Southern Baptists cracking down on Calvinism

So what’s this about Southern Baptists cracking down on the Calvinists in their midst?

See As Baptists Prepare to Meet, Calvinism Debate Shifts to Heresy Accusation | Christianity Today.

Do Lutherans have a dog in this fight?

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.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    Lutherans have a dog in every fight where the pure gospel is concerned. Traditionally our witness is as much to the “church” as it is anywhere else.

    I go over there (SBC Voices blog) now and then and put my 2 cents in for the ‘freedom of God’ (I bag a bit on the Calvinists – Baptists like that and will lend you their ear for a bit). You never know…maybe once in a while someone will hear something. Just like in our Lutheran church :D.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    Lutherans have a dog in every fight where the pure gospel is concerned. Traditionally our witness is as much to the “church” as it is anywhere else.

    I go over there (SBC Voices blog) now and then and put my 2 cents in for the ‘freedom of God’ (I bag a bit on the Calvinists – Baptists like that and will lend you their ear for a bit). You never know…maybe once in a while someone will hear something. Just like in our Lutheran church :D.

  • fws

    From the Statement that is making a controversy:

    “We deny that Adam’s sin resulted in the incapacitation of any person’s free will.”

    This is what Roman Nomists Taught. It is almost complete Pelagianism.

    “Traditional Christian doctrine, since Augustine anyway, has always been that people need a special infusion of God’s grace to be able to respond to the gospel—both Calvinists and classical Arminians agree on that,” (Olson, a “classic Arminian says….)

    This is “grace” redefined to be “Holy Spirit Power” or “enabling grace” rather than Grace=Gospel. This is the exact position of St Thomas and the Old School Roman Catholic Scholastics.
    The Old Scholastics, whenever they hear the word “faith” think “perfected faith”. That is faith+love, or faith+enabling grace.

    Here is where the Lutheran “dog in the fight” is:
    Many Lutherans believe this as well as a sort of “Luthrun folk religion”. Examples:
    1) “Suicides are unforgivable sins.” Why? The persons does not have a chance to repent. Ie: we are saved by Christ+our (grace enabled) repentence.
    2) “God does not forgive “willful” sinning”. Ie: We are saved by Christ+(grace enabled) Willpower.
    3) “A ‘Good Work’ is defined as an action that a) is done with the proper motivation(grace enabled) plus b) it conforms to a list somewhere in the Bible. ”
    4) “Thomist Natural Law is completely compatible with Lutheranism.” This says that the Image of God is restored by the Law, by sinners reconforming to the Law of God. The Divine Law plus Nature reveals the Mind/Image of God. Ie: we become restored to original innocence by (spirit enabled) works of the Law once we are Baptized. This is a very direct return to Roman Scholasticism now proposed by Paul McCain and Robert Baker in their book “[Thomist]Natural Law: A Lutheran Reevaluation” as the answer to homosexuals becoming more welcomed into the church.

    There are many, many others examples of such .

    Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary:
    “We are obviously not semi-Pelagians,” Patterson said. “We do believe that the entire human race is badly affected by the fall of Adam. However, we don’t follow the Reformed view that man is so crippled by the fall that he has no choice.”

    Some Lutherans and the Old Scholastics (eg St Thomas) would actually agree with thie, after Justification. They would say that man has NO spiritual cboice before the fall, but after baptism enabling grace gives the believer choice. Christ+making the right choices (eg chosing not to be homosexual, thinking right doctrinally, good morals )=salvation .

  • fws

    From the Statement that is making a controversy:

    “We deny that Adam’s sin resulted in the incapacitation of any person’s free will.”

    This is what Roman Nomists Taught. It is almost complete Pelagianism.

    “Traditional Christian doctrine, since Augustine anyway, has always been that people need a special infusion of God’s grace to be able to respond to the gospel—both Calvinists and classical Arminians agree on that,” (Olson, a “classic Arminian says….)

    This is “grace” redefined to be “Holy Spirit Power” or “enabling grace” rather than Grace=Gospel. This is the exact position of St Thomas and the Old School Roman Catholic Scholastics.
    The Old Scholastics, whenever they hear the word “faith” think “perfected faith”. That is faith+love, or faith+enabling grace.

    Here is where the Lutheran “dog in the fight” is:
    Many Lutherans believe this as well as a sort of “Luthrun folk religion”. Examples:
    1) “Suicides are unforgivable sins.” Why? The persons does not have a chance to repent. Ie: we are saved by Christ+our (grace enabled) repentence.
    2) “God does not forgive “willful” sinning”. Ie: We are saved by Christ+(grace enabled) Willpower.
    3) “A ‘Good Work’ is defined as an action that a) is done with the proper motivation(grace enabled) plus b) it conforms to a list somewhere in the Bible. ”
    4) “Thomist Natural Law is completely compatible with Lutheranism.” This says that the Image of God is restored by the Law, by sinners reconforming to the Law of God. The Divine Law plus Nature reveals the Mind/Image of God. Ie: we become restored to original innocence by (spirit enabled) works of the Law once we are Baptized. This is a very direct return to Roman Scholasticism now proposed by Paul McCain and Robert Baker in their book “[Thomist]Natural Law: A Lutheran Reevaluation” as the answer to homosexuals becoming more welcomed into the church.

    There are many, many others examples of such .

    Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary:
    “We are obviously not semi-Pelagians,” Patterson said. “We do believe that the entire human race is badly affected by the fall of Adam. However, we don’t follow the Reformed view that man is so crippled by the fall that he has no choice.”

    Some Lutherans and the Old Scholastics (eg St Thomas) would actually agree with thie, after Justification. They would say that man has NO spiritual cboice before the fall, but after baptism enabling grace gives the believer choice. Christ+making the right choices (eg chosing not to be homosexual, thinking right doctrinally, good morals )=salvation .

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

    It will be interesting to see how the Southern Baptists sort through this. I would be shocked if Calvinism wins out, given the heavy Arminian tendencies among them.

    Other than concern for what happens among any body of believers, I do not think Lutherans have any dog in this fight.

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

    It will be interesting to see how the Southern Baptists sort through this. I would be shocked if Calvinism wins out, given the heavy Arminian tendencies among them.

    Other than concern for what happens among any body of believers, I do not think Lutherans have any dog in this fight.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Here’s my question to you Lutherans: given the choice between Calvin and Wesley, with whom do you see yourselves as more closely aligned theologically?

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Here’s my question to you Lutherans: given the choice between Calvin and Wesley, with whom do you see yourselves as more closely aligned theologically?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    J Dean @ 4: hmm, hmmm, maybe Buddha? :)

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    J Dean @ 4: hmm, hmmm, maybe Buddha? :)

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Not funny ;)

    Seriously, which one?

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Not funny ;)

    Seriously, which one?

  • Pingback: Is the SBC at war with Calvinism?

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  • aletheist

    “We are obviously not semi-Pelagians,” Patterson said. “We do believe that the entire human race is badly affected by the fall of Adam. However, we don’t follow the Reformed view that man is so crippled by the fall that he has no choice.”

    I wonder what Ms. Patterson thinks it means to be a semi-Pelagian . . .

    fws@2: What html tag do you use when quoting others?

  • aletheist

    “We are obviously not semi-Pelagians,” Patterson said. “We do believe that the entire human race is badly affected by the fall of Adam. However, we don’t follow the Reformed view that man is so crippled by the fall that he has no choice.”

    I wonder what Ms. Patterson thinks it means to be a semi-Pelagian . . .

    fws@2: What html tag do you use when quoting others?

  • fws

    altheist @7

    i use blockquote and /blockquote . of course enclosed in

  • fws

    altheist @7

    i use blockquote and /blockquote . of course enclosed in

  • fws

    enclosed in “”

  • fws

    enclosed in “”

  • fws

    enclosed in greater than and less than signs.. ha.

  • fws

    enclosed in greater than and less than signs.. ha.

  • fws

    j dean @ 6

    Yes. There is one other choice besides calvinist or armenian or pelagian or semipelagian.

    That choice is Lutheranism.
    We are as far removed as possible from both Calvinism and armenianism.

    the opposite of an error is the opposite error. Thus calvinism is the opposite error of arminianism. and vica versa.

  • fws

    j dean @ 6

    Yes. There is one other choice besides calvinist or armenian or pelagian or semipelagian.

    That choice is Lutheranism.
    We are as far removed as possible from both Calvinism and armenianism.

    the opposite of an error is the opposite error. Thus calvinism is the opposite error of arminianism. and vica versa.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    fws @11,

    Yes, I get that, otherwise you would not be a Lutheran, right :D

    But what I’m saying is that, if you were in a position where you were to work with somebody from another theological school, and your two choices (only two right now) were between a Calvinist on one side and an Arminian on the other, and you HAD to choose one, which one would you choose to work with?

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    fws @11,

    Yes, I get that, otherwise you would not be a Lutheran, right :D

    But what I’m saying is that, if you were in a position where you were to work with somebody from another theological school, and your two choices (only two right now) were between a Calvinist on one side and an Arminian on the other, and you HAD to choose one, which one would you choose to work with?

  • fws

    rev Mc Cain @ 3

    au contraire pierre:

    Your Old Adam and mine are pelagian, bapticostal, calvinistic, arminians in will, mind, hearts and even our very soul. It is of our very nature and essence to be this we are told to sing and confess (FC art I).

    So we should identify ourselves as likewise being condemned when we see these errors. We are just as guilty. When we are troubled by a guilty conscience we pander after just such things. Lord have mercy!

    We Lutherans do indeed have a dog in this fight. It is called the fight against our Old Adam. We are to drown him daily by grinding him down and by repenting in our Baptism.

  • fws

    rev Mc Cain @ 3

    au contraire pierre:

    Your Old Adam and mine are pelagian, bapticostal, calvinistic, arminians in will, mind, hearts and even our very soul. It is of our very nature and essence to be this we are told to sing and confess (FC art I).

    So we should identify ourselves as likewise being condemned when we see these errors. We are just as guilty. When we are troubled by a guilty conscience we pander after just such things. Lord have mercy!

    We Lutherans do indeed have a dog in this fight. It is called the fight against our Old Adam. We are to drown him daily by grinding him down and by repenting in our Baptism.

  • fws

    J Dean @ 12

    Cf my post in 13.
    J dean, if you had to work with those who denied the trinity or those who denied the Divinity of Christ, which group would you be closer to? Which group would you get along best with?

    I would get along better with Buddhists or pagan lesbian wiccans myself. Klassie was not joking. Really.

  • fws

    J Dean @ 12

    Cf my post in 13.
    J dean, if you had to work with those who denied the trinity or those who denied the Divinity of Christ, which group would you be closer to? Which group would you get along best with?

    I would get along better with Buddhists or pagan lesbian wiccans myself. Klassie was not joking. Really.

  • fws

    J dean @ 12

    No I am not saying that the reformed who are either bapticostal, arminian or calvinist are not christian and are not in the church.

    Why not? You have been baptized. That includes you in the Church. Along with gays and lesbians who were baptized, roman catholics, the orthodox, etc etc.

    That is my basis for addressing you as a brother in Christ. And to those who were baptized and now dabble in buddhism or new age or are secular gays, my joyous priviledge as a Lutheran Christian is to call those men and women back to their baptism, addressing them as baptized ones. My first question meeting someone at a starbucks if things turn to religion is this: were you baptized?

    The discussion of a Lutheran with anyone is to preach someone into baptism or to call those baptized back into their baptism.

  • fws

    J dean @ 12

    No I am not saying that the reformed who are either bapticostal, arminian or calvinist are not christian and are not in the church.

    Why not? You have been baptized. That includes you in the Church. Along with gays and lesbians who were baptized, roman catholics, the orthodox, etc etc.

    That is my basis for addressing you as a brother in Christ. And to those who were baptized and now dabble in buddhism or new age or are secular gays, my joyous priviledge as a Lutheran Christian is to call those men and women back to their baptism, addressing them as baptized ones. My first question meeting someone at a starbucks if things turn to religion is this: were you baptized?

    The discussion of a Lutheran with anyone is to preach someone into baptism or to call those baptized back into their baptism.

  • aletheist

    J. Dean@4: Needless to say, Lutherans have major fundamental differences with both of those traditions, and which one is less objectionable probably depends on the specific doctrine. Personally, I grew up in Methodist and Nazarene churches and am a metaphysical (not political) libertarian except when it comes to salvation, so I am probably more sympathetic to Arminianism overall. At the same time, Wesley was essentially a Reformed pietist and “decision theology” is rampant in modern evangelicalism; on the critical issue of Who is acting when someone is saved, the Calvinists have it right. In fact, I sometimes characterize Lutherans as 2.5-point Calvinists–we largely agree with total depravity and unconditional election (though not double predestination) and affirm final perseverance of the saints, but disagree with limited atonement and irresistible grace.

  • aletheist

    J. Dean@4: Needless to say, Lutherans have major fundamental differences with both of those traditions, and which one is less objectionable probably depends on the specific doctrine. Personally, I grew up in Methodist and Nazarene churches and am a metaphysical (not political) libertarian except when it comes to salvation, so I am probably more sympathetic to Arminianism overall. At the same time, Wesley was essentially a Reformed pietist and “decision theology” is rampant in modern evangelicalism; on the critical issue of Who is acting when someone is saved, the Calvinists have it right. In fact, I sometimes characterize Lutherans as 2.5-point Calvinists–we largely agree with total depravity and unconditional election (though not double predestination) and affirm final perseverance of the saints, but disagree with limited atonement and irresistible grace.

  • aletheist

    fws@8: I tried that and this is what I get.

    i use blockquote and /blockquote

  • aletheist

    fws@8: I tried that and this is what I get.

    i use blockquote and /blockquote

  • aletheist

    Never mind, in the preview it looks different–the font is just smaller. Thanks!

  • aletheist

    Never mind, in the preview it looks different–the font is just smaller. Thanks!

  • larry

    Believe it or not, though Lutheran now, we are still intimately tied into via family and friends the SB churches and this has been coming to a head for some time. In fact this issue is a dividing fork on one side of our family between individuals who are within the ministry itself, one Calvinistic the other Arminian.

    It’s not as simple as SB are largely arminian so they’ll beat out the Calvinist. It’s precisely as one Lutheran here capture, I believe it was Bror (If I’m incorrect I apologize) once said (my paraphrase) the people bounce back and forth between Calvin and Arminianism basically due to the despair each presents and the Gospel is at the end of the day absent (pro me)”. This is the issue and I know it first hand, second hand, third hand, etc… What ends up happening is that some recognize, at first, that arminianism has no comfort because there’s that whole “decision for Jesus” theology. So you get on the Armenian hamster wheel. Some at length get despairing and exhausted and hear of Calvin, usually via the route of the MacArthur/Piper/Sproul (reformed) amalgamation. And at first salvation via Calvin seems possible now for the first time because one can in relief confess “I’m totally depraved”. Then you get into the whole election issue and then you get on the Calvin hamster wheel, which is impossible to walk on unless your elect and then your driven to despair even more.

    What you see in the baptist realm debate over Calvinism vs. Arminianism is in microcosm and taken to logical end points is the very battle between Dort and Arminianus way back. BUT, in the baptist realm the “sacraments” (called ordinances) are taken to their Calvinistic (and arminian) logical conclusion. You see the “good news” remains only “information”, no gift. The sacrament are unhinged, NOTHING COMES TO YOU FOR YOU, no baptism, no body and blood, no absolution and thus no forgiveness of sin. So you ping back and forth between the two battling theologies these are the protestant versions of “two wolves tied by their tales”. So the search for “am I really saved” goes between the two. The Calvinist see the gospel lost in the basic prove your faith doctrine of arminians, and keep in mind there are NO sacraments pro me, i.e. Christ didn’t atone for the whole world. Since there’s no intimate pro me sacraments ALL hinges, Calvin and Arminius, on “the group of people out of the larger group ‘world’ that are actually atoned for”. Arminians see the gospel lost in Calvinism in there limiting atonement/election, you can’t prove your faith (Calvinist go there eventually, works, because they too have NO sacraments pro me that DO anything). And so the battle goes.

    At length, however, in baptist circles the Calvinist adopters in addition to the ordinances doing nothing at all and in some cases just some law, run so far away from the revealed God with Calvin’s ideas in hand that there is no gracious God at all (I’ve given the story of one lady on this before in a full Reformed Baptist church). And so they will say, as we’ve heard not to few times things like, “Well if God didn’t elect our children we are OK with that” or they will tell their kids as some in the ministry we know after their child asks if they are saved/elect “I don’t know” and variations of that. Cringe as you may, some Lutherans, at how harsh that sounds I’m telling you multiple first hand facts and experiences, it is what it is and it is the truth. You can either stick your head in the sand and pretend its simply an intellectual argument between two schools of thought or realize the truth of the effects of actual false doctrines.

    At length, between the two, you almost have to side with Arminians because at least they have an idea that God has been gracious to everyone from His side of the equation, Calvinist do not at length. We had to very personally wrestle with that issue in our will in case something happen to us and our kids. Do we go with the arminian baptist side of the family or the Calvinistic baptist side. We chose the former because “some gospel” accidently creeps in, the later, they are actually on guard against it (ANY hint of Christ dying for all men or sacraments is immediately crushed).

    The real issue is NOT choice or no choice, that comes about due to the fact they both have no category for the atonement of Christ for the whole world nor the very personal gift delivery means of the sacraments (or absolution). The debate is really not any more complicated than that.

    So this is not surprising at all.

  • larry

    Believe it or not, though Lutheran now, we are still intimately tied into via family and friends the SB churches and this has been coming to a head for some time. In fact this issue is a dividing fork on one side of our family between individuals who are within the ministry itself, one Calvinistic the other Arminian.

    It’s not as simple as SB are largely arminian so they’ll beat out the Calvinist. It’s precisely as one Lutheran here capture, I believe it was Bror (If I’m incorrect I apologize) once said (my paraphrase) the people bounce back and forth between Calvin and Arminianism basically due to the despair each presents and the Gospel is at the end of the day absent (pro me)”. This is the issue and I know it first hand, second hand, third hand, etc… What ends up happening is that some recognize, at first, that arminianism has no comfort because there’s that whole “decision for Jesus” theology. So you get on the Armenian hamster wheel. Some at length get despairing and exhausted and hear of Calvin, usually via the route of the MacArthur/Piper/Sproul (reformed) amalgamation. And at first salvation via Calvin seems possible now for the first time because one can in relief confess “I’m totally depraved”. Then you get into the whole election issue and then you get on the Calvin hamster wheel, which is impossible to walk on unless your elect and then your driven to despair even more.

    What you see in the baptist realm debate over Calvinism vs. Arminianism is in microcosm and taken to logical end points is the very battle between Dort and Arminianus way back. BUT, in the baptist realm the “sacraments” (called ordinances) are taken to their Calvinistic (and arminian) logical conclusion. You see the “good news” remains only “information”, no gift. The sacrament are unhinged, NOTHING COMES TO YOU FOR YOU, no baptism, no body and blood, no absolution and thus no forgiveness of sin. So you ping back and forth between the two battling theologies these are the protestant versions of “two wolves tied by their tales”. So the search for “am I really saved” goes between the two. The Calvinist see the gospel lost in the basic prove your faith doctrine of arminians, and keep in mind there are NO sacraments pro me, i.e. Christ didn’t atone for the whole world. Since there’s no intimate pro me sacraments ALL hinges, Calvin and Arminius, on “the group of people out of the larger group ‘world’ that are actually atoned for”. Arminians see the gospel lost in Calvinism in there limiting atonement/election, you can’t prove your faith (Calvinist go there eventually, works, because they too have NO sacraments pro me that DO anything). And so the battle goes.

    At length, however, in baptist circles the Calvinist adopters in addition to the ordinances doing nothing at all and in some cases just some law, run so far away from the revealed God with Calvin’s ideas in hand that there is no gracious God at all (I’ve given the story of one lady on this before in a full Reformed Baptist church). And so they will say, as we’ve heard not to few times things like, “Well if God didn’t elect our children we are OK with that” or they will tell their kids as some in the ministry we know after their child asks if they are saved/elect “I don’t know” and variations of that. Cringe as you may, some Lutherans, at how harsh that sounds I’m telling you multiple first hand facts and experiences, it is what it is and it is the truth. You can either stick your head in the sand and pretend its simply an intellectual argument between two schools of thought or realize the truth of the effects of actual false doctrines.

    At length, between the two, you almost have to side with Arminians because at least they have an idea that God has been gracious to everyone from His side of the equation, Calvinist do not at length. We had to very personally wrestle with that issue in our will in case something happen to us and our kids. Do we go with the arminian baptist side of the family or the Calvinistic baptist side. We chose the former because “some gospel” accidently creeps in, the later, they are actually on guard against it (ANY hint of Christ dying for all men or sacraments is immediately crushed).

    The real issue is NOT choice or no choice, that comes about due to the fact they both have no category for the atonement of Christ for the whole world nor the very personal gift delivery means of the sacraments (or absolution). The debate is really not any more complicated than that.

    So this is not surprising at all.

  • fws

    aletheist @ 18

    I disagree with brother altheist. If we do “list theology” preparing a chart of where we agree and disagree it looks like what altheist says. But then we miss alot. the different is WHY we are different.

    And that is just what pieces of furniture in the two or three rooms are identical. it is how the furniture is oriented and arranged. Lutherans really have only one doctrine. Christ. our system looks exactly like hub (Christ) and spokes (all other doctrines including the Law ) whose sole purpose is to point to the Hub and lift that up and make it Everthing.

    Calvinists and arminians are a logical house of cards. literally that. The fear is that if you remove one card, the entire edifice comes a tumblin down.

    This is why Lutherans can embrace others with severely compromised doctrines still as christians. some spokes can be absolutely missing. Yet in Baptism Christ is still present.

    reformed are logical systemmaticians by nature. Much like roman catholic scholastics. they are driven to systematize.

    Lutherans are about preaching Christ and pastoral theology. If there is a doctrine that is not essential in pointing to Christ or causes someone to doubt Christ is for him, then that doctrine becomes suspect as false doctrine. EVERY doctrine. Name any one. ALL about Christ and salvation and eternal security in Him Alone.

  • fws

    aletheist @ 18

    I disagree with brother altheist. If we do “list theology” preparing a chart of where we agree and disagree it looks like what altheist says. But then we miss alot. the different is WHY we are different.

    And that is just what pieces of furniture in the two or three rooms are identical. it is how the furniture is oriented and arranged. Lutherans really have only one doctrine. Christ. our system looks exactly like hub (Christ) and spokes (all other doctrines including the Law ) whose sole purpose is to point to the Hub and lift that up and make it Everthing.

    Calvinists and arminians are a logical house of cards. literally that. The fear is that if you remove one card, the entire edifice comes a tumblin down.

    This is why Lutherans can embrace others with severely compromised doctrines still as christians. some spokes can be absolutely missing. Yet in Baptism Christ is still present.

    reformed are logical systemmaticians by nature. Much like roman catholic scholastics. they are driven to systematize.

    Lutherans are about preaching Christ and pastoral theology. If there is a doctrine that is not essential in pointing to Christ or causes someone to doubt Christ is for him, then that doctrine becomes suspect as false doctrine. EVERY doctrine. Name any one. ALL about Christ and salvation and eternal security in Him Alone.

  • larry

    Is this not a stunning statement in the article: “Traditional Christian doctrine, since Augustine anyway, has always been that people need a special infusion of God’s grace to be able to respond to the gospel—both Calvinists and classical Arminians agree on that,” he said. “They haven’t addressed that here at all.”

    Wow they agree on “infused grace”. Never have I read either side so clearly state what in principle has always been there, Med. Roman theology. I’m stunned, not because its true, but its being so overtly and explicitly stated.

  • larry

    Is this not a stunning statement in the article: “Traditional Christian doctrine, since Augustine anyway, has always been that people need a special infusion of God’s grace to be able to respond to the gospel—both Calvinists and classical Arminians agree on that,” he said. “They haven’t addressed that here at all.”

    Wow they agree on “infused grace”. Never have I read either side so clearly state what in principle has always been there, Med. Roman theology. I’m stunned, not because its true, but its being so overtly and explicitly stated.

  • SKPeterson

    IF, if, iff, we had to come down on one side or the other between a Reformed theology (Calvino-Zwinglian) or an Arminian, the Lutherans would probably line up, or be lined up shall we say, with the Reformed. Not that we’d like to be lumped in, or that we’d agree with many of the central tenets of Reformed theology. It would be more an instance of who do we disagree with less.

  • SKPeterson

    IF, if, iff, we had to come down on one side or the other between a Reformed theology (Calvino-Zwinglian) or an Arminian, the Lutherans would probably line up, or be lined up shall we say, with the Reformed. Not that we’d like to be lumped in, or that we’d agree with many of the central tenets of Reformed theology. It would be more an instance of who do we disagree with less.

  • aletheist

    fws@20: We do not really disagree–I am right there with you when you say that the Lutheran approach to theology is fundamentally different from the Reformed approach, whether Calvinist or Arminian. That is precisely why which of the latter two is less objectionable to us depends on the specific doctrine being examined. Your illustration of hub and spokes vs. house of cards is very apt. As an engineer, it brings to mind the difference between a system with multiple redundancies and one that is vulnerable to a single-point failure.

  • aletheist

    fws@20: We do not really disagree–I am right there with you when you say that the Lutheran approach to theology is fundamentally different from the Reformed approach, whether Calvinist or Arminian. That is precisely why which of the latter two is less objectionable to us depends on the specific doctrine being examined. Your illustration of hub and spokes vs. house of cards is very apt. As an engineer, it brings to mind the difference between a system with multiple redundancies and one that is vulnerable to a single-point failure.

  • aletheist

    Larry@21: That statement surprised me, as well. God’s grace can only be “infused” if it is understood to be some kind of substance, as the Roman Catholic Church teaches. How could God’s favorable disposition toward us be “infused” into us?

  • aletheist

    Larry@21: That statement surprised me, as well. God’s grace can only be “infused” if it is understood to be some kind of substance, as the Roman Catholic Church teaches. How could God’s favorable disposition toward us be “infused” into us?

  • Sherry

    Larry said (#19)

    “I believe it was Bror (If I’m incorrect I apologize) once said (my paraphrase) the people bounce back and forth between Calvin and Arminianism basically due to the despair each presents and the Gospel is at the end of the day absent (pro me)”. This is the issue and I know it first hand, second hand, third hand, etc… What ends up happening is that some recognize, at first, that arminianism has no comfort because there’s that whole “decision for Jesus” theology. So you get on the Armenian hamster wheel. Some at length get despairing and exhausted and hear of Calvin, usually via the route of the MacArthur/Piper/Sproul (reformed) amalgamation. And at first salvation via Calvin seems possible now for the first time because one can in relief confess “I’m totally depraved”. Then you get into the whole election issue and then you get on the Calvin hamster wheel, which is impossible to walk on unless your elect and then your driven to despair even more. ”

    I believe this is correct and have been experiencing this myself. What is the Lutheran answer to questions like total depravity and free will?

  • Sherry

    Larry said (#19)

    “I believe it was Bror (If I’m incorrect I apologize) once said (my paraphrase) the people bounce back and forth between Calvin and Arminianism basically due to the despair each presents and the Gospel is at the end of the day absent (pro me)”. This is the issue and I know it first hand, second hand, third hand, etc… What ends up happening is that some recognize, at first, that arminianism has no comfort because there’s that whole “decision for Jesus” theology. So you get on the Armenian hamster wheel. Some at length get despairing and exhausted and hear of Calvin, usually via the route of the MacArthur/Piper/Sproul (reformed) amalgamation. And at first salvation via Calvin seems possible now for the first time because one can in relief confess “I’m totally depraved”. Then you get into the whole election issue and then you get on the Calvin hamster wheel, which is impossible to walk on unless your elect and then your driven to despair even more. ”

    I believe this is correct and have been experiencing this myself. What is the Lutheran answer to questions like total depravity and free will?

  • fws

    Aletheist @ 24

    We Lutherans suffer too from this same Old Adam. Old Adam LOVES this stuff. see my post @ 2.

    Calvin learned his stuff from the late Melancthon who returned to neo-scholasticism. Calvin is a fusion of that melancthonian scholasticism plus he is the preeminent disciple of Augustine.

    Scholasticism places Aritotelian virtue ethics as preparation for justification. We are to practice virtue until it becomes a habit, and “enabling grace” must assist us to arrive at “perfected faith” or “faith made perfect by Love”.

    Neo-Scholasticism places all that scholastic stuff after Justification and as a consequence of it and calls it “sanctification”. Same stuff. Deck chairs in the Titannic reshuffled is all.

    At the time of the Book of Concord, 90+% of the Lutheran clergy roster were trained using Melancthons later neo-scholastic “Loci” or systematic theology textbook. Chemnitz himself concentrated on lectures using that book.

    The Book of Concord was a deliberate attempt to break from that, as was Chemnitz “Loci”. And the Book of Concord injects lots of Luther into the BoC in the form of referencing his genesis commentary, preface to romans, sermon on the descent into hell, sermon on the old adam embedded in Third Use of the Law article etc. All at points where Neo-Scholasticism threatens Lutheran Theology. But things were done this way to adroitly avoid needing to attack father Melancthon by name :)

  • fws

    Aletheist @ 24

    We Lutherans suffer too from this same Old Adam. Old Adam LOVES this stuff. see my post @ 2.

    Calvin learned his stuff from the late Melancthon who returned to neo-scholasticism. Calvin is a fusion of that melancthonian scholasticism plus he is the preeminent disciple of Augustine.

    Scholasticism places Aritotelian virtue ethics as preparation for justification. We are to practice virtue until it becomes a habit, and “enabling grace” must assist us to arrive at “perfected faith” or “faith made perfect by Love”.

    Neo-Scholasticism places all that scholastic stuff after Justification and as a consequence of it and calls it “sanctification”. Same stuff. Deck chairs in the Titannic reshuffled is all.

    At the time of the Book of Concord, 90+% of the Lutheran clergy roster were trained using Melancthons later neo-scholastic “Loci” or systematic theology textbook. Chemnitz himself concentrated on lectures using that book.

    The Book of Concord was a deliberate attempt to break from that, as was Chemnitz “Loci”. And the Book of Concord injects lots of Luther into the BoC in the form of referencing his genesis commentary, preface to romans, sermon on the descent into hell, sermon on the old adam embedded in Third Use of the Law article etc. All at points where Neo-Scholasticism threatens Lutheran Theology. But things were done this way to adroitly avoid needing to attack father Melancthon by name :)

  • fws

    sherry @ 25

    All men are spiritually dead. And we really mean that to the very furthest extent you can take that.
    In the mind, will, reason, heart, emotions and very soul of man.
    totally depraved.

    And this is STILL true even after baptism in ALL we are able to see and do.

    So the Christian life looks like dying to Old Adam. It does not look like transformation.

    The Christian Life looks like life=death and Life=Alone trust in Christ and hiding ALL our works in His works as the moral equivalent of a used tampon that even our most loving and sanctified works are.

  • fws

    sherry @ 25

    All men are spiritually dead. And we really mean that to the very furthest extent you can take that.
    In the mind, will, reason, heart, emotions and very soul of man.
    totally depraved.

    And this is STILL true even after baptism in ALL we are able to see and do.

    So the Christian life looks like dying to Old Adam. It does not look like transformation.

    The Christian Life looks like life=death and Life=Alone trust in Christ and hiding ALL our works in His works as the moral equivalent of a used tampon that even our most loving and sanctified works are.

  • fws

    sherry @ 25

    The question boils down to:
    “what is the Christian life supposed to look like?”

    Lutherans say that the Christian’s ethical and moral life is to look identical to a very virtuous Pagan. What Aristotle teaches for example.

    So what is the difference?
    Pagan Old Adam looks for “transformation” of himself in working at being virtuous. He looks for literal signs of Life. Old Adam in the Christian also does this!

    The New Man looks for real death of himself in working at being virtuous. This is called “mortification” which is latinate for “deathing.” He seeks “transformation” outside of himself in transforming his little piece of the carnal perishing world into a more merciful place for other Old Adams. He seeks to make Old Adam literally kill himself in activity to this service to others. He works at placing his trust alone in the Works of Another. He lives then by faith alone. Transformation that he will be able to see will come only after death.

  • fws

    sherry @ 25

    The question boils down to:
    “what is the Christian life supposed to look like?”

    Lutherans say that the Christian’s ethical and moral life is to look identical to a very virtuous Pagan. What Aristotle teaches for example.

    So what is the difference?
    Pagan Old Adam looks for “transformation” of himself in working at being virtuous. He looks for literal signs of Life. Old Adam in the Christian also does this!

    The New Man looks for real death of himself in working at being virtuous. This is called “mortification” which is latinate for “deathing.” He seeks “transformation” outside of himself in transforming his little piece of the carnal perishing world into a more merciful place for other Old Adams. He seeks to make Old Adam literally kill himself in activity to this service to others. He works at placing his trust alone in the Works of Another. He lives then by faith alone. Transformation that he will be able to see will come only after death.

  • fws

    sherry @ 28

    what does the christian life look like for a Lutheran?

    Short answer:

    the christian life looks like death and a conscience that is terrified at all that we see we are able to do.

    And , in with and under that which we can see, is invisible faith that trusts alone in the Works of Another for Life.

  • fws

    sherry @ 28

    what does the christian life look like for a Lutheran?

    Short answer:

    the christian life looks like death and a conscience that is terrified at all that we see we are able to do.

    And , in with and under that which we can see, is invisible faith that trusts alone in the Works of Another for Life.

  • rlewer

    If you live in the South, you understand that the Lutheran position is not even considered. You must either be Armenian or Calvinist. Both try to answer the question,”Why are some saved and others not saved?” Any “logical” answer to that question is either the heresy of Calvinism or the heresy of Armenianism. The difference between the two (saved or unsaved) in their thinking is either on the side of God choosing or on the side of man choosing. Lutherans do not accept with heretical answer. As in many other things, we live in the tension and take refuge in the Gospel of Christ.

  • rlewer

    If you live in the South, you understand that the Lutheran position is not even considered. You must either be Armenian or Calvinist. Both try to answer the question,”Why are some saved and others not saved?” Any “logical” answer to that question is either the heresy of Calvinism or the heresy of Armenianism. The difference between the two (saved or unsaved) in their thinking is either on the side of God choosing or on the side of man choosing. Lutherans do not accept with heretical answer. As in many other things, we live in the tension and take refuge in the Gospel of Christ.

  • Sherry

    Thanks fws,

    You said “All men are spiritually dead. And we really mean that to the very furthest extent you can take that.
    In the mind, will, reason, heart, emotions and very soul of man.
    totally depraved. ”
    This sounds the same to me as the Calvinist view. Is the difference you mentioned in an earlier post then (about the furniture being arranged differently and the spokes pointing to the hub) being that even though they (Calvinist – Reformed) preach faith alone, in reality, they are still looking to themselves and their works for proof of justification/sanctification instead of looking and trusting in Christ alone. You said “Pagan Old Adam looks for “transformation” of himself in working at being virtuous. He looks for literal signs of Life. Old Adam in the Christian also does this!” I have heard this in sermons several times where the pastor is exhorting you to examine yourself and your works/growth for verification of being in Christ. So if I understand you correctly you are saying the Lutheran difference is that we should never do this because we would/should not see anything good. Our justification as well as sanctification can only be in Christ alone.

  • Sherry

    Thanks fws,

    You said “All men are spiritually dead. And we really mean that to the very furthest extent you can take that.
    In the mind, will, reason, heart, emotions and very soul of man.
    totally depraved. ”
    This sounds the same to me as the Calvinist view. Is the difference you mentioned in an earlier post then (about the furniture being arranged differently and the spokes pointing to the hub) being that even though they (Calvinist – Reformed) preach faith alone, in reality, they are still looking to themselves and their works for proof of justification/sanctification instead of looking and trusting in Christ alone. You said “Pagan Old Adam looks for “transformation” of himself in working at being virtuous. He looks for literal signs of Life. Old Adam in the Christian also does this!” I have heard this in sermons several times where the pastor is exhorting you to examine yourself and your works/growth for verification of being in Christ. So if I understand you correctly you are saying the Lutheran difference is that we should never do this because we would/should not see anything good. Our justification as well as sanctification can only be in Christ alone.

  • aletheist

    rlewer@30: Right–in accordance with reason, Calvinists assign credit for salvation and blame for damnation to God (double predestination), while Arminians assign both to the individual (free will). In accordance with Scripture, Lutherans assign full credit for salvation to God and full blame for damnation to the individual.

  • aletheist

    rlewer@30: Right–in accordance with reason, Calvinists assign credit for salvation and blame for damnation to God (double predestination), while Arminians assign both to the individual (free will). In accordance with Scripture, Lutherans assign full credit for salvation to God and full blame for damnation to the individual.

  • Sherry

    rlewer@30 and aletheist @31

    I have never thought about that before. Good point.

  • Sherry

    rlewer@30 and aletheist @31

    I have never thought about that before. Good point.

  • fws

    sherry @ 31

    ALL you can see and do and feel or believe is Old Adam Sherry.

    Reformed point you to look for evidence that your faith is living in what you can see and do. or maybe feel or believe. Maybe love more. You will only find death in ALL you can see , if you are honest.

    There are only two possibilities from there: You will become a hypocritical pharisee, or..you will become a despairing Judas and probably have your heart broken by the Church and leave it and give up.

    The problem with calvinism and arminianism is that the Works of Christ dont get ever put to work! We are to put the Works of Christ to constant work by holding them up to God pleading for mercy until are arms are tired by doing this. And when are arms are too tired to do that, we need to go and have others give us new strength for those arms by telling us, over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over that the Works of Christ are where we are to look.

    We are to then go out, and do our own works seeking to die to ourselves. this means to die to the idea that we should be anything less than terrified by all we can see ourselves do. What we do is alone because or neighbor needs it. Otherwise we would be way to terrified at seeing our own Good Works at work to even try! We died in Christ! So we are free to go out now and die for our neighbors good and be terrified at what we do as we do it.

    I hope that makes sense Sherry! It can only make sense to the eyes of faith. Reason rebels at this. Bless you!

  • fws

    sherry @ 31

    ALL you can see and do and feel or believe is Old Adam Sherry.

    Reformed point you to look for evidence that your faith is living in what you can see and do. or maybe feel or believe. Maybe love more. You will only find death in ALL you can see , if you are honest.

    There are only two possibilities from there: You will become a hypocritical pharisee, or..you will become a despairing Judas and probably have your heart broken by the Church and leave it and give up.

    The problem with calvinism and arminianism is that the Works of Christ dont get ever put to work! We are to put the Works of Christ to constant work by holding them up to God pleading for mercy until are arms are tired by doing this. And when are arms are too tired to do that, we need to go and have others give us new strength for those arms by telling us, over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over that the Works of Christ are where we are to look.

    We are to then go out, and do our own works seeking to die to ourselves. this means to die to the idea that we should be anything less than terrified by all we can see ourselves do. What we do is alone because or neighbor needs it. Otherwise we would be way to terrified at seeing our own Good Works at work to even try! We died in Christ! So we are free to go out now and die for our neighbors good and be terrified at what we do as we do it.

    I hope that makes sense Sherry! It can only make sense to the eyes of faith. Reason rebels at this. Bless you!

  • fws

    Christ . dead. on the cross.

    This Jew being very dead is not really necessary if God just decides as Calvin says,

    This Jew being very dead is also not needed for armenianism. We have free will to chose God. How is it necessary for Jesus to be dead?

    Is it because Jesus needed to be sacrificed so God is transformed from someone who is pissed off at us to someone who isnt? Anselm’s God. No.

    Christ had to die so we could be joined , literally, physically , to his death. That was the only way to make the Law go away. The Law is to kill. We are dead. The Law has no more work to do!

    And it is better! ALL our sin now belongs to Jesus. Literally. He literally became sin for us. He is THE sinner now. And we are the Holy Ones.

    Communication of Attributes. We have his and he has ours. The prisoners of Sin and Death have been truly set free from sin death and the power of the devil .

    How does this happen? It is God just saying so as we hear the splash of ordinary tap water and the sound of the Name of the Blessed and Most Holy Trinity spoken to us by our very name.

  • fws

    Christ . dead. on the cross.

    This Jew being very dead is not really necessary if God just decides as Calvin says,

    This Jew being very dead is also not needed for armenianism. We have free will to chose God. How is it necessary for Jesus to be dead?

    Is it because Jesus needed to be sacrificed so God is transformed from someone who is pissed off at us to someone who isnt? Anselm’s God. No.

    Christ had to die so we could be joined , literally, physically , to his death. That was the only way to make the Law go away. The Law is to kill. We are dead. The Law has no more work to do!

    And it is better! ALL our sin now belongs to Jesus. Literally. He literally became sin for us. He is THE sinner now. And we are the Holy Ones.

    Communication of Attributes. We have his and he has ours. The prisoners of Sin and Death have been truly set free from sin death and the power of the devil .

    How does this happen? It is God just saying so as we hear the splash of ordinary tap water and the sound of the Name of the Blessed and Most Holy Trinity spoken to us by our very name.

  • Sherry

    Thanks fws! Very helpful! :-)

  • Sherry

    Thanks fws! Very helpful! :-)

  • SKPeterson

    Will people please stop condemning Armenians? I know several Armenians (in fact, at one time, I knew the entire Armenian population of Pullman, WA). Just because they are a former Soviet Socialist Republic, have an inscrutable alphabet, and are not exactly what comes to mind when we think of as Caucasian even though they live in the Caucasus, is no reason to go around beating up on people and calling them heretics. They can’t help it – they were born that way. Now, maybe we could beat them up on the anti (not ante-!) Nicene miaphysitism they espouse, but the EO’s are talking with them and it looks like rapprochement may be on the horizon. Patience please!

  • SKPeterson

    Will people please stop condemning Armenians? I know several Armenians (in fact, at one time, I knew the entire Armenian population of Pullman, WA). Just because they are a former Soviet Socialist Republic, have an inscrutable alphabet, and are not exactly what comes to mind when we think of as Caucasian even though they live in the Caucasus, is no reason to go around beating up on people and calling them heretics. They can’t help it – they were born that way. Now, maybe we could beat them up on the anti (not ante-!) Nicene miaphysitism they espouse, but the EO’s are talking with them and it looks like rapprochement may be on the horizon. Patience please!

  • aletheist

    SKPeterson@37: Well-played!

  • aletheist

    SKPeterson@37: Well-played!

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    aletheist,

    As somebody who has recently come out of a Wesleyan-Arminian church while holding Reformed beliefs (yeah… it’s a long story), I would be very interested in hearing about your coming to Lutheranism. Please feel free to click on my name, go to my blog, and contact me about this! (I think it’s under the “Who is this J.Dean guy and what is he writing about?” link).

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    aletheist,

    As somebody who has recently come out of a Wesleyan-Arminian church while holding Reformed beliefs (yeah… it’s a long story), I would be very interested in hearing about your coming to Lutheranism. Please feel free to click on my name, go to my blog, and contact me about this! (I think it’s under the “Who is this J.Dean guy and what is he writing about?” link).

  • Ross

    As an LCMS Lutheran and former SBC Baptist, I for one welcome and fully support the self-implosion of the SBC.

    In my early days of investigating Lutheranism, I found it odd that Lutherans lumped all flavors of Protestantism into the “Reformed” camp. Now it makes sense to me. So much so that it’s weird to read Patterson say “we don’t follow the Reformed view”.

  • Ross

    As an LCMS Lutheran and former SBC Baptist, I for one welcome and fully support the self-implosion of the SBC.

    In my early days of investigating Lutheranism, I found it odd that Lutherans lumped all flavors of Protestantism into the “Reformed” camp. Now it makes sense to me. So much so that it’s weird to read Patterson say “we don’t follow the Reformed view”.

  • larry

    Sherry,

    First, real quickly, “bondage of the will” ala Luther is not “total depravity” ala Calvin. I know a LOT of Calvinist and some Lutherans think they are but they are not. The “infused will” part is a nice way to start. Arminians and Calvinist are really the same they just rearrange the deck furniture a bit. The arminians would say “grace alone” too but they mean that “infused grace” idea. They shift this before conversion, generally, and as such you get the “appeal to the will” (e.g. decision theology) pre-“conversion”. Generally speaking “all” men get this. So the atonement is not for all, but the “infused grace” is…to decide. If you don’t decide then you’ve decided against the infusion as it were. Calvinist basically cut the head off by saying there are those to whom the atonement did not extent, limited atonement or double predestination. They place the “infused grace” also confused with “regeneration/rebirth”, so that THEN one can believe. They call the free will, the “Holy Spirit”. Note that both are working toward a moral decision for God. Be careful with “moral”, this is not meant only to be moral in the sense of moral Vs. immoral but even the ability to believe. Both Calvin and Arminians would speak thus: “Where there is salvation and life, (then) there is forgiveness of sin”. Their god is then little more than a pagan god. Luther would and did say, “Where there is forgiveness of sin, there is life and salvation”. See the difference. Then, you can see the key to the bondage of the will, we don’t wish to believe (trust) God has already forgiven us.

    I would advise getting a great book called “Law & Gospel: Foundation of Lutheran Ministry” by Robert J. Koester. He nicely peels this apart and goes to show that at the end of the day between Lutherans and Reformed (=both Calvinist and Arminians) is two entirely different and opposing spirits (we’d side with neither, in fact Calvin’s deception is more crafty his language even deceived Melanchthon. Sasse even warns that the reformed, meaning Calvinist, are the MOST dangerous to Lutherans for this reason). Today many Lutherans wish to side with them because (1) they are more serious than bafoons that even pagans can pick out like Warren and (2) they are generally more conservative. Thus, camouflaged they are more dangerous.

    Largely speaking and simplified the bondage of the will is the fallen will that will not trust the objective fact of Christ redemption for them (as all the world or the sacrament). Total depravity, is in truth a statement about immorality or better phrased total immorality. Here we see that in reality the entirety of the Reformed doctrine is an operating example and proof positive of “bondage of the will” in and of itself.

    Koester writes concerning Luther’s understanding of Justification, “Justification by faith alone was the theme of the Lutheran Reformation. Robin Leaver writes, “From the time of this experience-whenever it was-the doctrine of justification by faith alone became his controlling principle.”

    For Luther, justification began as an objective fact. In other words, the basis for his hope was not that Christ justified Martin Luther by faith, but that God justified the entire world before anyone actually received the benefit of Christ’s work by faith. In discussing the Fifth Petition of the Lord’s Prayer in the Large Catechism he says, “This is why there is great need here again to pray and cry: Dear Father, forgive us our trespasses. Not that He does not forgive sin even without and before our prayer; for He has given us the gospel, in which there is nothing but forgiveness, even before we prayed for it or ever thought about it. What we are concerned about in this petition is that we may recognize and accept this forgiveness.”

    This is not universalism as that term is understood today. Luther wrote, “Christ did indeed suffer for the whole world; but how many are there who believe and cherish this fact? Therefore, although the work of redemption itself has been accomplished, it still cannot help and benefit a man unless he believes it.”

    Luther’s entire theology centered in the teaching of the gospel of God’s justification of the world. Faith lays hold of this fact of Christ’s message of forgiveness: “Christ came for my sake, in order to free me from the Law, not only from the guilt of sin but also from the power of the Law. If you are able to say yes to this, you have what is called faith.

    Even when Luther speaks of Christ being “in us” he has in mind the work that Christ did “for us” For Luther, when Christ comes to live within us, it is to lead us to faith in what he has done for us. He wrote, “Faith justifies because it apprehends and possesses this Treasure, to wit, the present Christ. …Therefore Christ, apprehended by faith and dwelling in the heart, is Christian righteousness, for the sake of which God considers (reputat) us just and gives us eternal life. Here there certainly is no work of the Law, no love, but a righteousness different by far and a kind of new world, outside and above the Law.

  • larry

    Sherry,

    First, real quickly, “bondage of the will” ala Luther is not “total depravity” ala Calvin. I know a LOT of Calvinist and some Lutherans think they are but they are not. The “infused will” part is a nice way to start. Arminians and Calvinist are really the same they just rearrange the deck furniture a bit. The arminians would say “grace alone” too but they mean that “infused grace” idea. They shift this before conversion, generally, and as such you get the “appeal to the will” (e.g. decision theology) pre-“conversion”. Generally speaking “all” men get this. So the atonement is not for all, but the “infused grace” is…to decide. If you don’t decide then you’ve decided against the infusion as it were. Calvinist basically cut the head off by saying there are those to whom the atonement did not extent, limited atonement or double predestination. They place the “infused grace” also confused with “regeneration/rebirth”, so that THEN one can believe. They call the free will, the “Holy Spirit”. Note that both are working toward a moral decision for God. Be careful with “moral”, this is not meant only to be moral in the sense of moral Vs. immoral but even the ability to believe. Both Calvin and Arminians would speak thus: “Where there is salvation and life, (then) there is forgiveness of sin”. Their god is then little more than a pagan god. Luther would and did say, “Where there is forgiveness of sin, there is life and salvation”. See the difference. Then, you can see the key to the bondage of the will, we don’t wish to believe (trust) God has already forgiven us.

    I would advise getting a great book called “Law & Gospel: Foundation of Lutheran Ministry” by Robert J. Koester. He nicely peels this apart and goes to show that at the end of the day between Lutherans and Reformed (=both Calvinist and Arminians) is two entirely different and opposing spirits (we’d side with neither, in fact Calvin’s deception is more crafty his language even deceived Melanchthon. Sasse even warns that the reformed, meaning Calvinist, are the MOST dangerous to Lutherans for this reason). Today many Lutherans wish to side with them because (1) they are more serious than bafoons that even pagans can pick out like Warren and (2) they are generally more conservative. Thus, camouflaged they are more dangerous.

    Largely speaking and simplified the bondage of the will is the fallen will that will not trust the objective fact of Christ redemption for them (as all the world or the sacrament). Total depravity, is in truth a statement about immorality or better phrased total immorality. Here we see that in reality the entirety of the Reformed doctrine is an operating example and proof positive of “bondage of the will” in and of itself.

    Koester writes concerning Luther’s understanding of Justification, “Justification by faith alone was the theme of the Lutheran Reformation. Robin Leaver writes, “From the time of this experience-whenever it was-the doctrine of justification by faith alone became his controlling principle.”

    For Luther, justification began as an objective fact. In other words, the basis for his hope was not that Christ justified Martin Luther by faith, but that God justified the entire world before anyone actually received the benefit of Christ’s work by faith. In discussing the Fifth Petition of the Lord’s Prayer in the Large Catechism he says, “This is why there is great need here again to pray and cry: Dear Father, forgive us our trespasses. Not that He does not forgive sin even without and before our prayer; for He has given us the gospel, in which there is nothing but forgiveness, even before we prayed for it or ever thought about it. What we are concerned about in this petition is that we may recognize and accept this forgiveness.”

    This is not universalism as that term is understood today. Luther wrote, “Christ did indeed suffer for the whole world; but how many are there who believe and cherish this fact? Therefore, although the work of redemption itself has been accomplished, it still cannot help and benefit a man unless he believes it.”

    Luther’s entire theology centered in the teaching of the gospel of God’s justification of the world. Faith lays hold of this fact of Christ’s message of forgiveness: “Christ came for my sake, in order to free me from the Law, not only from the guilt of sin but also from the power of the Law. If you are able to say yes to this, you have what is called faith.

    Even when Luther speaks of Christ being “in us” he has in mind the work that Christ did “for us” For Luther, when Christ comes to live within us, it is to lead us to faith in what he has done for us. He wrote, “Faith justifies because it apprehends and possesses this Treasure, to wit, the present Christ. …Therefore Christ, apprehended by faith and dwelling in the heart, is Christian righteousness, for the sake of which God considers (reputat) us just and gives us eternal life. Here there certainly is no work of the Law, no love, but a righteousness different by far and a kind of new world, outside and above the Law.

  • J.P.

    Sorry SKPeterson, but until the Armenians pass a formal resolution officially disavowing and condemning the damnable heresy of Kardashianism, they stay on the enemies list.

  • J.P.

    Sorry SKPeterson, but until the Armenians pass a formal resolution officially disavowing and condemning the damnable heresy of Kardashianism, they stay on the enemies list.

  • fws

    SKP @ 37

    So are you secretly an arminian? Is that why you are sticking up for them? or are you just approving of their lifestyles (eg the Kardashians) in a condoning sorta way? Which is it SkP?

    I always suspected there was somn funny about you guy……
    not as in ha ha funny. But you do have your moments there too.

  • fws

    SKP @ 37

    So are you secretly an arminian? Is that why you are sticking up for them? or are you just approving of their lifestyles (eg the Kardashians) in a condoning sorta way? Which is it SkP?

    I always suspected there was somn funny about you guy……
    not as in ha ha funny. But you do have your moments there too.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    JP – excellent!

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    JP – excellent!

  • Sherry

    Larry @ 41

    Thanks so much. I had to read that a couple of times for it to make sense to me lol (fws posts also), not because of how you wrote it, but because of how I have been trained to think about all of this. Whew, I think I am beginning to understand. Luther seems to be in a class all by himself. It seems to all boil down to the question of “What is the gospel?” I have been reading this blog on and off for about a year and have looked at a few (Lutheran) books and back to the bible and it amazes me how long it takes me to grasp some things, because it is so different from what I have been taught. Thanks for the comments.

  • Sherry

    Larry @ 41

    Thanks so much. I had to read that a couple of times for it to make sense to me lol (fws posts also), not because of how you wrote it, but because of how I have been trained to think about all of this. Whew, I think I am beginning to understand. Luther seems to be in a class all by himself. It seems to all boil down to the question of “What is the gospel?” I have been reading this blog on and off for about a year and have looked at a few (Lutheran) books and back to the bible and it amazes me how long it takes me to grasp some things, because it is so different from what I have been taught. Thanks for the comments.

  • SKPeterson

    The scourge of Kardashianism is troubling. I hear is rampant in the SBC.

  • SKPeterson

    The scourge of Kardashianism is troubling. I hear is rampant in the SBC.

  • Grace

    SKPeterson @ 46

    “The scourge of Kardashianism is troubling. I hear is rampant in the SBC.”

    If that comment means what I think it means, it’s CRUDE to the core. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  • Grace

    SKPeterson @ 46

    “The scourge of Kardashianism is troubling. I hear is rampant in the SBC.”

    If that comment means what I think it means, it’s CRUDE to the core. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  • larry

    You are very welcome Sherry. Don’t worry some of us have been there. God Bless!

  • larry

    You are very welcome Sherry. Don’t worry some of us have been there. God Bless!

  • BW

    SK

    Don’t forget though, in the 90s and early 2000s when everyone was going crazy for the music indusry pop stars, the Armenians stood strong for truth with System of a Downism…

  • BW

    SK

    Don’t forget though, in the 90s and early 2000s when everyone was going crazy for the music indusry pop stars, the Armenians stood strong for truth with System of a Downism…

  • fws

    Sherry @ 45

    We have all been there. Us Lutherans too. Old Adam constantly wants to do something. Christ + (fill in the blank). And to nurture that error he says the Holy Spirit is doing it in him or with him or for him or… whatever.

    The Gospel is alone when we become terrified at ALL we can see that we are able to do in our thoughts, works, emotions, willpower, spirituality, godliness, goodness, faith, believing … everything! and so we know to hide ALL we can do in the Works of Another.

    When our conscience troubles us, all of us restlessly cast about for something to do, or make a list of things we plan to do. The most difficult and lifelong task of any Christian is to cling very passively to the Works of Another and trust that he is faithful especially when we are faithless. To confess that we are all liars to the very bottom of our rotten Old Adam hearts and very souls. But trust that God simply cannot lie. And so we hold God to his Promise. We do that in spite of ALL we can see that we are able to do, which we know is all death. Even our best efforts and thinking.

    And to trust in the Works in Another is exactly what makes one a Christian. plus….. (sound of crickets).

    So the Christian seeks his own death in doing good works. the death of Old Adam in service to his neighbor. He stops looking for any signs of spiritual Life there. There are none there. Only death for Old Adam. Nothing at all to do with his relationship with God.

    His relationship with God is as far from anything he can do in his earthly existence as the earth is from the most distant star.

    Life is to be hidden in the Works of Another. Alone.

    And even in our earthly life that is death, we are to think of Christ and his Work as this vast vast covering, as vast as the stary sky at night, that completely covers even the works of our Old Adam in the Blood of Jesus. The Believer is dealt with alone as a Holy Spotless Blameless Baptised One by God in Christ.

  • fws

    Sherry @ 45

    We have all been there. Us Lutherans too. Old Adam constantly wants to do something. Christ + (fill in the blank). And to nurture that error he says the Holy Spirit is doing it in him or with him or for him or… whatever.

    The Gospel is alone when we become terrified at ALL we can see that we are able to do in our thoughts, works, emotions, willpower, spirituality, godliness, goodness, faith, believing … everything! and so we know to hide ALL we can do in the Works of Another.

    When our conscience troubles us, all of us restlessly cast about for something to do, or make a list of things we plan to do. The most difficult and lifelong task of any Christian is to cling very passively to the Works of Another and trust that he is faithful especially when we are faithless. To confess that we are all liars to the very bottom of our rotten Old Adam hearts and very souls. But trust that God simply cannot lie. And so we hold God to his Promise. We do that in spite of ALL we can see that we are able to do, which we know is all death. Even our best efforts and thinking.

    And to trust in the Works in Another is exactly what makes one a Christian. plus….. (sound of crickets).

    So the Christian seeks his own death in doing good works. the death of Old Adam in service to his neighbor. He stops looking for any signs of spiritual Life there. There are none there. Only death for Old Adam. Nothing at all to do with his relationship with God.

    His relationship with God is as far from anything he can do in his earthly existence as the earth is from the most distant star.

    Life is to be hidden in the Works of Another. Alone.

    And even in our earthly life that is death, we are to think of Christ and his Work as this vast vast covering, as vast as the stary sky at night, that completely covers even the works of our Old Adam in the Blood of Jesus. The Believer is dealt with alone as a Holy Spotless Blameless Baptised One by God in Christ.

  • aletheist

    J. Dean@39: I just sent you an e-mail.

    larry@41, fws@50: Well said. The juxtaposition of forgiveness of sins with life and salvation is especially insightful. I like to ask people, “What is the greatest single need of every human being?” Unfortunately, most Christians–including most Lutherans–fail to answer immediately and correctly, “The forgiveness of sins.”

  • aletheist

    J. Dean@39: I just sent you an e-mail.

    larry@41, fws@50: Well said. The juxtaposition of forgiveness of sins with life and salvation is especially insightful. I like to ask people, “What is the greatest single need of every human being?” Unfortunately, most Christians–including most Lutherans–fail to answer immediately and correctly, “The forgiveness of sins.”

  • larry

    Yes, I agree with Frank. By saying having been there I meant specifically through that lingo that’s so confusing and malleable in the Baptist realm. Sorry I was not more clear. And so an ex (fill in the blank specfick gospel denying atmosphere) can kind of speak through that language easier than another. Eg. Its why if you say mortification of the flesh in the Lutheran way at first that might scare a recovering Calvinist who understands that in the Owenian/Puritan way. To their ears it just sounded like the Lutheran slipped on Calvin’s banana peel.

  • larry

    Yes, I agree with Frank. By saying having been there I meant specifically through that lingo that’s so confusing and malleable in the Baptist realm. Sorry I was not more clear. And so an ex (fill in the blank specfick gospel denying atmosphere) can kind of speak through that language easier than another. Eg. Its why if you say mortification of the flesh in the Lutheran way at first that might scare a recovering Calvinist who understands that in the Owenian/Puritan way. To their ears it just sounded like the Lutheran slipped on Calvin’s banana peel.

  • larry

    For example in that quot3e about Luther speaking about Christ in you. That takes a bit to read to get. Why? Well as an exbaptist Christ in you is often where you loose the gospel and hit the law tread mill. So if one is use to that you kind read Luther white knuckled fearing the other shoe is going to drop. You are use to that; gospel to get you in then comes the fine print…”admission is free so pay at the door”. You are wooried; is Luther going to at last charge me here. But imagine the relief when you realize WOW he really is boot and just keeps on giving me Christ/forgiveness.

  • larry

    For example in that quot3e about Luther speaking about Christ in you. That takes a bit to read to get. Why? Well as an exbaptist Christ in you is often where you loose the gospel and hit the law tread mill. So if one is use to that you kind read Luther white knuckled fearing the other shoe is going to drop. You are use to that; gospel to get you in then comes the fine print…”admission is free so pay at the door”. You are wooried; is Luther going to at last charge me here. But imagine the relief when you realize WOW he really is boot and just keeps on giving me Christ/forgiveness.

  • SKPeterson

    Grace @ 47. Not quite sure what you are talking about.

    But, Kim Kardashian attends Brad Johnson’s church in SoCal. Johnson was on staff at Saddleback, perhaps the emblematic epicenter for much of what has gone off the rails in the SBC. Connecting the dots, the callowness of Kim Kardashian (the prime exemplar of Kardashianism, which is a bit of humor introduced by J.P., btw) is entirely in keeping with the ethos promulgated by the Saddleback mission viewpoint.

  • SKPeterson

    Grace @ 47. Not quite sure what you are talking about.

    But, Kim Kardashian attends Brad Johnson’s church in SoCal. Johnson was on staff at Saddleback, perhaps the emblematic epicenter for much of what has gone off the rails in the SBC. Connecting the dots, the callowness of Kim Kardashian (the prime exemplar of Kardashianism, which is a bit of humor introduced by J.P., btw) is entirely in keeping with the ethos promulgated by the Saddleback mission viewpoint.

  • Larry

    Among the points of affirmation are:
    • The Gospel is the good news that God has made a way of salvation through the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ for any person. This is in keeping with God’s desire for every person to be saved
    • Because of the fall of Adam, every person inherits a nature and environment inclined toward sin and that every person who is capable of moral action will sin. Each person’s sin alone brings the wrath of a holy God, broken fellowship with Him, ever-worsening selfishness and destructiveness, death, and condemnation to an eternity in hell
    • The penal substitution of Christ is the only available and effective sacrifice for the sins of every person
    • God, as an expression of His sovereignty, endows each person with actual free will (the ability to choose between two options) , which must be exercised in accepting or rejecting God’s gracious call to salvation by the Holy Spirit through the Gospel
    Signatories of the document also deny that:
    • Only a select few are capable of responding to the Gospel while the rest are predestined to an eternity in hell
    • Any person is regenerated prior to or apart from hearing and responding to the Gospel
    • God’s sovereignty and knowledge require Him to cause a person’s acceptance or rejection of faith in Christ
    • The decision of faith is an act of God rather than a response of the person
    • Salvation is possible outside of a faith response to the Gospel of Jesus Christ

  • Larry

    Among the points of affirmation are:
    • The Gospel is the good news that God has made a way of salvation through the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ for any person. This is in keeping with God’s desire for every person to be saved
    • Because of the fall of Adam, every person inherits a nature and environment inclined toward sin and that every person who is capable of moral action will sin. Each person’s sin alone brings the wrath of a holy God, broken fellowship with Him, ever-worsening selfishness and destructiveness, death, and condemnation to an eternity in hell
    • The penal substitution of Christ is the only available and effective sacrifice for the sins of every person
    • God, as an expression of His sovereignty, endows each person with actual free will (the ability to choose between two options) , which must be exercised in accepting or rejecting God’s gracious call to salvation by the Holy Spirit through the Gospel
    Signatories of the document also deny that:
    • Only a select few are capable of responding to the Gospel while the rest are predestined to an eternity in hell
    • Any person is regenerated prior to or apart from hearing and responding to the Gospel
    • God’s sovereignty and knowledge require Him to cause a person’s acceptance or rejection of faith in Christ
    • The decision of faith is an act of God rather than a response of the person
    • Salvation is possible outside of a faith response to the Gospel of Jesus Christ

  • Grace

    SKPeterson @ 34

    YOU WROTE to me:

    “Grace @ 47. Not quite sure what you are talking about.

    But, Kim Kardashian attends Brad Johnson’s church in SoCal. Johnson was on staff at Saddleback, perhaps the emblematic epicenter for much of what has gone off the rails in the SBC. Connecting the dots, the callowness of Kim Kardashian (the prime exemplar of Kardashianism, which is a bit of humor introduced by J.P., btw) is entirely in keeping with the ethos promulgated by the Saddleback mission viewpoint.

    I am familiar with Rick Warrens church – the Emergent Church. Brad Johnson…. Life Change Community Church, Agoura Hills, CA does not represent SBC.

    Kardashian might be “a bit of humor” to you, but it has nothing to do with the SBC.

  • Grace

    SKPeterson @ 34

    YOU WROTE to me:

    “Grace @ 47. Not quite sure what you are talking about.

    But, Kim Kardashian attends Brad Johnson’s church in SoCal. Johnson was on staff at Saddleback, perhaps the emblematic epicenter for much of what has gone off the rails in the SBC. Connecting the dots, the callowness of Kim Kardashian (the prime exemplar of Kardashianism, which is a bit of humor introduced by J.P., btw) is entirely in keeping with the ethos promulgated by the Saddleback mission viewpoint.

    I am familiar with Rick Warrens church – the Emergent Church. Brad Johnson…. Life Change Community Church, Agoura Hills, CA does not represent SBC.

    Kardashian might be “a bit of humor” to you, but it has nothing to do with the SBC.

  • I was a teenage fundy

    Grace, why do you read this blog? I’m curious.

  • I was a teenage fundy

    Grace, why do you read this blog? I’m curious.

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    Armenian or Harmenszoonian would have cleared the whole confounded mess up a long time ago.

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    Armenian or Harmenszoonian would have cleared the whole confounded mess up a long time ago.

  • James Sarver

    Those who condemn Armenians will be punished with a stint on the “Armenian hamster wheel”.

    Perhaps that will kill their Old Adam.

  • James Sarver

    Those who condemn Armenians will be punished with a stint on the “Armenian hamster wheel”.

    Perhaps that will kill their Old Adam.

  • fws

    james @ 59

    Old Adam is already dead. He just keeps refusing receipt of the telegram in spite of the overwhelming evidence all around him.

    A stint on the armenian hamster wheel will just pump up his moral muscles to show off as a good pharisee or it will wear him out and cause him to despair and give up completely.

    He needs God to send him a preacher who will tell him he is dead. And God’s Word alone will be able to make dead old adam really die and better.

    It gets only better! God’s Word , heard from that human, creaturely sinful preacher , that sent one, will tell him to run in terror of all hamster wheels and hide all that in the Works of Another.

    And so, right there in the midst of that terror of all hamster wheels, there will be created in that creature, ex nihilo, from nothing that previously existed in him before, a New Man who will be panting to be literally clothed in Christ . This putting on Christ will actually be done, absurdly so, by means of ordinary tap water that has become Life giving by the sound of the Name of the Most Holy Blessed Trinity attached, by God himself, to it.

    God places his Promise in Baptism. Faith clings to that Promise right there in the ordinary tap water. Faith receives the Promise right there where it was placed.

    This is always how justification of the sinner happens.

  • fws

    james @ 59

    Old Adam is already dead. He just keeps refusing receipt of the telegram in spite of the overwhelming evidence all around him.

    A stint on the armenian hamster wheel will just pump up his moral muscles to show off as a good pharisee or it will wear him out and cause him to despair and give up completely.

    He needs God to send him a preacher who will tell him he is dead. And God’s Word alone will be able to make dead old adam really die and better.

    It gets only better! God’s Word , heard from that human, creaturely sinful preacher , that sent one, will tell him to run in terror of all hamster wheels and hide all that in the Works of Another.

    And so, right there in the midst of that terror of all hamster wheels, there will be created in that creature, ex nihilo, from nothing that previously existed in him before, a New Man who will be panting to be literally clothed in Christ . This putting on Christ will actually be done, absurdly so, by means of ordinary tap water that has become Life giving by the sound of the Name of the Most Holy Blessed Trinity attached, by God himself, to it.

    God places his Promise in Baptism. Faith clings to that Promise right there in the ordinary tap water. Faith receives the Promise right there where it was placed.

    This is always how justification of the sinner happens.

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

    That is a good question teenage Fundy.

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

    That is a good question teenage Fundy.

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

    Caalvinism in the SBC is finally coming to a head? Tell you the truth I long for the days when you could rely on a southern Baptist being an Arminian. But Al Mohler has been running southern for some time and having the seminarians read “the bondage of the will” and claiming this is proof Luther was a calvinist. I often wonder how it people can read a book so much and not get it. But they do worse injustice to God’s. Word itself. I think Luther actually predicted that. In my experience Baptists don’t make good Calvinists to inconsistent with that age of accountability thing. On the other hand if it wasn’t for Calvin insisting on the inefficaciousness of baptism we wouldn’t have Baptists. Makes for an interesting show.

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

    Caalvinism in the SBC is finally coming to a head? Tell you the truth I long for the days when you could rely on a southern Baptist being an Arminian. But Al Mohler has been running southern for some time and having the seminarians read “the bondage of the will” and claiming this is proof Luther was a calvinist. I often wonder how it people can read a book so much and not get it. But they do worse injustice to God’s. Word itself. I think Luther actually predicted that. In my experience Baptists don’t make good Calvinists to inconsistent with that age of accountability thing. On the other hand if it wasn’t for Calvin insisting on the inefficaciousness of baptism we wouldn’t have Baptists. Makes for an interesting show.

  • Grace

    Bror,

    ‘Tell you the truth I long for the days when you could rely on a southern Baptist being an Arminian.”

    That’s not true Bror. Why would you “rely” on it?

    I don’t believe Luther was Calvinist at all – I don’t know any other’s who believe it as well, unless they haven’t studied both mens views.

    Bror – you’ve most likely made this clear – were yo raised in the Lutheran denomination?

  • Grace

    Bror,

    ‘Tell you the truth I long for the days when you could rely on a southern Baptist being an Arminian.”

    That’s not true Bror. Why would you “rely” on it?

    I don’t believe Luther was Calvinist at all – I don’t know any other’s who believe it as well, unless they haven’t studied both mens views.

    Bror – you’ve most likely made this clear – were yo raised in the Lutheran denomination?

  • SKPeterson

    Grace – There are a whole slew of “Luther was a Calvinist before there was Calvin” Calvinists out there. Granted, their view is restricted almost entirely to Luther’s treatise Bondage of the Will, but they are out there if you look. I believe many of them are in the Young Reformed movement. I would argue that Tullian Tchividjian is in this group. Also, I don’t think any (maybe a few) would be in the SBC camp. Mohler most probably would be the only one, but I think he may be trying to make Calvin more of a Lutheran, or harmonize Luther and Zwingli. I can’t quite figure Mohler out – he seems to be very appreciative of almost all of Luther’s theology, but then inexplicably retains his Baptist views of the Sacraments. I think that is what Bror is referring to when he says you used to be able to “rely on a Southern Baptist being and Arminian.” Nowadays, you just can’t tell. And that is telling, in and of itself.

  • SKPeterson

    Grace – There are a whole slew of “Luther was a Calvinist before there was Calvin” Calvinists out there. Granted, their view is restricted almost entirely to Luther’s treatise Bondage of the Will, but they are out there if you look. I believe many of them are in the Young Reformed movement. I would argue that Tullian Tchividjian is in this group. Also, I don’t think any (maybe a few) would be in the SBC camp. Mohler most probably would be the only one, but I think he may be trying to make Calvin more of a Lutheran, or harmonize Luther and Zwingli. I can’t quite figure Mohler out – he seems to be very appreciative of almost all of Luther’s theology, but then inexplicably retains his Baptist views of the Sacraments. I think that is what Bror is referring to when he says you used to be able to “rely on a Southern Baptist being and Arminian.” Nowadays, you just can’t tell. And that is telling, in and of itself.

  • larry

    Bror and sk are right on the money. Basically if you take the SB en masses what you have is a lot of the right scripture without the paradoxes. So the Baptist theological “drunk” getting up with too much fervor falls off of one side of the horse or the other. To wit the arminians say “you deny the gospel in your Calvinist election” and the Calvinist says “you deny it with your free will”. The answer to both is a resounding, YES!

    Bror is right on the money on BOW. Not one of the read it and understand Luther and Luther did predict it in BOW among other places.

    Basically both groups put faith in starring at the new pious tuxceedo the old Adam has put on saying, “Now does he not clean up quite nicely.”

  • larry

    Bror and sk are right on the money. Basically if you take the SB en masses what you have is a lot of the right scripture without the paradoxes. So the Baptist theological “drunk” getting up with too much fervor falls off of one side of the horse or the other. To wit the arminians say “you deny the gospel in your Calvinist election” and the Calvinist says “you deny it with your free will”. The answer to both is a resounding, YES!

    Bror is right on the money on BOW. Not one of the read it and understand Luther and Luther did predict it in BOW among other places.

    Basically both groups put faith in starring at the new pious tuxceedo the old Adam has put on saying, “Now does he not clean up quite nicely.”

  • fws

    The basic error that Reformed , Arminians, and Lutherans share is on sanctification.

    We all imagine that life will be evidentially different after regeneration than it was before regeneration.

    This is a lie of satan.

    What should happen is that believers will predictably, over time more closely approximate what Aristotle describes in his Virtue Ethics. A Believer is terrified of his sin and wishes to flee it after all.

    Yet to say Aristotle, is to say that the believer still, both outwardly and inwardly, in his most noble thoughts, his will, his faith, down to his very soul still looks (hopefully!) identical to the most virtuous pagan or Pharisee.

    Read FofC art I if you want to know what you visibly still look like after regeneration.

    http://www.bookofconcord.org/fc-ep.php#I. Original Sin.

    It looks like this: Imagine that the New Man is sitting in a small control room in the fleshly Old Adam Body . Let’s call this control room the Mind of Christ. New Man’s task is to subdue that body that is still ALL Old Adam in his will, reason, thoughts, heart, mind and very soul with the purpose of having that body literally kill itself to do creaturely carnal mercy for other Old Adams. All New Man can see or do must happen through the agency of that Old Adam body described fully in FC art I.

    So how is New Man to do this? Willpower? Naw. That is a trap. Willpower is all Old Adam. it is the enemy actually. Ditto reason.

    So what they will work? The Sword of the Spirit. The Law as the Word of God. New Man must now preach to his Old Adam and all his reason and members.
    This might look like serenading Old Adam with a hymn of the Ten Commandments as one starts one’s day.

    And at the end of the day, that New Man will again take up that Two Edged Sword of the Spirit only this time he will use the Gospel side as his weapon and breastplace to tell satan to go back to hell when Satan comes and says “look at all the sin you did today!” Where is the evidence that you are a christian??!!”

    And we will seek out preachers then to preach AT us, who will teach us precisely at that point not to reach for what we have done to answer to satan. Instead we will boldly confess our sin! and then we will say that Christ came for such sinners as us!

  • fws

    The basic error that Reformed , Arminians, and Lutherans share is on sanctification.

    We all imagine that life will be evidentially different after regeneration than it was before regeneration.

    This is a lie of satan.

    What should happen is that believers will predictably, over time more closely approximate what Aristotle describes in his Virtue Ethics. A Believer is terrified of his sin and wishes to flee it after all.

    Yet to say Aristotle, is to say that the believer still, both outwardly and inwardly, in his most noble thoughts, his will, his faith, down to his very soul still looks (hopefully!) identical to the most virtuous pagan or Pharisee.

    Read FofC art I if you want to know what you visibly still look like after regeneration.

    http://www.bookofconcord.org/fc-ep.php#I. Original Sin.

    It looks like this: Imagine that the New Man is sitting in a small control room in the fleshly Old Adam Body . Let’s call this control room the Mind of Christ. New Man’s task is to subdue that body that is still ALL Old Adam in his will, reason, thoughts, heart, mind and very soul with the purpose of having that body literally kill itself to do creaturely carnal mercy for other Old Adams. All New Man can see or do must happen through the agency of that Old Adam body described fully in FC art I.

    So how is New Man to do this? Willpower? Naw. That is a trap. Willpower is all Old Adam. it is the enemy actually. Ditto reason.

    So what they will work? The Sword of the Spirit. The Law as the Word of God. New Man must now preach to his Old Adam and all his reason and members.
    This might look like serenading Old Adam with a hymn of the Ten Commandments as one starts one’s day.

    And at the end of the day, that New Man will again take up that Two Edged Sword of the Spirit only this time he will use the Gospel side as his weapon and breastplace to tell satan to go back to hell when Satan comes and says “look at all the sin you did today!” Where is the evidence that you are a christian??!!”

    And we will seek out preachers then to preach AT us, who will teach us precisely at that point not to reach for what we have done to answer to satan. Instead we will boldly confess our sin! and then we will say that Christ came for such sinners as us!

  • fws

    sorry for getting the html flags wrong….

  • fws

    sorry for getting the html flags wrong….

  • SKPeterson

    Frank – I prefer Plato to Aristotle so my old Adam is superior to yours.

  • SKPeterson

    Frank – I prefer Plato to Aristotle so my old Adam is superior to yours.

  • fws

    SKP @ 68

    Ha! I only picked Aristotle because the Apology in III used his Ethics to make exactly the same point I am making.

    And what I wrote is a little off. Of course we should expect visible change in our behavior and thinking when we come to Christ.
    But that change will not be “spiritual’ in anything at all that is in our own powers of reason or will or faith.
    That sort of change is not, properly speaking “sanctification.”
    It is what Lutherans have always called Repentence.
    And see how the Lutherans describe Repentance has having a narrow (gospel only) and broad (law+gospel) meaning. here:

    http://www.bookofconcord.org/sd-lawandgospel.php#para7

    So what a Reformed or Arminian would label as “sanctification” a Lutheran would properly label as being “repentence”. And we do this because this is the way Holy Scripture uses these terms!

    So the christian life is one of continual repentence just as Luther says in the 95 theses. This life will not be “Transformation” which implies moving towards Life. It will be a visible movement towards our own death. The theological word for life on earth of a believer is Mortification and Contrition and Repentence. Mortification is latinate for “deathing”. Contrition is latinate for “to grind down”. Repentence can be both Law and Gospel. Repentence as to Law is to be petrified and terrified at our best good works and thinking. Repentence as to the Gospel is to then hide all our works inside the Works of Another.
    So the Christian life looks entirely and only like mortification, contrition and repentence.

    This is what Luther says Baptism “signifies” or “symbolizes.”

    Note that this is not what he says Baptism actively works, delivers from and gives.

    So where is that Life that really is Transformation?

    It is found alone in invisible faith alone in the Works of Another.

    This faith is born in the terrors of conscience and lives and is strengthened amidst them by alone trust in the Works of Another.

    “Behold! All things are new!”

    The are new alone in the works of Another. Our best evidential works and thinking? All Old Adam. He must die.

  • fws

    SKP @ 68

    Ha! I only picked Aristotle because the Apology in III used his Ethics to make exactly the same point I am making.

    And what I wrote is a little off. Of course we should expect visible change in our behavior and thinking when we come to Christ.
    But that change will not be “spiritual’ in anything at all that is in our own powers of reason or will or faith.
    That sort of change is not, properly speaking “sanctification.”
    It is what Lutherans have always called Repentence.
    And see how the Lutherans describe Repentance has having a narrow (gospel only) and broad (law+gospel) meaning. here:

    http://www.bookofconcord.org/sd-lawandgospel.php#para7

    So what a Reformed or Arminian would label as “sanctification” a Lutheran would properly label as being “repentence”. And we do this because this is the way Holy Scripture uses these terms!

    So the christian life is one of continual repentence just as Luther says in the 95 theses. This life will not be “Transformation” which implies moving towards Life. It will be a visible movement towards our own death. The theological word for life on earth of a believer is Mortification and Contrition and Repentence. Mortification is latinate for “deathing”. Contrition is latinate for “to grind down”. Repentence can be both Law and Gospel. Repentence as to Law is to be petrified and terrified at our best good works and thinking. Repentence as to the Gospel is to then hide all our works inside the Works of Another.
    So the Christian life looks entirely and only like mortification, contrition and repentence.

    This is what Luther says Baptism “signifies” or “symbolizes.”

    Note that this is not what he says Baptism actively works, delivers from and gives.

    So where is that Life that really is Transformation?

    It is found alone in invisible faith alone in the Works of Another.

    This faith is born in the terrors of conscience and lives and is strengthened amidst them by alone trust in the Works of Another.

    “Behold! All things are new!”

    The are new alone in the works of Another. Our best evidential works and thinking? All Old Adam. He must die.

  • fws

    bror @ 61

    I would be interested to hear any corrections you would have has to my phrasing, terminology and content in my posts 66 & 69.

    Usually I try to vet such things with a Lutheran pastor before I write them. Thanks!

  • fws

    bror @ 61

    I would be interested to hear any corrections you would have has to my phrasing, terminology and content in my posts 66 & 69.

    Usually I try to vet such things with a Lutheran pastor before I write them. Thanks!

  • fws

    where the Reformed call sanctification what the Christian Life should “look’ like,
    Lutherans should be using the term Repentence instead.

    why?

    Sanctification is pure Gospel. Therefore: calling this the christian life, as in life on earth, will lead to the Antinomian error of calling what is Law instead “gospel”.
    Therefire saying that “sanctification” as it refers to what the Christian Life is supposed to “look” like is ‘monergistic” (is all God’s doing) only makes this error worse.

    Repentence, as is also the christian life, is both Law and Gospel. Luther: The christian life is one of continual repentence.

    The small and large catechism say that Baptism=repentence.

    So when we talk to a Calvinist or Arminian, we are to tell them this:
    “What you describe with the word “sanctification” we would insist that same thing be described by the word “repentence”.

  • fws

    where the Reformed call sanctification what the Christian Life should “look’ like,
    Lutherans should be using the term Repentence instead.

    why?

    Sanctification is pure Gospel. Therefore: calling this the christian life, as in life on earth, will lead to the Antinomian error of calling what is Law instead “gospel”.
    Therefire saying that “sanctification” as it refers to what the Christian Life is supposed to “look” like is ‘monergistic” (is all God’s doing) only makes this error worse.

    Repentence, as is also the christian life, is both Law and Gospel. Luther: The christian life is one of continual repentence.

    The small and large catechism say that Baptism=repentence.

    So when we talk to a Calvinist or Arminian, we are to tell them this:
    “What you describe with the word “sanctification” we would insist that same thing be described by the word “repentence”.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com John

    Just so we are clear on the issue, SKP, we Armenians let Italy claim the Kardashians. And while many of us don’t see eye to eye with the Holy See of Etchmedzian, they are certainly not Arminian.

    Back to the topic at hand, however. Do you remember the “church constitutions trumping creeds” post from a few days ago? Well Baptists have always believed this. There is simply no way to be “congregational” and have unity or conformity. If you are a Baptist, you have to find the right church constitution. This means that you will always have Calvinists, Arminians, and Neo-Pelagians with the name “Baptist” on their sign. The real question in this case has to do with money. The SBC is essentially a way for independent baptist churches to pool resources. Given the full-tilt Calvinism at Southern and Southeastern, I would not be surprised to see some of the more radical elements stop giving money to the SBC.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com John

    Just so we are clear on the issue, SKP, we Armenians let Italy claim the Kardashians. And while many of us don’t see eye to eye with the Holy See of Etchmedzian, they are certainly not Arminian.

    Back to the topic at hand, however. Do you remember the “church constitutions trumping creeds” post from a few days ago? Well Baptists have always believed this. There is simply no way to be “congregational” and have unity or conformity. If you are a Baptist, you have to find the right church constitution. This means that you will always have Calvinists, Arminians, and Neo-Pelagians with the name “Baptist” on their sign. The real question in this case has to do with money. The SBC is essentially a way for independent baptist churches to pool resources. Given the full-tilt Calvinism at Southern and Southeastern, I would not be surprised to see some of the more radical elements stop giving money to the SBC.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Reformed Baptist theology is the worst. Apart from my sectarian/cult days, the only Church people (and by that I mean pastors and the like) to ever stab me in the back, or adjust their ethics according to the fact that I’m not one of them (ie – who cares what we do or say, he’s not one of us, therefore we can treat him which ever way we want to), where Reformed Baptists. Even to the point of tax fraud – yes, and those were well respected RB pastors in cahoots!

    You see, the combination of non-continental Calvinism (ie not Dutch or German Reformed), with Baptist theology, really seems to bring out the worst in people.

    It is interesting that the RB’s pick the worst variety of Calvinism to hang onto (Westminster), instead of the (relatively) more balanced varieties like the Dutch Reformed.

    Sorry, but there are many scars….

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Reformed Baptist theology is the worst. Apart from my sectarian/cult days, the only Church people (and by that I mean pastors and the like) to ever stab me in the back, or adjust their ethics according to the fact that I’m not one of them (ie – who cares what we do or say, he’s not one of us, therefore we can treat him which ever way we want to), where Reformed Baptists. Even to the point of tax fraud – yes, and those were well respected RB pastors in cahoots!

    You see, the combination of non-continental Calvinism (ie not Dutch or German Reformed), with Baptist theology, really seems to bring out the worst in people.

    It is interesting that the RB’s pick the worst variety of Calvinism to hang onto (Westminster), instead of the (relatively) more balanced varieties like the Dutch Reformed.

    Sorry, but there are many scars….

  • SKPeterson

    Wow, KK. And here I thought leaving the ELCA was painful.

  • SKPeterson

    Wow, KK. And here I thought leaving the ELCA was painful.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    SKP – yes, I have had my share of ecclesiastical mishaps… First leaving the sect, and then my involvement with Reformed Baptists – although I was never one – but we had friends, and co-operated (or so I thought) in a Christian School. The former was actually worse than the latter…

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    SKP – yes, I have had my share of ecclesiastical mishaps… First leaving the sect, and then my involvement with Reformed Baptists – although I was never one – but we had friends, and co-operated (or so I thought) in a Christian School. The former was actually worse than the latter…

  • I was a teenage fundy

    KK – what “sect” were you in that you keep referring to?

  • I was a teenage fundy

    KK – what “sect” were you in that you keep referring to?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    #76: A legalistic sect (don’t wear this, don’t touch that….), with some cultic attributes (inner group, outer group, leader adulation, separation), with an essentially pelagian theology. It was in South Africa, where I grew up – but they have branches in many countries now:

    Their web page is at http://www.kwasizabantu.com/

    A site by ex-members is at: http://www.ksb-alert.com/ (not regularly updated anymore)

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    #76: A legalistic sect (don’t wear this, don’t touch that….), with some cultic attributes (inner group, outer group, leader adulation, separation), with an essentially pelagian theology. It was in South Africa, where I grew up – but they have branches in many countries now:

    Their web page is at http://www.kwasizabantu.com/

    A site by ex-members is at: http://www.ksb-alert.com/ (not regularly updated anymore)

  • Stephen K

    No dog in this fight. Both systems are evil and lead people darkness.

  • Stephen K

    No dog in this fight. Both systems are evil and lead people darkness.

  • larry

    There’s a basic inversion that occurs in these two systems, Armenian/Calvin, that does not occur (or at least should not if it’s true to its confessions) in the Lutheran confessions. It’s the most notable thing one notes in coming from one of these into the Lutheran confessions (again this assumes that any given experience into the Lutheran confessions is one of being true to their confession).

    In Calvinism for example, especially Baptist mélange varieties, the overlying worry that some none elect person might accidently believe they are saved when they are really not and in reality reprobate is the driving force behind the ministry. They say Calvin wanted assurance, but in reality that’s not true beyond the surface. So everything is geared toward not allowing that “accident” to happen. This is why the sacraments cannot really assure, this is why, if they have form of absolution, its always either (1) broad and generic so that they are not granting a “pro me” or (2) caveated (i.e. if you believe). In Lutheran confessions it’s just the opposite, they know faith is constantly warred against so they preach, teach and confess to CONVINCE a believer they are in fact saved/forgiven. I.e. the “energy” as it were comes from the Word and not from “your faith”.

    I realized this in a debate on a heavy Reformed website many years ago with a Reformed pastor over the sacraments. Every time I even allude to the sacraments giving assurance he’d cry foul and say, “Larry ONLY for the elect, the elect, the elect”. My reply was, “Yes but the sacraments are FOR the elect, the elect, the elect.” The difference in our countering debate was this very inversion of things (which is simply what Satan does in his deceptions, simply invert things). What he ultimately meant was that election’s assurance is garnered elsewhere (either looking at one’s faith or confirming one’s faith by various and sundry works – which is in reality is to return to the dog vomit of works). What I was beginning to see, in a pre-lutheran way, was that “hey are not these sacraments for that very purpose”.

    Put in a more crass way with the Reformed constant rejoinder of “not confounding the sign with the thing signified” for example baptism: Baptism is the sign and one can put a sign on a thing that is not the thing signified. Ergo, assurance for the “thing signified” is found, again, elsewhere. Either directly in seeing/detecting/asserting one’s faith or by secondary means of a set of nebulous works that show “this is the new man” ergo elect, ergo the thing signified here matches up with the sign put upon it. All Calvinistic Baptist do to that Reformed (true Calvinist) principle is take it to its logical extension. To the point that the ‘sign’ even is not worth as much as a sign anymore (after all, if Disneyland is the “thing”/”reality”, you don’t focus much on the sign 250 miles back that pointed and said “Disneyland 250 Miles Ahead”). What the Arminian Baptist then do is take that to its next logical extension as they wrestle with, for their part rightly, recognize that one can hardly “look at one’s faith” (how does one SEE faith) and/or the nebulous fruit list of the Calvinist that ‘indicates (maybe) faith’ and realizes that assurance in such is pure indeterminable. So they make up a tangible concrete thing, one might call it an “invented sacrament” that can be “pro me”. This then is where “decision theology” comes about, the need and hunger for a concrete in time and space touches one pro me that one, not being a disembodied spirit, might know “saved at last”.

    So this SB debate is far from unimportant, it is in fact the nexus between arminian and calvinisms heterodoxies in real time. Basically Wesley and Calvin whirlpool quite naturally into the baptist/southern baptist -ism.

  • larry

    There’s a basic inversion that occurs in these two systems, Armenian/Calvin, that does not occur (or at least should not if it’s true to its confessions) in the Lutheran confessions. It’s the most notable thing one notes in coming from one of these into the Lutheran confessions (again this assumes that any given experience into the Lutheran confessions is one of being true to their confession).

    In Calvinism for example, especially Baptist mélange varieties, the overlying worry that some none elect person might accidently believe they are saved when they are really not and in reality reprobate is the driving force behind the ministry. They say Calvin wanted assurance, but in reality that’s not true beyond the surface. So everything is geared toward not allowing that “accident” to happen. This is why the sacraments cannot really assure, this is why, if they have form of absolution, its always either (1) broad and generic so that they are not granting a “pro me” or (2) caveated (i.e. if you believe). In Lutheran confessions it’s just the opposite, they know faith is constantly warred against so they preach, teach and confess to CONVINCE a believer they are in fact saved/forgiven. I.e. the “energy” as it were comes from the Word and not from “your faith”.

    I realized this in a debate on a heavy Reformed website many years ago with a Reformed pastor over the sacraments. Every time I even allude to the sacraments giving assurance he’d cry foul and say, “Larry ONLY for the elect, the elect, the elect”. My reply was, “Yes but the sacraments are FOR the elect, the elect, the elect.” The difference in our countering debate was this very inversion of things (which is simply what Satan does in his deceptions, simply invert things). What he ultimately meant was that election’s assurance is garnered elsewhere (either looking at one’s faith or confirming one’s faith by various and sundry works – which is in reality is to return to the dog vomit of works). What I was beginning to see, in a pre-lutheran way, was that “hey are not these sacraments for that very purpose”.

    Put in a more crass way with the Reformed constant rejoinder of “not confounding the sign with the thing signified” for example baptism: Baptism is the sign and one can put a sign on a thing that is not the thing signified. Ergo, assurance for the “thing signified” is found, again, elsewhere. Either directly in seeing/detecting/asserting one’s faith or by secondary means of a set of nebulous works that show “this is the new man” ergo elect, ergo the thing signified here matches up with the sign put upon it. All Calvinistic Baptist do to that Reformed (true Calvinist) principle is take it to its logical extension. To the point that the ‘sign’ even is not worth as much as a sign anymore (after all, if Disneyland is the “thing”/”reality”, you don’t focus much on the sign 250 miles back that pointed and said “Disneyland 250 Miles Ahead”). What the Arminian Baptist then do is take that to its next logical extension as they wrestle with, for their part rightly, recognize that one can hardly “look at one’s faith” (how does one SEE faith) and/or the nebulous fruit list of the Calvinist that ‘indicates (maybe) faith’ and realizes that assurance in such is pure indeterminable. So they make up a tangible concrete thing, one might call it an “invented sacrament” that can be “pro me”. This then is where “decision theology” comes about, the need and hunger for a concrete in time and space touches one pro me that one, not being a disembodied spirit, might know “saved at last”.

    So this SB debate is far from unimportant, it is in fact the nexus between arminian and calvinisms heterodoxies in real time. Basically Wesley and Calvin whirlpool quite naturally into the baptist/southern baptist -ism.

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