Lutheranism–and the Gospel–in depth

On the surface, Lutherans often seem placid and easy-going, solid folks who don’t make much of a stir.  And yet their theology consists of stormy clashes between Law and Gospel, glory vs. the Cross, the dark struggles of anfechtungen, the ecstasy of grace.   Lutheran spirituality centers on things as ordinary as going to church, going to work, and spending time with one’s family.  And yet, there is an unfathomable depth to what Lutherans see in the Cross, Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, the Two Natures of Christ, and the Word of God.  Underlying the conservatism are teachings that are deeply radical.

Larry, frequent commenter on this blog, alerted me to this book by Steven D. Paulson entitled simply  Lutheran Theology.  It’s part of a series demonstrating the ways different traditions “do” theology.  But this is far from a dry textbook.  As Amazon reviewer Judith Guttman says, “If this book doesn’t knock your socks off, you aren’t paying attention. It is electrifying, exciting — am I talking about a theology book? Yes.”

Paulson says that we usually think of religion in terms of a “legal scheme,” a set of moral assumptions involving award and punishment with everybody getting what they deserve.  The Gospel just sets all of that aside.  So does God’s wrath, actually, which condemns completely and without proportion.  (He says that Luther as a monk goes far beyond the New Atheists in his resentment of a God whose wrath against sin seems so unfair.  The atheists react to God’s wrath by denying God’s existence, an act of wish-fulfillment Luther did not indulge in.)  But then God becomes flesh in Christ, who though innocent “becomes” sin and takes the wrath of God into Himself, giving us sinners the promise of salvation, which breaks into our lives through the voice of a preacher.  The “legal scheme” is completely set aside, though we–including many theologians in the history of Lutheranism–keep trying to re-introduce it, though since we cannot fulfill it of ourselves, we need constant recourse to Christ’s promises.  And  the consequent Christian life is also outside the “legal scheme,” having to do not so much with rules and score-keeping but with a free, spontaneous, and grace-filled love of neighbor.

As I read this book on my Kindle for Lent I found myself bookmarking virtually every page, so packed it was with illuminating insights.  Sample it yourself with the Amazon’s “Look inside” feature.  Another Amazon reviewer, David F. Sczepanski, was kind enough to type out some excerpts:

Lutheran theology begins perversely by advocating the destruction of all that is good, right, and beautiful in human life. It attacks the lowest and the highest goals of life, especially morality, no matter how sincere are its practitioners. Luther said the “sum and substance,” of Paul’s letter to the Romans “is to pull down, to pluck up, and to destroy all wisdom and righteousness of the flesh.” (1)

This is no ordinary philosophy about life, nor is it ordinary Christian religion. For thousands of years Christians routinely described life using an allegory of the Hebrew exodus from Egypt. They said life in general, and Christians in particular, were on an exodus out of vice into virtue. They were on a journey away from badness toward goodness. But Luther bluntly said faith is not a transition from vice to virtue, it is “the way from virtue to the grace of Christ.” (2)

`I forgive you’…Luther taught and demonstrated that these simple words give absolute, indubitable certainty, and no one is more dangerous than a person who is certain. The certainty was not based on human self-certainty; it was the opposite of that. It was the certainty of forgiveness because of what the Son of God did by taking the sins of the world upon himself and defeating them at the cross. The decisive cosmic battle of God against sin, death, and devil was already waged and won when Christ was raised from the dead to make a new kingdom of people who live with no law, nowhere to go, and nothing to accomplish. They were simply–free. (7)

God is always and ever God whether someone believes in him or not… God who is above time and space now enters the world with a steely determination…the sinner’s justification…so that the stories of God’s arrival to sinners make the great tales of Scripture (Abraham, David, Mary) and our own lives like Augustine’s Confessions. (55)

…the heart is not made for itself; it is made to go outside of itself and cling to that which speaks to the heart. Humans are therefore “hearing” creatures whose heart is always clinging to some word or other. (56

For Luther, fear…must be taught only so that it can be extinguished so that one will flee from this God [of wrath], not to him. We are to fear God who has no words (unpreached), and run from him to the place where he has given himself in words [of promise] — that is to the preacher. Only there do fear and wrath end in Christ incarnate as he gives himself to sinners… What is life like before a preacher arrives? Life is filled with voices that are “passing judgment” (Rom 2:1)…so that life comes under constant judgment. The judge could be outside one’s self like a father telling you to live up to your potential, or a written law that says, “Thou shalt not steal.” The judge can also be inside, called a conscience, holding itself to a standard of judgment. Life without a preacher is life with a knotted collection of voices that either accuse or excuse, but in either case end up used in the service of self-justification. Because judgment stands ever at hand…life becomes a search for an escape. (69)

Each time sins are forgiven it is experienced as a breakthrough, a miracle, a new and unheard of redemption that sets a person free — body and spirit — from an oppressive force. (89)

The crux of the issue in forgiveness is what happens to a sin which was real, actual, and loaded with consequences in many peoples’ lives… (90)

Sin is deep in the flesh; it is material, and it does not go away by wishing it so. It is not an idea that can be thought away, it is not a feeling that can be gotten over through great effort, it is a thing that corrodes life’s goods like debt; sin infects healthy life like a virus and it must be disposed of. (90)

Forgiveness first negates — by violently removing trust put in the wrong place. Then it puts faith in the proper place, which creates something new out of nothing… (90)

via Amazon.com: Lutheran Theology (Doing Theology )) (9780567550002): Steven D. Paulson: Books.

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.

  • larry

    The same arguments made against God’s good creature wine, beer, etc…can be made against food, women, the sun or any other creature of God up to and including the creature reason itself. There are many of us who have had family members addicted not only to alcohol or cigarettes, but food and have seen the deadly effects to over addiction to food first hand, blood sugar, then stroke, then incapacitation for life just to name a few first hand experiences. In fact that plague is greater in this country today. Reason, addiction to reason is why so many are led away from the faith to various unbelieving venues including and up to Epicureanism (which is precisely the argument Paul makes to the Corinthians over their struggle with the resurrection, to wit, if Jesus did not rise nor will we, then we are pathetic and the epicureans are right. In an attempt to shame them into what their drunkenness over reasoning about the resurrection as did the Saduccees) and this addiction leads not only to physical death but the second death in hell. Yet we tend to think the devil hangs out in bars and not pious venues where he tends to weld the temptation of reason with great force, and why not it worked the first time without a single sip of beer.

    Can a Christian be a Christian artist and sing false doctrine as if it where Christian selling these deceptions leading people away from the word for gain?

  • larry

    The same arguments made against God’s good creature wine, beer, etc…can be made against food, women, the sun or any other creature of God up to and including the creature reason itself. There are many of us who have had family members addicted not only to alcohol or cigarettes, but food and have seen the deadly effects to over addiction to food first hand, blood sugar, then stroke, then incapacitation for life just to name a few first hand experiences. In fact that plague is greater in this country today. Reason, addiction to reason is why so many are led away from the faith to various unbelieving venues including and up to Epicureanism (which is precisely the argument Paul makes to the Corinthians over their struggle with the resurrection, to wit, if Jesus did not rise nor will we, then we are pathetic and the epicureans are right. In an attempt to shame them into what their drunkenness over reasoning about the resurrection as did the Saduccees) and this addiction leads not only to physical death but the second death in hell. Yet we tend to think the devil hangs out in bars and not pious venues where he tends to weld the temptation of reason with great force, and why not it worked the first time without a single sip of beer.

    Can a Christian be a Christian artist and sing false doctrine as if it where Christian selling these deceptions leading people away from the word for gain?

  • larry

    Sorry post in wrong place. ignore it.

  • larry

    Sorry post in wrong place. ignore it.

  • Pete

    “`I forgive you’…Luther taught and demonstrated that these simple words give absolute, indubitable certainty, and no one is more dangerous than a person who is certain. ”

    Fascinating – we were discussing this very point last week in church in relation to the David and Goliath account. That David’s actions had very little to do with what we would call courage and had everything to do with his recognition of the Gospel. That the fight was a mismatch in his favor – a fact that had nothing to do with who David was or what his particular skills were – rather, it was a mismatch based on the promise of God.

  • Pete

    “`I forgive you’…Luther taught and demonstrated that these simple words give absolute, indubitable certainty, and no one is more dangerous than a person who is certain. ”

    Fascinating – we were discussing this very point last week in church in relation to the David and Goliath account. That David’s actions had very little to do with what we would call courage and had everything to do with his recognition of the Gospel. That the fight was a mismatch in his favor – a fact that had nothing to do with who David was or what his particular skills were – rather, it was a mismatch based on the promise of God.

  • larry

    I do recommend this book to Lutherans, those “kicking it around in their heads”, new converts as it were to Lutheranism, old life long ones, those that have questions and non-lutherans alike.

    Dr. Vieth’s, “…bookmarking virtually every page, so packed it was with illuminating insights”. Is both funny in a good way to me and true. Funny because I did the same thing with my paper back copy with sticky notes (drives my wife nuts), but there’s so much to come back to and “chew on”. In fact I started reading through it again.

    I’ve kidded about this before but being half serious, if there was ever a modern “Lutheran tract” to hand out to folks, this would be it.

  • larry

    I do recommend this book to Lutherans, those “kicking it around in their heads”, new converts as it were to Lutheranism, old life long ones, those that have questions and non-lutherans alike.

    Dr. Vieth’s, “…bookmarking virtually every page, so packed it was with illuminating insights”. Is both funny in a good way to me and true. Funny because I did the same thing with my paper back copy with sticky notes (drives my wife nuts), but there’s so much to come back to and “chew on”. In fact I started reading through it again.

    I’ve kidded about this before but being half serious, if there was ever a modern “Lutheran tract” to hand out to folks, this would be it.

  • Tom Hering

    “… Luther bluntly said faith is not a transition from vice to virtue, it is ‘the way from virtue to the grace of Christ.’”

    Then, in Lutheran churches, we mostly hear a perverted “Third Use of the Law” message, which tries to turn us back to the attainment of virtue again. (Not that there isn’t a valid Third Use.)

  • Tom Hering

    “… Luther bluntly said faith is not a transition from vice to virtue, it is ‘the way from virtue to the grace of Christ.’”

    Then, in Lutheran churches, we mostly hear a perverted “Third Use of the Law” message, which tries to turn us back to the attainment of virtue again. (Not that there isn’t a valid Third Use.)

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    “And yet their theology consists of stormy clashes between Law and Gospel”

    He Who Truly Loves the Gospel Loves the Law

    “When a man spiritually discerns and sincerely loves the grace of the gospel, at the same time he sees and loves the holiness of the law. The consequence will be that he will sincerely and cheerfully obey the law. He will yield this obedience not only because the authority of God obliges him and the love of Christ constrains him, but because he discerns the beauty of the holiness that is in the law itself, and loves it.”

    John Colquhoun from “The Agreement Between the Law and the Gospel” in A Treatise on the Law and the Gospel, p. 172

    And everyone said, “Amen.”

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    “And yet their theology consists of stormy clashes between Law and Gospel”

    He Who Truly Loves the Gospel Loves the Law

    “When a man spiritually discerns and sincerely loves the grace of the gospel, at the same time he sees and loves the holiness of the law. The consequence will be that he will sincerely and cheerfully obey the law. He will yield this obedience not only because the authority of God obliges him and the love of Christ constrains him, but because he discerns the beauty of the holiness that is in the law itself, and loves it.”

    John Colquhoun from “The Agreement Between the Law and the Gospel” in A Treatise on the Law and the Gospel, p. 172

    And everyone said, “Amen.”

  • Tom Hering

    “… saints are commanded by the moral law as a rule of life, and by no other, to advance in the exercise of faith and repentance.” – John Colquhoun, The Law of God, or the Moral Law in General.

    Good luck with that.

  • Tom Hering

    “… saints are commanded by the moral law as a rule of life, and by no other, to advance in the exercise of faith and repentance.” – John Colquhoun, The Law of God, or the Moral Law in General.

    Good luck with that.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    “On the surface, Lutherans often seem placid and easy-going, solid folks who don’t make much of a stir.”

    Openly Gay Pastor Chosen as Leader of Large Lutheran Church in Minn.

    Excerpts: “An openly gay Atlanta pastor previously removed from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and later reinstated has now been voted in by an overwhelming majority to the role of senior pastor at the biggest Lutheran church in Saint Paul, Minn.

    The Rev. Bradley Schmeling, who in 2007 admitted he was in a committed same-sex relationship with Pastor Darin Easler, a former minister at the United Redeemer Lutheran Church in Zumbrota, Minn., was removed from ELCA’s official clergy roster that year. His St. John’s Lutheran Church in Atlanta, however, decided to keep him on as pastor despite the ELCA’s decision, and he has served there since 2000.

    The Gloria Dei Lutheran Church congregation of 2,300 members, who saw the Rev. M. Susan Peterson retire from her position as senior pastor at the church in 2010, has embraced Schmeling by an overwhelming margin. In a vote on Sunday, March 25, 92 percent of attending members said “yes” to Schmeling becoming the first openly gay pastor to lead the church.

    “I was drawn to Gloria Dei’s vibrant congregation and its genuine sense of welcoming, hospitality and desire for outreach to the world,” Schmeling, who is an Ohio native, said in a press release. “I feel a deep kinship with the congregation’s desire to retain a strong liturgical tradition while strengthening its reach into the community – especially to those who live on the margins of society.”

    “The church ought to be a place that welcomes and includes everyone,” Schmeling told the Star Tribune. “Gloria Dei has a big heart for its staff, members, for the community. I was attracted to its … willingness to be a voice of justice and inclusion in the neighborhood and St. Paul. They were just amazingly warm, welcoming, affectionate people.”

    “We have a history of rich, strong liturgical worship and music, and that’s a commitment that Pastor Schmeling also has,” Hoyum said. “He believes our worship service is reflective of our mission in the world, and that really resonated with us.”

    “He’s an amazing preacher,” she added. “He has the strategic and visionary skills we seek in the next leader for our congregation. His commitment to make the church a force in the broader community and to act for social justice, particularly among the poor, resonates with the mission of Gloria Dei.”

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    “On the surface, Lutherans often seem placid and easy-going, solid folks who don’t make much of a stir.”

    Openly Gay Pastor Chosen as Leader of Large Lutheran Church in Minn.

    Excerpts: “An openly gay Atlanta pastor previously removed from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and later reinstated has now been voted in by an overwhelming majority to the role of senior pastor at the biggest Lutheran church in Saint Paul, Minn.

    The Rev. Bradley Schmeling, who in 2007 admitted he was in a committed same-sex relationship with Pastor Darin Easler, a former minister at the United Redeemer Lutheran Church in Zumbrota, Minn., was removed from ELCA’s official clergy roster that year. His St. John’s Lutheran Church in Atlanta, however, decided to keep him on as pastor despite the ELCA’s decision, and he has served there since 2000.

    The Gloria Dei Lutheran Church congregation of 2,300 members, who saw the Rev. M. Susan Peterson retire from her position as senior pastor at the church in 2010, has embraced Schmeling by an overwhelming margin. In a vote on Sunday, March 25, 92 percent of attending members said “yes” to Schmeling becoming the first openly gay pastor to lead the church.

    “I was drawn to Gloria Dei’s vibrant congregation and its genuine sense of welcoming, hospitality and desire for outreach to the world,” Schmeling, who is an Ohio native, said in a press release. “I feel a deep kinship with the congregation’s desire to retain a strong liturgical tradition while strengthening its reach into the community – especially to those who live on the margins of society.”

    “The church ought to be a place that welcomes and includes everyone,” Schmeling told the Star Tribune. “Gloria Dei has a big heart for its staff, members, for the community. I was attracted to its … willingness to be a voice of justice and inclusion in the neighborhood and St. Paul. They were just amazingly warm, welcoming, affectionate people.”

    “We have a history of rich, strong liturgical worship and music, and that’s a commitment that Pastor Schmeling also has,” Hoyum said. “He believes our worship service is reflective of our mission in the world, and that really resonated with us.”

    “He’s an amazing preacher,” she added. “He has the strategic and visionary skills we seek in the next leader for our congregation. His commitment to make the church a force in the broader community and to act for social justice, particularly among the poor, resonates with the mission of Gloria Dei.”

  • larry

    This kind of proves Paulson’s point about the church continually struggling with reading Scripture with the “legal scheme” in mind. This is a critical point and the very essence of the Gospel “discovery” Luther made. Thus, the constant battle of placing the “legal template” over all of Scripture through which to “understand it”.

    What this really does is very similar to Greek mythology and their “gods” who ultimately answer to “fate” which is the real “god” in their scheme. Thus, in similar fashion, with legal scheme in hand, men make “the law” god, which is idolatry, and not God God. This is why many OT passage confound people primarily seeing the Scripture through the legal schematic, and confounds such as to why for example God ordered Isaac slain, against the law. Yet Abraham obeyed not the Law but the voice of God even in the seen/reasoned offense against the very Law itself. This is why the constant refrain in the OT for wrath is when Israel turned away from or did not listen to “My voice” (the Word of God), again Christ’s temptation is answered by nothing other than, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but the Word of God”.

    It simply gets to this:

    The Law is not God (=idolatry)
    God is the law or God is God not the Law.

    When the Law (and prophets) bore witness to the Gospel which is God’s righteousness revealed (not reasoned forth) ENTIRELY apart from the Law, it means that in the witnessing to Christ/the Gospel it suffers to witness. That’s what a witness (martyr) is in a trial, it bear witness to the truth so much that it in fact suffers itself to be given up. This is what a true martyr (witness) is.

    That’s part of the great mystery at the cross, the Law in attacking Christ who ‘knew no sin but became sin for us”, “…became a curse for us”, incarnate, runs up against deity and holiness and thus has violated itself. The Law ultimately answered to the Word of God literally.

  • larry

    This kind of proves Paulson’s point about the church continually struggling with reading Scripture with the “legal scheme” in mind. This is a critical point and the very essence of the Gospel “discovery” Luther made. Thus, the constant battle of placing the “legal template” over all of Scripture through which to “understand it”.

    What this really does is very similar to Greek mythology and their “gods” who ultimately answer to “fate” which is the real “god” in their scheme. Thus, in similar fashion, with legal scheme in hand, men make “the law” god, which is idolatry, and not God God. This is why many OT passage confound people primarily seeing the Scripture through the legal schematic, and confounds such as to why for example God ordered Isaac slain, against the law. Yet Abraham obeyed not the Law but the voice of God even in the seen/reasoned offense against the very Law itself. This is why the constant refrain in the OT for wrath is when Israel turned away from or did not listen to “My voice” (the Word of God), again Christ’s temptation is answered by nothing other than, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but the Word of God”.

    It simply gets to this:

    The Law is not God (=idolatry)
    God is the law or God is God not the Law.

    When the Law (and prophets) bore witness to the Gospel which is God’s righteousness revealed (not reasoned forth) ENTIRELY apart from the Law, it means that in the witnessing to Christ/the Gospel it suffers to witness. That’s what a witness (martyr) is in a trial, it bear witness to the truth so much that it in fact suffers itself to be given up. This is what a true martyr (witness) is.

    That’s part of the great mystery at the cross, the Law in attacking Christ who ‘knew no sin but became sin for us”, “…became a curse for us”, incarnate, runs up against deity and holiness and thus has violated itself. The Law ultimately answered to the Word of God literally.

  • Tom Hering

    Re: @ 8. Oh, I see. You’re in another one of your Lutheran-baiting moods today, TUAD. Weren’t you getting enough attention baiting political liberals?

  • Tom Hering

    Re: @ 8. Oh, I see. You’re in another one of your Lutheran-baiting moods today, TUAD. Weren’t you getting enough attention baiting political liberals?

  • larry

    Put yet another way that might really clarify; when men use the law in any form to extract righteousness from it so that it stick to or adheres to/within themselves, this pure idolatry for it is procuring from the Law the much needed righteousness and making the Law its source of righteousness thus making the Law “god” from which one fears, loves and trusts and this is ground zero idolatry/fallenness. Contrawise to this is the righteousness revealed from God that is God’s righteousness given and received as a gift by only faith and nothing else ever. When Paul says the Law is the letter that kills, that’s not compliment to the Law, how men make use of it – he’s comparing it to nothing living Word-wise, but a dead letter (Which God’s Word can NEVER be). The “law” in this way is no different than stock and stone idols.

  • larry

    Put yet another way that might really clarify; when men use the law in any form to extract righteousness from it so that it stick to or adheres to/within themselves, this pure idolatry for it is procuring from the Law the much needed righteousness and making the Law its source of righteousness thus making the Law “god” from which one fears, loves and trusts and this is ground zero idolatry/fallenness. Contrawise to this is the righteousness revealed from God that is God’s righteousness given and received as a gift by only faith and nothing else ever. When Paul says the Law is the letter that kills, that’s not compliment to the Law, how men make use of it – he’s comparing it to nothing living Word-wise, but a dead letter (Which God’s Word can NEVER be). The “law” in this way is no different than stock and stone idols.

  • Philippe

    Paulson’s book was so amazing, I could barely put it down. It reads like a 300 page sermon. My own copy is pretty much completely underlined. It was very helpful to me as I was exploring Lutheranism and as I’ve now transitioned from the Reformed Church to recently becoming a member of an LC-MS.

  • Philippe

    Paulson’s book was so amazing, I could barely put it down. It reads like a 300 page sermon. My own copy is pretty much completely underlined. It was very helpful to me as I was exploring Lutheranism and as I’ve now transitioned from the Reformed Church to recently becoming a member of an LC-MS.

  • Joe

    TUAD – your refusal to acknowledge what has been pointed out to you many, many times (that the ELCA, despite its name, actively rejects Lutheranism – i.e. rejects our confessions and doctrines) demonstrates only how ineptly you have named yourself. There is no truth in a person who willfully attempts to slander one group by reference to a different group. Its time for you to start acting like an adult.

  • Joe

    TUAD – your refusal to acknowledge what has been pointed out to you many, many times (that the ELCA, despite its name, actively rejects Lutheranism – i.e. rejects our confessions and doctrines) demonstrates only how ineptly you have named yourself. There is no truth in a person who willfully attempts to slander one group by reference to a different group. Its time for you to start acting like an adult.

  • Bob

    Thanks to Dr. Veith and Larry for your recommendation. I tried Paulson’s book “Luther for Armchair Theologians” but couldn’t
    follow it. I’ll give this one a try.

  • Bob

    Thanks to Dr. Veith and Larry for your recommendation. I tried Paulson’s book “Luther for Armchair Theologians” but couldn’t
    follow it. I’ll give this one a try.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Many ELCA Lutherans are baptized in the name of the Trinity by Lutheran pastors in Lutheran churches. Furthermore, many Lutherans in the ELCA probably enjoy Steven D. Paulson’s book “Lutheran Theology” just as much as those in LCMS or WELS.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Many ELCA Lutherans are baptized in the name of the Trinity by Lutheran pastors in Lutheran churches. Furthermore, many Lutherans in the ELCA probably enjoy Steven D. Paulson’s book “Lutheran Theology” just as much as those in LCMS or WELS.

  • Tom Hering

    All quite true. So, what’s your point now?

  • Tom Hering

    All quite true. So, what’s your point now?

  • Abby

    I thank God everyday — this is what I was taught, all of my life — beginning in Lutheran school (which I am a firm advocate of), as an LCMS Lutheran.

  • Abby

    I thank God everyday — this is what I was taught, all of my life — beginning in Lutheran school (which I am a firm advocate of), as an LCMS Lutheran.

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

    Abby, thanks for the link! Prof. John Pless, Concordia Sem, Ft. Wayne, recently posted The Gospel Coalition website: good stuff.

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

    Abby, thanks for the link! Prof. John Pless, Concordia Sem, Ft. Wayne, recently posted The Gospel Coalition website: good stuff.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Lutheranism and the Gospel – In Depth

    “I was drawn to Gloria Dei’s vibrant congregation and its genuine sense of welcoming, hospitality and desire for outreach to the world,” Schmeling, who is an Ohio native, said in a press release. “I feel a deep kinship with the congregation’s desire to retain a strong liturgical tradition while strengthening its reach into the community – especially to those who live on the margins of society.”

    “We have a history of rich, strong liturgical worship and music, and that’s a commitment that Pastor Schmeling also has,” Hoyum said. “He believes our worship service is reflective of our mission in the world, and that really resonated with us.”

    Lutheranism and the Gospel – In Depth

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Lutheranism and the Gospel – In Depth

    “I was drawn to Gloria Dei’s vibrant congregation and its genuine sense of welcoming, hospitality and desire for outreach to the world,” Schmeling, who is an Ohio native, said in a press release. “I feel a deep kinship with the congregation’s desire to retain a strong liturgical tradition while strengthening its reach into the community – especially to those who live on the margins of society.”

    “We have a history of rich, strong liturgical worship and music, and that’s a commitment that Pastor Schmeling also has,” Hoyum said. “He believes our worship service is reflective of our mission in the world, and that really resonated with us.”

    Lutheranism and the Gospel – In Depth

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Tom:

    “… Luther bluntly said faith is not a transition from vice to virtue, it is ‘the way from virtue to the grace of Christ.’”

    Then, in Lutheran churches, we mostly hear a perverted “Third Use of the Law” message, which tries to turn us back to the attainment of virtue again. (Not that there isn’t a valid Third Use.)”

    You link to Article 6 on the solid declaration from the Formula of Concord. You say that this is not a valid use?

    Curious, have you read these?: http://www.lutheranpress.com/sdea.htm

    I’d say article 6 is a good representation of what I read there. You no?

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Tom:

    “… Luther bluntly said faith is not a transition from vice to virtue, it is ‘the way from virtue to the grace of Christ.’”

    Then, in Lutheran churches, we mostly hear a perverted “Third Use of the Law” message, which tries to turn us back to the attainment of virtue again. (Not that there isn’t a valid Third Use.)”

    You link to Article 6 on the solid declaration from the Formula of Concord. You say that this is not a valid use?

    Curious, have you read these?: http://www.lutheranpress.com/sdea.htm

    I’d say article 6 is a good representation of what I read there. You no?

    +Nathan

  • Tom Hering

    Nathan @ 20, are you asking me if I think Article VI presents a wrong understanding of the Third Use? Well, I don’t. It’s brilliant. The Law functions for the believer the same as for the unbeliever. It continues to kill the Old Adam. It continues to drive us to trust in Christ alone. If any virtue results, it’s only because Old Adam has been got out of the way, and the New Creation can now freely and spontaneously do what the New Creation does cheerfully – obey God. Wash, rinse, repeat. Daily.

  • Tom Hering

    Nathan @ 20, are you asking me if I think Article VI presents a wrong understanding of the Third Use? Well, I don’t. It’s brilliant. The Law functions for the believer the same as for the unbeliever. It continues to kill the Old Adam. It continues to drive us to trust in Christ alone. If any virtue results, it’s only because Old Adam has been got out of the way, and the New Creation can now freely and spontaneously do what the New Creation does cheerfully – obey God. Wash, rinse, repeat. Daily.

  • Tom Hering

    In other words, what makes the Law different in the Third Use of it isn’t a different use of it. It’s the fact that it’s used with different people. People who are now New Creations as well as Old Adams (still).

  • Tom Hering

    In other words, what makes the Law different in the Third Use of it isn’t a different use of it. It’s the fact that it’s used with different people. People who are now New Creations as well as Old Adams (still).

  • Jerry

    Just want to add a ‘me too to’ recommending this book. However, warning, if you attend a LCMS bible class, it may lead you to become disruptive, you will have no other choice than to pip up when the discussions turn legalistic

  • Jerry

    Just want to add a ‘me too to’ recommending this book. However, warning, if you attend a LCMS bible class, it may lead you to become disruptive, you will have no other choice than to pip up when the discussions turn legalistic

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Tom,

    Thanks for the note. That is what you call very, very careless reading on my part. Sorry to waste your time.

    Jerry,

    What kinds of things are you thinking about? What kind of “legalisms”?

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Tom,

    Thanks for the note. That is what you call very, very careless reading on my part. Sorry to waste your time.

    Jerry,

    What kinds of things are you thinking about? What kind of “legalisms”?

    +Nathan

  • Tom Hering

    Nathan, it wasn’t a waste of time. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Nathan, it wasn’t a waste of time. :-D

  • larry

    Tom is exactly right on Article VI, where it becomes confused is when people confuse Art. VI and more or less overlay with the Reformed “third use” of the law. Or some other confession, but it’s typically Reformed. The same resason many confound Total Depravity with Bondage of the Will, when in fact the later is speaking also against the former and sees it as a kind of legal-monergism which pans out being in the end another synergism in disguise. Its basically similar to reading Scripture with the legal matrix or scheme, Art. VI can be read with a legal matrix or scheme formerly from another confession or a home grown Lutheran version of the same.

  • larry

    Tom is exactly right on Article VI, where it becomes confused is when people confuse Art. VI and more or less overlay with the Reformed “third use” of the law. Or some other confession, but it’s typically Reformed. The same resason many confound Total Depravity with Bondage of the Will, when in fact the later is speaking also against the former and sees it as a kind of legal-monergism which pans out being in the end another synergism in disguise. Its basically similar to reading Scripture with the legal matrix or scheme, Art. VI can be read with a legal matrix or scheme formerly from another confession or a home grown Lutheran version of the same.

  • George A. Marquart

    This Saturday will be the 75th anniversary of my Baptism. Much of my spiritual life since that day has been spent in contemplation of the Gospel. One of my conclusions, sadly enough, is that I have met less than 10 pastors in my life who understood the Gospel. Here are a few thoughts about the nature of the Gospel:

    1. God expects nothing of His children. That is the fundamental principle of the Gospel, probably best expressed in what Martin Luther wrote on his deathbed (cart?), “This is true, we are beggars all.”
    2. The child of God has been given a new nature in Baptism, which is the source of all good thoughts, words, and deeds. It is not gratitude, as many preach, that is the motivator. 1 Cor. 2:16, “But we have the mind of Christ.”
    3. God, in the Person of the Holy Spirit, dwells in each one of His children without replenishment and without ever leaving. If He does leave, this constitutes the “sin against the Holy Spirit”, for which there is no remedy.
    4. We do not understand “fear of God” properly, because we do not distinguish, as Luther did between “Furcht” (fear) and “Ehrfurcht” (awe). Part of the problem is that the German uses one verb, “fürchten”, for the activity of both. As a result, when translated into English the difference between fear and awe disappears.
    5. Often Lutherans do not distinguish between the Repentance (μετάνοια), which takes place when a person is converted, and the repentance or contrition which is part of the daily life of the Christian. This is most noticeable in the fourth point under Luther’s explanation of Baptism in the Small Catechism, “What does such baptizing with water signify?–Answer. It signifies that the old Adam in us should, by daily contrition and repentance, be drowned and die with all sins and evil lusts, and, again, a new man daily come forth and arise; who shall live before God in righteousness and purity forever.”
    6. God was never angry either with His children or with His only begotten Son. Matthew 25: 34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;…”

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    This Saturday will be the 75th anniversary of my Baptism. Much of my spiritual life since that day has been spent in contemplation of the Gospel. One of my conclusions, sadly enough, is that I have met less than 10 pastors in my life who understood the Gospel. Here are a few thoughts about the nature of the Gospel:

    1. God expects nothing of His children. That is the fundamental principle of the Gospel, probably best expressed in what Martin Luther wrote on his deathbed (cart?), “This is true, we are beggars all.”
    2. The child of God has been given a new nature in Baptism, which is the source of all good thoughts, words, and deeds. It is not gratitude, as many preach, that is the motivator. 1 Cor. 2:16, “But we have the mind of Christ.”
    3. God, in the Person of the Holy Spirit, dwells in each one of His children without replenishment and without ever leaving. If He does leave, this constitutes the “sin against the Holy Spirit”, for which there is no remedy.
    4. We do not understand “fear of God” properly, because we do not distinguish, as Luther did between “Furcht” (fear) and “Ehrfurcht” (awe). Part of the problem is that the German uses one verb, “fürchten”, for the activity of both. As a result, when translated into English the difference between fear and awe disappears.
    5. Often Lutherans do not distinguish between the Repentance (μετάνοια), which takes place when a person is converted, and the repentance or contrition which is part of the daily life of the Christian. This is most noticeable in the fourth point under Luther’s explanation of Baptism in the Small Catechism, “What does such baptizing with water signify?–Answer. It signifies that the old Adam in us should, by daily contrition and repentance, be drowned and die with all sins and evil lusts, and, again, a new man daily come forth and arise; who shall live before God in righteousness and purity forever.”
    6. God was never angry either with His children or with His only begotten Son. Matthew 25: 34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;…”

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • Jerry

    @24, legalisms you would not hear in a church led by a knowledgeable confessional pastor, but those under the influence of “why can’t we be more like the evangelicals” and “Lutherans need a better understanding of sanctification.” I just came away from morning men’s breakfast shaking my head at the lack of understanding of the backbone of Lutheranism…thanks for asking me to explain…

  • Jerry

    @24, legalisms you would not hear in a church led by a knowledgeable confessional pastor, but those under the influence of “why can’t we be more like the evangelicals” and “Lutherans need a better understanding of sanctification.” I just came away from morning men’s breakfast shaking my head at the lack of understanding of the backbone of Lutheranism…thanks for asking me to explain…

  • JunkerGeorg

    Glad to see Paulson and his book “Lutheran Theology” getting some props here!!!

    For those having little or no acquaintance with Luther and the Biblical principles/insights of his ‘Reformational’ theology, an easier, more lay-friendly, quicker read and/or introduction to Paulson, get a hold of his book, “Luther for Armchair Theologians.” This shorter book is also a good primer for then going on to read this more comprehensive book “Lutheran Theology.” (e.g., sort of like starting with the “Small Catechism” before then going on to read the “Large Catechism”).
    I’m manic for using highlighters, and having read Paulson’s book 2 times now, there’s not much left within its pages that hasn’t been highlighted (which, yes, sort of defeats the purpose. lol) Every sentence in that book is powerful, and you can tell that his rhetorical style is reflective of the “Theology is for Proclamation” principle of his own former teachers like the late Rev. Dr. Gerhard Forde (check out Forde’s wonderful little book called “Where God Meets Man: Luther’s Down-To-Earth Approach To The Gospel”—it is actually one easy-to-read book that helped to convert me to confessional Lutheranism from evangelicalism). Great theologians like Luther are always seeking to preach as they teach, to be preaching to the heart of the reader with full conviction even while trying to teach their mind the weighty matters of Christian faith ever rooted in Christ and Him Crucified for us, the specially-revealed Word of God to us and for us in terms of His two distinct-yet-inseparable messages of the Law and the Gospel, revealing us to be total sinners not merely according to actions but in our very nature, while simultaneously making us to be total saints, not in ourselves, but in the self of Christ.
    As Francis Bacon once said, “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.” Indeed, there are some exceptional books on Luther and his Biblical teaching, or on the Lutheran faith in general…books both older and newer, which are like Willy Wonka Gum that never lose their flavor no matter how often you ‘chew’ on them. Whether it be more more weighty books–old classics like “The Quest for Holiness” by Adolf Köberle, “Here I Stand” by Roland Bainton, “Here We Stand” by Herman Sasse, or more current writings (e.g., any published journal article or published/recorded sermon by Dr. Norman Nagel and the late Dr. Kenneth Korbe are recommended), or more contemporary, lay-friendly books like many of Gene Edward Veith’s books are (not to suggest they are shallow in any way regarding the topics they address, but you get my point hopefully), it is better to read a few great books over and over again than to skim over many books of varying quality. Paulson’s book “Lutheran Theology” falls under that category of Wonka gum. :)
    Come to think of it, as I mentioned Dr. Veith and his book, he himself has been blessed with this gift as well, reflective in all of his books–noteworthy in this context is his book, “The Spirituality of the Cross”. His prose is so tender, so sweet, conveying that childlike faith and enthusiasm for the Gospel which he has been blessed with. Very “C.S. Lewis” like. (Soli Deo Gloria) Also noteworthy is Harold Senkbeil, whose books “Sanctification: Christ in Action” and “Dying to Live” are must reads for any Lutheran who wants to understand the genus of Lutheran doctrine (rooted in the “monergism of grace”, of Salvation not merely by Christ, but by Christ Alone, or as we systematically put it: By Grace Alone, through the God-given/sustained gift of Faith Alone, fixed upon Christ Alone, according to the Scriptures Alone.) Such easy-to-read books are suggested reads for anyone else interested in at least understanding us crazy Lutherans a little bit why we are the way we are. Or from those posters coming from Reformed or Evangelical Free circles on here, there is much to love in writings by authors like John Piper, such as his recent book, “Counted Righteous in Christ”, who stands up for the forensic nature of Justification rooted in the Christ Crucified extra nos (outside ourselves), of salvation being grounded in the Christ “for” us, fixing our eyes and seeking certainty there, rather than on the resultant reality of the Christ “in” us. (e.g., like Peter walking on water as he fixes his eyes on Christ, who then sinks the moment he takes his eyes off Christ to navel gaze, turning his focus to himself and his “sanctification”, of his miraculous action of walking on water. Yet even there, the Christ for us came to his rescue, as He does daily for us as well, who, in the infirmities of our sinful nature, cannot believe, follow, and persevere in Him apart from His daily grace. Sorry Reformed, the “P” in TULIP isn’t correct in our Bible-based view.)

    Even if you are not Lutheran, if you at least want to understand why us Lutherans are the way we are (and reasons why you might be so “annoyed” by us so much!), then such books like Paulson’s or Veith’s or others referenced would be worth your time to read. :)

  • JunkerGeorg

    Glad to see Paulson and his book “Lutheran Theology” getting some props here!!!

    For those having little or no acquaintance with Luther and the Biblical principles/insights of his ‘Reformational’ theology, an easier, more lay-friendly, quicker read and/or introduction to Paulson, get a hold of his book, “Luther for Armchair Theologians.” This shorter book is also a good primer for then going on to read this more comprehensive book “Lutheran Theology.” (e.g., sort of like starting with the “Small Catechism” before then going on to read the “Large Catechism”).
    I’m manic for using highlighters, and having read Paulson’s book 2 times now, there’s not much left within its pages that hasn’t been highlighted (which, yes, sort of defeats the purpose. lol) Every sentence in that book is powerful, and you can tell that his rhetorical style is reflective of the “Theology is for Proclamation” principle of his own former teachers like the late Rev. Dr. Gerhard Forde (check out Forde’s wonderful little book called “Where God Meets Man: Luther’s Down-To-Earth Approach To The Gospel”—it is actually one easy-to-read book that helped to convert me to confessional Lutheranism from evangelicalism). Great theologians like Luther are always seeking to preach as they teach, to be preaching to the heart of the reader with full conviction even while trying to teach their mind the weighty matters of Christian faith ever rooted in Christ and Him Crucified for us, the specially-revealed Word of God to us and for us in terms of His two distinct-yet-inseparable messages of the Law and the Gospel, revealing us to be total sinners not merely according to actions but in our very nature, while simultaneously making us to be total saints, not in ourselves, but in the self of Christ.
    As Francis Bacon once said, “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.” Indeed, there are some exceptional books on Luther and his Biblical teaching, or on the Lutheran faith in general…books both older and newer, which are like Willy Wonka Gum that never lose their flavor no matter how often you ‘chew’ on them. Whether it be more more weighty books–old classics like “The Quest for Holiness” by Adolf Köberle, “Here I Stand” by Roland Bainton, “Here We Stand” by Herman Sasse, or more current writings (e.g., any published journal article or published/recorded sermon by Dr. Norman Nagel and the late Dr. Kenneth Korbe are recommended), or more contemporary, lay-friendly books like many of Gene Edward Veith’s books are (not to suggest they are shallow in any way regarding the topics they address, but you get my point hopefully), it is better to read a few great books over and over again than to skim over many books of varying quality. Paulson’s book “Lutheran Theology” falls under that category of Wonka gum. :)
    Come to think of it, as I mentioned Dr. Veith and his book, he himself has been blessed with this gift as well, reflective in all of his books–noteworthy in this context is his book, “The Spirituality of the Cross”. His prose is so tender, so sweet, conveying that childlike faith and enthusiasm for the Gospel which he has been blessed with. Very “C.S. Lewis” like. (Soli Deo Gloria) Also noteworthy is Harold Senkbeil, whose books “Sanctification: Christ in Action” and “Dying to Live” are must reads for any Lutheran who wants to understand the genus of Lutheran doctrine (rooted in the “monergism of grace”, of Salvation not merely by Christ, but by Christ Alone, or as we systematically put it: By Grace Alone, through the God-given/sustained gift of Faith Alone, fixed upon Christ Alone, according to the Scriptures Alone.) Such easy-to-read books are suggested reads for anyone else interested in at least understanding us crazy Lutherans a little bit why we are the way we are. Or from those posters coming from Reformed or Evangelical Free circles on here, there is much to love in writings by authors like John Piper, such as his recent book, “Counted Righteous in Christ”, who stands up for the forensic nature of Justification rooted in the Christ Crucified extra nos (outside ourselves), of salvation being grounded in the Christ “for” us, fixing our eyes and seeking certainty there, rather than on the resultant reality of the Christ “in” us. (e.g., like Peter walking on water as he fixes his eyes on Christ, who then sinks the moment he takes his eyes off Christ to navel gaze, turning his focus to himself and his “sanctification”, of his miraculous action of walking on water. Yet even there, the Christ for us came to his rescue, as He does daily for us as well, who, in the infirmities of our sinful nature, cannot believe, follow, and persevere in Him apart from His daily grace. Sorry Reformed, the “P” in TULIP isn’t correct in our Bible-based view.)

    Even if you are not Lutheran, if you at least want to understand why us Lutherans are the way we are (and reasons why you might be so “annoyed” by us so much!), then such books like Paulson’s or Veith’s or others referenced would be worth your time to read. :)

  • Jerry

    Thanks JunkerGeorg for reminding us of Dr. Senkbeil’s books. It was reading Sanctification that brought me through job loss and mid-life crisis in the mid 90′s.

  • Jerry

    Thanks JunkerGeorg for reminding us of Dr. Senkbeil’s books. It was reading Sanctification that brought me through job loss and mid-life crisis in the mid 90′s.

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

    You see…there are still some old ELCA guys that really get it. And I mean, really get it. No holds barred. No add-on’s to Christ AT All.

    Paulson is out of that Fordeian mold. My pastor is, as well.

    I do know some that wouldn’t touch that book with a 10 foot pole because Paulson has the ELCA stink on him. Truth is, they (ELCA) left Lutheranism (maybe Christianity). There are some excellent centerist neo-othodox Lutheran theologians that have come out of the ELCA.

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

    You see…there are still some old ELCA guys that really get it. And I mean, really get it. No holds barred. No add-on’s to Christ AT All.

    Paulson is out of that Fordeian mold. My pastor is, as well.

    I do know some that wouldn’t touch that book with a 10 foot pole because Paulson has the ELCA stink on him. Truth is, they (ELCA) left Lutheranism (maybe Christianity). There are some excellent centerist neo-othodox Lutheran theologians that have come out of the ELCA.

  • Tom Hering

    Ah! Norman “you have everything you need in Jesus and more” Nagel. I’ve got some old Issues, Etc. programs with him on CD: Blood of Christ; Faith in Christ; Obedience of Christ; Christ-Centered Theology. True treasures.

  • Tom Hering

    Ah! Norman “you have everything you need in Jesus and more” Nagel. I’ve got some old Issues, Etc. programs with him on CD: Blood of Christ; Faith in Christ; Obedience of Christ; Christ-Centered Theology. True treasures.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    George,

    Insofar as we are sinners, we need to be told that God expects us to follow His commandments. No? Not just that we “get to”, but that He expects us to, in His words, “make duty a pleasure”.

    Steve Martin,

    What, exactly, is a “excellent centerist neo-othodox Lutheran theologian”. I’m a bit familiar with neo-orthodoxy and I thought the LCMS take about this was that there was nothing “Lutheran” about it.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    George,

    Insofar as we are sinners, we need to be told that God expects us to follow His commandments. No? Not just that we “get to”, but that He expects us to, in His words, “make duty a pleasure”.

    Steve Martin,

    What, exactly, is a “excellent centerist neo-othodox Lutheran theologian”. I’m a bit familiar with neo-orthodoxy and I thought the LCMS take about this was that there was nothing “Lutheran” about it.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    “in His words, “make duty a pleasure”

    Meant to say, [in Luther's words], “make duty a pleasure”.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    “in His words, “make duty a pleasure”

    Meant to say, [in Luther's words], “make duty a pleasure”.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Jerry @ 28 – thanks for the explanation!

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Jerry @ 28 – thanks for the explanation!

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    If anyone has the time or impetus to do so, I would like to know what you think about this: http://infanttheology.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/we-are-all-antinomians-now-except-the-babies-part-v-of-v/ (not just part V, but parts I-IV as well).

    Compatible with Paulson?

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    If anyone has the time or impetus to do so, I would like to know what you think about this: http://infanttheology.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/we-are-all-antinomians-now-except-the-babies-part-v-of-v/ (not just part V, but parts I-IV as well).

    Compatible with Paulson?

    +Nathan

  • George A. Marquart

    Nathan @ 33.

    No. Not insofar as we are sinners, because we are sinners through and through. Simul justus et peccator, not in part and not alternating, both fully at the same time. The relationship we have with our Father is not that we need to know what “He expects us to do”, but we need to know what His will is. Then, having, as St. Paul says, “the mind of Christ”, we want to do the will of our Father. If He “expected something”, then we could never know if we had done enough. The difference may be subtle, but as my friends in Odessa say, “those are two big differences.” As soon as we think that “God expects something”, we have left the province of the Gospel. But as our Lord taught, even that will be forgiven.

    Of course, as Scripture and the Confessions teach, we are not perfect in this life; therefore, the Third Use. But this is Law without threat, this is the Law we can love, because we know it pleases our Heavenly Father when we do it.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    Nathan @ 33.

    No. Not insofar as we are sinners, because we are sinners through and through. Simul justus et peccator, not in part and not alternating, both fully at the same time. The relationship we have with our Father is not that we need to know what “He expects us to do”, but we need to know what His will is. Then, having, as St. Paul says, “the mind of Christ”, we want to do the will of our Father. If He “expected something”, then we could never know if we had done enough. The difference may be subtle, but as my friends in Odessa say, “those are two big differences.” As soon as we think that “God expects something”, we have left the province of the Gospel. But as our Lord taught, even that will be forgiven.

    Of course, as Scripture and the Confessions teach, we are not perfect in this life; therefore, the Third Use. But this is Law without threat, this is the Law we can love, because we know it pleases our Heavenly Father when we do it.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    George,

    Not sure I really get the distinction. His will is that He expects love, no?

    +Nathan

    ps – can’t comment again till Monday. Good weekend all.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    George,

    Not sure I really get the distinction. His will is that He expects love, no?

    +Nathan

    ps – can’t comment again till Monday. Good weekend all.

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

    Nathan,

    A ne0-orthodox Lutheran theologian would be someone (in my opinion) who is a Christ alone person. An orthodox doctrine of the Word, not a Southern Baptist doctrine of the Word (inerrant text). A theologian who upholds God’s law for civil purposes, and to expose us in the theological use – no further than that.

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

    Nathan,

    A ne0-orthodox Lutheran theologian would be someone (in my opinion) who is a Christ alone person. An orthodox doctrine of the Word, not a Southern Baptist doctrine of the Word (inerrant text). A theologian who upholds God’s law for civil purposes, and to expose us in the theological use – no further than that.

  • George A. Marquart

    Nathan #38. No. HE IS LOVE. He expects nothing. Perfect love does not expect anything from anyone; perfect love only serves, as He Who took upon Himself the form of a Servant.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    Nathan #38. No. HE IS LOVE. He expects nothing. Perfect love does not expect anything from anyone; perfect love only serves, as He Who took upon Himself the form of a Servant.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • fws

    george @ 27

    tell us more about point 4.

    The apology tells us that one consequence of being born again is that the Judgement of the Law of God is then fully understood and so our breach of the Law of God now “terrifies” us. The formula of Concord on the “law and gospel” makes the same point. Am I to understand that fear as in “We should fear and love God” should read “We should be in awe of and love God”? I think I have to disagree based on the author of the Small Catechism’s public and formal confession in the Apology.

  • fws

    george @ 27

    tell us more about point 4.

    The apology tells us that one consequence of being born again is that the Judgement of the Law of God is then fully understood and so our breach of the Law of God now “terrifies” us. The formula of Concord on the “law and gospel” makes the same point. Am I to understand that fear as in “We should fear and love God” should read “We should be in awe of and love God”? I think I have to disagree based on the author of the Small Catechism’s public and formal confession in the Apology.

  • fws

    Tom Herring @ 21

    Whoa Tom. That was excellent. You managed to reduce FC art on “the [Lutheran] Third Use to a paragraph. It is all right there exactly as you said it.

    The Law ALWAYS accuses and kills.

    This is most certainly true (!) whether the Law is a mirror, a curb or an instruction/rule.

    The Law instruct pagan (cf Aristotle, epicurus, socrates, ghandi,the stoics, etc etc) and true believers alike to kill the Old Adam. Life is mortification. Life is death. It does not follow that death is Life! Death is death.

    The eternal consequences of a virtuous life is death. Ditto, exactly so, a life that is without virtue. This is true even though God demands virtue of everyone, and WILL have it be done, for the purpose of Mercy and Goodness being done among those who don’t deserve it. Which is all of us. Mercy is not the Gospel even though Mercy is the same identical fruit of both the Law and the Gospel.

    The Gospel is alone about dying and being hidden within the Death and Works of Another. alone. alone. alone. It is about nothing at all we can see or do. ALL we can see and do is about the eternal consequence of death.

    Law as instruction is ALL about death and never about life and especially not about Life. Life is found alone in the Works and fulfillment of the Law by Another.

  • fws

    Tom Herring @ 21

    Whoa Tom. That was excellent. You managed to reduce FC art on “the [Lutheran] Third Use to a paragraph. It is all right there exactly as you said it.

    The Law ALWAYS accuses and kills.

    This is most certainly true (!) whether the Law is a mirror, a curb or an instruction/rule.

    The Law instruct pagan (cf Aristotle, epicurus, socrates, ghandi,the stoics, etc etc) and true believers alike to kill the Old Adam. Life is mortification. Life is death. It does not follow that death is Life! Death is death.

    The eternal consequences of a virtuous life is death. Ditto, exactly so, a life that is without virtue. This is true even though God demands virtue of everyone, and WILL have it be done, for the purpose of Mercy and Goodness being done among those who don’t deserve it. Which is all of us. Mercy is not the Gospel even though Mercy is the same identical fruit of both the Law and the Gospel.

    The Gospel is alone about dying and being hidden within the Death and Works of Another. alone. alone. alone. It is about nothing at all we can see or do. ALL we can see and do is about the eternal consequence of death.

    Law as instruction is ALL about death and never about life and especially not about Life. Life is found alone in the Works and fulfillment of the Law by Another.

  • fws

    nathan @38

    try this Nathan, You know that Lutherans make a huge deal out of the distinction of Law and Gospel as the dual lense through which we read scripture and focus properly on the One Object of Faith our dear Lord Jesus.

    Lutherans teach that God addresses the Believer as both Old Adam and New Man. At the same time.

    The Law only exists for the believer because he is still, in ALL he can see and do, 100% Old Adam. And so the Law has one effect and purpose. It is to constantly always and only kill and accuse us.

    Remember this: “The Law always accuses!” Always. Accuses. Kills.

    And the purpose of that killing and sacrifice is to extort the Eternal Will of God out of Old Adam, which is for Fatherly Goodness and Mercy to happen. God wills the death of no man. He desires Mercy and not sacrifice! Yet sacrifice and death is the only way to extort this out of Old Adam.

    Persons who follow God’s rules sacrificially in a way that no Goodness and Mercy for neighbor is evident or where the sacrifice of the true happiness of neighbor is being demanded is the worst form of idolatry that is a stench in God’s nostrils. It is “useless” . That is: It brings no earthly , creaturely benefit to one’s neighbor (cf St Paul in I cor 6 and 7 for more on this). There is no goodness and mercy in such “obedience”.

    There is only a “pious” call for sacrifice and death and dead works that rebel against what St James tell us that good works are to look like.

    it is Legalism in that it follows the letter rather than the intent of the Law. The intent of the Law is for Love (mercy that is the opposite of justice) to be done. This is the “sum of the Law’. This fact is true even though it is ALSO completely true that there can be no true Mercy without there being true Justice. Yet Justice, which is what the Law-at-work looks like, always, always accuses and demands a death. It looks precisely like “cut the baby in two”. Justice is merciless and relentless. It demands and then demands more and gives nothing at all in return. Yet out of that Justice that is about the demand for death, God makes Fatherly Goodness and Mercy happen out of Old Adam of all of us. See Luke 18 and the story of the Antinomian Judge nagged by a conscience that is totally dead even to love. And God makes justice happen even then!

    It is not about us.

    But wait! That is not the end of the story! Law AND Gospel.

    Then too, Scriptures tell us, that , as a result of Holy Baptism, we are now 100% New Man. And we can see that only through the eyes of faith. This belief is utterly at odds with all we can see and do. Yet is is most certainly true and certain alone in Christ. This is because only those who know the Gospel are truly terrified at ALL they can see and do, and so know to hide ALL they can see and do in Christ. And, hidden away in Christ, the Law is powerless to accuse us!

    Only when the Law can no longer accuse us can God truly become an Object of Love!

    And so now, only in this New Man, only “insofaras” the believer is regenerated, there is no Law necessary for the Eternal Will of God, which is for Goodness and Mercy to happen. It simply happens as light flows from the sun , and as the angels do God’s bidding. it is effort-less. It flows from new heart/emotional movements that are now totally reflective of the Image of God. And that Image of God, restored alone in Baptismal faith, is precisely faith alone in the Works of Another.

    to sum:

    whatever is about us and what we can see and do is about the Law extorting and killing Old Adam so that the Eternal Will of God which is that Goodness and Mercy happen among men is done.

    whatever is about Christ and what He has done, is about the Gospel. And only in the Gospel can the Eternal Will of God, which is Goodness and Mercy, happen as though there were no Law. Spontaneously, as light from sun, as the angels do God’s bidding.

    further reduction:

    Us=old adam=death=law=extortion, rebellion in body, mind will and soul. 100%. total , total depravity. Not one spark of the Image of God. Faith in anything BUT Christ.

    Christ=new man=Life=Law kept without even thinking about it, from the emotional very depth of the heart. Image of God restored which Image is faith alone in the Works of Another.

  • fws

    nathan @38

    try this Nathan, You know that Lutherans make a huge deal out of the distinction of Law and Gospel as the dual lense through which we read scripture and focus properly on the One Object of Faith our dear Lord Jesus.

    Lutherans teach that God addresses the Believer as both Old Adam and New Man. At the same time.

    The Law only exists for the believer because he is still, in ALL he can see and do, 100% Old Adam. And so the Law has one effect and purpose. It is to constantly always and only kill and accuse us.

    Remember this: “The Law always accuses!” Always. Accuses. Kills.

    And the purpose of that killing and sacrifice is to extort the Eternal Will of God out of Old Adam, which is for Fatherly Goodness and Mercy to happen. God wills the death of no man. He desires Mercy and not sacrifice! Yet sacrifice and death is the only way to extort this out of Old Adam.

    Persons who follow God’s rules sacrificially in a way that no Goodness and Mercy for neighbor is evident or where the sacrifice of the true happiness of neighbor is being demanded is the worst form of idolatry that is a stench in God’s nostrils. It is “useless” . That is: It brings no earthly , creaturely benefit to one’s neighbor (cf St Paul in I cor 6 and 7 for more on this). There is no goodness and mercy in such “obedience”.

    There is only a “pious” call for sacrifice and death and dead works that rebel against what St James tell us that good works are to look like.

    it is Legalism in that it follows the letter rather than the intent of the Law. The intent of the Law is for Love (mercy that is the opposite of justice) to be done. This is the “sum of the Law’. This fact is true even though it is ALSO completely true that there can be no true Mercy without there being true Justice. Yet Justice, which is what the Law-at-work looks like, always, always accuses and demands a death. It looks precisely like “cut the baby in two”. Justice is merciless and relentless. It demands and then demands more and gives nothing at all in return. Yet out of that Justice that is about the demand for death, God makes Fatherly Goodness and Mercy happen out of Old Adam of all of us. See Luke 18 and the story of the Antinomian Judge nagged by a conscience that is totally dead even to love. And God makes justice happen even then!

    It is not about us.

    But wait! That is not the end of the story! Law AND Gospel.

    Then too, Scriptures tell us, that , as a result of Holy Baptism, we are now 100% New Man. And we can see that only through the eyes of faith. This belief is utterly at odds with all we can see and do. Yet is is most certainly true and certain alone in Christ. This is because only those who know the Gospel are truly terrified at ALL they can see and do, and so know to hide ALL they can see and do in Christ. And, hidden away in Christ, the Law is powerless to accuse us!

    Only when the Law can no longer accuse us can God truly become an Object of Love!

    And so now, only in this New Man, only “insofaras” the believer is regenerated, there is no Law necessary for the Eternal Will of God, which is for Goodness and Mercy to happen. It simply happens as light flows from the sun , and as the angels do God’s bidding. it is effort-less. It flows from new heart/emotional movements that are now totally reflective of the Image of God. And that Image of God, restored alone in Baptismal faith, is precisely faith alone in the Works of Another.

    to sum:

    whatever is about us and what we can see and do is about the Law extorting and killing Old Adam so that the Eternal Will of God which is that Goodness and Mercy happen among men is done.

    whatever is about Christ and what He has done, is about the Gospel. And only in the Gospel can the Eternal Will of God, which is Goodness and Mercy, happen as though there were no Law. Spontaneously, as light from sun, as the angels do God’s bidding.

    further reduction:

    Us=old adam=death=law=extortion, rebellion in body, mind will and soul. 100%. total , total depravity. Not one spark of the Image of God. Faith in anything BUT Christ.

    Christ=new man=Life=Law kept without even thinking about it, from the emotional very depth of the heart. Image of God restored which Image is faith alone in the Works of Another.

  • George A. Marquart

    Fws @41. Martin Luther wrote a sermon called, “Von der Furcht des Herren,” (“About the fear of the Lord”). He writes about different kinds of fear and how they determine our relationship to God. In Paragraph 6, here is what he writes:

    “6. Accordingly, God should not be feared as a tormentor, or executioner, or devil, or hell. At the same time man, by his nature, without God’s mercy, cannot fear otherwise, as we see in Adam who fled and hid in Paradise: that is how all who are banished fear. Therefore, in Scripture we find a twofold holy fear, as in Psalm 19:9, “The fear (Furcht) of the Lord;” that is awe (Ehrfurcht) before God, “is pure, enduring forever.” In this way even the Angels and Powers tremble, as it says in Psalm 111:9, “Holy and awesome is His name,” and Psalm 2:11, “Serve the Lord with fear (Furcht), and rejoice with trembling.” This fear is called “holy”, because it sanctifies a person and shows with perfect clarity, that he does not desire anything for himself, but only the things of God…..”

    I would appreciate it if you could give me the citations in the Apology and the FC which say that “one consequence of being born again is that the Judgement of the Law of God is then fully understood and so our breach of the Law of God now “terrifies” us.”

    Romans 8:15 “15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.”

    Romans 3:19, “Now we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For “no human being will be justified in his sight” by deeds prescribed by the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin. 21 But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.”

    So why should we, the born again children of God be terrified by the Law when clearly we are not under the Law?

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    Fws @41. Martin Luther wrote a sermon called, “Von der Furcht des Herren,” (“About the fear of the Lord”). He writes about different kinds of fear and how they determine our relationship to God. In Paragraph 6, here is what he writes:

    “6. Accordingly, God should not be feared as a tormentor, or executioner, or devil, or hell. At the same time man, by his nature, without God’s mercy, cannot fear otherwise, as we see in Adam who fled and hid in Paradise: that is how all who are banished fear. Therefore, in Scripture we find a twofold holy fear, as in Psalm 19:9, “The fear (Furcht) of the Lord;” that is awe (Ehrfurcht) before God, “is pure, enduring forever.” In this way even the Angels and Powers tremble, as it says in Psalm 111:9, “Holy and awesome is His name,” and Psalm 2:11, “Serve the Lord with fear (Furcht), and rejoice with trembling.” This fear is called “holy”, because it sanctifies a person and shows with perfect clarity, that he does not desire anything for himself, but only the things of God…..”

    I would appreciate it if you could give me the citations in the Apology and the FC which say that “one consequence of being born again is that the Judgement of the Law of God is then fully understood and so our breach of the Law of God now “terrifies” us.”

    Romans 8:15 “15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.”

    Romans 3:19, “Now we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For “no human being will be justified in his sight” by deeds prescribed by the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin. 21 But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.”

    So why should we, the born again children of God be terrified by the Law when clearly we are not under the Law?

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • fws

    George! That was excellent.

    Therefore, in Scripture we find a twofold holy fear, as in Psalm 19:9, “The fear (Furcht) of the Lord;” that is awe (Ehrfurcht) before God, “is pure, enduring forever.” In this way even the Angels and Powers tremble, as it says in Psalm 111:9, “Holy and awesome is His name,” and Psalm 2:11, “Serve the Lord with fear (Furcht), and rejoice with trembling.” This fear is called “holy”, because it sanctifies a person and shows with perfect clarity, that he does not desire anything for himself, but only the things of God…..”

    I would note two things from your quote:
    (1) The holy people of God have both kinds of fear.
    (3) Nowhere in the text you produced is it saying that we have one kind of fear (Furcht vs Ehrfurcht) but rather that in fact only the believer, and only in the New Man has both!
    (3) This text is saying that ONLY the people of God can have both of these kinds of fear ! and you will see the Apology say this therefore: Only when one has been regenerated, can one then have those two kinds of fear that only a holy person can have. Why? They alone have “new heart movements” aka “new desires” that only those who are the fulfillment of Jeremiah 33 and now have the law written in their hearts and not just their reason (Rom 2:15) can have (“Apology “On Love and Fulfilling of the Law” first few paragraphs). And this text, in it’s last sentence is saying exactly that. Both kinds of fear can happen only in the hearts of God that have those new emotions that are the restored Image of God which is alone, faith in the Works of Another. And only in a new heart, with the restored Image of God that is alone faith in the Works of Another, can the Law of God once again be written in the very emotions of man (aka “new heart movements”).

    How can the Law accuse a New Man whose very emotions simply are the goodness and mercy that can only be extorted out of the emotions of the Old Adam since his heart mind soul and emotions and will are turned completely contrary to the Law of God.

    George, precisely because we no longer fear God, we can now therefore accept his judgment about our sinful Old Adam in ALL he does, which is ALL we can see and do, and have the proper emotional response of terror at seeing all that. And Romans 7 says that that is precisely ALL we can see and do in our bodies. We,” that is, in our flesh”, that is, as Old Adam. And the proper and Godly response is terror and horror at the site of this us. And it is STILL us until we die. And we long for that death and work at assisting it, using the Law on our “recalcitrant ass” of Old Adam until we die, This is what Baptism ‘signifies” we are told in the Small Catechism.

    Yet we are informed, at the same time , according to our New Man, just as you quoted from the same book, that we are hidden and dead in the Death of Christ the Law cannot accuse us. Therefore Dr Luther can say Fear AND Love.

    I need to prepare for work now so I can’t produce the quote offhand. Shame on me because it is a linchpin quote from the Apology and can only be understood in the broad context of the Apology and not as a “prooftext”.

    In the meantime I would direct you to reflect upon this part of the Formula of Concord that really says the same thing.

    Note that what I am about to quote can be seen only in the context of the Law/Gospel distinction that is made in article VI on “The [Lutheran} Third Use of the Law. There you will find that they say that the Law, is to be taught in the “… same degree and manner… ” to both “true believers” and the “impenitent” alike . I suggest that this is precisely the Law/Gospel distinction that you are possibly missing. Which is this:

    God’s Word, when aimed at the Believer , is preaching two messages, and article VI of the Formula exists to preserve this important Law/Gospel distinction whenever that word “believer” or even “true believer” is employed.

    Those two messages are the killing message of the Law that is aimed alone at the Old Adam and is intended to kill him precisely so that Fatherly Goodness and Mercy are extorted out of him for the good of his neighbor.

    Then there is the sweet and comforting Gospel that is alone aimed at the New man.

    It is worth reflecting that our Confessions say this about the terror of the Law: The preaching of Christ and the cross is the most terrifying preachment of the Law that there is! And this preachment becomes Holy Gospel only the heart of man receives a new emotional movement within that confirms that those Works of Another are “for YOU!”

    I will produce the text from the Apology for you as soon as possoble dear George. It is the very source of all our doctrines within the Formula of Concord and so will agree completely with the Formula.

    I suspect we are saying the same thing George, but I suggest that it is better to stick to the “form of sound doctrine” as we present these things to others.

  • fws

    George! That was excellent.

    Therefore, in Scripture we find a twofold holy fear, as in Psalm 19:9, “The fear (Furcht) of the Lord;” that is awe (Ehrfurcht) before God, “is pure, enduring forever.” In this way even the Angels and Powers tremble, as it says in Psalm 111:9, “Holy and awesome is His name,” and Psalm 2:11, “Serve the Lord with fear (Furcht), and rejoice with trembling.” This fear is called “holy”, because it sanctifies a person and shows with perfect clarity, that he does not desire anything for himself, but only the things of God…..”

    I would note two things from your quote:
    (1) The holy people of God have both kinds of fear.
    (3) Nowhere in the text you produced is it saying that we have one kind of fear (Furcht vs Ehrfurcht) but rather that in fact only the believer, and only in the New Man has both!
    (3) This text is saying that ONLY the people of God can have both of these kinds of fear ! and you will see the Apology say this therefore: Only when one has been regenerated, can one then have those two kinds of fear that only a holy person can have. Why? They alone have “new heart movements” aka “new desires” that only those who are the fulfillment of Jeremiah 33 and now have the law written in their hearts and not just their reason (Rom 2:15) can have (“Apology “On Love and Fulfilling of the Law” first few paragraphs). And this text, in it’s last sentence is saying exactly that. Both kinds of fear can happen only in the hearts of God that have those new emotions that are the restored Image of God which is alone, faith in the Works of Another. And only in a new heart, with the restored Image of God that is alone faith in the Works of Another, can the Law of God once again be written in the very emotions of man (aka “new heart movements”).

    How can the Law accuse a New Man whose very emotions simply are the goodness and mercy that can only be extorted out of the emotions of the Old Adam since his heart mind soul and emotions and will are turned completely contrary to the Law of God.

    George, precisely because we no longer fear God, we can now therefore accept his judgment about our sinful Old Adam in ALL he does, which is ALL we can see and do, and have the proper emotional response of terror at seeing all that. And Romans 7 says that that is precisely ALL we can see and do in our bodies. We,” that is, in our flesh”, that is, as Old Adam. And the proper and Godly response is terror and horror at the site of this us. And it is STILL us until we die. And we long for that death and work at assisting it, using the Law on our “recalcitrant ass” of Old Adam until we die, This is what Baptism ‘signifies” we are told in the Small Catechism.

    Yet we are informed, at the same time , according to our New Man, just as you quoted from the same book, that we are hidden and dead in the Death of Christ the Law cannot accuse us. Therefore Dr Luther can say Fear AND Love.

    I need to prepare for work now so I can’t produce the quote offhand. Shame on me because it is a linchpin quote from the Apology and can only be understood in the broad context of the Apology and not as a “prooftext”.

    In the meantime I would direct you to reflect upon this part of the Formula of Concord that really says the same thing.

    Note that what I am about to quote can be seen only in the context of the Law/Gospel distinction that is made in article VI on “The [Lutheran} Third Use of the Law. There you will find that they say that the Law, is to be taught in the “… same degree and manner… ” to both “true believers” and the “impenitent” alike . I suggest that this is precisely the Law/Gospel distinction that you are possibly missing. Which is this:

    God’s Word, when aimed at the Believer , is preaching two messages, and article VI of the Formula exists to preserve this important Law/Gospel distinction whenever that word “believer” or even “true believer” is employed.

    Those two messages are the killing message of the Law that is aimed alone at the Old Adam and is intended to kill him precisely so that Fatherly Goodness and Mercy are extorted out of him for the good of his neighbor.

    Then there is the sweet and comforting Gospel that is alone aimed at the New man.

    It is worth reflecting that our Confessions say this about the terror of the Law: The preaching of Christ and the cross is the most terrifying preachment of the Law that there is! And this preachment becomes Holy Gospel only the heart of man receives a new emotional movement within that confirms that those Works of Another are “for YOU!”

    I will produce the text from the Apology for you as soon as possoble dear George. It is the very source of all our doctrines within the Formula of Concord and so will agree completely with the Formula.

    I suspect we are saying the same thing George, but I suggest that it is better to stick to the “form of sound doctrine” as we present these things to others.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    George A. Marquart, #37: “Of course, as Scripture and the Confessions teach, we are not perfect in this life; therefore, the Third Use. But this is Law without threat, this is the Law we can love, because we know it pleases our Heavenly Father when we do it.”

    George A. Marquart, #44: “So why should we, the born again children of God be terrified by the Law when clearly we are not under the Law?”

    Your comments dovetail nicely with #6.

    He Who Truly Loves the Gospel Loves the Law

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    George A. Marquart, #37: “Of course, as Scripture and the Confessions teach, we are not perfect in this life; therefore, the Third Use. But this is Law without threat, this is the Law we can love, because we know it pleases our Heavenly Father when we do it.”

    George A. Marquart, #44: “So why should we, the born again children of God be terrified by the Law when clearly we are not under the Law?”

    Your comments dovetail nicely with #6.

    He Who Truly Loves the Gospel Loves the Law

  • Tom Hering

    I don’t think it’s possible to feel awe without also feeling fear.

    I’m awed by the infinite depth of the night sky, but I’m frightened by how insignificant it makes me feel. I’m awed by the towering mass of a great mountain, but I’m frightened by the thought of dying on its slopes. I’m awed by the breadth and depth of an ocean, but I’m frightened by the thought of falling overboard into it. I’m awed by a furious thunderstorm, but I’m frightened by exposure to its winds and lightning.

    It’s the frightening aspect of a thing (along with its beauty) that makes it awe-inspiring.

    As a New Creation, I know my Old Adam is an enemy of God. I also know I won’t be rid of my Old Adam in this life. Therefore, I fear God – and Him alone – who can cast both my body and my soul into hell. I’m not yet safely home.

    As Old Adam, I’m still under the Law, and I fear my Judge, because I believe He is unjust. And this is all I believed about Him before my conversion. Now, however, as New Creation, I fear my Judge in a different way. I now know He is just. I also trust Him now, because I know my Savior has satisfied justice – taking my death penalty upon Himself.

    So, insofar as I’m still Old Adam, I hate the Law. And insofar as I’m New Creation, I fear the Law in the right way. And when I’m transformed on that Day, I won’t consider the Law at all, because the external Law isn’t an eternal thing. And the love of the New Creation is for eternal things.

  • Tom Hering

    I don’t think it’s possible to feel awe without also feeling fear.

    I’m awed by the infinite depth of the night sky, but I’m frightened by how insignificant it makes me feel. I’m awed by the towering mass of a great mountain, but I’m frightened by the thought of dying on its slopes. I’m awed by the breadth and depth of an ocean, but I’m frightened by the thought of falling overboard into it. I’m awed by a furious thunderstorm, but I’m frightened by exposure to its winds and lightning.

    It’s the frightening aspect of a thing (along with its beauty) that makes it awe-inspiring.

    As a New Creation, I know my Old Adam is an enemy of God. I also know I won’t be rid of my Old Adam in this life. Therefore, I fear God – and Him alone – who can cast both my body and my soul into hell. I’m not yet safely home.

    As Old Adam, I’m still under the Law, and I fear my Judge, because I believe He is unjust. And this is all I believed about Him before my conversion. Now, however, as New Creation, I fear my Judge in a different way. I now know He is just. I also trust Him now, because I know my Savior has satisfied justice – taking my death penalty upon Himself.

    So, insofar as I’m still Old Adam, I hate the Law. And insofar as I’m New Creation, I fear the Law in the right way. And when I’m transformed on that Day, I won’t consider the Law at all, because the external Law isn’t an eternal thing. And the love of the New Creation is for eternal things.

  • George A. Marquart

    This is in general to fws @45 and Tom Hering @47. I don’t have the time today to go into each point specifically.

    Of course even we true believers have the “normal” kind of fear, or even terror. But that is because or our imperfection which remains even among the redeemed; it is not a good thing. In his sermon Luther clearly acknowledges this fact. He devotes almost the entire sermon to it, and only in paragraph 6 does he say what the nature of holy fear, or awe is.

    This “old Adam” business should be given some thought. Each of us is an individual comprised of both “old Adam (Eve)” and “perfect child of God”. They are together, “simul”. The Confessions treat the matter as if the two parts are somehow distinguishable at times. They are not. It is only for the sake of argument that they are treated in this way. It is the same as the human and divine nature of Christ, which are combined in one person.

    Therefore, the “old Adam” in the redeemed child of God is no more under the Law than the redeemed child of God. The entire person is simul justus et peccator. Therefore we need not fear. The fact that we do is something our merciful Father forgives along with everything else. “There is no fear in love.” But we should not elevate it to the level of virtue.

    Just a word about what we call “The Law”. In the Apology it says that the Ten Commandments are written in our hearts. Not true. The word used by Jeremiah in Chapter 31 is “Torah”. It never means the Ten Commandments. It includes them, but in the larger sense the word means, “the mind of God.” And this is precisely what St. Paul meant when he wrote in 1 Cor. 16, “But we have the mind of Christ.” That is what God writes in the heart of every believer.

    Having written in a hurry, I may have written some things carelessly, so please don’t hold my feet to the fire. It is the overall picture that I want to convey.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    This is in general to fws @45 and Tom Hering @47. I don’t have the time today to go into each point specifically.

    Of course even we true believers have the “normal” kind of fear, or even terror. But that is because or our imperfection which remains even among the redeemed; it is not a good thing. In his sermon Luther clearly acknowledges this fact. He devotes almost the entire sermon to it, and only in paragraph 6 does he say what the nature of holy fear, or awe is.

    This “old Adam” business should be given some thought. Each of us is an individual comprised of both “old Adam (Eve)” and “perfect child of God”. They are together, “simul”. The Confessions treat the matter as if the two parts are somehow distinguishable at times. They are not. It is only for the sake of argument that they are treated in this way. It is the same as the human and divine nature of Christ, which are combined in one person.

    Therefore, the “old Adam” in the redeemed child of God is no more under the Law than the redeemed child of God. The entire person is simul justus et peccator. Therefore we need not fear. The fact that we do is something our merciful Father forgives along with everything else. “There is no fear in love.” But we should not elevate it to the level of virtue.

    Just a word about what we call “The Law”. In the Apology it says that the Ten Commandments are written in our hearts. Not true. The word used by Jeremiah in Chapter 31 is “Torah”. It never means the Ten Commandments. It includes them, but in the larger sense the word means, “the mind of God.” And this is precisely what St. Paul meant when he wrote in 1 Cor. 16, “But we have the mind of Christ.” That is what God writes in the heart of every believer.

    Having written in a hurry, I may have written some things carelessly, so please don’t hold my feet to the fire. It is the overall picture that I want to convey.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • fws

    Brother Marquart @48

    FRANK Keeping in mind that you responded in a hurry, I will respond to each of your points. They are all very important.

    GEORGE Of course even we true believers have the “normal” kind of fear, or even terror. … because or our imperfection… it is not a good thing. In his sermon Luther ….

    FRANK I would love to read the entire sermon if you can point to somewhere I can read it on the internet. I can only respond to the snippet you quoted. It does not say what you seem to suggest.

    That Luther quote seems to say that believers, and only believers truly have BOTH kinds of fear/awe.
    I am reading your quote this way: “Accordingly, God should not be feared AS a tormentor, or executioner, or devil, or hell.” That “as” is a pivot point. Then Luther goes on to explain that the holy do indeed fear God and do so in two ways.

    What am I misreading here George? Maybe you should expand the quote? Maybe I am reading out of context?

    GEORGE This “old Adam” business should be given some thought. Each of us is an individual comprised of both “old Adam (Eve)” and “perfect child of God”. They are together, “simul”. The Confessions treat the matter as if the two parts are somehow distinguishable at times.

    FRANKl That is to misread the Confessions. It is more simple. The confessions instruct us to believe that ALL we can see and do in our bodies is Old Adam being driven and killed by the Law. So there is nothing at all to try to visibly,tangibly,evidentially or otherwise distinguish in our daily existencial life. FC I is really clear on this George. It is the Reformed who attempt this evidential distinguishing Old Adam from New Man, by means of fruit inspection and soil analysis. It can’t be done.

    GEORGE They are not.

    FRANK The confessions entirely agree with your assertion. It is only a reformed overlay that allows Art VI or other parts of the Confession to be read this way. It is to selectively read the Confessions and not grasp their flow of argument en completo.

    GEORGE It is only for the sake of argument that they are treated in this way.

    FRANK. No. All we can ONLY know the New Man as an article of pure faith and ALL we can experientially and evidentially know in ALL we see and do is Old Adam. For that precise reason, it is really important to doctrinally make this distinction. It informs us of a reality that can alone be know by faith alone in the Works of Another and in absolutely not one droplet of anything at all we can see and do. Again whatever we can see and do is ALL Old Adam being driven by the Law so that Fatherly Goodness and Mercy that is the Eternal Will of God is extorted out of him for the good of others in their temporal and transitory need.

    GEORGE It is the same as the human and divine nature of Christ, which are combined in one person.

    FRANK It does seem like the same thing in a way, however there is NO communication of attributes between Old Adam and New Man in that case!

    GEORGE Therefore, the “old Adam” in the redeemed child of God is no more under the Law than the redeemed child of God.

    FRANK No. The Formula in Article VI rejects this notion as a central contention. I would argue that the entire Formula is a reinteration of the Apology and agrees so very completely with it. The Old Adam needs to die. He is still subject to the full weight of the Law. The proof of this is that he will die. That is the wage of sin in Old Adam.

    At the same time you are right George. we are to imagine the Works of Christ as a great canopy vaster than the stary sky at night that covers us, including our old adam, from the wrath of God. God deals with us according to our New Man.

    GEORGE The entire person is simul justus et peccator.

    FRANK ok.

    GEORGE Therefore we need not fear.

    FRANK I am not quite getting the “therefore” here.

    GEORGE The fact that we do is something our merciful Father forgives along with everything else. “There is no fear in love.” But we should not elevate it to the level of virtue.

    FRANK I am not sure what you mean here. sorry.

    GEORGE Just a word about what we call “The Law”. In the Apology it says that the Ten Commandments are written in our hearts.
    FRANK The Apology does NOT say this. It says that the Law is written in the Reason of man and NOT in the heart. That is a very core and central part of their argument in fact!

    GEORGE Not true.

    FRANK ok. the Apology agrees with you!

    GEORGE The word used by Jeremiah in Chapter 31 is “Torah”. It never means the Ten Commandments. It includes them, but in the larger sense the word means, “the mind of God.” And this is precisely what St. Paul meant when he wrote in 1 Cor. 16, “But we have the mind of Christ.” That is what God writes in the heart of every believer.

    FRANK This is exactly right! and the Apology argues precisely for this point of view at the very beginning of the article “on love and the fulfilling of the Law”. they say there that the law cannot be written in the heart in the fulfillment of jer 33 until first the heart has received “new heart movements” or better “new emotions”.

    Bless you George! +

  • fws

    Brother Marquart @48

    FRANK Keeping in mind that you responded in a hurry, I will respond to each of your points. They are all very important.

    GEORGE Of course even we true believers have the “normal” kind of fear, or even terror. … because or our imperfection… it is not a good thing. In his sermon Luther ….

    FRANK I would love to read the entire sermon if you can point to somewhere I can read it on the internet. I can only respond to the snippet you quoted. It does not say what you seem to suggest.

    That Luther quote seems to say that believers, and only believers truly have BOTH kinds of fear/awe.
    I am reading your quote this way: “Accordingly, God should not be feared AS a tormentor, or executioner, or devil, or hell.” That “as” is a pivot point. Then Luther goes on to explain that the holy do indeed fear God and do so in two ways.

    What am I misreading here George? Maybe you should expand the quote? Maybe I am reading out of context?

    GEORGE This “old Adam” business should be given some thought. Each of us is an individual comprised of both “old Adam (Eve)” and “perfect child of God”. They are together, “simul”. The Confessions treat the matter as if the two parts are somehow distinguishable at times.

    FRANKl That is to misread the Confessions. It is more simple. The confessions instruct us to believe that ALL we can see and do in our bodies is Old Adam being driven and killed by the Law. So there is nothing at all to try to visibly,tangibly,evidentially or otherwise distinguish in our daily existencial life. FC I is really clear on this George. It is the Reformed who attempt this evidential distinguishing Old Adam from New Man, by means of fruit inspection and soil analysis. It can’t be done.

    GEORGE They are not.

    FRANK The confessions entirely agree with your assertion. It is only a reformed overlay that allows Art VI or other parts of the Confession to be read this way. It is to selectively read the Confessions and not grasp their flow of argument en completo.

    GEORGE It is only for the sake of argument that they are treated in this way.

    FRANK. No. All we can ONLY know the New Man as an article of pure faith and ALL we can experientially and evidentially know in ALL we see and do is Old Adam. For that precise reason, it is really important to doctrinally make this distinction. It informs us of a reality that can alone be know by faith alone in the Works of Another and in absolutely not one droplet of anything at all we can see and do. Again whatever we can see and do is ALL Old Adam being driven by the Law so that Fatherly Goodness and Mercy that is the Eternal Will of God is extorted out of him for the good of others in their temporal and transitory need.

    GEORGE It is the same as the human and divine nature of Christ, which are combined in one person.

    FRANK It does seem like the same thing in a way, however there is NO communication of attributes between Old Adam and New Man in that case!

    GEORGE Therefore, the “old Adam” in the redeemed child of God is no more under the Law than the redeemed child of God.

    FRANK No. The Formula in Article VI rejects this notion as a central contention. I would argue that the entire Formula is a reinteration of the Apology and agrees so very completely with it. The Old Adam needs to die. He is still subject to the full weight of the Law. The proof of this is that he will die. That is the wage of sin in Old Adam.

    At the same time you are right George. we are to imagine the Works of Christ as a great canopy vaster than the stary sky at night that covers us, including our old adam, from the wrath of God. God deals with us according to our New Man.

    GEORGE The entire person is simul justus et peccator.

    FRANK ok.

    GEORGE Therefore we need not fear.

    FRANK I am not quite getting the “therefore” here.

    GEORGE The fact that we do is something our merciful Father forgives along with everything else. “There is no fear in love.” But we should not elevate it to the level of virtue.

    FRANK I am not sure what you mean here. sorry.

    GEORGE Just a word about what we call “The Law”. In the Apology it says that the Ten Commandments are written in our hearts.
    FRANK The Apology does NOT say this. It says that the Law is written in the Reason of man and NOT in the heart. That is a very core and central part of their argument in fact!

    GEORGE Not true.

    FRANK ok. the Apology agrees with you!

    GEORGE The word used by Jeremiah in Chapter 31 is “Torah”. It never means the Ten Commandments. It includes them, but in the larger sense the word means, “the mind of God.” And this is precisely what St. Paul meant when he wrote in 1 Cor. 16, “But we have the mind of Christ.” That is what God writes in the heart of every believer.

    FRANK This is exactly right! and the Apology argues precisely for this point of view at the very beginning of the article “on love and the fulfilling of the Law”. they say there that the law cannot be written in the heart in the fulfillment of jer 33 until first the heart has received “new heart movements” or better “new emotions”.

    Bless you George! +

  • Tom Hering

    “Therefore, the ‘old Adam’ in the redeemed child of God is no more under the Law than the redeemed child of God.” – @ 48.

    I started from the premise it’s the Law that kills off the Christian’s Old Adam. I was wrong. The Law coerces him, yes, but it’s faith that does away with him – more and more, day by day, so long as the Christian lives. (I went through the Kolb/Wengert BoC today, checking all the entries under “Old Adam” and “Old Creature.”)

  • Tom Hering

    “Therefore, the ‘old Adam’ in the redeemed child of God is no more under the Law than the redeemed child of God.” – @ 48.

    I started from the premise it’s the Law that kills off the Christian’s Old Adam. I was wrong. The Law coerces him, yes, but it’s faith that does away with him – more and more, day by day, so long as the Christian lives. (I went through the Kolb/Wengert BoC today, checking all the entries under “Old Adam” and “Old Creature.”)

  • fws

    Tom @ 50

    whoa. that is interesting Tom. My initial reaction was not so receptive for some reason, but then I remember the apology art II making a huge point out of the fact that the Law cannot put an end to sin, only faith alone in Christ alone can do that!

    I hadn’t connected it to Old Adam that way. But the Gospel does not kill. It is the Law that does that. So I am still not so sure your formulation is exactly right. Tell us more!

  • fws

    Tom @ 50

    whoa. that is interesting Tom. My initial reaction was not so receptive for some reason, but then I remember the apology art II making a huge point out of the fact that the Law cannot put an end to sin, only faith alone in Christ alone can do that!

    I hadn’t connected it to Old Adam that way. But the Gospel does not kill. It is the Law that does that. So I am still not so sure your formulation is exactly right. Tell us more!

  • fws

    Tom Here is a suggestion:

    The scriptures are full of passages telling the new man to do stuff. And there I would suggest that it is telling the New Man to take the Law into his hands and kill the Old Adam. This IS about faith. And it is also about faith now using the Law to kill Old Adam.

  • fws

    Tom Here is a suggestion:

    The scriptures are full of passages telling the new man to do stuff. And there I would suggest that it is telling the New Man to take the Law into his hands and kill the Old Adam. This IS about faith. And it is also about faith now using the Law to kill Old Adam.

  • Tom Hering

    SD Article IV: “For as Dr. Luther writes in the preface to St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, ‘Faith is a divine work in us which changes us and makes us to be born anew of God [John1:12-13]. It kills the old “Adam” …’”

    LC Baptism: “… being dipped under the water and emerging from it, point to the power and effect of baptism, which is nothing else than the slaying of the old Adam … In baptism we are given the grace, Spirit, and strength to supress the old creature …”

    Now I gotta go watch Doc Martin, but I’ll be back. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    SD Article IV: “For as Dr. Luther writes in the preface to St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, ‘Faith is a divine work in us which changes us and makes us to be born anew of God [John1:12-13]. It kills the old “Adam” …’”

    LC Baptism: “… being dipped under the water and emerging from it, point to the power and effect of baptism, which is nothing else than the slaying of the old Adam … In baptism we are given the grace, Spirit, and strength to supress the old creature …”

    Now I gotta go watch Doc Martin, but I’ll be back. :-)

  • Grace

    Tom,

    You stated above @53
    “LC Baptism: “… being dipped under the water and emerging from it, point to the power and effect of baptism, which is nothing else than the slaying of the old Adam … In baptism we are given the grace, Spirit, and strength to supress the old creature …””

    Do you Tom, believe that one needs to be when Baptized, submerged below water, or just sprinkled?

    Blessings

  • Grace

    Tom,

    You stated above @53
    “LC Baptism: “… being dipped under the water and emerging from it, point to the power and effect of baptism, which is nothing else than the slaying of the old Adam … In baptism we are given the grace, Spirit, and strength to supress the old creature …””

    Do you Tom, believe that one needs to be when Baptized, submerged below water, or just sprinkled?

    Blessings

  • fws

    Grace @54

    You addressed Tom, but we Lutherans here are united in a common confession. So I can respond:

    We are to follow Christ our dear Lord to baptize all nations precisely in order to make disciples of of all nations. It goes without saying that the word “nation” includes, by any definition, babies, children and adults. “The Promise is unto you and ….your children!”

    And we are command by Christ to baptize all with water and the Word of God in the blessed and most holy name of the Holy Trinity.

    The word “baptidzo” is used in various places in the New Testament. Tables and large objects are ceremonially “baptized”. The command is to wash the church by water and the word. There is no command that this must be by total immersion.

    Water Baptism is a “washing of regeneration, and a renewal of the Holy Spirit.” (Titus 3 ) r “Baptism saves us… not by the putting off the filth of the flesh [or outward washing] , but the answer of a clean conscience towards God.” (II Peter) What is a clean conscience other than that which alone Faith alone in Christ alone can give us.

    We Lutherans believe that baptism by total immersion does, in fact, present the best picture of what it is that Baptism actually does.

    What is it that the Bible says God does in the waters of Baptism?

    Baptism works the forgiveness of sins, it delivers from death and the devil, and offers eternal salvation to all who believe the Promise that Christ has placed into that water. without the Promise, the water is simple water only, and no Baptism. But with the word added to it, the water is a gracious water of Life Eternal. It is not the act of doing it or faith in the act that makes this so. That would be idolatry and sin.

    It is faith in the Promise that God has placed in that act. “as many of you as were baptized have put on Christ!” We Lutherans trust exactly what that says to be true!

    Read II Kings and the story of Naaman the leper baptizing to see how we think about Holy Baptism. Questions: was it the act of baptism that cured Naaman? Was it elisha? Would naaman have been cured by washing in any other water other than the jordan? Why or why not? I suggest that it is the Promise, the Word of God that cured Naaman. And God placed that Word of Promise in a specific place, in the waters of the Jordan alone. This is the same deal as Holy Baptism. It was faith in God’s Promise that cured naaman, not the water , not elisha. but at the same time, Naaman dared not separate the Promise from where God had placed that Promise.

  • fws

    Grace @54

    You addressed Tom, but we Lutherans here are united in a common confession. So I can respond:

    We are to follow Christ our dear Lord to baptize all nations precisely in order to make disciples of of all nations. It goes without saying that the word “nation” includes, by any definition, babies, children and adults. “The Promise is unto you and ….your children!”

    And we are command by Christ to baptize all with water and the Word of God in the blessed and most holy name of the Holy Trinity.

    The word “baptidzo” is used in various places in the New Testament. Tables and large objects are ceremonially “baptized”. The command is to wash the church by water and the word. There is no command that this must be by total immersion.

    Water Baptism is a “washing of regeneration, and a renewal of the Holy Spirit.” (Titus 3 ) r “Baptism saves us… not by the putting off the filth of the flesh [or outward washing] , but the answer of a clean conscience towards God.” (II Peter) What is a clean conscience other than that which alone Faith alone in Christ alone can give us.

    We Lutherans believe that baptism by total immersion does, in fact, present the best picture of what it is that Baptism actually does.

    What is it that the Bible says God does in the waters of Baptism?

    Baptism works the forgiveness of sins, it delivers from death and the devil, and offers eternal salvation to all who believe the Promise that Christ has placed into that water. without the Promise, the water is simple water only, and no Baptism. But with the word added to it, the water is a gracious water of Life Eternal. It is not the act of doing it or faith in the act that makes this so. That would be idolatry and sin.

    It is faith in the Promise that God has placed in that act. “as many of you as were baptized have put on Christ!” We Lutherans trust exactly what that says to be true!

    Read II Kings and the story of Naaman the leper baptizing to see how we think about Holy Baptism. Questions: was it the act of baptism that cured Naaman? Was it elisha? Would naaman have been cured by washing in any other water other than the jordan? Why or why not? I suggest that it is the Promise, the Word of God that cured Naaman. And God placed that Word of Promise in a specific place, in the waters of the Jordan alone. This is the same deal as Holy Baptism. It was faith in God’s Promise that cured naaman, not the water , not elisha. but at the same time, Naaman dared not separate the Promise from where God had placed that Promise.

  • Tom Hering

    Grace @ 54:

    Yes, water should be used.

  • Tom Hering

    Grace @ 54:

    Yes, water should be used.

  • Grace

    Tom @ 56

    No Tom, that is not what I asked.

    My POST @ 54 “Do you Tom, believe that one needs to be when Baptized, submerged below water, or just sprinkled?”

  • Grace

    Tom @ 56

    No Tom, that is not what I asked.

    My POST @ 54 “Do you Tom, believe that one needs to be when Baptized, submerged below water, or just sprinkled?”

  • Tom Hering

    Grace @ 57:

    Sorry. Yes, one needs to be.

  • Tom Hering

    Grace @ 57:

    Sorry. Yes, one needs to be.

  • fws

    Tom @ 50

    Ok . Baptism marks the beginning of the New Man drowning the old adam with the Law. He does this by the daily contriti0n and repentence of the Law.

    Elsewhere in the confessions Luther (or melancthon) states that baptism is nothing other than repentence. then they explain that there is a broad meaning of repentence that includes the Law and a narrow meaning that includes only the Gospel. Ditto for the words gospel, sanctication, etc etc.

    So in the small catechism we see what baptism works, delivers from and gives. this is pure Gospel.

    and then as a result of that we also have what baptism daily signifies. And that is the New Man taking the Law into his own hands to kill the Old Adam rising up daily new in Christ. It is also the Gospel, that rising up daily, that gives New Man the courage to life a life that is entirely about that mortification that is necessary to make our own Old Adam do mercy and goodness for the transitory perishable enjoyment and comfort of our neighbor.

  • fws

    Tom @ 50

    Ok . Baptism marks the beginning of the New Man drowning the old adam with the Law. He does this by the daily contriti0n and repentence of the Law.

    Elsewhere in the confessions Luther (or melancthon) states that baptism is nothing other than repentence. then they explain that there is a broad meaning of repentence that includes the Law and a narrow meaning that includes only the Gospel. Ditto for the words gospel, sanctication, etc etc.

    So in the small catechism we see what baptism works, delivers from and gives. this is pure Gospel.

    and then as a result of that we also have what baptism daily signifies. And that is the New Man taking the Law into his own hands to kill the Old Adam rising up daily new in Christ. It is also the Gospel, that rising up daily, that gives New Man the courage to life a life that is entirely about that mortification that is necessary to make our own Old Adam do mercy and goodness for the transitory perishable enjoyment and comfort of our neighbor.

  • Tom Hering

    Grace @ 57, I’ve thought about your question a bit more.

    I’d say no, not below water, because then you’d be all the way down in the riverbed, and you’d come up with your eyes, nose, and ears full of sandy grit. But “just sprinkled” is good, because – as the name implies – you’re made just in God’s eyes on account of Christ.

    I hope that helps make my position clear.

  • Tom Hering

    Grace @ 57, I’ve thought about your question a bit more.

    I’d say no, not below water, because then you’d be all the way down in the riverbed, and you’d come up with your eyes, nose, and ears full of sandy grit. But “just sprinkled” is good, because – as the name implies – you’re made just in God’s eyes on account of Christ.

    I hope that helps make my position clear.

  • Tom Hering

    Frank @ 59, there’s still the problem of faith accomplishing what the Law couldn’t accomplish. So why would faith now use the Law to do what the Law couldn’t do before, i.e., slay the Old Adam? Doesn’t the Law, which is good, actually increase sin – because Old Adam is rebellious by nature?

  • Tom Hering

    Frank @ 59, there’s still the problem of faith accomplishing what the Law couldn’t accomplish. So why would faith now use the Law to do what the Law couldn’t do before, i.e., slay the Old Adam? Doesn’t the Law, which is good, actually increase sin – because Old Adam is rebellious by nature?

  • fws

    Tom @ 61

    Excellent. You have truly arrived, I believe, at the very heart of the argument in the Apology that makes sin completely about what is in the heart and our emotions.

    1) Aristotle said that one must use Reason (the Law of God Rom 2:15) informed by love, to subdue the “natural appetites” “baser instincts” “carnal desires”. (Even pagans realize there is war going on inside of each of us eh!)

    Why is this the situation? It is because Old Adam’s heart/emotions are totally looking to satisfy it’s desires by trusting in any thing at all that is not the Works of Another.

    This is the true picture of both the Old Adam in the believer and pagans alike. But some install this into christian theology as being something that is a uniquely christian exercise that marks one or even makes one a “true” christian. Not just a pew sitter!

    2) Rome, the Scholastics, the Neo-Scholastics Calvin and the late Melancthon, focus on the end of this war as being the new man’s exercise of Virtue.

    And so this warring and excercise of Virtue is either necessary preparation to justification and “meritorious” (rome) or is a result of justification (Reformed/Arminian etc) and is called “sanctification” as the proper central meaning of the word and so is necessary .

    Both scholastic schemas are precisely meant to enable fruit inspection to see if one is a believer or not. Salvation requires this exercise of Virtue. Yet even pagans can do this! Tell me just one thing in any of this that a pagan cannot do and is not commanded by God to do.

    And so it should be obvious from this that the ending of the problem of sin, is not to get our desires under control and thus be restored and re-comformed to the Image of God and his original design etc. That, precisely as you say, is really quite impossible. That is precisely to say the desease is cured because there are no longer symptoms. But, of course, there are symptoms. The Law simply wont go away. It always accuses. It’s work is written in our heart (Rom 2:15) and that work causes us to hate God for making such a list of dos and donts. It causes us to flee from God’s judgement as adam and eve in the garden or use our doing as justification before God. So we become either a good pharisee or a despairing Judas. we hide and flee from God’s judgement, we do not fear God, but rather we try to legalistically “get by” with doing what we really desire, but now under cover of the Law. We grumble at suffering and when evildoers prosper. We hate God and his Law from the bottom of our deepest emotions.

    Why?

    Reason can indeed conform to the Law outwardly. This virtue is rare but possible. Aristotle is but one example. But God’s Law is not like the Law God has written in Reason that tells us that the Law can be kept by doing or refraining from doing something on a list. For reason, the Law is kept according to the doing of the letter even if we hate God for the list and hate doing it. The entire point is to do it. Obedience to God. Sacrifice. Mortification. Dead works because they are all about working death.

    And so sin cannot be overcome and truly ended this way.

    Why not?

    The heart and emotions are still totally opposed to the Law.

    So then the Lutheran Position:

    Starting with Apology II on Original Sin , and then the section on Justification and on love and the fulfilling of the Law, the Lutherans tell us this.

    It is only the creation of an utterly NEW heart in man that can put an end to sin. Only then is there a New man who truly fears (yes fears), loves, and trusts in God above all things. And then, as a consequence of that, the prophecy in Jer 33 is then fulfilled, and the Law is written , once again in the heart. Two tablets of stone are no longer necessary. The Law written in Reason now is in complete harmony with the same Law now written in the heart!

    The war is over. The battle is won. And it is the Works of Another, alone that alone can win this battle and end it forever.

    But still here on earth, there is a war going on. This war is between now the heart of New Man that perfectly desires all holy things, and the heart of Old Adam that is totally opposed to God in its, will, body, mind, soul and the very depths of its emotional life.

    I hope this helps.

  • fws

    Tom @ 61

    Excellent. You have truly arrived, I believe, at the very heart of the argument in the Apology that makes sin completely about what is in the heart and our emotions.

    1) Aristotle said that one must use Reason (the Law of God Rom 2:15) informed by love, to subdue the “natural appetites” “baser instincts” “carnal desires”. (Even pagans realize there is war going on inside of each of us eh!)

    Why is this the situation? It is because Old Adam’s heart/emotions are totally looking to satisfy it’s desires by trusting in any thing at all that is not the Works of Another.

    This is the true picture of both the Old Adam in the believer and pagans alike. But some install this into christian theology as being something that is a uniquely christian exercise that marks one or even makes one a “true” christian. Not just a pew sitter!

    2) Rome, the Scholastics, the Neo-Scholastics Calvin and the late Melancthon, focus on the end of this war as being the new man’s exercise of Virtue.

    And so this warring and excercise of Virtue is either necessary preparation to justification and “meritorious” (rome) or is a result of justification (Reformed/Arminian etc) and is called “sanctification” as the proper central meaning of the word and so is necessary .

    Both scholastic schemas are precisely meant to enable fruit inspection to see if one is a believer or not. Salvation requires this exercise of Virtue. Yet even pagans can do this! Tell me just one thing in any of this that a pagan cannot do and is not commanded by God to do.

    And so it should be obvious from this that the ending of the problem of sin, is not to get our desires under control and thus be restored and re-comformed to the Image of God and his original design etc. That, precisely as you say, is really quite impossible. That is precisely to say the desease is cured because there are no longer symptoms. But, of course, there are symptoms. The Law simply wont go away. It always accuses. It’s work is written in our heart (Rom 2:15) and that work causes us to hate God for making such a list of dos and donts. It causes us to flee from God’s judgement as adam and eve in the garden or use our doing as justification before God. So we become either a good pharisee or a despairing Judas. we hide and flee from God’s judgement, we do not fear God, but rather we try to legalistically “get by” with doing what we really desire, but now under cover of the Law. We grumble at suffering and when evildoers prosper. We hate God and his Law from the bottom of our deepest emotions.

    Why?

    Reason can indeed conform to the Law outwardly. This virtue is rare but possible. Aristotle is but one example. But God’s Law is not like the Law God has written in Reason that tells us that the Law can be kept by doing or refraining from doing something on a list. For reason, the Law is kept according to the doing of the letter even if we hate God for the list and hate doing it. The entire point is to do it. Obedience to God. Sacrifice. Mortification. Dead works because they are all about working death.

    And so sin cannot be overcome and truly ended this way.

    Why not?

    The heart and emotions are still totally opposed to the Law.

    So then the Lutheran Position:

    Starting with Apology II on Original Sin , and then the section on Justification and on love and the fulfilling of the Law, the Lutherans tell us this.

    It is only the creation of an utterly NEW heart in man that can put an end to sin. Only then is there a New man who truly fears (yes fears), loves, and trusts in God above all things. And then, as a consequence of that, the prophecy in Jer 33 is then fulfilled, and the Law is written , once again in the heart. Two tablets of stone are no longer necessary. The Law written in Reason now is in complete harmony with the same Law now written in the heart!

    The war is over. The battle is won. And it is the Works of Another, alone that alone can win this battle and end it forever.

    But still here on earth, there is a war going on. This war is between now the heart of New Man that perfectly desires all holy things, and the heart of Old Adam that is totally opposed to God in its, will, body, mind, soul and the very depths of its emotional life.

    I hope this helps.

  • Tom Hering

    Frank, nothing you say @ 62 strikes me as problematic.

    I guess I’m wondering about how the Old Adam is dealt with. I still sin, and I hate it. Using the Law on myself doesn’t help – quite the opposite. So what then? I’d say as long as I’m the one trying to get rid of Old Adam – whether by applying the Law to myself, or attempting to work up more faith in myself – I’m going to fail. “Apart from Me you can do nothing” said Jesus. So, as in all matters of faith, dealing with the Old Adam is all about Jesus. As my Helper, the Spirit, wars against my flesh (Galatians 5:17) and transforms me to the likeness of my Lord (2nd Corinthians 3:18), He slays my Old Adam – or, rather, diminishes it more and more (which, in the end, is the same as slaying). So the solution to the problem of the Old Adam lies in trusting Jesus – trusting He will do what He said He would do, i.e., “He who began a good work in you” etc. If I say no to sin, it’s only because Jesus makes it possible for me to say no. It’s not my work. I’m not up to the task. I only ask my Savior to save me from myself.

  • Tom Hering

    Frank, nothing you say @ 62 strikes me as problematic.

    I guess I’m wondering about how the Old Adam is dealt with. I still sin, and I hate it. Using the Law on myself doesn’t help – quite the opposite. So what then? I’d say as long as I’m the one trying to get rid of Old Adam – whether by applying the Law to myself, or attempting to work up more faith in myself – I’m going to fail. “Apart from Me you can do nothing” said Jesus. So, as in all matters of faith, dealing with the Old Adam is all about Jesus. As my Helper, the Spirit, wars against my flesh (Galatians 5:17) and transforms me to the likeness of my Lord (2nd Corinthians 3:18), He slays my Old Adam – or, rather, diminishes it more and more (which, in the end, is the same as slaying). So the solution to the problem of the Old Adam lies in trusting Jesus – trusting He will do what He said He would do, i.e., “He who began a good work in you” etc. If I say no to sin, it’s only because Jesus makes it possible for me to say no. It’s not my work. I’m not up to the task. I only ask my Savior to save me from myself.

  • fws

    Tom @63

    here you are dealing with matters of the heart and you are right about all of that. And you are also right that that can only be resolved in the heavenly kingdom that is alone about being terrified at all we can see and do and so we know to hide all that in the Works of Another,.

    Here on earth we are to learn to keep the Law that demands that we do mercy and goodness to others precisely so that God does not need to send punishment and suffering to make it happen. Goodness and Mercy WILL happen. We do get to chose whether it happens because we practice that discipline that Aristotle describes impecably, or …. we can let God force us to do it that other, less pleasant way. This all and only concerns what God would have us be for our neighbor.

    So the outward discipline of keeping the Law is useful to avoid temporal punishment, and live a long and enjoyable life. But this ALL ends with this life and pertains alone to it.

    We can and should know that we are doing this earthly will of God. This pleases God and he promises to reward this with earthly and even heavenly blessings.

    But when we have done this as perfectly as possible we still must remember….

    If we wish to deal with God , then we must aim much higher! Then alone we must present to God those Works that are as far removed from our own Good Works as the heavens are from the earth. It is only and alone by hiding our own Good Works in the Works of Another that the Law no longer can accuse us. Only then can a heart have God truly as an Object of Love.

  • fws

    Tom @63

    here you are dealing with matters of the heart and you are right about all of that. And you are also right that that can only be resolved in the heavenly kingdom that is alone about being terrified at all we can see and do and so we know to hide all that in the Works of Another,.

    Here on earth we are to learn to keep the Law that demands that we do mercy and goodness to others precisely so that God does not need to send punishment and suffering to make it happen. Goodness and Mercy WILL happen. We do get to chose whether it happens because we practice that discipline that Aristotle describes impecably, or …. we can let God force us to do it that other, less pleasant way. This all and only concerns what God would have us be for our neighbor.

    So the outward discipline of keeping the Law is useful to avoid temporal punishment, and live a long and enjoyable life. But this ALL ends with this life and pertains alone to it.

    We can and should know that we are doing this earthly will of God. This pleases God and he promises to reward this with earthly and even heavenly blessings.

    But when we have done this as perfectly as possible we still must remember….

    If we wish to deal with God , then we must aim much higher! Then alone we must present to God those Works that are as far removed from our own Good Works as the heavens are from the earth. It is only and alone by hiding our own Good Works in the Works of Another that the Law no longer can accuse us. Only then can a heart have God truly as an Object of Love.

  • fws

    Tom this is where the “casuistic” form of the Proper Distinction of Law and Gospel that the Old Lutherans taught in the form of The Two Kingdoms of Law/Old Adam and Gospel/New Man is useful.

    This helps us keep our focus alone on Christ.

    H0w? We do not try to smuggle what is legal tender in the Earthly Kingdom, our Good Works into the heavenly kingdom. And at the same time we know that God considers the Good Works of both pagan and christian alike as legal tender.He is serious about this and shows that by promising punishment for not doing these things and blessings for doing them.

    This is why Dr Luther, in the preface to the Catechisms advises us to present many stories from the bible to show how God rewards and blesses Good Works and punishes and overthrows those who fail to do Good Works as He commands them. This advice strikes modern Lutherans as discordant precisely because they are not grounded in the form of Law and Gospel distinction called Two Kingdoms.

    At the same time we do not try to smuggle that currency of our own Good Works into that other Heavenly Kingdom, and try to pass that off as legal tender in the Heavenly Kingdom. There the only legal tender acceptable to God is that Tender Goodness and Mercy that He gave to us in the form of His only Beloved Son hanging dead, for you and for me, on a cross. The Payment with no credit limit!

  • fws

    Tom this is where the “casuistic” form of the Proper Distinction of Law and Gospel that the Old Lutherans taught in the form of The Two Kingdoms of Law/Old Adam and Gospel/New Man is useful.

    This helps us keep our focus alone on Christ.

    H0w? We do not try to smuggle what is legal tender in the Earthly Kingdom, our Good Works into the heavenly kingdom. And at the same time we know that God considers the Good Works of both pagan and christian alike as legal tender.He is serious about this and shows that by promising punishment for not doing these things and blessings for doing them.

    This is why Dr Luther, in the preface to the Catechisms advises us to present many stories from the bible to show how God rewards and blesses Good Works and punishes and overthrows those who fail to do Good Works as He commands them. This advice strikes modern Lutherans as discordant precisely because they are not grounded in the form of Law and Gospel distinction called Two Kingdoms.

    At the same time we do not try to smuggle that currency of our own Good Works into that other Heavenly Kingdom, and try to pass that off as legal tender in the Heavenly Kingdom. There the only legal tender acceptable to God is that Tender Goodness and Mercy that He gave to us in the form of His only Beloved Son hanging dead, for you and for me, on a cross. The Payment with no credit limit!

  • fws

    tom @ 63

    “If I say no to sin, it’s only because Jesus makes it possible for me to say no. It’s not my work. I’m not up to the task. I only ask my Savior to save me from myself.”

    No. Pagans with no faith in God such as the Antinomian judge in Luke 18 can say “no” to sin and “yes” to earthly righeousness. They can do this because Reason extortes this yes and no out of them! God WILL make this happen whether a man believes in God, the Law or whatever,… or not. The Law simply will NOT take ‘no’ for an answer! The Law WILL have it’s way. Death is the proof of that.

    But your yes and no that is from the depths of your heart and mind is only possible because of the fact that you are in Christ and so are a New Man with a new heart.

    This fact is true in nothing at all that you can evidentially see and do in though, word or deed, but it is the most important truth and existencial reality you have nonetheless.

    This truth can alone be known by closing one’s eyes and listening for the voice of our Dear Shepherd. We know his Voice. It is the Voice of the Eternal Will of God. It in the Voice of Goodness and Mercy incarnate (psalm 23)

  • fws

    tom @ 63

    “If I say no to sin, it’s only because Jesus makes it possible for me to say no. It’s not my work. I’m not up to the task. I only ask my Savior to save me from myself.”

    No. Pagans with no faith in God such as the Antinomian judge in Luke 18 can say “no” to sin and “yes” to earthly righeousness. They can do this because Reason extortes this yes and no out of them! God WILL make this happen whether a man believes in God, the Law or whatever,… or not. The Law simply will NOT take ‘no’ for an answer! The Law WILL have it’s way. Death is the proof of that.

    But your yes and no that is from the depths of your heart and mind is only possible because of the fact that you are in Christ and so are a New Man with a new heart.

    This fact is true in nothing at all that you can evidentially see and do in though, word or deed, but it is the most important truth and existencial reality you have nonetheless.

    This truth can alone be known by closing one’s eyes and listening for the voice of our Dear Shepherd. We know his Voice. It is the Voice of the Eternal Will of God. It in the Voice of Goodness and Mercy incarnate (psalm 23)

  • fws

    Tom @ 63

    “I guess I’m wondering about how the Old Adam is dealt with. I still sin, and I hate it. Using the Law on myself doesn’t help – quite the opposite.”

    Ok. so? It is not SUPPOSED to help YOU. it is so NOT about you. It about extorting Goodness and Mercy out of you for the creaturely, fleeting , transitory happiness and flourishing of your neighbor.

    It is about your death. Life is death Tom. YOUR life is death. Death is not a nice experience. But in Christ alone we , amazingly, do not flee from that death or refuse it. We embrace it and long for it’s completion in our physical death.

    Yet we also realize that it is not this death that is the Will of God. God desires the death of no man. He does not want or need this sacrifice from us.

    God desires that mercy be done among unworthy men. Mercy by definition can only happen for those unworthy of it. And Mercy here is a Law word because, unfortunately, this Mercy can only be made to happen out of the Old Adam of Tom Herring and Frank Sonnek by their Old Adam being mortified . to mortify is latinate for to put to death.

  • fws

    Tom @ 63

    “I guess I’m wondering about how the Old Adam is dealt with. I still sin, and I hate it. Using the Law on myself doesn’t help – quite the opposite.”

    Ok. so? It is not SUPPOSED to help YOU. it is so NOT about you. It about extorting Goodness and Mercy out of you for the creaturely, fleeting , transitory happiness and flourishing of your neighbor.

    It is about your death. Life is death Tom. YOUR life is death. Death is not a nice experience. But in Christ alone we , amazingly, do not flee from that death or refuse it. We embrace it and long for it’s completion in our physical death.

    Yet we also realize that it is not this death that is the Will of God. God desires the death of no man. He does not want or need this sacrifice from us.

    God desires that mercy be done among unworthy men. Mercy by definition can only happen for those unworthy of it. And Mercy here is a Law word because, unfortunately, this Mercy can only be made to happen out of the Old Adam of Tom Herring and Frank Sonnek by their Old Adam being mortified . to mortify is latinate for to put to death.

  • fws

    tom

    Your baptism calls you to daily take up the Law and drown your Old Adam with it. this is not for you or your benefit. It is alone alone alone for the benefit of others. Your old adam literally becomes the fertilizer from which springs the goodness that others need to make life on earth possible and livable. what is death for you results in the fruit of goodness and mercy for others.

    You are literally aiming to turn your Old Adam into a whitewashed sepulcher Tom! That is what you aim to do. He can’t be fixed, but he can be forced to be useful to others in his external thoughts, words and deeds. Christ did not criticize the Pharisees for trying to be good in this exact way. He praises them for it in fact. But he damns them for thinking that there is any Life at all in a sepulcher. That would be crazy thinking!

    This is a fact that is really true whether you are a believer or not.

    But there is another fact that is true only for Believers:

    You dont need this Law work any longer, because , in Christ, you have all you need and you are now in an eternal Sabbath rest. no work is required.

    The Work of Another is more than sufficient.

  • fws

    tom

    Your baptism calls you to daily take up the Law and drown your Old Adam with it. this is not for you or your benefit. It is alone alone alone for the benefit of others. Your old adam literally becomes the fertilizer from which springs the goodness that others need to make life on earth possible and livable. what is death for you results in the fruit of goodness and mercy for others.

    You are literally aiming to turn your Old Adam into a whitewashed sepulcher Tom! That is what you aim to do. He can’t be fixed, but he can be forced to be useful to others in his external thoughts, words and deeds. Christ did not criticize the Pharisees for trying to be good in this exact way. He praises them for it in fact. But he damns them for thinking that there is any Life at all in a sepulcher. That would be crazy thinking!

    This is a fact that is really true whether you are a believer or not.

    But there is another fact that is true only for Believers:

    You dont need this Law work any longer, because , in Christ, you have all you need and you are now in an eternal Sabbath rest. no work is required.

    The Work of Another is more than sufficient.

  • Tom Hering

    Frank @ 64 & 65, very good! I’m with you on all that. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    Frank @ 64 & 65, very good! I’m with you on all that. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    Frank @ 66-68, Hmm. I’ll have to think about these things.

  • Tom Hering

    Frank @ 66-68, Hmm. I’ll have to think about these things.

  • George A. Marquart

    Fws @ 43
    Frank,
    The sermon can be found here: http://www.glaubensstimme.de/doku.php?id=autoren:l:luther:v:von_der_furcht_des_herrn
    I have not been able to find it in English. It says exactly what I suggest.

    The sentence in question reads: “Daher finden wir in der Schrift von einer doppelten heiligen Furcht, als, Psalm 19, 10.: „Die Furcht des Herrn“, das ist , die Ehrfurcht vor Gott, „rein, und bleibt ewiglich.“ The word „Ehrfurcht“ or „awe“ is not my insertion, but Luther’s. As best I can understand it, the „twofold“ fear refers to that of man and angels mentioned in the next citation from the Psalms. Neither one is the fear that induces terror. They are both the good type.

    See, doing things in a hurry has gotten me in trouble again on the subject of the Old Adam. I wrote some things which I neither meant nor believe. So let’s go back: every child of God here on earth is a sinner. Every child of God here on earth has been “reborn of water and the Spirit”; that is, made a new creature, but we are not entirely sure of how to define this new creature. Every child of God here on earth is perfectly righteous, but this is what is called a “forensic” righteousness. In other words, God looks at us as being perfect, because of the life and death of His Son. So we are de facto sinners, but de jure righteous. As to the struggle between the flesh, what the Confessions refer to as “the Old Adam”, and the regenerated creature, I think that Section V of the FC, both Epitome and Solid Declaration, “Third Use of the Law”, speaks most clearly on this subject.

    St. Paul has a great “therefore” in Romans 5:1, “Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God. If God declares the whole person to be righteous, what do we have to fear? Same thing.

    As to what is written in the heart, according to the Apology, here is the citation I had in mind:
    Defense of the Augsburg Confession
    Article III: Of Love and the Fulfilling of the Law.

    2] It is written in the prophet, Jer. 31:33: I will put My Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts. And in Rom. 3:31, Paul says: Do we, then, make void the Law through faith? God forbid! Yea, we establish the Law. And Christ says, Matt. 19:17: If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. Likewise, 1 Cor. 13:3: If I have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 3] These and similar sentences testify that the Law ought to be begun in us, and be kept by us more and more [that we are to keep the Law when we have been justified by faith, and thus increase more and more in the Spirit]. Moreover, we speak not of ceremonies, but of that Law which gives commandment concerning the movements of the heart, namely, the Decalog.

    I believe that the Apology is wrong in the foregoing. Furthermore, the word “Torah” includes both Law and Gospel in its broadest sense. But it is always translated as “Law”, leading to some misunderstandings. Some of our scholars should look into that, or in all likelihood, they already have and I am simply not aware of it.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    Fws @ 43
    Frank,
    The sermon can be found here: http://www.glaubensstimme.de/doku.php?id=autoren:l:luther:v:von_der_furcht_des_herrn
    I have not been able to find it in English. It says exactly what I suggest.

    The sentence in question reads: “Daher finden wir in der Schrift von einer doppelten heiligen Furcht, als, Psalm 19, 10.: „Die Furcht des Herrn“, das ist , die Ehrfurcht vor Gott, „rein, und bleibt ewiglich.“ The word „Ehrfurcht“ or „awe“ is not my insertion, but Luther’s. As best I can understand it, the „twofold“ fear refers to that of man and angels mentioned in the next citation from the Psalms. Neither one is the fear that induces terror. They are both the good type.

    See, doing things in a hurry has gotten me in trouble again on the subject of the Old Adam. I wrote some things which I neither meant nor believe. So let’s go back: every child of God here on earth is a sinner. Every child of God here on earth has been “reborn of water and the Spirit”; that is, made a new creature, but we are not entirely sure of how to define this new creature. Every child of God here on earth is perfectly righteous, but this is what is called a “forensic” righteousness. In other words, God looks at us as being perfect, because of the life and death of His Son. So we are de facto sinners, but de jure righteous. As to the struggle between the flesh, what the Confessions refer to as “the Old Adam”, and the regenerated creature, I think that Section V of the FC, both Epitome and Solid Declaration, “Third Use of the Law”, speaks most clearly on this subject.

    St. Paul has a great “therefore” in Romans 5:1, “Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God. If God declares the whole person to be righteous, what do we have to fear? Same thing.

    As to what is written in the heart, according to the Apology, here is the citation I had in mind:
    Defense of the Augsburg Confession
    Article III: Of Love and the Fulfilling of the Law.

    2] It is written in the prophet, Jer. 31:33: I will put My Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts. And in Rom. 3:31, Paul says: Do we, then, make void the Law through faith? God forbid! Yea, we establish the Law. And Christ says, Matt. 19:17: If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. Likewise, 1 Cor. 13:3: If I have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 3] These and similar sentences testify that the Law ought to be begun in us, and be kept by us more and more [that we are to keep the Law when we have been justified by faith, and thus increase more and more in the Spirit]. Moreover, we speak not of ceremonies, but of that Law which gives commandment concerning the movements of the heart, namely, the Decalog.

    I believe that the Apology is wrong in the foregoing. Furthermore, the word “Torah” includes both Law and Gospel in its broadest sense. But it is always translated as “Law”, leading to some misunderstandings. Some of our scholars should look into that, or in all likelihood, they already have and I am simply not aware of it.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • Grace

    Tom @ 60

    “I’ve thought about your question a bit more.

    I’d say no, not below water, because then you’d be all the way down in the riverbed, and you’d come up with your eyes, nose, and ears full of sandy grit. But “just sprinkled” is good, because – as the name implies – you’re made just in God’s eyes on account of Christ.

    I hope that helps make my position clear.”

    When Jesus was baptized, in the Jordan river, HE was in the water, and when John the Baptist had Baptized Christ, he went up straight way out of the water- there was no “just sprinkled” – Why wouldn’t you want to follow Christ in the same, as in “to immerse, submerge;” ?

    It would be no different then being baptized in the ocean, where it’s done all the time, or in a pool.

    13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. 14But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?

    15And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.

    16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: Matthew 3:13

    Baptized Strong’s Greek Dictionary

    baptizo
    bap-tid’-zo

    “to immerse, submerge; to make whelmed (i.e. fully wet); used only (in the New Testament) of ceremonial ablution, especially (technically) of the ordinance of Christian baptism:–Baptist, baptize, wash.”

  • Grace

    Tom @ 60

    “I’ve thought about your question a bit more.

    I’d say no, not below water, because then you’d be all the way down in the riverbed, and you’d come up with your eyes, nose, and ears full of sandy grit. But “just sprinkled” is good, because – as the name implies – you’re made just in God’s eyes on account of Christ.

    I hope that helps make my position clear.”

    When Jesus was baptized, in the Jordan river, HE was in the water, and when John the Baptist had Baptized Christ, he went up straight way out of the water- there was no “just sprinkled” – Why wouldn’t you want to follow Christ in the same, as in “to immerse, submerge;” ?

    It would be no different then being baptized in the ocean, where it’s done all the time, or in a pool.

    13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. 14But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?

    15And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.

    16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: Matthew 3:13

    Baptized Strong’s Greek Dictionary

    baptizo
    bap-tid’-zo

    “to immerse, submerge; to make whelmed (i.e. fully wet); used only (in the New Testament) of ceremonial ablution, especially (technically) of the ordinance of Christian baptism:–Baptist, baptize, wash.”

  • Tom Hering

    Grace @ 72, did you have a question you wanted to ask me?

  • Tom Hering

    Grace @ 72, did you have a question you wanted to ask me?

  • Grace

    Tom, I asked you a question earlier, you answered, and I gave my answer according to Scripture above.

    I don’t know why anyone would find it difficult to be Baptized in a river, lake or any body of water. That is exactly how Christ our LORD was Baptized, but yet there are some who “sprinkle” or “poor” when the Scripturual meaning is “to immerse, submerge”

    22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.

    23 And John also was baptizing in AEnon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized. John 3

    AEnon – definition Strong’s Greek

    Ainon
    ahee-nohn’

    of Hebrew origin (a derivative of 5869, place of springs); Ænon, a place in Palestine:–Ænon.

    AEnon, has many waters, very near the Jordan river.

  • Grace

    Tom, I asked you a question earlier, you answered, and I gave my answer according to Scripture above.

    I don’t know why anyone would find it difficult to be Baptized in a river, lake or any body of water. That is exactly how Christ our LORD was Baptized, but yet there are some who “sprinkle” or “poor” when the Scripturual meaning is “to immerse, submerge”

    22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.

    23 And John also was baptizing in AEnon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized. John 3

    AEnon – definition Strong’s Greek

    Ainon
    ahee-nohn’

    of Hebrew origin (a derivative of 5869, place of springs); Ænon, a place in Palestine:–Ænon.

    AEnon, has many waters, very near the Jordan river.

  • Grace

    Do Lutherans ever “immerse, submerge” if not, WHY?

  • Grace

    Do Lutherans ever “immerse, submerge” if not, WHY?

  • fws

    Grace:

    Description is not Prescription. Even if we could know for sure if Jesus was immersed or standing up to his knees or waist and sprinkled (“coming up out of the water ” could be that too) it would still not be Prescription.

    Prescription is this:” Go and make disciples by baptizing all nations.” Do you believe that God makes disciples in Holy Baptism?

    There would be nothing at all wrong with Lutherans baptizing by immersion. In fact Lutherans readily would agree that immersion is a better picture of what actually HAPPENS in baptism.

    But you dont believe in that part Grace…. baptism is our work and our testimony. It is for you a first act of obedience. It is a testimony of ours that says “I believe”.

    We believe too that Baptism is a good work that Christ has commanded us to do to others. So we do it! But what we see happen in baptism, through the eyes of faith, is the Promise that God has placed in with and under this act. Faith clings to that Promise and ….right there IN Baptism, has what the Promise is. What is that promise? “as many of you who were baptised have put on Christ!” “Baptism is a washing of regeneration!” “Baptism also saves us not by an outward washing but by that inward washing that gives us a good conscience before God.”(to paraphrase st peter).

    Why is it that you dont cling to these promises that God has placed in Baptism Grace? Isn’t that issue just a tad more important that whether we are dunked or splashed?

  • fws

    Grace:

    Description is not Prescription. Even if we could know for sure if Jesus was immersed or standing up to his knees or waist and sprinkled (“coming up out of the water ” could be that too) it would still not be Prescription.

    Prescription is this:” Go and make disciples by baptizing all nations.” Do you believe that God makes disciples in Holy Baptism?

    There would be nothing at all wrong with Lutherans baptizing by immersion. In fact Lutherans readily would agree that immersion is a better picture of what actually HAPPENS in baptism.

    But you dont believe in that part Grace…. baptism is our work and our testimony. It is for you a first act of obedience. It is a testimony of ours that says “I believe”.

    We believe too that Baptism is a good work that Christ has commanded us to do to others. So we do it! But what we see happen in baptism, through the eyes of faith, is the Promise that God has placed in with and under this act. Faith clings to that Promise and ….right there IN Baptism, has what the Promise is. What is that promise? “as many of you who were baptised have put on Christ!” “Baptism is a washing of regeneration!” “Baptism also saves us not by an outward washing but by that inward washing that gives us a good conscience before God.”(to paraphrase st peter).

    Why is it that you dont cling to these promises that God has placed in Baptism Grace? Isn’t that issue just a tad more important that whether we are dunked or splashed?

  • fws

    Grace , I think that probably the reason Lutherans dont immerse is because there is a group of Christians who tell other Christians that their baptism us not recognized by God unless it is by immersion.

    We believe that to put this doubt in the mind of a baptized believer is nothing less than satanic. Yes. Satanic. So we would not want to give anyone the impression that we approve of this view.

    That is probably why Lutherans dont immerse even while they at the same time all probably think it would be the best picture of what actually and really happens in Baptism. God does something in the act of Baptism with water and the Word.

    Why is it that you refuse to believe that?

  • fws

    Grace , I think that probably the reason Lutherans dont immerse is because there is a group of Christians who tell other Christians that their baptism us not recognized by God unless it is by immersion.

    We believe that to put this doubt in the mind of a baptized believer is nothing less than satanic. Yes. Satanic. So we would not want to give anyone the impression that we approve of this view.

    That is probably why Lutherans dont immerse even while they at the same time all probably think it would be the best picture of what actually and really happens in Baptism. God does something in the act of Baptism with water and the Word.

    Why is it that you refuse to believe that?

  • Grace

    fws,

    Your disgregard, for plain doctrine, as in Romans 1, as you stated, “I do not believe that homosexuality, per se, is a sin.” on February 20, 2012. I cannot in good conscience read or take serious your beliefs.

  • Grace

    fws,

    Your disgregard, for plain doctrine, as in Romans 1, as you stated, “I do not believe that homosexuality, per se, is a sin.” on February 20, 2012. I cannot in good conscience read or take serious your beliefs.

  • fws

    grace,

    you disdain and do violence to Holy Scripture and the Work of Christ by denying the Biblical teachings on baptism, the lords supper, repentence, absolution, the milenium and, well…. lots and lots of stuff.

    And yet…. the Lutheran christians on the whole here try to show you respect , give you a serious listen when you are not being shrill, and have a more generous spirit than you just reflected in your last post.

    Why is that Grace?

  • fws

    grace,

    you disdain and do violence to Holy Scripture and the Work of Christ by denying the Biblical teachings on baptism, the lords supper, repentence, absolution, the milenium and, well…. lots and lots of stuff.

    And yet…. the Lutheran christians on the whole here try to show you respect , give you a serious listen when you are not being shrill, and have a more generous spirit than you just reflected in your last post.

    Why is that Grace?

  • Tom Hering

    Acts 9:17-19. So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized; and he took food and was strengthened.

    Grace, did the house of Judas on the street called Straight contain a lake, or a river, or a pool? The text doesn’t say Paul was prayed for, or that he regained his sight, or that he was baptized, or that he ate food anywhere else but in the house of Judas. Sure, there’s speculation that Paul was a man of small stature, but I doubt he was small enough to be immersed in a cup, or a bowl, or a bucket. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Acts 9:17-19. So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized; and he took food and was strengthened.

    Grace, did the house of Judas on the street called Straight contain a lake, or a river, or a pool? The text doesn’t say Paul was prayed for, or that he regained his sight, or that he was baptized, or that he ate food anywhere else but in the house of Judas. Sure, there’s speculation that Paul was a man of small stature, but I doubt he was small enough to be immersed in a cup, or a bowl, or a bucket. :-D

  • Grace

    fws,

    You name a number of doctrinal issues, some of which are totally untrue. Either you have purposely rejected my agreement, or you aren’t reading carefully.

    All the accusations will not make any difference as to discussing important doctrinal issues, when you believe, the way you do regarding homosexuality. As for being “shrill” and that includes your latest outburst above @79 – - “you disdain and do violence to Holy Scripture and the Work of Christ” – -
    that fws, is “shrill” and uncalled for, as you exhibt this sort of rhetoric, only because I will not interact with you on doctrinal issues.

    Homosexuality, is one that cannot be overlooked, more and more Believers are beginning to see the falacy when it’s suggested to “side step” this issue and move on to others. It’s too serious to overlook.

  • Grace

    fws,

    You name a number of doctrinal issues, some of which are totally untrue. Either you have purposely rejected my agreement, or you aren’t reading carefully.

    All the accusations will not make any difference as to discussing important doctrinal issues, when you believe, the way you do regarding homosexuality. As for being “shrill” and that includes your latest outburst above @79 – - “you disdain and do violence to Holy Scripture and the Work of Christ” – -
    that fws, is “shrill” and uncalled for, as you exhibt this sort of rhetoric, only because I will not interact with you on doctrinal issues.

    Homosexuality, is one that cannot be overlooked, more and more Believers are beginning to see the falacy when it’s suggested to “side step” this issue and move on to others. It’s too serious to overlook.

  • fws

    Grace.

    Why is it that you always accuse others without cause. No one here is refusing to discuss homosexuality but you.

    I suggested earlier that your defintion of that word and so your understanding of what the word represents is quite different than mine is. My definition, which is the medical one, says that homosexuality is pretty well in place around age 4 and probably earlier.

    So we need to agree on terms and definitions since discussions require language etc. Are homosexuals sinful and sinners? absolutely! do they sin sexually in thought word and deed? of course they do! and so do you. and so are you.

    Is homosexuality a sin? if so what part of it? the part about sexual desires and urges? so how does that have anything to do with homosexuals in prepuberty?

    But you probably wont engage me on this. Instead you will likely quote the same passages over and over putting some of the words in ALL CAPS. That is your way of refusing to discuss the topic Grace. I accept that.

  • fws

    Grace.

    Why is it that you always accuse others without cause. No one here is refusing to discuss homosexuality but you.

    I suggested earlier that your defintion of that word and so your understanding of what the word represents is quite different than mine is. My definition, which is the medical one, says that homosexuality is pretty well in place around age 4 and probably earlier.

    So we need to agree on terms and definitions since discussions require language etc. Are homosexuals sinful and sinners? absolutely! do they sin sexually in thought word and deed? of course they do! and so do you. and so are you.

    Is homosexuality a sin? if so what part of it? the part about sexual desires and urges? so how does that have anything to do with homosexuals in prepuberty?

    But you probably wont engage me on this. Instead you will likely quote the same passages over and over putting some of the words in ALL CAPS. That is your way of refusing to discuss the topic Grace. I accept that.

  • fws

    Yes grace. at times you are shrill. I cant imagine that you talk to people in person like you talk to people here. If you do… then… wow.

    And yes you do violence to the Work of Christ by denying what He says about Baptism and the Holy Supper and what true Repentence is. That is not shrill. It is the statement of a fact. Repent Grace.

  • fws

    Yes grace. at times you are shrill. I cant imagine that you talk to people in person like you talk to people here. If you do… then… wow.

    And yes you do violence to the Work of Christ by denying what He says about Baptism and the Holy Supper and what true Repentence is. That is not shrill. It is the statement of a fact. Repent Grace.

  • fws

    Grace,

    you dont seem to have a clue as to what I “believe’ about homosexuality since , i am very certain, you could not articulate the current medical definition of homosexuality if you even wished to try. And my beliefs about that topic and others is way beyond that. that would just be a start of a real dialog.

  • fws

    Grace,

    you dont seem to have a clue as to what I “believe’ about homosexuality since , i am very certain, you could not articulate the current medical definition of homosexuality if you even wished to try. And my beliefs about that topic and others is way beyond that. that would just be a start of a real dialog.

  • Tom Hering

    Frank, don’t take the bait. Have fun with it if you like, but don’t take it.

  • Tom Hering

    Frank, don’t take the bait. Have fun with it if you like, but don’t take it.

  • fws

    Grace, just some of the reasons I dont think Romans 1 describes any homo I know is…

    1) I dont see it to be the normal pattern that homos “habitual/natural” attraction is for women , and that…

    2) they left their women to …

    3) lust…. after other men.

    Homosexual attraction is no more about lust than heterosexual attraction is.

    It can be about that, but I would be sad to hear you say that heterosexual attraction or even sexual attraction is always or even mostly about lust. That would be a real poverty of existence if you believed that. And homos are humans like everyone else. So their attractions look the same way.

    3) finally, I dont see that the list in romans 1 vs 28-31 is a diagnostic list that would be useful in singling out homosexuals from the rest of the human population. Do you REALLY believe that it does?

  • fws

    Grace, just some of the reasons I dont think Romans 1 describes any homo I know is…

    1) I dont see it to be the normal pattern that homos “habitual/natural” attraction is for women , and that…

    2) they left their women to …

    3) lust…. after other men.

    Homosexual attraction is no more about lust than heterosexual attraction is.

    It can be about that, but I would be sad to hear you say that heterosexual attraction or even sexual attraction is always or even mostly about lust. That would be a real poverty of existence if you believed that. And homos are humans like everyone else. So their attractions look the same way.

    3) finally, I dont see that the list in romans 1 vs 28-31 is a diagnostic list that would be useful in singling out homosexuals from the rest of the human population. Do you REALLY believe that it does?

  • fws

    Grace,

    Tom is right. Homosexuality as a topic is something that is not nearly as important as what was being discussed.

    You are avoiding the issue and avoiding repentance over your false views on Holy Baptism.

    If you dont want to discuss baptism with me, then we are quite done here.

  • fws

    Grace,

    Tom is right. Homosexuality as a topic is something that is not nearly as important as what was being discussed.

    You are avoiding the issue and avoiding repentance over your false views on Holy Baptism.

    If you dont want to discuss baptism with me, then we are quite done here.

  • Grace

    Tom @ 80

    17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

    18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. Acts 9

    NOTE: Keep in mind, there are two Baptisms, one with water, and one with the HOLY Ghost.

    15 For you shall be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard.

    16 And now why tarry you? arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord. Acts 22

    Ananias was referring to a baptism using water, hence the word “wash” – We don’t know where he was Baptized, the Scriptures don’t give a location, that does not mean there wasn’t one.

  • Grace

    Tom @ 80

    17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

    18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. Acts 9

    NOTE: Keep in mind, there are two Baptisms, one with water, and one with the HOLY Ghost.

    15 For you shall be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard.

    16 And now why tarry you? arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord. Acts 22

    Ananias was referring to a baptism using water, hence the word “wash” – We don’t know where he was Baptized, the Scriptures don’t give a location, that does not mean there wasn’t one.

  • Grace

    There is no “bait” here Tom, but a viable reason why I will not discuss doctrinal issues with fws.

  • Grace

    There is no “bait” here Tom, but a viable reason why I will not discuss doctrinal issues with fws.

  • fws

    george @ 71

    I believe you missed the entire build up and point of the central argument in the Apology. I hope you are not offended at that.

    The Apology says, clearly so, that…

    1)the Law of God is written in the Reason of man (note they are clearly saying that the Law is NOT written in the heart!) (Apology “on justification”)
    2) Therefore reason agrees with the Decalog because it is the same law.
    3) there is a part of the Law that is “peculiarly ” found in the first table of the Decalog that is “veiled to reason with the veil of Moses.
    4) Veiled reason believes that the Law can be kept by doing or not doing what is contained in a list whether ones heart is in it or not.
    5) but the first table of the Decalog deals with movements of the heart!
    6) therefore to keep the Law one must first have “new heart movements” that is “new emotions.
    7) only when there is a new heart with these new heart movements (aka new emotions) and ONLY then, can the prophecy in Jer 33 be fulfilled and the Law , once again , as a consequence of those new heart movements, can the Law once again be written also in the heart of man and not just the mind.
    8) so in new man, the Law written in Reason is in full consonance with the new mans heart and emotions and very being.

    You see how this is different than how you are reading the Apology dear George?

  • fws

    george @ 71

    I believe you missed the entire build up and point of the central argument in the Apology. I hope you are not offended at that.

    The Apology says, clearly so, that…

    1)the Law of God is written in the Reason of man (note they are clearly saying that the Law is NOT written in the heart!) (Apology “on justification”)
    2) Therefore reason agrees with the Decalog because it is the same law.
    3) there is a part of the Law that is “peculiarly ” found in the first table of the Decalog that is “veiled to reason with the veil of Moses.
    4) Veiled reason believes that the Law can be kept by doing or not doing what is contained in a list whether ones heart is in it or not.
    5) but the first table of the Decalog deals with movements of the heart!
    6) therefore to keep the Law one must first have “new heart movements” that is “new emotions.
    7) only when there is a new heart with these new heart movements (aka new emotions) and ONLY then, can the prophecy in Jer 33 be fulfilled and the Law , once again , as a consequence of those new heart movements, can the Law once again be written also in the heart of man and not just the mind.
    8) so in new man, the Law written in Reason is in full consonance with the new mans heart and emotions and very being.

    You see how this is different than how you are reading the Apology dear George?

  • Tom Hering

    Two baptisms! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Two baptisms! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! :-D

  • Grace

    We don’t know where Paul went, when he was told to:

    16 And now why tarry you? arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord. Acts 22

    I don’t know of all the small bodies of whater, be it a small lake, or pond, where he would have been Baptized.

  • Grace

    We don’t know where Paul went, when he was told to:

    16 And now why tarry you? arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord. Acts 22

    I don’t know of all the small bodies of whater, be it a small lake, or pond, where he would have been Baptized.

  • George A. Marquart

    Fws @90
    Frank, my only point is that the Apology teaches that the Decalogue is written in our hearts. And I believe that is wrong.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    Fws @90
    Frank, my only point is that the Apology teaches that the Decalogue is written in our hearts. And I believe that is wrong.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • Tom Hering

    George @ 93,

    Romans 2:14-15. For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts …

  • Tom Hering

    George @ 93,

    Romans 2:14-15. For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts …

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    Wow. There are a lot of discussions about baptism on this blog. Something that really interests me is that the same people who make a giant case about ‘baptizo’ ALWAYS, without exception meaning immersion (which, I mean, have they ever read Mark 7:38 or Luke 11:38?) have no issues using grape juice instead of wine.

    Now I’m no Greek scholar and maybe the Greek word means ‘liquidy grape product’ or something like that, but it is interesting that our ordinance-minded brethren haven’t had the same fixation on the details of that other sacrament.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    Wow. There are a lot of discussions about baptism on this blog. Something that really interests me is that the same people who make a giant case about ‘baptizo’ ALWAYS, without exception meaning immersion (which, I mean, have they ever read Mark 7:38 or Luke 11:38?) have no issues using grape juice instead of wine.

    Now I’m no Greek scholar and maybe the Greek word means ‘liquidy grape product’ or something like that, but it is interesting that our ordinance-minded brethren haven’t had the same fixation on the details of that other sacrament.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    I meant Mark 7:4 above.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    I meant Mark 7:4 above.

  • Tom Hering

    Nick @ 95, I enjoyed a quick read of your blog. Welcome to Lutheranism.

  • Tom Hering

    Nick @ 95, I enjoyed a quick read of your blog. Welcome to Lutheranism.

  • George A. Marquart

    Tom Hering @94
    Tom, the thread here is what God wrote in the hearts of His people according to Jeremiah 31: 31 “The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.”

    The Apology, which I have quoted, says that “the Law” here refers to the Ten Commandments. The word “Torah” which Jeremiah uses never means the Ten Commandments, though it may include them. The Ten Commandments are always referred to either as “the Words”, or “the Ten Words.”

    St. Paul in Romans 2 is speaking of a very primitive keeping of the Law, which has been noted in most cultures, even those who have had no contact with Judaism or Christianity. These include the prohibitions against incest, murder, theft, and abuse, but in no way reflect the fullness of the gift prophesied by Jeremiah.

    Jeremiah is not speaking of the Ten Commandments, he is speaking of Torah in its broadest sense: the mind of God. This is precisely what St. Paul meant when he wrote in 1 Cor. 16, “But we have the mind of Christ.” That is what God writes in the heart of every believer.

    St. Paul also refers to this very thing in 2 Corinthians 3: 2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all; 3 and you show that you are a letter of Christ, prepared by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. 4 Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God, 6 who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7 Now if the ministry of death (Paul here refers to the giving of the Law on Mt. Sinai), chiseled in letters on stone tablets, came in glory so that the people of Israel could not gaze at Moses’ face because of the glory of his face, a glory now set aside, 8 how much more will the ministry of the Spirit come in glory? 9 For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, much more does the ministry of justification abound in glory!

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    Tom Hering @94
    Tom, the thread here is what God wrote in the hearts of His people according to Jeremiah 31: 31 “The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.”

    The Apology, which I have quoted, says that “the Law” here refers to the Ten Commandments. The word “Torah” which Jeremiah uses never means the Ten Commandments, though it may include them. The Ten Commandments are always referred to either as “the Words”, or “the Ten Words.”

    St. Paul in Romans 2 is speaking of a very primitive keeping of the Law, which has been noted in most cultures, even those who have had no contact with Judaism or Christianity. These include the prohibitions against incest, murder, theft, and abuse, but in no way reflect the fullness of the gift prophesied by Jeremiah.

    Jeremiah is not speaking of the Ten Commandments, he is speaking of Torah in its broadest sense: the mind of God. This is precisely what St. Paul meant when he wrote in 1 Cor. 16, “But we have the mind of Christ.” That is what God writes in the heart of every believer.

    St. Paul also refers to this very thing in 2 Corinthians 3: 2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all; 3 and you show that you are a letter of Christ, prepared by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. 4 Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God, 6 who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7 Now if the ministry of death (Paul here refers to the giving of the Law on Mt. Sinai), chiseled in letters on stone tablets, came in glory so that the people of Israel could not gaze at Moses’ face because of the glory of his face, a glory now set aside, 8 how much more will the ministry of the Spirit come in glory? 9 For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, much more does the ministry of justification abound in glory!

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@78):

    I cannot in good conscience read or take serious your beliefs.

    Oh please. Everyone knows a dodge when they see one, Grace, and that was a pretty obvious dodge.

    If you can’t or don’t want to answer FWS’s question, then just say so. But for you to pretend that your non-answer is somehow suddenly due to some high-minded moral tack of yours beggars belief.

    You can dish it, Grace, but you can’t take it. Especially when it comes to theological discussions. You toss out your attacks, and when your arguments are criticised, you shut down remarkably quickly, lobbing ad hominems as you run out the door.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@78):

    I cannot in good conscience read or take serious your beliefs.

    Oh please. Everyone knows a dodge when they see one, Grace, and that was a pretty obvious dodge.

    If you can’t or don’t want to answer FWS’s question, then just say so. But for you to pretend that your non-answer is somehow suddenly due to some high-minded moral tack of yours beggars belief.

    You can dish it, Grace, but you can’t take it. Especially when it comes to theological discussions. You toss out your attacks, and when your arguments are criticised, you shut down remarkably quickly, lobbing ad hominems as you run out the door.

  • Grace

    Don’t flatter yourself with such flimsy bait, what a HOOT!

  • Grace

    Don’t flatter yourself with such flimsy bait, what a HOOT!

  • fws

    George @ 93 and Tom @ 94

    George, I suggest that you re-parse the Apology. I think it is saying the opposite of what both you and Tom are saying . First to Tom:

    Note that Romans 2:15 says that” the work of the Law is written in their hearts. ” This is NOT to say that “the Law is written in their hearts.” And the Apology makes this exact point.

    What is that work that is scorched, etched, er… written in the hearts of Old Adam by the Law? it is to hate and resent God! It is to increase sin. the heart wants to do the opposite of what the Law of God, written in Reason/the Mind (!) is commanding it to do! There is a war between the Law-written-in-Reason, and our emotions (ie heart).

    Now to George:

    I suggest you are missing precisely the exact point the Apology is making and you will understand that point better when you see that they are arguing against turing the Aristotelian model of Virtue Ethics into the recipe for righteousness before God.

    Aristotle:

    To become virtuous (ie righeous before God, per st Thomas Aquinas) , a man must practice doing what a virtuous man would do until it becomes habit.

    That practice looks like this:

    Man is to employ the Law written in his Reason to control and subjugate his “natural appetites”, “baser instincts” “carnal desires” “concupiscence” that are driven by what? Emotions. the Heart.

    The Scholastics select out of all this a parsing of what is and what is not sin in those things called NATURAL appetites.

    So those things are not really sin are they? So they say (Apology II) that sin is “inherited like the son of a slave woman inherits slavery”, “is blown onto us ” as in “nature vs nurture”, is a “hindrance or burden” ie a birth defect, or the nature side of the nature vs nurture argument.

    So how is it that the Lutherans respond to this mess?

    They simply short circuit it. They start by redefining that word “concupiscence”. they say that concupiscence is not “lust” or that list of things that are called natural appetites at all. Those are just the outward symptoms of concupiscence. No. Concupiscence is all about the movements of the heart! Concupiscence is the heart seeking and trusting for its good in all those object that the scholastics call natural appetites.

    So then sin is the lack/absence of faith in the Right Object, which is faith in the Works of Another, plus it is concupiscence, now redefined as that faith in the heart that is a misplaced faith or trust that “viciously” insists upon trusting and putting its faith in anything BUT the works of another.

    This is precisely the framework that the Apology is arguing within. If you dont see this Aristotelian context, you will simply not get their argument I am suggesting George.

    So now for what you are contended for:

    The Law written in our Reason (note NOT the heart per the Apology!!!!) is at war with the heart/emotions where the Law is NOT written.

    So then, Apology “on love and the fulfilling of the Law”:

    The Law CANNOT be written in the heart, until it is first a NEW heart with “new heart movements” aka “new emotions” that long to do what is God’s Will. Therefore : ONLY after regeneration, and as a fruit of that regeneration, which is nothing less than the full restoration of the very Image of God, can the Law, again be written in the hearts of man in fulfillment of the prophecy in Jeremiah.

    So rome and geneva see the image of God as being a reconformity to the Law. Lutherans see the Image of God as being, alone, faith in Christ and his Work alone. And the Law written in the heart? that is a consequence of having that faith! it is “fruit of”, not the thing ipso facto.

    Are you seeing what I am saying dear George?

  • fws

    George @ 93 and Tom @ 94

    George, I suggest that you re-parse the Apology. I think it is saying the opposite of what both you and Tom are saying . First to Tom:

    Note that Romans 2:15 says that” the work of the Law is written in their hearts. ” This is NOT to say that “the Law is written in their hearts.” And the Apology makes this exact point.

    What is that work that is scorched, etched, er… written in the hearts of Old Adam by the Law? it is to hate and resent God! It is to increase sin. the heart wants to do the opposite of what the Law of God, written in Reason/the Mind (!) is commanding it to do! There is a war between the Law-written-in-Reason, and our emotions (ie heart).

    Now to George:

    I suggest you are missing precisely the exact point the Apology is making and you will understand that point better when you see that they are arguing against turing the Aristotelian model of Virtue Ethics into the recipe for righteousness before God.

    Aristotle:

    To become virtuous (ie righeous before God, per st Thomas Aquinas) , a man must practice doing what a virtuous man would do until it becomes habit.

    That practice looks like this:

    Man is to employ the Law written in his Reason to control and subjugate his “natural appetites”, “baser instincts” “carnal desires” “concupiscence” that are driven by what? Emotions. the Heart.

    The Scholastics select out of all this a parsing of what is and what is not sin in those things called NATURAL appetites.

    So those things are not really sin are they? So they say (Apology II) that sin is “inherited like the son of a slave woman inherits slavery”, “is blown onto us ” as in “nature vs nurture”, is a “hindrance or burden” ie a birth defect, or the nature side of the nature vs nurture argument.

    So how is it that the Lutherans respond to this mess?

    They simply short circuit it. They start by redefining that word “concupiscence”. they say that concupiscence is not “lust” or that list of things that are called natural appetites at all. Those are just the outward symptoms of concupiscence. No. Concupiscence is all about the movements of the heart! Concupiscence is the heart seeking and trusting for its good in all those object that the scholastics call natural appetites.

    So then sin is the lack/absence of faith in the Right Object, which is faith in the Works of Another, plus it is concupiscence, now redefined as that faith in the heart that is a misplaced faith or trust that “viciously” insists upon trusting and putting its faith in anything BUT the works of another.

    This is precisely the framework that the Apology is arguing within. If you dont see this Aristotelian context, you will simply not get their argument I am suggesting George.

    So now for what you are contended for:

    The Law written in our Reason (note NOT the heart per the Apology!!!!) is at war with the heart/emotions where the Law is NOT written.

    So then, Apology “on love and the fulfilling of the Law”:

    The Law CANNOT be written in the heart, until it is first a NEW heart with “new heart movements” aka “new emotions” that long to do what is God’s Will. Therefore : ONLY after regeneration, and as a fruit of that regeneration, which is nothing less than the full restoration of the very Image of God, can the Law, again be written in the hearts of man in fulfillment of the prophecy in Jeremiah.

    So rome and geneva see the image of God as being a reconformity to the Law. Lutherans see the Image of God as being, alone, faith in Christ and his Work alone. And the Law written in the heart? that is a consequence of having that faith! it is “fruit of”, not the thing ipso facto.

    Are you seeing what I am saying dear George?

  • fws

    George!

    “Jeremiah is not speaking of the Ten Commandments, he is speaking of Torah in its broadest sense: the mind of God. This is precisely what St. Paul meant when he wrote in 1 Cor. 16, “But we have the mind of Christ.” That is what God writes in the heart of every believer.”

    YES! This is PRECISELY the point that the Apology IS making! They make it a different way is all….

    This is their point in saying (at the start of “on justification”) that the Law written in Reason (NOT the heart) is the SAME Law as the Decalog, which is why reason agrees with the Decalog,

    BUT!

    there is a Law, found “peculiarly” in the First Table of the Decalog that Reason is “veiled to by the veil of moses (aka a legalistic reading of the Law reading it in a crude way as one would read civil law)”.

    And that First Table Law deals with what George? “movements of the heart/emotions” . it deals with what you are calling the “mind of God”.

    THEREFORE , they are saying, the Law that is written in Reason simply CANNOT be written in the heart until first , in baptismal regeneration, the heart receives a NEW set of emotions or” NEW heart movements!” Can you see that now dear George?

    George, set aside all your overlays from reading Stott etc, and let the Apology speak to you in it’s own way! It is not saying what you think it is saying!!!!!

  • fws

    George!

    “Jeremiah is not speaking of the Ten Commandments, he is speaking of Torah in its broadest sense: the mind of God. This is precisely what St. Paul meant when he wrote in 1 Cor. 16, “But we have the mind of Christ.” That is what God writes in the heart of every believer.”

    YES! This is PRECISELY the point that the Apology IS making! They make it a different way is all….

    This is their point in saying (at the start of “on justification”) that the Law written in Reason (NOT the heart) is the SAME Law as the Decalog, which is why reason agrees with the Decalog,

    BUT!

    there is a Law, found “peculiarly” in the First Table of the Decalog that Reason is “veiled to by the veil of moses (aka a legalistic reading of the Law reading it in a crude way as one would read civil law)”.

    And that First Table Law deals with what George? “movements of the heart/emotions” . it deals with what you are calling the “mind of God”.

    THEREFORE , they are saying, the Law that is written in Reason simply CANNOT be written in the heart until first , in baptismal regeneration, the heart receives a NEW set of emotions or” NEW heart movements!” Can you see that now dear George?

    George, set aside all your overlays from reading Stott etc, and let the Apology speak to you in it’s own way! It is not saying what you think it is saying!!!!!

  • fws

    Tom , it’s ok. I feel obligated to respond to Grace on here spin on homosexuality because her view completely negates the Biblical views of sin, grace, repentance, baptism, the church, etc etc etc.

    So the deal is to call her back on those things. The homosexual issue pertains alone to this earthly life. the eternal consequences of heterosexuality, homosexuality and all “alities” in the context of virtue is death. Eternal death.

    Life is alone to be found in the Works of Another. Grace’s talk of homosexuality betrays that she really does not place her trust ALONE in the Works of Another. There is something we must do, or refrain from doing, to add to that. And no man can do what she thinks we are able to do. Not from the heart as God demands it!

  • fws

    Tom , it’s ok. I feel obligated to respond to Grace on here spin on homosexuality because her view completely negates the Biblical views of sin, grace, repentance, baptism, the church, etc etc etc.

    So the deal is to call her back on those things. The homosexual issue pertains alone to this earthly life. the eternal consequences of heterosexuality, homosexuality and all “alities” in the context of virtue is death. Eternal death.

    Life is alone to be found in the Works of Another. Grace’s talk of homosexuality betrays that she really does not place her trust ALONE in the Works of Another. There is something we must do, or refrain from doing, to add to that. And no man can do what she thinks we are able to do. Not from the heart as God demands it!

  • fws

    George,

    I am more than amazed that you are not seeing that the Apology agrees with you. It is CENTRAL to their argumentative chain that the Law CANNOT be written in the heart, but only in the reason of fallen man.

    This argument starts in art II by redefining that word “concupiscence ‘ away from the scholastic/Augustinian definition.

    The argument continues in “on justfication” by parsing Romans 2:15 withhout specifically refererencing the passage, to tell us that Reason is “veiled with the veil of moses [with a legalistic understanding] ” and so cannot see that part of the Decalog that deals with “movements of the heart[emotions]” BECAUSE the fallen heart is Lawless!

    THEN they say, in “on Love and the Fulfillment of the Law”, that ONLY when the heart receives “NEW heart movements [new emotions] in regeneration, then and then ONLY can the prophecy in Jeremiah be fulfilled that says that the Law will , once again, and as a consequence of having a new heart and not as the substance of regeneration (which is alone faith) have the Law written in the heart of man.

    There, that is a shorter summary. I hooe it helps you George.

  • fws

    George,

    I am more than amazed that you are not seeing that the Apology agrees with you. It is CENTRAL to their argumentative chain that the Law CANNOT be written in the heart, but only in the reason of fallen man.

    This argument starts in art II by redefining that word “concupiscence ‘ away from the scholastic/Augustinian definition.

    The argument continues in “on justfication” by parsing Romans 2:15 withhout specifically refererencing the passage, to tell us that Reason is “veiled with the veil of moses [with a legalistic understanding] ” and so cannot see that part of the Decalog that deals with “movements of the heart[emotions]” BECAUSE the fallen heart is Lawless!

    THEN they say, in “on Love and the Fulfillment of the Law”, that ONLY when the heart receives “NEW heart movements [new emotions] in regeneration, then and then ONLY can the prophecy in Jeremiah be fulfilled that says that the Law will , once again, and as a consequence of having a new heart and not as the substance of regeneration (which is alone faith) have the Law written in the heart of man.

    There, that is a shorter summary. I hooe it helps you George.

  • fws

    George,

    and note in art II they also tell us that the Image of God is not restored by a reconformity of the heart to the Law.

    The Image of God is restored alone, when faith , aka new heart movements or new emotions is placed into man. A NEW heart! it is this new heart, which is faith alone in Christ, that is the Image of God and also Adamic Original Righeousness.

    So talk about Natural Law as being a reflection of the Image of God is terribly wrong and contrary to our Confessions. It is faith alone that is the Image of God. And the Law again automatically is in the heart as a consequence of having that Image of God restored, which is nothing less than Adamic Original Righteousness.

  • fws

    George,

    and note in art II they also tell us that the Image of God is not restored by a reconformity of the heart to the Law.

    The Image of God is restored alone, when faith , aka new heart movements or new emotions is placed into man. A NEW heart! it is this new heart, which is faith alone in Christ, that is the Image of God and also Adamic Original Righeousness.

    So talk about Natural Law as being a reflection of the Image of God is terribly wrong and contrary to our Confessions. It is faith alone that is the Image of God. And the Law again automatically is in the heart as a consequence of having that Image of God restored, which is nothing less than Adamic Original Righteousness.

  • fws

    Nathan, your site is awesome.

    Yeah. Lutheranism is ALL about Holy Baptism. As a homosexual and Confessional Lutheran , you can bet that I cling to the Promises made to me, by God himself, like no one else you have ever met!

    I would be utterly lost without those Promises.

    And those Promises of course are the receiving of Our Dear Lord Jesus intimately by my being utterly hidden within all he is and has done, so very mercifully for me, a poor miserable sinner.

    So when you talk about homosexuals, speak about them as though they are in the same room with you and are fully counted among the members of the Body of Christ. It is the fact that they are baptized that commands you to speak of “them” now as “us”.

    Blessings Nathan! +

  • fws

    Nathan, your site is awesome.

    Yeah. Lutheranism is ALL about Holy Baptism. As a homosexual and Confessional Lutheran , you can bet that I cling to the Promises made to me, by God himself, like no one else you have ever met!

    I would be utterly lost without those Promises.

    And those Promises of course are the receiving of Our Dear Lord Jesus intimately by my being utterly hidden within all he is and has done, so very mercifully for me, a poor miserable sinner.

    So when you talk about homosexuals, speak about them as though they are in the same room with you and are fully counted among the members of the Body of Christ. It is the fact that they are baptized that commands you to speak of “them” now as “us”.

    Blessings Nathan! +

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Hello all,

    Steve @ 39. Okay. I am not a “neo-orthodox Lutheran theologian” but I am a “Christ alone” person (and faith alone, Scripture alone, etc), so I’m not sure what you are saying. No Formula 6 for you, huh?
    A good read for the “Lutheran Barthians”: http://www.ctsfw.net/media/pdfs/scaerlawgospeldebate.pdf

    George A. Marquart @40. George, because God is love, He expects love from His children. He delights in making them into the kind of people who do love, and know the joy that comes through love. Insofar as we are sinners, we hate this and run from it. Insofar as we are saints, we delight and rejoice in it, for we desire to imitate our loving Father, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who revealed true love to us and made us the recipients of it. What a person needs to hear depends on the attitude we discern they have.

    Frank – first of all, I think your last comment (#106) must be directed to me (thank you for the complement), particularly this post in the series: http://infanttheology.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/we-are-all-antinomians-now-except-the-babies-part-iii-of-v/
    I must say that I find your contention that you *are* a homosexual to be a little bit confusing (I stick with talking about how some persons, very early in life, find they are, against their will even, saddled with homosexual inclinations), but if you agree with what I wrote in that post, it shows we are actually united (Grace – read what I wrote there and consider that Frank agrees with what I said there).

    Frank, regarding your comment @ 43, in the Scaer paper above, we learn that for Walther, “the Law-Gospel motif [was not] “the penetrating principle of his theology.” For him, its use was for practical theology. He did not apply the Law-Gospel theme to exegetical and systematic theology. (p. 165). I think Walther was right here, and that he follows Luther actually. Also, though I agree with the “it simply happens as light flows from the sun”, line (regarding the Christian doing good works), this does not, of course, preclude the importance of being informed about God’s will (Law) via the Scriptures! (as to what good means….)

    My posts that Frank took the time to read basically say that we really are all becoming antinomians, more and more, and we need to seriously stop and think about this. I said: “Although God’s Law is the only consistent moral framework that exists which enables us to grow in our relationships with God and one another – albeit only when empowered by and freed by the Gospel of grace – have we not come to doubt just this?” and “From what, ultimately, have we been saved? Sin, or the Law of God? We have been freed from the Law, and are no longer under the Law.”

    Insofar as we are new, we love the Law, and yes, fear God with both kinds of fear (fws @45). We know that God ultimately takes out the sinner for the sake of the little ones. And we want to be on the side of the little ones!

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Hello all,

    Steve @ 39. Okay. I am not a “neo-orthodox Lutheran theologian” but I am a “Christ alone” person (and faith alone, Scripture alone, etc), so I’m not sure what you are saying. No Formula 6 for you, huh?
    A good read for the “Lutheran Barthians”: http://www.ctsfw.net/media/pdfs/scaerlawgospeldebate.pdf

    George A. Marquart @40. George, because God is love, He expects love from His children. He delights in making them into the kind of people who do love, and know the joy that comes through love. Insofar as we are sinners, we hate this and run from it. Insofar as we are saints, we delight and rejoice in it, for we desire to imitate our loving Father, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who revealed true love to us and made us the recipients of it. What a person needs to hear depends on the attitude we discern they have.

    Frank – first of all, I think your last comment (#106) must be directed to me (thank you for the complement), particularly this post in the series: http://infanttheology.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/we-are-all-antinomians-now-except-the-babies-part-iii-of-v/
    I must say that I find your contention that you *are* a homosexual to be a little bit confusing (I stick with talking about how some persons, very early in life, find they are, against their will even, saddled with homosexual inclinations), but if you agree with what I wrote in that post, it shows we are actually united (Grace – read what I wrote there and consider that Frank agrees with what I said there).

    Frank, regarding your comment @ 43, in the Scaer paper above, we learn that for Walther, “the Law-Gospel motif [was not] “the penetrating principle of his theology.” For him, its use was for practical theology. He did not apply the Law-Gospel theme to exegetical and systematic theology. (p. 165). I think Walther was right here, and that he follows Luther actually. Also, though I agree with the “it simply happens as light flows from the sun”, line (regarding the Christian doing good works), this does not, of course, preclude the importance of being informed about God’s will (Law) via the Scriptures! (as to what good means….)

    My posts that Frank took the time to read basically say that we really are all becoming antinomians, more and more, and we need to seriously stop and think about this. I said: “Although God’s Law is the only consistent moral framework that exists which enables us to grow in our relationships with God and one another – albeit only when empowered by and freed by the Gospel of grace – have we not come to doubt just this?” and “From what, ultimately, have we been saved? Sin, or the Law of God? We have been freed from the Law, and are no longer under the Law.”

    Insofar as we are new, we love the Law, and yes, fear God with both kinds of fear (fws @45). We know that God ultimately takes out the sinner for the sake of the little ones. And we want to be on the side of the little ones!

    +Nathan

  • larry

    One thing I’ve learned in talking to Baptist regarding the sacraments is that you cannot win by way of reason. I even saw that in the endless Reformed Vs. Baptist infant Vs. Believers Baptism debates. Seriously, and this is a point Luther makes indirectly concerning scripture. As long as “reason” engages this way it is being fed and it remains always with its own deception. One can reason to death the arguments about baptism, immersion, go into the language ad nausem, go into debates about normal usage of “going down, coming up”, go into the debate of the what the eunuch was reading regarding sprinkling in the OT, etc…but reason stays with its deception because it refuses to disengage its exegesis of Scripture and allow itself to be exegeted by the law that it may be slain. Reason is locked into its own self delusion about works righteousness and it always labels it “gospel” to get away with it. But in reality it is denying Christ left and right all the while saying with its lips “Christ alone”.

    No reason must be slain by the law in 200 proof purity. Reason must be faced up with the fact that the human heart is SO deceptive that it cannot even know itself and that it can say its “converted” and “born again” and “regenerated” and “has fruits” and “has faith” so that it thinks it sequenced its baptism correctly and by the right method such that it thinks it is saved. When in fact ALL of these things can be self deluded to the man/woman to the very person themselves that their “experience” is false, their fruits not a single one of them is proof, neither the whole of them, that their “faith” could be fake and false so much so that they themselves are deluded by it. The Law must be so pure and strong in this matter that it shatters ALL these things so they are left with nothing, that they have not for one second loved God or their neighbor purely any more than any pagan so much so that to count this as fruit of faith is shear delusion and that even pagan’s can produce such “fruit”. How much is enough fruit, how pure, of what kind, of what measure, how long sustained, how much sin is proof otherwise, etc… All of that must be destroyed by pure law proclamation so that they are left with nothing that says, “you sequenced you yourself your baptism correctly so that you know without a shadow of doubting you were baptized after conversion as an adult and not before thereby nullifying it per the doctrine of believers baptism. Somebody, you, your pastor, your elder, somebody read the outward signs, which were somehow flawless in and of themselves, so that they or you could detect that your heart was without a single solitary shred of doubt, 100%, converted, reborn, regenerated, elected without any shred of doubt in the least so that you and your pastor gave your emersion baptism precisely post conversion, rebirth, regeneration, electedness so that it was (per the doctrine) a real “baptism”. That your baptism was so perfectly determined post rebirth, regeneration, electedness, conversions as an adult, so flawlessly, that you could point to others and say, “here is the proof” in hand, the very proof I will take before the throne of God and say, “See proof positive I was reborn, regenerated and elected of God”. Flawless fruit, flawless proof of rebirth, regeneration, conversion and election – so flawless one can say, “Yes I was baptized exactly after rebirth, regeneration, conversion and election without a single shadow of doubting”. That not even their pastor or fellow baptist could bring a charge against said fruits of faith or their faith, that not their consciences once could yesterday, today or tomorrow hear the Law speak against said fruits of faith whereby baptism was sequenced properly. That not even the holy law could say to you today this hour or any hour that you have not loved your neighbor with your whole heart as your self and God without flaw, that you have indeed sold ALL that you have and you have distributed it to the poor and NOW, as in also the time before you where baptized, you follow Christ such and have “treasure in heaven”.

    Because otherwise, according to the doctrine of believer’s baptism, you have zero proof you where ever baptized at all and you are deceiving yourself.

  • larry

    One thing I’ve learned in talking to Baptist regarding the sacraments is that you cannot win by way of reason. I even saw that in the endless Reformed Vs. Baptist infant Vs. Believers Baptism debates. Seriously, and this is a point Luther makes indirectly concerning scripture. As long as “reason” engages this way it is being fed and it remains always with its own deception. One can reason to death the arguments about baptism, immersion, go into the language ad nausem, go into debates about normal usage of “going down, coming up”, go into the debate of the what the eunuch was reading regarding sprinkling in the OT, etc…but reason stays with its deception because it refuses to disengage its exegesis of Scripture and allow itself to be exegeted by the law that it may be slain. Reason is locked into its own self delusion about works righteousness and it always labels it “gospel” to get away with it. But in reality it is denying Christ left and right all the while saying with its lips “Christ alone”.

    No reason must be slain by the law in 200 proof purity. Reason must be faced up with the fact that the human heart is SO deceptive that it cannot even know itself and that it can say its “converted” and “born again” and “regenerated” and “has fruits” and “has faith” so that it thinks it sequenced its baptism correctly and by the right method such that it thinks it is saved. When in fact ALL of these things can be self deluded to the man/woman to the very person themselves that their “experience” is false, their fruits not a single one of them is proof, neither the whole of them, that their “faith” could be fake and false so much so that they themselves are deluded by it. The Law must be so pure and strong in this matter that it shatters ALL these things so they are left with nothing, that they have not for one second loved God or their neighbor purely any more than any pagan so much so that to count this as fruit of faith is shear delusion and that even pagan’s can produce such “fruit”. How much is enough fruit, how pure, of what kind, of what measure, how long sustained, how much sin is proof otherwise, etc… All of that must be destroyed by pure law proclamation so that they are left with nothing that says, “you sequenced you yourself your baptism correctly so that you know without a shadow of doubting you were baptized after conversion as an adult and not before thereby nullifying it per the doctrine of believers baptism. Somebody, you, your pastor, your elder, somebody read the outward signs, which were somehow flawless in and of themselves, so that they or you could detect that your heart was without a single solitary shred of doubt, 100%, converted, reborn, regenerated, elected without any shred of doubt in the least so that you and your pastor gave your emersion baptism precisely post conversion, rebirth, regeneration, electedness so that it was (per the doctrine) a real “baptism”. That your baptism was so perfectly determined post rebirth, regeneration, electedness, conversions as an adult, so flawlessly, that you could point to others and say, “here is the proof” in hand, the very proof I will take before the throne of God and say, “See proof positive I was reborn, regenerated and elected of God”. Flawless fruit, flawless proof of rebirth, regeneration, conversion and election – so flawless one can say, “Yes I was baptized exactly after rebirth, regeneration, conversion and election without a single shadow of doubting”. That not even their pastor or fellow baptist could bring a charge against said fruits of faith or their faith, that not their consciences once could yesterday, today or tomorrow hear the Law speak against said fruits of faith whereby baptism was sequenced properly. That not even the holy law could say to you today this hour or any hour that you have not loved your neighbor with your whole heart as your self and God without flaw, that you have indeed sold ALL that you have and you have distributed it to the poor and NOW, as in also the time before you where baptized, you follow Christ such and have “treasure in heaven”.

    Because otherwise, according to the doctrine of believer’s baptism, you have zero proof you where ever baptized at all and you are deceiving yourself.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    George,

    For your information, I have written up the following blog post. I have not published it yet, because I’d like you to see it first. I can further “anonymize” the post if you wish:

    On Gene Veith’s blog, I recently came across this great quote from ELCA Lutheran theologian Steven D. Paulson:

    `I forgive you’… Luther taught and demonstrated that these simple words give absolute, indubitable certainty, and no one is more dangerous than a person who is certain. The certainty was not based on human self-certainty; it was the opposite of that. It was the certainty of forgiveness because of what the Son of God did by taking the sins of the world upon himself and defeating them at the cross… (p. 7)

    Amen to that! But he then goes on to say:

    “…The decisive cosmic battle of God against sin, death, and devil was already waged and won when Christ was raised from the dead to make a new kingdom of people who live with no law, nowhere to go, and nothing to accomplish. They were simply–free.” (7)

    Now, I believe that we as God’s children are free indeed – to play and otherwise, but does this strike you as somehow a bit off? As I have said before,

    “Although God’s Law is the only consistent moral framework that exists which enables us to grow in our relationships with God and one another – albeit only when empowered by and freed by the Gospel of grace – have we not come to doubt just this?” and “From what, ultimately, have we been saved? Sin, or the Law of God? We have been freed from the Law, and are no longer under the Law. But we have not been saved from the Law, for this we uphold and fulfill in Christ (Romans [3:31 and] 8:4).”

    Is this just me refusing to embrace the radical Gospel as God has revealed it? (as Paul does in Romans 6:1). I don’t think so. In the conversation that resulted from the same blog post mentioned above, I had an interesting conversation with a gentleman who has visited this blog before.

    This gentleman said: “God expects nothing of His children. That is the fundamental principle of the Gospel, probably best expressed in what Martin Luther wrote on his deathbed (cart?), ‘This is true, we are beggars all.’”

    I responded: “Insofar as we are sinners, we need to be told that God expects us to follow His commandments. No? Not just that we ‘get to’, but that He expects us to, in His words, ‘make duty a pleasure.’”

    He said: “… The relationship we have with our Father is not that we need to know what ‘He expects us to do’, but we need to know what His will is….” (see the whole context here – link to your exact quote in context)

    I said: “Not sure I really get the distinction. His will is that He expects love, no?”, and he replied: “No. HE IS LOVE. He expects nothing. Perfect love does not expect anything from anyone; perfect love only serves, as He Who took upon Himself the form of a Servant.”

    To which I said: “…because God is love, He expects love from His children. He delights in making them into the kind of people who do love, and know the joy that comes through love. Insofar as we are sinners, we hate this and run from it. Insofar as we are saints, we delight and rejoice in it, for we desire to imitate our loving Father, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who revealed true love to us and made us the recipients of it. What a person needs to hear depends on the attitude we discern they have.”

    The conversation is not over yet, but I’m not sure how long it can go on…. We know that God ultimately takes out the sinner for the sake of the little ones. And we want to be on the side of the little ones!

    The first part of Paulson’s quote makes us dangerous to the world. The second part makes us dangerous to the Word. This kind of conversation has been going on a long time. Read this (link to Scaer paper quoted above)

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    George,

    For your information, I have written up the following blog post. I have not published it yet, because I’d like you to see it first. I can further “anonymize” the post if you wish:

    On Gene Veith’s blog, I recently came across this great quote from ELCA Lutheran theologian Steven D. Paulson:

    `I forgive you’… Luther taught and demonstrated that these simple words give absolute, indubitable certainty, and no one is more dangerous than a person who is certain. The certainty was not based on human self-certainty; it was the opposite of that. It was the certainty of forgiveness because of what the Son of God did by taking the sins of the world upon himself and defeating them at the cross… (p. 7)

    Amen to that! But he then goes on to say:

    “…The decisive cosmic battle of God against sin, death, and devil was already waged and won when Christ was raised from the dead to make a new kingdom of people who live with no law, nowhere to go, and nothing to accomplish. They were simply–free.” (7)

    Now, I believe that we as God’s children are free indeed – to play and otherwise, but does this strike you as somehow a bit off? As I have said before,

    “Although God’s Law is the only consistent moral framework that exists which enables us to grow in our relationships with God and one another – albeit only when empowered by and freed by the Gospel of grace – have we not come to doubt just this?” and “From what, ultimately, have we been saved? Sin, or the Law of God? We have been freed from the Law, and are no longer under the Law. But we have not been saved from the Law, for this we uphold and fulfill in Christ (Romans [3:31 and] 8:4).”

    Is this just me refusing to embrace the radical Gospel as God has revealed it? (as Paul does in Romans 6:1). I don’t think so. In the conversation that resulted from the same blog post mentioned above, I had an interesting conversation with a gentleman who has visited this blog before.

    This gentleman said: “God expects nothing of His children. That is the fundamental principle of the Gospel, probably best expressed in what Martin Luther wrote on his deathbed (cart?), ‘This is true, we are beggars all.’”

    I responded: “Insofar as we are sinners, we need to be told that God expects us to follow His commandments. No? Not just that we ‘get to’, but that He expects us to, in His words, ‘make duty a pleasure.’”

    He said: “… The relationship we have with our Father is not that we need to know what ‘He expects us to do’, but we need to know what His will is….” (see the whole context here – link to your exact quote in context)

    I said: “Not sure I really get the distinction. His will is that He expects love, no?”, and he replied: “No. HE IS LOVE. He expects nothing. Perfect love does not expect anything from anyone; perfect love only serves, as He Who took upon Himself the form of a Servant.”

    To which I said: “…because God is love, He expects love from His children. He delights in making them into the kind of people who do love, and know the joy that comes through love. Insofar as we are sinners, we hate this and run from it. Insofar as we are saints, we delight and rejoice in it, for we desire to imitate our loving Father, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who revealed true love to us and made us the recipients of it. What a person needs to hear depends on the attitude we discern they have.”

    The conversation is not over yet, but I’m not sure how long it can go on…. We know that God ultimately takes out the sinner for the sake of the little ones. And we want to be on the side of the little ones!

    The first part of Paulson’s quote makes us dangerous to the world. The second part makes us dangerous to the Word. This kind of conversation has been going on a long time. Read this (link to Scaer paper quoted above)

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    107 says this:

    “From what, ultimately, have we been saved? Sin, or the Law of God? We have been freed from the Law, and are no longer under the Law.”

    When it should say this:

    “From what, ultimately, have we been saved? Sin, or the Law of God? We have been freed from the Law, and are no longer under the Law. But we have not been saved from the Law, for this we uphold and fulfill in Christ (Romans [3:31 and] 8:4).”

    (this was corrected in 109)

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    107 says this:

    “From what, ultimately, have we been saved? Sin, or the Law of God? We have been freed from the Law, and are no longer under the Law.”

    When it should say this:

    “From what, ultimately, have we been saved? Sin, or the Law of God? We have been freed from the Law, and are no longer under the Law. But we have not been saved from the Law, for this we uphold and fulfill in Christ (Romans [3:31 and] 8:4).”

    (this was corrected in 109)

  • larry

    Just a few quotes from some of the more notable Baptist confessions of faith.
    It’s also not hard to notice the explicit requirement for the Lord’s Supper, ala, closed communion of the unbaptized as their confessions define it (i.e. those baptized as infants in other confessions and those not immersed). Now few if any actually practice this anymore and generally speaking the communion doors are flung wide open, but its not just those “mean ole Lutherans” that at least at once penned the idea and practiced it. Although these penned confessions of faith are largely dusty meaningless tomes never actually followed which begs the question, “what is your confession of faith”.

    SB F&M Article: VII. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
    Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord’s Supper.
    Chapter 29: Of Baptism
    1. Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, to be unto the party baptized, a sign of his fellowship with him, in his death and resurrection; of his being engrafted into him; of remission of sins; and of giving up into God, through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in newness of life.

    2. Those who do actually profess repentance towards God, faith in, and obedience to, our Lord Jesus Christ, are the only proper subjects of this ordinance.

    SHORT CONFESSION OF FAITH IN XX ARTICLES BY JOHN SMYTH
    (14) That baptism is the external sign of the remission of sins, of dying and of being made alive, and therefore does not belong to infants.
    The Philadelphia Confession, 1742
    Chapter 30 Of Baptism
    Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, to be unto the party baptised, a sign of his fellowship with Him in His death and resurrection; of his being engrafted into Him; of remission of sins; and of his giving up unto God, through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in newness of life.
    Those who do actually profess repentance towards God, faith in and obedience to our Lord Jesus, are the only proper subjects of this ordinance.
    Principles of Faith of the Sandy Creek Association
    VIII. That baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordinances of the Lord, and to be continued by his church until his second coming.
    IX. That true believers are the only fit subjects of baptism;, and that immersion is the only mode.
    X. That the church has no right to admit any but regular baptized church members to communion at the Lord’s table.

    The New Hampshire Confession of Faith

    Of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper We believe that Christian Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost; to show forth, in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that it is prerequisite to the privileges of a Church relation; and to the Lord’s Supper, in which the members of the Church, by the sacred use of bread and wine, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; preceded always by solemn self- examination.

  • larry

    Just a few quotes from some of the more notable Baptist confessions of faith.
    It’s also not hard to notice the explicit requirement for the Lord’s Supper, ala, closed communion of the unbaptized as their confessions define it (i.e. those baptized as infants in other confessions and those not immersed). Now few if any actually practice this anymore and generally speaking the communion doors are flung wide open, but its not just those “mean ole Lutherans” that at least at once penned the idea and practiced it. Although these penned confessions of faith are largely dusty meaningless tomes never actually followed which begs the question, “what is your confession of faith”.

    SB F&M Article: VII. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
    Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord’s Supper.
    Chapter 29: Of Baptism
    1. Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, to be unto the party baptized, a sign of his fellowship with him, in his death and resurrection; of his being engrafted into him; of remission of sins; and of giving up into God, through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in newness of life.

    2. Those who do actually profess repentance towards God, faith in, and obedience to, our Lord Jesus Christ, are the only proper subjects of this ordinance.

    SHORT CONFESSION OF FAITH IN XX ARTICLES BY JOHN SMYTH
    (14) That baptism is the external sign of the remission of sins, of dying and of being made alive, and therefore does not belong to infants.
    The Philadelphia Confession, 1742
    Chapter 30 Of Baptism
    Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, to be unto the party baptised, a sign of his fellowship with Him in His death and resurrection; of his being engrafted into Him; of remission of sins; and of his giving up unto God, through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in newness of life.
    Those who do actually profess repentance towards God, faith in and obedience to our Lord Jesus, are the only proper subjects of this ordinance.
    Principles of Faith of the Sandy Creek Association
    VIII. That baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordinances of the Lord, and to be continued by his church until his second coming.
    IX. That true believers are the only fit subjects of baptism;, and that immersion is the only mode.
    X. That the church has no right to admit any but regular baptized church members to communion at the Lord’s table.

    The New Hampshire Confession of Faith

    Of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper We believe that Christian Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost; to show forth, in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that it is prerequisite to the privileges of a Church relation; and to the Lord’s Supper, in which the members of the Church, by the sacred use of bread and wine, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; preceded always by solemn self- examination.

  • Tom Hering

    The reason we won’t get anywhere arguing baptism with Grace is she holds to the Charismatic-Pentecostal teaching that there are two baptisms. Water baptism and baptism with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit – or, at least, His “fullness” – is only received in the second baptism.

    In their view, water baptism is nothing but obedience to a command. Indeed, one becomes a Christian through obedience to commands, i.e., “repent, believe, be baptized” (in that order). Hence their legalistic view of faith, baptism, and repentance: it’s critical you obey correctly (which is why arguments about immersion versus other means are so important to them). Infants, of course, are incapable of obedience. Therefore infant baptism is useless (and an offense!).

  • Tom Hering

    The reason we won’t get anywhere arguing baptism with Grace is she holds to the Charismatic-Pentecostal teaching that there are two baptisms. Water baptism and baptism with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit – or, at least, His “fullness” – is only received in the second baptism.

    In their view, water baptism is nothing but obedience to a command. Indeed, one becomes a Christian through obedience to commands, i.e., “repent, believe, be baptized” (in that order). Hence their legalistic view of faith, baptism, and repentance: it’s critical you obey correctly (which is why arguments about immersion versus other means are so important to them). Infants, of course, are incapable of obedience. Therefore infant baptism is useless (and an offense!).

  • SKPeterson

    Tom – I always have to laugh at the infants and obedience argument. Is baptism for the forgiveness of sins, or not? Is there any infant who is not born sinful? Hence, the humorous, but rather to the point, quip – why do Charismatic-Pentecostal-Baptists hate babies?

  • SKPeterson

    Tom – I always have to laugh at the infants and obedience argument. Is baptism for the forgiveness of sins, or not? Is there any infant who is not born sinful? Hence, the humorous, but rather to the point, quip – why do Charismatic-Pentecostal-Baptists hate babies?

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @99 One wonders if a person is unwilling to engage sinful people in theological topics, then why even think?

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @99 One wonders if a person is unwilling to engage sinful people in theological topics, then why even think?

  • Tom Hering

    SK @ 113. Well, they don’t think they’re denying infants anything. Keep in mind the process involves the obedience of repentance, then conversion, and then the obedience of water baptism. (Leading to a life of obedience, highlighted by asking for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. “Ask and you will receive” is understood as a command.) All blessings are post-obedience, i.e., repentance/conversion/water baptism. There are no blessings in water baptism itself. It’s just obedience.

  • Tom Hering

    SK @ 113. Well, they don’t think they’re denying infants anything. Keep in mind the process involves the obedience of repentance, then conversion, and then the obedience of water baptism. (Leading to a life of obedience, highlighted by asking for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. “Ask and you will receive” is understood as a command.) All blessings are post-obedience, i.e., repentance/conversion/water baptism. There are no blessings in water baptism itself. It’s just obedience.

  • George A. Marquart

    fws @ 90

    Frank: I am really not interested in all those other arguments. My sole point is that in this particular place, without any doubt, without any possibility of changing the meaning by doing grammatical tricks, the Apology says that what is written in our hearts is the Decalogue: “Moreover, we speak not of ceremonies, but of that Law which gives commandment concerning the movements of the heart, namely, the Decalog.”

    It is very likely, and I am not going to devote the rest of my life to trying to prove it, that the Apology says something different elsewhere. But we Lutherans are so convinced that the Confession contain no “doctrinal” errors (or is it “major doctrinal errors?) that we spend our time trying to prove them correct in every case, regardless of what Scripture says.

    I believe firmly that our Confessions are the best exposition of the Christian faith that there is. But they contain error. This is one of them. At the risk of being drowned in another flood of words, I will cite some others which I believe to be errors. I have not gone through the Confessions looking for error. It is just that I read something, and suddenly I realize, “We have not so learned Christ.”

    1. The fourth item under Luther’s explanation of Baptism in the Small Catechism: “What does such baptizing with water signify?–Answer. It signifies that the old Adam in us should, by daily contrition and repentance, be drowned and die with all sins and evil lusts, and, again, a new man daily come forth and arise; who shall live before God in righteousness and purity forever.

    2. Luther’s explanation of the Second Petition of the Lord’s Prayer in the Small Catechism:
    “Thy kingdom come.
    What does this mean?–Answer.
    The kingdom of God comes indeed without our prayer, of itself; but we pray in this petition that it may come unto us also.
    How is this done?–Answer.
    When our heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit, so that by His grace we believe His holy Word and lead a godly life here in time and yonder in eternity.

    3. Smalcald Articles
    Of the False Repentance of the Papists.
    43] It is, accordingly, necessary to know and to teach that when holy men, still having and feeling original sin, also daily repenting of and striving with it, happen to fall into manifest sins, as David into adultery, murder, and blasphemy, that then faith and the Holy Ghost has departed from them [they cast out faith and the Holy Ghost].

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    fws @ 90

    Frank: I am really not interested in all those other arguments. My sole point is that in this particular place, without any doubt, without any possibility of changing the meaning by doing grammatical tricks, the Apology says that what is written in our hearts is the Decalogue: “Moreover, we speak not of ceremonies, but of that Law which gives commandment concerning the movements of the heart, namely, the Decalog.”

    It is very likely, and I am not going to devote the rest of my life to trying to prove it, that the Apology says something different elsewhere. But we Lutherans are so convinced that the Confession contain no “doctrinal” errors (or is it “major doctrinal errors?) that we spend our time trying to prove them correct in every case, regardless of what Scripture says.

    I believe firmly that our Confessions are the best exposition of the Christian faith that there is. But they contain error. This is one of them. At the risk of being drowned in another flood of words, I will cite some others which I believe to be errors. I have not gone through the Confessions looking for error. It is just that I read something, and suddenly I realize, “We have not so learned Christ.”

    1. The fourth item under Luther’s explanation of Baptism in the Small Catechism: “What does such baptizing with water signify?–Answer. It signifies that the old Adam in us should, by daily contrition and repentance, be drowned and die with all sins and evil lusts, and, again, a new man daily come forth and arise; who shall live before God in righteousness and purity forever.

    2. Luther’s explanation of the Second Petition of the Lord’s Prayer in the Small Catechism:
    “Thy kingdom come.
    What does this mean?–Answer.
    The kingdom of God comes indeed without our prayer, of itself; but we pray in this petition that it may come unto us also.
    How is this done?–Answer.
    When our heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit, so that by His grace we believe His holy Word and lead a godly life here in time and yonder in eternity.

    3. Smalcald Articles
    Of the False Repentance of the Papists.
    43] It is, accordingly, necessary to know and to teach that when holy men, still having and feeling original sin, also daily repenting of and striving with it, happen to fall into manifest sins, as David into adultery, murder, and blasphemy, that then faith and the Holy Ghost has departed from them [they cast out faith and the Holy Ghost].

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • Tom Hering

    George @ 116, I may agree with your last identification of error. I’m not sure. I once asked a Lutheran pastor (mine at the time) if every sin, no matter how fleeting, and no matter how unconscious, drove away the Holy Spirit – if only for a time. He said yes.

    I’ve never agreed with his answer.

    But what is meant in the Smalcald Articles? That because a man sins grossly, the Holy Spirit leaves him? Or because he has first rejected faith, he sins grossly? The former meaning would contradict what Luther wrote to Melanchthon: “No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day.”

  • Tom Hering

    George @ 116, I may agree with your last identification of error. I’m not sure. I once asked a Lutheran pastor (mine at the time) if every sin, no matter how fleeting, and no matter how unconscious, drove away the Holy Spirit – if only for a time. He said yes.

    I’ve never agreed with his answer.

    But what is meant in the Smalcald Articles? That because a man sins grossly, the Holy Spirit leaves him? Or because he has first rejected faith, he sins grossly? The former meaning would contradict what Luther wrote to Melanchthon: “No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day.”

  • fws

    george @ 116

    “Moreover, we speak not of ceremonies, but of that Law which gives commandment concerning the movements of the heart, namely, the Decalog.”

    sheesh george. This does not say, by any rule of grammar “the decalog is written in the heart”.

    It is saying this instead:

    reason thinks that the Law can be kept by outwardly doing or refraining from doing something whether our heart is in it or not.

    But there is a part of the Law that is veiled to Reason that demands that the Law be kept from the heart!

    And the heart cant do this. Why not? The heart is Law-less!

    THAT is the precise argument the Apology is making George! Good God man! Take the time to reread the Apology to test whether or not what I am saying is true. It IS!

  • fws

    george @ 116

    “Moreover, we speak not of ceremonies, but of that Law which gives commandment concerning the movements of the heart, namely, the Decalog.”

    sheesh george. This does not say, by any rule of grammar “the decalog is written in the heart”.

    It is saying this instead:

    reason thinks that the Law can be kept by outwardly doing or refraining from doing something whether our heart is in it or not.

    But there is a part of the Law that is veiled to Reason that demands that the Law be kept from the heart!

    And the heart cant do this. Why not? The heart is Law-less!

    THAT is the precise argument the Apology is making George! Good God man! Take the time to reread the Apology to test whether or not what I am saying is true. It IS!

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Tom,

    From the Ligonier’s website:

    “A high-handed sin is one a professing believer commits boldly and defiantly, not caring about the consequences and feeling no guilt about it once committed. It is a sin people commit fearlessly as they shake their fists, literally or figuratively, at the Lord. A sin committed with a high hand is not always the same thing as an intentional sin — all high-handed sins are intentional but not all intentional sins are high-handed. The truly converted will not commit high-handed sins, though they may commit sins of intention, albeit only after and during a struggle against the flesh (Rom. 7:7–25).”

    This is from a Reformed perspective. I think that we could modify it to say that the truly converted may indeed commit a “high-handed” sin, but that it is unlikely that they will get to this point easily. If I recall, in Koberle’s “Quest for Holiness” he talks some about how with each line crossed (thought, word, deed), sin can become more serious in relation to how it affects our faith.

    I think something like this is true. This is why the confessions do not totally eliminate the idea of venial and mortal sin, even as, as Walther says “small sins become big when considered small”.

    I think this post that I wrote also might be helpful, speculative though it is:

    http://infanttheology.wordpress.com/2011/02/16/millstones-judas-iscariot-and-the-little-ones/

    George – does that proposed post look OK to you? If you want to debate me further, we could do it here or there. I really would like to hear how you would respond to my last statement to you (in #107)

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Tom,

    From the Ligonier’s website:

    “A high-handed sin is one a professing believer commits boldly and defiantly, not caring about the consequences and feeling no guilt about it once committed. It is a sin people commit fearlessly as they shake their fists, literally or figuratively, at the Lord. A sin committed with a high hand is not always the same thing as an intentional sin — all high-handed sins are intentional but not all intentional sins are high-handed. The truly converted will not commit high-handed sins, though they may commit sins of intention, albeit only after and during a struggle against the flesh (Rom. 7:7–25).”

    This is from a Reformed perspective. I think that we could modify it to say that the truly converted may indeed commit a “high-handed” sin, but that it is unlikely that they will get to this point easily. If I recall, in Koberle’s “Quest for Holiness” he talks some about how with each line crossed (thought, word, deed), sin can become more serious in relation to how it affects our faith.

    I think something like this is true. This is why the confessions do not totally eliminate the idea of venial and mortal sin, even as, as Walther says “small sins become big when considered small”.

    I think this post that I wrote also might be helpful, speculative though it is:

    http://infanttheology.wordpress.com/2011/02/16/millstones-judas-iscariot-and-the-little-ones/

    George – does that proposed post look OK to you? If you want to debate me further, we could do it here or there. I really would like to hear how you would respond to my last statement to you (in #107)

    +Nathan

  • fws

    George @ 116

    the Apology is saying that the Law is written in Reason and NOT in the heart of Old Adam George.

    It says precisely that the Law IS written in the heart of New Men ONLY after and as a fruit of regeneration in fulfillment of the prophecy in Jer 31.

    This is the core argument of the Apology George.

    Are we talking past each other dear brother? Are you denying that the Law is written in the hearts of the New Man?

  • fws

    George @ 116

    the Apology is saying that the Law is written in Reason and NOT in the heart of Old Adam George.

    It says precisely that the Law IS written in the heart of New Men ONLY after and as a fruit of regeneration in fulfillment of the prophecy in Jer 31.

    This is the core argument of the Apology George.

    Are we talking past each other dear brother? Are you denying that the Law is written in the hearts of the New Man?

  • fws

    nathan @ 119

    no.
    1) The Confessions say that ALL sin is mortal or capital sin.
    There is no such thing as a sin that does not work death.
    So what would a venial sin be in that case? It doesnt exist!

    2) Our confessions clearly say that there is no such thing as “unintentional sin”. ALL sin is intentional. Here is what Dr Luther says in his short but wonderful preface to his 1545 translation of St Pauls Epistle to the Romans on this very topic. It is worth reading the whole thing over and over and over.

    Note that this preface has Confessional authority in that it is referred to by the Confessions of a further amplification of what they say.

    Sin in the Scriptures means not only external works of the body but also all those movements within us which bestir themselves and move us to do the external works, namely, the depth of the heart with all its powers. Therefore the word do should refer to a person’s completely falling into sin. No external work of sin happens, after all, unless a person commit himself to it completely, body and soul. In particular, the Scriptures see into the heart, to the root and main source of all sin: unbelief in the depth of the heart. Thus, even as faith alone makes just and brings the Spirit and the desire to do good external works, so it is only unbelief which sins and exalts the flesh and brings desire to do evil external works. That’s what happened to Adam and Eve in Paradise (cf. Genesis 3).

    here is the full text:
    http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html

    So you can stop trying to parse out these two points. They are quite settled as points in 0ur Lutheran Confessions. And so then now you can work out how your theology now needs to conform to these two theological facts.

    It is a painful process. It is Theological Mortification at it’s finest!

  • fws

    nathan @ 119

    no.
    1) The Confessions say that ALL sin is mortal or capital sin.
    There is no such thing as a sin that does not work death.
    So what would a venial sin be in that case? It doesnt exist!

    2) Our confessions clearly say that there is no such thing as “unintentional sin”. ALL sin is intentional. Here is what Dr Luther says in his short but wonderful preface to his 1545 translation of St Pauls Epistle to the Romans on this very topic. It is worth reading the whole thing over and over and over.

    Note that this preface has Confessional authority in that it is referred to by the Confessions of a further amplification of what they say.

    Sin in the Scriptures means not only external works of the body but also all those movements within us which bestir themselves and move us to do the external works, namely, the depth of the heart with all its powers. Therefore the word do should refer to a person’s completely falling into sin. No external work of sin happens, after all, unless a person commit himself to it completely, body and soul. In particular, the Scriptures see into the heart, to the root and main source of all sin: unbelief in the depth of the heart. Thus, even as faith alone makes just and brings the Spirit and the desire to do good external works, so it is only unbelief which sins and exalts the flesh and brings desire to do evil external works. That’s what happened to Adam and Eve in Paradise (cf. Genesis 3).

    here is the full text:
    http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html

    So you can stop trying to parse out these two points. They are quite settled as points in 0ur Lutheran Confessions. And so then now you can work out how your theology now needs to conform to these two theological facts.

    It is a painful process. It is Theological Mortification at it’s finest!

  • Tom Hering

    Nathan @ 119, thanks, that post at your site was helpful. Why are some lost along the way, and others saved to the end? We don’t know. But we need to take Scripture seriously, i.e., be careful about ourselves, and concerned about others in danger.

  • Tom Hering

    Nathan @ 119, thanks, that post at your site was helpful. Why are some lost along the way, and others saved to the end? We don’t know. But we need to take Scripture seriously, i.e., be careful about ourselves, and concerned about others in danger.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Tom,

    Thank you.

    Frank,

    Well, we’ll have to disagree on that. I think there’s far more nuance here than you are saying. Here’s just a taste:

    http://wittenbergtrail.org/forum/topics/what-is-mortal-sin?commentId=1453099%3AComment%3A350820&xg_source=activity

    Again, I think the key point would be that “small sins become big when they are considered small”. Think about the significance behind that Walther quote.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Tom,

    Thank you.

    Frank,

    Well, we’ll have to disagree on that. I think there’s far more nuance here than you are saying. Here’s just a taste:

    http://wittenbergtrail.org/forum/topics/what-is-mortal-sin?commentId=1453099%3AComment%3A350820&xg_source=activity

    Again, I think the key point would be that “small sins become big when they are considered small”. Think about the significance behind that Walther quote.

    +Nathan

  • Grace

    Tom @ 117

    “But what is meant in the Smalcald Articles? That because a man sins grossly, the Holy Spirit leaves him? Or because he has first rejected faith, he sins grossly? The former meaning would contradict what Luther wrote to Melanchthon: “No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day.”

    That which is BOLDED is what Martin Luther wrote.

    Below is the writings of Saint Paul:

    Paul is speaking in Ephesians 5 to Believers, when you get to verse 5 you can clearly see that there is no inheritance when someone continues to sin willfully “hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” One of the important points to remember here is that these were BELIEVERS Paul was speaking to, they were not unbelievers.

    The idea that any Believer can continue in sin and inherit the Kingdom of Christ is ANSWERED in verse five (5)
    → Below is the writings of Saint Paul, which CONTRADICT that which Martin Luther wrote above, Tom posted @ 117

    1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

    2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

    3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

    WARNING: It should not be named once. These were Believers, they were called “saints” by Paul.

    4
    Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

    5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

    → This is the WARNING which MUST be heeded. There is NO inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God for those who sin. Yes they are mentioned in verse 3 as “saints” but Paul goes on talk about sin and its outcome. We can see clearly that “saints” can fall back in sin, and there is NO inheritance.

    6
    Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

    → Another WARNING “Let no man deceive you with vain words”

    7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

    8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:. Ephesians 5

    → Paul is saying here that “For ye were sometimes darkness, but NOW are ye light in the LORD, walk as children of light.” How much clearer could Paul make it? These are Believers, they were in darkness but now in the light.

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

    It’s the escape part which God has faithfully given, but is ignored and therefore verse → 5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of

  • Grace

    Tom @ 117

    “But what is meant in the Smalcald Articles? That because a man sins grossly, the Holy Spirit leaves him? Or because he has first rejected faith, he sins grossly? The former meaning would contradict what Luther wrote to Melanchthon: “No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day.”

    That which is BOLDED is what Martin Luther wrote.

    Below is the writings of Saint Paul:

    Paul is speaking in Ephesians 5 to Believers, when you get to verse 5 you can clearly see that there is no inheritance when someone continues to sin willfully “hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” One of the important points to remember here is that these were BELIEVERS Paul was speaking to, they were not unbelievers.

    The idea that any Believer can continue in sin and inherit the Kingdom of Christ is ANSWERED in verse five (5)
    → Below is the writings of Saint Paul, which CONTRADICT that which Martin Luther wrote above, Tom posted @ 117

    1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

    2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

    3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

    WARNING: It should not be named once. These were Believers, they were called “saints” by Paul.

    4
    Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

    5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

    → This is the WARNING which MUST be heeded. There is NO inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God for those who sin. Yes they are mentioned in verse 3 as “saints” but Paul goes on talk about sin and its outcome. We can see clearly that “saints” can fall back in sin, and there is NO inheritance.

    6
    Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

    → Another WARNING “Let no man deceive you with vain words”

    7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

    8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:. Ephesians 5

    → Paul is saying here that “For ye were sometimes darkness, but NOW are ye light in the LORD, walk as children of light.” How much clearer could Paul make it? These are Believers, they were in darkness but now in the light.

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

    It’s the escape part which God has faithfully given, but is ignored and therefore verse → 5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of

  • Grace

    Post 124 should have read – last part:

    “It’s the escape part which God has faithfully given, but is ignored and therefore verse → 5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

  • Grace

    Post 124 should have read – last part:

    “It’s the escape part which God has faithfully given, but is ignored and therefore verse → 5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

  • fws

    Nathan

    If ALL sin, even the tiny ones, condemn us, then isnt sorting moral vs venial like rearranging the deck chairs on the titannic?

    if all sin does not damn us, I would ask for you to show me where the bible talks about sin that does not damn us.

  • George A. Marquart

    Nathan @109
    Nathan, first, please feel free to quote me with or without anonymity, as you please. As you may have noted, I do not contribute to any blog without signing my name. This is not a matter or pride, but rather the disdain for “anonymous denunciations” with which I am so familiar from Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

    So now to the substance. You wrote, “…because God is love, He expects love from His children.” My question is, from where does this imperative come? What is it in “being Love” that causes “expectations”? The problem here is that we are talking about a perfect God, and none of us is perfect. Therefore, anything from our experience cannot be used to make a statement about the nature of God. This, as we all believe, leaves us the revelation in Scripture, where God revealed everything that we can know about Him.

    In the Parable of the Prodigal Son (which would be known as “the Parable of the Gracious Father” if it weren’t for the fact that we think everything is about us), what expectations did the Father have of His son after He kissed Him, dressed Him and put a ring on his finger? Well, you could say, that is not what the parable was meant to illustrate. OK

    Here are the words of our Lord about expectations, Luke 6: 35, “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.” “Expect nothing in return”? That is how God loves.

    Romans 5:1, “Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” You see why we are able to love Him? Not because God expects it, but because He has changed us in the waters of Baptism so that we are able to do so.

    Ephesians 1:1, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus and are faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. 5 He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight 9 he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11 In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, 12 so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; 14 this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.” This is it in a nutshell! No expectations, but,”He made know to us the mystery of His will …”

    1 John 4:16, “So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. 17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.” If there are expectations, then there has to be fear if we do not meet them. But if there are no expectations, then there is no fear.

    Ultimately, it comes down to freedom:

    John 8:34 Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”

    Galatians 5:1 “For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

    If there are expectations, we are not free. But the good news of the Gospel is that in Baptism God has made us new creatures who (1 Cor. 2:16), “… have the mind of Christ.” Therefore we do not do the will of God because of His expectations, but because it is our will also, to the extent that we are regenerated, as the Confessions say. But that is the realm of Sanctification, and has nothing to do with our status as children of God.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • fws

    Nathan

    If ALL sin, even the tiny ones, condemn us, then isnt sorting moral vs venial like rearranging the deck chairs on the titannic?

    if all sin does not damn us, I would ask for you to show me where the bible talks about sin that does not damn us.

  • George A. Marquart

    Nathan @109
    Nathan, first, please feel free to quote me with or without anonymity, as you please. As you may have noted, I do not contribute to any blog without signing my name. This is not a matter or pride, but rather the disdain for “anonymous denunciations” with which I am so familiar from Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

    So now to the substance. You wrote, “…because God is love, He expects love from His children.” My question is, from where does this imperative come? What is it in “being Love” that causes “expectations”? The problem here is that we are talking about a perfect God, and none of us is perfect. Therefore, anything from our experience cannot be used to make a statement about the nature of God. This, as we all believe, leaves us the revelation in Scripture, where God revealed everything that we can know about Him.

    In the Parable of the Prodigal Son (which would be known as “the Parable of the Gracious Father” if it weren’t for the fact that we think everything is about us), what expectations did the Father have of His son after He kissed Him, dressed Him and put a ring on his finger? Well, you could say, that is not what the parable was meant to illustrate. OK

    Here are the words of our Lord about expectations, Luke 6: 35, “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.” “Expect nothing in return”? That is how God loves.

    Romans 5:1, “Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” You see why we are able to love Him? Not because God expects it, but because He has changed us in the waters of Baptism so that we are able to do so.

    Ephesians 1:1, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus and are faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. 5 He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight 9 he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11 In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, 12 so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; 14 this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.” This is it in a nutshell! No expectations, but,”He made know to us the mystery of His will …”

    1 John 4:16, “So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. 17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.” If there are expectations, then there has to be fear if we do not meet them. But if there are no expectations, then there is no fear.

    Ultimately, it comes down to freedom:

    John 8:34 Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”

    Galatians 5:1 “For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

    If there are expectations, we are not free. But the good news of the Gospel is that in Baptism God has made us new creatures who (1 Cor. 2:16), “… have the mind of Christ.” Therefore we do not do the will of God because of His expectations, but because it is our will also, to the extent that we are regenerated, as the Confessions say. But that is the realm of Sanctification, and has nothing to do with our status as children of God.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    Fws @ 118

    Frank, I will respond to this for the last time:
    The first sentence in that section of the Apology reads, “2] It is written in the prophet, Jer. 31:33: I will put My Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts.” The last sentence reads, “Moreover, we speak not of ceremonies, but of that Law which gives commandment concerning the movements of the heart, namely, the Decalog”, thereby explaining what is meant by “My Law” in the first sentence. Basta.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    Fws @ 118

    Frank, I will respond to this for the last time:
    The first sentence in that section of the Apology reads, “2] It is written in the prophet, Jer. 31:33: I will put My Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts.” The last sentence reads, “Moreover, we speak not of ceremonies, but of that Law which gives commandment concerning the movements of the heart, namely, the Decalog”, thereby explaining what is meant by “My Law” in the first sentence. Basta.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • fws

    george @ 128

    It is saying that the Law of God, which is the same Law whether it is written in the reason or the decalog, CANNOT be written in the heart until there is a new heart.

    So yes, the Law is written in the heart only as a consequence of the New Birth.

    And read on. It speaks of that Law , found only in the first table of the Decalog that deals with matters of the heart!

    you are finding something to disagree with that is not there, because you are not taking in the entire context George!

    Are we talking past each other or not?

  • fws

    george @ 128

    It is saying that the Law of God, which is the same Law whether it is written in the reason or the decalog, CANNOT be written in the heart until there is a new heart.

    So yes, the Law is written in the heart only as a consequence of the New Birth.

    And read on. It speaks of that Law , found only in the first table of the Decalog that deals with matters of the heart!

    you are finding something to disagree with that is not there, because you are not taking in the entire context George!

    Are we talking past each other or not?

  • George A. Marquart

    Tom Hering @117.

    You are right to doubt that pastor’s answer.

    First, I am not aware of any instance in the New Testament that speaks of the Holy Spirit being taken away from someone. As I am sure you know, our Lord said the following, Matthew 12:31, “Therefore I tell you, people will be forgiven for every sin and blasphemy, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” Much has been written about what the Sin against the Holy Spirit” is. My conclusion is that it refers to a systematic, life-long rejection and blasphemy of the things of God. I am also convinced that God does not give up on anyone until the last moment of their life, but continues, as Luther wrote, “to draw them by the Holy Spirit.” Could the fact that Judas took part in the Last Supper be an indication of that?

    I am not aware of any instance in Scripture where the Holy Spirit has been taken away and then returned. Would this require another Baptism, since this is how we receive the Holy Spirit? But I think we can be pretty certain that David is among the Blessed. Otherwise would our Lord have mentioned him at all?

    But the final argument in this case comes from David himself. Psalm 51 has this notation before it, “A Psalm of David, when the prophet Nathan came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.” Then, in verse 11 he writes, “…and do not take your Holy Spirit from me.” According to this, at the moment Nathan came to confront David with his sin, David claims to still have the Holy Spirit. So did he loose the Holy Spirit after Nathan told him, “you are forgiven”?

    As much as I think that the blessed Dr. Martin Luther was the greatest theologian since Apostolic time, I think he gave in to his piety here without adequate resource to Scripture.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    Tom Hering @117.

    You are right to doubt that pastor’s answer.

    First, I am not aware of any instance in the New Testament that speaks of the Holy Spirit being taken away from someone. As I am sure you know, our Lord said the following, Matthew 12:31, “Therefore I tell you, people will be forgiven for every sin and blasphemy, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” Much has been written about what the Sin against the Holy Spirit” is. My conclusion is that it refers to a systematic, life-long rejection and blasphemy of the things of God. I am also convinced that God does not give up on anyone until the last moment of their life, but continues, as Luther wrote, “to draw them by the Holy Spirit.” Could the fact that Judas took part in the Last Supper be an indication of that?

    I am not aware of any instance in Scripture where the Holy Spirit has been taken away and then returned. Would this require another Baptism, since this is how we receive the Holy Spirit? But I think we can be pretty certain that David is among the Blessed. Otherwise would our Lord have mentioned him at all?

    But the final argument in this case comes from David himself. Psalm 51 has this notation before it, “A Psalm of David, when the prophet Nathan came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.” Then, in verse 11 he writes, “…and do not take your Holy Spirit from me.” According to this, at the moment Nathan came to confront David with his sin, David claims to still have the Holy Spirit. So did he loose the Holy Spirit after Nathan told him, “you are forgiven”?

    As much as I think that the blessed Dr. Martin Luther was the greatest theologian since Apostolic time, I think he gave in to his piety here without adequate resource to Scripture.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    George,

    Thanks for the reply and the permission. This gets my attention:

    “Here are the words of our Lord about expectations, Luke 6: 35, “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.” “Expect nothing in return”? That is how God loves.”

    The problem with this here is that sinful man’s kind of expectations – i.e. “tit for tat” – are being contrasted with God’s way of doing things. God’s love – and hence His expectations – are more like that of a parent in their most selfless of moments, who desires the best for their child in life. To really love God and neighbor is to live in freedom, and God would have His trusting children to grow in this wonderful love. It should be good news to us that He expects us to grown in His love, loving His will (which He has indeed given us and we are always trying to catch up to, grow into) – the fact that it does not sound like good news to us – even after He has redeemed us – simply once again illustrates the extent to which sin inheres in us. I John 4:17 is a wonderful verse, but it is the ideal that we won’t reach until the other side of heaven.

    I can’t imagine a parent not having some expectations – hopes – for their child. To not have expectations of a child does not sound like love to me, but disinterest, lack of concern, lack of love.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    George,

    Thanks for the reply and the permission. This gets my attention:

    “Here are the words of our Lord about expectations, Luke 6: 35, “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.” “Expect nothing in return”? That is how God loves.”

    The problem with this here is that sinful man’s kind of expectations – i.e. “tit for tat” – are being contrasted with God’s way of doing things. God’s love – and hence His expectations – are more like that of a parent in their most selfless of moments, who desires the best for their child in life. To really love God and neighbor is to live in freedom, and God would have His trusting children to grow in this wonderful love. It should be good news to us that He expects us to grown in His love, loving His will (which He has indeed given us and we are always trying to catch up to, grow into) – the fact that it does not sound like good news to us – even after He has redeemed us – simply once again illustrates the extent to which sin inheres in us. I John 4:17 is a wonderful verse, but it is the ideal that we won’t reach until the other side of heaven.

    I can’t imagine a parent not having some expectations – hopes – for their child. To not have expectations of a child does not sound like love to me, but disinterest, lack of concern, lack of love.

    +Nathan

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  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    George A. Marquart: “First, I am not aware of any instance in the New Testament that speaks of the Holy Spirit being taken away from someone.”

    Hi George,

    In the Lutheran theology of baptism, is the Holy Spirit given to the baptismal candidate when they are baptized?

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    George A. Marquart: “First, I am not aware of any instance in the New Testament that speaks of the Holy Spirit being taken away from someone.”

    Hi George,

    In the Lutheran theology of baptism, is the Holy Spirit given to the baptismal candidate when they are baptized?

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    fws (#126),

    Frank, I’m going to have to bow out for now, but will pay attention to what goes on – and perhaps try to make time to comment again in the next couple days.

    All I can say is that Scripture itself talks in ways that lead us to distinguish (in some contexts). These Scriptures are all mentioned in that link I provided. I’m sticking with Chemnitz (and with that his understanding of the Confessions) on this one.

    I know what you are saying: certainly insofar as we would seek to justify ourselves before God, all of our “filthy rags” good works are damnable nonsense. But we also speak of “sins which do not lead to death”, the opposite of intentional sin (O.T.), and struggling with doing things we don’t want to do (Romans 7)…. etc. Whereas with intentional or high-handed sins, we somehow change in the very act of sinning…

    Still, if, upon reflection, any of those sins are considered small, they have ceased to be so….

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    fws (#126),

    Frank, I’m going to have to bow out for now, but will pay attention to what goes on – and perhaps try to make time to comment again in the next couple days.

    All I can say is that Scripture itself talks in ways that lead us to distinguish (in some contexts). These Scriptures are all mentioned in that link I provided. I’m sticking with Chemnitz (and with that his understanding of the Confessions) on this one.

    I know what you are saying: certainly insofar as we would seek to justify ourselves before God, all of our “filthy rags” good works are damnable nonsense. But we also speak of “sins which do not lead to death”, the opposite of intentional sin (O.T.), and struggling with doing things we don’t want to do (Romans 7)…. etc. Whereas with intentional or high-handed sins, we somehow change in the very act of sinning…

    Still, if, upon reflection, any of those sins are considered small, they have ceased to be so….

    +Nathan

  • fws

    nathan @ 133

    I don´t agree that you are reading either chemnitz or walther in a way they would approve of.

    So you are saying that whether something is a mortal or killing sin or not depends upon our intentions or lack of them?

    That sounds right to you?
    So apart from Christ ALL our sins are filthy used menstrual rags…

    but now that we are believers we dont say that any longer? We need to do a sorting out of our sins since some are no longer filthy used menstrual rags.

    By the way, that Isaiah passage does not call our sinning that, it calls our very best virtue and righeousness filthy used menstrual rags, and further. it is talking to the believer not to the unbeliever.

    so what to make of that? Accept that whatever WE do is all sin and is about our death and about alone and only Old Adam in all we can experience and evidentially see and do in our bodies.

    What ever Christ has done is , alone our righteousness.

    And this alone is where we can “see” the New man and his works. we can see what New Man is doing alone by closing our eyes and hearing about what he does with the eyes of faith alone as we hear what the Scriptures tell us is true, but that we cannot see or have evidence of apart from the supper and our baptism.

    So fruit inspection and soil analysis are pointless. They cannot be done. ALL we can see and do in our bodies is the Old Adam being driven by the Law so that Gods will that goodness and mercy be done is extorted out of our Old Adam. What we do , in our life and vocation then is ALL about our death! it is small-l life for our neighbor. This is because, unfortunately, goodness and mercy can only come out of Old Adam by the Holy Spirit killing him in the Old Adam of both pagan and christian with the Law of God.

    Remember what the Confessions say over and over and over….

    The Law always accuses and kills. The Law Only accuses and kills.

    There is no Life in the Law. Mortification, which is latinate for killing, is the Law-in-action. It is what the Law does.

    We do not break the Law . The law breaks us. It forces us to do goodness and mercy to others whether our heart is in it or not.

  • fws

    nathan @ 133

    I don´t agree that you are reading either chemnitz or walther in a way they would approve of.

    So you are saying that whether something is a mortal or killing sin or not depends upon our intentions or lack of them?

    That sounds right to you?
    So apart from Christ ALL our sins are filthy used menstrual rags…

    but now that we are believers we dont say that any longer? We need to do a sorting out of our sins since some are no longer filthy used menstrual rags.

    By the way, that Isaiah passage does not call our sinning that, it calls our very best virtue and righeousness filthy used menstrual rags, and further. it is talking to the believer not to the unbeliever.

    so what to make of that? Accept that whatever WE do is all sin and is about our death and about alone and only Old Adam in all we can experience and evidentially see and do in our bodies.

    What ever Christ has done is , alone our righteousness.

    And this alone is where we can “see” the New man and his works. we can see what New Man is doing alone by closing our eyes and hearing about what he does with the eyes of faith alone as we hear what the Scriptures tell us is true, but that we cannot see or have evidence of apart from the supper and our baptism.

    So fruit inspection and soil analysis are pointless. They cannot be done. ALL we can see and do in our bodies is the Old Adam being driven by the Law so that Gods will that goodness and mercy be done is extorted out of our Old Adam. What we do , in our life and vocation then is ALL about our death! it is small-l life for our neighbor. This is because, unfortunately, goodness and mercy can only come out of Old Adam by the Holy Spirit killing him in the Old Adam of both pagan and christian with the Law of God.

    Remember what the Confessions say over and over and over….

    The Law always accuses and kills. The Law Only accuses and kills.

    There is no Life in the Law. Mortification, which is latinate for killing, is the Law-in-action. It is what the Law does.

    We do not break the Law . The law breaks us. It forces us to do goodness and mercy to others whether our heart is in it or not.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    You seem to be misunderstanding me on multiple levels – again, no time to write, correct, discuss, etc. Sorry. Just take a look at the link I provided and focus on Rev. Robert Mayes’ postings there. Good stuff. He has some quotes from Chemnitz as well.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    You seem to be misunderstanding me on multiple levels – again, no time to write, correct, discuss, etc. Sorry. Just take a look at the link I provided and focus on Rev. Robert Mayes’ postings there. Good stuff. He has some quotes from Chemnitz as well.

    +Nathan

  • George A. Marquart

    Truth Unites… and Divides @ 132.

    This is a belief most Christians have in common, because it is so clearly taught in Scripture:

    Acts 2: 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    Acts 19:1 While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the interior regions and came to Ephesus, where he found some disciples. 2 He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?” They replied, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 Then he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They answered, “Into John’s baptism.” 4 Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied— 7 altogether there were about twelve of them.

    Titus 3: 5 he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. 6 This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    Truth Unites… and Divides @ 132.

    This is a belief most Christians have in common, because it is so clearly taught in Scripture:

    Acts 2: 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    Acts 19:1 While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the interior regions and came to Ephesus, where he found some disciples. 2 He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?” They replied, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 Then he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They answered, “Into John’s baptism.” 4 Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied— 7 altogether there were about twelve of them.

    Titus 3: 5 he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. 6 This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    Nathan @ 131

    You wrote,
    “John 4:17 is a wonderful verse, but it is the ideal that we won’t reach until the other side of heaven. …
    I can’t imagine a parent not having some expectations – hopes – for their child. To not have expectations of a child does not sound like love to me, but disinterest, lack of concern, lack of love.”

    Fortunately, God is not made in the image of man, but vice versa.

    The Beatitudes also reflect God’s perfection, unattainable by us in our lifetime. The joy in all of this is that God assigns His perfection to us even in our lifetime here on earth, because of the life of our Savior. And He lets us know what we have to look forward to.

    As I said earlier, even as reborn children of God, we cannot comprehend the fullness of God’s perfection. All we can know is what has been revealed. We cannot juxtapose human behavior to God’s perfection and say, “This cannot be.” What God reveals about Himself is true first, and everything else has to be interpreted in that light.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    Nathan @ 131

    You wrote,
    “John 4:17 is a wonderful verse, but it is the ideal that we won’t reach until the other side of heaven. …
    I can’t imagine a parent not having some expectations – hopes – for their child. To not have expectations of a child does not sound like love to me, but disinterest, lack of concern, lack of love.”

    Fortunately, God is not made in the image of man, but vice versa.

    The Beatitudes also reflect God’s perfection, unattainable by us in our lifetime. The joy in all of this is that God assigns His perfection to us even in our lifetime here on earth, because of the life of our Savior. And He lets us know what we have to look forward to.

    As I said earlier, even as reborn children of God, we cannot comprehend the fullness of God’s perfection. All we can know is what has been revealed. We cannot juxtapose human behavior to God’s perfection and say, “This cannot be.” What God reveals about Himself is true first, and everything else has to be interpreted in that light.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • Tom Hering

    Grace @ 124, you’ve once again missed the theological point Luther was making. Though your consistency is kind of comforting. There isn’t much in life that’s predictable. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Grace @ 124, you’ve once again missed the theological point Luther was making. Though your consistency is kind of comforting. There isn’t much in life that’s predictable. :-D

  • Grace

    Tom @138

    YOU WROTE: “you’ve once again missed the theological point Luther was making.”

    I didn’t miss anything Tom. Luther’s belief which was:

    - – “No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day.” – -

    Scripture contradicts Luther’s statement in Ephesians 5, Post 124, as it states in verse 3:

    3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

    Then on to verse 5:

    5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, <b.hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

    I’m glad you can predict I will use the infallible, inerrant Word of God, rather than the words of someone who contradicts Scripture.

  • Grace

    Tom @138

    YOU WROTE: “you’ve once again missed the theological point Luther was making.”

    I didn’t miss anything Tom. Luther’s belief which was:

    - – “No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day.” – -

    Scripture contradicts Luther’s statement in Ephesians 5, Post 124, as it states in verse 3:

    3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

    Then on to verse 5:

    5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, <b.hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

    I’m glad you can predict I will use the infallible, inerrant Word of God, rather than the words of someone who contradicts Scripture.

  • Grace

    Post 139

    SHOULD READ “I didn’t miss anything Tom. Luther’s belief which you posted at the end of your post @ 117:

    INSTEAD OF “I didn’t miss anything Tom. Luther’s belief which was:”

  • Grace

    Post 139

    SHOULD READ “I didn’t miss anything Tom. Luther’s belief which you posted at the end of your post @ 117:

    INSTEAD OF “I didn’t miss anything Tom. Luther’s belief which was:”

  • Tom Hering

    Grace, would you agree with Luther’s point that in “the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world,” all our sins are forgiven – no matter how bad or how many?

  • Tom Hering

    Grace, would you agree with Luther’s point that in “the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world,” all our sins are forgiven – no matter how bad or how many?

  • Grace

    Tom,

    When anyone stays in their sin, going to the point of fornication and or murder a thousand times a day – NO, I don’t believe they have Salvation.

    One cannot love God and continue to sin BOLDLY as Luther claims and still expect, after reading, Ephesians 5 and Galatians 5, to be on their way to heaven. That is nothing short of mocking God, and his Grace.

    Do you believe in “cheap Grace” ? I don’t. The Word of God doesn’t make any mention of those who have come to know HIM living in such a way, mocking HIM.

    26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

    27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

    28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

    29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

    30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

    31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
    Hebrews 10

  • Grace

    Tom,

    When anyone stays in their sin, going to the point of fornication and or murder a thousand times a day – NO, I don’t believe they have Salvation.

    One cannot love God and continue to sin BOLDLY as Luther claims and still expect, after reading, Ephesians 5 and Galatians 5, to be on their way to heaven. That is nothing short of mocking God, and his Grace.

    Do you believe in “cheap Grace” ? I don’t. The Word of God doesn’t make any mention of those who have come to know HIM living in such a way, mocking HIM.

    26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

    27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

    28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

    29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

    30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

    31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
    Hebrews 10

  • Tom Hering

    Okay, Grace. Time for a lesson in reading comprehension.

    God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world … It suffices that through God’s glory we have recognized the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day. Do you think such an exalted Lamb paid merely a small price with a meager sacrifice for our sins? Pray hard for you are quite a sinner. – Luther.

    Luther says it’s better to be the worst sinner in the world, and brag about it openly, than to come before God saying, “I’m not much of a sinner; all my sins are little ones; but I’d like to get some religious insurance anyways; just to be on the safe side.” Such a person won’t be forgiven. Does such a person imagine Christ suffered and died for little sins only? How wrong he is! Does he imagine he’s less sinful than the worst sinner in the world? He’d better wise up and get down on his knees!

    I hope that helps you, Grace.

  • Tom Hering

    Okay, Grace. Time for a lesson in reading comprehension.

    God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world … It suffices that through God’s glory we have recognized the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day. Do you think such an exalted Lamb paid merely a small price with a meager sacrifice for our sins? Pray hard for you are quite a sinner. – Luther.

    Luther says it’s better to be the worst sinner in the world, and brag about it openly, than to come before God saying, “I’m not much of a sinner; all my sins are little ones; but I’d like to get some religious insurance anyways; just to be on the safe side.” Such a person won’t be forgiven. Does such a person imagine Christ suffered and died for little sins only? How wrong he is! Does he imagine he’s less sinful than the worst sinner in the world? He’d better wise up and get down on his knees!

    I hope that helps you, Grace.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    (A) George A. Marquart, #130: “First, I am not aware of any instance in the New Testament that speaks of the Holy Spirit being taken away from someone.”

    (B) “Hi George,

    In the Lutheran theology of baptism, is the Holy Spirit given to the baptismal candidate when they are baptized?”

    “This is a belief most Christians have in common, because it is so clearly taught in Scripture: Acts 2:38, Acts 19:1, Titus 3:5″

    Hi George,

    Given your answers in (A) and (B) above, since Lutherans are baptized and the Holy Spirit is given to those who are baptized, and the Holy Spirit is not taken away from anyone in the New Testament according to your understanding, then does Lutheran dogma teach that all those who are baptized and given the Holy Spirit in their baptism, do they then all go to Heaven because they have the Holy Spirit forever and ever?

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    (A) George A. Marquart, #130: “First, I am not aware of any instance in the New Testament that speaks of the Holy Spirit being taken away from someone.”

    (B) “Hi George,

    In the Lutheran theology of baptism, is the Holy Spirit given to the baptismal candidate when they are baptized?”

    “This is a belief most Christians have in common, because it is so clearly taught in Scripture: Acts 2:38, Acts 19:1, Titus 3:5″

    Hi George,

    Given your answers in (A) and (B) above, since Lutherans are baptized and the Holy Spirit is given to those who are baptized, and the Holy Spirit is not taken away from anyone in the New Testament according to your understanding, then does Lutheran dogma teach that all those who are baptized and given the Holy Spirit in their baptism, do they then all go to Heaven because they have the Holy Spirit forever and ever?

  • Tom Hering

    TUAD @ 144, are you mocking God because He’s merciful to whomever He chooses to show mercy? Sure sounds like it. Or did an angel take you to heaven and fill you in on God’s mysteries? How about sharing your vision with the rest of us? I promise not to stone you – too hard.

  • Tom Hering

    TUAD @ 144, are you mocking God because He’s merciful to whomever He chooses to show mercy? Sure sounds like it. Or did an angel take you to heaven and fill you in on God’s mysteries? How about sharing your vision with the rest of us? I promise not to stone you – too hard.

  • Grace

    Tom @ 143

    YOU WROTE:

    “Okay, Grace. Time for a lesson in reading comprehension.”

    This IS what you quoted earlier @ 117, which I was responding to @ 139:

    – - – - “No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day.” – - – -

    Below is the actual quote:

    “If you are a preacher of grace, then preach a true and not a fictitious grace; if grace is true, you must bear a true [p. 282] and not a fictitious sin. God does not save people who are only fictitious sinners. Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly. . . . as long as we are here [in this world] we have to sin. . . . No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day.”
    Martin Luther – Epistle of August 1, 1521 to Melanchthon (This translation is taken from the official Lutheran American Edition of his complete works, vol. 42, pp. 281-82:

    You posted @ 143

    “God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world … It suffices that through God’s glory we have recognized the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day. Do you think such an exalted Lamb paid merely a small price with a meager sacrifice for our sins? Pray hard for you are quite a sinner. – Luther.”

    This is NOT. what you posted @ 143 – what you posted @ 117 which is pivotal to what we are discussing. SO, I would suggest highly that you TAKE “Time for a lesson in reading comprehension.”

  • Grace

    Tom @ 143

    YOU WROTE:

    “Okay, Grace. Time for a lesson in reading comprehension.”

    This IS what you quoted earlier @ 117, which I was responding to @ 139:

    – - – - “No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day.” – - – -

    Below is the actual quote:

    “If you are a preacher of grace, then preach a true and not a fictitious grace; if grace is true, you must bear a true [p. 282] and not a fictitious sin. God does not save people who are only fictitious sinners. Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly. . . . as long as we are here [in this world] we have to sin. . . . No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day.”
    Martin Luther – Epistle of August 1, 1521 to Melanchthon (This translation is taken from the official Lutheran American Edition of his complete works, vol. 42, pp. 281-82:

    You posted @ 143

    “God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world … It suffices that through God’s glory we have recognized the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day. Do you think such an exalted Lamb paid merely a small price with a meager sacrifice for our sins? Pray hard for you are quite a sinner. – Luther.”

    This is NOT. what you posted @ 143 – what you posted @ 117 which is pivotal to what we are discussing. SO, I would suggest highly that you TAKE “Time for a lesson in reading comprehension.”

  • George A. Marquart

    Truth Unites… and Divides @144

    Oh, you were so close. But the answer clearly and unequivocally is “NO”, although I understand that our Reformed brothers and sisters believe it is true.

    Our Lord, who even on the cross was only concerned for others, would not have mentioned the sin against the Holy Spirit if there were no real possibility of committing it. He would not want to burden anybody’s heart with doubt needlessly.

    Just because I am not aware of any instance in the New Testament of the Holy Spirit being taken away from someone does not mean it never happens. But, the fact is that many pastors threaten their listeners with this possibility as if it were a common occurrence, because they feel their people do not give enough evidence of “genuine faith”. “Take heed lest you fall”, as if this means we all have one foot on an ice cube at the gates of hell, and the other on a banana peel. “Falling” and “being lost” are not the same thing.

    We know that Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and we cannot exclude the possibility that someone’s active rejection of the Holy Spirit, after He has come to dwell in that person, could cause God to harden that person’s heart a long time before the end of that person’s life. But since the commission of that sin involves the final disposition of a precious soul, we should not take it upon ourselves to make that judgment. I believe that we, as people who have been forgiven much, should always hope, pray, and act in such a way as to prevent a person from committing that unpardonable sin.

    Also something to consider is that the Church decided early in its life, that those who had denied their faith under persecution or even torture could be received back into the communion of the faithful without being rebaptized. They apparently considered that even as a result of such a grievous sin, the Holy Spirit had not left them. When you think about it, which is more serious, to kill a person and to sleep with his wife, or to deny God? In the popular mind, the former is unimaginably more serious than the latter, but I am not sure God thinks of it in the same way.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    Truth Unites… and Divides @144

    Oh, you were so close. But the answer clearly and unequivocally is “NO”, although I understand that our Reformed brothers and sisters believe it is true.

    Our Lord, who even on the cross was only concerned for others, would not have mentioned the sin against the Holy Spirit if there were no real possibility of committing it. He would not want to burden anybody’s heart with doubt needlessly.

    Just because I am not aware of any instance in the New Testament of the Holy Spirit being taken away from someone does not mean it never happens. But, the fact is that many pastors threaten their listeners with this possibility as if it were a common occurrence, because they feel their people do not give enough evidence of “genuine faith”. “Take heed lest you fall”, as if this means we all have one foot on an ice cube at the gates of hell, and the other on a banana peel. “Falling” and “being lost” are not the same thing.

    We know that Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and we cannot exclude the possibility that someone’s active rejection of the Holy Spirit, after He has come to dwell in that person, could cause God to harden that person’s heart a long time before the end of that person’s life. But since the commission of that sin involves the final disposition of a precious soul, we should not take it upon ourselves to make that judgment. I believe that we, as people who have been forgiven much, should always hope, pray, and act in such a way as to prevent a person from committing that unpardonable sin.

    Also something to consider is that the Church decided early in its life, that those who had denied their faith under persecution or even torture could be received back into the communion of the faithful without being rebaptized. They apparently considered that even as a result of such a grievous sin, the Holy Spirit had not left them. When you think about it, which is more serious, to kill a person and to sleep with his wife, or to deny God? In the popular mind, the former is unimaginably more serious than the latter, but I am not sure God thinks of it in the same way.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    What’s so sad about the legalists is that, while they think they are upholding the law better than most people, in reality they show their disdain for that very law.

    After all, who better understands God’s Law: the person who acknowledges that he is a sinner — and not merely any sinner, but a terrible sinner, the worst sinner, even — or the person who has somehow convinced herself that she doesn’t sin willfully? (If you need a hint on that one, check out 1 John 1 again.)

    Sure, the legalist might possibly admit, in a very vague way, that they do sin. Though in Grace’s case I’m pretty sure we haven’t even seen that. I certainly don’t recall her ever apologizing for her behavior on this blog, though it’s been warranted a number of times. And isn’t it funny that the would-be law follower is the one who has apologized the least to her brothers? What kind of law-following is that?

    But that’s apparently what happens when you convince yourself, somehow, that you don’t willfully sin. Of course, those who are the objects of your sins aren’t so easily deluded — they see you willfully making your choices to act that way. Or are we supposed to believe that Grace, et al., type their comments in an unconscious state, sinfully showing a lack of love, but, you know, not on purpose?

    But you can see how the legalist actually injects loopholes into God’s Law where there are none, so that they can tell themselves they’re doing okay by the Law, even though the whole purpose of the Law is to convince us of the exact opposite. So we hear Grace summarizing Ephesians 5 (@124) as:

    when you get to verse 5 you can clearly see that there is no inheritance when someone continues to sin willfully “hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”

    Here’s the thing. If you read v.5 for yourself, you can see that Grace has inserted her notion of “willfully” into it. Here:

    For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

    See? Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:5 that “no immoral, impure, or greedy person” will inherit the kingdom of God. Nothing about “willful” in there at all. But that frightens the legalist! Because they know, deep down, that they’re impure. They know they’re immoral. (And, if they won’t concede that, then by 1 John, the truth is not in them, and they’re condemned, regardless.)

    Which brings us, ultimately, to Grace’s summary of Ephesians 5:

    There is NO inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God for those who sin.

    What is there to say about this except that it is Satanic? How can we not apply Galatians 1:8 to such a statement? Grace denies the forgiveness of sins!

    Which isn’t too surprising. After all, Grace’s “gospel” has always been about what we do: how we act (supposedly not sinning “willfully”), and how we escape temptation. Ask yourself: where is Jesus in all this? Grace doesn’t actually spend a lot of time talking about Jesus and his sacrifice.

    It’s funny, in a perverse sense. In Grace’s theology, you’re better off to be an unbeliever. Because then you can be forgiven of your sins. But once you become a Christian like Grace, life becomes a living hell. You’re not allowed to mess up any more! You have to be on your best behavior! Christ won’t forgive you any more! The message? Better off not becoming a Christian until the last moment.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    What’s so sad about the legalists is that, while they think they are upholding the law better than most people, in reality they show their disdain for that very law.

    After all, who better understands God’s Law: the person who acknowledges that he is a sinner — and not merely any sinner, but a terrible sinner, the worst sinner, even — or the person who has somehow convinced herself that she doesn’t sin willfully? (If you need a hint on that one, check out 1 John 1 again.)

    Sure, the legalist might possibly admit, in a very vague way, that they do sin. Though in Grace’s case I’m pretty sure we haven’t even seen that. I certainly don’t recall her ever apologizing for her behavior on this blog, though it’s been warranted a number of times. And isn’t it funny that the would-be law follower is the one who has apologized the least to her brothers? What kind of law-following is that?

    But that’s apparently what happens when you convince yourself, somehow, that you don’t willfully sin. Of course, those who are the objects of your sins aren’t so easily deluded — they see you willfully making your choices to act that way. Or are we supposed to believe that Grace, et al., type their comments in an unconscious state, sinfully showing a lack of love, but, you know, not on purpose?

    But you can see how the legalist actually injects loopholes into God’s Law where there are none, so that they can tell themselves they’re doing okay by the Law, even though the whole purpose of the Law is to convince us of the exact opposite. So we hear Grace summarizing Ephesians 5 (@124) as:

    when you get to verse 5 you can clearly see that there is no inheritance when someone continues to sin willfully “hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”

    Here’s the thing. If you read v.5 for yourself, you can see that Grace has inserted her notion of “willfully” into it. Here:

    For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

    See? Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:5 that “no immoral, impure, or greedy person” will inherit the kingdom of God. Nothing about “willful” in there at all. But that frightens the legalist! Because they know, deep down, that they’re impure. They know they’re immoral. (And, if they won’t concede that, then by 1 John, the truth is not in them, and they’re condemned, regardless.)

    Which brings us, ultimately, to Grace’s summary of Ephesians 5:

    There is NO inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God for those who sin.

    What is there to say about this except that it is Satanic? How can we not apply Galatians 1:8 to such a statement? Grace denies the forgiveness of sins!

    Which isn’t too surprising. After all, Grace’s “gospel” has always been about what we do: how we act (supposedly not sinning “willfully”), and how we escape temptation. Ask yourself: where is Jesus in all this? Grace doesn’t actually spend a lot of time talking about Jesus and his sacrifice.

    It’s funny, in a perverse sense. In Grace’s theology, you’re better off to be an unbeliever. Because then you can be forgiven of your sins. But once you become a Christian like Grace, life becomes a living hell. You’re not allowed to mess up any more! You have to be on your best behavior! Christ won’t forgive you any more! The message? Better off not becoming a Christian until the last moment.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Continuing on, Grace said (@142):

    When anyone stays in their sin, going to the point of fornication and or murder a thousand times a day – NO, I don’t believe they have Salvation.

    It’s funny to see a legalist take Luther’s bait. See how Grace seizes on the particular types of sin or the frequency and thus declares: no salvation for that kind of sinning! Because legalists always love to seize on the “big” sins — especially the sins they think they aren’t guilty of, the sins that Others (the Bad People) do.

    Of course, how many times a day does Grace sin (and that willfully!)? And how many of those sins would our Lord classify as murder (cf. Matthew 5:21ff)? Ah, but I’m quite certain Grace doesn’t think of herself as a murderer, much less one who murders many times a day. And yet, her comments here testify against her, don’t they? Are they always full of love for her neighbor? Come on, Grace, you know the answer to that, don’t you? Even if you won’t admit it to any of us.

    So is there salvation for commenter Grace? There is, but she would deny it to herself by her own claim, above! Of course, she doesn’t intend to. She intends to deny it to the Bad People.

    And then she trots out Hebrews 10. I’ll admit, it’s a challenging passage, one that would seem to bear up Grace’s hellish theology. At least, if you read it out of context, as she has.

    Gladly will a legalist quote to you this particular passage: “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.”

    But they don’t appear to understand what the phrase “sacrifice for sins” means. It’s not hard. The writer of Hebrews tells us when he repeated almost exactly the same phrase earlier in the chapter.

    Remember, the main point of chapter 10 — indeed, of the book of Hebrews — can be found in verse 1: “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming — not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.” The author then goes on to talk about God’s new covenant with believers, concluding (pay attention here): “And where [sins and lawless acts] have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.”

    Note, that’s a good thing that there’s no sacrifice for sin left! Because it means we don’t need to return to the law to justify ourselves. We are justified by grace, a gift from God!

    So when the author of Hebrews eventually gets to verse 26 and says, “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,” he’s not saying that there are some sins Jesus didn’t die for, he’s not saying you can’t be forgiven for certain “bad” sins.

    He’s saying that if you reject Jesus’ forgiveness, you can’t return to the old legal sacrifices and expect to find forgiveness there — because there never was forgiveness of sins there. So to those Jews tempted to abandon the faith, the author issues a stern warning: you are abandoning forgiveness if you do! Expect nothing but judgment!

    It’s funny, in a way. The author of Hebrews says, “How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?” Now the legalist reads this and thinks that those who have “trampled” Jesus and “insulted” the Spirit are those who sin “willfully”, or otherwise do Bad sins, or sin “too many” times.

    But, ironically, the author of Hebrews is referring to those, like the legalists, who think they are making themselves presentable to God through their actions — those are the people who treat Jesus’ blood as “unholy”, because they reject it as the only path to salvation!

    All of which to say that, contra Grace’s Satanic assertions, the sinner who acknowledges his sin and falls on the mercy of God, knowing he deserves death but trusting in God’s grace, need not fear, no matter how often or how horribly he has sinneed.

    But the person who fancies herself righteous, who has deceived herself into thinking she does not sin willfully, who has fooled herself into thinking she always escapes temptation — that person is in spiritual danger, by the very passage Grace points us to (among others) in Hebrews 10.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Continuing on, Grace said (@142):

    When anyone stays in their sin, going to the point of fornication and or murder a thousand times a day – NO, I don’t believe they have Salvation.

    It’s funny to see a legalist take Luther’s bait. See how Grace seizes on the particular types of sin or the frequency and thus declares: no salvation for that kind of sinning! Because legalists always love to seize on the “big” sins — especially the sins they think they aren’t guilty of, the sins that Others (the Bad People) do.

    Of course, how many times a day does Grace sin (and that willfully!)? And how many of those sins would our Lord classify as murder (cf. Matthew 5:21ff)? Ah, but I’m quite certain Grace doesn’t think of herself as a murderer, much less one who murders many times a day. And yet, her comments here testify against her, don’t they? Are they always full of love for her neighbor? Come on, Grace, you know the answer to that, don’t you? Even if you won’t admit it to any of us.

    So is there salvation for commenter Grace? There is, but she would deny it to herself by her own claim, above! Of course, she doesn’t intend to. She intends to deny it to the Bad People.

    And then she trots out Hebrews 10. I’ll admit, it’s a challenging passage, one that would seem to bear up Grace’s hellish theology. At least, if you read it out of context, as she has.

    Gladly will a legalist quote to you this particular passage: “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.”

    But they don’t appear to understand what the phrase “sacrifice for sins” means. It’s not hard. The writer of Hebrews tells us when he repeated almost exactly the same phrase earlier in the chapter.

    Remember, the main point of chapter 10 — indeed, of the book of Hebrews — can be found in verse 1: “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming — not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.” The author then goes on to talk about God’s new covenant with believers, concluding (pay attention here): “And where [sins and lawless acts] have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.”

    Note, that’s a good thing that there’s no sacrifice for sin left! Because it means we don’t need to return to the law to justify ourselves. We are justified by grace, a gift from God!

    So when the author of Hebrews eventually gets to verse 26 and says, “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,” he’s not saying that there are some sins Jesus didn’t die for, he’s not saying you can’t be forgiven for certain “bad” sins.

    He’s saying that if you reject Jesus’ forgiveness, you can’t return to the old legal sacrifices and expect to find forgiveness there — because there never was forgiveness of sins there. So to those Jews tempted to abandon the faith, the author issues a stern warning: you are abandoning forgiveness if you do! Expect nothing but judgment!

    It’s funny, in a way. The author of Hebrews says, “How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?” Now the legalist reads this and thinks that those who have “trampled” Jesus and “insulted” the Spirit are those who sin “willfully”, or otherwise do Bad sins, or sin “too many” times.

    But, ironically, the author of Hebrews is referring to those, like the legalists, who think they are making themselves presentable to God through their actions — those are the people who treat Jesus’ blood as “unholy”, because they reject it as the only path to salvation!

    All of which to say that, contra Grace’s Satanic assertions, the sinner who acknowledges his sin and falls on the mercy of God, knowing he deserves death but trusting in God’s grace, need not fear, no matter how often or how horribly he has sinneed.

    But the person who fancies herself righteous, who has deceived herself into thinking she does not sin willfully, who has fooled herself into thinking she always escapes temptation — that person is in spiritual danger, by the very passage Grace points us to (among others) in Hebrews 10.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Oh, and bonus irony. Anyone want to guess what this part of Hebrews 10 refers to?

    let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

    Hmm. “Sprinkled” … “water”. Hmm. Hint: Evangelicals will not get this one right.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Oh, and bonus irony. Anyone want to guess what this part of Hebrews 10 refers to?

    let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

    Hmm. “Sprinkled” … “water”. Hmm. Hint: Evangelicals will not get this one right.

  • Grace

    The passage above and below does not refer to Baptism.

    Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
    Hebrews 10:22

    This has to do with the dedication of priests in the Aaronic priesthood. Moses sprinkled them with water of dedication. They had to be washed, denoting that they were not aside for service to God enables us to draw near with a true heart.

  • Grace

    The passage above and below does not refer to Baptism.

    Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
    Hebrews 10:22

    This has to do with the dedication of priests in the Aaronic priesthood. Moses sprinkled them with water of dedication. They had to be washed, denoting that they were not aside for service to God enables us to draw near with a true heart.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Wow, Grace (@151). So you decide to completely ignore the major point and focus on the minor one. Can’t say I’m surprised.

    This has to do with the dedication of priests in the Aaronic priesthood. Moses sprinkled them with water of dedication. They had to be washed, denoting that they were not aside for service to God enables us to draw near with a true heart.

    So did you really think I wouldn’t notice that this entire paragraph of “yours” was a quote (and a mangled one, at that)? Yeah, you lifted that directly from a commentary written by J. Vernon McGee. It’s always funny to see you rely on commentaries written by men, given how often you excoriate Lutherans for doing the same. There’s a term for that sort of “do as I say, not as I do” behavior, you know. (Was that behavior willful, Grace? Do you believe God will forgive you?)

    Regardless, you and McGee seem to miss the point. In a major way. Yes, Hebrews 10:22 is an allusion to the Old Testament law. But if you believe that the OT law actually allows us to “draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith”, you have entirely missed the point of Hebrews.

    Allow me to again point you to the main point of Hebrews 10, if not all of Hebrews:

    The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming — not the realities themselves.

    So, again, the Old Testament sprinkling (which did not take away sins) was a shadow of the New Testament promise of baptism, in which sins are removed.

    Also, McGee doesn’t even seem all that up on his Old Testament, either. Read Exodus 29. The priests were to be washed with water, not sprinkled. But they were to be sprinkled with blood and oil.

    Actually, now that I read the not-mangled McGee quote, it’s worse than I thought. He said:

    In like manner our dedication to God enables us to draw near with a true heart.

    Wow. Wow! He takes Hebrews and makes it say the opposite of what it says! What Satanic nonsense is this?

    I mean, literally, McGee says that it is our actions that enable us to draw near to God, whereas the inspired writer of Hebrews tells us that “we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus“.

    You need to burn that works-righteous garbage right now, Grace. It is seriously endangering your soul.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Wow, Grace (@151). So you decide to completely ignore the major point and focus on the minor one. Can’t say I’m surprised.

    This has to do with the dedication of priests in the Aaronic priesthood. Moses sprinkled them with water of dedication. They had to be washed, denoting that they were not aside for service to God enables us to draw near with a true heart.

    So did you really think I wouldn’t notice that this entire paragraph of “yours” was a quote (and a mangled one, at that)? Yeah, you lifted that directly from a commentary written by J. Vernon McGee. It’s always funny to see you rely on commentaries written by men, given how often you excoriate Lutherans for doing the same. There’s a term for that sort of “do as I say, not as I do” behavior, you know. (Was that behavior willful, Grace? Do you believe God will forgive you?)

    Regardless, you and McGee seem to miss the point. In a major way. Yes, Hebrews 10:22 is an allusion to the Old Testament law. But if you believe that the OT law actually allows us to “draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith”, you have entirely missed the point of Hebrews.

    Allow me to again point you to the main point of Hebrews 10, if not all of Hebrews:

    The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming — not the realities themselves.

    So, again, the Old Testament sprinkling (which did not take away sins) was a shadow of the New Testament promise of baptism, in which sins are removed.

    Also, McGee doesn’t even seem all that up on his Old Testament, either. Read Exodus 29. The priests were to be washed with water, not sprinkled. But they were to be sprinkled with blood and oil.

    Actually, now that I read the not-mangled McGee quote, it’s worse than I thought. He said:

    In like manner our dedication to God enables us to draw near with a true heart.

    Wow. Wow! He takes Hebrews and makes it say the opposite of what it says! What Satanic nonsense is this?

    I mean, literally, McGee says that it is our actions that enable us to draw near to God, whereas the inspired writer of Hebrews tells us that “we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus“.

    You need to burn that works-righteous garbage right now, Grace. It is seriously endangering your soul.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    George,

    I am skipping some things this morning that I wanted to get done to be here, because I think wrestling with these things with you is quite important.

    Not sure if you are following the conversation with Todd and Grace here, but here’s what I think: Grace is falling off the horse on one side, and you are falling off the horse on the other side.

    I know that’s not likely to sit well with you (or others), but please let me explain.

    George, everything you write is highly compelling, eloquent, and often very comforting. But I also think you are wrong on the topic we have been discussing. “Love always hopes”, we are told – what kind of hopes do you think God has?

    I understand your point about mistakenly attributing to God what is only true of humans, but sometimes these kinds of analogies are appropriate.

    This all seems so beyond reason (ministerial use!) to me. Believe me, I’ve read lots of the stuff by Forde, Bayer, Mattes, etc. (who are like Paulson, it seems). I think I get the appeal for a “more radical Gospel”.

    But at the end of the day, I just read the N.T. and come to my senses. Around Romans 12 and 13 Paul says some important stuff. “…Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought”. Does he – does God – expect this? He says “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love….”. Does he – does God – expect this? He says “everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities” and “if you owe taxes, pay taxes”. Does he – does God – expect this? Really? He tells us to “let no doubt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another” Does he – does God – expect this? To really fulfill the law by this way in love? (13:10) That these requirements might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but the Spirit? (Rom. 8:4) The examples of commands that I have listed above could be multiplied many times over.

    Now, you might say “look at Romans 12:1-3 though”:

    “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. 3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”

    Well yes. This is what Lutherans do. This is how I turned my Evangelical friend (or God did through me) away from Evangelicalism. We root everything in the fact that we are to be who we are (what was wrong about what Luther said in the Small Catechism about baptism – the word “should”?). We root everything first in foremost in the passive contrition and faith that are given us in Christ. We point out that this is what Paul is doing in Romans. But this simply proves my point. Paul’s intention in going on to write all the commands that he does is to give the Romans things that they will follow through on. These commands he gives from God in the real expectation that they will be obeyed (not because God needs our love and obedience, as we feel we need our friends to reciprocate on our behalf!) His primary intention – the Holy Spirit’s primary intention – really is to spur them on to holiness that they might shine as lights in the world (see Phil 2: 14-16)…. not to leave them shattered by the Law to once again raise them up by the Gospel. Now, these words of Law may indeed do that – especially the Christian who has been negligent to nurture the mind of Christ through the Word may find himself quite convicted and even terrified due to the knowledge of their sin – but again, this is not the primary goal of these words of exhortation. Paul wants all of this to be a “get to”, but if it isn’t this for any person, they should, as Luther said “make duty a pleasure” (i.e. turn from that sin and do what Paul asks, even if they do not feel like their heart is totally in it). It’s a “have to” as well because this is what Christians do. This is what God wants us to do.

    I do not see how this is even debatable. Do I need to find a verse that says “God expects”?

    In Romans 12 and up, has Paul now left the realm of the Gospel and put people under the Law again? I don’t know – do you think that even the Apostle Paul had just not grasped how radical the Gospel was at this point? If so, I think I’ll stick with Paul’s views. George, I confess I think these kinds of arguments of yours are ultimately just rather silly – and if the more academically-minded Lutherans like those I listed above can’t see that what they put forth similarly silly, it is hard for me to think that all is well with them. We seem to be talking apples and oranges. I’m not saying we have a different Jesus (II Cor. 11), but I am saying that their seems to be better chances for a different Jesus when we are talking about things like this that really are quite obvious.

    What am I missing?

    So George –again – everything you say initially sounds really good and compelling. But how in the world can you think that this is in line with the Apostolic faith once delivered? You say “we have not known Christ in this way…”, but I don’t see where you are getting this from….

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    George,

    I am skipping some things this morning that I wanted to get done to be here, because I think wrestling with these things with you is quite important.

    Not sure if you are following the conversation with Todd and Grace here, but here’s what I think: Grace is falling off the horse on one side, and you are falling off the horse on the other side.

    I know that’s not likely to sit well with you (or others), but please let me explain.

    George, everything you write is highly compelling, eloquent, and often very comforting. But I also think you are wrong on the topic we have been discussing. “Love always hopes”, we are told – what kind of hopes do you think God has?

    I understand your point about mistakenly attributing to God what is only true of humans, but sometimes these kinds of analogies are appropriate.

    This all seems so beyond reason (ministerial use!) to me. Believe me, I’ve read lots of the stuff by Forde, Bayer, Mattes, etc. (who are like Paulson, it seems). I think I get the appeal for a “more radical Gospel”.

    But at the end of the day, I just read the N.T. and come to my senses. Around Romans 12 and 13 Paul says some important stuff. “…Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought”. Does he – does God – expect this? He says “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love….”. Does he – does God – expect this? He says “everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities” and “if you owe taxes, pay taxes”. Does he – does God – expect this? Really? He tells us to “let no doubt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another” Does he – does God – expect this? To really fulfill the law by this way in love? (13:10) That these requirements might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but the Spirit? (Rom. 8:4) The examples of commands that I have listed above could be multiplied many times over.

    Now, you might say “look at Romans 12:1-3 though”:

    “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. 3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”

    Well yes. This is what Lutherans do. This is how I turned my Evangelical friend (or God did through me) away from Evangelicalism. We root everything in the fact that we are to be who we are (what was wrong about what Luther said in the Small Catechism about baptism – the word “should”?). We root everything first in foremost in the passive contrition and faith that are given us in Christ. We point out that this is what Paul is doing in Romans. But this simply proves my point. Paul’s intention in going on to write all the commands that he does is to give the Romans things that they will follow through on. These commands he gives from God in the real expectation that they will be obeyed (not because God needs our love and obedience, as we feel we need our friends to reciprocate on our behalf!) His primary intention – the Holy Spirit’s primary intention – really is to spur them on to holiness that they might shine as lights in the world (see Phil 2: 14-16)…. not to leave them shattered by the Law to once again raise them up by the Gospel. Now, these words of Law may indeed do that – especially the Christian who has been negligent to nurture the mind of Christ through the Word may find himself quite convicted and even terrified due to the knowledge of their sin – but again, this is not the primary goal of these words of exhortation. Paul wants all of this to be a “get to”, but if it isn’t this for any person, they should, as Luther said “make duty a pleasure” (i.e. turn from that sin and do what Paul asks, even if they do not feel like their heart is totally in it). It’s a “have to” as well because this is what Christians do. This is what God wants us to do.

    I do not see how this is even debatable. Do I need to find a verse that says “God expects”?

    In Romans 12 and up, has Paul now left the realm of the Gospel and put people under the Law again? I don’t know – do you think that even the Apostle Paul had just not grasped how radical the Gospel was at this point? If so, I think I’ll stick with Paul’s views. George, I confess I think these kinds of arguments of yours are ultimately just rather silly – and if the more academically-minded Lutherans like those I listed above can’t see that what they put forth similarly silly, it is hard for me to think that all is well with them. We seem to be talking apples and oranges. I’m not saying we have a different Jesus (II Cor. 11), but I am saying that their seems to be better chances for a different Jesus when we are talking about things like this that really are quite obvious.

    What am I missing?

    So George –again – everything you say initially sounds really good and compelling. But how in the world can you think that this is in line with the Apostolic faith once delivered? You say “we have not known Christ in this way…”, but I don’t see where you are getting this from….

    +Nathan

  • larry

    “The Confessions say that ALL sin is mortal or capital sin. There is no such thing as a sin that does not work death. So what would a venial sin be in that case? It doesnt exist!”

    Frank is exactly right here. Put another way from Luther’s HD when he was turning Rome’s venial versus mortal sin, the terminology, against them he states that a truly mortal sin is any sin not thought of or confessed as mortal and a truly venial sin is one confessed as being mortal (Frank’s point, there is no such thing as a “venial” sin).
    7. The works of the righteous would be mortal sins if they would not be feared as mortal sins by the righteous themselves out of pious fear of God.
    8. By so much more are the works of man mortal sins when they are done without fear and in unadulterated, evil self-security.
    9. To say that works without Christ are dead, but not mortal, appears to constitute a perilous surrender of the fear of God.
    This sets forth the opening of the 95 Thesis in that man stays in a constant state of repentance (not per Rome and sacramentarians) and the parallel of staying IN one’s baptism constantly and daily (the state of being of the simul Justus et peccator). This is against even the Calvinist and Baptist in particular. Why? Think about the system, once saved always saved (its crass version) or the state of being of the Calvinist arrived, some how, at “I’m elect and cannot fall away”. They are now in a state where they cannot in the reality of their system confess any of their “now” sins as mortal, i.e. deadly, and perceive them, per the doctrinal system, as more or less venial, though the term “venial” is not used. Think about all the machinations one goes through, if you’ve been in that system, you go through about determining your “assurance”, more to the point “assurance of election”. You scrap your conscience raw all the time concerning your life and works for “signs of election” in the works and also weighing against it all the sins you KNOW you commit daily in thought, word and deed. One then proceeds to weigh “what sin or set of sins by type, kind, amount, magnitude, repetitiveness, recalcitrance to cease, length, severity, etc…constitute the category of either “not elect yet” or “maybe reprobate” or in the case of the Baptist “not really regenerate/reborn and my baptism was a shame”. That’s the protestant version of the Roman mortal Vs. venial system without the precise terms. In fact one sees it constantly, its principle, in all their writings. An good example of this is John MacArthurs “The Gospel According to Jesus” (which is anything BUT what the title states). He gets into this principle of mortal VS. venial so much (again without formerly naming is such) that even Reformed writer Michael Horton picked up on it in their rebuttal of his book calling it “…dangerously close to Rome’s mortal versus venial sin system…” (paraphrasing). And that is an understatement at best.

    The point is that one cannot confess a sin as truly mortal, post conversion, because it means to say “fall away from grace” especially of pious works as opposed to gross sin, if one cannot “fall away” one way or the other. Thus, one is forced to confess them as “venial” per Rome in like principle. This, says Luther, is a perilous surrender of the fear of God and that such “venial” sins are really thus truly mortal. But the conscience of the Calvinist/Baptist believer will not let them rest (unless they do like What Todd points out, see below), because the Law never rests on such. They know its not “venial” in reality but truly mortal. However, their system will not let them CONFESS their sins as truly mortal, unless they be OUTSIDE of the elect, born again, reborn and unconverted. They cannot say “my sin is deadly and tears me away from Grace” as a Baptist or Calvinist unless they themselves decide, “I must not be truly born again, elect, regenerate, falsely baptized, unconverted as of yet”.

    So they live, painfully, despairingly outside of constant true repentance (what Luther meant in the 95) and their baptisms, the VERY life giving water they should be going to. All because they are in a de facto Roman mortal versus venial sin system. This is no small thing, but the very spirit and doctrine of the antichrist be it in Rome, Geneva or the local “evangelical” church. It is exceedingly dangerous.

    Todd,
    “What’s so sad about the legalists is that, while they think they are upholding the law better than most people, in reality they show their disdain for that very law.”

    Nailed it point blank!

  • larry

    “The Confessions say that ALL sin is mortal or capital sin. There is no such thing as a sin that does not work death. So what would a venial sin be in that case? It doesnt exist!”

    Frank is exactly right here. Put another way from Luther’s HD when he was turning Rome’s venial versus mortal sin, the terminology, against them he states that a truly mortal sin is any sin not thought of or confessed as mortal and a truly venial sin is one confessed as being mortal (Frank’s point, there is no such thing as a “venial” sin).
    7. The works of the righteous would be mortal sins if they would not be feared as mortal sins by the righteous themselves out of pious fear of God.
    8. By so much more are the works of man mortal sins when they are done without fear and in unadulterated, evil self-security.
    9. To say that works without Christ are dead, but not mortal, appears to constitute a perilous surrender of the fear of God.
    This sets forth the opening of the 95 Thesis in that man stays in a constant state of repentance (not per Rome and sacramentarians) and the parallel of staying IN one’s baptism constantly and daily (the state of being of the simul Justus et peccator). This is against even the Calvinist and Baptist in particular. Why? Think about the system, once saved always saved (its crass version) or the state of being of the Calvinist arrived, some how, at “I’m elect and cannot fall away”. They are now in a state where they cannot in the reality of their system confess any of their “now” sins as mortal, i.e. deadly, and perceive them, per the doctrinal system, as more or less venial, though the term “venial” is not used. Think about all the machinations one goes through, if you’ve been in that system, you go through about determining your “assurance”, more to the point “assurance of election”. You scrap your conscience raw all the time concerning your life and works for “signs of election” in the works and also weighing against it all the sins you KNOW you commit daily in thought, word and deed. One then proceeds to weigh “what sin or set of sins by type, kind, amount, magnitude, repetitiveness, recalcitrance to cease, length, severity, etc…constitute the category of either “not elect yet” or “maybe reprobate” or in the case of the Baptist “not really regenerate/reborn and my baptism was a shame”. That’s the protestant version of the Roman mortal Vs. venial system without the precise terms. In fact one sees it constantly, its principle, in all their writings. An good example of this is John MacArthurs “The Gospel According to Jesus” (which is anything BUT what the title states). He gets into this principle of mortal VS. venial so much (again without formerly naming is such) that even Reformed writer Michael Horton picked up on it in their rebuttal of his book calling it “…dangerously close to Rome’s mortal versus venial sin system…” (paraphrasing). And that is an understatement at best.

    The point is that one cannot confess a sin as truly mortal, post conversion, because it means to say “fall away from grace” especially of pious works as opposed to gross sin, if one cannot “fall away” one way or the other. Thus, one is forced to confess them as “venial” per Rome in like principle. This, says Luther, is a perilous surrender of the fear of God and that such “venial” sins are really thus truly mortal. But the conscience of the Calvinist/Baptist believer will not let them rest (unless they do like What Todd points out, see below), because the Law never rests on such. They know its not “venial” in reality but truly mortal. However, their system will not let them CONFESS their sins as truly mortal, unless they be OUTSIDE of the elect, born again, reborn and unconverted. They cannot say “my sin is deadly and tears me away from Grace” as a Baptist or Calvinist unless they themselves decide, “I must not be truly born again, elect, regenerate, falsely baptized, unconverted as of yet”.

    So they live, painfully, despairingly outside of constant true repentance (what Luther meant in the 95) and their baptisms, the VERY life giving water they should be going to. All because they are in a de facto Roman mortal versus venial sin system. This is no small thing, but the very spirit and doctrine of the antichrist be it in Rome, Geneva or the local “evangelical” church. It is exceedingly dangerous.

    Todd,
    “What’s so sad about the legalists is that, while they think they are upholding the law better than most people, in reality they show their disdain for that very law.”

    Nailed it point blank!

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    I’m like a fly drawn to the fire… Ugh. : )

    Larry,

    Here I found this: http://lutheranwiktionary.org/tiki-index.php?page=Venial+and+Mortal+Sin

    “In his 1518 Heidelberg Disputation, Luther presented a clearer teaching regarding the distinction between venial and mortal sin. In Thesis 12 he said, “In the sight of God sins are then truly venial when they are feared by men to be mortal.” He later explained, “For as much as we accuse ourselves, so much God pardons us, according to the verse “Confess your misdeed so that you will justified” (Isa. 43:26), and according to another “Incline not my heart to any evil, to busy myself with wicked deeds (Ps 141:4).”

    It is here that we see that those sins that we consider dangerous or “mortal” are the ones that drive us to repentance and faith. They are no longer dangerous because they are forgiven by Christ. At the same time, those many sins that we arrogantly consider not to be dangerous or “venial” are quite deadly! They remain eternally dangerous to us because they are not being considered with the due repentance needed for all sin.

    Lutheranism rightly undercuts the faulty distinction of Roman Catholicism by teaching that all sin is mortal and must be forgiven on account of Christ. There are no “venial” sins that are slight enough that they can be bought off with human works such as being a good person, performing penance, or being tortured in purgatory.”

    I think this sounds right, summing up more or less what you said.

    Nevertheless, I think there is still venial sins. Would not venial sins be those that we commit every day (commission and omission) that we are not even aware of, and hence, do not feel the need to confess?

    That said, when we are made aware of these sins, to not confess would be disastrous. This, I think, is what Walther means when he says “small sins become large when they are considered small”. Romans 4:15 says “because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression”, and as Luther noted, Paul here is talking about being made aware of our sin here – the only thing we can do is confess them – flee to Christ!

    For as the Confessions say: “[faith] cannot exist in those who live according to the flesh, who are delighted by their own lusts and obey them.”

    A little Luther (from Pastor Robert Mayes, from the link I listed above):

    “- Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians 5:18 – “‘If ye be led by the spirit ye are not under the law,’ thou mayest greatly comfort thyself, and others that be grievously tempted. Let lust rage as long as it listeth; only see thou that, in any case, thou consent not to it, to fulfil it, but walk wisely, and follow the leading of the spirit. In so doing thou art free from the law.” (I apologize for the old english translation. It’s what I have. Trans. Erasmus Middleton, Kregel Publications, 1979, pp. 339-340.)”

    and Chemnitz:

    “- Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent, part 1, sec. III. “Therefore it is clear that Augustine understands it to be sin when men do not resist the lusts of the flesh through the Spirit but obey them, and this sin draws down on those who have been regenerated the guilt of the wrath of God and eternal death, unless they are again converted.
    And in this sense also James speaks, ch. 1:15… This is the same thing which Paul in Rom. 6:12 calls ‘reigning sin’ and in Rom. 8:13 either ‘mortal’ or ‘damning sin’ when he says, ‘For If you live according to the flesh, you will die.’ And in this sense we not only grant this, but when we explain the difference between mortal and venial sin, we faithfully and diligently instruct people that the concupiscence which remains in the regenerate, when one so resists it that its deeds are mortified by the Spirit, is not a mortal or reigning sin, nor one that ravages the conscience. We teach also that it is not a sin which condemns the believers, that is, one on account of which those are condemned who are in Christ Jesus…
    2. But Paul, in that same place, Rom. 6 and 7, where he expressly treats the doctrine concerning the difference between ruling and non-ruling, mortal and venial sin, ascribes to the concupiscence which remains in the regenerate the name sin also when it does not reign, and that not just once, in which case that appellation could appear to have casually escaped him. No, he impresses and repeats the name a number of times…” (Examen, part 1, pp. 345-346).”

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    I’m like a fly drawn to the fire… Ugh. : )

    Larry,

    Here I found this: http://lutheranwiktionary.org/tiki-index.php?page=Venial+and+Mortal+Sin

    “In his 1518 Heidelberg Disputation, Luther presented a clearer teaching regarding the distinction between venial and mortal sin. In Thesis 12 he said, “In the sight of God sins are then truly venial when they are feared by men to be mortal.” He later explained, “For as much as we accuse ourselves, so much God pardons us, according to the verse “Confess your misdeed so that you will justified” (Isa. 43:26), and according to another “Incline not my heart to any evil, to busy myself with wicked deeds (Ps 141:4).”

    It is here that we see that those sins that we consider dangerous or “mortal” are the ones that drive us to repentance and faith. They are no longer dangerous because they are forgiven by Christ. At the same time, those many sins that we arrogantly consider not to be dangerous or “venial” are quite deadly! They remain eternally dangerous to us because they are not being considered with the due repentance needed for all sin.

    Lutheranism rightly undercuts the faulty distinction of Roman Catholicism by teaching that all sin is mortal and must be forgiven on account of Christ. There are no “venial” sins that are slight enough that they can be bought off with human works such as being a good person, performing penance, or being tortured in purgatory.”

    I think this sounds right, summing up more or less what you said.

    Nevertheless, I think there is still venial sins. Would not venial sins be those that we commit every day (commission and omission) that we are not even aware of, and hence, do not feel the need to confess?

    That said, when we are made aware of these sins, to not confess would be disastrous. This, I think, is what Walther means when he says “small sins become large when they are considered small”. Romans 4:15 says “because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression”, and as Luther noted, Paul here is talking about being made aware of our sin here – the only thing we can do is confess them – flee to Christ!

    For as the Confessions say: “[faith] cannot exist in those who live according to the flesh, who are delighted by their own lusts and obey them.”

    A little Luther (from Pastor Robert Mayes, from the link I listed above):

    “- Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians 5:18 – “‘If ye be led by the spirit ye are not under the law,’ thou mayest greatly comfort thyself, and others that be grievously tempted. Let lust rage as long as it listeth; only see thou that, in any case, thou consent not to it, to fulfil it, but walk wisely, and follow the leading of the spirit. In so doing thou art free from the law.” (I apologize for the old english translation. It’s what I have. Trans. Erasmus Middleton, Kregel Publications, 1979, pp. 339-340.)”

    and Chemnitz:

    “- Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent, part 1, sec. III. “Therefore it is clear that Augustine understands it to be sin when men do not resist the lusts of the flesh through the Spirit but obey them, and this sin draws down on those who have been regenerated the guilt of the wrath of God and eternal death, unless they are again converted.
    And in this sense also James speaks, ch. 1:15… This is the same thing which Paul in Rom. 6:12 calls ‘reigning sin’ and in Rom. 8:13 either ‘mortal’ or ‘damning sin’ when he says, ‘For If you live according to the flesh, you will die.’ And in this sense we not only grant this, but when we explain the difference between mortal and venial sin, we faithfully and diligently instruct people that the concupiscence which remains in the regenerate, when one so resists it that its deeds are mortified by the Spirit, is not a mortal or reigning sin, nor one that ravages the conscience. We teach also that it is not a sin which condemns the believers, that is, one on account of which those are condemned who are in Christ Jesus…
    2. But Paul, in that same place, Rom. 6 and 7, where he expressly treats the doctrine concerning the difference between ruling and non-ruling, mortal and venial sin, ascribes to the concupiscence which remains in the regenerate the name sin also when it does not reign, and that not just once, in which case that appellation could appear to have casually escaped him. No, he impresses and repeats the name a number of times…” (Examen, part 1, pp. 345-346).”

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Grace,

    I think Todd is right to speak to you as he did. As was Tom.

    That said, also consider these words from Pastor Robert Mayes (found here again): http://wittenbergtrail.org/forum/topics/what-is-mortal-sin?commentId=1453099%3AComment%3A350820&xg_source=activity

    “Phil. 2:13 says to the faithful believers in Philippi that God “works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” To say that a believer’s salvation will be unaffected if he sleeps around, steals, murders, commits acts of treason, worships idols, etc. because no one is perfect and all people sin is to deny this passage. God is the one who works in believers so that they will what is good. If a believer wills to sin, first of all it is not wrought by God. Second of all, the tree is known by its fruits. The will that wills sin is corrupt, sinful, and dead, because God only wills what creates, protects, and promotes life. If a person wills to live in sin, he demonstrates that his will is contrary to the will of God. He is therefore trapped in carnal security and his soul is in danger. It is not without reason that Scripture everywhere condemns those who practice living in sin….

    Those who walk according to the flesh cannot please God (Rom. 8:8). If God is not pleased, then He is angry.”

    He is exactly right to. When Luther wrote as he did to Melanchton, I believe it is because Melanchton was being overly scrupulous and was agonizing over a great many things that he should not have been. Luther was just trying to “snap him out of it” – to realize that Jesus is first and foremost the friend of sinners. He is only the friend of sinners – and always this before He is our model.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Grace,

    I think Todd is right to speak to you as he did. As was Tom.

    That said, also consider these words from Pastor Robert Mayes (found here again): http://wittenbergtrail.org/forum/topics/what-is-mortal-sin?commentId=1453099%3AComment%3A350820&xg_source=activity

    “Phil. 2:13 says to the faithful believers in Philippi that God “works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” To say that a believer’s salvation will be unaffected if he sleeps around, steals, murders, commits acts of treason, worships idols, etc. because no one is perfect and all people sin is to deny this passage. God is the one who works in believers so that they will what is good. If a believer wills to sin, first of all it is not wrought by God. Second of all, the tree is known by its fruits. The will that wills sin is corrupt, sinful, and dead, because God only wills what creates, protects, and promotes life. If a person wills to live in sin, he demonstrates that his will is contrary to the will of God. He is therefore trapped in carnal security and his soul is in danger. It is not without reason that Scripture everywhere condemns those who practice living in sin….

    Those who walk according to the flesh cannot please God (Rom. 8:8). If God is not pleased, then He is angry.”

    He is exactly right to. When Luther wrote as he did to Melanchton, I believe it is because Melanchton was being overly scrupulous and was agonizing over a great many things that he should not have been. Luther was just trying to “snap him out of it” – to realize that Jesus is first and foremost the friend of sinners. He is only the friend of sinners – and always this before He is our model.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    All,

    As far as seeing the big picture for all this stuff (the “why”), I am not sure about it. Perhaps this may help a bit though, from the blog post I mentioned earlier:

    “Ah, the mysteries of God, who yes, really does desire all men – even the one Jesus called “a devil” – to be saved. In one sense, such questions: “Why are some saved and not others?”, cannot be answered. We can say that God gets all the glory when someone is saved, and that a man gets all the blame when he is not – but that is about all we can say with certainty. This is commonly called the “crux theologorum“, or the cross of the theologian.

    But still, as ones who follow the One who said “Father forgive them….” must we not wonder about – and mourn for – this man, who God created in His image? Why… why then did God not just turn Judas to Himself – creating faith in him where and when He pleased? (like He restored Peter or converted Paul, the persecutor?)

    I tread lightly here, but I suspect it is because God means for us to see Judas as a sign against spiritual apathy. When we sin, it is God’s Spirit who turns us again, convicting us, breaking us, and leading us to Christ (see John 16). We would not do this apart from Him. And yet – we dare not presume on such kindness and grace… God may not renew. While God’s redeeming grace is always free and unearned, there is indeed a “cutoff” point… we must all face our final judgment or the Final Judgment… Therefore, we disciples must be wise about how we walk, so a loss of faith does not result – we walk in danger all the way. Don’t say of sin “its something I want… yeah, I know its wrong, but…”. Instead, always huddle close by the Shepherd! Could Judas be a sign that God may indeed, at some point, give us over to the un-Life we, in our flesh, are prone to seek?

    But do you say “Why?” again? Consider this: when we seek un-Life, we become the odor of death, devoid of the Gospel and its power. We rob God, rejecting His will for us and our neighbor. “God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you”, Paul asserts, echoing the Old Testament. Understandably, God desires that His people to point to Him. He desires that we be hot or cold, not lukewarm. “Why” again? Perhaps for the sake of our neighbor? He desires that they to be saved, for they, like us, are among “the whole world” for whom He died for, and is, in fact, already reconciled to. As those who are either “hot” or “cold”, we can be seen as “clearly with Him” or “clearly against Him” – for the sake of the world.

    Judas was not damned because God didn’t deeply care for him. The Son of God wept over Jerusalem, and I believe He weeps for Judas – for He never desires the death – especially the eternal death – of the wicked. God takes no pleasure in the millstones administered for the sake of the children, but perhaps, He simply does what He needs to do.

    So perhaps, for the sake of the children, God administers not only millstones, but Judas’ fate as well.

    In which case, better to have never been born indeed. May this not be the case with us. Lord have mercy.”

    For whatever the reason, we can say this: we are to seek holiness, even as in God’s eyes, we know that we are righteous through Christ alone, and not by our good works.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    All,

    As far as seeing the big picture for all this stuff (the “why”), I am not sure about it. Perhaps this may help a bit though, from the blog post I mentioned earlier:

    “Ah, the mysteries of God, who yes, really does desire all men – even the one Jesus called “a devil” – to be saved. In one sense, such questions: “Why are some saved and not others?”, cannot be answered. We can say that God gets all the glory when someone is saved, and that a man gets all the blame when he is not – but that is about all we can say with certainty. This is commonly called the “crux theologorum“, or the cross of the theologian.

    But still, as ones who follow the One who said “Father forgive them….” must we not wonder about – and mourn for – this man, who God created in His image? Why… why then did God not just turn Judas to Himself – creating faith in him where and when He pleased? (like He restored Peter or converted Paul, the persecutor?)

    I tread lightly here, but I suspect it is because God means for us to see Judas as a sign against spiritual apathy. When we sin, it is God’s Spirit who turns us again, convicting us, breaking us, and leading us to Christ (see John 16). We would not do this apart from Him. And yet – we dare not presume on such kindness and grace… God may not renew. While God’s redeeming grace is always free and unearned, there is indeed a “cutoff” point… we must all face our final judgment or the Final Judgment… Therefore, we disciples must be wise about how we walk, so a loss of faith does not result – we walk in danger all the way. Don’t say of sin “its something I want… yeah, I know its wrong, but…”. Instead, always huddle close by the Shepherd! Could Judas be a sign that God may indeed, at some point, give us over to the un-Life we, in our flesh, are prone to seek?

    But do you say “Why?” again? Consider this: when we seek un-Life, we become the odor of death, devoid of the Gospel and its power. We rob God, rejecting His will for us and our neighbor. “God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you”, Paul asserts, echoing the Old Testament. Understandably, God desires that His people to point to Him. He desires that we be hot or cold, not lukewarm. “Why” again? Perhaps for the sake of our neighbor? He desires that they to be saved, for they, like us, are among “the whole world” for whom He died for, and is, in fact, already reconciled to. As those who are either “hot” or “cold”, we can be seen as “clearly with Him” or “clearly against Him” – for the sake of the world.

    Judas was not damned because God didn’t deeply care for him. The Son of God wept over Jerusalem, and I believe He weeps for Judas – for He never desires the death – especially the eternal death – of the wicked. God takes no pleasure in the millstones administered for the sake of the children, but perhaps, He simply does what He needs to do.

    So perhaps, for the sake of the children, God administers not only millstones, but Judas’ fate as well.

    In which case, better to have never been born indeed. May this not be the case with us. Lord have mercy.”

    For whatever the reason, we can say this: we are to seek holiness, even as in God’s eyes, we know that we are righteous through Christ alone, and not by our good works.

    +Nathan

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Grace: “fws,

    Your disgregard, for plain doctrine, as in Romans 1, as you stated, “I do not believe that homosexuality, per se, is a sin.” on February 20, 2012. I cannot in good conscience read or take serious your beliefs.”

    It’s such a hoot to see Frank Sonntek endlessly talk about the Lutheran dogma of Law while simultaneously believing that same-sex behavior is not a sin.

    The clown doesn’t see how he undermines his own arguments. What a joke. Possibly the worst farce on Cranach.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Grace: “fws,

    Your disgregard, for plain doctrine, as in Romans 1, as you stated, “I do not believe that homosexuality, per se, is a sin.” on February 20, 2012. I cannot in good conscience read or take serious your beliefs.”

    It’s such a hoot to see Frank Sonntek endlessly talk about the Lutheran dogma of Law while simultaneously believing that same-sex behavior is not a sin.

    The clown doesn’t see how he undermines his own arguments. What a joke. Possibly the worst farce on Cranach.

  • Tom Hering

    Frank could be the most homosexual man in the world, and he still wouldn’t be a danger to the Christian faith itself. But someone who mucks up the meaning of Scripture, and refuses repeated correction, and even tries to get the Christians here to doubt the assurances of their faith – well! – that person is doing the Devil’s work. Who do you think I mean, Grace?

  • Tom Hering

    Frank could be the most homosexual man in the world, and he still wouldn’t be a danger to the Christian faith itself. But someone who mucks up the meaning of Scripture, and refuses repeated correction, and even tries to get the Christians here to doubt the assurances of their faith – well! – that person is doing the Devil’s work. Who do you think I mean, Grace?

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    TUAD,

    See what I said to Frank (and Grace) above:

    Frank – first of all, I think your last comment (#106) must be directed to me (thank you for the complement), particularly this post in the series: http://infanttheology.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/we-are-all-antinomians-now-except-the-babies-part-iii-of-v/
    I must say that I find your contention that you *are* a homosexual to be a little bit confusing (I stick with talking about how some persons, very early in life, find they are, against their will even, saddled with homosexual inclinations), but if you agree with what I wrote in that post, it shows we are actually united (Grace – read what I wrote there and consider that Frank agrees with what I said there).

    I get the impression that Frank does think homosexual behavior is sin. And the same with lustful desires. Now, a person may want to clarify that some lustful desire is “according to nature” while other is not… but if we do this in a way that gives the impression that homosexual inclinations/desires are worse sins than heterosexual inclinations/desires, we have failed to communicate the truth. We need to stand with our Christian brothers and sisters who struggle mightily against sexual lust, perhaps often falling… not just for the person who struggles with heterosexual temptation, but homosexual temptation as well…

    Sorry I am linking to so many of my own posts (I really did not come here to self-promote), but I think this post gets to the heart of the matter:

    http://infanttheology.wordpress.com/2009/12/23/transformation-failure-3/

    I wonder if I am alone, or if other sinners can identify with me.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    TUAD,

    See what I said to Frank (and Grace) above:

    Frank – first of all, I think your last comment (#106) must be directed to me (thank you for the complement), particularly this post in the series: http://infanttheology.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/we-are-all-antinomians-now-except-the-babies-part-iii-of-v/
    I must say that I find your contention that you *are* a homosexual to be a little bit confusing (I stick with talking about how some persons, very early in life, find they are, against their will even, saddled with homosexual inclinations), but if you agree with what I wrote in that post, it shows we are actually united (Grace – read what I wrote there and consider that Frank agrees with what I said there).

    I get the impression that Frank does think homosexual behavior is sin. And the same with lustful desires. Now, a person may want to clarify that some lustful desire is “according to nature” while other is not… but if we do this in a way that gives the impression that homosexual inclinations/desires are worse sins than heterosexual inclinations/desires, we have failed to communicate the truth. We need to stand with our Christian brothers and sisters who struggle mightily against sexual lust, perhaps often falling… not just for the person who struggles with heterosexual temptation, but homosexual temptation as well…

    Sorry I am linking to so many of my own posts (I really did not come here to self-promote), but I think this post gets to the heart of the matter:

    http://infanttheology.wordpress.com/2009/12/23/transformation-failure-3/

    I wonder if I am alone, or if other sinners can identify with me.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Tom,

    “But someone who mucks up the meaning of Scripture, and refuses repeated correction, and even tries to get the Christians here to doubt the assurances of their faith – well! – that person is doing the Devil’s work. Who do you think I mean, Grace?”

    Let’s be honest. This happens with “gay Christianity” also. They muck up – and cast into doubt – what the Scriptures really do say about homosexual activities….

    And that is indeed a danger to the Christian faith itself. Antinomianism is, as I have been arguing. As I said in one of the posts I linked to:

    “But what kind of a Church is it that has no zeal for God’s Law – to know it and to uphold it? Has not such a Church ceased to know the Gospel as well? From what, ultimately, have we been saved? Sin, or the Law of God? We have been freed from the Law, and are no longer under the Law. But we have not been saved from the Law, for this we uphold and fulfill in Christ (Romans 8:4).

    There must not be a hint of immorality, impurity, or greed among you, Paul says (Eph. 5:3). Yes, he really said that and meant just that – Paul’s intention is not only to reveal our sin here (as in Romans 1-3), but to call us to shine, so that it is only the cross of Christ which is the stumbling block.”

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Tom,

    “But someone who mucks up the meaning of Scripture, and refuses repeated correction, and even tries to get the Christians here to doubt the assurances of their faith – well! – that person is doing the Devil’s work. Who do you think I mean, Grace?”

    Let’s be honest. This happens with “gay Christianity” also. They muck up – and cast into doubt – what the Scriptures really do say about homosexual activities….

    And that is indeed a danger to the Christian faith itself. Antinomianism is, as I have been arguing. As I said in one of the posts I linked to:

    “But what kind of a Church is it that has no zeal for God’s Law – to know it and to uphold it? Has not such a Church ceased to know the Gospel as well? From what, ultimately, have we been saved? Sin, or the Law of God? We have been freed from the Law, and are no longer under the Law. But we have not been saved from the Law, for this we uphold and fulfill in Christ (Romans 8:4).

    There must not be a hint of immorality, impurity, or greed among you, Paul says (Eph. 5:3). Yes, he really said that and meant just that – Paul’s intention is not only to reveal our sin here (as in Romans 1-3), but to call us to shine, so that it is only the cross of Christ which is the stumbling block.”

    +Nathan

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    +Nathan, @160,

    I went to your posts but am unable to read thread comments.

    “I get the impression that Frank does think homosexual behavior is sin.”

    FWS, do you genuinely believe that homosexual behavior is sin?

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    +Nathan, @160,

    I went to your posts but am unable to read thread comments.

    “I get the impression that Frank does think homosexual behavior is sin.”

    FWS, do you genuinely believe that homosexual behavior is sin?

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    TUAD,

    Could your read my post? That is all there is. There are no comments on it.

    Here it is:

    Transformation failure

    Sins long forgiven, consequences remain
    Oh, to be innocent of what he now knows
    Echoes of past choices revertibrate, suffocate
    Temptation lingers, no end in sight
    Desire for God and desire for evil?
    Romans 7 so real, so prescient

    The kitten Sin, so small, so harmless
    A million justifications arise
    Malformed passions explained, caressed
    Conflict waging – who wins out?
    The lion Sin, larger, so vicious
    Consuming his life and his kin

    Fear and love of God subsiding
    Divine plans and purposes, stillborn
    Faith, lives, innocent children destroyed
    “Fraud. Hypocrite. Liar”, he says
    He calls himself Christian?
    He hates his life

    Faith in Christ saves, he rejoices!
    How much repentance? – irrelevant!
    But is there any true faith?
    For is there any true repentance?
    To the empty well he ever returns
    How can he not be lost, cut off?

    The devil delights
    Faith so unlike a child!
    Yes, nations blaspheme because of him!
    Yes, God knows he deserves death!
    Servant of the Word – go!
    Draw him outside himself again!

    70×7 says, does the Christ-child
    “Room in the inn” – even for him.
    Leave him not to his own judgment
    Draw the truth from him
    Absorb his sin, his guilt
    You carry Christ in your body

    Sins forgiven, but consequences remain
    His love grows cold
    Transformation eludes, fails
    So will he transform God?
    Will he desire forgiveness for this, for that?
    Come Lord Jesus – and save him from himself.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    TUAD,

    Could your read my post? That is all there is. There are no comments on it.

    Here it is:

    Transformation failure

    Sins long forgiven, consequences remain
    Oh, to be innocent of what he now knows
    Echoes of past choices revertibrate, suffocate
    Temptation lingers, no end in sight
    Desire for God and desire for evil?
    Romans 7 so real, so prescient

    The kitten Sin, so small, so harmless
    A million justifications arise
    Malformed passions explained, caressed
    Conflict waging – who wins out?
    The lion Sin, larger, so vicious
    Consuming his life and his kin

    Fear and love of God subsiding
    Divine plans and purposes, stillborn
    Faith, lives, innocent children destroyed
    “Fraud. Hypocrite. Liar”, he says
    He calls himself Christian?
    He hates his life

    Faith in Christ saves, he rejoices!
    How much repentance? – irrelevant!
    But is there any true faith?
    For is there any true repentance?
    To the empty well he ever returns
    How can he not be lost, cut off?

    The devil delights
    Faith so unlike a child!
    Yes, nations blaspheme because of him!
    Yes, God knows he deserves death!
    Servant of the Word – go!
    Draw him outside himself again!

    70×7 says, does the Christ-child
    “Room in the inn” – even for him.
    Leave him not to his own judgment
    Draw the truth from him
    Absorb his sin, his guilt
    You carry Christ in your body

    Sins forgiven, but consequences remain
    His love grows cold
    Transformation eludes, fails
    So will he transform God?
    Will he desire forgiveness for this, for that?
    Come Lord Jesus – and save him from himself.

    +Nathan

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    +Nathan,

    Truly a lovely poem. Thanks for posting it.

    Also, your comment to Tom in #161 was very good. Thanks for posting it.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    +Nathan,

    Truly a lovely poem. Thanks for posting it.

    Also, your comment to Tom in #161 was very good. Thanks for posting it.

  • larry

    Many here are still seeing that “sin” is primarily a problem of “law” and God “as law” when Luther points out that we have not even begun to understand the depths of our sin until we recognize in orginal sin that was a trust issue, in fact Luther’s commentary on David’s sin explicitly states this.

    And Tom nails it rightly, no person is more dangerous to the faith than that person that attacks and despises that from which we derive sure assurance and the word of God. Luther’s over-arching point in the HD is that even the law is salutary and good it not only cannot attain a man life, BUT, in fact hinders him (Thesis 1) and this sets forth the tone.

    To that end those pious sounding doctrines, like believers baptism, are damnable because they violate the very first two commandments of God causing men to search of other gods and the hidden God, make His name vain and etc… Such apparently “pious” doctrines to the thus tickled ears of reason lead more men and women into perdition than the most vial of overt sins we can think of be it murder, theft or adultry.

    The very essence of antichrist and the term is not first or foremost “against Christ” (though it is that too) but ‘in the place of Christ’. This is why for THE antichrist the he looks like a lamb but speaks like a dragon. This describes many pastors and many confessions, they have the apperance of “christ”, they say his name and etc… but they speak at length as the dragon in the whole of their doctrine. As Pieper warns concerning orthodox versus heterodoxy, to be sure, true Christians exist in and among these false churches, but they are constantly under great danger due to the doctrine. Those of us that have experienced this know precisely what he is talking about.

    It is much better for a man or woman to be a gross sinner and hope in Christ because they know they are sinners, for no man will take before God proudly his murders, thefts and adultries and say, “See here good works, proof I’m saved”. But many pious fellows will and do tally up their good works and life as proof positive they are saved and would dare to bring them before God saying, “see here my good works as proof I’m saved”. Thus Christ spoke of the sheep who would not know their good works for they too are articles of faith (believed only) and the goats that are shocked that they didn’t have any when they say, “Lord didn’t we do x, y and z in your name”.

    This is what happens whenever the Law is lowered in all its force and men begin to think they are pulling it off, with the help of “grace” of course.

    At the highest level it really boils down to this:

    Some point to their works as signs of rebirth, election, regeneration, conversion, etc…

    Others their baptism and the Lord’s Supper where salvation is Worded to us by God’s own speech.

  • larry

    Many here are still seeing that “sin” is primarily a problem of “law” and God “as law” when Luther points out that we have not even begun to understand the depths of our sin until we recognize in orginal sin that was a trust issue, in fact Luther’s commentary on David’s sin explicitly states this.

    And Tom nails it rightly, no person is more dangerous to the faith than that person that attacks and despises that from which we derive sure assurance and the word of God. Luther’s over-arching point in the HD is that even the law is salutary and good it not only cannot attain a man life, BUT, in fact hinders him (Thesis 1) and this sets forth the tone.

    To that end those pious sounding doctrines, like believers baptism, are damnable because they violate the very first two commandments of God causing men to search of other gods and the hidden God, make His name vain and etc… Such apparently “pious” doctrines to the thus tickled ears of reason lead more men and women into perdition than the most vial of overt sins we can think of be it murder, theft or adultry.

    The very essence of antichrist and the term is not first or foremost “against Christ” (though it is that too) but ‘in the place of Christ’. This is why for THE antichrist the he looks like a lamb but speaks like a dragon. This describes many pastors and many confessions, they have the apperance of “christ”, they say his name and etc… but they speak at length as the dragon in the whole of their doctrine. As Pieper warns concerning orthodox versus heterodoxy, to be sure, true Christians exist in and among these false churches, but they are constantly under great danger due to the doctrine. Those of us that have experienced this know precisely what he is talking about.

    It is much better for a man or woman to be a gross sinner and hope in Christ because they know they are sinners, for no man will take before God proudly his murders, thefts and adultries and say, “See here good works, proof I’m saved”. But many pious fellows will and do tally up their good works and life as proof positive they are saved and would dare to bring them before God saying, “see here my good works as proof I’m saved”. Thus Christ spoke of the sheep who would not know their good works for they too are articles of faith (believed only) and the goats that are shocked that they didn’t have any when they say, “Lord didn’t we do x, y and z in your name”.

    This is what happens whenever the Law is lowered in all its force and men begin to think they are pulling it off, with the help of “grace” of course.

    At the highest level it really boils down to this:

    Some point to their works as signs of rebirth, election, regeneration, conversion, etc…

    Others their baptism and the Lord’s Supper where salvation is Worded to us by God’s own speech.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    TUAD,

    Thank you.

    Larry,

    Amen. This does nail it indeed. The Word comes to us from the outside to save.

    I find it very interesting how even many Roman Catholic apologists are trying to latch onto this, namely the content of the absolving words a pastor might speak.

    See here: http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2009/08/st-thomas-aquinas-on-assurance-of-salvation/

    The problem is that there is no getting around the fact that Trent solidified and canonized the belief that the best and most pious faith was the one that doubted that one was really saved – and placed the focus directly on all a persons’ actions: right contrition, right confession, right satisfaction… at the expense of the absolving Word that brings life.

    That is our charge.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    TUAD,

    Thank you.

    Larry,

    Amen. This does nail it indeed. The Word comes to us from the outside to save.

    I find it very interesting how even many Roman Catholic apologists are trying to latch onto this, namely the content of the absolving words a pastor might speak.

    See here: http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2009/08/st-thomas-aquinas-on-assurance-of-salvation/

    The problem is that there is no getting around the fact that Trent solidified and canonized the belief that the best and most pious faith was the one that doubted that one was really saved – and placed the focus directly on all a persons’ actions: right contrition, right confession, right satisfaction… at the expense of the absolving Word that brings life.

    That is our charge.

    +Nathan

  • Tom Hering

    Nathan @ 161, to the best of my knowledge, Frank isn’t part of any gay Christian movement. But let’s say he mucks up what the Scriptures say about homosexual activities. Is his error anywhere near as serious as mucking up justification by grace through faith in Christ alone? The error of one or two other people here? Sure, correct Frank when you think you should. But please don’t equate his error with Grace’s. (Not really sure you were actually doing that.)

  • Tom Hering

    Nathan @ 161, to the best of my knowledge, Frank isn’t part of any gay Christian movement. But let’s say he mucks up what the Scriptures say about homosexual activities. Is his error anywhere near as serious as mucking up justification by grace through faith in Christ alone? The error of one or two other people here? Sure, correct Frank when you think you should. But please don’t equate his error with Grace’s. (Not really sure you were actually doing that.)

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Tom,

    Well, you make me think about it.

    If a person will not call sin what God clearly calls “sin”, then that is serious – just like “mucking up justification by grace through faith in Christ alone”. I’m not going to get into disputes about “degrees of seriousness”. The Roman Catholic who in faith prays “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed”, and then just does cling to that word of absolution is just as saved as anyone else – even if the official theology that they have learned and can perhaps even recite contradicts this. On the other hand, believing homosexual acts are sins is something that not too many people are going to be confused about.

    All this said, remember that Frank said “Amen” to my post where I said this:

    “Fifth, confront gross public sins personally: Confront the person who justifies leaving their non-adulterous spouse because the “relationship has already died”. Confront those who regularly miss church. Confront the alcoholic who justifies himself. Confront the spouse or father who is violent. Confront the couple who is living together. Do not tolerate unrepentant swindling, slandering, and homosexual activity – for your people were once swindlers, slanders and homosexuals – but no more. In all of this, don’t forget to offer your prayers and help – or to find others who can help, for the pastor can’t do it all (as we bear each others burdens). You don’t need to assume that just because they respond unfavorably right away that they are not Christians. Remember those crazy Corinthians. Even when Paul hands a man “over to Satan” he does not insist that the man is not a Christian – he speaks of specific persons “falling away” only when he mentions certain colleagues who’ve abandoned him. Give them time – and when they repent, always be eager to forgive (and let them commune again).”

    Not sure what else he might have meant by giving the thumbs up to this….

    +Nathan

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Tom,

    Well, you make me think about it.

    If a person will not call sin what God clearly calls “sin”, then that is serious – just like “mucking up justification by grace through faith in Christ alone”. I’m not going to get into disputes about “degrees of seriousness”. The Roman Catholic who in faith prays “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed”, and then just does cling to that word of absolution is just as saved as anyone else – even if the official theology that they have learned and can perhaps even recite contradicts this. On the other hand, believing homosexual acts are sins is something that not too many people are going to be confused about.

    All this said, remember that Frank said “Amen” to my post where I said this:

    “Fifth, confront gross public sins personally: Confront the person who justifies leaving their non-adulterous spouse because the “relationship has already died”. Confront those who regularly miss church. Confront the alcoholic who justifies himself. Confront the spouse or father who is violent. Confront the couple who is living together. Do not tolerate unrepentant swindling, slandering, and homosexual activity – for your people were once swindlers, slanders and homosexuals – but no more. In all of this, don’t forget to offer your prayers and help – or to find others who can help, for the pastor can’t do it all (as we bear each others burdens). You don’t need to assume that just because they respond unfavorably right away that they are not Christians. Remember those crazy Corinthians. Even when Paul hands a man “over to Satan” he does not insist that the man is not a Christian – he speaks of specific persons “falling away” only when he mentions certain colleagues who’ve abandoned him. Give them time – and when they repent, always be eager to forgive (and let them commune again).”

    Not sure what else he might have meant by giving the thumbs up to this….

    +Nathan

    +Nathan

  • Tom Hering

    Nathan @ 168. What? You’ll discuss venial and mortal sins, but not degrees of error?

  • Tom Hering

    Nathan @ 168. What? You’ll discuss venial and mortal sins, but not degrees of error?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    So TUaD (@158) joins Grace (@78) in her ad hominem fallacy. I’m not surprised. The legalist will always try to point to the sins of another, rather than discussing their own (even as they make their own sins manifest to everyone else). It is, after all, how the legalist finds comfort — not in the forgiveness of Christ, but in fancying themselves better than another.

    But even a cursory read of TUaD’s comment shows the problem. Here’s what FWS is quoted as saying:

    I do not believe that homosexuality, per se, is a sin.

    Now here’s what TUaD claims FWS said:

    same-sex behavior is not a sin

    See the problem? I do. But I’m quite certain TUaD and Grace don’t, because it’s been explained to them numerous times and they’re still where they started. (Out of fear of being tricked, they have simply refused to engage the discussion.)

    Anyhow, I’ll spell it out for everyone else: “same-sex behavior” is not the same as “homosexuality”. That was, in fact, FWS’s whole point when he said that quote (in context — but then, if these people will take Scripture passages out of context, we shouldn’t be surprised that they’ll do it to regular blog comments, should we?).

    I’m not sure I agree with everything FWS has said about homosexuality, though nor am I sure that he’s had a firm position on the topic over the years. But I do know that FWS fully admits he is a sinner, and fully confesses that his salvation is found in Jesus alone.

    Thankfully, we are not saved by our perfect understanding of our sinful condition. Even though I confess at least weekly that I am a sinner (full stop), I know that my sinful nature still believes I am less than that. When I am a jerk to others, it defends my actions with ideas like “they deserved it”. Can I be saved with attitudes like that, that struggle to admit the true nature of my depravity, and even excuse some of it? Yes. Jesus forgives that sin, too.

    In fact, I even believe that God can save the self-righteous legalist who has convinced herself that she doesn’t sin — at least, not “willfully”. Or the one who sorts sins into various categories based on how bad they are.

    Again, we are not saved because of our perfect understanding of our own sinful nature — though such sins can lead our eyes away from our Savior. But the soul that looks to Jesus for forgiveness of sins will be saved.

    I am confident that FWS, per his confession, is such a soul.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    So TUaD (@158) joins Grace (@78) in her ad hominem fallacy. I’m not surprised. The legalist will always try to point to the sins of another, rather than discussing their own (even as they make their own sins manifest to everyone else). It is, after all, how the legalist finds comfort — not in the forgiveness of Christ, but in fancying themselves better than another.

    But even a cursory read of TUaD’s comment shows the problem. Here’s what FWS is quoted as saying:

    I do not believe that homosexuality, per se, is a sin.

    Now here’s what TUaD claims FWS said:

    same-sex behavior is not a sin

    See the problem? I do. But I’m quite certain TUaD and Grace don’t, because it’s been explained to them numerous times and they’re still where they started. (Out of fear of being tricked, they have simply refused to engage the discussion.)

    Anyhow, I’ll spell it out for everyone else: “same-sex behavior” is not the same as “homosexuality”. That was, in fact, FWS’s whole point when he said that quote (in context — but then, if these people will take Scripture passages out of context, we shouldn’t be surprised that they’ll do it to regular blog comments, should we?).

    I’m not sure I agree with everything FWS has said about homosexuality, though nor am I sure that he’s had a firm position on the topic over the years. But I do know that FWS fully admits he is a sinner, and fully confesses that his salvation is found in Jesus alone.

    Thankfully, we are not saved by our perfect understanding of our sinful condition. Even though I confess at least weekly that I am a sinner (full stop), I know that my sinful nature still believes I am less than that. When I am a jerk to others, it defends my actions with ideas like “they deserved it”. Can I be saved with attitudes like that, that struggle to admit the true nature of my depravity, and even excuse some of it? Yes. Jesus forgives that sin, too.

    In fact, I even believe that God can save the self-righteous legalist who has convinced herself that she doesn’t sin — at least, not “willfully”. Or the one who sorts sins into various categories based on how bad they are.

    Again, we are not saved because of our perfect understanding of our own sinful nature — though such sins can lead our eyes away from our Savior. But the soul that looks to Jesus for forgiveness of sins will be saved.

    I am confident that FWS, per his confession, is such a soul.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Tom,

    “You’ll discuss venial and mortal sins, but not degrees of error?”

    I didn’t really discuss any specific sins here, did I? All I said is that Scripture, the Confessions, and Chemnitz clearly talk about distinctions here, and we should not think that these distinctions are unimportant – even if we also must not think that small sins really are small before God.

    When it comes to our justification before God, all sins are serious.

    So no, I’m not going to get into hierarchies about specifics here. I do believe there are degrees of error. (see here: http://infanttheology.wordpress.com/2012/01/05/god-incarnate-balaams-ass-the-book-of-genesis-and-faith-like-a-child/) I want to side with what you say, as it resonates with me as true, but on the other hand note what I said above. Note also that in our society right now there are definitely itching ears regarding the issue of homosexual behavior. There are these practical and contextual matters to attend to as well.

    With that, I won’t be commenting any more today.

    George – if you are out there I want to hear from you. Fight brother. Let’s get at the truth and not hide from this.

    Frank – here’s hoping you’ll weigh in to.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Tom,

    “You’ll discuss venial and mortal sins, but not degrees of error?”

    I didn’t really discuss any specific sins here, did I? All I said is that Scripture, the Confessions, and Chemnitz clearly talk about distinctions here, and we should not think that these distinctions are unimportant – even if we also must not think that small sins really are small before God.

    When it comes to our justification before God, all sins are serious.

    So no, I’m not going to get into hierarchies about specifics here. I do believe there are degrees of error. (see here: http://infanttheology.wordpress.com/2012/01/05/god-incarnate-balaams-ass-the-book-of-genesis-and-faith-like-a-child/) I want to side with what you say, as it resonates with me as true, but on the other hand note what I said above. Note also that in our society right now there are definitely itching ears regarding the issue of homosexual behavior. There are these practical and contextual matters to attend to as well.

    With that, I won’t be commenting any more today.

    George – if you are out there I want to hear from you. Fight brother. Let’s get at the truth and not hide from this.

    Frank – here’s hoping you’ll weigh in to.

    +Nathan

  • George A. Marquart

    Nathan @153

    Dear Nathan:

    I am not following the conversation between Todd and Grace.

    You write, ““Love always hopes”, we are told – what kind of hopes do you think God has?” This is what I mean by attributing human qualities to God. God has no hope. How could He? He knows the outcome of everything. He does not hope that something will change in a way He is not aware of.

    Now to all of the “Does God expect this” about Romans 12 & 13. Paul is exhorting his readers. That is in perfect agreement with the Third Use of the Law (as Luther states in his Commentary on Romans). The crux of the matter is that St. Paul makes two points in all of His writings: 1. God saves us without any contribution of ours. This usually comes first, because everything else is understood in light of this assertion. 2. He tells his readers (and you have to understand that not all in Rome knew anything about the Old Testament) what kind of behavior they should abstain from, and what they should practice. Does he “expect” that the people will follow his urging? Of course! But if you ask what God expects, then you have to ask whether God expects something to happen other than what He already knows will happen? He knows that His children will do some of the things that Paul urges them to do, and He knows that they will not do some others. But this changes nothing with regard to point 1 above. That is what St. Paul means when he writes, Romans 3: 21, “But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.”

    What is wrong about what Luther said in the Small Catechism? Here is what he wrote:
    “What does such baptizing with water signify?–Answer.
    It signifies that the old Adam in us should, by daily contrition and repentance, be drowned and die with all sins and evil lusts, and, again, a new man daily come forth and arise; who shall live before God in righteousness and purity forever.
    Where is this written?–Answer.
    St. Paul says Romans, chapter 6: We are buried with Christ by Baptism into death, that, like as He was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

    Nowhere in Scripture, not even in Romans 6, which Luther claims in support of his statement, does it say that “a new man daily come forth and arise …” A new man arises out of the waters of Baptism – one time- not daily. And which one shall live “before God in righteousness and purity forever”? The one who “came forth” yesterday or the one who “came forth” the day before?

    As to the Apostle Paul’s understanding of the Gospel, I think he who saw our Lord and received the fullness of revelation from Him, understood the Gospel much better than most people ever will. But he also understood that neither he, nor anyone else is going to be perfect in this world. He knew that the child of God, by virtue of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him, has an imperfect desire to do the will of God. He, himself, often “did the evil he did not want to do”, but that did not separate Him from the love of God. Our Lord said, “if the Son frees you, you are free indeed.” People have added all kinds of qualifications to this, like “you are free to (do something).” But once you qualify “being free”, you are no longer free. God gives us perfect freedom. Does God then sit back and watch to see how we cope? No. First, in Baptism we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, Who intercedes for us. He does not intercede with God the Father, because They have the same will, together with the Son. He intercedes with everything that tries to prevent us from remaining members of the Kingdom of God. He also provides us with parents, teachers, friends, pastors, the preaching of the Gospel, and the sharing of the Body and Blood of His Son to keep us in this Kingdom until life everlasting.

    But if you don’t believe all of this, or if I am wrong, God will still save us, because it is not a matter of our proper understanding of “fulfilling God’s expectations”, but a matter of the will and love and mercy of God, which He revealed through His Son.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    Nathan @153

    Dear Nathan:

    I am not following the conversation between Todd and Grace.

    You write, ““Love always hopes”, we are told – what kind of hopes do you think God has?” This is what I mean by attributing human qualities to God. God has no hope. How could He? He knows the outcome of everything. He does not hope that something will change in a way He is not aware of.

    Now to all of the “Does God expect this” about Romans 12 & 13. Paul is exhorting his readers. That is in perfect agreement with the Third Use of the Law (as Luther states in his Commentary on Romans). The crux of the matter is that St. Paul makes two points in all of His writings: 1. God saves us without any contribution of ours. This usually comes first, because everything else is understood in light of this assertion. 2. He tells his readers (and you have to understand that not all in Rome knew anything about the Old Testament) what kind of behavior they should abstain from, and what they should practice. Does he “expect” that the people will follow his urging? Of course! But if you ask what God expects, then you have to ask whether God expects something to happen other than what He already knows will happen? He knows that His children will do some of the things that Paul urges them to do, and He knows that they will not do some others. But this changes nothing with regard to point 1 above. That is what St. Paul means when he writes, Romans 3: 21, “But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.”

    What is wrong about what Luther said in the Small Catechism? Here is what he wrote:
    “What does such baptizing with water signify?–Answer.
    It signifies that the old Adam in us should, by daily contrition and repentance, be drowned and die with all sins and evil lusts, and, again, a new man daily come forth and arise; who shall live before God in righteousness and purity forever.
    Where is this written?–Answer.
    St. Paul says Romans, chapter 6: We are buried with Christ by Baptism into death, that, like as He was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

    Nowhere in Scripture, not even in Romans 6, which Luther claims in support of his statement, does it say that “a new man daily come forth and arise …” A new man arises out of the waters of Baptism – one time- not daily. And which one shall live “before God in righteousness and purity forever”? The one who “came forth” yesterday or the one who “came forth” the day before?

    As to the Apostle Paul’s understanding of the Gospel, I think he who saw our Lord and received the fullness of revelation from Him, understood the Gospel much better than most people ever will. But he also understood that neither he, nor anyone else is going to be perfect in this world. He knew that the child of God, by virtue of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him, has an imperfect desire to do the will of God. He, himself, often “did the evil he did not want to do”, but that did not separate Him from the love of God. Our Lord said, “if the Son frees you, you are free indeed.” People have added all kinds of qualifications to this, like “you are free to (do something).” But once you qualify “being free”, you are no longer free. God gives us perfect freedom. Does God then sit back and watch to see how we cope? No. First, in Baptism we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, Who intercedes for us. He does not intercede with God the Father, because They have the same will, together with the Son. He intercedes with everything that tries to prevent us from remaining members of the Kingdom of God. He also provides us with parents, teachers, friends, pastors, the preaching of the Gospel, and the sharing of the Body and Blood of His Son to keep us in this Kingdom until life everlasting.

    But if you don’t believe all of this, or if I am wrong, God will still save us, because it is not a matter of our proper understanding of “fulfilling God’s expectations”, but a matter of the will and love and mercy of God, which He revealed through His Son.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • Tom Hering

    “I want to side with what you say … ” – Nathan @ 171.

    Generally unadvisable. But okay in this case. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    “I want to side with what you say … ” – Nathan @ 171.

    Generally unadvisable. But okay in this case. :-D

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Nathan, #168: If a person will not call sin what God clearly calls “sin”, then that is serious – just like “mucking up justification by grace through faith in Christ alone”.”

    “All this said, remember that Frank said “Amen” to my post where I said this: ‘… Do not tolerate unrepentant swindling, slandering, and homosexual activity – for your people were once swindlers, slanders and homosexuals – but no more. … Give them time – and when they repent, always be eager to forgive (and let them commune again).’”

    +Nathan, there would be immense joy in seeing Frank Sonntek declare his genuine belief that homosexual behavior is sin. For this would be a good and welcome change, a repentance in fact, from his previous comments on this thread, “Denying Communion to a Lesbian”.

    Read #153 onwards.

    #153:

    fws, so you confess to a confessional Lutheran pastor that you’re gay. If the following conversation took place, I think it’s possible or probable that there are some Confessional Lutheran pastors who would deny you Holy Communion.

    fws: “I’m gay.”

    Confessional Lutheran Pastor: Comment #82.

    fws: #84, #89, #90

    Confessional Lutheran Pastor: #103, #104

    fws: #109, #110, #111, #112, #113, #114, #115

    Confessional Lutheran Pastor: “Our church has declared that homosexual behavior is ‘intrinsically evil.’

    Does the following statement have enough detail and context so that you can say whether you think it is a sin condemned by Scripture?

    Two men have consensual anal intercourse with each other.

    Fws, the Bible says that’s sin. Do you agree that it’s sin?”

    fws: “No. Again the problem is definitional.”

    Confessional Lutheran Pastor: “Please do not partake of Holy Communion.”

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Nathan, #168: If a person will not call sin what God clearly calls “sin”, then that is serious – just like “mucking up justification by grace through faith in Christ alone”.”

    “All this said, remember that Frank said “Amen” to my post where I said this: ‘… Do not tolerate unrepentant swindling, slandering, and homosexual activity – for your people were once swindlers, slanders and homosexuals – but no more. … Give them time – and when they repent, always be eager to forgive (and let them commune again).’”

    +Nathan, there would be immense joy in seeing Frank Sonntek declare his genuine belief that homosexual behavior is sin. For this would be a good and welcome change, a repentance in fact, from his previous comments on this thread, “Denying Communion to a Lesbian”.

    Read #153 onwards.

    #153:

    fws, so you confess to a confessional Lutheran pastor that you’re gay. If the following conversation took place, I think it’s possible or probable that there are some Confessional Lutheran pastors who would deny you Holy Communion.

    fws: “I’m gay.”

    Confessional Lutheran Pastor: Comment #82.

    fws: #84, #89, #90

    Confessional Lutheran Pastor: #103, #104

    fws: #109, #110, #111, #112, #113, #114, #115

    Confessional Lutheran Pastor: “Our church has declared that homosexual behavior is ‘intrinsically evil.’

    Does the following statement have enough detail and context so that you can say whether you think it is a sin condemned by Scripture?

    Two men have consensual anal intercourse with each other.

    Fws, the Bible says that’s sin. Do you agree that it’s sin?”

    fws: “No. Again the problem is definitional.”

    Confessional Lutheran Pastor: “Please do not partake of Holy Communion.”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    TUaD (@174) continues to hope that by trying to point us to someone else, we won’t have to discuss his own sins.

    Which would now include slander, for the record. Because TUaD’s fake conversation here deliberately misrepresents FWS’s own comments, as FWS himself has already pointed out to you.

    FWS’s saying “No. Again the problem is definitional.” was clearly not in response to TUaD’s asking “Do you agree that it’s sin?” Go read the thread for yourself.

    The problem remains that TUaD — seemingly willfully, at this point — refuses to recognize the difference between “homosexuality” and “homosexual behavior”. For that matter, he probably can’t even define “homosexual behavior”.

    Of course, to a legalist, slander is probably less of a sin than something done by a homosexual. At least, that’s what TUaD’s behavior would tell us at this point.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    TUaD (@174) continues to hope that by trying to point us to someone else, we won’t have to discuss his own sins.

    Which would now include slander, for the record. Because TUaD’s fake conversation here deliberately misrepresents FWS’s own comments, as FWS himself has already pointed out to you.

    FWS’s saying “No. Again the problem is definitional.” was clearly not in response to TUaD’s asking “Do you agree that it’s sin?” Go read the thread for yourself.

    The problem remains that TUaD — seemingly willfully, at this point — refuses to recognize the difference between “homosexuality” and “homosexual behavior”. For that matter, he probably can’t even define “homosexual behavior”.

    Of course, to a legalist, slander is probably less of a sin than something done by a homosexual. At least, that’s what TUaD’s behavior would tell us at this point.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    tODD: “FWS’s saying “No. Again the problem is definitional.” was clearly not in response to TUaD’s asking “Do you agree that it’s sin?” Go read the thread for yourself.”

    Indeed; let everyone go read the thread for themselves.

    Me, #117: “FWS,

    There have been so many comments that you might have overlooked one. Namely, #75. Here it is again for your thoughtful consideration:

    @fws, #75,

    “Our church, the LCMS, has declared that homosexual behavior is “intrinsically evil.”

    Does the following statement have enough detail and context so that you can say whether you think it is a sin condemned by Scripture?

    Two men have consensual anal intercourse with each other.

    Fws, the Bible says that’s sin. Do you agree that it’s sin?”

    FWS, #124: “tud @117

    No. Again the problem is definitional. “homosexual behavior”.

    1) does the LCMS define “homosexual behavior” as being two men having intercourse? or is that something you are adding in?

    2) All homosexuals I know of, and the medical community that has taken the time to study them say that “homosexual behavior” starts around age 5. So to say that homosexual behavior=anal intercourse between two men does not seem to really fit does it?

    That would be like saying “humans have sex with others. Therefore to be classivied as human, definitionally, one must have sex with others. therefore….. the definition of being human is to have sex with others. not all humans have sex for various reasons. Therefore they are not human? ”

    not all homosexuals have sex for various reasons. does that mean they are not homosexual? No homosexual or medical professional who studies them would look at it this way. I hope you can see what I am trying to show you. Thanks for your polite tone.

    As with humans, one, possible consequence of being homosexual might be sex. that is really because, after all, homosexuals are human too. But the act or desire to have sex is not ,at least for homosexuals or those who study them , what sets apart homosexuals as a classification and defines them as such. Follow me TUD?

    So if someone wants to dialog with any homosexual or the medical persons who study them and insist on changing the definition of “homosexual” to be about a sex act or desire, the conversation will get no where at all. Why? There will be no honest conversation.

    To disagree with someone, one must first understand what one is disagreeing with. and to do that, one must have the same definition of terms as the other side has. It is really that simple.

    Religious conservatives refuse to even consider this point arguing that “redefining” the word “homosexual” is a blatant attempt to UNsin something that is sin.

    I don’t agree with that assessment. I hope that helps TUD. I hope you can see that I am in no way trying to avoid or evade your question. Quite to the contrary, I am trying to articulate something in response that is not very easy to articulate, but , I think, is an important point.

    Whenever you meet a gay person or a medical professional who deals with them, keep in mind that they are convinced by what they have seen, that homosexuality is pretty much set in stone around age 5 . In my case it was much earlier. So see if what you say fits in , somehow, with that basic observation or not. If not, then you simply are not going to get anywhere at all talking to a homosexual or medical professional, so why even bother?”

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    tODD: “FWS’s saying “No. Again the problem is definitional.” was clearly not in response to TUaD’s asking “Do you agree that it’s sin?” Go read the thread for yourself.”

    Indeed; let everyone go read the thread for themselves.

    Me, #117: “FWS,

    There have been so many comments that you might have overlooked one. Namely, #75. Here it is again for your thoughtful consideration:

    @fws, #75,

    “Our church, the LCMS, has declared that homosexual behavior is “intrinsically evil.”

    Does the following statement have enough detail and context so that you can say whether you think it is a sin condemned by Scripture?

    Two men have consensual anal intercourse with each other.

    Fws, the Bible says that’s sin. Do you agree that it’s sin?”

    FWS, #124: “tud @117

    No. Again the problem is definitional. “homosexual behavior”.

    1) does the LCMS define “homosexual behavior” as being two men having intercourse? or is that something you are adding in?

    2) All homosexuals I know of, and the medical community that has taken the time to study them say that “homosexual behavior” starts around age 5. So to say that homosexual behavior=anal intercourse between two men does not seem to really fit does it?

    That would be like saying “humans have sex with others. Therefore to be classivied as human, definitionally, one must have sex with others. therefore….. the definition of being human is to have sex with others. not all humans have sex for various reasons. Therefore they are not human? ”

    not all homosexuals have sex for various reasons. does that mean they are not homosexual? No homosexual or medical professional who studies them would look at it this way. I hope you can see what I am trying to show you. Thanks for your polite tone.

    As with humans, one, possible consequence of being homosexual might be sex. that is really because, after all, homosexuals are human too. But the act or desire to have sex is not ,at least for homosexuals or those who study them , what sets apart homosexuals as a classification and defines them as such. Follow me TUD?

    So if someone wants to dialog with any homosexual or the medical persons who study them and insist on changing the definition of “homosexual” to be about a sex act or desire, the conversation will get no where at all. Why? There will be no honest conversation.

    To disagree with someone, one must first understand what one is disagreeing with. and to do that, one must have the same definition of terms as the other side has. It is really that simple.

    Religious conservatives refuse to even consider this point arguing that “redefining” the word “homosexual” is a blatant attempt to UNsin something that is sin.

    I don’t agree with that assessment. I hope that helps TUD. I hope you can see that I am in no way trying to avoid or evade your question. Quite to the contrary, I am trying to articulate something in response that is not very easy to articulate, but , I think, is an important point.

    Whenever you meet a gay person or a medical professional who deals with them, keep in mind that they are convinced by what they have seen, that homosexuality is pretty much set in stone around age 5 . In my case it was much earlier. So see if what you say fits in , somehow, with that basic observation or not. If not, then you simply are not going to get anywhere at all talking to a homosexual or medical professional, so why even bother?”

  • Tom Hering

    I’m having a hard time finding an official LCMS statement that includes the words “intrinsically evil.” But it must exist – somewhere – because TUAD, and commenters on other sites, keep repeating the quote. Right?

  • Tom Hering

    I’m having a hard time finding an official LCMS statement that includes the words “intrinsically evil.” But it must exist – somewhere – because TUAD, and commenters on other sites, keep repeating the quote. Right?

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    @177, Tom Hering,

    Sorry, it should read “intrinsically sinful.” From Comment #72 on the “Denying Communion to a Lesbian” thread on Cranach:

    FWS,

    Do you agree with the following statement from the LCMS?

    What does God say about homosexuality in His Word,
    the Bible?

    (lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=1100)

    The Lord teaches us through His Word that homosexuality is a sinful distortion of His desire that one man and one woman live together in marriage as husband and wife.

    God categorically prohibits homosexuality.

    Our church, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, has declared that homosexual behavior is “intrinsically sinful.”

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    @177, Tom Hering,

    Sorry, it should read “intrinsically sinful.” From Comment #72 on the “Denying Communion to a Lesbian” thread on Cranach:

    FWS,

    Do you agree with the following statement from the LCMS?

    What does God say about homosexuality in His Word,
    the Bible?

    (lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=1100)

    The Lord teaches us through His Word that homosexuality is a sinful distortion of His desire that one man and one woman live together in marriage as husband and wife.

    God categorically prohibits homosexuality.

    Our church, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, has declared that homosexual behavior is “intrinsically sinful.”

  • fws

    tuad @178

    Again tuad it is about definitions. I think that the wording of the statement is at best problematic. And the problem is about using words without first defining them carefully.

    LCMS STATEMENT What does God say about homosexuality in His Word,
    the Bible?
    FRANK “homosexuality” as defined by the medical community and all the homos I have ever met. Nothing at all. Per se. Example: The bible does not talk , per se, about albinoism. But it does talk about them: Are albinos sinners? Yes. Do they sin sexually? Yes. Why? they are full of Old Adam.

    LCMS STATEMENT The Lord teaches us through His Word that homosexuality is a sinful distortion of His desire that one man and one woman live together in marriage as husband and wife.

    FRANK Divorce and remarriage are that very “distortion” per se, regarding marriage. I can find that in the bible. And they are the result of sin. And persons who do these things, and even “live in them” or “live the lifestyle” by staying in those remarriages, are to be forgiven and welcomed into the church I say. Where in the Bible would one find that “homosexuality is a distortion of marriage”?

    Homosexuality “sinful”: I imagine a 4 year old homosexual girl or boy here. What part of that person’s existence is sinful. This statement is not helpful here.

    Homosexuality is a “distortion”. Measured by what? God’s Word? no. God’s Word does not even know if this category of humans. That category was not discovered until around the 1980′s. So we are arguing about science and biology here. Not theology.

    LCMS STATEMENT God categorically prohibits homosexuality.

    FRANK: Again definition. If heterosexual rape is forbidden in the Bible (and it is actually not explicitly , since rape in the Bible is defined solely as a property rights violation. Again a defintional problem), then the logic here would be to define what we would , today, call Biblical depictions of rape as “heterosexual sex” and therefore heterosexual sex would forbidden. That is the crazy logic here being used. Example: The sex that was described in Sodom And Gomorrah is violent group rape. Logic: Homosexuals were doing that (dubious assertion of fact alert), THEREFORE that describes and defines “honosexual sex”. Ahem.

    LCMS STATEMENT Our church, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, has declared that homosexual behavior is “intrinsically sinful.”

    FRANK Again defintional problem. I am a homosexual. Therefore ALL of my behavior could be defined as “homosexual behavior.”

    So is ALL of my behavior sinful? YES!

    THEREFORE : ALL of my “homosexual behavior” is also sinful,. Intrinsically so. Definitionally so as Old Adam. And ALL of your behavior as well, TUAD is “intrinsically sinful”. There is not one single thing you can see or do that is not being driven out of your Old Adam by the Law. So ALL you can see and do demands justice. And Justice demands that you suffer temporal and eternal punishment for ALL you do.

    Why? The Bible tells me that ALL the behavior of ALL humans is “intrinsically ” sinful! THIS is what Lutherans believe! I don’t need to be homosexual for this statement to apply to me!

    This statement seems unreasonable doesnt it TUAD? For example: if I am a homosexual, or saintly christian, or drunk or whoever, and I care for the needs of the poor or hungry or a widow or orphan and do so in full conformity to God’s Word, then how is that a sin?

    1) I am following the Law of God to the letter. I am DOING and REFRAINING FROM DOING precisely what the Law demands. Lets say even that I am an impecabbly perfect copy of the Good Samaritan ok? Flawlessly so.

    2) In my heart, I DONT want to do those things. That is the problem. I keep the Law to balance the scales with God or perhaps to avoid being punished by him or others, or for some other reason. But my heart is not really passionate and focussed, alone, on the needs of that person who need my help.

    It is all about ME. MY pleasing God. MY helping someone to get points. MY not getting punished. MY being better, morally than some other person. And so none of this goodness happens, out of me, spontaneously. It is always a very calculated act. There is alot of willpower needed. I need to work at being saintly. It is HARD work!

    This is why I have to WORK at being this sort of good! It is HARD WORK to be good. It requires discipline! It requires denial of self. It requires what looks like suffering and sacrifice. Why is that so? My heart wants to do something other than what the Law is extorting out of me with sweet carrot and stick.

    3) So here is the deal and what Lutherans teach about the Law: Reason things about the Law like we think about it in a courtroom.Reason is of the veiled opinion of Moses that we can fully KEEP the Law of God by doing or refraining from doing something on a biblical list or some other list, say a natural law list . That there is a Divine Design revealed in the sex organs and it is sinful to not use them contrary to their “obvious” design for example. Ok? And this IS how the Law, of God himself, works itself out here on earth. The powers that be are ordained of God. So just laws of the government are to be obeyed as if they were God’s Laws, because they are!

    Take home point: here in the Earthly Kingdom of Old Adam and the Law and man, we CAN and MUST keep the Laws of God by doing or refraining from doing something on a list. Period.

    Do you always do that TUAD? of course not. Neither do I.So we deserve to be punished for that, and we WILL be punished for that until we straighten up and fly right wherever we are not doing it.

    We are required to be legalists! God threatens to punish all who do not do this. And he promises to bless those who do it with earthly and even heavenly rewards. He is that serious about our doing this. And the “this” he wants us to do is to follow the list of dos and donts.

    But his WILL is something other than that legalistic sacrifice of following what is on the list. This following the list is always the act of us sacrificially dying . But God does not will the death of anyone! Yet he demands that we do this sacrificial death. So what gives with this?

    His will is that our doing and not doing results in Mercy being done for others. And mercy is , always, by definition, to give someone the opposite of justice, the opposite of what they deserve! This is all over the Parables as what God himself does. And Old Adam, that is all we can see and do in our bodies, unfortunately cant do Mercy to others unless first Justice is applied. Justice is always about death. Death is not the Will of God. Mercy is. But here on earth, mercy cannot happen without the death justice works.

    4) But Lutherans teach something else about the Law of God. It cannot be kept by doing our not doing even IF our heart is not in it. The Doing that GOD’s Law really demands is that we do everything that is Goodness and Mercy from the very depths of our will, our heart, our emotions, our entire being.

    And so ALL we can see or do, is , in God’s courtroom, “intrinsically sinful” even if it appears to be the most holy work.

    5) Reason is blindly veiled by moses, that is legalism and cannot see this spiritual demand of the Law that we do all from the depths of our heart. And so only a true believer can see this because Christ himself takes the Law into his own hands (ex sermon on the mount) and explains that the Law is spiritual, ie it really cant be fully kept alone by a doing or not doing.

    6) So then it is the Holy Spirit alone , not reason, that can alone reveal this spiritual Law and the Godly response is that our hearts are terrified! As a result we then know to hide ALL we can see and do inside the Works of Another, rather than parse out what works REALLY damn us (eg homosexual behavior) and which do not (ex heterosexual behavior). To do that sorting is to truly be busy about rearranging the deck chairs on the titannic!

    Here is a short reading of Dr Martin Luther that explains all this same stuff better than I can . It is short and deserves a careful reading:

    http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html

  • fws

    tuad @178

    Again tuad it is about definitions. I think that the wording of the statement is at best problematic. And the problem is about using words without first defining them carefully.

    LCMS STATEMENT What does God say about homosexuality in His Word,
    the Bible?
    FRANK “homosexuality” as defined by the medical community and all the homos I have ever met. Nothing at all. Per se. Example: The bible does not talk , per se, about albinoism. But it does talk about them: Are albinos sinners? Yes. Do they sin sexually? Yes. Why? they are full of Old Adam.

    LCMS STATEMENT The Lord teaches us through His Word that homosexuality is a sinful distortion of His desire that one man and one woman live together in marriage as husband and wife.

    FRANK Divorce and remarriage are that very “distortion” per se, regarding marriage. I can find that in the bible. And they are the result of sin. And persons who do these things, and even “live in them” or “live the lifestyle” by staying in those remarriages, are to be forgiven and welcomed into the church I say. Where in the Bible would one find that “homosexuality is a distortion of marriage”?

    Homosexuality “sinful”: I imagine a 4 year old homosexual girl or boy here. What part of that person’s existence is sinful. This statement is not helpful here.

    Homosexuality is a “distortion”. Measured by what? God’s Word? no. God’s Word does not even know if this category of humans. That category was not discovered until around the 1980′s. So we are arguing about science and biology here. Not theology.

    LCMS STATEMENT God categorically prohibits homosexuality.

    FRANK: Again definition. If heterosexual rape is forbidden in the Bible (and it is actually not explicitly , since rape in the Bible is defined solely as a property rights violation. Again a defintional problem), then the logic here would be to define what we would , today, call Biblical depictions of rape as “heterosexual sex” and therefore heterosexual sex would forbidden. That is the crazy logic here being used. Example: The sex that was described in Sodom And Gomorrah is violent group rape. Logic: Homosexuals were doing that (dubious assertion of fact alert), THEREFORE that describes and defines “honosexual sex”. Ahem.

    LCMS STATEMENT Our church, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, has declared that homosexual behavior is “intrinsically sinful.”

    FRANK Again defintional problem. I am a homosexual. Therefore ALL of my behavior could be defined as “homosexual behavior.”

    So is ALL of my behavior sinful? YES!

    THEREFORE : ALL of my “homosexual behavior” is also sinful,. Intrinsically so. Definitionally so as Old Adam. And ALL of your behavior as well, TUAD is “intrinsically sinful”. There is not one single thing you can see or do that is not being driven out of your Old Adam by the Law. So ALL you can see and do demands justice. And Justice demands that you suffer temporal and eternal punishment for ALL you do.

    Why? The Bible tells me that ALL the behavior of ALL humans is “intrinsically ” sinful! THIS is what Lutherans believe! I don’t need to be homosexual for this statement to apply to me!

    This statement seems unreasonable doesnt it TUAD? For example: if I am a homosexual, or saintly christian, or drunk or whoever, and I care for the needs of the poor or hungry or a widow or orphan and do so in full conformity to God’s Word, then how is that a sin?

    1) I am following the Law of God to the letter. I am DOING and REFRAINING FROM DOING precisely what the Law demands. Lets say even that I am an impecabbly perfect copy of the Good Samaritan ok? Flawlessly so.

    2) In my heart, I DONT want to do those things. That is the problem. I keep the Law to balance the scales with God or perhaps to avoid being punished by him or others, or for some other reason. But my heart is not really passionate and focussed, alone, on the needs of that person who need my help.

    It is all about ME. MY pleasing God. MY helping someone to get points. MY not getting punished. MY being better, morally than some other person. And so none of this goodness happens, out of me, spontaneously. It is always a very calculated act. There is alot of willpower needed. I need to work at being saintly. It is HARD work!

    This is why I have to WORK at being this sort of good! It is HARD WORK to be good. It requires discipline! It requires denial of self. It requires what looks like suffering and sacrifice. Why is that so? My heart wants to do something other than what the Law is extorting out of me with sweet carrot and stick.

    3) So here is the deal and what Lutherans teach about the Law: Reason things about the Law like we think about it in a courtroom.Reason is of the veiled opinion of Moses that we can fully KEEP the Law of God by doing or refraining from doing something on a biblical list or some other list, say a natural law list . That there is a Divine Design revealed in the sex organs and it is sinful to not use them contrary to their “obvious” design for example. Ok? And this IS how the Law, of God himself, works itself out here on earth. The powers that be are ordained of God. So just laws of the government are to be obeyed as if they were God’s Laws, because they are!

    Take home point: here in the Earthly Kingdom of Old Adam and the Law and man, we CAN and MUST keep the Laws of God by doing or refraining from doing something on a list. Period.

    Do you always do that TUAD? of course not. Neither do I.So we deserve to be punished for that, and we WILL be punished for that until we straighten up and fly right wherever we are not doing it.

    We are required to be legalists! God threatens to punish all who do not do this. And he promises to bless those who do it with earthly and even heavenly rewards. He is that serious about our doing this. And the “this” he wants us to do is to follow the list of dos and donts.

    But his WILL is something other than that legalistic sacrifice of following what is on the list. This following the list is always the act of us sacrificially dying . But God does not will the death of anyone! Yet he demands that we do this sacrificial death. So what gives with this?

    His will is that our doing and not doing results in Mercy being done for others. And mercy is , always, by definition, to give someone the opposite of justice, the opposite of what they deserve! This is all over the Parables as what God himself does. And Old Adam, that is all we can see and do in our bodies, unfortunately cant do Mercy to others unless first Justice is applied. Justice is always about death. Death is not the Will of God. Mercy is. But here on earth, mercy cannot happen without the death justice works.

    4) But Lutherans teach something else about the Law of God. It cannot be kept by doing our not doing even IF our heart is not in it. The Doing that GOD’s Law really demands is that we do everything that is Goodness and Mercy from the very depths of our will, our heart, our emotions, our entire being.

    And so ALL we can see or do, is , in God’s courtroom, “intrinsically sinful” even if it appears to be the most holy work.

    5) Reason is blindly veiled by moses, that is legalism and cannot see this spiritual demand of the Law that we do all from the depths of our heart. And so only a true believer can see this because Christ himself takes the Law into his own hands (ex sermon on the mount) and explains that the Law is spiritual, ie it really cant be fully kept alone by a doing or not doing.

    6) So then it is the Holy Spirit alone , not reason, that can alone reveal this spiritual Law and the Godly response is that our hearts are terrified! As a result we then know to hide ALL we can see and do inside the Works of Another, rather than parse out what works REALLY damn us (eg homosexual behavior) and which do not (ex heterosexual behavior). To do that sorting is to truly be busy about rearranging the deck chairs on the titannic!

    Here is a short reading of Dr Martin Luther that explains all this same stuff better than I can . It is short and deserves a careful reading:

    http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html

  • Tom Hering

    TUAD, yes, “intrinsically sinful” is the way the quote read in the first comment where you used it, @ 72 in the Denying Communion to a Lesbian thread. But in your very next comment there, @ 83, you changed the wording to “intrinsically evil.” You repeated the distortion @ 117, 128, and 153. You repeated it again in this thread @ 174 and 176.

    Perhaps you might consider changing your handle to Truth … What Is Truth? Then I could, with a clear conscience, address you as TWIT. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    TUAD, yes, “intrinsically sinful” is the way the quote read in the first comment where you used it, @ 72 in the Denying Communion to a Lesbian thread. But in your very next comment there, @ 83, you changed the wording to “intrinsically evil.” You repeated the distortion @ 117, 128, and 153. You repeated it again in this thread @ 174 and 176.

    Perhaps you might consider changing your handle to Truth … What Is Truth? Then I could, with a clear conscience, address you as TWIT. :-D

  • fws

    TUAD @ 178

    You now have me , on record, as saying that ALL “homosexual behavior” is “intrinsically sinful”.

    I hope you are satisfied with my response. It is the Lutheran response to your question. I can easily demonstrate that that is so from the Lutheran Confessions.

    the writers of that LCMS Statement would agree with everything I wrote, since they are bound, by their ordination vows, to teach in conformity with our Confessions.

    I hope this declaration of my personal adherance to the teachings of my Evangelical Lutheran Church “pleases you enormously’.

    For some reason I suspect that it will not.

  • fws

    TUAD @ 178

    You now have me , on record, as saying that ALL “homosexual behavior” is “intrinsically sinful”.

    I hope you are satisfied with my response. It is the Lutheran response to your question. I can easily demonstrate that that is so from the Lutheran Confessions.

    the writers of that LCMS Statement would agree with everything I wrote, since they are bound, by their ordination vows, to teach in conformity with our Confessions.

    I hope this declaration of my personal adherance to the teachings of my Evangelical Lutheran Church “pleases you enormously’.

    For some reason I suspect that it will not.

  • Tom Hering

    Frank @ 181, my first reaction to your statement is that I don’t trust you. You’re an admitted homosexual. You can’t possibly mean by “all homosexual behavior is intrinsically sinful” what others mean by “all homosexual behavior is intrinsically sinful.” I suspect you’re tricking me in some way.

    Please set my mind at ease by punishing yourself or something. Thanks.

  • Tom Hering

    Frank @ 181, my first reaction to your statement is that I don’t trust you. You’re an admitted homosexual. You can’t possibly mean by “all homosexual behavior is intrinsically sinful” what others mean by “all homosexual behavior is intrinsically sinful.” I suspect you’re tricking me in some way.

    Please set my mind at ease by punishing yourself or something. Thanks.

  • fws

    Dear Tom @ 182

    Go find a hobby that makes you useful to others. ha!

    I find myself punishing myself all the time for the daily mistakes… sins… I commit.

    And that is a mark of just how deep the idolatry of my sin is. I still think , in my heart of hearts, that I need to do the atoning. So I dishonor the Work of my dear Lord this way.

    See? My focus is not really on the needs and wants of others at all. It is still all about me me me. And this heart attitude is contrary to the Word of God.

    God would have the death of no man. God desires….. DESIRES! … mercy and not sacrifice.

  • fws

    Dear Tom @ 182

    Go find a hobby that makes you useful to others. ha!

    I find myself punishing myself all the time for the daily mistakes… sins… I commit.

    And that is a mark of just how deep the idolatry of my sin is. I still think , in my heart of hearts, that I need to do the atoning. So I dishonor the Work of my dear Lord this way.

    See? My focus is not really on the needs and wants of others at all. It is still all about me me me. And this heart attitude is contrary to the Word of God.

    God would have the death of no man. God desires….. DESIRES! … mercy and not sacrifice.

  • Tom Hering

    Ah, but as C.S. Lewis pointed out, it’s the uselessness of a hobby that makes it a good thing. It’s enjoyed for it’s own sake, apart from any thought of utility. So there.

  • Tom Hering

    Ah, but as C.S. Lewis pointed out, it’s the uselessness of a hobby that makes it a good thing. It’s enjoyed for it’s own sake, apart from any thought of utility. So there.

  • fws

    Tom

    Seriously now:

    There are really two parts to this from a Lutheran perspective.

    1) God demands that our works and lives conform to the Will of God. The Will of God is that we do Goodness and Mercy to others.

    This looks exactly like giving OTHERS the opposite of what they deserve. OTHERS deserve justice. They deserve to suffer and be punished and do these sacrifices.

    So here is how God makes his Will, that Mercy is done happen:

    God puts upon ME the punishment and suffering that OTHERS deserve. He works his Justice in ME I am saying. I get what OTHERS deserve!

    Since I am blind to MY own faults and can see the faults of OTHERS clearly, this feels UNJust. I grumble and complain about God in this.

    At the same time , ME gets ground down. By the Justice that the Law works in my flesh. ME is dying this means. Contrition is latinate for “to grind down.” Life doe this to all MEs .

    This is why the older ME gets, the more tolerant and merciful ME becomes toward OTHERS. So the Law makes ME do MERCY to OTHERS rather than dish out a “helpful” serving of Justice to them that is the suffering, death and sacrifice that they deserve to receive!

    This is precisely why even Old Adam knows to all the Vocations “disciplines”. This is the Law at work in ME. Vocation works contrition. It grinds me down. It is the process of extorting out of ME do the mercy that is truly God’s will for OTHERS , and at the same time, it is the death of ME that God does NOT desire.

    What is the way out of this death of ME that is NOT God’s Will? There is Life for ME only in the Works of Another. And since those OTHERS are also ME’s too, it is alone their Life as well!

    So to truly keep the Law as God Wills it, even here on earth , even as he demands the sacrifice of being a good legalist and hewing to every jot and titel not just of the biblical list, but also poop scoop ordinances, irs tax laws, and all those other laws we resent that are also, fully so, God’s Law for us…. the Will of God is not to do this sacrifice.

    The Will of God, is that , even in MY earthly morality, the end result is to do to OTHERS the precise opposite of what Justice deserves. Crazy as that may sound it makes the parables make sense!

    We apply the law legalistically to ME so that ME is able to then make Old Adam venture out and dispense Mercy to OTHERS.

    2) So a legalistic keeping of the Law that does not bear the fruit of tangilble , evidential Mercy done for others is to be desisted! For that is the certain diagnostic that we are attempting to do Sacrifice rather than merely sacrifice. And there is only ONE Sacrifice that can atone for sin.

  • fws

    Tom

    Seriously now:

    There are really two parts to this from a Lutheran perspective.

    1) God demands that our works and lives conform to the Will of God. The Will of God is that we do Goodness and Mercy to others.

    This looks exactly like giving OTHERS the opposite of what they deserve. OTHERS deserve justice. They deserve to suffer and be punished and do these sacrifices.

    So here is how God makes his Will, that Mercy is done happen:

    God puts upon ME the punishment and suffering that OTHERS deserve. He works his Justice in ME I am saying. I get what OTHERS deserve!

    Since I am blind to MY own faults and can see the faults of OTHERS clearly, this feels UNJust. I grumble and complain about God in this.

    At the same time , ME gets ground down. By the Justice that the Law works in my flesh. ME is dying this means. Contrition is latinate for “to grind down.” Life doe this to all MEs .

    This is why the older ME gets, the more tolerant and merciful ME becomes toward OTHERS. So the Law makes ME do MERCY to OTHERS rather than dish out a “helpful” serving of Justice to them that is the suffering, death and sacrifice that they deserve to receive!

    This is precisely why even Old Adam knows to all the Vocations “disciplines”. This is the Law at work in ME. Vocation works contrition. It grinds me down. It is the process of extorting out of ME do the mercy that is truly God’s will for OTHERS , and at the same time, it is the death of ME that God does NOT desire.

    What is the way out of this death of ME that is NOT God’s Will? There is Life for ME only in the Works of Another. And since those OTHERS are also ME’s too, it is alone their Life as well!

    So to truly keep the Law as God Wills it, even here on earth , even as he demands the sacrifice of being a good legalist and hewing to every jot and titel not just of the biblical list, but also poop scoop ordinances, irs tax laws, and all those other laws we resent that are also, fully so, God’s Law for us…. the Will of God is not to do this sacrifice.

    The Will of God, is that , even in MY earthly morality, the end result is to do to OTHERS the precise opposite of what Justice deserves. Crazy as that may sound it makes the parables make sense!

    We apply the law legalistically to ME so that ME is able to then make Old Adam venture out and dispense Mercy to OTHERS.

    2) So a legalistic keeping of the Law that does not bear the fruit of tangilble , evidential Mercy done for others is to be desisted! For that is the certain diagnostic that we are attempting to do Sacrifice rather than merely sacrifice. And there is only ONE Sacrifice that can atone for sin.

  • fws

    tom

    ah that is why I am not such a big fan of CS Lewis. He is the swansons banquet idea of a banquet. It is too neat and packaged.

    I prefer the bumper sticker that says “commit random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty”.

    Those are all what makes us get up in the morning . We long to receive those things from others. You , dear brother, are one of those Others God has richly used over the last few years to give me this thing that my heart longs for.

    it is the Goodness and Mercy that the Law forces out of us and the Holy Gospel that is in you just makes happen from you to me over and over and over and over again. i know you cant help it Tom. It is now in your very nature to be that way.

  • fws

    tom

    ah that is why I am not such a big fan of CS Lewis. He is the swansons banquet idea of a banquet. It is too neat and packaged.

    I prefer the bumper sticker that says “commit random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty”.

    Those are all what makes us get up in the morning . We long to receive those things from others. You , dear brother, are one of those Others God has richly used over the last few years to give me this thing that my heart longs for.

    it is the Goodness and Mercy that the Law forces out of us and the Holy Gospel that is in you just makes happen from you to me over and over and over and over again. i know you cant help it Tom. It is now in your very nature to be that way.

  • Tom Hering

    God has surrounded me with annoying next-door neighbors. That I might learn what mercy means. The hard way. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    God has surrounded me with annoying next-door neighbors. That I might learn what mercy means. The hard way. :-D

  • fws

    Tom!

    That is EXACTLY what Gods Law at work looks like.
    You are getting the justice that you deserve as a sinner.
    You get to be with other sinners. That annoys me too!
    Be happy he doesnt give you worse, like lawrence welk music….!
    Aiiii!

    And in the middle of that God is making you be Mercy for others.

    Even if every drop of your Old Adam is utterly Antinomian.
    And he most certainly IS!

  • fws

    Tom!

    That is EXACTLY what Gods Law at work looks like.
    You are getting the justice that you deserve as a sinner.
    You get to be with other sinners. That annoys me too!
    Be happy he doesnt give you worse, like lawrence welk music….!
    Aiiii!

    And in the middle of that God is making you be Mercy for others.

    Even if every drop of your Old Adam is utterly Antinomian.
    And he most certainly IS!

  • Tom Hering

    Who needs Lawrence Welk when I’ve got a leaf-blower addict to the right of me, a constantly barking dog outside my bedroom window to the left of me, and three vehicles without mufflers right across the street from me – that are continually driving in and out. Then there’s all their kids with skateboards, basketballs, and gas-powered scooters. There’s a map of my street illustrating the definition of “cacophony” in the dictionary.

    My life is book two of Dante’s Divine Comedy.

  • Tom Hering

    Who needs Lawrence Welk when I’ve got a leaf-blower addict to the right of me, a constantly barking dog outside my bedroom window to the left of me, and three vehicles without mufflers right across the street from me – that are continually driving in and out. Then there’s all their kids with skateboards, basketballs, and gas-powered scooters. There’s a map of my street illustrating the definition of “cacophony” in the dictionary.

    My life is book two of Dante’s Divine Comedy.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Thanks for coming back and talking. Fills my heart with joy to see you and Tom banter.

    George,

    I never imagined when we started this conversation that this will all come down to predestination, but I guess it has. Maybe I should have known this would happen.

    “This is what I mean by attributing human qualities to God. God has no hope.”

    OK, in any case, I am not convinced a person can be sure that God has no hope. Of course God is all-knowing and can know all things – nothing is hidden from Him and we want to confess, as Peter did “Lord you know everything”. After all, He created time and is outside of it: all moments are present to Him now. We certainly know how all things get wrapped up at the end, because He has revealed this. At the same time, we know that He also knows all the possibilities that exist (as we see in Kings with the example of the person who asks God what will happen if he does one thing, and when he finds out the answer, does another), and that our actions do make an impact in the world, both temporally and eternally (or citing election, you might say no to this…). To say that God desires all persons to be saved… come to a knowledge of the truth… implies that this is some kind of real hope, does it not? (or is this analogous to the idea of God’s love being without “passion”?). Will all be saved? It seems not. Nevertheless…. He desires this really and truly…. as many as possible perhaps…. a number no smaller than the remnant Jesus speaks of come the Final Day. We know not all will be saved, but are we going to say that our actions in the world make no difference at all? Have no impact? That we aren’t, in some mysterious sense, the means of the means of grace? No, we don’t say this – or at least some of us don’t.

    “Does he “expect” that the people will follow his urging? Of course! But if you ask what God expects, then you have to ask whether God expects something to happen other than what He already knows will happen?”

    Um, why do I “have to” ask this? Is this what God expects, or hopes that I will do, or only what you expect that I will do? Where am I exhorted in Scripture to ask such questions? I’ll be just a tad more child-like, thank you. Why am I not totally child-like as regards your statement that “God has no hope”? Again, because He desires the salvation of all persons – and though God is all powerful and I say “Lord, you know everything”, I don’t read, “God has no hope”. I think that these exhortations in Romans mean *something significant* as regards my thoughts, words, and deeds in time now – and the effects that they will have. You might see this as me relying on human works. But I confess that there is no way I can be saved by my own works. Absolutely none.

    “Nowhere in Scripture, not even in Romans 6, which Luther claims in support of his statement, does it say that “a new man daily come forth and arise …” A new man arises out of the waters of Baptism – one time- not daily. And which one shall live “before God in righteousness and purity forever”? The one who “came forth” yesterday or the one who “came forth” the day before?”

    Of course we were baptized. But the point here is that we are baptized. Luther’s point here is to talk about the significance baptism is to have on our daily life, which is one of daily repentance, and this idea of daily repentance is certainly Scriptural.

    “He, himself, often “did the evil he did not want to do”, but that did not separate Him from the love of God. Our Lord said, “if the Son frees you, you are free indeed.” People have added all kinds of qualifications to this, like “you are free to (do something).” But once you qualify “being free”, you are no longer free.”

    The point here is that if we do not be who we are – if we do not embrace the fullness of the life that He gives us – the only life that is truly life (and love and light) – we are in danger of falling off the path, where there are wolves. We really do “walk in danger all the way”, and we do not want to mess around for a minute with doubt-inducing and faith-destroying sin. This kind of talk is clear in the Scriptures, clear in Luther, clear in the Confessions, clear in Chemnitz, etc. As I said in the Judas post, there is ***no guarantee*** that God will renew us again when we fall from faith – and this makes Him no less gracious.

    Concrete example from Philip Yancey’s book “What’s so Amazing About Grace?“:

    “Forgiveness is our problem, not God’s. What we have to go through to commit sin distances us from God – we change in the very act of rebellion – and there is no guarantee we will ever come back. You ask me about forgiveness now [as in: “Will God forgive me for what I’m about to do, namely leave my wife for another”], but will you even want it later, especially if it involves repentance?” (180)

    Also from the Antinomian series of mine I brought up here:

    “Interestingly, even as the focus of [Yancey’s book] is about the Church dispensing grace, the following line sticks out to me as significant: “The Apostle Paul had much to say about the immorality of individual church members but little to say about the immorality of Rome…” (235, 236) Sometimes, contra a man who Yancey quotes favorably in his book, we cannot “trust” persons without “judging them” (171) – at least, not in ways they might desire us to. Yancey’s book speaks winsomely and powerfully about grace, but I leave you with these parts because, of course, because our knowledge of God’s grace is directly proportional to our knowledge of God’s Law. Yancey does quote J. Gresham Machem: “A low view of law leads to legalism in religion ; a high view makes one a seeker after grace” (210).

    You say:

    “God gives us perfect freedom. Does God then sit back and watch to see how we cope? No. First, in Baptism we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, Who intercedes for us. He does not intercede with God the Father, because They have the same will, together with the Son. ****He intercedes with everything that tries to prevent us from remaining members of the Kingdom of God.**** He also provides us with parents, teachers, friends, pastors, the preaching of the Gospel, and the sharing of the Body and Blood of His Son to keep us in this Kingdom until life everlasting.” (stars mine)

    Amen. Amen. Amen.

    “But if you don’t believe all of this, or if I am wrong, God will still save us, because it is not a matter of our proper understanding of “fulfilling God’s expectations”, but a matter of the will and love and mercy of God, which He revealed through His Son”

    Well yes, but let us talk more of His will. Predestination? That is your reason for insisting that God has no hopes, expectations, etc? Please read the following and the comments. Maybe we could continue to talk there… http://jackkilcrease.blogspot.com/2012/01/eleonore-stump-lecture-no.html

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Thanks for coming back and talking. Fills my heart with joy to see you and Tom banter.

    George,

    I never imagined when we started this conversation that this will all come down to predestination, but I guess it has. Maybe I should have known this would happen.

    “This is what I mean by attributing human qualities to God. God has no hope.”

    OK, in any case, I am not convinced a person can be sure that God has no hope. Of course God is all-knowing and can know all things – nothing is hidden from Him and we want to confess, as Peter did “Lord you know everything”. After all, He created time and is outside of it: all moments are present to Him now. We certainly know how all things get wrapped up at the end, because He has revealed this. At the same time, we know that He also knows all the possibilities that exist (as we see in Kings with the example of the person who asks God what will happen if he does one thing, and when he finds out the answer, does another), and that our actions do make an impact in the world, both temporally and eternally (or citing election, you might say no to this…). To say that God desires all persons to be saved… come to a knowledge of the truth… implies that this is some kind of real hope, does it not? (or is this analogous to the idea of God’s love being without “passion”?). Will all be saved? It seems not. Nevertheless…. He desires this really and truly…. as many as possible perhaps…. a number no smaller than the remnant Jesus speaks of come the Final Day. We know not all will be saved, but are we going to say that our actions in the world make no difference at all? Have no impact? That we aren’t, in some mysterious sense, the means of the means of grace? No, we don’t say this – or at least some of us don’t.

    “Does he “expect” that the people will follow his urging? Of course! But if you ask what God expects, then you have to ask whether God expects something to happen other than what He already knows will happen?”

    Um, why do I “have to” ask this? Is this what God expects, or hopes that I will do, or only what you expect that I will do? Where am I exhorted in Scripture to ask such questions? I’ll be just a tad more child-like, thank you. Why am I not totally child-like as regards your statement that “God has no hope”? Again, because He desires the salvation of all persons – and though God is all powerful and I say “Lord, you know everything”, I don’t read, “God has no hope”. I think that these exhortations in Romans mean *something significant* as regards my thoughts, words, and deeds in time now – and the effects that they will have. You might see this as me relying on human works. But I confess that there is no way I can be saved by my own works. Absolutely none.

    “Nowhere in Scripture, not even in Romans 6, which Luther claims in support of his statement, does it say that “a new man daily come forth and arise …” A new man arises out of the waters of Baptism – one time- not daily. And which one shall live “before God in righteousness and purity forever”? The one who “came forth” yesterday or the one who “came forth” the day before?”

    Of course we were baptized. But the point here is that we are baptized. Luther’s point here is to talk about the significance baptism is to have on our daily life, which is one of daily repentance, and this idea of daily repentance is certainly Scriptural.

    “He, himself, often “did the evil he did not want to do”, but that did not separate Him from the love of God. Our Lord said, “if the Son frees you, you are free indeed.” People have added all kinds of qualifications to this, like “you are free to (do something).” But once you qualify “being free”, you are no longer free.”

    The point here is that if we do not be who we are – if we do not embrace the fullness of the life that He gives us – the only life that is truly life (and love and light) – we are in danger of falling off the path, where there are wolves. We really do “walk in danger all the way”, and we do not want to mess around for a minute with doubt-inducing and faith-destroying sin. This kind of talk is clear in the Scriptures, clear in Luther, clear in the Confessions, clear in Chemnitz, etc. As I said in the Judas post, there is ***no guarantee*** that God will renew us again when we fall from faith – and this makes Him no less gracious.

    Concrete example from Philip Yancey’s book “What’s so Amazing About Grace?“:

    “Forgiveness is our problem, not God’s. What we have to go through to commit sin distances us from God – we change in the very act of rebellion – and there is no guarantee we will ever come back. You ask me about forgiveness now [as in: “Will God forgive me for what I’m about to do, namely leave my wife for another”], but will you even want it later, especially if it involves repentance?” (180)

    Also from the Antinomian series of mine I brought up here:

    “Interestingly, even as the focus of [Yancey’s book] is about the Church dispensing grace, the following line sticks out to me as significant: “The Apostle Paul had much to say about the immorality of individual church members but little to say about the immorality of Rome…” (235, 236) Sometimes, contra a man who Yancey quotes favorably in his book, we cannot “trust” persons without “judging them” (171) – at least, not in ways they might desire us to. Yancey’s book speaks winsomely and powerfully about grace, but I leave you with these parts because, of course, because our knowledge of God’s grace is directly proportional to our knowledge of God’s Law. Yancey does quote J. Gresham Machem: “A low view of law leads to legalism in religion ; a high view makes one a seeker after grace” (210).

    You say:

    “God gives us perfect freedom. Does God then sit back and watch to see how we cope? No. First, in Baptism we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, Who intercedes for us. He does not intercede with God the Father, because They have the same will, together with the Son. ****He intercedes with everything that tries to prevent us from remaining members of the Kingdom of God.**** He also provides us with parents, teachers, friends, pastors, the preaching of the Gospel, and the sharing of the Body and Blood of His Son to keep us in this Kingdom until life everlasting.” (stars mine)

    Amen. Amen. Amen.

    “But if you don’t believe all of this, or if I am wrong, God will still save us, because it is not a matter of our proper understanding of “fulfilling God’s expectations”, but a matter of the will and love and mercy of God, which He revealed through His Son”

    Well yes, but let us talk more of His will. Predestination? That is your reason for insisting that God has no hopes, expectations, etc? Please read the following and the comments. Maybe we could continue to talk there… http://jackkilcrease.blogspot.com/2012/01/eleonore-stump-lecture-no.html

    +Nathan

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    FWS, #181: “the writers of that LCMS Statement would agree with everything I wrote, since they are bound, by their ordination vows, to teach in conformity with our Confessions.”

    +Nathan, do you believe that the writers of that LCMS Statement/Pamplet referenced in #178 would agree with substantially everything that Frank Sonntek wrote in #179?

    +Nathan, what do you think of Frank’s response here:

    LCMS STATEMENT Our church, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, has declared that homosexual behavior is “intrinsically sinful.”

    FRANK Again defintional problem. I am a homosexual. Therefore ALL of my behavior could be defined as “homosexual behavior.”

    So is ALL of my behavior sinful? YES!

    THEREFORE : ALL of my “homosexual behavior” is also sinful,. Intrinsically so. Definitionally so as Old Adam. And ALL of your behavior as well, TUAD is “intrinsically sinful”. There is not one single thing you can see or do that is not being driven out of your Old Adam by the Law. So ALL you can see and do demands justice. And Justice demands that you suffer temporal and eternal punishment for ALL you do.

    Why? The Bible tells me that ALL the behavior of ALL humans is “intrinsically ” sinful! THIS is what Lutherans believe! I don’t need to be homosexual for this statement to apply to me!”

    +Nathan, if Frank was a member of your Lutheran church and you were his pastor, and you had the pastor-undershepherd relationship with Frank (and the rest of your flock) from which you had conversations with Frank about homosexual behavior such as in this thread and other threads on Cranach, would you have Frank take communion in your Lutheran parish? How would you pastorally counsel Frank?

    P.S. Earlier you wrote: “Give them time – and when they repent, always be eager to forgive (and let them commune again).”

    You wrote “when.” Suppose they don’t repent, or they don’t evidence repentance that you as a discerning undershepherd can acknowledge as being genuine, would you then keep them from partaking of Holy Communion in the church that God has called you to be His undershepherd?

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    FWS, #181: “the writers of that LCMS Statement would agree with everything I wrote, since they are bound, by their ordination vows, to teach in conformity with our Confessions.”

    +Nathan, do you believe that the writers of that LCMS Statement/Pamplet referenced in #178 would agree with substantially everything that Frank Sonntek wrote in #179?

    +Nathan, what do you think of Frank’s response here:

    LCMS STATEMENT Our church, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, has declared that homosexual behavior is “intrinsically sinful.”

    FRANK Again defintional problem. I am a homosexual. Therefore ALL of my behavior could be defined as “homosexual behavior.”

    So is ALL of my behavior sinful? YES!

    THEREFORE : ALL of my “homosexual behavior” is also sinful,. Intrinsically so. Definitionally so as Old Adam. And ALL of your behavior as well, TUAD is “intrinsically sinful”. There is not one single thing you can see or do that is not being driven out of your Old Adam by the Law. So ALL you can see and do demands justice. And Justice demands that you suffer temporal and eternal punishment for ALL you do.

    Why? The Bible tells me that ALL the behavior of ALL humans is “intrinsically ” sinful! THIS is what Lutherans believe! I don’t need to be homosexual for this statement to apply to me!”

    +Nathan, if Frank was a member of your Lutheran church and you were his pastor, and you had the pastor-undershepherd relationship with Frank (and the rest of your flock) from which you had conversations with Frank about homosexual behavior such as in this thread and other threads on Cranach, would you have Frank take communion in your Lutheran parish? How would you pastorally counsel Frank?

    P.S. Earlier you wrote: “Give them time – and when they repent, always be eager to forgive (and let them commune again).”

    You wrote “when.” Suppose they don’t repent, or they don’t evidence repentance that you as a discerning undershepherd can acknowledge as being genuine, would you then keep them from partaking of Holy Communion in the church that God has called you to be His undershepherd?

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    TUAD,

    Quite honestly, I don’t have time to carefully parse everything here. I am not discounting that you have seen something I have missed.

    Obviously, I want to trust Frank, put the best construction on things, etc. That said, I have not carefully read ll things here.

    I do see what Frank said to me earlier about agreeing with my post though and also what he said @ 181.

    That seems pretty clear.

    Got to run. Busy day today.

    In Christ,
    Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    TUAD,

    Quite honestly, I don’t have time to carefully parse everything here. I am not discounting that you have seen something I have missed.

    Obviously, I want to trust Frank, put the best construction on things, etc. That said, I have not carefully read ll things here.

    I do see what Frank said to me earlier about agreeing with my post though and also what he said @ 181.

    That seems pretty clear.

    Got to run. Busy day today.

    In Christ,
    Nathan

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Hi +Nathan,

    When you have the time and inclination, read Frank’s comment in #179. And if you could favor a reply to my inquiries in #191, I’d appreciate it.

    With that, I too am off to a busy day or two.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Hi +Nathan,

    When you have the time and inclination, read Frank’s comment in #179. And if you could favor a reply to my inquiries in #191, I’d appreciate it.

    With that, I too am off to a busy day or two.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Frank Sonntek,

    Thank you sir for favoring me a reply in #179. For what it’s worth, #162 is where I asked you a question based upon +Nathan’s comment in #160.

    And although I do thank you for your reply in #179, it fills me with a deep sadness and profound sorrow.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Frank Sonntek,

    Thank you sir for favoring me a reply in #179. For what it’s worth, #162 is where I asked you a question based upon +Nathan’s comment in #160.

    And although I do thank you for your reply in #179, it fills me with a deep sadness and profound sorrow.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    TUAD,

    OK, I see what you mean. Things do get complicated here – those words do seem problematic to me. Romans 1 is pretty clear, even if I don’t think Paul means to single out homosexual behavior as a greater sin.

    That’s probably saying enough. I see that persons here think that you deliberately have misrepresented Frank, and I’m not sure if its my place to get involved in all of this and figure out who to trust, etc. I certainly don’t have the time.

    I will say this: so much of what I see coming out of the gay community in general inextricably ties up sex with one’s personal identity. I think I understand why that happens, but I don’t think it should be an unquestioned assumption. Why Frank would insist on calling himself a “homosexual” puzzles me.

    Note this. I think related: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/04/life-without-sex-the-third-phase-of-the-asexuality-movement/254880/

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    TUAD,

    OK, I see what you mean. Things do get complicated here – those words do seem problematic to me. Romans 1 is pretty clear, even if I don’t think Paul means to single out homosexual behavior as a greater sin.

    That’s probably saying enough. I see that persons here think that you deliberately have misrepresented Frank, and I’m not sure if its my place to get involved in all of this and figure out who to trust, etc. I certainly don’t have the time.

    I will say this: so much of what I see coming out of the gay community in general inextricably ties up sex with one’s personal identity. I think I understand why that happens, but I don’t think it should be an unquestioned assumption. Why Frank would insist on calling himself a “homosexual” puzzles me.

    Note this. I think related: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/04/life-without-sex-the-third-phase-of-the-asexuality-movement/254880/

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    “ties up sex”
    should be
    “ties up sexual inclinations”

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    “ties up sex”
    should be
    “ties up sexual inclinations”

  • kerner

    Sigh. Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends.

    Nathan:

    I don’t know whether Frank and you totally agree. For example, I think Romans 1, among other passages, means that for a man to have sex with another man is alwaus sinful, period, the end. (I think that reason tells us that too, incidentally, but Scripture as written definitely does). Which is not to say that this is elevated above other sins as somehow worse or anything like that.

    I think you (Nathan) agree. Am I right?

    I am pretty sure that Frank does not agree. Am I right?

  • kerner

    Sigh. Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends.

    Nathan:

    I don’t know whether Frank and you totally agree. For example, I think Romans 1, among other passages, means that for a man to have sex with another man is alwaus sinful, period, the end. (I think that reason tells us that too, incidentally, but Scripture as written definitely does). Which is not to say that this is elevated above other sins as somehow worse or anything like that.

    I think you (Nathan) agree. Am I right?

    I am pretty sure that Frank does not agree. Am I right?

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    kerner,

    I agree. I hasten to add that, as I said before, I have absolutely no desire to elevate homosexual lusts (against nature) over heterosexual lusts (according to nature) as being more serious lusts/sins.

    George,

    By the way – I probably should not have necessarily concluded all of this is about predestination – more like foreknowledge (but predestination goes hand in hand with this as we know).

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    kerner,

    I agree. I hasten to add that, as I said before, I have absolutely no desire to elevate homosexual lusts (against nature) over heterosexual lusts (according to nature) as being more serious lusts/sins.

    George,

    By the way – I probably should not have necessarily concluded all of this is about predestination – more like foreknowledge (but predestination goes hand in hand with this as we know).

    +Nathan

  • George A. Marquart

    Nathan @ 190
    Nathan, theologians have divided the will of God in various ways. One such author puts it this way: “(a) Sovereign decretive will, the will by which God brings to pass whatsoever He decrees. This is hidden to us until it happens.
    (b) Preceptive will is God’s revealed law or commandments, which we have the
    power but not the right to break.
    (c) Will of disposition describes God’s attitude or disposition. It reveals
    what is pleasing to Him.

    I am not sure that we can really define the will of God, but this apparently helps some. But it is not necessary to know these things in order to be a child of God. If you know and cling to the Gospel, that is really enough.

    When you write, although in parentheses in order to distance yourself from this opinion, “or is this analogous to the idea of God’s love being without “passion”, it again reminds me of the difference between God and man. We think of “passion”, whether it be sexual, emotional, or rational in our human way. God’s passion is to love, and He does that beyond our ability to comprehend. Particularly during this week of the Passion of our Lord, I am struck by the words in Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.”

    Those words, “who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross,” speak of a passion that is beyond our knowing. But, even though here the concept of “joy” is connected with unbearable suffering, interestingly enough, this is what our Lord promises His Disciples on the evening before “the joy that was set before Him” brought Him to the cross, “ John 16: 22 “So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.”

    Our Lord was perfect. Even on the cross, His concerns were not for Himself, but for others. The Gospel is intended for us to be able to be as selfless as it is possible for a human being to be, because it takes our salvation totally out of our hands. Instead of worrying all the time whether we are doing the right thing, whether we are saved, whether God loves us, God has set us free from these worries. And, “having the mind of Christ”, we can now do what His will is, not out of compulsion, not out of fear, and not because of a feeling of duty, but because it is our will also and we need have no worries about ourselves. That is why on the final day, the Lord will say to us, Matthew 25:”Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40 And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ You see, nothing there about ourselves, but only about others, the least of His brethren. So don’t worry about the wolves; they are only dangerous when we worry about ourselves.

    I never once mentioned predestination, because that can get us enmeshed in a tangled web in which we will find very little that is useful. I limited myself to foreknowledge, and no matter how you waffle hither and yon on the subject, God still knows everything. He has known it from before the fall of Adam, because He prepared the Kingdom for us “from the foundation of the world.”

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    Nathan @ 190
    Nathan, theologians have divided the will of God in various ways. One such author puts it this way: “(a) Sovereign decretive will, the will by which God brings to pass whatsoever He decrees. This is hidden to us until it happens.
    (b) Preceptive will is God’s revealed law or commandments, which we have the
    power but not the right to break.
    (c) Will of disposition describes God’s attitude or disposition. It reveals
    what is pleasing to Him.

    I am not sure that we can really define the will of God, but this apparently helps some. But it is not necessary to know these things in order to be a child of God. If you know and cling to the Gospel, that is really enough.

    When you write, although in parentheses in order to distance yourself from this opinion, “or is this analogous to the idea of God’s love being without “passion”, it again reminds me of the difference between God and man. We think of “passion”, whether it be sexual, emotional, or rational in our human way. God’s passion is to love, and He does that beyond our ability to comprehend. Particularly during this week of the Passion of our Lord, I am struck by the words in Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.”

    Those words, “who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross,” speak of a passion that is beyond our knowing. But, even though here the concept of “joy” is connected with unbearable suffering, interestingly enough, this is what our Lord promises His Disciples on the evening before “the joy that was set before Him” brought Him to the cross, “ John 16: 22 “So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.”

    Our Lord was perfect. Even on the cross, His concerns were not for Himself, but for others. The Gospel is intended for us to be able to be as selfless as it is possible for a human being to be, because it takes our salvation totally out of our hands. Instead of worrying all the time whether we are doing the right thing, whether we are saved, whether God loves us, God has set us free from these worries. And, “having the mind of Christ”, we can now do what His will is, not out of compulsion, not out of fear, and not because of a feeling of duty, but because it is our will also and we need have no worries about ourselves. That is why on the final day, the Lord will say to us, Matthew 25:”Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40 And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ You see, nothing there about ourselves, but only about others, the least of His brethren. So don’t worry about the wolves; they are only dangerous when we worry about ourselves.

    I never once mentioned predestination, because that can get us enmeshed in a tangled web in which we will find very little that is useful. I limited myself to foreknowledge, and no matter how you waffle hither and yon on the subject, God still knows everything. He has known it from before the fall of Adam, because He prepared the Kingdom for us “from the foundation of the world.”

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • Tom Hering

    I just want jump in and say it would be extremely childish for anyone to comment @ 200, just so they could brag they took this thread to 200 comments.

  • Tom Hering

    I just want jump in and say it would be extremely childish for anyone to comment @ 200, just so they could brag they took this thread to 200 comments.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    It seems like everyone is talking past each other in these debates about homosexuality. Now I’m certainly not qualified to define the word ‘homosexuality’, but maybe the focus shouldn’t be on the inclinations of a person but rather the sin itself. Whether fornication is between a man/woman, woman/woman, man/man, it’s still sinful right? So all sex outside of marriage is sin. And lust, though Jesus did say woman, perhaps we can extend that to men as well? So lusting after a man or woman in your heart is a sin.

    Now I can’t imagine any Christian, homosexual or heterosexual, thinking that God is cool with their fornication and lust. So maybe that’s a better trajectory to take this conversation?

    As a heterosexual, I’m guilty of both fornication and lust and deserve to be damned. I can’t imagine God takes my sin less seriously because I’m hetero and not homo. I need absolution just as much as a homosexual brother.

    In my mind, if fornication and lust are off limits regardless of if it is with a man or woman, then that would make any sex between members of the same sex a sin. Does anyone see this as a faulty conclusion?

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    It seems like everyone is talking past each other in these debates about homosexuality. Now I’m certainly not qualified to define the word ‘homosexuality’, but maybe the focus shouldn’t be on the inclinations of a person but rather the sin itself. Whether fornication is between a man/woman, woman/woman, man/man, it’s still sinful right? So all sex outside of marriage is sin. And lust, though Jesus did say woman, perhaps we can extend that to men as well? So lusting after a man or woman in your heart is a sin.

    Now I can’t imagine any Christian, homosexual or heterosexual, thinking that God is cool with their fornication and lust. So maybe that’s a better trajectory to take this conversation?

    As a heterosexual, I’m guilty of both fornication and lust and deserve to be damned. I can’t imagine God takes my sin less seriously because I’m hetero and not homo. I need absolution just as much as a homosexual brother.

    In my mind, if fornication and lust are off limits regardless of if it is with a man or woman, then that would make any sex between members of the same sex a sin. Does anyone see this as a faulty conclusion?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Nathan (@195) said:

    Why Frank would insist on calling himself a “homosexual” puzzles me.

    Why? Would you be puzzled by my calling myself a “heterosexual”? It’s not something I routinely do unless it’s relevant, but I wouldn’t back away from saying so, either. Is your problem with people recognizing that their sexual orientation plays into their identity? Do you believe that your (presumed) heterosexuality has no effect on who you are?

    Or is it the particular sexual inclination identity that’s the problem here? Would you likewise be puzzled by someone calling himself an “alcoholic”?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Nathan (@195) said:

    Why Frank would insist on calling himself a “homosexual” puzzles me.

    Why? Would you be puzzled by my calling myself a “heterosexual”? It’s not something I routinely do unless it’s relevant, but I wouldn’t back away from saying so, either. Is your problem with people recognizing that their sexual orientation plays into their identity? Do you believe that your (presumed) heterosexuality has no effect on who you are?

    Or is it the particular sexual inclination identity that’s the problem here? Would you likewise be puzzled by someone calling himself an “alcoholic”?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Nick (@201), I don’t think I have any issues with your comment.

    But it seems to me that many/most “conservative” Christians are not content to leave it at fornication and lust — which, as you rightly note, apply equally to all people.

    No, most Christians go beyond your formulation and attempt to define homosexuality itself as a sin (cf. the aforementioned LCMS statement). Now, either these people are being rather sloppy with their words (never a good thing when one is teaching about sin), or they really do believe that merely existing as a homosexual constitutes sin (which they would obviously not apply to heterosexuals, even if they would concede that all heterosexuals necessarily sin).

    I’m not a Greek scholar, nor am I super interested in becoming one, but from what I can tell, the Bible only ever condemns homosexual fornication.

    It is patently obvious that not every homosexual commits homosexual fornication, just as the same holds true with respect to heterosexuals and heterosexual fornication.

    So my question is: why do some Christians insist on making this about “homosexuality”, instead of keeping it to what Scripture actually addresses?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Nick (@201), I don’t think I have any issues with your comment.

    But it seems to me that many/most “conservative” Christians are not content to leave it at fornication and lust — which, as you rightly note, apply equally to all people.

    No, most Christians go beyond your formulation and attempt to define homosexuality itself as a sin (cf. the aforementioned LCMS statement). Now, either these people are being rather sloppy with their words (never a good thing when one is teaching about sin), or they really do believe that merely existing as a homosexual constitutes sin (which they would obviously not apply to heterosexuals, even if they would concede that all heterosexuals necessarily sin).

    I’m not a Greek scholar, nor am I super interested in becoming one, but from what I can tell, the Bible only ever condemns homosexual fornication.

    It is patently obvious that not every homosexual commits homosexual fornication, just as the same holds true with respect to heterosexuals and heterosexual fornication.

    So my question is: why do some Christians insist on making this about “homosexuality”, instead of keeping it to what Scripture actually addresses?

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    tODD (@203) This is probably an unfortunate side affect of the ‘culture wars’. “Those sinners over there need to quit being such giant sinners.” You know, the Christian witness. We are a Christian nation; I’m sure you’ve heard. I don’t think the American church realizes how Americanized and politicized it is.

    Now I’m not saying that the issue of gay marriage is not an important one in our society. I personally wish the government had nothing to do with marriage. Then you have the battles in the public school system and what type of morality it should ‘enforce’. It’s going to be teaching some type of morality, whether or not it thinks it is neutral. It’s fun having the gov’t involved in everything.

    I am no Greek scholar either, but I’m running on the assumption that when the text says things like ‘men who practice homosexuality’ that, as you said, it is dealing with fornication.

    The church should be better than this. We shouldn’t be condemning people who are tempted to sin. We should be preaching the law to condemn them of their sin and assuring them of their hope in Christ. But, alas, not everyone is Lutheran. When you’re in the midst of sanctification-focused Christianity, you’re chopping God’s law at the knees all the time. It’s hard not to; I’ve been there…the roller coaster of pride and despair. Or you just try not to think about how sinful you really are.

    It is frustrating when discussing theology sometimes, but I am really thankful that Lutheran theology is essentially pastoral. If a repentant homosexual comes to a Lutheran pastor despairing of his sin (maybe he is tempted to commit fornication, tempted with lust, or actually has committed these sins), not seeking to justify them because that’s who he is or it feels right or whatever else, he will be forgiven the same as any heterosexual. Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Either the gospel is true or it’s not. Anyone who says that a sinner cannot enter the kingdom of heaven, regardless of the sin, is denying the gospel.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    tODD (@203) This is probably an unfortunate side affect of the ‘culture wars’. “Those sinners over there need to quit being such giant sinners.” You know, the Christian witness. We are a Christian nation; I’m sure you’ve heard. I don’t think the American church realizes how Americanized and politicized it is.

    Now I’m not saying that the issue of gay marriage is not an important one in our society. I personally wish the government had nothing to do with marriage. Then you have the battles in the public school system and what type of morality it should ‘enforce’. It’s going to be teaching some type of morality, whether or not it thinks it is neutral. It’s fun having the gov’t involved in everything.

    I am no Greek scholar either, but I’m running on the assumption that when the text says things like ‘men who practice homosexuality’ that, as you said, it is dealing with fornication.

    The church should be better than this. We shouldn’t be condemning people who are tempted to sin. We should be preaching the law to condemn them of their sin and assuring them of their hope in Christ. But, alas, not everyone is Lutheran. When you’re in the midst of sanctification-focused Christianity, you’re chopping God’s law at the knees all the time. It’s hard not to; I’ve been there…the roller coaster of pride and despair. Or you just try not to think about how sinful you really are.

    It is frustrating when discussing theology sometimes, but I am really thankful that Lutheran theology is essentially pastoral. If a repentant homosexual comes to a Lutheran pastor despairing of his sin (maybe he is tempted to commit fornication, tempted with lust, or actually has committed these sins), not seeking to justify them because that’s who he is or it feels right or whatever else, he will be forgiven the same as any heterosexual. Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Either the gospel is true or it’s not. Anyone who says that a sinner cannot enter the kingdom of heaven, regardless of the sin, is denying the gospel.

  • Tom Hering

    … why do some Christians insist on making this about “homosexuality” …

    Why, in the 19th century, when American Lutherans argued with each other over slavery, did some insist on making it about “race” – an 18th-century “scientific” concept? (Much as “homosexuality” is a late 19th-century psychological concept.) Because, I guess, it’s useful to make other people not-like-us. Boy, some of those Lutheran pro-slavery arguments, with all their appeals to Scripture (especially St. Paul) can still sound pretty wholesome.

    Whereas individuals and Societies of the North, calling themselves abolitionists, under the pretense of ameliorating the conditions of our servants, have created an excitement deeply affecting our interest, and calculated to sever bonds of attachment which exist between master and slave; and whereas this unjustifiable interference with our domestic institution is opposed to the Constitution of our common country, is subversive of our liberties as men and contrary to the precepts of our blessed Savior, who commanded servants to be obedient to their masters, and the example of the holy Apostle Paul, who restored to his lawful owner a runaway slave; therefore:

    1. Resolved, unanimously, that this Synod express their strongest disapprobation of the conduct of Northern Abolitionists—and that we look upon them as the enemies of our beloved country; whose mistaken zeal is calculated to injure the cause of morals and religion. (South Carolina Synod, 1835).

  • Tom Hering

    … why do some Christians insist on making this about “homosexuality” …

    Why, in the 19th century, when American Lutherans argued with each other over slavery, did some insist on making it about “race” – an 18th-century “scientific” concept? (Much as “homosexuality” is a late 19th-century psychological concept.) Because, I guess, it’s useful to make other people not-like-us. Boy, some of those Lutheran pro-slavery arguments, with all their appeals to Scripture (especially St. Paul) can still sound pretty wholesome.

    Whereas individuals and Societies of the North, calling themselves abolitionists, under the pretense of ameliorating the conditions of our servants, have created an excitement deeply affecting our interest, and calculated to sever bonds of attachment which exist between master and slave; and whereas this unjustifiable interference with our domestic institution is opposed to the Constitution of our common country, is subversive of our liberties as men and contrary to the precepts of our blessed Savior, who commanded servants to be obedient to their masters, and the example of the holy Apostle Paul, who restored to his lawful owner a runaway slave; therefore:

    1. Resolved, unanimously, that this Synod express their strongest disapprobation of the conduct of Northern Abolitionists—and that we look upon them as the enemies of our beloved country; whose mistaken zeal is calculated to injure the cause of morals and religion. (South Carolina Synod, 1835).

  • fws

    nick h @ 204

    tODD (@203)

    NICK Now I’m not saying that the issue of gay marriage is not an important one in our society.

    FRANK: I say it is not an important issue in our society to anyone but the two homos that want to get married. So why not just let it be a matter of their own private business.
    The harm in that is what exactly?
    They can already adopt. So the issue is not about whether or not a couple of homos can have kids.

    NICK when the [greek] text says things like ‘men who practice homosexuality’ …

    FRANK “homosexuality” is a word that was made up around 1890, and was not fully defined until around 1980. It is a tecnical, clinical, medical term from the 20th century. It appears nowhere in the bible. The concept behind the word did not exist back then at all.

    NICK If a repentant homosexual comes to a Lutheran pastor despairing of his sin …. tempted ….or …committed … sins, [ and IF he is]not seeking to justify them [THEN] he will be forgiven the same as any heterosexual.

    FRANK If I am completely honest, I try always to self justify or deny that I am sinning.
    The heart is so darkly deceptive.
    “Cleanse thou me from secret sins” we pray.

    My suggestion Nick is to get rid of even that condition. Of course every one you meet is self justifying and is deep denial of just how bad their sin really is. That is what sinners do! Look at overweight people. When was the last time you confronted one of those women in your church to see if she was REALLY repentent of her gluttony? Or gave her helpful coaching pointers on how to get better at controlling her sinful eating habits? Try it! Kidding! I mean….. DON’T you dare try it.

    If someone’s behavior is causing disturbance in the church and is disrupting the work of the church they need to be ushered out. This is the real purpose of any earthly government. To keep order and peace. And the church is a government in the same way as family and society at large.

    Otherwise we assume they are repentent and encourage them to keep on coming to church and address them always as baptised members of that church and keep calling them back to that baptism.

  • fws

    nick h @ 204

    tODD (@203)

    NICK Now I’m not saying that the issue of gay marriage is not an important one in our society.

    FRANK: I say it is not an important issue in our society to anyone but the two homos that want to get married. So why not just let it be a matter of their own private business.
    The harm in that is what exactly?
    They can already adopt. So the issue is not about whether or not a couple of homos can have kids.

    NICK when the [greek] text says things like ‘men who practice homosexuality’ …

    FRANK “homosexuality” is a word that was made up around 1890, and was not fully defined until around 1980. It is a tecnical, clinical, medical term from the 20th century. It appears nowhere in the bible. The concept behind the word did not exist back then at all.

    NICK If a repentant homosexual comes to a Lutheran pastor despairing of his sin …. tempted ….or …committed … sins, [ and IF he is]not seeking to justify them [THEN] he will be forgiven the same as any heterosexual.

    FRANK If I am completely honest, I try always to self justify or deny that I am sinning.
    The heart is so darkly deceptive.
    “Cleanse thou me from secret sins” we pray.

    My suggestion Nick is to get rid of even that condition. Of course every one you meet is self justifying and is deep denial of just how bad their sin really is. That is what sinners do! Look at overweight people. When was the last time you confronted one of those women in your church to see if she was REALLY repentent of her gluttony? Or gave her helpful coaching pointers on how to get better at controlling her sinful eating habits? Try it! Kidding! I mean….. DON’T you dare try it.

    If someone’s behavior is causing disturbance in the church and is disrupting the work of the church they need to be ushered out. This is the real purpose of any earthly government. To keep order and peace. And the church is a government in the same way as family and society at large.

    Otherwise we assume they are repentent and encourage them to keep on coming to church and address them always as baptised members of that church and keep calling them back to that baptism.

  • fws

    Tom @ 205

    1) slavery is not forbidden in the bible. Most would say that same gender sex is forbidden.

    2) A family, according the the biblical definition of it, included the slaves in the family. So these southern Lutherans were defending family values as defined by the Bible.

    3)homosexuality is not a known category in the bible. So maybe that means that there is no such thing? Maybe the entire modern medical concept of homosexuality is totally bogus and made up stuff? And then also negros, as a category, also do not exist either. It is not a known category in the bible.

    4) why shouldnt people have the right to have slaves? to own slaves is not forbidden by the bible after all. What would be wrong with reinstituting slavery (of course assuming black folks would not object to this. Just to be polite about it). And in the same vein, what would be wrong with instituting the death penalty for men who have sex with other men or lesbians who have sex with each other. or kiss each other. Why not? Why isn’t NOM (Nation Organization for the defense of Marriage) praising places like saudi arabia and iran who follow biblical practices. Homos there are beheaded or hung.

    5) And young girls are married off at age 13. And marriage is more biblically defined as well in that the brides have no say so in who they are to marry…

    Brides having a choice in who they marry violates the image of Christ and his church as his bride. The biblical image is that the groom buys the bride and the bride literally becomes the property of the groom. Shouldnt we return to that model at least for the sake of the Gospel here?

    Why do we insist on redefining marriage away from the biblical pattern. And why isnt NOM all over this, as well as fighting to make divorce illegal as well now that we are on this topic….??????!!!!!!

  • fws

    Tom @ 205

    1) slavery is not forbidden in the bible. Most would say that same gender sex is forbidden.

    2) A family, according the the biblical definition of it, included the slaves in the family. So these southern Lutherans were defending family values as defined by the Bible.

    3)homosexuality is not a known category in the bible. So maybe that means that there is no such thing? Maybe the entire modern medical concept of homosexuality is totally bogus and made up stuff? And then also negros, as a category, also do not exist either. It is not a known category in the bible.

    4) why shouldnt people have the right to have slaves? to own slaves is not forbidden by the bible after all. What would be wrong with reinstituting slavery (of course assuming black folks would not object to this. Just to be polite about it). And in the same vein, what would be wrong with instituting the death penalty for men who have sex with other men or lesbians who have sex with each other. or kiss each other. Why not? Why isn’t NOM (Nation Organization for the defense of Marriage) praising places like saudi arabia and iran who follow biblical practices. Homos there are beheaded or hung.

    5) And young girls are married off at age 13. And marriage is more biblically defined as well in that the brides have no say so in who they are to marry…

    Brides having a choice in who they marry violates the image of Christ and his church as his bride. The biblical image is that the groom buys the bride and the bride literally becomes the property of the groom. Shouldnt we return to that model at least for the sake of the Gospel here?

    Why do we insist on redefining marriage away from the biblical pattern. And why isnt NOM all over this, as well as fighting to make divorce illegal as well now that we are on this topic….??????!!!!!!

  • fws

    tom @ 205

    the LCMS of those days also weighed in to say that there was nothing unbiblical about slavery.

    I dont know who could object to someones husband being sold off. after all black slave could not marry, so it wasnt like the man was REALLY their husband eh?

  • fws

    tom @ 205

    the LCMS of those days also weighed in to say that there was nothing unbiblical about slavery.

    I dont know who could object to someones husband being sold off. after all black slave could not marry, so it wasnt like the man was REALLY their husband eh?

  • fws

    tom @ 205

    to those thinking here “what WERE those 1835 Lutheran thinking??!1″ I would challenge you to show me, from the bible , that they were wrong. What was the biblical Law they broke?

    I give you two words as a hint : golden. Rule. and what is that rule?

  • fws

    tom @ 205

    to those thinking here “what WERE those 1835 Lutheran thinking??!1″ I would challenge you to show me, from the bible , that they were wrong. What was the biblical Law they broke?

    I give you two words as a hint : golden. Rule. and what is that rule?

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    Frank (@ 206) It’s important because the government is involved. It could potentially be an issue of religious liberty if churches refuse to preform the wedding, etc. Hopefully it would never come to that, but this new HHS mandate doesn’t exactly give me high hopes. That being said, the fact that they can adopt and have kids is really the biggest ‘societal impact’ that a gay couple could have anyway. The best scenario is that the government would have nothing to do with marriage whatsoever.

    You’re right that we’re always justifying ourselves. Confession of sin is agreeing with God that His word about our sin is true, despite whatever ‘feelings’ we may have at the time. That’s quite subjective. Like a good Lutheran, you’ve jumped on my ‘if/then’. My point was that regardless of who is sinning and confessing, a repentant sinner is given the absolution. Excuse my use of adverbs. I’m a recovering Puritan.

    As I said, I’m not a Greek scholar. The homosexual quote was not from the Greek but from the ESV. I’m not exactly sure what they are getting at there. The English reads as fornication between men to my eyes and understanding. I’m not sure how you would interpret these verses.

    To be honest, I’m unsure how you’re reading some of these passages of scripture, Frank. I’m running on the ‘typical?’ Christian believe that biblical marriage is between men and women. Society approving of gay marriage is one thing, but would you then think it is okay biblically as well? Do you agree that sex between same-gendered people outside of marriage is a sin? My understanding is that it is always a sin because 1. It cannot be a biblical marriage. 2. It is therefore always fornication.

    No offense intended, brother. I’d like to understand your position, but I understand there is a time and a place to ask things. And I am not your pastor, so feel free to ignore me.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    Frank (@ 206) It’s important because the government is involved. It could potentially be an issue of religious liberty if churches refuse to preform the wedding, etc. Hopefully it would never come to that, but this new HHS mandate doesn’t exactly give me high hopes. That being said, the fact that they can adopt and have kids is really the biggest ‘societal impact’ that a gay couple could have anyway. The best scenario is that the government would have nothing to do with marriage whatsoever.

    You’re right that we’re always justifying ourselves. Confession of sin is agreeing with God that His word about our sin is true, despite whatever ‘feelings’ we may have at the time. That’s quite subjective. Like a good Lutheran, you’ve jumped on my ‘if/then’. My point was that regardless of who is sinning and confessing, a repentant sinner is given the absolution. Excuse my use of adverbs. I’m a recovering Puritan.

    As I said, I’m not a Greek scholar. The homosexual quote was not from the Greek but from the ESV. I’m not exactly sure what they are getting at there. The English reads as fornication between men to my eyes and understanding. I’m not sure how you would interpret these verses.

    To be honest, I’m unsure how you’re reading some of these passages of scripture, Frank. I’m running on the ‘typical?’ Christian believe that biblical marriage is between men and women. Society approving of gay marriage is one thing, but would you then think it is okay biblically as well? Do you agree that sex between same-gendered people outside of marriage is a sin? My understanding is that it is always a sin because 1. It cannot be a biblical marriage. 2. It is therefore always fornication.

    No offense intended, brother. I’d like to understand your position, but I understand there is a time and a place to ask things. And I am not your pastor, so feel free to ignore me.

  • Tom Hering

    When slavery was about a practice, and not an identity, it was a scary thing, because anyone could be enslaved. When the concept of race was introduced, it let people relax, because slavery would now be about pigmentation, or people not-like-us.

    Similarly, I think, when same-sex behavior was about a practice, and not an identity, it was a scary thing, because everyone was capable of engaging in a practice. When the concept of homosexuality was introduced, it let people relax, because same-sex behavior would now be about perverted nature, or people not-like-us.

    We like to feel safe from what threatens or disturbs us.

  • Tom Hering

    When slavery was about a practice, and not an identity, it was a scary thing, because anyone could be enslaved. When the concept of race was introduced, it let people relax, because slavery would now be about pigmentation, or people not-like-us.

    Similarly, I think, when same-sex behavior was about a practice, and not an identity, it was a scary thing, because everyone was capable of engaging in a practice. When the concept of homosexuality was introduced, it let people relax, because same-sex behavior would now be about perverted nature, or people not-like-us.

    We like to feel safe from what threatens or disturbs us.

  • Tom Hering

    Frank @ 209, yes, once Africans were recognized as fully human, it became possible for the Golden Rule to trump Biblical slavery.

  • Tom Hering

    Frank @ 209, yes, once Africans were recognized as fully human, it became possible for the Golden Rule to trump Biblical slavery.

  • Grace

    Terms not found in the Word of God, but used everyday.

    1. Trinity — isn’t found in the Bible but we use it to describe the Godhead, God the Father, God the Son and God the HOLY Spirit.
    2. Atheism — isn’t used in the Bible, but we use it to define those individuals who believe there is no God.
    3. Omnipotence — definition: all powerful – this word is not in the Bible.
    4. Omniscience — definition: all knowing, again this isn’t found in the Bible.
    5. Omnipresence — definition: as being present everywhere again not found in the Bible.
    6. Homosexuality/homosexual is not found in the Bible to define a male to male, who “leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.” – female to female, who, change the natural use into that which is against nature:

    Because these terms are not found in the Bible does not negate their importance or correct Biblical use. I’m pointing this out to you in an attempt to show that there are terms which ARE used, which are CORRECT but are not found in the Bible, such as God the Son, or the Deity of Christ.

  • Grace

    Terms not found in the Word of God, but used everyday.

    1. Trinity — isn’t found in the Bible but we use it to describe the Godhead, God the Father, God the Son and God the HOLY Spirit.
    2. Atheism — isn’t used in the Bible, but we use it to define those individuals who believe there is no God.
    3. Omnipotence — definition: all powerful – this word is not in the Bible.
    4. Omniscience — definition: all knowing, again this isn’t found in the Bible.
    5. Omnipresence — definition: as being present everywhere again not found in the Bible.
    6. Homosexuality/homosexual is not found in the Bible to define a male to male, who “leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.” – female to female, who, change the natural use into that which is against nature:

    Because these terms are not found in the Bible does not negate their importance or correct Biblical use. I’m pointing this out to you in an attempt to show that there are terms which ARE used, which are CORRECT but are not found in the Bible, such as God the Son, or the Deity of Christ.

  • kerner

    tODD:
    “So my question is: why do some Christians insist on making this about “homosexuality”, instead of keeping it to what Scripture actually addresses?”

    I don’t know if that question is directed at me, but I’ll answer it for myself.

    I am perfectly willing to stick to what Scripture actually addresses. And clearly the most important thing Scripture addresses is that ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and therefore ALL need a Savior, but by the pure and unmerited grace of God, our sins are forgiven and we can leave them at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ.

    But the reason we have this discussion over and over again is that the letter of the Law is important as well. It is important for people to know that, not only are they sinners by nature, but they are sinners in fact by their actions, and what the Bible says is wrong IS in fact wrong. And on this subject we keep hitting an impasse. And the reason we hit that impasse is because the argument is advanced that the words of Scripture concerning men having sex with men mean something other than what they actually say, or that they are addressed only to men least likely to need them. Even though Scripture pretty clearly says that men having sex with men is always sinful, period, the end (and any unbiased reader reaches that conclusion from multiple lines of thought), we are constantly being told that these prohibitions do not apply to homosexuals, or that they only mean certain kinds of sex, or any other rationalization that somehow allows self-identifying homosexuals to ignore what Scripture says about the sex they want to have with each other. This is done by a convoluted process of rationalization that reduces the law to saying whatever I can convince myself is my reason tells me the law says.

    This does violence to the words of Scripture and that is sinful in itself. And I’d be happy to say so in any other context in which it came up. But this particular topic seems to generate this sort of argument over and over again because the actual words of Scripture are so utterly opposed to the position (that for a man to have sex with another man may be non-sinful under some circumstances) that its proponents want to assert.

    It is the terribly flawed approach to Scripture tha I object to, far more than this particular topic of men having sex with other men. And, when I have the time and the energy, I can’t let it pass.

  • kerner

    tODD:
    “So my question is: why do some Christians insist on making this about “homosexuality”, instead of keeping it to what Scripture actually addresses?”

    I don’t know if that question is directed at me, but I’ll answer it for myself.

    I am perfectly willing to stick to what Scripture actually addresses. And clearly the most important thing Scripture addresses is that ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and therefore ALL need a Savior, but by the pure and unmerited grace of God, our sins are forgiven and we can leave them at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ.

    But the reason we have this discussion over and over again is that the letter of the Law is important as well. It is important for people to know that, not only are they sinners by nature, but they are sinners in fact by their actions, and what the Bible says is wrong IS in fact wrong. And on this subject we keep hitting an impasse. And the reason we hit that impasse is because the argument is advanced that the words of Scripture concerning men having sex with men mean something other than what they actually say, or that they are addressed only to men least likely to need them. Even though Scripture pretty clearly says that men having sex with men is always sinful, period, the end (and any unbiased reader reaches that conclusion from multiple lines of thought), we are constantly being told that these prohibitions do not apply to homosexuals, or that they only mean certain kinds of sex, or any other rationalization that somehow allows self-identifying homosexuals to ignore what Scripture says about the sex they want to have with each other. This is done by a convoluted process of rationalization that reduces the law to saying whatever I can convince myself is my reason tells me the law says.

    This does violence to the words of Scripture and that is sinful in itself. And I’d be happy to say so in any other context in which it came up. But this particular topic seems to generate this sort of argument over and over again because the actual words of Scripture are so utterly opposed to the position (that for a man to have sex with another man may be non-sinful under some circumstances) that its proponents want to assert.

    It is the terribly flawed approach to Scripture tha I object to, far more than this particular topic of men having sex with other men. And, when I have the time and the energy, I can’t let it pass.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    Grace @213 I think Frank’s insistence on having correct definitions is important here. Do you think there could be such a thing as a celibate homosexual? If so, is that person by nature sinful?

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    Grace @213 I think Frank’s insistence on having correct definitions is important here. Do you think there could be such a thing as a celibate homosexual? If so, is that person by nature sinful?

  • kerner

    Having said that, there is another reason I sometimes do let this discussion pass. And that is because this topic brings out the pietistic legalism of American Protestantism. And pietistic legalism does as much violence to Scripture as antinomian rationalization does. And I hate to encourage the one every time I object to the other.

  • kerner

    Having said that, there is another reason I sometimes do let this discussion pass. And that is because this topic brings out the pietistic legalism of American Protestantism. And pietistic legalism does as much violence to Scripture as antinomian rationalization does. And I hate to encourage the one every time I object to the other.

  • Grace

    Nick – 215

    There are men and women who are homosexual, BUT who have chosen to trust in the LORD, and walk away from sexual perversion, it’s a choice, not a ‘command performance’-

    There are organizations such as Exodus which have helped many. Those who wish to argue otherwise, have chosen to do so, because they don’t want to “GIVE UP” the old “I was born this way” for the way in which God made man and woman, or to choose as you pointed out to be celebate.

    The passage of Scripture which proves this point is:

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

    We are all tempted, but we don’t need to fall into the trap of “temptation” – Nor does anyone need wallow in sin.

    The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
    2 Peter 2:9

    The passage above is sobering. The “godly” and “unjust” -

  • Grace

    Nick – 215

    There are men and women who are homosexual, BUT who have chosen to trust in the LORD, and walk away from sexual perversion, it’s a choice, not a ‘command performance’-

    There are organizations such as Exodus which have helped many. Those who wish to argue otherwise, have chosen to do so, because they don’t want to “GIVE UP” the old “I was born this way” for the way in which God made man and woman, or to choose as you pointed out to be celebate.

    The passage of Scripture which proves this point is:

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

    We are all tempted, but we don’t need to fall into the trap of “temptation” – Nor does anyone need wallow in sin.

    The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
    2 Peter 2:9

    The passage above is sobering. The “godly” and “unjust” -

  • kerner

    Tom @211:

    ” When the concept of homosexuality was introduced, it let people relax, because same-sex behavior would now be about perverted nature, or people not-like-us.”

    True, but the other side of that coin is that it also became about people who-are-like-us. Once “homosexuality” stopped being treated as a disorder and began to be treated an a “gender identity” people began to relax in different ways as well. Rather than focusing on the practice, which can be identified as wrong enery time it is done, we now focus on a group of people who claim the act is part of their identity so inately that it is wrong to condemn the practice. By dividing humanity into “us” and “them”, and then making different rules for us, and opposed to the rules for them, we end up with no rules at all. All anyone needs to do is to figure out how to be one of “them” to whom the rules for the rest of “us” do not apply.

  • kerner

    Tom @211:

    ” When the concept of homosexuality was introduced, it let people relax, because same-sex behavior would now be about perverted nature, or people not-like-us.”

    True, but the other side of that coin is that it also became about people who-are-like-us. Once “homosexuality” stopped being treated as a disorder and began to be treated an a “gender identity” people began to relax in different ways as well. Rather than focusing on the practice, which can be identified as wrong enery time it is done, we now focus on a group of people who claim the act is part of their identity so inately that it is wrong to condemn the practice. By dividing humanity into “us” and “them”, and then making different rules for us, and opposed to the rules for them, we end up with no rules at all. All anyone needs to do is to figure out how to be one of “them” to whom the rules for the rest of “us” do not apply.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    Grace @217 If you can be a homosexual, by your admission, and be celibate, then perhaps you can sympathize with Frank when he asks for a clarification in definition? Maybe some people have been helped by Exodus to stop committing fornication, but does that prove that they have stopped lusting. We cannot view sin by the outward act alone. Both are damnable.

    God does, indeed, promise deliverance from temptation. Unfortunately, I don’t think any of us trust in this promise consistently.

    That last passage you quoted is sobering law, for sure. Again, unfortunately, can any of us claim to be ‘godly’ as ‘none is righteous’. What do you think Peter means when he refers to the godly?

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    Grace @217 If you can be a homosexual, by your admission, and be celibate, then perhaps you can sympathize with Frank when he asks for a clarification in definition? Maybe some people have been helped by Exodus to stop committing fornication, but does that prove that they have stopped lusting. We cannot view sin by the outward act alone. Both are damnable.

    God does, indeed, promise deliverance from temptation. Unfortunately, I don’t think any of us trust in this promise consistently.

    That last passage you quoted is sobering law, for sure. Again, unfortunately, can any of us claim to be ‘godly’ as ‘none is righteous’. What do you think Peter means when he refers to the godly?

  • Grace

    Nick,

    We were, and ARE, talking about homosexuality, NOT fornication.

    The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
    2 Peter 2:9

    The reference to “godly” in 2 Peter 2:9, is as follows:

    godly Strong’s Greek Dictionary

    eusebes – yoo-seb-ace’

    well-reverent, i.e. pious:–devout, godly.

  • Grace

    Nick,

    We were, and ARE, talking about homosexuality, NOT fornication.

    The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
    2 Peter 2:9

    The reference to “godly” in 2 Peter 2:9, is as follows:

    godly Strong’s Greek Dictionary

    eusebes – yoo-seb-ace’

    well-reverent, i.e. pious:–devout, godly.

  • Tom Hering

    Time for sleep. Good luck, Nick. ;-)

  • Tom Hering

    Time for sleep. Good luck, Nick. ;-)

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    Grace @220 Do homosexuals commit fornication? You said that a homosexual could walk away from ‘sexual perversion.’ By this I assume you mean fornication, i.e. sex outside marriage? Am I wrong? Having sex outside of marriage is sinful for a man whether it is with a man or a woman, wouldn’t you agree?

    What do you make of Peter calling Christians ‘godly’ while Paul says that ‘none is righteous’? Do you think this has anything to do with our righteousness being in Christ? Surely we are not inherently righteous? The protestant position is that our righteousness is alien and imputed while the Roman Catholic position is that it is inherent and infused. It seems as though you’re taking the latter position. Now correct me if I’m wrong. And if I am, I apologize. For all I know, you me be Catholic. I have nothing against Catholics, for the record. I was raised Catholic and most of my family is Catholic.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    Grace @220 Do homosexuals commit fornication? You said that a homosexual could walk away from ‘sexual perversion.’ By this I assume you mean fornication, i.e. sex outside marriage? Am I wrong? Having sex outside of marriage is sinful for a man whether it is with a man or a woman, wouldn’t you agree?

    What do you make of Peter calling Christians ‘godly’ while Paul says that ‘none is righteous’? Do you think this has anything to do with our righteousness being in Christ? Surely we are not inherently righteous? The protestant position is that our righteousness is alien and imputed while the Roman Catholic position is that it is inherent and infused. It seems as though you’re taking the latter position. Now correct me if I’m wrong. And if I am, I apologize. For all I know, you me be Catholic. I have nothing against Catholics, for the record. I was raised Catholic and most of my family is Catholic.

  • Grace

    Nick @ 222

    “Do homosexuals commit fornication? You said that a homosexual could walk away from ‘sexual perversion.’ By this I assume you mean fornication, i.e. sex outside marriage? Am I wrong? Having sex outside of marriage is sinful for a man whether it is with a man or a woman, wouldn’t you agree?”

    You “assume” wrong, fornication is defined as:

    fornication- definition

    1. voluntary sexual intercourse outside marriage
    2. (Law) Law voluntary sexual intercourse between two persons of the opposite sex, where one is or both are unmarried

    So called marriage between homosexuals is nothing but a farce, or if you will, a staged drama, to sanitize that which is sinful. An individual who cares NOT for God’s Word, doesn’t give it a thought, nor does the homosexual who believes they can fool God and HIS people. It’s nothing but a sham.

    Within God’s Word there is no marriage between to males or two females. Homosexual sex is perverted.

    “What do you make of Peter calling Christians ‘godly’ while Paul says that ‘none is righteous’? Do you think this has anything to do with our righteousness being in Christ? Surely we are not inherently righteous?”

    Paul used the word “godly” – I gave you the Greek definition. We can try to live godly lives, that doesn’t make us perfect, but it is what we aim for as Believers. We all fall short of the Glory of God, however we can put our trust in HIM, when we are tempted – HE has promised us that He will give us an “escape” and HE does.

  • Grace

    Nick @ 222

    “Do homosexuals commit fornication? You said that a homosexual could walk away from ‘sexual perversion.’ By this I assume you mean fornication, i.e. sex outside marriage? Am I wrong? Having sex outside of marriage is sinful for a man whether it is with a man or a woman, wouldn’t you agree?”

    You “assume” wrong, fornication is defined as:

    fornication- definition

    1. voluntary sexual intercourse outside marriage
    2. (Law) Law voluntary sexual intercourse between two persons of the opposite sex, where one is or both are unmarried

    So called marriage between homosexuals is nothing but a farce, or if you will, a staged drama, to sanitize that which is sinful. An individual who cares NOT for God’s Word, doesn’t give it a thought, nor does the homosexual who believes they can fool God and HIS people. It’s nothing but a sham.

    Within God’s Word there is no marriage between to males or two females. Homosexual sex is perverted.

    “What do you make of Peter calling Christians ‘godly’ while Paul says that ‘none is righteous’? Do you think this has anything to do with our righteousness being in Christ? Surely we are not inherently righteous?”

    Paul used the word “godly” – I gave you the Greek definition. We can try to live godly lives, that doesn’t make us perfect, but it is what we aim for as Believers. We all fall short of the Glory of God, however we can put our trust in HIM, when we are tempted – HE has promised us that He will give us an “escape” and HE does.

  • Truth Unites… And Divides

    Kerner, very good comment @ 214. You’re a good and decent Lutheran, all things considered. And thanks for being self-aware of pietistic legalism. :-)

  • Truth Unites… And Divides

    Kerner, very good comment @ 214. You’re a good and decent Lutheran, all things considered. And thanks for being self-aware of pietistic legalism. :-)

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    Grace @223 I’m not exactly sure what you mean by homosexual then. You have said that homosexuals can leave ‘sexual perversion’ behind. What does your statement mean other than they stop having sex with people of the same sex outside of marriage? I’m not advocating gay marriage; I’m just trying to get at that which is truly sinful, which is sex outside of marriage (whether with a man or woman). Temptation itself is not sin. Perhaps this is what Frank is getting at. I’m not exactly sure.

    I agree that all believers aim to be godly, to follow God’s law. And we all fall short, totally. I’m with you. And he has promised escape from temptation, for sure. But we all still fall short. Sometimes we do trust in the promise and avoid sin, but sometimes we still sin. We are all guilty. That is why our godliness is solely based on Christ’s merit. It is His righteousness, imputed to us. That is our only hope. Because, as you said, we are not perfect, but God requires perfection from us.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    Grace @223 I’m not exactly sure what you mean by homosexual then. You have said that homosexuals can leave ‘sexual perversion’ behind. What does your statement mean other than they stop having sex with people of the same sex outside of marriage? I’m not advocating gay marriage; I’m just trying to get at that which is truly sinful, which is sex outside of marriage (whether with a man or woman). Temptation itself is not sin. Perhaps this is what Frank is getting at. I’m not exactly sure.

    I agree that all believers aim to be godly, to follow God’s law. And we all fall short, totally. I’m with you. And he has promised escape from temptation, for sure. But we all still fall short. Sometimes we do trust in the promise and avoid sin, but sometimes we still sin. We are all guilty. That is why our godliness is solely based on Christ’s merit. It is His righteousness, imputed to us. That is our only hope. Because, as you said, we are not perfect, but God requires perfection from us.

  • Grace

    Nick @225

    As Kerner posted above, this subject has been discussed many times. It becomes a game of parsed words, and sentences, for many who post here.

    When I write about homosexuality – I believe without a doubt, it is sin, it can be healed by the LORD, it can be escaped, as God promised, it’s a choice an individual makes. All the excuses in the world have no validity, for the very fact that God can deliver anyone out of temptation. That includes the homosexual. Todays homosexual community is ripe with all the excuses and flip phrases, even going so far as to include the Word of God in their claims, turning Romans 1 AROUND in an attempt to change it’s meaning, to suit their perversion.

    The church is persecuted as the homosexuals demand their rights. One has only to look the ELCA, that is is a perfect example. That is not enough, the homosexual community wants more, and that means other denominations, and groups.

    Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3:12

    Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

    The same definition in Strong’s Greek Dictionary for “godly” is used in the passage above.

    godly
    eusebes – yoo-seb-ace’
    well-reverent, i.e. pious:–devout, godly.

    How can one demand a sinful lifestyle within a church, persecuting those who won’t abide by their wishes and whims? It’s not a difficult question; the answer is selfish, lustful desires, foisted on those who know the truth. Those who are steadfast in faith in Jesus Christ will prevail.

  • Grace

    Nick @225

    As Kerner posted above, this subject has been discussed many times. It becomes a game of parsed words, and sentences, for many who post here.

    When I write about homosexuality – I believe without a doubt, it is sin, it can be healed by the LORD, it can be escaped, as God promised, it’s a choice an individual makes. All the excuses in the world have no validity, for the very fact that God can deliver anyone out of temptation. That includes the homosexual. Todays homosexual community is ripe with all the excuses and flip phrases, even going so far as to include the Word of God in their claims, turning Romans 1 AROUND in an attempt to change it’s meaning, to suit their perversion.

    The church is persecuted as the homosexuals demand their rights. One has only to look the ELCA, that is is a perfect example. That is not enough, the homosexual community wants more, and that means other denominations, and groups.

    Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3:12

    Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

    The same definition in Strong’s Greek Dictionary for “godly” is used in the passage above.

    godly
    eusebes – yoo-seb-ace’
    well-reverent, i.e. pious:–devout, godly.

    How can one demand a sinful lifestyle within a church, persecuting those who won’t abide by their wishes and whims? It’s not a difficult question; the answer is selfish, lustful desires, foisted on those who know the truth. Those who are steadfast in faith in Jesus Christ will prevail.

  • Grace

    For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
    2 Corinthians 7:10

    “godly sorrow”

  • Grace

    For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
    2 Corinthians 7:10

    “godly sorrow”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner, your comment (@214) mentioned my name and quoted me, but otherwise failed to actually reply to me, in at least two ways.

    The first way was that, let’s be honest, you were actually replying to FWS’s past arguments on this blog. If you read my comments on this blog, you will see that I am not fully subscribing to those arguments, so I cannot fully defend them. That said, I still think he makes many good points that go right over the heads of many of the people who reply to him.

    Secondly — and this is why I’m replying, in the hopes that you’ll remedy this — you didn’t actually address the concern of mine that you quoted. Which was, again, “why do some Christians insist on making this about ‘homosexuality’, instead of keeping it to what Scripture actually addresses?”

    Which is to say, let’s take it as a given that homosexual fornication is, in fact, a sinful act (as is heterosexual fornication). Given that, why do so many Christians insist on going beyond that given to say things like “homosexuality is a sin”? My very-belabored point being that homosexuality is not the same thing as homosexual fornication. So why do people apparently think they’re the same?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner, your comment (@214) mentioned my name and quoted me, but otherwise failed to actually reply to me, in at least two ways.

    The first way was that, let’s be honest, you were actually replying to FWS’s past arguments on this blog. If you read my comments on this blog, you will see that I am not fully subscribing to those arguments, so I cannot fully defend them. That said, I still think he makes many good points that go right over the heads of many of the people who reply to him.

    Secondly — and this is why I’m replying, in the hopes that you’ll remedy this — you didn’t actually address the concern of mine that you quoted. Which was, again, “why do some Christians insist on making this about ‘homosexuality’, instead of keeping it to what Scripture actually addresses?”

    Which is to say, let’s take it as a given that homosexual fornication is, in fact, a sinful act (as is heterosexual fornication). Given that, why do so many Christians insist on going beyond that given to say things like “homosexuality is a sin”? My very-belabored point being that homosexuality is not the same thing as homosexual fornication. So why do people apparently think they’re the same?

  • fws

    KERNER @ 214

    KERNER It is important for people to know that, … they are sinners in fact by their actions, and what the Bible says is wrong IS in fact wrong.

    FRANK We agree here Kerner. Even in civil Law there is the letter of the Law and there is the intent or spirit of the Law.

    God’s intent in our keeping all Law on earth is to make goodness and mercy happen on earth. It is that Goodness and Mercy that is the Eternal Will of God, not what we read in the Law.

    Here on earth, reading Luther’s 10 commandments in the small catechism now…. we are supposed to have the right heart and right emotions of both the fear and the love of God so that we a) refrain from doing harm, and b) do Goodness and Mercy.

    Here on earth, you are right Kerner. The work of the Law is to kill, mortify and subdue our Old Adam. We know this process on earth as “Justice”. Justice is what you do aspore to do as an attorney. Justice looks like getting what we deserve Kerner. It looks like cutting the baby in two. I am saying by that that in Justice there must always be a death . Someone has to die-to-rights. The religious word for Justice is “sacrifice”. Sacrifice is the rendering of what is do to achieve a certain end. And God, the Holy Spirit is active in the Law to make Old Adam do sacrifice. To die. That is why vocation is called “the disciplines”. Even pagans sense this as a fact.

    Take home point: It is God making this sacrifice happen in all of us Old Adams . And he WILL make this sacrifice happen regardless of whether we are antinomians (cf Luke 18 and the story of the antinomian judge nagged by a conscience dead to love), or whether we are pietistic legalists. This is what is meant by “The Law ALWAYS accuses”. It will simply not take “no” for an answer. It always gets it’s man. It simply will not go away. Ever.

    So it is not a necessary task to get people to know that biblical list of dos and donts Kerner. Why not? a) they already know it (rom 2:15) , but more importantly this: b) the work of the Law does not depend upon our even accepting that there IS a law! The Law DOES us! We don’t DO the Law really. And it does us until we die. That is just how much it does us. And then does us some more.

    This is why older men and women become more forgiving, and stop doing the crazy wild stuff that younger people do. And this tends to be true regardless of their religious or moral views. it is true even for someone like Hugh Heffner who was a pure hedonist.

    Here is the problem: If it is God working on all of us to kill us with the Law, that legalistic jot and titel that Jesus says will NOT be removed ever….. then a) how is the Law a good thing if Mortification is what it does and b) What kind of God would desire our death in such a cold and tyranical way?

    Here is a second problem for the religious: Jesus says that God does not desire this sacrifice. Yet we are also told that God not only demands sacrifice, he works sacrifice in us whether we want to do the sacrificing or not!

    Yet Jesus says : God does not desire sacrifice. He desires that Mercy be done.

    Reconcile all this Kerner please.

    what gives here Kerner?

    KERNER And the reason we hit that impasse is because the argument is advanced that the words of Scripture concerning men having sex with men mean something other than what they actually say,

    FRANK So you are saying that homos like me want to do what we want to do. and the only way to do this is to explain away large chunks of scripture that “any reasonable person” would “obviously” understand as “unconditionally” forbidding sex between two persons of the same gender.

    I am saying that you need to do some more work on a) what the Law is according to God, b) how it works, and c) what his desired intent is, what he intends to be the fruit of that Law. THEN we can have that last discussion. I am suggesting that you are getting a) b) and c) wrong. You are close on a). b) you seem to think depends on our understanding for the Law to work and c) you dont have a clue yet. The Law for you is still about Obedience. Obedience is the fruit God desires, and you twist the story of Genesis and the prohibition to eat the tree. That is the genesis of your error on this point.

  • fws

    KERNER @ 214

    KERNER It is important for people to know that, … they are sinners in fact by their actions, and what the Bible says is wrong IS in fact wrong.

    FRANK We agree here Kerner. Even in civil Law there is the letter of the Law and there is the intent or spirit of the Law.

    God’s intent in our keeping all Law on earth is to make goodness and mercy happen on earth. It is that Goodness and Mercy that is the Eternal Will of God, not what we read in the Law.

    Here on earth, reading Luther’s 10 commandments in the small catechism now…. we are supposed to have the right heart and right emotions of both the fear and the love of God so that we a) refrain from doing harm, and b) do Goodness and Mercy.

    Here on earth, you are right Kerner. The work of the Law is to kill, mortify and subdue our Old Adam. We know this process on earth as “Justice”. Justice is what you do aspore to do as an attorney. Justice looks like getting what we deserve Kerner. It looks like cutting the baby in two. I am saying by that that in Justice there must always be a death . Someone has to die-to-rights. The religious word for Justice is “sacrifice”. Sacrifice is the rendering of what is do to achieve a certain end. And God, the Holy Spirit is active in the Law to make Old Adam do sacrifice. To die. That is why vocation is called “the disciplines”. Even pagans sense this as a fact.

    Take home point: It is God making this sacrifice happen in all of us Old Adams . And he WILL make this sacrifice happen regardless of whether we are antinomians (cf Luke 18 and the story of the antinomian judge nagged by a conscience dead to love), or whether we are pietistic legalists. This is what is meant by “The Law ALWAYS accuses”. It will simply not take “no” for an answer. It always gets it’s man. It simply will not go away. Ever.

    So it is not a necessary task to get people to know that biblical list of dos and donts Kerner. Why not? a) they already know it (rom 2:15) , but more importantly this: b) the work of the Law does not depend upon our even accepting that there IS a law! The Law DOES us! We don’t DO the Law really. And it does us until we die. That is just how much it does us. And then does us some more.

    This is why older men and women become more forgiving, and stop doing the crazy wild stuff that younger people do. And this tends to be true regardless of their religious or moral views. it is true even for someone like Hugh Heffner who was a pure hedonist.

    Here is the problem: If it is God working on all of us to kill us with the Law, that legalistic jot and titel that Jesus says will NOT be removed ever….. then a) how is the Law a good thing if Mortification is what it does and b) What kind of God would desire our death in such a cold and tyranical way?

    Here is a second problem for the religious: Jesus says that God does not desire this sacrifice. Yet we are also told that God not only demands sacrifice, he works sacrifice in us whether we want to do the sacrificing or not!

    Yet Jesus says : God does not desire sacrifice. He desires that Mercy be done.

    Reconcile all this Kerner please.

    what gives here Kerner?

    KERNER And the reason we hit that impasse is because the argument is advanced that the words of Scripture concerning men having sex with men mean something other than what they actually say,

    FRANK So you are saying that homos like me want to do what we want to do. and the only way to do this is to explain away large chunks of scripture that “any reasonable person” would “obviously” understand as “unconditionally” forbidding sex between two persons of the same gender.

    I am saying that you need to do some more work on a) what the Law is according to God, b) how it works, and c) what his desired intent is, what he intends to be the fruit of that Law. THEN we can have that last discussion. I am suggesting that you are getting a) b) and c) wrong. You are close on a). b) you seem to think depends on our understanding for the Law to work and c) you dont have a clue yet. The Law for you is still about Obedience. Obedience is the fruit God desires, and you twist the story of Genesis and the prohibition to eat the tree. That is the genesis of your error on this point.

  • fws

    nick

    I am hear and self identifying as a homosexual. Why do I do that service to others here?

    If you read ANY LCMS or other conservative christian publication about homosexuals or homosexuality ,

    a) homosexuals are always, without fail, addressed as a they or them and not a we or us. the homos are always “outside of the room”. This is wrong. Why is it that christians love to do appologetics and engage a hindu, buddhist, mormon etc in deep conversations, taking great care to listen respectfully and respond to and take seriously the objections of those persons to christianity, yet they refuse to even begin a dialog with baptized persons who declare they are homosexual. Doesnt this smell of something terribly skewed and wrong?

    b) I would challenge you to produce one single paper from such a group on this topic that actually defines terms such as “homosexuality” homosexual behavior” “homosexual lifestyle” “practicing homosexual” etc etc etc. Again: why?

    c) I am finding that any discussion of homosexuality excellently flushes out , and brings out into the open all the theological weaknesses and errors of even confessional Lutherans. This is a really good thing not just for the homos but for everyone!

    There is not a separate sin list or law or gospel for the fags. The same doctrines apply to all of us equally.

    d) why is there the assumption that homos are “diffeerently-human”. There is the idea that men and women can have attraction for each other, love each other, and do this in a way that is beneficial to all concerned. But for homosexuals to have these same feelings and impulses, including the one to pair off and be monogamous, is always , to conservative christians, necesarily based upon pure lust and sexual predation. this too seems really skewed. Why would we NOT expect homos to have the SAME romantic aspirations as everyone else, and the same needs for sex that are not always about lusting or wanting to fornicate?

    e) I dont think anyone knows what the greek word fornicate means. it is the word porneia from which we get the word pornography. We know it is about sin. we know it is about sexual sinning. beyond that, I think we honestly do not know. So to hinge any argument on that word I think is pretty shakey.

  • fws

    nick

    I am hear and self identifying as a homosexual. Why do I do that service to others here?

    If you read ANY LCMS or other conservative christian publication about homosexuals or homosexuality ,

    a) homosexuals are always, without fail, addressed as a they or them and not a we or us. the homos are always “outside of the room”. This is wrong. Why is it that christians love to do appologetics and engage a hindu, buddhist, mormon etc in deep conversations, taking great care to listen respectfully and respond to and take seriously the objections of those persons to christianity, yet they refuse to even begin a dialog with baptized persons who declare they are homosexual. Doesnt this smell of something terribly skewed and wrong?

    b) I would challenge you to produce one single paper from such a group on this topic that actually defines terms such as “homosexuality” homosexual behavior” “homosexual lifestyle” “practicing homosexual” etc etc etc. Again: why?

    c) I am finding that any discussion of homosexuality excellently flushes out , and brings out into the open all the theological weaknesses and errors of even confessional Lutherans. This is a really good thing not just for the homos but for everyone!

    There is not a separate sin list or law or gospel for the fags. The same doctrines apply to all of us equally.

    d) why is there the assumption that homos are “diffeerently-human”. There is the idea that men and women can have attraction for each other, love each other, and do this in a way that is beneficial to all concerned. But for homosexuals to have these same feelings and impulses, including the one to pair off and be monogamous, is always , to conservative christians, necesarily based upon pure lust and sexual predation. this too seems really skewed. Why would we NOT expect homos to have the SAME romantic aspirations as everyone else, and the same needs for sex that are not always about lusting or wanting to fornicate?

    e) I dont think anyone knows what the greek word fornicate means. it is the word porneia from which we get the word pornography. We know it is about sin. we know it is about sexual sinning. beyond that, I think we honestly do not know. So to hinge any argument on that word I think is pretty shakey.

  • fws

    to all:

    does frank think that it is permissible, in God’s Word for two men or two women to have sex?

    Honest answer: frank isnt sure. He does not know.

    1) Fact: probably the most sex many homosexuals have ever had with each other is mutual masturbation . I do not believe masturbation is sinful. And I am not the one to pry into the relationship of others with personal questions to find out if a gay couple is doing more than that.

    2) I dont believe there is a single passage in the bible that addresses homosexuality, per se. How would that be possible? The clinical concept did not even really exist until the start of the 1930s and the concept was radically revised in 1980. The ESV using that word is about politics and is the exercise of anachronism. They did violence to Scripture by chosing that word.

    3) the arguments that swirl around this topic should raise many many red flags…. “have they REALLY repented?!” “HOW can we be SURE?” etc etc. and to see Lutherans doing this dance tells us how reformed/evangelical many Lutherans really are in their real thinking even though , formally , they subscribe to the list of Lutheran official doctrines. So this is a really great topic to discuss.

    The trick is to avoid discussing things like why homosexuality exists, whether or not it is nature or nurture, whether there is a gay gene… etc etc. nobody knows these things and to discuss them is not to have a biblical conversation at all!

  • fws

    to all:

    does frank think that it is permissible, in God’s Word for two men or two women to have sex?

    Honest answer: frank isnt sure. He does not know.

    1) Fact: probably the most sex many homosexuals have ever had with each other is mutual masturbation . I do not believe masturbation is sinful. And I am not the one to pry into the relationship of others with personal questions to find out if a gay couple is doing more than that.

    2) I dont believe there is a single passage in the bible that addresses homosexuality, per se. How would that be possible? The clinical concept did not even really exist until the start of the 1930s and the concept was radically revised in 1980. The ESV using that word is about politics and is the exercise of anachronism. They did violence to Scripture by chosing that word.

    3) the arguments that swirl around this topic should raise many many red flags…. “have they REALLY repented?!” “HOW can we be SURE?” etc etc. and to see Lutherans doing this dance tells us how reformed/evangelical many Lutherans really are in their real thinking even though , formally , they subscribe to the list of Lutheran official doctrines. So this is a really great topic to discuss.

    The trick is to avoid discussing things like why homosexuality exists, whether or not it is nature or nurture, whether there is a gay gene… etc etc. nobody knows these things and to discuss them is not to have a biblical conversation at all!

  • fws

    to all

    I am challenged to speak to a 15 year old boy or girl, full of hormones, and more… full of deep romantic asperations….

    what do I say to them? You will NEVER have that “helpmeet”,. Suck it up. and why is it that they are supposed to make this sacrifice? because to not do so will harm someone else? harm them? No. the basic reason is that they need to make the sacrifice of Obedience. There is no other reason.

    And noone else on the planet is asked, by those who claim to believe in Christ-alone-plus-nothing, to make a sacrifice even closely resembling this. Yeah yeah yeah, we can talk about those whose spouse becomes incapacitated. etc. I suggest that and the other situations trotted out are simply not equivalent.

    There IS one situation that IS equivalent. That is the case of divorced persons. Can they remarry? why or why not? and what if they do? and the scriptures seem to forbid this…. or at least it seems obvious to many that it does .

    I accept this as an almost exactly identical situation and would be willing to argue that one out….

  • fws

    to all

    I am challenged to speak to a 15 year old boy or girl, full of hormones, and more… full of deep romantic asperations….

    what do I say to them? You will NEVER have that “helpmeet”,. Suck it up. and why is it that they are supposed to make this sacrifice? because to not do so will harm someone else? harm them? No. the basic reason is that they need to make the sacrifice of Obedience. There is no other reason.

    And noone else on the planet is asked, by those who claim to believe in Christ-alone-plus-nothing, to make a sacrifice even closely resembling this. Yeah yeah yeah, we can talk about those whose spouse becomes incapacitated. etc. I suggest that and the other situations trotted out are simply not equivalent.

    There IS one situation that IS equivalent. That is the case of divorced persons. Can they remarry? why or why not? and what if they do? and the scriptures seem to forbid this…. or at least it seems obvious to many that it does .

    I accept this as an almost exactly identical situation and would be willing to argue that one out….

  • fws

    nick
    “Frank (@ 206) It’s important because the government is involved. … potentially be an issue of religious liberty… the fact that they can adopt and have kids is really the biggest ‘societal impact’ …. The best scenario is that the government would have nothing to do with marriage whatsoever.”

    Ok Nick. Then doesnt something smell wrong? Why dont the gay marriage opponents focus on overturning adoption laws ? It is NOT about that is it? Dishonesty. Or why dont they focus with the same intensity on constitutional amendments to ban divorce? Divorce is arguably a bigger threat to marriage than a couple of fags pairing off.

    finally: the historic part of marriage being formalized (adam and eve didnt have a formal ceremony but they were married none the less….) is contractual and in that way societal. It is not just to protect the kids, though it is that. it is to protect everyone involved.

    This is why, for Lutherans, it is the church that should stay out of marriage. Marriage is about the government. Marriage/Family IS the establishment of a mini-government or economy. Marriage is NOT a sacrament. It is about the ordering of earthly peace and damage control.

    So we simply have pastors refuse to sign marriage certificates and act as officials of the state by doing so. And maybe even pass a law to forbid this practice. There is not any real reason to even have a marriage ceremony in church. There is nothing “holy” about holy matrimony that is not also holy about any other vocation one can think of, which would include cleaning toilets for a living.

    Marriage and Family are NOT Vocations. That would be to say that Church or Government are vocations. No. Family, Church, and Society are 3 “ordos”, “orders” “governments” God himself has established in the earthly kingdom where he rules Old Adam by the Law. Within each of these 3 governments are vocations of various types.

  • fws

    nick
    “Frank (@ 206) It’s important because the government is involved. … potentially be an issue of religious liberty… the fact that they can adopt and have kids is really the biggest ‘societal impact’ …. The best scenario is that the government would have nothing to do with marriage whatsoever.”

    Ok Nick. Then doesnt something smell wrong? Why dont the gay marriage opponents focus on overturning adoption laws ? It is NOT about that is it? Dishonesty. Or why dont they focus with the same intensity on constitutional amendments to ban divorce? Divorce is arguably a bigger threat to marriage than a couple of fags pairing off.

    finally: the historic part of marriage being formalized (adam and eve didnt have a formal ceremony but they were married none the less….) is contractual and in that way societal. It is not just to protect the kids, though it is that. it is to protect everyone involved.

    This is why, for Lutherans, it is the church that should stay out of marriage. Marriage is about the government. Marriage/Family IS the establishment of a mini-government or economy. Marriage is NOT a sacrament. It is about the ordering of earthly peace and damage control.

    So we simply have pastors refuse to sign marriage certificates and act as officials of the state by doing so. And maybe even pass a law to forbid this practice. There is not any real reason to even have a marriage ceremony in church. There is nothing “holy” about holy matrimony that is not also holy about any other vocation one can think of, which would include cleaning toilets for a living.

    Marriage and Family are NOT Vocations. That would be to say that Church or Government are vocations. No. Family, Church, and Society are 3 “ordos”, “orders” “governments” God himself has established in the earthly kingdom where he rules Old Adam by the Law. Within each of these 3 governments are vocations of various types.

  • fws

    kerner: see the end of my post 232.

    willing to argue the point from that perspective?

  • fws

    kerner: see the end of my post 232.

    willing to argue the point from that perspective?

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    Frank @233 I see it as a question of legitimacy. Why are gay couples so adamant about having their relationships called ‘marriage’ when they can have all the same contractual rights through a civil union? Why are they seeking to redefine the term? Legitimacy. They want their ‘lifestyle’ to be excepted and welcomed in the larger society. In the same vein, those opposing same-sex marriage want the exact opposite. It is not about marriage per se but the acceptance of certain lifestyles that some see as essential to their being while others see as deviant. I think we have different perspectives on the role and extent of government, but that’s a debate for another day.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick H.

    Frank @233 I see it as a question of legitimacy. Why are gay couples so adamant about having their relationships called ‘marriage’ when they can have all the same contractual rights through a civil union? Why are they seeking to redefine the term? Legitimacy. They want their ‘lifestyle’ to be excepted and welcomed in the larger society. In the same vein, those opposing same-sex marriage want the exact opposite. It is not about marriage per se but the acceptance of certain lifestyles that some see as essential to their being while others see as deviant. I think we have different perspectives on the role and extent of government, but that’s a debate for another day.

  • Tom Hering

    Did anyone notice that this thread about Lutheranism became a thread about homosexuality? Because Grace, beginning @ 78, was offended by the very idea of discussing Christian doctrine with an admitted homosexual? And TUAD was eager to be offended, too? Did anyone further notice that Frank has been the only one trying to address this off-topic subject in Lutheran terms (by referencing our Confessions)?

    Seems to me Grace and TUAD have been successful in diverting attention from their heterodox views of Baptism, etc. And we all – myself and Frank included – fell for it.

  • Tom Hering

    Did anyone notice that this thread about Lutheranism became a thread about homosexuality? Because Grace, beginning @ 78, was offended by the very idea of discussing Christian doctrine with an admitted homosexual? And TUAD was eager to be offended, too? Did anyone further notice that Frank has been the only one trying to address this off-topic subject in Lutheran terms (by referencing our Confessions)?

    Seems to me Grace and TUAD have been successful in diverting attention from their heterodox views of Baptism, etc. And we all – myself and Frank included – fell for it.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Tom,

    You protest to much.

    Frank,

    OK, now I see more clearly.

    I think you belittle Kerner without Warrant. What gives you the right to make the declarations you do about his understanding of God and the Law?

    “why is there the assumption that homos are “differently-human”. There is the idea that men and women can have attraction for each other, love each other, and do this in a way that is beneficial to all concerned. But for homosexuals to have these same feelings and impulses, including the one to pair off and be monogamous, is always , to conservative christians, necesarily based upon pure lust and sexual predation. this too seems really skewed. Why would we NOT expect homos to have the SAME romantic aspirations as everyone else, and the same needs for sex that are not always about lusting or wanting to fornicate?”

    The idea behind this, I think (correct me if I’m wrong), is that in Romans 1 it can’t be talking to persons that *genuinely* have homosexual feelings and inclinations because it is “natural” for them, so how can it be unnatural as Paul seems to be clearly saying. Right?

    If so, this is wrong.

    “I am challenged to speak to a 15 year old boy or girl, full of hormones, and more… full of deep romantic asperations….

    what do I say to them? You will NEVER have that “helpmeet”,. Suck it up. and why is it that they are supposed to make this sacrifice? because to not do so will harm someone else? harm them? No. the basic reason is that they need to make the sacrifice of Obedience. There is no other reason.”

    Wrong Frank. There is no reason why a person who has “fallen out of love with their spouse” and fallen in love with another cannot use a similar argument – and they do (increasingly, every day) No. No. No. We turn from sin and sins in repentance, apart from which faith does not exist. You are veering towards “another Jesus”. I say this not because I hate you but because God loves you.

    And regarding your example above, don’t say for a minute that because I say this I can’t try to have sympathy for this woman, or really care about the feelings she really does struggle with. Utter nonsense, and if anyone were to even think this, they should be ashamed of themselves.

    ” There IS one situation that IS equivalent. That is the case of divorced persons. Can they remarry? why or why not? and what if they do?”

    No. Not if they did the divorcing for reasons other than adultery (a concession for hard hearts). Is this perfect? No – “I wish my husband would have an affair so I could divorce him”. It’s a fallen world. If they do divorce their spouse unjustly and remarry?: then they admit that they made the wrong decision in remarrying after they left their other spouse. They don’t add to their sin by then divorcing their new spouse to go back to the old one. Could this be abused? Sure. Will it? Yes. But again, God knows the heart.

    “the arguments that swirl around this topic should raise many many red flags…. “have they REALLY repented?!” “HOW can we be SURE?” etc etc. and to see Lutherans doing this dance tells us how reformed/evangelical many Lutherans really are in their real thinking”

    This is not rocket science Frank. This is not about the quality or quantity of a person’s contrition and repentance, as you seem to be claiming here. This is calling sin “sin” and calling grace “grace”. Frank – if I love you, I call you to repent. Fact.

    Now I’m just talking about this topic within the right-hand kingdom. We don’t even need to go into the left-hand kingdom (over whether or not gay marriage or civil unions are “OK” since they will not detract from, or may even increase the civil order we all need). But you do – asking about why gay marriage opponents don’t try to ban gay adoption or divorce, accusing them of hypocrisy. Well, if I had the power, I would ban no-fault divorce (I’m guessing most here would) and I would only allow gay couples to adopt after exhausting all other options (preferably no gay adoption at all, because every child should have a mom and a dad)

    “There is not any real reason to even have a marriage ceremony in church.”

    Yes, marriage (man-woman) is an order of creation. That said, marriage is also a sacramental sign of Christ and His Church and it therefore has very special meaning. In a country where “gay marriage” is the law of the land, it would be necessary for Christians to at the very least have their unions blessed and sanctified by the Church, in order to make a good confession.

    “frank think that it is permissible, in God’s Word for two men or two women to have sex?

    Honest answer: frank isnt sure. He does not know.”

    Frank – oh, it’s quite clearly there. Repent brother.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Tom,

    You protest to much.

    Frank,

    OK, now I see more clearly.

    I think you belittle Kerner without Warrant. What gives you the right to make the declarations you do about his understanding of God and the Law?

    “why is there the assumption that homos are “differently-human”. There is the idea that men and women can have attraction for each other, love each other, and do this in a way that is beneficial to all concerned. But for homosexuals to have these same feelings and impulses, including the one to pair off and be monogamous, is always , to conservative christians, necesarily based upon pure lust and sexual predation. this too seems really skewed. Why would we NOT expect homos to have the SAME romantic aspirations as everyone else, and the same needs for sex that are not always about lusting or wanting to fornicate?”

    The idea behind this, I think (correct me if I’m wrong), is that in Romans 1 it can’t be talking to persons that *genuinely* have homosexual feelings and inclinations because it is “natural” for them, so how can it be unnatural as Paul seems to be clearly saying. Right?

    If so, this is wrong.

    “I am challenged to speak to a 15 year old boy or girl, full of hormones, and more… full of deep romantic asperations….

    what do I say to them? You will NEVER have that “helpmeet”,. Suck it up. and why is it that they are supposed to make this sacrifice? because to not do so will harm someone else? harm them? No. the basic reason is that they need to make the sacrifice of Obedience. There is no other reason.”

    Wrong Frank. There is no reason why a person who has “fallen out of love with their spouse” and fallen in love with another cannot use a similar argument – and they do (increasingly, every day) No. No. No. We turn from sin and sins in repentance, apart from which faith does not exist. You are veering towards “another Jesus”. I say this not because I hate you but because God loves you.

    And regarding your example above, don’t say for a minute that because I say this I can’t try to have sympathy for this woman, or really care about the feelings she really does struggle with. Utter nonsense, and if anyone were to even think this, they should be ashamed of themselves.

    ” There IS one situation that IS equivalent. That is the case of divorced persons. Can they remarry? why or why not? and what if they do?”

    No. Not if they did the divorcing for reasons other than adultery (a concession for hard hearts). Is this perfect? No – “I wish my husband would have an affair so I could divorce him”. It’s a fallen world. If they do divorce their spouse unjustly and remarry?: then they admit that they made the wrong decision in remarrying after they left their other spouse. They don’t add to their sin by then divorcing their new spouse to go back to the old one. Could this be abused? Sure. Will it? Yes. But again, God knows the heart.

    “the arguments that swirl around this topic should raise many many red flags…. “have they REALLY repented?!” “HOW can we be SURE?” etc etc. and to see Lutherans doing this dance tells us how reformed/evangelical many Lutherans really are in their real thinking”

    This is not rocket science Frank. This is not about the quality or quantity of a person’s contrition and repentance, as you seem to be claiming here. This is calling sin “sin” and calling grace “grace”. Frank – if I love you, I call you to repent. Fact.

    Now I’m just talking about this topic within the right-hand kingdom. We don’t even need to go into the left-hand kingdom (over whether or not gay marriage or civil unions are “OK” since they will not detract from, or may even increase the civil order we all need). But you do – asking about why gay marriage opponents don’t try to ban gay adoption or divorce, accusing them of hypocrisy. Well, if I had the power, I would ban no-fault divorce (I’m guessing most here would) and I would only allow gay couples to adopt after exhausting all other options (preferably no gay adoption at all, because every child should have a mom and a dad)

    “There is not any real reason to even have a marriage ceremony in church.”

    Yes, marriage (man-woman) is an order of creation. That said, marriage is also a sacramental sign of Christ and His Church and it therefore has very special meaning. In a country where “gay marriage” is the law of the land, it would be necessary for Christians to at the very least have their unions blessed and sanctified by the Church, in order to make a good confession.

    “frank think that it is permissible, in God’s Word for two men or two women to have sex?

    Honest answer: frank isnt sure. He does not know.”

    Frank – oh, it’s quite clearly there. Repent brother.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    George @ 199,

    “I am not sure that we can really define the will of God, but this apparently helps some. But it is not necessary to know these things in order to be a child of God. If you know and cling to the Gospel, that is really enough.”

    Amen.

    “We think of “passion”, whether it be sexual, emotional, or rational in our human way. God’s passion is to love, and He does that beyond our ability to comprehend.”

    Well yes. But is this…

    “ 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

    …not a description of Divine Love? If it is not, then it is a description of the best human love. And if this is the case, why would God’s love be any less – or substantially different – than this? Of course God loves. God feels compassion. God feels jealousy. God regrets (and repents). God gets angry. God hopes… God wants…. God desires… God is unchanging, in that His “Infinite, unconditional, self-sacrificial love is His unfailing stance toward us”, but this does not preclude anger, jealousy, compassion, hope, etc.….

    “I am struck by the words in Hebrews 12:1”

    Me too.

    “Even on the cross, His concerns were not for Himself, but for others. The Gospel is intended for us to be able to be as selfless as it is possible for a human being to be, because it takes our salvation totally out of our hands.”

    Yes.

    “…Instead of worrying all the time whether we are doing the right thing, whether we are saved, whether God loves us, God has set us free from these worries.”

    Well, yes. I don’t worry about these things. When I hear the words that God forgives, I know they are “for me”.

    “And, “having the mind of Christ”, we can now do what His will is, not out of compulsion, not out of fear, and not because of a feeling of duty, but because it is our will also and we need have no worries about ourselves.”

    Well yes. Except when we don’t. Then, as Luther said, we are “to make duty a pleasure”.

    [Matthew 25 quote]… “You see, nothing there about ourselves, but only about others, the least of His brethren. So don’t worry about the wolves; they are only dangerous when we worry about ourselves.”

    I didn’t say anything about worrying. I said this:

    “The point here is that if we do not be who we are – if we do not embrace the fullness of the life that He gives us – the only life that is truly life (and love and light) – we are in danger of falling off the path, where there are wolves. We really do “walk in danger all the way”, and we do not want to mess around for a minute with doubt-inducing and faith-destroying sin. This kind of talk is clear in the Scriptures, clear in Luther, clear in the Confessions, clear in Chemnitz, etc. As I said in the Judas post, there is ***no guarantee*** that God will renew us again when we fall from faith – and this makes Him no less gracious.”

    In other words, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

    I believe that. Because sin kills us. Rejection of the Word of God destroys us. Sin is doubt-inducing and faith-destroying. We are to not be worried, but alert. We are to be sheep that cling to their Shepherd, scurry to His side, and stay closely to Him. Where He is, we want to be. We flee both sin (our sin nature in general) and sins….

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    George @ 199,

    “I am not sure that we can really define the will of God, but this apparently helps some. But it is not necessary to know these things in order to be a child of God. If you know and cling to the Gospel, that is really enough.”

    Amen.

    “We think of “passion”, whether it be sexual, emotional, or rational in our human way. God’s passion is to love, and He does that beyond our ability to comprehend.”

    Well yes. But is this…

    “ 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

    …not a description of Divine Love? If it is not, then it is a description of the best human love. And if this is the case, why would God’s love be any less – or substantially different – than this? Of course God loves. God feels compassion. God feels jealousy. God regrets (and repents). God gets angry. God hopes… God wants…. God desires… God is unchanging, in that His “Infinite, unconditional, self-sacrificial love is His unfailing stance toward us”, but this does not preclude anger, jealousy, compassion, hope, etc.….

    “I am struck by the words in Hebrews 12:1”

    Me too.

    “Even on the cross, His concerns were not for Himself, but for others. The Gospel is intended for us to be able to be as selfless as it is possible for a human being to be, because it takes our salvation totally out of our hands.”

    Yes.

    “…Instead of worrying all the time whether we are doing the right thing, whether we are saved, whether God loves us, God has set us free from these worries.”

    Well, yes. I don’t worry about these things. When I hear the words that God forgives, I know they are “for me”.

    “And, “having the mind of Christ”, we can now do what His will is, not out of compulsion, not out of fear, and not because of a feeling of duty, but because it is our will also and we need have no worries about ourselves.”

    Well yes. Except when we don’t. Then, as Luther said, we are “to make duty a pleasure”.

    [Matthew 25 quote]… “You see, nothing there about ourselves, but only about others, the least of His brethren. So don’t worry about the wolves; they are only dangerous when we worry about ourselves.”

    I didn’t say anything about worrying. I said this:

    “The point here is that if we do not be who we are – if we do not embrace the fullness of the life that He gives us – the only life that is truly life (and love and light) – we are in danger of falling off the path, where there are wolves. We really do “walk in danger all the way”, and we do not want to mess around for a minute with doubt-inducing and faith-destroying sin. This kind of talk is clear in the Scriptures, clear in Luther, clear in the Confessions, clear in Chemnitz, etc. As I said in the Judas post, there is ***no guarantee*** that God will renew us again when we fall from faith – and this makes Him no less gracious.”

    In other words, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

    I believe that. Because sin kills us. Rejection of the Word of God destroys us. Sin is doubt-inducing and faith-destroying. We are to not be worried, but alert. We are to be sheep that cling to their Shepherd, scurry to His side, and stay closely to Him. Where He is, we want to be. We flee both sin (our sin nature in general) and sins….

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    George,

    But, as Paul shows us in II Cor. 11, we can be afraid (worried) for others. As I am for you. And for Frank.

    That “different Jesus” line should concern us all.

    Lord have mercy.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    George,

    But, as Paul shows us in II Cor. 11, we can be afraid (worried) for others. As I am for you. And for Frank.

    That “different Jesus” line should concern us all.

    Lord have mercy.

    +Nathan

  • Tom Hering

    Nathan @ 237, Frank struggling with his homosexuality, and discussing all the things going through his mind – bouncing them off us to see what sticks and what doesn’t – equates to him “veering toward another Jesus”? Wow. I mean wow. You’ve definitely put yourself in the Grace/TUAD camp.

  • Tom Hering

    Nathan @ 237, Frank struggling with his homosexuality, and discussing all the things going through his mind – bouncing them off us to see what sticks and what doesn’t – equates to him “veering toward another Jesus”? Wow. I mean wow. You’ve definitely put yourself in the Grace/TUAD camp.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Regarding the divorce question, of course all of this gets very messy. Yes, even Jesus seems to have said that the person who does not initiate the divorce still causes others to become adulterers….

    Do I have a good answer to this? No. I simply shift uncomfortably and start talking about “the lesser of the two evils” and particular circumstances and context, etc. etc. Still, it is one thing to have someone violate the letter of the law by entering into something that also is an outward sign of Christ and the church to the world – and have someone enter into something that undermines that confession.

    By the way, for the record (since they came up): I think masterbation, at least insofar as it involves lust, which I think is basically every time, is a sin. I also do not think that slavery (and polygamy for that matter) are necessarily sinful (though they are not ideal, would never exist in an unfallen world, and generally, for Christians and all others, are to be avoided as much as possible).

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Regarding the divorce question, of course all of this gets very messy. Yes, even Jesus seems to have said that the person who does not initiate the divorce still causes others to become adulterers….

    Do I have a good answer to this? No. I simply shift uncomfortably and start talking about “the lesser of the two evils” and particular circumstances and context, etc. etc. Still, it is one thing to have someone violate the letter of the law by entering into something that also is an outward sign of Christ and the church to the world – and have someone enter into something that undermines that confession.

    By the way, for the record (since they came up): I think masterbation, at least insofar as it involves lust, which I think is basically every time, is a sin. I also do not think that slavery (and polygamy for that matter) are necessarily sinful (though they are not ideal, would never exist in an unfallen world, and generally, for Christians and all others, are to be avoided as much as possible).

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    “You’ve definitely put yourself in the Grace/TUAD camp.”

    I was afraid you might say that.

    Likewise, when I wrote my Antinomian series (which I recall you complemented me on), I ended with this….:

    In previous posts…. I have been arguing that the Church must find a way to preach the grace of God while it also attempts to judge those within the church – so that there would not be a hint of immorality, impurity, or greed within it.

    Yes, life is complicated. Yes there are gray areas. Yes, since we are not Christ, there are situations in where we must choose between the “lesser of the two evils”, where one sin need be chosen over another (no room for casuistry – loopholes in God’s Law – here). And yet – must we not face the fact that the Church has lost its nerve? Although God’s Law is the only consistent moral framework that exists which enables us to grow in our relationships with God and one another – albeit only when empowered by and freed by the Gospel of grace – have we not come to doubt just this? Are we not antinomians all? Must we not repent? Eagerly take the planks out of your own eye and do the work of disciplining the flock? If so, no doubt, parishioners may not like this at first, but when they see that pastors are not only eager to stick with them – and to be corrected themselves – perhaps the saltiness that we need may be restored. How would it become salty again? Only through Jesus Christ – Who embodies the Law and Gospel of the Most High God, and renews saltiness where and when He pleases.

    I do not know what Philip Yancey would say to me, but I imagine he might think that my time would be better spent “getting on with the task of creating a just society” (204). Would my time not be best spent aiming to do this, instead of [perhaps] nit-picking my brothers in the church?

    I can only respond that I want to be truly eager to make a difference in the lives of the individuals that God throws in my path – and maybe even do some concrete planning and initiatives to help others…. And yet, when I first became a dad, I admit I had a new sense of calling: of all the things I could be doing in the world to share Christ, here was one responsibility I was certain about: I was this boy’s father, and was to provide for his every needs (particularly spiritual but otherwise as well). Multiply that 4 boys over, and my wife and I often feel like we’ve got our hands full. Paul says that Christians, unlike pagans, are to take care of their own families and relatives – and I think that after my own family’s needs I best be concerned with those of my immediate spiritual family as well (he does speak of loving all men, but starting with the Church) – though also here I have failed miserably to be the brother I ought to be to them….

    “I know, I know – despite all my attempts to capture joy, grace and be thoughtfully nuanced – I no doubt still sound like a self-righteous legalist to many (to my own ears also!). And yes – in case you are wondering – I am not a pastor and have no pastoral experience. Is it true that I am mired in an unrepentant legalism? Or am I right that we are all frogs, being boiled slowly – that we are all [becoming] antinomians now? Please help me see where I am going off the rails…

    Yet must I not be bold? Should I not imitate Paul (as he urges me to) as Paul imitates Christ? How can I not? How can we not? How can we do otherwise? Please tell me…”

    So, yes, I believe I am showing love to Frank. I also believe that I am open to being corrected about things I have said. Before God I beg that I would be… How am I not being faithful to the Scriptures and the Confessions? I admit that there is absolutely nothing that I can do to save myself and I am as a helpless and unwanted child that God nevertheless loves dearly….

    I sin daily. Confess daily. Last night I sinned with a particular sin I often struggle with. I’d say it was basically intentional. I don’t want that sin! God, in His grace, still renewed me that I would destest it, turn from it, and desire to not do it again. I struggle to know what to say to relatives who have left their spouses and married others. I want to love them. I struggle to know best how.

    The desire to put people in “camps” is rather impossible to avoid though, is it not?

    I have never said Frank has embraced another Jesus. I simply said that he was “veering toward another Jesus”. I did not say this to him because I do not see him as someone who is not united to me with Christ in baptism, but because he is united to me with Christ in baptism.

    All that said, perhaps in my zeal, I wrote too harshly – especially as regards the feelings that persons with homosexual inclinations struggle with. I do admit that I think Todd is right: if it is OK for an alcoholic to call himself this, it is OK for Frank to call himself a homosexual (even if that word was invented only recently…)

    Lord have mercy indeed.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    “You’ve definitely put yourself in the Grace/TUAD camp.”

    I was afraid you might say that.

    Likewise, when I wrote my Antinomian series (which I recall you complemented me on), I ended with this….:

    In previous posts…. I have been arguing that the Church must find a way to preach the grace of God while it also attempts to judge those within the church – so that there would not be a hint of immorality, impurity, or greed within it.

    Yes, life is complicated. Yes there are gray areas. Yes, since we are not Christ, there are situations in where we must choose between the “lesser of the two evils”, where one sin need be chosen over another (no room for casuistry – loopholes in God’s Law – here). And yet – must we not face the fact that the Church has lost its nerve? Although God’s Law is the only consistent moral framework that exists which enables us to grow in our relationships with God and one another – albeit only when empowered by and freed by the Gospel of grace – have we not come to doubt just this? Are we not antinomians all? Must we not repent? Eagerly take the planks out of your own eye and do the work of disciplining the flock? If so, no doubt, parishioners may not like this at first, but when they see that pastors are not only eager to stick with them – and to be corrected themselves – perhaps the saltiness that we need may be restored. How would it become salty again? Only through Jesus Christ – Who embodies the Law and Gospel of the Most High God, and renews saltiness where and when He pleases.

    I do not know what Philip Yancey would say to me, but I imagine he might think that my time would be better spent “getting on with the task of creating a just society” (204). Would my time not be best spent aiming to do this, instead of [perhaps] nit-picking my brothers in the church?

    I can only respond that I want to be truly eager to make a difference in the lives of the individuals that God throws in my path – and maybe even do some concrete planning and initiatives to help others…. And yet, when I first became a dad, I admit I had a new sense of calling: of all the things I could be doing in the world to share Christ, here was one responsibility I was certain about: I was this boy’s father, and was to provide for his every needs (particularly spiritual but otherwise as well). Multiply that 4 boys over, and my wife and I often feel like we’ve got our hands full. Paul says that Christians, unlike pagans, are to take care of their own families and relatives – and I think that after my own family’s needs I best be concerned with those of my immediate spiritual family as well (he does speak of loving all men, but starting with the Church) – though also here I have failed miserably to be the brother I ought to be to them….

    “I know, I know – despite all my attempts to capture joy, grace and be thoughtfully nuanced – I no doubt still sound like a self-righteous legalist to many (to my own ears also!). And yes – in case you are wondering – I am not a pastor and have no pastoral experience. Is it true that I am mired in an unrepentant legalism? Or am I right that we are all frogs, being boiled slowly – that we are all [becoming] antinomians now? Please help me see where I am going off the rails…

    Yet must I not be bold? Should I not imitate Paul (as he urges me to) as Paul imitates Christ? How can I not? How can we not? How can we do otherwise? Please tell me…”

    So, yes, I believe I am showing love to Frank. I also believe that I am open to being corrected about things I have said. Before God I beg that I would be… How am I not being faithful to the Scriptures and the Confessions? I admit that there is absolutely nothing that I can do to save myself and I am as a helpless and unwanted child that God nevertheless loves dearly….

    I sin daily. Confess daily. Last night I sinned with a particular sin I often struggle with. I’d say it was basically intentional. I don’t want that sin! God, in His grace, still renewed me that I would destest it, turn from it, and desire to not do it again. I struggle to know what to say to relatives who have left their spouses and married others. I want to love them. I struggle to know best how.

    The desire to put people in “camps” is rather impossible to avoid though, is it not?

    I have never said Frank has embraced another Jesus. I simply said that he was “veering toward another Jesus”. I did not say this to him because I do not see him as someone who is not united to me with Christ in baptism, but because he is united to me with Christ in baptism.

    All that said, perhaps in my zeal, I wrote too harshly – especially as regards the feelings that persons with homosexual inclinations struggle with. I do admit that I think Todd is right: if it is OK for an alcoholic to call himself this, it is OK for Frank to call himself a homosexual (even if that word was invented only recently…)

    Lord have mercy indeed.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    All,

    I have obviously said a lot here this morning. I do not have time to keep going on, but perhaps that is best. At this point I will bow out – at least until Monday (as I will not have internet access at that time). I will not even read any more posts today.

    Please know that I will carefully read and listen to everything that anyone might have to say to me. I am not above correction. I only ask that you speak to me from the Word of God, as well as with reason, evidence, and experience.

    Please do not anyone think for a minute that I am not eager to see all of you on the other side of this life. Please do not think that even now, I would not go to communion with Frank. If he calls *any* lust or activity he has or engages in sin, I am indeed his brother to the nth. I understand that he struggles with these other issues – and that he is tempted to interpret Romans 1 ways that are simply unworkable.

    Therefore, when he said:

    “frank think that it is permissible, in God’s Word for two men or two women to have sex?

    Honest answer: frank isnt sure. He does not know.”

    And I said: “Frank – oh, it’s quite clearly there. Repent brother.”

    I agree with the first part but wish I would have said something different than the second part.

    Forebearance – patience – is also a sign of the Christian. Even as we don’t want to let the devil get footholds….

    In Christ alone our hope,

    Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    All,

    I have obviously said a lot here this morning. I do not have time to keep going on, but perhaps that is best. At this point I will bow out – at least until Monday (as I will not have internet access at that time). I will not even read any more posts today.

    Please know that I will carefully read and listen to everything that anyone might have to say to me. I am not above correction. I only ask that you speak to me from the Word of God, as well as with reason, evidence, and experience.

    Please do not anyone think for a minute that I am not eager to see all of you on the other side of this life. Please do not think that even now, I would not go to communion with Frank. If he calls *any* lust or activity he has or engages in sin, I am indeed his brother to the nth. I understand that he struggles with these other issues – and that he is tempted to interpret Romans 1 ways that are simply unworkable.

    Therefore, when he said:

    “frank think that it is permissible, in God’s Word for two men or two women to have sex?

    Honest answer: frank isnt sure. He does not know.”

    And I said: “Frank – oh, it’s quite clearly there. Repent brother.”

    I agree with the first part but wish I would have said something different than the second part.

    Forebearance – patience – is also a sign of the Christian. Even as we don’t want to let the devil get footholds….

    In Christ alone our hope,

    Nathan

  • Tom Hering

    Nathan, you’ve wowed me again. But it’s all good this time. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Nathan, you’ve wowed me again. But it’s all good this time. :-D

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Tom,

    Thanks. But perhaps this conversation is over now, which I find disappointing.

    Too much “hate”? Too much light? Just need time to digest? I don’t know. I’d like to think that we can all keep talking to each other in a civil, yet honest, fashion (so any indication from persons where they are at this point in the conversation would be great).

    Just so you all know – I’m back and ready to talk – mostly listen now though.

    Dr. Veith – thank you much for your fine blog and the forum you provide for all of us.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Tom,

    Thanks. But perhaps this conversation is over now, which I find disappointing.

    Too much “hate”? Too much light? Just need time to digest? I don’t know. I’d like to think that we can all keep talking to each other in a civil, yet honest, fashion (so any indication from persons where they are at this point in the conversation would be great).

    Just so you all know – I’m back and ready to talk – mostly listen now though.

    Dr. Veith – thank you much for your fine blog and the forum you provide for all of us.

    +Nathan

  • kerner

    Frank:

    I’ve been on vacation and away from the internet. Are you still there?

  • kerner

    Frank:

    I’ve been on vacation and away from the internet. Are you still there?

  • fws

    kerner @ 246

    Yes my dear brother in Christ, I am still here.

  • fws

    kerner @ 246

    Yes my dear brother in Christ, I am still here.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Nathan, @245,

    Are you a Lutheran layman or Lutheran clergy in LCMS?

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Nathan, @245,

    Are you a Lutheran layman or Lutheran clergy in LCMS?

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    TUAD,

    Layman.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    TUAD,

    Layman.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Another follow-up post (in case anyone is interested):

    http://infanttheology.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/on-childrens-delight-in-rules/

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Another follow-up post (in case anyone is interested):

    http://infanttheology.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/on-childrens-delight-in-rules/

    +Nathan

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  • http://re-loaded.org/dermatend-is-risk-free-for-the-skin-all-around-health/ Nikole

    You completed a number of good points there.
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