Protestant churches should be focused on the sort of catholicity that both Luther and Calvin originally intended”

    Then the logical conclusion is that Calvinists should join the Lutheran church. And the fact that they have not indicates that it is they who are unnecessarily causing a split in the church.

    Of course, if you will not blame them for joining us, then perhaps you don’t really believe some of those statements, or they simply aren’t true.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell (@83), if all the assertions that you make are true:

    1) “the differences between [Calvinists and Lutherans] are, as far as I can tell minimal”

    2) “Calvinists are just as understanding of the Law/Gospel distinction as Lutherans”

    3) Calvinists “don’t have anything like the defensive craving of Lutherans to be distinctive”

    4) “all Protestant churches should be focused on the sort of catholicity that both Luther and Calvin originally intended”

    Then the logical conclusion is that Calvinists should join the Lutheran church. And the fact that they have not indicates that it is they who are unnecessarily causing a split in the church.

    Of course, if you will not blame them for joining us, then perhaps you don’t really believe some of those statements, or they simply aren’t true.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Grace,

    So, since you still sin, and do not live the way that Christ wants you to, how do you know that you REALLY do have the faith that you say you have?

    Porcell,

    The fact remains that Calvin had a wrongheaded understanding of the Sacraments, as do just about all, maybe ALL other denominations or non-denominations.

    Sorry to upset you, but that is a fact.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Grace,

    So, since you still sin, and do not live the way that Christ wants you to, how do you know that you REALLY do have the faith that you say you have?

    Porcell,

    The fact remains that Calvin had a wrongheaded understanding of the Sacraments, as do just about all, maybe ALL other denominations or non-denominations.

    Sorry to upset you, but that is a fact.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell said (@57),

    I’m secure in faith mainly through biblical revelation, though I understand that this revelation, while principally guided by the Holy Spirit, is subject to historic and linguistic imperfection both in its writing and interpretation.

    I’m sorry, but the number of qualifications in that statement sound like anything but security! You’re secure in your faith “mainly” in Scripture? And God’s scriptural revelation was “principally guided by the Holy Spirit”? And yet you believe that the Bible “is subject to historic and linguistic imperfection both in its writing and interpretation”?

    And that’s what you’re “secure” in?! I mean, there are enough holes in that to drive a heresy through!

    What else inspired Scripture, in addition to the Holy Spirit, Porcell? What else is your faith in, in addition to God’s Word? And on what standard do you rely in ascertaining which Bible verses are inspired and which are “imperfect”?

    Heck, for that matter, how do you know Paul wasn’t wrong when he wrote your favorite proof-text verse, Porcell — assuming, of course, that you’re understanding him correctly, for which I have already given my doubts?

    Or why is it that whenever you quote a theologian, you have no doubt about the statement you approvingly quote — and it is clear that you believe the theologian was certain about his quote, as well.

    It’s only when we Lutherans attempt to be certain that you criticize us. You believe that no one can have a “corner on truth”. But if that’s true, then you can’t even be true about that assertion! Your claim is self-negating!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell said (@57),

    I’m secure in faith mainly through biblical revelation, though I understand that this revelation, while principally guided by the Holy Spirit, is subject to historic and linguistic imperfection both in its writing and interpretation.

    I’m sorry, but the number of qualifications in that statement sound like anything but security! You’re secure in your faith “mainly” in Scripture? And God’s scriptural revelation was “principally guided by the Holy Spirit”? And yet you believe that the Bible “is subject to historic and linguistic imperfection both in its writing and interpretation”?

    And that’s what you’re “secure” in?! I mean, there are enough holes in that to drive a heresy through!

    What else inspired Scripture, in addition to the Holy Spirit, Porcell? What else is your faith in, in addition to God’s Word? And on what standard do you rely in ascertaining which Bible verses are inspired and which are “imperfect”?

    Heck, for that matter, how do you know Paul wasn’t wrong when he wrote your favorite proof-text verse, Porcell — assuming, of course, that you’re understanding him correctly, for which I have already given my doubts?

    Or why is it that whenever you quote a theologian, you have no doubt about the statement you approvingly quote — and it is clear that you believe the theologian was certain about his quote, as well.

    It’s only when we Lutherans attempt to be certain that you criticize us. You believe that no one can have a “corner on truth”. But if that’s true, then you can’t even be true about that assertion! Your claim is self-negating!

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    When Luther was debating with Zwingli and the other Protestant Reformers who did not believe that God was actually bodily present in the Sacraments, Luther pounded the table and said, “ist!”

    “This IS my body” “This IS my blood”

    Christ never commanded us to do anything where He would not actually be there, in it, for us.

    I find it so odd that so many Protestants can say that Christ actually lives in their hearts, but that He could NOT be present in a bowl of water, or piece of bread, accompanied by His Word.

    So then, we fall right back into ourselves and our faith. It is said that those who reject the real presence in the Sacrament actually place all their faith…in their faith…rather than in God Himself.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    When Luther was debating with Zwingli and the other Protestant Reformers who did not believe that God was actually bodily present in the Sacraments, Luther pounded the table and said, “ist!”

    “This IS my body” “This IS my blood”

    Christ never commanded us to do anything where He would not actually be there, in it, for us.

    I find it so odd that so many Protestants can say that Christ actually lives in their hearts, but that He could NOT be present in a bowl of water, or piece of bread, accompanied by His Word.

    So then, we fall right back into ourselves and our faith. It is said that those who reject the real presence in the Sacrament actually place all their faith…in their faith…rather than in God Himself.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Luther called these folks (who despised the Sacrament) “Enthusiasts”.

    Enthusiasm actually refers to a ‘spirit within’, or a god within you.

    I have never met anyone who believed that nothing was going on in the Sacraments (outside of their own feelings) that didn’t engage in a form of spiritualism, or religious progressivism. They may exist, but I’ve never met one.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Luther called these folks (who despised the Sacrament) “Enthusiasts”.

    Enthusiasm actually refers to a ‘spirit within’, or a god within you.

    I have never met anyone who believed that nothing was going on in the Sacraments (outside of their own feelings) that didn’t engage in a form of spiritualism, or religious progressivism. They may exist, but I’ve never met one.

  • Grace

    Steve Martin – 92

    “So, since you still sin, and do not live the way that Christ wants you to, how do you know that you REALLY do have the faith that you say you have?”

    I repent everyday of my sins, more than once, since my thoughts are not always holy, nor do I say things that are kind. I repent, the LORD forgives me, because He promises me that He will.

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

    I depend upon the promise of God:

    There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
    1 Corinthians 10:13

  • Grace

    Steve Martin – 92

    “So, since you still sin, and do not live the way that Christ wants you to, how do you know that you REALLY do have the faith that you say you have?”

    I repent everyday of my sins, more than once, since my thoughts are not always holy, nor do I say things that are kind. I repent, the LORD forgives me, because He promises me that He will.

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

    I depend upon the promise of God:

    There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
    1 Corinthians 10:13

  • Grace

    Steve – 95

    “Luther called these folks (who despised the Sacrament) “Enthusiasts”. “

    Martin Luther is not the last word when it comes to doctrine. After all it was he who said:

    “You tell me what a great fuss the Papists are making because the word alone in not in the text of Paul…say right out to him: ‘Dr. Martin Luther will have it so,’…I will have it so, and I order it to be so, and my will is reason enough. I know very well that the word ‘alone’ is not in the Latin or the Greek text”
    (Stoddard J. Rebuilding a Lost Faith. 1922, pp. 101-102; see also Luther M. Amic. Discussion, 1, 127).

    Martin Luther changed whatever he liked, the above quote proves that he thought himself above the manuscripts to do what he liked. He made it clear he disliked many books of the Bible. Yet you quote him as though he is the Pope of Germany, maybe that’s the problem many have – they have elevated this man to a place that was never given to any man, including the Pope of Rome!

  • Grace

    Steve – 95

    “Luther called these folks (who despised the Sacrament) “Enthusiasts”. “

    Martin Luther is not the last word when it comes to doctrine. After all it was he who said:

    “You tell me what a great fuss the Papists are making because the word alone in not in the text of Paul…say right out to him: ‘Dr. Martin Luther will have it so,’…I will have it so, and I order it to be so, and my will is reason enough. I know very well that the word ‘alone’ is not in the Latin or the Greek text”
    (Stoddard J. Rebuilding a Lost Faith. 1922, pp. 101-102; see also Luther M. Amic. Discussion, 1, 127).

    Martin Luther changed whatever he liked, the above quote proves that he thought himself above the manuscripts to do what he liked. He made it clear he disliked many books of the Bible. Yet you quote him as though he is the Pope of Germany, maybe that’s the problem many have – they have elevated this man to a place that was never given to any man, including the Pope of Rome!

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Grace, Porcell,

    I am not saying that Lutherans are better than others. And I am not saying that Lutherans are the true Christians while others are not (I do know some Lutherans who believe that way, though).

    what I am saying is that there is a REAL differnce, and that the Lutheran understanding is a more excellent way. And that is why we believe the Lord commanded the Sacraments, because He knew where we would take our belief if we spiritualized it, and or internalized it. So He gave us the visable, external Word of the Sacraments, that we might assurance totally outside of ourselves.

    I don’t expect you to believe it, but I wanted you to hear it, and to have a bit better understanding of what we believe.

    Thanks.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Grace, Porcell,

    I am not saying that Lutherans are better than others. And I am not saying that Lutherans are the true Christians while others are not (I do know some Lutherans who believe that way, though).

    what I am saying is that there is a REAL differnce, and that the Lutheran understanding is a more excellent way. And that is why we believe the Lord commanded the Sacraments, because He knew where we would take our belief if we spiritualized it, and or internalized it. So He gave us the visable, external Word of the Sacraments, that we might assurance totally outside of ourselves.

    I don’t expect you to believe it, but I wanted you to hear it, and to have a bit better understanding of what we believe.

    Thanks.

  • Grace

    Steve

    I don’t know one single Born Again Believer that “despises” the Lord’s Supper – That is a damnable lie.

  • Grace

    Steve

    I don’t know one single Born Again Believer that “despises” the Lord’s Supper – That is a damnable lie.

  • Porcell

    Todd, at 91, on the contrary, both churches ought to conduct serious ecumenical discussions and join together, though mainly due to the pride and defensiveness of the Lutherans this isn’t about to happen.

    Should, however unlikely, the Reformed and Lutheran churches merge, then they would be in an excellent position to negotiate a theological settlement with the Roman catholic church in which case Christ’s prayer, Ut Unum Sint, That they May Be One, would be fulfilled, which will over time likely happen, though not in our time.

    As to the split between the Calvinists and Lutherans, any fair understanding is that Calvin made a serious attempt at union that Luther rejected, something that Melanchthon for one deeply regretted and attributed mainly to the rigidity of Luther’s old age. After Luther, Calvin, and Melanchthon died, their lesser successors hardened the differences that ultimately ended in the present parlous cacophony of Protestantism.

  • Porcell

    Todd, at 91, on the contrary, both churches ought to conduct serious ecumenical discussions and join together, though mainly due to the pride and defensiveness of the Lutherans this isn’t about to happen.

    Should, however unlikely, the Reformed and Lutheran churches merge, then they would be in an excellent position to negotiate a theological settlement with the Roman catholic church in which case Christ’s prayer, Ut Unum Sint, That they May Be One, would be fulfilled, which will over time likely happen, though not in our time.

    As to the split between the Calvinists and Lutherans, any fair understanding is that Calvin made a serious attempt at union that Luther rejected, something that Melanchthon for one deeply regretted and attributed mainly to the rigidity of Luther’s old age. After Luther, Calvin, and Melanchthon died, their lesser successors hardened the differences that ultimately ended in the present parlous cacophony of Protestantism.

  • Porcell

    Grace: I don’t know one single Born Again Believer that “despises” the Lord’s Supper – That is a damnable lie.

    Well said! Obsessive, narcissistic Lutherans like Steve need to be taught some home truths.

  • Porcell

    Grace: I don’t know one single Born Again Believer that “despises” the Lord’s Supper – That is a damnable lie.

    Well said! Obsessive, narcissistic Lutherans like Steve need to be taught some home truths.

  • Grace

    The seven Churches mentioned in Revelation – it is clear that there are great divisions between Churches and beliefs, but most importantly what the LORD states about their condition, and what they need to do.

    Revelation 1

    Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

    Revelation 2

    1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;

    4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

    5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

    7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

    8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;

    9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

    10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

    11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

    12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

    13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

    14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

    18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;

    19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. Revelation 2

  • Grace

    The seven Churches mentioned in Revelation – it is clear that there are great divisions between Churches and beliefs, but most importantly what the LORD states about their condition, and what they need to do.

    Revelation 1

    Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

    Revelation 2

    1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;

    4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

    5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

    7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

    8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;

    9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

    10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

    11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

    12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

    13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

    14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

    18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;

    19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. Revelation 2

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Grace,

    They despise the Sacraments. They despise the idea that God is actually in the Sacraments. Why in the world do they flat out refuse to baptize babies then? They despise the reality of God in the Sacraments.
    That is the truth of it.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Grace,

    They despise the Sacraments. They despise the idea that God is actually in the Sacraments. Why in the world do they flat out refuse to baptize babies then? They despise the reality of God in the Sacraments.
    That is the truth of it.

  • Grace

    Revelation 3

    1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

    7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

    8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

    9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

    10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

    11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

    12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

    14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

    15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

    16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

    17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

    18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

    19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

    20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

  • Grace

    Revelation 3

    1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

    7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

    8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

    9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

    10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

    11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

    12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

    14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

    15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

    16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

    17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

    18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

    19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

    20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

  • Grace

    Steve,

    Are you a cradle Lutheran?

  • Grace

    Steve,

    Are you a cradle Lutheran?

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    Sigh.
    You are totally frantic.

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    Sigh.
    You are totally frantic.

  • steve

    Steve Marin,

    Are you now talking about Calvinists or Evangelicals in general? Maybe I’m confused but it seems like you’re lumping together all non-Lutheran Protestant beliefs. For example, every “Calvinist” church I’ve attended baptized infants and certainly do not despise the Sacraments.

  • steve

    Steve Marin,

    Are you now talking about Calvinists or Evangelicals in general? Maybe I’m confused but it seems like you’re lumping together all non-Lutheran Protestant beliefs. For example, every “Calvinist” church I’ve attended baptized infants and certainly do not despise the Sacraments.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    I’m lumping together all those who do not believe that Christ Jesus is actually present in the Sacraments.

    I think those who baptize infants, but who don’t believe Christ is present in the bread and the wine are missing out, also. But they are obviously closer than all those who despise infant baptism.

    I keep using that term “despise”, because they feel it an afront to their will, and what they must muster up. Otherwise they would do it, and trust Christ is actaully doing something in it.

    Can I blame them. Not really. For most of them it is all they know and all they have been taught.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    I’m lumping together all those who do not believe that Christ Jesus is actually present in the Sacraments.

    I think those who baptize infants, but who don’t believe Christ is present in the bread and the wine are missing out, also. But they are obviously closer than all those who despise infant baptism.

    I keep using that term “despise”, because they feel it an afront to their will, and what they must muster up. Otherwise they would do it, and trust Christ is actaully doing something in it.

    Can I blame them. Not really. For most of them it is all they know and all they have been taught.

  • Grace

    Preaching must be understood, an infant cannot understand the gospel. If they could, they wouldn’t need to learn about the Bible after they were old enough to understand, because they would already have been taught, supposedly they understood teaching/preaching as an infant.

    15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

    16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16:15-16

    NOTE: Believeth first and then Baptized. No one automatically is saved as an infant after Baptism. How many people believe they have obtained Salvation through their parents Baptizing them? This is very serious, one has to believe first.

    If the Word of God told us to Baptize infants, we should, but there is not one Scripture that includes infants.

    An infant isn’t able to believe, repent of their sins, confess – they are but babes. No one automatically receives Salvation without repentance, faith and belief in Christ.

    ( Parents cannot circumvent or sidestep salvation by baptizing their children. Jesus is the way, no one receives Salvation because their parents had them baptized. They have had no opportunity to believe. This is a hard truth for those who have been taught that they were already saved, with no reason to repent, they were predestined, chosen, and that settles it in their mind. )

    9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

    10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10

  • Grace

    Preaching must be understood, an infant cannot understand the gospel. If they could, they wouldn’t need to learn about the Bible after they were old enough to understand, because they would already have been taught, supposedly they understood teaching/preaching as an infant.

    15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

    16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16:15-16

    NOTE: Believeth first and then Baptized. No one automatically is saved as an infant after Baptism. How many people believe they have obtained Salvation through their parents Baptizing them? This is very serious, one has to believe first.

    If the Word of God told us to Baptize infants, we should, but there is not one Scripture that includes infants.

    An infant isn’t able to believe, repent of their sins, confess – they are but babes. No one automatically receives Salvation without repentance, faith and belief in Christ.

    ( Parents cannot circumvent or sidestep salvation by baptizing their children. Jesus is the way, no one receives Salvation because their parents had them baptized. They have had no opportunity to believe. This is a hard truth for those who have been taught that they were already saved, with no reason to repent, they were predestined, chosen, and that settles it in their mind. )

    9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

    10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Grace,

    What does this mean?
    Psalm 22
    “9Yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb;
    You made me trust when upon my mother’s breasts.
    10Upon You I was cast from birth;
    You have been my God from my mother’s womb. ”

    Apparently God is able to grant faith to infants and they can believe.

    1 Peter 3
    “21Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you–not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience–through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, ”

    Cut it any way you like, but in some way, baptism now saves. Evangelicals can never answer just in what way it saves, but usually flat out deny anything except the symbolic importance of our ‘act’ of being baptized.

    Steve is right; if you deny the real presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper, you deny Jesus’ plain words in the institution of the Supper, and His teaching in John 6, thereby ‘despising’ the Lord’s Supper.

    If you deny that baptism is in some way efficacious in our salvation., you deny these Scriptures;

    Acts 22:16 (New American Standard Bible)
    16′Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.’

    Romans 6 ‘ 3Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?

    4Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

    5For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, ‘

    and thereby despise baptism also.

    You can place as high a value on these ‘ordinances’ as you wish, but if your doctrine does not fully reflect the Bible’s entire teaching on the Sacraments, you are despising both the sacraments and God’s word.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Grace,

    What does this mean?
    Psalm 22
    “9Yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb;
    You made me trust when upon my mother’s breasts.
    10Upon You I was cast from birth;
    You have been my God from my mother’s womb. ”

    Apparently God is able to grant faith to infants and they can believe.

    1 Peter 3
    “21Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you–not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience–through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, ”

    Cut it any way you like, but in some way, baptism now saves. Evangelicals can never answer just in what way it saves, but usually flat out deny anything except the symbolic importance of our ‘act’ of being baptized.

    Steve is right; if you deny the real presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper, you deny Jesus’ plain words in the institution of the Supper, and His teaching in John 6, thereby ‘despising’ the Lord’s Supper.

    If you deny that baptism is in some way efficacious in our salvation., you deny these Scriptures;

    Acts 22:16 (New American Standard Bible)
    16′Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.’

    Romans 6 ‘ 3Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?

    4Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

    5For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, ‘

    and thereby despise baptism also.

    You can place as high a value on these ‘ordinances’ as you wish, but if your doctrine does not fully reflect the Bible’s entire teaching on the Sacraments, you are despising both the sacraments and God’s word.

  • Grace

    Patrick – 110

    “What does this mean?
    Psalm 22
    “9Yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb;
    You made me trust when upon my mother’s breasts.
    10Upon You I was cast from birth;
    You have been my God from my mother’s womb. ”

    A child who is yet nursing “You made me trust when upon my mother’s breasts.” – - – trust that his mother will feed (nurse) him, …. every child trust their mother to feed them, either by breast or bottle.

    “Apparently God is able to grant faith to infants and they can believe.”

    There isn’t an infant alive, who doesn’t have faith that mama will feed them, either from her breast or from a bottle.

    An infants reliance and faith upon their mother’s breast to feed them, or a bottle has nothing to do with Baptism.

    All the rest of your Scripture has not one thing to do with infant baptism. This is a problem for you who believe you can obtain Salvation for infants before they can think, or make decisions,…. you make them for them, by believing you can Baptize them into Salvation. It is nothing but false.

  • Grace

    Patrick – 110

    “What does this mean?
    Psalm 22
    “9Yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb;
    You made me trust when upon my mother’s breasts.
    10Upon You I was cast from birth;
    You have been my God from my mother’s womb. ”

    A child who is yet nursing “You made me trust when upon my mother’s breasts.” – - – trust that his mother will feed (nurse) him, …. every child trust their mother to feed them, either by breast or bottle.

    “Apparently God is able to grant faith to infants and they can believe.”

    There isn’t an infant alive, who doesn’t have faith that mama will feed them, either from her breast or from a bottle.

    An infants reliance and faith upon their mother’s breast to feed them, or a bottle has nothing to do with Baptism.

    All the rest of your Scripture has not one thing to do with infant baptism. This is a problem for you who believe you can obtain Salvation for infants before they can think, or make decisions,…. you make them for them, by believing you can Baptize them into Salvation. It is nothing but false.

  • Grace

    Patrick – 110

    A babe who is suckling from their mothers breast is filled with “hope” to be nourished by their mothers breast. This has nothing to do with Baptism.

    But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts. Psalms 9:22

    breasts Strongs Hebrew – shad

    the breast of a woman or animal (as bulging):–breast, pap, teat.

    mother’s Strongs Hebrew ‘em-ame

    dam, mother, X parting.

    HOPE Strongs Hebrew – batach-baw-takh’

    figuratively, to trust, be confident or sure:–be bold (confident, secure, sure), careless (one, woman), put confidence, (make to) hope, (put, make to) trust.

  • Grace

    Patrick – 110

    A babe who is suckling from their mothers breast is filled with “hope” to be nourished by their mothers breast. This has nothing to do with Baptism.

    But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts. Psalms 9:22

    breasts Strongs Hebrew – shad

    the breast of a woman or animal (as bulging):–breast, pap, teat.

    mother’s Strongs Hebrew ‘em-ame

    dam, mother, X parting.

    HOPE Strongs Hebrew – batach-baw-takh’

    figuratively, to trust, be confident or sure:–be bold (confident, secure, sure), careless (one, woman), put confidence, (make to) hope, (put, make to) trust.

  • Larry

    Calvin was not at all closer to Luther than Zwingli on the Supper, this is false assertion Calvinist attempt to portray. It’s the entire point they miss Luther on the Supper, there is no “mediating” or “closer” position on this. That’s why Luther advised to ask them (Zwinglians at the time) “what is it that they put into your mouth”.

    First, of all Calvinist themselves, Baptist aside, are all over the maps on the LS, half Zwinglian and half Calvinistic. All that really boils down to is the adjectives used, the more Zwinglian one’s hate the Calvinistic adjectives because it sounds Lutheran. But upon examination the Zwinglians Reformed can rest at ease as its no more Lutheran than is Islam. Calvin used more subtle language to place the body of Christ out of reach than Zwingli was more crass. But none the less even an imbecile could see that there was zero difference, in the end, concerning Calvin and Zwingli. BOTH departed from Christ’s Words of institution not by exegesis or sola scriptura, but due to “finite cannot contain the infinite” philosophical axiom – plain and simple, both Zwingli and Calvin EXPLICITLY state this (and I have read the Institutes and much more on Calvin).

    They hide the issue. Calvinist like to offer up that the issues was only about the “mode” of presence, to this day this is their mitigating argument. In this way they like to “warm up” to Luther and say, “See no Zwingli here”. But the argument as Sasse points out was NEVER just about the mode nor primarily that, rather that it is the very flesh and blood of the Son of God. What the Lutheran pastor puts into your mouth IS IN FACT the very body and blood of the Son of God, not a symbol, not a sign pointing elsewhere.

    Calvinist always betray themselves with their patent answer of “don’t confuse the sign with the thing signified”. This is not “close to Luther”, in fact it’s an entire religion opposed to Luther. For the Calvinist a sign is a philosophical sign, the absence of a thing, ergo the famous, “don’t confuse the sign with the thing signified” (ALL Calvinist use this, including Calvin). For Luther a sign is theological (not philosophical), the very presence of the thing signified.

    A Calvinist sign, and hence their supper, is like a sign reading “Disney Land 200 Miles Ahead”, thus not the thing and thus Christ is waaaay up in the fiery heaven…etc…

    This is why they cannot answer “what is it that you put into my mouth…exactly what is it” and what is it that the hypocrite receives”.

    This is what Luther offered to “reveal the fox” because the fox hides under very pretty and religious language, Calvin, that sounds “almost Lutherish” about what is given. But what is ACTUALLY put into your mouth reveals the fox.

    It’s why the Lutheran pastor says and should say as he hands it to you “THIS IS the body/blood of Christ” literally not significantly. The Lutheran says what is put into your mouth is the very and true body and blood of Christ and what is put into the mouth of the hypocrite is the same very and true body and blood of Christ.

    Thus, Calvin was not one single inch closer to Luther than was Zwingli. He fact he was more subtle and deceptive, even to this very day which is why it took a wolf smelling hound dog like Westphal and God using stern polemics to flush Calvin out, and that he did.

  • Larry

    Calvin was not at all closer to Luther than Zwingli on the Supper, this is false assertion Calvinist attempt to portray. It’s the entire point they miss Luther on the Supper, there is no “mediating” or “closer” position on this. That’s why Luther advised to ask them (Zwinglians at the time) “what is it that they put into your mouth”.

    First, of all Calvinist themselves, Baptist aside, are all over the maps on the LS, half Zwinglian and half Calvinistic. All that really boils down to is the adjectives used, the more Zwinglian one’s hate the Calvinistic adjectives because it sounds Lutheran. But upon examination the Zwinglians Reformed can rest at ease as its no more Lutheran than is Islam. Calvin used more subtle language to place the body of Christ out of reach than Zwingli was more crass. But none the less even an imbecile could see that there was zero difference, in the end, concerning Calvin and Zwingli. BOTH departed from Christ’s Words of institution not by exegesis or sola scriptura, but due to “finite cannot contain the infinite” philosophical axiom – plain and simple, both Zwingli and Calvin EXPLICITLY state this (and I have read the Institutes and much more on Calvin).

    They hide the issue. Calvinist like to offer up that the issues was only about the “mode” of presence, to this day this is their mitigating argument. In this way they like to “warm up” to Luther and say, “See no Zwingli here”. But the argument as Sasse points out was NEVER just about the mode nor primarily that, rather that it is the very flesh and blood of the Son of God. What the Lutheran pastor puts into your mouth IS IN FACT the very body and blood of the Son of God, not a symbol, not a sign pointing elsewhere.

    Calvinist always betray themselves with their patent answer of “don’t confuse the sign with the thing signified”. This is not “close to Luther”, in fact it’s an entire religion opposed to Luther. For the Calvinist a sign is a philosophical sign, the absence of a thing, ergo the famous, “don’t confuse the sign with the thing signified” (ALL Calvinist use this, including Calvin). For Luther a sign is theological (not philosophical), the very presence of the thing signified.

    A Calvinist sign, and hence their supper, is like a sign reading “Disney Land 200 Miles Ahead”, thus not the thing and thus Christ is waaaay up in the fiery heaven…etc…

    This is why they cannot answer “what is it that you put into my mouth…exactly what is it” and what is it that the hypocrite receives”.

    This is what Luther offered to “reveal the fox” because the fox hides under very pretty and religious language, Calvin, that sounds “almost Lutherish” about what is given. But what is ACTUALLY put into your mouth reveals the fox.

    It’s why the Lutheran pastor says and should say as he hands it to you “THIS IS the body/blood of Christ” literally not significantly. The Lutheran says what is put into your mouth is the very and true body and blood of Christ and what is put into the mouth of the hypocrite is the same very and true body and blood of Christ.

    Thus, Calvin was not one single inch closer to Luther than was Zwingli. He fact he was more subtle and deceptive, even to this very day which is why it took a wolf smelling hound dog like Westphal and God using stern polemics to flush Calvin out, and that he did.

  • Larry

    It’s like Dr. Nagel said ask them (Calvinist) what they give you, they will tell you. And it is what it is.

    Thus it comes back around to Preuss’s point on closed communion, the appropriate question is what justification does one have in giving the body and blood of the Son of God to those who do not desire it (nor to receive the forgiveness of sins right then and there from it), nor intend to come for these reasons.

  • Larry

    It’s like Dr. Nagel said ask them (Calvinist) what they give you, they will tell you. And it is what it is.

    Thus it comes back around to Preuss’s point on closed communion, the appropriate question is what justification does one have in giving the body and blood of the Son of God to those who do not desire it (nor to receive the forgiveness of sins right then and there from it), nor intend to come for these reasons.

  • Larry

    That’s the mistake the heterodox churches make in reading revelation, they are not analogous of the seven churches – heterodox churches are outside of the seven. The seven churches and the warnings are too the orthodox churches. The seven warnings to the seven churches is not analogous to x, y and z denominations or Reformed, Baptist, Rome, etc… The actual analogous to the heterodoxy today (i.e. the reformed, et. al.) is the Nicolatians, proto-gnostics, etc…those confessional bodies outside of the confession of orthodoxy.

  • Larry

    That’s the mistake the heterodox churches make in reading revelation, they are not analogous of the seven churches – heterodox churches are outside of the seven. The seven churches and the warnings are too the orthodox churches. The seven warnings to the seven churches is not analogous to x, y and z denominations or Reformed, Baptist, Rome, etc… The actual analogous to the heterodoxy today (i.e. the reformed, et. al.) is the Nicolatians, proto-gnostics, etc…those confessional bodies outside of the confession of orthodoxy.

  • Porcell

    Larry, at 113, Anyone who has read or studied Calvin knows that his position clearly opposes Zwingli’s view that the supper was a symbolic human tradition- not real.

    Calvin understood that God’s promise in the supper was closely tied to Christ’s person. In the Institutes he wrote that When we receive the bread and wine, let us surely trust that the body itself is also given to us. He further wrote that the supper signs were guarantees of a present reality: the believers feeding on the body and blood of Christ.

    Michael Horton in his systematic theology writes:

    In explicit contrast with Zwingli, Calvin held that the reality – Christ and his benefits- could be contributed to believers through earthly means. Otherwise he says (appealing to Chrysostom) faith becomes a “mere imagining” of Christ’s presence.

    The supper according to Calvin is the assurance of our own participation in what Luther described as the ‘mirifica commutatio’ (marvelous exchange) If, unlike Zwingli , we affirm that the substance of the sacrifice is the true and natural body, Calvin wondered, ‘What could be more ridiculous than to split the churches and set up frightful commotions on how this happens.

    The truth is that orthodox Calvinists who follow the Westminster and Belgic Confessions, along with the orthodox Episcopalians who follow the Thirty Nine Articles, take communion, knowing that they experience the real presence of Christ.

    The trouble with many Lutherans is that they have created a rather nasty straw-man of Calvin with little understanding of his true theology. One member of this web-site had the gall recently to suggest that the Calvinists are joined at the hip with Satan.

    Particularly in America, where Calvinism has been historically prominent since the seventeenth- century, Lutherans would do well to be more accurate and less. defensive about Calvin.

  • Porcell

    Larry, at 113, Anyone who has read or studied Calvin knows that his position clearly opposes Zwingli’s view that the supper was a symbolic human tradition- not real.

    Calvin understood that God’s promise in the supper was closely tied to Christ’s person. In the Institutes he wrote that When we receive the bread and wine, let us surely trust that the body itself is also given to us. He further wrote that the supper signs were guarantees of a present reality: the believers feeding on the body and blood of Christ.

    Michael Horton in his systematic theology writes:

    In explicit contrast with Zwingli, Calvin held that the reality – Christ and his benefits- could be contributed to believers through earthly means. Otherwise he says (appealing to Chrysostom) faith becomes a “mere imagining” of Christ’s presence.

    The supper according to Calvin is the assurance of our own participation in what Luther described as the ‘mirifica commutatio’ (marvelous exchange) If, unlike Zwingli , we affirm that the substance of the sacrifice is the true and natural body, Calvin wondered, ‘What could be more ridiculous than to split the churches and set up frightful commotions on how this happens.

    The truth is that orthodox Calvinists who follow the Westminster and Belgic Confessions, along with the orthodox Episcopalians who follow the Thirty Nine Articles, take communion, knowing that they experience the real presence of Christ.

    The trouble with many Lutherans is that they have created a rather nasty straw-man of Calvin with little understanding of his true theology. One member of this web-site had the gall recently to suggest that the Calvinists are joined at the hip with Satan.

    Particularly in America, where Calvinism has been historically prominent since the seventeenth- century, Lutherans would do well to be more accurate and less. defensive about Calvin.

  • Larry

    Let us compare Grace’s words with on how derogatory she speaks of it once again:

    Grace: “by believing you can Baptize them into Salvation. It is nothing but false.”

    Now Scripture:

    “John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”

    “The baptism of John was from what source, from heaven or from men?” And they began reasoning among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us, ‘Then why did you not believe him?”

    “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”

    “one Lord, one faith, one baptism,”

    “having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.”

    “Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you– not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience–through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,”

    “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?”

    “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.”

    “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”

    I just don’t read or hear Scripture speaking so unenthusiastically, pessimistically, cynically, negatively, blasphemously as I do Grace.

    Grace says one cannot be baptized into salvation, but Christ says to baptize is to baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Son’s name = Jesus = Yaweh saves = Emmanuel = God is with us = Hosanna (the children and infants cried to Jesus) = save us now Lord = “there is no other name under heaven whereby men shall be saved”.

    Now Grace’s doctrine concerning the Lord’s Supper:

    “this represents my body”

    “this is not my body”

    Now Christ’s Words:

    “This is My body”

    Scripture on one hand versus Grace on the other, God says versus ‘hath God said’. There’s a clear pattern here.

    At some point one is just tossing pearls before swine and dogs, and that means dogs/swine = animals that simply cannot discriminate between food and refuse, same here.

  • Larry

    Let us compare Grace’s words with on how derogatory she speaks of it once again:

    Grace: “by believing you can Baptize them into Salvation. It is nothing but false.”

    Now Scripture:

    “John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”

    “The baptism of John was from what source, from heaven or from men?” And they began reasoning among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us, ‘Then why did you not believe him?”

    “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”

    “one Lord, one faith, one baptism,”

    “having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.”

    “Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you– not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience–through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,”

    “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?”

    “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.”

    “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”

    I just don’t read or hear Scripture speaking so unenthusiastically, pessimistically, cynically, negatively, blasphemously as I do Grace.

    Grace says one cannot be baptized into salvation, but Christ says to baptize is to baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Son’s name = Jesus = Yaweh saves = Emmanuel = God is with us = Hosanna (the children and infants cried to Jesus) = save us now Lord = “there is no other name under heaven whereby men shall be saved”.

    Now Grace’s doctrine concerning the Lord’s Supper:

    “this represents my body”

    “this is not my body”

    Now Christ’s Words:

    “This is My body”

    Scripture on one hand versus Grace on the other, God says versus ‘hath God said’. There’s a clear pattern here.

    At some point one is just tossing pearls before swine and dogs, and that means dogs/swine = animals that simply cannot discriminate between food and refuse, same here.

  • Larry

    Porcell,

    You are not going to be able to hide so easily, “that they experience the real presence of Christ”

    The issue was never “real presence” but the body and blood of Christ, “what do they put into your mouth”, not some other mode communication. What is put into your mouth.

    Luther himself writes:

    Let a hundred thousand devils, with all the fanatics, rush forward and say, “How can bread and wine be Christ’s body and blood?” Still I know that all the spirits and scholars put together have less wisdom than the divine Majesty has in his little finger. Here we have Christ’s word, “Take, eat; this is my body.” “Drink of it, all of you, this is the new covenant in my blood,” etc. Here we shall take our stand and see who dares to instruct Christ and alter what he has spoken. It is true, indeed, that if you take the Word away front the elements or view them apart from the Word, you have nothing but the ordinary bread and wine. But if the words remain, as is right and necessary, then in virtue of them they are truly the body and blood of Christ. For as we have it from the lips of Christ, so it is; he cannot lie or deceive. (Large Catechism, 1529)

    Luther also wrote, “Of the sacrament of the Altar we hold that bread and wine in the Supper are the true body and blood of Christ, and are given and received not only by the godly, but also by wicked Christians”

    Henzi writes correctly,

    “All Calvin ended up doing was taking the teachings of Zwingli regarding the Lord’s Supper and putting them into words and phrases often used by Lutherans. This proved to be nothing more than a mask. Once unveiled, Calvin’s teachings were nothing more than Zwinglian. But the damage was done. Calvin’s teaching an the sacraments gained respectability and acceptance in much of the Lutheran Church in Germany after Luther’s death. Unbelievably, Wittenberg, the stronghold of Lutheranism, became a headquarters for Calvinistic teachings. And it was Melanchthon who allowed it to happen.” (A Review of Article VII of the Formula of Concord By Ross W. Henzi)

    Pastor John J. Sullivan who wrote a comprehensive paper detailing the teachings of Luther and Calvin, reflects this same issue,

    “Calvin did attempt to express his doctrine in Lutheran sounding terms, but, as Bente writes: “In fact, Calvin’s doctrine was nothing but a polished form of Zwingli’s crude teaching, couched in phrases approaching the Lutheran…terminology as closely as possible. Even where he paraded as Luther, Calvin was but Zwingli disguised (and poorly at that) in a seemingly orthodox garb and promenading with several imitation Lutheran feathers in his hat.”

    Calvin says, that the body and blood of the Lord are “represented under bread and wine,” Calvin says.

    Calvin wrote, “Peter says that Christ must be received or embraced by heaven until He comes again,” referring to Acts 3:21 — “These men” — the Lutherans — “teach that He is everywhere in space but without form. They object that it is wrong for the nature of the glorious body to submit to the laws of common nature.” But, Calvin objects, “it is the true nature of a body to be contained in space, to have its own dimensions and its own shape. Away then, with this stupid fiction which fastens both men’s minds and Christ to the bread.”

    And we could quote MUCH more.

  • Larry

    Porcell,

    You are not going to be able to hide so easily, “that they experience the real presence of Christ”

    The issue was never “real presence” but the body and blood of Christ, “what do they put into your mouth”, not some other mode communication. What is put into your mouth.

    Luther himself writes:

    Let a hundred thousand devils, with all the fanatics, rush forward and say, “How can bread and wine be Christ’s body and blood?” Still I know that all the spirits and scholars put together have less wisdom than the divine Majesty has in his little finger. Here we have Christ’s word, “Take, eat; this is my body.” “Drink of it, all of you, this is the new covenant in my blood,” etc. Here we shall take our stand and see who dares to instruct Christ and alter what he has spoken. It is true, indeed, that if you take the Word away front the elements or view them apart from the Word, you have nothing but the ordinary bread and wine. But if the words remain, as is right and necessary, then in virtue of them they are truly the body and blood of Christ. For as we have it from the lips of Christ, so it is; he cannot lie or deceive. (Large Catechism, 1529)

    Luther also wrote, “Of the sacrament of the Altar we hold that bread and wine in the Supper are the true body and blood of Christ, and are given and received not only by the godly, but also by wicked Christians”

    Henzi writes correctly,

    “All Calvin ended up doing was taking the teachings of Zwingli regarding the Lord’s Supper and putting them into words and phrases often used by Lutherans. This proved to be nothing more than a mask. Once unveiled, Calvin’s teachings were nothing more than Zwinglian. But the damage was done. Calvin’s teaching an the sacraments gained respectability and acceptance in much of the Lutheran Church in Germany after Luther’s death. Unbelievably, Wittenberg, the stronghold of Lutheranism, became a headquarters for Calvinistic teachings. And it was Melanchthon who allowed it to happen.” (A Review of Article VII of the Formula of Concord By Ross W. Henzi)

    Pastor John J. Sullivan who wrote a comprehensive paper detailing the teachings of Luther and Calvin, reflects this same issue,

    “Calvin did attempt to express his doctrine in Lutheran sounding terms, but, as Bente writes: “In fact, Calvin’s doctrine was nothing but a polished form of Zwingli’s crude teaching, couched in phrases approaching the Lutheran…terminology as closely as possible. Even where he paraded as Luther, Calvin was but Zwingli disguised (and poorly at that) in a seemingly orthodox garb and promenading with several imitation Lutheran feathers in his hat.”

    Calvin says, that the body and blood of the Lord are “represented under bread and wine,” Calvin says.

    Calvin wrote, “Peter says that Christ must be received or embraced by heaven until He comes again,” referring to Acts 3:21 — “These men” — the Lutherans — “teach that He is everywhere in space but without form. They object that it is wrong for the nature of the glorious body to submit to the laws of common nature.” But, Calvin objects, “it is the true nature of a body to be contained in space, to have its own dimensions and its own shape. Away then, with this stupid fiction which fastens both men’s minds and Christ to the bread.”

    And we could quote MUCH more.

  • Grace

    Larry – 117

    You have TWISTED, or falsely written what I have posted.

    “Grace: “by believing you can Baptize them into Salvation. It is nothing but false.”

    This is what I posted in #111:

    –”This is a problem for you who believe you can obtain Salvation for infants before they can think, or make decisions,…. you make them for them, by believing you can Baptize them into Salvation. It is nothing but false.”

    You leave out the first part, thinking you can change what I’ve said. Larry – You were dishonest in what you wrote, by deleting the main part.

    Larry #117

    “Grace says one cannot be baptized into salvation, but Christ says to baptize is to baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Son’s name = Jesus = Yaweh saves = Emmanuel = God is with us = Hosanna(the children and infants cried to Jesus) = save us now Lord = “there is no other name under heaven whereby men shall be saved”.

    Where does Scripture state: “Hosanna (the children and infants cried to Jesus) = save us now Lord = “there is no other name under heaven whereby men shall be saved”.”

    Where did you obtain the above quote?

  • Grace

    Larry – 117

    You have TWISTED, or falsely written what I have posted.

    “Grace: “by believing you can Baptize them into Salvation. It is nothing but false.”

    This is what I posted in #111:

    –”This is a problem for you who believe you can obtain Salvation for infants before they can think, or make decisions,…. you make them for them, by believing you can Baptize them into Salvation. It is nothing but false.”

    You leave out the first part, thinking you can change what I’ve said. Larry – You were dishonest in what you wrote, by deleting the main part.

    Larry #117

    “Grace says one cannot be baptized into salvation, but Christ says to baptize is to baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Son’s name = Jesus = Yaweh saves = Emmanuel = God is with us = Hosanna(the children and infants cried to Jesus) = save us now Lord = “there is no other name under heaven whereby men shall be saved”.

    Where does Scripture state: “Hosanna (the children and infants cried to Jesus) = save us now Lord = “there is no other name under heaven whereby men shall be saved”.”

    Where did you obtain the above quote?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Porcell @ 116

    Peter, ask yourself this question:

    “If our Lord Jesus, who is God Incarnate , really meant in the words if Institution to say that his actually body and blood are really, truly, substantially and essentially present along with the bread and wine, then how would he have had to have stated that to make a good calvinist or baptist believe that is what he meant?”

    Would he have had to have said “Look, this REALLY , TRULLY, IS my VERY body and blood!”? or what?

    Or could he have chosen merely to say this: “This IS my body and blood’.

    Jesus could have very easily said that the sacrament memorialized, or represented his body and blood, or was a spiritual connection to him and his very body.

    He did not do that did he?

    And as God, of course you believe that Jesus could do whatever it is he says right? So why not just take his words at their face value as Lutherans do?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Porcell @ 116

    Peter, ask yourself this question:

    “If our Lord Jesus, who is God Incarnate , really meant in the words if Institution to say that his actually body and blood are really, truly, substantially and essentially present along with the bread and wine, then how would he have had to have stated that to make a good calvinist or baptist believe that is what he meant?”

    Would he have had to have said “Look, this REALLY , TRULLY, IS my VERY body and blood!”? or what?

    Or could he have chosen merely to say this: “This IS my body and blood’.

    Jesus could have very easily said that the sacrament memorialized, or represented his body and blood, or was a spiritual connection to him and his very body.

    He did not do that did he?

    And as God, of course you believe that Jesus could do whatever it is he says right? So why not just take his words at their face value as Lutherans do?

  • Porcell

    Larry, you’re quoting rather biased and defensive Lutheran apologists. Calvin sincerely believed that Christ was really present at the supper, something quite opposed to Zwingli’s view.

    The only real difference between Calvin and Luther is that Calvin took seriously Christ’s final remark that he would not be fully bodily present until Judgment Day. As Horton writes, While Christ is not present on earth in the flesh until he returns in glory , he is active from the throne through the agency of his Spirit. That would be true of the supper.

    While Calvin and Luther had a slight difference of thought regarding what is essentially the mystery of the supper, both these men were in substantial agreement about the Reformation position and quite opposed to Zwingli.

    Too bad that you are among the obsessive and defensive Lutherans that Meilaender referred to, who somehow need to demonize Calviniin order to uphold Luther

  • Porcell

    Larry, you’re quoting rather biased and defensive Lutheran apologists. Calvin sincerely believed that Christ was really present at the supper, something quite opposed to Zwingli’s view.

    The only real difference between Calvin and Luther is that Calvin took seriously Christ’s final remark that he would not be fully bodily present until Judgment Day. As Horton writes, While Christ is not present on earth in the flesh until he returns in glory , he is active from the throne through the agency of his Spirit. That would be true of the supper.

    While Calvin and Luther had a slight difference of thought regarding what is essentially the mystery of the supper, both these men were in substantial agreement about the Reformation position and quite opposed to Zwingli.

    Too bad that you are among the obsessive and defensive Lutherans that Meilaender referred to, who somehow need to demonize Calviniin order to uphold Luther

  • Grace

    115 – Larry

    “That’s the mistake the heterodox churches make in reading revelation, they are not analogous of the seven churches – heterodox churches are outside of the seven. The seven churches and the warnings are too the orthodox churches. The seven warnings to the seven churches is not analogous to x, y and z denominations or Reformed, Baptist, Rome, etc… The actual analogous to the heterodoxy today (i.e. the reformed, et. al.) is the Nicolatians, proto-gnostics, etc…those confessional bodies outside of the confession of orthodoxy.”

    Larry, you no more understand Revelation than Martin Luther did as he wailed:

    “About this book of the Revelation of John. I miss more than one thing in this book, and it makes me consider it to be neither apostolic nor prophetic. I can in no way detect that the Holy Spirit produced it. Moreover he seems to me to be going much too far when he commends his own book so highly-indeed, more than any of the other sacred books do, though they are much more important-and threatens that if anyone takes away anything from it, God will take away from him, etc. Again, they are supposed to be blessed who keep what is written in this book; and yet no one knows what that is, to say nothing of keeping it. This is just the same as if we did not have the book at all. And there are many far better books available for us to keep. My spirit cannot accommodate itself to this book. For me this is reason enough not to think highly of it: Christ is neither taught nor known in it”
    (Luther, M. Preface to the Revelation of St. John, 1522)

    Larry, for you to understand Revelation you would have to study it. Using such words as “heterodox” only add to your misunderstanding of Revelation, and the churches you do not understand, nor have a clue as to their doctrine.

  • Grace

    115 – Larry

    “That’s the mistake the heterodox churches make in reading revelation, they are not analogous of the seven churches – heterodox churches are outside of the seven. The seven churches and the warnings are too the orthodox churches. The seven warnings to the seven churches is not analogous to x, y and z denominations or Reformed, Baptist, Rome, etc… The actual analogous to the heterodoxy today (i.e. the reformed, et. al.) is the Nicolatians, proto-gnostics, etc…those confessional bodies outside of the confession of orthodoxy.”

    Larry, you no more understand Revelation than Martin Luther did as he wailed:

    “About this book of the Revelation of John. I miss more than one thing in this book, and it makes me consider it to be neither apostolic nor prophetic. I can in no way detect that the Holy Spirit produced it. Moreover he seems to me to be going much too far when he commends his own book so highly-indeed, more than any of the other sacred books do, though they are much more important-and threatens that if anyone takes away anything from it, God will take away from him, etc. Again, they are supposed to be blessed who keep what is written in this book; and yet no one knows what that is, to say nothing of keeping it. This is just the same as if we did not have the book at all. And there are many far better books available for us to keep. My spirit cannot accommodate itself to this book. For me this is reason enough not to think highly of it: Christ is neither taught nor known in it”
    (Luther, M. Preface to the Revelation of St. John, 1522)

    Larry, for you to understand Revelation you would have to study it. Using such words as “heterodox” only add to your misunderstanding of Revelation, and the churches you do not understand, nor have a clue as to their doctrine.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Porcell @ 121

    Wow Peter. You are ignoring a formal confession by one John Calvin. Why would you say we Lutherans are being biased and prejudicial by holding Jean Calvin to his words in not just a private writing , but a formally published confession of faith that you will find here:

    http://bookofconcord.org/consenus-tigurinus.php

    This is a formal confession and agreement of faith between Jean Calvin and the followers of Zwingli. Why would you think it is wrong for Lutherans to refer to this as the exact confession of Calvin regarding the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Porcell @ 121

    Wow Peter. You are ignoring a formal confession by one John Calvin. Why would you say we Lutherans are being biased and prejudicial by holding Jean Calvin to his words in not just a private writing , but a formally published confession of faith that you will find here:

    http://bookofconcord.org/consenus-tigurinus.php

    This is a formal confession and agreement of faith between Jean Calvin and the followers of Zwingli. Why would you think it is wrong for Lutherans to refer to this as the exact confession of Calvin regarding the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Porcell @ 121

    How is it “demonizing” someone to merely repeat what they themselves proudly confess and formally publish to be their opinion on something?

    Now you could accuse of of twisting Calvin´s words into saying something he does not. But you need to agree that we Lutherans are not doing that are we?

    I just don´t get that Porcell.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Porcell @ 121

    How is it “demonizing” someone to merely repeat what they themselves proudly confess and formally publish to be their opinion on something?

    Now you could accuse of of twisting Calvin´s words into saying something he does not. But you need to agree that we Lutherans are not doing that are we?

    I just don´t get that Porcell.

  • Porcell

    FWS, at 120, you need to understand that according to orthodox Christian creeds, Christ was/is both truly God and Man with two natures combined in one person. Calvin, following clear Biblical quotation of Christ, following His Resurrection took seriously Christ’s statement that he would not fully appear bodily again until the day of judgment.

    However, Calvin, unlike Zwingli, understood that Christ made himself physically present in the bread and wine of the supper.

  • Porcell

    FWS, at 120, you need to understand that according to orthodox Christian creeds, Christ was/is both truly God and Man with two natures combined in one person. Calvin, following clear Biblical quotation of Christ, following His Resurrection took seriously Christ’s statement that he would not fully appear bodily again until the day of judgment.

    However, Calvin, unlike Zwingli, understood that Christ made himself physically present in the bread and wine of the supper.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Peter,
    “However, Calvin, unlike Zwingli, understood that Christ made himself physically present in the bread and wine of the supper.”

    No. Calvin did not believe in a physical presence of Christ in the Holy Supper. He himself denies this in a formal and published confession of his faith.

    Calvin believed in a “spiritual presence” of Christ in the supper. Only those who have faith receive this “spiritual presence”. Unbelievers receive only bread and wine. Faith, in the supper, takes the believer up to heaven , and there the believer receives the entire Christ , in faith.

    Calvin´s own words in the “consensus tigurinus” says differently than you are saying don´t they?

    It is not slander or misunderstand or to disparage Calvin to merely repeat what he himself confessed. It is you who misunderstand Calvin dear brother Peter. This is not about arguing or factionalism. It is about establishing the historical record without revisionism.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Peter,
    “However, Calvin, unlike Zwingli, understood that Christ made himself physically present in the bread and wine of the supper.”

    No. Calvin did not believe in a physical presence of Christ in the Holy Supper. He himself denies this in a formal and published confession of his faith.

    Calvin believed in a “spiritual presence” of Christ in the supper. Only those who have faith receive this “spiritual presence”. Unbelievers receive only bread and wine. Faith, in the supper, takes the believer up to heaven , and there the believer receives the entire Christ , in faith.

    Calvin´s own words in the “consensus tigurinus” says differently than you are saying don´t they?

    It is not slander or misunderstand or to disparage Calvin to merely repeat what he himself confessed. It is you who misunderstand Calvin dear brother Peter. This is not about arguing or factionalism. It is about establishing the historical record without revisionism.

  • Porcell

    FWS, most knowledgeable Calvinists, including Calvin himself, have had great respect for Luther, while differing with him on some matters.

    Horton in his recent systematic theology shows great respect for Luther while differing with him on some matters. That is the way among even the most brilliant of theologians.

    There is really no need for this commotion and bitterness on the part of Lutherans toward Calvin. The issues need to be discussed calmly and respectfully. Probably the most brilliant of the Reformation thinkers, Melanchthon, whose Loci Communes Luther regarded as worthy of a place in the biblical canon, understood that the Reformation needed less heat and more light among its rather fevered followers, something still true today.

  • Porcell

    FWS, most knowledgeable Calvinists, including Calvin himself, have had great respect for Luther, while differing with him on some matters.

    Horton in his recent systematic theology shows great respect for Luther while differing with him on some matters. That is the way among even the most brilliant of theologians.

    There is really no need for this commotion and bitterness on the part of Lutherans toward Calvin. The issues need to be discussed calmly and respectfully. Probably the most brilliant of the Reformation thinkers, Melanchthon, whose Loci Communes Luther regarded as worthy of a place in the biblical canon, understood that the Reformation needed less heat and more light among its rather fevered followers, something still true today.

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    J.Calvin is too nuanced and contradictory in his eucharistic pronouncements (who can blame us Lutherans for accusing his eucharistic trumpet of blowing an unclear tone?), but I (as a confessional Lutheran) must admit that the Consensus Tigurinus cannot be his final view on the supper. One sees Calvin track well away from Zwingli in his last decade. His movement away from Zwingli is marked. Perhaps this is a result of Zwingli’s (with his heretical gnosticism) own tack towards Erasmus. I’m a Lutheran precisely because of the Lord’s Supper theology, but calling Calvin’s LS theology Zwinglian is, in the end, ridiculous. “Grace and Gratitude” would be a good place to start in terms of understanding Calvin’s convoluted LS views. The confusion there is perhaps the no. 1 reason no one follows Calvin on the LS. Even in continental reformed churches (where it shouldn’t be so) Zwingli is the default position on the LS, and their pastors are happy to leave the reformed exactly where they are.

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    J.Calvin is too nuanced and contradictory in his eucharistic pronouncements (who can blame us Lutherans for accusing his eucharistic trumpet of blowing an unclear tone?), but I (as a confessional Lutheran) must admit that the Consensus Tigurinus cannot be his final view on the supper. One sees Calvin track well away from Zwingli in his last decade. His movement away from Zwingli is marked. Perhaps this is a result of Zwingli’s (with his heretical gnosticism) own tack towards Erasmus. I’m a Lutheran precisely because of the Lord’s Supper theology, but calling Calvin’s LS theology Zwinglian is, in the end, ridiculous. “Grace and Gratitude” would be a good place to start in terms of understanding Calvin’s convoluted LS views. The confusion there is perhaps the no. 1 reason no one follows Calvin on the LS. Even in continental reformed churches (where it shouldn’t be so) Zwingli is the default position on the LS, and their pastors are happy to leave the reformed exactly where they are.

  • Porcell

    FWS, at 126 : No. Calvin did not believe in a physical presence of Christ in the Holy Supper. He himself denies this in a formal and published confession of his faith. Nice assertion, though far from proved.

    Calvin, Institutes 4.17.10

    When we receive the bread and wine, let us surely trust that the body itself is also given to us….supper signs are guarantees of a present reality: the believers feeding on the body and blood of Christ.

    You are another of the fevered, defensive Lutheran opponents of Calvin who at best rely on biased secondary sources without ever having read his writings.

  • Porcell

    FWS, at 126 : No. Calvin did not believe in a physical presence of Christ in the Holy Supper. He himself denies this in a formal and published confession of his faith. Nice assertion, though far from proved.

    Calvin, Institutes 4.17.10

    When we receive the bread and wine, let us surely trust that the body itself is also given to us….supper signs are guarantees of a present reality: the believers feeding on the body and blood of Christ.

    You are another of the fevered, defensive Lutheran opponents of Calvin who at best rely on biased secondary sources without ever having read his writings.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Mark Veenan @ 128

    The problem with Calvin is not really the Lord´s Supper Mark. The problem is that Rome, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint Augustine and Late Melancthon, and his student Jean Calvin did not leave behind Aristototle. They are all like fish who don´t realize they are wet with Aristotle.

    Luther started out as an Augustinian, but his definitive break was precisely when Luther left the Aritotelian influenced Augustine in favor of Saint Paul.

    Calvin can be said to be the über-disciple of Saint Augustine. He is the finest and purest continuation of Saint Augustines views I think it is fair to say.

    So where is this evident? Why does it matter. The place where this shows up most prominently is the teaching on Original Sin. But to understand this, the Lutheran Confessions, Apology, art II says we must first understand of what Original Righeousness consisted of , and that that Original Righeousness was the very Image of God.

    So the aristotelians, the scholastics of Rome and the neo scholastics Melancthon and Calvin place the Original Righteousness with the conformity to God´s Law. So the revelation of the Image of God and how to become reconformed to that Image is found in the Law God wrote in man´s mind, the conscience, it is the Decalog, and it is also in Natural Law. To be reconformed to the Image of God then is to become reconformed to the Law . Reconformity to the Law is Original Righeousness restored.

    This makes sense. And it mirrors exactly how Aristotle says that men become virtuous. We practice virtue until we become virtuous. Virtue becomes a “habit”. Aquinas and Calvin say that this is how we acquire the Image of God. They add of course that the HS is necessary to do this. This they call “sanctification”.

    Luther and the Lutherans completely discard this view. So what do they propose instead? Something that does not make reason-able sense. It is this:

    The Image of God which is the original adamic righeousness is what? It is alone faith in Christ alone. And only when this Image of God is restored in Baptism and the New Birth do we again have something else: that is the Law written in our heart, and not just in our mind and reason that the Pagans have with the Veil of Moses upon them. But having this spiritual Law written in our hearts is not the Image of God. It is a consequence of having the Image of God , which alone is Christ, restored in us in our Baptism.

    I am pretty sure you have never heard this have you dear Lutheran brother.?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Mark Veenan @ 128

    The problem with Calvin is not really the Lord´s Supper Mark. The problem is that Rome, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint Augustine and Late Melancthon, and his student Jean Calvin did not leave behind Aristototle. They are all like fish who don´t realize they are wet with Aristotle.

    Luther started out as an Augustinian, but his definitive break was precisely when Luther left the Aritotelian influenced Augustine in favor of Saint Paul.

    Calvin can be said to be the über-disciple of Saint Augustine. He is the finest and purest continuation of Saint Augustines views I think it is fair to say.

    So where is this evident? Why does it matter. The place where this shows up most prominently is the teaching on Original Sin. But to understand this, the Lutheran Confessions, Apology, art II says we must first understand of what Original Righeousness consisted of , and that that Original Righeousness was the very Image of God.

    So the aristotelians, the scholastics of Rome and the neo scholastics Melancthon and Calvin place the Original Righteousness with the conformity to God´s Law. So the revelation of the Image of God and how to become reconformed to that Image is found in the Law God wrote in man´s mind, the conscience, it is the Decalog, and it is also in Natural Law. To be reconformed to the Image of God then is to become reconformed to the Law . Reconformity to the Law is Original Righeousness restored.

    This makes sense. And it mirrors exactly how Aristotle says that men become virtuous. We practice virtue until we become virtuous. Virtue becomes a “habit”. Aquinas and Calvin say that this is how we acquire the Image of God. They add of course that the HS is necessary to do this. This they call “sanctification”.

    Luther and the Lutherans completely discard this view. So what do they propose instead? Something that does not make reason-able sense. It is this:

    The Image of God which is the original adamic righeousness is what? It is alone faith in Christ alone. And only when this Image of God is restored in Baptism and the New Birth do we again have something else: that is the Law written in our heart, and not just in our mind and reason that the Pagans have with the Veil of Moses upon them. But having this spiritual Law written in our hearts is not the Image of God. It is a consequence of having the Image of God , which alone is Christ, restored in us in our Baptism.

    I am pretty sure you have never heard this have you dear Lutheran brother.?

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    Porcell,
    Lutherans have a right to be a little defensive. The unionist churches of Germany proved one thing: If you try to unite two groups of people with opposed views of the LS, “symbolic presence” becomes the default position. Calvin’s eucharistic theology is also far from clear and far from consistent. But it is also not Zwinglian.

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    Porcell,
    Lutherans have a right to be a little defensive. The unionist churches of Germany proved one thing: If you try to unite two groups of people with opposed views of the LS, “symbolic presence” becomes the default position. Calvin’s eucharistic theology is also far from clear and far from consistent. But it is also not Zwinglian.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Porcell @ 129

    I suspect that Mark in 128 is maybe correct. Men change their views don´t they. Mark suspects that Calvin backed away from what he publically confessed in the consensus tigurinus.

    But your telling me that I am relying on secondary sources is simply not true. You are simply ignoring what I have presented to you which is a primary source. It is a public confession of Calvin.

    Calvin says we get the body of Christ but in a spiritual way. The way Lutherans tested whether one was a Calvinist was by asking them what unbeliever´s receive in the Blessed Sacrament. A Calvinist would say only bread and wine. A Lutheran would say body and blood. You see the difference.

    Why are you not just agreeing that this is what Calvin taught? Read the Institutes some more. This will become evident ok?

    and Mark. Calvin may have back away from Zwingli´s view, but I am really not certain that he ever became a Lutheran on this point. Are you suggesting that he did? If not, why should it really matter to anyone? The body and blood received still would depend on us and our faith.

    And that is the problem.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Porcell @ 129

    I suspect that Mark in 128 is maybe correct. Men change their views don´t they. Mark suspects that Calvin backed away from what he publically confessed in the consensus tigurinus.

    But your telling me that I am relying on secondary sources is simply not true. You are simply ignoring what I have presented to you which is a primary source. It is a public confession of Calvin.

    Calvin says we get the body of Christ but in a spiritual way. The way Lutherans tested whether one was a Calvinist was by asking them what unbeliever´s receive in the Blessed Sacrament. A Calvinist would say only bread and wine. A Lutheran would say body and blood. You see the difference.

    Why are you not just agreeing that this is what Calvin taught? Read the Institutes some more. This will become evident ok?

    and Mark. Calvin may have back away from Zwingli´s view, but I am really not certain that he ever became a Lutheran on this point. Are you suggesting that he did? If not, why should it really matter to anyone? The body and blood received still would depend on us and our faith.

    And that is the problem.

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    Yes, fws, I’ve read it and agree, dearest Lutheran brother. I am well aware of Aristotle’s pronouncement “Excellence, then, is a habit” and his implication that one practices virtue to achieve that excellence. I’m also well aware that Calvin is firmly in the Augustinian school. That St. Augustine believed in the real presence is very interesting indeed!

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    Yes, fws, I’ve read it and agree, dearest Lutheran brother. I am well aware of Aristotle’s pronouncement “Excellence, then, is a habit” and his implication that one practices virtue to achieve that excellence. I’m also well aware that Calvin is firmly in the Augustinian school. That St. Augustine believed in the real presence is very interesting indeed!

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    ….sorry, the real SUBSTANTIVE presence…..

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    ….sorry, the real SUBSTANTIVE presence…..

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Grace@111

    Psalm 22 is not about an infant’s confidence in his mother’s breasts.

    You are playing word games.

    The sentence ‘You have been my God since my mother’s womb.’ give the clear context and meaning to the previous sentences.

    Your ‘word studies’ from Strong’s are an attempt to deconstruct the passage, and deny the fact that God can give faith to whom He will.

    I wrote this awhile back in the midst of just such a discussion about baptism and it will give you further insight into why we teach what we do.

    http://www.newreformationpress.com/blog/2009/12/07/why-i-baptized-our-babies/

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Grace@111

    Psalm 22 is not about an infant’s confidence in his mother’s breasts.

    You are playing word games.

    The sentence ‘You have been my God since my mother’s womb.’ give the clear context and meaning to the previous sentences.

    Your ‘word studies’ from Strong’s are an attempt to deconstruct the passage, and deny the fact that God can give faith to whom He will.

    I wrote this awhile back in the midst of just such a discussion about baptism and it will give you further insight into why we teach what we do.

    http://www.newreformationpress.com/blog/2009/12/07/why-i-baptized-our-babies/

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    A big, fat, juicy irony. Were you aware of how I thought here, dearest Lutheran brother?!!;-)

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    A big, fat, juicy irony. Were you aware of how I thought here, dearest Lutheran brother?!!;-)

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    Interestingly, St. Augustine also believed that the hypocrites at the LS receive the external symbol only……. (I only quote him, please understand)

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    Interestingly, St. Augustine also believed that the hypocrites at the LS receive the external symbol only……. (I only quote him, please understand)

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    FWS wrote “Calvin says we get the body of Christ but in a spiritual way.”
    I agree. This is incomprehensible. But it is precisely what the earliest non-canonical Christian source states in the Didache. The BoC also condemns the carnal, or capernaitic eating of Christ, but stresses that the eating of Christ’s true body is of a sacramental, mysterious kind.
    His presence is therefore illocal but received in the mouth.
    Thankfully, it is the confessional Lutheran church which properly teaches this, not any church claiming Calvin’s name. But was Calvin so wrong there? I honestly wonder…..

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    FWS wrote “Calvin says we get the body of Christ but in a spiritual way.”
    I agree. This is incomprehensible. But it is precisely what the earliest non-canonical Christian source states in the Didache. The BoC also condemns the carnal, or capernaitic eating of Christ, but stresses that the eating of Christ’s true body is of a sacramental, mysterious kind.
    His presence is therefore illocal but received in the mouth.
    Thankfully, it is the confessional Lutheran church which properly teaches this, not any church claiming Calvin’s name. But was Calvin so wrong there? I honestly wonder…..

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Mark @ 137

    I was aware that Saint Augustine believed that , but I had never connected the dots at the irony of probably his most notable and noble disciple, Calvin, did not follow him there. Perhaps it was because Calvin was more consistent in is Aristotelianism, or maybe Saint Augustine gained wisdom from his suffering and from his arguments with Pelagius. Interesting.

    I note that in the Ap art II, Lutherans make a huge deal out of the word “concupiscence” precisely because Saint Augustine does so.

    But then the Lutherans completely redefine it´s meaning to mean any faith that is not faith in Christ alone.

    In art II “concupiscence” becomes the faith-in-anything-BUT-Christ that fills the void when the Image of God and Original Righteousness that is faith in Christ alone is missing.

    Scholastics define concupiscence as vice or flesh/body in Romans 8.

    Luther defines flesh/body as Virtue that is faith in anything but Christ. This was the big break with the scholastics right there. And so Mortal Sin becomes alone, Original Sin. Mortal sin and concupiscence both become something about where faith is placed rather than what we do or do not do.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Mark @ 137

    I was aware that Saint Augustine believed that , but I had never connected the dots at the irony of probably his most notable and noble disciple, Calvin, did not follow him there. Perhaps it was because Calvin was more consistent in is Aristotelianism, or maybe Saint Augustine gained wisdom from his suffering and from his arguments with Pelagius. Interesting.

    I note that in the Ap art II, Lutherans make a huge deal out of the word “concupiscence” precisely because Saint Augustine does so.

    But then the Lutherans completely redefine it´s meaning to mean any faith that is not faith in Christ alone.

    In art II “concupiscence” becomes the faith-in-anything-BUT-Christ that fills the void when the Image of God and Original Righteousness that is faith in Christ alone is missing.

    Scholastics define concupiscence as vice or flesh/body in Romans 8.

    Luther defines flesh/body as Virtue that is faith in anything but Christ. This was the big break with the scholastics right there. And so Mortal Sin becomes alone, Original Sin. Mortal sin and concupiscence both become something about where faith is placed rather than what we do or do not do.

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    ….and to think that Luther honestly wondered if God could have saved Plato, or that He might just save all of Israel apart from faith in Christ…… It’s a good thing a man can change his mind ;-)

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    ….and to think that Luther honestly wondered if God could have saved Plato, or that He might just save all of Israel apart from faith in Christ…… It’s a good thing a man can change his mind ;-)

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    mark @ 138

    I think the real issue of the Calvinists is exactly why the Lutherans think this is such a big deal. Why should it matter so much to Lutherans?

    And you are right Mark. Rome seem to accuse Lutherans of what Lutherans accuse Calvin of in art IV of the Apology.

    Rome says that faith is a work like any other work we do. And they are right in saying that aren´t they?

    In Art III Lutherans counter that it is not historical faith, or a faith we can do that saves is. Lutherans say that saving faith is affective. It is a new heart. It is not a transformation or a re-conditioning into the Image of God by what we do.

    And so baptism and the LS are Law according to Lutherans. The right administration of word and sacrament are earthly kingdom things that we are commanded to do. They are not heavenly kingdom spiritual things as Rome and Geneva say. These are things we are commanded to do.

    So where is the Heavenly Kingdom that is alone invisible faith in alone Christ located? This “in , with and under” is not just important in the Blessed Sacrament. It is about every Lutheran doctrine.

    The heavenly Kingdom comes in a way that cannot be seen. (Jesus in the gospel of st Luke). So Lutherans say we “see” the kingdom of God by closing our eyes and hearing the voice of the Good Shepherd. God is reigning then in the earthly Kingdom with his Goodness and Mercy “even for all the wicked, without our prayer or asking, without our merit. ” He is reigning in with and under Old Adam with the Law. And that same Goodness and Mercy is in with and under the administration of Word and Sacrament that he commands be done.

    But then where is that Christ if we cannot trust that He is located exactly as he says in His Word? In that case we look for the Divine revelation of God´s Image in the Law. Not alone in Christ alone in Faith. And this is what Rome, Aquinas, Calvin, and Augustine all have in common.

    Ultimately then, the way back to God´s Image is by being reconformed to the Law of God. The Gospel then serves the Law ultimately.

    I am not doing a great job of articulating this Mark , but I suspect you have seen why that “in , with and under ” matters or you would not be Lutheran.

    Lutherans confess that even the Law and Word of God are something that are “in, with and under” the printed Decalog and Gospels. And therefore the true Law cannot be seen and known by anyone until they have the Image of God fully restored by Holy Baptism. This is a most peculiar position I think.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    mark @ 138

    I think the real issue of the Calvinists is exactly why the Lutherans think this is such a big deal. Why should it matter so much to Lutherans?

    And you are right Mark. Rome seem to accuse Lutherans of what Lutherans accuse Calvin of in art IV of the Apology.

    Rome says that faith is a work like any other work we do. And they are right in saying that aren´t they?

    In Art III Lutherans counter that it is not historical faith, or a faith we can do that saves is. Lutherans say that saving faith is affective. It is a new heart. It is not a transformation or a re-conditioning into the Image of God by what we do.

    And so baptism and the LS are Law according to Lutherans. The right administration of word and sacrament are earthly kingdom things that we are commanded to do. They are not heavenly kingdom spiritual things as Rome and Geneva say. These are things we are commanded to do.

    So where is the Heavenly Kingdom that is alone invisible faith in alone Christ located? This “in , with and under” is not just important in the Blessed Sacrament. It is about every Lutheran doctrine.

    The heavenly Kingdom comes in a way that cannot be seen. (Jesus in the gospel of st Luke). So Lutherans say we “see” the kingdom of God by closing our eyes and hearing the voice of the Good Shepherd. God is reigning then in the earthly Kingdom with his Goodness and Mercy “even for all the wicked, without our prayer or asking, without our merit. ” He is reigning in with and under Old Adam with the Law. And that same Goodness and Mercy is in with and under the administration of Word and Sacrament that he commands be done.

    But then where is that Christ if we cannot trust that He is located exactly as he says in His Word? In that case we look for the Divine revelation of God´s Image in the Law. Not alone in Christ alone in Faith. And this is what Rome, Aquinas, Calvin, and Augustine all have in common.

    Ultimately then, the way back to God´s Image is by being reconformed to the Law of God. The Gospel then serves the Law ultimately.

    I am not doing a great job of articulating this Mark , but I suspect you have seen why that “in , with and under ” matters or you would not be Lutheran.

    Lutherans confess that even the Law and Word of God are something that are “in, with and under” the printed Decalog and Gospels. And therefore the true Law cannot be seen and known by anyone until they have the Image of God fully restored by Holy Baptism. This is a most peculiar position I think.

  • Larry

    Again as Dr. Nagel said just ask the reformed what they give you and they will tell you. And so they do:

    Calvin states, “”We must hold in regard to the mode, that it is not necessary that the essence of the flesh should descend from heaven in order to our being fed upon it, the virtue of the Spirit being sufficient to break through all impediments and surmount any distance of place.”

    Dr. Horton (about as non-Zwinglian near Luther in a Reformed theologian one can get today) writes, “The bread is consecrated and thus set apart by words, says Calvin, but words directed not at the bread but pronounced for the benefit of the hearers (odd since Christ said TAKE EAT, TAKE DRINK –larry). “and this is the conversion which is spoken of by the ancient doctors of the church…In short, consecration is nothing else than a solemn testimony, by which the Lord appoints to us for a spiritual use an earthly and corruptible sign (there it is “sign”, philosophical sign); which cannot take place, unless his command and promise are distinctly heard for the edification of faith.” Thus Calvin refuses the false dilemma of either annihilating the sign by the signified (Trent), confusing them (Luther) (this is the famous Reformed philosophical axiom of not confusing the thing with the thing signified –larry), or separating them (Zwingli).”

    Thus Calvin, “A sacrament consists of a visible sign, with which is connected the thing signified, which is the reality of it….but now I must add, that it is not an empty or unmeaning sign which is held out to us (one must wonder what is an unmeaning sign? All signs, even philosophical ones, have meaning that’s there ENTIRE point, why else give a sign –larry), but those who receive this promise by faith are actually made partakers of his flesh and blood. For in vain would the Lord have commanded his people to eat bread, declaring that it is his body, if the effect were not truly added to the FIGURE (emphasis added –larry)”

    Dr. Horton clarifies, “The Reformed confessions followed Calvin (get that FOLLOWED Calvin –larry) in his insistence that we hold together two important truths: first, that Christ is ascended BODILY and therefore is not present in, much less as, the elements; second, that believers nevertheless receive this same Christ born of Mary and crucified for our sins, BUT (emphasis added –larry) IN HEAVEN where he is seated at the Father’s right hand.”

    Which brings up the subsequent heresy of Calvin regarding the right hand of God!

    There is not body and blood in the reformed meal, by its own admission. Rather Calvin’s subtle deception is to speak in terms of EFFECT and FIGURE, thinking thereby he has avoided Zwingli who just speaks of a figure. All Calvin added to Zwingli was the effect, but not the real and true body and blood of Christ which was the ENTIRE debate at Marburg and reason for the Confessions under the crypto-calvinist.

    Unlike Paul, Calvin makes the Holy Spirit the means of communicating the body and blood of Christ. A doctrine he never proved from Scripture. Yet Paul says in 1 Corinthians that the bread and the wine are a communing with the body and blood of Christ.

    Calvin is not just up against “mean ole” Martin Luther but “mean ole” Apostle Paul, Paul too is just as clear as is Christ in his language – even a child can understand it.

    See how dangerous Calvinism lures in Lutherans with its subtleness. The accuse godly Lutherans for defending the doctrine (because it does not agree with them and stands in judgment over them before the whole world and the judgment seat of God) and call them “destroyers of unity”. In this way the LURE orthodoxy into their delusion and attempt to guilt them and tempt them by calling them names, disturbers of the peace, etc…

    They say, “don’t quote and listen to these crazy Lutheran apologist”, but the implication is clear “listen to ME” as they attempt hypnotize the faithful. They say, “don’t listen to men” but if you quote the clarity of Scripture they say, “listen to ME”. When the Scriptures are EXCEEDINGLY clear, “this is My body” and “this cup is the covenant in My blood”. Nothing could be more clear.

    Yet they refuse and redirect when questioned directly, “what is your reason for departing from Christ’s crystal clear words”.

    In refusing to answer this they reveal for all to see and hear their subterfuge and surreptitious hiding of their doctrinal invention. That they do not hold to Scripture alone at all, but rather toy with it to assert and garnish their doctrinal bases for departing from Christ’s crystal clear words.

    Until they answer why they depart from Christ’s crystal clear words they are just hiding behind a lot of words and tricks.

    For the same God who said, “this is My body” said, “Let there be light”, why depart from either (some have from both – the predicted outcome of the Zwinglian and then Calvinistic doctrine via rationalism)

    They must answer for their doctrine:

    1. Why depart from Christ’s Word’s and not take them as He stated them?
    2. What is it that they actually put into your mouth, what do they handle?
    3. What is it that the hypocrite actually has in his/her mouth?

  • Larry

    Again as Dr. Nagel said just ask the reformed what they give you and they will tell you. And so they do:

    Calvin states, “”We must hold in regard to the mode, that it is not necessary that the essence of the flesh should descend from heaven in order to our being fed upon it, the virtue of the Spirit being sufficient to break through all impediments and surmount any distance of place.”

    Dr. Horton (about as non-Zwinglian near Luther in a Reformed theologian one can get today) writes, “The bread is consecrated and thus set apart by words, says Calvin, but words directed not at the bread but pronounced for the benefit of the hearers (odd since Christ said TAKE EAT, TAKE DRINK –larry). “and this is the conversion which is spoken of by the ancient doctors of the church…In short, consecration is nothing else than a solemn testimony, by which the Lord appoints to us for a spiritual use an earthly and corruptible sign (there it is “sign”, philosophical sign); which cannot take place, unless his command and promise are distinctly heard for the edification of faith.” Thus Calvin refuses the false dilemma of either annihilating the sign by the signified (Trent), confusing them (Luther) (this is the famous Reformed philosophical axiom of not confusing the thing with the thing signified –larry), or separating them (Zwingli).”

    Thus Calvin, “A sacrament consists of a visible sign, with which is connected the thing signified, which is the reality of it….but now I must add, that it is not an empty or unmeaning sign which is held out to us (one must wonder what is an unmeaning sign? All signs, even philosophical ones, have meaning that’s there ENTIRE point, why else give a sign –larry), but those who receive this promise by faith are actually made partakers of his flesh and blood. For in vain would the Lord have commanded his people to eat bread, declaring that it is his body, if the effect were not truly added to the FIGURE (emphasis added –larry)”

    Dr. Horton clarifies, “The Reformed confessions followed Calvin (get that FOLLOWED Calvin –larry) in his insistence that we hold together two important truths: first, that Christ is ascended BODILY and therefore is not present in, much less as, the elements; second, that believers nevertheless receive this same Christ born of Mary and crucified for our sins, BUT (emphasis added –larry) IN HEAVEN where he is seated at the Father’s right hand.”

    Which brings up the subsequent heresy of Calvin regarding the right hand of God!

    There is not body and blood in the reformed meal, by its own admission. Rather Calvin’s subtle deception is to speak in terms of EFFECT and FIGURE, thinking thereby he has avoided Zwingli who just speaks of a figure. All Calvin added to Zwingli was the effect, but not the real and true body and blood of Christ which was the ENTIRE debate at Marburg and reason for the Confessions under the crypto-calvinist.

    Unlike Paul, Calvin makes the Holy Spirit the means of communicating the body and blood of Christ. A doctrine he never proved from Scripture. Yet Paul says in 1 Corinthians that the bread and the wine are a communing with the body and blood of Christ.

    Calvin is not just up against “mean ole” Martin Luther but “mean ole” Apostle Paul, Paul too is just as clear as is Christ in his language – even a child can understand it.

    See how dangerous Calvinism lures in Lutherans with its subtleness. The accuse godly Lutherans for defending the doctrine (because it does not agree with them and stands in judgment over them before the whole world and the judgment seat of God) and call them “destroyers of unity”. In this way the LURE orthodoxy into their delusion and attempt to guilt them and tempt them by calling them names, disturbers of the peace, etc…

    They say, “don’t quote and listen to these crazy Lutheran apologist”, but the implication is clear “listen to ME” as they attempt hypnotize the faithful. They say, “don’t listen to men” but if you quote the clarity of Scripture they say, “listen to ME”. When the Scriptures are EXCEEDINGLY clear, “this is My body” and “this cup is the covenant in My blood”. Nothing could be more clear.

    Yet they refuse and redirect when questioned directly, “what is your reason for departing from Christ’s crystal clear words”.

    In refusing to answer this they reveal for all to see and hear their subterfuge and surreptitious hiding of their doctrinal invention. That they do not hold to Scripture alone at all, but rather toy with it to assert and garnish their doctrinal bases for departing from Christ’s crystal clear words.

    Until they answer why they depart from Christ’s crystal clear words they are just hiding behind a lot of words and tricks.

    For the same God who said, “this is My body” said, “Let there be light”, why depart from either (some have from both – the predicted outcome of the Zwinglian and then Calvinistic doctrine via rationalism)

    They must answer for their doctrine:

    1. Why depart from Christ’s Word’s and not take them as He stated them?
    2. What is it that they actually put into your mouth, what do they handle?
    3. What is it that the hypocrite actually has in his/her mouth?

  • Porcell

    FWS: He himself denies this in a formal and published confession of his faith….You are simply ignoring what I have presented to you which is a primary source. It is a public confession of Calvin.

    So far you have alluded to though not documented this source. Please do so.

  • Porcell

    FWS: He himself denies this in a formal and published confession of his faith….You are simply ignoring what I have presented to you which is a primary source. It is a public confession of Calvin.

    So far you have alluded to though not documented this source. Please do so.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Mark @ 137

    You are right. It is good to practice charity with the church fathers such as Calvin and Luther in order to practice that same charity with each other. But at the same time we try to show the truth.

    But even that , if it is not done with love, is not righeousness and is really pretty pointless. The entire point is to please one another and truly focus on doing our part , if it is given to us, to make the life of someone better.

    We can leave the rest to God I think.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Mark @ 137

    You are right. It is good to practice charity with the church fathers such as Calvin and Luther in order to practice that same charity with each other. But at the same time we try to show the truth.

    But even that , if it is not done with love, is not righeousness and is really pretty pointless. The entire point is to please one another and truly focus on doing our part , if it is given to us, to make the life of someone better.

    We can leave the rest to God I think.

  • Larry

    Or from the HD, which I use to confess, if you like:

    Question 79. Why then doth Christ call the bread “his body”, and the cup “his blood”, or “the new covenant in his blood”; and Paul the “communion of body and blood of Christ”?

    Answer: Christ speaks thus, not without great reason, namely, not only thereby to teach us, that as bread and wine support this temporal life, so his crucified body and shed blood are the true meat and drink, whereby our souls are fed to eternal life; (a) but more especially by these visible signs and pledges to assure us, that we are as really partakers of his true body and blood by the operation of the Holy Ghost as we receive by the mouths of our bodies these holy signs in remembrance of him; (b) and that all his sufferings and obedience are as certainly ours, as if we had in our own persons suffered and made satisfaction for our sins to God.

    Don’t take my word for it, ask them, says Dr. Nagel, they will tell you.

  • Larry

    Or from the HD, which I use to confess, if you like:

    Question 79. Why then doth Christ call the bread “his body”, and the cup “his blood”, or “the new covenant in his blood”; and Paul the “communion of body and blood of Christ”?

    Answer: Christ speaks thus, not without great reason, namely, not only thereby to teach us, that as bread and wine support this temporal life, so his crucified body and shed blood are the true meat and drink, whereby our souls are fed to eternal life; (a) but more especially by these visible signs and pledges to assure us, that we are as really partakers of his true body and blood by the operation of the Holy Ghost as we receive by the mouths of our bodies these holy signs in remembrance of him; (b) and that all his sufferings and obedience are as certainly ours, as if we had in our own persons suffered and made satisfaction for our sins to God.

    Don’t take my word for it, ask them, says Dr. Nagel, they will tell you.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Porcell @ 143

    Ah Peter! Please accept my apology and thanks for being so nice and kind in pointing out my omission.

    Here is the link to the Consensus Tigurinus. And Mark is right I think in what he says about this document. Calvin at one point did seem to agree completely with Zwingli. This document proves that I think. But we need to allow for the possiblity that Calvin changed in his later years.

    You and I and others should be open to change and allow for it to happen in others in all charity. We should not try to crucify men by things they said in the past and have repented of. We should take pleasure in agreement in the Truth rather than taking pleasure in catching others in an error.

    Brother Calvin said many fine things didn´t he?

    http://bookofconcord.org/consenus-tigurinus.php

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Porcell @ 143

    Ah Peter! Please accept my apology and thanks for being so nice and kind in pointing out my omission.

    Here is the link to the Consensus Tigurinus. And Mark is right I think in what he says about this document. Calvin at one point did seem to agree completely with Zwingli. This document proves that I think. But we need to allow for the possiblity that Calvin changed in his later years.

    You and I and others should be open to change and allow for it to happen in others in all charity. We should not try to crucify men by things they said in the past and have repented of. We should take pleasure in agreement in the Truth rather than taking pleasure in catching others in an error.

    Brother Calvin said many fine things didn´t he?

    http://bookofconcord.org/consenus-tigurinus.php

  • Grace

    Patrick Kyle – 135

    You ignore what the words in Greek mean – that doesn’t change the actual meaning.

    I rarely if ever visit blogs for very good reason, especially when I’m directed to a posters OWN blog.

    Again my post 112:

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    112 Grace March 20, 2011 at 3:15 am
    Patrick – 110

    A babe who is suckling from their mothers breast is filled with “hope” to be nourished by their mothers breast. This has nothing to do with Baptism.

    But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts. Psalms 9:22

    breasts Strongs Hebrew – shad

    the breast of a woman or animal (as bulging):–breast, pap, teat.

    mother’s Strongs Hebrew ‘em-ame

    dam, mother, X parting.

    HOPE Strongs Hebrew – batach-baw-takh’

    figuratively, to trust, be confident or sure:–be bold (confident, secure, sure), careless (one, woman), put confidence, (make to) hope, (put, make to) trust.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    There is not one piece of evidence that infants are to be Baptized. I’m sure that it makes parents feel secure that their children, and then growing into adulthood have obtained Salvation from their infant Baptism but it’s false. One has to repent of their sins, infants have no ability to understand the preaching of the Cross or the need to repent, they are infants.

  • Grace

    Patrick Kyle – 135

    You ignore what the words in Greek mean – that doesn’t change the actual meaning.

    I rarely if ever visit blogs for very good reason, especially when I’m directed to a posters OWN blog.

    Again my post 112:

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    112 Grace March 20, 2011 at 3:15 am
    Patrick – 110

    A babe who is suckling from their mothers breast is filled with “hope” to be nourished by their mothers breast. This has nothing to do with Baptism.

    But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts. Psalms 9:22

    breasts Strongs Hebrew – shad

    the breast of a woman or animal (as bulging):–breast, pap, teat.

    mother’s Strongs Hebrew ‘em-ame

    dam, mother, X parting.

    HOPE Strongs Hebrew – batach-baw-takh’

    figuratively, to trust, be confident or sure:–be bold (confident, secure, sure), careless (one, woman), put confidence, (make to) hope, (put, make to) trust.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    There is not one piece of evidence that infants are to be Baptized. I’m sure that it makes parents feel secure that their children, and then growing into adulthood have obtained Salvation from their infant Baptism but it’s false. One has to repent of their sins, infants have no ability to understand the preaching of the Cross or the need to repent, they are infants.

  • http://www.myspace.com/lutherman3821 John Yeazel

    The discussion here just repeats a lot of the caricatures Lutherans and Calvinists have of each other. The issue can get complex and can only be resolved by a good and accurate historical theology (what were the events and issues that caused the split between Luther, Zwingli, Melanchthon, Calvin, Bucer, etc., etc.). What were the historical circumstances and what were the arguments they used against each other? Were they representing and interpreting each other properly? You have to rely and go to primary sources here and not take lesser lights caricatures, misrepresentations and mistinterpretations. What was the cause or causes that made the two groups veer off from each other?

    You then have to draw from biblical theology and make a case for how each group came up with their doctrinal statements, confessions and catechisms from the words of scripture. It is not easy to do this within the framework one has on a websight. The arguments are stemming from what people have stored in their minds and our memories and not very good guides. Caricatures, misrepresetations and misinterpretations usually get repeated over and over again on websites.

    From these two sources, a good and accurate historical theology and a good and accurate biblical theology, a systematics (or as Lutherans like to say dogmatics) can be presented as best we can about specific biblical doctrines. This is not an easy task but it can be done. Some do it better than others.

    You then have to be sure that what you are arguing about are issues that really matter in regards to salvation and how salvation is to be ministered in the Church. Luther was very careful about what he argued about and who he chose to battle and argue with.

    A good book does need to be written about the differences between Lutherans and Calvinists using this method to come to conclusions. John Fesko (a Pastor from the Orthodox Presbyterian Church who teaches at Westminster Seminary in California) just wrote a book on Baptism which used this method when analyzing the doctrine of Baptism. A lot more light could be shed on the differences between Calvinists and Lutherans if someone could write a good book in this regard.

    I stated the following at Darryl Hart’s web site and think this is key to understanding the differences between Calvinists and Lutherans:

    I am a Missouri Synod Lutheran too. I have tried for years to understand the doctrinal differences between confessional Lutherans and confessional Calvinists. It is very difficult to determine where and why they veered off from each other on such issues as baptism, the Lord’s Supper, the two natures of Christ, the ascension, how justification and sanctification relate to each other and differences on the use of the Law. You hear different explanations from different theologians on each side of the divide.

    One of the more common explanations of why they come to varying doctrinal interpretations is that the Calvinists supposedly start with the Glory and Sovereignty of God as their starting point where the Lutherans start with Christology (or a theology of the cross as opposed to a theology of glory). Another explanation is that Calvinists thought through the Covenant theology as revealed in the Old Testament more thoroughly than Lutheran theologians did and their doctrinal differences stem from this Covenant thinking. Calvinists place great significance in the Covenants God made with man throughout redemptive history from the Old Testament into the New. They have worked out a detailed covenant structure in their theology and their doctrines stem from their understanding of the various covenants God made with man. It all gets very confusing when trying to sort it all out. I am sure others could do much better than I in explaining all this with much more clarity.

    I think someone needs to write a book on the subject. I have found the doctrinal differences become quite complex the more you delve into it. Most of the differences you hear on web pages are caricatures repeated over and over again, aka., alot of sound and fury but usually signifying nothing of significance

    For what it’s worth I hope the debate continues but finally reaches some conclusions without caricatures, misrepresentations and misinterpretations. Unfortunately, our sinful natures and the noetic influence of sin always seem to cloud the doctrinal, theological and dogmatic conclusions we come to. Luther always repeated his dogmatics in fear and trembling that he was being faithful to the scriptures. The Holy Spirit is not a skeptic when it comes to the assurance of our salvation and how this salvation is minsitered in the Church.

    I also think there can be a danger of biblicism which can invade our thinking and make us disregard the creeds and confessions of our various traditions. But that is another story that I do not really want to go into now. My post has been long enough.

  • http://www.myspace.com/lutherman3821 John Yeazel

    The discussion here just repeats a lot of the caricatures Lutherans and Calvinists have of each other. The issue can get complex and can only be resolved by a good and accurate historical theology (what were the events and issues that caused the split between Luther, Zwingli, Melanchthon, Calvin, Bucer, etc., etc.). What were the historical circumstances and what were the arguments they used against each other? Were they representing and interpreting each other properly? You have to rely and go to primary sources here and not take lesser lights caricatures, misrepresentations and mistinterpretations. What was the cause or causes that made the two groups veer off from each other?

    You then have to draw from biblical theology and make a case for how each group came up with their doctrinal statements, confessions and catechisms from the words of scripture. It is not easy to do this within the framework one has on a websight. The arguments are stemming from what people have stored in their minds and our memories and not very good guides. Caricatures, misrepresetations and misinterpretations usually get repeated over and over again on websites.

    From these two sources, a good and accurate historical theology and a good and accurate biblical theology, a systematics (or as Lutherans like to say dogmatics) can be presented as best we can about specific biblical doctrines. This is not an easy task but it can be done. Some do it better than others.

    You then have to be sure that what you are arguing about are issues that really matter in regards to salvation and how salvation is to be ministered in the Church. Luther was very careful about what he argued about and who he chose to battle and argue with.

    A good book does need to be written about the differences between Lutherans and Calvinists using this method to come to conclusions. John Fesko (a Pastor from the Orthodox Presbyterian Church who teaches at Westminster Seminary in California) just wrote a book on Baptism which used this method when analyzing the doctrine of Baptism. A lot more light could be shed on the differences between Calvinists and Lutherans if someone could write a good book in this regard.

    I stated the following at Darryl Hart’s web site and think this is key to understanding the differences between Calvinists and Lutherans:

    I am a Missouri Synod Lutheran too. I have tried for years to understand the doctrinal differences between confessional Lutherans and confessional Calvinists. It is very difficult to determine where and why they veered off from each other on such issues as baptism, the Lord’s Supper, the two natures of Christ, the ascension, how justification and sanctification relate to each other and differences on the use of the Law. You hear different explanations from different theologians on each side of the divide.

    One of the more common explanations of why they come to varying doctrinal interpretations is that the Calvinists supposedly start with the Glory and Sovereignty of God as their starting point where the Lutherans start with Christology (or a theology of the cross as opposed to a theology of glory). Another explanation is that Calvinists thought through the Covenant theology as revealed in the Old Testament more thoroughly than Lutheran theologians did and their doctrinal differences stem from this Covenant thinking. Calvinists place great significance in the Covenants God made with man throughout redemptive history from the Old Testament into the New. They have worked out a detailed covenant structure in their theology and their doctrines stem from their understanding of the various covenants God made with man. It all gets very confusing when trying to sort it all out. I am sure others could do much better than I in explaining all this with much more clarity.

    I think someone needs to write a book on the subject. I have found the doctrinal differences become quite complex the more you delve into it. Most of the differences you hear on web pages are caricatures repeated over and over again, aka., alot of sound and fury but usually signifying nothing of significance

    For what it’s worth I hope the debate continues but finally reaches some conclusions without caricatures, misrepresentations and misinterpretations. Unfortunately, our sinful natures and the noetic influence of sin always seem to cloud the doctrinal, theological and dogmatic conclusions we come to. Luther always repeated his dogmatics in fear and trembling that he was being faithful to the scriptures. The Holy Spirit is not a skeptic when it comes to the assurance of our salvation and how this salvation is minsitered in the Church.

    I also think there can be a danger of biblicism which can invade our thinking and make us disregard the creeds and confessions of our various traditions. But that is another story that I do not really want to go into now. My post has been long enough.

  • Porcell

    Larry: Yet Paul says in 1 Corinthians that the bread and the wine are a communing with the body and blood of Christ. Note that Paul doesn’t elaborate this view.

    Calvin says the same, mainly due to his view that Christ has two natures, truly man and truly God combined in one person. Calvin took Christ at his word that he would not return in full body until the day of judgment, though while sitting at he right hand of God he has the power to project his body anywhere anytime.

    Calvin, far from Zwingli, again held that Christ’s real presence was in the supper. The Belgic Confession,following Calvin, declares well that while the mode cannot be comprehended by us , as the operations of the Holy Spirit are hidden and incomprehensible,… we nevertheless do not err when we say that what is eaten and drunk by is the proper and natural body and the proper blood of Christ.

    The Lutherans would like to think that only they hold to the truth of the supper, though the truth is that orthodox followers of Calvin may truly claim that they are experiencing Christ’s real presence at the supper.

    Calvinists, secure in their faith, respect Luther’s view of the supper, while Lutherans futilely pursue a distinction of mode without any real difference. Calvin was right when he remarked that What could be more ridiculous than to split the churches and set upfrightful commotions on how this happens.

  • Porcell

    Larry: Yet Paul says in 1 Corinthians that the bread and the wine are a communing with the body and blood of Christ. Note that Paul doesn’t elaborate this view.

    Calvin says the same, mainly due to his view that Christ has two natures, truly man and truly God combined in one person. Calvin took Christ at his word that he would not return in full body until the day of judgment, though while sitting at he right hand of God he has the power to project his body anywhere anytime.

    Calvin, far from Zwingli, again held that Christ’s real presence was in the supper. The Belgic Confession,following Calvin, declares well that while the mode cannot be comprehended by us , as the operations of the Holy Spirit are hidden and incomprehensible,… we nevertheless do not err when we say that what is eaten and drunk by is the proper and natural body and the proper blood of Christ.

    The Lutherans would like to think that only they hold to the truth of the supper, though the truth is that orthodox followers of Calvin may truly claim that they are experiencing Christ’s real presence at the supper.

    Calvinists, secure in their faith, respect Luther’s view of the supper, while Lutherans futilely pursue a distinction of mode without any real difference. Calvin was right when he remarked that What could be more ridiculous than to split the churches and set upfrightful commotions on how this happens.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    john yeazel @ 148

    A friend of mine told me that I would never understand the Lutheran Confessions until I understood Aristotle. He was absolutely right. His is the gift to me that keeps on giving.

    In a recent earlier post I commented that the differences have alot to do with the fact that the Church were all fish swimming in the water of Aristotelian philosophy. I didn´t read this as something that you are considering.

    My thesis is that the departure from aristotelian thinking in favor of St Paul is the underlying reality that separates Lutherans from all other christian groups.

    Penny for your thoughts on this.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    john yeazel @ 148

    A friend of mine told me that I would never understand the Lutheran Confessions until I understood Aristotle. He was absolutely right. His is the gift to me that keeps on giving.

    In a recent earlier post I commented that the differences have alot to do with the fact that the Church were all fish swimming in the water of Aristotelian philosophy. I didn´t read this as something that you are considering.

    My thesis is that the departure from aristotelian thinking in favor of St Paul is the underlying reality that separates Lutherans from all other christian groups.

    Penny for your thoughts on this.

  • Grace

    John Yeazel – 148

    “I also think there can be a danger of biblicism which can invade our thinking and make us disregard the creeds and confessions of our various traditions. But that is another story that I do not really want to go into now.”

    The so called “danger” is making “creeds and confessions of our various traditions” more important than the study of God’s Word. That is where the problem originates, your misplaced importance upon “traditions” and “creeds” rather than the Bible.

    When did “confessions” – “creeds” – “traditions” trump the inerrant Word of God?

  • Grace

    John Yeazel – 148

    “I also think there can be a danger of biblicism which can invade our thinking and make us disregard the creeds and confessions of our various traditions. But that is another story that I do not really want to go into now.”

    The so called “danger” is making “creeds and confessions of our various traditions” more important than the study of God’s Word. That is where the problem originates, your misplaced importance upon “traditions” and “creeds” rather than the Bible.

    When did “confessions” – “creeds” – “traditions” trump the inerrant Word of God?

  • Grace

    fws – 150

    “A friend of mine told me that I would never understand the Lutheran Confessions until I understood Aristotle. He was absolutely right. His is the gift to me that keeps on giving.”

    Aristotle was a pagan, …. this is your gift that keeps giving? If you need Aristotle so that you might understand the Lutheran Confessions, I doubt you’ve made the mark. But then Aristotle has long been considered a homosexual !

    Aristotle = understanding of Luther – there you have it folks, it’s a pagan to Luther.

  • Grace

    fws – 150

    “A friend of mine told me that I would never understand the Lutheran Confessions until I understood Aristotle. He was absolutely right. His is the gift to me that keeps on giving.”

    Aristotle was a pagan, …. this is your gift that keeps giving? If you need Aristotle so that you might understand the Lutheran Confessions, I doubt you’ve made the mark. But then Aristotle has long been considered a homosexual !

    Aristotle = understanding of Luther – there you have it folks, it’s a pagan to Luther.

  • Porcell

    FWS, I’m still waiting for your documentation of Calvin’s remarks that you claim to have stated but did not

  • Porcell

    FWS, I’m still waiting for your documentation of Calvin’s remarks that you claim to have stated but did not

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    porcell

    @ 146 the link is there.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    porcell

    @ 146 the link is there.

  • http://www.myspace.com/lutherman3821 John Yeazel

    Porcell,

    Whoever you are- I like to know who I am talking to so psuedonyms make me nervous. You may be some well know Christian writer who wants to remain anonymous. Anyways, I would tend to agree with you what you said about the Lords Supper and that the differences between the Calvinists and Lutherans get blown out of proportion and do more damage than good. I do not see how the differences can be proven from scriptures. It seems to be a standoff to me. Why fight about it anymore?

    The baptismal regeneration issue is also blown out of proportion in the debates between Lutherans and Calvinists. Luther did not believe in baptismal regeneration like the Catholics did. He was opposed to any idea that infused grace into the soul through the sacraments. It was never an ontological issue with Luther. Looking back on our Baptism (moment by moment) is what gives us assurance of our salvation. It is tied to the promise of the Gospel. I would refer anyone to Fesko’s book on Baptism and compare it with Luther’s words on Baptism in the Book of Concord (Luther’s Larger Catechism).

  • http://www.myspace.com/lutherman3821 John Yeazel

    Porcell,

    Whoever you are- I like to know who I am talking to so psuedonyms make me nervous. You may be some well know Christian writer who wants to remain anonymous. Anyways, I would tend to agree with you what you said about the Lords Supper and that the differences between the Calvinists and Lutherans get blown out of proportion and do more damage than good. I do not see how the differences can be proven from scriptures. It seems to be a standoff to me. Why fight about it anymore?

    The baptismal regeneration issue is also blown out of proportion in the debates between Lutherans and Calvinists. Luther did not believe in baptismal regeneration like the Catholics did. He was opposed to any idea that infused grace into the soul through the sacraments. It was never an ontological issue with Luther. Looking back on our Baptism (moment by moment) is what gives us assurance of our salvation. It is tied to the promise of the Gospel. I would refer anyone to Fesko’s book on Baptism and compare it with Luther’s words on Baptism in the Book of Concord (Luther’s Larger Catechism).

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    Porcell, you’re being ever-so-slightly disingenuous with the Belgic Confession. I believe you are quoting from article 35 and wondering what the heck Lutherans and the Reformed are fighting about. I wonder if this will enlighten us a little more (quoting from the same article 35 of the B.C.): “Yet we do not go wrong when we say that what we eat and drink is the true, natural body and the true blood of Christ.” Yes, you quoted this accurately. But the Belgic Confession will now describe to the reformed the manner in which they eat: [following immediately after the above] “However, the manner in which we eat it is not by mouth but in the spirit by faith. In that way Jesus Christ always remains seated at the right hand of God…..”
    WHAT?
    Oh yes, they eat the true body?! But not with the mouth?! You have me in derision. Oh yes, wink, wink, the reformed truly believe that they eat the real substantive body of Christ, they just believe that they don’t eat Him with their mouth because he is confined, jailed as it were, in heaven. Do you wonder why we call this absurd?
    The mode of eating described in scripture is WITH THE MOUTH. The BoC, contrary to your above comments, maintains both scriptures (“This is my body”; and “I will not see you again” by understanding Christ’s presence in the supper as real and substantive, but hidden. The B.C. is not truly regarding the “Take, EAT, this is my body.” You like “Take” and “Eat” and “is my body”, just not THIS.
    The Belgic Confession says many things which are worthwhile. Interesting is this: “We confess that this Word of God did not come by the impulse of man, but that men moved the Holy Spirit spoke from God, as the apostle Peter says in 2 Pet.1:21.

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    Porcell, you’re being ever-so-slightly disingenuous with the Belgic Confession. I believe you are quoting from article 35 and wondering what the heck Lutherans and the Reformed are fighting about. I wonder if this will enlighten us a little more (quoting from the same article 35 of the B.C.): “Yet we do not go wrong when we say that what we eat and drink is the true, natural body and the true blood of Christ.” Yes, you quoted this accurately. But the Belgic Confession will now describe to the reformed the manner in which they eat: [following immediately after the above] “However, the manner in which we eat it is not by mouth but in the spirit by faith. In that way Jesus Christ always remains seated at the right hand of God…..”
    WHAT?
    Oh yes, they eat the true body?! But not with the mouth?! You have me in derision. Oh yes, wink, wink, the reformed truly believe that they eat the real substantive body of Christ, they just believe that they don’t eat Him with their mouth because he is confined, jailed as it were, in heaven. Do you wonder why we call this absurd?
    The mode of eating described in scripture is WITH THE MOUTH. The BoC, contrary to your above comments, maintains both scriptures (“This is my body”; and “I will not see you again” by understanding Christ’s presence in the supper as real and substantive, but hidden. The B.C. is not truly regarding the “Take, EAT, this is my body.” You like “Take” and “Eat” and “is my body”, just not THIS.
    The Belgic Confession says many things which are worthwhile. Interesting is this: “We confess that this Word of God did not come by the impulse of man, but that men moved the Holy Spirit spoke from God, as the apostle Peter says in 2 Pet.1:21.

  • http://www.myspace.com/lutherman3821 John Yeazel

    FWS,

    I know Luther had problems with both Aristotle and Plato. I am not against gleaning insights from Pagans like Grace seems to be though. However, I am prone to the idea that we can develop a natural theology from general revelation. But this natural theology can never lead to salvation.

    You will have to explain to me more what you mean by you can understand the Lutheran Confessions better if you understand Aristotle. I won’t jump to conclusions like Grace did until you explain further to me.

  • http://www.myspace.com/lutherman3821 John Yeazel

    FWS,

    I know Luther had problems with both Aristotle and Plato. I am not against gleaning insights from Pagans like Grace seems to be though. However, I am prone to the idea that we can develop a natural theology from general revelation. But this natural theology can never lead to salvation.

    You will have to explain to me more what you mean by you can understand the Lutheran Confessions better if you understand Aristotle. I won’t jump to conclusions like Grace did until you explain further to me.

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    It’s like saying “Take, eat.
    This is Peter with a red hat”.

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    It’s like saying “Take, eat.
    This is Peter with a red hat”.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    John Y @ 155

    “Luther did not believe in baptismal regeneration like the Catholics did. ”

    Rome does not believe in baptismal regeneration. Lutherans do. “Baptism works the forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil and gives eternal salvation to all who believe as the Word and Promise of God declares. Something happens in Baptism. That something is that we put on Christ right there in with and under that water.

    “He was opposed to any idea that infused grace into the soul through the sacraments.”

    It depends on what you mean by “infused grace”. In the Apology art IV We confess that Justification can be meant in the forensic or the infused sense. Men are declared righeous and men and are really, and truly made righeous by that same declaration in their New Man..

    ” It was never an ontological issue with Luther. Looking back on our Baptism (moment by moment) is what gives us assurance of our salvation.”

    No John. Here there is not nuance. Baptism is all about ontological reality. Our Apology art II “On Original Sin” says that the Image of God is the Original Adamic Righeousness that was faith alone in Christ alone.

    So the Image of God is restored in man how? It is restored, fully in the New Man, by the Blessed and Most Holy Name of the Trinity in,with and under ordinary tap water. Holy Baptism is Law. It is something we do commanded by Christ. And in with and under that is the Promise. Faith clings to this promise and actually receives, in, with and under ´Holy Baptism, the Promised Mercy. The Name of the Most Holy and Blessed Trinity in with and under the water is literally what joins you to the death and resurrection of Christ and places Him, the Image of God , into you and restores you to original righeousness which alone is faith in Christ alone.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    John Y @ 155

    “Luther did not believe in baptismal regeneration like the Catholics did. ”

    Rome does not believe in baptismal regeneration. Lutherans do. “Baptism works the forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil and gives eternal salvation to all who believe as the Word and Promise of God declares. Something happens in Baptism. That something is that we put on Christ right there in with and under that water.

    “He was opposed to any idea that infused grace into the soul through the sacraments.”

    It depends on what you mean by “infused grace”. In the Apology art IV We confess that Justification can be meant in the forensic or the infused sense. Men are declared righeous and men and are really, and truly made righeous by that same declaration in their New Man..

    ” It was never an ontological issue with Luther. Looking back on our Baptism (moment by moment) is what gives us assurance of our salvation.”

    No John. Here there is not nuance. Baptism is all about ontological reality. Our Apology art II “On Original Sin” says that the Image of God is the Original Adamic Righeousness that was faith alone in Christ alone.

    So the Image of God is restored in man how? It is restored, fully in the New Man, by the Blessed and Most Holy Name of the Trinity in,with and under ordinary tap water. Holy Baptism is Law. It is something we do commanded by Christ. And in with and under that is the Promise. Faith clings to this promise and actually receives, in, with and under ´Holy Baptism, the Promised Mercy. The Name of the Most Holy and Blessed Trinity in with and under the water is literally what joins you to the death and resurrection of Christ and places Him, the Image of God , into you and restores you to original righeousness which alone is faith in Christ alone.

  • http://www.myspace.com/lutherman3821 John Yeazel

    Grace,

    I did not want to go there but you are now going to force me into explaining what biblicism is. Creeds and Confessions never trump the scriptures. It is always the other way around and there are ways and means of changing the traditions confessions if they are not accurately describing the truths from the scriptures. At least that is the belief in theory which rarely gets accomplished in practice in any denominations I know of. That seems like a pretty critical issue to me and does not get the time it deserves when denominational buerocrats get together for their meetings. Although there are signs this is changing in some denomination.

    The following are some thoughts on what biblicism is:

    “It is easy to unwittingly and unintentionally become narcissists in the way we read the bible and understand theology. This way of reading the Bible has been well described as” biblicism.” The following is a quote I read the other day: “biblicism has most often been used derisively to describe approaches that ignore general revelation (what God naturally reveals to us about Him and the nature of things in nature) in the interpretation of Scripture. This obscurantism takes different forms. In some cases the wrong text is used to prove a doctrine. In other cases, a bilbical text is interpreted to teach physics or astronomy (e.g., geocentrism), or the Scriptures are read in isolation from the Christian tradition. Though the term “biblicism” is relatively modern, the stance toward ecclesiastical authority it signifies is not new. In the years leading up to the Synod of Dort, the same spirit that prompted the Arminian conflict also manifested itself in the rejection of the authority of the Heidelberg Catechism. Hermanus Herbertsz, a pastor in Dordrecht and Gouda, refused to preach the catechism. From 1582 to 1607 Pastor Herbertsz repeatedly promised and then refused to use the Heidelberg Catechism as directed by various assemblies in the Dutch Reformed Churches. As Donald Sinnema observes, Herbertsz’s objections were not to the doctrine of the catechism but to its authority. He charged the Reformed churches with placing the catechism above God’s Word. He said, ‘You not only consider (the catechism) equal to Holy Scripture….but place it above; this I can prove by the following reasons: first, you have divided into fifty-two Sundays, and every Sunday read and explain a part of it from the pulpit as if it were God’s Word…; second, you also place it so much above Holy Scripture that you make Holy Scripture a servant by which one must explain and interpret (the catechism).

    Sinnema observes that this charge also became popular with the Remonstrants. Herbertsz rejected the ecclesiastically agreed and sanctioned interpretation of Scripture in favor of his understanding of Scripture. It is not as if there were no mechanism in Reformed church government to reform the church’s confession and bring it into line with Scripture. What Herbertsz portrayed as an act of piety was really an expression of autonomy and individual authority.”

    This problem of biblicism (reading scripture in isolation from the Christian tradition) runs rampant in many Christian Churches and denominations. I have just scratched the surface of the problems here. It is probably good to do a little study of your own on this issue. One can always google it to start and go from there.

  • http://www.myspace.com/lutherman3821 John Yeazel

    Grace,

    I did not want to go there but you are now going to force me into explaining what biblicism is. Creeds and Confessions never trump the scriptures. It is always the other way around and there are ways and means of changing the traditions confessions if they are not accurately describing the truths from the scriptures. At least that is the belief in theory which rarely gets accomplished in practice in any denominations I know of. That seems like a pretty critical issue to me and does not get the time it deserves when denominational buerocrats get together for their meetings. Although there are signs this is changing in some denomination.

    The following are some thoughts on what biblicism is:

    “It is easy to unwittingly and unintentionally become narcissists in the way we read the bible and understand theology. This way of reading the Bible has been well described as” biblicism.” The following is a quote I read the other day: “biblicism has most often been used derisively to describe approaches that ignore general revelation (what God naturally reveals to us about Him and the nature of things in nature) in the interpretation of Scripture. This obscurantism takes different forms. In some cases the wrong text is used to prove a doctrine. In other cases, a bilbical text is interpreted to teach physics or astronomy (e.g., geocentrism), or the Scriptures are read in isolation from the Christian tradition. Though the term “biblicism” is relatively modern, the stance toward ecclesiastical authority it signifies is not new. In the years leading up to the Synod of Dort, the same spirit that prompted the Arminian conflict also manifested itself in the rejection of the authority of the Heidelberg Catechism. Hermanus Herbertsz, a pastor in Dordrecht and Gouda, refused to preach the catechism. From 1582 to 1607 Pastor Herbertsz repeatedly promised and then refused to use the Heidelberg Catechism as directed by various assemblies in the Dutch Reformed Churches. As Donald Sinnema observes, Herbertsz’s objections were not to the doctrine of the catechism but to its authority. He charged the Reformed churches with placing the catechism above God’s Word. He said, ‘You not only consider (the catechism) equal to Holy Scripture….but place it above; this I can prove by the following reasons: first, you have divided into fifty-two Sundays, and every Sunday read and explain a part of it from the pulpit as if it were God’s Word…; second, you also place it so much above Holy Scripture that you make Holy Scripture a servant by which one must explain and interpret (the catechism).

    Sinnema observes that this charge also became popular with the Remonstrants. Herbertsz rejected the ecclesiastically agreed and sanctioned interpretation of Scripture in favor of his understanding of Scripture. It is not as if there were no mechanism in Reformed church government to reform the church’s confession and bring it into line with Scripture. What Herbertsz portrayed as an act of piety was really an expression of autonomy and individual authority.”

    This problem of biblicism (reading scripture in isolation from the Christian tradition) runs rampant in many Christian Churches and denominations. I have just scratched the surface of the problems here. It is probably good to do a little study of your own on this issue. One can always google it to start and go from there.

  • Grace

    How can anyone miss this passage?

    Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:54

    Blood Strongs Greek – haima – hah’-ee-mah

    of uncertain derivation; blood, literally (of men or animals), figuratively (the juice of grapes) or specially (the atoning blood of Christ); by implication, bloodshed, also kindred:–blood.

    53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

    54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

    55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

    56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

    57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.

    58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. John 6

  • Grace

    How can anyone miss this passage?

    Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:54

    Blood Strongs Greek – haima – hah’-ee-mah

    of uncertain derivation; blood, literally (of men or animals), figuratively (the juice of grapes) or specially (the atoning blood of Christ); by implication, bloodshed, also kindred:–blood.

    53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

    54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

    55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

    56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

    57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.

    58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. John 6

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    John @ 157

    “I know Luther had problems with both Aristotle and Plato…. However, I am prone to the idea that we can develop a natural theology from general revelation. But this natural theology can never lead to salvation. ”

    Lutherans reject this “natural theology”. This is really just aristotelianism baptized into the church . This was done most formally by Saint Thomas Aquinas. The idea behind all this is that the Revelation of the Image of God is found in the Law. So a return to the Image of God is to become conformed to the Law.

    Lutherans locate the revelation of the Image of God alone in Christ . So that Image can alone be restored by Baptismal regeneration which restores the Image of God which is the Original Righteousness of faith in Christ alone.

    “You will have to explain to me more what you mean by you can understand the Lutheran Confessions better if you understand Aristotle.”

    Aristotle´s Philosophy was the water that all Christian fish were wet with up until the time of Martin Luther. The idea is that fish cannot be aware they are wet. Luther´s precise break with Saint Augustine in favor of Saint Paul is when Luther made a clean break with Aristotle. Calvin became the über Augustinian, which meant he remained stuck in aristotelian reason and categories in doing his exegesis. This is the root and heart of the difference between Lutherans vs Late Melancthon and is disciple Calvin, and of course also vs Rome and that wonderful Saint Thomas Aquinas.

    One cannot understand the arguments in the Confessions then without understanding Aristotle.

    The key issue is this: Where is the Image of God revealed to man? Is it in the law written in man´s mind (aka reason), the Decalog, and Natural Law?

    In that case the Image of God is not lost but is shattered like a broken mirror. And in that case the restoration of the Image of God is to become again conformed to the Law of God. That would be the task. And how do we do that? Aristotle! He says that the way to become a virtuous person is to practice doing virtuous things until they become second nature, or what Aristotle calls “habit”. Practice makes perfect! Saint Thomas baptized this process as what man, with an impaired but not fully lost power along with assistance of the HS as what one needs to do to prepare for Grace or Justification.

    Calvin takes that same aristotelian “practice makes perfect” and says it is a consequence of Justification and calls it “sanctification”. He says that it is the Holy Spirit , using the Law ,that motivates us to do this process..

    Lutherans say that we fully receive the Image of God and the Original Righteousness of Faith in regeneration (ie Holy Baptism) and say that one can only begin to follow the Law (which is not the revelation of God´s Image) as a consequence of having God´s Image restored and not before.

    So I hope you can see that only an understanding of the immense influence of Aristotle on Christendom can help make sense of all this doctrinal history.

    But I assume being a Lutheran , having studied calvinism etc, that you already are fully aware of all this. In that case sorry to repeat all this. ….

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    John @ 157

    “I know Luther had problems with both Aristotle and Plato…. However, I am prone to the idea that we can develop a natural theology from general revelation. But this natural theology can never lead to salvation. ”

    Lutherans reject this “natural theology”. This is really just aristotelianism baptized into the church . This was done most formally by Saint Thomas Aquinas. The idea behind all this is that the Revelation of the Image of God is found in the Law. So a return to the Image of God is to become conformed to the Law.

    Lutherans locate the revelation of the Image of God alone in Christ . So that Image can alone be restored by Baptismal regeneration which restores the Image of God which is the Original Righteousness of faith in Christ alone.

    “You will have to explain to me more what you mean by you can understand the Lutheran Confessions better if you understand Aristotle.”

    Aristotle´s Philosophy was the water that all Christian fish were wet with up until the time of Martin Luther. The idea is that fish cannot be aware they are wet. Luther´s precise break with Saint Augustine in favor of Saint Paul is when Luther made a clean break with Aristotle. Calvin became the über Augustinian, which meant he remained stuck in aristotelian reason and categories in doing his exegesis. This is the root and heart of the difference between Lutherans vs Late Melancthon and is disciple Calvin, and of course also vs Rome and that wonderful Saint Thomas Aquinas.

    One cannot understand the arguments in the Confessions then without understanding Aristotle.

    The key issue is this: Where is the Image of God revealed to man? Is it in the law written in man´s mind (aka reason), the Decalog, and Natural Law?

    In that case the Image of God is not lost but is shattered like a broken mirror. And in that case the restoration of the Image of God is to become again conformed to the Law of God. That would be the task. And how do we do that? Aristotle! He says that the way to become a virtuous person is to practice doing virtuous things until they become second nature, or what Aristotle calls “habit”. Practice makes perfect! Saint Thomas baptized this process as what man, with an impaired but not fully lost power along with assistance of the HS as what one needs to do to prepare for Grace or Justification.

    Calvin takes that same aristotelian “practice makes perfect” and says it is a consequence of Justification and calls it “sanctification”. He says that it is the Holy Spirit , using the Law ,that motivates us to do this process..

    Lutherans say that we fully receive the Image of God and the Original Righteousness of Faith in regeneration (ie Holy Baptism) and say that one can only begin to follow the Law (which is not the revelation of God´s Image) as a consequence of having God´s Image restored and not before.

    So I hope you can see that only an understanding of the immense influence of Aristotle on Christendom can help make sense of all this doctrinal history.

    But I assume being a Lutheran , having studied calvinism etc, that you already are fully aware of all this. In that case sorry to repeat all this. ….

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    john @ 157

    by the way: the Confessions fully endorse aristotle as to earthly morality.

    In art IV you will find a statement like this:

    “concerning Aristotle´s Ethics and morality, nothing more can be demanded!”

    But the Lutherans keep Aristotle out of theology. And they also thus keep theology out of morality in fact dont they? This would mean that no faith in god is necessary at all to be a moral person the way God demands in earthly affairs doesn´t it?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    john @ 157

    by the way: the Confessions fully endorse aristotle as to earthly morality.

    In art IV you will find a statement like this:

    “concerning Aristotle´s Ethics and morality, nothing more can be demanded!”

    But the Lutherans keep Aristotle out of theology. And they also thus keep theology out of morality in fact dont they? This would mean that no faith in god is necessary at all to be a moral person the way God demands in earthly affairs doesn´t it?

  • Grace

    John Yeazel @160

    “This problem of biblicism (reading scripture in isolation from the Christian tradition) runs rampant in many Christian Churches and denominations. I have just scratched the surface of the problems here. It is probably good to do a little study of your own on this issue. One can always google it to start and go from there.”

    IF “tradition” does not line up with Scripture, it has no merit. That is one of the problems which some denominations have, they aren’t able to discard their “traditions of men” for the Word of God.

    John, don’t flatter yourself – you have no clue as to my academic or Biblical background, I can assure you I am knowledgeable in the definition of simple words, such as you used “biblicism” –

    If google is your educational source, that’s fine, it is for many people.

  • Grace

    John Yeazel @160

    “This problem of biblicism (reading scripture in isolation from the Christian tradition) runs rampant in many Christian Churches and denominations. I have just scratched the surface of the problems here. It is probably good to do a little study of your own on this issue. One can always google it to start and go from there.”

    IF “tradition” does not line up with Scripture, it has no merit. That is one of the problems which some denominations have, they aren’t able to discard their “traditions of men” for the Word of God.

    John, don’t flatter yourself – you have no clue as to my academic or Biblical background, I can assure you I am knowledgeable in the definition of simple words, such as you used “biblicism” –

    If google is your educational source, that’s fine, it is for many people.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    John @ 160

    Grace has already been round and round and round and round and… with the Lutherans on this site.

    She is happy to just keep repeating herself by spitting out bible passages (“it says what it says” and no commentary as to what SHE thinks it means) and quoting Matthew Henry and pointing out Luther´s many flaws.

    Good luck !

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    John @ 160

    Grace has already been round and round and round and round and… with the Lutherans on this site.

    She is happy to just keep repeating herself by spitting out bible passages (“it says what it says” and no commentary as to what SHE thinks it means) and quoting Matthew Henry and pointing out Luther´s many flaws.

    Good luck !

  • http://www.myspace.com/lutherman3821 John Yeazel

    FWS,

    I would disagree with you. I don’t have the time right now but will reply to you at a later date- probably tomorrow. In the meantime, if you have access to Fesko’s book on Baptism read pages 41-56. He refutes much of what you say in your post. I am not sure you are accuratley expressing what the Lutheran confessions are saying either. I am certainly open to correction if I am proven to be wrong. Fesko draws from both Luthers writings and the Lutheran confessions and does not come to the conclusions that you do. Again, I will say more about this later.

  • http://www.myspace.com/lutherman3821 John Yeazel

    FWS,

    I would disagree with you. I don’t have the time right now but will reply to you at a later date- probably tomorrow. In the meantime, if you have access to Fesko’s book on Baptism read pages 41-56. He refutes much of what you say in your post. I am not sure you are accuratley expressing what the Lutheran confessions are saying either. I am certainly open to correction if I am proven to be wrong. Fesko draws from both Luthers writings and the Lutheran confessions and does not come to the conclusions that you do. Again, I will say more about this later.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    John Y @ 166

    Dear brother John. Fair enough. I could be wrong.
    We are Lutherans, not Luther-ans.
    What makes us this is agreement with the Confessions not Luther´s private writings. and not what Fesco says. Of course you know this.

    I am in Brasil and do not have access to Fesco´s book. I have access to our Lutheran Confessions. I can read them in the original German and Latin if that would be helpful.

    So can we agree to be good Lutherans and confine our evidence for what the Lutheran position is to quotes from the Confessions only, and then from Luther only secondarily to clarify our Confessional proofs?

    Would that be agreeable to you dear brother?

    Thanks! I look forward to a nice discussion with you John! :)

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    John Y @ 166

    Dear brother John. Fair enough. I could be wrong.
    We are Lutherans, not Luther-ans.
    What makes us this is agreement with the Confessions not Luther´s private writings. and not what Fesco says. Of course you know this.

    I am in Brasil and do not have access to Fesco´s book. I have access to our Lutheran Confessions. I can read them in the original German and Latin if that would be helpful.

    So can we agree to be good Lutherans and confine our evidence for what the Lutheran position is to quotes from the Confessions only, and then from Luther only secondarily to clarify our Confessional proofs?

    Would that be agreeable to you dear brother?

    Thanks! I look forward to a nice discussion with you John! :)

  • Grace

    fws – 165

    “She is happy to just keep repeating herself by spitting out bible passages (“it says what it says” and no commentary as to what SHE thinks it means) and quoting Matthew Henry and pointing out Luther´s many flaws. “

    Poor fws!

    “Spitting out bible passages” ? – God’s Word doesn’t need to be spit out, it’s sharper than a sword,….. too many people aren’t able to accept its message, but rather revel in their own words.

    As far as Matthew Henry, that must be a bur in your saddle. I have posted no more than two or three short paragraphs in the past three or four weeks.

  • Grace

    fws – 165

    “She is happy to just keep repeating herself by spitting out bible passages (“it says what it says” and no commentary as to what SHE thinks it means) and quoting Matthew Henry and pointing out Luther´s many flaws. “

    Poor fws!

    “Spitting out bible passages” ? – God’s Word doesn’t need to be spit out, it’s sharper than a sword,….. too many people aren’t able to accept its message, but rather revel in their own words.

    As far as Matthew Henry, that must be a bur in your saddle. I have posted no more than two or three short paragraphs in the past three or four weeks.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    John Y @ 156
    It is good we are both open to correction.

    Since we are discussing what is or is not “Lutheran ” I sincerely hope you agree that our arguments must be fully and only based on the Lutheran Confessions.

    Feel free to quote Fesco , but only where he is doing exactly that.

    I hope this is agreeable. I will be most happy to provide confessional support for what I have stated.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    John Y @ 156
    It is good we are both open to correction.

    Since we are discussing what is or is not “Lutheran ” I sincerely hope you agree that our arguments must be fully and only based on the Lutheran Confessions.

    Feel free to quote Fesco , but only where he is doing exactly that.

    I hope this is agreeable. I will be most happy to provide confessional support for what I have stated.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Whatever dear Grace! :))

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Whatever dear Grace! :))

  • http://www.myspace.com/lutherman3821 John Yeazel

    Grace,

    That google comment was not an endorsement to get your education from the internet. It is a start in understanding certain definitions- that’s all I was saying there. You obviously did not read my post without injecting your own bias into what I said. There are ways and means of changing confessions that are not lining up to what the scriptures clearly are teaching.

  • http://www.myspace.com/lutherman3821 John Yeazel

    Grace,

    That google comment was not an endorsement to get your education from the internet. It is a start in understanding certain definitions- that’s all I was saying there. You obviously did not read my post without injecting your own bias into what I said. There are ways and means of changing confessions that are not lining up to what the scriptures clearly are teaching.

  • Grace

    Philip wanted to know IF the eunuch believed –

    34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?

    35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

    36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

    37 And Philip said,<b. If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

    38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

    39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. Acts 8

    In the passage above, the eunuch requests to be baptized, but Philip asks the eunuch – “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Only then did Philip baptism the eunuch. That should be a lesson to everyone as to when Baptism takes place….. it is after one Believes.

  • Grace

    Philip wanted to know IF the eunuch believed –

    34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?

    35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

    36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

    37 And Philip said,<b. If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

    38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

    39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. Acts 8

    In the passage above, the eunuch requests to be baptized, but Philip asks the eunuch – “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Only then did Philip baptism the eunuch. That should be a lesson to everyone as to when Baptism takes place….. it is after one Believes.

  • Grace

    John – 171

    “You obviously did not read my post without injecting your own bias into what I said.”

    If you want to discuss “bias” – you might check out your own, it’s presumptuous, and boyish.

  • Grace

    John – 171

    “You obviously did not read my post without injecting your own bias into what I said.”

    If you want to discuss “bias” – you might check out your own, it’s presumptuous, and boyish.

  • http://www.myspace.com/lutherman3821 John Yeazel

    RWS,

    Yes, that is agreeable. There is a lot more I could say about your Aristotle post too. I agreed with a lot of what you said there and that made me understand more of where you are coming from. Thanks for the heads-up on Grace too.

    I have only been a member of a LCMS church for 3 years now and have been reading the confessions since that time. I do blog a lot on Calvinist web sites and have drawn and learned a lot from Calvinists (I have found that there are many Calvinists who respect Luther and Confessional Lutherans very much- other Calvinists are very vocal against Luther). Before that I attended Evangelical non-denominational Churches faithfully for 19 years. So, I still have a hangover from evangelical and Calvinistic sources. I have been reading and drawing from Luther for the last ten years and finally decided I was more Lutheran than anything else (that is why I finally joined a LCMS church). I do have an interest in the debates between Lutherans and Calvinists and have found there is much that is misinterpreted between the groups.

    I will be glad to try to come to some conclusions with you by drawing from Luther, Calvin, the confessions of both Lutherans and Calvinists and the theology that both draw from the scriptures. That certainly is an ambitious task but one worth trying to tackle. I have to wake up at 4:00 in the morning to get to work so I must get to be now. Looking forward to dialoging with you further.

  • http://www.myspace.com/lutherman3821 John Yeazel

    RWS,

    Yes, that is agreeable. There is a lot more I could say about your Aristotle post too. I agreed with a lot of what you said there and that made me understand more of where you are coming from. Thanks for the heads-up on Grace too.

    I have only been a member of a LCMS church for 3 years now and have been reading the confessions since that time. I do blog a lot on Calvinist web sites and have drawn and learned a lot from Calvinists (I have found that there are many Calvinists who respect Luther and Confessional Lutherans very much- other Calvinists are very vocal against Luther). Before that I attended Evangelical non-denominational Churches faithfully for 19 years. So, I still have a hangover from evangelical and Calvinistic sources. I have been reading and drawing from Luther for the last ten years and finally decided I was more Lutheran than anything else (that is why I finally joined a LCMS church). I do have an interest in the debates between Lutherans and Calvinists and have found there is much that is misinterpreted between the groups.

    I will be glad to try to come to some conclusions with you by drawing from Luther, Calvin, the confessions of both Lutherans and Calvinists and the theology that both draw from the scriptures. That certainly is an ambitious task but one worth trying to tackle. I have to wake up at 4:00 in the morning to get to work so I must get to be now. Looking forward to dialoging with you further.

  • http://www.myspace.com/lutherman3821 John Yeazel

    Condescension back at you Grace. You are a pleasure to deal with. Is learning how to alienate others an acquired trait or were you born that way? Your tact is very endearing. You obviously have set everyone straight on this site. I’d rather be boyish than a bore (or is that boar?) Luther was accused of being a wild boar by the Catholics. You must be a Reformed Baptist by reading some of your comments. God bless you sister!!

  • http://www.myspace.com/lutherman3821 John Yeazel

    Condescension back at you Grace. You are a pleasure to deal with. Is learning how to alienate others an acquired trait or were you born that way? Your tact is very endearing. You obviously have set everyone straight on this site. I’d rather be boyish than a bore (or is that boar?) Luther was accused of being a wild boar by the Catholics. You must be a Reformed Baptist by reading some of your comments. God bless you sister!!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    John Yeazle @ 174

    That was a helpful post John Y!

    I was raised Lutheran and for alot of reasons thought that could be saved by doctrine. So it was extremely important for me to comparatively explore the doctrines of the other christian sects beside the Lutheran one… just to make sure. heaven and hell depended on it I thought! Along the way I had 6 years of latin and 4 years of classical german to study the confessions and 4 years of greek and a splat of Hebrew . So I can read the NT in Greek. Hebrew, not so much!

    I am pretty aware of what alot of other churches teach. I had a caracature of what Roman Catholicism taught like most christians who are not RC.

    My suggestion to you as a relatively new Lutheran is to really read the Lutheran Confessions. The translations are all germanglish and awful. You can overcome this by trying to outline in your mind what they are saying. They are very repetative for a very very excellent reason. that means then can be condensed into something actually quite short.

    Bless you!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    John Yeazle @ 174

    That was a helpful post John Y!

    I was raised Lutheran and for alot of reasons thought that could be saved by doctrine. So it was extremely important for me to comparatively explore the doctrines of the other christian sects beside the Lutheran one… just to make sure. heaven and hell depended on it I thought! Along the way I had 6 years of latin and 4 years of classical german to study the confessions and 4 years of greek and a splat of Hebrew . So I can read the NT in Greek. Hebrew, not so much!

    I am pretty aware of what alot of other churches teach. I had a caracature of what Roman Catholicism taught like most christians who are not RC.

    My suggestion to you as a relatively new Lutheran is to really read the Lutheran Confessions. The translations are all germanglish and awful. You can overcome this by trying to outline in your mind what they are saying. They are very repetative for a very very excellent reason. that means then can be condensed into something actually quite short.

    Bless you!

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Grace,

    Again you have re-iterated your word study nonsense that proves nothing. Psalm 22:9-10 is NOT about an infant trusting it’s mother’s breasts.

    You also only ever deal with the passages that show HOW baptism was done, as though they are the only prescriptive words from Scripture on the subject. You deftly avoid dealing with any passage that tells us WHAT baptism is and does, and what their implications are.

    You seem hung up on the idea that we never see an example of infant baptism done by the disciples or Apostles. This is akin to the person who types ‘I am God’ into a biblical search engine combing through the Gospels, or types in the word ‘trinity.’ When no results turn up, they confidently deny the divinity of Jesus and the doctrine of the Trinity.

    Yes, I did link to my own blog, and its a shame you are so closed minded you won’t even look what I wrote, because it is a very clear analysis of why the two opposing sides in the debate over infant baptism often talk past each other. I hoped to not have to recapitulate the whole thing in a comment thread, but upon further reflection see that to do this would be a waste of time anyway.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Grace,

    Again you have re-iterated your word study nonsense that proves nothing. Psalm 22:9-10 is NOT about an infant trusting it’s mother’s breasts.

    You also only ever deal with the passages that show HOW baptism was done, as though they are the only prescriptive words from Scripture on the subject. You deftly avoid dealing with any passage that tells us WHAT baptism is and does, and what their implications are.

    You seem hung up on the idea that we never see an example of infant baptism done by the disciples or Apostles. This is akin to the person who types ‘I am God’ into a biblical search engine combing through the Gospels, or types in the word ‘trinity.’ When no results turn up, they confidently deny the divinity of Jesus and the doctrine of the Trinity.

    Yes, I did link to my own blog, and its a shame you are so closed minded you won’t even look what I wrote, because it is a very clear analysis of why the two opposing sides in the debate over infant baptism often talk past each other. I hoped to not have to recapitulate the whole thing in a comment thread, but upon further reflection see that to do this would be a waste of time anyway.

  • Grace

    John – 175

    “I’d rather be boyish than a bore (or is that boar?) “

    “Boar” ? – you stoop so low, as to use a word, who’s definition is: – - “An uncastrated male pig.” And this to describe me with a question mark.

  • Grace

    John – 175

    “I’d rather be boyish than a bore (or is that boar?) “

    “Boar” ? – you stoop so low, as to use a word, who’s definition is: – - “An uncastrated male pig.” And this to describe me with a question mark.

  • Grace

    Patrick – 177

    The passage of Scripture you gave does not apply to Baptism.

    Psalm 22 is about Christ. This Psalm is a picture of Christ and the Cross – it describes the crucifixion of Christ and corresponds to the 53rd chapter of Isaiah as well. Both passages are famous for the suffering of Christ on the Cross

  • Grace

    Patrick – 177

    The passage of Scripture you gave does not apply to Baptism.

    Psalm 22 is about Christ. This Psalm is a picture of Christ and the Cross – it describes the crucifixion of Christ and corresponds to the 53rd chapter of Isaiah as well. Both passages are famous for the suffering of Christ on the Cross

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Grace@179

    “The passage of Scripture you gave does not apply to Baptism. ”

    True, but it does directly apply to your assertion that infants cannot believe, and proves it false. The psalmist wrote of Christ but was also writing of himself as well. It is not a ‘naked ‘ prophesy of Christ alone without any reference to the psalmist and his own life.

    See also Luke 1 :43-44 43
    “And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me?
    44″For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy.

    If infants can trust God from the womb (or understand enough to leap for joy in the womb) then the idea that God cannot give the gift of faith to an infant is a lie. Now the discussion turns to what baptism IS and DOES.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Grace@179

    “The passage of Scripture you gave does not apply to Baptism. ”

    True, but it does directly apply to your assertion that infants cannot believe, and proves it false. The psalmist wrote of Christ but was also writing of himself as well. It is not a ‘naked ‘ prophesy of Christ alone without any reference to the psalmist and his own life.

    See also Luke 1 :43-44 43
    “And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me?
    44″For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy.

    If infants can trust God from the womb (or understand enough to leap for joy in the womb) then the idea that God cannot give the gift of faith to an infant is a lie. Now the discussion turns to what baptism IS and DOES.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    The Rest of you – forgive me:

    If we shadows have offended,
    Think but this, and all is mended,
    That you have but slumber’d here
    While these visions did appear.
    And this weak and idle theme,
    No more yielding but a dream,
    Gentles, do not reprehend:
    if you pardon, we will mend:
    And, as I am an honest Puck,
    If we have unearned luck
    Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue,
    We will make amends ere long;
    Else the Puck a liar call;
    So, good night unto you all.
    Give me your hands, if we be friends,
    And Robin shall restore amends.

    See, that means Obama was born in Kenya. That is what I read there, and nobody can prove me wrong ;)

    That, Grace, is how the Biblicist uses Scripture. And that is the fulkl philosophical force of your arguments. Comprendo? Verstehen sich? Verstaan jy?

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    The Rest of you – forgive me:

    If we shadows have offended,
    Think but this, and all is mended,
    That you have but slumber’d here
    While these visions did appear.
    And this weak and idle theme,
    No more yielding but a dream,
    Gentles, do not reprehend:
    if you pardon, we will mend:
    And, as I am an honest Puck,
    If we have unearned luck
    Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue,
    We will make amends ere long;
    Else the Puck a liar call;
    So, good night unto you all.
    Give me your hands, if we be friends,
    And Robin shall restore amends.

    See, that means Obama was born in Kenya. That is what I read there, and nobody can prove me wrong ;)

    That, Grace, is how the Biblicist uses Scripture. And that is the fulkl philosophical force of your arguments. Comprendo? Verstehen sich? Verstaan jy?

  • kerner

    Grace:

    You are misinterpreting Patrick. He is responding to your statements that babies should not be baptized because they cannot think in a mature enough way to have faith. Patrick (and I as well) conclude from this that you believe that faith is a product of the will or the intellect or both, and that to have faith your brain needs to be mature enough to to understand complex concepts. I suspect you believe that there is an “age of responsibility”, although I won’t presume to say what you may think it is, at which time a person is mature enough to “believe”.

    Patrick’s position is that Psalm 22 is not about God teaching a baby to hope for his mother’s breasts (why on earth would there be a Psalm about that?). Rather it is about God instilling faith in an infant by teaching him to trust in God. When the Psalm says:

    “9 Yet you brought me out of the womb;
    you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
    10 From birth I was cast on you;
    from my mother’s womb you have been my God. ”

    God’s Word is saying that infants (yes, newborn suckling infants) CAN have faith, and therefore your argument that only those that have faith should be baptized does not exclude infants.

    The problem is that you think that faith is a work of the intellect; that a person has faith because he/she decided to have it. God’s Word does not teach that.

  • kerner

    Grace:

    You are misinterpreting Patrick. He is responding to your statements that babies should not be baptized because they cannot think in a mature enough way to have faith. Patrick (and I as well) conclude from this that you believe that faith is a product of the will or the intellect or both, and that to have faith your brain needs to be mature enough to to understand complex concepts. I suspect you believe that there is an “age of responsibility”, although I won’t presume to say what you may think it is, at which time a person is mature enough to “believe”.

    Patrick’s position is that Psalm 22 is not about God teaching a baby to hope for his mother’s breasts (why on earth would there be a Psalm about that?). Rather it is about God instilling faith in an infant by teaching him to trust in God. When the Psalm says:

    “9 Yet you brought me out of the womb;
    you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
    10 From birth I was cast on you;
    from my mother’s womb you have been my God. ”

    God’s Word is saying that infants (yes, newborn suckling infants) CAN have faith, and therefore your argument that only those that have faith should be baptized does not exclude infants.

    The problem is that you think that faith is a work of the intellect; that a person has faith because he/she decided to have it. God’s Word does not teach that.

  • kerner

    Hmmm. Patrick has already spoken up for himself. :D

  • kerner

    Hmmm. Patrick has already spoken up for himself. :D

  • Grace

    Kerner – 182

    We don’t agree, regarding Baptism – that includes the discussion over homosexual marriages just a few days ago – in which you and fws both believe to be correct…. and I find homosexual marriage to be an abomination.

    Because I don’t agree does not mean that I am “misinterpreting Patrick” – – can you understand that people disagree without misinterpreting? It would be to your advantage if you did. As a lawyer, I would think you had learned this lesson long ago, … I certainly learned it in my career.

    I understand very well what Psalm 22 says. I also understand the passages of Scripture regarding John the Baptist, and his leaping within his mothers womb, when she met with Mary, who was carrying God the Son in her womb.

  • Grace

    Kerner – 182

    We don’t agree, regarding Baptism – that includes the discussion over homosexual marriages just a few days ago – in which you and fws both believe to be correct…. and I find homosexual marriage to be an abomination.

    Because I don’t agree does not mean that I am “misinterpreting Patrick” – – can you understand that people disagree without misinterpreting? It would be to your advantage if you did. As a lawyer, I would think you had learned this lesson long ago, … I certainly learned it in my career.

    I understand very well what Psalm 22 says. I also understand the passages of Scripture regarding John the Baptist, and his leaping within his mothers womb, when she met with Mary, who was carrying God the Son in her womb.

  • kerner

    Grace:

    You said that Psalm 22 was not about baptism. Since that wasn’t Patrick’s point, I thought you misinterpreted what he way trying to say. I know that you often disagree without misunderstanding. I just thought you misunderstood this time.

    But the point is that Psalm 22:9-10 teaches that babies can trust God, and that he can be their God, not just the God of those who can think. Do you disagree with that

  • kerner

    Grace:

    You said that Psalm 22 was not about baptism. Since that wasn’t Patrick’s point, I thought you misinterpreted what he way trying to say. I know that you often disagree without misunderstanding. I just thought you misunderstood this time.

    But the point is that Psalm 22:9-10 teaches that babies can trust God, and that he can be their God, not just the God of those who can think. Do you disagree with that

  • kerner

    Grace @184:

    How can you possibly think that I believe homosexual marriages are “correct”?!?!? I have never said that, and I have argued just the opposite dozens of times on this very blog.

  • kerner

    Grace @184:

    How can you possibly think that I believe homosexual marriages are “correct”?!?!? I have never said that, and I have argued just the opposite dozens of times on this very blog.

  • kerner

    Now I know you sometimes misinterpret things.

  • kerner

    Now I know you sometimes misinterpret things.

  • Grace

    Kerner, read over your post 161 and then read your post 175.

    post #161 “These couples are 1) living together, 2)being fruitful and begetting children, 3) nourishing them. What they are not doing is training them to the honor of God, because they are not Christian couples. But, if they were Christians, there is no reason why they wouldn’t be training their children to honor God as well.”

    Post 175 kerner March 17, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    fws @162:

    @161 I explained why I think God regards a gay/lesbian marriage much the same as any other man/woman marriage. You respond that God is not pleased. OK, why wouldn’t He be?”

    http://www.geneveith.com/2011/03/14/a-different-kind-of-gay-marriage/#comments

    If I have mischaracterized your comments, please show my my mistake.

  • Grace

    Kerner, read over your post 161 and then read your post 175.

    post #161 “These couples are 1) living together, 2)being fruitful and begetting children, 3) nourishing them. What they are not doing is training them to the honor of God, because they are not Christian couples. But, if they were Christians, there is no reason why they wouldn’t be training their children to honor God as well.”

    Post 175 kerner March 17, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    fws @162:

    @161 I explained why I think God regards a gay/lesbian marriage much the same as any other man/woman marriage. You respond that God is not pleased. OK, why wouldn’t He be?”

    http://www.geneveith.com/2011/03/14/a-different-kind-of-gay-marriage/#comments

    If I have mischaracterized your comments, please show my my mistake.

  • Grace

    Kerner – 187

    YOU WROTE: “Now I know you sometimes misinterpret things.”

    I have never purported to be perfect, have you?

  • Grace

    Kerner – 187

    YOU WROTE: “Now I know you sometimes misinterpret things.”

    I have never purported to be perfect, have you?

  • kerner

    Grace:

    I don’t want to sidetrack this thread, but I was refering to a “gay” man marrying a “lesbian” woman (which was what that thread was about) and having children within the institution of a man/woman marriage. Fws argued that that a gay man marrying lesbian woman was wrong. I was arguing that marrying a member of the opposite sex is the only legitimate marriage that anyone, including gays and lesbians, can have.

    But we digress.

    The question I asked was whether you believe that babies can have faith, i.e. trust in God, like Psalm 22 says they can, and whether God can be the God of infants, as well as the God of people mature enough to think. What do you say?

  • kerner

    Grace:

    I don’t want to sidetrack this thread, but I was refering to a “gay” man marrying a “lesbian” woman (which was what that thread was about) and having children within the institution of a man/woman marriage. Fws argued that that a gay man marrying lesbian woman was wrong. I was arguing that marrying a member of the opposite sex is the only legitimate marriage that anyone, including gays and lesbians, can have.

    But we digress.

    The question I asked was whether you believe that babies can have faith, i.e. trust in God, like Psalm 22 says they can, and whether God can be the God of infants, as well as the God of people mature enough to think. What do you say?

  • steve

    Steve Martin:

    “I keep using that term “despise”, because they feel it an afront to their will, and what they must muster up. Otherwise they would do it, and trust Christ is actaully doing something in it.”

    I think the term “despise” is a little hyperbolic. Reformed do “do it” and do believe Christ is actually doing something in it. I would direct you to Article 35 of the Belgic Confession”

    “Now, as it is certain and beyond all doubt that Jesus Christ hath not enjoined to us the use of his Sacraments in vain, so he works in us all that he represents to us by these holy signs, though the manner surpasses our understanding, and can not be comprehended by us, as the operations of the Holy Ghost are hidden and incomprehensible. In the mean time we err not when we say that what is eaten and drunk by us is the proper and natural body and the proper blood of Christ. But the manner of our partaking of the same is not by the mouth, but by the Spirit through faith. Thus, then, though Christ always sits at the right hand of his Father in the heavens, yet doth he not, therefore, cease to make us partakers of himself by faith. This feast is a spiritual table, at which Christ communicates himself with all his benefits to us, and gives us there to enjoy both himself and the merits of his sufferings and death, nourishing, strengthening, and comforting our poor comfortless souls, by the eating of his flesh, quickening and refreshing them by the drinking of his blood.”

  • steve

    Steve Martin:

    “I keep using that term “despise”, because they feel it an afront to their will, and what they must muster up. Otherwise they would do it, and trust Christ is actaully doing something in it.”

    I think the term “despise” is a little hyperbolic. Reformed do “do it” and do believe Christ is actually doing something in it. I would direct you to Article 35 of the Belgic Confession”

    “Now, as it is certain and beyond all doubt that Jesus Christ hath not enjoined to us the use of his Sacraments in vain, so he works in us all that he represents to us by these holy signs, though the manner surpasses our understanding, and can not be comprehended by us, as the operations of the Holy Ghost are hidden and incomprehensible. In the mean time we err not when we say that what is eaten and drunk by us is the proper and natural body and the proper blood of Christ. But the manner of our partaking of the same is not by the mouth, but by the Spirit through faith. Thus, then, though Christ always sits at the right hand of his Father in the heavens, yet doth he not, therefore, cease to make us partakers of himself by faith. This feast is a spiritual table, at which Christ communicates himself with all his benefits to us, and gives us there to enjoy both himself and the merits of his sufferings and death, nourishing, strengthening, and comforting our poor comfortless souls, by the eating of his flesh, quickening and refreshing them by the drinking of his blood.”

  • Grace

    Kerner, YOU WROTE: “The question I asked was whether you believe that babies can have faith, i.e. trust in God, like Psalm 22 says they can, and whether God can be the God of infants, as well as the God of people mature enough to think. What do you say?”

    First, … Psalm 22 is not about infant Baptism, as I have already stated. Did you read my posts regarding Psalm 22, or are you trying to interrogate me. This isn’t a court room Kerner, …. God’s Word isn’t on trial, and neither am I. Some things are obvious, such as Psalm 22 which is all about Christ on the Cross, as is Isaiah 53. They aren’t confusing.

    I don’t believe that infants have the ability to understand repentance, or belief in Christ as Savior.

    Below post 109

    109 — Grace March 19, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    Preaching must be understood, an infant cannot understand the gospel. If they could, they wouldn’t need to learn about the Bible after they were old enough to understand, because they would already have been taught, supposedly they understood teaching/preaching as an infant.

    15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

    16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16:15-16

    NOTE: Believeth first and then Baptized. No one automatically is saved as an infant after Baptism. How many people believe they have obtained Salvation through their parents Baptizing them? This is very serious, one has to believe first.

    If the Word of God told us to Baptize infants, we should, but there is not one Scripture that includes infants.

    An infant isn’t able to believe, repent of their sins, confess – they are but babes. No one automatically receives Salvation without repentance, faith and belief in Christ.

    ( Parents cannot circumvent or sidestep salvation by baptizing their children. Jesus is the way, no one receives Salvation because their parents had them baptized. They have had no opportunity to believe. This is a hard truth for those who have been taught that they were already saved, with no reason to repent, they were predestined, chosen, and that settles it in their mind. )

    9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

    10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10

  • Grace

    Kerner, YOU WROTE: “The question I asked was whether you believe that babies can have faith, i.e. trust in God, like Psalm 22 says they can, and whether God can be the God of infants, as well as the God of people mature enough to think. What do you say?”

    First, … Psalm 22 is not about infant Baptism, as I have already stated. Did you read my posts regarding Psalm 22, or are you trying to interrogate me. This isn’t a court room Kerner, …. God’s Word isn’t on trial, and neither am I. Some things are obvious, such as Psalm 22 which is all about Christ on the Cross, as is Isaiah 53. They aren’t confusing.

    I don’t believe that infants have the ability to understand repentance, or belief in Christ as Savior.

    Below post 109

    109 — Grace March 19, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    Preaching must be understood, an infant cannot understand the gospel. If they could, they wouldn’t need to learn about the Bible after they were old enough to understand, because they would already have been taught, supposedly they understood teaching/preaching as an infant.

    15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

    16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16:15-16

    NOTE: Believeth first and then Baptized. No one automatically is saved as an infant after Baptism. How many people believe they have obtained Salvation through their parents Baptizing them? This is very serious, one has to believe first.

    If the Word of God told us to Baptize infants, we should, but there is not one Scripture that includes infants.

    An infant isn’t able to believe, repent of their sins, confess – they are but babes. No one automatically receives Salvation without repentance, faith and belief in Christ.

    ( Parents cannot circumvent or sidestep salvation by baptizing their children. Jesus is the way, no one receives Salvation because their parents had them baptized. They have had no opportunity to believe. This is a hard truth for those who have been taught that they were already saved, with no reason to repent, they were predestined, chosen, and that settles it in their mind. )

    9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

    10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Grace,

    Here is another one.

    John 3:5 (New American Standard Bible)
    5Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

    In this passage what does ‘water’ mean? ( Please don’t trundle out the old adage about the water in your mother’s womb. There is nothing in the context that warrants such an interpretation, and it is a desperate and sorry attempt to avoid the obvious.)

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Grace,

    Here is another one.

    John 3:5 (New American Standard Bible)
    5Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

    In this passage what does ‘water’ mean? ( Please don’t trundle out the old adage about the water in your mother’s womb. There is nothing in the context that warrants such an interpretation, and it is a desperate and sorry attempt to avoid the obvious.)

  • kerner

    Grace @192

    You said:

    “An infant isn’t able to believe, repent of their sins, confess – they are but babes. No one automatically receives Salvation without repentance, faith and belief in Christ.”

    So babies cannot be saved then?

  • kerner

    Grace @192

    You said:

    “An infant isn’t able to believe, repent of their sins, confess – they are but babes. No one automatically receives Salvation without repentance, faith and belief in Christ.”

    So babies cannot be saved then?

  • Grace

    Infants haven’t received Salvation because their parents wanted a guarantee when they were but a few weeks old, taking them to be Baptized.

    I have met individuals who answer “I have been a Christian all my life, I was Baptized as an infant” – - – - – there parents as far as they are concerned did it for them, they are headed for Heaven because mom and dad had them Baptized.

    No parent can receive Salvation for their infant by Baptism as a guarantee against hell, because they turn from Christ as they mature.

  • Grace

    Infants haven’t received Salvation because their parents wanted a guarantee when they were but a few weeks old, taking them to be Baptized.

    I have met individuals who answer “I have been a Christian all my life, I was Baptized as an infant” – - – - – there parents as far as they are concerned did it for them, they are headed for Heaven because mom and dad had them Baptized.

    No parent can receive Salvation for their infant by Baptism as a guarantee against hell, because they turn from Christ as they mature.

  • Grace

    Kerner,

    When Jesus said:

    13 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.

    14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

    15 And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence. Matthew 19

    Notice, Jesus didn’t Baptize them, HE put HIS hands on them. HE didn’t tell anyone else to Baptize them as well.

    When children in our churches are born, they are dedicated to the LORD within a few weeks –

    My father being a pastor, asked another to come when I was three weeks old to be dedicated to the LORD – my mother and father promised to raise me in the ways of the LORD – they kept their promise. I then came to believe in Christ as the Son of God, believing that HE only could take away my sins. I asked the LORD Jesus to forgive me of my sins at seven years old, kneeling and praying by my bed with my mother. I haven’t forgotten.

  • Grace

    Kerner,

    When Jesus said:

    13 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.

    14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

    15 And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence. Matthew 19

    Notice, Jesus didn’t Baptize them, HE put HIS hands on them. HE didn’t tell anyone else to Baptize them as well.

    When children in our churches are born, they are dedicated to the LORD within a few weeks –

    My father being a pastor, asked another to come when I was three weeks old to be dedicated to the LORD – my mother and father promised to raise me in the ways of the LORD – they kept their promise. I then came to believe in Christ as the Son of God, believing that HE only could take away my sins. I asked the LORD Jesus to forgive me of my sins at seven years old, kneeling and praying by my bed with my mother. I haven’t forgotten.

  • kerner

    Grace @ 196: You wrote:

    “13 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.

    14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

    15 And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence. Matthew 19

    Notice, Jesus didn’t Baptize them, HE put HIS hands on them. HE didn’t tell anyone else to Baptize them as well.”

    Yes, but I also notice that Jesus said of the infants that were being brought to Him (presumably by their parents) that of such is the kingdom of Heaven. So, apparently there IS a way for infants to “automatically” receive salvation without being old enough to be able to confess their sins and repent, with their parents bringing the infants to Jesus.

    And I also notice that Jesus was at that time right there bodily at the time to put his own physical hands on them. He isn’t here in his human body anymore, but the “body of Christ”, which is all believers, is still here.

    And I also notice that Jesus didnt tell His desciples to baptize anyone until he had died and been resurected. And I notice He said:

    ” 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

    So you wouldn’t expect Jesus to have these children baptized in addition to being blessed by them personally, because he had not commanded His people to do that while He was still on earth.

    And I notice that on this occasion when He said to make deciples of all nations, He said to baptize them first, and then to teach them. Frankly, I don’t think the order of what He said is as important as you seem to, because in one place it says believe and be baptized, but here Jesus says baptize, then teach, so it seems that there must be a proper way to do either one.

    But I have another question for you, because @109, and again @192 you wrote this:

    “( Parents cannot circumvent or sidestep salvation by baptizing their children. Jesus is the way, no one receives Salvation because their parents had them baptized. They have had no opportunity to believe. This is a hard truth for those who have been taught that they were already saved, with no reason to repent, they were predestined, chosen, and that settles it in their mind. )

    Why do you say that? We infant baptizing Lutherand confess our sinfulness and repent and pray for forgiveness all the time. I publicly did so just this morning, as I do most Sunday mornings.

  • kerner

    Grace @ 196: You wrote:

    “13 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.

    14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

    15 And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence. Matthew 19

    Notice, Jesus didn’t Baptize them, HE put HIS hands on them. HE didn’t tell anyone else to Baptize them as well.”

    Yes, but I also notice that Jesus said of the infants that were being brought to Him (presumably by their parents) that of such is the kingdom of Heaven. So, apparently there IS a way for infants to “automatically” receive salvation without being old enough to be able to confess their sins and repent, with their parents bringing the infants to Jesus.

    And I also notice that Jesus was at that time right there bodily at the time to put his own physical hands on them. He isn’t here in his human body anymore, but the “body of Christ”, which is all believers, is still here.

    And I also notice that Jesus didnt tell His desciples to baptize anyone until he had died and been resurected. And I notice He said:

    ” 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

    So you wouldn’t expect Jesus to have these children baptized in addition to being blessed by them personally, because he had not commanded His people to do that while He was still on earth.

    And I notice that on this occasion when He said to make deciples of all nations, He said to baptize them first, and then to teach them. Frankly, I don’t think the order of what He said is as important as you seem to, because in one place it says believe and be baptized, but here Jesus says baptize, then teach, so it seems that there must be a proper way to do either one.

    But I have another question for you, because @109, and again @192 you wrote this:

    “( Parents cannot circumvent or sidestep salvation by baptizing their children. Jesus is the way, no one receives Salvation because their parents had them baptized. They have had no opportunity to believe. This is a hard truth for those who have been taught that they were already saved, with no reason to repent, they were predestined, chosen, and that settles it in their mind. )

    Why do you say that? We infant baptizing Lutherand confess our sinfulness and repent and pray for forgiveness all the time. I publicly did so just this morning, as I do most Sunday mornings.

  • Grace

    Kerner,

    We must remember that Philip was one of the Apostles (see Matthew 10:3). He knew that one must believe before being Baptized. Remember too, that the Apostles spent 40 days with the risen Savior Jesus Christ, spoken of in Acts 1. The Apostles were well grounded in the Gospel, Baptism, Belief in Christ before Baptism.

    My post below – 172 –

    172 Grace March 20, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Philip wanted to know IF the eunuch believed – as he said: “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.”

    34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?

    35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

    36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

    37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

    38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

    39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. Acts 8

    In the passage above, the eunuch requests to be baptized, but Philip asks the eunuch – “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Only then did Philip baptism the eunuch. That should be a lesson to everyone as to when Baptism takes place….. it is after one Believes.

  • Grace

    Kerner,

    We must remember that Philip was one of the Apostles (see Matthew 10:3). He knew that one must believe before being Baptized. Remember too, that the Apostles spent 40 days with the risen Savior Jesus Christ, spoken of in Acts 1. The Apostles were well grounded in the Gospel, Baptism, Belief in Christ before Baptism.

    My post below – 172 –

    172 Grace March 20, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Philip wanted to know IF the eunuch believed – as he said: “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.”

    34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?

    35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

    36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

    37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

    38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

    39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. Acts 8

    In the passage above, the eunuch requests to be baptized, but Philip asks the eunuch – “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Only then did Philip baptism the eunuch. That should be a lesson to everyone as to when Baptism takes place….. it is after one Believes.

  • Grace

    Kerner,

    Believing comes first, just as it did with the Eunuch, and just as Philip, Mark and Peter make clear.

    He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
    Mark 16:16

    Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
    Acts 2:38

    Peter says to them “repent and be baptized, ” Water baptism would be the evidence that they had repented. that they had come to Christ and had put their trust in Him.

  • Grace

    Kerner,

    Believing comes first, just as it did with the Eunuch, and just as Philip, Mark and Peter make clear.

    He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
    Mark 16:16

    Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
    Acts 2:38

    Peter says to them “repent and be baptized, ” Water baptism would be the evidence that they had repented. that they had come to Christ and had put their trust in Him.

  • Grace

    Kerner – 197

    “Why do you say that? We infant baptizing Lutherand confess our sinfulness and repent and pray for forgiveness all the time. I publicly did so just this morning, as I do most Sunday mornings.”

    The answer is Kerner, you aren’t an infant – of course you ask forgiveness, or I would hope you do.

  • Grace

    Kerner – 197

    “Why do you say that? We infant baptizing Lutherand confess our sinfulness and repent and pray for forgiveness all the time. I publicly did so just this morning, as I do most Sunday mornings.”

    The answer is Kerner, you aren’t an infant – of course you ask forgiveness, or I would hope you do.

  • kerner

    Grace:

    So, you’re saying, because Phillip baptized one adult man in a certain way, we can know for a fact that there is no other way to do it for people like infants who are cearly in a different situation?

    Look, for adult unbelievers who come to Christ, we baptize them after they confess, repent and declare their faith. But as you point out, infants can’t do that. But you just got done admitting that, in Jesus’ day, parents could bring their infants to Jesus, who declared that the kingdom of Heaven was theirs and blessed them. In these New testament times, baptizing children is nothing more nor less than “bringing your children to Jesus”. Do some of them turn away from their baptisms in later life? I suppose some may do so. But I will bet that some people who pray with their parents at age 7 turn away in later life too. You can’t know for sure whether a child that young really understands or believes, or is just saying what he is told by his parents to say. Not unless you are a mind reader. Of course, an adult may be a hypocrite too.

    After they are baptized, you try to train them up in the way they should go and trust the Holy Spirit.

  • kerner

    Grace:

    So, you’re saying, because Phillip baptized one adult man in a certain way, we can know for a fact that there is no other way to do it for people like infants who are cearly in a different situation?

    Look, for adult unbelievers who come to Christ, we baptize them after they confess, repent and declare their faith. But as you point out, infants can’t do that. But you just got done admitting that, in Jesus’ day, parents could bring their infants to Jesus, who declared that the kingdom of Heaven was theirs and blessed them. In these New testament times, baptizing children is nothing more nor less than “bringing your children to Jesus”. Do some of them turn away from their baptisms in later life? I suppose some may do so. But I will bet that some people who pray with their parents at age 7 turn away in later life too. You can’t know for sure whether a child that young really understands or believes, or is just saying what he is told by his parents to say. Not unless you are a mind reader. Of course, an adult may be a hypocrite too.

    After they are baptized, you try to train them up in the way they should go and trust the Holy Spirit.

  • kerner

    Grace:

    “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
    Acts 2:38

    Peter says to them “repent and be baptized, ” Water baptism would be the evidence that they had repented. that they had come to Christ and had put their trust in Him.”

    No, water baptism would be the means by which their sins were remitted and they received the Holy Ghost Who enables them to truly put their trust in Christ. Notice the order (for adults):

    1. repent
    2. baptism
    3. remission of sins
    4. receive the Holy Ghost.

    They didn’t get 3 and 4 until they had received 2.

  • kerner

    Grace:

    “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
    Acts 2:38

    Peter says to them “repent and be baptized, ” Water baptism would be the evidence that they had repented. that they had come to Christ and had put their trust in Him.”

    No, water baptism would be the means by which their sins were remitted and they received the Holy Ghost Who enables them to truly put their trust in Christ. Notice the order (for adults):

    1. repent
    2. baptism
    3. remission of sins
    4. receive the Holy Ghost.

    They didn’t get 3 and 4 until they had received 2.

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    Scroll way, way up and read Brian Lindemood’s comment. It is the best one here (after mine).
    I’m reminded of a living room with 4 or 5 mouse-sized holes in the baseboards. People are sitting on the chesterfield and armchairs having an interesting conversation, but every once in a while a mouse sticks its head out of one of the holes and gives out a moderately loud, rather unsure “pip!”
    I name that mouse “pipsqueak”……

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    Scroll way, way up and read Brian Lindemood’s comment. It is the best one here (after mine).
    I’m reminded of a living room with 4 or 5 mouse-sized holes in the baseboards. People are sitting on the chesterfield and armchairs having an interesting conversation, but every once in a while a mouse sticks its head out of one of the holes and gives out a moderately loud, rather unsure “pip!”
    I name that mouse “pipsqueak”……

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    Grace,
    I’ve never seen the Bible text that says parents are to bring their children to church at a few weeks old to have them dedicated. Could you describe your “dedication liturgy”, the accompanying rubrics, and the precise Bible texts on which this practice is founded?

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    Grace,
    I’ve never seen the Bible text that says parents are to bring their children to church at a few weeks old to have them dedicated. Could you describe your “dedication liturgy”, the accompanying rubrics, and the precise Bible texts on which this practice is founded?

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    One of the criticisms of Lutheranism by Calvinists is that Lutherans do not truly believe in justification by faith alone due to their stance on baptism.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    One of the criticisms of Lutheranism by Calvinists is that Lutherans do not truly believe in justification by faith alone due to their stance on baptism.

  • Richard

    Interesting that in all this discussion about Lutherans/Reformed being so much at odds on the Supper, and that the Reformed resemble Zwingli, no one mentions the Wittenberg Concord, which Luther signed with one of Calvin’s teachers, Martin Bucer, in the 1530s, which came to an agreement on the subject. Oh, well. I think we are content with our caricatures of each other.

  • Richard

    Interesting that in all this discussion about Lutherans/Reformed being so much at odds on the Supper, and that the Reformed resemble Zwingli, no one mentions the Wittenberg Concord, which Luther signed with one of Calvin’s teachers, Martin Bucer, in the 1530s, which came to an agreement on the subject. Oh, well. I think we are content with our caricatures of each other.

  • Stephen

    The reality that we are justified by grace through faith APART FROM works of the law locates eternal truth outside the human, in the Word itself – alone. This is the Lutheran confession and witness to the ultimate truth of Jesus Christ. Pure doctrine places truth where God has put it Himself – in His Word and Sacrament. In these ALONE are truth to be found. All false doctrine locates the affirmation of the divine truth within the human – that is, by a work of some kind, be it believing faith, conformity to law, agreement with reason, etc.

    Calvinism relies upon the affirmation of believing faith. Only believers receive the elements in the sacrament, thus truth is not located in the Word alone, but in the faith of the believer who receives. Likewise, Catholicism relies upon the agreement of Reason and/or the teaching of the Church/papacy, or a work of sacrifice in the mass to confirm the truth, again locating the truth in the human rather than in the Word alone. Likewise, the fundamentalist/modern evangelical locates the truth in their adherence and conformity to the letter of scripture (“deeds not creeds” for instance), also locating the “proof” and efficacy of truth in the human rather than in the Word of truth alone apart form any work. These are all fundamentally false doctrines and idolatry, placing the affirmation and certainty of eternal truth in a work of the human, be it human reason or human activity.

    Any doctrine, idea, statement, interpretation, preaching, etc. which places any need at all upon the affirmation, confirmation, proof, or certainty of eternal truth within the human and not in the Word alone is false doctrine. This is also why, in the earthly kingdom, it is also false doctrine to make any work that is not efficacious for the neighbor into a requirement for the baptized. Good works are necessary in as much as they do good for the neighbor. Otherwise, they are an attempt to place the divine truth within the human which is false doctrine.

    So, to pick up on a couple other conversations from other threads, being “un-gay” is to make an idol of heterosexuality by placing the truth within the human. Likewise, unless one is doing some kind of ethnography on church attendance, Theodore Geisel is as “Lutheran” as any other baptized Lutheran. Faith does not depend on anything we do or do not do. The Gospel is outside of us. It is there in the Word and Sacrament.

  • Stephen

    The reality that we are justified by grace through faith APART FROM works of the law locates eternal truth outside the human, in the Word itself – alone. This is the Lutheran confession and witness to the ultimate truth of Jesus Christ. Pure doctrine places truth where God has put it Himself – in His Word and Sacrament. In these ALONE are truth to be found. All false doctrine locates the affirmation of the divine truth within the human – that is, by a work of some kind, be it believing faith, conformity to law, agreement with reason, etc.

    Calvinism relies upon the affirmation of believing faith. Only believers receive the elements in the sacrament, thus truth is not located in the Word alone, but in the faith of the believer who receives. Likewise, Catholicism relies upon the agreement of Reason and/or the teaching of the Church/papacy, or a work of sacrifice in the mass to confirm the truth, again locating the truth in the human rather than in the Word alone. Likewise, the fundamentalist/modern evangelical locates the truth in their adherence and conformity to the letter of scripture (“deeds not creeds” for instance), also locating the “proof” and efficacy of truth in the human rather than in the Word of truth alone apart form any work. These are all fundamentally false doctrines and idolatry, placing the affirmation and certainty of eternal truth in a work of the human, be it human reason or human activity.

    Any doctrine, idea, statement, interpretation, preaching, etc. which places any need at all upon the affirmation, confirmation, proof, or certainty of eternal truth within the human and not in the Word alone is false doctrine. This is also why, in the earthly kingdom, it is also false doctrine to make any work that is not efficacious for the neighbor into a requirement for the baptized. Good works are necessary in as much as they do good for the neighbor. Otherwise, they are an attempt to place the divine truth within the human which is false doctrine.

    So, to pick up on a couple other conversations from other threads, being “un-gay” is to make an idol of heterosexuality by placing the truth within the human. Likewise, unless one is doing some kind of ethnography on church attendance, Theodore Geisel is as “Lutheran” as any other baptized Lutheran. Faith does not depend on anything we do or do not do. The Gospel is outside of us. It is there in the Word and Sacrament.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    richard @ 206

    Not only do we Lutherans not ignore the Wittenburg Concord, it is referenced by our confessions. Therefore we see the Wittenberg Concord as a quasi-confessional document that we should subscribe to as Lutherans.

    The salient point that Bucer agreed to there is this “unbelievers also receive the body and blood of Chirst” .

    This means that the affirmation of Truth is located where Christ placed it and not inside the believer in the form of faith. This is the point that matters to Lutherans.

    See stephens excellent and überLutheran post to understand what is exactly, and I mean exactly, at stake for us Lutherans. This is not a quibble of the form in which Christ is present. This is not, at least for the Lutherans, a philosophical debate. This is about where we find a God that we can be most certain is not angry with us and love us, so that he can then become an Object of Love for us.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    richard @ 206

    Not only do we Lutherans not ignore the Wittenburg Concord, it is referenced by our confessions. Therefore we see the Wittenberg Concord as a quasi-confessional document that we should subscribe to as Lutherans.

    The salient point that Bucer agreed to there is this “unbelievers also receive the body and blood of Chirst” .

    This means that the affirmation of Truth is located where Christ placed it and not inside the believer in the form of faith. This is the point that matters to Lutherans.

    See stephens excellent and überLutheran post to understand what is exactly, and I mean exactly, at stake for us Lutherans. This is not a quibble of the form in which Christ is present. This is not, at least for the Lutherans, a philosophical debate. This is about where we find a God that we can be most certain is not angry with us and love us, so that he can then become an Object of Love for us.

  • Elizabeth

    Grace @ 195

    “I have met individuals who answer “I have been a Christian all my life, I was Baptized as an infant” – – – – – there parents as far as they are concerned did it for them, they are headed for Heaven because mom and dad had them Baptized”

    I’m not sure if “their parents did it for them” is your thoughts or the thoughts of the “individuals who answer”, but either way I think this statement points to the problem. In baptism it is God “doing”, not the people who “do it for them”. We are “headed for Heaven” because of God’s doings, not our parents, or our own.

  • Elizabeth

    Grace @ 195

    “I have met individuals who answer “I have been a Christian all my life, I was Baptized as an infant” – – – – – there parents as far as they are concerned did it for them, they are headed for Heaven because mom and dad had them Baptized”

    I’m not sure if “their parents did it for them” is your thoughts or the thoughts of the “individuals who answer”, but either way I think this statement points to the problem. In baptism it is God “doing”, not the people who “do it for them”. We are “headed for Heaven” because of God’s doings, not our parents, or our own.

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    kerner brings up a good point about trying to be mind-readers. When I was researching this issue years ago (having been raised Presbyterian and then getting rebaptized when I was 18 because someone—temporarily— convinced me it was Biblical), I ran into Martin Luther’s Treatise “On Rebaptism.” The main point was that we cannot baptize on the basis of faith. For if baptism is only valid if faith comes first, then if we ever have reason later to doubt whether there was true faith, we must rebaptize. But it is quite possible to go through some kind of growth and conclude, “I couldn’t possibly have been a Christian before this point, not having understood x and y.” If we believe in baptism on the basis of faith, then we will be redoing this many times. We’ll end up like the people who are constantly going up every time there’s an altar call just to get it right. Whenever the focus is on our part in the process, our part is liable to break.

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    kerner brings up a good point about trying to be mind-readers. When I was researching this issue years ago (having been raised Presbyterian and then getting rebaptized when I was 18 because someone—temporarily— convinced me it was Biblical), I ran into Martin Luther’s Treatise “On Rebaptism.” The main point was that we cannot baptize on the basis of faith. For if baptism is only valid if faith comes first, then if we ever have reason later to doubt whether there was true faith, we must rebaptize. But it is quite possible to go through some kind of growth and conclude, “I couldn’t possibly have been a Christian before this point, not having understood x and y.” If we believe in baptism on the basis of faith, then we will be redoing this many times. We’ll end up like the people who are constantly going up every time there’s an altar call just to get it right. Whenever the focus is on our part in the process, our part is liable to break.

  • Dave Sarafolean

    Wow, this thread has gotten way off-track.

    Darryl Hart’s original post was not intended to highlight the differences between Reformed and Lutheran as much as to illustrate that they have much in common. I don’t mean to put words in his mouth but I”m pretty sure he is more comfortable hanging out with confession Lutherans than many who claim the title ‘reformed’ (but are not confessional) As a minister in the PCA I guess that I’d have to agree.

    Last week I had the distinct privilege of studying Lutheran Orthodoxy under Dr. Robert Kolb in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His class only reinforced my affection for confessional Lutherans. Do we have our disagreements? Yes, this thread is living proof. But we have tremendous areas of agreement too. I’d like to see some discussion of those things. My model for such discourse is The White Horse Inn where differences are honestly stated but areas of agreement are winsomely discussed for the benefit of the rest of the church.

  • Dave Sarafolean

    Wow, this thread has gotten way off-track.

    Darryl Hart’s original post was not intended to highlight the differences between Reformed and Lutheran as much as to illustrate that they have much in common. I don’t mean to put words in his mouth but I”m pretty sure he is more comfortable hanging out with confession Lutherans than many who claim the title ‘reformed’ (but are not confessional) As a minister in the PCA I guess that I’d have to agree.

    Last week I had the distinct privilege of studying Lutheran Orthodoxy under Dr. Robert Kolb in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His class only reinforced my affection for confessional Lutherans. Do we have our disagreements? Yes, this thread is living proof. But we have tremendous areas of agreement too. I’d like to see some discussion of those things. My model for such discourse is The White Horse Inn where differences are honestly stated but areas of agreement are winsomely discussed for the benefit of the rest of the church.

  • Louis

    Excellent point, Rich! The point is that the mind is deceitful above all things. That includes both intellect and emotion. Basing salvic assurance on either is ridiculous, because I will have periods of intellectual and emotional doubt. If faith depends on grasp or feeling, it falls dramatically, because not only are you excluding children, you are also excluding the mentally incapacitated. But if faith is a gift, why exludes these people.

    Insofar as the text is concerned, context matters. The story of Phillip and the Ethiopian concerns two adult men only. Note that the concern with baptising when families are concerned (such as Cornelius) very clearly includes a whole family, children and slaves included.

    Thus these texts (ie Phillip and the Ethiopian, and similar texts) do not necessarily a Baptistic view of the Sacrament of baptism. And in the light of other texts the Baptistic interpretation becomes very problematic. I realise that most people of a Baptistic belief do not give a lot of credence to tradition and Church history, but it is notable that with the exception of maybe Tertullian, the consesus comes down quite firmly on the Paedobaptist side.

  • Louis

    Excellent point, Rich! The point is that the mind is deceitful above all things. That includes both intellect and emotion. Basing salvic assurance on either is ridiculous, because I will have periods of intellectual and emotional doubt. If faith depends on grasp or feeling, it falls dramatically, because not only are you excluding children, you are also excluding the mentally incapacitated. But if faith is a gift, why exludes these people.

    Insofar as the text is concerned, context matters. The story of Phillip and the Ethiopian concerns two adult men only. Note that the concern with baptising when families are concerned (such as Cornelius) very clearly includes a whole family, children and slaves included.

    Thus these texts (ie Phillip and the Ethiopian, and similar texts) do not necessarily a Baptistic view of the Sacrament of baptism. And in the light of other texts the Baptistic interpretation becomes very problematic. I realise that most people of a Baptistic belief do not give a lot of credence to tradition and Church history, but it is notable that with the exception of maybe Tertullian, the consesus comes down quite firmly on the Paedobaptist side.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Good points, Rick! And others!

    Been away a bit and just came back to scan through many of the comments.

    I’ll say it again, my point here is not to convince grace or Porcell, or anyone else here. I just wanted for them to hear the other side and know that we Lutherans) have valid reasons for believeing the way that we do.

    I’ll just leave it at that because of time restraints. Thanks, all.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Good points, Rick! And others!

    Been away a bit and just came back to scan through many of the comments.

    I’ll say it again, my point here is not to convince grace or Porcell, or anyone else here. I just wanted for them to hear the other side and know that we Lutherans) have valid reasons for believeing the way that we do.

    I’ll just leave it at that because of time restraints. Thanks, all.

  • Louis

    Dave @ 211, as an ex-Calvinist, here is my response. Yes, there is much in common. But here is the difference: The heart of Lutheranism is the Sacraments. And the heart of our difference with Calvinists, especially Presbyterians – the sacraments. And the cause of that difference is fundamental, namely that Calvinism has no heart :) – and by that I mean it is a cerebral faith, a faith that finds its essence in agreeing with propositions. The heart of Lutheranism is in accepting God’s grace through means, such as the Eucharist.

    I also find it very interesting that the Reformed that come here are very keen to claim union with Lutheranism, while I do not see that from the Lutheran side. I think that means that the Calvinists are really keen to be friends with the cool kids :)

  • Louis

    Dave @ 211, as an ex-Calvinist, here is my response. Yes, there is much in common. But here is the difference: The heart of Lutheranism is the Sacraments. And the heart of our difference with Calvinists, especially Presbyterians – the sacraments. And the cause of that difference is fundamental, namely that Calvinism has no heart :) – and by that I mean it is a cerebral faith, a faith that finds its essence in agreeing with propositions. The heart of Lutheranism is in accepting God’s grace through means, such as the Eucharist.

    I also find it very interesting that the Reformed that come here are very keen to claim union with Lutheranism, while I do not see that from the Lutheran side. I think that means that the Calvinists are really keen to be friends with the cool kids :)

  • WebMonk

    Louis 214

    I also find it very interesting that the Reformed that come here are very keen to claim union with Lutheranism, while I do not see that from the Lutheran side. I think that means that the Calvinists are really keen to be friends with the cool kids :-)

    No, you got it all wrong, you don’t see any of the Lutherans doing it because y’all just refuse to join with anyone, including each other. :-D

  • WebMonk

    Louis 214

    I also find it very interesting that the Reformed that come here are very keen to claim union with Lutheranism, while I do not see that from the Lutheran side. I think that means that the Calvinists are really keen to be friends with the cool kids :-)

    No, you got it all wrong, you don’t see any of the Lutherans doing it because y’all just refuse to join with anyone, including each other. :-D

  • Grace

    204 – Mark Veenman

    “I’ve never seen the Bible text that says parents are to bring their children to church at a few weeks old to have them dedicated. Could you describe your “dedication liturgy”, the accompanying rubrics, and the precise Bible texts on which this practice is founded?”

    Parents choose to bring their infants forward, promising to teach them about the LORD. The pastor then prays that the infaant or children will grow up to love and know the LORD Jesus Christ. There is no text within the Bible that directs parents to ‘dedicate’ their children. This is simply a choice parents make, there is no rule to do so.

  • Grace

    204 – Mark Veenman

    “I’ve never seen the Bible text that says parents are to bring their children to church at a few weeks old to have them dedicated. Could you describe your “dedication liturgy”, the accompanying rubrics, and the precise Bible texts on which this practice is founded?”

    Parents choose to bring their infants forward, promising to teach them about the LORD. The pastor then prays that the infaant or children will grow up to love and know the LORD Jesus Christ. There is no text within the Bible that directs parents to ‘dedicate’ their children. This is simply a choice parents make, there is no rule to do so.

  • http://www.myspace.com/lutherman3821 John Yeazel

    Stephan, FWS, Rick and Dave,

    The comments have gotten off track from whence I appeared. I originally started commenting on Darryl Hart’s blog (www.oldlife.org) with his post on Warfield and how Warfield made the way for Piper, Edwards, et. tal., via the Reformed Baptists. Hart’s original post was making the point that Lutherans and OPC Calvinists have more in common than Reformed Baptists and OPC Calvinists. The differing factions in Calvinism are much more broadly defined and hard to pin down. Calvinists like Hart, Scott Clark and Michael Horton do emphasize the Gospel as being found outside of ourselves (extra nos) in the work and person of Christ. There certainly are subtle differences between how Calvinists of the extra nos stripe and Confessional Lutherans understand how this extra nos Gospel is appropriated in someones life. It is this which can drive one crazy when trying to communicate with others on blog sites. It takes many comments and lots of time before one really starts communicating effectively with anyone about the differences. At least that has been my experience. It also takes awhile before you really understand who you are dealing with in comments back and forth. For what it is worth.

  • http://www.myspace.com/lutherman3821 John Yeazel

    Stephan, FWS, Rick and Dave,

    The comments have gotten off track from whence I appeared. I originally started commenting on Darryl Hart’s blog (www.oldlife.org) with his post on Warfield and how Warfield made the way for Piper, Edwards, et. tal., via the Reformed Baptists. Hart’s original post was making the point that Lutherans and OPC Calvinists have more in common than Reformed Baptists and OPC Calvinists. The differing factions in Calvinism are much more broadly defined and hard to pin down. Calvinists like Hart, Scott Clark and Michael Horton do emphasize the Gospel as being found outside of ourselves (extra nos) in the work and person of Christ. There certainly are subtle differences between how Calvinists of the extra nos stripe and Confessional Lutherans understand how this extra nos Gospel is appropriated in someones life. It is this which can drive one crazy when trying to communicate with others on blog sites. It takes many comments and lots of time before one really starts communicating effectively with anyone about the differences. At least that has been my experience. It also takes awhile before you really understand who you are dealing with in comments back and forth. For what it is worth.

  • Stephen

    John @ 218

    The gospel which a Calvinist finds “extra nos” is no gospel. It sees this Christ who is outside the believer only as mirror of the sanctified, obedient believer in which is to be found assurance of election. This is to put on Christ as example – in your words “appropriated in someone’s life.” But this is not the gospel which actually saves, for again, it locates the truth within the believing individual for its certainty – in works of obedience to law, and thus making the gospel into law. There is no cross, no mercy, no Christ “for me.” And it is also not certain, because the human realm is always broken by sin. This is the fallacy that some finally discover as their efforts to appropriate the “example” fail them, and why many flee such false doctrine, inoculated forever against true faith in Christ alone. This kind of faith is old Adam faith, and it cannot offer assurance because it depends upon experience which is always uncertain, headed for the grave. Such a difference is anything but subtle.

    Lutherans (ideally) do not trust in their ability to appropriate anything. They trust in the promise made to them in Christ alone sealed in their baptism. We believe and trust in the mercy of God in Christ for our salvation and nothing else. The only “evidence” of faith is found where God has placed it – in Word and Sacrament. This is truly extra nos, independent of any act of believing. Where Christ is, there is life and salvation.

  • Stephen

    John @ 218

    The gospel which a Calvinist finds “extra nos” is no gospel. It sees this Christ who is outside the believer only as mirror of the sanctified, obedient believer in which is to be found assurance of election. This is to put on Christ as example – in your words “appropriated in someone’s life.” But this is not the gospel which actually saves, for again, it locates the truth within the believing individual for its certainty – in works of obedience to law, and thus making the gospel into law. There is no cross, no mercy, no Christ “for me.” And it is also not certain, because the human realm is always broken by sin. This is the fallacy that some finally discover as their efforts to appropriate the “example” fail them, and why many flee such false doctrine, inoculated forever against true faith in Christ alone. This kind of faith is old Adam faith, and it cannot offer assurance because it depends upon experience which is always uncertain, headed for the grave. Such a difference is anything but subtle.

    Lutherans (ideally) do not trust in their ability to appropriate anything. They trust in the promise made to them in Christ alone sealed in their baptism. We believe and trust in the mercy of God in Christ for our salvation and nothing else. The only “evidence” of faith is found where God has placed it – in Word and Sacrament. This is truly extra nos, independent of any act of believing. Where Christ is, there is life and salvation.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Stephen,

    Nice job! Very well stated!

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Stephen,

    Nice job! Very well stated!

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Stephen,

    May I use your last comment on my blog to answer someone’s question about baptism?

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Stephen,

    May I use your last comment on my blog to answer someone’s question about baptism?

  • http://www.myspace.com/lutherman3821 John Yeazel

    Stephen,

    Go to Darryl Hart’s web site at http://www.oldlife.org and copy and paste what you said to me and see what kind of reaction you will get from that Calvinist. Do the same at Scott Clark’s web site, the Heidelblog. Then send an email to Michael Horton at Westminster Seminary in Calfornia and tell him “that the Gospel which a Calvinist finds extra nos is no Gospel.” I would be very interested to see what kind of reaction you would get from them. You might want to add Kim Riddlebarger at the Riddleblog too. These are all well respected, well read up on Luther and Calvin, Calvinist Pastors and scholars. They claim they teach the doctrine of justification by grace alone, through faith alone on the account of Christ alone- the same way Luther did. Then report back to me at johny382100@yahoo.com. That will make my day.

  • http://www.myspace.com/lutherman3821 John Yeazel

    Stephen,

    Go to Darryl Hart’s web site at http://www.oldlife.org and copy and paste what you said to me and see what kind of reaction you will get from that Calvinist. Do the same at Scott Clark’s web site, the Heidelblog. Then send an email to Michael Horton at Westminster Seminary in Calfornia and tell him “that the Gospel which a Calvinist finds extra nos is no Gospel.” I would be very interested to see what kind of reaction you would get from them. You might want to add Kim Riddlebarger at the Riddleblog too. These are all well respected, well read up on Luther and Calvin, Calvinist Pastors and scholars. They claim they teach the doctrine of justification by grace alone, through faith alone on the account of Christ alone- the same way Luther did. Then report back to me at johny382100@yahoo.com. That will make my day.

  • http://www.myspace.com/lutherman3821 John Yeazel

    And by the way Stephen, as an LCMS member, I agree with what you said in regards to the Lutheran conception of the Gospel. I know the Calvinist scholars that I spoke of will react quite strongly to that first sentence you wrote. In fact, I will copy and paste your post at Darryl Hart’s web site right now.

  • http://www.myspace.com/lutherman3821 John Yeazel

    And by the way Stephen, as an LCMS member, I agree with what you said in regards to the Lutheran conception of the Gospel. I know the Calvinist scholars that I spoke of will react quite strongly to that first sentence you wrote. In fact, I will copy and paste your post at Darryl Hart’s web site right now.

  • Stephen

    John and Steve

    I have been attending to things at home or I would have answered sooner.

    John – I have no interest in starting up anything, so I am not sure what you are recommending. I have no doubt these others are earnest believing people. That isn’t the point.

    Simply stated, I think that what I said is the Lutheran confessional witness. I think my assessment of Calvinism has been stated here already in other ways. You can read it in plenty of others (Pelikan perhaps) as well. As others have said on this thread, ask a Calvinist what it is that the pastor puts in the mouth of an unbeliever and you have your answer as to where the “truth” is located, and it is not in Christ alone, which is the gospel. Any doctrine which relies upon the cooperation of a human work or locates the truth of the gospel in any place other than in Christ alone (all alone), that is, in the Word himself given in the preached and suppered Word itself and nowhere else, outside of us, is by definition heterodox. We are passive in this, like it or not (and old Adam doesn’t, thus these systematic schemes). That is the Lutheran confessional witness. I didn’t pull this out of my magic bag of tricks for sure so I claim no originality. Read Franz Pieper and our Confessions. Christ alone.

    That is not to say there are no Christians among the heterodox, but it is false teaching to say that our cooperation is necessary to make the gifts of God efficacious in any way. They are alone true by virtue of God Himself, made incarnate in Christ and given to us in Word and Sacrament. That is it – the Holy Gospel, with which our human agreement plays no role in making it true or not. It is the truth regardless of human action, reason, or willing faith, all of which will pass away while the Word remains forever.

    Steve – glad you find it helpful. Post away.

  • Stephen

    John and Steve

    I have been attending to things at home or I would have answered sooner.

    John – I have no interest in starting up anything, so I am not sure what you are recommending. I have no doubt these others are earnest believing people. That isn’t the point.

    Simply stated, I think that what I said is the Lutheran confessional witness. I think my assessment of Calvinism has been stated here already in other ways. You can read it in plenty of others (Pelikan perhaps) as well. As others have said on this thread, ask a Calvinist what it is that the pastor puts in the mouth of an unbeliever and you have your answer as to where the “truth” is located, and it is not in Christ alone, which is the gospel. Any doctrine which relies upon the cooperation of a human work or locates the truth of the gospel in any place other than in Christ alone (all alone), that is, in the Word himself given in the preached and suppered Word itself and nowhere else, outside of us, is by definition heterodox. We are passive in this, like it or not (and old Adam doesn’t, thus these systematic schemes). That is the Lutheran confessional witness. I didn’t pull this out of my magic bag of tricks for sure so I claim no originality. Read Franz Pieper and our Confessions. Christ alone.

    That is not to say there are no Christians among the heterodox, but it is false teaching to say that our cooperation is necessary to make the gifts of God efficacious in any way. They are alone true by virtue of God Himself, made incarnate in Christ and given to us in Word and Sacrament. That is it – the Holy Gospel, with which our human agreement plays no role in making it true or not. It is the truth regardless of human action, reason, or willing faith, all of which will pass away while the Word remains forever.

    Steve – glad you find it helpful. Post away.

  • Stephen

    John @223

    I took your suggestion and went to the other blog site. I see you felt the need to suggest I was being “cocky.” Maybe so. I learned it from Luther. What if the things I’ve said are actually true, what position are you in then?

  • Stephen

    John @223

    I took your suggestion and went to the other blog site. I see you felt the need to suggest I was being “cocky.” Maybe so. I learned it from Luther. What if the things I’ve said are actually true, what position are you in then?

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Thanks, Stephen.

    I will use your comments.

    And yes, I believe that the things you’ve said ARE true!

    Our Lord was NOT into empty ritual. He IS present in the Sacraments that we might have assurance outside of ‘our faith’, our actions, our feelings, or anything else that we can compromise, or that the devil might help us to compromise.

    Keep up the good work, my friend.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Thanks, Stephen.

    I will use your comments.

    And yes, I believe that the things you’ve said ARE true!

    Our Lord was NOT into empty ritual. He IS present in the Sacraments that we might have assurance outside of ‘our faith’, our actions, our feelings, or anything else that we can compromise, or that the devil might help us to compromise.

    Keep up the good work, my friend.

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    Stephen@219, I know what you’re describing as Calvinism is no straw man, and in our time it may even be that it describes the majority. But that is not true of all of them. I can’t reconcile how they put things together in every case, but many would say the do look straight to Christ and not inside themselves. If they claim this, whatever else they teach, I have to take them at their word, rather than decide that what they really believe must be some system I’ll decide on given the other pieces of what they say they believe. When people are (happily) inconsistent, it is not up to us to say which side of the inconsistency they would land on if they had to choose.

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    Stephen@219, I know what you’re describing as Calvinism is no straw man, and in our time it may even be that it describes the majority. But that is not true of all of them. I can’t reconcile how they put things together in every case, but many would say the do look straight to Christ and not inside themselves. If they claim this, whatever else they teach, I have to take them at their word, rather than decide that what they really believe must be some system I’ll decide on given the other pieces of what they say they believe. When people are (happily) inconsistent, it is not up to us to say which side of the inconsistency they would land on if they had to choose.

  • Grace

    Stephen – 219

    My faith is in Christ, His promises, His blood shed for my sins, and that of the whole world, if they believe, have faith and trust in Him.

    You can twist these words to suit your purpose, but GOD alone knows the heart of each and every person who Believes in HIM for Salvation. There is no creed, that supersedes the heartfelt repentance of sin, of those who believe in Christ as Savior.

    You have outlined some sort of plan that excludes those who believe with all their heart and soul that they have some sort of belief in themselves, rather than the risen Christ of the Cross. Who are you to outline the beliefs of those who’s faith is in Christ? I doubt you know what others believe, after reading your endless posts.

    You have been indoctrinated with opinions contrary to most churches, and perhaps God ALMIGHTY, no matter who they are. I doubt you know much of what anyone believes, except that which you are AGAINST –

    You may regret this tirade one day!

  • Grace

    Stephen – 219

    My faith is in Christ, His promises, His blood shed for my sins, and that of the whole world, if they believe, have faith and trust in Him.

    You can twist these words to suit your purpose, but GOD alone knows the heart of each and every person who Believes in HIM for Salvation. There is no creed, that supersedes the heartfelt repentance of sin, of those who believe in Christ as Savior.

    You have outlined some sort of plan that excludes those who believe with all their heart and soul that they have some sort of belief in themselves, rather than the risen Christ of the Cross. Who are you to outline the beliefs of those who’s faith is in Christ? I doubt you know what others believe, after reading your endless posts.

    You have been indoctrinated with opinions contrary to most churches, and perhaps God ALMIGHTY, no matter who they are. I doubt you know much of what anyone believes, except that which you are AGAINST –

    You may regret this tirade one day!

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Grace,

    All Stephen is saying is that our confidence cannot rest in our repentance, commitment, faith, election, or anything outside of Christ’s finished work.

    I have been to many churches that teach people to put their hope and assurance in the quality of their repentance and commitment to the Lord. They don’t come out and bald faced say that, but constant calls to ‘total consecration’ and weekly altar calls for repentance and rededication, and sermon series that cause the believer to take his or her ‘spiritual temperature’ every week accomplish this quickly and thoroughly. All the ‘Holiness’ Churches’ and the ‘Higher Life’ movement are all about the strength and quality of your repentance and commitment to the Lord.

    I had almost ten years of that crap rammed down my throat in the Evangelical churches. (Church of God, Anderson Ind., Assemblies of God, Southern Baptist, Vineyard Christian Fellowship) One thing all that did accomplish was to help me realize that in me, nothing good dwelt. I despaired. Then one day someone handed me the Lutheran Confessions and I realized ‘Hey, It’s not about me, it’s about Jesus and what He did on my behalf.’
    I left evangelicalism and have never looked back. One day I will be buried in Lutheran dirt.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Grace,

    All Stephen is saying is that our confidence cannot rest in our repentance, commitment, faith, election, or anything outside of Christ’s finished work.

    I have been to many churches that teach people to put their hope and assurance in the quality of their repentance and commitment to the Lord. They don’t come out and bald faced say that, but constant calls to ‘total consecration’ and weekly altar calls for repentance and rededication, and sermon series that cause the believer to take his or her ‘spiritual temperature’ every week accomplish this quickly and thoroughly. All the ‘Holiness’ Churches’ and the ‘Higher Life’ movement are all about the strength and quality of your repentance and commitment to the Lord.

    I had almost ten years of that crap rammed down my throat in the Evangelical churches. (Church of God, Anderson Ind., Assemblies of God, Southern Baptist, Vineyard Christian Fellowship) One thing all that did accomplish was to help me realize that in me, nothing good dwelt. I despaired. Then one day someone handed me the Lutheran Confessions and I realized ‘Hey, It’s not about me, it’s about Jesus and what He did on my behalf.’
    I left evangelicalism and have never looked back. One day I will be buried in Lutheran dirt.

  • Grace

    Patrick – 229

    “I had almost ten years of that crap rammed down my throat in the Evangelical churches. (Church of God, Anderson Ind., Assemblies of God, Southern Baptist, Vineyard Christian Fellowship) One thing all that did accomplish was to help me realize that in me, nothing good dwelt.”

    “I left evangelicalism and have never looked back. One day I will be buried in Lutheran dirt. “

    I will be buried with Christ (“HIM”)- you can be buried in Lutheran dirt until it reaches the highest peak, it won’t have anything to do with Christ. You are saturated with Lutheran, ….. when will you look to Christ? – he isn’t buried in dirt, HE arose, HE is in heaven.

    Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4

  • Grace

    Patrick – 229

    “I had almost ten years of that crap rammed down my throat in the Evangelical churches. (Church of God, Anderson Ind., Assemblies of God, Southern Baptist, Vineyard Christian Fellowship) One thing all that did accomplish was to help me realize that in me, nothing good dwelt.”

    “I left evangelicalism and have never looked back. One day I will be buried in Lutheran dirt. “

    I will be buried with Christ (“HIM”)- you can be buried in Lutheran dirt until it reaches the highest peak, it won’t have anything to do with Christ. You are saturated with Lutheran, ….. when will you look to Christ? – he isn’t buried in dirt, HE arose, HE is in heaven.

    Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Grace,

    Nice edit of my post. You left out the part about Christ.

    Lutheran is just a name or a shorthand designation that denotes a people who center their worship and their theology on Christ alone. I wouldn’t care if the name on the door was something else, as long as Christ and His work are central and the doctrine was true, I would still be a part of it.

    Maybe I have too much ‘brand loyalty’ and have engaged in a little bit of ‘I am of Apollos, or I am of Paul’ but what the Lutheran Church and Confessions gave to me was Christ in all His mercy at a time when those other churches had alienated me from God and robbed me of any hope of salvation. For that I am eternally grateful and it has stirred up no small amount of loyalty on my part.

    You evidently understand none of this, nor most of what many other commenters have shared. I will remove myself from this conversation, seeing that it has drifted far from its original subject.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Grace,

    Nice edit of my post. You left out the part about Christ.

    Lutheran is just a name or a shorthand designation that denotes a people who center their worship and their theology on Christ alone. I wouldn’t care if the name on the door was something else, as long as Christ and His work are central and the doctrine was true, I would still be a part of it.

    Maybe I have too much ‘brand loyalty’ and have engaged in a little bit of ‘I am of Apollos, or I am of Paul’ but what the Lutheran Church and Confessions gave to me was Christ in all His mercy at a time when those other churches had alienated me from God and robbed me of any hope of salvation. For that I am eternally grateful and it has stirred up no small amount of loyalty on my part.

    You evidently understand none of this, nor most of what many other commenters have shared. I will remove myself from this conversation, seeing that it has drifted far from its original subject.

  • Mark Veenman

    Thank-you, Kyle.
    I add my “Amen”.

  • Mark Veenman

    Thank-you, Kyle.
    I add my “Amen”.

  • Mark Veenman

    Sorry, Patrick.
    -Veenman

  • Mark Veenman

    Sorry, Patrick.
    -Veenman

  • larry

    Porcell,

    “The Lutherans would like to think that only they hold to the truth of the supper, though the truth is that orthodox followers of Calvin may truly claim that they are experiencing Christ’s real presence at the supper.”

    “Calvinists, secure in their faith, respect Luther’s view of the supper, while Lutherans futilely pursue a distinction of mode without any real difference. Calvin was right when he remarked that What could be more ridiculous than to split the churches and set upfrightful commotions on how this happens.

    “Experience”, see there can be no doubt why charisma arises from Calvin. What then do the unbelievers “experience” – “just bread and just wine (alt. grape juice)? The answer according to Calvin is, “yes”.

    Let’s try this tact, what I’ve been trying unsuccessfully it seems. Let’s ignore for the sake of argument who in actuality confesses the truth and simply look at this in terms of principles. Because that’s the first step you are missing.

    In fact what you call a futile pursuit of a distinction of mode without any real difference, is in fact an article of faith required to be confessed. This more than the details of Calvin’s doctrine makes it utterly false. The Spirit builds the unity of the church, not Calvin’s desires, nor even our own and this the Spirit does according to the purity and truth of the Word as Christ prayed “Let them be one…SANTIFY them in Your truth, Your Word is truth” (John 17: 17/21). Can you not hear the persecuting laughter in what you are saying?

    In principle we have to agree that this is an article of faith. And we have to agree that there cannot be two or more interpretations of any single article of faith. And we have to agree that God’s Word speaks singularly on the issue. And we must agree that the Holy Spirit speaks singularly and without confusion. And anything under the guise of an article of faith that does not agree with the Holy Spirit is by definition from Satan.

    Thus, if differing “positions” exist at all either one or both are from Satan, no matter who speaks them, no matter what kind of man/woman they are.

    “…while Lutherans futilely pursue a distinction of mode without any real difference”, this statement in and of itself is so caveated that I cannot believe you wrote it with such qualifying language, even your own statement is hedged when you say, “any real”. Either there is a real difference or there is not, middle ground is utterly excluded, thus, the hedge, “any real” must be gone if you wish this to mean anything at all and you should have written, “…while Lutherans futilely pursue a distinction of mode without any real difference”.
    But that’s not true. That’s why Calvinist willfully miss the issue. The issue was never about the “mode of presence”. Lutherans have confessed this since day one. It was Calvin not Luther, and Calvinist not Lutherans that brought up the whole “mode of presence”. The issue was, is and for ever will be the very and true flesh and blood of Christ being eaten and drunk, and not a mode.

    Calvin blinded by his own reasoning missed this and his quote betrays it when he speaks of “how this happens”. The mystery is not in the mode of how it happens, but in the sacramental union that begets the actual eating and drinking of the body and blood of Christ (He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood, has eternal life).

    What does the pastor put into your mouth? What does my pastor put into my mouth? The very body and blood of Christ, that which was actually given and shed for the forgiveness of my sins, ACTUALLY. My brother or sister next to me, the same thing. A hypocrite if they be one, the same thing, the very and true body and blood of Christ that which was actually given and shed for the forgiveness of sin. That which was actually crucified, which wore the thorns on His head, which was beaten, spat upon, which bled and was pierced, which was born of the womb of Mary and which fed at the virgins breast and slept in the stable, that which was actually buried and actually rose again on the third day and is now actually seated at the right hand of God (you ought to ponder Calvin’s Gospel-less heresy there for a moment, more on that in a minute). My pastor puts into my mouth the whole body of Christ and His whole blood, not part (the capernaic eating), but the mystery of the whole body and blood of Christ and my brother or sister next to me, they too receive this GREAT mystery and eat and drink the very and true whole body and blood of Christ…the same I described above. No other mode is put into our mouths, but the very real and true flesh and blood of Christ. We do not ascend up into heaven but heaven, rather, comes all the way down to us into the hands of the pastor into the mouths of the faithful and even into the mouths of the unfaithful alike.

    Ask yourself, “what is the right hand of God” and “where is it”? The later question is almost a “trick question” but it is valid to ask yourself. It is also by Calvin’s neoplatonic concepts of heaven and such that he by this, the right hand of God, ultimately keeps the Gospel from the man/woman truly pro me. All such Gnostic doctrines are connected and the sum of all of them is to keep God/Christ from coming all the way down, ALL THE WAY DOWN, to earth from heaven as the Nicene Creed confesses. Calvin’s doctrine puts Christ up into a heaven and He cannot come down in the bread and wine. Calvin’s doctrine puts the right hand of God out of reach, in heaven rather than coming all the way down. It’s no wonder his sacraments don’t do anything but are signs pointing elsewhere. Calvin’s “sacraments” are really works righteousness whereby via reason under the guise of faith one exerts and vaults one’s imagination and experience into “heaven”, called the work of the Holy Spirit (which is nothing more than a form of false charisma), and by these nebulous exertions a Christian some how experiences Christ. Yet, the reality of the difference between Luther and Calvin on this is revealed in what does the unbeliever receive at the same time? Nothing, no experience. In Calvin, by admission of their own doctrine, there is no real and true and very flesh and blood of Christ put into one’s mouth, the same body and blood that was crucified and sweated and bled, just as eating the sacrificed lamb was the real lamb, it is the real body and blood of Christ. And thus, I believe what you say you have, and that is really nothing, just mere bread and wine (or crackers and grape juice in most cases today). According to Calvin’s doctrine there is no more IN YOUR MOUTH then, than is in your mouth at McDonalds. It is no wonder that grape juice has for the most part displaced wine in Calvin’s meal (and Zwingli’s per the Baptist view). Because it really doesn’t make a difference, one can contemplate by faith Christ in heaven with a Pepsi as much as grape juice or even wine at home.

    Yet, in orthodoxy both the hypocrite and the believer receive that very body and blood that was in fact crucified for us in their mouths ON EARTH, heaven descends upon us, heaven and earth meet. Such that we commune truly both in time and space with all who likewise receive this very body and blood. We commune not with just “my brother/sister next to me” in space but in Japan, China, Africa…all over the world via the very true and real body and blood of Christ. And not just earthly but with those who have already fallen asleep in Christ! Not by flying up into heaven but by heaven via the very and true body and blood of Christ coming down to us, into our very mouths.

    When I was a Calvinist I held truly to that position and would not in the least commune with Lutherans for the very reason of what they confessed and this will show you that this is NO such paltry difference at all. If you really and truly believe Calvin’s position you would NOT want to commune with Lutherans, this will show you why it is not “just a distinction without a difference”: The difference is shown in this, when we go up to eat and drink of the very and true body and blood of Christ we are worshipping that bread and wine, we are in fact going to receive real, very and true forgiveness of our sins, we are eating and drinking the Word made flesh wholly. If you are truly a Calvinist (or baptist), according to your own doctrine that must be idolatry and as such you should not even so much as desire to commune with Lutheran orthodoxy.

    Whether you believe what we confess, preach and teach is one thing, but what you should believe, teach and confess as a Calvinist is that you CANNOT nor can you even DESIRE communion with orthodox Lutheranism – it would be a “sin” against your own confessions. And that’s the main thing for now you need to see, not “will you believe what we preach, teach and confess” but believing, preaching and teaching what YOU confess as a Calvinist (or Baptist) you should not in the least desire to commune with Lutherans.

    Don’t get me wrong, I desire that you would come to this communion, but your not seeing the issue correctly yet (not just the details of what is confessed but the reality of it all).

    Think about the principles of unity in confession, think about what Calvin means by the right hand of God, think about those things because they are all connected, think about what Gnosticism in any form really is and seeks to do. Think about the fact that you should not even desire to commune with Lutherans and why. If you will at least see that then that’s progress, but until then we are not ready for the details.

  • larry

    Porcell,

    “The Lutherans would like to think that only they hold to the truth of the supper, though the truth is that orthodox followers of Calvin may truly claim that they are experiencing Christ’s real presence at the supper.”

    “Calvinists, secure in their faith, respect Luther’s view of the supper, while Lutherans futilely pursue a distinction of mode without any real difference. Calvin was right when he remarked that What could be more ridiculous than to split the churches and set upfrightful commotions on how this happens.

    “Experience”, see there can be no doubt why charisma arises from Calvin. What then do the unbelievers “experience” – “just bread and just wine (alt. grape juice)? The answer according to Calvin is, “yes”.

    Let’s try this tact, what I’ve been trying unsuccessfully it seems. Let’s ignore for the sake of argument who in actuality confesses the truth and simply look at this in terms of principles. Because that’s the first step you are missing.

    In fact what you call a futile pursuit of a distinction of mode without any real difference, is in fact an article of faith required to be confessed. This more than the details of Calvin’s doctrine makes it utterly false. The Spirit builds the unity of the church, not Calvin’s desires, nor even our own and this the Spirit does according to the purity and truth of the Word as Christ prayed “Let them be one…SANTIFY them in Your truth, Your Word is truth” (John 17: 17/21). Can you not hear the persecuting laughter in what you are saying?

    In principle we have to agree that this is an article of faith. And we have to agree that there cannot be two or more interpretations of any single article of faith. And we have to agree that God’s Word speaks singularly on the issue. And we must agree that the Holy Spirit speaks singularly and without confusion. And anything under the guise of an article of faith that does not agree with the Holy Spirit is by definition from Satan.

    Thus, if differing “positions” exist at all either one or both are from Satan, no matter who speaks them, no matter what kind of man/woman they are.

    “…while Lutherans futilely pursue a distinction of mode without any real difference”, this statement in and of itself is so caveated that I cannot believe you wrote it with such qualifying language, even your own statement is hedged when you say, “any real”. Either there is a real difference or there is not, middle ground is utterly excluded, thus, the hedge, “any real” must be gone if you wish this to mean anything at all and you should have written, “…while Lutherans futilely pursue a distinction of mode without any real difference”.
    But that’s not true. That’s why Calvinist willfully miss the issue. The issue was never about the “mode of presence”. Lutherans have confessed this since day one. It was Calvin not Luther, and Calvinist not Lutherans that brought up the whole “mode of presence”. The issue was, is and for ever will be the very and true flesh and blood of Christ being eaten and drunk, and not a mode.

    Calvin blinded by his own reasoning missed this and his quote betrays it when he speaks of “how this happens”. The mystery is not in the mode of how it happens, but in the sacramental union that begets the actual eating and drinking of the body and blood of Christ (He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood, has eternal life).

    What does the pastor put into your mouth? What does my pastor put into my mouth? The very body and blood of Christ, that which was actually given and shed for the forgiveness of my sins, ACTUALLY. My brother or sister next to me, the same thing. A hypocrite if they be one, the same thing, the very and true body and blood of Christ that which was actually given and shed for the forgiveness of sin. That which was actually crucified, which wore the thorns on His head, which was beaten, spat upon, which bled and was pierced, which was born of the womb of Mary and which fed at the virgins breast and slept in the stable, that which was actually buried and actually rose again on the third day and is now actually seated at the right hand of God (you ought to ponder Calvin’s Gospel-less heresy there for a moment, more on that in a minute). My pastor puts into my mouth the whole body of Christ and His whole blood, not part (the capernaic eating), but the mystery of the whole body and blood of Christ and my brother or sister next to me, they too receive this GREAT mystery and eat and drink the very and true whole body and blood of Christ…the same I described above. No other mode is put into our mouths, but the very real and true flesh and blood of Christ. We do not ascend up into heaven but heaven, rather, comes all the way down to us into the hands of the pastor into the mouths of the faithful and even into the mouths of the unfaithful alike.

    Ask yourself, “what is the right hand of God” and “where is it”? The later question is almost a “trick question” but it is valid to ask yourself. It is also by Calvin’s neoplatonic concepts of heaven and such that he by this, the right hand of God, ultimately keeps the Gospel from the man/woman truly pro me. All such Gnostic doctrines are connected and the sum of all of them is to keep God/Christ from coming all the way down, ALL THE WAY DOWN, to earth from heaven as the Nicene Creed confesses. Calvin’s doctrine puts Christ up into a heaven and He cannot come down in the bread and wine. Calvin’s doctrine puts the right hand of God out of reach, in heaven rather than coming all the way down. It’s no wonder his sacraments don’t do anything but are signs pointing elsewhere. Calvin’s “sacraments” are really works righteousness whereby via reason under the guise of faith one exerts and vaults one’s imagination and experience into “heaven”, called the work of the Holy Spirit (which is nothing more than a form of false charisma), and by these nebulous exertions a Christian some how experiences Christ. Yet, the reality of the difference between Luther and Calvin on this is revealed in what does the unbeliever receive at the same time? Nothing, no experience. In Calvin, by admission of their own doctrine, there is no real and true and very flesh and blood of Christ put into one’s mouth, the same body and blood that was crucified and sweated and bled, just as eating the sacrificed lamb was the real lamb, it is the real body and blood of Christ. And thus, I believe what you say you have, and that is really nothing, just mere bread and wine (or crackers and grape juice in most cases today). According to Calvin’s doctrine there is no more IN YOUR MOUTH then, than is in your mouth at McDonalds. It is no wonder that grape juice has for the most part displaced wine in Calvin’s meal (and Zwingli’s per the Baptist view). Because it really doesn’t make a difference, one can contemplate by faith Christ in heaven with a Pepsi as much as grape juice or even wine at home.

    Yet, in orthodoxy both the hypocrite and the believer receive that very body and blood that was in fact crucified for us in their mouths ON EARTH, heaven descends upon us, heaven and earth meet. Such that we commune truly both in time and space with all who likewise receive this very body and blood. We commune not with just “my brother/sister next to me” in space but in Japan, China, Africa…all over the world via the very true and real body and blood of Christ. And not just earthly but with those who have already fallen asleep in Christ! Not by flying up into heaven but by heaven via the very and true body and blood of Christ coming down to us, into our very mouths.

    When I was a Calvinist I held truly to that position and would not in the least commune with Lutherans for the very reason of what they confessed and this will show you that this is NO such paltry difference at all. If you really and truly believe Calvin’s position you would NOT want to commune with Lutherans, this will show you why it is not “just a distinction without a difference”: The difference is shown in this, when we go up to eat and drink of the very and true body and blood of Christ we are worshipping that bread and wine, we are in fact going to receive real, very and true forgiveness of our sins, we are eating and drinking the Word made flesh wholly. If you are truly a Calvinist (or baptist), according to your own doctrine that must be idolatry and as such you should not even so much as desire to commune with Lutheran orthodoxy.

    Whether you believe what we confess, preach and teach is one thing, but what you should believe, teach and confess as a Calvinist is that you CANNOT nor can you even DESIRE communion with orthodox Lutheranism – it would be a “sin” against your own confessions. And that’s the main thing for now you need to see, not “will you believe what we preach, teach and confess” but believing, preaching and teaching what YOU confess as a Calvinist (or Baptist) you should not in the least desire to commune with Lutherans.

    Don’t get me wrong, I desire that you would come to this communion, but your not seeing the issue correctly yet (not just the details of what is confessed but the reality of it all).

    Think about the principles of unity in confession, think about what Calvin means by the right hand of God, think about those things because they are all connected, think about what Gnosticism in any form really is and seeks to do. Think about the fact that you should not even desire to commune with Lutherans and why. If you will at least see that then that’s progress, but until then we are not ready for the details.

  • Stephen

    If one says they are a Calvinist (as with my other examples), we can assume they follow, have been taught, or believe on some level a heterodox doctrine it seems to me. But my post was about false doctrine and not about the condition of anyone’s heart in particular. I did say that there are Christians among the heterodox. I was not questioning the faith of individuals, though that is always how this kind of thing comes off. The gospel is preached in the heterodox churches, usually with the addition of “and so you must . . . ” which leads me to wonder if it can truly be heard as pure gospel but rather gospel become law, which is just what I said it is – no gospel. We cannot say what the Holy Spirit does with that, but we do know what pure doctrine teaches that the gospel in fact is, and this is what we believe, teach and confess. We preach Christ crucified and nothing else, or at least we ought to for the sake of all.

    And to be fair, this kind of mixed message can be heard from Lutheran pulpits too, though it is not confessional. Like I said, I claim nothing original here (except perhaps the last paragraph in #208). I’m practically quoting Pieper regarding the Reformed and heterodoxy.

  • Stephen

    If one says they are a Calvinist (as with my other examples), we can assume they follow, have been taught, or believe on some level a heterodox doctrine it seems to me. But my post was about false doctrine and not about the condition of anyone’s heart in particular. I did say that there are Christians among the heterodox. I was not questioning the faith of individuals, though that is always how this kind of thing comes off. The gospel is preached in the heterodox churches, usually with the addition of “and so you must . . . ” which leads me to wonder if it can truly be heard as pure gospel but rather gospel become law, which is just what I said it is – no gospel. We cannot say what the Holy Spirit does with that, but we do know what pure doctrine teaches that the gospel in fact is, and this is what we believe, teach and confess. We preach Christ crucified and nothing else, or at least we ought to for the sake of all.

    And to be fair, this kind of mixed message can be heard from Lutheran pulpits too, though it is not confessional. Like I said, I claim nothing original here (except perhaps the last paragraph in #208). I’m practically quoting Pieper regarding the Reformed and heterodoxy.

  • Stephen

    Rick @ 227

    My previous post I think might clear up some of your concerns, but this statement is the kind of thing that gets me wondering:

    “I can’t reconcile how they put things together in every case, but many would say the do look straight to Christ and not inside themselves.”

    Like I said, I don’t judge people’s hearts, but confessionally, as a witness, what does “looking straight to Christ” actually consist of? We know exactly what that is in Lutheranism, exactly where Christ is to be found, and it is “outside of the human” was my point. It is specifically in Word and Sacrament. Nowhere else. We look straight there. Does any other stripe of Christian faith do this? No. There is some kind of inward turn, or some kind of gaze toward the activity of the human person in adherence to law, or to doing a righteous sacrifice which pleases God, some attempt to affirm the reality of faith in the experience of the believer. The reason I say there is “no gospel” in that is because none of that is necessary at all. Experience, I’m afraid to say, is law. We have Christ alone as our propitiation into which we have been baptized (and believe all other Christians are baptized as well regardless of what they understand). We have been washed, justified, sanctified, completely. This is what we believe teach and confess, and ll of this is completed outside of us and beyond us. It is given to us. That is the gospel of Christ.

    If someone says they look to Christ, then that is good news. Meanwhile, we teach where he may be found – in Word and Sacrament.

  • Stephen

    Rick @ 227

    My previous post I think might clear up some of your concerns, but this statement is the kind of thing that gets me wondering:

    “I can’t reconcile how they put things together in every case, but many would say the do look straight to Christ and not inside themselves.”

    Like I said, I don’t judge people’s hearts, but confessionally, as a witness, what does “looking straight to Christ” actually consist of? We know exactly what that is in Lutheranism, exactly where Christ is to be found, and it is “outside of the human” was my point. It is specifically in Word and Sacrament. Nowhere else. We look straight there. Does any other stripe of Christian faith do this? No. There is some kind of inward turn, or some kind of gaze toward the activity of the human person in adherence to law, or to doing a righteous sacrifice which pleases God, some attempt to affirm the reality of faith in the experience of the believer. The reason I say there is “no gospel” in that is because none of that is necessary at all. Experience, I’m afraid to say, is law. We have Christ alone as our propitiation into which we have been baptized (and believe all other Christians are baptized as well regardless of what they understand). We have been washed, justified, sanctified, completely. This is what we believe teach and confess, and ll of this is completed outside of us and beyond us. It is given to us. That is the gospel of Christ.

    If someone says they look to Christ, then that is good news. Meanwhile, we teach where he may be found – in Word and Sacrament.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Rick Ritchie @ 227

    There is a fundamental Law/Gospel difference that Reformed cannot see that is THE stumbling block for Lutherans for both Reformed AND Scholastic theology.

    For Lutherans this is the correct formula:

    The Image of God = Original Adamic Rightousness = Sanctification = ?

    For Lutherans that “?” is this: faith alone in Christ alone. Alone!
    Image: Lutherans say that Adam´s Original Righeousness was naked faith in Jesus Christ. From the very begining. This is sort of radical eh?

    You can find that this is what the Lutherans teach in the Apology to the Augsburg Confession in art II, and by doing a word search on “Image” in the Lutheran Confessions. This is , indisputably, the only truly Lutheran position on this. I suggest that it is this alone that is the very root of the difference between Lutherans vs Rome/Geneva.

    For the Reformed and Roman Catholics the “?” is the Divinely Revealed Law of God found where it is written by God in the mind/reason/conscience, Natural Law and the Decalog. This is true rather a Reformed person determines that “sanctification ” is monergistic or not.

    Reformed theology is full of such distractions from the central question which is this: What is the Image of God which was Original Adamic Righeousness? And how that question is answered determines precisely how one re-acquires that Divine Design and Image and so also how one is saved.

    So Scholasticism in Rome and St Thomas Aquinas, and the neo-Scholasticism of Melancthon, his disciple Calvin, and Saint Augustine, and even early Luther in his “Bondage of the Will” are all about how to regain that lost Image of God and the Original Adamic Righeousness by being reconformed to the Law. Luther shortly after cleanly broke from Saint Augustine in favor of St Paul precisely on this point.

    This process of being reconformed to the Law to regain the Image of God looks much like Aristotle´s practicing virtue until one becomes what one practices. This is called “habit”. Rome places this process before and as preparation to Justification. Geneva places this after Justification and as a consequence of it. Both baptize aristotles Virtue Ethics by saying only the aid of the Holy Spirit can make this happen. The then call this Aristotelian process by the name “sanctification”. Some Lutherans do this too I admit. But it is not Lutheran to do so. What alone determines what is “Lutheran ” is what the Lutheran Confessions say. Not even what Luther says determines this for a true Lutheran.

    Note that if the Law of God = Image of God = Original Righeousness, then mankind has not entirely lost God´s Image has he? It is more like an Image we can still see in a shattered mirror in that case. If faith in Christ = Image of God, then that Image which is Original Adamic Righeousness is completely lost in fallen mankind. Please consider the radical implications of this Lutheran assertion.

    As a direct consequence of this. Lutherans teach that Holy Baptism and the Holy Supper and everything that we can see done in Church is what? Law or Gospel? Lutheran teach that everything we can do and see in Church is all and completely Law! Rome and Geneva teach these things are Gospel. Especially in Covenant Theology.

    Both Rome and Geneva understand Romans 8 flesh vs spirit to be the movement from Vice/Worldly to Virtue/Churchly. In radical contrast to this view, Lutherans (oddly) say that romans 8 flesh vs spirit is the movement from Churchly/Virtuous to Faith alone in Christ Alone.

    But Lutherans do teach that the Gospel can only be found in Church. But where do Lutherans find it then if everything one does in Church is pure 100% Law? Where do Lutherans find Sanctification if everything a Lutheran can see and do is Flesh and not Spirit?

    Hint: The Lutheran solution is found in those words that Lutherans use not just in locating that Romans 8 “spirit/Spirit” not just in the Lord´s Supper, but everywhere else: “In, with and under” is how Lutherans express this. This is to say: Romans 8 Spirit is located alone in invisible faith alone in Christ alone.

    So I hope I am showing 1) that the difference between us is a rather radical one that is all about “first things”, and 2) You are all dealing with the symptoms of that fundamental difference and not what the Lutheran Confessions declare to be the root difference.

    Bless you.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Rick Ritchie @ 227

    There is a fundamental Law/Gospel difference that Reformed cannot see that is THE stumbling block for Lutherans for both Reformed AND Scholastic theology.

    For Lutherans this is the correct formula:

    The Image of God = Original Adamic Rightousness = Sanctification = ?

    For Lutherans that “?” is this: faith alone in Christ alone. Alone!
    Image: Lutherans say that Adam´s Original Righeousness was naked faith in Jesus Christ. From the very begining. This is sort of radical eh?

    You can find that this is what the Lutherans teach in the Apology to the Augsburg Confession in art II, and by doing a word search on “Image” in the Lutheran Confessions. This is , indisputably, the only truly Lutheran position on this. I suggest that it is this alone that is the very root of the difference between Lutherans vs Rome/Geneva.

    For the Reformed and Roman Catholics the “?” is the Divinely Revealed Law of God found where it is written by God in the mind/reason/conscience, Natural Law and the Decalog. This is true rather a Reformed person determines that “sanctification ” is monergistic or not.

    Reformed theology is full of such distractions from the central question which is this: What is the Image of God which was Original Adamic Righeousness? And how that question is answered determines precisely how one re-acquires that Divine Design and Image and so also how one is saved.

    So Scholasticism in Rome and St Thomas Aquinas, and the neo-Scholasticism of Melancthon, his disciple Calvin, and Saint Augustine, and even early Luther in his “Bondage of the Will” are all about how to regain that lost Image of God and the Original Adamic Righeousness by being reconformed to the Law. Luther shortly after cleanly broke from Saint Augustine in favor of St Paul precisely on this point.

    This process of being reconformed to the Law to regain the Image of God looks much like Aristotle´s practicing virtue until one becomes what one practices. This is called “habit”. Rome places this process before and as preparation to Justification. Geneva places this after Justification and as a consequence of it. Both baptize aristotles Virtue Ethics by saying only the aid of the Holy Spirit can make this happen. The then call this Aristotelian process by the name “sanctification”. Some Lutherans do this too I admit. But it is not Lutheran to do so. What alone determines what is “Lutheran ” is what the Lutheran Confessions say. Not even what Luther says determines this for a true Lutheran.

    Note that if the Law of God = Image of God = Original Righeousness, then mankind has not entirely lost God´s Image has he? It is more like an Image we can still see in a shattered mirror in that case. If faith in Christ = Image of God, then that Image which is Original Adamic Righeousness is completely lost in fallen mankind. Please consider the radical implications of this Lutheran assertion.

    As a direct consequence of this. Lutherans teach that Holy Baptism and the Holy Supper and everything that we can see done in Church is what? Law or Gospel? Lutheran teach that everything we can do and see in Church is all and completely Law! Rome and Geneva teach these things are Gospel. Especially in Covenant Theology.

    Both Rome and Geneva understand Romans 8 flesh vs spirit to be the movement from Vice/Worldly to Virtue/Churchly. In radical contrast to this view, Lutherans (oddly) say that romans 8 flesh vs spirit is the movement from Churchly/Virtuous to Faith alone in Christ Alone.

    But Lutherans do teach that the Gospel can only be found in Church. But where do Lutherans find it then if everything one does in Church is pure 100% Law? Where do Lutherans find Sanctification if everything a Lutheran can see and do is Flesh and not Spirit?

    Hint: The Lutheran solution is found in those words that Lutherans use not just in locating that Romans 8 “spirit/Spirit” not just in the Lord´s Supper, but everywhere else: “In, with and under” is how Lutherans express this. This is to say: Romans 8 Spirit is located alone in invisible faith alone in Christ alone.

    So I hope I am showing 1) that the difference between us is a rather radical one that is all about “first things”, and 2) You are all dealing with the symptoms of that fundamental difference and not what the Lutheran Confessions declare to be the root difference.

    Bless you.

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    fws@237 I doubt most Lutherans could do much by way of defining the Gospel in terms of the Image of God. That is not central to our theology. Have fun finding it in the Small Catechism. Nor do I think most Reformed people know the Reformed doctrine of the Image of God. If certain strands do stress the Law as a means to Sanctification, there are others who do not.

    And do remember. What I was responding to was a post that began with the line: “The gospel which a Calvinist finds ‘extra nos’ is no gospel.” When the argument was given for this, formulations that are not common throughout Calvinism were made universal. Given that the Reformed church is not a confessional church in the same way Lutheran churches are, I think it is a grave error to speak this way. I came from the other side. When I wanted to read my way into Lutheranism, I did not read the confessions. I picked up the dogmatics books and books by theologians. Why? That’s what a Reformed person would do to find out about Calvinism. When you guys write like this, I know from my past that a Calvinist will think you’re from Mars. And not because your Lutheran doctrine is so outlandish, but because your grasp of Calvinism probably doesn’t match what they’ve run into. Most groups don’t like being told what they believe by others. If you ignore this, you’ll end up being about as convincing to the Calvinists as Grace is to us. (Though I can at least figure out how you got to your conclusions as to what they believe.)

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    fws@237 I doubt most Lutherans could do much by way of defining the Gospel in terms of the Image of God. That is not central to our theology. Have fun finding it in the Small Catechism. Nor do I think most Reformed people know the Reformed doctrine of the Image of God. If certain strands do stress the Law as a means to Sanctification, there are others who do not.

    And do remember. What I was responding to was a post that began with the line: “The gospel which a Calvinist finds ‘extra nos’ is no gospel.” When the argument was given for this, formulations that are not common throughout Calvinism were made universal. Given that the Reformed church is not a confessional church in the same way Lutheran churches are, I think it is a grave error to speak this way. I came from the other side. When I wanted to read my way into Lutheranism, I did not read the confessions. I picked up the dogmatics books and books by theologians. Why? That’s what a Reformed person would do to find out about Calvinism. When you guys write like this, I know from my past that a Calvinist will think you’re from Mars. And not because your Lutheran doctrine is so outlandish, but because your grasp of Calvinism probably doesn’t match what they’ve run into. Most groups don’t like being told what they believe by others. If you ignore this, you’ll end up being about as convincing to the Calvinists as Grace is to us. (Though I can at least figure out how you got to your conclusions as to what they believe.)

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    rick at 238

    those are extremely helpful pointers. completely valid and useful. I will reflect on those carefully dear brother!

    And you are right. we Lutherans are far from what I wrote often as well.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    rick at 238

    those are extremely helpful pointers. completely valid and useful. I will reflect on those carefully dear brother!

    And you are right. we Lutherans are far from what I wrote often as well.

  • http://www.myspace.com/lutherman3821 John Yeazel

    Rick Ritchie,

    Are you the same Rick Ritchie that sometimes writes articles in Modern Reformation magazine? Those were very helpful comments you wrote to the well read Lutherans (the Lutheran Confessions and Lutheran theologians) who post here (I’m mainly talking about fws, Larry and Stephen). I would like to see them dialog with Calvinisits scholars and Pastors like Michael Horton, D.G. Hart, Scott Clark and Kim Riddlebarger. All of these scholars claim that they proclaim the same Gospel that Luther proclaimed. They would put up quite a fight against that sentence that Stephen wrote: “The Gospel which a Calvinist finds ‘extra nos’ is no Gospel at all.”

    All of the comments of those whom I mentioned have been well worth reading. It is all good fodder and food for thought. All expressed with great passion and understanding. Calvinsits, especially Scott Clark, do not like being misinterpreted, misrepresented and caricatured by Lutherans. And as Rick Ritchie said they do not like being told what they do or do not believe. We all need to be much more careful in how we present and represent others viewpoints.

  • http://www.myspace.com/lutherman3821 John Yeazel

    Rick Ritchie,

    Are you the same Rick Ritchie that sometimes writes articles in Modern Reformation magazine? Those were very helpful comments you wrote to the well read Lutherans (the Lutheran Confessions and Lutheran theologians) who post here (I’m mainly talking about fws, Larry and Stephen). I would like to see them dialog with Calvinisits scholars and Pastors like Michael Horton, D.G. Hart, Scott Clark and Kim Riddlebarger. All of these scholars claim that they proclaim the same Gospel that Luther proclaimed. They would put up quite a fight against that sentence that Stephen wrote: “The Gospel which a Calvinist finds ‘extra nos’ is no Gospel at all.”

    All of the comments of those whom I mentioned have been well worth reading. It is all good fodder and food for thought. All expressed with great passion and understanding. Calvinsits, especially Scott Clark, do not like being misinterpreted, misrepresented and caricatured by Lutherans. And as Rick Ritchie said they do not like being told what they do or do not believe. We all need to be much more careful in how we present and represent others viewpoints.

  • Stephen

    John,

    Why do you need people to dialog about “viewpoints” when what matters is doctrine? That is what I was talking about. If my characterization of Calvinist doctrine was off, then correct it. I have no concern about any of these other people’s ideas. But as far as I’m concerned, these confessional, doctrinal things are settled matters with which Calvinism (on paper, if that helps) does not agree. I think I have a pretty good understanding of what those differences are doctrinally. That is not a judgment on anyone’s intellect or intentions or sincerity or even their faith per se. But it is to say that I believe I know what Christian truth is, and Calvinism is mistaken in some fundamental ways. For one thing, one cannot make their way to the cross with a systematics that relies on, above all, maintaining and establishing the sovereignty of God. The cross, the very place where God has established all truth, as I see it, is already bypassed. One has already begun a project of human reason, locating and identifying truth with human experience in some way or the other. Maybe my strong wording was offensive, but when mixing law and gospel one ends up with the end result of law. That is the gist of what I meant and where I think Calvinism leads in every case as far as I can tell. So I think it was an accurate statement, even if it grates.

    And furthermore, shoving my words into your agenda seems a little unkind, but whatever. Maybe you could just read the Lutheran Confessions for yourself instead of asking others to go into battle for you. I find that odd, but I guess that is the Internet.

  • Stephen

    John,

    Why do you need people to dialog about “viewpoints” when what matters is doctrine? That is what I was talking about. If my characterization of Calvinist doctrine was off, then correct it. I have no concern about any of these other people’s ideas. But as far as I’m concerned, these confessional, doctrinal things are settled matters with which Calvinism (on paper, if that helps) does not agree. I think I have a pretty good understanding of what those differences are doctrinally. That is not a judgment on anyone’s intellect or intentions or sincerity or even their faith per se. But it is to say that I believe I know what Christian truth is, and Calvinism is mistaken in some fundamental ways. For one thing, one cannot make their way to the cross with a systematics that relies on, above all, maintaining and establishing the sovereignty of God. The cross, the very place where God has established all truth, as I see it, is already bypassed. One has already begun a project of human reason, locating and identifying truth with human experience in some way or the other. Maybe my strong wording was offensive, but when mixing law and gospel one ends up with the end result of law. That is the gist of what I meant and where I think Calvinism leads in every case as far as I can tell. So I think it was an accurate statement, even if it grates.

    And furthermore, shoving my words into your agenda seems a little unkind, but whatever. Maybe you could just read the Lutheran Confessions for yourself instead of asking others to go into battle for you. I find that odd, but I guess that is the Internet.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Rick Richey @ 238 responding to fws@237

    FWS Now I am home and have more time to respond to your comment.

    RR I doubt most Lutherans could do much by way of defining the Gospel in terms of the Image of God. That is not central to our theology. Have fun finding it in the Small Catechism.

    FWS The Image of God is alone faith alone in Christ. If faith alone in Christ alone is not central to the catholic faith, and therefore also to Lutheranism, then what would be at the center?

    And where is this Image of God restored then? The Image of God is restored in, with and under the Name of the Most Holy and Blessed Trinity spashed onto sinful men using ordinary tap water.

    The Promised located there, in Holy Baptism, which is a good work commanded by God. This Promise is received by faith, and so the Promised Mercy is received in, with and under that Law we are commanded to do called Holy Baptism.

    If I am right, and the Lutheran Confessions assert that the Image of God = Adamic Original Righteousness = Sanctification = Faith alone in Christ alone, then where in the Small Catechism is this NOT found?

    RR Nor do I think most Reformed people know the Reformed doctrine of the Image of God. If certain strands do stress the Law as a means to Sanctification, there are others who do not.

    FWS If the Image of God and Adamic Original Righeousness is located in the Law, then the Law is not only a means to Sanctification, re-conformity to that Law becomes the entire point. Tell me what strain of Calvinism does not locate the Image of God and Adamic Original Righeousness as being = conformity to the Law of God. Just one.

    Granted that alot of lay Reformed and Lutherans are not even aware if this argument about God´s Image. I do believe that this is recent news even for you, and you know alot. So? That just means that most Lutherans, even those who call themselves “confessional lutherans” do as the reformed do :

    when most Lutherans want to read their way into Lutheranism, they don´t read the confessions. They pick up Forde, Pieper and Walther. Why? That’s what a most Lutherans would do to find out about Lutheranism.

    That is probably why you did not know until recently that this is a central premise of the Lutheran Confessions. And that is why I encourage others to read our Confessions. It does not help that the translations we have are Germanglish.

    “What is the Image of God and Original Righeousness and how does one get back to that?” is the question everyone has.

    Lutherans alone locate the Image and Original Righeousness alone in faith alone in Christ alone. Show me I am wrong.

    RR and do remember. What I was responding to was a post that began with the line: “The gospel which a Calvinist finds ‘extra nos’ is no gospel.”When the argument was given for this, formulations that are not common throughout Calvinism were made universal.

    FWS Great. I am on point in my response then eh? I am proposing that this is the universal formulation made throughout Calvinism and also Rome that is the universal basis for the rest of their formulations. Namely that the way back to the Image of God and Adamic Original Righeousness is by reconformity to the Law. Are you saying I am wrong?

    RR When you guys write like this, I know from my past that a Calvinist will think you’re from Mars. And not because your Lutheran doctrine is so outlandish, your grasp of Calvinism probably doesn’t match what they’ve run into.

    FWS The terminology is often the same but the categories are radically different between Augsburg and Geneva. The terminology and categories are much more similar between Augsburg and Rome. How does one compare apples and oranges that look like apples in a way that makes sense? How would one present this fundamental difference in a way that would not tell a Calvinist what they believe and would demonstrate a grasp of Calvinism? You would be right in observing that even most Lutherans see things the way Rome and Calvin do on this issue. So what to do Rick in that case?

    Most groups don’t like being told what they believe by others. If you ignore this, you’ll end up being about as convincing to the Calvinists as Grace is to us. (Though I can at least figure out how you got to your conclusions as to what they believe.)

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Rick Richey @ 238 responding to fws@237

    FWS Now I am home and have more time to respond to your comment.

    RR I doubt most Lutherans could do much by way of defining the Gospel in terms of the Image of God. That is not central to our theology. Have fun finding it in the Small Catechism.

    FWS The Image of God is alone faith alone in Christ. If faith alone in Christ alone is not central to the catholic faith, and therefore also to Lutheranism, then what would be at the center?

    And where is this Image of God restored then? The Image of God is restored in, with and under the Name of the Most Holy and Blessed Trinity spashed onto sinful men using ordinary tap water.

    The Promised located there, in Holy Baptism, which is a good work commanded by God. This Promise is received by faith, and so the Promised Mercy is received in, with and under that Law we are commanded to do called Holy Baptism.

    If I am right, and the Lutheran Confessions assert that the Image of God = Adamic Original Righteousness = Sanctification = Faith alone in Christ alone, then where in the Small Catechism is this NOT found?

    RR Nor do I think most Reformed people know the Reformed doctrine of the Image of God. If certain strands do stress the Law as a means to Sanctification, there are others who do not.

    FWS If the Image of God and Adamic Original Righeousness is located in the Law, then the Law is not only a means to Sanctification, re-conformity to that Law becomes the entire point. Tell me what strain of Calvinism does not locate the Image of God and Adamic Original Righeousness as being = conformity to the Law of God. Just one.

    Granted that alot of lay Reformed and Lutherans are not even aware if this argument about God´s Image. I do believe that this is recent news even for you, and you know alot. So? That just means that most Lutherans, even those who call themselves “confessional lutherans” do as the reformed do :

    when most Lutherans want to read their way into Lutheranism, they don´t read the confessions. They pick up Forde, Pieper and Walther. Why? That’s what a most Lutherans would do to find out about Lutheranism.

    That is probably why you did not know until recently that this is a central premise of the Lutheran Confessions. And that is why I encourage others to read our Confessions. It does not help that the translations we have are Germanglish.

    “What is the Image of God and Original Righeousness and how does one get back to that?” is the question everyone has.

    Lutherans alone locate the Image and Original Righeousness alone in faith alone in Christ alone. Show me I am wrong.

    RR and do remember. What I was responding to was a post that began with the line: “The gospel which a Calvinist finds ‘extra nos’ is no gospel.”When the argument was given for this, formulations that are not common throughout Calvinism were made universal.

    FWS Great. I am on point in my response then eh? I am proposing that this is the universal formulation made throughout Calvinism and also Rome that is the universal basis for the rest of their formulations. Namely that the way back to the Image of God and Adamic Original Righeousness is by reconformity to the Law. Are you saying I am wrong?

    RR When you guys write like this, I know from my past that a Calvinist will think you’re from Mars. And not because your Lutheran doctrine is so outlandish, your grasp of Calvinism probably doesn’t match what they’ve run into.

    FWS The terminology is often the same but the categories are radically different between Augsburg and Geneva. The terminology and categories are much more similar between Augsburg and Rome. How does one compare apples and oranges that look like apples in a way that makes sense? How would one present this fundamental difference in a way that would not tell a Calvinist what they believe and would demonstrate a grasp of Calvinism? You would be right in observing that even most Lutherans see things the way Rome and Calvin do on this issue. So what to do Rick in that case?

    Most groups don’t like being told what they believe by others. If you ignore this, you’ll end up being about as convincing to the Calvinists as Grace is to us. (Though I can at least figure out how you got to your conclusions as to what they believe.)

  • http://www.myspace.com/lutherman3821 John Yeazel

    Stephen,

    Viewpoints was the wrong word- forgive me, this is the internet and not a formal paper. Your sentence did grate me because I dialog with Calvinists quite often at their blog sites and you are caricaturizing all Calvinists in one lump. The ones that I mentioned do not start with the Soveriegnty of God as their starting point and they know how to distinguish the Law and the Gospel. You are misrepresenting what I have read that these Calvinists have said. All Calvinists do not believe the same things.

    I am not going into battle either. I belong to an LCMS church and adhere to the Lutheran Confessions. I would just like to hear the Calvinists I mentioned respond to your sentence accusing them of confessing another Gospel. Your charge was a serious one. They would not take lightly to it.

    Sorry it strikes you as odd- your sentence struck me as odd and not only that but a very serious accusation.

  • http://www.myspace.com/lutherman3821 John Yeazel

    Stephen,

    Viewpoints was the wrong word- forgive me, this is the internet and not a formal paper. Your sentence did grate me because I dialog with Calvinists quite often at their blog sites and you are caricaturizing all Calvinists in one lump. The ones that I mentioned do not start with the Soveriegnty of God as their starting point and they know how to distinguish the Law and the Gospel. You are misrepresenting what I have read that these Calvinists have said. All Calvinists do not believe the same things.

    I am not going into battle either. I belong to an LCMS church and adhere to the Lutheran Confessions. I would just like to hear the Calvinists I mentioned respond to your sentence accusing them of confessing another Gospel. Your charge was a serious one. They would not take lightly to it.

    Sorry it strikes you as odd- your sentence struck me as odd and not only that but a very serious accusation.

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    John Yeazel@240 Yes. Same Rick Ritchie. Though I’ll say my ideas in blog comments are not always as measured as in the magazine. This is informal and exploratory compared to that, which I know gets printed and may be read for decades to come, at least by a few.

    My friendships with Calvinists makes me a little slow to want to see them written off. I know how they discuss their faith personally, and also how they see that faith as fitting their confessions and the theological writings that come from their tradition. I didn’t have the impression they had no gospel at all. Neither did Robert Preus, when he came out to visit and a local Lutheran pastor tried to push on him the idea that they had a different doctrine of Justification than we did.

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    John Yeazel@240 Yes. Same Rick Ritchie. Though I’ll say my ideas in blog comments are not always as measured as in the magazine. This is informal and exploratory compared to that, which I know gets printed and may be read for decades to come, at least by a few.

    My friendships with Calvinists makes me a little slow to want to see them written off. I know how they discuss their faith personally, and also how they see that faith as fitting their confessions and the theological writings that come from their tradition. I didn’t have the impression they had no gospel at all. Neither did Robert Preus, when he came out to visit and a local Lutheran pastor tried to push on him the idea that they had a different doctrine of Justification than we did.

  • http://www.myspace.com/lutherman3821 John Yeazel

    Rick,

    I always enjoyed and got a lot out of your articles. I know Scott Clark wrote a long article on justification which, if I remember correctly, was printed in a Lutheran theological journal. In the paper he established that Luther and Calvin had the same doctrine of justification by faith alone in Christ. I am sure Scott Clark would be glad to download a copy of the paper to anyone who would ask him at his email at Westminster Seminary California. He downloaded it to me a couple years ago. I have been trying to locate it but I cannot find it.

    Anyways, good to chat with you Rick. I also wonder how Rod Rosenbladt would respond to some of the Lutherans here. These guys are ruthless and stubborn here.

  • http://www.myspace.com/lutherman3821 John Yeazel

    Rick,

    I always enjoyed and got a lot out of your articles. I know Scott Clark wrote a long article on justification which, if I remember correctly, was printed in a Lutheran theological journal. In the paper he established that Luther and Calvin had the same doctrine of justification by faith alone in Christ. I am sure Scott Clark would be glad to download a copy of the paper to anyone who would ask him at his email at Westminster Seminary California. He downloaded it to me a couple years ago. I have been trying to locate it but I cannot find it.

    Anyways, good to chat with you Rick. I also wonder how Rod Rosenbladt would respond to some of the Lutherans here. These guys are ruthless and stubborn here.

  • That Guy

    I find myself leaning more and more toward becoming Lutheran and I was curious if there is a cache of books such as what the Puritans put out and is now in the Puritan Paperback or Sola Deo Gloria publishing that is akin to Lutheran.

  • That Guy

    I find myself leaning more and more toward becoming Lutheran and I was curious if there is a cache of books such as what the Puritans put out and is now in the Puritan Paperback or Sola Deo Gloria publishing that is akin to Lutheran.

  • Stephen

    John,

    Let’s see. . . I’m not sure how to say it better. I appreciate your concern. When I say Calvinist or Calvinism, I’m going by what I understand the doctrines of Calvinism to teach based on what I know about Calvin, especially on certain major points of difference. That said, even on the web site where you posted my comment, it is obvious there are many tendrils of Calvinism out there. And now when you say that these theologians who are Calvinists don’t start with the Sovereignty of God, then I have to say I really don’t know what you are talking about. Sounds like Calvinism really is up for grabs and can be about anything. So it does not seem completely unfair to make assessments since so many strains exist.

    I have read and am familiar with various contemporary Calvinist intellectuals and preachers. One thing I find in common is a great deal of rationalism and often a sweet tooth for apologetics. Saint C.S. Lewis seems to often be a favorite hero for the high and low brow. I’ve even read some of Piper’s . . . stuff. Somewhere in there it seems to eventually wind up with the truth of the gospel being somehow affirmed by reason and/or experience rather than by the word and promise of Christ alone given “pro me” on the cross and received in Word and Sacrament. That to me is no small difference. What I hear is usually something overt or which hints at the sanctified work that will give assurance of election (I assume), either through some kind of certain knowledge or action within the human person. What that looks like in each case is different, but it is essentially the same dynamic at work. The reason I say this is “no gospel” is because the telos of all this is always going to be law and not Christ. Any way you slice it, this is to rely on something in us to make the gospel true. But like I have said repeatedly with Luther, the gospel is outside of us. Its truth is real in spite of us and regardless of us, though it is in every way truly “for us” which is exactly why it can be said to be good news.

    Now, that is, again, not to question the sincerity of someone’s faith in Jesus, as if they pray to their works or reason. But it is, in my understanding, heterodox teaching, even if in some external way we agree that we are justified by grace through faith apart from works (which is, I think, about as far as it goes).

    The Missouri Lutherans came here in the 19th c. because they did not want to be forced to join with the Reformed of Germany and have their confessions distorted with heterodoxy. Confessional Lutherans, the few that there seem to be, who actually are interested and concerned in reviving and hearing that pure doctrine preached, need to be “ruthless” in a land overrun with Calvinists, pseudo Calvinists, crypto Calvinists, and Calvinists who don’t like to identify as Calvinists, when this Calvinism infiltrates American Christianity almost everywhere, even in Lutheranism. It would be nice if we all just got along, but we don’t. Who shall we blame for that? When I was growing up in the southern bible belt, I was surrounded by Calvinistic Baptists who told me I was going to hell unless I accepted Jesus and was rebaptized. This happened often. Who really is being ruthless? Is it those who believe, teach and confess pure doctrine of faith in Christ alone, or those who place the criteria of truth on their works and enforce it on others with false teaching?

    A person can try to play both sides and work back and forth. Learning can happen that way. Hey, I like Nietzsche. Or you can also have a productive dialogue by knowing exactly who you are. I like Nietzsche even more now that I am a Confessional Lutheran instead of a liberal rationalist one, something I was never very committed to in the first place. It’s your thing and I wish you the best.

  • Stephen

    John,

    Let’s see. . . I’m not sure how to say it better. I appreciate your concern. When I say Calvinist or Calvinism, I’m going by what I understand the doctrines of Calvinism to teach based on what I know about Calvin, especially on certain major points of difference. That said, even on the web site where you posted my comment, it is obvious there are many tendrils of Calvinism out there. And now when you say that these theologians who are Calvinists don’t start with the Sovereignty of God, then I have to say I really don’t know what you are talking about. Sounds like Calvinism really is up for grabs and can be about anything. So it does not seem completely unfair to make assessments since so many strains exist.

    I have read and am familiar with various contemporary Calvinist intellectuals and preachers. One thing I find in common is a great deal of rationalism and often a sweet tooth for apologetics. Saint C.S. Lewis seems to often be a favorite hero for the high and low brow. I’ve even read some of Piper’s . . . stuff. Somewhere in there it seems to eventually wind up with the truth of the gospel being somehow affirmed by reason and/or experience rather than by the word and promise of Christ alone given “pro me” on the cross and received in Word and Sacrament. That to me is no small difference. What I hear is usually something overt or which hints at the sanctified work that will give assurance of election (I assume), either through some kind of certain knowledge or action within the human person. What that looks like in each case is different, but it is essentially the same dynamic at work. The reason I say this is “no gospel” is because the telos of all this is always going to be law and not Christ. Any way you slice it, this is to rely on something in us to make the gospel true. But like I have said repeatedly with Luther, the gospel is outside of us. Its truth is real in spite of us and regardless of us, though it is in every way truly “for us” which is exactly why it can be said to be good news.

    Now, that is, again, not to question the sincerity of someone’s faith in Jesus, as if they pray to their works or reason. But it is, in my understanding, heterodox teaching, even if in some external way we agree that we are justified by grace through faith apart from works (which is, I think, about as far as it goes).

    The Missouri Lutherans came here in the 19th c. because they did not want to be forced to join with the Reformed of Germany and have their confessions distorted with heterodoxy. Confessional Lutherans, the few that there seem to be, who actually are interested and concerned in reviving and hearing that pure doctrine preached, need to be “ruthless” in a land overrun with Calvinists, pseudo Calvinists, crypto Calvinists, and Calvinists who don’t like to identify as Calvinists, when this Calvinism infiltrates American Christianity almost everywhere, even in Lutheranism. It would be nice if we all just got along, but we don’t. Who shall we blame for that? When I was growing up in the southern bible belt, I was surrounded by Calvinistic Baptists who told me I was going to hell unless I accepted Jesus and was rebaptized. This happened often. Who really is being ruthless? Is it those who believe, teach and confess pure doctrine of faith in Christ alone, or those who place the criteria of truth on their works and enforce it on others with false teaching?

    A person can try to play both sides and work back and forth. Learning can happen that way. Hey, I like Nietzsche. Or you can also have a productive dialogue by knowing exactly who you are. I like Nietzsche even more now that I am a Confessional Lutheran instead of a liberal rationalist one, something I was never very committed to in the first place. It’s your thing and I wish you the best.

  • Grace

    246 – That Guy March 22, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    “I find myself leaning more and more toward becoming Lutheran and I was curious if there is a cache of books such as what the Puritans put out and is now in the Puritan Paperback or Sola Deo Gloria publishing that is akin to Lutheran.”

    OK Mr. That Guy, you posted the identical post earlier on: “Maybe Christians aren’t so bad after all”

    “56 That Guy March 22, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    I find myself leaning more and more toward becoming Lutheran and I was curious if there is a cache of books such as what the Puritans put out and is now in the Puritan Paperback or Sola Deo Gloria publishing that is Lutheran.”

    http://www.geneveith.com/2011/03/22/maybe-christians-arent-so-bad-after-all/#comment-110901

    LOL, what’s your point?

  • Grace

    246 – That Guy March 22, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    “I find myself leaning more and more toward becoming Lutheran and I was curious if there is a cache of books such as what the Puritans put out and is now in the Puritan Paperback or Sola Deo Gloria publishing that is akin to Lutheran.”

    OK Mr. That Guy, you posted the identical post earlier on: “Maybe Christians aren’t so bad after all”

    “56 That Guy March 22, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    I find myself leaning more and more toward becoming Lutheran and I was curious if there is a cache of books such as what the Puritans put out and is now in the Puritan Paperback or Sola Deo Gloria publishing that is Lutheran.”

    http://www.geneveith.com/2011/03/22/maybe-christians-arent-so-bad-after-all/#comment-110901

    LOL, what’s your point?

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    That Guy@246
    I don’t know of such a series out now. But as has been discussed earlier, Lutheranism is more centered on its Confessions, so reading those is the best way to find out what it is. The Augsburg Confession, the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, and the Small Catechism are good ways to get your bearings (available free online, or get a copy of The Book of Concord where the Lutheran Confessions are collected together). I’d also suggest Martin Luther’s Basic Theological Writings edited by Timothy Lull, which gives a good Luther collection in one volume. C.F.W. Walther’s The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel should also be an early read in your trek. I also found an old paperback Living By Grace by William Hordern to be helpful.

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    That Guy@246
    I don’t know of such a series out now. But as has been discussed earlier, Lutheranism is more centered on its Confessions, so reading those is the best way to find out what it is. The Augsburg Confession, the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, and the Small Catechism are good ways to get your bearings (available free online, or get a copy of The Book of Concord where the Lutheran Confessions are collected together). I’d also suggest Martin Luther’s Basic Theological Writings edited by Timothy Lull, which gives a good Luther collection in one volume. C.F.W. Walther’s The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel should also be an early read in your trek. I also found an old paperback Living By Grace by William Hordern to be helpful.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    That Guy@246

    Our gracious host, Dr. Veith has an intro to Lutheranism entitled ‘The Spirituality of the Cross’ which is an excellent book and a relatively short read. Daniel Preus’s ‘Why I am a Lutheran: Jesus at the Center’ is also pretty good and was helpful to my wife.

    You can get a paperback copy of the Lutheran Confessions from Concordia Publishing House, or over at New Reformation Press. Contact me at New Reformation Press and I will hook you up with a Small Catechism and some other stuff if you would like.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    That Guy@246

    Our gracious host, Dr. Veith has an intro to Lutheranism entitled ‘The Spirituality of the Cross’ which is an excellent book and a relatively short read. Daniel Preus’s ‘Why I am a Lutheran: Jesus at the Center’ is also pretty good and was helpful to my wife.

    You can get a paperback copy of the Lutheran Confessions from Concordia Publishing House, or over at New Reformation Press. Contact me at New Reformation Press and I will hook you up with a Small Catechism and some other stuff if you would like.

  • http://www.myspace.com/lutherman3821 John Yeazel

    Stephen,

    I would agree with you in regards to Reformed Baptists, aka., Piper. That’s exactly what Darryl Hart was talking about. The only thing left I have to say is read Scott Clark’s paper on justification (which was published in Concordia Colleges theological journal -Ft. Wayne, Indiana). I know there are critical differences between Calvinism and Lutheranism. Many of these difference, however, are caricatures, misrepresentations and misinterpretations- especially from the Lutheran side. We do not seem to be communicating. Some Calvinists would tell you that they do not base their Gospel on experience or rationalism. Or, that they start with the sovereignty of God and do not know how to distinguish the Law and the Gospel. Scott Clark told me that. Again, read his paper.

  • http://www.myspace.com/lutherman3821 John Yeazel

    Stephen,

    I would agree with you in regards to Reformed Baptists, aka., Piper. That’s exactly what Darryl Hart was talking about. The only thing left I have to say is read Scott Clark’s paper on justification (which was published in Concordia Colleges theological journal -Ft. Wayne, Indiana). I know there are critical differences between Calvinism and Lutheranism. Many of these difference, however, are caricatures, misrepresentations and misinterpretations- especially from the Lutheran side. We do not seem to be communicating. Some Calvinists would tell you that they do not base their Gospel on experience or rationalism. Or, that they start with the sovereignty of God and do not know how to distinguish the Law and the Gospel. Scott Clark told me that. Again, read his paper.

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    Stephen @ 247,
    A Calvinist that demands you accept Jesus into your heart and get yourself rebaptized?! That is NOT a Calvinist.
    @ That Guy. Read the Book of Concord. It totally rocks…..

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    Stephen @ 247,
    A Calvinist that demands you accept Jesus into your heart and get yourself rebaptized?! That is NOT a Calvinist.
    @ That Guy. Read the Book of Concord. It totally rocks…..

  • That Guy

    Grace@248

    very good….I just posted in wrong topic discussion “Maybe Christians aren’t so bad after all”

    and my point is, hmm, I don’t know, did you read the post…maybe I am trying to find some books between the Reformation and 20th century as there appears to be a Lutheran dearth unlike the never ending writers in the vein of English Puritanism….like it says…I am looking for some books

  • That Guy

    Grace@248

    very good….I just posted in wrong topic discussion “Maybe Christians aren’t so bad after all”

    and my point is, hmm, I don’t know, did you read the post…maybe I am trying to find some books between the Reformation and 20th century as there appears to be a Lutheran dearth unlike the never ending writers in the vein of English Puritanism….like it says…I am looking for some books

  • Stephen

    Now I am confused. So if a Baptist talks about “yielding to God’s sovereignty” and that I need to accept Jesus into my heart they aren’t a Calvinist, but some guy who writes a paper and does not start with the sovereignty of God to do his Calvinist theology he’s a real Calvinist? What about the actual John Calvin? Like I said, sounds like it is all over the road. If I am making a caricature, can you blame me? But as far as I know, I’m actually going by what Calvinism purports to teach from John Calvin. Sounds like you are telling me that one paper is going to set me straight and that just seems ridiculous. No offense, but I have read a lot. Seems like you ought to send me to the Institutes to get things right. I’ve yet to hear what I have stated specifically about Calvinism that is incorrect or a caricature.

  • Stephen

    Now I am confused. So if a Baptist talks about “yielding to God’s sovereignty” and that I need to accept Jesus into my heart they aren’t a Calvinist, but some guy who writes a paper and does not start with the sovereignty of God to do his Calvinist theology he’s a real Calvinist? What about the actual John Calvin? Like I said, sounds like it is all over the road. If I am making a caricature, can you blame me? But as far as I know, I’m actually going by what Calvinism purports to teach from John Calvin. Sounds like you are telling me that one paper is going to set me straight and that just seems ridiculous. No offense, but I have read a lot. Seems like you ought to send me to the Institutes to get things right. I’ve yet to hear what I have stated specifically about Calvinism that is incorrect or a caricature.

  • larry

    Rick,

    This,

    “I wanted to read my way into Lutheranism, I did not read the confessions. I picked up the dogmatics books and books by theologians. Why? That’s what a Reformed person would do to find out about Calvinism”,

    is a great point. That’s exactly how it happened for me too, because as you say that’s how one is taught to learn the doctrine.

  • larry

    Rick,

    This,

    “I wanted to read my way into Lutheranism, I did not read the confessions. I picked up the dogmatics books and books by theologians. Why? That’s what a Reformed person would do to find out about Calvinism”,

    is a great point. That’s exactly how it happened for me too, because as you say that’s how one is taught to learn the doctrine.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    John @ 251

    JOHN “The only thing left I have to say is read Scott Clark’s paper on justification (which was published in Concordia Colleges theological journal -Ft. Wayne, Indiana).”

    FWS Is this online somewhere John? I would love to read it. Seriously so.

    JOHN ” I know there are critical differences between Calvinism and Lutheranism.”

    FWS John, what you are saying to us is that there is NO difference in the “critical” (ie essential?) points of the christian faith between “calvinist’ churches and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Augsburg Confession.

    If Lutherans believed that , they would refuse to burden consciences with any differences with the “reformed ” churches. In that case, to argue with the “reformed” would be sinful John. I think this is the point you are making. Am I right my dear and Lutheran brother?

    If there truly are no differences as to Justification by Faith, Christology, etc, than all the Lutherans here, including me and Steve, really need to agree with you in that case. In that case there is nothing between the Lutheran Church and the “reformed ” churches that would be unsinful to divide us. We should aim to unite in every way in that case John. To stir divisions over adiaphoron and non-essentials is exactly to sin.

    Now on the other hand, for someone to say that they believe the truth, which is what the Evangelical Lutheran Church teaches in it´s Confessions, when they do not, and to remain separate, is also a sin. In that case, those “reformed” believers should aim to unite with the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

    On what basis would that happen then? Based on the private writings of one man named Scott Clark? Or maybe Eugene Peterson or CS Lewis or ?? Or would we go to the “reformed” confessions of faith? Or Calvin´s “Institutes”? Or Luther´s private writings maybe? Especially Luther´s earlier stuff where he was still an Augustinian like Calvin remained like “Bondage of the Will”?

    In that case we know that there is most definately, and very unfortunately, not agreement on Justification and on Christology. Those documents (except for Luther´s) all locate Adamic Original Righeousness and the Image of God as being divinely revealed in the Law of God. This is also what Rome believes. It is aristotle´s ideas baptized into the church by adding that the HS is necessary for this restoration. It is a return to those things by a re-conformity or re-condition-ing to what? To the Law of God. The Gospel then ultimately serves the Law.

    Even our dear Lord Christ is bound by the Law or “God´s Ordinance” found in Natural Law, at least in terms that his body , to be human, simply cannot be in more than one place at any time.

    Lutherans find the Image of God and Adamic Original Righeousness in Faith Alone in Christ Alone. How do you suggest that we bridge this difference my dear mild and gentle and irenic Lutheran brother John?

    Here is the way a former Lutheran pastor of mine put this Essential and Lutheran belief, in reflecting on the epistle for last sunday Romans 4:

    1. Adam before the Fall was made in the image and likeness of God, that is, he perfectly reflected the Word into the Creation. In other words, he was faithful, that is full of faith , in the Word.
    2. Since God counted the faith of Abraham as righteousness (Romans 4), faith IS righteousness coram Deo.
    3. Therefore, to come to faith in the Promise (Christ) is to have the image of God restored.
    4. Unbelief is not simply the absence of faith, but it is false faith, that is, trust in something other than the Promise (Christ) and is therefore the source of all manner of lusts and evil (what we call concupiscence).

    JOHN Many of these difference, however, are caricatures, misrepresentations and misinterpretations- especially from the Lutheran side. We do not seem to be communicating.

    FWS You seem to be saying here John (correct me if I am wrong), that Lutherans are painting “reformed” with too broad a brush. You are saying that even if the “reformed” confessionS, and Calvin have a different Christology and a different Justification , there are still men who claim the “reformed ” label who agree fully with Lutherans on these two things, and therefore reject the “reformed” confessionS and Calvin on these essential core doctrines. Ok. In that case they are Lutherans. Why do they still remain separate from us?

    JOHN Some Calvinists would tell you that they do not base their Gospel on experience or rationalism.

    FWS Ok. I agree that there are MANY Calvinists who are not only adamant about this, they are also articulate about this in a way that would put most all Lutherans to shame. Yet they still locate Original Righeousness and the Image of God as being revealed in the revealed Law of God. They do not locate this thing in Christ. Or if they do, they do not locate it alone in Christ. That is a huge problem .

    JOHN Or, that they start with the sovereignty of God and do not know how to distinguish the Law and the Gospel. Scott Clark told me that. Again, read his paper.

    FWS Again, is there a place where I can read his paper online? I would love to read it. Is there someone else ?

    Suggestion for you:

    Reread the Small Catechism. See if what is written there could be true if Luther located the return to God´s Image and Adamic Righeousness in anything other than alone faith alone in Christ? You will see a sharp Law /Gospel distinction there as to what Baptism “gives, delivers from and works” versus what? The Law: what Baptism signifies or predicates. It is is critical to understand how Baptism, which for a Lutheran is Law as to our doing it, binds up both the Gospel and the Law in that single thing.

    Then read that other man you offered on Baptism and see where he locates those things in Baptism. Try reading your reformed authors and see what they propose is the revelation or picture of Image of God and Original Righeousness Restored. You will find it is always a reconformity or restoration of Man to the Law. Always always. That is the end point.

    And for Lutherans the Divine Revelation if the Image of God and Adamic Original Righeousness will be found alone in the Incarnate Christ. And this is alone.

    The Law reveals God´s Eternal Will. It does not reveal God´s Image in any way. Not natural Law, not reason/conscience, and not the Decalog.

    Bless you John +

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    John @ 251

    JOHN “The only thing left I have to say is read Scott Clark’s paper on justification (which was published in Concordia Colleges theological journal -Ft. Wayne, Indiana).”

    FWS Is this online somewhere John? I would love to read it. Seriously so.

    JOHN ” I know there are critical differences between Calvinism and Lutheranism.”

    FWS John, what you are saying to us is that there is NO difference in the “critical” (ie essential?) points of the christian faith between “calvinist’ churches and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Augsburg Confession.

    If Lutherans believed that , they would refuse to burden consciences with any differences with the “reformed ” churches. In that case, to argue with the “reformed” would be sinful John. I think this is the point you are making. Am I right my dear and Lutheran brother?

    If there truly are no differences as to Justification by Faith, Christology, etc, than all the Lutherans here, including me and Steve, really need to agree with you in that case. In that case there is nothing between the Lutheran Church and the “reformed ” churches that would be unsinful to divide us. We should aim to unite in every way in that case John. To stir divisions over adiaphoron and non-essentials is exactly to sin.

    Now on the other hand, for someone to say that they believe the truth, which is what the Evangelical Lutheran Church teaches in it´s Confessions, when they do not, and to remain separate, is also a sin. In that case, those “reformed” believers should aim to unite with the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

    On what basis would that happen then? Based on the private writings of one man named Scott Clark? Or maybe Eugene Peterson or CS Lewis or ?? Or would we go to the “reformed” confessions of faith? Or Calvin´s “Institutes”? Or Luther´s private writings maybe? Especially Luther´s earlier stuff where he was still an Augustinian like Calvin remained like “Bondage of the Will”?

    In that case we know that there is most definately, and very unfortunately, not agreement on Justification and on Christology. Those documents (except for Luther´s) all locate Adamic Original Righeousness and the Image of God as being divinely revealed in the Law of God. This is also what Rome believes. It is aristotle´s ideas baptized into the church by adding that the HS is necessary for this restoration. It is a return to those things by a re-conformity or re-condition-ing to what? To the Law of God. The Gospel then ultimately serves the Law.

    Even our dear Lord Christ is bound by the Law or “God´s Ordinance” found in Natural Law, at least in terms that his body , to be human, simply cannot be in more than one place at any time.

    Lutherans find the Image of God and Adamic Original Righeousness in Faith Alone in Christ Alone. How do you suggest that we bridge this difference my dear mild and gentle and irenic Lutheran brother John?

    Here is the way a former Lutheran pastor of mine put this Essential and Lutheran belief, in reflecting on the epistle for last sunday Romans 4:

    1. Adam before the Fall was made in the image and likeness of God, that is, he perfectly reflected the Word into the Creation. In other words, he was faithful, that is full of faith , in the Word.
    2. Since God counted the faith of Abraham as righteousness (Romans 4), faith IS righteousness coram Deo.
    3. Therefore, to come to faith in the Promise (Christ) is to have the image of God restored.
    4. Unbelief is not simply the absence of faith, but it is false faith, that is, trust in something other than the Promise (Christ) and is therefore the source of all manner of lusts and evil (what we call concupiscence).

    JOHN Many of these difference, however, are caricatures, misrepresentations and misinterpretations- especially from the Lutheran side. We do not seem to be communicating.

    FWS You seem to be saying here John (correct me if I am wrong), that Lutherans are painting “reformed” with too broad a brush. You are saying that even if the “reformed” confessionS, and Calvin have a different Christology and a different Justification , there are still men who claim the “reformed ” label who agree fully with Lutherans on these two things, and therefore reject the “reformed” confessionS and Calvin on these essential core doctrines. Ok. In that case they are Lutherans. Why do they still remain separate from us?

    JOHN Some Calvinists would tell you that they do not base their Gospel on experience or rationalism.

    FWS Ok. I agree that there are MANY Calvinists who are not only adamant about this, they are also articulate about this in a way that would put most all Lutherans to shame. Yet they still locate Original Righeousness and the Image of God as being revealed in the revealed Law of God. They do not locate this thing in Christ. Or if they do, they do not locate it alone in Christ. That is a huge problem .

    JOHN Or, that they start with the sovereignty of God and do not know how to distinguish the Law and the Gospel. Scott Clark told me that. Again, read his paper.

    FWS Again, is there a place where I can read his paper online? I would love to read it. Is there someone else ?

    Suggestion for you:

    Reread the Small Catechism. See if what is written there could be true if Luther located the return to God´s Image and Adamic Righeousness in anything other than alone faith alone in Christ? You will see a sharp Law /Gospel distinction there as to what Baptism “gives, delivers from and works” versus what? The Law: what Baptism signifies or predicates. It is is critical to understand how Baptism, which for a Lutheran is Law as to our doing it, binds up both the Gospel and the Law in that single thing.

    Then read that other man you offered on Baptism and see where he locates those things in Baptism. Try reading your reformed authors and see what they propose is the revelation or picture of Image of God and Original Righeousness Restored. You will find it is always a reconformity or restoration of Man to the Law. Always always. That is the end point.

    And for Lutherans the Divine Revelation if the Image of God and Adamic Original Righeousness will be found alone in the Incarnate Christ. And this is alone.

    The Law reveals God´s Eternal Will. It does not reveal God´s Image in any way. Not natural Law, not reason/conscience, and not the Decalog.

    Bless you John +

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    John @ 251

    If there is no difference in the Essentials John, then by what moral right do Lutherans stand apart from our reformed brothers?

    There is no justification for our standing apart in that case John. That would be sin. It would be wrong. In that case Lutherans need to repent and unite with the reformed, or at least with some of them and call themselve “reformed” rather than Lutheran.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    John @ 251

    If there is no difference in the Essentials John, then by what moral right do Lutherans stand apart from our reformed brothers?

    There is no justification for our standing apart in that case John. That would be sin. It would be wrong. In that case Lutherans need to repent and unite with the reformed, or at least with some of them and call themselve “reformed” rather than Lutheran.

  • Stephen

    That Guy

    Read Gerhard Forde’s “On Being a Theologian of the Cross: Reflections on Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation” to understand Lutheranism from a contemporary source. Get a Small and Large Catechism, and yes, study the Book of Concord which is online. Also look into Franz Pieper and Walther. There are links to some of their papers on Wikipedia pages. For other sources, Pastor Harrison, president of the LCMS, posts good stuff here:

    http://mercyjourney.blogspot.com/

    And don’t forget to read Luther. Look for his “Three Treatises” in a used book store – red cover, paperback, cheap. There is also a volume called “What Luther Says” from cph.org with lots of great stuff in it on all kinds of topics. I’d recommend that as a beginning volume to get started with.

  • Stephen

    That Guy

    Read Gerhard Forde’s “On Being a Theologian of the Cross: Reflections on Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation” to understand Lutheranism from a contemporary source. Get a Small and Large Catechism, and yes, study the Book of Concord which is online. Also look into Franz Pieper and Walther. There are links to some of their papers on Wikipedia pages. For other sources, Pastor Harrison, president of the LCMS, posts good stuff here:

    http://mercyjourney.blogspot.com/

    And don’t forget to read Luther. Look for his “Three Treatises” in a used book store – red cover, paperback, cheap. There is also a volume called “What Luther Says” from cph.org with lots of great stuff in it on all kinds of topics. I’d recommend that as a beginning volume to get started with.

  • larry

    Frank,

    And that too is essential and the way it was for me. I did approach Lutheranism reading the theologians first as Rick says because “that’s what your taught” in Reformed circles. But just as crucial is discovering (1) there are differences and (2) these differences are essential and (3) by essential we mean heresy, false, from the evil one are these differences.

    Without that one will attempt to “squint their eyes” forever blurring the doctrines saying, ‘I don’t see the differences’. I tried to “marry up” the differences for several years (e.g. mode versus real body/blood, what’s the big deal I said!).

    Because if the differences are NOT essential then not only would a Lutheran be PURELY sectarian but so would a Reformed separating from a Baptist…etc. That would be a great sin and true sectarianism of the highest order.

    Larry

  • larry

    Frank,

    And that too is essential and the way it was for me. I did approach Lutheranism reading the theologians first as Rick says because “that’s what your taught” in Reformed circles. But just as crucial is discovering (1) there are differences and (2) these differences are essential and (3) by essential we mean heresy, false, from the evil one are these differences.

    Without that one will attempt to “squint their eyes” forever blurring the doctrines saying, ‘I don’t see the differences’. I tried to “marry up” the differences for several years (e.g. mode versus real body/blood, what’s the big deal I said!).

    Because if the differences are NOT essential then not only would a Lutheran be PURELY sectarian but so would a Reformed separating from a Baptist…etc. That would be a great sin and true sectarianism of the highest order.

    Larry

  • larry

    I think there’s a good differentiation in what both Frank and Rick are pointing out:

    One is the “method of how” a reformed approaches learning and investigating, and it is as Rick said. Having been there myself I can affirm that. Confessions are not often the first thing to go to. And this presumes one is wishing to learn the difference, why its significant, and then ‘what/which is true’.

    On the other hand, the confessions do really speak to the principle issues being discussed. There is in American religion, and that includes Lutherans too, a general indolence toward confessions in general and this experienced across denominational spectrums.

    The key is to honestly ask “why X” is essentially different and not just a thing of indifference. Even under the correct definition of adiaphora an adiaphora can become an essential issue that binds and leads to hell. Adiaphora itself is not just things not commanded, but anything controversal that has to do with eternal consequences. I.e. if we are in controversy about a thing, that is normally adiaphora, then it is no longer adiaphora. But rather the controversy has arisen that this has eternal consequences and as such this begins to hide the Gospel and means of Grace (Word and Sacrament) and thus a spiritually deadly thing.

    And that’s otherwise adiaphora, much less are actual articles of faith more/less non-essential. And again “essential” means soul murdering issues, not just “I’d rather have blue carpet than black”.

  • larry

    I think there’s a good differentiation in what both Frank and Rick are pointing out:

    One is the “method of how” a reformed approaches learning and investigating, and it is as Rick said. Having been there myself I can affirm that. Confessions are not often the first thing to go to. And this presumes one is wishing to learn the difference, why its significant, and then ‘what/which is true’.

    On the other hand, the confessions do really speak to the principle issues being discussed. There is in American religion, and that includes Lutherans too, a general indolence toward confessions in general and this experienced across denominational spectrums.

    The key is to honestly ask “why X” is essentially different and not just a thing of indifference. Even under the correct definition of adiaphora an adiaphora can become an essential issue that binds and leads to hell. Adiaphora itself is not just things not commanded, but anything controversal that has to do with eternal consequences. I.e. if we are in controversy about a thing, that is normally adiaphora, then it is no longer adiaphora. But rather the controversy has arisen that this has eternal consequences and as such this begins to hide the Gospel and means of Grace (Word and Sacrament) and thus a spiritually deadly thing.

    And that’s otherwise adiaphora, much less are actual articles of faith more/less non-essential. And again “essential” means soul murdering issues, not just “I’d rather have blue carpet than black”.

  • katy

    I’m going to stand up for the Reformed Baptists here (not their doctrine, but the charge that they are not really Calvinists in the broad sense). It seems that while Lutherans are getting a beating for creating caricatures of Presbyterians, we’re dismissing RB without even drawing a caricature.

    The differences:
    It is true, that if you read Calvin thoroughly and carefully (and do not disagree with him), you will not remain Baptist. A few at my in-laws church have done this, and left when an OPC church opened in our town. You can read the RB confession (London [Particular] Baptist Confession 1689) here:http://www.vor.org/truth/1689/1689bc00.html. Compare with Calvin’s writings/other Reformed confessions.

    The pastor who married me and my husband has started a daughter church a few hours away (supported by my inlaws’ church); he was pushed out of the mother church because of his leaning toward Presbyterian doctrine and Hortonesque practice (high view of the office, preaching the GOSPEL,dividing law and gospel, emphasis on creeds). The differences between Presby and RB clearly go much further than just paedo vs. credo baptism, church polity, and liturgy. But can one say RB are not Calvinist, or don’t believe/confess doctrines Calvin espoused? It is really unfair to lump them into EV Free/charismatic/Fundy camps, or dismiss them as altogether not “Calvinist.” Besides the OPC church, my inlaws’ church is probably the best Protestant church in town (as far as remaining faithful to their confessions and ever teaching any “by grace through faith”, etc.).

    I am very sympathetic toward Presbyterians who want to be aligned with Lutherans over-and-against their Baptist brethren. I am frustrated by the emphasis on appearance (liturgy, etc.) over doctrine (the solas) when RBers feel more comfortable with charismatics than us (not worshiping with, just general conversation).

    Lutheran interpretation of Calvinists:
    I have read the Institutes, Owen, Pink, Spurgeon, Sproul, Ryle (great arguments in his Gospel commentary contra particular atonement…in fact, he convinced me it was unbiblical), Tozer, Hodge, and Lloyd-Jones. (BTW, they are not keen on Piper.) I do not know Paleo-Reformed/Presbyterian opinions of these writers, other than Calvin, but I have come to the conclusion (both before and since I’ve converted to Augsburg) that Lutherans have a pretty good handle on what Calvinists confess of the Scriptures (broadly speaking), and their practical emphases. There is a difference, as someone stated earlier, between SOME Calvinists and Calvinism.

    Yes, the problem is oversimplifying and overgeneralizing (grouping everyone together). You know how we get annoyed when some general Baptist thinks all Lutherans have the ELCA diseases? Or, “Oh. You’re Lutheran” means “You’re Catholic” or “You’re Liberal” or “You don’t actually believe anything Luther taught, whereas MY church…”? Calvinists feel the same way when we lump Dutch-C’s, English Puritans, Arminians, and JW’s under the umbrella “CALVIN”, even if there are traceable relationships. They are not all in communion for a reason. But I’m not sure Lutheran claims over and against Calvinism are all caricatures. Most, if not all, Calvinists do start with God’s Sovereignty, and they are most eager to protect it and His Glory. The original post was Hart saying, “hey, maybe Lutherans understand the unfathomable Glory of God as God intends (hidden and only in the inglorious cross).” Not, “Calvin thought this, too.” (Although maybe he did, I don’t know.)

    Mr. Yeazel, when I first read your summary of Fesko’s argument that Luther did not teach regenerative baptism, I assumed two things (1) a different–I would say more common–definition of regeneration, which is key. (2) That Fesko only argues from Luther, and not the Confessions, which now I see per your conversation with Frank, does not seem to be the case. As you know, Lutherans formally confess Concordia, not Luther’s writings (however helpful they are).

    Again, we can all rejoice that confessional Calvinists (and Lutherans!) are returning to an emphasis on Who atoned for and covers our sins. We still disagree with the pastor who married us on some serious, fundamental issues, BUT my husband and I are very happy that his congregation is hearing the Gospel. The Word of God does not return void (even in Calvinist churches).

    —————————————————————
    For a good illustration of how creeds and confessions are important (not that anyone here really thinks they aren’t), see Krauth’s A Conservative Reformation. He also touches on how we must distinguish between confessions, or we really will become sectarian (as Larry said). The book is long, and he uses 19th century exaggeration/flourishing (one memorable line, taken out of context, is “The Germans are the most moral people on the earth,” or something hilarious like that), but it’s a good book to learn about American Lutheranism and our struggle against all the sects that flourished on our soil.
    —————————————————————-
    @That Guy: A good novel that helped me understand Reformation theology was The Hammer of God
    —————————————————————-
    All the guys: Be kind and gentle with Grace, for she is a lady, you know.
    ____________________________________
    And now, here is Horton and (F)Lloyd-Jones jamming together. Lutherans have nothing on those guys ;)

  • katy

    I’m going to stand up for the Reformed Baptists here (not their doctrine, but the charge that they are not really Calvinists in the broad sense). It seems that while Lutherans are getting a beating for creating caricatures of Presbyterians, we’re dismissing RB without even drawing a caricature.

    The differences:
    It is true, that if you read Calvin thoroughly and carefully (and do not disagree with him), you will not remain Baptist. A few at my in-laws church have done this, and left when an OPC church opened in our town. You can read the RB confession (London [Particular] Baptist Confession 1689) here:http://www.vor.org/truth/1689/1689bc00.html. Compare with Calvin’s writings/other Reformed confessions.

    The pastor who married me and my husband has started a daughter church a few hours away (supported by my inlaws’ church); he was pushed out of the mother church because of his leaning toward Presbyterian doctrine and Hortonesque practice (high view of the office, preaching the GOSPEL,dividing law and gospel, emphasis on creeds). The differences between Presby and RB clearly go much further than just paedo vs. credo baptism, church polity, and liturgy. But can one say RB are not Calvinist, or don’t believe/confess doctrines Calvin espoused? It is really unfair to lump them into EV Free/charismatic/Fundy camps, or dismiss them as altogether not “Calvinist.” Besides the OPC church, my inlaws’ church is probably the best Protestant church in town (as far as remaining faithful to their confessions and ever teaching any “by grace through faith”, etc.).

    I am very sympathetic toward Presbyterians who want to be aligned with Lutherans over-and-against their Baptist brethren. I am frustrated by the emphasis on appearance (liturgy, etc.) over doctrine (the solas) when RBers feel more comfortable with charismatics than us (not worshiping with, just general conversation).

    Lutheran interpretation of Calvinists:
    I have read the Institutes, Owen, Pink, Spurgeon, Sproul, Ryle (great arguments in his Gospel commentary contra particular atonement…in fact, he convinced me it was unbiblical), Tozer, Hodge, and Lloyd-Jones. (BTW, they are not keen on Piper.) I do not know Paleo-Reformed/Presbyterian opinions of these writers, other than Calvin, but I have come to the conclusion (both before and since I’ve converted to Augsburg) that Lutherans have a pretty good handle on what Calvinists confess of the Scriptures (broadly speaking), and their practical emphases. There is a difference, as someone stated earlier, between SOME Calvinists and Calvinism.

    Yes, the problem is oversimplifying and overgeneralizing (grouping everyone together). You know how we get annoyed when some general Baptist thinks all Lutherans have the ELCA diseases? Or, “Oh. You’re Lutheran” means “You’re Catholic” or “You’re Liberal” or “You don’t actually believe anything Luther taught, whereas MY church…”? Calvinists feel the same way when we lump Dutch-C’s, English Puritans, Arminians, and JW’s under the umbrella “CALVIN”, even if there are traceable relationships. They are not all in communion for a reason. But I’m not sure Lutheran claims over and against Calvinism are all caricatures. Most, if not all, Calvinists do start with God’s Sovereignty, and they are most eager to protect it and His Glory. The original post was Hart saying, “hey, maybe Lutherans understand the unfathomable Glory of God as God intends (hidden and only in the inglorious cross).” Not, “Calvin thought this, too.” (Although maybe he did, I don’t know.)

    Mr. Yeazel, when I first read your summary of Fesko’s argument that Luther did not teach regenerative baptism, I assumed two things (1) a different–I would say more common–definition of regeneration, which is key. (2) That Fesko only argues from Luther, and not the Confessions, which now I see per your conversation with Frank, does not seem to be the case. As you know, Lutherans formally confess Concordia, not Luther’s writings (however helpful they are).

    Again, we can all rejoice that confessional Calvinists (and Lutherans!) are returning to an emphasis on Who atoned for and covers our sins. We still disagree with the pastor who married us on some serious, fundamental issues, BUT my husband and I are very happy that his congregation is hearing the Gospel. The Word of God does not return void (even in Calvinist churches).

    —————————————————————
    For a good illustration of how creeds and confessions are important (not that anyone here really thinks they aren’t), see Krauth’s A Conservative Reformation. He also touches on how we must distinguish between confessions, or we really will become sectarian (as Larry said). The book is long, and he uses 19th century exaggeration/flourishing (one memorable line, taken out of context, is “The Germans are the most moral people on the earth,” or something hilarious like that), but it’s a good book to learn about American Lutheranism and our struggle against all the sects that flourished on our soil.
    —————————————————————-
    @That Guy: A good novel that helped me understand Reformation theology was The Hammer of God
    —————————————————————-
    All the guys: Be kind and gentle with Grace, for she is a lady, you know.
    ____________________________________
    And now, here is Horton and (F)Lloyd-Jones jamming together. Lutherans have nothing on those guys ;)

  • kerner

    katy:

    That was an extraordinarily interesting and instructive comment. And good blues music. thank you.

  • kerner

    katy:

    That was an extraordinarily interesting and instructive comment. And good blues music. thank you.

  • Larry

    Very nicely laid out Katy.

    I ran the gammitt from Baptist to Calvinist/Reformed Baptist to Reformed PCA and that’s one thing that’s confusing.

    From a Lutheran point of view, usually a “grown up Lutheran” (and I don’t mean that derogatorily but experimentally), Lutherans generally are taught, and rightly, that Reformed means Calvin AND Arminius, “R”eformed (as in WCF, HCF, Dort) AND Baptist, etc…

    That’s accurate from a theology of Glory versus theology of the Cross point of view, accurate in what the sacraments in those camps (ordinances per Baptist lingo) actually eventually mean. That’s why sometimes you hear “Calvin” was really like Zwingli on the LS. Well, yes in the grand scheme of the doctrine that’s true. In a way, the Baptist are the logical extension of Calvin and a Reformed Baptist would be accurate in saying, “we are more Calvinistic than the Reformed”…in a way because it’s the logical conclusion or more overt expression of Reformed. That’s especially true when the TREND is in the Owenian Calvinist direction.

    But when the TREND is back toward early Calvin, he seemed more “Lutheresque” and trending backwards toward Luther, the more continental Calvinist, then the Reformed “seem” Lutheran like and get labeled by the Puritan/Owenian Calvinist as “crypto-lutherans”, I’ve heard it NUMEROUS times and went through that myself. E.g the Piperish, MacArthurish, Sproulish Calvinist don’t so warm up to the California WCS Reformed. In fact one will find, like our former PCA Piper and Puritan writings in the church but a NOTICABLE (ZERO) of the works of Dr. Horton and such (and just try introducing that into such a Reformed church and see what happens).

    So there’s sort of that TREND, either trending Owenian and Reformed Baptist or trending BACKWARDS towards earlier Calvin.

    The former (Owenian/Baptist) trend gets less and less even remotely sacramental (and more works righteous with less and less L/G in the least since, while the later begins to trend more and more L/G and somewhat sacramental. The former then accuse and impugn, in house, the later as “crypto-lutherans” at length.

  • Larry

    Very nicely laid out Katy.

    I ran the gammitt from Baptist to Calvinist/Reformed Baptist to Reformed PCA and that’s one thing that’s confusing.

    From a Lutheran point of view, usually a “grown up Lutheran” (and I don’t mean that derogatorily but experimentally), Lutherans generally are taught, and rightly, that Reformed means Calvin AND Arminius, “R”eformed (as in WCF, HCF, Dort) AND Baptist, etc…

    That’s accurate from a theology of Glory versus theology of the Cross point of view, accurate in what the sacraments in those camps (ordinances per Baptist lingo) actually eventually mean. That’s why sometimes you hear “Calvin” was really like Zwingli on the LS. Well, yes in the grand scheme of the doctrine that’s true. In a way, the Baptist are the logical extension of Calvin and a Reformed Baptist would be accurate in saying, “we are more Calvinistic than the Reformed”…in a way because it’s the logical conclusion or more overt expression of Reformed. That’s especially true when the TREND is in the Owenian Calvinist direction.

    But when the TREND is back toward early Calvin, he seemed more “Lutheresque” and trending backwards toward Luther, the more continental Calvinist, then the Reformed “seem” Lutheran like and get labeled by the Puritan/Owenian Calvinist as “crypto-lutherans”, I’ve heard it NUMEROUS times and went through that myself. E.g the Piperish, MacArthurish, Sproulish Calvinist don’t so warm up to the California WCS Reformed. In fact one will find, like our former PCA Piper and Puritan writings in the church but a NOTICABLE (ZERO) of the works of Dr. Horton and such (and just try introducing that into such a Reformed church and see what happens).

    So there’s sort of that TREND, either trending Owenian and Reformed Baptist or trending BACKWARDS towards earlier Calvin.

    The former (Owenian/Baptist) trend gets less and less even remotely sacramental (and more works righteous with less and less L/G in the least since, while the later begins to trend more and more L/G and somewhat sacramental. The former then accuse and impugn, in house, the later as “crypto-lutherans” at length.

  • Stephen

    Well Katy you would make a good pastor . . . er uh . . . seminary professor, um, I mean, oh never mind.

    But I do know of a smokin’ Lutheran bluesman. We grew up together. He was in my brother’s confirmation class and we used to jam together. Here he is jamming with Jimmie Vaughn exactly a year ago. He’s the organ player obscured in the dark corner of this video who solos at the beginning – Mike Flanigin.

  • Stephen

    Well Katy you would make a good pastor . . . er uh . . . seminary professor, um, I mean, oh never mind.

    But I do know of a smokin’ Lutheran bluesman. We grew up together. He was in my brother’s confirmation class and we used to jam together. Here he is jamming with Jimmie Vaughn exactly a year ago. He’s the organ player obscured in the dark corner of this video who solos at the beginning – Mike Flanigin.

  • http://www.myspace.com/lutherman3821 John Yeazel

    Sorry guys I’m going to wimp out and cater to Katy- the “gentle and irenic” spirit that I am. Actually, I would like to comment but am so busy with work, etc. that it would take too much of my time to answer you guys thoroughly right now. I did read the comments. And I would say that with some Calvinists we are close enough to unite together with some day if we could hash out a few things. I know I am not being specific but I am doing that on purpose.

    I cannot find that paper by Clark that I read a couple of years ago. I know he would download it for you if you google Westminster Seminary California and go to his emal or how to contact him. He downloaded it for me. I think he posted it at his Heidelblog web site. You can probably find it in the archives there. I think he has some kind of search engine at the site. Just search for articles on the doctrine of justification by faith alone. The one published in Concordia Theological Journal (probably 5 to 10 years ago).

    If I somehow find the time to answer you guys in the near future I will. I certainly am impressed with your understanding and insight into the issues between Calvinists and Lutherans. That is a topic I am interested in and some of you guys here know a lot about the differences. It is not easy to always understand what each group is articulating clearly and as I have stated ad infinitum we often misinterpret and misrepresent each other. That is why I would want to write a careful and accurate response which would take lots of time to do properly. I will be checking in though and will try to formulate a thorough response in the future. You can always find me at Darryl Hart’s website- that is the blog I frequent the most. He has a lot of thought provoking posts at his site. I am glad I happened to stop by here. You guys are a good source for understanding our Confessions better.

    It’s good to know you know the Blues too and even have a sense of humor.

  • http://www.myspace.com/lutherman3821 John Yeazel

    Sorry guys I’m going to wimp out and cater to Katy- the “gentle and irenic” spirit that I am. Actually, I would like to comment but am so busy with work, etc. that it would take too much of my time to answer you guys thoroughly right now. I did read the comments. And I would say that with some Calvinists we are close enough to unite together with some day if we could hash out a few things. I know I am not being specific but I am doing that on purpose.

    I cannot find that paper by Clark that I read a couple of years ago. I know he would download it for you if you google Westminster Seminary California and go to his emal or how to contact him. He downloaded it for me. I think he posted it at his Heidelblog web site. You can probably find it in the archives there. I think he has some kind of search engine at the site. Just search for articles on the doctrine of justification by faith alone. The one published in Concordia Theological Journal (probably 5 to 10 years ago).

    If I somehow find the time to answer you guys in the near future I will. I certainly am impressed with your understanding and insight into the issues between Calvinists and Lutherans. That is a topic I am interested in and some of you guys here know a lot about the differences. It is not easy to always understand what each group is articulating clearly and as I have stated ad infinitum we often misinterpret and misrepresent each other. That is why I would want to write a careful and accurate response which would take lots of time to do properly. I will be checking in though and will try to formulate a thorough response in the future. You can always find me at Darryl Hart’s website- that is the blog I frequent the most. He has a lot of thought provoking posts at his site. I am glad I happened to stop by here. You guys are a good source for understanding our Confessions better.

    It’s good to know you know the Blues too and even have a sense of humor.

  • larry

    For those journeying this might be helpful:

    I think it serves well to differentiate between the more Owenian/neopuritan Calvinist from the what I like to call the “Lutheran leaning” Calvinist. Because there IS a HUGE difference. The former group would include modern “reformed” of the likes of John MacArthur, John Piper, to some degree Dr. Mohler of the SB realm and such of the Baptist realm, and the uber Presbyterians, Dr. Sproul and such of the reformed realm. They will usually only affirm per denomination one of three confessions officially, LBCF, WCF or SB F&M as exposited most recently. The later group consist of a MUCH smaller gathering of at least “Luther leaning” reformed (broad sense of the term). The moderns of this group would include Ken Jones (RARE as hen’s teeth in the Baptist sea), Dr. Horton and the like on the Reformed side. These usually adhere to three forms of unity and emphasize the more “Luther leaning” Heidelberg Catechism over WCF.

    About the only “quick” way to know which is which is, a quick indication or litmus test for the laity of which is which, is what books do they offer up as a whole. The former group of “reformed” offer up mostly the Puritan writings and a lot of Calvinistic Baptist writings, they will mostly only incorporate Luther’s “Bondage of the Will” because they think it supports the “T” in TULIP. They tend to like the “early Luther” when he still retained much residuals of Augustine and will tend to read INTO the later Luther THAT or will say that Luther got off track (or something to that effect, especially when it came to the sacraments). They will tend to see Luther’s tower experience as the BEGINNING of his thought, journey and reformation in development and not as the CULMINATION whereby he set forth (i.e. the Luther confessing at Wittenberg was ever much the same Luther at Marburg until his death).

    The later group, Luther leaning, tend to offer up more writings of Luther and say things that the former reformed groups find dangerous. E.g. they will, and I know this personally, call their view of Calvin’s supper “crypto-lutheran”.

    The former group are in reality going over time non-Christian and I don’t say that lightly. This is what happens when in principle (details aside, principle only) one arrives at unhinging the sacraments and efficacy (and this extends to the preached Word as well). The later group is at least in principle attempting to “get back” to some kind of efficacy in the sacraments. I even know, a very good friend of mine, Baptist preacher doing this. Of course he’s catching hell from the Baptist Sanhedrin for this as it “not being Baptist” (I always tell him, they are right you crypto-lutheran (that’s a compliment)). He of course can’t say “sacrament” because that would be a dead give away but speaks of efficacy in the ordinances (that’s theologically brain freeze for true Baptist thinking!).

    The Gospel does return in the later group. In my opinion its like a bunch of Martin Luther’s attempting to reform, well, the Reformed churchES just as one Luther attempted to reform the one Roman church.

    Yes, ultimately that would mean they would arrive at Augsburg again, which is why eventually so many WHI listeners end up confessional Lutheran. The WHI is a wonderful discussion forum and packed with Gospel in general, but it doesn’t take the listener too many listens to recognize, “Hey whose that deep compacted voice guy on there, he’s saying something VERY different”, speaking of course of Dr. Rosenbladt. He knows evangelicalism personally and knows how to wield 200 proof Gospel, and Gospel phrasing to pull us ex-evangelicals out of what we’ve been taught…out of ourselves (testimony after testimony will confess to this!). He understand the difference between faith is ‘I believe’ being a soul murdering trap and faith being ‘God cannot lie’. Many have been pulled from the brink of a soul murdering “if you believe” theology by a “You are forgiven whether you believe it or not” Gospel call, he well understands the Gospel application “pro me” to those to whom he speaks (there’s a difference in speaking the Gospel and speaking ABOUT the Gospel). And that’s all connected to the sacraments pro me.

    Here’s a thing to note, Lutheran aside for a minute, why do you think good men like Dr. Horton and such have such a strong being purified Gospel, as far as it goes in the Reformed realm? If one reads enough what one will discover is that it is INTRINSICALLY linked to one’s understanding of the sacraments. Even if not 100% correct but an increasing extra nos emphasis on the efficacy of the Sacraments is placed, a parallel and consequential purity in the Gospel goes with it. The reason the former Reformed, the neo puritans, the Piper’s and such of the world view the Horton’s of the world as maybe “going to far” or as crypto-lutheran in their sacraments is linked with their purity of Gospel.

    This gets back to Luther’s connection with the sacraments, these are not inconsequential doctrines, but linked ones. Something to ponder at least in principle even if one cannot grasp the details yet.

  • larry

    For those journeying this might be helpful:

    I think it serves well to differentiate between the more Owenian/neopuritan Calvinist from the what I like to call the “Lutheran leaning” Calvinist. Because there IS a HUGE difference. The former group would include modern “reformed” of the likes of John MacArthur, John Piper, to some degree Dr. Mohler of the SB realm and such of the Baptist realm, and the uber Presbyterians, Dr. Sproul and such of the reformed realm. They will usually only affirm per denomination one of three confessions officially, LBCF, WCF or SB F&M as exposited most recently. The later group consist of a MUCH smaller gathering of at least “Luther leaning” reformed (broad sense of the term). The moderns of this group would include Ken Jones (RARE as hen’s teeth in the Baptist sea), Dr. Horton and the like on the Reformed side. These usually adhere to three forms of unity and emphasize the more “Luther leaning” Heidelberg Catechism over WCF.

    About the only “quick” way to know which is which is, a quick indication or litmus test for the laity of which is which, is what books do they offer up as a whole. The former group of “reformed” offer up mostly the Puritan writings and a lot of Calvinistic Baptist writings, they will mostly only incorporate Luther’s “Bondage of the Will” because they think it supports the “T” in TULIP. They tend to like the “early Luther” when he still retained much residuals of Augustine and will tend to read INTO the later Luther THAT or will say that Luther got off track (or something to that effect, especially when it came to the sacraments). They will tend to see Luther’s tower experience as the BEGINNING of his thought, journey and reformation in development and not as the CULMINATION whereby he set forth (i.e. the Luther confessing at Wittenberg was ever much the same Luther at Marburg until his death).

    The later group, Luther leaning, tend to offer up more writings of Luther and say things that the former reformed groups find dangerous. E.g. they will, and I know this personally, call their view of Calvin’s supper “crypto-lutheran”.

    The former group are in reality going over time non-Christian and I don’t say that lightly. This is what happens when in principle (details aside, principle only) one arrives at unhinging the sacraments and efficacy (and this extends to the preached Word as well). The later group is at least in principle attempting to “get back” to some kind of efficacy in the sacraments. I even know, a very good friend of mine, Baptist preacher doing this. Of course he’s catching hell from the Baptist Sanhedrin for this as it “not being Baptist” (I always tell him, they are right you crypto-lutheran (that’s a compliment)). He of course can’t say “sacrament” because that would be a dead give away but speaks of efficacy in the ordinances (that’s theologically brain freeze for true Baptist thinking!).

    The Gospel does return in the later group. In my opinion its like a bunch of Martin Luther’s attempting to reform, well, the Reformed churchES just as one Luther attempted to reform the one Roman church.

    Yes, ultimately that would mean they would arrive at Augsburg again, which is why eventually so many WHI listeners end up confessional Lutheran. The WHI is a wonderful discussion forum and packed with Gospel in general, but it doesn’t take the listener too many listens to recognize, “Hey whose that deep compacted voice guy on there, he’s saying something VERY different”, speaking of course of Dr. Rosenbladt. He knows evangelicalism personally and knows how to wield 200 proof Gospel, and Gospel phrasing to pull us ex-evangelicals out of what we’ve been taught…out of ourselves (testimony after testimony will confess to this!). He understand the difference between faith is ‘I believe’ being a soul murdering trap and faith being ‘God cannot lie’. Many have been pulled from the brink of a soul murdering “if you believe” theology by a “You are forgiven whether you believe it or not” Gospel call, he well understands the Gospel application “pro me” to those to whom he speaks (there’s a difference in speaking the Gospel and speaking ABOUT the Gospel). And that’s all connected to the sacraments pro me.

    Here’s a thing to note, Lutheran aside for a minute, why do you think good men like Dr. Horton and such have such a strong being purified Gospel, as far as it goes in the Reformed realm? If one reads enough what one will discover is that it is INTRINSICALLY linked to one’s understanding of the sacraments. Even if not 100% correct but an increasing extra nos emphasis on the efficacy of the Sacraments is placed, a parallel and consequential purity in the Gospel goes with it. The reason the former Reformed, the neo puritans, the Piper’s and such of the world view the Horton’s of the world as maybe “going to far” or as crypto-lutheran in their sacraments is linked with their purity of Gospel.

    This gets back to Luther’s connection with the sacraments, these are not inconsequential doctrines, but linked ones. Something to ponder at least in principle even if one cannot grasp the details yet.

  • katy

    I just wanted to chime in about my experience with and understanding of Calvinists, even if Horton and Hart would not claim my relatives. Larry did a better job with specifics than I did. I would agree that Calvin, his doctrines taken to their logical conclusions, lead to Zwinglianism. However, saying this to a paleo-Calvinist doesn’t help anyone (or saying to a RB that their doctrine naturally leads to Jehovah Witnessing. Which my husband will say–sort of tongue-in-cheek–in the privacy if our home). Have you ever heard a Catholic blame every ill in the Modern Era on the Reformation? Or a Calvinist say Pietism is the natural result of Lutheranism (which would be sort of funny, if one did)?

    I, too, don’t have time to go into as much detail as I’d like; I’m glad others here cite our Confessions in detail. I just don’t have time to look passages up. Besides, John, I need to read the sources you’ve cited before I say anything more.

    Thanks for the compliment, Stephen (and I really enjoyed the video). Even if I were of the right sex, I doubt I’m seminary-qualified. Maybe one of my sons will be a pastor.

    And Dr. Hart was on Issues, Etc. this week talking about Reformed Theology and the Theology of the Cross :

    http://issuesetc.org/podcast/713032311H1S2.mp3

  • katy

    I just wanted to chime in about my experience with and understanding of Calvinists, even if Horton and Hart would not claim my relatives. Larry did a better job with specifics than I did. I would agree that Calvin, his doctrines taken to their logical conclusions, lead to Zwinglianism. However, saying this to a paleo-Calvinist doesn’t help anyone (or saying to a RB that their doctrine naturally leads to Jehovah Witnessing. Which my husband will say–sort of tongue-in-cheek–in the privacy if our home). Have you ever heard a Catholic blame every ill in the Modern Era on the Reformation? Or a Calvinist say Pietism is the natural result of Lutheranism (which would be sort of funny, if one did)?

    I, too, don’t have time to go into as much detail as I’d like; I’m glad others here cite our Confessions in detail. I just don’t have time to look passages up. Besides, John, I need to read the sources you’ve cited before I say anything more.

    Thanks for the compliment, Stephen (and I really enjoyed the video). Even if I were of the right sex, I doubt I’m seminary-qualified. Maybe one of my sons will be a pastor.

    And Dr. Hart was on Issues, Etc. this week talking about Reformed Theology and the Theology of the Cross :

    http://issuesetc.org/podcast/713032311H1S2.mp3

  • larry

    Katy,

    Thanks for the link, I look forward to listening to that one.

    If I would recommend one non-confessional source that sums it up it would be Luther’s HD. I’m not saying it trumps the confessions but it does show the paradigm difference. However, one caveat, one should not think one will “get it” out the door. I still read and reread it. It’s like Luther said in his opening to Romans you have to get all your definitions reoriented from the old ways you’ve been taught and then it takes some time to “sink in” and then there are those “AHAH!” moments.

  • larry

    Katy,

    Thanks for the link, I look forward to listening to that one.

    If I would recommend one non-confessional source that sums it up it would be Luther’s HD. I’m not saying it trumps the confessions but it does show the paradigm difference. However, one caveat, one should not think one will “get it” out the door. I still read and reread it. It’s like Luther said in his opening to Romans you have to get all your definitions reoriented from the old ways you’ve been taught and then it takes some time to “sink in” and then there are those “AHAH!” moments.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Larry & Katy @ 267 & 268

    I want to encourage both of you to model your approach towards both Rome and Geneva after that of our Lutheran Confessions. I would most specifically point to the Apology to the Augsburg Confession. Which you can find online here: http://bookofconcord.org/defense_greeting.php

    The progression and Lutheran articulation towards other Christians and to each other as well, looks like this:

    1) “The Holy and Most Blessed Trinity”. Art I is about Holy Baptism. It is the Name of the Most Holy and Blessed Trinity that makes us all member of the One Holy Catholic Faith. Where? In Holy Baptism. It is then on the basis of Holy Baptism done by other christian sects that we can ecumenically address those other as believers. We do this out of the command to Love and the 8th commandment. We don´t do this as an act of faith.

    Article I of the Apology to the Augsburg Confession is THE basis for all ecumenical dialog both with those inside and outside the Church of the Augsburg Confession.

    Think about this: what is it that makes a Lutheran Divine Service seem so (roman) catholic to the Reformed? It is maybe that we so constantly evoke the Most Holy and Blessed Name of the Most Holy Trinity? I suggest, more than anything, that that is it. And this is what comes up missing even in “lutheran ” praise worship isn´t it?

    2) Art II “Original Sin” : Next we talk about how religion of all kinds is really about sinful man trying to get back to the Image of God and the Adamic Original Righeousness that was lost.

    God has written his Law in fallen man in his Reason. It is not written in his heart.

    So mankind will try to make religion about something we can externally do to appease (“propitiate”) an angry God.

    Lutherans assert that the Image of God which is the Original Adamic Righeousness that was lost to fallen man is alone invisible faith alone in Christ. This is radical. Calvin did not believe this. Neither did Rome. This single insight changed everything.

    So then Original Sin and actual sin are not about what we do. Both Righeousness AND Original sin are both about faith! Either we have faith alone in Christ OR… we have faith in anything-but-Christ. This “faith-in-anything-but-Christ” is called “concupiscience.

    This says that the dichomy is not between faith and unbelief or between vice and virtue. The difference between sin and righeousness is between faith and Faith. It is between true righeousness and true Righeousness.

    This single insight is what freed Lutherans from that irresistable gravitational pull on the christian church called Aristotle, where neither rome nor geneva could fully resist it. Rome follows Saint Thomas, an überAristotelian in his “Summa” (which he later rejected by the way), and Calvin became the ÜberAugustinian. Saint Augustine was also Aristotelian as was Pelagius. These were all men who were fish wet with Aristotle. Fish do not know they are wet.

    Luther got free of Aristotle and Augustine by clinging stubbornly to Saint Paul.

    3) Art III Here we learn why only faith can know what that the opposite of sin is not goodness, it is Faith alone in Christ alone.

    We learn that Fallen Reason is veiled by the “Veil of Moses” can only see God´s Law then through intermediaries, such as Moses presenting the Decalog, or city poop scoop ordinances, or tax laws, or a nagging spouse or parent or in-law. So that Revealed Law can only conclude that the way to stop the accusations of these is to do what they say to do externally, even as we resent having to do what they say, and rationalize our emotional rebellion to them by separating these sources of Law from their Author who is God.

    So a true keeping of the Law and so the return to the Image of God and Adamic Original Righeousness is not as Rome, Aquinas, Augustine and Calvin say: a return or reconformity to God´s Law. It is a restoration of faith alone in Christ alone. And so the keeping of the Law can only happen then as a consequence of the restoration of Righeousness. Keeping the Law is not Righeousness restored. It is a consequence of Faith alone in Christ alone being restored.

    4) Art IV Only now , having talked alot about the Law, can we assert how and why it is Faith alone in Christ alone is the return to Original Adamic Righeousness that is the Image of God. Apart from the Law. Apart from works.

    5) Remaining articles: Here we are told that the Holy Christian Church is an earthly external Government just like the US Government. There are rules and divine Laws to be followed. These rules look like the commands to baptize and to frequent the Lord´s Supper. and to properly administer the Word and Sacraments. Closed communion gets placed here as a command from Saint Paul.

    And we learn that “in, with, and under” this earthly government is the “communion of saints” that is the Kingdom of God that has come in a way that cannot be seen by the acts of the Law such as Baptism and other Ordinances. But we learn that ONLY in these Ordinances has God placed the Promise. Faith clings to that Promise located by God in the water, wafer and wine, and EFFECTIVELY receives the Promised Mercy, which is the forgiveness of Sins that is Christ in his very Person and Works.

    I hope this helps!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Larry & Katy @ 267 & 268

    I want to encourage both of you to model your approach towards both Rome and Geneva after that of our Lutheran Confessions. I would most specifically point to the Apology to the Augsburg Confession. Which you can find online here: http://bookofconcord.org/defense_greeting.php

    The progression and Lutheran articulation towards other Christians and to each other as well, looks like this:

    1) “The Holy and Most Blessed Trinity”. Art I is about Holy Baptism. It is the Name of the Most Holy and Blessed Trinity that makes us all member of the One Holy Catholic Faith. Where? In Holy Baptism. It is then on the basis of Holy Baptism done by other christian sects that we can ecumenically address those other as believers. We do this out of the command to Love and the 8th commandment. We don´t do this as an act of faith.

    Article I of the Apology to the Augsburg Confession is THE basis for all ecumenical dialog both with those inside and outside the Church of the Augsburg Confession.

    Think about this: what is it that makes a Lutheran Divine Service seem so (roman) catholic to the Reformed? It is maybe that we so constantly evoke the Most Holy and Blessed Name of the Most Holy Trinity? I suggest, more than anything, that that is it. And this is what comes up missing even in “lutheran ” praise worship isn´t it?

    2) Art II “Original Sin” : Next we talk about how religion of all kinds is really about sinful man trying to get back to the Image of God and the Adamic Original Righeousness that was lost.

    God has written his Law in fallen man in his Reason. It is not written in his heart.

    So mankind will try to make religion about something we can externally do to appease (“propitiate”) an angry God.

    Lutherans assert that the Image of God which is the Original Adamic Righeousness that was lost to fallen man is alone invisible faith alone in Christ. This is radical. Calvin did not believe this. Neither did Rome. This single insight changed everything.

    So then Original Sin and actual sin are not about what we do. Both Righeousness AND Original sin are both about faith! Either we have faith alone in Christ OR… we have faith in anything-but-Christ. This “faith-in-anything-but-Christ” is called “concupiscience.

    This says that the dichomy is not between faith and unbelief or between vice and virtue. The difference between sin and righeousness is between faith and Faith. It is between true righeousness and true Righeousness.

    This single insight is what freed Lutherans from that irresistable gravitational pull on the christian church called Aristotle, where neither rome nor geneva could fully resist it. Rome follows Saint Thomas, an überAristotelian in his “Summa” (which he later rejected by the way), and Calvin became the ÜberAugustinian. Saint Augustine was also Aristotelian as was Pelagius. These were all men who were fish wet with Aristotle. Fish do not know they are wet.

    Luther got free of Aristotle and Augustine by clinging stubbornly to Saint Paul.

    3) Art III Here we learn why only faith can know what that the opposite of sin is not goodness, it is Faith alone in Christ alone.

    We learn that Fallen Reason is veiled by the “Veil of Moses” can only see God´s Law then through intermediaries, such as Moses presenting the Decalog, or city poop scoop ordinances, or tax laws, or a nagging spouse or parent or in-law. So that Revealed Law can only conclude that the way to stop the accusations of these is to do what they say to do externally, even as we resent having to do what they say, and rationalize our emotional rebellion to them by separating these sources of Law from their Author who is God.

    So a true keeping of the Law and so the return to the Image of God and Adamic Original Righeousness is not as Rome, Aquinas, Augustine and Calvin say: a return or reconformity to God´s Law. It is a restoration of faith alone in Christ alone. And so the keeping of the Law can only happen then as a consequence of the restoration of Righeousness. Keeping the Law is not Righeousness restored. It is a consequence of Faith alone in Christ alone being restored.

    4) Art IV Only now , having talked alot about the Law, can we assert how and why it is Faith alone in Christ alone is the return to Original Adamic Righeousness that is the Image of God. Apart from the Law. Apart from works.

    5) Remaining articles: Here we are told that the Holy Christian Church is an earthly external Government just like the US Government. There are rules and divine Laws to be followed. These rules look like the commands to baptize and to frequent the Lord´s Supper. and to properly administer the Word and Sacraments. Closed communion gets placed here as a command from Saint Paul.

    And we learn that “in, with, and under” this earthly government is the “communion of saints” that is the Kingdom of God that has come in a way that cannot be seen by the acts of the Law such as Baptism and other Ordinances. But we learn that ONLY in these Ordinances has God placed the Promise. Faith clings to that Promise located by God in the water, wafer and wine, and EFFECTIVELY receives the Promised Mercy, which is the forgiveness of Sins that is Christ in his very Person and Works.

    I hope this helps!

  • larry

    “Lutherans assert that the Image of God which is the Original Adamic Righeousness that was lost to fallen man is alone invisible faith alone in Christ. This is radical. Calvin did not believe this. Neither did Rome. This single insight changed everything.”

    Frank that is so critically crucial and the nub of it all. Something occurred to me in reading some of the exchanges above. I think where some might get tripped up is calling it just Rome or Geneva, I agree. But really it’s the default “religious” position of all man, Calvinism, papal, Lutheran pietism, Islam, Atheisism…etc… That might help some frame and see this. The challenge is getting a fish to see he’s really all wet and he keeps saying, “what’s this wet you keep talking about”.

    That original adamic righteousness or the image of God we lost and we pursue via the Law thinking THAT is the original adamic righteousness/image of God is found both in unbaptized and baptized forms if you will. In gross heathen religions, unbaptized and within baptized forms like Geneva, Rome, and even slip ins of pietism within Lutheran.

    In fact Sarnivaarnaa points to this issue that Luther’s very tower experience, his final break with Augustine (and pre-emptive break with what would be Calvin, et. al) was this discovering of “the righteousness of God”. We tend to read that only in the Roman’s 1 passage, but Luther lauds how it is throughout the OT and NT and not just in the direct term of “righteousness of God” but in others as “the strength of God, wisdom of God…etc…”. The gift of righteousness, not the habit building, a piano player becomes a piano player by practice and working.

    In fact original sin is exactly that loss of original righteousness = nude/naked passive faith in Christ alone in exchange for a legal or “law” mode of doing the habit of righteousness. And you are correct in this being intrinsic to much covenant theology, “the covenant of Creation for example”. The story goes: Adam was created upright in original righteousness (not the kind you are saying) and was in a time of testing. If he had obeyed the covenant, then he would have gained eternal life. He/we didn’t and the rest is history. Faith does not enter pre-fall Adam as in “faith in Christ alone…ALONE, naked, nude, passive, etc…” in the covenant scenario, maybe a kind of faith like “I’m proving my faithfulness to the king” kind of faith, but not a nude naked receptive passive faith. So instead of walking naked before God without any worries pre-fall, we end up armoring up with clothes to cover the shame of our distrust of God, which is truly shameful.

    In fact the “terror” of this kind of faith in “God cannot lie” is the very essence of the suffering passivity of “just trusting” without seeing! Which is nothing more than the old Adam attempting to “know good and evil for himself”. Now the old Adam religion can be unbaptized or without the Spirit as expressed in heathen religion (including atheism) or as a baptized version with a “tag” of the Spirit helping us do it, e.g. Rome and Geneva (and Lutheran pietism). But its all the same “a rose is a rose by any other name” and “fallen religion is fallen religion by any other name”. Baptizing the “habit” or saying “the Spirit gives me the grace/infusion/power/conversion” to do the habit is still just fallen religion, but in this case procuring baptism and the Spirit to make it Christian “legitimate”.

    If I might paraphrase you without loosing the essence: In a nutshell our unbaptized or baptized default religion is that we lost this Law-like image of God = original Adam righteousness, and we all know this either formerly via theology/doctrine taught or informally as fallen Adam, we are like fish that exude our wetness (informal religion) and/or have a systematic explanation of our wetness (formal religion). The trick either way is to say, “Hey, you realize that’s FALLEN not where we need to be/go!” But the poles of eternity are image of God = what we lost = where we are going = naked passive nude suffering faith alone in Christ alone, and as you well emphasize ALONE.

  • larry

    “Lutherans assert that the Image of God which is the Original Adamic Righeousness that was lost to fallen man is alone invisible faith alone in Christ. This is radical. Calvin did not believe this. Neither did Rome. This single insight changed everything.”

    Frank that is so critically crucial and the nub of it all. Something occurred to me in reading some of the exchanges above. I think where some might get tripped up is calling it just Rome or Geneva, I agree. But really it’s the default “religious” position of all man, Calvinism, papal, Lutheran pietism, Islam, Atheisism…etc… That might help some frame and see this. The challenge is getting a fish to see he’s really all wet and he keeps saying, “what’s this wet you keep talking about”.

    That original adamic righteousness or the image of God we lost and we pursue via the Law thinking THAT is the original adamic righteousness/image of God is found both in unbaptized and baptized forms if you will. In gross heathen religions, unbaptized and within baptized forms like Geneva, Rome, and even slip ins of pietism within Lutheran.

    In fact Sarnivaarnaa points to this issue that Luther’s very tower experience, his final break with Augustine (and pre-emptive break with what would be Calvin, et. al) was this discovering of “the righteousness of God”. We tend to read that only in the Roman’s 1 passage, but Luther lauds how it is throughout the OT and NT and not just in the direct term of “righteousness of God” but in others as “the strength of God, wisdom of God…etc…”. The gift of righteousness, not the habit building, a piano player becomes a piano player by practice and working.

    In fact original sin is exactly that loss of original righteousness = nude/naked passive faith in Christ alone in exchange for a legal or “law” mode of doing the habit of righteousness. And you are correct in this being intrinsic to much covenant theology, “the covenant of Creation for example”. The story goes: Adam was created upright in original righteousness (not the kind you are saying) and was in a time of testing. If he had obeyed the covenant, then he would have gained eternal life. He/we didn’t and the rest is history. Faith does not enter pre-fall Adam as in “faith in Christ alone…ALONE, naked, nude, passive, etc…” in the covenant scenario, maybe a kind of faith like “I’m proving my faithfulness to the king” kind of faith, but not a nude naked receptive passive faith. So instead of walking naked before God without any worries pre-fall, we end up armoring up with clothes to cover the shame of our distrust of God, which is truly shameful.

    In fact the “terror” of this kind of faith in “God cannot lie” is the very essence of the suffering passivity of “just trusting” without seeing! Which is nothing more than the old Adam attempting to “know good and evil for himself”. Now the old Adam religion can be unbaptized or without the Spirit as expressed in heathen religion (including atheism) or as a baptized version with a “tag” of the Spirit helping us do it, e.g. Rome and Geneva (and Lutheran pietism). But its all the same “a rose is a rose by any other name” and “fallen religion is fallen religion by any other name”. Baptizing the “habit” or saying “the Spirit gives me the grace/infusion/power/conversion” to do the habit is still just fallen religion, but in this case procuring baptism and the Spirit to make it Christian “legitimate”.

    If I might paraphrase you without loosing the essence: In a nutshell our unbaptized or baptized default religion is that we lost this Law-like image of God = original Adam righteousness, and we all know this either formerly via theology/doctrine taught or informally as fallen Adam, we are like fish that exude our wetness (informal religion) and/or have a systematic explanation of our wetness (formal religion). The trick either way is to say, “Hey, you realize that’s FALLEN not where we need to be/go!” But the poles of eternity are image of God = what we lost = where we are going = naked passive nude suffering faith alone in Christ alone, and as you well emphasize ALONE.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Larry @ 270

    I am attempting to write a book on this. Hopefully it will be useful to atheists, calvinist and Lutherans for the exact reason you say.

    The Law always accuses.
    The Law ALWAYS accuses.

    Until we again have the Image of God that is Original Righeousness of faith in Christ alone, we can only have the Law written by God in our reason and mind. This is where ap art VI locates that Law that is conscience. It is in Reason, not in the heart.

    And Reason will then always drive the Law to “seeing is believing”. And virtue as “going-through-the-motions” even if your heart is not in it. “no gain without pain!” Reason is veiled with the Veil of Moses. Truth is always empirical. It looks like Natural Law.

    How could God write his Law in our hearts that are faith-full to anything BUT Christ?

    So to have the Law written in our Hearts is a consequence of first having that Image of God that is Original Righeousness that is faith alone in Christ alone.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Larry @ 270

    I am attempting to write a book on this. Hopefully it will be useful to atheists, calvinist and Lutherans for the exact reason you say.

    The Law always accuses.
    The Law ALWAYS accuses.

    Until we again have the Image of God that is Original Righeousness of faith in Christ alone, we can only have the Law written by God in our reason and mind. This is where ap art VI locates that Law that is conscience. It is in Reason, not in the heart.

    And Reason will then always drive the Law to “seeing is believing”. And virtue as “going-through-the-motions” even if your heart is not in it. “no gain without pain!” Reason is veiled with the Veil of Moses. Truth is always empirical. It looks like Natural Law.

    How could God write his Law in our hearts that are faith-full to anything BUT Christ?

    So to have the Law written in our Hearts is a consequence of first having that Image of God that is Original Righeousness that is faith alone in Christ alone.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Larry @ 270

    “God cannot become the Object of Love for someone who believes God is always threatening and accusing. ”

    The Lutheran Confessions

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Larry @ 270

    “God cannot become the Object of Love for someone who believes God is always threatening and accusing. ”

    The Lutheran Confessions

  • larry

    “Until we again have the Image of God that is Original Righeousness of faith in Christ alone, we can only have the Law written by God in our reason and mind. This is where ap art VI locates that Law that is conscience. It is in Reason, not in the heart.”

    AND

    “And Reason will then always drive the Law to “seeing is believing”. And virtue as “going-through-the-motions” even if your heart is not in it. “no gain without pain!” Reason is veiled with the Veil of Moses. Truth is always empirical. It looks like Natural Law.”

    That is a true and profound realization. I know experimentally. When, for example, one is among – will call it all “evangelicalism” in whatever form it takes – one gets locked into that doing the “no pain no gain” practice makes perfect action to develop the habit and therefore “sanctification”, therefore fruit, therefore =true saving faith, therefore = elect/saved/really born again/really converted mess; one finds oneself doing this externally. But the internal workings of the heart, in spite of the, the external efforts success reveal themselves, as Paul says the Law accusing or excusing in the conscience. But the advise unto said sanctification is “try harder”, i.e. work at building the habit. Sometimes that’s implied in advise, sometimes explicit. For example generic praise, I had family members both Calvinistic and Arminian of the baptist realm who would attempt to “gin this up” in themselves, go through these personal cheerleading sessions to get “excited” about praise. I tried this stuff and could do it, but I knew, head on pillow time by myself, what my inward heart feelings were doing and just could not get past “Larry you may out do everyone externally but internally you see your contrary desires”.

    But the reason many “don’t” or rather REFUSE to see their hearts inward motions (per the REAL Law accusing), is as you say, what they normally don’t appeal to, reason and the mind, say, “work the habit and you will become the habit”. If I saw it once I saw it a thousand times. How do you love more, you work at it, how do you have more joy, you try harder to build the joyful habit, and habit begets, so it goes, “the fruit tree”.

    But this, not that, is true, as you quoted, “God cannot become the Object of Love for someone who believes God is always threatening and accusing.”

    CS Lewis once stated a similar statement to the effect, “There’s one sure fire way to make someone NOT be joyful. That way? Tell them, ‘be joyful’.” Another form of “work the habit so you become the habit and thus the fruit tree”.

    “God cannot become the Object of Love for someone who believes God is always threatening and accusing.”

    This brings up the fundamental difference between Rome/Geneva and Lutheran confessions, “Who is the God it totality that is preached, what is He like”. The shift can be shown thus, “where there is forgiveness of sin, there is life and salvation” (Luther) versus “where there is life and salvation, there is forgiveness of sin” (Calvin). It’s a subtle doctrinal shift in direction, due the doctrines this is undeniable, yet the exact same words are used in both – yet these preach two different ideas of God utterly in opposition of each other.

  • larry

    “Until we again have the Image of God that is Original Righeousness of faith in Christ alone, we can only have the Law written by God in our reason and mind. This is where ap art VI locates that Law that is conscience. It is in Reason, not in the heart.”

    AND

    “And Reason will then always drive the Law to “seeing is believing”. And virtue as “going-through-the-motions” even if your heart is not in it. “no gain without pain!” Reason is veiled with the Veil of Moses. Truth is always empirical. It looks like Natural Law.”

    That is a true and profound realization. I know experimentally. When, for example, one is among – will call it all “evangelicalism” in whatever form it takes – one gets locked into that doing the “no pain no gain” practice makes perfect action to develop the habit and therefore “sanctification”, therefore fruit, therefore =true saving faith, therefore = elect/saved/really born again/really converted mess; one finds oneself doing this externally. But the internal workings of the heart, in spite of the, the external efforts success reveal themselves, as Paul says the Law accusing or excusing in the conscience. But the advise unto said sanctification is “try harder”, i.e. work at building the habit. Sometimes that’s implied in advise, sometimes explicit. For example generic praise, I had family members both Calvinistic and Arminian of the baptist realm who would attempt to “gin this up” in themselves, go through these personal cheerleading sessions to get “excited” about praise. I tried this stuff and could do it, but I knew, head on pillow time by myself, what my inward heart feelings were doing and just could not get past “Larry you may out do everyone externally but internally you see your contrary desires”.

    But the reason many “don’t” or rather REFUSE to see their hearts inward motions (per the REAL Law accusing), is as you say, what they normally don’t appeal to, reason and the mind, say, “work the habit and you will become the habit”. If I saw it once I saw it a thousand times. How do you love more, you work at it, how do you have more joy, you try harder to build the joyful habit, and habit begets, so it goes, “the fruit tree”.

    But this, not that, is true, as you quoted, “God cannot become the Object of Love for someone who believes God is always threatening and accusing.”

    CS Lewis once stated a similar statement to the effect, “There’s one sure fire way to make someone NOT be joyful. That way? Tell them, ‘be joyful’.” Another form of “work the habit so you become the habit and thus the fruit tree”.

    “God cannot become the Object of Love for someone who believes God is always threatening and accusing.”

    This brings up the fundamental difference between Rome/Geneva and Lutheran confessions, “Who is the God it totality that is preached, what is He like”. The shift can be shown thus, “where there is forgiveness of sin, there is life and salvation” (Luther) versus “where there is life and salvation, there is forgiveness of sin” (Calvin). It’s a subtle doctrinal shift in direction, due the doctrines this is undeniable, yet the exact same words are used in both – yet these preach two different ideas of God utterly in opposition of each other.

  • Stephen

    It’s funny, but I’m thinking of Cognitive Therapy and how it is a practice of reorienting ones thinking one new thought habits that replace old ones. These old, negative thought patterns are said to drive the negative emotions that cause depressiona dn anxiety disorders. I think there is a great deal of truth to it, earthly law truth let’s say. The whole therapeutic model works this way. One way or the other, it focuses on training the self to do some kind of work that fixes a distortion of some kind through effort. These are all “practices” of some sort, like Buddhist meditation, which trains the mind to settle into now. And so we have the evangelical, which trains the mind to settle into the habit of “being Christianish” as I have heard it put. No wonder the author (can’t remember his name) who did the study on youth in the church about ten years coined the phrase “therapeutic moralistic deism” to describe the current in American Christian faith that was developing in young people.

    The gospel is law, and hence no gospel at all precisely because it relies upon its situation within the experience of the individual, as Frank says, upon what is seen, rather than upon where God has place it, in the promise spoken in Word and Sacrament – that which is outside the human, thus God is truly an OBJECT of love.

  • Stephen

    It’s funny, but I’m thinking of Cognitive Therapy and how it is a practice of reorienting ones thinking one new thought habits that replace old ones. These old, negative thought patterns are said to drive the negative emotions that cause depressiona dn anxiety disorders. I think there is a great deal of truth to it, earthly law truth let’s say. The whole therapeutic model works this way. One way or the other, it focuses on training the self to do some kind of work that fixes a distortion of some kind through effort. These are all “practices” of some sort, like Buddhist meditation, which trains the mind to settle into now. And so we have the evangelical, which trains the mind to settle into the habit of “being Christianish” as I have heard it put. No wonder the author (can’t remember his name) who did the study on youth in the church about ten years coined the phrase “therapeutic moralistic deism” to describe the current in American Christian faith that was developing in young people.

    The gospel is law, and hence no gospel at all precisely because it relies upon its situation within the experience of the individual, as Frank says, upon what is seen, rather than upon where God has place it, in the promise spoken in Word and Sacrament – that which is outside the human, thus God is truly an OBJECT of love.

  • larry

    Frank,

    At the risk of stating the obvious, you make a great point on the confessions first and primary because they do hold the nub of the issues and the signers did say that by this they intend to measure all controvery, and with intrepid hearts desire to confess this before the judgment seat of Christ.

    But experentially I’ve seen this personally. While I went the more ciruitous route into confessional Lutheranism from baptist through PCA via the theologians mostly (a lot of reading on all sides, none of which I regret); my wife on the other hand came more immediatelty to it BECAUSE she read the confessions which lays it out rather succintly and to the point. Some very good friends of ours back in our calvinist SB church, an elder/pastor no less, came directly to confessional Lutheranism via the confessions (bypassed Reformed/PCA altogether). In fact they “beat us there” and sent us our first copy of the BoC while we were still in PCA wrestling with the issues. He went from Southern to Concordia and is now in the process of ordination.

    I was shocked at the time, we’d made the baptist to reform move, because these friends of ours were what one would call the “baptist of baptist”, it floored me when we got the news. I’ll never forget it, after talking with them on the phone, about three days later we get very nice copy of the BoC in the mail. I told my wife, “Wow they are serious”. You’d had to know just how baptist they were and ministry deeply rooted in their family.

  • larry

    Frank,

    At the risk of stating the obvious, you make a great point on the confessions first and primary because they do hold the nub of the issues and the signers did say that by this they intend to measure all controvery, and with intrepid hearts desire to confess this before the judgment seat of Christ.

    But experentially I’ve seen this personally. While I went the more ciruitous route into confessional Lutheranism from baptist through PCA via the theologians mostly (a lot of reading on all sides, none of which I regret); my wife on the other hand came more immediatelty to it BECAUSE she read the confessions which lays it out rather succintly and to the point. Some very good friends of ours back in our calvinist SB church, an elder/pastor no less, came directly to confessional Lutheranism via the confessions (bypassed Reformed/PCA altogether). In fact they “beat us there” and sent us our first copy of the BoC while we were still in PCA wrestling with the issues. He went from Southern to Concordia and is now in the process of ordination.

    I was shocked at the time, we’d made the baptist to reform move, because these friends of ours were what one would call the “baptist of baptist”, it floored me when we got the news. I’ll never forget it, after talking with them on the phone, about three days later we get very nice copy of the BoC in the mail. I told my wife, “Wow they are serious”. You’d had to know just how baptist they were and ministry deeply rooted in their family.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    larry @ 275

    The problem is that all our translations are in Germanglish.

    And this is not just the wording, this is that someone would really need to rearrange the paragraphs I think to provide the progression of an argument the way english speakers are used to. The confessors seem to make a point, then another, then bounce back to the first point. Or they use the “Loci” format which is pretty much what the FC seems to do (but is not really what they are doing I would suggest).

    We modern english speakers are trained to state our case up front in brief, then detail that case, then summarize our case.

    I am seriously considering attempting a paraphrase of our confessions.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    larry @ 275

    The problem is that all our translations are in Germanglish.

    And this is not just the wording, this is that someone would really need to rearrange the paragraphs I think to provide the progression of an argument the way english speakers are used to. The confessors seem to make a point, then another, then bounce back to the first point. Or they use the “Loci” format which is pretty much what the FC seems to do (but is not really what they are doing I would suggest).

    We modern english speakers are trained to state our case up front in brief, then detail that case, then summarize our case.

    I am seriously considering attempting a paraphrase of our confessions.

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