“But it’s not really adultery!”

My old friend Karen Swallow Prior has some interesting observations about the excuses of both Bill Clinton and Anthony Weiner and their underlying gnostic assumptions.  The good news is that the public is no longer buying it:

Media coverage of the story and the public’s reaction seems to indicate that we’ve come a long way in our professed sexual ethics since the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal, circa 1998. At that time, then-President Bill Clinton insisted that oral sex did not constitute actual sex, and that he had therefore not committed adultery. Although 87 percent of Americans disagreed with Mr. Clinton then, much public discussion at that time centered on the exact definition of adultery, and which particular sex acts crossed the line (fellatio?) and which ones didn’t (cigars?).

However, with Weinergate (as the case, naturally, has been dubbed), the discussion is a bit more morally sophisticated. For the moral debate swirling around this scandal, besides whether or not Weiner should resign, centers not on the merely technical definition of adultery but on the more holistic, and even more biblical, idea of fidelity. If the Clinton sex scandal focused on the letter of the law, the Weiner situation seems to be more centered on the spirit of the law.

Neither the public nor the proliferating experts and bloggers seem to be buying into a bright line between actual physical contact (which Weiner denies) and online liaisons, despite Weiner’s attempt to cop that plea in his confession. In fact, a quick poll done by the Associated Press in the wake of his Monday confession found that many Americans say that it doesn’t have to be physical to be cheating. In another poll, “60 percent considered sending lewd photos over the Internet ‘to people other than your partner’ to be cheating.”

Like the public, experts, rather than being concerned with one specific sexual act, have been discussing the larger context of marital fidelity, one describing Weiner’s online behavior as “foreplay for an affair,” stating simply that “cheating is lying [to] and betraying your spouse.” Over and over, the experts are wisely identifying the litmus test for infidelity as the question, “Would you do this in front of your partner?” Many say the congressman’s conduct does constitute adultery or, at the very least, an “emotional affair.”

Both national sex scandals — first Clinton’s and now Anthony Weiner’s, with oodles more in between — reveal at work the old mind-body dualism that Christian tradition has worked hard to overcome. This dualism sees the human being not as an integrated whole self, but as a composite of warring elements, material vs. immaterial, physical vs. spiritual, and, in this brave new world of technology, “real” vs. “virtual.” The Clinton scandal emphasized the physical aspect, such as which kinds of bodily contact are considered adultery. Weiner, on the other hand, parses his transgressions according to this body-mind split: he acknowledges virtual liaisons, but suggests that his alleged lack of physical contact constitutes a difference in kind not degree.

In the space of a decade and a half, these two cases reflect a subtle transition of our cultural mindset away from a modernist way of thinking, one based in black and white classifications and definitions rooted in a scientific worldview, to a more nuanced (some would say postmodern) way of thinking that focuses more on the relationships and contexts that transcend the old categories.

via Her.meneutics: Anthony Weiner, Gnostic.

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.

  • Carl Vehse

    Why stop with Monica’s ex-boyfriend. You can go back to the media’s coverup of the adulterous affairs of LBJ, JFK, FDR, etc.

    And, except for Massachusetts, the public didn’t buy it when a neck-braced Teddy Kennedy and his media spinmeisters claimed Mary Jo Kopechne’s death was not really murder and kept an autopsy from being performed.

  • Carl Vehse

    Why stop with Monica’s ex-boyfriend. You can go back to the media’s coverup of the adulterous affairs of LBJ, JFK, FDR, etc.

    And, except for Massachusetts, the public didn’t buy it when a neck-braced Teddy Kennedy and his media spinmeisters claimed Mary Jo Kopechne’s death was not really murder and kept an autopsy from being performed.

  • Tom Hering

    “… but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28).

    The point being that man’s problem is greater than sinful actions – his very nature is sinful. But in making this point, Jesus didn’t say there ought to be the same earthly consequences for both lustful thoughts and an actual affair.

    Those who say there’s no real difference between sexting and adultery are ignoring the fact that technology has made new kinds of sinful action possible, and aren’t thinking about appropriate consequences for these new actions. Instead, they’re trying to squeeze these new actions into old categories, because that makes thinking about them (or not really thinking about them) much easier.

    At the very least, there ought to be the recognition that images aren’t reality, and the transmission of images isn’t the transmission of reality. So the consequences ought to be less than they are for physical actions. Equating sexting and adultery actually lessens the seriousness of physical infidelities.

  • Tom Hering

    “… but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28).

    The point being that man’s problem is greater than sinful actions – his very nature is sinful. But in making this point, Jesus didn’t say there ought to be the same earthly consequences for both lustful thoughts and an actual affair.

    Those who say there’s no real difference between sexting and adultery are ignoring the fact that technology has made new kinds of sinful action possible, and aren’t thinking about appropriate consequences for these new actions. Instead, they’re trying to squeeze these new actions into old categories, because that makes thinking about them (or not really thinking about them) much easier.

    At the very least, there ought to be the recognition that images aren’t reality, and the transmission of images isn’t the transmission of reality. So the consequences ought to be less than they are for physical actions. Equating sexting and adultery actually lessens the seriousness of physical infidelities.

  • fws

    Most christians, including many Lutheran ones,would agree with this article. but it is fundamentally wrong!

    First: ALL Unbelievers are 100% Old Adam. St Paul says that they are all in conflict. Paul is saying this is about dualism? No.

    Men are born with a heart that lacks faith in Christ, which was the Original Adamic Image of God and Righteousness symbolized by eating the Tree of Life. Adam had faith in Christ like we have faith that makes us reach for food when we are hungry. And Man, Old Adam , is born , after the fall with a heart that looks for Life and has faith that it will find Life in eating fruit that will make them what? God-like. Godly! Good! Faith in Goodness for Life rather than Christ in faith. See? These two things: no-faith-in-Christ + faith-in-Godliness is called Original sin by the Lutheran Confessions (Apology art II). So how does this look like Weiner? or … read on please.

    So St Paul.

    How is man “conflicted”? dualism? no. Flesh vs Spirit (rom 8) ? NO!

    So how?

    They imagine that their nobler reason and ability to love is “spiritual”. It is Godly. It is moral. It is Life. So Old Adam is deeply “religious”.

    Old Adam imagines that he is doing something “spiritual” by employing his nobler instincts reason in trying to control their natural appetites.

    We call these nobler powers “will power”, “personal accountability”, “values”, “morality” , “godliness” , “virtue” etc. Saint Paul calls these all “The Law of God Divinely written/revealed in the minds of Men” (Apology art IV for the Lutherans here).

    And this Law of God, that is inescapable and unerasable, constantly accuses. The Law ALWAYS accuses. That is how we recognize God’s Law. Feeling accused? God is accusing with his Law? And this is at conflict with what? Flesh? St Paul says not. This Law of God is also “flesh” according to him. Why? It kills. It accuses. it will perish with the Earth. It will not live in in Christ. But even Christians seek their Life on this side of the conflict dont they?

    So this Law is in conflict with what? Your beating heart. it is in conflict with your emotions (‘it feels good’) , and it is in conflict with what you see as perfectly ‘natural ‘ appetites (“natural law anyone?”) . Your heart believes that Life can be found by trying to get back to that Natural and Innocent state by doing what? Eating right. Acting right. Doing what conforms us to what? “being like God”. What could possibly be wrong with that? Nothing. That is what. God demands that of us in fact in the Decalog and in Reason which agrees with the Decalog since it is the same Law.

    So why can’t we have Life there then? There is only Life in Christ. That is why.

    So in Old Adam then there is no conflict between the “spiritual” and the “material”. Old Adam trys to employ both… spiritual driving the material.. to have eternal Life. This is to be God-ly. it is to “be like God. But man is conflicted and afflicted by a Law-in-conscience that lets him know that this is really no life at all. It will perish. It is futility. It is all vanity. it is… poof!

    In Christians there is no longer this conflict. there is another one. Christians are told to seek their death in Goodness and in doing good and in being God-like. They are not to seek their Life there. But Christians struggle because their Old Adam still want to find Life in Good-ness and Godliness.

    The most difficult and lifelong task of any christian, and what makes one a christian is to surrender to the doctrine of the Forgiveness of Sins in Christ alone.

    When our consciences bother us we do what? We restlessly cast about for something to DO. That is what. or to make a list of what we did or should have done. And the Law still accuses us. We find that we are really phoney christians who are trying to present our God-li-ness to God rather than putting the works of Christ to work by presenting them to God as our ONLY claim to being God-like. We want to do, we do not want to rest in Christ. This alone is the Christian conflict.

  • fws

    Most christians, including many Lutheran ones,would agree with this article. but it is fundamentally wrong!

    First: ALL Unbelievers are 100% Old Adam. St Paul says that they are all in conflict. Paul is saying this is about dualism? No.

    Men are born with a heart that lacks faith in Christ, which was the Original Adamic Image of God and Righteousness symbolized by eating the Tree of Life. Adam had faith in Christ like we have faith that makes us reach for food when we are hungry. And Man, Old Adam , is born , after the fall with a heart that looks for Life and has faith that it will find Life in eating fruit that will make them what? God-like. Godly! Good! Faith in Goodness for Life rather than Christ in faith. See? These two things: no-faith-in-Christ + faith-in-Godliness is called Original sin by the Lutheran Confessions (Apology art II). So how does this look like Weiner? or … read on please.

    So St Paul.

    How is man “conflicted”? dualism? no. Flesh vs Spirit (rom 8) ? NO!

    So how?

    They imagine that their nobler reason and ability to love is “spiritual”. It is Godly. It is moral. It is Life. So Old Adam is deeply “religious”.

    Old Adam imagines that he is doing something “spiritual” by employing his nobler instincts reason in trying to control their natural appetites.

    We call these nobler powers “will power”, “personal accountability”, “values”, “morality” , “godliness” , “virtue” etc. Saint Paul calls these all “The Law of God Divinely written/revealed in the minds of Men” (Apology art IV for the Lutherans here).

    And this Law of God, that is inescapable and unerasable, constantly accuses. The Law ALWAYS accuses. That is how we recognize God’s Law. Feeling accused? God is accusing with his Law? And this is at conflict with what? Flesh? St Paul says not. This Law of God is also “flesh” according to him. Why? It kills. It accuses. it will perish with the Earth. It will not live in in Christ. But even Christians seek their Life on this side of the conflict dont they?

    So this Law is in conflict with what? Your beating heart. it is in conflict with your emotions (‘it feels good’) , and it is in conflict with what you see as perfectly ‘natural ‘ appetites (“natural law anyone?”) . Your heart believes that Life can be found by trying to get back to that Natural and Innocent state by doing what? Eating right. Acting right. Doing what conforms us to what? “being like God”. What could possibly be wrong with that? Nothing. That is what. God demands that of us in fact in the Decalog and in Reason which agrees with the Decalog since it is the same Law.

    So why can’t we have Life there then? There is only Life in Christ. That is why.

    So in Old Adam then there is no conflict between the “spiritual” and the “material”. Old Adam trys to employ both… spiritual driving the material.. to have eternal Life. This is to be God-ly. it is to “be like God. But man is conflicted and afflicted by a Law-in-conscience that lets him know that this is really no life at all. It will perish. It is futility. It is all vanity. it is… poof!

    In Christians there is no longer this conflict. there is another one. Christians are told to seek their death in Goodness and in doing good and in being God-like. They are not to seek their Life there. But Christians struggle because their Old Adam still want to find Life in Good-ness and Godliness.

    The most difficult and lifelong task of any christian, and what makes one a christian is to surrender to the doctrine of the Forgiveness of Sins in Christ alone.

    When our consciences bother us we do what? We restlessly cast about for something to DO. That is what. or to make a list of what we did or should have done. And the Law still accuses us. We find that we are really phoney christians who are trying to present our God-li-ness to God rather than putting the works of Christ to work by presenting them to God as our ONLY claim to being God-like. We want to do, we do not want to rest in Christ. This alone is the Christian conflict.

  • Jeremy

    Instead of studying this phenomenon with 2 democrats, I wish she would have included at least some of the strings of pastors or Republicans caught in affairs.

  • Jeremy

    Instead of studying this phenomenon with 2 democrats, I wish she would have included at least some of the strings of pastors or Republicans caught in affairs.

  • fws

    jeremy @ 4

    Do you suppose that is because of what I write in my (rather lengthy) post in 3?

    Seeking Life by putting faith in God-li-ness rather than in Faith in Christ, the Tree of Life, is the Original Sin and temptation.

    and to put one’s faith in God-li-ness is to become , literally, a white washed sepulcher.

    There is only death to be found by seeking Life in God-li-ness.

    Thetrue mark of a Christian is to seek one’s death in God-li-ness. And to find Life alone in Christ alone in Faith alone.

  • fws

    jeremy @ 4

    Do you suppose that is because of what I write in my (rather lengthy) post in 3?

    Seeking Life by putting faith in God-li-ness rather than in Faith in Christ, the Tree of Life, is the Original Sin and temptation.

    and to put one’s faith in God-li-ness is to become , literally, a white washed sepulcher.

    There is only death to be found by seeking Life in God-li-ness.

    Thetrue mark of a Christian is to seek one’s death in God-li-ness. And to find Life alone in Christ alone in Faith alone.

  • Dennis Peskey

    Remember this one: “You can fool some of the people most of the time, most of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.” I find great difficulty in ascribing blame to a particular political party and it’s members when the truth should shine on all alike. While it may be easier to list FDR, JFK and LBJ, to slight the republican colleagues gives a false impression. I do not believe Carl would sanction the actions of Dwight Eisenhower, or Newt Gingrich, or (list republican/independent/democrat here) but I do think Frank’s point strikes at the heart of the problem.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    Remember this one: “You can fool some of the people most of the time, most of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.” I find great difficulty in ascribing blame to a particular political party and it’s members when the truth should shine on all alike. While it may be easier to list FDR, JFK and LBJ, to slight the republican colleagues gives a false impression. I do not believe Carl would sanction the actions of Dwight Eisenhower, or Newt Gingrich, or (list republican/independent/democrat here) but I do think Frank’s point strikes at the heart of the problem.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • http://concordiaandkoinonia.wordpress.com/ Rev. Mark Schroeder

    I do not think their actions are necessarily gnostic but are definitely legalistic and casuistic. They want to see how much they can get away with without ‘really’ committing adultery. Theirs is a worldly repentance: they were caught and that’s why they are sorrowful. The response is to apologize, that is defend themselves not to confess with a contrite heart. There is only wrangling about how much they should or should not feel bad about their actions. Sadly, it is not a godly repentance. (See 2 Corinthians 7:10)

    Further: the neo-liberal/feminist ethos that men, as dominant gender, are using their status in an oppressive way over against women is the root cause of sexual harassment/manipulation is not heard in these cases. No neo-liberals decried either President Clinton or has lambasted Congressperson Weiner for being illiberal in their ‘gender sensitivities’.

  • http://concordiaandkoinonia.wordpress.com/ Rev. Mark Schroeder

    I do not think their actions are necessarily gnostic but are definitely legalistic and casuistic. They want to see how much they can get away with without ‘really’ committing adultery. Theirs is a worldly repentance: they were caught and that’s why they are sorrowful. The response is to apologize, that is defend themselves not to confess with a contrite heart. There is only wrangling about how much they should or should not feel bad about their actions. Sadly, it is not a godly repentance. (See 2 Corinthians 7:10)

    Further: the neo-liberal/feminist ethos that men, as dominant gender, are using their status in an oppressive way over against women is the root cause of sexual harassment/manipulation is not heard in these cases. No neo-liberals decried either President Clinton or has lambasted Congressperson Weiner for being illiberal in their ‘gender sensitivities’.

  • Jonathan

    And David Vitter?
    God’s Own Party seems to indulge whoremongers. Not one Christianist in the GOP called for Vitter to resign.

  • Jonathan

    And David Vitter?
    God’s Own Party seems to indulge whoremongers. Not one Christianist in the GOP called for Vitter to resign.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Frank,
    What is your point? Could you please tell me what part of the article it is that you are arguing against. I’m trying to understand you here.
    But where is it that the articles contests that unbelievers are 100% old Adam?
    The article is discussing, as far as I can tell, the realm of ethics in the secular sphere. It is discussing what the culture sees as ethical and not ethical and what the culture’s reasoning is for these judgments. So I fail to see what the point of your torturously long rant is about.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Frank,
    What is your point? Could you please tell me what part of the article it is that you are arguing against. I’m trying to understand you here.
    But where is it that the articles contests that unbelievers are 100% old Adam?
    The article is discussing, as far as I can tell, the realm of ethics in the secular sphere. It is discussing what the culture sees as ethical and not ethical and what the culture’s reasoning is for these judgments. So I fail to see what the point of your torturously long rant is about.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I do think the article undercuts its point by only being able to point to two Democratic instances. Of course, I suspect it does this because the point of the article isn’t merely to point to sex scandals, but to point to something worse! And I suppose it just Would Not Do to tar Republicans with the gnostic brush. (Because Republicans are Christians?)

    Either way, the article seems to give Jesus’ definition (cf. Tom’s post @2) of sexual faithfulness a miss, which is odd. It’s even more odd in light of this sentence:

    This dualism sees the human being not as an integrated whole self, but as a composite of warring elements, material vs. immaterial, physical vs. spiritual, and, in this brave new world of technology, “real” vs. “virtual.”

    Because, see, Jesus showed us in Matthew 5:28 that this whole “real-vs.-virtual” thing isn’t new at all. Men (and especially men, but not just men) have always wanted to excuse their lurid thoughts as being okay because they weren’t real. But God’s Law doesn’t give them a pass. It doesn’t give any of us a pass.

    But that’s no fun to say, because then the Republicans get tarred with that brush, too.

    So, to summarize, sure, whatever, we’re all sinful, but the Democrats are, like, super sinful. Because they’re gnostics.

    And, given the explicit topics already introduced by this article, can I just say that I’m really glad Ms. Prior didn’t marry Mr. Weiner and take his last name?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I do think the article undercuts its point by only being able to point to two Democratic instances. Of course, I suspect it does this because the point of the article isn’t merely to point to sex scandals, but to point to something worse! And I suppose it just Would Not Do to tar Republicans with the gnostic brush. (Because Republicans are Christians?)

    Either way, the article seems to give Jesus’ definition (cf. Tom’s post @2) of sexual faithfulness a miss, which is odd. It’s even more odd in light of this sentence:

    This dualism sees the human being not as an integrated whole self, but as a composite of warring elements, material vs. immaterial, physical vs. spiritual, and, in this brave new world of technology, “real” vs. “virtual.”

    Because, see, Jesus showed us in Matthew 5:28 that this whole “real-vs.-virtual” thing isn’t new at all. Men (and especially men, but not just men) have always wanted to excuse their lurid thoughts as being okay because they weren’t real. But God’s Law doesn’t give them a pass. It doesn’t give any of us a pass.

    But that’s no fun to say, because then the Republicans get tarred with that brush, too.

    So, to summarize, sure, whatever, we’re all sinful, but the Democrats are, like, super sinful. Because they’re gnostics.

    And, given the explicit topics already introduced by this article, can I just say that I’m really glad Ms. Prior didn’t marry Mr. Weiner and take his last name?

  • fws

    bror @ 9

    “The article is discussing, as far as I can tell, the realm of ethics in the secular sphere.”

    Ah yes Bror. So tell me in what other “sphere” “ethics” are any different and how…. your statement implies that there are secular ethics and then … there is some other Divine Ethics that is somehow… um … different? Do tell.

    you managed to pinpoint my point. the dichotomy is wrong.

    this is a false choice between 1 and 2.

    1) it is material vs spiritual (eg monasticism). Nope.
    2) it is to spiritualize the material (this author) .

    This second vision is aristotelian ethics : (1) Reason and love (“spiritual”) are to subdue and “sanctify” (2) natural appetites driven by emotion (“fleshly”). Many christians mistake this as being Sanctification. Nope. This too is flesh that will perish.

    That second option is , actually the “ethics” that God demands in his Word IF we add that the God-demanded result of that Aristotelian effort at being virtuous is to do love for others.

    So we Lutherans agree that choice # 2 that the author favors IS God’s Demand and Will to be done. So then why doesn’t Love save us? After all, Jesus himself says “Do that and you WILL live!” So why can’t we find life there? Or at least evidence that we are alive in the Spirit at least?

    There is no Christ necessary for any of the above.

  • fws

    bror @ 9

    “The article is discussing, as far as I can tell, the realm of ethics in the secular sphere.”

    Ah yes Bror. So tell me in what other “sphere” “ethics” are any different and how…. your statement implies that there are secular ethics and then … there is some other Divine Ethics that is somehow… um … different? Do tell.

    you managed to pinpoint my point. the dichotomy is wrong.

    this is a false choice between 1 and 2.

    1) it is material vs spiritual (eg monasticism). Nope.
    2) it is to spiritualize the material (this author) .

    This second vision is aristotelian ethics : (1) Reason and love (“spiritual”) are to subdue and “sanctify” (2) natural appetites driven by emotion (“fleshly”). Many christians mistake this as being Sanctification. Nope. This too is flesh that will perish.

    That second option is , actually the “ethics” that God demands in his Word IF we add that the God-demanded result of that Aristotelian effort at being virtuous is to do love for others.

    So we Lutherans agree that choice # 2 that the author favors IS God’s Demand and Will to be done. So then why doesn’t Love save us? After all, Jesus himself says “Do that and you WILL live!” So why can’t we find life there? Or at least evidence that we are alive in the Spirit at least?

    There is no Christ necessary for any of the above.

  • fws

    todd @ 10.

    Karen ______ wiener. hahahahahahaha.

  • fws

    todd @ 10.

    Karen ______ wiener. hahahahahahaha.

  • fws

    bror @ 9

    Thanks for goading me to stay on point and keep it succinct and brief. I truly appreciate that dear Pastor. Please do continue.

  • fws

    bror @ 9

    Thanks for goading me to stay on point and keep it succinct and brief. I truly appreciate that dear Pastor. Please do continue.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Frank,
    no, you are missing the point.
    It is not that there are ethics for Christians and Ethics for others. There is one ethic. But there is a dichotomy between Christians and others. And where as we are all in the end held accountable to the same ethical standard, there is a difference in how the world will discuss ethics, and how us Christians will reflect and discuss ethics.
    So the article is a critique of the secular discussion, the discussion in the secular sphere. This is what I am saying.
    And yes, I have to agree with the others here, concerning this whole thing with their article zeroing in on democrats.
    The only problem is, that the republican scandals that come to my mind are not those where there could be any question of infedility, or a grey line. It seems Republicans are much more decisive even in their decisions to commit adultery! I mean, a guy doesn’t take a week to hike the Appalachian trail, I mean chase Argentinian tale, by text messaging lewd photos. Nor does he solicit cyber sex in an airport restroom.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Frank,
    no, you are missing the point.
    It is not that there are ethics for Christians and Ethics for others. There is one ethic. But there is a dichotomy between Christians and others. And where as we are all in the end held accountable to the same ethical standard, there is a difference in how the world will discuss ethics, and how us Christians will reflect and discuss ethics.
    So the article is a critique of the secular discussion, the discussion in the secular sphere. This is what I am saying.
    And yes, I have to agree with the others here, concerning this whole thing with their article zeroing in on democrats.
    The only problem is, that the republican scandals that come to my mind are not those where there could be any question of infedility, or a grey line. It seems Republicans are much more decisive even in their decisions to commit adultery! I mean, a guy doesn’t take a week to hike the Appalachian trail, I mean chase Argentinian tale, by text messaging lewd photos. Nor does he solicit cyber sex in an airport restroom.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    This too Frank, is why their are 3 functions of the law, in which only two are in the exclusive domain of Christian theology.
    and here the issue is the first use.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    This too Frank, is why their are 3 functions of the law, in which only two are in the exclusive domain of Christian theology.
    and here the issue is the first use.

  • helen

    Men have been playing with their minds and other things and justifying it as “not really adultery” … probably forever. Hugh Hefner made it all sound like harmless fun and put the magazine on the newstands (where it was joined by many more and worse).

    The wives who have to put up with the public revelation of this “adolescent behavior” know that Jesus was serious.
    It’s adultery.

  • helen

    Men have been playing with their minds and other things and justifying it as “not really adultery” … probably forever. Hugh Hefner made it all sound like harmless fun and put the magazine on the newstands (where it was joined by many more and worse).

    The wives who have to put up with the public revelation of this “adolescent behavior” know that Jesus was serious.
    It’s adultery.

  • fws

    Bror @ 14 and 15

    “there is a difference in how the world will discuss ethics, and how us Christians will reflect and discuss ethics.”

    And what do you say that difference is?

    There are 3 functions of the law, in which only two are in the exclusive domain of Christian theology.
    and here the issue is the first use.

    (1) Curb: . Restrain course outbreaks of sin.
    (2) Mirror: The Law always accuses!
    (3) Rule: There is no use of the Law uniquely for Christians!

    observations:

    (1) “Third use”:
    Rome: Good Works as spiritual preparation to seek Life.
    Calvin: Good Works = Life in Christ. .

    Lutherans: We do Good Works ! Why?
    We do Good Works to seek our death!
    Lutherans aim to die by doing Good Works !
    We do this aiming to better the creaturely lives of others.
    We seek Life alone by invisible faith. Alone in Christ.
    In our Good Works we seek…. death.

    (2) So now tell me: Which “use” of the Law even is uniquely for Christians? Correct answer: none at all. Formula of Concord article VI.

    First a quote for context, then I will follow with the quote that makes the point that there is no special christian “use ‘ of the Law:

    Epitome:

    5] 4. “Works of the Law” and ” fruits of the Spirit” are good works that identically conform to the Law of God, else they would not be good works. Yet….
    “works of the Law” are extorted from [Old Adam] by urging the punishment and threatening of God’s wrath.
    (2) 6] 5.” Fruits of the Spirit” in contrast …are the works…done by believers so far as they are [New Man], as though they knew of no command, threat, or reward.

    This second mode of keeping the Law, is what St. Paul in his epistles calls the Law of Christ and the Law of the mind, Rom. 7:25; 8:7; Rom. 8:2; Gal. 6:2.

    7] 6. THUS the Law is and remains … to penitent/impenitent, to regenerate /unregenerate , one and the same Law , namely, the immutable will of God; and the difference, as to obedience is that Old Adam does the Law out of constraint and unwillingly what it requires of him, as also the regenerate do according to the flesh ; but the believer, as New Man, does a willing spirit that no threatenings however severe of the Law could ever extort from him. http://bookofconcord.org/fc-ep.php#part6.5 note I have translated directly here from the Latin. the link is to afford comfirmation that the sense is the same in any translation.

    And here bror is the part that appears to disagree with your idea that there is a special christian USE of the Law.

    Negative Theses. False Contrary Doctrine.
    8] Accordingly, we reject as a dogma and error injurious to, and conflicting with, Christian discipline and true godliness the teaching that:
    the Law in the above-mentioned way and degree…

    Note dear Bror this means: curb, mirror AND rule! They are all dealt with in the body of article VI preceeding the section I quoted!

    ….is to be urged only upon unbelievers non-christians and the impenetent, and not also upon Christians and true believers. (ibid)

  • fws

    Bror @ 14 and 15

    “there is a difference in how the world will discuss ethics, and how us Christians will reflect and discuss ethics.”

    And what do you say that difference is?

    There are 3 functions of the law, in which only two are in the exclusive domain of Christian theology.
    and here the issue is the first use.

    (1) Curb: . Restrain course outbreaks of sin.
    (2) Mirror: The Law always accuses!
    (3) Rule: There is no use of the Law uniquely for Christians!

    observations:

    (1) “Third use”:
    Rome: Good Works as spiritual preparation to seek Life.
    Calvin: Good Works = Life in Christ. .

    Lutherans: We do Good Works ! Why?
    We do Good Works to seek our death!
    Lutherans aim to die by doing Good Works !
    We do this aiming to better the creaturely lives of others.
    We seek Life alone by invisible faith. Alone in Christ.
    In our Good Works we seek…. death.

    (2) So now tell me: Which “use” of the Law even is uniquely for Christians? Correct answer: none at all. Formula of Concord article VI.

    First a quote for context, then I will follow with the quote that makes the point that there is no special christian “use ‘ of the Law:

    Epitome:

    5] 4. “Works of the Law” and ” fruits of the Spirit” are good works that identically conform to the Law of God, else they would not be good works. Yet….
    “works of the Law” are extorted from [Old Adam] by urging the punishment and threatening of God’s wrath.
    (2) 6] 5.” Fruits of the Spirit” in contrast …are the works…done by believers so far as they are [New Man], as though they knew of no command, threat, or reward.

    This second mode of keeping the Law, is what St. Paul in his epistles calls the Law of Christ and the Law of the mind, Rom. 7:25; 8:7; Rom. 8:2; Gal. 6:2.

    7] 6. THUS the Law is and remains … to penitent/impenitent, to regenerate /unregenerate , one and the same Law , namely, the immutable will of God; and the difference, as to obedience is that Old Adam does the Law out of constraint and unwillingly what it requires of him, as also the regenerate do according to the flesh ; but the believer, as New Man, does a willing spirit that no threatenings however severe of the Law could ever extort from him. http://bookofconcord.org/fc-ep.php#part6.5 note I have translated directly here from the Latin. the link is to afford comfirmation that the sense is the same in any translation.

    And here bror is the part that appears to disagree with your idea that there is a special christian USE of the Law.

    Negative Theses. False Contrary Doctrine.
    8] Accordingly, we reject as a dogma and error injurious to, and conflicting with, Christian discipline and true godliness the teaching that:
    the Law in the above-mentioned way and degree…

    Note dear Bror this means: curb, mirror AND rule! They are all dealt with in the body of article VI preceeding the section I quoted!

    ….is to be urged only upon unbelievers non-christians and the impenetent, and not also upon Christians and true believers. (ibid)

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Frank,
    I am well aware of the debate concerning the “third use” ( I prefer the term function, because that is actually what the confessions mean by the term, but find myself reverting to this term “use.”) But it is irrelevant to this discussion. No one is here thinking that Wiener or these others are trying to sanctify themselves or anyone else.
    The discussion is all with in the ream of the first function of the law, how the law works as a curb in society and how that society is changing its view of what is acceptable and unacceptable as regards adultery, and why that is, and its implications concerning a platonic or gnostic dualism concerning the secular anthropology of man.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Frank,
    I am well aware of the debate concerning the “third use” ( I prefer the term function, because that is actually what the confessions mean by the term, but find myself reverting to this term “use.”) But it is irrelevant to this discussion. No one is here thinking that Wiener or these others are trying to sanctify themselves or anyone else.
    The discussion is all with in the ream of the first function of the law, how the law works as a curb in society and how that society is changing its view of what is acceptable and unacceptable as regards adultery, and why that is, and its implications concerning a platonic or gnostic dualism concerning the secular anthropology of man.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Oh, and I was very careful here, Frank, to not say that any function of the law was for the exclusive use of Christians. You will note that I said it was in the exclusive realm of Christian theology. Why? Because Christians are the only ones who recognize these different functions, as the second is the function of the law in the realm of Christian preaching. The secular world does not preach the law to bring about repentance and conversion. Christians preach the law in this way to unbelievers and Christians a like. The third function is a distinction without much of a difference if any, that I will grant. But that is a discussion for a different day.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Oh, and I was very careful here, Frank, to not say that any function of the law was for the exclusive use of Christians. You will note that I said it was in the exclusive realm of Christian theology. Why? Because Christians are the only ones who recognize these different functions, as the second is the function of the law in the realm of Christian preaching. The secular world does not preach the law to bring about repentance and conversion. Christians preach the law in this way to unbelievers and Christians a like. The third function is a distinction without much of a difference if any, that I will grant. But that is a discussion for a different day.

  • fws

    bror @ 18 & 19

    BROR [Distinctions of "use/functions" of the Law] is irrelevant to this discussion. No one is here thinking that Wiener or these others are trying to sanctify [justify] themselves or anyone else.
    The discussion is [about]… (1) the 1st function, Law as a curb… and (2) societies[aledged] changing… [acceptance of] adultery,

    FWS

    “the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuses/justify them Rom 2:14

    Note that it is the “work of the Law” and not the Law that is written in their hearts. It is their “thoughts/conscience” that accuses/justifies them. Society can TRY to pretend, but the Law will not go away. It just comes back and does its thang. It kills. it demands its due. it accuses.

    This is why the Confessions say that Reason is the same revealed Law of God as the Decalog (apology IV). Ditto Luther in his Sermon on the Law of Moses,. The heart is at war with this Law.

    BROR “changing acceptance of adultery”

    FWS So then this is also about societies use of the Law as a miirror eh? Ist use! The Law always accuses! Society is powerless to “change ” it. Antinomians, secular and religious, erase the 3 letters L.A.W. but the law itself remains. They just call it something else. “family values” “values” “ethics” “ecological consciousness” etc. etc. etc. (cf Romans 2:14 again…)

    BROR (3) [the assertion that this *aledged* changing] is due to gnostic dualism concerning the secular anthropology of man.

    FWS: I say this is a red herring. The Divine Law is written by God in the Reason of men. It simply is impossible for anyone to erase. The confessions point to pagan Aristotle and say “nothing can be demanded concerning second table morality.” (Apology art VI). St Paul agrees with this (again cf rom 2:14). What the author would propose in the place of aleged gnostic dualism’s place is also whitewashed death. It is trying to fix stuff with some Law solution.

    BROR (4) No function of the law was for the exclusive use of Christians(5) It [curb? mirror? rule? unclear here...} was in the exclusive realm of Christian theology.

    FWS Again: Cf Rom 2:14 The ENTIRE Law is written in the minds of Men , even that one part that is "peculiarly" in the !st table of the Decalog whose subject matter is "movements of the heart" which is faith alone in christ alone. But reason is veiled by moses to this Law.

    BROR (6) Christians are the only ones who recognize these different functions, example, the second {the Law always accuses! it shows our sin] is the function of the law in the realm of Christian preaching.

    FWS: Again cf Rom 2:14 The author is feeling accused by the Law. 1st function. So she self justifies by accusing others. Thus the glaring omission of republicans…as you mentioned..
    .
    BROR (7) The secular world does not preach the law to bring about repentance and conversion.

    FWS Neither do you or other christians! This is the work of the Holy Sprit and the Holy Gospel, not the Law. Repentence has a broad (law) and narrow (gospel) meaning. The confessions unraveled the confusion that dual biblical usage caused as you know. we dont need to treat of that here.

    BROR (8) Christians preach the law in this way to unbelievers and Christians a like.

    FWS The Law is written in the minds of all men and preaches to them. It always accuses! it always kills. So when Reason hears the preaching of the Decalog, it agrees with it. Why? It is the same Divinely Revealed Law. This fact is what makes missionary work possible. it is the common agreed upon point of reference for christian and pagan. (cf rom 2:14) It is the Holy Spirit who preaches this Law. And this same divinely revealed Law is preached in the form of the IRS tax code, speeding laws, nagging spouses, and babies crying to have a diaper changed, and poop scoop ordinances.

    BROR (9) The third function is a distinction without much of a difference if any, that I will grant. But that is a discussion for a different day.

    FWS : The LUTHERAN third use says that the Law always Kills! So 3rd funtion/use is kill all notions of the Law as being a way to Life or sanctification (cf Rome/Geneva/Antinomians).

    The LUTHERAN third use, in contrast, says that the Law ALWAYS kills, it never sanctifies. So Christians are to use the Law to die for the creaturely lives of others.

    This is not the frame of the Law this woman is in is it? She is rearranging the deck chairs on a moral Titanic is what she is doing.

  • fws

    bror @ 18 & 19

    BROR [Distinctions of "use/functions" of the Law] is irrelevant to this discussion. No one is here thinking that Wiener or these others are trying to sanctify [justify] themselves or anyone else.
    The discussion is [about]… (1) the 1st function, Law as a curb… and (2) societies[aledged] changing… [acceptance of] adultery,

    FWS

    “the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuses/justify them Rom 2:14

    Note that it is the “work of the Law” and not the Law that is written in their hearts. It is their “thoughts/conscience” that accuses/justifies them. Society can TRY to pretend, but the Law will not go away. It just comes back and does its thang. It kills. it demands its due. it accuses.

    This is why the Confessions say that Reason is the same revealed Law of God as the Decalog (apology IV). Ditto Luther in his Sermon on the Law of Moses,. The heart is at war with this Law.

    BROR “changing acceptance of adultery”

    FWS So then this is also about societies use of the Law as a miirror eh? Ist use! The Law always accuses! Society is powerless to “change ” it. Antinomians, secular and religious, erase the 3 letters L.A.W. but the law itself remains. They just call it something else. “family values” “values” “ethics” “ecological consciousness” etc. etc. etc. (cf Romans 2:14 again…)

    BROR (3) [the assertion that this *aledged* changing] is due to gnostic dualism concerning the secular anthropology of man.

    FWS: I say this is a red herring. The Divine Law is written by God in the Reason of men. It simply is impossible for anyone to erase. The confessions point to pagan Aristotle and say “nothing can be demanded concerning second table morality.” (Apology art VI). St Paul agrees with this (again cf rom 2:14). What the author would propose in the place of aleged gnostic dualism’s place is also whitewashed death. It is trying to fix stuff with some Law solution.

    BROR (4) No function of the law was for the exclusive use of Christians(5) It [curb? mirror? rule? unclear here...} was in the exclusive realm of Christian theology.

    FWS Again: Cf Rom 2:14 The ENTIRE Law is written in the minds of Men , even that one part that is "peculiarly" in the !st table of the Decalog whose subject matter is "movements of the heart" which is faith alone in christ alone. But reason is veiled by moses to this Law.

    BROR (6) Christians are the only ones who recognize these different functions, example, the second {the Law always accuses! it shows our sin] is the function of the law in the realm of Christian preaching.

    FWS: Again cf Rom 2:14 The author is feeling accused by the Law. 1st function. So she self justifies by accusing others. Thus the glaring omission of republicans…as you mentioned..
    .
    BROR (7) The secular world does not preach the law to bring about repentance and conversion.

    FWS Neither do you or other christians! This is the work of the Holy Sprit and the Holy Gospel, not the Law. Repentence has a broad (law) and narrow (gospel) meaning. The confessions unraveled the confusion that dual biblical usage caused as you know. we dont need to treat of that here.

    BROR (8) Christians preach the law in this way to unbelievers and Christians a like.

    FWS The Law is written in the minds of all men and preaches to them. It always accuses! it always kills. So when Reason hears the preaching of the Decalog, it agrees with it. Why? It is the same Divinely Revealed Law. This fact is what makes missionary work possible. it is the common agreed upon point of reference for christian and pagan. (cf rom 2:14) It is the Holy Spirit who preaches this Law. And this same divinely revealed Law is preached in the form of the IRS tax code, speeding laws, nagging spouses, and babies crying to have a diaper changed, and poop scoop ordinances.

    BROR (9) The third function is a distinction without much of a difference if any, that I will grant. But that is a discussion for a different day.

    FWS : The LUTHERAN third use says that the Law always Kills! So 3rd funtion/use is kill all notions of the Law as being a way to Life or sanctification (cf Rome/Geneva/Antinomians).

    The LUTHERAN third use, in contrast, says that the Law ALWAYS kills, it never sanctifies. So Christians are to use the Law to die for the creaturely lives of others.

    This is not the frame of the Law this woman is in is it? She is rearranging the deck chairs on a moral Titanic is what she is doing.

  • fws

    bror @ 18 & 19
    Executive summary:

    Assertion 1: Society is redefining “sin”: Media coverage…1998..centered on the technical definition of adultery. [in 2011].. focus is…holistic, and even more biblical, idea of fidelity. 1998 letter of the law 2011 spirit of the law….experts [follow this trend].

    Comment: Rom 2:14 the Law is Divinely Written in Reason. It cannot be redefined away. This would be like “redefining” the Law of Gravity. The Law does us. We don’t do the Law. And it does us to our death.

    Assertion 2 & 3: 1998-2011 are both about Dualism. …Clinton/Weiner’s… reveal …mind-body dualism: human being is not as an integrated whole self, but …warring elements, material vs. immaterial, physical vs. spiritual, and “real” vs. “virtual.”

    Comment: So what is the opposing and correct view? I would bet money her view is this: Aristotelian ethics aimed and the production of Love. (Apology art IV and St Paul re: Love.) This is probably what the author would propose as the “christian” tradition. This is mans’ “higher powers” of reason/love “wholistically” reining in the “baser instincts” of natural appetites driven by emotions.

    Assertion 4: The Christian tradition [which is???..] has worked hard to overcome this dualism.

    Comment: I think she is referring to scholasticism (=”baptized” aristotle) as opposed to modernism and postmodernism actually. Read her blog and tell me differently. I have. Now comes the thesis:

    Assertion 5: This marks a transition from Modernism to “some-would-say” Post Modernism: Clinton=physical aspect, “is fellatio sex?” Wiener =lack of physical “is virtual sex infidelity?”
    these two cases…a subtle transition…away from modernist black and white classifications and definitions rooted in a scientific worldview, to a some-would–ay postmodern.. focuses more on the relationships and contexts that transcend the old categories.

    Comment: her question , is it modernism shifting to postmodernism is rearranging deck chairs on the moral titanic.

    Her moral titanic is to propose that dualism is more death-with-a-paint-job than is aristotelian “wholistic” ethics are. Aristotelian are “wholistic” because they combine the “spiritual” reason/love in the proper “natural law” use of “material” bodily needs and emotions.

    It is absolutely true that even our Lord Jesus says to her version of ethics: “do that and you WILL have eternal life!” So why can’t her version, which is Love , save us? Jesus says it can.

    Answer: It can all be done, to a measure, without Christ.

    Second answer: But without Christ there is no salvation.

    The Law works true (ie God ordained) righteousness, that is love, on earth.
    It does this by killing us.
    This is the fact that is true for both christians and pagans alike.

    In heaven the same righteousness simply happens alone by faith in Christ. There will be neither Law nor even Gospel there!

  • fws

    bror @ 18 & 19
    Executive summary:

    Assertion 1: Society is redefining “sin”: Media coverage…1998..centered on the technical definition of adultery. [in 2011].. focus is…holistic, and even more biblical, idea of fidelity. 1998 letter of the law 2011 spirit of the law….experts [follow this trend].

    Comment: Rom 2:14 the Law is Divinely Written in Reason. It cannot be redefined away. This would be like “redefining” the Law of Gravity. The Law does us. We don’t do the Law. And it does us to our death.

    Assertion 2 & 3: 1998-2011 are both about Dualism. …Clinton/Weiner’s… reveal …mind-body dualism: human being is not as an integrated whole self, but …warring elements, material vs. immaterial, physical vs. spiritual, and “real” vs. “virtual.”

    Comment: So what is the opposing and correct view? I would bet money her view is this: Aristotelian ethics aimed and the production of Love. (Apology art IV and St Paul re: Love.) This is probably what the author would propose as the “christian” tradition. This is mans’ “higher powers” of reason/love “wholistically” reining in the “baser instincts” of natural appetites driven by emotions.

    Assertion 4: The Christian tradition [which is???..] has worked hard to overcome this dualism.

    Comment: I think she is referring to scholasticism (=”baptized” aristotle) as opposed to modernism and postmodernism actually. Read her blog and tell me differently. I have. Now comes the thesis:

    Assertion 5: This marks a transition from Modernism to “some-would-say” Post Modernism: Clinton=physical aspect, “is fellatio sex?” Wiener =lack of physical “is virtual sex infidelity?”
    these two cases…a subtle transition…away from modernist black and white classifications and definitions rooted in a scientific worldview, to a some-would–ay postmodern.. focuses more on the relationships and contexts that transcend the old categories.

    Comment: her question , is it modernism shifting to postmodernism is rearranging deck chairs on the moral titanic.

    Her moral titanic is to propose that dualism is more death-with-a-paint-job than is aristotelian “wholistic” ethics are. Aristotelian are “wholistic” because they combine the “spiritual” reason/love in the proper “natural law” use of “material” bodily needs and emotions.

    It is absolutely true that even our Lord Jesus says to her version of ethics: “do that and you WILL have eternal life!” So why can’t her version, which is Love , save us? Jesus says it can.

    Answer: It can all be done, to a measure, without Christ.

    Second answer: But without Christ there is no salvation.

    The Law works true (ie God ordained) righteousness, that is love, on earth.
    It does this by killing us.
    This is the fact that is true for both christians and pagans alike.

    In heaven the same righteousness simply happens alone by faith in Christ. There will be neither Law nor even Gospel there!

  • fws

    I am challenging the current religious meme that is a recurring theme of her blog as well..

    1) that the alleged “collapse of morality” is due to gnostic dualism. there can be no colapse of Goodness and Mercy on earth so there can be no colapse either of the Law the HS uses on old adams to produce this first article Goodness and Mercy. It in no wise at all depends upon anyones faithfulness or love. (cf Luke 18 the lawless lawgiver driven by a conscience dead to love). Again to say that anyone can “redefine” the moral law is the exact equivalent of saying someone can redefine the law of gravity. Exactly . equivalent.

    and I assert …

    2) that what she defends and describes as “christian tradition” in morality is merely the same Divinely Revealed Law that is Reason , which is what Lutherans call “Natural Law” whenever they use that term in the Confessions.

    and most importantly

    3) This “christian tradition” that is Law, is about the Law killing us. There is no sanctification in that. there is only our death. there is no transformation or moral restoration in that. All law solutions, (and gnosticism is that too), result in death.

    At the same time God WILL have this morality , that is achieved by killing us with the Law, done on earth. We can be willing, or we can refuse.

    In which case we should fear God’s wrath, because then he will send the govt to make us do it. And if the government succumbs, then he will wipe them out too as we saw with the romans and greeks.

    The Law does us. This woman imagines that doing the Law or not can be optional…. that society has in it’s power to opt out…

    Ahem.

  • fws

    I am challenging the current religious meme that is a recurring theme of her blog as well..

    1) that the alleged “collapse of morality” is due to gnostic dualism. there can be no colapse of Goodness and Mercy on earth so there can be no colapse either of the Law the HS uses on old adams to produce this first article Goodness and Mercy. It in no wise at all depends upon anyones faithfulness or love. (cf Luke 18 the lawless lawgiver driven by a conscience dead to love). Again to say that anyone can “redefine” the moral law is the exact equivalent of saying someone can redefine the law of gravity. Exactly . equivalent.

    and I assert …

    2) that what she defends and describes as “christian tradition” in morality is merely the same Divinely Revealed Law that is Reason , which is what Lutherans call “Natural Law” whenever they use that term in the Confessions.

    and most importantly

    3) This “christian tradition” that is Law, is about the Law killing us. There is no sanctification in that. there is only our death. there is no transformation or moral restoration in that. All law solutions, (and gnosticism is that too), result in death.

    At the same time God WILL have this morality , that is achieved by killing us with the Law, done on earth. We can be willing, or we can refuse.

    In which case we should fear God’s wrath, because then he will send the govt to make us do it. And if the government succumbs, then he will wipe them out too as we saw with the romans and greeks.

    The Law does us. This woman imagines that doing the Law or not can be optional…. that society has in it’s power to opt out…

    Ahem.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Frank,
    All this discussion is about this one simple thing that you fail to address, at least not in the firs paragraph of your posts, which I admit is all the further I can read of your posts these days. What exactly are you maintaining is false about “this” article?
    We know society is wrong in their thinking. This article merely describes what they are thinking, and the reasons they are thinking thus. At least that is how I read this article.
    Now if you want to talk about why the people think thus, and why that is wrong, knock yourself out. But that is not to say the same as “this article is wrong.”
    If you need three pages to answer that question, please don’t bother. And even more, drop the “dear.” I suspect you are trying to be polite, but it comes off pedantic. Bror is just fine. It is the nature of having a name meaning brother, that it begs not to be preceded by titles and formalities. So if you want to use titles and formalities, please keep it to the exclusive use of my last name. Personal quirk.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Frank,
    All this discussion is about this one simple thing that you fail to address, at least not in the firs paragraph of your posts, which I admit is all the further I can read of your posts these days. What exactly are you maintaining is false about “this” article?
    We know society is wrong in their thinking. This article merely describes what they are thinking, and the reasons they are thinking thus. At least that is how I read this article.
    Now if you want to talk about why the people think thus, and why that is wrong, knock yourself out. But that is not to say the same as “this article is wrong.”
    If you need three pages to answer that question, please don’t bother. And even more, drop the “dear.” I suspect you are trying to be polite, but it comes off pedantic. Bror is just fine. It is the nature of having a name meaning brother, that it begs not to be preceded by titles and formalities. So if you want to use titles and formalities, please keep it to the exclusive use of my last name. Personal quirk.

  • fws

    Bror @ 23

    #### Bror: read my last post @ 22. you wont need to get past the first paragraph.

  • fws

    Bror @ 23

    #### Bror: read my last post @ 22. you wont need to get past the first paragraph.

  • fws

    Bror

    society is wrong in their thinking not because…

    they are im-moral as in law-less (rom 2:14) or …

    because they could think a law into non existence (rom 2:14) that would be like denying the law of gravity.

    nor is the problem in thinking (rom 2:14. again). Like right thinking is going to make a difference (“dont be a gnostic!”), ALL the solutions of Reason, or Divinely Revealed Law are death-painted-white.

    The problem is in the heart and will and affections of man.

    The author misses this. Read her blog.

  • fws

    Bror

    society is wrong in their thinking not because…

    they are im-moral as in law-less (rom 2:14) or …

    because they could think a law into non existence (rom 2:14) that would be like denying the law of gravity.

    nor is the problem in thinking (rom 2:14. again). Like right thinking is going to make a difference (“dont be a gnostic!”), ALL the solutions of Reason, or Divinely Revealed Law are death-painted-white.

    The problem is in the heart and will and affections of man.

    The author misses this. Read her blog.

  • fws

    Bror @ 23

    Or try this short sum :

    The author identifies something wrong. It is in (democratic/liberal!) mankinds’ thinking .

    She asserts that what is wrong is that “their” thinking is dualistic, gnostic. The implied solution is to think our way out of that error.

    Her actual central thesis here is that there is a shift from thinking like a modernist to thinking as a post-modernist. She adds “some would say”.

    Romans Eight says the problem is not dualism or gnosticism. It is that even our best and most truly Godly and ethical thinking (eg scholasticism, aristotle) will not fix the problem. Jesus calls even the truly finest and most noble and most God pleasing moral thinking death-painted-white-to-look-nice.

    Why? No Christ is needed to be outwardly impeccable. Even the right-test, non-gnostic , correct moral thinking leads to what? Death.

    The true solution is a stark choice between flesh and spirit. The confessions say that spirit can only be had by new heart movements. no reason or strength of moral will, will get us there.

    The woman is rearranging the moral deckchairs on the titannic.

  • fws

    Bror @ 23

    Or try this short sum :

    The author identifies something wrong. It is in (democratic/liberal!) mankinds’ thinking .

    She asserts that what is wrong is that “their” thinking is dualistic, gnostic. The implied solution is to think our way out of that error.

    Her actual central thesis here is that there is a shift from thinking like a modernist to thinking as a post-modernist. She adds “some would say”.

    Romans Eight says the problem is not dualism or gnosticism. It is that even our best and most truly Godly and ethical thinking (eg scholasticism, aristotle) will not fix the problem. Jesus calls even the truly finest and most noble and most God pleasing moral thinking death-painted-white-to-look-nice.

    Why? No Christ is needed to be outwardly impeccable. Even the right-test, non-gnostic , correct moral thinking leads to what? Death.

    The true solution is a stark choice between flesh and spirit. The confessions say that spirit can only be had by new heart movements. no reason or strength of moral will, will get us there.

    The woman is rearranging the moral deckchairs on the titannic.

  • fws

    bror @ 23

    I would suggest that the woman suffers (as do all moralists) from a form of moral alcoholism. Her very best thinking is the problem.

    drinking gnostic brew leads to a liberal hangover she says. Ok. Maybe so. So? So maybe switch to roman catholic moralism…. or become a dry drunk. avoid sinning , but … this is to white knucle it.

    The problem still remains.. that desire to drink from that font that is death-painted-white-to-look-nice, thinking it is the fountain of Life that will quench one’s thirst and make the world think and therefore act right.

    Reason is of this opinion since it is veiled with the Veil of Moses: “right thinking is the solution!”

    But the Lutheran Confessions, along with Christ and St Paul say that mankind needs instead, new movements of the heart, because the problem is one of heart movements. Thinking is all about romans eight flesh. It is of the Law. Totally.

  • fws

    bror @ 23

    I would suggest that the woman suffers (as do all moralists) from a form of moral alcoholism. Her very best thinking is the problem.

    drinking gnostic brew leads to a liberal hangover she says. Ok. Maybe so. So? So maybe switch to roman catholic moralism…. or become a dry drunk. avoid sinning , but … this is to white knucle it.

    The problem still remains.. that desire to drink from that font that is death-painted-white-to-look-nice, thinking it is the fountain of Life that will quench one’s thirst and make the world think and therefore act right.

    Reason is of this opinion since it is veiled with the Veil of Moses: “right thinking is the solution!”

    But the Lutheran Confessions, along with Christ and St Paul say that mankind needs instead, new movements of the heart, because the problem is one of heart movements. Thinking is all about romans eight flesh. It is of the Law. Totally.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Frank,
    I frankly don’t see it. This article describes a shift in the ethical thinking of Americans. It does hint, and I tend to agree, that the nation has gotten better in their thinking. She also points to gnosticism, a generic term for platonic dualism that does like it or not tend to infect the way western societies think even, if not especially within Christianity, even though Christianity officially teaches quite the opposite.
    Perhaps I am missing something by not going to her site to read the whole thing. Veith put this up, for discussion. The shift has occurred, and over all it is better for society.
    (Now that is a value judgment, and perhaps could be debated.)
    Your Problem as I see it, as you want to not only conflate the third function of the Law into the second, but also the first. For some reason, you think that since no one can be moral or perfect in the sense of Roman’s 3, there is no benefit whatsoever to thinking about Ethics in the secular realm.
    I say there is. Without trying to moralize, rather than evangelize, the world into being Christians, I think there is great benefit to the law and clarity regarding what is wrong and what isn’t, what should be punished, and to what degree it should be punished. This is all a practical matter with in the left hand Kingdom, in which Christians also live. In this realm it does not do to say, well sin is sin so we shouldn’t think about to what degree it is morally wrong or not, so we can adequately address the ill it is causing in society without over addressing it and causing more problems. Some sins are just plain more harmful in society at least in their immediate and secular consequences than others. And aids victim that lusts after another in his heart, might be guilty of fornication or adultery in at the judgment seat, but in this life, he has not passed on aids to another individual by lusting. So where as a mother, friend, or spouse might be in the right to chastize another for their lust, it doesn’t do to sew a scarlet letter on their clothing for it. We would all be walking around with them, and it would be meaningless.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Frank,
    I frankly don’t see it. This article describes a shift in the ethical thinking of Americans. It does hint, and I tend to agree, that the nation has gotten better in their thinking. She also points to gnosticism, a generic term for platonic dualism that does like it or not tend to infect the way western societies think even, if not especially within Christianity, even though Christianity officially teaches quite the opposite.
    Perhaps I am missing something by not going to her site to read the whole thing. Veith put this up, for discussion. The shift has occurred, and over all it is better for society.
    (Now that is a value judgment, and perhaps could be debated.)
    Your Problem as I see it, as you want to not only conflate the third function of the Law into the second, but also the first. For some reason, you think that since no one can be moral or perfect in the sense of Roman’s 3, there is no benefit whatsoever to thinking about Ethics in the secular realm.
    I say there is. Without trying to moralize, rather than evangelize, the world into being Christians, I think there is great benefit to the law and clarity regarding what is wrong and what isn’t, what should be punished, and to what degree it should be punished. This is all a practical matter with in the left hand Kingdom, in which Christians also live. In this realm it does not do to say, well sin is sin so we shouldn’t think about to what degree it is morally wrong or not, so we can adequately address the ill it is causing in society without over addressing it and causing more problems. Some sins are just plain more harmful in society at least in their immediate and secular consequences than others. And aids victim that lusts after another in his heart, might be guilty of fornication or adultery in at the judgment seat, but in this life, he has not passed on aids to another individual by lusting. So where as a mother, friend, or spouse might be in the right to chastize another for their lust, it doesn’t do to sew a scarlet letter on their clothing for it. We would all be walking around with them, and it would be meaningless.

  • fws

    bror @ 28

    “Your Problem as I see it, as you want to not only conflate the third function of the Law into the second, but also the first.”

    The moral work of every Old Adam is to white wash our sepulchers. Period.

    Nothing else is the morality God’s Word demands in the Law. The Law always accuses and aims for effecting our death. And it is our work. We are commanded to do it. Or . else.

    This is the sacrifice made for the transitory creaturely goodness and mercy of our neighbor. Our neighbor does not deserve this of us. that is why it is called “Mercy”. Why would you think to accuse me of thinking this is not “goodness”?

    But… it IS exactly to whitewash our sepulchers.

    Old adam wishes sherman williams to have eternal ..er..”implications” and make it about at least “sanctification” or being God-imaged or to “be like God”. Hmmmm . Where did I hear that idea from in Genesis?

    Faith in Christ alone has eternal implications. Faith alone restores the Image of God and IS the Image of God.

    And it is faith in Christ that encompasses both the whitewashing of our sepulchers which is what Baptism signifies and that keeping of the First Table that requires new movements of the heart.There is one Law. To not conflate the “functions” is to have 3 Laws.

    When we hear the Divine Law revealed, whether it is in the accusing conscience and thoughts that is Reason (rom 2:14 again) or in the same Law found in the Decalog (Apology art IV and Luthers Sermon on Mosaic Law).

    When the Law is preached, both regenerate and unregenerate alike are hit with ALL 3 ‘functions” (FC VI cited earlier). This is pretty obvious right? The Law of God is inseverable.

  • fws

    bror @ 28

    “Your Problem as I see it, as you want to not only conflate the third function of the Law into the second, but also the first.”

    The moral work of every Old Adam is to white wash our sepulchers. Period.

    Nothing else is the morality God’s Word demands in the Law. The Law always accuses and aims for effecting our death. And it is our work. We are commanded to do it. Or . else.

    This is the sacrifice made for the transitory creaturely goodness and mercy of our neighbor. Our neighbor does not deserve this of us. that is why it is called “Mercy”. Why would you think to accuse me of thinking this is not “goodness”?

    But… it IS exactly to whitewash our sepulchers.

    Old adam wishes sherman williams to have eternal ..er..”implications” and make it about at least “sanctification” or being God-imaged or to “be like God”. Hmmmm . Where did I hear that idea from in Genesis?

    Faith in Christ alone has eternal implications. Faith alone restores the Image of God and IS the Image of God.

    And it is faith in Christ that encompasses both the whitewashing of our sepulchers which is what Baptism signifies and that keeping of the First Table that requires new movements of the heart.There is one Law. To not conflate the “functions” is to have 3 Laws.

    When we hear the Divine Law revealed, whether it is in the accusing conscience and thoughts that is Reason (rom 2:14 again) or in the same Law found in the Decalog (Apology art IV and Luthers Sermon on Mosaic Law).

    When the Law is preached, both regenerate and unregenerate alike are hit with ALL 3 ‘functions” (FC VI cited earlier). This is pretty obvious right? The Law of God is inseverable.

  • fws

    Bror @ 28

    “Without trying to moralize, rather than evangelize, the world into being Christians, …

    I think there is great benefit to the law…”

    It doesnt matter what you think Bror. God will make his first article and second and third article Goodness and Mercy happen in with and under Old Adams whether you think right or not.

    This WILL be done indeed without the prayer, asking, worthinness, faithfullness OR right thinking of any of us.

    This is preciselyv why our catechisms say we are to fear God and his wrath: If we do not learn to joyfully love our neighbor, then God WILL send punishments to us to force us to do his Goodness and Mercy.

    The Law does us. We don’t it. And it does us to death. It always accuses us in our conscience and thinking (rom 2:14) and the effects of that are wrtten in our hearts in the form of our hearts bleeding to death.

    Law and Good Works always always always = Our Death.

    And they are for the transitory creaturely life of others.

  • fws

    Bror @ 28

    “Without trying to moralize, rather than evangelize, the world into being Christians, …

    I think there is great benefit to the law…”

    It doesnt matter what you think Bror. God will make his first article and second and third article Goodness and Mercy happen in with and under Old Adams whether you think right or not.

    This WILL be done indeed without the prayer, asking, worthinness, faithfullness OR right thinking of any of us.

    This is preciselyv why our catechisms say we are to fear God and his wrath: If we do not learn to joyfully love our neighbor, then God WILL send punishments to us to force us to do his Goodness and Mercy.

    The Law does us. We don’t it. And it does us to death. It always accuses us in our conscience and thinking (rom 2:14) and the effects of that are wrtten in our hearts in the form of our hearts bleeding to death.

    Law and Good Works always always always = Our Death.

    And they are for the transitory creaturely life of others.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    You’re hopeless Frank.
    No one is arguing, at least I am not, that the old adam tries to white wash a sepulchur. No one is arguing that we don’t all fall short of the Glory of God.
    We are arguing quite a different thing, as far as what I can get from what Veith has put up to be discussed, and which you refuse to discuss.
    The law is actually, not all about the second function. There is also this first function, where the law operates to accord peace in the world, to provide justice, right wrongs and reward good. And in that realm, it is a good thing to think about why you think x is good and y is bad, but z is not quite as bad, and it has nothing to do with whitewashing the sepulchure.
    If Wiener comes to hear a sermon of mine, he’ll hear something different.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    You’re hopeless Frank.
    No one is arguing, at least I am not, that the old adam tries to white wash a sepulchur. No one is arguing that we don’t all fall short of the Glory of God.
    We are arguing quite a different thing, as far as what I can get from what Veith has put up to be discussed, and which you refuse to discuss.
    The law is actually, not all about the second function. There is also this first function, where the law operates to accord peace in the world, to provide justice, right wrongs and reward good. And in that realm, it is a good thing to think about why you think x is good and y is bad, but z is not quite as bad, and it has nothing to do with whitewashing the sepulchure.
    If Wiener comes to hear a sermon of mine, he’ll hear something different.

  • fws

    You missed what I said completely:

    The entire God intended point of all morality demanded by the Unitary Law written in Reason , conscience and the Decalog demands precisely that we whitewash our sepulchers.

    To whitewash our sepulchers is what we christians do in keeping the Law. it is the definition of true morality.

    The Law and Good Works ALWAYS are only about our death. This is God’s intent in the Law for it is the only way Old Adam can then do love.

    Old adam can do this. he trusts in this doing for life.

    This woman says she seeks and others should seek to be made “whole” (as opposed to gnosticism) how? By some form of the Law.

  • fws

    You missed what I said completely:

    The entire God intended point of all morality demanded by the Unitary Law written in Reason , conscience and the Decalog demands precisely that we whitewash our sepulchers.

    To whitewash our sepulchers is what we christians do in keeping the Law. it is the definition of true morality.

    The Law and Good Works ALWAYS are only about our death. This is God’s intent in the Law for it is the only way Old Adam can then do love.

    Old adam can do this. he trusts in this doing for life.

    This woman says she seeks and others should seek to be made “whole” (as opposed to gnosticism) how? By some form of the Law.

  • fws

    The christian’s keeping of the law is an exercise in whitewashing our sepulchers in order to provide goodness and mercy to others.

    This is the identical moral process that pagans also are to do , driven by the sane law in the same way (FC art VI)

    There is no life at all in the Law or doing it. There is only death.

    Faith accepts this proposition and embraces it! Pagans flee it and seek life in this death by means of sherman williams.

  • fws

    The christian’s keeping of the law is an exercise in whitewashing our sepulchers in order to provide goodness and mercy to others.

    This is the identical moral process that pagans also are to do , driven by the sane law in the same way (FC art VI)

    There is no life at all in the Law or doing it. There is only death.

    Faith accepts this proposition and embraces it! Pagans flee it and seek life in this death by means of sherman williams.

  • fws

    pagans flee the Law and the judgement and death and suffering it brings. They only have one life, in the Law, so they cling to the Law for dear life. Even as it kills them. Sherman williams helps make that process look prettier. A fig leaf.

    Christians embrace that the Law is death and accept the suffering and judgement that the Law brings. This is because their Life is elsewhere. So they do not have to cling to the Law for dear life.

  • fws

    pagans flee the Law and the judgement and death and suffering it brings. They only have one life, in the Law, so they cling to the Law for dear life. Even as it kills them. Sherman williams helps make that process look prettier. A fig leaf.

    Christians embrace that the Law is death and accept the suffering and judgement that the Law brings. This is because their Life is elsewhere. So they do not have to cling to the Law for dear life.

  • Dennis Peskey

    Frank (#29)“When the Law is preached, both regenerate and unregenerate alike are hit with ALL 3 ‘functions” (FC VI cited earlier). This is pretty obvious right?” Can’t quite agree with this.

    When a Christian preforms a good work, do they accomplish this out of an obedient desire to the Law or do they accomplish this because it is God’s will?
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    Frank (#29)“When the Law is preached, both regenerate and unregenerate alike are hit with ALL 3 ‘functions” (FC VI cited earlier). This is pretty obvious right?” Can’t quite agree with this.

    When a Christian preforms a good work, do they accomplish this out of an obedient desire to the Law or do they accomplish this because it is God’s will?
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • fws

    Dennis @ 35

    “When a Christian [or pagan] preforms a good work, do they accomplish this out of an obedient desire to the Law or do they accomplish this because it is God’s will?”

    Anwer: Yes.

    Romans 2:15

    The Good Works of pagans fully conform to Gods Word or they would not be Good Works.

    Good Works are God’s Will of Goodness and Mercy being done. The Old Adam, in both Christian and Pagan alike have Good Works “extorted” (FC art VI) out of him.

    Old Adam trusts in his Good Works as righeousness that is to present as obedience to God. New Man does Good Works to effect the death of Old Adam in obedience to the needs of others.

    The only Obedience the New Man would think to offer to God is the Obedience, alone , of Christ. The thought of offering up his own works as Obedience to God would terrify the New Man.

    Offering up obedience to God is called sacrifice in the Confessions and is a form of idolatry. This is Old Adam talk. God want us do to mercy (obedience to the needs of other) and not sacrifice (obedience to him by keeping the Law).

    FC Art VI Negative Assertion, Epitome: ”

    Accordingly, we reject as a dogma and error injurious to, and conflicting with, Christian discipline and true godliness the teaching that the Law in the above-mentioned way and degree [note Dennis that they enumerate ALL 3 uses of the Law in the Article....] is to be urged only upon unbelievers, non-Christians, and the impenitent and not upon Christians and true believers.

  • fws

    Dennis @ 35

    “When a Christian [or pagan] preforms a good work, do they accomplish this out of an obedient desire to the Law or do they accomplish this because it is God’s will?”

    Anwer: Yes.

    Romans 2:15

    The Good Works of pagans fully conform to Gods Word or they would not be Good Works.

    Good Works are God’s Will of Goodness and Mercy being done. The Old Adam, in both Christian and Pagan alike have Good Works “extorted” (FC art VI) out of him.

    Old Adam trusts in his Good Works as righeousness that is to present as obedience to God. New Man does Good Works to effect the death of Old Adam in obedience to the needs of others.

    The only Obedience the New Man would think to offer to God is the Obedience, alone , of Christ. The thought of offering up his own works as Obedience to God would terrify the New Man.

    Offering up obedience to God is called sacrifice in the Confessions and is a form of idolatry. This is Old Adam talk. God want us do to mercy (obedience to the needs of other) and not sacrifice (obedience to him by keeping the Law).

    FC Art VI Negative Assertion, Epitome: ”

    Accordingly, we reject as a dogma and error injurious to, and conflicting with, Christian discipline and true godliness the teaching that the Law in the above-mentioned way and degree [note Dennis that they enumerate ALL 3 uses of the Law in the Article....] is to be urged only upon unbelievers, non-Christians, and the impenitent and not upon Christians and true believers.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Fw,
    I wish you would just keep it to Dennis’s question. There is a difference between a pagan and a Christian. In reality Christians alone can do good works.
    This is not to say that there is not a realm of civil righteousness where Pagans do “good works” that look an awfully lot the same as a Christians oftentimes.
    Yet I’m thinking Dennis asked his question the way he did for a reason.
    And this is where you are becoming a bit annoying as of late. You refuse to answer the question asked, instead you ask completely different questions of yourself and answer them in long drawn out posts that go in and out, and never get around to really saying anything concrete.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Fw,
    I wish you would just keep it to Dennis’s question. There is a difference between a pagan and a Christian. In reality Christians alone can do good works.
    This is not to say that there is not a realm of civil righteousness where Pagans do “good works” that look an awfully lot the same as a Christians oftentimes.
    Yet I’m thinking Dennis asked his question the way he did for a reason.
    And this is where you are becoming a bit annoying as of late. You refuse to answer the question asked, instead you ask completely different questions of yourself and answer them in long drawn out posts that go in and out, and never get around to really saying anything concrete.

  • fws

    Bror @ 37

    yes of course there is a difference between a christian and a pagan.

    It is in no way in the works themselves that are done.

    it is alone in faith alone in Christ alone.

    your distinction is between civil righteousnesss and what?

    Our confessions define civil righeousness as (1) second table good works, and yes, in God’s eyes they ARE Good Works , (2) “outward” works , which includes peace , joy, reason, love, etc., properly administering the word and sacraments , maintaining order in the divine service and the church, etc.and even pagans knowing that they are to believe in a god and honor his name and trust that he is merciful and good etc as even the pagans do actually,

    So what is left to place in the category that is the complimetary contrasting category to “civic righeousness”? only One Thing only. And that , alone is the Righeouseness of a Christian. It is fully and utterly and completely apart from anything we can do , ie a “work”.

  • fws

    Bror @ 37

    yes of course there is a difference between a christian and a pagan.

    It is in no way in the works themselves that are done.

    it is alone in faith alone in Christ alone.

    your distinction is between civil righteousnesss and what?

    Our confessions define civil righeousness as (1) second table good works, and yes, in God’s eyes they ARE Good Works , (2) “outward” works , which includes peace , joy, reason, love, etc., properly administering the word and sacraments , maintaining order in the divine service and the church, etc.and even pagans knowing that they are to believe in a god and honor his name and trust that he is merciful and good etc as even the pagans do actually,

    So what is left to place in the category that is the complimetary contrasting category to “civic righeousness”? only One Thing only. And that , alone is the Righeouseness of a Christian. It is fully and utterly and completely apart from anything we can do , ie a “work”.

  • Dennis Peskey

    Negative Theses.
    False Contrary Doctrine.
    8] Accordingly, we reject as a dogma and error injurious to, and conflicting with, Christian discipline and true godliness the teaching that the Law in the above-mentioned way and degree is not to be urged upon Christians and true believers, but only upon unbelievers, non-Christians, and the impenitent.
    Bente, 22 edition

    While the Negative Theses does make reference to the three usages (or functions) of the Law, the primary purpose in FC EpArticle XI is to address the controversy regarding the third use of the Law. While this article makes passing reference to the other two functions, it does not speak to these.

    Here is where we differ; “New Man does Good Works to effect the death of Old Adam in obedience to the needs of others.” The new man shows up only after Baptism – we already had the funeral for the old Adam. (Alright, I recall Luther’s warning regarding the Old Adam’s ability to swim – but I also recall the means to kill OA again and again, each and every morning and night. The good works a Christian preforms are a result of Baptism and new life; we do these according to the third use of God’s Law as a response to His good and gracious will. While pagans are capable of preforming good works, their’s are not from a Law of the Spirit; their’s are a remnant of creation which lingers as natural law.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    Negative Theses.
    False Contrary Doctrine.
    8] Accordingly, we reject as a dogma and error injurious to, and conflicting with, Christian discipline and true godliness the teaching that the Law in the above-mentioned way and degree is not to be urged upon Christians and true believers, but only upon unbelievers, non-Christians, and the impenitent.
    Bente, 22 edition

    While the Negative Theses does make reference to the three usages (or functions) of the Law, the primary purpose in FC EpArticle XI is to address the controversy regarding the third use of the Law. While this article makes passing reference to the other two functions, it does not speak to these.

    Here is where we differ; “New Man does Good Works to effect the death of Old Adam in obedience to the needs of others.” The new man shows up only after Baptism – we already had the funeral for the old Adam. (Alright, I recall Luther’s warning regarding the Old Adam’s ability to swim – but I also recall the means to kill OA again and again, each and every morning and night. The good works a Christian preforms are a result of Baptism and new life; we do these according to the third use of God’s Law as a response to His good and gracious will. While pagans are capable of preforming good works, their’s are not from a Law of the Spirit; their’s are a remnant of creation which lingers as natural law.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • fws

    Bror @ 37

    “Pagans do “good works” that look an awfully lot the same as a Christians oftentimes.”

    No ALL the time. The Good Works of pagans and christians, as to what is being done, is absolutely, intrinsically, identical. The difference is not in any way in the works themselves.

    FC art VI.

  • fws

    Bror @ 37

    “Pagans do “good works” that look an awfully lot the same as a Christians oftentimes.”

    No ALL the time. The Good Works of pagans and christians, as to what is being done, is absolutely, intrinsically, identical. The difference is not in any way in the works themselves.

    FC art VI.

  • fws

    Dennis @ 39

    FC Art VI Negative Assertion, Epitome: ”
    Accordingly, we reject as a dogma and error injurious to, and conflicting with, Christian discipline and true godliness the teaching that the Law

    in the [SAME] above-mentioned way and degree [note Dennis that they enumerate ALL 3 uses of the Law in the Article....]

    is to be urged only upon unbelievers, non-Christians, and the impenitent and not upon Christians and true believers.

    (1) Dennis, tell me how that that “SAME ” I just inserted does anything but amplify, illunimate and clarify the text as to it’s intended meaning. And what would then be the implications of that. the Law is to be urged upon both pagan and christian alike with all 3 functions/uses this really seems to say. Agree? How would you read the plain and naked text here differently. I am still not clear from what you wrote me what it is you propose here.

    (2) Further St Paul (rom 2:15) and The confessions in the Apology art IV tell us those without the Bible still have the SAME identical Divinely Revealed Law of God in their Reason. You will find this taught in the very first part of Apology art IV “On Justification” and many other places in the confessions.

    (3) Finally, the Confessions inform us that there is NO difference between a fruit of the spirit (what simply happens, spontaneously, without any work in the new man) or a work of the Law (what old adam does driven by the law and new man). The difference is in no way at all in the work itself that is done. You will find this taught in FC art VI.

    I think we need to agree on these three essential points as being what our Confessions and also Holy Scriptures Clearly teach.

  • fws

    Dennis @ 39

    FC Art VI Negative Assertion, Epitome: ”
    Accordingly, we reject as a dogma and error injurious to, and conflicting with, Christian discipline and true godliness the teaching that the Law

    in the [SAME] above-mentioned way and degree [note Dennis that they enumerate ALL 3 uses of the Law in the Article....]

    is to be urged only upon unbelievers, non-Christians, and the impenitent and not upon Christians and true believers.

    (1) Dennis, tell me how that that “SAME ” I just inserted does anything but amplify, illunimate and clarify the text as to it’s intended meaning. And what would then be the implications of that. the Law is to be urged upon both pagan and christian alike with all 3 functions/uses this really seems to say. Agree? How would you read the plain and naked text here differently. I am still not clear from what you wrote me what it is you propose here.

    (2) Further St Paul (rom 2:15) and The confessions in the Apology art IV tell us those without the Bible still have the SAME identical Divinely Revealed Law of God in their Reason. You will find this taught in the very first part of Apology art IV “On Justification” and many other places in the confessions.

    (3) Finally, the Confessions inform us that there is NO difference between a fruit of the spirit (what simply happens, spontaneously, without any work in the new man) or a work of the Law (what old adam does driven by the law and new man). The difference is in no way at all in the work itself that is done. You will find this taught in FC art VI.

    I think we need to agree on these three essential points as being what our Confessions and also Holy Scriptures Clearly teach.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Frank,
    I leave, you are hopeless. You are arguing where there is no argument, and refusing to address those areas where there is. Sorry for the understatement there, it was intentionally so, and I figured a man with your rational capabilities would see that.
    Have fun Dennis.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Frank,
    I leave, you are hopeless. You are arguing where there is no argument, and refusing to address those areas where there is. Sorry for the understatement there, it was intentionally so, and I figured a man with your rational capabilities would see that.
    Have fun Dennis.

  • Dennis Peskey

    Bror (#37) It’s a path problem found in the adage “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.” The answer is found not in the Joshua/Caleb route but with Moses; make enough laps around Sinai and the horse will be more than willing to engulf the Sea of Galilee.

    Frank (#41) Need time to digest the fullness of your responses. I inserted the FC Ep Negative Statement for my benefit; I prefer to neither add nor subtract from what was written without considerable deliberations with the brethern (our Confession Study group – meets next week).

    As for good works, FC Ep VI does clearly distinguish between works of the Law (which can be preformed by pagans, but in no way merit justification) and the fruit (works) of the Spirit. Outwardly, these two works may appear identical; inwardly (which is solely God’s knowledge) they differ greatly. Works of the Law are born of compulsion; the fruit of the Spirit is a willing response to the work of the Holy Spirit abiding in us after Baptismal regeneration. One is birthed by constraint (First Use of the Law – Curb); the other owes all merit to the third person of the trinity (Third Use of the Law – Guide). Christians do not judge works by what is accomplished; we give all praise and glory to God that we are directed (guided) to accomplish God’s will by His mercy and good will. Thus those who stand before Christ on judgment day; one says “Look at what I’ve done according to your Law” and the others who ask “When did we feed you or give you drink” (see Matt 25:31-46)
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    Bror (#37) It’s a path problem found in the adage “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.” The answer is found not in the Joshua/Caleb route but with Moses; make enough laps around Sinai and the horse will be more than willing to engulf the Sea of Galilee.

    Frank (#41) Need time to digest the fullness of your responses. I inserted the FC Ep Negative Statement for my benefit; I prefer to neither add nor subtract from what was written without considerable deliberations with the brethern (our Confession Study group – meets next week).

    As for good works, FC Ep VI does clearly distinguish between works of the Law (which can be preformed by pagans, but in no way merit justification) and the fruit (works) of the Spirit. Outwardly, these two works may appear identical; inwardly (which is solely God’s knowledge) they differ greatly. Works of the Law are born of compulsion; the fruit of the Spirit is a willing response to the work of the Holy Spirit abiding in us after Baptismal regeneration. One is birthed by constraint (First Use of the Law – Curb); the other owes all merit to the third person of the trinity (Third Use of the Law – Guide). Christians do not judge works by what is accomplished; we give all praise and glory to God that we are directed (guided) to accomplish God’s will by His mercy and good will. Thus those who stand before Christ on judgment day; one says “Look at what I’ve done according to your Law” and the others who ask “When did we feed you or give you drink” (see Matt 25:31-46)
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • fws

    Dennis @ 39

    DENNIS… the primary purpose in FC EpArticle XI is to address the controversy regarding the third use of the Law. While this article makes passing reference to the other two functions, it does not speak to these.”

    FWS Ok dennis. define, from the text of FC art Vi itself. What is “the Lutheran 3rd use?”
    I say that it is summed in the negative assertion. That IS the LUTHERAN 3rd use. it is to say that the SAME identical Law is to be used /function in the SAME identical way for both Christhan and Pagan alike, and why? alone because the Christian STILL has the Old Adam within him They express that this way…”the christian is not still fully regernerated.”

    Now there is a Calvinistic 3rd Use. Calvinists say that there is a special use of the law for christians that vivifies/sanctifies them. it does not kills them or accuse them. And so then it follows from that first heresy, that there are works that a christian does that a pagan cannot do. These two doctrines are the very false doctrines that FC art Vi rejects.

    DENNIS Here is where we differ; “New Man does Good Works to effect the death of Old Adam in obedience to the needs of others.”

    FWS Small Catechism:

    What does such baptizing with water signify?–Answer: It signifies that the old Adam in us should,…

    How? The Law. Killing and accusing with the Law….Who is doing this using what? your New Man Dennis is using the Law to kill , subdue, submitt, slay, fight, do battle with, your Old Adam. before you had a new man , your old adam fled the judgement of the Law and its death. Now you, as new man accept God’s judgement on your Old Adam and accepts also then the suffering that the Law killing your Old Adam entails as something that is now for you, Goodness and mercy!

    … by daily contrition and repentance, [works of the Law!] be drowned and die with all sins and evil lusts, and, again, a new man daily come forth and arise [the work of faith and being terrifed by our best and goodest works!] ; who shall live before God in righteousness and purity forever.

    DENNIS The new man shows up only after Baptism – we already had the funeral for the old Adam. (Alright, I recall Luther’s warning regarding the Old Adam’s ability to swim – but I also recall the means to kill OA again and again, each and every morning and night.

    FWS Old Adam is not killed in Baptism. Baptism is pure Gospel. Gospel does not kill. it is better than than. our Old Adam is crucified , with Christ, as was the Law. We are the ones who died to old adam. This is also exactly that we died also to the Law.

    But the Law and the Old Adam live on. And the Law always does what? it ALWAYS accuses and kills. what? you? no! it kills you as old adam . But that old adam is the old you. it is who you were. it is all the sin death and the power of the devil you died to. you are now hidden away in christ , in that witness/martyr protection program where you have a new life and new identity , new everything. it is not just a make over. there is no “old” you at all . it is a new, new you. so the witness protection analogy is not radical enough!

    DENNIS (1) The good works a Christian preforms are a result of Baptism and new life; (2) we do these according to the third use of God’s Law as a response to His good and gracious will.

    FWS Where do you find this in FC art VI? I find this: (1) in the christian “in so far as he is regenerated” ie , as New Man, Gods will happens as if there is no Law. spontaneously, automatically. like light from sun. This is the result of baptismal regeneration, but it is not what you are expressing is it? (2) we, as believers, do good works, according to the Law, ONLY in so far as our Old Adam still clings to us. The dennis who is new man is dead to the Law. there is no need for a third use for him. In fact, in the resurrection there will be no Law and no Gospel says art VI. Ponder that.

    What you have recited is not found in FC Art VI, it is found in the writings of someone else whose initials are JC. And I dont mean Jesus.

    DENNIS (1) While pagans are capable of preforming good works, their’s are not from a Law of the Spirit; (2) their’s are a remnant of creation which lingers as natural law.

    FWS (1) The confessions agree with the first part in that there is NO difference in items thenselves listed under the two headings ‘fruit of the spirit’ and “works of the law”. FC Art Vi so you are saying now you agree with that? “The difference is not in the works themselves” FC art VI. (2) what in the heck do you mean by that dennis? that is not a confessional way to say it is it?

    what the confessions say is this: they say , per romans 2:15 , that the Divine Law of God is revealed/written , fully so, in the minds of men. That is why reason agrees with the decalog. it is because it is the same identical Law. you will find this in the first part of the Apology art IV “on Justification”. Reason. Decalog. SAME Law. Both divinely revealed. nothing there about a “remnant.”

    In the confessions ‘natural Law’=”reason”. I challenge you to find one place anywhere in the confessions where this is not the case, ditto Luther , especially his Sermon on the Law of Moses which you can find with a google. And there is no idea anywhere in the confessions that this is a “remnant” or the idea that this is “fallen” or is “incomplete”.

    There is ONE thing that reason cannot know. That is the Law of God found “peculiarly” in the first table of the Law. and what is that? It is the Law that demands alone faith, alone in Christ. Reason is veiled with the Veil of Moses and so is of the opinion that the law is kept by obedience without faith in Christ.

    In the confessions. “outward” , “civil morality” etc means ALL righeousness that is not alone faith in christ alone.

    “outward or civil righeousness” fully includes faith, reason, love, obedience, right emotions, the rigtht administration of the word and sacraments, historical belief in all the bible says, belief that the bible is inerrant and true, etc. in our confessions.

    ” outward works” aka “civil obedience” aka “Godliness” aka “good works” excludes, alone, and only , faith alone, in Christ alone,

  • fws

    Dennis @ 39

    DENNIS… the primary purpose in FC EpArticle XI is to address the controversy regarding the third use of the Law. While this article makes passing reference to the other two functions, it does not speak to these.”

    FWS Ok dennis. define, from the text of FC art Vi itself. What is “the Lutheran 3rd use?”
    I say that it is summed in the negative assertion. That IS the LUTHERAN 3rd use. it is to say that the SAME identical Law is to be used /function in the SAME identical way for both Christhan and Pagan alike, and why? alone because the Christian STILL has the Old Adam within him They express that this way…”the christian is not still fully regernerated.”

    Now there is a Calvinistic 3rd Use. Calvinists say that there is a special use of the law for christians that vivifies/sanctifies them. it does not kills them or accuse them. And so then it follows from that first heresy, that there are works that a christian does that a pagan cannot do. These two doctrines are the very false doctrines that FC art Vi rejects.

    DENNIS Here is where we differ; “New Man does Good Works to effect the death of Old Adam in obedience to the needs of others.”

    FWS Small Catechism:

    What does such baptizing with water signify?–Answer: It signifies that the old Adam in us should,…

    How? The Law. Killing and accusing with the Law….Who is doing this using what? your New Man Dennis is using the Law to kill , subdue, submitt, slay, fight, do battle with, your Old Adam. before you had a new man , your old adam fled the judgement of the Law and its death. Now you, as new man accept God’s judgement on your Old Adam and accepts also then the suffering that the Law killing your Old Adam entails as something that is now for you, Goodness and mercy!

    … by daily contrition and repentance, [works of the Law!] be drowned and die with all sins and evil lusts, and, again, a new man daily come forth and arise [the work of faith and being terrifed by our best and goodest works!] ; who shall live before God in righteousness and purity forever.

    DENNIS The new man shows up only after Baptism – we already had the funeral for the old Adam. (Alright, I recall Luther’s warning regarding the Old Adam’s ability to swim – but I also recall the means to kill OA again and again, each and every morning and night.

    FWS Old Adam is not killed in Baptism. Baptism is pure Gospel. Gospel does not kill. it is better than than. our Old Adam is crucified , with Christ, as was the Law. We are the ones who died to old adam. This is also exactly that we died also to the Law.

    But the Law and the Old Adam live on. And the Law always does what? it ALWAYS accuses and kills. what? you? no! it kills you as old adam . But that old adam is the old you. it is who you were. it is all the sin death and the power of the devil you died to. you are now hidden away in christ , in that witness/martyr protection program where you have a new life and new identity , new everything. it is not just a make over. there is no “old” you at all . it is a new, new you. so the witness protection analogy is not radical enough!

    DENNIS (1) The good works a Christian preforms are a result of Baptism and new life; (2) we do these according to the third use of God’s Law as a response to His good and gracious will.

    FWS Where do you find this in FC art VI? I find this: (1) in the christian “in so far as he is regenerated” ie , as New Man, Gods will happens as if there is no Law. spontaneously, automatically. like light from sun. This is the result of baptismal regeneration, but it is not what you are expressing is it? (2) we, as believers, do good works, according to the Law, ONLY in so far as our Old Adam still clings to us. The dennis who is new man is dead to the Law. there is no need for a third use for him. In fact, in the resurrection there will be no Law and no Gospel says art VI. Ponder that.

    What you have recited is not found in FC Art VI, it is found in the writings of someone else whose initials are JC. And I dont mean Jesus.

    DENNIS (1) While pagans are capable of preforming good works, their’s are not from a Law of the Spirit; (2) their’s are a remnant of creation which lingers as natural law.

    FWS (1) The confessions agree with the first part in that there is NO difference in items thenselves listed under the two headings ‘fruit of the spirit’ and “works of the law”. FC Art Vi so you are saying now you agree with that? “The difference is not in the works themselves” FC art VI. (2) what in the heck do you mean by that dennis? that is not a confessional way to say it is it?

    what the confessions say is this: they say , per romans 2:15 , that the Divine Law of God is revealed/written , fully so, in the minds of men. That is why reason agrees with the decalog. it is because it is the same identical Law. you will find this in the first part of the Apology art IV “on Justification”. Reason. Decalog. SAME Law. Both divinely revealed. nothing there about a “remnant.”

    In the confessions ‘natural Law’=”reason”. I challenge you to find one place anywhere in the confessions where this is not the case, ditto Luther , especially his Sermon on the Law of Moses which you can find with a google. And there is no idea anywhere in the confessions that this is a “remnant” or the idea that this is “fallen” or is “incomplete”.

    There is ONE thing that reason cannot know. That is the Law of God found “peculiarly” in the first table of the Law. and what is that? It is the Law that demands alone faith, alone in Christ. Reason is veiled with the Veil of Moses and so is of the opinion that the law is kept by obedience without faith in Christ.

    In the confessions. “outward” , “civil morality” etc means ALL righeousness that is not alone faith in christ alone.

    “outward or civil righeousness” fully includes faith, reason, love, obedience, right emotions, the rigtht administration of the word and sacraments, historical belief in all the bible says, belief that the bible is inerrant and true, etc. in our confessions.

    ” outward works” aka “civil obedience” aka “Godliness” aka “good works” excludes, alone, and only , faith alone, in Christ alone,

  • Dennis Peskey

    Frank – Sorry, I intended to add this as well.
    When a Christian rises in the morning, after prayer and breakfast, they can not say “I think I’ll do a good work today”. That’s works righteousness in its’ most basic form. That’s compulsion; that’s Law.

    What we can (and should) do is pray Luther’s Morning Prayer, particulary “that all my doings and life may please you.” There is a distinction which must be made between works done to please God and works which are pleasing to God.

    Our old adam make seek to throw God a bone and do something which pleases him – Christ replies “Depart from me you workers of iniquity.” The new man rejoices that we can serve our neighbors in Christian love (at the end, we are told we were actually serving Christ!) This is foolishness to the gentiles (pagans) but it is the essence of the third use of the Law and known only to the baptised (regenerate) in Christ.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    Frank – Sorry, I intended to add this as well.
    When a Christian rises in the morning, after prayer and breakfast, they can not say “I think I’ll do a good work today”. That’s works righteousness in its’ most basic form. That’s compulsion; that’s Law.

    What we can (and should) do is pray Luther’s Morning Prayer, particulary “that all my doings and life may please you.” There is a distinction which must be made between works done to please God and works which are pleasing to God.

    Our old adam make seek to throw God a bone and do something which pleases him – Christ replies “Depart from me you workers of iniquity.” The new man rejoices that we can serve our neighbors in Christian love (at the end, we are told we were actually serving Christ!) This is foolishness to the gentiles (pagans) but it is the essence of the third use of the Law and known only to the baptised (regenerate) in Christ.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    Frank (#44) “FWS Ok dennis. define, from the text of FC art Vi itself. What is “the Lutheran 3rd use?””

    VI. The Third Use of the Law.

    STATUS CONTROVERSIAE.
    The Principal Question In This Controversy.

    1] Since the Law was given to men for three reasons: first, that thereby outward discipline might be maintained against wild, disobedient men [and that wild and intractable men might be restrained, as though by certain bars]; secondly, that men thereby may be led to the knowledge of their sins; thirdly, that after they are regenerate and [much of] the flesh notwithstanding cleaves to them, they might on this account have a fixed rule according to which they are to regulate and direct their whole life, a dissension has occurred between some few theologians concerning the third use of the Law, namely, whether it is to be urged or not upon regenerate Christians. The one side has said, Yea; the other, Nay.

    The three uses of the Law clearly distinguished (commonly called curb, mirror and guide). The reason for FC Ep Article XI, “a dissension has occurred between some few theologians concerning the third use of the Law”. The authors then list six affirmative points detailing the application of the third use of the Law to regenerate Christians. Their words, their statement, this is why it was written. That’s why Lutherans are not antinomian. Sola Gracia, Sola Fide, Sola Christe; thank God for the Holy Spirit so we know what to do next.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    Frank (#44) “FWS Ok dennis. define, from the text of FC art Vi itself. What is “the Lutheran 3rd use?””

    VI. The Third Use of the Law.

    STATUS CONTROVERSIAE.
    The Principal Question In This Controversy.

    1] Since the Law was given to men for three reasons: first, that thereby outward discipline might be maintained against wild, disobedient men [and that wild and intractable men might be restrained, as though by certain bars]; secondly, that men thereby may be led to the knowledge of their sins; thirdly, that after they are regenerate and [much of] the flesh notwithstanding cleaves to them, they might on this account have a fixed rule according to which they are to regulate and direct their whole life, a dissension has occurred between some few theologians concerning the third use of the Law, namely, whether it is to be urged or not upon regenerate Christians. The one side has said, Yea; the other, Nay.

    The three uses of the Law clearly distinguished (commonly called curb, mirror and guide). The reason for FC Ep Article XI, “a dissension has occurred between some few theologians concerning the third use of the Law”. The authors then list six affirmative points detailing the application of the third use of the Law to regenerate Christians. Their words, their statement, this is why it was written. That’s why Lutherans are not antinomian. Sola Gracia, Sola Fide, Sola Christe; thank God for the Holy Spirit so we know what to do next.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • fws

    Dennis @ 44 & 45

    DENNIS Frank (#41) FC Ep Negative Statement .

    FWS Invert the order of the phrasing of it for clarity: The SAME law, in the SAME way , with the SAME force (death to Old Adam!)that is urged on pagans must ALSO be urged upon christians. And tell me if that really changes the meaning or rather illuminates it for you ok? I read that as same law, same killing accusing effect , remember : “the law ALWAYS accuses and kills”. And you can’t urge the Law leaving one of the 3 uses aside. It dont work that way.

    DENNIS As for good works, FC Ep VI does clearly distinguish between works of the Law (which can be preformed by pagans, but in no way merit justification) and the fruit (works) of the Spirit. Outwardly, these two works may appear identical;inwardly (which is solely God’s knowledge) they differ greatly.

    FWS Tell me that outwardly these works ARE identical and we are in perfect agreement here.

    They do not just “appear” identical. The difference is not in the works themselves Dennis! Yes there is a difference. it is not in the works. where is it? it is, alone, invisibly, in the heart of the person doing those works. The difference alone is faith in christ alone. Now it seems I am spitting a hair. ok. But this hairsplit is exactly what FC art VI is about. that is why it is a difficult read.

    DENNIS Works of the Law are born of compulsion;

    FWS amen ! FC VI: They are “extorted’ out of the Old Adam as from a recalcitrant ass, with beatings and punishments.

    DENNIS the fruit of the Spirit is a willing response to the work of the Holy Spirit abiding in us after Baptismal regeneration.

    FWS Amen! But “response” still sounds like something a christian does, as in works at doing, as in makes a decision or choice to do. Why not use the Confessional wording Dennis? “automatic” “spontaneous” “like light from sun” “as the angels obey” “as if no law existed” “like breathing (st james here)” .

    Here on earth Dennis, our old adam does good works as the result of a constant internal dialog. This dialog is between our reason/conscience/Law of God vs what? the desires of our heart which hate and are at war with that Law in our reason that always does what? It ALWAYS accuses us. This is what all our works that we can see and do look like. This is why st paul tells us , AS NEW MEN, to use the Law as a blunt instrument to beat up the Old Adam into submission. pagans dont do this since they are all old adam. Old adam flees the judgement of the law by “excusing” himself with that very Law (rom 2:15).

    DENNIS One is birthed by constraint (First Use of the Law – Curb); the other owes all merit to the third person of the trinity (Third Use of the Law – Guide).

    FWS Remember Dennis, the Law of God that is the same Law found both in Reason and the Decalog (Apology art IV around the 4th paragraph) always does what? ” The Law ALWAYS accuses and kills”. Any use of the Law, 1st 2nd 3rd…8th (quensted counted 8!) always does what? it kills. it never sanctifies or gives life. Only the sanctified can accept this killing as a blessing. that is the deal here.

    DENNIS Christians do not judge works by what is accomplished;

    FWS On the contrary, Christians should always be certain as to whether their works are pleasing to God or not. How? In three ways:

    (1) there is courtroom quality evidence that what we are doing is love. it improves the creaturely life of another. It looks like providing what is listed in the 1st article of the creed in the small catechism and the 4th petition of the Our father. This is why every one of the 10 commandments has a positive part that is a variation of “we should help and befriend our neighbor in every bodily need”.

    (2) our best good works terrify us ! we see in them the sin that condemns us and means our death.

    (3) in the middle of our terror we still do those works offering them not to God but to our neighbor in love. To God we offer alone the Obedience of Christ. in this way works are a sacramental sign that faith is living. (apology art III “love and the fulfilling of the Law”) Faith sees that the works are dead and about our death. It does not seek Life in them. it seeks the life of others in them.

    DENNIS we give all praise and glory to God that we are directed (guided) to accomplish God’s will by His mercy and good will.

    FWS I thank God that I am not as one of those sinners. I give all the glory and credit to God for my Godly life and sanctification etc etc. nope. not. quite. See my point (3) above.

    DENNIS Thus those who stand before Christ on judgment day; one says “Look at what I’ve done according to your Law” and the others who ask “When did we feed you or give you drink” (see Matt 25:31-46)

    FWS Aha. Works that are truly the good works that are done in christ are the ones that we are not aware of and cannot see eh?
    Agreed! So what are the Good Works we can see dennis? those are the one st paul urges us to do wielding the sword of the spirit, the law while conforted by faith, upon the old adam flesh. and this is not spontaneous or automatic is it? it is hard work, suffering, running a race, discipline. In short is is all the same stuff athletes do. it is exactly what aristotle prescribes. and it is aimed at death to the old adam in view of the crown of life we can see only by faith at the point you just quoted…. amen!
    we will only see the works of new man then. and not before.

    Reply

    Forward

    Reply

    |

    Cranach: The Blog of Veith to me

    show details 3:59 PM (11 minutes ago)

    There is a new comment on the post “”But it’s not really adultery!””.
    http://www.geneveith.com/2011/06/15/but-its-not-really-adultery/

    Author: Dennis Peskey
    Comment:

    Frank – Sorry, I intended to add this as well.
    When a Christian rises in the morning, after prayer and breakfast, they can not say “I think I’ll do a good work today”. That’s works righteousness in its’ most basic form. That’s compulsion; that’s Law.

    What we can (and should) do is pray Luther’s Morning Prayer, particulary “that all my doings and life may please you.” There is a distinction which must be made between works done to please God and works which are pleasing to God.

    Our old adam make seek to throw God a bone and do something which pleases him – Christ replies “Depart from me you workers of iniquity.” The new man rejoices that we can serve our neighbors in Christian love (at the end, we are told we were actually serving Christ!) This is foolishness to the gentiles (pagans) but it is the essence of the third use of the Law and known only to the baptised (regenerate) in Christ.

  • fws

    Dennis @ 44 & 45

    DENNIS Frank (#41) FC Ep Negative Statement .

    FWS Invert the order of the phrasing of it for clarity: The SAME law, in the SAME way , with the SAME force (death to Old Adam!)that is urged on pagans must ALSO be urged upon christians. And tell me if that really changes the meaning or rather illuminates it for you ok? I read that as same law, same killing accusing effect , remember : “the law ALWAYS accuses and kills”. And you can’t urge the Law leaving one of the 3 uses aside. It dont work that way.

    DENNIS As for good works, FC Ep VI does clearly distinguish between works of the Law (which can be preformed by pagans, but in no way merit justification) and the fruit (works) of the Spirit. Outwardly, these two works may appear identical;inwardly (which is solely God’s knowledge) they differ greatly.

    FWS Tell me that outwardly these works ARE identical and we are in perfect agreement here.

    They do not just “appear” identical. The difference is not in the works themselves Dennis! Yes there is a difference. it is not in the works. where is it? it is, alone, invisibly, in the heart of the person doing those works. The difference alone is faith in christ alone. Now it seems I am spitting a hair. ok. But this hairsplit is exactly what FC art VI is about. that is why it is a difficult read.

    DENNIS Works of the Law are born of compulsion;

    FWS amen ! FC VI: They are “extorted’ out of the Old Adam as from a recalcitrant ass, with beatings and punishments.

    DENNIS the fruit of the Spirit is a willing response to the work of the Holy Spirit abiding in us after Baptismal regeneration.

    FWS Amen! But “response” still sounds like something a christian does, as in works at doing, as in makes a decision or choice to do. Why not use the Confessional wording Dennis? “automatic” “spontaneous” “like light from sun” “as the angels obey” “as if no law existed” “like breathing (st james here)” .

    Here on earth Dennis, our old adam does good works as the result of a constant internal dialog. This dialog is between our reason/conscience/Law of God vs what? the desires of our heart which hate and are at war with that Law in our reason that always does what? It ALWAYS accuses us. This is what all our works that we can see and do look like. This is why st paul tells us , AS NEW MEN, to use the Law as a blunt instrument to beat up the Old Adam into submission. pagans dont do this since they are all old adam. Old adam flees the judgement of the law by “excusing” himself with that very Law (rom 2:15).

    DENNIS One is birthed by constraint (First Use of the Law – Curb); the other owes all merit to the third person of the trinity (Third Use of the Law – Guide).

    FWS Remember Dennis, the Law of God that is the same Law found both in Reason and the Decalog (Apology art IV around the 4th paragraph) always does what? ” The Law ALWAYS accuses and kills”. Any use of the Law, 1st 2nd 3rd…8th (quensted counted 8!) always does what? it kills. it never sanctifies or gives life. Only the sanctified can accept this killing as a blessing. that is the deal here.

    DENNIS Christians do not judge works by what is accomplished;

    FWS On the contrary, Christians should always be certain as to whether their works are pleasing to God or not. How? In three ways:

    (1) there is courtroom quality evidence that what we are doing is love. it improves the creaturely life of another. It looks like providing what is listed in the 1st article of the creed in the small catechism and the 4th petition of the Our father. This is why every one of the 10 commandments has a positive part that is a variation of “we should help and befriend our neighbor in every bodily need”.

    (2) our best good works terrify us ! we see in them the sin that condemns us and means our death.

    (3) in the middle of our terror we still do those works offering them not to God but to our neighbor in love. To God we offer alone the Obedience of Christ. in this way works are a sacramental sign that faith is living. (apology art III “love and the fulfilling of the Law”) Faith sees that the works are dead and about our death. It does not seek Life in them. it seeks the life of others in them.

    DENNIS we give all praise and glory to God that we are directed (guided) to accomplish God’s will by His mercy and good will.

    FWS I thank God that I am not as one of those sinners. I give all the glory and credit to God for my Godly life and sanctification etc etc. nope. not. quite. See my point (3) above.

    DENNIS Thus those who stand before Christ on judgment day; one says “Look at what I’ve done according to your Law” and the others who ask “When did we feed you or give you drink” (see Matt 25:31-46)

    FWS Aha. Works that are truly the good works that are done in christ are the ones that we are not aware of and cannot see eh?
    Agreed! So what are the Good Works we can see dennis? those are the one st paul urges us to do wielding the sword of the spirit, the law while conforted by faith, upon the old adam flesh. and this is not spontaneous or automatic is it? it is hard work, suffering, running a race, discipline. In short is is all the same stuff athletes do. it is exactly what aristotle prescribes. and it is aimed at death to the old adam in view of the crown of life we can see only by faith at the point you just quoted…. amen!
    we will only see the works of new man then. and not before.

    Reply

    Forward

    Reply

    |

    Cranach: The Blog of Veith to me

    show details 3:59 PM (11 minutes ago)

    There is a new comment on the post “”But it’s not really adultery!””.
    http://www.geneveith.com/2011/06/15/but-its-not-really-adultery/

    Author: Dennis Peskey
    Comment:

    Frank – Sorry, I intended to add this as well.
    When a Christian rises in the morning, after prayer and breakfast, they can not say “I think I’ll do a good work today”. That’s works righteousness in its’ most basic form. That’s compulsion; that’s Law.

    What we can (and should) do is pray Luther’s Morning Prayer, particulary “that all my doings and life may please you.” There is a distinction which must be made between works done to please God and works which are pleasing to God.

    Our old adam make seek to throw God a bone and do something which pleases him – Christ replies “Depart from me you workers of iniquity.” The new man rejoices that we can serve our neighbors in Christian love (at the end, we are told we were actually serving Christ!) This is foolishness to the gentiles (pagans) but it is the essence of the third use of the Law and known only to the baptised (regenerate) in Christ.

  • fws

    dENNIS @ 45

    DENNIS Frank – Sorry, I intended to add this as well.
    When a Christian rises in the morning, after prayer and breakfast, they can not say “I think I’ll do a good work today”. That’s works righteousness in its’ most basic form. That’s compulsion; that’s Law.

    What we can (and should) do is pray Luther’s Morning Prayer, particulary “that all my doings and life may please you.”There is a distinction which must be made between works done to please God and works which are pleasing to God.

    DENNIS Our old adam make seek to throw God a bone and do something which pleases him – Christ replies “Depart from me you workers of iniquity.”

    FWS FC Art VI: the Third Use of the Law exists for and applies ONLY to the Old Adam which still clings to the Christian.

    3] 2. … the preaching of the Law is to be urged … upon true believers, who are truly converted, regenerate, and justified by faith.
    4] 3. …. [ALONE!] On account of this old Adam , which still inheres in the understanding, the will, and ALL the powers of man , it is needful that the Law of the Lord always shine before them,

    To what purpose and end?

    in order that they may not from human devotion institute wanton and self-elected forms of worship/obedience/sacrifice . That they may frame nothing in a matter of obedience to God from the desire of private devotion. That they may not choose divine services or Good Works not instituted by God’s Word.

    likewise, that the old Adam also may not employ his own will, but may be subdued against his will, not only by the admonition and threatening of the Law, but also by punishments and blows, so that he may follow and surrender himself captive to the Spirit, 1 Cor. 9:27; Rom. 6:12, Gal. 6:14; Ps. 119:1ff ; Heb. 13:21 (Heb. 12:1). FC Art VI Epitomy

    So Dennis, let me ask you, when you wake up and say your prayers and butter your toast, are you thinking about delivering the punishments and blows of the Law to your Old Adam? Maybe you should? But this is not about the New Dennis in Baptism. This is all Old Adam. Killing him. death. your Sanctification is faith alone and is completed in your Baptism. Your Life is alone there. There is no life or sanctification in 3rd use.

    7] 6. Thus the Law is and remains both to the penitent and impenitent, both to regenerate and unregenerate men, one and the SAME Law, namely, the immutable will of God; and the difference, so far as concerns obedience, is alone inside of man [in his heart!], …one who is not yet regenerate does for the Law out of constraint and unwillingly what it requires of him as also the regenerate do according to the flesh/Old Adam ; but the believer, so far as he is regenerate [so far as he is not controlled by Old Adam] , does without constraint and with a willing spirit that which no threatenings however severe of the Law could ever extort from him

    Or try the version of this in the solid declaration:

    9] Therefore, because of these covetings of the flesh [BECAUSE of... Old Adam!] the truly believing, elect, and regenerate children of God need in this life not only the daily instruction and admonition, warning, and threatening of the Law, but also frequently punishments , that they may be roused [the old man is driven out of them] and follow the Spirit of God, as it is written Ps. 119:71: It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn Thy statutes. ….as Dr. Luther has fully explained this at greater length in the Summer Part of the Church Postil, on the Epistle for the Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity.

    The Law ALWAYS kills dennis. The Law always ACCUSES. It gives no life or sanctification. It “drives out” the Old Adam. It does not sanctify him.

    10] we must explain what the Gospel does, produces, and works towards the new obedience of believers, and what is the office of the Law in this matter, as regards the good works of believers.

    11] For the Law says indeed that it is God’s will and command that we should walk in a new life, but it does not give the power and ability to begin and do it; but the Holy Ghost, who is given and received, not through the Law, but through the preaching of the Gospel, Gal. 3:14, renews the heart.

    So the Gospel gives Life and sanctifies, and the Law does what? Kills and Mortifies Old Adam. Sanctification=Gospel/Faith in action. Mortification=Law in Action. The Law ALWAYS kills and accuses Dennis. Always remember that.

    10] … He reproves them on that account through the Law, so that He carries on both offices together: He slays

    KILLS . Caught that. 3rd use is to kill. The Law always kills right?

    …. and makes alive; He leads into hell and brings up again. For His office is not only to comfort, but also to reprove, as it is written: When the Holy Ghost is come, He will reprove the world (which includes also the old Adam) of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. 13] But sin is everything that is contrary to God’s Law. 14]… Therefore, as often as believers stumble, they are reproved …

    reproved = killed!

    …by the Holy Spirit, from the Law,…

    And then what sanctifies the New Man and vivifies him? Third use? Law? Nope!

    and by the same Spirit are raised up and comforted again with the preaching of the Holy Gospel.

    So then what must follow is to distinguish the works of believers from unbelievers. here is comes!…

    15] … to avoid all misunderstanding of the distinction between works of the Law and of the Spirit be properly taught and preserved: it is to be noted with especial diligence that when we speak of good works which are in accordance with God’s Law (for otherwise they are not good works), then the word Law has only one sense, namely, the immutable will of God, according to which [ALL!] men are to conduct themselves in their lives.

    get that? SAME Law. All Men. pagan and christian. SAME Good works. the works of pagans are not “good works’. They are Good Works.

    Now we will hear that the difference then is not in the works themselves, it is in what is driving those works to be done. Old adam is driven and extorted and compelled to do Good Works.
    From New Man those SAME Good Works simply ooze out, or are like spontaneous combustion. Without aforethought. Without choice or internal debate. They just ARE…. and this second kind is not something you should expect ever to see. “Lord when did we..??!”

    16] The difference..is inside [ALL!] men who strive to live according to this Law and will of God.

    For as long as man is not regenerate, and [therefore] conducts himself according to the Law and does the works because they are commanded thus, from fear of punishment or desire for reward, he is still under the Law, and his works are called by St. Paul properly works of the Law, for they are extorted by the Law, as those of slaves; and these are saints after the order of Cain [that is, hypocrites].

    17] But when man is born anew by the Spirit of God, and liberated from the [FIRST, SECOND, AND THIRD USE OF THE] Law, that is, freed from this driver, and is led by the Spirit of Christ, he lives according to the immutable will of God comprised in the Law, and so far as he is born anew, does everything from a free, cheerful spirit; and these are called not properly works of the Law, but works and fruits of the Spirit, or as St. Paul names it, the law of the mind and the Law of Christ. For such men are no more under the Law, but under grace, as St. Paul says, Rom. 8:2 [Rom. 7:23; 1 Cor. 9:21 ].

    The difference, as to obedience and works, is not in the done . It is alone in the heart of the doer Dennis. Note that the sanctified, regenerated man has no need for the “driver’ of the Law. He died to the Law! Third use and the whole law is alone for Old Adam!

    18] But since believers are not completely renewed in this world, but the old Adam clings to them even to the grave, there also remains in them the struggle between the spirit and the flesh. Therefore they delight indeed in God’s Law according to the inner man, but the law in their members struggles against the law in their mind; hence they are never without the Law, and nevertheless are not under, but in the Law, and live and walk in the Law of the Lord, and yet do nothing from constraint of the Law. as is told us in the following….

    19] But as far as the old Adam is concerned, which still clings to them, he must be driven not only with the Law, but also with punishments; nevertheless he does everything against his will and under coercion, no less than the godless are driven and held in obedience by the threats of the Law, 1 Cor. 9:27; Rom. 7:18. 19.

    The Law always accuses. The Law always kills.

    22] But how and why the good works of believers, ..are well-pleasing to God, is not taught by the Law, … But the Gospel teaches that our spiritual offerings are acceptable to God [ALONE!!!] through faith for Christ’s sake, 1 Pet. 2:5; Heb. 11:4ff. 23]

    In THIS way Christians are not under the Law… their good works, although they are still imperfect and impure [JUST EXACTLY AS ARE THOSE OF PAGANS!] , are acceptable to God through Christ [alone!];

    because so far as they have been born anew according to the inner man, they do what is pleasing to God, not by coercion of the Law, but by the renewing of the Holy Ghost, voluntarily and spontaneously from their hearts;

    however, they maintain nevertheless a constant struggle against the old Adam.

    Who does NOTHING willingly. And remember… the Old Adam 3]4] ” inheres in the understanding, the will, and ALL the powers of man he Old adam …” FC Art I “original sin is not a slight, but so deep a corruption of human nature that NOTHING healthy or uncorrupt has remained in man’s body or soul, in his inner or outward powers, but, as the Church sings: Through Adam’s fall is ALL corrupt, NATURE and ESSENCE human. 9] This damage is unspeakable, and cannot be discerned by reason, but only from God’s Word.”

    So ALL you see can see and do in your body and flesh is Old Adam Dennis! You know that fruit of the spirit is in you because the Good Works you can see yourself do terrify you! (Apology art III).

    24] For the old Adam, as an intractable, refractory ass, is still a part of them, which must be coerced to the obedience of Christ, not only by the teaching, admonition, force and threatening of the Law, but also oftentimes by the club of punishments and troubles, until the body of sin is entirely put off, …

    Consider this as you butter your toast in the morning dear man!

    … and man is perfectly renewed in the resurrection,

    And consider this: There will be no Law or Gospel in the resurrection!

    when he will need neither the preaching of the Law nor its threatenings and punishments, as also the Gospel any longer; for these belong to this [mortal and] imperfect life. 25] But as they will behold God face to face, so they will, through the power of the indwelling Spirit of God, do the will of God [the heavenly Father] with unmingled joy, voluntarily, unconstrained, without any hindrance, with entire purity and perfection, and will rejoice in it eternally.

    Bless you Dennis!

    Logical Conclusion: The Third use is ALL about the actions and behavior of the “believer-as-old-adam.” It is what the New Man does

    This is not what you are saying is it Dennis? You are saying that the 3rd use is for the sanctification of the New Man.

    The new man rejoices that we can serve our neighbors in Christian love (at the end, we are told we were actually serving Christ!) This is foolishness to the gentiles (pagans) but it is the essence of the third use of the Law and known only to the baptised (regenerate) in Christ.

  • fws

    dENNIS @ 45

    DENNIS Frank – Sorry, I intended to add this as well.
    When a Christian rises in the morning, after prayer and breakfast, they can not say “I think I’ll do a good work today”. That’s works righteousness in its’ most basic form. That’s compulsion; that’s Law.

    What we can (and should) do is pray Luther’s Morning Prayer, particulary “that all my doings and life may please you.”There is a distinction which must be made between works done to please God and works which are pleasing to God.

    DENNIS Our old adam make seek to throw God a bone and do something which pleases him – Christ replies “Depart from me you workers of iniquity.”

    FWS FC Art VI: the Third Use of the Law exists for and applies ONLY to the Old Adam which still clings to the Christian.

    3] 2. … the preaching of the Law is to be urged … upon true believers, who are truly converted, regenerate, and justified by faith.
    4] 3. …. [ALONE!] On account of this old Adam , which still inheres in the understanding, the will, and ALL the powers of man , it is needful that the Law of the Lord always shine before them,

    To what purpose and end?

    in order that they may not from human devotion institute wanton and self-elected forms of worship/obedience/sacrifice . That they may frame nothing in a matter of obedience to God from the desire of private devotion. That they may not choose divine services or Good Works not instituted by God’s Word.

    likewise, that the old Adam also may not employ his own will, but may be subdued against his will, not only by the admonition and threatening of the Law, but also by punishments and blows, so that he may follow and surrender himself captive to the Spirit, 1 Cor. 9:27; Rom. 6:12, Gal. 6:14; Ps. 119:1ff ; Heb. 13:21 (Heb. 12:1). FC Art VI Epitomy

    So Dennis, let me ask you, when you wake up and say your prayers and butter your toast, are you thinking about delivering the punishments and blows of the Law to your Old Adam? Maybe you should? But this is not about the New Dennis in Baptism. This is all Old Adam. Killing him. death. your Sanctification is faith alone and is completed in your Baptism. Your Life is alone there. There is no life or sanctification in 3rd use.

    7] 6. Thus the Law is and remains both to the penitent and impenitent, both to regenerate and unregenerate men, one and the SAME Law, namely, the immutable will of God; and the difference, so far as concerns obedience, is alone inside of man [in his heart!], …one who is not yet regenerate does for the Law out of constraint and unwillingly what it requires of him as also the regenerate do according to the flesh/Old Adam ; but the believer, so far as he is regenerate [so far as he is not controlled by Old Adam] , does without constraint and with a willing spirit that which no threatenings however severe of the Law could ever extort from him

    Or try the version of this in the solid declaration:

    9] Therefore, because of these covetings of the flesh [BECAUSE of... Old Adam!] the truly believing, elect, and regenerate children of God need in this life not only the daily instruction and admonition, warning, and threatening of the Law, but also frequently punishments , that they may be roused [the old man is driven out of them] and follow the Spirit of God, as it is written Ps. 119:71: It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn Thy statutes. ….as Dr. Luther has fully explained this at greater length in the Summer Part of the Church Postil, on the Epistle for the Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity.

    The Law ALWAYS kills dennis. The Law always ACCUSES. It gives no life or sanctification. It “drives out” the Old Adam. It does not sanctify him.

    10] we must explain what the Gospel does, produces, and works towards the new obedience of believers, and what is the office of the Law in this matter, as regards the good works of believers.

    11] For the Law says indeed that it is God’s will and command that we should walk in a new life, but it does not give the power and ability to begin and do it; but the Holy Ghost, who is given and received, not through the Law, but through the preaching of the Gospel, Gal. 3:14, renews the heart.

    So the Gospel gives Life and sanctifies, and the Law does what? Kills and Mortifies Old Adam. Sanctification=Gospel/Faith in action. Mortification=Law in Action. The Law ALWAYS kills and accuses Dennis. Always remember that.

    10] … He reproves them on that account through the Law, so that He carries on both offices together: He slays

    KILLS . Caught that. 3rd use is to kill. The Law always kills right?

    …. and makes alive; He leads into hell and brings up again. For His office is not only to comfort, but also to reprove, as it is written: When the Holy Ghost is come, He will reprove the world (which includes also the old Adam) of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. 13] But sin is everything that is contrary to God’s Law. 14]… Therefore, as often as believers stumble, they are reproved …

    reproved = killed!

    …by the Holy Spirit, from the Law,…

    And then what sanctifies the New Man and vivifies him? Third use? Law? Nope!

    and by the same Spirit are raised up and comforted again with the preaching of the Holy Gospel.

    So then what must follow is to distinguish the works of believers from unbelievers. here is comes!…

    15] … to avoid all misunderstanding of the distinction between works of the Law and of the Spirit be properly taught and preserved: it is to be noted with especial diligence that when we speak of good works which are in accordance with God’s Law (for otherwise they are not good works), then the word Law has only one sense, namely, the immutable will of God, according to which [ALL!] men are to conduct themselves in their lives.

    get that? SAME Law. All Men. pagan and christian. SAME Good works. the works of pagans are not “good works’. They are Good Works.

    Now we will hear that the difference then is not in the works themselves, it is in what is driving those works to be done. Old adam is driven and extorted and compelled to do Good Works.
    From New Man those SAME Good Works simply ooze out, or are like spontaneous combustion. Without aforethought. Without choice or internal debate. They just ARE…. and this second kind is not something you should expect ever to see. “Lord when did we..??!”

    16] The difference..is inside [ALL!] men who strive to live according to this Law and will of God.

    For as long as man is not regenerate, and [therefore] conducts himself according to the Law and does the works because they are commanded thus, from fear of punishment or desire for reward, he is still under the Law, and his works are called by St. Paul properly works of the Law, for they are extorted by the Law, as those of slaves; and these are saints after the order of Cain [that is, hypocrites].

    17] But when man is born anew by the Spirit of God, and liberated from the [FIRST, SECOND, AND THIRD USE OF THE] Law, that is, freed from this driver, and is led by the Spirit of Christ, he lives according to the immutable will of God comprised in the Law, and so far as he is born anew, does everything from a free, cheerful spirit; and these are called not properly works of the Law, but works and fruits of the Spirit, or as St. Paul names it, the law of the mind and the Law of Christ. For such men are no more under the Law, but under grace, as St. Paul says, Rom. 8:2 [Rom. 7:23; 1 Cor. 9:21 ].

    The difference, as to obedience and works, is not in the done . It is alone in the heart of the doer Dennis. Note that the sanctified, regenerated man has no need for the “driver’ of the Law. He died to the Law! Third use and the whole law is alone for Old Adam!

    18] But since believers are not completely renewed in this world, but the old Adam clings to them even to the grave, there also remains in them the struggle between the spirit and the flesh. Therefore they delight indeed in God’s Law according to the inner man, but the law in their members struggles against the law in their mind; hence they are never without the Law, and nevertheless are not under, but in the Law, and live and walk in the Law of the Lord, and yet do nothing from constraint of the Law. as is told us in the following….

    19] But as far as the old Adam is concerned, which still clings to them, he must be driven not only with the Law, but also with punishments; nevertheless he does everything against his will and under coercion, no less than the godless are driven and held in obedience by the threats of the Law, 1 Cor. 9:27; Rom. 7:18. 19.

    The Law always accuses. The Law always kills.

    22] But how and why the good works of believers, ..are well-pleasing to God, is not taught by the Law, … But the Gospel teaches that our spiritual offerings are acceptable to God [ALONE!!!] through faith for Christ’s sake, 1 Pet. 2:5; Heb. 11:4ff. 23]

    In THIS way Christians are not under the Law… their good works, although they are still imperfect and impure [JUST EXACTLY AS ARE THOSE OF PAGANS!] , are acceptable to God through Christ [alone!];

    because so far as they have been born anew according to the inner man, they do what is pleasing to God, not by coercion of the Law, but by the renewing of the Holy Ghost, voluntarily and spontaneously from their hearts;

    however, they maintain nevertheless a constant struggle against the old Adam.

    Who does NOTHING willingly. And remember… the Old Adam 3]4] ” inheres in the understanding, the will, and ALL the powers of man he Old adam …” FC Art I “original sin is not a slight, but so deep a corruption of human nature that NOTHING healthy or uncorrupt has remained in man’s body or soul, in his inner or outward powers, but, as the Church sings: Through Adam’s fall is ALL corrupt, NATURE and ESSENCE human. 9] This damage is unspeakable, and cannot be discerned by reason, but only from God’s Word.”

    So ALL you see can see and do in your body and flesh is Old Adam Dennis! You know that fruit of the spirit is in you because the Good Works you can see yourself do terrify you! (Apology art III).

    24] For the old Adam, as an intractable, refractory ass, is still a part of them, which must be coerced to the obedience of Christ, not only by the teaching, admonition, force and threatening of the Law, but also oftentimes by the club of punishments and troubles, until the body of sin is entirely put off, …

    Consider this as you butter your toast in the morning dear man!

    … and man is perfectly renewed in the resurrection,

    And consider this: There will be no Law or Gospel in the resurrection!

    when he will need neither the preaching of the Law nor its threatenings and punishments, as also the Gospel any longer; for these belong to this [mortal and] imperfect life. 25] But as they will behold God face to face, so they will, through the power of the indwelling Spirit of God, do the will of God [the heavenly Father] with unmingled joy, voluntarily, unconstrained, without any hindrance, with entire purity and perfection, and will rejoice in it eternally.

    Bless you Dennis!

    Logical Conclusion: The Third use is ALL about the actions and behavior of the “believer-as-old-adam.” It is what the New Man does

    This is not what you are saying is it Dennis? You are saying that the 3rd use is for the sanctification of the New Man.

    The new man rejoices that we can serve our neighbors in Christian love (at the end, we are told we were actually serving Christ!) This is foolishness to the gentiles (pagans) but it is the essence of the third use of the Law and known only to the baptised (regenerate) in Christ.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X