The Law in the life of Christians

As promised yesterday, here is Jono Linebaugh discussing the role of the Law in the life of someone who has faith in the Gospel of Christ.  I know the Third Use of the Law is a big controversy in Lutheranism.  Paul McCain, for example, has been warning Lutherans–including some theologians  in the ELCA–of forgetting that Christians are, indeed, obliged to follow God’s Law.  Dr. Linebaugh, a professor at Knox Theological Seminary (a Reformed institution)  here seems to be downplaying the Third Use as it is often understood in Luther, but I think he is mainly fighting the Calvinist understanding and that he is restoring a properly Lutheran understanding of the Law in the life of Christians.  But, hey, I’m no pastor or theologian.  Let me ask those of you who are:  Does this account properly explain the use of the Law in the life of the Christian? What is the difference between the Reformed and the Lutheran understanding of this issue?  When they both use the same term (“Third Use of the Law”) are they meaning the same thing?

For Luther, it is within this unconditional context created by the gospel, the reality he called “living by faith,” that the Law understood as God’s good commands can be returned to its proper place. Freed from the burden and bondage of attempting to use the Law to establish our righteousness before God, Christians are free to look to commandments, not as conditions, but as descriptions and directions as they seek to serve their neighbor. In other words, once a person is liberated from the commonsense delusion that acting righteously makes us righteous before God, and in faith believes the counterintuitive reality that being made righteous by God’s forgiving and resurrecting word precedes and produces righteous action, then the justified person is unlocked to love.

For this reason, Luther would insist that the Law only applies to the second question of Christian living: what shall we do? It helps to answer the “what” question, the question about the content of good works. The Law, however, does not answer the more basic question, the question far too few people ask: How do good works occur? What fuels works of love? While the Law demands and directs, what delivers and drives? For Luther, the answer to this question always follows the pattern of 1 John 4.19: “We love because he first loved us.” Works of love flow from and follow prior belovedness. Thus, as Lutheran theologian Oswald Bayer has said, the essential question of theological ethics is this: “What has been given?” The answer: “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Rom 5.8). . . .

Recognizing this distinction between the conditional and condemning function of the Law and the descriptive and directive statement of God’s will addressed to the unconditional context of faith in the God who justifies the ungodly is essential for understanding the purpose and place of New Testament imperatives, not to mention the Ten Commandments. The proper pattern is always “in view of God’s mercies…” (Rom 12.1), or as Luther pointed out with respect to the Decalogue, the pattern is the opening promise: “I am the Lord your God…” (Exod 20.2). In other words, the ears of faith are free to hear a commandment without a condition because the Christian conscience listens not to the condition and curse of the Law, but to the Christ in whom there is no condemnation (Rom 8.1).

This is why, for Luther, the phrase “the third use of the Law” (i.e. a use of the Law after the gospel and thus unique to Christians) is a category mistake. For him, as suggested above, Law names the divine speech that accuses and kills. Cut off from its conditionality and kicked out of the Christian’s conscience, a commandment is not Law in the theological sense. This does not mean that Luther didn’t think those portions of scripture that we think of as Law should be preached to Christians; he emphatically did (as his disputations against the Antinomians and his expositions of the Ten Commandments in the Catechisms demonstrate). But it does mean that “Law” is a slightly misleading term in this context because Law, for Luther, is defined by its “chief and proper use” which is “to reveal sin” and function as a “Hercules to attack and subdue the monster” of self-righteousness (Galatians 1535). Defined this way, Law only applies to the Christian insofar as they are still sinful. (For Luther, a third use of the Law – a phrase his younger colleague Melanchthon coined in 1534 and which Luther never adopted – can only mean that the first two uses [ordering creation and accusing sinners] still apply to the Christian because while they are righteous they are simultaneously sinful).  Insofar as the Christian is justified by faith, however, the Law has ended – and precisely because the Law has ended as a voice of condemnation, because it has been divested of its saving significance, a commandment can be heard by the ears of faith without a condition. Passive and receptive before God, the justified person is free to be active and giving toward the neighbor.

The end of the Law (Rom 10.4), understood by Luther as Christ kicking the Law out of the conscience and rejecting its role as the regulator of the divine-human relationship, is thus the end of the “ifs” that interpose themselves between God and his creatures. In place of the “ifs” Christ has uttered a final cry: “It is finished.” These three words are the unconditional guarantee of the three words God speaks to sinners in the Gospel: “I love you.” In this unconditional context the justified person is freed from the inhuman quest to secure a standing before God and freed for the human task of serving one’s neighbor. In Luther’s memorable words: “A Christian is a perfectly free Lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all” (Freedom of a Christian 1520).

via LIBERATE » Luther on the Law.

HT:  Daniel Siedell

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

    “Christ is the end of the law for all those who have faith.”

    “Yeah…but…”

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    “Christ is the end of the law for all those who have faith.”

    “Yeah…but…”

  • http://fivepintlutheran2.wordpress.com/ David Cochrane

    I am not a pastor nor do I play one on tv. In the tradition in which I was raised would agree we are not under law but under grace. What the led to was a whole bunch of other so called laws to live by. This is what we have when left to ourselves to figure out what God wants.

    It has been my understanding the law of God is like family instruction. For example; my children were expected to go to bed at a certain time, clean rooms, eat what was set before them and do homework. Those little darlings did not always obey but still remained my children. Is this not similar to the law in the Christian’s life third use? Is this an over simplification?

    Please help me St Stephen or anyone else inclined to respond.

    God’s peace. †

  • http://fivepintlutheran2.wordpress.com/ David Cochrane

    I am not a pastor nor do I play one on tv. In the tradition in which I was raised would agree we are not under law but under grace. What the led to was a whole bunch of other so called laws to live by. This is what we have when left to ourselves to figure out what God wants.

    It has been my understanding the law of God is like family instruction. For example; my children were expected to go to bed at a certain time, clean rooms, eat what was set before them and do homework. Those little darlings did not always obey but still remained my children. Is this not similar to the law in the Christian’s life third use? Is this an over simplification?

    Please help me St Stephen or anyone else inclined to respond.

    God’s peace. †

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

    He surely starts off his comments well, but…then derails and crashes and burns.

    He says: “This is why, for Luther, the phrase “the third use of the Law” (i.e. a use of the Law after the gospel and thus unique to Christians) is a category mistake.”

    This myth has been completely and utterly demolished by Rev. Edward Engelbrecht in his book “Friends of the Law” in which he clearly documents Luther’s own personal use of the phrase and endorsement of the same and the doctrine. It is why, for example, the Formula of Concord, very carefully teaches that there is a third “function” of the Law as it is used by the Holy Spirit.

    It is clear that Jono Linebaugh is relying on secondary sources that put forward this myth, and not on acquaintance with Luther himself or the primary sources.

    Please let me provide a link to this book for those who are interested in understanding this point:

    http://www.cph.org/p-19257-friends-of-the-law-luthers-use-of-the-law-for-the-christian-life.aspx?SearchTerm=Friends%20of%20the%20Law

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

    He surely starts off his comments well, but…then derails and crashes and burns.

    He says: “This is why, for Luther, the phrase “the third use of the Law” (i.e. a use of the Law after the gospel and thus unique to Christians) is a category mistake.”

    This myth has been completely and utterly demolished by Rev. Edward Engelbrecht in his book “Friends of the Law” in which he clearly documents Luther’s own personal use of the phrase and endorsement of the same and the doctrine. It is why, for example, the Formula of Concord, very carefully teaches that there is a third “function” of the Law as it is used by the Holy Spirit.

    It is clear that Jono Linebaugh is relying on secondary sources that put forward this myth, and not on acquaintance with Luther himself or the primary sources.

    Please let me provide a link to this book for those who are interested in understanding this point:

    http://www.cph.org/p-19257-friends-of-the-law-luthers-use-of-the-law-for-the-christian-life.aspx?SearchTerm=Friends%20of%20the%20Law

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

    Agree with Rev. McCain, but also agree with Veith that this seems like a reaction to Linebaugh’s own tradition. You know, I don’t think I will ever be able to keep God’s law as well as the Pharisees – and they were damned to hell. Something to ponder.

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

    Agree with Rev. McCain, but also agree with Veith that this seems like a reaction to Linebaugh’s own tradition. You know, I don’t think I will ever be able to keep God’s law as well as the Pharisees – and they were damned to hell. Something to ponder.

  • Jerry
  • Jerry
  • EGK

    John: The Pharisees stand condemned because they sought to justify themselves by the law. Of course no one can keep the law in that sense. That is the point of recognizing that the law always accuses, even in our good works, as Apology IV says. The question is whether faith then means that obedience is immaterial, and that of course is absurd. The commandments continue to serve us as a descriptor of godlybehaviour. It is instruction for our lives, describing how love of God and love of neighbour play itself out.

    The Christian life is formed by the Gospel, but still is normed by the law (in contrast to the notions of the Pharisees old and new, who would add additional commands to the law, to show the world how “holy” we are).

    Justification raises us from death to life. Sanctification (described by the law) is the life to which we have been raised.

  • EGK

    John: The Pharisees stand condemned because they sought to justify themselves by the law. Of course no one can keep the law in that sense. That is the point of recognizing that the law always accuses, even in our good works, as Apology IV says. The question is whether faith then means that obedience is immaterial, and that of course is absurd. The commandments continue to serve us as a descriptor of godlybehaviour. It is instruction for our lives, describing how love of God and love of neighbour play itself out.

    The Christian life is formed by the Gospel, but still is normed by the law (in contrast to the notions of the Pharisees old and new, who would add additional commands to the law, to show the world how “holy” we are).

    Justification raises us from death to life. Sanctification (described by the law) is the life to which we have been raised.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    The so-called “third use” is already contained in the 1st two uses (the civil use and the theological use – or mirror).

    So, it’s totally superfluous, and can be dangerous to those who feel that they can tame this insatiable demand of the law.

    It’s akin to letting the fox back in the henhouse. I do believe that is why Luther never referred to the “3rd use”.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    The so-called “third use” is already contained in the 1st two uses (the civil use and the theological use – or mirror).

    So, it’s totally superfluous, and can be dangerous to those who feel that they can tame this insatiable demand of the law.

    It’s akin to letting the fox back in the henhouse. I do believe that is why Luther never referred to the “3rd use”.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    Here’s a very good class on the law being “the ministry of death”.

    http://theoldadam.com/2012/06/20/calvinism-free-will-ministry-of-the-word-stewardship-theministry-of-death-the-priesthood-of-all-believers-and-more/

    Good Lutherans will love it. Others…not so much. :D

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    Here’s a very good class on the law being “the ministry of death”.

    http://theoldadam.com/2012/06/20/calvinism-free-will-ministry-of-the-word-stewardship-theministry-of-death-the-priesthood-of-all-believers-and-more/

    Good Lutherans will love it. Others…not so much. :D

  • fws

    the article is a total confusion of Law and Gospel.
    And so Paul McCain is right, but the resolution is not to send us off to proove that Luther approved of the term “Third use”.

    You can reject a Third Use and still get Law and Gospel right here. And you can teach a Third Use and get Law and Gospel wrong (cf the Reformed).

    Here is what the article misses and how FC art VI fixes things:
    Gospel:
    Every “Believer” , insofar as he is regenerated, is 100% Saint who needs no Law. Why not? In baptism the believer is dead to the Law buried in the death of Christ in baptism. The work of the Law is always to kill. When someone is dead the Law’s work is finished! Besides this, we are told that New Man simply IS good, as “light from sun” “spontaneously” “as the angels do God’s bidding”.

    Law:
    “Yet the Old Adam still clings to the believer. And for that reason ONLY the Law still applies to the believer (FC art VI)” The Old Adam is ALL we can see and do in our bodies.
    So note this:
    Everything New Man has to do, he must do it through the agency of Old Adam.
    Practical Application:
    So New man takes up the Law to do Good Works! That is STILL how Good Works happen, even in the Believer! The believer can only do Good Works by using the Law to kill his flesh and make that flesh behave and do mercy for others. So ALL that the believer can see and do , evidentially, sense-ibly, tangibly in his life is Law, law, law, law, law. Did I say Law? Yes. Did I say ALL we can do? Yes ALL we can do. Including a pastor administering word and sacrament.
    This is why the Confessions refer to ALL a believer can DO as “carnal righeousness”, “the righteousness of reason”, “natural law righteousness” (natural law=reason in the confessions and nothing more than that!), “old adam righousness”.

    Note that ALL a believer can do looks exactly like what Aristotle tells us. He was a pagan. Confessions” regarding earthly morality/righeousness NOTHING can be demanded beyond the Ethics of Aristotle.” (apology III).

    So what is it that drives Good Works in a believer? The Holy Spirit? YES! using the Gospel? Yes? to have the believer do what? Use ….. the Law to drive Good works to happen … out of his Old Adam!

    So this means that both Christians and Pagans use the same tool to drive Good Works and make them happen! This looks like practicing virtue until it becomes a habit! Further: No Bible or faith is necessary for this practice or to be moral (rom 2:15). What is required, alone, is the Law written in the Reason of ALL men.

    and that Law always and ONLY does what? it always and only kills and accuses! Even the Law as instruction does this! There is NO nonlethal Third Use!

  • fws

    the article is a total confusion of Law and Gospel.
    And so Paul McCain is right, but the resolution is not to send us off to proove that Luther approved of the term “Third use”.

    You can reject a Third Use and still get Law and Gospel right here. And you can teach a Third Use and get Law and Gospel wrong (cf the Reformed).

    Here is what the article misses and how FC art VI fixes things:
    Gospel:
    Every “Believer” , insofar as he is regenerated, is 100% Saint who needs no Law. Why not? In baptism the believer is dead to the Law buried in the death of Christ in baptism. The work of the Law is always to kill. When someone is dead the Law’s work is finished! Besides this, we are told that New Man simply IS good, as “light from sun” “spontaneously” “as the angels do God’s bidding”.

    Law:
    “Yet the Old Adam still clings to the believer. And for that reason ONLY the Law still applies to the believer (FC art VI)” The Old Adam is ALL we can see and do in our bodies.
    So note this:
    Everything New Man has to do, he must do it through the agency of Old Adam.
    Practical Application:
    So New man takes up the Law to do Good Works! That is STILL how Good Works happen, even in the Believer! The believer can only do Good Works by using the Law to kill his flesh and make that flesh behave and do mercy for others. So ALL that the believer can see and do , evidentially, sense-ibly, tangibly in his life is Law, law, law, law, law. Did I say Law? Yes. Did I say ALL we can do? Yes ALL we can do. Including a pastor administering word and sacrament.
    This is why the Confessions refer to ALL a believer can DO as “carnal righeousness”, “the righteousness of reason”, “natural law righteousness” (natural law=reason in the confessions and nothing more than that!), “old adam righousness”.

    Note that ALL a believer can do looks exactly like what Aristotle tells us. He was a pagan. Confessions” regarding earthly morality/righeousness NOTHING can be demanded beyond the Ethics of Aristotle.” (apology III).

    So what is it that drives Good Works in a believer? The Holy Spirit? YES! using the Gospel? Yes? to have the believer do what? Use ….. the Law to drive Good works to happen … out of his Old Adam!

    So this means that both Christians and Pagans use the same tool to drive Good Works and make them happen! This looks like practicing virtue until it becomes a habit! Further: No Bible or faith is necessary for this practice or to be moral (rom 2:15). What is required, alone, is the Law written in the Reason of ALL men.

    and that Law always and ONLY does what? it always and only kills and accuses! Even the Law as instruction does this! There is NO nonlethal Third Use!

  • fws

    paul mc cain @ 3

    I will get the Engelbrechts book on kindle.
    he says we are closer to Calvin than we think and wonders why Rome never developed a theology on “uses ” of the Law.

    ANSWER: They didn’t need to! The Law does not kill or accuse believers! So ALL Law for them is “third use” law in a real sense.

    Note to Engelbrecht, Pastor McCain and All here:
    Even when the Law is a “guide” to the believer

    The Law ALWAYS accuses and kills.
    The Law only accuses and kills.
    The Law instructs the New man to do what?
    Accuse and Kill the Old Adam!

    So that crap about “Gospel imperative” “gospel exhortation” “gospel reminder” as “third use”? NOT Lutheran!

    That idea about the Law in the indicative and the imperative sense?
    Both senses are about KILLING and ACCUSING. Only.

    Further, the Formula of Concord is clear here: The Law “as previously described” is to be taught, applied and used by pagans and christians ALIKE. There is no use of the Law “just for christians”. That is UNLutheran.

    Last point: There IS a law that is ONLY seen clearly by those of faith and that can ONLY be known from the Bible. What is that Law? It is the Law that terrifies us and is found only in the first commandment.

  • fws

    paul mc cain @ 3

    I will get the Engelbrechts book on kindle.
    he says we are closer to Calvin than we think and wonders why Rome never developed a theology on “uses ” of the Law.

    ANSWER: They didn’t need to! The Law does not kill or accuse believers! So ALL Law for them is “third use” law in a real sense.

    Note to Engelbrecht, Pastor McCain and All here:
    Even when the Law is a “guide” to the believer

    The Law ALWAYS accuses and kills.
    The Law only accuses and kills.
    The Law instructs the New man to do what?
    Accuse and Kill the Old Adam!

    So that crap about “Gospel imperative” “gospel exhortation” “gospel reminder” as “third use”? NOT Lutheran!

    That idea about the Law in the indicative and the imperative sense?
    Both senses are about KILLING and ACCUSING. Only.

    Further, the Formula of Concord is clear here: The Law “as previously described” is to be taught, applied and used by pagans and christians ALIKE. There is no use of the Law “just for christians”. That is UNLutheran.

    Last point: There IS a law that is ONLY seen clearly by those of faith and that can ONLY be known from the Bible. What is that Law? It is the Law that terrifies us and is found only in the first commandment.

  • fws

    Here is what the Confessions say the application of the “third use’ of the Law is supposed to look like:

    [When we go to the Supper] we …remember and proclaim His death and the shedding of His blood. [We] should we remember and proclaim His death … so we may learn to be horrified by our sins, and to regard them as very serious. (sc christian questions and answers)

    and this:

    what more forcible, more terrible declaration and preaching of God’s wrath against sin is there than just the suffering and death of Christ, His Son? the preaching of the suffering and death of Christ, the Son of God, is an earnest and terrible proclamation and declaration of God’s wrath, whereby men are first led into the Law aright, after the veil of Moses has been removed from them, so that they first know aright how great things God in His Law requires of us, none of which we can observe. (FC :Law and Gospel)

    And finally this Lutheran description of what the Christian life is supposed to look like:

    the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins,and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened.

    Why do I suspect that Engelbrechts book will not be teaching this as what the “third use” us supposed to look like? Let’s see!

  • fws

    Here is what the Confessions say the application of the “third use’ of the Law is supposed to look like:

    [When we go to the Supper] we …remember and proclaim His death and the shedding of His blood. [We] should we remember and proclaim His death … so we may learn to be horrified by our sins, and to regard them as very serious. (sc christian questions and answers)

    and this:

    what more forcible, more terrible declaration and preaching of God’s wrath against sin is there than just the suffering and death of Christ, His Son? the preaching of the suffering and death of Christ, the Son of God, is an earnest and terrible proclamation and declaration of God’s wrath, whereby men are first led into the Law aright, after the veil of Moses has been removed from them, so that they first know aright how great things God in His Law requires of us, none of which we can observe. (FC :Law and Gospel)

    And finally this Lutheran description of what the Christian life is supposed to look like:

    the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins,and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened.

    Why do I suspect that Engelbrechts book will not be teaching this as what the “third use” us supposed to look like? Let’s see!

  • fws

    note one more comment you can find in the Formula of Concord in the section on Law and Gospel. the state that often the Gospel is used to illustrate the Law. Use of the Gospel as illustration does not make the Law into a “gospel exhortation”! it does not turn an imperative into an indicative!

    It is STILL accusing killing Law. Example: the illustration of christ and the church in eph 5. LAW! Killing accusing damning Law!

  • fws

    note one more comment you can find in the Formula of Concord in the section on Law and Gospel. the state that often the Gospel is used to illustrate the Law. Use of the Gospel as illustration does not make the Law into a “gospel exhortation”! it does not turn an imperative into an indicative!

    It is STILL accusing killing Law. Example: the illustration of christ and the church in eph 5. LAW! Killing accusing damning Law!

  • fws

    Reformed look to the Law for “Transformation” and “life”.

    When you read a Reformed person, or a Lutheran person , talk about the Law as being always about the death of the believer, then you know that that person really gets Lutheranism ok?

    The guy you quoted is looking for some “gospel imperative” or a law that does not kill us or accuse us but rather instructs us. or encourages us.

    this is classic Reformed Theology Ed! Calvin teaches that crap. Calvin got it from Melancthon!

    So we Lutherans have that false theology buried in our DNA as well.

    “gospel reminder” and “gospel encouragement” and “gospel imperative” are antinomian expressions.

    The idea is that the Law doesnt REALLY apply to believers now that we are saved. Yeah these men are doin some fancy footwork to not come out and say it…

    But what is the idea? It is this: it is to be able to point to what we do and say “Oh! now THAT think I did was Spirit, and oh! that OTHER thing i did over there? Flesh!

    It is to identify at least something in us, that is visible, that we can cling to, that is evidence that we are saved. Why? They don’t have baptism for that assurance!

    It misses the fact that ALL can see ourselves do is 100% Old Adam.

  • fws

    Reformed look to the Law for “Transformation” and “life”.

    When you read a Reformed person, or a Lutheran person , talk about the Law as being always about the death of the believer, then you know that that person really gets Lutheranism ok?

    The guy you quoted is looking for some “gospel imperative” or a law that does not kill us or accuse us but rather instructs us. or encourages us.

    this is classic Reformed Theology Ed! Calvin teaches that crap. Calvin got it from Melancthon!

    So we Lutherans have that false theology buried in our DNA as well.

    “gospel reminder” and “gospel encouragement” and “gospel imperative” are antinomian expressions.

    The idea is that the Law doesnt REALLY apply to believers now that we are saved. Yeah these men are doin some fancy footwork to not come out and say it…

    But what is the idea? It is this: it is to be able to point to what we do and say “Oh! now THAT think I did was Spirit, and oh! that OTHER thing i did over there? Flesh!

    It is to identify at least something in us, that is visible, that we can cling to, that is evidence that we are saved. Why? They don’t have baptism for that assurance!

    It misses the fact that ALL can see ourselves do is 100% Old Adam.

  • EGK

    Yes, Apology says, “The Law only accuses.” But put that in its context. The full sentence states, “APART FROM CHRIST the law only accuses.” If you use ellipses, you can get anything to say anything.

  • EGK

    Yes, Apology says, “The Law only accuses.” But put that in its context. The full sentence states, “APART FROM CHRIST the law only accuses.” If you use ellipses, you can get anything to say anything.

  • fws

    EGK @14

    Excellent! You homed in, very insightfully, on the exact theological error of this article.
    Note that in the following, none of this killing and accusing is done to the believer “apart from Christ”.

    Formula of Concord Art VI on the [Lutheran] Third use of the Law (translation revised by me):

    4] It is needful that the Law of the Lord always shine before believers. Why?

    The only reason is because the believer is in a constant struggle against the Old Adam flesh which entirely corrupts their nature and disposition, in the entire understanding, the will, and all the powers of man [and even his very soul]. This Old Adam clings and cleaves to us until the day we die.

    See Formula of Concord Art I on”Original Sin” here if you do not agree with my retranslation of the German text here. To continue the quote….

    Therefore the Law is alone because of and to be useful to killing the Old Adam for two reasons:
    1) To prevent the believer from imagining that anything we can do can ever become the content of the worship God demands, by renaming that carnal righeousness “sanctification”.
    2) And similarly, so that the old Adam also may not employ his own will, but may be subdued against his will, not only by the admonition and threatening of the Law, but also by punishments and blows, so that he may follow and surrender himself captive to the Spirit

    Then the following passages are quoted:

    1 cor 9:27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
    Rom. 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.
    Gal. 6:14 But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
    Ps. 119:1ff Summary: Truly keeping the Law is to be instructed by it this certain fact: that we never keep it and so are to despair of our ability to keep the Lawand be terrified by that, and so cling to the Promise in Christ as our passive righteousness.
    Heb. 13:21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight [by moving our New Man to kill our Old Adam with the Law] , through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
    Heb. 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

    EKG Here is what the Confessions say that, not at all apart from Christ, but rather in Christ alone, the Law is supposed to do to us. It is supposed , only in Christ , to terrify us! Note: The Law does not terrify unbelievers. It turns them into pharisees or despairing Judases …. apart from Christ!

    Note from these quotes that the Law cannot properly terrify us at the sight of ALL our best moral-equivalent-of-used-tampon good works until “Christ himself takes the Law into his own hands (Law and Gospel) ” . This looks exactly like the following. Christ Himself uses the Law to terrify us:

    [When we go to the Supper] we …remember and proclaim His death and the shedding of His blood. [We] should we remember and proclaim His death … so we may learn to be horrified by our sins, and to regard them as very serious. (small catechism “christian questions and answers)

    and this to interpret what that word terrifies is to mean from FC Law and Gospel:

    what more forcible, more terrible declaration and preaching of God’s wrath against sin is there than just the suffering and death of Christ, His Son? the preaching of the suffering and death of Christ, the Son of God, is an earnest and terrible proclamation and declaration of God’s wrath, whereby men are first led into the Law aright, after the veil of Moses has been removed from them, so that they first know aright how great things God in His Law requires of us, none of which we can observe.

    And finally this Lutheran description of what the Christian life is supposed to look like, it describes how faith is to be nurtured and also grow within the christian , IN CHRIST!:

    the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins,and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened. (Apology art III)

    This is the Law WITH Christ. None of this is the Law “apart from Christ” dear EKG. Correct me if I am wrong here.

    What you propose is precisely and exactly where the Reformed confuse Law and Gospel.

  • fws

    EGK @14

    Excellent! You homed in, very insightfully, on the exact theological error of this article.
    Note that in the following, none of this killing and accusing is done to the believer “apart from Christ”.

    Formula of Concord Art VI on the [Lutheran] Third use of the Law (translation revised by me):

    4] It is needful that the Law of the Lord always shine before believers. Why?

    The only reason is because the believer is in a constant struggle against the Old Adam flesh which entirely corrupts their nature and disposition, in the entire understanding, the will, and all the powers of man [and even his very soul]. This Old Adam clings and cleaves to us until the day we die.

    See Formula of Concord Art I on”Original Sin” here if you do not agree with my retranslation of the German text here. To continue the quote….

    Therefore the Law is alone because of and to be useful to killing the Old Adam for two reasons:
    1) To prevent the believer from imagining that anything we can do can ever become the content of the worship God demands, by renaming that carnal righeousness “sanctification”.
    2) And similarly, so that the old Adam also may not employ his own will, but may be subdued against his will, not only by the admonition and threatening of the Law, but also by punishments and blows, so that he may follow and surrender himself captive to the Spirit

    Then the following passages are quoted:

    1 cor 9:27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
    Rom. 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.
    Gal. 6:14 But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
    Ps. 119:1ff Summary: Truly keeping the Law is to be instructed by it this certain fact: that we never keep it and so are to despair of our ability to keep the Lawand be terrified by that, and so cling to the Promise in Christ as our passive righteousness.
    Heb. 13:21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight [by moving our New Man to kill our Old Adam with the Law] , through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
    Heb. 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

    EKG Here is what the Confessions say that, not at all apart from Christ, but rather in Christ alone, the Law is supposed to do to us. It is supposed , only in Christ , to terrify us! Note: The Law does not terrify unbelievers. It turns them into pharisees or despairing Judases …. apart from Christ!

    Note from these quotes that the Law cannot properly terrify us at the sight of ALL our best moral-equivalent-of-used-tampon good works until “Christ himself takes the Law into his own hands (Law and Gospel) ” . This looks exactly like the following. Christ Himself uses the Law to terrify us:

    [When we go to the Supper] we …remember and proclaim His death and the shedding of His blood. [We] should we remember and proclaim His death … so we may learn to be horrified by our sins, and to regard them as very serious. (small catechism “christian questions and answers)

    and this to interpret what that word terrifies is to mean from FC Law and Gospel:

    what more forcible, more terrible declaration and preaching of God’s wrath against sin is there than just the suffering and death of Christ, His Son? the preaching of the suffering and death of Christ, the Son of God, is an earnest and terrible proclamation and declaration of God’s wrath, whereby men are first led into the Law aright, after the veil of Moses has been removed from them, so that they first know aright how great things God in His Law requires of us, none of which we can observe.

    And finally this Lutheran description of what the Christian life is supposed to look like, it describes how faith is to be nurtured and also grow within the christian , IN CHRIST!:

    the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins,and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened. (Apology art III)

    This is the Law WITH Christ. None of this is the Law “apart from Christ” dear EKG. Correct me if I am wrong here.

    What you propose is precisely and exactly where the Reformed confuse Law and Gospel.

  • fws

    EGK @ 14

    You say that I have taken “the law always accuses” out of context.

    You say that the Law only accuses “apart from Christ”.

    It is true that the Law only accuses “until Christ”. But that is not to say what you are saying. Why not?

    The work of the Law is ALWAYS to kill. The Law ALWAYS kills and accuses. This is ALWAYS true. But the believer…… INSOFAR AS he is regenerated has already been placed into the death of Christ. He is now dead to the Law! And so the Law has no more work to do in the Believer….. INSOFAR as he is dead in Christ, that is. To be regenerated = to be dead!

    But, the Old Adam still didnt get the telegram. He need to die. And the Old Adam is 100% of ALL we can see and do in our will, actions, thoughts, faith, and even our very soul. ALL that has to die. The Law still speaks to ALL that . To transform it? No. To Kill it.

    The confusion is this:
    The Law-in-action is justice, mortification, and death, ALWAYS.

    the FRUIT of the Law is … goodness and mercy! This fruit of the Law is the SAME fruit as that of Sanctification. It is to provide carnal life to others. It Is to transform dead Old Adam into fertilizer that nourishes life for others.

    The Law is death for US. The same Law is life for OTHERS.
    By working OUR death, the Law makes our Old Adam do life-giving works of mercy for OTHERS,

    This is where the confusion is.

  • fws

    EGK @ 14

    You say that I have taken “the law always accuses” out of context.

    You say that the Law only accuses “apart from Christ”.

    It is true that the Law only accuses “until Christ”. But that is not to say what you are saying. Why not?

    The work of the Law is ALWAYS to kill. The Law ALWAYS kills and accuses. This is ALWAYS true. But the believer…… INSOFAR AS he is regenerated has already been placed into the death of Christ. He is now dead to the Law! And so the Law has no more work to do in the Believer….. INSOFAR as he is dead in Christ, that is. To be regenerated = to be dead!

    But, the Old Adam still didnt get the telegram. He need to die. And the Old Adam is 100% of ALL we can see and do in our will, actions, thoughts, faith, and even our very soul. ALL that has to die. The Law still speaks to ALL that . To transform it? No. To Kill it.

    The confusion is this:
    The Law-in-action is justice, mortification, and death, ALWAYS.

    the FRUIT of the Law is … goodness and mercy! This fruit of the Law is the SAME fruit as that of Sanctification. It is to provide carnal life to others. It Is to transform dead Old Adam into fertilizer that nourishes life for others.

    The Law is death for US. The same Law is life for OTHERS.
    By working OUR death, the Law makes our Old Adam do life-giving works of mercy for OTHERS,

    This is where the confusion is.

  • fws

    EGK @ 14

    I would ask you to read this….

    the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins,and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened. (Apology art III)

    ….and tell me if it really jibes with what I would say is your very Reformed way of seeing the Law in the life of a Christian. If not, and IF you are Lutheran, you might reread what I wrote and ponder it.

    This does not say “we are terrified by the Law and THEN Christ. THEN the Law stops accusing the believer and terrifying him and THEN the Law is nonlethal “indicative”.

    It says instead this:

    that we , as believers, are terrified by the Law, and right there, in the middle of being terrified, until we die, is Christ!

    Why?

    someone who remains terrified at ALL he can be able to do mentally, spirittually and emotionally and physically, will ALWAYS hide his own works inside the Works of Another!

    I am saying that the [Lutheran] Third Use of the Law is to terrify believers. Unbelievers have the same Law, but it does not terrify them as they should be. Why not? That part of the Law that is to terrify us, ie the first commandment, is veiled to Reason and thus to the pagan who is entirely Old Adam plus… nothing.

  • fws

    EGK @ 14

    I would ask you to read this….

    the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins,and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened. (Apology art III)

    ….and tell me if it really jibes with what I would say is your very Reformed way of seeing the Law in the life of a Christian. If not, and IF you are Lutheran, you might reread what I wrote and ponder it.

    This does not say “we are terrified by the Law and THEN Christ. THEN the Law stops accusing the believer and terrifying him and THEN the Law is nonlethal “indicative”.

    It says instead this:

    that we , as believers, are terrified by the Law, and right there, in the middle of being terrified, until we die, is Christ!

    Why?

    someone who remains terrified at ALL he can be able to do mentally, spirittually and emotionally and physically, will ALWAYS hide his own works inside the Works of Another!

    I am saying that the [Lutheran] Third Use of the Law is to terrify believers. Unbelievers have the same Law, but it does not terrify them as they should be. Why not? That part of the Law that is to terrify us, ie the first commandment, is veiled to Reason and thus to the pagan who is entirely Old Adam plus… nothing.

  • EGK

    Of course everything you say is true. We only need the law, even as a descriptor, because we remain sinners. I like what Luther does with his morning and evening prayers. In the morning prayer we pray to be kept from sin and every evil and ask that all our doings might be pleasing to him. And we are exhorted to go to our day “singing a hymn to the Ten Commandments, or whatever your devotion might suggest. In the evening we then pray for forgiveness and so fall asleep with a clean conscience.
    Nothing I said indicated that I think we can be motivated by the law, that I think that the law can transform us. Nothing I have said indicates that I think that Calvin was right. The law does slay the old nature even as it informs it as to the nature of civic righteousness. And I certain agree with Luther, that God doesn’t need our good works, but our neighbour does.

  • EGK

    Of course everything you say is true. We only need the law, even as a descriptor, because we remain sinners. I like what Luther does with his morning and evening prayers. In the morning prayer we pray to be kept from sin and every evil and ask that all our doings might be pleasing to him. And we are exhorted to go to our day “singing a hymn to the Ten Commandments, or whatever your devotion might suggest. In the evening we then pray for forgiveness and so fall asleep with a clean conscience.
    Nothing I said indicated that I think we can be motivated by the law, that I think that the law can transform us. Nothing I have said indicates that I think that Calvin was right. The law does slay the old nature even as it informs it as to the nature of civic righteousness. And I certain agree with Luther, that God doesn’t need our good works, but our neighbour does.

  • fws

    EGK @ 18

    “Nothing I said indicated that I think we can be motivated by the law, that I think that the law can transform us.”

    The difference is in the meaning of that word “transform” isn’t it?

    Would you agree with this?

    the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience [which only and ALL the Law can ever do, accuse, restrain and terrify us], which feels the wrath of God against our sins,and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin.

    And in such terrors and other afflictions [that is the ONLY "transformation " the Law can work] …

    this faith [which is to trust God alone by passive trust that ALL our own works in the Works of Another, Gospel ALONE] ought to grow and be strengthened. (Apology art III)

    Now then EGK, do you think that the author that Veith is quoting really has this in mind as the ‘transformational’ work of the Law?

    I propose that there are exactly 3 meanings that equate to that word “transformation” in the Bible. And we need to be clear which way we mean that word “transformation”.

    Meaning 1:
    Active Righteousness. Real righeousness. Of the Law God rules earth with this righeousness. The ” Transformation” that the Law works is the Second Table Law. The Law drives us to do things! For our neighbor’s benefit. To be busy! The Law drives us, at a feverish pitch, to be active carnal righteousness! The Law simply WILL work this carnal righeousness. A mistake here is to think we DO the Law. No. The HS employs the Law to” transform” selfish Old Adam into a tool to provide Fatherly Goodness and Mercy to other Old Adams. This is all an important work of the HS in us even if we are a the rankest pagan (eg the Pharisees). This is the death of OUR Old Adam for the carnal small l life of OTHERS. The fruit this Law “transformation” produces is absolutely identical to the “fruits of the Spirit” as to content. Remember that! Note that it doesnt matter here where our heart is in any of this. What matter is that we do, and then do some more, until it kills us to do. This transformation is powerless to end sin and evil.

    second meaning of transformation:
    Our Active Righeousness is “transformed” as in ….killed by the Law. How?
    Christ comes. He takes the Law into his own hands. He shows us that this “Transformation” of being busy as real righteousness does no transforming at all where it really matters to God, rather than our neighbor! It shows us our hearts are dead to God. How does he show us this? He shows us what is veiled by the veil of Moses to Reason. He shows us that first commandment that doesnt demand doing. It demands our entire heart. It demands that we do because we want to spontaneously do it. And we cannot do that! Reason assumes that a command to do implies that there is an ability to do it. So this Law that Christ himself applies to us tells us that that first Law that Reason can both COMPLETELY know and do still cant settle our account with God. So THIS Spiritual Law “transforms” us as well, not as that first Law that “transforms” us into worker bees precisely as it does any pagan. This first commandment Law that only Christ can deliver to us, “transforms” us from being the living dead, to the truly dead dead! We cant be made alive until we first know we are dead! This is the Lutheran Third Use of the Law. it is the spiritual or theological use of the Law. That use is to “transform” us from the worker bee living dead to the dead dead dead… dead. This transformation still cannot end sin or evil.

    Third meaning of ‘transformation”

    This is alone what the Gospel does,. The Law Kills the Old Adam. The Gospel doesnt kill us. It buries the Dead in the Death of Christ. there is not even a corpse for the Law to kick around!

    The Gospel only then can transforms the dead to living. The Gospel gives us the Death of Christ so that it can then give us the Life of Christ. We Lutherans call this the communication of attributes. Christ shares all his attributes with us. This is not really transformation is it? It is creation! Transformation is to make the old into New. This is to create New from nothing at all. It is Ex Nihilo. From nothing. You must be RE-born. You must be borm AGAIN. The Law is powerless to do that. This is the restoration of the very Image of God we are talking about here EGK. Image of God is not to be conformed to the Law. That would be transformation. This is more. this is about receiving a new heart. And that is to receive a heart full of faith in the Law Keeping of Another. It is to become a righteousness that is completely Passive! it is a righeousness that can only come after we are dead, and we know it! (clap your hands!).

  • fws

    EGK @ 18

    “Nothing I said indicated that I think we can be motivated by the law, that I think that the law can transform us.”

    The difference is in the meaning of that word “transform” isn’t it?

    Would you agree with this?

    the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience [which only and ALL the Law can ever do, accuse, restrain and terrify us], which feels the wrath of God against our sins,and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin.

    And in such terrors and other afflictions [that is the ONLY "transformation " the Law can work] …

    this faith [which is to trust God alone by passive trust that ALL our own works in the Works of Another, Gospel ALONE] ought to grow and be strengthened. (Apology art III)

    Now then EGK, do you think that the author that Veith is quoting really has this in mind as the ‘transformational’ work of the Law?

    I propose that there are exactly 3 meanings that equate to that word “transformation” in the Bible. And we need to be clear which way we mean that word “transformation”.

    Meaning 1:
    Active Righteousness. Real righeousness. Of the Law God rules earth with this righeousness. The ” Transformation” that the Law works is the Second Table Law. The Law drives us to do things! For our neighbor’s benefit. To be busy! The Law drives us, at a feverish pitch, to be active carnal righteousness! The Law simply WILL work this carnal righeousness. A mistake here is to think we DO the Law. No. The HS employs the Law to” transform” selfish Old Adam into a tool to provide Fatherly Goodness and Mercy to other Old Adams. This is all an important work of the HS in us even if we are a the rankest pagan (eg the Pharisees). This is the death of OUR Old Adam for the carnal small l life of OTHERS. The fruit this Law “transformation” produces is absolutely identical to the “fruits of the Spirit” as to content. Remember that! Note that it doesnt matter here where our heart is in any of this. What matter is that we do, and then do some more, until it kills us to do. This transformation is powerless to end sin and evil.

    second meaning of transformation:
    Our Active Righeousness is “transformed” as in ….killed by the Law. How?
    Christ comes. He takes the Law into his own hands. He shows us that this “Transformation” of being busy as real righteousness does no transforming at all where it really matters to God, rather than our neighbor! It shows us our hearts are dead to God. How does he show us this? He shows us what is veiled by the veil of Moses to Reason. He shows us that first commandment that doesnt demand doing. It demands our entire heart. It demands that we do because we want to spontaneously do it. And we cannot do that! Reason assumes that a command to do implies that there is an ability to do it. So this Law that Christ himself applies to us tells us that that first Law that Reason can both COMPLETELY know and do still cant settle our account with God. So THIS Spiritual Law “transforms” us as well, not as that first Law that “transforms” us into worker bees precisely as it does any pagan. This first commandment Law that only Christ can deliver to us, “transforms” us from being the living dead, to the truly dead dead! We cant be made alive until we first know we are dead! This is the Lutheran Third Use of the Law. it is the spiritual or theological use of the Law. That use is to “transform” us from the worker bee living dead to the dead dead dead… dead. This transformation still cannot end sin or evil.

    Third meaning of ‘transformation”

    This is alone what the Gospel does,. The Law Kills the Old Adam. The Gospel doesnt kill us. It buries the Dead in the Death of Christ. there is not even a corpse for the Law to kick around!

    The Gospel only then can transforms the dead to living. The Gospel gives us the Death of Christ so that it can then give us the Life of Christ. We Lutherans call this the communication of attributes. Christ shares all his attributes with us. This is not really transformation is it? It is creation! Transformation is to make the old into New. This is to create New from nothing at all. It is Ex Nihilo. From nothing. You must be RE-born. You must be borm AGAIN. The Law is powerless to do that. This is the restoration of the very Image of God we are talking about here EGK. Image of God is not to be conformed to the Law. That would be transformation. This is more. this is about receiving a new heart. And that is to receive a heart full of faith in the Law Keeping of Another. It is to become a righteousness that is completely Passive! it is a righeousness that can only come after we are dead, and we know it! (clap your hands!).

  • fws

    Go to any reformed site, or look at the comments of Andrew and other reformed here.

    The Reformed believe that there is a 3rd use of the Law that does not ONLY and ALWAYS accuse and kill us. AFTER Christ, the LAW has the power, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to TRANSFORM us!

    Roman Catholics and the Reformed are in agreement on this point.

  • fws

    Go to any reformed site, or look at the comments of Andrew and other reformed here.

    The Reformed believe that there is a 3rd use of the Law that does not ONLY and ALWAYS accuse and kill us. AFTER Christ, the LAW has the power, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to TRANSFORM us!

    Roman Catholics and the Reformed are in agreement on this point.

  • Dust

    these verse could be helpful:

    Romans 7:21-25

    21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

    So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature[a] a slave to the law of sin.

    cheers!

  • Dust

    these verse could be helpful:

    Romans 7:21-25

    21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

    So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature[a] a slave to the law of sin.

    cheers!

  • fws

    Dust @21

    very appropriate. Our New man wants only what God wants New man is a slave to God’s Law.

    But the old adam still clings to us. He only wants to rebel against God and against our wishes as new man. He cant be transformed. He can only die. And all the new man does must be done through the agency of Old Adam.

    Who will win this battle, to the death, against our old adam flesh? Us? no. We can beat him up but we can’t finish him off! But Christ can! He will do this when we die. Maranatha. Come quickly Lord Jesus.

  • fws

    Dust @21

    very appropriate. Our New man wants only what God wants New man is a slave to God’s Law.

    But the old adam still clings to us. He only wants to rebel against God and against our wishes as new man. He cant be transformed. He can only die. And all the new man does must be done through the agency of Old Adam.

    Who will win this battle, to the death, against our old adam flesh? Us? no. We can beat him up but we can’t finish him off! But Christ can! He will do this when we die. Maranatha. Come quickly Lord Jesus.

  • JonSLC

    “We Lutherans call this the communication of attributes. Christ shares all his attributes with us.”

    Hmm. I’m not familiar with any use of the phrase “communication of attributes” outside the context of the unio personalis. Can you share a reference, fws, where “communication of attributes” is used in the way you refer to it? Thanks!

  • JonSLC

    “We Lutherans call this the communication of attributes. Christ shares all his attributes with us.”

    Hmm. I’m not familiar with any use of the phrase “communication of attributes” outside the context of the unio personalis. Can you share a reference, fws, where “communication of attributes” is used in the way you refer to it? Thanks!

  • fws

    JohnSLC @23

    Of course John!
    We Lutherans believe, in the union of the Person (unio personalis) of Christ that the Attributes of God and Man in Christ are completely “communicated” to one another, or shared.

    What does that mean theologically?
    It means that whatever we can say about Christ as God we can also say about Christ as man, and whatever we can say about Christ as man, we can also say about Christ as God.

    And what does this mean for us and our salvation?
    It means this: Only Christ could die for us since he is flesh and blood of the Blessed Virgin and because of that communication of attributes.

    And he can come to us and give us his nourishing Body and Blood in the Blessed Sacrament because of that communication of attributes.
    And he can dwell in us, as the whole Christ and bury us in his very own death and bind us bodily to his own body in his very own resurrection. How can he do such great things? The Communication of Attributes.

    The controversies about the Holy Supper and how it is that we are saved with the Reformed are deeply Christological is what that means.

  • fws

    JohnSLC @23

    Of course John!
    We Lutherans believe, in the union of the Person (unio personalis) of Christ that the Attributes of God and Man in Christ are completely “communicated” to one another, or shared.

    What does that mean theologically?
    It means that whatever we can say about Christ as God we can also say about Christ as man, and whatever we can say about Christ as man, we can also say about Christ as God.

    And what does this mean for us and our salvation?
    It means this: Only Christ could die for us since he is flesh and blood of the Blessed Virgin and because of that communication of attributes.

    And he can come to us and give us his nourishing Body and Blood in the Blessed Sacrament because of that communication of attributes.
    And he can dwell in us, as the whole Christ and bury us in his very own death and bind us bodily to his own body in his very own resurrection. How can he do such great things? The Communication of Attributes.

    The controversies about the Holy Supper and how it is that we are saved with the Reformed are deeply Christological is what that means.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Hello again. I’ve got some questions:

    “This is the death of OUR Old Adam for the carnal small l life of OTHERS. The fruit this Law “transformation” produces is absolutely identical to the “fruits of the Spirit” as to content.”

    If the Law was only the second table I think this would make sense. But it is the first table to, and that deals with more than our “carnal small l life”, no?

    I have said: “Although God’s Law is the only consistent moral framework that exists which enables us to grow in our relationships with God and one another – albeit only when empowered by and freed by the Gospel of grace – have we not come to doubt just this?”

    Am I right?

    Finally: http://infanttheology.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/the-christian-life-is-like-chutes-and-ladders/

    Wrong?

    (Remember, I am also the guy who writes this: http://infanttheology.wordpress.com/2009/12/23/transformation-failure-3/)

    Blessings in Christ,
    Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Hello again. I’ve got some questions:

    “This is the death of OUR Old Adam for the carnal small l life of OTHERS. The fruit this Law “transformation” produces is absolutely identical to the “fruits of the Spirit” as to content.”

    If the Law was only the second table I think this would make sense. But it is the first table to, and that deals with more than our “carnal small l life”, no?

    I have said: “Although God’s Law is the only consistent moral framework that exists which enables us to grow in our relationships with God and one another – albeit only when empowered by and freed by the Gospel of grace – have we not come to doubt just this?”

    Am I right?

    Finally: http://infanttheology.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/the-christian-life-is-like-chutes-and-ladders/

    Wrong?

    (Remember, I am also the guy who writes this: http://infanttheology.wordpress.com/2009/12/23/transformation-failure-3/)

    Blessings in Christ,
    Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    That said, I think you are right about the trembling the Law should provoke in Christians (and I think many Lutherans don’t think about how the Scriptures say that the godless do not fear Him – it is the godly who do!). We tremble – even as he assures us again and again (see 1st few paragraphs here):

    http://infanttheology.wordpress.com/2009/10/20/from-despair-to-joy/

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    That said, I think you are right about the trembling the Law should provoke in Christians (and I think many Lutherans don’t think about how the Scriptures say that the godless do not fear Him – it is the godly who do!). We tremble – even as he assures us again and again (see 1st few paragraphs here):

    http://infanttheology.wordpress.com/2009/10/20/from-despair-to-joy/

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Also, I don’t know if you saw my response to you here: http://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=19756

    As you can see, I have broken my vow. Just for you though. This is important stuff.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Also, I don’t know if you saw my response to you here: http://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=19756

    As you can see, I have broken my vow. Just for you though. This is important stuff.

    +Nathan

  • fws

    Nathan @ 25 & 26

    I dont understand what your question is Nathan in 25 or 26. Let’s stay here rather than jump between sites. Our discussion will be more clear to the readers here.

    thanks!

  • fws

    Nathan @ 25 & 26

    I dont understand what your question is Nathan in 25 or 26. Let’s stay here rather than jump between sites. Our discussion will be more clear to the readers here.

    thanks!

  • fws

    nathan @ 25

    Although God’s Law is the only consistent moral framework that exists which enables us to grow in our relationships with God and one another – albeit only when empowered by and freed by the Gospel of grace – have we not come to doubt just this?”

    Am I right?

    No. This is a rank confusion of Law and Gospel.

    How? The Law only and always accuses. It always and only kills us. There is no Life in it. Not even after baptism.

    There is not even small l life in it. small m mercy and goodness are the FRUIT of this killing work of the Law in Old Adam. Mercy is fruited out of Old Adam by the HS working justice Justice is the Law at work .
    Justice always demands a death and is what we deserve for what we do.
    mercy is the opposite of justice. it is to get what we dont deserve because someone else takes the justice that is ours, upon themselves. Pagans do this all the time. So do christians. This is to follow the Example of Christ. So what.

    here I think is where the confusion is: The Gospel is often used in the Bible to illustrate the Law. But that does not turn Law into Gospel-indicatives. It is STILL Law. Of the most damning and accusing and killing kind!

    Mercy sounds like a Gospel word. it is not in anything we can do. it is a FRUIT of the Law. It is not the Law or what the law does. What the law does is justice and sacrifice and mortification. And the fruit of the Law is mercy.

    No bible or Christ or HS or faith is needed for any of this to happen at all. the HS is the author of all this using the Law.

  • fws

    nathan @ 25

    Although God’s Law is the only consistent moral framework that exists which enables us to grow in our relationships with God and one another – albeit only when empowered by and freed by the Gospel of grace – have we not come to doubt just this?”

    Am I right?

    No. This is a rank confusion of Law and Gospel.

    How? The Law only and always accuses. It always and only kills us. There is no Life in it. Not even after baptism.

    There is not even small l life in it. small m mercy and goodness are the FRUIT of this killing work of the Law in Old Adam. Mercy is fruited out of Old Adam by the HS working justice Justice is the Law at work .
    Justice always demands a death and is what we deserve for what we do.
    mercy is the opposite of justice. it is to get what we dont deserve because someone else takes the justice that is ours, upon themselves. Pagans do this all the time. So do christians. This is to follow the Example of Christ. So what.

    here I think is where the confusion is: The Gospel is often used in the Bible to illustrate the Law. But that does not turn Law into Gospel-indicatives. It is STILL Law. Of the most damning and accusing and killing kind!

    Mercy sounds like a Gospel word. it is not in anything we can do. it is a FRUIT of the Law. It is not the Law or what the law does. What the law does is justice and sacrifice and mortification. And the fruit of the Law is mercy.

    No bible or Christ or HS or faith is needed for any of this to happen at all. the HS is the author of all this using the Law.

  • fws

    Nathan @ 25

    The Old Scholastic error of St Thomas is to define “grace” as Holy Spirit enabling power”. And it is to hear the word “faith” as “perfected faith”. “Perfected Faith” is faith in the baptized when it is “faith that is perfected in Love”. Faith+love. Christ+love!

    Grace is alone the Works of Christ alone. It is not a power in us to love better.

    Faith is alone what a terrified conscience does when it is terrified at ALL it can see and do, especially as a believer, and then trusts Christ alone by hiding ALL it can do in the Works of Another. Faith is completely passive. It is passive righteousness.

    Note that st isaiah , in calling all OUR very best sanctified works and efforts and even thinking and internal thoughs and heart to be the moral equivalent of a used tampon. He is talking about all we can do AFTER baptism.

    The new man IS free. But that new man must do ALL he wants to do through the agency of that Old Adam that still clings to him. And old adam only responds to the Law. He must die. Gospel does nothing for the Old Adam. he is quite blind and deaf to it.

    So the new man does what to make good works happen? He takes up the Law as a blunt instrument and bludgeons his Old Adam into submission. this looks exactly identical to what any virtuous pagan also needs to do to subdue Old Adam.

    So what is the difference between a pagan and a christian? Only this: Pagans seek to find and see Life in being good. Christians seek ONLY their death in being good for the small l carnal happiness of others.

  • fws

    Nathan @ 25

    The Old Scholastic error of St Thomas is to define “grace” as Holy Spirit enabling power”. And it is to hear the word “faith” as “perfected faith”. “Perfected Faith” is faith in the baptized when it is “faith that is perfected in Love”. Faith+love. Christ+love!

    Grace is alone the Works of Christ alone. It is not a power in us to love better.

    Faith is alone what a terrified conscience does when it is terrified at ALL it can see and do, especially as a believer, and then trusts Christ alone by hiding ALL it can do in the Works of Another. Faith is completely passive. It is passive righteousness.

    Note that st isaiah , in calling all OUR very best sanctified works and efforts and even thinking and internal thoughs and heart to be the moral equivalent of a used tampon. He is talking about all we can do AFTER baptism.

    The new man IS free. But that new man must do ALL he wants to do through the agency of that Old Adam that still clings to him. And old adam only responds to the Law. He must die. Gospel does nothing for the Old Adam. he is quite blind and deaf to it.

    So the new man does what to make good works happen? He takes up the Law as a blunt instrument and bludgeons his Old Adam into submission. this looks exactly identical to what any virtuous pagan also needs to do to subdue Old Adam.

    So what is the difference between a pagan and a christian? Only this: Pagans seek to find and see Life in being good. Christians seek ONLY their death in being good for the small l carnal happiness of others.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    I said:

    “Although God’s Law is the only consistent moral framework that exists which enables us to grow in our relationships with God and one another – albeit only when empowered by and freed by the Gospel of grace – have we not come to doubt just this?”

    Am I right?”

    You: “No. This is a rank confusion of Law and Gospel.

    How? The Law only and always accuses. It always and only kills us. There is no Life in it. Not even after baptism.”

    I’m not sure how this is a confusion of Law and Gospel. I never said that this framework in itself provided any life – that is, power that we may truly desire to live according to it (i.e. having no other Gods, not taking His name in vain, gladly taking steps to hear His word, not committing adultery, stealing, etc., etc., loving God and our neighbor).

    But it is the framework in which God created us to operate.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    I said:

    “Although God’s Law is the only consistent moral framework that exists which enables us to grow in our relationships with God and one another – albeit only when empowered by and freed by the Gospel of grace – have we not come to doubt just this?”

    Am I right?”

    You: “No. This is a rank confusion of Law and Gospel.

    How? The Law only and always accuses. It always and only kills us. There is no Life in it. Not even after baptism.”

    I’m not sure how this is a confusion of Law and Gospel. I never said that this framework in itself provided any life – that is, power that we may truly desire to live according to it (i.e. having no other Gods, not taking His name in vain, gladly taking steps to hear His word, not committing adultery, stealing, etc., etc., loving God and our neighbor).

    But it is the framework in which God created us to operate.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    “Grace is alone the Works of Christ alone. It is not a power in us to love better.”

    Yes.

    “So the new man does what to make good works happen? He takes up the Law as a blunt instrument and bludgeons his Old Adam into submission. this looks exactly identical to what any virtuous pagan also needs to do to subdue Old Adam.”

    The virtuous pagan does not use the first table of the Law though.

    “So what is the difference between a pagan and a christian? Only this: Pagans seek to find and see Life in being good. Christians seek ONLY their death in being good for the small l carnal happiness of others.”

    I think Christians want others to know Christ, and to love God and neighbor in Him – to know the life that is truly life, to be elevated beyond the “small l carnal happiness” you speak of.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    “Grace is alone the Works of Christ alone. It is not a power in us to love better.”

    Yes.

    “So the new man does what to make good works happen? He takes up the Law as a blunt instrument and bludgeons his Old Adam into submission. this looks exactly identical to what any virtuous pagan also needs to do to subdue Old Adam.”

    The virtuous pagan does not use the first table of the Law though.

    “So what is the difference between a pagan and a christian? Only this: Pagans seek to find and see Life in being good. Christians seek ONLY their death in being good for the small l carnal happiness of others.”

    I think Christians want others to know Christ, and to love God and neighbor in Him – to know the life that is truly life, to be elevated beyond the “small l carnal happiness” you speak of.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    “I dont understand what your question is Nathan in 25 or 26.”

    Well, I had 3 questions for you in 25, none in 26. The third one was a link to a post I did, which I’ll reproduce here (I was wondering if you’d agree with it):

    “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity…so that everyone may see your progress” (I Timothy 4)

    A student (background: Assemblies of God) in one of my on-line classes says on the discussion boards:

    “I’m ashamed to say that being good is such hard work. Why is being bad so easy? Obviously we all know the answer to that, Satan makes that so easy for us. I wish it was just a little easier to be good. I feel like I do a pretty good job in the majority of my life but there are still some specific things I struggle with every day. Fortunately for us, we keep getting second chances or do-overs and can redeem ourselves.”

    I reply: “What a wonderful comment! Yes, all of us have our own “pet sins” that we struggle against. As you say, we continue to get mercy from our heavenly Father though – second, third, fourth, fifth chances (70 x 7, didn’t Jesus say?). When we hear His words of mercy for us poor sinners (He is, after all, only the friend of sinners!), we are strengthened in faith and want to live for Him. This is not something that we need only when we are initially turned from darkness to light, but consistently, throughout our lives…”

    The student continues: “We are all a work in progress and some in different spots along the way and often I feel like I’m living “Chutes and Ladders” taking 3 steps forward and 1 step back.”

    Me: “This is a great illustration, and I am now going to start using this. It is true that we make progress in the Christian life – Paul even writes to the young pastor Timothy to tell him its good when people “see his progress”. That said, many have observed that as Christians grow, they only see more and more of their sin (for the great infection of original sin permeates us from head to toe)! Even if we get “victory” in one area, it seems like God opens up more and more doors in our house with skeletons! (and this goes down to the deepest level: our basic motivations, conscious or not). And here is the real kicker: we don’t finish “Chutes and Ladders” completely until either our deaths, or His return… (see I John 1: “if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves….truth is not in us”).”

    It’s not perfect – and I think that we need to be careful about underestimating the sin that dwells within us. Even if we take steps forward (and sometimes it might be 1 forward and then many backwards!) all of the works God enables us to do are still tainted with our sin. He provides all the good, we provide all the evil – the unbelief, the selfishness, the disregard for His words… Yet He still reaches down and brings us up… that we may, like Him, descend to our neighbors into the mud and muck of the fallen world…

    (end post)

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    “I dont understand what your question is Nathan in 25 or 26.”

    Well, I had 3 questions for you in 25, none in 26. The third one was a link to a post I did, which I’ll reproduce here (I was wondering if you’d agree with it):

    “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity…so that everyone may see your progress” (I Timothy 4)

    A student (background: Assemblies of God) in one of my on-line classes says on the discussion boards:

    “I’m ashamed to say that being good is such hard work. Why is being bad so easy? Obviously we all know the answer to that, Satan makes that so easy for us. I wish it was just a little easier to be good. I feel like I do a pretty good job in the majority of my life but there are still some specific things I struggle with every day. Fortunately for us, we keep getting second chances or do-overs and can redeem ourselves.”

    I reply: “What a wonderful comment! Yes, all of us have our own “pet sins” that we struggle against. As you say, we continue to get mercy from our heavenly Father though – second, third, fourth, fifth chances (70 x 7, didn’t Jesus say?). When we hear His words of mercy for us poor sinners (He is, after all, only the friend of sinners!), we are strengthened in faith and want to live for Him. This is not something that we need only when we are initially turned from darkness to light, but consistently, throughout our lives…”

    The student continues: “We are all a work in progress and some in different spots along the way and often I feel like I’m living “Chutes and Ladders” taking 3 steps forward and 1 step back.”

    Me: “This is a great illustration, and I am now going to start using this. It is true that we make progress in the Christian life – Paul even writes to the young pastor Timothy to tell him its good when people “see his progress”. That said, many have observed that as Christians grow, they only see more and more of their sin (for the great infection of original sin permeates us from head to toe)! Even if we get “victory” in one area, it seems like God opens up more and more doors in our house with skeletons! (and this goes down to the deepest level: our basic motivations, conscious or not). And here is the real kicker: we don’t finish “Chutes and Ladders” completely until either our deaths, or His return… (see I John 1: “if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves….truth is not in us”).”

    It’s not perfect – and I think that we need to be careful about underestimating the sin that dwells within us. Even if we take steps forward (and sometimes it might be 1 forward and then many backwards!) all of the works God enables us to do are still tainted with our sin. He provides all the good, we provide all the evil – the unbelief, the selfishness, the disregard for His words… Yet He still reaches down and brings us up… that we may, like Him, descend to our neighbors into the mud and muck of the fallen world…

    (end post)

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    One of the posts I linked to (in 26) sounds a lot like what you were saying about Christians being terrified by the law (even as I’d point out we seem to have some other pretty strong disagreements):

    “On any given Sunday, I will occasionally utter the words, “I am by nature sinful and unclean…I have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed…I justly deserve your present and eternal punishment”.

    Some people might consider this a little bit extreme.

    Do I myself really believe this? Do I believe that God, in light of His Law, determines this about me? Indeed. I share the view of Eastern Orthodox Christian writer Elder Sophrony, who talks about how “a person who ‘keeps his mind in hell’ is ever aware that only one fate is appropriate for his deeds, eternal damnation. This consideration sears humility into his soul, as he finds himself utterly unable to lift his eyes toward the face of God.”

    God created us as persons who would freely and joyfully represent Him – who is Love and Life – to our neighbor. But then came the Fall into Sin. Now, due to the infection that rages within me, there is a sense in which I, like Satan, am a masterful destroyer of relationships. When I stand naked in the midst of a holy God I know that I am undone. I have denied him before men, and in the name of “justice” refused to turn my cheek, refused to forgive from the heart 70 x 7, constantly mixed dung with precious perfume, ignored the unfortunate and outcasts who sense their need for Him more than most, and hated my enemies for whom Christ bled. I have refused to recognize marriage – my own marriage and resultant family – as a crucial sacramental sign of God’s presence in the world. My actions – or inactions – have served as an acid that dissolve the Gospel proclamation that brings forgiveness, life, and salvation. How little I must know my God! In short, because of my lack of trust, confidence, and reliance on God – and hence, love – I have caused my neighbor to perish. They have not seen the love of God in me.

    This is crucial because the ultimate purpose of God’s Law – seen in its most simple form in the Ten Commandments – is not, as Lutherans like to point out, to reveal our sin and slay our self-justifications (Rom 3:20), though it is certainly about this. Rather, it is to point to the Law’s fulfillment in love. Said differently, it is to clearly communicate to one’s neighbor God’s love revealed in Jesus Christ. For He is love, Love incarnate. Therefore, it is simply impossible that there would be any “Christless” fulfilling of the law in love, removed from Gospel praise and proclamation (and since “grace” is not something that can be strictly separated from “nature”, nor is it something that is really added to nature, Jesus Christ is, in one manner of speaking, the “Natural Law”, i.e. the way love is manifested in a fallen world). Further, we know that though our visible words and works may well justify us in the eyes of men – even other believers – such is not the case before God.”….

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    One of the posts I linked to (in 26) sounds a lot like what you were saying about Christians being terrified by the law (even as I’d point out we seem to have some other pretty strong disagreements):

    “On any given Sunday, I will occasionally utter the words, “I am by nature sinful and unclean…I have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed…I justly deserve your present and eternal punishment”.

    Some people might consider this a little bit extreme.

    Do I myself really believe this? Do I believe that God, in light of His Law, determines this about me? Indeed. I share the view of Eastern Orthodox Christian writer Elder Sophrony, who talks about how “a person who ‘keeps his mind in hell’ is ever aware that only one fate is appropriate for his deeds, eternal damnation. This consideration sears humility into his soul, as he finds himself utterly unable to lift his eyes toward the face of God.”

    God created us as persons who would freely and joyfully represent Him – who is Love and Life – to our neighbor. But then came the Fall into Sin. Now, due to the infection that rages within me, there is a sense in which I, like Satan, am a masterful destroyer of relationships. When I stand naked in the midst of a holy God I know that I am undone. I have denied him before men, and in the name of “justice” refused to turn my cheek, refused to forgive from the heart 70 x 7, constantly mixed dung with precious perfume, ignored the unfortunate and outcasts who sense their need for Him more than most, and hated my enemies for whom Christ bled. I have refused to recognize marriage – my own marriage and resultant family – as a crucial sacramental sign of God’s presence in the world. My actions – or inactions – have served as an acid that dissolve the Gospel proclamation that brings forgiveness, life, and salvation. How little I must know my God! In short, because of my lack of trust, confidence, and reliance on God – and hence, love – I have caused my neighbor to perish. They have not seen the love of God in me.

    This is crucial because the ultimate purpose of God’s Law – seen in its most simple form in the Ten Commandments – is not, as Lutherans like to point out, to reveal our sin and slay our self-justifications (Rom 3:20), though it is certainly about this. Rather, it is to point to the Law’s fulfillment in love. Said differently, it is to clearly communicate to one’s neighbor God’s love revealed in Jesus Christ. For He is love, Love incarnate. Therefore, it is simply impossible that there would be any “Christless” fulfilling of the law in love, removed from Gospel praise and proclamation (and since “grace” is not something that can be strictly separated from “nature”, nor is it something that is really added to nature, Jesus Christ is, in one manner of speaking, the “Natural Law”, i.e. the way love is manifested in a fallen world). Further, we know that though our visible words and works may well justify us in the eyes of men – even other believers – such is not the case before God.”….

    +Nathan

  • fws

    nathan @ 32

    “I think Christians want others to know Christ, and to love God and neighbor in Him – to know the life that is truly life, to be elevated beyond the “small l carnal happiness” you speak of.”

    True! Our Old Adam wants to find some capital L Life in something HE can do. But life is death. Mortification. The eternal consequences of ALL you can do here on earth, even as a believer, after baptism is death. death. death.

    The ONLY Life is alone to be buried dead and raised in the Works of Another. Capital L Life is alone passive faith in Someone Elses Work.

    The life long and most difficult task of a christian is to stop seeking Life in anything we can do, including the HS working IN us, and to passively trust that Life is ALONE in the Works of Another. This is the “work” in fact that makes one a christian. Nothing else but one thing!….

    (sound of crickets).

    “”The virtuous pagan does not use the first table of the Law though.”

    Sure he does! He USES it. He thinks it is about something he can DO. Faith as doing. love. wishing to love more. loving God even. But the first commandment is the one commandment that demands something we simply cannot do! it demands new movements of the heart. It demands that we fear , love and trust God . It demands PASSIVE faith in Someone Else’s Righteousness.
    Old Adam is never passive. And that is the sin against the first commandment.

  • fws

    nathan @ 32

    “I think Christians want others to know Christ, and to love God and neighbor in Him – to know the life that is truly life, to be elevated beyond the “small l carnal happiness” you speak of.”

    True! Our Old Adam wants to find some capital L Life in something HE can do. But life is death. Mortification. The eternal consequences of ALL you can do here on earth, even as a believer, after baptism is death. death. death.

    The ONLY Life is alone to be buried dead and raised in the Works of Another. Capital L Life is alone passive faith in Someone Elses Work.

    The life long and most difficult task of a christian is to stop seeking Life in anything we can do, including the HS working IN us, and to passively trust that Life is ALONE in the Works of Another. This is the “work” in fact that makes one a christian. Nothing else but one thing!….

    (sound of crickets).

    “”The virtuous pagan does not use the first table of the Law though.”

    Sure he does! He USES it. He thinks it is about something he can DO. Faith as doing. love. wishing to love more. loving God even. But the first commandment is the one commandment that demands something we simply cannot do! it demands new movements of the heart. It demands that we fear , love and trust God . It demands PASSIVE faith in Someone Else’s Righteousness.
    Old Adam is never passive. And that is the sin against the first commandment.

  • fws

    nathan

    Old adam seeks his transformation in something he can do. He fortifies this error by adding “with the power of the Holy Spirit”.

    New Man alone can see that ALL we can do is death. Even our best efforts. Death. It is about our death .
    Life is alone a passive trust that is to hide ALL we can do in the Works of Another.

    so you are right. we all long to find some sign of Life and Holy Spirit and Faith in something we can do. We want the evidence to not be alone in our baptism. Old Adam ” what USE is my christian faith if I cannot see tangible evidential signs of moral betterment or increased happiness or joy or some resolution or control of sin in my life??!!” That is exactly how satan attacks us. He says: “so you SAY you are a christian. where is the proof?”

    and we are to respond: “you are right satan. I have NO proof except my baptism. But Christ came for such as me. I am dead. Go back to Hell.”

  • fws

    nathan

    Old adam seeks his transformation in something he can do. He fortifies this error by adding “with the power of the Holy Spirit”.

    New Man alone can see that ALL we can do is death. Even our best efforts. Death. It is about our death .
    Life is alone a passive trust that is to hide ALL we can do in the Works of Another.

    so you are right. we all long to find some sign of Life and Holy Spirit and Faith in something we can do. We want the evidence to not be alone in our baptism. Old Adam ” what USE is my christian faith if I cannot see tangible evidential signs of moral betterment or increased happiness or joy or some resolution or control of sin in my life??!!” That is exactly how satan attacks us. He says: “so you SAY you are a christian. where is the proof?”

    and we are to respond: “you are right satan. I have NO proof except my baptism. But Christ came for such as me. I am dead. Go back to Hell.”

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    “The life long and most difficult task of a christian is to stop seeking Life in anything we can do, including the HS working IN us, and to passively trust that Life is ALONE in the Works of Another. This is the “work” in fact that makes one a christian. Nothing else but one thing!….

    (sound of crickets)”

    No. Rather a resounding “Amen!”

    ” Our Old Adam wants to find some capital L Life in something HE can do. But life is death. Mortification. The eternal consequences of ALL you can do here on earth, even as a believer, after baptism is death. death. death.

    The ONLY Life is alone to be buried dead and raised in the Works of Another. Capital L Life is alone passive faith in Someone Elses Work.”

    But New Man wants to give some capital L Life *to others* in, with, and through Christ. And in order to give that new life, the consistent moral framework of the Law must be upheld. But you say this is a confusion of Law and Gospel.

    I said: “The virtuous pagan does not use the first table of the Law though.”

    You said: “Sure he does! He USES it. He thinks it is about something he can DO. Faith as doing. love. wishing to love more. loving God even.”

    Not necessarily. Do you think this is what the Muslim does? No. Wrong God. Therefore, different law.

    “Old Adam is never passive. And that is the sin against the first commandment.”

    Yes, when it comes to our salvation. But there is nothing wrong with active faith either: faith that actively seeks after the Word, the Sacraments… and even the Law… the only objective moral framework by which good relationships can exist… hungering for it, thirsting for it even….

    “and we are to respond: “you are right satan. I have NO proof except my baptism. But Christ came for such as me. I am dead. Go back to Hell.””

    Right. But if we abandon the Law as the only objective moral framework by which good relationships might exist (and flourish), we are screwed.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    “The life long and most difficult task of a christian is to stop seeking Life in anything we can do, including the HS working IN us, and to passively trust that Life is ALONE in the Works of Another. This is the “work” in fact that makes one a christian. Nothing else but one thing!….

    (sound of crickets)”

    No. Rather a resounding “Amen!”

    ” Our Old Adam wants to find some capital L Life in something HE can do. But life is death. Mortification. The eternal consequences of ALL you can do here on earth, even as a believer, after baptism is death. death. death.

    The ONLY Life is alone to be buried dead and raised in the Works of Another. Capital L Life is alone passive faith in Someone Elses Work.”

    But New Man wants to give some capital L Life *to others* in, with, and through Christ. And in order to give that new life, the consistent moral framework of the Law must be upheld. But you say this is a confusion of Law and Gospel.

    I said: “The virtuous pagan does not use the first table of the Law though.”

    You said: “Sure he does! He USES it. He thinks it is about something he can DO. Faith as doing. love. wishing to love more. loving God even.”

    Not necessarily. Do you think this is what the Muslim does? No. Wrong God. Therefore, different law.

    “Old Adam is never passive. And that is the sin against the first commandment.”

    Yes, when it comes to our salvation. But there is nothing wrong with active faith either: faith that actively seeks after the Word, the Sacraments… and even the Law… the only objective moral framework by which good relationships can exist… hungering for it, thirsting for it even….

    “and we are to respond: “you are right satan. I have NO proof except my baptism. But Christ came for such as me. I am dead. Go back to Hell.””

    Right. But if we abandon the Law as the only objective moral framework by which good relationships might exist (and flourish), we are screwed.

    +Nathan

  • fws

    Nathan @ 37

    we can’t abandon the Law. It is seared/written/etched/revealed in the Reason of ALL men. Completely. First and second table.

    The Law does us. We only think we do it. We either learn, through pain, that it is better to go along with the Law, at least outwardly. And if we dont learn that God will send suffering and pain until we start to be merciful to others. One way or the other, the HS will use the Law to get his Will done, which is for mercy to be done among men. Luke 18. An antinomian judge. Lawless judge. doesnt respect even first or second table. nagged by a concience even widowed to love. That is your old Adam.

    Look it is simple:

    WE do something, in thought word deed? LAW at work!
    Christ has done it? Gospel.
    Both are active in the Christian.
    Law is ALL that is visible in ALL we can say do think emote evoke.

    this includes sharing the gospel and ALL that goes on in church Nathan. ALL we do is Law driving our Old Adam. period.

    New man wants to do only good. He needs no Law for himself. But unfortunately, ALL he can do MUST happen through the agency of his old adam. Old Adam is where the arms, legs, mind, emotions, reason, soul are that are able to DO stuff. And those are 100% under the control of the Old Adam Flesh! So New man must do what the HS also is doing: New Man must use the Law to make the Old Adam share the Gospel, do love , follow the example of Christ.
    This looks like what fake christians also do. and how they do it.
    what are you disagreeing with here?

  • fws

    Nathan @ 37

    we can’t abandon the Law. It is seared/written/etched/revealed in the Reason of ALL men. Completely. First and second table.

    The Law does us. We only think we do it. We either learn, through pain, that it is better to go along with the Law, at least outwardly. And if we dont learn that God will send suffering and pain until we start to be merciful to others. One way or the other, the HS will use the Law to get his Will done, which is for mercy to be done among men. Luke 18. An antinomian judge. Lawless judge. doesnt respect even first or second table. nagged by a concience even widowed to love. That is your old Adam.

    Look it is simple:

    WE do something, in thought word deed? LAW at work!
    Christ has done it? Gospel.
    Both are active in the Christian.
    Law is ALL that is visible in ALL we can say do think emote evoke.

    this includes sharing the gospel and ALL that goes on in church Nathan. ALL we do is Law driving our Old Adam. period.

    New man wants to do only good. He needs no Law for himself. But unfortunately, ALL he can do MUST happen through the agency of his old adam. Old Adam is where the arms, legs, mind, emotions, reason, soul are that are able to DO stuff. And those are 100% under the control of the Old Adam Flesh! So New man must do what the HS also is doing: New Man must use the Law to make the Old Adam share the Gospel, do love , follow the example of Christ.
    This looks like what fake christians also do. and how they do it.
    what are you disagreeing with here?

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Thanks for the ongoing dialogue. A delight.

    “we can’t abandon the Law. It is seared/written/etched/revealed in the Reason of ALL men. Completely. First and second table. ”

    OK – I agree. All men know who God is – that is the One who shows up in Jesus – even if they are inculcated with other views, and passively and unconsciously or actively and consciously suppress this knowledge. Good.

    “New Man must use the Law to make the Old Adam share the Gospel, do love , follow the example of Christ.
    This looks like what fake christians also do. and how they do it.
    what are you disagreeing with here?”

    Nothing here. I don’t know – maybe we do fully agree…

    “New man wants to do only good. He needs no Law for himself. ”

    When you say he needs no Law for himself, do you just mean to be held over him (do this or else) or do you also mean to simply inform?

    In other words, what is wrong with what I said in post 31, if anything? (do you now think that what I say here is OK?):

    “I said:

    “Although God’s Law is the only consistent moral framework that exists which enables us to grow in our relationships with God and one another – albeit only when empowered by and freed by the Gospel of grace – have we not come to doubt just this?”

    Am I right?”

    You: “No. This is a rank confusion of Law and Gospel.

    How? The Law only and always accuses. It always and only kills us. There is no Life in it. Not even after baptism.”

    I’m not sure how this is a confusion of Law and Gospel. I never said that this framework in itself provided any life – that is, power that we may truly desire to live according to it (i.e. having no other Gods, not taking His name in vain, gladly taking steps to hear His word, not committing adultery, stealing, etc., etc., loving God and our neighbor).

    But it is the framework in which God created us to operate.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Thanks for the ongoing dialogue. A delight.

    “we can’t abandon the Law. It is seared/written/etched/revealed in the Reason of ALL men. Completely. First and second table. ”

    OK – I agree. All men know who God is – that is the One who shows up in Jesus – even if they are inculcated with other views, and passively and unconsciously or actively and consciously suppress this knowledge. Good.

    “New Man must use the Law to make the Old Adam share the Gospel, do love , follow the example of Christ.
    This looks like what fake christians also do. and how they do it.
    what are you disagreeing with here?”

    Nothing here. I don’t know – maybe we do fully agree…

    “New man wants to do only good. He needs no Law for himself. ”

    When you say he needs no Law for himself, do you just mean to be held over him (do this or else) or do you also mean to simply inform?

    In other words, what is wrong with what I said in post 31, if anything? (do you now think that what I say here is OK?):

    “I said:

    “Although God’s Law is the only consistent moral framework that exists which enables us to grow in our relationships with God and one another – albeit only when empowered by and freed by the Gospel of grace – have we not come to doubt just this?”

    Am I right?”

    You: “No. This is a rank confusion of Law and Gospel.

    How? The Law only and always accuses. It always and only kills us. There is no Life in it. Not even after baptism.”

    I’m not sure how this is a confusion of Law and Gospel. I never said that this framework in itself provided any life – that is, power that we may truly desire to live according to it (i.e. having no other Gods, not taking His name in vain, gladly taking steps to hear His word, not committing adultery, stealing, etc., etc., loving God and our neighbor).

    But it is the framework in which God created us to operate.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    If you are with me there, then we fully agree, I think.

    The point I want to be sure about is that the Law has objective content. Again, it is the framework in which all of this plays out. It is good, right and true (Rom. 7) even if we are not.

    And we are not!

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    If you are with me there, then we fully agree, I think.

    The point I want to be sure about is that the Law has objective content. Again, it is the framework in which all of this plays out. It is good, right and true (Rom. 7) even if we are not.

    And we are not!

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Remember the Paulson quote:

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

    Here is how I replied to that: “To say that truly free people don’t have anything to accomplish, anywhere to go, or won’t ever need to be directed at all in this life (or heaven for that matter) is something we have no business asserting.”

    http://infanttheology.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/dangerous-children-to-the-world-or-to-the-word-part-2/

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Remember the Paulson quote:

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

    Here is how I replied to that: “To say that truly free people don’t have anything to accomplish, anywhere to go, or won’t ever need to be directed at all in this life (or heaven for that matter) is something we have no business asserting.”

    http://infanttheology.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/dangerous-children-to-the-world-or-to-the-word-part-2/

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    OK… maybe I am seeing more clearly now…

    I said: “Right. But if we abandon the Law as the only objective moral framework by which good relationships might exist (and flourish), we are screwed.”

    You said: “we can’t abandon the Law. It is seared/written/etched/revealed in the Reason of ALL men. Completely. First and second table.”

    In part, I agree with you – we can’t abandon the Law. Still, we can sear our consciences such that we stop responding to parts of it that we don’t like. I quote from Pastor Weedon’s blog:

    The other day I was blessed to have a chat with Pastor Bryan Wolfmueller, who was preparing to head up to Canada to present to the St. John Chrysostom Preacher’s Retreat. I was totally intrigued by his thoughts on preaching and its relation to conscience. He shared so many profound things in such a short time that I’m still digesting them. First, here’s a challenge for you: use an electronic version of the Confessions and read what they say about conscience (AFTER you do the same in the Scriptures!). Second, think about the effects of the fall on the conscience and the fact that a human being now may feel guilt or shame over something that he ought not; or the fact that a human being now may not feel guilt or shame over something that he ought; and finally the fact that a human being may in fact read a situation rightly in the conscience. Third, think of the task of preaching in relation to the conscience: by the gift of the Ten Commandments we have a tool from God that can correct a conscience that is crushed under a burden it ought not be – for they inform us what is sin and what is not; likewise, when our conscience is broken and not warning us about sin, the Ten Commandments can reinforce and bring back to the conscience the knowledge of what actually is sin that we’ve pretending is not. But the best of all is how the Gospel enables a good conscience (check those Confessional references again!), and how this is first and foremost because it rests our entire righteousness in the flawless righteousness of the Son of God. Here Pr. Wolfmueller pointed to the parallel uses of “Paraclete” for the Divine Persons of the Son and the Spirit. As the Son lives to intercede for us and is our advocate before the Father (1 John 2), ever pleading His own all-sufficient propitiation, so the Holy Spirit is the advocate within, in the conscience, also pointing ceaselessly to that perfect righteousness of the Son of God and proclaiming it as our very own. There is no human righteousness that WE could come up with that would give us a good conscience in the light of the Law of God’s relentless demand for absolute purity and perfection (“as Your Father in heaven is perfect!”), but the Spirit witnesses within our spirit that we are sons of God and if sons then heirs, heirs of God and coheirs with Christ. The Spirit is given to us so that we may know the things freely given to us by God. Also note the role of the conscience with Baptism in 1 Peter 3. Still so much to think over, but is that not a fascinating area? You know, it’s been a long, long time since I sat in a seminary homiletics class, but I do not recall the area of conscience ever even being addressed, yet it is surely ought be. Through preaching the conscience is informed and corrected and strengthened. And the result is that we are kept humble in repentance and made firm in faith. More later as I continue ruminating on the topic. Any of you have further thoughts?

    (from here: http://weedon.blogspot.com/2012/06/conscience.html)

    So we can suppress the Law (the parts we don’t like), but as the Law continues to come at us – and God’s corresponding provision for the sins it reveals – we are still more accountable for those sins even if we don’t call them “sin”. (accountable: I do not mean to imply that we will necessarily gain “victory” over that sin, I just mean that we will more readily recognize the sin as “sin” and call it that with confidence – and then call “grace” “grace”!”)

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    OK… maybe I am seeing more clearly now…

    I said: “Right. But if we abandon the Law as the only objective moral framework by which good relationships might exist (and flourish), we are screwed.”

    You said: “we can’t abandon the Law. It is seared/written/etched/revealed in the Reason of ALL men. Completely. First and second table.”

    In part, I agree with you – we can’t abandon the Law. Still, we can sear our consciences such that we stop responding to parts of it that we don’t like. I quote from Pastor Weedon’s blog:

    The other day I was blessed to have a chat with Pastor Bryan Wolfmueller, who was preparing to head up to Canada to present to the St. John Chrysostom Preacher’s Retreat. I was totally intrigued by his thoughts on preaching and its relation to conscience. He shared so many profound things in such a short time that I’m still digesting them. First, here’s a challenge for you: use an electronic version of the Confessions and read what they say about conscience (AFTER you do the same in the Scriptures!). Second, think about the effects of the fall on the conscience and the fact that a human being now may feel guilt or shame over something that he ought not; or the fact that a human being now may not feel guilt or shame over something that he ought; and finally the fact that a human being may in fact read a situation rightly in the conscience. Third, think of the task of preaching in relation to the conscience: by the gift of the Ten Commandments we have a tool from God that can correct a conscience that is crushed under a burden it ought not be – for they inform us what is sin and what is not; likewise, when our conscience is broken and not warning us about sin, the Ten Commandments can reinforce and bring back to the conscience the knowledge of what actually is sin that we’ve pretending is not. But the best of all is how the Gospel enables a good conscience (check those Confessional references again!), and how this is first and foremost because it rests our entire righteousness in the flawless righteousness of the Son of God. Here Pr. Wolfmueller pointed to the parallel uses of “Paraclete” for the Divine Persons of the Son and the Spirit. As the Son lives to intercede for us and is our advocate before the Father (1 John 2), ever pleading His own all-sufficient propitiation, so the Holy Spirit is the advocate within, in the conscience, also pointing ceaselessly to that perfect righteousness of the Son of God and proclaiming it as our very own. There is no human righteousness that WE could come up with that would give us a good conscience in the light of the Law of God’s relentless demand for absolute purity and perfection (“as Your Father in heaven is perfect!”), but the Spirit witnesses within our spirit that we are sons of God and if sons then heirs, heirs of God and coheirs with Christ. The Spirit is given to us so that we may know the things freely given to us by God. Also note the role of the conscience with Baptism in 1 Peter 3. Still so much to think over, but is that not a fascinating area? You know, it’s been a long, long time since I sat in a seminary homiletics class, but I do not recall the area of conscience ever even being addressed, yet it is surely ought be. Through preaching the conscience is informed and corrected and strengthened. And the result is that we are kept humble in repentance and made firm in faith. More later as I continue ruminating on the topic. Any of you have further thoughts?

    (from here: http://weedon.blogspot.com/2012/06/conscience.html)

    So we can suppress the Law (the parts we don’t like), but as the Law continues to come at us – and God’s corresponding provision for the sins it reveals – we are still more accountable for those sins even if we don’t call them “sin”. (accountable: I do not mean to imply that we will necessarily gain “victory” over that sin, I just mean that we will more readily recognize the sin as “sin” and call it that with confidence – and then call “grace” “grace”!”)

    +Nathan

  • fws

    Nathan @ 39

    FRANK: “New man wants to do only good. He needs no Law for himself. ”

    NATHAN:When you say he needs no Law for himself, do you just mean to be held over him (do this or else) or do you also mean to simply inform?

    FRANK: I mean ‘no’ as people joke. I mean it this way: “what part of ‘NO!’ do you not understand? No means NO Law. Not even for instruction in the New Man.
    If you read the Formula of Concord carefully, it says that. It says that the Law remains in the life of the Believer , alone because the Old Adam Still Clings to him. If the Believer were free of Old Adam, he would need no Law! Not even for instruction.

    When I say (and st Paul and the Confessions) that the Law is completely written in the Reason of all men, I am disagreeing with Rome and Geneva who say that the Law written in man is fallen or deficient , so we need the Bible to make the Law clear by the way.

    NATHAN:
    “Although God’s Law is the only consistent moral framework that exists which enables us to grow in our relationships with God and one another – albeit only when empowered by and freed by the Gospel of grace – have we not come to doubt just this?”
    am I right?”

    FRANK: What the grammar of what you say says, whether you intend to say it or not is this:

    “God’s Law is what gives us the power to grow in our relationship with God and neighbor. ”

    Later you attempt to qualify that by “freed by the Gospel of grace”. What is that? Gospel-of-grace. this looks like infused grace to me Nathan.

    It is important to get the “form” of sound doctrine right. Not just the content. For that reason, for the past two years, I have voluntarily adopted the theological discipline of limiting myself to only modernizing or repeating the exact wording we find in our Lutheran Confessions.
    I would love my tombstone to say this:
    “frank died without ever having an original theological thought or even turn of phrase in his life!”

    The form of words and phrases we use to speak informs and moulds and shapes how we think. I am trying to conform myself to exactly the arguments and structure of our Confessions. Apology II, III and IV, XVIII , and VII are foundational here.

    I often think I know what you really mean Nathan. But you dont say it. You are looking for the right word formula to say what you mean. why not search the confessions for those words and repeat them. Lutherans have stopped using our Confessions that way,

    All I have been saying is to merely and only repeat almost word for word what I have read there. No need to reinvent the wheel. It is all right there in our Confessions way better than you or I could say it.
    Bless you brother! I enjoy talking to you too!

  • fws

    Nathan @ 39

    FRANK: “New man wants to do only good. He needs no Law for himself. ”

    NATHAN:When you say he needs no Law for himself, do you just mean to be held over him (do this or else) or do you also mean to simply inform?

    FRANK: I mean ‘no’ as people joke. I mean it this way: “what part of ‘NO!’ do you not understand? No means NO Law. Not even for instruction in the New Man.
    If you read the Formula of Concord carefully, it says that. It says that the Law remains in the life of the Believer , alone because the Old Adam Still Clings to him. If the Believer were free of Old Adam, he would need no Law! Not even for instruction.

    When I say (and st Paul and the Confessions) that the Law is completely written in the Reason of all men, I am disagreeing with Rome and Geneva who say that the Law written in man is fallen or deficient , so we need the Bible to make the Law clear by the way.

    NATHAN:
    “Although God’s Law is the only consistent moral framework that exists which enables us to grow in our relationships with God and one another – albeit only when empowered by and freed by the Gospel of grace – have we not come to doubt just this?”
    am I right?”

    FRANK: What the grammar of what you say says, whether you intend to say it or not is this:

    “God’s Law is what gives us the power to grow in our relationship with God and neighbor. ”

    Later you attempt to qualify that by “freed by the Gospel of grace”. What is that? Gospel-of-grace. this looks like infused grace to me Nathan.

    It is important to get the “form” of sound doctrine right. Not just the content. For that reason, for the past two years, I have voluntarily adopted the theological discipline of limiting myself to only modernizing or repeating the exact wording we find in our Lutheran Confessions.
    I would love my tombstone to say this:
    “frank died without ever having an original theological thought or even turn of phrase in his life!”

    The form of words and phrases we use to speak informs and moulds and shapes how we think. I am trying to conform myself to exactly the arguments and structure of our Confessions. Apology II, III and IV, XVIII , and VII are foundational here.

    I often think I know what you really mean Nathan. But you dont say it. You are looking for the right word formula to say what you mean. why not search the confessions for those words and repeat them. Lutherans have stopped using our Confessions that way,

    All I have been saying is to merely and only repeat almost word for word what I have read there. No need to reinvent the wheel. It is all right there in our Confessions way better than you or I could say it.
    Bless you brother! I enjoy talking to you too!

  • fws

    nathan @ 43

    I think what you mean to say is this:

    God’s Law, God’s Law meaning the Law written in the Bible in the Decalog and the Sermon on the Mount etc, is the revelation of the very Mind of God . It is God’s very own blueprint for how things are supposed to look in our lives and beings.
    Conformity to that Divine Blueprint or Divine Design is what we would look like if we had the Image of God restored in us and Original Innocence.

    Then you seem to say this:
    The only way for us to be empowered to follow that blueprint really and truly is for us to have in us the power of the Holy Spirit that God places into us as the result of being regenerated.
    The Christian life looks like gradually conforming our lives and very inmost beings to that blueprint motivated purely by love and joy for Jesus without any thought of heavenly reward at all.

    Is this pretty much what you wish to tell me?

  • fws

    nathan @ 43

    I think what you mean to say is this:

    God’s Law, God’s Law meaning the Law written in the Bible in the Decalog and the Sermon on the Mount etc, is the revelation of the very Mind of God . It is God’s very own blueprint for how things are supposed to look in our lives and beings.
    Conformity to that Divine Blueprint or Divine Design is what we would look like if we had the Image of God restored in us and Original Innocence.

    Then you seem to say this:
    The only way for us to be empowered to follow that blueprint really and truly is for us to have in us the power of the Holy Spirit that God places into us as the result of being regenerated.
    The Christian life looks like gradually conforming our lives and very inmost beings to that blueprint motivated purely by love and joy for Jesus without any thought of heavenly reward at all.

    Is this pretty much what you wish to tell me?

  • fws

    Nathan:

    suggestion:

    for the next few months, try to find something, in a broad context not just a proof passage pulled out of its larger context, in the confessions that says what it is you want to say.

    then try to repeat that in your own words. exactly that. Nothing more.

    see what happens to how you are working. it will open your eyes. I guarantee it. This practice humbled me greatly. and the bonus: you will very quickly be spot on correct in most of what you say and you will see quickly where you are wrong.

  • fws

    Nathan:

    suggestion:

    for the next few months, try to find something, in a broad context not just a proof passage pulled out of its larger context, in the confessions that says what it is you want to say.

    then try to repeat that in your own words. exactly that. Nothing more.

    see what happens to how you are working. it will open your eyes. I guarantee it. This practice humbled me greatly. and the bonus: you will very quickly be spot on correct in most of what you say and you will see quickly where you are wrong.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    “FRANK: I mean ‘no’ as people joke. I mean it this way: “what part of ‘NO!’ do you not understand? No means NO Law. Not even for instruction in the New Man.
    If you read the Formula of Concord carefully, it says that. It says that the Law remains in the life of the Believer , alone because the Old Adam Still Clings to him. If the Believer were free of Old Adam, he would need no Law! Not even for instruction.

    When I say (and st Paul and the Confessions) that the Law is completely written in the Reason of all men, I am disagreeing with Rome and Geneva who say that the Law written in man is fallen or deficient , so we need the Bible to make the Law clear by the way.”

    OK, maybe I need to spend some more time looking at the confessions again. I do appreciate what you say about the form of sound words…. That said, when you say I am saying: “God’s Law is what gives us the power to grow in our relationship with God and neighbor” and “…Later you attempt to qualify that by ‘freed by the Gospel of grace’. What is that? Gospel-of-grace. this looks like infused grace to me Nathan”, I don’t see why you would ever get that from what I am saying. The Law, as revealed in the Word of God (same as our consciences although this is lost, suppressed, seared, etc. – and hence the ongoing use of the Word is *necessary* with believers) is the only moral framework that exists to allow for us to really demonstrate the love that brings salt and light to the world (in the fallen world in which we dwell) It is only talking about this life. We don’t know what kind of “information” we might possibly need from God in the life to come.

    So, for example, it would not be loving for me to tell my neighbor even in a committed gay relationship, or cohabiting relationship, or who wants to divorce his/her spouse for reasons other than adultery (they are too fat, or don’t have enough sex with them, or they just don’t make they happy….) that it is OK if they think the Spirit is telling them it is. That would be unloving (there are also unloving ways to tell the truth to).

    “I think what you mean to say is this:

    “God’s Law, God’s Law meaning the Law written in the Bible in the Decalog and the Sermon on the Mount etc, is the revelation of the very Mind of God . It is God’s very own blueprint for how things are supposed to look in our lives and beings.
    Conformity to that Divine Blueprint or Divine Design is what we would look like if we had the Image of God restored in us and Original Innocence.”

    In general, yes. That said, there are aspects of the Law that will not apply in a non-fallen world. Still, the main idea is that the Law is about loving God and neighbor.

    “Then you seem to say this:

    The only way for us to be empowered to follow that blueprint really and truly is for us to have in us the power of the Holy Spirit that God places into us as the result of being regenerated.
    The Christian life looks like gradually conforming our lives and very inmost beings to that blueprint motivated purely by love and joy for Jesus without any thought of heavenly reward at all.”

    Well, can a pagan even *begin* to follow that blueprint really and truly (i.e. with the beginnings of fear, love and trust with God) if they do not have the Holy Spirit? No. Does the Christian life, externally, look like a gradual conforming of the believer’s life (evidently motivated by the *beginnings* of pure love, fear, and trust in God) to that blueprint? (again, which is for this fallen world we know) Yes.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    “FRANK: I mean ‘no’ as people joke. I mean it this way: “what part of ‘NO!’ do you not understand? No means NO Law. Not even for instruction in the New Man.
    If you read the Formula of Concord carefully, it says that. It says that the Law remains in the life of the Believer , alone because the Old Adam Still Clings to him. If the Believer were free of Old Adam, he would need no Law! Not even for instruction.

    When I say (and st Paul and the Confessions) that the Law is completely written in the Reason of all men, I am disagreeing with Rome and Geneva who say that the Law written in man is fallen or deficient , so we need the Bible to make the Law clear by the way.”

    OK, maybe I need to spend some more time looking at the confessions again. I do appreciate what you say about the form of sound words…. That said, when you say I am saying: “God’s Law is what gives us the power to grow in our relationship with God and neighbor” and “…Later you attempt to qualify that by ‘freed by the Gospel of grace’. What is that? Gospel-of-grace. this looks like infused grace to me Nathan”, I don’t see why you would ever get that from what I am saying. The Law, as revealed in the Word of God (same as our consciences although this is lost, suppressed, seared, etc. – and hence the ongoing use of the Word is *necessary* with believers) is the only moral framework that exists to allow for us to really demonstrate the love that brings salt and light to the world (in the fallen world in which we dwell) It is only talking about this life. We don’t know what kind of “information” we might possibly need from God in the life to come.

    So, for example, it would not be loving for me to tell my neighbor even in a committed gay relationship, or cohabiting relationship, or who wants to divorce his/her spouse for reasons other than adultery (they are too fat, or don’t have enough sex with them, or they just don’t make they happy….) that it is OK if they think the Spirit is telling them it is. That would be unloving (there are also unloving ways to tell the truth to).

    “I think what you mean to say is this:

    “God’s Law, God’s Law meaning the Law written in the Bible in the Decalog and the Sermon on the Mount etc, is the revelation of the very Mind of God . It is God’s very own blueprint for how things are supposed to look in our lives and beings.
    Conformity to that Divine Blueprint or Divine Design is what we would look like if we had the Image of God restored in us and Original Innocence.”

    In general, yes. That said, there are aspects of the Law that will not apply in a non-fallen world. Still, the main idea is that the Law is about loving God and neighbor.

    “Then you seem to say this:

    The only way for us to be empowered to follow that blueprint really and truly is for us to have in us the power of the Holy Spirit that God places into us as the result of being regenerated.
    The Christian life looks like gradually conforming our lives and very inmost beings to that blueprint motivated purely by love and joy for Jesus without any thought of heavenly reward at all.”

    Well, can a pagan even *begin* to follow that blueprint really and truly (i.e. with the beginnings of fear, love and trust with God) if they do not have the Holy Spirit? No. Does the Christian life, externally, look like a gradual conforming of the believer’s life (evidently motivated by the *beginnings* of pure love, fear, and trust in God) to that blueprint? (again, which is for this fallen world we know) Yes.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    “for the next few months, try to find something, in a broad context not just a proof passage pulled out of its larger context, in the confessions that says what it is you want to say.”

    I’ll try. Thanks.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    “for the next few months, try to find something, in a broad context not just a proof passage pulled out of its larger context, in the confessions that says what it is you want to say.”

    I’ll try. Thanks.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    “Well, can a pagan even *begin* to follow that blueprint really and truly (i.e. with the beginnings of fear, love and trust with God) if they do not have the Holy Spirit? No.”

    Sorry about the redundancy there. Make pagan person….

    I have to stop now. Will try to check in again on Monday. Thanks Frank.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    “Well, can a pagan even *begin* to follow that blueprint really and truly (i.e. with the beginnings of fear, love and trust with God) if they do not have the Holy Spirit? No.”

    Sorry about the redundancy there. Make pagan person….

    I have to stop now. Will try to check in again on Monday. Thanks Frank.

    +Nathan

  • fws

    nathan @ 46

    “The Law, as revealed in the Word of God same as our consciences although this is lost, suppressed, seared, etc. and hence the ongoing use of the Word is *necessary* with believers”

    This is not Lutheran Doctrine Nathan.

    This is what Rome and the Reformed teach in the context you place it, which is knowing right from wrong in our earthly life. No Bible is needed and no faith to completely know right from wrong. This is all completely written, by God as Divine Law , in Reason. Our confessions , therefore, say this: ” Concerning morality, nothing can be demanded beyond the Ethics of Aristotle. (apology art III).

    You are saying that I reproduced a fair summarization of what you believe. What I stated was classic Roman Catholic Scholastic Theology, and it is also what the Reformed teach. It is not Lutheranism. We can discuss why not at a later time if you wish.

    Blessings, frank

  • fws

    nathan @ 46

    “The Law, as revealed in the Word of God same as our consciences although this is lost, suppressed, seared, etc. and hence the ongoing use of the Word is *necessary* with believers”

    This is not Lutheran Doctrine Nathan.

    This is what Rome and the Reformed teach in the context you place it, which is knowing right from wrong in our earthly life. No Bible is needed and no faith to completely know right from wrong. This is all completely written, by God as Divine Law , in Reason. Our confessions , therefore, say this: ” Concerning morality, nothing can be demanded beyond the Ethics of Aristotle. (apology art III).

    You are saying that I reproduced a fair summarization of what you believe. What I stated was classic Roman Catholic Scholastic Theology, and it is also what the Reformed teach. It is not Lutheranism. We can discuss why not at a later time if you wish.

    Blessings, frank

  • fws

    nathan,

    lets focus on this:

    “I think what you mean to say is this:

    “God’s Law, God’s Law meaning the Law written in the Bible in the Decalog and the Sermon on the Mount etc, is the revelation of the very Mind of God . It is God’s very own blueprint for how things are supposed to look in our lives and beings.
    Conformity to that Divine Blueprint or Divine Design is what we would look like if we had the Image of God restored in us and Original Innocence.”

    In general, yes. That said, there are aspects of the Law that will not apply in a non-fallen world. Still, the main idea is that the Law is about loving God and neighbor.

    “Then you seem to say this:

    The only way for us to be empowered to follow that blueprint really and truly is for us to have in us the power of the Holy Spirit that God places into us as the result of being regenerated.
    The Christian life looks like gradually conforming our lives and very inmost beings to that blueprint motivated purely by love and joy for Jesus without any thought of heavenly reward at all.”

    Well, can a pagan even *begin* to follow that blueprint really and truly (i.e. with the beginnings of fear, love and trust with God) if they do not have the Holy Spirit? No. Does the Christian life, externally, look like a gradual conforming of the believer’s life (evidently motivated by the *beginnings* of pure love, fear, and trust in God) to that blueprint? (again, which is for this fallen world we know) Yes.

    I know there are Lutherans who teach this. This is however not Lutheran Doctrine. What is the major Problem? It says that the end goal is the Law. The entire purpose of Law and Gospel is to get us back to a right relationship to … the Law. God’s Image =Law.

    So in this schema the Gospel exists to enable us to be able to do Law.

    Nope.

  • fws

    nathan,

    lets focus on this:

    “I think what you mean to say is this:

    “God’s Law, God’s Law meaning the Law written in the Bible in the Decalog and the Sermon on the Mount etc, is the revelation of the very Mind of God . It is God’s very own blueprint for how things are supposed to look in our lives and beings.
    Conformity to that Divine Blueprint or Divine Design is what we would look like if we had the Image of God restored in us and Original Innocence.”

    In general, yes. That said, there are aspects of the Law that will not apply in a non-fallen world. Still, the main idea is that the Law is about loving God and neighbor.

    “Then you seem to say this:

    The only way for us to be empowered to follow that blueprint really and truly is for us to have in us the power of the Holy Spirit that God places into us as the result of being regenerated.
    The Christian life looks like gradually conforming our lives and very inmost beings to that blueprint motivated purely by love and joy for Jesus without any thought of heavenly reward at all.”

    Well, can a pagan even *begin* to follow that blueprint really and truly (i.e. with the beginnings of fear, love and trust with God) if they do not have the Holy Spirit? No. Does the Christian life, externally, look like a gradual conforming of the believer’s life (evidently motivated by the *beginnings* of pure love, fear, and trust in God) to that blueprint? (again, which is for this fallen world we know) Yes.

    I know there are Lutherans who teach this. This is however not Lutheran Doctrine. What is the major Problem? It says that the end goal is the Law. The entire purpose of Law and Gospel is to get us back to a right relationship to … the Law. God’s Image =Law.

    So in this schema the Gospel exists to enable us to be able to do Law.

    Nope.

  • fws

    nATHAN

    aPOLOGY ART II Untangles things this way:

    To know what Original Sin is , we must first know what original righeousness was.

    Original righeousness , which is the very Image of God, is what was lost, completely, in the Fall.

    We still have the Law, completely (!) written in our Reason. So that cannot be the Image of God.

    So what is the Image of God restored? What does it “look ” like? Alone faith alone in the Works of Another. alone. That is what gets restored, FULLY, in Holy Baptism. FULLY restored. It is not a process of restoration that is us learning to do better Law keeping.

    A Homosexual is fully restored to the Image of God and Original Righeousness in Holy Baptism. without doing a single thing. And this continues to be the case insofar as he looks, alone to the Works of Christ as his ONLY righeousness. Ditto for you!

    Reconformity to the Law is now the restoration of God’s Image!

  • fws

    nATHAN

    aPOLOGY ART II Untangles things this way:

    To know what Original Sin is , we must first know what original righeousness was.

    Original righeousness , which is the very Image of God, is what was lost, completely, in the Fall.

    We still have the Law, completely (!) written in our Reason. So that cannot be the Image of God.

    So what is the Image of God restored? What does it “look ” like? Alone faith alone in the Works of Another. alone. That is what gets restored, FULLY, in Holy Baptism. FULLY restored. It is not a process of restoration that is us learning to do better Law keeping.

    A Homosexual is fully restored to the Image of God and Original Righeousness in Holy Baptism. without doing a single thing. And this continues to be the case insofar as he looks, alone to the Works of Christ as his ONLY righeousness. Ditto for you!

    Reconformity to the Law is now the restoration of God’s Image!

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Have a minute….

    Will be looking at Apology Article II and III

    “So in this schema the Gospel exists to enable us to be able to do Law.

    Nope.”

    Yep. And the Law is all about real love. Not Aristotle love (which is no love at all!), but love as revealed in Jesus, who fully reveals what the Law looks like in action. Note the “weightier matters” of the Law in Matthew 23:2. If the Confessions really were to say what you say they say, then they would be wrong.

    More later I hope. Though I’m not sure where the conversation can go at this point.

    “Concerning morality, nothing can be demanded beyond the Ethics of Aristotle”

    Can you give me a more specific number for locating this (in Article III)?

    Thank you Frank.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Have a minute….

    Will be looking at Apology Article II and III

    “So in this schema the Gospel exists to enable us to be able to do Law.

    Nope.”

    Yep. And the Law is all about real love. Not Aristotle love (which is no love at all!), but love as revealed in Jesus, who fully reveals what the Law looks like in action. Note the “weightier matters” of the Law in Matthew 23:2. If the Confessions really were to say what you say they say, then they would be wrong.

    More later I hope. Though I’m not sure where the conversation can go at this point.

    “Concerning morality, nothing can be demanded beyond the Ethics of Aristotle”

    Can you give me a more specific number for locating this (in Article III)?

    Thank you Frank.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    I have a minute here today – will also try to check in again on Tuesday (will be traveling on Monday). I checked out the Aristotle quote (I think its the same one), and I think we may have a translation and context issue.

    Regarding the whole idea that it is not Lutheran to say that we can sear our consciences and that we don’t need the Bible to supplement what reason can tell us, it certainly was Martin Lutheran at least :

    “The law in general is not given and laid down for a certain people, but for all of humanity; indeed because many laws that are useful for this life are also given, written together with the Decalogue, and are written on the hearts of all men, unless they are utterly unnatural, ever since the birth or creation of man, together with Adam. But because man is fallen into sin and since gradually men fell away and turned away from God more and more, and, disregarded by God, became worse, until it [sc. the law] was almost totally fallen into oblivion and obscured, God was forced again to give us a limit, lest we forgot totally his law, so that we would at least remember who we were before and who we will be in the future. This is why the law was renewed and indeed written and handed over to a certain people insofar as it is written, but not insofar as it is spoken, since this knowledge was common to all nations, as experience itself proves. For if this were not the case, we would now disregard it, if the law said: “You do not believe in God; you do not fear God; you abuse his name,” just as we already disregard it, if it is said sometimes: “You are not circumcised, you do no bring a bull, a calf, sheep.” For when I hear these, I am not moved and am not horrified and consider them to be a play and joke. But when it says: “You disbelieve God, you do not believe God, you do not fear God, you are a fornicator, adulterer, disobedient,” and whatever is such, here I am at once horrified and fear and feel in the heart that I certainly owe this to God; not because the Decalogue was handed down and written for us, but so that we know even the laws which we brought with us into this world. And by this preaching at once the veil is removed and I am shown that I sin.

    For even though the Decalogue was given in a unique way and place and with ostentation, all nations confess impiety, disobedience, contempt of God, thefts, adulteries, impurities to be sins and iniquities, as Paul writes in Romans 2(:15): “Excusing and accusing one another.” They are therefore natural laws, not political or Mosaic ones, otherwise we would immediately talk about these like those about offering of bulls, circumcision, and Sabbath. But God does not want us to do this. But when the precept, “You shall not steal,” is heard, we right away become silent, and we might be much more silent than fish.” (Martin Luther’s antinomian Disp. (19th arg. in the 5th disp.))

    “We might be much more silent than fish.” That’s good.

    ….

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    I have a minute here today – will also try to check in again on Tuesday (will be traveling on Monday). I checked out the Aristotle quote (I think its the same one), and I think we may have a translation and context issue.

    Regarding the whole idea that it is not Lutheran to say that we can sear our consciences and that we don’t need the Bible to supplement what reason can tell us, it certainly was Martin Lutheran at least :

    “The law in general is not given and laid down for a certain people, but for all of humanity; indeed because many laws that are useful for this life are also given, written together with the Decalogue, and are written on the hearts of all men, unless they are utterly unnatural, ever since the birth or creation of man, together with Adam. But because man is fallen into sin and since gradually men fell away and turned away from God more and more, and, disregarded by God, became worse, until it [sc. the law] was almost totally fallen into oblivion and obscured, God was forced again to give us a limit, lest we forgot totally his law, so that we would at least remember who we were before and who we will be in the future. This is why the law was renewed and indeed written and handed over to a certain people insofar as it is written, but not insofar as it is spoken, since this knowledge was common to all nations, as experience itself proves. For if this were not the case, we would now disregard it, if the law said: “You do not believe in God; you do not fear God; you abuse his name,” just as we already disregard it, if it is said sometimes: “You are not circumcised, you do no bring a bull, a calf, sheep.” For when I hear these, I am not moved and am not horrified and consider them to be a play and joke. But when it says: “You disbelieve God, you do not believe God, you do not fear God, you are a fornicator, adulterer, disobedient,” and whatever is such, here I am at once horrified and fear and feel in the heart that I certainly owe this to God; not because the Decalogue was handed down and written for us, but so that we know even the laws which we brought with us into this world. And by this preaching at once the veil is removed and I am shown that I sin.

    For even though the Decalogue was given in a unique way and place and with ostentation, all nations confess impiety, disobedience, contempt of God, thefts, adulteries, impurities to be sins and iniquities, as Paul writes in Romans 2(:15): “Excusing and accusing one another.” They are therefore natural laws, not political or Mosaic ones, otherwise we would immediately talk about these like those about offering of bulls, circumcision, and Sabbath. But God does not want us to do this. But when the precept, “You shall not steal,” is heard, we right away become silent, and we might be much more silent than fish.” (Martin Luther’s antinomian Disp. (19th arg. in the 5th disp.))

    “We might be much more silent than fish.” That’s good.

    ….

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Here’s another:

    “Would you here say, “You don’t mean that the first commandment has been abrogated, for, after all, one ought to have a God? Furthermore, one ought not commit adultery, kill, steal?” Answer: I have spoken of the Mosaic law as laws of Moses. For to have a God is not alone a Mosaic law, but also a natural law, as St. Paul says (Rom. 1[:20]), that the heathen know of the deity, that there is a God. This is also evidenced by the fact that they have set up gods and arranged forms of divine service, which would have been impossible if they had neither known or thought about God. For God has shown it to them in the things that have been made, etc. (Rom. 1[:19–20]). Is it therefore surprising to find that the heathen have missed the true God and worshiped idols in the place of God? The Jews also erred and worshiped idols instead of God, even though they had the law of Moses. And they who have the gospel of Christ still misapprehend the Lord Christ.

    Thus, “Thou shalt not kill, commit adultery, steal, etc.,” are not Mosaic laws only, but also the natural law written in each man’s heart, as St. Paul teaches (Rom. 2[:15]). Also Christ himself (Matt. 7[:12]) includes all of the law and the prophets in this natural law, “So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.” Paul does the same thing in Rom. 13[:9], where he sums up all the commandments of Moses in the love which also the natural law teaches in the words, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Otherwise, were it not naturally written in the heart, one would have to teach and preach the law for a long time before it became the concern of conscience. The heart must also find and feel the law in itself. Otherwise it would become a matter of conscience for no one. However, the devil so blinds and possesses hearts, that they do not always feel this law. Therefore one must preach the law and impress it on the minds of people till God assists and enlightens them, so that they feel in their hearts what the Word says.

    Where then the Mosaic law and the natural law are one, there the law remains and is not abrogated externally, but only through faith spiritually, which is nothing else than the fulfilling of the law (Rom. 3[:31]). This is not the place to speak about that, and elsewhere enough has been said about it. Therefore Moses’ legislation about images and the sabbath, and what else goes beyond the natural law, since it is not supported by the natural law, is free, null and void, and is specifically given to the Jewish people alone. It is as when an emperor or a king makes special laws and ordinances in his territory, as the Sachsenspiegel in Saxony, and yet common natural laws such as to honor parents, not to kill, not to commit adultery, to serve God, etc., prevail and remain in all lands. Therefore one is to let Moses be the Sachsenspiegel of the Jews and not to confuse us gentiles with it, just as the Sachsenspiegel is not observed in France, though the natural law there is in agreement with it.
    Why does one then keep and teach the Ten Commandments? Answer: Because the natural laws were never so orderly and well written as by Moses. Therefore it is reasonable to follow the example of Moses. And I wish that we would accept even more of Moses in worldly matters, such as the laws about the bill of divorce [Deut. 24:1], the sabbath year [Lev. 25:2–7], the year of jubilee, tithes, and the like. Through such laws the world would be better governed than now with its practices in usury, trade, and marriage. This occurs whenever a land follows examples from laws of other lands, as the Romans took the Twelve Tables from the Greeks.”
    (from Luther’s book, “Against the Heavenly Prophets,” AE 40:96-98)

    In sum, there are indeed three forms of righteousness we should be talking about: the first being that of Christ credited to the sinner through faith ; the second which is the righteousness which grows within the Christian ; and the third, which is the righteousness that is seen before men (which may or may not be the same as the first two.) Lutheranism traditionally has embraced all three.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Here’s another:

    “Would you here say, “You don’t mean that the first commandment has been abrogated, for, after all, one ought to have a God? Furthermore, one ought not commit adultery, kill, steal?” Answer: I have spoken of the Mosaic law as laws of Moses. For to have a God is not alone a Mosaic law, but also a natural law, as St. Paul says (Rom. 1[:20]), that the heathen know of the deity, that there is a God. This is also evidenced by the fact that they have set up gods and arranged forms of divine service, which would have been impossible if they had neither known or thought about God. For God has shown it to them in the things that have been made, etc. (Rom. 1[:19–20]). Is it therefore surprising to find that the heathen have missed the true God and worshiped idols in the place of God? The Jews also erred and worshiped idols instead of God, even though they had the law of Moses. And they who have the gospel of Christ still misapprehend the Lord Christ.

    Thus, “Thou shalt not kill, commit adultery, steal, etc.,” are not Mosaic laws only, but also the natural law written in each man’s heart, as St. Paul teaches (Rom. 2[:15]). Also Christ himself (Matt. 7[:12]) includes all of the law and the prophets in this natural law, “So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.” Paul does the same thing in Rom. 13[:9], where he sums up all the commandments of Moses in the love which also the natural law teaches in the words, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Otherwise, were it not naturally written in the heart, one would have to teach and preach the law for a long time before it became the concern of conscience. The heart must also find and feel the law in itself. Otherwise it would become a matter of conscience for no one. However, the devil so blinds and possesses hearts, that they do not always feel this law. Therefore one must preach the law and impress it on the minds of people till God assists and enlightens them, so that they feel in their hearts what the Word says.

    Where then the Mosaic law and the natural law are one, there the law remains and is not abrogated externally, but only through faith spiritually, which is nothing else than the fulfilling of the law (Rom. 3[:31]). This is not the place to speak about that, and elsewhere enough has been said about it. Therefore Moses’ legislation about images and the sabbath, and what else goes beyond the natural law, since it is not supported by the natural law, is free, null and void, and is specifically given to the Jewish people alone. It is as when an emperor or a king makes special laws and ordinances in his territory, as the Sachsenspiegel in Saxony, and yet common natural laws such as to honor parents, not to kill, not to commit adultery, to serve God, etc., prevail and remain in all lands. Therefore one is to let Moses be the Sachsenspiegel of the Jews and not to confuse us gentiles with it, just as the Sachsenspiegel is not observed in France, though the natural law there is in agreement with it.
    Why does one then keep and teach the Ten Commandments? Answer: Because the natural laws were never so orderly and well written as by Moses. Therefore it is reasonable to follow the example of Moses. And I wish that we would accept even more of Moses in worldly matters, such as the laws about the bill of divorce [Deut. 24:1], the sabbath year [Lev. 25:2–7], the year of jubilee, tithes, and the like. Through such laws the world would be better governed than now with its practices in usury, trade, and marriage. This occurs whenever a land follows examples from laws of other lands, as the Romans took the Twelve Tables from the Greeks.”
    (from Luther’s book, “Against the Heavenly Prophets,” AE 40:96-98)

    In sum, there are indeed three forms of righteousness we should be talking about: the first being that of Christ credited to the sinner through faith ; the second which is the righteousness which grows within the Christian ; and the third, which is the righteousness that is seen before men (which may or may not be the same as the first two.) Lutheranism traditionally has embraced all three.

    +Nathan

  • fws

    nathan @ 54

    Good quote. Better if it had been from our Confessions rather than Luther’s private writings, but it is still good.
    But what you say as “sum” is not really a summary of what you quoted is it?

    Instead what you “summed” seems to be what you already thought, and the text you quote you feel supports that 3 fold righteousness idea. Prooftexting. What is it the text really says? Paraphrase the text paragraph by paragraph.

    The text is saying that in Reason, we have all the Law we need to be a moral and g0od person. And Reason, since it is the same Law agrees with the Decalog and lots of what moses wrote. But then he puts moses on the same level as laws in france or germany or wherever. If Reason sees a good thing, it is good to copy that good thing.

    But none of this talks about those first two kinds of righteousness you talk about. Both of those first two things are identical. They are the righeousness of faith I suggest. And that faith that we talk about when we talk about the righeousnness of faith as to what Christ did and how we internally respond to it and grow in faith has this precise relationship to the Law and the Decalog:

    [When we go to the Supper] we …remember and proclaim His death and the shedding of His blood. [We] should we remember and proclaim His death … so we may learn to be horrified by our sins, and to regard them as very serious. (christian questions and answers small catechism)

    and this:

    what more forcible, more terrible declaration and preaching of God’s wrath against sin is there than just the suffering and death of Christ, His Son? the preaching of the suffering and death of Christ, the Son of God, is an earnest and terrible proclamation and declaration of God’s wrath, whereby men are first led into the Law aright, after the veil of Moses has been removed from them, so that they first know aright how great things God in His Law requires of us, none of which we can observe. (FofC “Law and Gospel”)

    And finally this Lutheran description of what the Christian life is supposed to look like:

    the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins,and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened. (apology III 10] )

    There is only one kind of Law that only faith can know oddly enough. That is the Law that Christ himself takes into his own hands to terrify our hearts. To tell us that the Law can’t be kept by an” external ” doing that is ALL we can think , will, desire, do, elicit. This is how man keeps the civil law. We do the letter of the Law and we can keep that Law whether our heart is really in it or not. But God’s court is different. God demands absolute fear love and trust in our heart. we cant do that.

    Maybe one point of confusion is when Lutherans talk about “outward” or “external”. Those words are meant to include ALL we can do Nathan. This means what we normally would call internal stuff like our thoughts, will , willpower, emotions, desires and all that as well. Read what the Formula says about all those things in FofC art I. The depravity of all those things fully remains after the new birth Nathan!

  • fws

    nathan @ 54

    Good quote. Better if it had been from our Confessions rather than Luther’s private writings, but it is still good.
    But what you say as “sum” is not really a summary of what you quoted is it?

    Instead what you “summed” seems to be what you already thought, and the text you quote you feel supports that 3 fold righteousness idea. Prooftexting. What is it the text really says? Paraphrase the text paragraph by paragraph.

    The text is saying that in Reason, we have all the Law we need to be a moral and g0od person. And Reason, since it is the same Law agrees with the Decalog and lots of what moses wrote. But then he puts moses on the same level as laws in france or germany or wherever. If Reason sees a good thing, it is good to copy that good thing.

    But none of this talks about those first two kinds of righteousness you talk about. Both of those first two things are identical. They are the righeousness of faith I suggest. And that faith that we talk about when we talk about the righeousnness of faith as to what Christ did and how we internally respond to it and grow in faith has this precise relationship to the Law and the Decalog:

    [When we go to the Supper] we …remember and proclaim His death and the shedding of His blood. [We] should we remember and proclaim His death … so we may learn to be horrified by our sins, and to regard them as very serious. (christian questions and answers small catechism)

    and this:

    what more forcible, more terrible declaration and preaching of God’s wrath against sin is there than just the suffering and death of Christ, His Son? the preaching of the suffering and death of Christ, the Son of God, is an earnest and terrible proclamation and declaration of God’s wrath, whereby men are first led into the Law aright, after the veil of Moses has been removed from them, so that they first know aright how great things God in His Law requires of us, none of which we can observe. (FofC “Law and Gospel”)

    And finally this Lutheran description of what the Christian life is supposed to look like:

    the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins,and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened. (apology III 10] )

    There is only one kind of Law that only faith can know oddly enough. That is the Law that Christ himself takes into his own hands to terrify our hearts. To tell us that the Law can’t be kept by an” external ” doing that is ALL we can think , will, desire, do, elicit. This is how man keeps the civil law. We do the letter of the Law and we can keep that Law whether our heart is really in it or not. But God’s court is different. God demands absolute fear love and trust in our heart. we cant do that.

    Maybe one point of confusion is when Lutherans talk about “outward” or “external”. Those words are meant to include ALL we can do Nathan. This means what we normally would call internal stuff like our thoughts, will , willpower, emotions, desires and all that as well. Read what the Formula says about all those things in FofC art I. The depravity of all those things fully remains after the new birth Nathan!

  • Stephen K

    Paul McCain has been all over this topic and when I USED to read his blog it was full of hate, self-aggrandizing, guns, twisting peoples comments, blocking peoples comments and just plain making sheep look bad and belittling them. This guy talks 3rd use, sanctification, good works while breaking 10 commandments and every turn. Sorry Dr Veith, I love your books, blog etc. but PM is a thorn in the side of a lot of people, including A LOT of LCMS clergy.

  • Stephen K

    Paul McCain has been all over this topic and when I USED to read his blog it was full of hate, self-aggrandizing, guns, twisting peoples comments, blocking peoples comments and just plain making sheep look bad and belittling them. This guy talks 3rd use, sanctification, good works while breaking 10 commandments and every turn. Sorry Dr Veith, I love your books, blog etc. but PM is a thorn in the side of a lot of people, including A LOT of LCMS clergy.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Your point is valid. I shifted gears abruptly there.
    Let’s leave that statement about the 3 kinds of righteousness behind right now (it did not really apply to my quotes as you said, although it is a good summary, I think, of the ultimate issues we are speaking of)

    (by the way, I agree that “outward” or “external” essentially means all of the things we do, external or even internal [save faith, which though it has an active aspect also has a passive aspect])

    Questions that come to mind about all this: when Paul tells Christians how to live, in view of the mercies of God, is he attempting to terrify them? (yes, God may indeed use Paul’s words to terrify people, but is Paul wrong for giving them they law in the way he does – seemingly to guide them in what it means to be a part of God’s family?) The Law always accuses, but when we are in Christ does in *only* accuse us? Does it not act as a guide still in that it informs us about which works are pleasing to God and in line with the way He created us to live? If the new man already knows all this – why does Paul feel like he needs to help/inform them?

    Let me just press the issue of whether or not we need the Scriptures to supplement reason (because we sear our consciences and suffocate God’s Law).

    You said: “And Reason, since it is the same Law agrees with the Decalog and lots of what moses wrote. But then he puts moses on the same level as laws in france or germany or wherever.”

    You get this from the quotes above? Can you tell me specifically why you think this is the case? It seems to me Luther is saying sinful man, because he ignored God’s Law – needed to be reminded (and perhaps other nations copied the law that God *had to give* to Israel – because it seemed to make some sense to them, i.e. kind of correlate with their human nature…. when it comes to “pure ‘state of nature’” I think it is more like “the strong survive” and maybe, “honor among thieves”… and of course….

    +Nathan

    May not have much time to interact in the coming days, but will try…

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Your point is valid. I shifted gears abruptly there.
    Let’s leave that statement about the 3 kinds of righteousness behind right now (it did not really apply to my quotes as you said, although it is a good summary, I think, of the ultimate issues we are speaking of)

    (by the way, I agree that “outward” or “external” essentially means all of the things we do, external or even internal [save faith, which though it has an active aspect also has a passive aspect])

    Questions that come to mind about all this: when Paul tells Christians how to live, in view of the mercies of God, is he attempting to terrify them? (yes, God may indeed use Paul’s words to terrify people, but is Paul wrong for giving them they law in the way he does – seemingly to guide them in what it means to be a part of God’s family?) The Law always accuses, but when we are in Christ does in *only* accuse us? Does it not act as a guide still in that it informs us about which works are pleasing to God and in line with the way He created us to live? If the new man already knows all this – why does Paul feel like he needs to help/inform them?

    Let me just press the issue of whether or not we need the Scriptures to supplement reason (because we sear our consciences and suffocate God’s Law).

    You said: “And Reason, since it is the same Law agrees with the Decalog and lots of what moses wrote. But then he puts moses on the same level as laws in france or germany or wherever.”

    You get this from the quotes above? Can you tell me specifically why you think this is the case? It seems to me Luther is saying sinful man, because he ignored God’s Law – needed to be reminded (and perhaps other nations copied the law that God *had to give* to Israel – because it seemed to make some sense to them, i.e. kind of correlate with their human nature…. when it comes to “pure ‘state of nature’” I think it is more like “the strong survive” and maybe, “honor among thieves”… and of course….

    +Nathan

    May not have much time to interact in the coming days, but will try…

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    “and of course….”

    that end part should have been left out.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    “and of course….”

    that end part should have been left out.

  • fws

    Nathan @ 57

    NATHAN: …that statement about the 3 kinds of righteousness …is a good summary…
    FRANK: Where would you find that anywhere in the Confessions. Why the need to be creative? Why not classify and summarize as they do? Are they missing something important? Again: Our Confessions claim to be A correct exposition of Scripture, not THE correct exposition of Scripture. Yet , as a Lutheran who, like me, admits to often not getting it right, why not first discipline yourself by conforming to their way of explaining things? You could be more certain you are on the right track!
    NATHAN: … I agree that “outward” or “external” …means all of the things we do, external or even internal [save faith, which though it has an active aspect also has a passive aspect])
    FRANK: No. Especially include faith! That is my main point. Saving faith is NOT something we do. “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe (have faith) in Jesus nor come to him. Pagans can talk about and describe faith. Everyone has faith Nathan. How is it then that we can talk about a faith that is different than that? What is the difference? The Confessions, in the Apology show that difference by explaining that faith that saves as an emotion. Here is how that argument works: If your wife told you “Nathan! I DEMAND that you love me with all our heart, mind, body and even soul!” Your reason would tell you what? Your reason, correctly would inform you that that is impossible! Your reason would point out that we can’t even command our own hearts, let alone someone else commanding it. So reason would do what? It would say this: Surely a command (now from God) implies, logically, that I am able to do what is commanded. Otherwise what is the point of the command? So what that command MUST mean is that I am being commanded to ACT like that someone who loves with the whole heart and mind and soul. Or maybe it means that I must at least be truly sorry for not loving as I should and that will count as doing what the command asks for. After all, that is ALL that is in me to do! And so one becomes , from reason, either a hipocrite/pharisee: we go through those outward motions simulating “love” even though our heart is not in it, till we finally believe we are really DOing that commandment, or we are are more honest. In that case of being honest, we must truly despair as Judas. We just cant do it. We are terrified. And we despair. This is honest. And , apart from Christ, these are the only two choices Nathan.
    that is why the Apology says it is the first commandment that Christ takes into his own hands, to show us that the problem is in our heart. And that is precisely to strip us of our hipocracy and to terrify us and reduce us to Judas. We are to despair, utterly , of keeping God’s Law.

    And this Law , that causes us to despair, is that part of the Law that tells us that even our faith and love condemn us. We can’t believe or love God as we should. And it is this Law, in the first commandment, that Christ himself alone can deliver to us, that is alone found in the Bible. It is in the Bible for pagans too, but that part of the Law , divinely revealed in Reason of all men, is veiled from Reason by the veil of moses. The veil of moses is the assumption that if there is a command of God, then God must also provide the means to keep it by our own powers.
    NATHAN: …when Paul tells Christians how to live, in view of the mercies of God, is he attempting to terrify them?
    FRANK: The Law always accuses and condemns and kills. The Law ONLY accuses, condemns and kills. Telling us how to live is Law. FC art V “Law and Gospel” tells us that the Gospel is often used to illustrate the Law. That does not make that Law into “gospel indicative”. it is still Law. And what does the Law always and only do? accuse. Kill. condemn. terrify.
    NATHAN: The Law always accuses, but when we are in Christ does in *only* accuse us?
    FRANK: Especially in Christ the Law accuses us and terrifies us Nathan! Always. Only.
    NATHAN: Does it not act as a guide still in that it informs us about which works are pleasing to God and in line with the way He created us to live?
    FRANK: Yes! It informs us that we are to take the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God that is living, active, and deadly Law to kill Old Adam by daily contrition, grinding down, and repentence, which is to be terrified at ALL we can see ourselves do. Including our faith. So St Paul is instructing us not on how to live but rather on how to die to ourselves! And so Luther says “life is mortification”. Life is death. It does not follow that death is Life.
    You say “created us to live”. The idea there is that a return to God’s Image looks like reconforming to the Law of God. God’s Image can’t be the Law Nathan. Why not. We are told that the Image was Lost in the fall. Yet the Law remains written in the mind/reason of all men. In that case the Image of God was not lost was it? In that case it was just damaged very badly. that is what Rome and the calvinists teach. Lutherans say that the lost Image of God is what is restored in baptism! What is it that is restored in Baptism? It is faith in the all sufficiency of the Works of Another. We say that Adam was also justified by faith alone, in Christ alone, exactly in the same way as we are, before the fall! And so Baptism is the restoration of the Image of God. restoration of that image is not reconformity to the Law! Reconformity to the Law does happen in New Man, but this is a consequence of or fruit of the restored Image of God. It is not the restoration of the Image itself. this was prophecied in jer 31 according to apology IV.
    NATHAN: If the new man already knows all this – why does Paul feel like he needs to help/inform them?
    FRANK: He is telling us to not rely on willpower, reason, faith or anything we can do to fight Old Adam and kill him. He is saying we must take up the Word of God , which is a living and active thing, to kill him. We are to preach the Law to our Old Adam to kill him. This might look like singing a hymn to the 10 c0mmandments to him as we start our day. Then, more importantly, we take up that other edge , the gospel edge of that same Sword of the Spirit to fight of satan at the end of the day when we have a bad conscience. Satan will say this “show me! what did you do that was really of faith?” And we will respond by confession of sin. We will say this” “nothing at all!” and Christ came for sinners like me. My proof is that I was baptized! So Paul is teaching us to reach for the Works of Christ alone, and not what we can do when satan comes and uses our conscience to accuse us.
    NATHAN: Let me just press the issue of whether or not we need the Scriptures to supplement reason (because we sear our consciences and suffocate God’s Law).
    FRANK: Where is this searing and suffocating found in Scripture or the Confessions. Where do you get this idea? it is mostly right, but you need to read it in scriptural and confessional context to not err here by adding our own conclusions or opinions…
    NATHAN: You said: “And Reason, since it is the same Law agrees with the Decalog and lots of what moses wrote. But then he puts moses on the same level as laws in france or germany or wherever.”
    You get this from the quotes above?
    FRANK: Yes. it is in the quotes above isnt it? But this same idea is also in the Confessions. Luthers writings must always be judged by his own public confessions (augustana, apology, catechism, smalcald). The FoC agrees with those confessions as well.
    NATHAN: can you tell me specifically why you think this is the case?
    FRANK: Because it is what our Confessions tell us is the case. And the confessions agree with Scriptures. They make this point by saying “regarding morality nothing can be demanded beyong the Ethics of Aristotle.” Morality is the same for pagans and christian alike. And I am not just prooftexting here. I am not pulling a phrase out of context. That IS the argument they are making and it is essential to get and understand why they make that argument. If you do not, you will confuse Law and Gospel. You will make law into a sort of gospel we are to do. or you will make grace into enabling grace. You will make gospel and grace into some power infused into christians that lets a believer do the law in a way that pagans cannot. This is wrong.
    NATHAN: It seems to me Luther is saying sinful man, because he ignored God’s Law – needed to be reminded (and perhaps other nations copied the law that God *had to give* to Israel – because it seemed to make some sense to them, i.e. kind of correlate with their human nature…. when it comes to “pure ‘state of nature’” I think it is more like “the strong survive” and maybe, “honor among thieves”… and of course….
    FRANK: Ok. Where is that in the text itself? Or are you reading your own idea into the text? show me please . From the text, or from the Confessions that this is what is being taught. You wont find that idea anywhere in the Confessions. But you will find it in St Thomas and Rome and you will also find it in Calvin.

    They say that the return to the Image of God looks like our becoming reconformed to the Law. So Gospel really is a just a power or enablement in believers to do that. Gospel serves the Law then ultimately. This is exactly where you are channeling the Romans and calvin Nathan.

  • fws

    Nathan @ 57

    NATHAN: …that statement about the 3 kinds of righteousness …is a good summary…
    FRANK: Where would you find that anywhere in the Confessions. Why the need to be creative? Why not classify and summarize as they do? Are they missing something important? Again: Our Confessions claim to be A correct exposition of Scripture, not THE correct exposition of Scripture. Yet , as a Lutheran who, like me, admits to often not getting it right, why not first discipline yourself by conforming to their way of explaining things? You could be more certain you are on the right track!
    NATHAN: … I agree that “outward” or “external” …means all of the things we do, external or even internal [save faith, which though it has an active aspect also has a passive aspect])
    FRANK: No. Especially include faith! That is my main point. Saving faith is NOT something we do. “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe (have faith) in Jesus nor come to him. Pagans can talk about and describe faith. Everyone has faith Nathan. How is it then that we can talk about a faith that is different than that? What is the difference? The Confessions, in the Apology show that difference by explaining that faith that saves as an emotion. Here is how that argument works: If your wife told you “Nathan! I DEMAND that you love me with all our heart, mind, body and even soul!” Your reason would tell you what? Your reason, correctly would inform you that that is impossible! Your reason would point out that we can’t even command our own hearts, let alone someone else commanding it. So reason would do what? It would say this: Surely a command (now from God) implies, logically, that I am able to do what is commanded. Otherwise what is the point of the command? So what that command MUST mean is that I am being commanded to ACT like that someone who loves with the whole heart and mind and soul. Or maybe it means that I must at least be truly sorry for not loving as I should and that will count as doing what the command asks for. After all, that is ALL that is in me to do! And so one becomes , from reason, either a hipocrite/pharisee: we go through those outward motions simulating “love” even though our heart is not in it, till we finally believe we are really DOing that commandment, or we are are more honest. In that case of being honest, we must truly despair as Judas. We just cant do it. We are terrified. And we despair. This is honest. And , apart from Christ, these are the only two choices Nathan.
    that is why the Apology says it is the first commandment that Christ takes into his own hands, to show us that the problem is in our heart. And that is precisely to strip us of our hipocracy and to terrify us and reduce us to Judas. We are to despair, utterly , of keeping God’s Law.

    And this Law , that causes us to despair, is that part of the Law that tells us that even our faith and love condemn us. We can’t believe or love God as we should. And it is this Law, in the first commandment, that Christ himself alone can deliver to us, that is alone found in the Bible. It is in the Bible for pagans too, but that part of the Law , divinely revealed in Reason of all men, is veiled from Reason by the veil of moses. The veil of moses is the assumption that if there is a command of God, then God must also provide the means to keep it by our own powers.
    NATHAN: …when Paul tells Christians how to live, in view of the mercies of God, is he attempting to terrify them?
    FRANK: The Law always accuses and condemns and kills. The Law ONLY accuses, condemns and kills. Telling us how to live is Law. FC art V “Law and Gospel” tells us that the Gospel is often used to illustrate the Law. That does not make that Law into “gospel indicative”. it is still Law. And what does the Law always and only do? accuse. Kill. condemn. terrify.
    NATHAN: The Law always accuses, but when we are in Christ does in *only* accuse us?
    FRANK: Especially in Christ the Law accuses us and terrifies us Nathan! Always. Only.
    NATHAN: Does it not act as a guide still in that it informs us about which works are pleasing to God and in line with the way He created us to live?
    FRANK: Yes! It informs us that we are to take the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God that is living, active, and deadly Law to kill Old Adam by daily contrition, grinding down, and repentence, which is to be terrified at ALL we can see ourselves do. Including our faith. So St Paul is instructing us not on how to live but rather on how to die to ourselves! And so Luther says “life is mortification”. Life is death. It does not follow that death is Life.
    You say “created us to live”. The idea there is that a return to God’s Image looks like reconforming to the Law of God. God’s Image can’t be the Law Nathan. Why not. We are told that the Image was Lost in the fall. Yet the Law remains written in the mind/reason of all men. In that case the Image of God was not lost was it? In that case it was just damaged very badly. that is what Rome and the calvinists teach. Lutherans say that the lost Image of God is what is restored in baptism! What is it that is restored in Baptism? It is faith in the all sufficiency of the Works of Another. We say that Adam was also justified by faith alone, in Christ alone, exactly in the same way as we are, before the fall! And so Baptism is the restoration of the Image of God. restoration of that image is not reconformity to the Law! Reconformity to the Law does happen in New Man, but this is a consequence of or fruit of the restored Image of God. It is not the restoration of the Image itself. this was prophecied in jer 31 according to apology IV.
    NATHAN: If the new man already knows all this – why does Paul feel like he needs to help/inform them?
    FRANK: He is telling us to not rely on willpower, reason, faith or anything we can do to fight Old Adam and kill him. He is saying we must take up the Word of God , which is a living and active thing, to kill him. We are to preach the Law to our Old Adam to kill him. This might look like singing a hymn to the 10 c0mmandments to him as we start our day. Then, more importantly, we take up that other edge , the gospel edge of that same Sword of the Spirit to fight of satan at the end of the day when we have a bad conscience. Satan will say this “show me! what did you do that was really of faith?” And we will respond by confession of sin. We will say this” “nothing at all!” and Christ came for sinners like me. My proof is that I was baptized! So Paul is teaching us to reach for the Works of Christ alone, and not what we can do when satan comes and uses our conscience to accuse us.
    NATHAN: Let me just press the issue of whether or not we need the Scriptures to supplement reason (because we sear our consciences and suffocate God’s Law).
    FRANK: Where is this searing and suffocating found in Scripture or the Confessions. Where do you get this idea? it is mostly right, but you need to read it in scriptural and confessional context to not err here by adding our own conclusions or opinions…
    NATHAN: You said: “And Reason, since it is the same Law agrees with the Decalog and lots of what moses wrote. But then he puts moses on the same level as laws in france or germany or wherever.”
    You get this from the quotes above?
    FRANK: Yes. it is in the quotes above isnt it? But this same idea is also in the Confessions. Luthers writings must always be judged by his own public confessions (augustana, apology, catechism, smalcald). The FoC agrees with those confessions as well.
    NATHAN: can you tell me specifically why you think this is the case?
    FRANK: Because it is what our Confessions tell us is the case. And the confessions agree with Scriptures. They make this point by saying “regarding morality nothing can be demanded beyong the Ethics of Aristotle.” Morality is the same for pagans and christian alike. And I am not just prooftexting here. I am not pulling a phrase out of context. That IS the argument they are making and it is essential to get and understand why they make that argument. If you do not, you will confuse Law and Gospel. You will make law into a sort of gospel we are to do. or you will make grace into enabling grace. You will make gospel and grace into some power infused into christians that lets a believer do the law in a way that pagans cannot. This is wrong.
    NATHAN: It seems to me Luther is saying sinful man, because he ignored God’s Law – needed to be reminded (and perhaps other nations copied the law that God *had to give* to Israel – because it seemed to make some sense to them, i.e. kind of correlate with their human nature…. when it comes to “pure ‘state of nature’” I think it is more like “the strong survive” and maybe, “honor among thieves”… and of course….
    FRANK: Ok. Where is that in the text itself? Or are you reading your own idea into the text? show me please . From the text, or from the Confessions that this is what is being taught. You wont find that idea anywhere in the Confessions. But you will find it in St Thomas and Rome and you will also find it in Calvin.

    They say that the return to the Image of God looks like our becoming reconformed to the Law. So Gospel really is a just a power or enablement in believers to do that. Gospel serves the Law then ultimately. This is exactly where you are channeling the Romans and calvin Nathan.

  • fws

    read this from the confessions Nathan:

    [When we go to the Supper] we …remember and proclaim His death and the shedding of His blood. [We] should we remember and proclaim His death … so we may learn to be horrified by our sins, and to regard them as very serious. (small catechism christian questions and answers)

    and this:

    what more forcible, more terrible declaration and preaching of God’s wrath against sin is there than just the suffering and death of Christ, His Son? the preaching of the suffering and death of Christ, the Son of God, is an earnest and terrible proclamation and declaration of God’s wrath, whereby men are first led into the Law aright, after the veil of Moses has been removed from them, so that they first know aright how great things God in His Law requires of us, none of which we can observe. ( Formula of concord, Law and gospel)

    And finally this Lutheran description of what the Christian life is supposed to look like:

    the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins,and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened. (apology III 10]

    Here is my advice to you: Stop speculating using your own ability to reason.
    Open the Book of Concord and read it. And don’t read it expecting to find what you think you already know!

    Read the Confessions to look for evidence that is against what you think you know! Read the confessions to tear down what you already have constructed in your mind as your system of theology. Let it challenge you.

    You can start by going back and reading those two Luther quotes. Take them and put what he says into your own words. Paraphrase them. And be very very honest especially where what he says seems to be the very contrary of what you think!

    You will be amazed and grateful at what you learn, and … you will be confident that what you have learned is rock solid, unless of course your paraphrase is still captive to trying to force your own ideas into the text. And that happens still with me alot!

    what the Confessions say they want to do is to teach you how to read every text in a Law and gospel way. that is to say that Gospel is ALONE what Christ did. Law is EVERTHING ELSE.

    we are to separate law, that is EVERYTHING we can see and do and are sensible to from Gospel as far as the earth is from the furthest star Nathan. That is pretty far. where we start to fuse the two, we should see that we are wrong. And Old Adam always wants to make the Gospel about Christ+ our being enabled by Christ or the HS to participate in what Christ did somehow.

    No. We must resist this. That resistance is precisely what makes one a Christian. To reject ALL we do as sin and death, even faith, and to alone hold up alone the works of Another before God, alone. Alone. Alone.

    So terror and the law do not end with regeneration. They begin in earnest! And in the midst of those terrors, the Gospel give us Life, keeps us alive and comforts us.

    Pagans do not feel such terror by the Law. Only christians are terrified by the Law. Terror is the proper response when we see all we can do, including our own believing, in light of the Law and in view of Christ.

  • fws

    read this from the confessions Nathan:

    [When we go to the Supper] we …remember and proclaim His death and the shedding of His blood. [We] should we remember and proclaim His death … so we may learn to be horrified by our sins, and to regard them as very serious. (small catechism christian questions and answers)

    and this:

    what more forcible, more terrible declaration and preaching of God’s wrath against sin is there than just the suffering and death of Christ, His Son? the preaching of the suffering and death of Christ, the Son of God, is an earnest and terrible proclamation and declaration of God’s wrath, whereby men are first led into the Law aright, after the veil of Moses has been removed from them, so that they first know aright how great things God in His Law requires of us, none of which we can observe. ( Formula of concord, Law and gospel)

    And finally this Lutheran description of what the Christian life is supposed to look like:

    the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins,and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened. (apology III 10]

    Here is my advice to you: Stop speculating using your own ability to reason.
    Open the Book of Concord and read it. And don’t read it expecting to find what you think you already know!

    Read the Confessions to look for evidence that is against what you think you know! Read the confessions to tear down what you already have constructed in your mind as your system of theology. Let it challenge you.

    You can start by going back and reading those two Luther quotes. Take them and put what he says into your own words. Paraphrase them. And be very very honest especially where what he says seems to be the very contrary of what you think!

    You will be amazed and grateful at what you learn, and … you will be confident that what you have learned is rock solid, unless of course your paraphrase is still captive to trying to force your own ideas into the text. And that happens still with me alot!

    what the Confessions say they want to do is to teach you how to read every text in a Law and gospel way. that is to say that Gospel is ALONE what Christ did. Law is EVERTHING ELSE.

    we are to separate law, that is EVERYTHING we can see and do and are sensible to from Gospel as far as the earth is from the furthest star Nathan. That is pretty far. where we start to fuse the two, we should see that we are wrong. And Old Adam always wants to make the Gospel about Christ+ our being enabled by Christ or the HS to participate in what Christ did somehow.

    No. We must resist this. That resistance is precisely what makes one a Christian. To reject ALL we do as sin and death, even faith, and to alone hold up alone the works of Another before God, alone. Alone. Alone.

    So terror and the law do not end with regeneration. They begin in earnest! And in the midst of those terrors, the Gospel give us Life, keeps us alive and comforts us.

    Pagans do not feel such terror by the Law. Only christians are terrified by the Law. Terror is the proper response when we see all we can do, including our own believing, in light of the Law and in view of Christ.

  • fws

    Nathan:

    the preaching of the suffering and death of Christ, the Son of God, is an earnest and terrible proclamation and declaration of God’s wrath, whereby men are first led into the Law aright, after the veil of Moses has been removed from them, so that they first know aright how great things God in His Law requires of us, none of which we can observe.

    Nathan, faith and love are the two chief things God demands of us in his Law. This is the first Commandment. none means exactly that. Even after we are converted!

    So we are to trust alone in the works of Another. faith and love WILL follow as a result, but even when they follow, they are still pure law and death for Old Adam. ONLY in the Works of Another is there any evidential sign of Life.

  • fws

    Nathan:

    the preaching of the suffering and death of Christ, the Son of God, is an earnest and terrible proclamation and declaration of God’s wrath, whereby men are first led into the Law aright, after the veil of Moses has been removed from them, so that they first know aright how great things God in His Law requires of us, none of which we can observe.

    Nathan, faith and love are the two chief things God demands of us in his Law. This is the first Commandment. none means exactly that. Even after we are converted!

    So we are to trust alone in the works of Another. faith and love WILL follow as a result, but even when they follow, they are still pure law and death for Old Adam. ONLY in the Works of Another is there any evidential sign of Life.

  • fws

    stephen K @ 56

    dont discount what Paul McCain says just because he does the opposite of what the Law demands. This is all of us. Including you.

    Paul McCain has been a true gift to the LCMS. I am certain he knows that the Lutheran Third Use instructs believers to be terrified at all they can see and do and to use the Law to accuse and kill Adam.

    Even though it may not look like it, I am certain that Paul is terrified at even his best good works and considers them on the same level as the worst homosexual one could imagine and he sees all he has ever done , including his faith, as being the moral equivalent of a used Tampon that they are.

    Trust that he believes that Stephen K since he subcribes to our Lutheran Confessions. And then defend him, speak well of him, and put the best and kindest interpretation on all you see him say and do!

  • fws

    stephen K @ 56

    dont discount what Paul McCain says just because he does the opposite of what the Law demands. This is all of us. Including you.

    Paul McCain has been a true gift to the LCMS. I am certain he knows that the Lutheran Third Use instructs believers to be terrified at all they can see and do and to use the Law to accuse and kill Adam.

    Even though it may not look like it, I am certain that Paul is terrified at even his best good works and considers them on the same level as the worst homosexual one could imagine and he sees all he has ever done , including his faith, as being the moral equivalent of a used Tampon that they are.

    Trust that he believes that Stephen K since he subcribes to our Lutheran Confessions. And then defend him, speak well of him, and put the best and kindest interpretation on all you see him say and do!

  • Stephen K

    fws 62

    The problem is that PM is a “Pastor” and a “leader” in the LCMS. He crushes people who are interested in Lutheranism and is rude and a total jerk to fragile sheep. He is more like a wolf than a shepherd. Anyway that has been my experience. Also, his fingerprints are all over the Study Bible and other CPH materials with this 3rd use stuff. I’d like to see the good works and rather than hear about how important they are. I think James says something about that. The irony is that the guy who blabs about good works treats people far worse than the guys who talk about Christian Freedom. Believe me that there are a lot of people that feel this way about him. A lot of his peers are highly offended by his online bullying. Maybe I am missing something here but I expect our LCMS Pastors to be merciful and kind to people seeking out info about Lutheranism, not brash, arrogant and rude.

  • Stephen K

    fws 62

    The problem is that PM is a “Pastor” and a “leader” in the LCMS. He crushes people who are interested in Lutheranism and is rude and a total jerk to fragile sheep. He is more like a wolf than a shepherd. Anyway that has been my experience. Also, his fingerprints are all over the Study Bible and other CPH materials with this 3rd use stuff. I’d like to see the good works and rather than hear about how important they are. I think James says something about that. The irony is that the guy who blabs about good works treats people far worse than the guys who talk about Christian Freedom. Believe me that there are a lot of people that feel this way about him. A lot of his peers are highly offended by his online bullying. Maybe I am missing something here but I expect our LCMS Pastors to be merciful and kind to people seeking out info about Lutheranism, not brash, arrogant and rude.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Stephen (@63), isn’t that a double-edged sword, though? Talking about the man (somewhat) behind his back, using a (somewhat) anonymous handle — is that treating him well, or is it rude?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Stephen (@63), isn’t that a double-edged sword, though? Talking about the man (somewhat) behind his back, using a (somewhat) anonymous handle — is that treating him well, or is it rude?

  • fws

    Stephen K

    I have been the brunt of some of that bad behavior Stephen. He has banned me from his site cyberbrethren in fact. I am not trying to justify that behavior. Unfortunately it is not a big secret. I often do things my own self that negate some of the good stuff I do. I am sad when I see it in my own self. I know I am grateful when people respond to those sorts of error by giving me mercy I don’t deserve. Try that. Let’s both continue to try that Stephen K ok?

    But at the same time Pastor McCain has been an incredible gift to the LCMS. He was an able assistent to President AL Barry and he pulled up CPH from being in a very very bad condition. Our LCMS would be far far worse off without him. If you were to try to find things to praise about the man you would not have to look very far. The man is driven. I am ashamed to admit that I haven’t done even a teeny fraction of the good works he has done in service to the church. Not even 1/1000th of all he has done.
    I also agree that some of what he is trying to inculcate in the LCMS currently could be seeds of disaster. He seems to be in agreement with Robert Baker for example that Thomist Natural Law is completely compatible with Lutheranism. That would be a return to the very theology that our Apology rejected. I am concerned about that.

    What I am saying is this:

    PM is, as you say an important man in the LCMS. We should praise him for the good he is doing and has done and hope he does much more of it.

    Actively search for ways to honestly praise him and defend him and speak well of him whereever you can, pray for him where you cannot, and try to put the kindest interpretation on what you see.
    Since he is a very visible ruler in our LCMS, if you criticize him, which is ok, do so with the utmost respect for the position he holds.

    I know you want to do nothing but that Stephen K. Let’s both assume that PM also really wants the same. Bless you.

  • fws

    Stephen K

    I have been the brunt of some of that bad behavior Stephen. He has banned me from his site cyberbrethren in fact. I am not trying to justify that behavior. Unfortunately it is not a big secret. I often do things my own self that negate some of the good stuff I do. I am sad when I see it in my own self. I know I am grateful when people respond to those sorts of error by giving me mercy I don’t deserve. Try that. Let’s both continue to try that Stephen K ok?

    But at the same time Pastor McCain has been an incredible gift to the LCMS. He was an able assistent to President AL Barry and he pulled up CPH from being in a very very bad condition. Our LCMS would be far far worse off without him. If you were to try to find things to praise about the man you would not have to look very far. The man is driven. I am ashamed to admit that I haven’t done even a teeny fraction of the good works he has done in service to the church. Not even 1/1000th of all he has done.
    I also agree that some of what he is trying to inculcate in the LCMS currently could be seeds of disaster. He seems to be in agreement with Robert Baker for example that Thomist Natural Law is completely compatible with Lutheranism. That would be a return to the very theology that our Apology rejected. I am concerned about that.

    What I am saying is this:

    PM is, as you say an important man in the LCMS. We should praise him for the good he is doing and has done and hope he does much more of it.

    Actively search for ways to honestly praise him and defend him and speak well of him whereever you can, pray for him where you cannot, and try to put the kindest interpretation on what you see.
    Since he is a very visible ruler in our LCMS, if you criticize him, which is ok, do so with the utmost respect for the position he holds.

    I know you want to do nothing but that Stephen K. Let’s both assume that PM also really wants the same. Bless you.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    First of all, I thank you for your words about Pastor McCain (this deserves its own post)

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    First of all, I thank you for your words about Pastor McCain (this deserves its own post)

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    I agree that even our faith and love condemn us – the reason that I did not include faith in the “external” actions you talked about, what because of the ever-important reality of passive faith, which only Lutherans seem to get. Yes, I agree that our “active faith” is condemned as well.

    And I agree it that we should try to stick to the language of the Confessions as much as possible when it comes to these matters that have already been discussed and debated in the Church. That said, I believe that the Confessions do commend Luther’s works to us as well to help us in our quest.

    “The Law ONLY accuses, condemns and kills. Telling us how to live is Law…. Especially in Christ the Law accuses us and terrifies us Nathan! Always. Only.”

    Frank, I’m quite sure FOC V does not say that. Please show me where it does. I know the Law always accuses, according to the language of the Confessions – it does not say it only accuses.

    “The veil of moses is the assumption that if there is a command of God, then God must also provide the means to keep it by our own powers.”

    I think this is probably right on: what FOC V says.

    ….

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    I agree that even our faith and love condemn us – the reason that I did not include faith in the “external” actions you talked about, what because of the ever-important reality of passive faith, which only Lutherans seem to get. Yes, I agree that our “active faith” is condemned as well.

    And I agree it that we should try to stick to the language of the Confessions as much as possible when it comes to these matters that have already been discussed and debated in the Church. That said, I believe that the Confessions do commend Luther’s works to us as well to help us in our quest.

    “The Law ONLY accuses, condemns and kills. Telling us how to live is Law…. Especially in Christ the Law accuses us and terrifies us Nathan! Always. Only.”

    Frank, I’m quite sure FOC V does not say that. Please show me where it does. I know the Law always accuses, according to the language of the Confessions – it does not say it only accuses.

    “The veil of moses is the assumption that if there is a command of God, then God must also provide the means to keep it by our own powers.”

    I think this is probably right on: what FOC V says.

    ….

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    At this point, I have some more quotations for you to ponder:

    Augustine wrote: “The law was given so that grace might be sought. Grace was given so that the law might be fulfilled.” (yes, “grace” can have one meaning in Lutheran theology, and another meaning in Catholic theology. But if we understand grace as God’s saving favor toward the sinner for Christ’s sake first, and then also as God’s strengthening gift, the statement can be endorsed)

    In On the Spirit and the Letter, section 34, where this quote is from, Augustine quotes Rom. 8:3-4 – and these are the same verses that Luther also quotes in his disputations against the antinomians when he makes talks about sanctification following justification:

    “God’s wrath is against sin and that he punishes it severely. Nonetheless, the free remission of sin by God’s grace is to be taught, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus (Rom. 3:24). Paul, however, testifies in extremely clear words that justification is impossible by the law, as he says in Romans 8(:3) “What was impossible for the law,” and he adds the reason: “by,” that is, “because of, the flesh.” If it is impossible to be justified by the law, where then do I seek remedy and help against sin and death in order to obtain righteousness and life? Here Paul responds (Rom. 8:3f.): God had mercy on us and sent his Son in the likeness of the flesh of sin and condemned sin in the flesh through sin, so that the just requirement of the law may be fulfilled in us.

    Therefore, since we were unable to fulfill the law due to the sin that was reigning in our flesh and holding it captive, Christ came and killed that sin by sin, that is, by the sacrifice which was offered for sin, so that the justice of the law may be fulfilled in us (Rom. 8:3-4) first by way of imputation, then also formally (i.e., actually); yet not by our efforts, but by the grace of God who sent his Son into the flesh. He gives the Spirit to those who believe this so that they may heartily begin to hate sin, to acknowledge this immense and incomprehensible gift, to give God thanks for it, to love, worship, and call upon God, and to expect everything from him. For if he gave the Son, and this certainly for the sins, then he will certainly give with him everything (Rom. 8:32).” (First Disp., 14th arg.)

    ….

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    At this point, I have some more quotations for you to ponder:

    Augustine wrote: “The law was given so that grace might be sought. Grace was given so that the law might be fulfilled.” (yes, “grace” can have one meaning in Lutheran theology, and another meaning in Catholic theology. But if we understand grace as God’s saving favor toward the sinner for Christ’s sake first, and then also as God’s strengthening gift, the statement can be endorsed)

    In On the Spirit and the Letter, section 34, where this quote is from, Augustine quotes Rom. 8:3-4 – and these are the same verses that Luther also quotes in his disputations against the antinomians when he makes talks about sanctification following justification:

    “God’s wrath is against sin and that he punishes it severely. Nonetheless, the free remission of sin by God’s grace is to be taught, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus (Rom. 3:24). Paul, however, testifies in extremely clear words that justification is impossible by the law, as he says in Romans 8(:3) “What was impossible for the law,” and he adds the reason: “by,” that is, “because of, the flesh.” If it is impossible to be justified by the law, where then do I seek remedy and help against sin and death in order to obtain righteousness and life? Here Paul responds (Rom. 8:3f.): God had mercy on us and sent his Son in the likeness of the flesh of sin and condemned sin in the flesh through sin, so that the just requirement of the law may be fulfilled in us.

    Therefore, since we were unable to fulfill the law due to the sin that was reigning in our flesh and holding it captive, Christ came and killed that sin by sin, that is, by the sacrifice which was offered for sin, so that the justice of the law may be fulfilled in us (Rom. 8:3-4) first by way of imputation, then also formally (i.e., actually); yet not by our efforts, but by the grace of God who sent his Son into the flesh. He gives the Spirit to those who believe this so that they may heartily begin to hate sin, to acknowledge this immense and incomprehensible gift, to give God thanks for it, to love, worship, and call upon God, and to expect everything from him. For if he gave the Son, and this certainly for the sins, then he will certainly give with him everything (Rom. 8:32).” (First Disp., 14th arg.)

    ….

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Along these lines, consider these quotes from the Large Catechism:

    In the opening sentences of the Second Chief Part, Luther stated:

    “Thus far we have heard the first part of Christian doctrine. In it we have seen all that God wishes us to do or not to do. The Creed properly follows, setting forth all that we must expect and receive from God; in brief, it teaches us to know him perfectly. ***It is given in order to help us do what the Ten Commandments require of us***. For, as we said above, they are set on so high a plane that all human ability is far too feeble and weak to keep them. Therefore it is as necessary to learn this part as it is the other so that we may know where and how to obtain strength for this task.”

    This sounds like “The law was given so that grace might be sought. Grace was given so that the law might be fulfilled” does it not?

    See also the opening lines of the Third Chief Part:

    “We have heard what we are to do and believe. The best and most blessed life consists of these things. Now follows the third part, how we are to pray. Mankind is in such a situation that no one can keep the Ten Commandments perfectly, even though he has begun to believe. Besides, the devil, along with the world and our flesh, resists our efforts with all his power. Consequently nothing is so necessary as to call upon God incessantly and drum into his ears our prayer ***that he may give, preserve, and increase in us faith and obedience to the Ten Commandments and remove all that stands in our way and hinders us from fulfilling them.”***

    ….

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Along these lines, consider these quotes from the Large Catechism:

    In the opening sentences of the Second Chief Part, Luther stated:

    “Thus far we have heard the first part of Christian doctrine. In it we have seen all that God wishes us to do or not to do. The Creed properly follows, setting forth all that we must expect and receive from God; in brief, it teaches us to know him perfectly. ***It is given in order to help us do what the Ten Commandments require of us***. For, as we said above, they are set on so high a plane that all human ability is far too feeble and weak to keep them. Therefore it is as necessary to learn this part as it is the other so that we may know where and how to obtain strength for this task.”

    This sounds like “The law was given so that grace might be sought. Grace was given so that the law might be fulfilled” does it not?

    See also the opening lines of the Third Chief Part:

    “We have heard what we are to do and believe. The best and most blessed life consists of these things. Now follows the third part, how we are to pray. Mankind is in such a situation that no one can keep the Ten Commandments perfectly, even though he has begun to believe. Besides, the devil, along with the world and our flesh, resists our efforts with all his power. Consequently nothing is so necessary as to call upon God incessantly and drum into his ears our prayer ***that he may give, preserve, and increase in us faith and obedience to the Ten Commandments and remove all that stands in our way and hinders us from fulfilling them.”***

    ….

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Of course there is this quote (which I think Paul McCain has used a lot) in Luther’s book on the church and the councils (AE 41:113f.):

    “… my Antinomians … are preaching beautifully and (as I cannot but think) with real sincerity about Christ’s grace, about the forgiveness of sin and whatever else can be said about the doctrine of redemption. But they flee as if it were the very devil the consequence that they should tell the people about the third article, of sanctification, that is, of the new life in Christ. They think one should not frighten or trouble the people, but rather always preach comfortingly about grace and the forgiveness of sins in Christ, and under no circumstances use these or similar words, “Listen! You want to be a Christian and at the same time remain an adulterer, a whoremonger, a drunken swine, arrogant, covetous, a usurer, envious, vindictive, malicious, etc.!” Instead they say, “Listen! Though you are an adulterer, a whoremonger, a miser, or other kind of sinner, if you but believe, you are saved, and you need not fear the law. Christ has fulfilled it all!”

    Tell me, my dear man, is that not granting the premise and denying the conclusion? It is, indeed, taking away Christ and bringing him to nought at the same time he is most beautifully proclaimed! And it is saying yes and no to the same thing. ***For there is no such Christ that died for sinners who do not, after the forgiveness of sins, desist from sins and lead a new life.*** Thus they preach Christ nicely with Nestorian and Eutychian logic that Christ is and yet is not Christ. They may be fine Easter preachers, but they are very poor Pentecost preachers, for they do not preach de sanctificatione et vivificatione Spiritus Sancti, “about the sanctification by the Holy Spirit,” but solely about the redemption of Jesus Christ, although Christ (whom they extoll so highly, and rightly so) is Christ, that is, he has purchased redemption from sin and death so that the Holy Spirit might transform us out of the old Adam into new men—we die unto sin and live unto righteousness, beginning and growing here on earth and perfecting it beyond, as St. Paul teaches. ***Christ did not earn only gratia, “grace,” for us, but also donum, “the gift of the Holy Spirit,” so that we might have not only forgiveness of, but also cessation of, sin. Now he who does not abstain from sin, but persists in his evil life, must have a different Christ, that of the Antinomians; the real Christ is not there, even if all the angels would cry, “Christ! Christ!” He must be damned with this, his new Christ.***”

    With those quotes ringing in our ears, let’s look at what you said:

    “The Confessions, in the Apology show that difference by explaining that faith that saves as an emotion. Here is how that argument works: If your wife told you “Nathan! I DEMAND that you love me with all our heart, mind, body and even soul!” Your reason would tell you what? Your reason, correctly would inform you that that is impossible! Your reason would point out that we can’t even command our own hearts, let alone someone else commanding it. So reason would do what? It would say this: Surely a command (now from God) implies, logically, that I am able to do what is commanded. Otherwise what is the point of the command? So what that command MUST mean is that I am being commanded to ACT like that someone who loves with the whole heart and mind and soul. Or maybe it means that I must at least be truly sorry for not loving as I should and that will count as doing what the command asks for.”

    Faith “saves as an emotion”? I’m not even sure what that means. I think my reason, with the help of God’s word would tell me that God’s command that I love Him with all my heart soul, strength and mind is not impossible, because with God, all things are possible (it may not happen fully in this life, but I am to trust it will, and that even now, through Christ, this will *begin to happen*, even if we will *never* reach our goal this side of the grave). I most definitely am not being told to ACT like that but to BE like that. We don’t necessarily need to be Pharisees here: if we find ourselves “going through the motions” (and *we will*!), we confess this to, and long for more purity of heart, zealousness for God, divine love to consume us fully…. We don’t look at any of this apart from Christ: He is the One who forgives 70 x 7, remember? (as you say: “we take up…. the gospel edge of that same Sword of the Spirit to fight of satan at the end of the day when we have a bad conscience. Satan will say this ‘show me! what did you do that was really of faith?’ And we will respond by confession of sin. We will say this: ‘nothing at all!’ and Christ came for sinners like me. My proof is that I was baptized!” – we say this because we gladly confess that Christ provides all goodness and we provide all the sin and evil!)
    ….

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Of course there is this quote (which I think Paul McCain has used a lot) in Luther’s book on the church and the councils (AE 41:113f.):

    “… my Antinomians … are preaching beautifully and (as I cannot but think) with real sincerity about Christ’s grace, about the forgiveness of sin and whatever else can be said about the doctrine of redemption. But they flee as if it were the very devil the consequence that they should tell the people about the third article, of sanctification, that is, of the new life in Christ. They think one should not frighten or trouble the people, but rather always preach comfortingly about grace and the forgiveness of sins in Christ, and under no circumstances use these or similar words, “Listen! You want to be a Christian and at the same time remain an adulterer, a whoremonger, a drunken swine, arrogant, covetous, a usurer, envious, vindictive, malicious, etc.!” Instead they say, “Listen! Though you are an adulterer, a whoremonger, a miser, or other kind of sinner, if you but believe, you are saved, and you need not fear the law. Christ has fulfilled it all!”

    Tell me, my dear man, is that not granting the premise and denying the conclusion? It is, indeed, taking away Christ and bringing him to nought at the same time he is most beautifully proclaimed! And it is saying yes and no to the same thing. ***For there is no such Christ that died for sinners who do not, after the forgiveness of sins, desist from sins and lead a new life.*** Thus they preach Christ nicely with Nestorian and Eutychian logic that Christ is and yet is not Christ. They may be fine Easter preachers, but they are very poor Pentecost preachers, for they do not preach de sanctificatione et vivificatione Spiritus Sancti, “about the sanctification by the Holy Spirit,” but solely about the redemption of Jesus Christ, although Christ (whom they extoll so highly, and rightly so) is Christ, that is, he has purchased redemption from sin and death so that the Holy Spirit might transform us out of the old Adam into new men—we die unto sin and live unto righteousness, beginning and growing here on earth and perfecting it beyond, as St. Paul teaches. ***Christ did not earn only gratia, “grace,” for us, but also donum, “the gift of the Holy Spirit,” so that we might have not only forgiveness of, but also cessation of, sin. Now he who does not abstain from sin, but persists in his evil life, must have a different Christ, that of the Antinomians; the real Christ is not there, even if all the angels would cry, “Christ! Christ!” He must be damned with this, his new Christ.***”

    With those quotes ringing in our ears, let’s look at what you said:

    “The Confessions, in the Apology show that difference by explaining that faith that saves as an emotion. Here is how that argument works: If your wife told you “Nathan! I DEMAND that you love me with all our heart, mind, body and even soul!” Your reason would tell you what? Your reason, correctly would inform you that that is impossible! Your reason would point out that we can’t even command our own hearts, let alone someone else commanding it. So reason would do what? It would say this: Surely a command (now from God) implies, logically, that I am able to do what is commanded. Otherwise what is the point of the command? So what that command MUST mean is that I am being commanded to ACT like that someone who loves with the whole heart and mind and soul. Or maybe it means that I must at least be truly sorry for not loving as I should and that will count as doing what the command asks for.”

    Faith “saves as an emotion”? I’m not even sure what that means. I think my reason, with the help of God’s word would tell me that God’s command that I love Him with all my heart soul, strength and mind is not impossible, because with God, all things are possible (it may not happen fully in this life, but I am to trust it will, and that even now, through Christ, this will *begin to happen*, even if we will *never* reach our goal this side of the grave). I most definitely am not being told to ACT like that but to BE like that. We don’t necessarily need to be Pharisees here: if we find ourselves “going through the motions” (and *we will*!), we confess this to, and long for more purity of heart, zealousness for God, divine love to consume us fully…. We don’t look at any of this apart from Christ: He is the One who forgives 70 x 7, remember? (as you say: “we take up…. the gospel edge of that same Sword of the Spirit to fight of satan at the end of the day when we have a bad conscience. Satan will say this ‘show me! what did you do that was really of faith?’ And we will respond by confession of sin. We will say this: ‘nothing at all!’ and Christ came for sinners like me. My proof is that I was baptized!” – we say this because we gladly confess that Christ provides all goodness and we provide all the sin and evil!)
    ….

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    I asked: “Does [the Law] not act as a guide still in that it informs us about which works are pleasing to God and in line with the way He created us to live?”

    You said: “Yes! It informs us that we are to take the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God that is living, active, and deadly Law to kill Old Adam by daily contrition, grinding down, and repentence, which is to be terrified at ALL we can see ourselves do. Including our faith. So St Paul is instructing us not on how to live but rather on how to die to ourselves! And so Luther says “life is mortification”. Life is death. It does not follow that death is Life.”

    Frank, first of all, here is what I was talking about: “So, too, this doctrine of the Law is needful for believers, in order that they may not hit upon a holiness and devotion of their own, and under the pretext of the Spirit of God set up a self-chosen worship, without God’s Word and command, as it is written Deut. 12:8,28,32: Ye shall not do … every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes, etc., but observe and hear all these words which I command thee. Thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish therefrom.” (FOC VI, 20). Second – in dying we do live – but this means dying in baptism. All comes from this root. Recognizing who we are in Christ, that is forgiven children “that may be [wholly] His own” and who “live under Him in His kingdom, and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity.”

    Frank, the image of God that was lost was not our knowledge of God’s Law (which we nevertheless do lose!), but rather our fear, love and trust of God. That is what needs to be restored.

    Frank: “Where is this searing and suffocating found in Scripture or the Confessions. Where do you get this idea? it is mostly right, but you need to read it in scriptural and confessional context to not err here by adding our own conclusions or opinions…”

    Frank, if this does not appear clearly in the Confessions, it is because what I’m talking about was not disputed by anyone! Still, this certainly is the true faith. There is no reason why, in the future, Confessional Lutherans would not have to add to the BOC.

    Here is what Luther said (from the two long quotes above):

    “… were [the Law] not naturally written in the heart, one would have to teach and preach the law for a long time before it became the concern of conscience. The heart must also find and feel the law in itself. Otherwise it would become a matter of conscience for no one. However, the devil so blinds and possesses hearts, that they do not always feel this law. Therefore one must preach the law and impress it on the minds of people till God assists and enlightens them, so that they feel in their hearts what the Word says.”

    Frank, you had said: “And Reason, since it is the same Law agrees with the Decalog and lots of what moses wrote. But then he puts moses on the same level as laws in france or germany or wherever.”

    This is *not* what Luther was saying in those quotes I posted above. I especially want you to unpack the claim in that second sentence, which you seem to insist can be found in the augustana, apology, catechism, and smalcald . The “regarding morality nothing can be demanded beyong the Ethics of Aristotle” quote is found where? Apology IV, 14? You are going to build your whole case on this quotation? There are lots of things that Aristotle did not teach, but that the Scriptures do, for example, loving your enemies and forgiving 70 x 7 (remember the “weightier matters of the law”?) We could go on forever here, comparing the Sermon on the Mt to the Nichomachean Ethics. In his Nichomachean Ethics, said that “Not to resent offenses is the mark of a base and slavish man” If Melanchton thought this was Christian doctrine, obviously, he was wrong! That said, compared to the kinds of systems of law that many have experienced in the world, we can say, relatively speaking, that “Aristotle wrote so well on natural ethics that nothing further needs to be added”! (Ap. IV, 14)

    Frank: “What is it that is restored in Baptism? It is faith in the all sufficiency of the Works of Another. We say that Adam was also justified by faith alone, in Christ alone, exactly in the same way as we are, before the fall! And so Baptism is the restoration of the Image of God.”

    Yes, and because of this, we gladly embrace the Law. We now begin to fear, love and trust in all God’s promises of forgiveness, life and salvation. I.e. from the guilt and power of sin – we are now sheep who huddle close to our Shepherd’s side. Where He is we also will be. He will keep us in the straight paths, away from all things that might promote faith-destroying and doubt-inducing sin….

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    I asked: “Does [the Law] not act as a guide still in that it informs us about which works are pleasing to God and in line with the way He created us to live?”

    You said: “Yes! It informs us that we are to take the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God that is living, active, and deadly Law to kill Old Adam by daily contrition, grinding down, and repentence, which is to be terrified at ALL we can see ourselves do. Including our faith. So St Paul is instructing us not on how to live but rather on how to die to ourselves! And so Luther says “life is mortification”. Life is death. It does not follow that death is Life.”

    Frank, first of all, here is what I was talking about: “So, too, this doctrine of the Law is needful for believers, in order that they may not hit upon a holiness and devotion of their own, and under the pretext of the Spirit of God set up a self-chosen worship, without God’s Word and command, as it is written Deut. 12:8,28,32: Ye shall not do … every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes, etc., but observe and hear all these words which I command thee. Thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish therefrom.” (FOC VI, 20). Second – in dying we do live – but this means dying in baptism. All comes from this root. Recognizing who we are in Christ, that is forgiven children “that may be [wholly] His own” and who “live under Him in His kingdom, and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity.”

    Frank, the image of God that was lost was not our knowledge of God’s Law (which we nevertheless do lose!), but rather our fear, love and trust of God. That is what needs to be restored.

    Frank: “Where is this searing and suffocating found in Scripture or the Confessions. Where do you get this idea? it is mostly right, but you need to read it in scriptural and confessional context to not err here by adding our own conclusions or opinions…”

    Frank, if this does not appear clearly in the Confessions, it is because what I’m talking about was not disputed by anyone! Still, this certainly is the true faith. There is no reason why, in the future, Confessional Lutherans would not have to add to the BOC.

    Here is what Luther said (from the two long quotes above):

    “… were [the Law] not naturally written in the heart, one would have to teach and preach the law for a long time before it became the concern of conscience. The heart must also find and feel the law in itself. Otherwise it would become a matter of conscience for no one. However, the devil so blinds and possesses hearts, that they do not always feel this law. Therefore one must preach the law and impress it on the minds of people till God assists and enlightens them, so that they feel in their hearts what the Word says.”

    Frank, you had said: “And Reason, since it is the same Law agrees with the Decalog and lots of what moses wrote. But then he puts moses on the same level as laws in france or germany or wherever.”

    This is *not* what Luther was saying in those quotes I posted above. I especially want you to unpack the claim in that second sentence, which you seem to insist can be found in the augustana, apology, catechism, and smalcald . The “regarding morality nothing can be demanded beyong the Ethics of Aristotle” quote is found where? Apology IV, 14? You are going to build your whole case on this quotation? There are lots of things that Aristotle did not teach, but that the Scriptures do, for example, loving your enemies and forgiving 70 x 7 (remember the “weightier matters of the law”?) We could go on forever here, comparing the Sermon on the Mt to the Nichomachean Ethics. In his Nichomachean Ethics, said that “Not to resent offenses is the mark of a base and slavish man” If Melanchton thought this was Christian doctrine, obviously, he was wrong! That said, compared to the kinds of systems of law that many have experienced in the world, we can say, relatively speaking, that “Aristotle wrote so well on natural ethics that nothing further needs to be added”! (Ap. IV, 14)

    Frank: “What is it that is restored in Baptism? It is faith in the all sufficiency of the Works of Another. We say that Adam was also justified by faith alone, in Christ alone, exactly in the same way as we are, before the fall! And so Baptism is the restoration of the Image of God.”

    Yes, and because of this, we gladly embrace the Law. We now begin to fear, love and trust in all God’s promises of forgiveness, life and salvation. I.e. from the guilt and power of sin – we are now sheep who huddle close to our Shepherd’s side. Where He is we also will be. He will keep us in the straight paths, away from all things that might promote faith-destroying and doubt-inducing sin….

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    With that said, I might not be able to correspond again for a couple days. Currently on vacation in Nebraska (visiting Grandpa) and will be driving to Branson Missouri tomorrow….

    God’s richest blessings to you. Please note, you are dealing with a man who needs that 70 x 7 thing all the time….

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    With that said, I might not be able to correspond again for a couple days. Currently on vacation in Nebraska (visiting Grandpa) and will be driving to Branson Missouri tomorrow….

    God’s richest blessings to you. Please note, you are dealing with a man who needs that 70 x 7 thing all the time….

    +Nathan

  • fws

    Nathan @ 67

    The Law always accuses.
    The Law only accuses.

    You agree with the first, not with the second statement.
    So we are discussion at what point the statements are not equivalent.

    I suggest that they are equivalent.
    And I suggest that the problem is that we fail to distiguish between the Law and….. the Fruit of the Law.

    I suggest that the Law, or rather the Law-at-work, or what the Law does , is what secular folk call Justice.
    Christians call the Law-at-work Mortification.
    Justice always demands that someone become “dead to rights”.
    It looks like solomon cutting a baby in two.
    This is what “fair” looks like.
    We want a whole loaf. Self-ish-ly. We have to settle for less.
    Justice looks like the assignation of ownership.
    You committed a crime. You “own” the consequence/punishment.
    You did something good. You “own” the consequence/reward.
    “Deserve” is the word we use for consequence.
    And deserve is always according t0 something we can do, in the legal scheme of the Law.

    So then the problem with this is where we are to put the concepts of mercy and love into this legal scheme. The bible says that these are “fruits” of the Law. The are not what the Law does .

    So the real question is this: If goodness and mercy and love are not what the Law does, then how is it that they happen at all? After all, mercy and love and goodness are FRUIT OF. They are not what the Law DOES.

    So Christians fantasize then that only believers who have enabling grace in them can really and truly DO mercy, goodness and love, and not merely “goodness”, “mercy” and “love.”

    The problem is this: Any objective person must admit that there is not one single thing , evidentially and sense-ibly, that anyone can point to that a true believer can or would do or know to do that a fake christian could not also know to do or do.

    Further this:

    The bible tells us that mercy is defined as receiving the precise opposite of what Justice says we own. And it says that Love is another word for Mercy.

    One perverse condition of the fall is that we always want the demands of justice be meted out for OTHERS and we our heart longs for and often actually demands mercy to be given to US. We justify this by arguing for what is “fair”. This is really just a disguised form of self interest. What is fair is almost always in our own favor.

    The bible says that the life of a christian is for the christian to sacrificially and willingly take ownership of what Justice demands both for ourselves and others, and then to seek always to give mercy to OTHERS.

    So now the Confessions:

    The confessions tell us that there is one “use” of the Law that is only for Christians. This is described in the FoC art VI as the “[Lutheran]Third Use of the Law.

    What does it say about that use?
    Here I put “believers” in quotes. Why? It is confusion over that very word that art VI seeks to resolve. This can be seen in the “status” section. Why is that word a point of confusion? Some did not consider that the Old Adam STILL clings to us. so “believer” = Old Adam + New Man. “believer” is not just meaning “New Man’ only. So they correctly read the Bible to say that the Law still is to be used by the believer, But they made this mistake: they thought that there must be some special “indicative/teaching” non lethal Law that non christians do not have. There are not only 3 “uses” then. There are 3 Laws!

    So what does art VI say:

    1)The Law, in all uses, exists only because “believers” still have the Old Adam clinging to us. This is to say that New Man needs no Law except to kill Old Adam.

    2) There is no difference between the fruits of the Law and fruits of the Spirit. Good Works are Good Works. they are the same identical goodness, mercy and love. The difference is within the doer. The same identical Good works can either be “extorted” by Law or happen “as light from sun” by the Gospel.

    3) There is ONE Law that is written in the Reason of ALL men, and it is to be applied in the same way for the same intended effect in all men equally.

    and finally the point we are debating…

    4) there IS a Law that is known to and used by only Christians! This Law is written in the Reason of ALL, but it is veiled by the legalism that says law-is-satisfied-by-doing-it. This Law that is veiled to reason is found, only, in the Bible in the first commandment. Jesus takes this Law into his own hands whenever he speaks of the Law.

    And what does this Law do that only Christ can deliver? It is the Law that causes us to utterly despair that we can keep the law by any form of doing before God.

    This is the “instruction” that the Third use gives us.
    The Law ONLY accuses. The Law only kills.
    It does this even and especially when it instructs Christians.

    We are mistaken to think that this “instructing” is other than to instruct us that old adam can only die. He cannot be transformed.

  • fws

    Nathan @ 67

    The Law always accuses.
    The Law only accuses.

    You agree with the first, not with the second statement.
    So we are discussion at what point the statements are not equivalent.

    I suggest that they are equivalent.
    And I suggest that the problem is that we fail to distiguish between the Law and….. the Fruit of the Law.

    I suggest that the Law, or rather the Law-at-work, or what the Law does , is what secular folk call Justice.
    Christians call the Law-at-work Mortification.
    Justice always demands that someone become “dead to rights”.
    It looks like solomon cutting a baby in two.
    This is what “fair” looks like.
    We want a whole loaf. Self-ish-ly. We have to settle for less.
    Justice looks like the assignation of ownership.
    You committed a crime. You “own” the consequence/punishment.
    You did something good. You “own” the consequence/reward.
    “Deserve” is the word we use for consequence.
    And deserve is always according t0 something we can do, in the legal scheme of the Law.

    So then the problem with this is where we are to put the concepts of mercy and love into this legal scheme. The bible says that these are “fruits” of the Law. The are not what the Law does .

    So the real question is this: If goodness and mercy and love are not what the Law does, then how is it that they happen at all? After all, mercy and love and goodness are FRUIT OF. They are not what the Law DOES.

    So Christians fantasize then that only believers who have enabling grace in them can really and truly DO mercy, goodness and love, and not merely “goodness”, “mercy” and “love.”

    The problem is this: Any objective person must admit that there is not one single thing , evidentially and sense-ibly, that anyone can point to that a true believer can or would do or know to do that a fake christian could not also know to do or do.

    Further this:

    The bible tells us that mercy is defined as receiving the precise opposite of what Justice says we own. And it says that Love is another word for Mercy.

    One perverse condition of the fall is that we always want the demands of justice be meted out for OTHERS and we our heart longs for and often actually demands mercy to be given to US. We justify this by arguing for what is “fair”. This is really just a disguised form of self interest. What is fair is almost always in our own favor.

    The bible says that the life of a christian is for the christian to sacrificially and willingly take ownership of what Justice demands both for ourselves and others, and then to seek always to give mercy to OTHERS.

    So now the Confessions:

    The confessions tell us that there is one “use” of the Law that is only for Christians. This is described in the FoC art VI as the “[Lutheran]Third Use of the Law.

    What does it say about that use?
    Here I put “believers” in quotes. Why? It is confusion over that very word that art VI seeks to resolve. This can be seen in the “status” section. Why is that word a point of confusion? Some did not consider that the Old Adam STILL clings to us. so “believer” = Old Adam + New Man. “believer” is not just meaning “New Man’ only. So they correctly read the Bible to say that the Law still is to be used by the believer, But they made this mistake: they thought that there must be some special “indicative/teaching” non lethal Law that non christians do not have. There are not only 3 “uses” then. There are 3 Laws!

    So what does art VI say:

    1)The Law, in all uses, exists only because “believers” still have the Old Adam clinging to us. This is to say that New Man needs no Law except to kill Old Adam.

    2) There is no difference between the fruits of the Law and fruits of the Spirit. Good Works are Good Works. they are the same identical goodness, mercy and love. The difference is within the doer. The same identical Good works can either be “extorted” by Law or happen “as light from sun” by the Gospel.

    3) There is ONE Law that is written in the Reason of ALL men, and it is to be applied in the same way for the same intended effect in all men equally.

    and finally the point we are debating…

    4) there IS a Law that is known to and used by only Christians! This Law is written in the Reason of ALL, but it is veiled by the legalism that says law-is-satisfied-by-doing-it. This Law that is veiled to reason is found, only, in the Bible in the first commandment. Jesus takes this Law into his own hands whenever he speaks of the Law.

    And what does this Law do that only Christ can deliver? It is the Law that causes us to utterly despair that we can keep the law by any form of doing before God.

    This is the “instruction” that the Third use gives us.
    The Law ONLY accuses. The Law only kills.
    It does this even and especially when it instructs Christians.

    We are mistaken to think that this “instructing” is other than to instruct us that old adam can only die. He cannot be transformed.

  • fws

    Nathan @ 68

    This is EXCELLENT!

    It gets right at the very heart of the matter.

    Scholastics would fully agree with this statement:

    “But if we understand grace as God’s saving favor toward the sinner for Christ’s sake first, and then also as God’s strengthening gift, the statement can be endorsed”

    Look at what Lutherans say grace enables us to do! It is to do the invisible keeping of the Law that the first commandment demands that is not something we can do!

    “so that they may heartily begin to hate sin [be terrified of it!], to acknowledge this immense and incomprehensible gift, to give God thanks for it, to love, worship, and call upon God, and to expect everything from him”

    Lutherans say that that “grace” is all the keeping of the first commandment. Note that these are all emotions please. And this is ..”I believe that I can not by my own reason or strength believe!”

    And that is EXACTLY why Lutherans say that regarding morality NOTHING can be demanded beyond Aristotle. They are, by that, specifically EXCLUDING every other thing except what they call these new and SUPERnatural “new movements of the heart”.

    Wherever the confessions use the word “natural” they mean by it, whatever man is able to do of his own strength, reason and powers, apart from regeneration.
    And into that “natural” category, they utterly and completely include all that man can see, or do that he can perceive sense-ibly and evidentially!

    I am please with this Post nathan. You are actually reliving the exact point of arguments between the Scholastics and the Lutherans found in the Apology to the Augustana.

    To understand the Apology you must first understand aristotelian virtue ethics. Lutherans say that Aristotle falls completely into the category of natural.

    The Scholastics combine aristotle with enabling grace to say that this is the righteousness that God demands. they say, with aristotle, that there are three drivers in all men. reason, natural appetites, and the heart. So man must control the heart with reason to moderate the natural appetites.

    Therefore christians have enabling grace to allow them to do what aristotle describes. For the Scholastics this is a necessary preparation to receive God’s Grace and be justified.

    Late Melancthon and Calvin place this same scholastic and aristotelian process after justification and say that the enabling grace is a consequence of being justified. Same theology. The difference is the arrangement of the deck chairs on the Titannic.

    Why Titanic? Both Schemas makes our work essential to salvation.

    Lutherans separate out aristotle’s virtue. They say it is necessary on earth and very very good. But no HS is needed for it.

    How do they make this distinction?

    The say that the solution to sin is not to have reason control the heart to regulate natural appetites. The solution is to receive a NEW heart that needs no control by the Law in Reason! And so only Regeneration can truly put an end to sin! But for now, we believe, as an article of faith that this HAS happened, this true END to sin and a new heart, in Baptism. But ALL we can see is still that struggle that Aristotle describes. That is all Old Adam. And we Lutherans agree that Aristotle is exactly right here. But alone as to the Old Adam!

  • fws

    Nathan @ 68

    This is EXCELLENT!

    It gets right at the very heart of the matter.

    Scholastics would fully agree with this statement:

    “But if we understand grace as God’s saving favor toward the sinner for Christ’s sake first, and then also as God’s strengthening gift, the statement can be endorsed”

    Look at what Lutherans say grace enables us to do! It is to do the invisible keeping of the Law that the first commandment demands that is not something we can do!

    “so that they may heartily begin to hate sin [be terrified of it!], to acknowledge this immense and incomprehensible gift, to give God thanks for it, to love, worship, and call upon God, and to expect everything from him”

    Lutherans say that that “grace” is all the keeping of the first commandment. Note that these are all emotions please. And this is ..”I believe that I can not by my own reason or strength believe!”

    And that is EXACTLY why Lutherans say that regarding morality NOTHING can be demanded beyond Aristotle. They are, by that, specifically EXCLUDING every other thing except what they call these new and SUPERnatural “new movements of the heart”.

    Wherever the confessions use the word “natural” they mean by it, whatever man is able to do of his own strength, reason and powers, apart from regeneration.
    And into that “natural” category, they utterly and completely include all that man can see, or do that he can perceive sense-ibly and evidentially!

    I am please with this Post nathan. You are actually reliving the exact point of arguments between the Scholastics and the Lutherans found in the Apology to the Augustana.

    To understand the Apology you must first understand aristotelian virtue ethics. Lutherans say that Aristotle falls completely into the category of natural.

    The Scholastics combine aristotle with enabling grace to say that this is the righteousness that God demands. they say, with aristotle, that there are three drivers in all men. reason, natural appetites, and the heart. So man must control the heart with reason to moderate the natural appetites.

    Therefore christians have enabling grace to allow them to do what aristotle describes. For the Scholastics this is a necessary preparation to receive God’s Grace and be justified.

    Late Melancthon and Calvin place this same scholastic and aristotelian process after justification and say that the enabling grace is a consequence of being justified. Same theology. The difference is the arrangement of the deck chairs on the Titannic.

    Why Titanic? Both Schemas makes our work essential to salvation.

    Lutherans separate out aristotle’s virtue. They say it is necessary on earth and very very good. But no HS is needed for it.

    How do they make this distinction?

    The say that the solution to sin is not to have reason control the heart to regulate natural appetites. The solution is to receive a NEW heart that needs no control by the Law in Reason! And so only Regeneration can truly put an end to sin! But for now, we believe, as an article of faith that this HAS happened, this true END to sin and a new heart, in Baptism. But ALL we can see is still that struggle that Aristotle describes. That is all Old Adam. And we Lutherans agree that Aristotle is exactly right here. But alone as to the Old Adam!

  • fws

    Nathan @ 69

    Again excellent. Let me quote the exact passages you emphasized, for those are indeed the most important parts!

    The Creed properly follows, setting forth all that we must expect and receive from God; in brief, it teaches us to know him perfectly. ***It is given in order to help us do what the Ten Commandments require of us***

    and…

    We have heard what we are to do and believe . The best and most blessed life consists of these things. Now follows the third part, how we are to pray .

    Do. Believe. Pray. What is the interrelationship?

    …no one can keep the Ten Commandments perfectly, even though he has begun to believe. … Consequently nothing is so necessary as to call upon God incessantly and drum into his ears our prayer ***that he may give, preserve, and increase in us faith and obedience to the Ten Commandments and remove all that stands in our way and hinders us from fulfilling them.”***

    You quote this as prooftext for this:

    “The law was given so that grace might be sought. Grace was given so that the law might be fulfilled”

    If OUR doing=fulfilling then “grace” is enabling grace. Then one would read all of this as you suggest.

    Try reading this in the Lutheran way: 1) Christ alone can “fulfill” the law. therefore it is those new heart movements that trust in that Work of Another that lay holds of the end of sin and the Law. 2) faith despairs and is terrified at our own doing of the Law. So faith is not doing the Law to “”fulfill” it. Faith trusts in Christ alone for that. Faith does the Law to die rather than seek signs of “fulfilling” or “Life”.

    Catechism as to why Christ redeemed us:

    That I should be his own, and live under him in his kingdom and serve him in ritheousness, innocence and blessedness!

    One does this by enabling grace where fulfill=do , or one does this by trusting in the Works of Another and being terrified at all we can do? Even the Apology admits that the second (Lutheran !) proposal , is un-reason-able on it’s face. What about external works? Don’t those matter?

    We say: yes they do. God demands them, and it is HE who makes them happen in Old Adam by extorting them by the Law written in Reason. They WILL happen. No HS or Christ is needed for this. But that keeping of the first commandment that demands not only reason but the heart… ONLY a NEW heart will do. And only regeneration can work this. And then we have the end to sin, not just the surpression of it. And then we have both the inner rigtheousness of the heart that now agrees , fully, with that deathly work of the Law that is making also our members keep the Law outwardly!

    if fulfilling is Alone done by the Works of Another then Grace can’t be about our doing. If fulfilling the Law is alone by the saying of a Name and water, then it cant be about our dloing.

  • fws

    Nathan @ 69

    Again excellent. Let me quote the exact passages you emphasized, for those are indeed the most important parts!

    The Creed properly follows, setting forth all that we must expect and receive from God; in brief, it teaches us to know him perfectly. ***It is given in order to help us do what the Ten Commandments require of us***

    and…

    We have heard what we are to do and believe . The best and most blessed life consists of these things. Now follows the third part, how we are to pray .

    Do. Believe. Pray. What is the interrelationship?

    …no one can keep the Ten Commandments perfectly, even though he has begun to believe. … Consequently nothing is so necessary as to call upon God incessantly and drum into his ears our prayer ***that he may give, preserve, and increase in us faith and obedience to the Ten Commandments and remove all that stands in our way and hinders us from fulfilling them.”***

    You quote this as prooftext for this:

    “The law was given so that grace might be sought. Grace was given so that the law might be fulfilled”

    If OUR doing=fulfilling then “grace” is enabling grace. Then one would read all of this as you suggest.

    Try reading this in the Lutheran way: 1) Christ alone can “fulfill” the law. therefore it is those new heart movements that trust in that Work of Another that lay holds of the end of sin and the Law. 2) faith despairs and is terrified at our own doing of the Law. So faith is not doing the Law to “”fulfill” it. Faith trusts in Christ alone for that. Faith does the Law to die rather than seek signs of “fulfilling” or “Life”.

    Catechism as to why Christ redeemed us:

    That I should be his own, and live under him in his kingdom and serve him in ritheousness, innocence and blessedness!

    One does this by enabling grace where fulfill=do , or one does this by trusting in the Works of Another and being terrified at all we can do? Even the Apology admits that the second (Lutheran !) proposal , is un-reason-able on it’s face. What about external works? Don’t those matter?

    We say: yes they do. God demands them, and it is HE who makes them happen in Old Adam by extorting them by the Law written in Reason. They WILL happen. No HS or Christ is needed for this. But that keeping of the first commandment that demands not only reason but the heart… ONLY a NEW heart will do. And only regeneration can work this. And then we have the end to sin, not just the surpression of it. And then we have both the inner rigtheousness of the heart that now agrees , fully, with that deathly work of the Law that is making also our members keep the Law outwardly!

    if fulfilling is Alone done by the Works of Another then Grace can’t be about our doing. If fulfilling the Law is alone by the saying of a Name and water, then it cant be about our dloing.

  • fws

    nathan @ 70

    Again excellent ! And the part you chose to highlight is very good and the context explains it. Let me repeat those they are so good:

    For there is no such Christ that died for sinners who do not, after the forgiveness of sins, desist from sins and lead a new life.

    Amen! Even pagans know and can do the Law. The confessions point to Aristotle. So how could it be that faith, which is terrified of all it’s works and wishes to flee from sin would not try to do likewise?!! Christ redeemed us to be free from sin and not to wallow in it.

    Further, we Lutherans praise this kind of righteousness just as Aristotle does. We say with him that it is ‘more beautiful than the morning star”. We say that this righteousness is “necessary”. How? Without this righeousness life on earth would be impossible!

    Further, we say that christians must learn to keep the 10 commandments with joy. God requires this and shows his earnestness in this by promising earthly rewards, a long life and even heavenly crowns for such righeousness, and he has threatened to send us punishments and plagues to the third generation of we don’t . God will make this all happen even if we are total Antinomians! See that this is so by reading Luke 18 and the story of the antinomian judge accused by a conscience that is even widowed to love. So this kind of law-fulfilling that is about doing is useful in this life for happiness and to avoid punishment, but it ends with this life. And God WILL make us do it, either by willinging following our conscience, or if we insist on being antinomian, then by plagues, and perhaps even the hangman. This kind of Law fulfilling will all perish with this life.

    If we wish to deal with God, then we must aim higher. We must find Life with God in a place as far removed from this earthly doing as the earth is removed from the most distant star. That place where we must deal with God is alone by invisible faith in the Works of Another Nathan.

    We should always be certain that we can know and do this doing/fulfilling and that God is pleased with that doing. But even if we have done it all well, we must keep this doing as distant from our standing before God as the earth is from the heavens.

    But we Lutherans observe that this righeousness does not require the Holy Spirit or Christ. It only requires Reason and the Law. Aristotle or Christ as Example is good enough to make this happen!

    Christ did not earn only gratia, “grace,” for us, but also donum, “the gift of the Holy Spirit,” so that we might have not only forgiveness of, but also cessation of, sin. Now he who does not abstain from sin, but persists in his evil life, must have a different Christ, that of the Antinomians; the real Christ is not there, even if all the angels would cry, “Christ! Christ!” He must be damned with this, his new Christ.

    I think my just previous response covers this as well. Christians are not exempt from the same Law that pagans are to do. Luther is saying this. But you are right in that he is saying that Christians receive a special gift from Christ himself with respect to the Law! So what is that gift? is it to keep the Law differently than fake christians? Yes! In a way that is visibly different? no. If you disagree, show me an example in the bible or anywhere where this is the case. So what is the difference in how the Law affects Christians? the confessions say this:

    Christ does indeed enable us to resist sin. Only the christian can use the Law in the third way. One who thinks he can fulfill that law by doing is not terrified. he just gets very busy! The third use of the Law instructs the Believer in a way that a pagan cannot know. Here is what our confessions say that looks like.

    This, and nothing else, is the Instruction that is Only for Christians that is the Lutheran Third Use of the Law :

    [When we go to the Supper] we …remember and proclaim His death and the shedding of His blood. [We] should we remember and proclaim His death … so we may learn to be horrified by our sins, and to regard them as very serious. (sc questions and answers)…
    what more forcible, more terrible declaration and preaching of God’s wrath against sin is there than just the suffering and death of Christ, His Son? the preaching of the suffering and death of Christ, the Son of God, is an earnest and terrible proclamation and declaration of God’s wrath, whereby men are first led into the Law aright, after the veil of Moses has been removed from them, so that they first know aright how great things God in His Law requires of us, none of which we can observe. (FC Law and Gospel)…
    the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins,and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened. (apology III 10])

    I will address the second part of your lengthy post in my next post. about how faith = emotions.

    And there is another part of the same quote you did not highlight but we need to consider it:

    Christ, that is, he has purchased redemption from sin and death so that the Holy Spirit might transform us out of the old Adam into new men—we die unto sin and live unto righteousness, beginning and growing here on earth and perfecting it beyond, as St. Paul teaches.

  • fws

    nathan @ 70

    Again excellent ! And the part you chose to highlight is very good and the context explains it. Let me repeat those they are so good:

    For there is no such Christ that died for sinners who do not, after the forgiveness of sins, desist from sins and lead a new life.

    Amen! Even pagans know and can do the Law. The confessions point to Aristotle. So how could it be that faith, which is terrified of all it’s works and wishes to flee from sin would not try to do likewise?!! Christ redeemed us to be free from sin and not to wallow in it.

    Further, we Lutherans praise this kind of righteousness just as Aristotle does. We say with him that it is ‘more beautiful than the morning star”. We say that this righteousness is “necessary”. How? Without this righeousness life on earth would be impossible!

    Further, we say that christians must learn to keep the 10 commandments with joy. God requires this and shows his earnestness in this by promising earthly rewards, a long life and even heavenly crowns for such righeousness, and he has threatened to send us punishments and plagues to the third generation of we don’t . God will make this all happen even if we are total Antinomians! See that this is so by reading Luke 18 and the story of the antinomian judge accused by a conscience that is even widowed to love. So this kind of law-fulfilling that is about doing is useful in this life for happiness and to avoid punishment, but it ends with this life. And God WILL make us do it, either by willinging following our conscience, or if we insist on being antinomian, then by plagues, and perhaps even the hangman. This kind of Law fulfilling will all perish with this life.

    If we wish to deal with God, then we must aim higher. We must find Life with God in a place as far removed from this earthly doing as the earth is removed from the most distant star. That place where we must deal with God is alone by invisible faith in the Works of Another Nathan.

    We should always be certain that we can know and do this doing/fulfilling and that God is pleased with that doing. But even if we have done it all well, we must keep this doing as distant from our standing before God as the earth is from the heavens.

    But we Lutherans observe that this righeousness does not require the Holy Spirit or Christ. It only requires Reason and the Law. Aristotle or Christ as Example is good enough to make this happen!

    Christ did not earn only gratia, “grace,” for us, but also donum, “the gift of the Holy Spirit,” so that we might have not only forgiveness of, but also cessation of, sin. Now he who does not abstain from sin, but persists in his evil life, must have a different Christ, that of the Antinomians; the real Christ is not there, even if all the angels would cry, “Christ! Christ!” He must be damned with this, his new Christ.

    I think my just previous response covers this as well. Christians are not exempt from the same Law that pagans are to do. Luther is saying this. But you are right in that he is saying that Christians receive a special gift from Christ himself with respect to the Law! So what is that gift? is it to keep the Law differently than fake christians? Yes! In a way that is visibly different? no. If you disagree, show me an example in the bible or anywhere where this is the case. So what is the difference in how the Law affects Christians? the confessions say this:

    Christ does indeed enable us to resist sin. Only the christian can use the Law in the third way. One who thinks he can fulfill that law by doing is not terrified. he just gets very busy! The third use of the Law instructs the Believer in a way that a pagan cannot know. Here is what our confessions say that looks like.

    This, and nothing else, is the Instruction that is Only for Christians that is the Lutheran Third Use of the Law :

    [When we go to the Supper] we …remember and proclaim His death and the shedding of His blood. [We] should we remember and proclaim His death … so we may learn to be horrified by our sins, and to regard them as very serious. (sc questions and answers)…
    what more forcible, more terrible declaration and preaching of God’s wrath against sin is there than just the suffering and death of Christ, His Son? the preaching of the suffering and death of Christ, the Son of God, is an earnest and terrible proclamation and declaration of God’s wrath, whereby men are first led into the Law aright, after the veil of Moses has been removed from them, so that they first know aright how great things God in His Law requires of us, none of which we can observe. (FC Law and Gospel)…
    the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins,and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened. (apology III 10])

    I will address the second part of your lengthy post in my next post. about how faith = emotions.

    And there is another part of the same quote you did not highlight but we need to consider it:

    Christ, that is, he has purchased redemption from sin and death so that the Holy Spirit might transform us out of the old Adam into new men—we die unto sin and live unto righteousness, beginning and growing here on earth and perfecting it beyond, as St. Paul teaches.

  • fws

    Nathan @
    First:
    My example off a wife demanding love is a good one. It does answer your response immediately after you requote it. Please do consider it more and do not dismiss it.
    Read it as describing a concept and not as logical proof towards an argument. I am trying to describe the way the Apology talks about faith as emotions in the heart and contrasts them to our doing something with our reason, or the emotions that reason does indeed have the power to “evoke”.

    Secondly:
    I did not state that “faith saves as an emotion”. I said that the Apology always describes saving faith as a set of new emotions. I hope you can see the difference.

    Why do they do that? They are addressing the Scholastics. The scholastics have fused Aristotle’s Ethics to Theology.

    Aristotle says there are 3 actors in each man: reason , emotion, and natural appetites.

    The path to Telos is for man to regulate his lawless emotions with the law in his reason in order to channel his natural appetites in a way that perfectly matches his Telos.

    Aquinas and Calvin recast this: the restoration of the Image of God (telos) is for man to use reason, corrected by the decalog, to subdue his emotions/heart and so restrain from acting against his ultimate good by giving into his lusts/desires.
    Note that for Rome and Calvin, lusts/desires are “natural” therefore not sin. It is giving into those things, “willful sinning” , actions! In thought, word or deed, that is what is sin.

    Lutherans: Gods Law is perfectly written in reason.
    Yet man doesnt do what reason demands. why not?
    The heart is at war with the Law. Reason.
    Why?
    The heart is devoid of Gods Image,
    What is that Image? it is faith in God.
    The void of faith in the heart the is filled with lust/coveting/desire.
    Those desires are really a false faith.
    They are a faith that is in any Object other than God
    It is a faith that seeks goodness and mercy in created things in a way autonomous from God.

    This is why doing (ala aristotle, calvin, st thomas) cant really end sin. it can subdue it to an extent, which is good!

    The real end of sin is to receive NEW heart movements. New….. emotions! How does the Apology and the catechism describe faith then? it uses words we use that describe… emotions…. fear, love, trust, terrified, etc etc.

    One must read the Catechisms and the Apology in the context of what they are contrasted to: That is the scholastic Aristotelian Ethics of Aristotle Nathan!

    THAT is why they describe saving faith as a set of emotions. it is not to say that our emotions can save us which is how I think you are reading what I said!

    what you describe as follows is CLASSIC Roman Catholic Scholasticism that is precisely and exactly what our Apology argues against!

    1) I think my reason, with the help of God’s word would tell me that God’s command that I love Him with all my heart soul, strength and mind is not impossible
    2)…with God, all things are possible [our natural powers of reason can do thiswhen assisted by enabling grace]
    3) .. granted… it may not happen fully in this life, but I am to trust it will, and that even now, through Christ, this will *begin to happen… I most definitely am not being told to ACT like that but to BE like that.
    4) … if we find ourselves “going through the motions” (and *we will*!). [this is what ex opere operato is]
    5) ….we confess this to, and long for more purity of heart, zealousness for God, divine love to consume us fully….
    6) ….. We don’t look at any of this apart from Christ

    The idea here Nathan is we are like a baseball. The Holy Spirit infuses his energy into that ball by pulling back his arm and then … releasing the ball. So the ball can be said to be acting independently, yet at the same time, that ball is infused with the direction and force of the Holy Spirit. This leaves room for complete free will, yet it says that the enabling force is all the HS.

    Another school that is less sophisticated at trying to explain our actions in relation to the HS says that we are the glove and the HS is the hand inside of us moving the glove. This removes all free will and makes us really robots. So few cling to this idea.

    Compare what you outlined, that I say is classic scholasticism, to this (Apology III):

    9] … the scholastics,…, teach ..a righteousness of reason,…civil works, [philosophical righeousness] and fabricate besides that … reason can love God above all things.
    …the human mind …at ease,… not feel[ing] the wrath or judgment of God… can imagine that it wishes to love God, that it wishes to do good for God’s sake.

    With this method, they teach that men [fulfill the Law] …by doing what is in them.

    Here is now they paint what that looks like:

    [the Law is fulfilled if]…reason, grieving over sin, elicit an act of love to God, or 10] for God’s sake be active in that which is good.

    … 11] And in order that they might nourish and increase confidence in such works, they have affirmed that God necessarily gives grace to one thus working. God is not obligated to do so, but it is the nature of how God does things that he won’t transgress.

    12] … Let the honest reader think only of this:

    If this be Christian righteousness, what difference is there between philosophy and the doctrine of Christ?

    If we [can fulfill the Law] by these acts that we elicit and produce from our Reason, of what benefit is Christ?

    If we can [fulfill the Law] by reason and the works of reason, wherefore is there need 13] of Christ or regeneration [as Peter declares, 1 Pet. 1:18ff ]?

    …many ridicule us because we teach that a fulfilling of the Law that is different than 14] this kind of fulfilling must be sought after.

    We have heard that some after setting aside the Gospel, have, instead of a sermon, explained the ethics of Aristotle [this kind of fulfilling of the Law]. [I myself have heard a great preacher who did not mention Christ and the Gospel, and preached the ethics of Aristotle.

    ...Aristotle wrote concerning civil morals so learnedly that nothing further concerning this need be demanded. 15] We see books extant in which certain sayings of Christ are compared with the sayings of Socrates, Zeno, and others, as though Christ had come for the purpose of delivering certain laws through which we might [ourselves fulfill the Law] , as though we did not receive this 16] gratuitously because of His merits.

    Therefore, if we here receive the doctrine of the adversaries, that by the works of reason we [can fulfill the Law], there will be no difference between philosophic, or certainly pharisaic, and Christian righteousness.

    Later they say this:

    Justification is described in two ways in the bible. One is to declare us forensically righeous. The other is to make sinful men holy.

    They do not disagree with that second description of Justification Nathan. But in what does that consist? Infused HS that lets us now keep the Law by reason-able doing? No. The Law WILL make that happen. Aristotle is proof. No HS or Christ is necessary for that kind of holiness.

    What alone is that second kind of holiness is the restored image of God that restores the new emotions of true fear, love and trust in God in the heart. this is the very restoration of the Image of God.

  • fws

    Nathan @
    First:
    My example off a wife demanding love is a good one. It does answer your response immediately after you requote it. Please do consider it more and do not dismiss it.
    Read it as describing a concept and not as logical proof towards an argument. I am trying to describe the way the Apology talks about faith as emotions in the heart and contrasts them to our doing something with our reason, or the emotions that reason does indeed have the power to “evoke”.

    Secondly:
    I did not state that “faith saves as an emotion”. I said that the Apology always describes saving faith as a set of new emotions. I hope you can see the difference.

    Why do they do that? They are addressing the Scholastics. The scholastics have fused Aristotle’s Ethics to Theology.

    Aristotle says there are 3 actors in each man: reason , emotion, and natural appetites.

    The path to Telos is for man to regulate his lawless emotions with the law in his reason in order to channel his natural appetites in a way that perfectly matches his Telos.

    Aquinas and Calvin recast this: the restoration of the Image of God (telos) is for man to use reason, corrected by the decalog, to subdue his emotions/heart and so restrain from acting against his ultimate good by giving into his lusts/desires.
    Note that for Rome and Calvin, lusts/desires are “natural” therefore not sin. It is giving into those things, “willful sinning” , actions! In thought, word or deed, that is what is sin.

    Lutherans: Gods Law is perfectly written in reason.
    Yet man doesnt do what reason demands. why not?
    The heart is at war with the Law. Reason.
    Why?
    The heart is devoid of Gods Image,
    What is that Image? it is faith in God.
    The void of faith in the heart the is filled with lust/coveting/desire.
    Those desires are really a false faith.
    They are a faith that is in any Object other than God
    It is a faith that seeks goodness and mercy in created things in a way autonomous from God.

    This is why doing (ala aristotle, calvin, st thomas) cant really end sin. it can subdue it to an extent, which is good!

    The real end of sin is to receive NEW heart movements. New….. emotions! How does the Apology and the catechism describe faith then? it uses words we use that describe… emotions…. fear, love, trust, terrified, etc etc.

    One must read the Catechisms and the Apology in the context of what they are contrasted to: That is the scholastic Aristotelian Ethics of Aristotle Nathan!

    THAT is why they describe saving faith as a set of emotions. it is not to say that our emotions can save us which is how I think you are reading what I said!

    what you describe as follows is CLASSIC Roman Catholic Scholasticism that is precisely and exactly what our Apology argues against!

    1) I think my reason, with the help of God’s word would tell me that God’s command that I love Him with all my heart soul, strength and mind is not impossible
    2)…with God, all things are possible [our natural powers of reason can do thiswhen assisted by enabling grace]
    3) .. granted… it may not happen fully in this life, but I am to trust it will, and that even now, through Christ, this will *begin to happen… I most definitely am not being told to ACT like that but to BE like that.
    4) … if we find ourselves “going through the motions” (and *we will*!). [this is what ex opere operato is]
    5) ….we confess this to, and long for more purity of heart, zealousness for God, divine love to consume us fully….
    6) ….. We don’t look at any of this apart from Christ

    The idea here Nathan is we are like a baseball. The Holy Spirit infuses his energy into that ball by pulling back his arm and then … releasing the ball. So the ball can be said to be acting independently, yet at the same time, that ball is infused with the direction and force of the Holy Spirit. This leaves room for complete free will, yet it says that the enabling force is all the HS.

    Another school that is less sophisticated at trying to explain our actions in relation to the HS says that we are the glove and the HS is the hand inside of us moving the glove. This removes all free will and makes us really robots. So few cling to this idea.

    Compare what you outlined, that I say is classic scholasticism, to this (Apology III):

    9] … the scholastics,…, teach ..a righteousness of reason,…civil works, [philosophical righeousness] and fabricate besides that … reason can love God above all things.
    …the human mind …at ease,… not feel[ing] the wrath or judgment of God… can imagine that it wishes to love God, that it wishes to do good for God’s sake.

    With this method, they teach that men [fulfill the Law] …by doing what is in them.

    Here is now they paint what that looks like:

    [the Law is fulfilled if]…reason, grieving over sin, elicit an act of love to God, or 10] for God’s sake be active in that which is good.

    … 11] And in order that they might nourish and increase confidence in such works, they have affirmed that God necessarily gives grace to one thus working. God is not obligated to do so, but it is the nature of how God does things that he won’t transgress.

    12] … Let the honest reader think only of this:

    If this be Christian righteousness, what difference is there between philosophy and the doctrine of Christ?

    If we [can fulfill the Law] by these acts that we elicit and produce from our Reason, of what benefit is Christ?

    If we can [fulfill the Law] by reason and the works of reason, wherefore is there need 13] of Christ or regeneration [as Peter declares, 1 Pet. 1:18ff ]?

    …many ridicule us because we teach that a fulfilling of the Law that is different than 14] this kind of fulfilling must be sought after.

    We have heard that some after setting aside the Gospel, have, instead of a sermon, explained the ethics of Aristotle [this kind of fulfilling of the Law]. [I myself have heard a great preacher who did not mention Christ and the Gospel, and preached the ethics of Aristotle.

    ...Aristotle wrote concerning civil morals so learnedly that nothing further concerning this need be demanded. 15] We see books extant in which certain sayings of Christ are compared with the sayings of Socrates, Zeno, and others, as though Christ had come for the purpose of delivering certain laws through which we might [ourselves fulfill the Law] , as though we did not receive this 16] gratuitously because of His merits.

    Therefore, if we here receive the doctrine of the adversaries, that by the works of reason we [can fulfill the Law], there will be no difference between philosophic, or certainly pharisaic, and Christian righteousness.

    Later they say this:

    Justification is described in two ways in the bible. One is to declare us forensically righeous. The other is to make sinful men holy.

    They do not disagree with that second description of Justification Nathan. But in what does that consist? Infused HS that lets us now keep the Law by reason-able doing? No. The Law WILL make that happen. Aristotle is proof. No HS or Christ is necessary for that kind of holiness.

    What alone is that second kind of holiness is the restored image of God that restores the new emotions of true fear, love and trust in God in the heart. this is the very restoration of the Image of God.

  • fws

    Nathan @ 71

    My contention here that that you address, is that the Reformed and Rome say we MUST have the Decalog because what is written in Reason is no longer complete since the fall (negating Rom 2:15). The Confessions say that this isn’t true. Their proof: Aristotle!

    Remember: melancthon is goin after the scholastics whose main deal is that we can “fulfill” the law with reason ala aristotle + enabling grace! Clever argument eh? They are saying this: No enabling grace is needed to fulfill the Law in the sense Aristotle means it. What sense is that? By doing the Law.

    But!

    BUT!

    They say there is one part of the Law, that part that deals with “movements of the heart” (emotions anyone?) that Reason is dulled to. So you quote Luther as saying this and it makes perfect sense. He is telling us that we need to preach the Third Use of the Law! It is a great quote! Let me repeat it again!

    were [the Law] not naturally written in the heart, one would have to teach and preach the law for a long time before it became the concern of conscience. The heart must also find and feel the law in itself. Otherwise it would become a matter of conscience for no one.

    NATHAN: Frank, you had said: “And Reason, since it is the same Law agrees with the Decalog and lots of what moses wrote. But then he puts moses on the same level as laws in france or germany or wherever.”
    This is *not* what Luther was saying in those quotes I posted above.

    FRANK Indeed this is exactly that as to the Laws content . So what is the Third Use about? Instructing us as to content? No. It is to instruct us in a way that makes us feel something!

    However, the devil so blinds and possesses hearts, that they do not always feel this law. Therefore one must preach the law and impress it on the minds of people till God assists and enlightens them, so that they feel in their hearts what the Word says

    Excellent. So the Law is already all there in Reason. But the heart doesn’t feel the force of the Law. Why not? The Reason is certain that when the Law demands, that fulfilling it MUST mean a doing even if our heart is not in it. No emotions could be necessary here, because it is impossible for any Law to demand our emotions. why? We know we dont have control over our hearts. we can use reason to work up sorrow for that fact. But it remains a fact. Remember my example about the wife demanding love.

    So what is that feeling Luther is saying that only the Law that is found, ONLY, in the Word of God can evoke and elicit? Terror!

    The other “uses ” of the Law make us DO things. The Third Use of the Law makes us FEEL something. That something is a total, utter, unconditional, and abject despair and surrender to any idea that the Law can be “fulfilled’ by any sort of doing IF that doing is not done from the heart.

    How is it that we can know if something is not done from the heart? We need to work at it! We need to engage our reason! “from the heart” = “like light from sun” “spontaneously” “automatically” “as the Angels do God’s bidding”. (FC art VI). There is NOTHING we can ever see and do here on earth Nathan that will EVER look like that. ALL we see is ALL Old Adam (FC art Vi) So we should stop looking for it. Why look for this? We have the complete fulfillment of the Law in Christ!

    Finally you quote this from FC art VI

    So, too, this doctrine of the Law is needful for believers, in order that they may not hit upon a holiness and devotion of their own, and under the pretext of the Spirit of God set up a self-chosen worship, without God’s Word and command

    What is it that you think that “under the pretext of the Spirit of God” adds to this phrase? This is an exact quote from the Apology III that I quoted earlier. But I didn’t include this in my quote.

    Let me do so now. You can then see what the FC means by self chosen worship. they mean DOing as a means of fulfilling the Law! And to say that it is the Spirit of God that is that enabling grace that allows US to fulfill the Law. Why would the Works of Christ be needed then? That is their point!

    9] … the scholastics,…, teach ..a righteousness of reason,…civil works, [philosophical righeousness] and fabricate besides that … reason can love God above all things.
    …the human mind …at ease,… not feel[ing] the wrath or judgment of God… can imagine that it wishes to love God, that it wishes to do good for God’s sake.
    With this method, they teach that men [fulfill the Law] …by doing what is in them.
    Here is now they paint what that looks like:
    [the Law is fulfilled if]…reason, grieving over sin, elicit an act of love to God, or 10] for God’s sake be active in that which is good.
    This thinking has brought forth and multiplied in the Church many services, …devised this act of worship and observances, the other that.
    … 11] And in order that they might nourish and increase confidence in such works, they have affirmed that God necessarily gives grace to one thus working. God is not obligated to do so, but it is the nature of how God does things that he won’t transgress.

    12] … Let the honest reader think only of this:
    If this be Christian righteousness, what difference is there between philosophy and the doctrine of Christ?
    If we [can fulfill the Law] by these acts that we elicit and produce from our Reason, why do we need the law fulfilling of Christ?
    If we can [fulfill the Law] by reason and the works of reason, wherefore is there need 13] of Christ ?

    The point they make is this Nathan: If grace is that Christ died and sent his Holy Spirit to enable us to “fulfill the Law”, then what do we need Christ’s fulfilling of the Law for?

    This looks more like:

    Christ came to enable us to follow his Example. He sends his Holy Spirit to enable us to do that. So we say that NONE of this could be done without Christ! And where we don’t manage to truly fear, love and trust, then what?

    We go through the motions if we have to, and we grieve over the fact that we don’t have the right emotions or heart, and God will forgive us of those shortcomings. Not because he is obligated to, but because , in Christ, that is just how God works, and he wont go contrary to that pattern.

    So we need to do our part. God has already done his, even to making it fully possible for us to do our part only and alone in Christ!

    The Apology says that this will never calm a terrified conscience. That is their argument against this line of thinking that fuses our doing with that of Christ and the Holy Spirit in this way.

    Instead they say that our doing must be kept separate from the doings of Christ and the Holy Spirit “as far as the earth is from the furthest star”! They say that this way of teaching the relation of our doing (works and faith) and Christs doing (gospel) is the only way to comfort a truly terrified conscience.

    So I will focus on your last part where we agree fully:

    Frank: “What is it that is restored in Baptism? It is faith in the all sufficiency of the Works of Another. We say that Adam was also justified by faith alone, in Christ alone, exactly in the same way as we are, before the fall! And so Baptism is the restoration of the Image of God.”

    Yes, and because of this, we gladly embrace the Law. We now begin to fear, love and trust in all God’s promises of forgiveness, life and salvation. I.e. from the guilt and power of sin – we are now sheep who huddle close to our Shepherd’s side. Where He is we also will be. He will keep us in the straight paths, away from all things that might promote faith-destroying and doubt-inducing sin….

  • fws

    Nathan @ 71

    My contention here that that you address, is that the Reformed and Rome say we MUST have the Decalog because what is written in Reason is no longer complete since the fall (negating Rom 2:15). The Confessions say that this isn’t true. Their proof: Aristotle!

    Remember: melancthon is goin after the scholastics whose main deal is that we can “fulfill” the law with reason ala aristotle + enabling grace! Clever argument eh? They are saying this: No enabling grace is needed to fulfill the Law in the sense Aristotle means it. What sense is that? By doing the Law.

    But!

    BUT!

    They say there is one part of the Law, that part that deals with “movements of the heart” (emotions anyone?) that Reason is dulled to. So you quote Luther as saying this and it makes perfect sense. He is telling us that we need to preach the Third Use of the Law! It is a great quote! Let me repeat it again!

    were [the Law] not naturally written in the heart, one would have to teach and preach the law for a long time before it became the concern of conscience. The heart must also find and feel the law in itself. Otherwise it would become a matter of conscience for no one.

    NATHAN: Frank, you had said: “And Reason, since it is the same Law agrees with the Decalog and lots of what moses wrote. But then he puts moses on the same level as laws in france or germany or wherever.”
    This is *not* what Luther was saying in those quotes I posted above.

    FRANK Indeed this is exactly that as to the Laws content . So what is the Third Use about? Instructing us as to content? No. It is to instruct us in a way that makes us feel something!

    However, the devil so blinds and possesses hearts, that they do not always feel this law. Therefore one must preach the law and impress it on the minds of people till God assists and enlightens them, so that they feel in their hearts what the Word says

    Excellent. So the Law is already all there in Reason. But the heart doesn’t feel the force of the Law. Why not? The Reason is certain that when the Law demands, that fulfilling it MUST mean a doing even if our heart is not in it. No emotions could be necessary here, because it is impossible for any Law to demand our emotions. why? We know we dont have control over our hearts. we can use reason to work up sorrow for that fact. But it remains a fact. Remember my example about the wife demanding love.

    So what is that feeling Luther is saying that only the Law that is found, ONLY, in the Word of God can evoke and elicit? Terror!

    The other “uses ” of the Law make us DO things. The Third Use of the Law makes us FEEL something. That something is a total, utter, unconditional, and abject despair and surrender to any idea that the Law can be “fulfilled’ by any sort of doing IF that doing is not done from the heart.

    How is it that we can know if something is not done from the heart? We need to work at it! We need to engage our reason! “from the heart” = “like light from sun” “spontaneously” “automatically” “as the Angels do God’s bidding”. (FC art VI). There is NOTHING we can ever see and do here on earth Nathan that will EVER look like that. ALL we see is ALL Old Adam (FC art Vi) So we should stop looking for it. Why look for this? We have the complete fulfillment of the Law in Christ!

    Finally you quote this from FC art VI

    So, too, this doctrine of the Law is needful for believers, in order that they may not hit upon a holiness and devotion of their own, and under the pretext of the Spirit of God set up a self-chosen worship, without God’s Word and command

    What is it that you think that “under the pretext of the Spirit of God” adds to this phrase? This is an exact quote from the Apology III that I quoted earlier. But I didn’t include this in my quote.

    Let me do so now. You can then see what the FC means by self chosen worship. they mean DOing as a means of fulfilling the Law! And to say that it is the Spirit of God that is that enabling grace that allows US to fulfill the Law. Why would the Works of Christ be needed then? That is their point!

    9] … the scholastics,…, teach ..a righteousness of reason,…civil works, [philosophical righeousness] and fabricate besides that … reason can love God above all things.
    …the human mind …at ease,… not feel[ing] the wrath or judgment of God… can imagine that it wishes to love God, that it wishes to do good for God’s sake.
    With this method, they teach that men [fulfill the Law] …by doing what is in them.
    Here is now they paint what that looks like:
    [the Law is fulfilled if]…reason, grieving over sin, elicit an act of love to God, or 10] for God’s sake be active in that which is good.
    This thinking has brought forth and multiplied in the Church many services, …devised this act of worship and observances, the other that.
    … 11] And in order that they might nourish and increase confidence in such works, they have affirmed that God necessarily gives grace to one thus working. God is not obligated to do so, but it is the nature of how God does things that he won’t transgress.

    12] … Let the honest reader think only of this:
    If this be Christian righteousness, what difference is there between philosophy and the doctrine of Christ?
    If we [can fulfill the Law] by these acts that we elicit and produce from our Reason, why do we need the law fulfilling of Christ?
    If we can [fulfill the Law] by reason and the works of reason, wherefore is there need 13] of Christ ?

    The point they make is this Nathan: If grace is that Christ died and sent his Holy Spirit to enable us to “fulfill the Law”, then what do we need Christ’s fulfilling of the Law for?

    This looks more like:

    Christ came to enable us to follow his Example. He sends his Holy Spirit to enable us to do that. So we say that NONE of this could be done without Christ! And where we don’t manage to truly fear, love and trust, then what?

    We go through the motions if we have to, and we grieve over the fact that we don’t have the right emotions or heart, and God will forgive us of those shortcomings. Not because he is obligated to, but because , in Christ, that is just how God works, and he wont go contrary to that pattern.

    So we need to do our part. God has already done his, even to making it fully possible for us to do our part only and alone in Christ!

    The Apology says that this will never calm a terrified conscience. That is their argument against this line of thinking that fuses our doing with that of Christ and the Holy Spirit in this way.

    Instead they say that our doing must be kept separate from the doings of Christ and the Holy Spirit “as far as the earth is from the furthest star”! They say that this way of teaching the relation of our doing (works and faith) and Christs doing (gospel) is the only way to comfort a truly terrified conscience.

    So I will focus on your last part where we agree fully:

    Frank: “What is it that is restored in Baptism? It is faith in the all sufficiency of the Works of Another. We say that Adam was also justified by faith alone, in Christ alone, exactly in the same way as we are, before the fall! And so Baptism is the restoration of the Image of God.”

    Yes, and because of this, we gladly embrace the Law. We now begin to fear, love and trust in all God’s promises of forgiveness, life and salvation. I.e. from the guilt and power of sin – we are now sheep who huddle close to our Shepherd’s side. Where He is we also will be. He will keep us in the straight paths, away from all things that might promote faith-destroying and doubt-inducing sin….

  • Stephen K

    tODD it is rude I am sure. Sorry about that. I am a hyporcate. And I fail at all three uses of the law. I have also read some of your posts and I have seen you not treat people well i.e .Grace :)

    Still not sure how we can win anyone over to Lutheranism with LCMS leaders who are so brash with the sheep???

    fws I agree with just about everything you write. I will get off of the McCain topic. I am really wondering if Lutheranism is really well served by blogs??? I believe that I will stick to talking with non-believers and sharing the gospel with them and stay off the blogs. I have yet to see any “good works” or souls won in these formats. It might be a real blessing for PM to spend more time on his “good works” with CPH and stay offline!

  • Stephen K

    tODD it is rude I am sure. Sorry about that. I am a hyporcate. And I fail at all three uses of the law. I have also read some of your posts and I have seen you not treat people well i.e .Grace :)

    Still not sure how we can win anyone over to Lutheranism with LCMS leaders who are so brash with the sheep???

    fws I agree with just about everything you write. I will get off of the McCain topic. I am really wondering if Lutheranism is really well served by blogs??? I believe that I will stick to talking with non-believers and sharing the gospel with them and stay off the blogs. I have yet to see any “good works” or souls won in these formats. It might be a real blessing for PM to spend more time on his “good works” with CPH and stay offline!

  • fws

    Stephen K @ 79

    Stick around this blog please Stephen !

    And disagree with me all you want or the others.
    Grace gives as good as she takes. Usually better.
    She does not bring out the best in anyone here.
    That is no excuse to be rude (I am point at myself here).
    But she gets to hear when she is outta line. Politely.

    Stephen K there are lots of “lurkers” here. People who read and never post a comment. And they would benefit by your comments and contributions here.

    You say you have yet to see any ggood works or souls won in these formats. Stick around longer. I think Grace sticks around here for example, because she sees that I am a Lutheran Christian who happens to be gay, and she can’t understand why I get treated with love and respect by the other Lutherans here even when we disagree on that very topic. You won’t find that kind of respect on any other blog. I am not just talking about tolerance or putting up with. I am talking about real respect and love.

    And Dr Veith gets alot of credit for the tone here. Look at Todd. He is far apart politically from about everyone here. And his Lutheran group is more “conservative” than the LCMS even at least in political leanings…. Yet he is the guest moderator here when Veith is gone. There is something going on here that us very uniquely Lutheran.

    stick around. Please.

  • fws

    Stephen K @ 79

    Stick around this blog please Stephen !

    And disagree with me all you want or the others.
    Grace gives as good as she takes. Usually better.
    She does not bring out the best in anyone here.
    That is no excuse to be rude (I am point at myself here).
    But she gets to hear when she is outta line. Politely.

    Stephen K there are lots of “lurkers” here. People who read and never post a comment. And they would benefit by your comments and contributions here.

    You say you have yet to see any ggood works or souls won in these formats. Stick around longer. I think Grace sticks around here for example, because she sees that I am a Lutheran Christian who happens to be gay, and she can’t understand why I get treated with love and respect by the other Lutherans here even when we disagree on that very topic. You won’t find that kind of respect on any other blog. I am not just talking about tolerance or putting up with. I am talking about real respect and love.

    And Dr Veith gets alot of credit for the tone here. Look at Todd. He is far apart politically from about everyone here. And his Lutheran group is more “conservative” than the LCMS even at least in political leanings…. Yet he is the guest moderator here when Veith is gone. There is something going on here that us very uniquely Lutheran.

    stick around. Please.

  • Stephen

    What!?! Another Stephen? Mmmm . . . K.

  • Stephen

    What!?! Another Stephen? Mmmm . . . K.

  • Stephen K

    fws you are a cool guy. I apprecaite your words. I’ll read this blog but will not go to cyberclowns.

  • Stephen K

    fws you are a cool guy. I apprecaite your words. I’ll read this blog but will not go to cyberclowns.

  • fws

    stephen @ 81

    hey friend!

    Stephen K. @ 82

    make sure you dont forget that K when you post! Otherwise confusion will prevail!
    If you follow here, I am far from cool. But working on it.

    I am working hard at being brief here. Sometimes I get into discussions with guys like my good buddy here Nathan and things get knee deep. we could go offline to private email.

    In this case this post is not so active, and Nathan is raising some excellent points!

    So I hope it isnt inconveniencing anyone. I assume they just skip over something too boring to them or too long to read.

  • fws

    stephen @ 81

    hey friend!

    Stephen K. @ 82

    make sure you dont forget that K when you post! Otherwise confusion will prevail!
    If you follow here, I am far from cool. But working on it.

    I am working hard at being brief here. Sometimes I get into discussions with guys like my good buddy here Nathan and things get knee deep. we could go offline to private email.

    In this case this post is not so active, and Nathan is raising some excellent points!

    So I hope it isnt inconveniencing anyone. I assume they just skip over something too boring to them or too long to read.

  • fws

    Stephen K

    Would you mind telling us about you? You seem to be Luthrun.

    I was born Lutheran. My great grandma was a firebreathun Luthrun. Her daughter, my grandmother lapsed (and returned before her death), my mom got catechized in the LCMS when I was 2 and so I got baptized! I was raised in the WELS.

    I dropped out in my late 20s when I discovered gay. Too painful to live without Jesus. So….

    Returned in my early 40s fully prepared to not be fully communed, but ready to eat the scraps from the Master’s table however that would look. God has a sense of humor it turns out. I ended up in probably the most socially and politically conservative congregation of the LCMS in california. And I was fully loved and accepted just as I am here. Who woulda thunk?

    So why didnt I join an ELCA church? Most confuse mercy with Mercy and grace with Gospel. As in: Inclusiveness=Gospel, or… pietism. So a gay man gets welcomed in and then….lots of nice moralism. But what good are the right (or left) morals with no Gospel? I can go to AA or the Rotary Club for that! Or just stay at home and read Aristotle’s Ethics for that matter.

    The LCMS has our problems, but…. I get to hear the Holy Gospel every single sunday. There are lots of ELCA churches like that too. Just not so easy to find em.

    tell us about you stephen K!

    So what’s your story Stephen K?

  • fws

    Stephen K

    Would you mind telling us about you? You seem to be Luthrun.

    I was born Lutheran. My great grandma was a firebreathun Luthrun. Her daughter, my grandmother lapsed (and returned before her death), my mom got catechized in the LCMS when I was 2 and so I got baptized! I was raised in the WELS.

    I dropped out in my late 20s when I discovered gay. Too painful to live without Jesus. So….

    Returned in my early 40s fully prepared to not be fully communed, but ready to eat the scraps from the Master’s table however that would look. God has a sense of humor it turns out. I ended up in probably the most socially and politically conservative congregation of the LCMS in california. And I was fully loved and accepted just as I am here. Who woulda thunk?

    So why didnt I join an ELCA church? Most confuse mercy with Mercy and grace with Gospel. As in: Inclusiveness=Gospel, or… pietism. So a gay man gets welcomed in and then….lots of nice moralism. But what good are the right (or left) morals with no Gospel? I can go to AA or the Rotary Club for that! Or just stay at home and read Aristotle’s Ethics for that matter.

    The LCMS has our problems, but…. I get to hear the Holy Gospel every single sunday. There are lots of ELCA churches like that too. Just not so easy to find em.

    tell us about you stephen K!

    So what’s your story Stephen K?

  • Stephen K

    Well my story is one of a Calvary Chapel background, burnt out of the shallow dispensational, decisional, moralism. Found Christ Xified for the forgiveness of sins through Dr Rosenbladt and Todd Wilkins all online. I learned a lot through Veith’s Spirituality of the Cross and Forde’s X theologian book. I learned about the church year/calendar on McCain’s blog, but was brutalized when I asked questions…enough said there. I am looking at the ELCA and LCMS. I have concerns with both. I don’t understand the lack out gospel outreach with these Lutheran Church bodies. The Lutheran message is so outstanding and good yet they seem so focused with managing the denominations rather than reach the lost. I am sure I have a lot yet to learn. Question is tODD gay too? Not that there is anything wrong with that “Seinfeld reference” :)

  • Stephen K

    Well my story is one of a Calvary Chapel background, burnt out of the shallow dispensational, decisional, moralism. Found Christ Xified for the forgiveness of sins through Dr Rosenbladt and Todd Wilkins all online. I learned a lot through Veith’s Spirituality of the Cross and Forde’s X theologian book. I learned about the church year/calendar on McCain’s blog, but was brutalized when I asked questions…enough said there. I am looking at the ELCA and LCMS. I have concerns with both. I don’t understand the lack out gospel outreach with these Lutheran Church bodies. The Lutheran message is so outstanding and good yet they seem so focused with managing the denominations rather than reach the lost. I am sure I have a lot yet to learn. Question is tODD gay too? Not that there is anything wrong with that “Seinfeld reference” :)

  • fws

    stephen K @85

    “Question is tODD gay too?”

    I am glad I can now type again.
    I was laughing so hard my morning coffee started to come out my nose Stephen K.
    Thanks for that.
    He likes girls from what I can tell. Alot.
    That was fun.

    My book recommends:
    http://www.bookofconcord.org. Don’t just read it Steven K. Sit down and try to outline it or paraphrase it to put what it says into your own context. Its an effort. It is worth it. Start with the catechisms. It is a bad, bad, translation. 1) It is german-glish. So the sentence structures are long and tedious to read. 2) They are writing usually against unreformed Rome. So we read about their abuses like masses, and pilgrimages and enforced celebacy and say “well. I dont do those things, so this has nothing to say to me!” Wrong. Those parts are expecially what speaks to your Old Adam and describes how you twist the Holy Scriptures! 3) Even Lutherans read them as a list of the official approved doctrines for Lutherans. Don’t. do. that. !!! What the Confessions in every single article aim to do is very very simple: They want to teach you how to distinguish Law from Gospel in every single theological dispute. And so they take up a dispute and give you a hands on lesson in how to untangle, for example “love” from “faith” (apology IV “On Love and Fulfilling the Law” This by the way is the most difficult read in the Confessions and also the most important read!) or Christ as Example from Christ as Savior (FC V “Law and Gospel”), or even the Holy Catholic Church (the visible church) from the Communion of Saints (the Invisible Church). And the most important Law and gospel distinction is in perceiving your own personal inner spiritual life and your own works. What part is Law and what part is Gospel? the Small catechism on baptism perfectly describes that distinction! Remember that Baptism= Repentence= the christian life in Christ. And when you learn how to do that consistently, then you take what you learned , and apply it to your readings of the Holy Scriptures.

    That is what the Lutheran Confessions want to do. Why? We always get things wrong because we want to constantly turn Gospel into Law. So we really really need to understand what the Law is, and what, in our daily live, the Law includes. Hint: EVERYTHING! Only then can we know that the Gospel is , alone, what Christ did , plus…. (sound of crickets). I am reading this book over and over and over. Apart from the Bible it is pretty much all I read now theologically.

    And if you get stuck: fwsonnek@gmail.com

    get Steve Paulson’s “Theology of the Cross”
    It is the best book I have read in Lutheran Theology in years.
    No it is better than that. It is one of the best theology books I have ever read. And I don’t like to read theology books. I find them boring. Not this one.

    Lutheran Churches need to be more evangelical and gospel spreading . It’s true. But the more interesting question is how should that look?

    I propose that what the Church is to do with each and every one of us is constant evangelism Stephen K. Each of us is a New Man that must be repeatedly nurtured and fed by the Holy Gospel that tells usin the Law to be terrified of ALL we can do so that we hide ALL we can do in the Works of Another.

    So in a church, ALL who are there, need to hear exactly the SAME message. There is no special evangelistic work that needs to be done for the lost and unconverted that means Stephen K. Think about that please. So what really needs to be done, I suggest, is for Lutherans to exactly focus on that internal “denominational managing”. But what should that look look like? It should look like repeatedly evangelizing our pastors. it should look like making them terrified when they look at ALL they can see and do and be truly repentent. And so it drives them to hide ALL they can see and do, especially their church work, in the Works of Another. Then they will turn and have their preaching also filled with that same message.

    So what the Lutheran Church needs to do to be ready for great evangelism is to simply repent. Repentence is what we need to do. And it is alone God’s Word that can work that. No Evangelistic program can do that. And repentence is to be horrified at all we can see and do, and so know to hide ALL that in the Works of Another. That is what the Christian life is to look like. It looks like Terror at our own doing and trust in the Doings of Another.

    If you go to a Lutheran Church that is preaching the Holy Gospel you will find lots of people who came out of nothing at all or who , like me, simply had exhausted all other choices.

    I really didn’t want to come back to church. I had tried every alternative. And that all ground me down till I was willing to come back, as I said, as the dog willing to eat the crumbs from the Master’s table. I espected not to be allowed to commune even. But I was not willing to come back and not be completely honest at least with my pastor. And I was not willing to answer dishonestly if someone were to ask me about my personal life either. What good would that be? We are called to live in the Light that overcomes even, amazingly, our own personal very dark darkess.

    Some, like Paul McCain for example, feel that men and women in my position have to first stop being gay or something, I dont think even they know… as preparation to enter the Holy Catholic Church. Our Confessions tell us that Holy Baptism is that entrance.

    William Cwirlas small Lutheran Church in Los Angeles has only about 100+ members on a given sunday. It has lots of ex Jehovahs witnesses and others from various cults in it. And it is small. Why? people come, and then they move and become seeds and blessings for other Lutheran Churches and their pastors.

    We Lutherans describe the Christian life this way . The christian life is one of continual repentence. Repentence has two parts. To be terrified and totally, completely, and abjectly despair at all we can see and do, and then to hide all that in the Works of Another:

    [When we go to the Supper] we …remember and proclaim His death and the shedding of His blood. [We] should we remember and proclaim His death … so we may learn to be horrified by our sins, and to regard them as very serious.

    and this:

    what more forcible, more terrible declaration and preaching of God’s wrath against sin is there than just the suffering and death of Christ, His Son? the preaching of the suffering and death of Christ, the Son of God, is an earnest and terrible proclamation and declaration of God’s wrath, whereby men are first led into the Law aright, after the veil of Moses has been removed from them, so that they first know aright how great things God in His Law requires of us, none of which we can observe.

    And finally this Lutheran description of what the Christian life is supposed to look like:

    the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins,and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened.

    Bless you Stephen K. Find a Lutheran church and go 5 times. All pastors and congregations have their off days. And look for them to preach these two parts of Repentence. If you hear that message as the heart and center , then you are home! And dust off your feet if you dont hear it. You can ask around (hint: pastors…william weedon, William Cwirla, etc for pointers on how to find such a church)

    Bless you stephen K on your constant returning, for the rest of your life, to the Promises made to you personally in your Baptism, and the earthly life that is about your own death for the life of others that that Baptism symbolizes.

    frank +

  • fws

    stephen K @85

    “Question is tODD gay too?”

    I am glad I can now type again.
    I was laughing so hard my morning coffee started to come out my nose Stephen K.
    Thanks for that.
    He likes girls from what I can tell. Alot.
    That was fun.

    My book recommends:
    http://www.bookofconcord.org. Don’t just read it Steven K. Sit down and try to outline it or paraphrase it to put what it says into your own context. Its an effort. It is worth it. Start with the catechisms. It is a bad, bad, translation. 1) It is german-glish. So the sentence structures are long and tedious to read. 2) They are writing usually against unreformed Rome. So we read about their abuses like masses, and pilgrimages and enforced celebacy and say “well. I dont do those things, so this has nothing to say to me!” Wrong. Those parts are expecially what speaks to your Old Adam and describes how you twist the Holy Scriptures! 3) Even Lutherans read them as a list of the official approved doctrines for Lutherans. Don’t. do. that. !!! What the Confessions in every single article aim to do is very very simple: They want to teach you how to distinguish Law from Gospel in every single theological dispute. And so they take up a dispute and give you a hands on lesson in how to untangle, for example “love” from “faith” (apology IV “On Love and Fulfilling the Law” This by the way is the most difficult read in the Confessions and also the most important read!) or Christ as Example from Christ as Savior (FC V “Law and Gospel”), or even the Holy Catholic Church (the visible church) from the Communion of Saints (the Invisible Church). And the most important Law and gospel distinction is in perceiving your own personal inner spiritual life and your own works. What part is Law and what part is Gospel? the Small catechism on baptism perfectly describes that distinction! Remember that Baptism= Repentence= the christian life in Christ. And when you learn how to do that consistently, then you take what you learned , and apply it to your readings of the Holy Scriptures.

    That is what the Lutheran Confessions want to do. Why? We always get things wrong because we want to constantly turn Gospel into Law. So we really really need to understand what the Law is, and what, in our daily live, the Law includes. Hint: EVERYTHING! Only then can we know that the Gospel is , alone, what Christ did , plus…. (sound of crickets). I am reading this book over and over and over. Apart from the Bible it is pretty much all I read now theologically.

    And if you get stuck: fwsonnek@gmail.com

    get Steve Paulson’s “Theology of the Cross”
    It is the best book I have read in Lutheran Theology in years.
    No it is better than that. It is one of the best theology books I have ever read. And I don’t like to read theology books. I find them boring. Not this one.

    Lutheran Churches need to be more evangelical and gospel spreading . It’s true. But the more interesting question is how should that look?

    I propose that what the Church is to do with each and every one of us is constant evangelism Stephen K. Each of us is a New Man that must be repeatedly nurtured and fed by the Holy Gospel that tells usin the Law to be terrified of ALL we can do so that we hide ALL we can do in the Works of Another.

    So in a church, ALL who are there, need to hear exactly the SAME message. There is no special evangelistic work that needs to be done for the lost and unconverted that means Stephen K. Think about that please. So what really needs to be done, I suggest, is for Lutherans to exactly focus on that internal “denominational managing”. But what should that look look like? It should look like repeatedly evangelizing our pastors. it should look like making them terrified when they look at ALL they can see and do and be truly repentent. And so it drives them to hide ALL they can see and do, especially their church work, in the Works of Another. Then they will turn and have their preaching also filled with that same message.

    So what the Lutheran Church needs to do to be ready for great evangelism is to simply repent. Repentence is what we need to do. And it is alone God’s Word that can work that. No Evangelistic program can do that. And repentence is to be horrified at all we can see and do, and so know to hide ALL that in the Works of Another. That is what the Christian life is to look like. It looks like Terror at our own doing and trust in the Doings of Another.

    If you go to a Lutheran Church that is preaching the Holy Gospel you will find lots of people who came out of nothing at all or who , like me, simply had exhausted all other choices.

    I really didn’t want to come back to church. I had tried every alternative. And that all ground me down till I was willing to come back, as I said, as the dog willing to eat the crumbs from the Master’s table. I espected not to be allowed to commune even. But I was not willing to come back and not be completely honest at least with my pastor. And I was not willing to answer dishonestly if someone were to ask me about my personal life either. What good would that be? We are called to live in the Light that overcomes even, amazingly, our own personal very dark darkess.

    Some, like Paul McCain for example, feel that men and women in my position have to first stop being gay or something, I dont think even they know… as preparation to enter the Holy Catholic Church. Our Confessions tell us that Holy Baptism is that entrance.

    William Cwirlas small Lutheran Church in Los Angeles has only about 100+ members on a given sunday. It has lots of ex Jehovahs witnesses and others from various cults in it. And it is small. Why? people come, and then they move and become seeds and blessings for other Lutheran Churches and their pastors.

    We Lutherans describe the Christian life this way . The christian life is one of continual repentence. Repentence has two parts. To be terrified and totally, completely, and abjectly despair at all we can see and do, and then to hide all that in the Works of Another:

    [When we go to the Supper] we …remember and proclaim His death and the shedding of His blood. [We] should we remember and proclaim His death … so we may learn to be horrified by our sins, and to regard them as very serious.

    and this:

    what more forcible, more terrible declaration and preaching of God’s wrath against sin is there than just the suffering and death of Christ, His Son? the preaching of the suffering and death of Christ, the Son of God, is an earnest and terrible proclamation and declaration of God’s wrath, whereby men are first led into the Law aright, after the veil of Moses has been removed from them, so that they first know aright how great things God in His Law requires of us, none of which we can observe.

    And finally this Lutheran description of what the Christian life is supposed to look like:

    the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins,and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened.

    Bless you Stephen K. Find a Lutheran church and go 5 times. All pastors and congregations have their off days. And look for them to preach these two parts of Repentence. If you hear that message as the heart and center , then you are home! And dust off your feet if you dont hear it. You can ask around (hint: pastors…william weedon, William Cwirla, etc for pointers on how to find such a church)

    Bless you stephen K on your constant returning, for the rest of your life, to the Promises made to you personally in your Baptism, and the earthly life that is about your own death for the life of others that that Baptism symbolizes.

    frank +

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Thanks for writing again. It might take me a while to get back to you more fully (did read through it, but will need to do again). Vacations can be crazy you know.

    I had never read the Apology in the light you are discussing. Are natural ethics / civil righteousness as determined by Reason (as delivered by Aristotle) the same thing as God’s Law, minus the proper motivations (fearing and loving and trusting Him)? And does man really understand this civil righteousness (again, identical externally with God’s Law) even if Reason can only produce this righteousness to some extent? (even as it is often overwhelmed by the devil who drives it to open crimes – 23).

    Do I basically have you right? And if I do, are you really right? I can’t help but think that this is wrong (more later).

    Again, please read this: http://weedon.blogspot.com/2012/06/conscience.html Do you agree with this post Frank? If so, I suggest this is not new stuff but is stuff that is assumed by the writers of the Confessions.

    One more thing quickly: even though Scripture speaks of seared consciences and having a bad conscience, this is *not* the direct result of the Fall which would be the loss of the image of God (proper fear, love and trust in God), but would rather be the searing of conscience (going along with “holding down the truth in unrighteousness) that happens since Adam’s Fall. In other words, believers, though sinful, are those who the true faith which goes hand in hand with a good conscience (not saying that it is perfect, but when such a one is confronted by God’s word, they are able to be corrected at least).

    My pastor has done quite a bit of study regarding Luther on this issue of a good conscience. I am quite sure that it is there in his thought and I think can provide you quotations. Its like he said in that other quote though – because of man’s evil, man rejects that redeeming and life-giving word that has been passed on since the time of Adam, and has instead suppressed the truth in unrighteousness (although of course societies need to operate according to God’s Law to at least some extent – Aristotle does this the best among non-Christians), and this leads to seared consciences, the kind that Paul talks about in Romans 1. Yes, they, deep, deep down know the truth – that their behavior is offensive to God and will be judged – even as they hold down the truth, they know it – perhaps especially when they hear it spoken directly to them….

    More later.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Thanks for writing again. It might take me a while to get back to you more fully (did read through it, but will need to do again). Vacations can be crazy you know.

    I had never read the Apology in the light you are discussing. Are natural ethics / civil righteousness as determined by Reason (as delivered by Aristotle) the same thing as God’s Law, minus the proper motivations (fearing and loving and trusting Him)? And does man really understand this civil righteousness (again, identical externally with God’s Law) even if Reason can only produce this righteousness to some extent? (even as it is often overwhelmed by the devil who drives it to open crimes – 23).

    Do I basically have you right? And if I do, are you really right? I can’t help but think that this is wrong (more later).

    Again, please read this: http://weedon.blogspot.com/2012/06/conscience.html Do you agree with this post Frank? If so, I suggest this is not new stuff but is stuff that is assumed by the writers of the Confessions.

    One more thing quickly: even though Scripture speaks of seared consciences and having a bad conscience, this is *not* the direct result of the Fall which would be the loss of the image of God (proper fear, love and trust in God), but would rather be the searing of conscience (going along with “holding down the truth in unrighteousness) that happens since Adam’s Fall. In other words, believers, though sinful, are those who the true faith which goes hand in hand with a good conscience (not saying that it is perfect, but when such a one is confronted by God’s word, they are able to be corrected at least).

    My pastor has done quite a bit of study regarding Luther on this issue of a good conscience. I am quite sure that it is there in his thought and I think can provide you quotations. Its like he said in that other quote though – because of man’s evil, man rejects that redeeming and life-giving word that has been passed on since the time of Adam, and has instead suppressed the truth in unrighteousness (although of course societies need to operate according to God’s Law to at least some extent – Aristotle does this the best among non-Christians), and this leads to seared consciences, the kind that Paul talks about in Romans 1. Yes, they, deep, deep down know the truth – that their behavior is offensive to God and will be judged – even as they hold down the truth, they know it – perhaps especially when they hear it spoken directly to them….

    More later.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    “Its like he said in that other quote though….”

    I meant the Luther quote where he talked about how people needed to keep hearing the Law, and since it was in their conscience, they would “get it” sooner than they would if it was not in their conscience.

    Obviously, he did not say all the stuff i just said in that last post’s last paragraph. But I believe all of those thoughts above go hand in hand with that Luther quote. Again, I think I can provide quotations that would make this clear.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    “Its like he said in that other quote though….”

    I meant the Luther quote where he talked about how people needed to keep hearing the Law, and since it was in their conscience, they would “get it” sooner than they would if it was not in their conscience.

    Obviously, he did not say all the stuff i just said in that last post’s last paragraph. But I believe all of those thoughts above go hand in hand with that Luther quote. Again, I think I can provide quotations that would make this clear.

    +Nathan

  • fws

    Nathan @ 87

    I hope that you are having a wonderful vacation my dear friend.

    NATHAN: I had never read the Apology in the light you are discussing. Are natural ethics / civil righteousness as determined by Reason (as delivered by Aristotle) the same thing as God’s Law, minus the proper motivations (fearing and loving and trusting Him)?

    FRANK: No. Why not? “Faith” is not “right motivations” that are some sort of substance added to a Good Work to make it acceptable to God. FC art VI states that there is NO difference between fruits of the Spirit and fruits of the Law in and of themselves. A Good Works is a Good Work. Period. A loaf of bread to a starving man is the same Good Work regardless of your motive for doing it.

    You might want to say exactly here “ah, but in God’s eyes… he sees the faith of the doer and **that** is what makes that good work a **truly** good work, **in God’s eyes** rather than just a “good” work. Many Lutherans teach that in fact.

    And that would be wrong.

    What precisely makes a good work acceptable to God is the fact that it is completely hidden within the Works of Another. God doesn’t see it! He only sees the Works of Christ that hide our works. That is why God sees our works as truly good. It is not our faith that does that Nathan. It is Holy Baptism that does that.

    This is a very critical point to wrap one’s arms around Nathan. If you don’t catch this nuance, nothing else I say, or the Apology says, will make sense.

    Many Lutherans define a Good Work this way: “an action that (a) Conforms to the Bible, that is, it appears somewhere on a list there as a good work, and does not appear on a list of forbidden works, and (b) It is done for a “gospel motivation”. That is, there exists, in us, the motivation and intent to do that good work **purely** as a loving response to what Christ did for us, with **no** thought of earthly or heavenly reward for that good work we did.

    (a) is wrong because this is to confuse what the Law **does**, Justice vs it’s God-desired **fruit**, which is love (aka mercy). What the Law **does** is to channel, deny, and curb us. The self-virtues of Aristotle are about that. It is about what is done to control one’s own self. Unless your vocation is that of a judge as a parent or judge or policeman or….. When St Paul say there are no Laws against Love, he means that the “sum of the Law” which is love is not about following a list of do’s and don’ts. Imagine trying to tell someone you REALLY love them by legalistically and strictly sticking to some list of do’s and don’ts.

    More importantly , (a) is wrong because it vectors something we can **do** towards the real central point of that doing as being Obedience and a sort of worship/sacrifice to God. Faith, alone, which is, alone, faith that OUR works are hidden mercifully in the Works of ANOTHER, is , alone, the “faith” that Lutherans are talking about. Alone. Alone. Alone. Alone.

    So faith is not an “attitude of gratitude”, nor a “right motivation” or any other sort of think in US.

    It is important here to note that that word “faith”, like most other words, can have various meanings and contexts. So your meaning is not at all wrong Nathan. It is just not what Lutherans describe as faith that is truly that faith that alone a Christian recieves in Baptism that is not “of our own reason or strength”. Your definition IS a faith that **also** should exist in believers. It can and should also exist in even a false christian. It is a sort of faith we can reason ourselves into. It is what a Lutheran might call “natural” faith, because we , even after the fall, have a natural capacity to do it that requires no Holy Spirit or Christ.

    That faith of which the Apology and Confessions speak is, alone, this: It is trust, alone, and only, in the Works of Another hide our own works. Our own good works, AS a believer, are described by Saint Isaiah. They are the moral equivalent of a used tampon. This is how all our good works are described AFTER regeneration. Adding faith to them does not make that tampon magically UNused. See? it is that OUR works are hidden in the Works of ANOTHER that makes them acceptable to God.

    (b) is also wrong then. Faith is not some infused grace or quality or power put by the Holy Spirit into us. It is not some new power to rightly use our reason or emotions or willpower the right way. Aristotle is enough here. Why? By saying that , we are saying that to do **this** sort of faith-ing, no Holy Spirit or Christ is necessary.

    And that is the second major point of the Apology, after the first point they make in art II.

    The first point, by the way, is about What Original righteousness and Image of God was in Adam that was completely, utterly, totally, lost and is not utterly and completely, and totally absent. That is done in order to show also what Original Sin and all things “natural” are.

    “natural” is whatever powers remain within man to do good and to avoid the bad with the Image of God, which is something “supernatural” is completely missing and absent. That is the force of that word “natural” wherever you see it in our Confessions. Note that Article II is precisely where both Rome and Geneva differ from us Lutherans. So this is a linchpin article Nathan!

    NATHAN: And does man really understand this civil righteousness (again, identical externally with God’s Law)

    FRANK: Rome says there are 4 kinds of Law, following St Thomas. I am not certain, but I think they are : Conscience, Divine Law (Decalog), Natural Law, and Civil Law. Reason sort of sits above these 4 Laws. The Law is a blueprint of the Mind of God in this schema. God is, above all a Rational Being. Man’s ability to reason is precisely what separates man from beast, and so Reason is a huge part of what Image of God in mankind is they would say.

    This is a very reasonable and logical way to describe things Nathan. And it is mostly wrong. It sets up false distinctions, categories and definitions (eg Image of God) that are unscriptural even though they conform quite nicely to both Aristotle and Reason. And these errors, so logically and symetrically interlocked are very dificult to unravel and show where, exactly, is the error. This unraveling of those very errors, is what the Apology is all about. It is an unraveling of the baptism of Aristotle’s Ethics into Christian soteriology by St Thomas.

    How does the Apology unravel all this? They use the proper distinction of Law and Gospel. And a huge part of that is to define that word “faith”. and it is to totally separate that word from the word “love”. When a scholastic hears “faith”, they always understand that word “faith” to be “perfected faith”. Perfected faith is simply natural faith, to which “grace” is added. Grace is that holy spirit power that is infused into us by their definition. It is precisely this: faith as a God-infused right motivation! And this is what the Lutherans spill alot of ink refuting. And note this: They do this by spending 80%+ of what they write, describing what the Law is! Why?

    Reason always can only see things through the legal lense. Reason always wants to make faith , somehow, about something that is done. Maybe faith isnt the thing done, but it is then some sort of infused power that “perfects” or makes up , somehow, for the shortcomings , of what is in the natural powers of men to do . Reason does not want faith to be, alone, trust in the Doing of Another, alone, alone , alone, alone. Which totally excludes our own doing!

    NATHAN: …. even if Reason can only produce this righteousness to some extent? (even as it is often overwhelmed by the devil who drives it to open crimes – 23).

    FRANK: You are perfectly channeling the arguments of the Scholastics against the Augsburg Confessions that are answered in the Apology here. **to some extent** is the key phrase here . Lutherans fully grant that **to some extent**! But they make this point: To whatever **some extent** our salvation depends upon something within us, we will remain in doubt and our conscience should be tortured. Why? How can we know if that **some extent** that we are doing, that is a **required** doing that is **our part** is enough? How can we know when we have enough faith, enough repentence, enough of that “right motivation”? And God’s Word written in Reason doesnt allow for “do your best, and God, in Christ, will do the rest!”. To be holy is nothing less than 100% There is no such thing as half holy any more than there is to be half pregnant, This theme, that the scholastics method give no comfort to a conscience that is truly terrified, is returned to again, and again, and again. If OUR part is even one tiny eyedropper “right motivation” in a vast ocean of grace, then a terrified conscience will have no rest at all! Why not? Maybe two droplets are required? How would we know? And how would we measure, in ourselves, if even that required ONE droplet is even, really and truly, there?!

    Therefore faith MUST be , alone, trust that OUR works, which remain , even in the believer, the moral equivalent , before God of a used tampon, is alone, that OUR works are ALL hidden, by baptism , inside the Works of ANOTHER. Period.

    This means that any other kind of faith that we can talk about might be perfectly valid and even good , but we would say that all of those other kinds of faith are “natural”. Those kinds of faith are totally within the natural powers of man, absent the Image of God. No Holy Spirit or Christ is needed for any of those kinds of faith. The Holy Spirit and Christ are , alone , needed, to give us that regeneration that is alone that fear, love and trust in our hearts, those good emotions, that alone, place ALL trust, alone, in the completely foreign works of Another and that accepts Gods judgement of our own words as moral-equivalent-of-used-tampon, is terrified to see them, and so this faith is born in such terror and hides all that inside the works of Another.

    NATHAN: Do I basically have you right?

    FRANK: No. You don’t get it Nathan. Yet… ;)

    You are reading what I am saying and filtering it with some assumptions. The major one is what you are thinking when you read that word “faith”.

    Your definition of faith, as that word is meant by Lutherans, as to that meaning that is about what is **saving** faith, is the scholastic meaning. “I believe that I cannot by my own [natural] reason or strength believe”. It is **this** definition of that word faith we are contending over. Lutherans exclude from that meaning anything that is natural. Anything that an unregenerate person could do. And they assert that all you are describing faith as being , are all things that reason, unaided by the Holy Spirit, is fully able to do! Lutherans grant that that kind of faith-ing is FULLY in man’s powers to do.

    NATHAN; And if I do, are you really right?

    FRANK: Is the Apology right? I am merely repeating their arguments Nathan.

    NATHAN: I can’t help but think that this is wrong (more later).

    FRANK: Maybe I am misreading the Apology. That is always a possibility. The only way we would know that, would be to center our discussion upon the text of the Apology. And we would not do this by mining that text for prooftexts that prove what we think we already know. We would search for passage that challenge anything we think we already know!

    NATHAN: Again, please read this: http://weedon.blogspot.com/2012/06/conscience.html Do you agree with this post Frank? If so, I suggest this is not new stuff but is stuff that is assumed by the writers of the Confessions.

    FRANK: I will take a look at it. You are saying that Pastor Weedon defines saving **faith** in the same way you do? As a sort of right motivation in us? What do you mean by “stuff”?

    NATHAN: One more thing quickly: even though Scripture speaks of seared consciences and having a bad conscience, this is *not* the direct result of the Fall which would be the loss of the image of God (proper fear, love and trust in God), but would rather be the searing of conscience (going along with “holding down the truth in unrighteousness) that happens since Adam’s Fall.

    FRANK: You keep coming back to that phrase “seared conscience”. You seem to mean “seared” as in “damaged” or “fallen”. This would not even agree with a secular dictionary definition of “seared conscience”. “seared conscience” = “terrified conscience” in common usage Nathan. If the idea you are meaning is that the conscience, or the Law written in Reason is somehow fallen, damaged or incomplete, then the Confessions reject that. But you keep insisting on using a term in a novel and unclear way Nathan.
    In other words, believers, though sinful, are those who the true faith which goes hand in hand with a good conscience (not saying that it is perfect, but when such a one is confronted by God’s word, they are able to be corrected at least).

    Rephrase this sentence please so I am clear as to what in the heck you are trying to say dear friend. Then I will respond to it.

    NATHAN: My pastor has done quite a bit of study regarding Luther on this issue of a good conscience. I am quite sure that it is there in his thought and I think can provide you quotations. Its like he said in that other quote though – because of man’s evil, man rejects that redeeming and life-giving word that has been passed on since the time of Adam, and has instead suppressed the truth in unrighteousness (although of course societies need to operate according to God’s Law to at least some extent – Aristotle does this the best among non-Christians), and this leads to seared consciences, the kind that Paul talks about in Romans 1.

    FRANK: Now it seems you are mushing two ideas together rather than discussing each of the two ideas discreetly.

    1) Lutherans believe that the Divine Law of God is COMPLETELY written in Reason. They do not say this Law , in man, is fallen , incomplete and in need of a second revelation that clears up things called the Decalog. They do not agree that the conscience or law written in the reason/mind of all men is fallen. Rom 2:15 . “reason agrees with the Decalog **because it is the SAME Law**! The Apology says. Reason=Decalog=Divine Law. The terms are completely interchangeable. The content is identical!

    2) So why is it , if man can both know and do, completely , the moral Law by reason ALONE (evidence: Aristotle) that man doesnt do it??!!!

    Lutherans say that the problem is not with the conscience or reason or the Law written in man at all.

    The problem is where then? It is also where Aristotle identifies as the problem. The heart! the emotions!
    We need a new heart!
    Natural man has no power to make that happen.
    Regeneration alone can do this.

    And then the heart is in complete accord with the Law written in Reason. The war between head and heart that Aristotle well describes is over. Regeneration is alone the real end of sin.

    What the scholastics describe that is moses , aristotle and urging Christ as Example can only outwardly end sin. yet still sin will rage in the heart.

    NATHAN: Yes, they, deep, deep down know the truth – that their behavior is offensive to God and will be judged – even as they hold down the truth, they know it – perhaps especially when they hear it spoken directly to them….

    FRANK: The Law always accuses. But reason, unaided by God’s word will always turn one into either a Pharisee (outward doing is enough even if our heart is not in it) or a despairing judas if we are really honest. This despair and terror is precisely where the Law needs to take all of us.

    Christians are always exactly like that despairing Judas.We we our works and despair. But the diffence is between judas and peter. Christians have the response to that despair as trust in the Works of Another!

  • fws

    Nathan @ 87

    I hope that you are having a wonderful vacation my dear friend.

    NATHAN: I had never read the Apology in the light you are discussing. Are natural ethics / civil righteousness as determined by Reason (as delivered by Aristotle) the same thing as God’s Law, minus the proper motivations (fearing and loving and trusting Him)?

    FRANK: No. Why not? “Faith” is not “right motivations” that are some sort of substance added to a Good Work to make it acceptable to God. FC art VI states that there is NO difference between fruits of the Spirit and fruits of the Law in and of themselves. A Good Works is a Good Work. Period. A loaf of bread to a starving man is the same Good Work regardless of your motive for doing it.

    You might want to say exactly here “ah, but in God’s eyes… he sees the faith of the doer and **that** is what makes that good work a **truly** good work, **in God’s eyes** rather than just a “good” work. Many Lutherans teach that in fact.

    And that would be wrong.

    What precisely makes a good work acceptable to God is the fact that it is completely hidden within the Works of Another. God doesn’t see it! He only sees the Works of Christ that hide our works. That is why God sees our works as truly good. It is not our faith that does that Nathan. It is Holy Baptism that does that.

    This is a very critical point to wrap one’s arms around Nathan. If you don’t catch this nuance, nothing else I say, or the Apology says, will make sense.

    Many Lutherans define a Good Work this way: “an action that (a) Conforms to the Bible, that is, it appears somewhere on a list there as a good work, and does not appear on a list of forbidden works, and (b) It is done for a “gospel motivation”. That is, there exists, in us, the motivation and intent to do that good work **purely** as a loving response to what Christ did for us, with **no** thought of earthly or heavenly reward for that good work we did.

    (a) is wrong because this is to confuse what the Law **does**, Justice vs it’s God-desired **fruit**, which is love (aka mercy). What the Law **does** is to channel, deny, and curb us. The self-virtues of Aristotle are about that. It is about what is done to control one’s own self. Unless your vocation is that of a judge as a parent or judge or policeman or….. When St Paul say there are no Laws against Love, he means that the “sum of the Law” which is love is not about following a list of do’s and don’ts. Imagine trying to tell someone you REALLY love them by legalistically and strictly sticking to some list of do’s and don’ts.

    More importantly , (a) is wrong because it vectors something we can **do** towards the real central point of that doing as being Obedience and a sort of worship/sacrifice to God. Faith, alone, which is, alone, faith that OUR works are hidden mercifully in the Works of ANOTHER, is , alone, the “faith” that Lutherans are talking about. Alone. Alone. Alone. Alone.

    So faith is not an “attitude of gratitude”, nor a “right motivation” or any other sort of think in US.

    It is important here to note that that word “faith”, like most other words, can have various meanings and contexts. So your meaning is not at all wrong Nathan. It is just not what Lutherans describe as faith that is truly that faith that alone a Christian recieves in Baptism that is not “of our own reason or strength”. Your definition IS a faith that **also** should exist in believers. It can and should also exist in even a false christian. It is a sort of faith we can reason ourselves into. It is what a Lutheran might call “natural” faith, because we , even after the fall, have a natural capacity to do it that requires no Holy Spirit or Christ.

    That faith of which the Apology and Confessions speak is, alone, this: It is trust, alone, and only, in the Works of Another hide our own works. Our own good works, AS a believer, are described by Saint Isaiah. They are the moral equivalent of a used tampon. This is how all our good works are described AFTER regeneration. Adding faith to them does not make that tampon magically UNused. See? it is that OUR works are hidden in the Works of ANOTHER that makes them acceptable to God.

    (b) is also wrong then. Faith is not some infused grace or quality or power put by the Holy Spirit into us. It is not some new power to rightly use our reason or emotions or willpower the right way. Aristotle is enough here. Why? By saying that , we are saying that to do **this** sort of faith-ing, no Holy Spirit or Christ is necessary.

    And that is the second major point of the Apology, after the first point they make in art II.

    The first point, by the way, is about What Original righteousness and Image of God was in Adam that was completely, utterly, totally, lost and is not utterly and completely, and totally absent. That is done in order to show also what Original Sin and all things “natural” are.

    “natural” is whatever powers remain within man to do good and to avoid the bad with the Image of God, which is something “supernatural” is completely missing and absent. That is the force of that word “natural” wherever you see it in our Confessions. Note that Article II is precisely where both Rome and Geneva differ from us Lutherans. So this is a linchpin article Nathan!

    NATHAN: And does man really understand this civil righteousness (again, identical externally with God’s Law)

    FRANK: Rome says there are 4 kinds of Law, following St Thomas. I am not certain, but I think they are : Conscience, Divine Law (Decalog), Natural Law, and Civil Law. Reason sort of sits above these 4 Laws. The Law is a blueprint of the Mind of God in this schema. God is, above all a Rational Being. Man’s ability to reason is precisely what separates man from beast, and so Reason is a huge part of what Image of God in mankind is they would say.

    This is a very reasonable and logical way to describe things Nathan. And it is mostly wrong. It sets up false distinctions, categories and definitions (eg Image of God) that are unscriptural even though they conform quite nicely to both Aristotle and Reason. And these errors, so logically and symetrically interlocked are very dificult to unravel and show where, exactly, is the error. This unraveling of those very errors, is what the Apology is all about. It is an unraveling of the baptism of Aristotle’s Ethics into Christian soteriology by St Thomas.

    How does the Apology unravel all this? They use the proper distinction of Law and Gospel. And a huge part of that is to define that word “faith”. and it is to totally separate that word from the word “love”. When a scholastic hears “faith”, they always understand that word “faith” to be “perfected faith”. Perfected faith is simply natural faith, to which “grace” is added. Grace is that holy spirit power that is infused into us by their definition. It is precisely this: faith as a God-infused right motivation! And this is what the Lutherans spill alot of ink refuting. And note this: They do this by spending 80%+ of what they write, describing what the Law is! Why?

    Reason always can only see things through the legal lense. Reason always wants to make faith , somehow, about something that is done. Maybe faith isnt the thing done, but it is then some sort of infused power that “perfects” or makes up , somehow, for the shortcomings , of what is in the natural powers of men to do . Reason does not want faith to be, alone, trust in the Doing of Another, alone, alone , alone, alone. Which totally excludes our own doing!

    NATHAN: …. even if Reason can only produce this righteousness to some extent? (even as it is often overwhelmed by the devil who drives it to open crimes – 23).

    FRANK: You are perfectly channeling the arguments of the Scholastics against the Augsburg Confessions that are answered in the Apology here. **to some extent** is the key phrase here . Lutherans fully grant that **to some extent**! But they make this point: To whatever **some extent** our salvation depends upon something within us, we will remain in doubt and our conscience should be tortured. Why? How can we know if that **some extent** that we are doing, that is a **required** doing that is **our part** is enough? How can we know when we have enough faith, enough repentence, enough of that “right motivation”? And God’s Word written in Reason doesnt allow for “do your best, and God, in Christ, will do the rest!”. To be holy is nothing less than 100% There is no such thing as half holy any more than there is to be half pregnant, This theme, that the scholastics method give no comfort to a conscience that is truly terrified, is returned to again, and again, and again. If OUR part is even one tiny eyedropper “right motivation” in a vast ocean of grace, then a terrified conscience will have no rest at all! Why not? Maybe two droplets are required? How would we know? And how would we measure, in ourselves, if even that required ONE droplet is even, really and truly, there?!

    Therefore faith MUST be , alone, trust that OUR works, which remain , even in the believer, the moral equivalent , before God of a used tampon, is alone, that OUR works are ALL hidden, by baptism , inside the Works of ANOTHER. Period.

    This means that any other kind of faith that we can talk about might be perfectly valid and even good , but we would say that all of those other kinds of faith are “natural”. Those kinds of faith are totally within the natural powers of man, absent the Image of God. No Holy Spirit or Christ is needed for any of those kinds of faith. The Holy Spirit and Christ are , alone , needed, to give us that regeneration that is alone that fear, love and trust in our hearts, those good emotions, that alone, place ALL trust, alone, in the completely foreign works of Another and that accepts Gods judgement of our own words as moral-equivalent-of-used-tampon, is terrified to see them, and so this faith is born in such terror and hides all that inside the works of Another.

    NATHAN: Do I basically have you right?

    FRANK: No. You don’t get it Nathan. Yet… ;)

    You are reading what I am saying and filtering it with some assumptions. The major one is what you are thinking when you read that word “faith”.

    Your definition of faith, as that word is meant by Lutherans, as to that meaning that is about what is **saving** faith, is the scholastic meaning. “I believe that I cannot by my own [natural] reason or strength believe”. It is **this** definition of that word faith we are contending over. Lutherans exclude from that meaning anything that is natural. Anything that an unregenerate person could do. And they assert that all you are describing faith as being , are all things that reason, unaided by the Holy Spirit, is fully able to do! Lutherans grant that that kind of faith-ing is FULLY in man’s powers to do.

    NATHAN; And if I do, are you really right?

    FRANK: Is the Apology right? I am merely repeating their arguments Nathan.

    NATHAN: I can’t help but think that this is wrong (more later).

    FRANK: Maybe I am misreading the Apology. That is always a possibility. The only way we would know that, would be to center our discussion upon the text of the Apology. And we would not do this by mining that text for prooftexts that prove what we think we already know. We would search for passage that challenge anything we think we already know!

    NATHAN: Again, please read this: http://weedon.blogspot.com/2012/06/conscience.html Do you agree with this post Frank? If so, I suggest this is not new stuff but is stuff that is assumed by the writers of the Confessions.

    FRANK: I will take a look at it. You are saying that Pastor Weedon defines saving **faith** in the same way you do? As a sort of right motivation in us? What do you mean by “stuff”?

    NATHAN: One more thing quickly: even though Scripture speaks of seared consciences and having a bad conscience, this is *not* the direct result of the Fall which would be the loss of the image of God (proper fear, love and trust in God), but would rather be the searing of conscience (going along with “holding down the truth in unrighteousness) that happens since Adam’s Fall.

    FRANK: You keep coming back to that phrase “seared conscience”. You seem to mean “seared” as in “damaged” or “fallen”. This would not even agree with a secular dictionary definition of “seared conscience”. “seared conscience” = “terrified conscience” in common usage Nathan. If the idea you are meaning is that the conscience, or the Law written in Reason is somehow fallen, damaged or incomplete, then the Confessions reject that. But you keep insisting on using a term in a novel and unclear way Nathan.
    In other words, believers, though sinful, are those who the true faith which goes hand in hand with a good conscience (not saying that it is perfect, but when such a one is confronted by God’s word, they are able to be corrected at least).

    Rephrase this sentence please so I am clear as to what in the heck you are trying to say dear friend. Then I will respond to it.

    NATHAN: My pastor has done quite a bit of study regarding Luther on this issue of a good conscience. I am quite sure that it is there in his thought and I think can provide you quotations. Its like he said in that other quote though – because of man’s evil, man rejects that redeeming and life-giving word that has been passed on since the time of Adam, and has instead suppressed the truth in unrighteousness (although of course societies need to operate according to God’s Law to at least some extent – Aristotle does this the best among non-Christians), and this leads to seared consciences, the kind that Paul talks about in Romans 1.

    FRANK: Now it seems you are mushing two ideas together rather than discussing each of the two ideas discreetly.

    1) Lutherans believe that the Divine Law of God is COMPLETELY written in Reason. They do not say this Law , in man, is fallen , incomplete and in need of a second revelation that clears up things called the Decalog. They do not agree that the conscience or law written in the reason/mind of all men is fallen. Rom 2:15 . “reason agrees with the Decalog **because it is the SAME Law**! The Apology says. Reason=Decalog=Divine Law. The terms are completely interchangeable. The content is identical!

    2) So why is it , if man can both know and do, completely , the moral Law by reason ALONE (evidence: Aristotle) that man doesnt do it??!!!

    Lutherans say that the problem is not with the conscience or reason or the Law written in man at all.

    The problem is where then? It is also where Aristotle identifies as the problem. The heart! the emotions!
    We need a new heart!
    Natural man has no power to make that happen.
    Regeneration alone can do this.

    And then the heart is in complete accord with the Law written in Reason. The war between head and heart that Aristotle well describes is over. Regeneration is alone the real end of sin.

    What the scholastics describe that is moses , aristotle and urging Christ as Example can only outwardly end sin. yet still sin will rage in the heart.

    NATHAN: Yes, they, deep, deep down know the truth – that their behavior is offensive to God and will be judged – even as they hold down the truth, they know it – perhaps especially when they hear it spoken directly to them….

    FRANK: The Law always accuses. But reason, unaided by God’s word will always turn one into either a Pharisee (outward doing is enough even if our heart is not in it) or a despairing judas if we are really honest. This despair and terror is precisely where the Law needs to take all of us.

    Christians are always exactly like that despairing Judas.We we our works and despair. But the diffence is between judas and peter. Christians have the response to that despair as trust in the Works of Another!

  • Fws

    Nathan

    But the best of all is how the Gospel enables a good conscience (check those Confessional references again!), and how this is first and foremost because it rests our entire righteousness in the flawless righteousness of the Son of God. 

    As the Son lives to intercede for us and is our advocate before The Father (1 John 2), ever pleading His own all-sufficient propitiation, so the Holy Spirit is the advocate within, in the conscience, also pointing ceaselessly to that perfect righteousness of the Son of God and proclaiming it as our very own.  There is no human righteousness that WE could come up with that would give us a good conscience in the light of the Law of God’s relentless demand for absolute purity and perfection (“as Your Father in heaven is perfect!”), but the Spirit witnesses within our spirit that we are sons of God and if sons then heirs, heirs of God and coheirs with Christ.  The Spirit is given to us so that we may know the things freely given to us by God.   Also note the [similar] role of the conscience with Baptism in 1 Peter 3.  Through preaching the conscience is informed and corrected and strengthened.  And the result is that we are kept humble [confessions: terrified!] in repentance and made firm in faith.

    Nathan, are you searching for a “use” of the Law that doe not kill? I have lost sight , and maybe you have too, of the thesis or theses you are looking for support for.

    Weedon says that the bible is useful for correcting an errant conscience. Ok agree. Aristotle works just as well the confessions would say.

    Please note when i say that, that the confessions make one, and only one caveat to this assertion. And that is that Reason is dulled or veiled by the veil of moses to the demands “uniquely” found in he decalog in the first commandment. They say that THIS law, can alone be found in the Bible. This is the Law that “deals with matters of the heart” . This is the 3rd use. It is that law thT chirist himself takes into his own hands (fc art v law and gospel) to terrify our conscience. IF weedon does not agree with is he is wrong. But there is nothing in the article that diaagrees with that assertion of th Apology

  • Fws

    Nathan

    But the best of all is how the Gospel enables a good conscience (check those Confessional references again!), and how this is first and foremost because it rests our entire righteousness in the flawless righteousness of the Son of God. 

    As the Son lives to intercede for us and is our advocate before The Father (1 John 2), ever pleading His own all-sufficient propitiation, so the Holy Spirit is the advocate within, in the conscience, also pointing ceaselessly to that perfect righteousness of the Son of God and proclaiming it as our very own.  There is no human righteousness that WE could come up with that would give us a good conscience in the light of the Law of God’s relentless demand for absolute purity and perfection (“as Your Father in heaven is perfect!”), but the Spirit witnesses within our spirit that we are sons of God and if sons then heirs, heirs of God and coheirs with Christ.  The Spirit is given to us so that we may know the things freely given to us by God.   Also note the [similar] role of the conscience with Baptism in 1 Peter 3.  Through preaching the conscience is informed and corrected and strengthened.  And the result is that we are kept humble [confessions: terrified!] in repentance and made firm in faith.

    Nathan, are you searching for a “use” of the Law that doe not kill? I have lost sight , and maybe you have too, of the thesis or theses you are looking for support for.

    Weedon says that the bible is useful for correcting an errant conscience. Ok agree. Aristotle works just as well the confessions would say.

    Please note when i say that, that the confessions make one, and only one caveat to this assertion. And that is that Reason is dulled or veiled by the veil of moses to the demands “uniquely” found in he decalog in the first commandment. They say that THIS law, can alone be found in the Bible. This is the Law that “deals with matters of the heart” . This is the 3rd use. It is that law thT chirist himself takes into his own hands (fc art v law and gospel) to terrify our conscience. IF weedon does not agree with is he is wrong. But there is nothing in the article that diaagrees with that assertion of th Apology

  • Fws

    Nathan note whAt i bolded. The lutheran dedinitin of faith is that faith that accepts the judgement of all our works and hides all those in the works of another.

    WhAt makes our works acceptable to God is not the addition of a right motivation. It is that God no longer sees them! They are all hidden in the works of Christ!

  • Fws

    Nathan note whAt i bolded. The lutheran dedinitin of faith is that faith that accepts the judgement of all our works and hides all those in the works of another.

    WhAt makes our works acceptable to God is not the addition of a right motivation. It is that God no longer sees them! They are all hidden in the works of Christ!

  • Fws

    I would encourage you to download the searchable pdf of the book of concord u can find on bookofconcord.org and do the study that the good pastor Weedon suggests. And do that study not to look for proof of a prior held theory. Do it to look for correction. You will find that they say hat e law ay
    Lways and only accuses. Only accuses doe not mean that it

    The Law does not instruct or curb coarse outbreaks of sin and others things. What “always and only accuses” means is that the way the Law gets these and other good works done is by always and only accusing. Meaning that the Law has no power to do anything but mortify. It can not help or aid in movement toward Life. it cannot help end sin. It instead increases sin. The conforming of ALL we can do. Nwardly and outwardly to the Law is ALL about the death of Old Adam, and is not at all about the building up of New Man or a movement of new man towards a closer reflection of the Image of God. It means that the eternal consequences of the workings of the law are always and only death. Eternal death.

    Life and sanctification are all and only about the hiding of ALL we can do in the works of Another.

    Art VI of the Forluma tells us that the Law still exists in the life of the Believer for the sole purrpose of the killing of Old Adam. period. End of story.

    The HS kills Old Adam with the Law and makes New Man alive with the Gospel. The Gospel is alone those Works of Another outside of us, and the personal application of those Works as a hiding of our own Good works. Note: outside of us.

  • Fws

    I would encourage you to download the searchable pdf of the book of concord u can find on bookofconcord.org and do the study that the good pastor Weedon suggests. And do that study not to look for proof of a prior held theory. Do it to look for correction. You will find that they say hat e law ay
    Lways and only accuses. Only accuses doe not mean that it

    The Law does not instruct or curb coarse outbreaks of sin and others things. What “always and only accuses” means is that the way the Law gets these and other good works done is by always and only accusing. Meaning that the Law has no power to do anything but mortify. It can not help or aid in movement toward Life. it cannot help end sin. It instead increases sin. The conforming of ALL we can do. Nwardly and outwardly to the Law is ALL about the death of Old Adam, and is not at all about the building up of New Man or a movement of new man towards a closer reflection of the Image of God. It means that the eternal consequences of the workings of the law are always and only death. Eternal death.

    Life and sanctification are all and only about the hiding of ALL we can do in the works of Another.

    Art VI of the Forluma tells us that the Law still exists in the life of the Believer for the sole purrpose of the killing of Old Adam. period. End of story.

    The HS kills Old Adam with the Law and makes New Man alive with the Gospel. The Gospel is alone those Works of Another outside of us, and the personal application of those Works as a hiding of our own Good works. Note: outside of us.

  • Fws

    The third use IS an instructin. It is one that is all about the Death of Old Adam. It is instruction that is Christ taking the Law into his own hands with e intent of teaching us to be terrified of ALL we can do so that we hide ALL we can do nside the works of Another, rather than to rely on those orks in any way for any Life giving transformation.

    it is to rely on our works, thinking of them as spirit filled, that is the self chosen worship that fc art VI speaks of.

    True worship is alone faith in Christ which faith is that faith , which alone, does one thing , alone! Faith , in the sense of faith that saves, alone is to place ALL our works into his and to hde them there.

  • Fws

    The third use IS an instructin. It is one that is all about the Death of Old Adam. It is instruction that is Christ taking the Law into his own hands with e intent of teaching us to be terrified of ALL we can do so that we hide ALL we can do nside the works of Another, rather than to rely on those orks in any way for any Life giving transformation.

    it is to rely on our works, thinking of them as spirit filled, that is the self chosen worship that fc art VI speaks of.

    True worship is alone faith in Christ which faith is that faith , which alone, does one thing , alone! Faith , in the sense of faith that saves, alone is to place ALL our works into his and to hde them there.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    First of all…

    “Your definition of faith, as that word is meant by Lutherans, as to that meaning that is about what is **saving** faith, is the scholastic meaning. “I believe that I cannot by my own [natural] reason or strength believe”. It is **this** definition of that word faith we are contending over. Lutherans exclude from that meaning anything that is natural. Anything that an unregenerate person could do. And they assert that all you are describing faith as being , are all things that reason, unaided by the Holy Spirit, is fully able to do! Lutherans grant that that kind of faith-ing is FULLY in man’s powers to do.”

    Um, Frank – we don’t disagree here. Let’s look at this next quote from you:

    “What precisely makes a good work acceptable to God is the fact that it is completely hidden within the Works of Another. God doesn’t see it! He only sees the Works of Christ that hide our works. That is why God sees our works as truly good. It is not our faith that does that Nathan. It is Holy Baptism that does that.”

    Sure. But of course faith needs to be present if our good work (which does not need to be on some biblical list of “good works” but does need to not be on some list of sins – good works may not be necessary for salvation but fleeing evil works [for Christ] certainly is necessary for salvation) is to be rewarded in heaven, and not just on earth (and no, I do not do good works looking for heavenly reward).

    “There is no difference between the fruits of the Law and fruits of the Spirit. Good Works are Good Works. they are the same identical goodness, mercy and love. The difference is within the doer. The same identical Good works can either be “extorted” by Law or happen “as light from sun” by the Gospel.” (more specifically: “FC art VI states that there is NO difference between fruits of the Spirit and fruits of the Law in and of themselves. A Good Works is a Good Work. Period. A loaf of bread to a starving man is the same Good Work regardless of your motive for doing it.”)

    OK – all well and good. And yet, if the Law of Christ externally looks like the Decalogue which looks like Aristotle’s natural ethics, this raises all kinds of questions, for as we read on below, we will see that not even Aristotle’s natural ethics was able to tease out the implications of the “Golden Rule” in a way consistent with love. Even if the argument vs. the scholastics in the Apology did indeed play out exactly as you say it did (thanks for some of that info by the way), there is still more that we need to deal with here.

    “There is ONE Law that is written in the Reason of ALL men, and it is to be applied in the same way for the same intended effect in all men equally…. I can not by my own reason or strength believe…. that is EXACTLY why Lutherans say that regarding morality NOTHING can be demanded beyond Aristotle. They are, by that, specifically EXCLUDING every other thing except what they call these new and SUPERnatural “new movements of the heart… [(]Wherever the confessions use the word “natural” they mean by it, whatever man is able to do of his own strength, reason and powers, apart from regeneration[)]”

    Let’s work this out.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    First of all…

    “Your definition of faith, as that word is meant by Lutherans, as to that meaning that is about what is **saving** faith, is the scholastic meaning. “I believe that I cannot by my own [natural] reason or strength believe”. It is **this** definition of that word faith we are contending over. Lutherans exclude from that meaning anything that is natural. Anything that an unregenerate person could do. And they assert that all you are describing faith as being , are all things that reason, unaided by the Holy Spirit, is fully able to do! Lutherans grant that that kind of faith-ing is FULLY in man’s powers to do.”

    Um, Frank – we don’t disagree here. Let’s look at this next quote from you:

    “What precisely makes a good work acceptable to God is the fact that it is completely hidden within the Works of Another. God doesn’t see it! He only sees the Works of Christ that hide our works. That is why God sees our works as truly good. It is not our faith that does that Nathan. It is Holy Baptism that does that.”

    Sure. But of course faith needs to be present if our good work (which does not need to be on some biblical list of “good works” but does need to not be on some list of sins – good works may not be necessary for salvation but fleeing evil works [for Christ] certainly is necessary for salvation) is to be rewarded in heaven, and not just on earth (and no, I do not do good works looking for heavenly reward).

    “There is no difference between the fruits of the Law and fruits of the Spirit. Good Works are Good Works. they are the same identical goodness, mercy and love. The difference is within the doer. The same identical Good works can either be “extorted” by Law or happen “as light from sun” by the Gospel.” (more specifically: “FC art VI states that there is NO difference between fruits of the Spirit and fruits of the Law in and of themselves. A Good Works is a Good Work. Period. A loaf of bread to a starving man is the same Good Work regardless of your motive for doing it.”)

    OK – all well and good. And yet, if the Law of Christ externally looks like the Decalogue which looks like Aristotle’s natural ethics, this raises all kinds of questions, for as we read on below, we will see that not even Aristotle’s natural ethics was able to tease out the implications of the “Golden Rule” in a way consistent with love. Even if the argument vs. the scholastics in the Apology did indeed play out exactly as you say it did (thanks for some of that info by the way), there is still more that we need to deal with here.

    “There is ONE Law that is written in the Reason of ALL men, and it is to be applied in the same way for the same intended effect in all men equally…. I can not by my own reason or strength believe…. that is EXACTLY why Lutherans say that regarding morality NOTHING can be demanded beyond Aristotle. They are, by that, specifically EXCLUDING every other thing except what they call these new and SUPERnatural “new movements of the heart… [(]Wherever the confessions use the word “natural” they mean by it, whatever man is able to do of his own strength, reason and powers, apart from regeneration[)]”

    Let’s work this out.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    You *suggest* the Law is what secular folk call Justice and mercy and love are not of the Law, but fruits of it. Where is this claim spelled out in Scripture or the Confessions? I would suggest the Law is, or what the Law does, or the Law-at-work is God telling us what He requires of us – what we must do. The Law is a preaching of wrath to, of course, because there are threats attached to it.

    You essentially say the Law is all about “just desserts” – what we “own” (consequences), based on what we do (can do). You also talk about how this “legal scheme” is about “fairness”. I say the Law is all about Love, and Jesus showed us what the Law looks like lived out. The Law can be summed up in love. Love is the fulfillment of the Law. So, it is not loving to lust for a person who is not your wife, because that is committing adultery and adultery is contrary to love. So, it is not loving to covet, because that is contrary to love. So, it is not loving to hate your brother and call him terrible names, because that is committing murder and murder is contrary to love. The Law can be summed up in the two greatest commandment, and love also means doing unto others what you would have them do to you. Do you want to be shown love, kindness, patience, mercy and forgiveness when you are in need of these things? Then do so. Do you want men to treat your oldest daughter with respect, not looking to pump and dump her? Then treat other people’s daughters/sisters with the same regard. Do you want people to think your life is valuable, treasure you when you feel week? Sacrifice for you when times are hard? Then don’t abort the nascent human being who lives in the comfort of his mother’s womb. Etc., etc. The Law is all about what community looks like in love.

    Jesus tells us we should love our enemies, turn the other cheek, pray for those who persecute us, and forgive our brother 70 x 7. That is love. That is also Law. That is also what Jesus “fleshed out” for us.

    This is what condemns us. Mercy and love do not need to be fit into any legal scheme. How could these things be “fruits of the Law” if they also are not what He requires of us (what we must do).

    And how could we begin to do these things from the heart (i.e. with fear, love and trust in God) – i.e. as opposed to simply doing them because they “make sense” or because “it makes me feel good inside to do these things (I am rewarded in my emotions when I do them – this self-interest is not even disguised sometimes!) – without first knowing the love of God?

    ….

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    You *suggest* the Law is what secular folk call Justice and mercy and love are not of the Law, but fruits of it. Where is this claim spelled out in Scripture or the Confessions? I would suggest the Law is, or what the Law does, or the Law-at-work is God telling us what He requires of us – what we must do. The Law is a preaching of wrath to, of course, because there are threats attached to it.

    You essentially say the Law is all about “just desserts” – what we “own” (consequences), based on what we do (can do). You also talk about how this “legal scheme” is about “fairness”. I say the Law is all about Love, and Jesus showed us what the Law looks like lived out. The Law can be summed up in love. Love is the fulfillment of the Law. So, it is not loving to lust for a person who is not your wife, because that is committing adultery and adultery is contrary to love. So, it is not loving to covet, because that is contrary to love. So, it is not loving to hate your brother and call him terrible names, because that is committing murder and murder is contrary to love. The Law can be summed up in the two greatest commandment, and love also means doing unto others what you would have them do to you. Do you want to be shown love, kindness, patience, mercy and forgiveness when you are in need of these things? Then do so. Do you want men to treat your oldest daughter with respect, not looking to pump and dump her? Then treat other people’s daughters/sisters with the same regard. Do you want people to think your life is valuable, treasure you when you feel week? Sacrifice for you when times are hard? Then don’t abort the nascent human being who lives in the comfort of his mother’s womb. Etc., etc. The Law is all about what community looks like in love.

    Jesus tells us we should love our enemies, turn the other cheek, pray for those who persecute us, and forgive our brother 70 x 7. That is love. That is also Law. That is also what Jesus “fleshed out” for us.

    This is what condemns us. Mercy and love do not need to be fit into any legal scheme. How could these things be “fruits of the Law” if they also are not what He requires of us (what we must do).

    And how could we begin to do these things from the heart (i.e. with fear, love and trust in God) – i.e. as opposed to simply doing them because they “make sense” or because “it makes me feel good inside to do these things (I am rewarded in my emotions when I do them – this self-interest is not even disguised sometimes!) – without first knowing the love of God?

    ….

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    “My example off a wife demanding love is a good one.”

    It is – and so is the stuff I have written about above. Because they are something that even a natural man – one without the Holy Spirit – can understand. The Law insists that we love. It is actually the core of the Law, even if it is not the core of Aristotle’s “natural ethics”.

    “there IS a Law that is known to and used by only Christians! This Law is written in the Reason of ALL, but it is veiled by the legalism that says law-is-satisfied-by-doing-it…. When St Paul say there are no Laws against Love, he means that the “sum of the Law” which is love is not about following a list of do’s and don’ts. Imagine trying to tell someone you REALLY love them by legalistically and strictly sticking to some list of do’s and don’ts.”

    Well, obviously, it is not about following strict lists. Nevertheless, there are real lists of do’s and don’t’s and we are commanded to love and forgive, and this means not just externally but internally, period. Otherwise the commands to not covet would not be in the “list” and Jesus would not have done the Sermon on the Mount (condemning lust and hate). I myself have confessed that I sometimes am concerned about becoming a legalist. But I suspect that persons who do hold to a Biblical understanding of God’s Law will *inevitably* be seen to as being legalist given the cultural water that we find ourselves now swimming in.

    “So faith is not doing the Law to “”fulfill” it. Faith trusts in Christ alone for that. Faith does the Law to die rather than seek signs of “fulfilling” or “Life”.

    Of course. But faith ends up doing the Law – God’s real Law, even more demanding than Aristotle – none the less.

    Frank – you ask if I think there is a use of the Law that does not kill. I’d say theoretically, yes. In the “moment of the Gospel”, “the separate articles of Christology, justification, and sanctification have indeed become one cloth and one substance. The Christ who died for sins has taken full possession of him” (Scaer, CTQ, vol. 49, nos 2-3, pp. 181-198). Further, Schurb says, “The Apology knew of a perspective, a Gospel perspective (see FC SD VI, 22) , from which the believer – ***the Christian living in this world as simul iustus et peccator*** – can look upon the Law and its requirements without being threatened by it…” (see Schurb, Ken, CJ, Oct. 1997, p. 348). It is all about the simul.

    More later, I hope.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    “My example off a wife demanding love is a good one.”

    It is – and so is the stuff I have written about above. Because they are something that even a natural man – one without the Holy Spirit – can understand. The Law insists that we love. It is actually the core of the Law, even if it is not the core of Aristotle’s “natural ethics”.

    “there IS a Law that is known to and used by only Christians! This Law is written in the Reason of ALL, but it is veiled by the legalism that says law-is-satisfied-by-doing-it…. When St Paul say there are no Laws against Love, he means that the “sum of the Law” which is love is not about following a list of do’s and don’ts. Imagine trying to tell someone you REALLY love them by legalistically and strictly sticking to some list of do’s and don’ts.”

    Well, obviously, it is not about following strict lists. Nevertheless, there are real lists of do’s and don’t’s and we are commanded to love and forgive, and this means not just externally but internally, period. Otherwise the commands to not covet would not be in the “list” and Jesus would not have done the Sermon on the Mount (condemning lust and hate). I myself have confessed that I sometimes am concerned about becoming a legalist. But I suspect that persons who do hold to a Biblical understanding of God’s Law will *inevitably* be seen to as being legalist given the cultural water that we find ourselves now swimming in.

    “So faith is not doing the Law to “”fulfill” it. Faith trusts in Christ alone for that. Faith does the Law to die rather than seek signs of “fulfilling” or “Life”.

    Of course. But faith ends up doing the Law – God’s real Law, even more demanding than Aristotle – none the less.

    Frank – you ask if I think there is a use of the Law that does not kill. I’d say theoretically, yes. In the “moment of the Gospel”, “the separate articles of Christology, justification, and sanctification have indeed become one cloth and one substance. The Christ who died for sins has taken full possession of him” (Scaer, CTQ, vol. 49, nos 2-3, pp. 181-198). Further, Schurb says, “The Apology knew of a perspective, a Gospel perspective (see FC SD VI, 22) , from which the believer – ***the Christian living in this world as simul iustus et peccator*** – can look upon the Law and its requirements without being threatened by it…” (see Schurb, Ken, CJ, Oct. 1997, p. 348). It is all about the simul.

    More later, I hope.

    +Nathan

  • fws

    Nathan @ 94, 95 and 96

    I must praise you for homing on exactly the points that are taken up in the Apology to dispute the position of the Scholastics.

    But your readings seem to be lots of people who claim to interpret our Confessions. Why not first go directly to the Confessions themselves and outline and absorb and emulate their approach? I urge you to do this. The Confessions themselves, especially the Apology art II, III and IV which flow directly and organically from our Catechisms are a marvel.

    What could possibly be unwholesome or bad about such an approach?

  • fws

    Nathan @ 94, 95 and 96

    I must praise you for homing on exactly the points that are taken up in the Apology to dispute the position of the Scholastics.

    But your readings seem to be lots of people who claim to interpret our Confessions. Why not first go directly to the Confessions themselves and outline and absorb and emulate their approach? I urge you to do this. The Confessions themselves, especially the Apology art II, III and IV which flow directly and organically from our Catechisms are a marvel.

    What could possibly be unwholesome or bad about such an approach?

  • fws

    FRANK “I believe that I cannot by my own [natural] reason or strength believe”.
    Lutherans exclude from that meaning anything that is natural.
    In the Lutheran definition, “natural” fully includes ALL a regenerate man is able to do empowered by the Holy Spirit to do it. Please take ALL to really mean , quite utterly ALL.
    When a Thomist hears that word faith, they always hear and mean “perfected faith” or “faith perfected in love”.
    So Lutherans and Thomists use the same words but mean something different.
    What do you suppose a Thomist means by “perfected faith” and “faith perfected by love” Nathan?
    How does Apology IV describe the relationship of faith to love in the believer vs the unbeliever?
    Everything we are discussing is ALL right there Nathan. Our discussion is reinventing the wheel!
    FRANK “What precisely makes a good work acceptable to God is the fact that it is completely hidden within the Works of Another. God doesn’t see it! He only sees the Works of Christ that hide our works. That is why God sees our works as truly good. It is not our faith that does that Nathan. It is Holy Baptism that does that.”
    NATHAN: Sure. But of course faith needs to be present if our good work (which does not need to be on some biblical list of “good works” but does need to not be on some list of sins – good works may not be necessary for salvation but fleeing evil works [for Christ] certainly is necessary for salvation) is to be rewarded in heaven, and not just on earth (and no, I do not do good works looking for heavenly reward).
    FRANK: You are defining “faith that saves” as a quality and power infused into us that lets us keep the Law.
    This error is not cured by inserting the caveat that faith-ed good works dont save, ie give heavenly reward.
    why not? if faith-ed good works (ie” faith perfected in love”) are **necessary** for salvation then what?
    What if we cant identify such good works in our life Nathan?! What then?

    Lutheran say that the sure mark of faith is that faith is absolutely certain that we are completely holy before God and completely blameless before his sight!

    Faith that saves is, alone, a trust that is…
    a) terrified at ALL we can DO (including our own faith efforts) and
    b) hides ALL we can do in the Works of Another that are fully outside and independent of us.
    ALONE please understand to mean ALONE. ALONE FULLY excludes ALL except a and b.
    ALONE excludes all that the HS enables us to DO.
    You wish to include those HS enabled things as part of the definition of “faith that saves”.
    You do this by calling faith “right motivation”. “Faith” can be that. Of course it can be. “faith” can mean lots of stuff. That is not to argue about. But…
    the definition of faith as “faith that saves” EXCLUDES that meaning.
    it is the Scholastic error precisely to oppose that word ALONE which precisely is that very exclusion.
    You wish to include something WE do, as **necessary** . This is error. This error is not cured by stating it is the work of the HS to give us the power to do this doing and so it is “not of ourselves”. To assert this, I suggest is, precisely, the error of St Thomas, and is the chief error that the Apology opposes.
    FRANK FROM A PREVIOUS POST: “There is no difference between the fruits of the Law and fruits of the Spirit. Good Works are Good Works. they are the same identical goodness, mercy and love. The difference is within the doer. The same identical Good works can either be “extorted” by Law or happen “as light from sun” by the Gospel.” (more specifically: “FC art VI states that there is NO difference between fruits of the Spirit and fruits of the Law in and of themselves. A Good Works is a Good Work. Period. A loaf of bread to a starving man is the same Good Work regardless of your motive for doing it.”)

    NATHAN: if the Law of Christ externally looks like the Decalogue which looks like Aristotle’s natural ethics, …
    FRANK: You realize you inserted a new idea.. “Law of Christ”=Decalog=Divine Law in Reason(Aristotle).
    I didn’t say that did I? Let’s review what I DID claim the Apology says in art III and IV:
    a) the Divine Law, which is the SAME Law as found in the Decalog is **completely** written in the Reason of ALL men (rom 2:15). Reason=Decalog. Same Law.
    b) Reason is “veiled” to ONE demand of the Law that is ONLY found in the Decalog. Ie it IS in Reason, but is” veiled” to Reason.
    c)This ONE demand is found ONLY in the 1st commandment which deals with “movements of the heart”. This is to say that it is THIS Law only that can ONLY be known from the Bible. Natural or reason is dimmed to this Law. ONLY THIS Law Nathan.
    Ask yourself what they might mean by “movements of the heart”. Most importantly: contrasted to what Nathan?
    What is the point they are trying to make, opposed to what Scholastic view Nathan? Think “perfected faith” here.
    d) Veil here means something that IS there, but Reason has dificulty seeing it.
    e) When reason DOES see this it despairs like Judas. It is terrified.
    f) THIS is the Third Use of the Law. THIS is the Law “Christ takes into his own hands” to show us clearly.
    g) Christ takes the Law into his own hands to do what? Terrify our conscience.
    h) Christ takes the Law into his own hands to turn us from being a Pharisee into becoming despairing Judas.
    i) this is the “repentence” that only the Third Use can work. And so far this is repentence without faith in Christ.
    j) Complete repentence is this + trust , alone, in the Works of Another than are outside of us completely.
    NATHAN: this raises all kinds of questions, for as we read on below, we will see that not even Aristotle’s natural ethics was able to tease out the implications of the “Golden Rule” in a way consistent with love. Even if the argument vs. the scholastics in the Apology did indeed play out exactly as you say it did (thanks for some of that info by the way), there is still more that we need to deal with here.
    FRANK: First, I hope you can see you set me up here. You put a thesis into my mouth that is not there. Now you are responding to your own thesis rather than what I proposed that the Apology says. So your argument that follows won’t be very useful to our discussion that means unfortunately. Define “Law of Christ”. You introduced a completely new idea, and plugged it into our current discussion, without identifying it as such, and worse, you have me saying something by doing that that I did not say. I am not accusing you of anything. You did it innocently. But it throws our conversation off track doesnt it? How? it expands the conversation to cover yet another issue, which is what does “Law of Christ” mean? Don’t we already have enough on our plate here?
    Secondly. When I say that St Thomas “baptized” Aristotle, that does not mean he just did a copy job. He “translated” Aristotle. For example Telos becomes Image of God. So Summa-of-st-thomas does not equal Aristotles=Ethics. No one is saying that. We are not arguing Lutheranism vs aristotle. We are arguing Lutheranism vs Scholasticism. And to do that we need to bring in aristotles ethics. Why? Scholastic theology is a retread or “baptism” of Aristotle. Or at least the Apology claims that is so. That is how one MUST read the Apology for it to make any sense at all Nathan.

    FRANK FROM PREVIOUS POST: “There is ONE Law that is written in the Reason of ALL men, and it is to be applied in the same way for the same intended effect in all men equally…. I can not by my own reason or strength believe…. that is EXACTLY why Lutherans say that regarding morality NOTHING can be demanded beyond Aristotle. They are, by that, specifically EXCLUDING every other thing except what they call these new and SUPERnatural “new movements of the heart… [(]Wherever the confessions use the word “natural” they mean by it, whatever man is able to do of his own strength, reason and powers, apart from regeneration[)]”
    NATHAN: You *suggest* the Law is what secular folk call Justice and mercy and love are not of the Law, but fruits of it. Where is this claim spelled out in Scripture or the Confessions?

    FRANK: I am distinguishing what the Law does TO us, from what WE DO in RESPONSE to the Law.
    Ergo: mercy and love are OF the Law.
    mercy and love are the God demanded fruit OF the Law.
    ERGO: mercy and love are OF the Law.
    Take home point: Then they are, in THAT case, not OF the Gospel.
    there IS a mercy and love that ARE fruits OF the Gospel.
    But those are excluded as anything we can DO.
    DO here fully and completely includes anything we can see and do, sense or empirically know here on Earth.
    DO fully includes any doing enabled by the Holy Spirit.
    NATHAN I would suggest the Law is, or what the Law does, or the Law-at-work is God telling us what He requires of us – what we must do. The Law is a preaching of wrath to, of course, because there are threats attached to it.
    FRANK: This Law is written in the Reason of ALL men (rom 2:15), with the one exception of Christ himself teaching what the first commandment demands , which deals with heart movements, is clear to all men. it requires therefore no “preaching”. Aristotle required no preaching.
    NATHAN: You essentially say the Law is all about “just desserts” – what we “own” (consequences), based on what we do (can do).
    FRANK: No. The Apology makes a Law vs Law distinction which you just ignored between the-law-at-work=justice=self-sacrifice/Virtue=mortification, versus what? The FRUIT of the Law. You did that with that word “all” in your statement. By that word all, you exclude love and mercy , the God-intended fruits of the Law as being “of’ the Law. And in that case then, they would have to be “of” the Gospel.
    And that is the problem.
    Here on earth the words mercy and love are always “of the Law” UNLESS… they refer, alone, to the Works of Another….. that are…… utterly as far removed from OUR works,*** fully including that HS enabled works in the believer, *** as far as the most remote star is removed from the earth.
    It is what I just “***”d that is the error you keep insisting upon. At least it seems that way. I could be wrong and hope I am! You wish to include our HS enabled works in the definition of “saving faith” and “gospel” and “grace”. This is wrong Nathan.
    NATHAN: You also talk about how this “legal scheme” is about “fairness”.
    FRANK: As I said, you missed a law vs law distinction I made from our Apology here. so no, the Apology says that, but it says more. It makes a distinction between what the law-in-action does…Justice, and what the God-intended FRUIT of that Law-at-work is. The fruits are love and mercy.

    NATHAN: I say the Law is all about Love, and Jesus showed us what the Law looks like lived out. The Law can be summed up in love. Love is the fulfillment of the Law. So, it is not loving to lust for a person who is not your wife, because that is committing adultery and adultery is contrary to love. So, it is not loving to covet, because that is contrary to love. So, it is not loving to hate your brother and call him terrible names, because that is committing murder and murder is contrary to love. The Law can be summed up in the two greatest commandment, and love also means doing unto others what you would have them do to you. Do you want to be shown love, kindness, patience, mercy and forgiveness when you are in need of these things? Then do so. Do you want men to treat your oldest daughter with respect, not looking to pump and dump her? Then treat other people’s daughters/sisters with the same regard. Do you want people to think your life is valuable, treasure you when you feel week? Sacrifice for you when times are hard? Then don’t abort the nascent human being who lives in the comfort of his mother’s womb. Etc., etc. The Law is all about what community looks like in love.

    FRANK: Ok. Love is the God-intended fruit of the Law. Love then is “of the Law”. But Love is also “of the gospel as well. Same fruit! Here is where I suggest you are being confused.
    In ALL we can see and do in US on earth, fully including what the HS works in our members , reason, will, and soul, Love and Mercy are “of the Law”. Christ as example is terrifying Law. NO gospel there! FC tells us that the Law is often illustrated with the Gospel, yet it is still…. Law! CF FC Law and Gospel. Remember that!
    Love and Mercy are Gospel ONLY when we speak of what Christ has done, FOR us, and utterly OUTSIDE of us. alone, only! our HS enabled Love and Mercy are to be kept as separate and distant from love and mercy that are alone Gospel as far as the earth is from the most distant star in the sky.
    Where is the relationship between justice/self-sacrifice/self-restraint/Virtue vs Love/mercy in the confessions? Earthy righeousness = justice + love.
    1) “We are to fear love and trust in God…..”
    Here fear love and trust are right Motivation. And we cant do that can we?
    THIS is the Third Use. This is the Law “Christ takes into his own hands… to terrify us” (FC Law and Gospel Epitome).
    2) “That we do not hurt or harm our neighbor in his body”
    This is Justice, mortification, all the “self”virtues that Aristotle teaches.
    Yet this is only “half-righeousness”.
    The religious try to make this kind of righeousness, self denial, into a spiritual Obedience and self chosen worship.
    This looks like self flagelation, celebacy, bodily subjugation etc. But this provides no love for mercy for others does it? The religious do this with the aim of rendering Obedience to God. It is mortification=worship. Only faith in Christ and HIS Obedience is true worship that renders to God what he demands.
    3) “but we help and befriend our neighbor in every bodily need.”
    This is mercy and goodness and love Nathan. This is the sum of the Law. But here on earth, even in believers, this part 3 cannot happen , unfortunately, without 2 also being done, by the law to us.
    Note that part 1 is not necessary for 2 or 3 to happen. So why part one?
    it is to remove from us that 2 and 3 can do anything that has eternal consequences that are other than romans 8 flesh and body stuff that will perish!

    NATHAN Jesus tells us we should love our enemies, turn the other cheek, pray for those who persecute us, and forgive our brother 70 x 7. That is love. That is also Law. That is also what Jesus “fleshed out” for us.
    FRANK: Yes Christ as Example is pure Law.
    What Christ as done that is Law is ALSO Gospel!
    But how? That is the point of Disagreement.
    Because the HS enables us to DO what Christ did? No!!!!!!! You keep wanting to take it there. Stop.
    It is because what Christ has done hides all the HS works in us to do from the wrath of God.
    Our works are holy because they are hidden in the Holy One. Otherwise they damn us. Period
    Our works do not take on a different quality because now we have faith.
    Faith is not a substance that changes the nature or essence or substance of our love or mercy or good works.
    NATHAN This is what condemns us. Mercy and love do not need to be fit into any legal scheme. How could these things be “fruits of the Law” if they also are not what He requires of us (what we must do).
    FRANK: Fruit of the Law IS what God ultimately wants Justice to extort out of us. you are creating an either or that is not there. Think both and!
    NATHAN: And how could we begin to do these things from the heart (i.e. with fear, love and trust in God) – i.e. as opposed to simply doing them because they “make sense” or because “it makes me feel good inside to do these things (I am rewarded in my emotions when I do them – this self-interest is not even disguised sometimes!) – without first knowing the love of God?
    FRANK: The point of the Confessions is that it would be quite impossible to know and identify when we are doing things with faith defined as ‘right motive” and when we are not. This ends up in endless rules and caveats and byzantine scholastic moralistic distinctions that simply do not exist… for example the distinction between moral and venial sins. So all sin is not a mortal sin? How so? And that idea of “willful sinning”. No sin is ever committed that is not done because we will it to be done in our thoughts, heart, and very soul. And the idea that no sin is forgiven unless we work up sorrow for that sin. So suicides cant be forgiven. Why? the suicide would not have a chance to repent! In that case, salvation depend upon something we do called repentence? So the Confessions say that your way of thinking only works when a conscience is at rest and confident in its doing. But when a conscience is truly terrified, the Confessions say that what you suggest is no comfort at all! How can we know for sure that ‘enough” is really truly enough? This is the result of including anything at all we can do…. such as “fleeing from sin” as being necessary for salvation.
    here is how the confessions define law as third use, and then the life of faith. Does this look like your model Nathan?

    [When we go to the Supper] we …remember and proclaim His death and the shedding of His blood. [We] should we remember and proclaim His death … so we may learn to be horrified by our sins, and to regard them as very serious……. What more forcible, more terrible declaration and preaching of God’s wrath against sin is there than just the suffering and death of Christ, His Son? the preaching of the suffering and death of Christ, the Son of God, is an earnest and terrible proclamation and declaration of God’s wrath, whereby men are first led into the Law aright, after the veil of Moses has been removed from them, so that they first know aright how great things God in His Law requires of us, none of which we can observe. …. the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins,and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened.

    NATHAN: “My example off a wife demanding love is a good one.” It is – and so is the stuff I have written about above. Because they are something that even a natural man – one without the Holy Spirit – can understand. The Law insists that we love. It is actually the core of the Law, even if it is not the core of Aristotle’s “natural ethics”.
    FRANK: What makes Aristotles Ethics enduringly powerful and irresistable gravitational force for philosophers is that he indeed has a place for love in his Ethics unlike the stoics and epicurus , cicero , seneca and the others.

    Assertion of Fact: The Apology identifies St Thomas defect and thus also Aristotles, not that natural man cant know love and mercy. It is that they cannot be terrified at the love and mercy they can do as judged by the Law! And so they either become pharisees or despair as judas!
    I am presenting what our Apology says. Either I am misreading the Apology or…. not. Show me.
    FRANK IN A PREVIOUS POST: “there IS a Law that is known to and used by only Christians! This Law is written in the Reason of ALL, but it is veiled by the legalism that says law-is-satisfied-by-doing-it…. When St Paul say there are no Laws against Love, he means that the “sum of the Law” which is love is not about following a list of do’s and don’ts. Imagine trying to tell someone you REALLY love them by legalistically and strictly sticking to some list of do’s and don’ts.”
    NATHAN: Well, obviously, it is not about following strict lists. Nevertheless, there are real lists of do’s and don’t’s and we are commanded to love and forgive, and this means not just externally but internally, period. Otherwise the commands to not covet would not be in the “list” and Jesus would not have done the Sermon on the Mount (condemning lust and hate). I myself have confessed that I sometimes am concerned about becoming a legalist. But I suspect that persons who do hold to a Biblical understanding of God’s Law will *inevitably* be seen to as being legalist given the cultural water that we find ourselves now swimming in.
    FRANK: Thomists say reason and conscience and “natural law” (defined, contrary to the Lutheran definition as seeing a Divine Design in nature) must find their “definite positive CONTENT” in the Divine Law . They define “divine law” as the Decalog, which is shorthand for the Bible. Lutherans say that Reason fully contains all such “content”. No HS or Bible is necessary, except for that ONE caveat I keep repeating Nathan. remember what that ONE caveat is?
    Their illustration and example for this (not their proof!) is Aristotle. There are lots and lots of songs and poems and stuff written about love. you again make a “natural” distinction between internal and external. Why? Even pagans make such a distinction “you did it from the bottom of your heart”. Again. Apology:” No HS or Christ is needed for this.”
    FRANK “So faith is not doing the Law to “”fulfill” it. Faith trusts in Christ alone for that. Faith does the Law to die rather than seek signs of “fulfilling” or “Life”.
    NATHAN Of course. But faith ends up doing the Law – God’s real Law, even more demanding than Aristotle – none the less.
    FRANK Well now. Faith “does” that how?
    It hides ALL it can do, even believing, in the Works of Another.
    It is the fulfilling and doing of Another then that is the “doing ” that faith “does”.
    here the word “do” takes on a different definition! here “do” means to claim the works of Someone Else as things that we, personally, have done!
    When God asks faith “what have you done?!” Faith replies “Look , alone, at what Christ has done, outside of me, and for me, 2000 years ago!” Our HS enabled works? The are the moral-equivalent-of-used-tampon. they are where? hidden from God! Faith hides all it can do inside the doing of Another.
    NATHAN: Frank – you ask if I think there is a use of the Law that does not kill. I’d say theoretically, yes. In the “moment of the Gospel”, “the separate articles of Christology, justification, and sanctification have indeed become one cloth and one substance. The Christ who died for sins has taken full possession of him” (Scaer, CTQ, vol. 49, nos 2-3, pp. 181-198). Further, Schurb says, “The Apology knew of a perspective, a Gospel perspective (see FC SD VI, 22) , from which the believer – ***the Christian living in this world as simul iustus et peccator*** – can look upon the Law and its requirements without being threatened by it…” (see Schurb, Ken, CJ, Oct. 1997, p. 348). It is all about the simul.
    FRANK Wherever you read the word “Jesus” or “Christ” in the Bible referring to something he has done, insert the name “Nathan”. That is what the quote you gave us is telling you.
    It is NOT saying that we are infused with christ-HS-Power so that now the good works of believers are something other than the moral-equivalent-of-used-tampon.

  • fws

    FRANK “I believe that I cannot by my own [natural] reason or strength believe”.
    Lutherans exclude from that meaning anything that is natural.
    In the Lutheran definition, “natural” fully includes ALL a regenerate man is able to do empowered by the Holy Spirit to do it. Please take ALL to really mean , quite utterly ALL.
    When a Thomist hears that word faith, they always hear and mean “perfected faith” or “faith perfected in love”.
    So Lutherans and Thomists use the same words but mean something different.
    What do you suppose a Thomist means by “perfected faith” and “faith perfected by love” Nathan?
    How does Apology IV describe the relationship of faith to love in the believer vs the unbeliever?
    Everything we are discussing is ALL right there Nathan. Our discussion is reinventing the wheel!
    FRANK “What precisely makes a good work acceptable to God is the fact that it is completely hidden within the Works of Another. God doesn’t see it! He only sees the Works of Christ that hide our works. That is why God sees our works as truly good. It is not our faith that does that Nathan. It is Holy Baptism that does that.”
    NATHAN: Sure. But of course faith needs to be present if our good work (which does not need to be on some biblical list of “good works” but does need to not be on some list of sins – good works may not be necessary for salvation but fleeing evil works [for Christ] certainly is necessary for salvation) is to be rewarded in heaven, and not just on earth (and no, I do not do good works looking for heavenly reward).
    FRANK: You are defining “faith that saves” as a quality and power infused into us that lets us keep the Law.
    This error is not cured by inserting the caveat that faith-ed good works dont save, ie give heavenly reward.
    why not? if faith-ed good works (ie” faith perfected in love”) are **necessary** for salvation then what?
    What if we cant identify such good works in our life Nathan?! What then?

    Lutheran say that the sure mark of faith is that faith is absolutely certain that we are completely holy before God and completely blameless before his sight!

    Faith that saves is, alone, a trust that is…
    a) terrified at ALL we can DO (including our own faith efforts) and
    b) hides ALL we can do in the Works of Another that are fully outside and independent of us.
    ALONE please understand to mean ALONE. ALONE FULLY excludes ALL except a and b.
    ALONE excludes all that the HS enables us to DO.
    You wish to include those HS enabled things as part of the definition of “faith that saves”.
    You do this by calling faith “right motivation”. “Faith” can be that. Of course it can be. “faith” can mean lots of stuff. That is not to argue about. But…
    the definition of faith as “faith that saves” EXCLUDES that meaning.
    it is the Scholastic error precisely to oppose that word ALONE which precisely is that very exclusion.
    You wish to include something WE do, as **necessary** . This is error. This error is not cured by stating it is the work of the HS to give us the power to do this doing and so it is “not of ourselves”. To assert this, I suggest is, precisely, the error of St Thomas, and is the chief error that the Apology opposes.
    FRANK FROM A PREVIOUS POST: “There is no difference between the fruits of the Law and fruits of the Spirit. Good Works are Good Works. they are the same identical goodness, mercy and love. The difference is within the doer. The same identical Good works can either be “extorted” by Law or happen “as light from sun” by the Gospel.” (more specifically: “FC art VI states that there is NO difference between fruits of the Spirit and fruits of the Law in and of themselves. A Good Works is a Good Work. Period. A loaf of bread to a starving man is the same Good Work regardless of your motive for doing it.”)

    NATHAN: if the Law of Christ externally looks like the Decalogue which looks like Aristotle’s natural ethics, …
    FRANK: You realize you inserted a new idea.. “Law of Christ”=Decalog=Divine Law in Reason(Aristotle).
    I didn’t say that did I? Let’s review what I DID claim the Apology says in art III and IV:
    a) the Divine Law, which is the SAME Law as found in the Decalog is **completely** written in the Reason of ALL men (rom 2:15). Reason=Decalog. Same Law.
    b) Reason is “veiled” to ONE demand of the Law that is ONLY found in the Decalog. Ie it IS in Reason, but is” veiled” to Reason.
    c)This ONE demand is found ONLY in the 1st commandment which deals with “movements of the heart”. This is to say that it is THIS Law only that can ONLY be known from the Bible. Natural or reason is dimmed to this Law. ONLY THIS Law Nathan.
    Ask yourself what they might mean by “movements of the heart”. Most importantly: contrasted to what Nathan?
    What is the point they are trying to make, opposed to what Scholastic view Nathan? Think “perfected faith” here.
    d) Veil here means something that IS there, but Reason has dificulty seeing it.
    e) When reason DOES see this it despairs like Judas. It is terrified.
    f) THIS is the Third Use of the Law. THIS is the Law “Christ takes into his own hands” to show us clearly.
    g) Christ takes the Law into his own hands to do what? Terrify our conscience.
    h) Christ takes the Law into his own hands to turn us from being a Pharisee into becoming despairing Judas.
    i) this is the “repentence” that only the Third Use can work. And so far this is repentence without faith in Christ.
    j) Complete repentence is this + trust , alone, in the Works of Another than are outside of us completely.
    NATHAN: this raises all kinds of questions, for as we read on below, we will see that not even Aristotle’s natural ethics was able to tease out the implications of the “Golden Rule” in a way consistent with love. Even if the argument vs. the scholastics in the Apology did indeed play out exactly as you say it did (thanks for some of that info by the way), there is still more that we need to deal with here.
    FRANK: First, I hope you can see you set me up here. You put a thesis into my mouth that is not there. Now you are responding to your own thesis rather than what I proposed that the Apology says. So your argument that follows won’t be very useful to our discussion that means unfortunately. Define “Law of Christ”. You introduced a completely new idea, and plugged it into our current discussion, without identifying it as such, and worse, you have me saying something by doing that that I did not say. I am not accusing you of anything. You did it innocently. But it throws our conversation off track doesnt it? How? it expands the conversation to cover yet another issue, which is what does “Law of Christ” mean? Don’t we already have enough on our plate here?
    Secondly. When I say that St Thomas “baptized” Aristotle, that does not mean he just did a copy job. He “translated” Aristotle. For example Telos becomes Image of God. So Summa-of-st-thomas does not equal Aristotles=Ethics. No one is saying that. We are not arguing Lutheranism vs aristotle. We are arguing Lutheranism vs Scholasticism. And to do that we need to bring in aristotles ethics. Why? Scholastic theology is a retread or “baptism” of Aristotle. Or at least the Apology claims that is so. That is how one MUST read the Apology for it to make any sense at all Nathan.

    FRANK FROM PREVIOUS POST: “There is ONE Law that is written in the Reason of ALL men, and it is to be applied in the same way for the same intended effect in all men equally…. I can not by my own reason or strength believe…. that is EXACTLY why Lutherans say that regarding morality NOTHING can be demanded beyond Aristotle. They are, by that, specifically EXCLUDING every other thing except what they call these new and SUPERnatural “new movements of the heart… [(]Wherever the confessions use the word “natural” they mean by it, whatever man is able to do of his own strength, reason and powers, apart from regeneration[)]”
    NATHAN: You *suggest* the Law is what secular folk call Justice and mercy and love are not of the Law, but fruits of it. Where is this claim spelled out in Scripture or the Confessions?

    FRANK: I am distinguishing what the Law does TO us, from what WE DO in RESPONSE to the Law.
    Ergo: mercy and love are OF the Law.
    mercy and love are the God demanded fruit OF the Law.
    ERGO: mercy and love are OF the Law.
    Take home point: Then they are, in THAT case, not OF the Gospel.
    there IS a mercy and love that ARE fruits OF the Gospel.
    But those are excluded as anything we can DO.
    DO here fully and completely includes anything we can see and do, sense or empirically know here on Earth.
    DO fully includes any doing enabled by the Holy Spirit.
    NATHAN I would suggest the Law is, or what the Law does, or the Law-at-work is God telling us what He requires of us – what we must do. The Law is a preaching of wrath to, of course, because there are threats attached to it.
    FRANK: This Law is written in the Reason of ALL men (rom 2:15), with the one exception of Christ himself teaching what the first commandment demands , which deals with heart movements, is clear to all men. it requires therefore no “preaching”. Aristotle required no preaching.
    NATHAN: You essentially say the Law is all about “just desserts” – what we “own” (consequences), based on what we do (can do).
    FRANK: No. The Apology makes a Law vs Law distinction which you just ignored between the-law-at-work=justice=self-sacrifice/Virtue=mortification, versus what? The FRUIT of the Law. You did that with that word “all” in your statement. By that word all, you exclude love and mercy , the God-intended fruits of the Law as being “of’ the Law. And in that case then, they would have to be “of” the Gospel.
    And that is the problem.
    Here on earth the words mercy and love are always “of the Law” UNLESS… they refer, alone, to the Works of Another….. that are…… utterly as far removed from OUR works,*** fully including that HS enabled works in the believer, *** as far as the most remote star is removed from the earth.
    It is what I just “***”d that is the error you keep insisting upon. At least it seems that way. I could be wrong and hope I am! You wish to include our HS enabled works in the definition of “saving faith” and “gospel” and “grace”. This is wrong Nathan.
    NATHAN: You also talk about how this “legal scheme” is about “fairness”.
    FRANK: As I said, you missed a law vs law distinction I made from our Apology here. so no, the Apology says that, but it says more. It makes a distinction between what the law-in-action does…Justice, and what the God-intended FRUIT of that Law-at-work is. The fruits are love and mercy.

    NATHAN: I say the Law is all about Love, and Jesus showed us what the Law looks like lived out. The Law can be summed up in love. Love is the fulfillment of the Law. So, it is not loving to lust for a person who is not your wife, because that is committing adultery and adultery is contrary to love. So, it is not loving to covet, because that is contrary to love. So, it is not loving to hate your brother and call him terrible names, because that is committing murder and murder is contrary to love. The Law can be summed up in the two greatest commandment, and love also means doing unto others what you would have them do to you. Do you want to be shown love, kindness, patience, mercy and forgiveness when you are in need of these things? Then do so. Do you want men to treat your oldest daughter with respect, not looking to pump and dump her? Then treat other people’s daughters/sisters with the same regard. Do you want people to think your life is valuable, treasure you when you feel week? Sacrifice for you when times are hard? Then don’t abort the nascent human being who lives in the comfort of his mother’s womb. Etc., etc. The Law is all about what community looks like in love.

    FRANK: Ok. Love is the God-intended fruit of the Law. Love then is “of the Law”. But Love is also “of the gospel as well. Same fruit! Here is where I suggest you are being confused.
    In ALL we can see and do in US on earth, fully including what the HS works in our members , reason, will, and soul, Love and Mercy are “of the Law”. Christ as example is terrifying Law. NO gospel there! FC tells us that the Law is often illustrated with the Gospel, yet it is still…. Law! CF FC Law and Gospel. Remember that!
    Love and Mercy are Gospel ONLY when we speak of what Christ has done, FOR us, and utterly OUTSIDE of us. alone, only! our HS enabled Love and Mercy are to be kept as separate and distant from love and mercy that are alone Gospel as far as the earth is from the most distant star in the sky.
    Where is the relationship between justice/self-sacrifice/self-restraint/Virtue vs Love/mercy in the confessions? Earthy righeousness = justice + love.
    1) “We are to fear love and trust in God…..”
    Here fear love and trust are right Motivation. And we cant do that can we?
    THIS is the Third Use. This is the Law “Christ takes into his own hands… to terrify us” (FC Law and Gospel Epitome).
    2) “That we do not hurt or harm our neighbor in his body”
    This is Justice, mortification, all the “self”virtues that Aristotle teaches.
    Yet this is only “half-righeousness”.
    The religious try to make this kind of righeousness, self denial, into a spiritual Obedience and self chosen worship.
    This looks like self flagelation, celebacy, bodily subjugation etc. But this provides no love for mercy for others does it? The religious do this with the aim of rendering Obedience to God. It is mortification=worship. Only faith in Christ and HIS Obedience is true worship that renders to God what he demands.
    3) “but we help and befriend our neighbor in every bodily need.”
    This is mercy and goodness and love Nathan. This is the sum of the Law. But here on earth, even in believers, this part 3 cannot happen , unfortunately, without 2 also being done, by the law to us.
    Note that part 1 is not necessary for 2 or 3 to happen. So why part one?
    it is to remove from us that 2 and 3 can do anything that has eternal consequences that are other than romans 8 flesh and body stuff that will perish!

    NATHAN Jesus tells us we should love our enemies, turn the other cheek, pray for those who persecute us, and forgive our brother 70 x 7. That is love. That is also Law. That is also what Jesus “fleshed out” for us.
    FRANK: Yes Christ as Example is pure Law.
    What Christ as done that is Law is ALSO Gospel!
    But how? That is the point of Disagreement.
    Because the HS enables us to DO what Christ did? No!!!!!!! You keep wanting to take it there. Stop.
    It is because what Christ has done hides all the HS works in us to do from the wrath of God.
    Our works are holy because they are hidden in the Holy One. Otherwise they damn us. Period
    Our works do not take on a different quality because now we have faith.
    Faith is not a substance that changes the nature or essence or substance of our love or mercy or good works.
    NATHAN This is what condemns us. Mercy and love do not need to be fit into any legal scheme. How could these things be “fruits of the Law” if they also are not what He requires of us (what we must do).
    FRANK: Fruit of the Law IS what God ultimately wants Justice to extort out of us. you are creating an either or that is not there. Think both and!
    NATHAN: And how could we begin to do these things from the heart (i.e. with fear, love and trust in God) – i.e. as opposed to simply doing them because they “make sense” or because “it makes me feel good inside to do these things (I am rewarded in my emotions when I do them – this self-interest is not even disguised sometimes!) – without first knowing the love of God?
    FRANK: The point of the Confessions is that it would be quite impossible to know and identify when we are doing things with faith defined as ‘right motive” and when we are not. This ends up in endless rules and caveats and byzantine scholastic moralistic distinctions that simply do not exist… for example the distinction between moral and venial sins. So all sin is not a mortal sin? How so? And that idea of “willful sinning”. No sin is ever committed that is not done because we will it to be done in our thoughts, heart, and very soul. And the idea that no sin is forgiven unless we work up sorrow for that sin. So suicides cant be forgiven. Why? the suicide would not have a chance to repent! In that case, salvation depend upon something we do called repentence? So the Confessions say that your way of thinking only works when a conscience is at rest and confident in its doing. But when a conscience is truly terrified, the Confessions say that what you suggest is no comfort at all! How can we know for sure that ‘enough” is really truly enough? This is the result of including anything at all we can do…. such as “fleeing from sin” as being necessary for salvation.
    here is how the confessions define law as third use, and then the life of faith. Does this look like your model Nathan?

    [When we go to the Supper] we …remember and proclaim His death and the shedding of His blood. [We] should we remember and proclaim His death … so we may learn to be horrified by our sins, and to regard them as very serious……. What more forcible, more terrible declaration and preaching of God’s wrath against sin is there than just the suffering and death of Christ, His Son? the preaching of the suffering and death of Christ, the Son of God, is an earnest and terrible proclamation and declaration of God’s wrath, whereby men are first led into the Law aright, after the veil of Moses has been removed from them, so that they first know aright how great things God in His Law requires of us, none of which we can observe. …. the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins,and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened.

    NATHAN: “My example off a wife demanding love is a good one.” It is – and so is the stuff I have written about above. Because they are something that even a natural man – one without the Holy Spirit – can understand. The Law insists that we love. It is actually the core of the Law, even if it is not the core of Aristotle’s “natural ethics”.
    FRANK: What makes Aristotles Ethics enduringly powerful and irresistable gravitational force for philosophers is that he indeed has a place for love in his Ethics unlike the stoics and epicurus , cicero , seneca and the others.

    Assertion of Fact: The Apology identifies St Thomas defect and thus also Aristotles, not that natural man cant know love and mercy. It is that they cannot be terrified at the love and mercy they can do as judged by the Law! And so they either become pharisees or despair as judas!
    I am presenting what our Apology says. Either I am misreading the Apology or…. not. Show me.
    FRANK IN A PREVIOUS POST: “there IS a Law that is known to and used by only Christians! This Law is written in the Reason of ALL, but it is veiled by the legalism that says law-is-satisfied-by-doing-it…. When St Paul say there are no Laws against Love, he means that the “sum of the Law” which is love is not about following a list of do’s and don’ts. Imagine trying to tell someone you REALLY love them by legalistically and strictly sticking to some list of do’s and don’ts.”
    NATHAN: Well, obviously, it is not about following strict lists. Nevertheless, there are real lists of do’s and don’t’s and we are commanded to love and forgive, and this means not just externally but internally, period. Otherwise the commands to not covet would not be in the “list” and Jesus would not have done the Sermon on the Mount (condemning lust and hate). I myself have confessed that I sometimes am concerned about becoming a legalist. But I suspect that persons who do hold to a Biblical understanding of God’s Law will *inevitably* be seen to as being legalist given the cultural water that we find ourselves now swimming in.
    FRANK: Thomists say reason and conscience and “natural law” (defined, contrary to the Lutheran definition as seeing a Divine Design in nature) must find their “definite positive CONTENT” in the Divine Law . They define “divine law” as the Decalog, which is shorthand for the Bible. Lutherans say that Reason fully contains all such “content”. No HS or Bible is necessary, except for that ONE caveat I keep repeating Nathan. remember what that ONE caveat is?
    Their illustration and example for this (not their proof!) is Aristotle. There are lots and lots of songs and poems and stuff written about love. you again make a “natural” distinction between internal and external. Why? Even pagans make such a distinction “you did it from the bottom of your heart”. Again. Apology:” No HS or Christ is needed for this.”
    FRANK “So faith is not doing the Law to “”fulfill” it. Faith trusts in Christ alone for that. Faith does the Law to die rather than seek signs of “fulfilling” or “Life”.
    NATHAN Of course. But faith ends up doing the Law – God’s real Law, even more demanding than Aristotle – none the less.
    FRANK Well now. Faith “does” that how?
    It hides ALL it can do, even believing, in the Works of Another.
    It is the fulfilling and doing of Another then that is the “doing ” that faith “does”.
    here the word “do” takes on a different definition! here “do” means to claim the works of Someone Else as things that we, personally, have done!
    When God asks faith “what have you done?!” Faith replies “Look , alone, at what Christ has done, outside of me, and for me, 2000 years ago!” Our HS enabled works? The are the moral-equivalent-of-used-tampon. they are where? hidden from God! Faith hides all it can do inside the doing of Another.
    NATHAN: Frank – you ask if I think there is a use of the Law that does not kill. I’d say theoretically, yes. In the “moment of the Gospel”, “the separate articles of Christology, justification, and sanctification have indeed become one cloth and one substance. The Christ who died for sins has taken full possession of him” (Scaer, CTQ, vol. 49, nos 2-3, pp. 181-198). Further, Schurb says, “The Apology knew of a perspective, a Gospel perspective (see FC SD VI, 22) , from which the believer – ***the Christian living in this world as simul iustus et peccator*** – can look upon the Law and its requirements without being threatened by it…” (see Schurb, Ken, CJ, Oct. 1997, p. 348). It is all about the simul.
    FRANK Wherever you read the word “Jesus” or “Christ” in the Bible referring to something he has done, insert the name “Nathan”. That is what the quote you gave us is telling you.
    It is NOT saying that we are infused with christ-HS-Power so that now the good works of believers are something other than the moral-equivalent-of-used-tampon.

  • fws

    Nathan

    God’s eternal will is for love, aka mercy and goodness, to be done among mankind. God the HS rules men to to make that Eternal Will of God happen using two means:

    Here on earth in old adam of believer and pagan alike, God the HS rules with the Law to extort that Love out of men. This includes ALL we can do, including what the HS enables us to do. This is all romans 8 carnal righeousness. It is what Romans 8 calls flesh or body.

    In another kingdom, as far removed from any of our HS enabled doing as the earth is from the most distant star, God himself takes on our flesh and it is he that personally and incarnately does the Love and goodness and mercy that we are utterly powerless to fruit in ourselves. this is the love that the 1st commandment demands. we can’t do it. So Christ had to come and do it for us.

    And now we have that same , identical love.

    Where we disagree is in what I just now said means.

    What we have been given is EXACTLY what was worked within the very incarnate flesh of Christ. We have been given what HE did as if it were ours. And there is no “as if”. Christ’s works=Nathans works. Take that in the most radically true and real sense you can. Why? God says so. So this is not merely a forensic as if declaration. it is really truly THE true reality. Christ works are the works of Nathan. And the works of Nathan… what about those? Nathans HS enabled works are all the moral-equvalent-of-used-tampon. Nathans works are really, truly, actually , in fact now the works of Christ. Christ literally became Nathan. this is to mean that Christ literally is that Nathan that is a sinner. Christ is now THE sinner Nathan. Literally, really , truly, and more certain than anything concrete you can touch, smell see or hear or feel deep inside you.

    You are christ and christ is you.

    This is quite a different proposition than being infused with christ/holy spirit power that enables us to become or be transformed into Christ. That completely has already happened to you Nathan. there is no Nathan to transform. There is no more transforming to do. There only remains the death of that Old Nathan that is no longer the you that God sees, even though that Old Nathan continues to be you such that is ALL your will , senses, reason, believing and very soul and essence in any tangible or sensible or perceivable or evidential way.

    You were baptized.

  • fws

    Nathan

    God’s eternal will is for love, aka mercy and goodness, to be done among mankind. God the HS rules men to to make that Eternal Will of God happen using two means:

    Here on earth in old adam of believer and pagan alike, God the HS rules with the Law to extort that Love out of men. This includes ALL we can do, including what the HS enables us to do. This is all romans 8 carnal righeousness. It is what Romans 8 calls flesh or body.

    In another kingdom, as far removed from any of our HS enabled doing as the earth is from the most distant star, God himself takes on our flesh and it is he that personally and incarnately does the Love and goodness and mercy that we are utterly powerless to fruit in ourselves. this is the love that the 1st commandment demands. we can’t do it. So Christ had to come and do it for us.

    And now we have that same , identical love.

    Where we disagree is in what I just now said means.

    What we have been given is EXACTLY what was worked within the very incarnate flesh of Christ. We have been given what HE did as if it were ours. And there is no “as if”. Christ’s works=Nathans works. Take that in the most radically true and real sense you can. Why? God says so. So this is not merely a forensic as if declaration. it is really truly THE true reality. Christ works are the works of Nathan. And the works of Nathan… what about those? Nathans HS enabled works are all the moral-equvalent-of-used-tampon. Nathans works are really, truly, actually , in fact now the works of Christ. Christ literally became Nathan. this is to mean that Christ literally is that Nathan that is a sinner. Christ is now THE sinner Nathan. Literally, really , truly, and more certain than anything concrete you can touch, smell see or hear or feel deep inside you.

    You are christ and christ is you.

    This is quite a different proposition than being infused with christ/holy spirit power that enables us to become or be transformed into Christ. That completely has already happened to you Nathan. there is no Nathan to transform. There is no more transforming to do. There only remains the death of that Old Nathan that is no longer the you that God sees, even though that Old Nathan continues to be you such that is ALL your will , senses, reason, believing and very soul and essence in any tangible or sensible or perceivable or evidential way.

    You were baptized.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Last day of vacation here. : ) I look forward to reading what you’ve said and responding.

    Thanks for continuing the conversation. More later, God willing.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Last day of vacation here. : ) I look forward to reading what you’ve said and responding.

    Thanks for continuing the conversation. More later, God willing.

    +Nathan

  • fws

    Nathan,

    I appreciate our conversations as well.

    You are homing in on precisely the points that are at issue in the Apology of our Confessions. Few men see to do that.
    I have been reflecting alot about how to word my responses.

    The solution we seek is found in the Proper Distinction of Law and Gospel. But there is a form of this Distinction that you appear to be unfamiliar with. It is a Distinction of Law and Gospel called the Two Kingdoms or Two Powers.

    I know that many Lutherans think this is about the proper spheres of influence of the Church versus the State. This is not the proper understanding of that doctrine.

    Here is how this form or way of teaching Law and Gospel is helpful in precisely what we are discussing.

    God rules everything in order to make mercy and goodness (love for neighbor) happen. In the Earthly Kingdom, which includes ALL we can see and do and think and feel and know evidentially, God is ALONE ruling Old Adam alone by extorting Goodness and Mercy (aka love for others) out of him with the Law. It is in this Law and Old Adam Kingdom that God works all morality and moral betterment that we are able to perceive and see or sense or have any evidence for.

    The moral betterment here, aka righteousness of mercy and love , that is worked in this Kingdom is demanded by God, will bring his temporal punishment if it is not done, and is useful to have a long and happy life and to avoid punishment and the hangman. God promises earthly rewards and even heavenly crowns for those who do this earthly righeousness that is mercy and love. And he threatens to punish all who do not do mercy and love towards others. This is ALL active righteousness that man is able to do with the power of the Holy Spirit who is always the Author of ALL Good Works in mankind, whether he makes them happen by Law or Gospel.

    This God worked righteousness that is all about doing mercy goodness and love towards our neighbor, pertains to this life only and will end with it. If we wish to deal with God we must aim far far higher than this kind of righeousness that is worked by the Law on the Old Adam of all.

    Luther then makes a very important Law and Gospel distinction in this way:

    Then there is another Kingdom where God rules. THIS Kingdom must be thought of as being as far removed from that other kingdom as the furthest star is from the earth (!!). This kingdom can not include ANYthing we can see or do in thought word or deed. How could it?! THOSE things are already ALL included in that other Earthly Kingdom.

    In this Kingdom God rules by putting into the hearts of man the new emotions of fear, love and trust . This passive faith is terrified at ALL that happens in that other Earthly Kingdom and , as a result, knows to hide and obscure from God ALL it can do in that other Earthly Kingdom into the Works of Another and trust in those Works Alone.

    I just presented the underlying framework for what I claim is the Lutheran Theology of the Apology. The important sentence is this one:
    “We must separate all that is in that Earthly Kingdom from that One Thing that is in the Heavenly Kingdom as far as the earth is from the furthest star.”

    This is what you are not doing. You are trying to smuggle past the border patrol either the heavenly Righeousness into that other Earthly Kingdom or earthly righteousness into that other Heavenly Kingdom.

    You want Gospel to mean what Christ HAS done outside of us PLUS what the Holy Spirit does inside of us to transform us morally. This thinking violates the Proper Distinction of Law and Gospel and it is the form of that Doctrine called Two Kingdoms that helps us see that more clearly. Unfortunately this form of Law and Gospel distinction has been obscured in later times.

  • fws

    Nathan,

    I appreciate our conversations as well.

    You are homing in on precisely the points that are at issue in the Apology of our Confessions. Few men see to do that.
    I have been reflecting alot about how to word my responses.

    The solution we seek is found in the Proper Distinction of Law and Gospel. But there is a form of this Distinction that you appear to be unfamiliar with. It is a Distinction of Law and Gospel called the Two Kingdoms or Two Powers.

    I know that many Lutherans think this is about the proper spheres of influence of the Church versus the State. This is not the proper understanding of that doctrine.

    Here is how this form or way of teaching Law and Gospel is helpful in precisely what we are discussing.

    God rules everything in order to make mercy and goodness (love for neighbor) happen. In the Earthly Kingdom, which includes ALL we can see and do and think and feel and know evidentially, God is ALONE ruling Old Adam alone by extorting Goodness and Mercy (aka love for others) out of him with the Law. It is in this Law and Old Adam Kingdom that God works all morality and moral betterment that we are able to perceive and see or sense or have any evidence for.

    The moral betterment here, aka righteousness of mercy and love , that is worked in this Kingdom is demanded by God, will bring his temporal punishment if it is not done, and is useful to have a long and happy life and to avoid punishment and the hangman. God promises earthly rewards and even heavenly crowns for those who do this earthly righeousness that is mercy and love. And he threatens to punish all who do not do mercy and love towards others. This is ALL active righteousness that man is able to do with the power of the Holy Spirit who is always the Author of ALL Good Works in mankind, whether he makes them happen by Law or Gospel.

    This God worked righteousness that is all about doing mercy goodness and love towards our neighbor, pertains to this life only and will end with it. If we wish to deal with God we must aim far far higher than this kind of righeousness that is worked by the Law on the Old Adam of all.

    Luther then makes a very important Law and Gospel distinction in this way:

    Then there is another Kingdom where God rules. THIS Kingdom must be thought of as being as far removed from that other kingdom as the furthest star is from the earth (!!). This kingdom can not include ANYthing we can see or do in thought word or deed. How could it?! THOSE things are already ALL included in that other Earthly Kingdom.

    In this Kingdom God rules by putting into the hearts of man the new emotions of fear, love and trust . This passive faith is terrified at ALL that happens in that other Earthly Kingdom and , as a result, knows to hide and obscure from God ALL it can do in that other Earthly Kingdom into the Works of Another and trust in those Works Alone.

    I just presented the underlying framework for what I claim is the Lutheran Theology of the Apology. The important sentence is this one:
    “We must separate all that is in that Earthly Kingdom from that One Thing that is in the Heavenly Kingdom as far as the earth is from the furthest star.”

    This is what you are not doing. You are trying to smuggle past the border patrol either the heavenly Righeousness into that other Earthly Kingdom or earthly righteousness into that other Heavenly Kingdom.

    You want Gospel to mean what Christ HAS done outside of us PLUS what the Holy Spirit does inside of us to transform us morally. This thinking violates the Proper Distinction of Law and Gospel and it is the form of that Doctrine called Two Kingdoms that helps us see that more clearly. Unfortunately this form of Law and Gospel distinction has been obscured in later times.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    I can comment quickly here today. Only quickly.

    First of all, I have enjoyed our conversation. At the same time, it has been challenging. Though I think we both appreciate the interaction here, I’m guessing I’ve been a little frustrating to you. You have for me as well. : )

    The main reason is because I feel like you are hearing me and saying, “you say you believe this Nathan, but you really believe this – don’t you see?”.

    For example, most recently, when you said:

    FRANK “What precisely makes a good work acceptable to God is the fact that it is completely hidden within the Works of Another. God doesn’t see it! He only sees the Works of Christ that hide our works. That is why God sees our works as truly good. It is not our faith that does that Nathan. It is Holy Baptism that does that.”

    I said: Sure. But of course faith needs to be present if our good work (which does not need to be on some biblical list of “good works” but does need to not be on some list of sins – good works may not be necessary for salvation but fleeing evil works [for Christ] certainly is necessary for salvation) is to be rewarded in heaven, and not just on earth (and no, I do not do good works looking for heavenly reward).

    So you said: You are defining “faith that saves” as a quality and power infused into us that lets us keep the Law.

    Here’s the deal – I am not saying this nor have I ever said anything like this. Here, I was simply saying what Ap. IV: 193 and 194 say: I am not talking about “forgiveness of sins, grace, or justification”, but “other physical and spiritual rewards in this life and in that which is to come”.

    That said, I understand that this was confusing. Still – I think its fascinating how eager you are to tell me that I am saying something that I don’t believe and would never say! (by the way, in the post right before this you have said *nothing* I disagree with other then your implying that this is the only way we as Lutherans can understand the two kingdoms)

    Maybe I do the same thing, and if so, I apologize.

    Something else I am confused by. You had said stuff like this before:

    “There is ONE Law that is written in the Reason of ALL men, and it is to be applied in the same way for the same intended effect in all men equally…. I can not by my own reason or strength believe…. that is EXACTLY why Lutherans say that regarding morality NOTHING can be demanded beyond Aristotle. They are, by that, specifically EXCLUDING every other thing except what they call these new and SUPERnatural “new movements of the heart… [(]Wherever the confessions use the word “natural” they mean by it, whatever man is able to do of his own strength, reason and powers, apart from regeneration[)]”

    Later, you say this:

    “I believe that I cannot by my own [natural] reason or strength believe”.
    ***Lutherans exclude from that meaning anything that is natural.
    In the Lutheran definition, “natural” fully includes ALL a regenerate man is able to do empowered by the Holy Spirit to do it. Please take ALL to really mean , quite utterly ALL.***
    When a Thomist hears that word faith, they always hear and mean “perfected faith” or “faith perfected in love”.

    I am having a hard time seeing how these ideas are compatible. Are the movements of the Holy Spirit in the regenerate man “natural” or “supernatural”?

    I’m not sure if this is related to your disputing my characterization of your position when I said: “if the Law of Christ externally looks like the Decalogue which looks like Aristotle’s natural ethics, …” Is it? Again, I was unclear. I meant that I thought you were saying that EXTERNALLY and EVIDENTIALLY (i.e. according to what we can perceive according to our senses when we observe the actions of *others*) the fake Christian and the real Christian (these are the one who follow the 10 commandments, which is the same Law that Christ expounded on, clarified, and lived [see Gal. 6:2 re: the "Law of Christ], in the “two greatest”, “golden rule”, the “Sermon on the Mt”, and elsewhere) look exactly the same – and not only this, but both of them also look the same as the person who tries to live out Aristotle’s natural ethics! Here, that is all I was trying to say. Is this your position?

    Finally, I want you to know I have read through the Confessions multiple times, including the Apology. It is marked up like you would not believe! I do not mind doing so again though.

    In fact, I can say that I did come across the Law *only* accuses as well – will look into it more (will check the original German and Latin)

    More later,
    Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    I can comment quickly here today. Only quickly.

    First of all, I have enjoyed our conversation. At the same time, it has been challenging. Though I think we both appreciate the interaction here, I’m guessing I’ve been a little frustrating to you. You have for me as well. : )

    The main reason is because I feel like you are hearing me and saying, “you say you believe this Nathan, but you really believe this – don’t you see?”.

    For example, most recently, when you said:

    FRANK “What precisely makes a good work acceptable to God is the fact that it is completely hidden within the Works of Another. God doesn’t see it! He only sees the Works of Christ that hide our works. That is why God sees our works as truly good. It is not our faith that does that Nathan. It is Holy Baptism that does that.”

    I said: Sure. But of course faith needs to be present if our good work (which does not need to be on some biblical list of “good works” but does need to not be on some list of sins – good works may not be necessary for salvation but fleeing evil works [for Christ] certainly is necessary for salvation) is to be rewarded in heaven, and not just on earth (and no, I do not do good works looking for heavenly reward).

    So you said: You are defining “faith that saves” as a quality and power infused into us that lets us keep the Law.

    Here’s the deal – I am not saying this nor have I ever said anything like this. Here, I was simply saying what Ap. IV: 193 and 194 say: I am not talking about “forgiveness of sins, grace, or justification”, but “other physical and spiritual rewards in this life and in that which is to come”.

    That said, I understand that this was confusing. Still – I think its fascinating how eager you are to tell me that I am saying something that I don’t believe and would never say! (by the way, in the post right before this you have said *nothing* I disagree with other then your implying that this is the only way we as Lutherans can understand the two kingdoms)

    Maybe I do the same thing, and if so, I apologize.

    Something else I am confused by. You had said stuff like this before:

    “There is ONE Law that is written in the Reason of ALL men, and it is to be applied in the same way for the same intended effect in all men equally…. I can not by my own reason or strength believe…. that is EXACTLY why Lutherans say that regarding morality NOTHING can be demanded beyond Aristotle. They are, by that, specifically EXCLUDING every other thing except what they call these new and SUPERnatural “new movements of the heart… [(]Wherever the confessions use the word “natural” they mean by it, whatever man is able to do of his own strength, reason and powers, apart from regeneration[)]”

    Later, you say this:

    “I believe that I cannot by my own [natural] reason or strength believe”.
    ***Lutherans exclude from that meaning anything that is natural.
    In the Lutheran definition, “natural” fully includes ALL a regenerate man is able to do empowered by the Holy Spirit to do it. Please take ALL to really mean , quite utterly ALL.***
    When a Thomist hears that word faith, they always hear and mean “perfected faith” or “faith perfected in love”.

    I am having a hard time seeing how these ideas are compatible. Are the movements of the Holy Spirit in the regenerate man “natural” or “supernatural”?

    I’m not sure if this is related to your disputing my characterization of your position when I said: “if the Law of Christ externally looks like the Decalogue which looks like Aristotle’s natural ethics, …” Is it? Again, I was unclear. I meant that I thought you were saying that EXTERNALLY and EVIDENTIALLY (i.e. according to what we can perceive according to our senses when we observe the actions of *others*) the fake Christian and the real Christian (these are the one who follow the 10 commandments, which is the same Law that Christ expounded on, clarified, and lived [see Gal. 6:2 re: the "Law of Christ], in the “two greatest”, “golden rule”, the “Sermon on the Mt”, and elsewhere) look exactly the same – and not only this, but both of them also look the same as the person who tries to live out Aristotle’s natural ethics! Here, that is all I was trying to say. Is this your position?

    Finally, I want you to know I have read through the Confessions multiple times, including the Apology. It is marked up like you would not believe! I do not mind doing so again though.

    In fact, I can say that I did come across the Law *only* accuses as well – will look into it more (will check the original German and Latin)

    More later,
    Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Does this look like your model Nathan?:

    [When we go to the Supper] we …remember and proclaim His death and the shedding of His blood. [We] should we remember and proclaim His death … so we may learn to be horrified by our sins, and to regard them as very serious……. What more forcible, more terrible declaration and preaching of God’s wrath against sin is there than just the suffering and death of Christ, His Son? the preaching of the suffering and death of Christ, the Son of God, is an earnest and terrible proclamation and declaration of God’s wrath, whereby men are first led into the Law aright, after the veil of Moses has been removed from them, so that they first know aright how great things God in His Law requires of us, none of which we can observe. …. the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins,and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened.

    Of course.

    Note I wrote this here : http://infanttheology.wordpress.com/2009/10/20/from-despair-to-joy/:

    “On any given Sunday, I will occasionally utter the words, “I am by nature sinful and unclean…I have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed…I justly deserve your present and eternal punishment”.

    Some people might consider this a little bit extreme.

    Do I myself really believe this? Do I believe that God, in light of His Law, determines this about me? Indeed. I share the view of Eastern Orthodox Christian writer Elder Sophrony, who talks about how “a person who ‘keeps his mind in hell’ is ever aware that only one fate is appropriate for his deeds, eternal damnation. This consideration sears humility into his soul, as he finds himself utterly unable to lift his eyes toward the face of God.”

    God created us as persons who would freely and joyfully represent Him – who is Love and Life – to our neighbor. But then came the Fall into Sin. Now, due to the infection that rages within me, there is a sense in which I, like Satan, am a masterful destroyer of relationships. When I stand naked in the midst of a holy God I know that I am undone. I have denied him before men, and in the name of “justice” refused to turn my cheek, refused to forgive from the heart 70 x 7, constantly mixed dung with precious perfume, ignored the unfortunate and outcasts who sense their need for Him more than most, and hated my enemies for whom Christ bled. I have refused to recognize marriage – my own marriage and resultant family – as a crucial sacramental sign of God’s presence in the world. My actions – or inactions – have served as an acid that dissolve the Gospel proclamation that brings forgiveness, life, and salvation. How little I must know my God! In short, because of my lack of trust, confidence, and reliance on God – and hence, love – I have caused my neighbor to perish. They have not seen the love of God in me.

    This is crucial because the ultimate purpose of God’s Law – seen in its most simple form in the Ten Commandments – is not, as Lutherans like to point out, to reveal our sin and slay our self-justifications (Rom 3:20), though it is certainly about this. ”

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Does this look like your model Nathan?:

    [When we go to the Supper] we …remember and proclaim His death and the shedding of His blood. [We] should we remember and proclaim His death … so we may learn to be horrified by our sins, and to regard them as very serious……. What more forcible, more terrible declaration and preaching of God’s wrath against sin is there than just the suffering and death of Christ, His Son? the preaching of the suffering and death of Christ, the Son of God, is an earnest and terrible proclamation and declaration of God’s wrath, whereby men are first led into the Law aright, after the veil of Moses has been removed from them, so that they first know aright how great things God in His Law requires of us, none of which we can observe. …. the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins,and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened.

    Of course.

    Note I wrote this here : http://infanttheology.wordpress.com/2009/10/20/from-despair-to-joy/:

    “On any given Sunday, I will occasionally utter the words, “I am by nature sinful and unclean…I have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed…I justly deserve your present and eternal punishment”.

    Some people might consider this a little bit extreme.

    Do I myself really believe this? Do I believe that God, in light of His Law, determines this about me? Indeed. I share the view of Eastern Orthodox Christian writer Elder Sophrony, who talks about how “a person who ‘keeps his mind in hell’ is ever aware that only one fate is appropriate for his deeds, eternal damnation. This consideration sears humility into his soul, as he finds himself utterly unable to lift his eyes toward the face of God.”

    God created us as persons who would freely and joyfully represent Him – who is Love and Life – to our neighbor. But then came the Fall into Sin. Now, due to the infection that rages within me, there is a sense in which I, like Satan, am a masterful destroyer of relationships. When I stand naked in the midst of a holy God I know that I am undone. I have denied him before men, and in the name of “justice” refused to turn my cheek, refused to forgive from the heart 70 x 7, constantly mixed dung with precious perfume, ignored the unfortunate and outcasts who sense their need for Him more than most, and hated my enemies for whom Christ bled. I have refused to recognize marriage – my own marriage and resultant family – as a crucial sacramental sign of God’s presence in the world. My actions – or inactions – have served as an acid that dissolve the Gospel proclamation that brings forgiveness, life, and salvation. How little I must know my God! In short, because of my lack of trust, confidence, and reliance on God – and hence, love – I have caused my neighbor to perish. They have not seen the love of God in me.

    This is crucial because the ultimate purpose of God’s Law – seen in its most simple form in the Ten Commandments – is not, as Lutherans like to point out, to reveal our sin and slay our self-justifications (Rom 3:20), though it is certainly about this. ”

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Also, in case you are interested in the conscience thing more:

    http://wolfmueller.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/somethings-gone-wrong-the-four-things-your-conscience-knows/

    A quote:

    “I think our conscience recognizes four types of wrong in the world: (1) something is wrong with the way I treat others, (2) something is wrong with the way others treat me, (3) something is wrong with the way other people treat other people, and (4) something is wrong with the world. Each of these conscience insights brings it own temptation, a false and sinful response to the voice of our conscience.

    The conscience is like our stomach, a very imprecise instrument. Our stomach tells us that we need to eat something so we stop hurting, but it does not tell us what to eat, when to eat, how to go to school to learn to read and write so that we can get a job and earn a living to buy food. Our stomach simply says, “Make the pain stop.” Many people have been led astray by their stomach, eating something deadly, drinking salt-water, etc.”

    Along with this:

    “You should not believe your conscience and your feelings more than the Word which the Lord who receives sinners preaches to you.” — Luther

    He also said: “The real and true work of Christ’s passion is to make man conformable to Christ, so that man’s conscience is tormented by his sins in like measure as Christ was pitiably tormented in body and soul by our sins”, which goes well with the “model” you asked me about!

    More later when I get time.

    God’s blessings to you Frank.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Also, in case you are interested in the conscience thing more:

    http://wolfmueller.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/somethings-gone-wrong-the-four-things-your-conscience-knows/

    A quote:

    “I think our conscience recognizes four types of wrong in the world: (1) something is wrong with the way I treat others, (2) something is wrong with the way others treat me, (3) something is wrong with the way other people treat other people, and (4) something is wrong with the world. Each of these conscience insights brings it own temptation, a false and sinful response to the voice of our conscience.

    The conscience is like our stomach, a very imprecise instrument. Our stomach tells us that we need to eat something so we stop hurting, but it does not tell us what to eat, when to eat, how to go to school to learn to read and write so that we can get a job and earn a living to buy food. Our stomach simply says, “Make the pain stop.” Many people have been led astray by their stomach, eating something deadly, drinking salt-water, etc.”

    Along with this:

    “You should not believe your conscience and your feelings more than the Word which the Lord who receives sinners preaches to you.” — Luther

    He also said: “The real and true work of Christ’s passion is to make man conformable to Christ, so that man’s conscience is tormented by his sins in like measure as Christ was pitiably tormented in body and soul by our sins”, which goes well with the “model” you asked me about!

    More later when I get time.

    God’s blessings to you Frank.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    “if faith-ed good works (ie” faith perfected in love”) are **necessary** for salvation then what?
    What if we cant identify such good works in our life Nathan?! What then?”…

    Frank – Please note, I have never said that good works (regardless of the level of purity of these) are necessary for salvation. Ever. I only insisted that God’s Law is good – it exists because of love and is describes in words (always dangerous!) what love is and looks like (ultimately Jesus shows this most clearly – He fulfills the Law perfectly, and this both accuses us and saves us).

    “…Lutheran say that the sure mark of faith is that faith is absolutely certain that we are completely holy before God and completely blameless before his sight!”

    Right – like simple children we call sin “sin” and call grace “grace”. We believe His simple words of Law and Gospel and hence are certain. All of His righteousness is ours and all of our sin is His by imputation in His sight. This is why we do not define “faith that saves” as a quality and power infused into us that lets us keep the Law.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    “if faith-ed good works (ie” faith perfected in love”) are **necessary** for salvation then what?
    What if we cant identify such good works in our life Nathan?! What then?”…

    Frank – Please note, I have never said that good works (regardless of the level of purity of these) are necessary for salvation. Ever. I only insisted that God’s Law is good – it exists because of love and is describes in words (always dangerous!) what love is and looks like (ultimately Jesus shows this most clearly – He fulfills the Law perfectly, and this both accuses us and saves us).

    “…Lutheran say that the sure mark of faith is that faith is absolutely certain that we are completely holy before God and completely blameless before his sight!”

    Right – like simple children we call sin “sin” and call grace “grace”. We believe His simple words of Law and Gospel and hence are certain. All of His righteousness is ours and all of our sin is His by imputation in His sight. This is why we do not define “faith that saves” as a quality and power infused into us that lets us keep the Law.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    All that was not as “quick” as I thought it would be… Dangerous combo, me and blogs…

    Temptation!

    Later!

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    All that was not as “quick” as I thought it would be… Dangerous combo, me and blogs…

    Temptation!

    Later!

    +Nathan

  • fws

    dear nathan,

    first thanks for forgiving me where I put words into your mouth.
    Sometimes a chance to react to someone putting words into one’s mouth is a chance to reach for greater clarity isn’t it?

    The Law only and always accuses Nathan.
    That does not mean that it does not also extort out of Old Adam such things as love, mercy, goodness, Good Works, faith, joy, hope, peace, forgiveness, patience and all the other 1st article gifts that, without which, life on earth would be impossible. Imagine a non christian society where mercy, love and forgiveness do not exist. You can’t. It would be an impossible world to live in.

    But what “the Law always and only accuses and kills” means is that it is precisely ALWAYS and ONLY by the only and accusing and killing Law that any Good Works of real love, mercy, and kindness are able at all to happen on earth.

    The Gospel is not at all necessary for true love, joy, mercy, kindness , forgiveness, patience, longsuffering, etc to happen on earth.

    It is the Holy Spirit Who is ALREADY making those thing happen, as the small catechism says… for the ‘unworthy’.. ‘indeed without our prayer’…. ‘even for all the wicked.’ He is doing this by the always only accusing and killing Law applied to all our Old Adams to work him to death.

    So what is it that the Gospel does in us? ONLY ONE thing. It trusts, passively , in the works of another.

    You want the Gospel to work some tangible transformation in us that is something, maybe just a tad or droplet, more than that utterly passive trust in the Works of Another I keep hearing you say over and over and over Nathan.

    If you dont mean to say that , then you need to be more clear. You quote the EO fathers and Luther and others and end up having them say that Grace puts something in us that is a quality that enables us to do **necessary** holiness work in ourselves.

    It is as simple as that.

    And so maybe you just need to limit yourself to using the wording of the Apology to express your views for now.
    I have the same problem. So that is what I do Nathan.

    Because what you say can be easily taken to say this:
    Gospel = the Work of Christ outside of us and apart from us, PLUS it is also an enabling grace infused into us that makes faith into a right motiviation or some power or quality inside of us to chose and do what is good vs what is bad.

    The opposite of sin is not goodness.
    It is faith… in the Works of Another. Alone.
    “That which is not of faith is sin ” means that.
    It does not mean:
    good work+right gospel expect no reward motivation.

    Because I am reading what you are saying and taking away that idea. And I read what you say very carefully Nathan, as I hope you can see.

    Nathan. I am sure you are aware that ” we are saved by faith , alone, without the deeds of the Law” . That word “alone” is not in the text. Luther inserted it. Rome always points that out. But that alone MUST be there. The text can not be rightly understood without it.

    Apply that word ALONE to all you are saying.
    And make faith be ALONE trust ALONE in the Works of Another.

    and then read the text of the Apology and see what I say is not precisely the point they are trying to drive at again and again and again.

    ALWAYS and ONLY. Accuses and kills.
    This is precisely so that also ALONE may stand alone …
    …as truly being ALONE.

    It is alone Christ alone who can and did do the love, trust, faith , fear, forgiving, joy, patience etc that is acceptable to God. We can claim only His doing these things. These things, as incoate in us, are ALL about our death here on earth for the creaturely carnal righteousness that is aimed at the carnal good of others.

    Life is alone in His doing. ALONE. alone. alone. alone.
    ALL that is in us to do, is to simply drop dead.
    Old Adam doesnt want to do that. He wants to spiritualize what we can do somehow and not have it ALL be about death.
    And this error is nourished by saying that it is the HS working in us to do stuff. It IS the HS working in us. To kill us. And then to bind us to that one thing, wholy outside of us and for us that is Christ.
    Our holiness and sanctification is ALONE to have what is in us to do all hidden from God in him.

    ONLY and ALWAYS
    kill and accuse.

    ALONE
    Works of Another.
    For us.
    Outside of us.
    Our works that are ALL used tampon hidden from God. All.
    Sin and death. Always. Only. Eternal death.
    His works that are now OUR works presented to God. Alone.
    Eternal Life. Baptism ALONE.

  • fws

    dear nathan,

    first thanks for forgiving me where I put words into your mouth.
    Sometimes a chance to react to someone putting words into one’s mouth is a chance to reach for greater clarity isn’t it?

    The Law only and always accuses Nathan.
    That does not mean that it does not also extort out of Old Adam such things as love, mercy, goodness, Good Works, faith, joy, hope, peace, forgiveness, patience and all the other 1st article gifts that, without which, life on earth would be impossible. Imagine a non christian society where mercy, love and forgiveness do not exist. You can’t. It would be an impossible world to live in.

    But what “the Law always and only accuses and kills” means is that it is precisely ALWAYS and ONLY by the only and accusing and killing Law that any Good Works of real love, mercy, and kindness are able at all to happen on earth.

    The Gospel is not at all necessary for true love, joy, mercy, kindness , forgiveness, patience, longsuffering, etc to happen on earth.

    It is the Holy Spirit Who is ALREADY making those thing happen, as the small catechism says… for the ‘unworthy’.. ‘indeed without our prayer’…. ‘even for all the wicked.’ He is doing this by the always only accusing and killing Law applied to all our Old Adams to work him to death.

    So what is it that the Gospel does in us? ONLY ONE thing. It trusts, passively , in the works of another.

    You want the Gospel to work some tangible transformation in us that is something, maybe just a tad or droplet, more than that utterly passive trust in the Works of Another I keep hearing you say over and over and over Nathan.

    If you dont mean to say that , then you need to be more clear. You quote the EO fathers and Luther and others and end up having them say that Grace puts something in us that is a quality that enables us to do **necessary** holiness work in ourselves.

    It is as simple as that.

    And so maybe you just need to limit yourself to using the wording of the Apology to express your views for now.
    I have the same problem. So that is what I do Nathan.

    Because what you say can be easily taken to say this:
    Gospel = the Work of Christ outside of us and apart from us, PLUS it is also an enabling grace infused into us that makes faith into a right motiviation or some power or quality inside of us to chose and do what is good vs what is bad.

    The opposite of sin is not goodness.
    It is faith… in the Works of Another. Alone.
    “That which is not of faith is sin ” means that.
    It does not mean:
    good work+right gospel expect no reward motivation.

    Because I am reading what you are saying and taking away that idea. And I read what you say very carefully Nathan, as I hope you can see.

    Nathan. I am sure you are aware that ” we are saved by faith , alone, without the deeds of the Law” . That word “alone” is not in the text. Luther inserted it. Rome always points that out. But that alone MUST be there. The text can not be rightly understood without it.

    Apply that word ALONE to all you are saying.
    And make faith be ALONE trust ALONE in the Works of Another.

    and then read the text of the Apology and see what I say is not precisely the point they are trying to drive at again and again and again.

    ALWAYS and ONLY. Accuses and kills.
    This is precisely so that also ALONE may stand alone …
    …as truly being ALONE.

    It is alone Christ alone who can and did do the love, trust, faith , fear, forgiving, joy, patience etc that is acceptable to God. We can claim only His doing these things. These things, as incoate in us, are ALL about our death here on earth for the creaturely carnal righteousness that is aimed at the carnal good of others.

    Life is alone in His doing. ALONE. alone. alone. alone.
    ALL that is in us to do, is to simply drop dead.
    Old Adam doesnt want to do that. He wants to spiritualize what we can do somehow and not have it ALL be about death.
    And this error is nourished by saying that it is the HS working in us to do stuff. It IS the HS working in us. To kill us. And then to bind us to that one thing, wholy outside of us and for us that is Christ.
    Our holiness and sanctification is ALONE to have what is in us to do all hidden from God in him.

    ONLY and ALWAYS
    kill and accuse.

    ALONE
    Works of Another.
    For us.
    Outside of us.
    Our works that are ALL used tampon hidden from God. All.
    Sin and death. Always. Only. Eternal death.
    His works that are now OUR works presented to God. Alone.
    Eternal Life. Baptism ALONE.

  • fws

    nathan @ 105

    “Frank – Please note, I have never said that good works (regardless of the level of purity of these) are necessary for salvation. ”

    Nathan, I have NEVER doubted that a) this IS your position and b) you would never want to say otherwise.

    But the problem is that you get creative with your own words or in chaining together what others say and end up saying the opposite of what you intend!

    here is just one example:
    Nathan @ 94…

    Sure. But of course faith needs to be present if our good work (which does not need to be on some biblical list of “good works” but does need to not be on some list of sins – good works may not be necessary for salvation but fleeing evil works [for Christ] certainly is necessary for salvation) is to be rewarded in heaven, and not just on earth (and no, I do not do good works looking for heavenly reward).

    The only way I could read this is that we must do two things: faith and good works (fleeing from evil)

    These are necessary for salvation. The are something we are to do. Saying they can only be done with the help of the HS doesn’t fix that. It only makes things worse.

    You don’t mean it that way. Could not an honest person conclue that my reading is the natural and only possible way to read what you wrote?

    Why not restrict yourself, for a while, to only paraphrasing something, in context (not as a prooftext) from our Confessions to express ALL you have to say on theology for a while? Would your refusal to reinvent the wheel with your penetrating insights deprive the world of anything important?

    You are like me Nathan. You have the sound doctrine.
    But your form is usually off. You lack the FORM of sound doctrine.

    That is why I refuse to stray from using the very form of presentation of the Apology and catechisms as illuminated by the FC. I get in trouble that way. I end up arguing about stuff to win an argument rather than to illumine that which is most Precious and Important.
    I draw attention to my ability to articulate and argue rather than to that which I wish to witness to.

    So.. my theological mortification and discipline is to adhere to paraphrasing the Confessions. I will only quote even Luther to show that he agrees with what the Confessions say to us. Ditto walther, pieper. etc. I do believe they would all be most thrilled at my chosen manner of self discipline.

    I would invite you to try it for your own self!

    You could help spark a return to the Confessions and their way of using law and gospel to reveal the Truth. Your site would be an excellent vehicle for that Nathan.

  • fws

    nathan @ 105

    “Frank – Please note, I have never said that good works (regardless of the level of purity of these) are necessary for salvation. ”

    Nathan, I have NEVER doubted that a) this IS your position and b) you would never want to say otherwise.

    But the problem is that you get creative with your own words or in chaining together what others say and end up saying the opposite of what you intend!

    here is just one example:
    Nathan @ 94…

    Sure. But of course faith needs to be present if our good work (which does not need to be on some biblical list of “good works” but does need to not be on some list of sins – good works may not be necessary for salvation but fleeing evil works [for Christ] certainly is necessary for salvation) is to be rewarded in heaven, and not just on earth (and no, I do not do good works looking for heavenly reward).

    The only way I could read this is that we must do two things: faith and good works (fleeing from evil)

    These are necessary for salvation. The are something we are to do. Saying they can only be done with the help of the HS doesn’t fix that. It only makes things worse.

    You don’t mean it that way. Could not an honest person conclue that my reading is the natural and only possible way to read what you wrote?

    Why not restrict yourself, for a while, to only paraphrasing something, in context (not as a prooftext) from our Confessions to express ALL you have to say on theology for a while? Would your refusal to reinvent the wheel with your penetrating insights deprive the world of anything important?

    You are like me Nathan. You have the sound doctrine.
    But your form is usually off. You lack the FORM of sound doctrine.

    That is why I refuse to stray from using the very form of presentation of the Apology and catechisms as illuminated by the FC. I get in trouble that way. I end up arguing about stuff to win an argument rather than to illumine that which is most Precious and Important.
    I draw attention to my ability to articulate and argue rather than to that which I wish to witness to.

    So.. my theological mortification and discipline is to adhere to paraphrasing the Confessions. I will only quote even Luther to show that he agrees with what the Confessions say to us. Ditto walther, pieper. etc. I do believe they would all be most thrilled at my chosen manner of self discipline.

    I would invite you to try it for your own self!

    You could help spark a return to the Confessions and their way of using law and gospel to reveal the Truth. Your site would be an excellent vehicle for that Nathan.

  • fws

    Nathan I am seeing clearly that you are very orthodox.
    There is no problem in what you believe.

    The problem is that you dont take advantage of the form of sound doctrine handed down to us.
    Can i say this is a problem? that your own word formulations often express the exact opposite of what you actually believe?

    How would one overcome this? By imitating the masters.

    If I were an artist and wanted to learn to paint like Rembrandt, it might be good to try to copy his paintings. And , eventually, I would then learn how to do my own unique stuff.

    I am working on learning all the brushstrokes and techniques of the Confessions.

    this is really just Law and Gospel. and proper and very very persistent use of the words alone, only, always.

    How will I learn this? I get out a blank piece of paper and dont just read the ap0logy. I try to outline it! First without changing any words. then I take that outline and try to put it into my own words.

    And what about those parts that use as the illustration of error things like masses, pilgrimages, enforced celebacy and monasticism? I ponder what we do today that is really the same error and the same thinking driving the error. And that would be to spiritualize our works. to find Life in them, rather than ALONE death and mortification for the creaturely good of others…..

    Try it Nathan! You are SO ready to take things to this next level.

  • fws

    Nathan I am seeing clearly that you are very orthodox.
    There is no problem in what you believe.

    The problem is that you dont take advantage of the form of sound doctrine handed down to us.
    Can i say this is a problem? that your own word formulations often express the exact opposite of what you actually believe?

    How would one overcome this? By imitating the masters.

    If I were an artist and wanted to learn to paint like Rembrandt, it might be good to try to copy his paintings. And , eventually, I would then learn how to do my own unique stuff.

    I am working on learning all the brushstrokes and techniques of the Confessions.

    this is really just Law and Gospel. and proper and very very persistent use of the words alone, only, always.

    How will I learn this? I get out a blank piece of paper and dont just read the ap0logy. I try to outline it! First without changing any words. then I take that outline and try to put it into my own words.

    And what about those parts that use as the illustration of error things like masses, pilgrimages, enforced celebacy and monasticism? I ponder what we do today that is really the same error and the same thinking driving the error. And that would be to spiritualize our works. to find Life in them, rather than ALONE death and mortification for the creaturely good of others…..

    Try it Nathan! You are SO ready to take things to this next level.

  • fws

    nathan @ 105

    “Right – like simple children we call sin “sin” and call grace “grace”. We believe His simple words of Law and Gospel and hence are certain. All of His righteousness is ours and all of our sin is His by imputation in His sight. This is why we do not define “faith that saves” as a quality and power infused into us that lets us keep the Law.”

    I will shamelessly plagarize this Nathan!

  • fws

    nathan @ 105

    “Right – like simple children we call sin “sin” and call grace “grace”. We believe His simple words of Law and Gospel and hence are certain. All of His righteousness is ours and all of our sin is His by imputation in His sight. This is why we do not define “faith that saves” as a quality and power infused into us that lets us keep the Law.”

    I will shamelessly plagarize this Nathan!

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    First of all, could you please let me know what you think of this?:

    “I said: “if the Law of Christ externally looks like the Decalogue which looks like Aristotle’s natural ethics, …” Is it? Again, I was unclear. I meant that I thought you were saying that EXTERNALLY and EVIDENTIALLY (i.e. according to what we can perceive according to our senses when we observe the actions of *others*) the fake Christian and the real Christian (these are the one who follow the 10 commandments, which is the same Law that Christ expounded on, clarified, and lived [see Gal. 6:2 re: the "Law of Christ], in the “two greatest”, “golden rule”, the “Sermon on the Mt”, and elsewhere) look exactly the same – and not only this, but both of them also look the same as the person who tries to live out Aristotle’s natural ethics! Here, that is all I was trying to say. Is this your position?”

    Again, I want to make sure I understand you.

    Nathan @ 94…
    Sure. But of course faith needs to be present if our good work (which does not need to be on some biblical list of “good works” but does need to not be on some list of sins – good works may not be necessary for salvation but fleeing evil works [for Christ] certainly is necessary for salvation) is to be rewarded in heaven, and not just on earth (and no, I do not do good works looking for heavenly reward).

    You:

    “The only way I could read this is that we must do two things: faith and good works (fleeing from evil)”

    Frank, good works are necessary.

    We do *not* say good works are necessary for salvation.

    But what is wrong with my saying that fleeing from evil works (thoughts, words, and deeds: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Galatians+5%3A19-21%2CEphesians+5%3A1-5&version=NASB) to Christ is necessary for salvation? (to Christ = *Resting* in Him… in His Arms… “in the Works of Another. Alone”)

    See 21-23 here: http://bookofconcord.org/defense_5_love.php#para15 How is my language not in line with the Confessions? Again, what are the deeds of the flesh? The stuff like Galations 5:19-21, I Cor. 6:9-11 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%206:9-11&version=ESV), and Ephesians 5:3-7 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians%205:3-7&version=ESV)

    Do not be deceived, right?

    Saving faith is first and foremost passive. But faith also gets active running to Christ for shelter and doesn’t let birds nest in one’s hair.

    And if we do succumb to Old Adam, there is certainly forgiveness always (70 x 7)

    I need to stay away today from now on… : )

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    First of all, could you please let me know what you think of this?:

    “I said: “if the Law of Christ externally looks like the Decalogue which looks like Aristotle’s natural ethics, …” Is it? Again, I was unclear. I meant that I thought you were saying that EXTERNALLY and EVIDENTIALLY (i.e. according to what we can perceive according to our senses when we observe the actions of *others*) the fake Christian and the real Christian (these are the one who follow the 10 commandments, which is the same Law that Christ expounded on, clarified, and lived [see Gal. 6:2 re: the "Law of Christ], in the “two greatest”, “golden rule”, the “Sermon on the Mt”, and elsewhere) look exactly the same – and not only this, but both of them also look the same as the person who tries to live out Aristotle’s natural ethics! Here, that is all I was trying to say. Is this your position?”

    Again, I want to make sure I understand you.

    Nathan @ 94…
    Sure. But of course faith needs to be present if our good work (which does not need to be on some biblical list of “good works” but does need to not be on some list of sins – good works may not be necessary for salvation but fleeing evil works [for Christ] certainly is necessary for salvation) is to be rewarded in heaven, and not just on earth (and no, I do not do good works looking for heavenly reward).

    You:

    “The only way I could read this is that we must do two things: faith and good works (fleeing from evil)”

    Frank, good works are necessary.

    We do *not* say good works are necessary for salvation.

    But what is wrong with my saying that fleeing from evil works (thoughts, words, and deeds: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Galatians+5%3A19-21%2CEphesians+5%3A1-5&version=NASB) to Christ is necessary for salvation? (to Christ = *Resting* in Him… in His Arms… “in the Works of Another. Alone”)

    See 21-23 here: http://bookofconcord.org/defense_5_love.php#para15 How is my language not in line with the Confessions? Again, what are the deeds of the flesh? The stuff like Galations 5:19-21, I Cor. 6:9-11 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%206:9-11&version=ESV), and Ephesians 5:3-7 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians%205:3-7&version=ESV)

    Do not be deceived, right?

    Saving faith is first and foremost passive. But faith also gets active running to Christ for shelter and doesn’t let birds nest in one’s hair.

    And if we do succumb to Old Adam, there is certainly forgiveness always (70 x 7)

    I need to stay away today from now on… : )

    +Nathan

  • fws

    Nathan

    Your first point about Good Works:
    FRANK: FC art VI tell us that Good Works that are fruit of the Law are identical, in every way, to Good Works that are fruit of the Spirit. They not only look the same. They are the same.
    The difference is not in the Good Work.

    Your second point about the necessity of Good Works;
    NATHAN: (1)”Frank, good works are necessary.
    (2) We do *not* say good works are necessary for salvation.”

    FRANK: I agree Nathan. Both statements are true.
    How do you reconcile them?

    Your point 3:

    NATHAN: But what is wrong with my saying that fleeing from evil works (thoughts, words, and deeds) to Christ is necessary for salvation?

    FRANK: This is something we are doing. It is a Good Work. Are Good Works necessary for salvation or not?
    Hint, rather than think of sanctification as a description of the christian life Nathan, try out thinking of repentence as being what the christian life is. What is repentence? There are two parts.

    NATHAN: How is my language not in line with the Confessions? (you quote paragraph 15).

    FRANK: Can you paraphrase for me paragraphs 1-15 in your own words Nathan ? What is the context of what you quoted?

    NATHAN: What are deeds of the flesh?

    FRANK: They are ALL and ANYTHING that you are able to do here on earth Nathan. These are all Romans 8 carnal righteousness that God demands of ALL on this earth and will perish with it.

    Nathan, who is it that is the Author of ALL good works? Even those of Pagans?
    Answer: God the Holy Spirit. How is is it that God the Author of all Good Works? Isn’t it men doing them? God the Holy Spirit is even the Author of the Good Works of pagans? Yes. How is this so?

    Nathan , there are different kinds of faith, and different meanings of the word faith. Faith can be both active and passive. No one is arguing about that.

    WHENEVER we sin, it is something we actively WILL to do with our entire person, body, mind heart soul, and especially your willpower. Willpower is ALL Old Adam. There is no such thing as unwillful sinning. And this is Old Adam 24/7 . Your new man NEVER succumbs to Old Adam. Your New Man never sins. That would be impossible. Your Old Adam never, not even for one moment, ever stops sinning Nathan.

  • fws

    Nathan

    Your first point about Good Works:
    FRANK: FC art VI tell us that Good Works that are fruit of the Law are identical, in every way, to Good Works that are fruit of the Spirit. They not only look the same. They are the same.
    The difference is not in the Good Work.

    Your second point about the necessity of Good Works;
    NATHAN: (1)”Frank, good works are necessary.
    (2) We do *not* say good works are necessary for salvation.”

    FRANK: I agree Nathan. Both statements are true.
    How do you reconcile them?

    Your point 3:

    NATHAN: But what is wrong with my saying that fleeing from evil works (thoughts, words, and deeds) to Christ is necessary for salvation?

    FRANK: This is something we are doing. It is a Good Work. Are Good Works necessary for salvation or not?
    Hint, rather than think of sanctification as a description of the christian life Nathan, try out thinking of repentence as being what the christian life is. What is repentence? There are two parts.

    NATHAN: How is my language not in line with the Confessions? (you quote paragraph 15).

    FRANK: Can you paraphrase for me paragraphs 1-15 in your own words Nathan ? What is the context of what you quoted?

    NATHAN: What are deeds of the flesh?

    FRANK: They are ALL and ANYTHING that you are able to do here on earth Nathan. These are all Romans 8 carnal righteousness that God demands of ALL on this earth and will perish with it.

    Nathan, who is it that is the Author of ALL good works? Even those of Pagans?
    Answer: God the Holy Spirit. How is is it that God the Author of all Good Works? Isn’t it men doing them? God the Holy Spirit is even the Author of the Good Works of pagans? Yes. How is this so?

    Nathan , there are different kinds of faith, and different meanings of the word faith. Faith can be both active and passive. No one is arguing about that.

    WHENEVER we sin, it is something we actively WILL to do with our entire person, body, mind heart soul, and especially your willpower. Willpower is ALL Old Adam. There is no such thing as unwillful sinning. And this is Old Adam 24/7 . Your new man NEVER succumbs to Old Adam. Your New Man never sins. That would be impossible. Your Old Adam never, not even for one moment, ever stops sinning Nathan.

  • fws

    Nathan, maybe stop thinking about faith as a think or substance or something that is in us,

    Think of it as a cord that is tied to whatever it is that we put our trust in. If the cord is tied to Christ, then we are saved. If it is tied to anything else, then we are lost.
    It is the Object that the cord is tied to that matters.

    Yes, like all analogies this one breaks down as in . what if the cord breaks, or is not strong enough, etc….. You can think of the HS himself as being that cord then.

    But what about faith being busy and active? Faith is that too right? Well now, that cord ties us to the Works of Christ. His work are now, in the most literal way you can take this, our New Man works. And our works, which are all Old Adam and the moral equivalent of used tampons, are now ALL…his Works.
    Try to get away from any notion at all that faith or grace is some spiritual power that is granted to us in regeneratiom that empowers us to transform ourselves with help from the Holy Spirit.

    Apology IV:

    2] It is written in the prophet, Jer. 31:33: I will put My Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts. … we speak… of that Law which gives commandment concerning the movements of the heart, namely, the [first commandment].
    4] Because, indeed, faith brings the Holy Ghost, and produces in hearts a new life,
    it is necessary that it should produce spiritual movements in hearts.
    And what these movements are, the prophet, Jer. 31:33 shows, when he says: I will put My Law into their inward parts, and write it in their hearts.
    Therefore, when we have been justified by faith and regenerated,
    we begin to
    fear and love God,
    to pray to Him,
    to expect from Him aid,
    to give thanks and praise Him, and
    to obey Him in afflictions.
    We begin also to love our neighbors,
    because our hearts have spiritual and holy movements

    there is now, through the Spirit of Christ a new heart, mind, and spirit within.
    5] These things cannot occur until we have been justified by faith, and, regenerated, we receive the Holy Ghost
    11] But Christ was given for this purpose, namely, that for His sake
    there might be bestowed on us the remission of sins,
    and the Holy Ghost to bring forth in us new and eternal life,
    and eternal righteousness to manifest Christ in our hearts.

  • fws

    Nathan, maybe stop thinking about faith as a think or substance or something that is in us,

    Think of it as a cord that is tied to whatever it is that we put our trust in. If the cord is tied to Christ, then we are saved. If it is tied to anything else, then we are lost.
    It is the Object that the cord is tied to that matters.

    Yes, like all analogies this one breaks down as in . what if the cord breaks, or is not strong enough, etc….. You can think of the HS himself as being that cord then.

    But what about faith being busy and active? Faith is that too right? Well now, that cord ties us to the Works of Christ. His work are now, in the most literal way you can take this, our New Man works. And our works, which are all Old Adam and the moral equivalent of used tampons, are now ALL…his Works.
    Try to get away from any notion at all that faith or grace is some spiritual power that is granted to us in regeneratiom that empowers us to transform ourselves with help from the Holy Spirit.

    Apology IV:

    2] It is written in the prophet, Jer. 31:33: I will put My Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts. … we speak… of that Law which gives commandment concerning the movements of the heart, namely, the [first commandment].
    4] Because, indeed, faith brings the Holy Ghost, and produces in hearts a new life,
    it is necessary that it should produce spiritual movements in hearts.
    And what these movements are, the prophet, Jer. 31:33 shows, when he says: I will put My Law into their inward parts, and write it in their hearts.
    Therefore, when we have been justified by faith and regenerated,
    we begin to
    fear and love God,
    to pray to Him,
    to expect from Him aid,
    to give thanks and praise Him, and
    to obey Him in afflictions.
    We begin also to love our neighbors,
    because our hearts have spiritual and holy movements

    there is now, through the Spirit of Christ a new heart, mind, and spirit within.
    5] These things cannot occur until we have been justified by faith, and, regenerated, we receive the Holy Ghost
    11] But Christ was given for this purpose, namely, that for His sake
    there might be bestowed on us the remission of sins,
    and the Holy Ghost to bring forth in us new and eternal life,
    and eternal righteousness to manifest Christ in our hearts.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    “Your first point about Good Works:

    FRANK: FC art VI tell us that Good Works that are fruit of the Law are identical, in every way, to Good Works that are fruit of the Spirit. They not only look the same. They are the same.

    The difference is not in the Good Work.”

    OK – thank you for answering my question. You said:

    “What makes Aristotles Ethics enduringly powerful and irresistable gravitational force for philosophers is that he indeed has a place for love in his Ethics unlike the stoics and epicurus , cicero , seneca and the others….” and “Thomists…”define “divine law” as the Decalog, which is shorthand for the Bible. Lutherans say that Reason fully contains all such “content”. No HS or Bible is necessary, except for that ONE caveat I keep repeating Nathan. remember what that ONE caveat is?
    Their illustration and example for this (not their proof!) is Aristotle. There are lots and lots of songs and poems and stuff written about love. you again make a “natural” distinction between internal and external. Why? Even pagans make such a distinction “you did it from the bottom of your heart”. Again. Apology:” No HS or Christ is needed for this.”

    The first point I want to bring up here is that I have been led to believe that there is a difference between Biblical morality and that of Aristotle – even if Aristotle did talk about the importance of love, mercy, and right motivations (to go with the actions)

    Questions: Did Aristotle say abortion was wrong? Did he say that not only adultery was wrong, but also looking at a woman to lust for her? Did he say that hating someone in our heart was always wrong? Did he say that homosexual actions were wrong? Did he say that we must love our enemies? Did he say we must turn our cheeks? Did he say that we must forgive our brothers who come to us, presumably repentant, as many times as they come to us?

    I don’t think he did. Therefore, if Melanchton meant what you seem to think he meant, than Melanchton would have been wrong.

    Saying that we are dealing with the scholastic’s take on Aristotle (i.e. baptized) and not Aristotle himself does not help your argument. If we are dealing with baptized Aristotle, than we are somehow supplementing him with the input of sanctified Christian minds (i.e. those controlled by the Scriptures).

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    “Your first point about Good Works:

    FRANK: FC art VI tell us that Good Works that are fruit of the Law are identical, in every way, to Good Works that are fruit of the Spirit. They not only look the same. They are the same.

    The difference is not in the Good Work.”

    OK – thank you for answering my question. You said:

    “What makes Aristotles Ethics enduringly powerful and irresistable gravitational force for philosophers is that he indeed has a place for love in his Ethics unlike the stoics and epicurus , cicero , seneca and the others….” and “Thomists…”define “divine law” as the Decalog, which is shorthand for the Bible. Lutherans say that Reason fully contains all such “content”. No HS or Bible is necessary, except for that ONE caveat I keep repeating Nathan. remember what that ONE caveat is?
    Their illustration and example for this (not their proof!) is Aristotle. There are lots and lots of songs and poems and stuff written about love. you again make a “natural” distinction between internal and external. Why? Even pagans make such a distinction “you did it from the bottom of your heart”. Again. Apology:” No HS or Christ is needed for this.”

    The first point I want to bring up here is that I have been led to believe that there is a difference between Biblical morality and that of Aristotle – even if Aristotle did talk about the importance of love, mercy, and right motivations (to go with the actions)

    Questions: Did Aristotle say abortion was wrong? Did he say that not only adultery was wrong, but also looking at a woman to lust for her? Did he say that hating someone in our heart was always wrong? Did he say that homosexual actions were wrong? Did he say that we must love our enemies? Did he say we must turn our cheeks? Did he say that we must forgive our brothers who come to us, presumably repentant, as many times as they come to us?

    I don’t think he did. Therefore, if Melanchton meant what you seem to think he meant, than Melanchton would have been wrong.

    Saying that we are dealing with the scholastic’s take on Aristotle (i.e. baptized) and not Aristotle himself does not help your argument. If we are dealing with baptized Aristotle, than we are somehow supplementing him with the input of sanctified Christian minds (i.e. those controlled by the Scriptures).

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Here is where the rubber hits the road, I think.

    NATHAN: But what is wrong with my saying that fleeing from evil works (thoughts, words, and deeds) to Christ is necessary for salvation?

    FRANK: This is something we are doing. It is a Good Work. Are Good Works necessary for salvation or not?

    Is faith in Christ, which lives in repentance, ever a good work? Philosophically, you may be able to make that case (i.e. it is action) Biblically, however, Paul sets faith vs doing. Why? I think it is because faith has a passive component which everyone saves Lutherans ignore. That said, we can’t eliminate the active aspect of faith. That would be to destroy faith, humanity, Christ, and the faith. Frank, I know repentance in the wide sense has two parts: contrition and faith. Contrition without faith is Judas. God must add faith. I’m not sure how this has anything to do with what we are talking about – this is about justification. Full stop. Period.

    NATHAN: How is my language not in line with the Confessions? (you quote paragraph 15).

    FRANK: Can you paraphrase for me paragraphs 1-15 in your own words Nathan ? What is the context of what you quoted?

    Yes, I can Frank (I quoted 21-23, by the way). In any case, let’s move on to the biblical passages this bit from the Confessions is based on…

    I asked: What are deeds of the flesh?

    FRANK: They are ALL and ANYTHING that you are able to do here on earth Nathan. These are all Romans 8 carnal righteousness that God demands of ALL on this earth and will perish with it.

    Frank, I agree that all of our good works are like a used tampon as you say (i.e. we need forgiveness even for these!). That said, there is a distinction between *good* works and *evil* works, and the system you have set up totally ignores that distinction. When Paul talks about *specific* actions leading to death and being an aroma of death he always talking about evil works in an objective sense (otherwise, please show me where he does not). There are works that are of benefit to our neighbor and bring life to our neighbor – even in the midst of a fallen world. They do not bring us, the one who does them, eternal salvation, however – only Christ’s blood and righteousness (received by faith), does that. When Paul is talking about the deeds of the flesh in Galatians, he clearly has this in mind. Romans 8 does take things to a deeper level, to be sure (especially right after Romans 7!), but you must not deny the fact that there really are good and bad works, objectively.

    “Nathan, who is it that is the Author of ALL good works? Even those of Pagans?

    Answer: God the Holy Spirit. How is is it that God the Author of all Good Works? Isn’t it men doing them? God the Holy Spirit is even the Author of the Good Works of pagans? Yes. How is this so?”

    I agree Frank. And I think this is a good point to make with people.

    “Nathan , there are different kinds of faith, and different meanings of the word faith. Faith can be both active and passive. No one is arguing about that.

    WHENEVER we sin, it is something we actively WILL to do with our entire person, body, mind heart soul, and especially your willpower. Willpower is ALL Old Adam. There is no such thing as unwillful sinning. And this is Old Adam 24/7 . Your new man NEVER succumbs to Old Adam. Your New Man never sins. That would be impossible. Your Old Adam never, not even for one moment, ever stops sinning Nathan.”

    “Willpower is ALL Old Adam.” So you deny we have a new will? Where does it say in the Scriptures or the Confessions that there is no such thing as unwillful sinning? (you who are so eager to stick with the language of the Apology *except* where it talks about mortal sin I guess!) Where in the Scriptures or Confessions does it say our new man never succumbs to Old Adam? (Romans 7?).

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Here is where the rubber hits the road, I think.

    NATHAN: But what is wrong with my saying that fleeing from evil works (thoughts, words, and deeds) to Christ is necessary for salvation?

    FRANK: This is something we are doing. It is a Good Work. Are Good Works necessary for salvation or not?

    Is faith in Christ, which lives in repentance, ever a good work? Philosophically, you may be able to make that case (i.e. it is action) Biblically, however, Paul sets faith vs doing. Why? I think it is because faith has a passive component which everyone saves Lutherans ignore. That said, we can’t eliminate the active aspect of faith. That would be to destroy faith, humanity, Christ, and the faith. Frank, I know repentance in the wide sense has two parts: contrition and faith. Contrition without faith is Judas. God must add faith. I’m not sure how this has anything to do with what we are talking about – this is about justification. Full stop. Period.

    NATHAN: How is my language not in line with the Confessions? (you quote paragraph 15).

    FRANK: Can you paraphrase for me paragraphs 1-15 in your own words Nathan ? What is the context of what you quoted?

    Yes, I can Frank (I quoted 21-23, by the way). In any case, let’s move on to the biblical passages this bit from the Confessions is based on…

    I asked: What are deeds of the flesh?

    FRANK: They are ALL and ANYTHING that you are able to do here on earth Nathan. These are all Romans 8 carnal righteousness that God demands of ALL on this earth and will perish with it.

    Frank, I agree that all of our good works are like a used tampon as you say (i.e. we need forgiveness even for these!). That said, there is a distinction between *good* works and *evil* works, and the system you have set up totally ignores that distinction. When Paul talks about *specific* actions leading to death and being an aroma of death he always talking about evil works in an objective sense (otherwise, please show me where he does not). There are works that are of benefit to our neighbor and bring life to our neighbor – even in the midst of a fallen world. They do not bring us, the one who does them, eternal salvation, however – only Christ’s blood and righteousness (received by faith), does that. When Paul is talking about the deeds of the flesh in Galatians, he clearly has this in mind. Romans 8 does take things to a deeper level, to be sure (especially right after Romans 7!), but you must not deny the fact that there really are good and bad works, objectively.

    “Nathan, who is it that is the Author of ALL good works? Even those of Pagans?

    Answer: God the Holy Spirit. How is is it that God the Author of all Good Works? Isn’t it men doing them? God the Holy Spirit is even the Author of the Good Works of pagans? Yes. How is this so?”

    I agree Frank. And I think this is a good point to make with people.

    “Nathan , there are different kinds of faith, and different meanings of the word faith. Faith can be both active and passive. No one is arguing about that.

    WHENEVER we sin, it is something we actively WILL to do with our entire person, body, mind heart soul, and especially your willpower. Willpower is ALL Old Adam. There is no such thing as unwillful sinning. And this is Old Adam 24/7 . Your new man NEVER succumbs to Old Adam. Your New Man never sins. That would be impossible. Your Old Adam never, not even for one moment, ever stops sinning Nathan.”

    “Willpower is ALL Old Adam.” So you deny we have a new will? Where does it say in the Scriptures or the Confessions that there is no such thing as unwillful sinning? (you who are so eager to stick with the language of the Apology *except* where it talks about mortal sin I guess!) Where in the Scriptures or Confessions does it say our new man never succumbs to Old Adam? (Romans 7?).

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    “Nathan, maybe stop thinking about faith as a think or substance or something that is in us”

    I’ve never thought about it as a substance, although I do think it is in us (though that is not where the focus is) – I’ve always thought about it as a description of a living relationship with God.

    “Think of it as a cord that is tied to whatever it is that we put our trust in. If the cord is tied to Christ, then we are saved. If it is tied to anything else, then we are lost.
    It is the Object that the cord is tied to that matters.”

    Well, exactly right. This is why it is critical to have the right Jesus: http://bible.cc/2_corinthians/11-4.htm

    “And our works, which are all Old Adam and the moral equivalent of used tampons, are now ALL…his Works.”

    Right – and those works of ours that are not good works (objectively, that is, looking at it from the outside as those things the Scriptures tells us are of benefit to our neighbor) are his also – and they are the ones He not only purifies by His blood but eliminates.

    “Try to get away from any notion at all that faith or grace is some spiritual power that is granted to us in regeneratiom that empowers us to transform ourselves with help from the Holy Spirit.”

    Again, you attribute all of this to me when it is the furthest thing from my mind. Faith does not talk about faith – or even how certain it is of being real (and hence certain). Faith talks about Jesus. Who He is. What He has done for us. How He loves us, and like any good Parent delights to see His child grow. And it also speaks of this Physician’s diagnosis. And His remedy.

    Amen!

    Amen?

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    “Nathan, maybe stop thinking about faith as a think or substance or something that is in us”

    I’ve never thought about it as a substance, although I do think it is in us (though that is not where the focus is) – I’ve always thought about it as a description of a living relationship with God.

    “Think of it as a cord that is tied to whatever it is that we put our trust in. If the cord is tied to Christ, then we are saved. If it is tied to anything else, then we are lost.
    It is the Object that the cord is tied to that matters.”

    Well, exactly right. This is why it is critical to have the right Jesus: http://bible.cc/2_corinthians/11-4.htm

    “And our works, which are all Old Adam and the moral equivalent of used tampons, are now ALL…his Works.”

    Right – and those works of ours that are not good works (objectively, that is, looking at it from the outside as those things the Scriptures tells us are of benefit to our neighbor) are his also – and they are the ones He not only purifies by His blood but eliminates.

    “Try to get away from any notion at all that faith or grace is some spiritual power that is granted to us in regeneratiom that empowers us to transform ourselves with help from the Holy Spirit.”

    Again, you attribute all of this to me when it is the furthest thing from my mind. Faith does not talk about faith – or even how certain it is of being real (and hence certain). Faith talks about Jesus. Who He is. What He has done for us. How He loves us, and like any good Parent delights to see His child grow. And it also speaks of this Physician’s diagnosis. And His remedy.

    Amen!

    Amen?

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Regarding my finding the Law “only accuses” in the Confessions (IV, 257). Well – I think context is critical here. Within the context of Ap. IV, par. 257, the statement concerning the law is referring to the preaching of penitence. It is talking about how when preaching with the intent to accuse it only accuses. Otherwise, it always accuses, but there is more to the story. Since the Old Adam is still part of the Christian the “law always accuses”, but that does not say everything that needs to be said about the law, of course. That is like saying, to an extent: “The wages of sin is death!” and leaving it at that. Well, it is true, isn’t it? But more must be added…

    Also check out in Tappert p. 566, par. 17 ff. (FC SD VI, 17): “But when a person is born anew by the Spirit of God and is liberated from the law (that is, when he is free from this driver and is driven by the Spirit of Christ), he lives according to the immutable will of God as it is comprehended in the law and, in so far as he is born anew, he does everything from a free and merry spirit…”

    Here is what my pastor says about this:

    “He lives according to the immutable will of God as it is comprehended in the law and, in so far as he is born anew, …” What here is meant by “as it is comprehended in the law”? Does it mean “grasped” or “understood”? In other words: “In so far as he comprehends the law of God he lives by it?”

    So can the new man learn the law? That is a good question. Popular reception would say that the New Man simply knows the law. But here, once again, could the law for the new man be like Christ for the child who is baptized? I.e. does faith grasp the law when presented to it, like it grasps Jesus when presented to the child in an Archbook or on a flannel graph in Sunday school? “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” “Who is He Lord that I may believe in Him?” might be understood as far as the New Man is concerned in this way: “Do you know the Law of God?” “What is it, Lord, that I may know it?” In other words, the moment the New Man hears the law he instantly grasps it and says, “Yes! That is right!” with no fear or compunction.”

    Hope all this clears things up a lot Frank.

    I won’t be able to talk again until Tuesday morning… No internet access where I am off to!

    Blessings in Christ,

    Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Regarding my finding the Law “only accuses” in the Confessions (IV, 257). Well – I think context is critical here. Within the context of Ap. IV, par. 257, the statement concerning the law is referring to the preaching of penitence. It is talking about how when preaching with the intent to accuse it only accuses. Otherwise, it always accuses, but there is more to the story. Since the Old Adam is still part of the Christian the “law always accuses”, but that does not say everything that needs to be said about the law, of course. That is like saying, to an extent: “The wages of sin is death!” and leaving it at that. Well, it is true, isn’t it? But more must be added…

    Also check out in Tappert p. 566, par. 17 ff. (FC SD VI, 17): “But when a person is born anew by the Spirit of God and is liberated from the law (that is, when he is free from this driver and is driven by the Spirit of Christ), he lives according to the immutable will of God as it is comprehended in the law and, in so far as he is born anew, he does everything from a free and merry spirit…”

    Here is what my pastor says about this:

    “He lives according to the immutable will of God as it is comprehended in the law and, in so far as he is born anew, …” What here is meant by “as it is comprehended in the law”? Does it mean “grasped” or “understood”? In other words: “In so far as he comprehends the law of God he lives by it?”

    So can the new man learn the law? That is a good question. Popular reception would say that the New Man simply knows the law. But here, once again, could the law for the new man be like Christ for the child who is baptized? I.e. does faith grasp the law when presented to it, like it grasps Jesus when presented to the child in an Archbook or on a flannel graph in Sunday school? “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” “Who is He Lord that I may believe in Him?” might be understood as far as the New Man is concerned in this way: “Do you know the Law of God?” “What is it, Lord, that I may know it?” In other words, the moment the New Man hears the law he instantly grasps it and says, “Yes! That is right!” with no fear or compunction.”

    Hope all this clears things up a lot Frank.

    I won’t be able to talk again until Tuesday morning… No internet access where I am off to!

    Blessings in Christ,

    Nathan

  • fws

    nathan

    NATHAN: The first point I want to bring up here is that I have been led to believe that there is a difference between Biblical morality and that of Aristotle – even if Aristotle did talk about the importance of love, mercy, and right motivations (to go with the actions).

    FRANK: You are not alone. Many Lutherans seem to think this. I suggest that this is contrary to our confessions.

    SD 6] … if the believing…were completely renewed.. [and] free from sin [aka Old Adam], they would need no law, … they would do … voluntarily, without …instruction, admonition, urging or driving of the Law,… just as the sun, the moon,… have their regular course of themselves,…without admonition, urging, driving, force, or compulsion, according to the order of God which God once appointed for them, yea, just as the holy angels render an entirely voluntary obedience.
    … nevertheless the old Adam clings to them still in their nature and all its internal and external powers…. although their sin is covered by the perfect obedience of Christ, … and also the mortification of the old Adam and the renewal in the spirit of their mind is begun through the Holy Ghost

    I suggest this says that the ONLY use of the Law for believers is to kill the Old Adam. Now as to what I state saying that Good Works are identical in themselve whether fruit of Law or fruit of Spirit:

    EP 5] 4. Now, as regards the distinction between the works of the Law and the fruits of the Spirit,…
    …works…done according to the Law…are called works of the Law …are …extorted …by urging the punishment and threatening of God’s wrath.
    EP 6] 5. Fruits of the Spirit, … are … works through the regenerate, …done by believers so far as they are regenerate [spontaneously and freely], as though they knew of no command, threat, or reward; …which [mode of living] St. Paul in his epistles calls the Law of Christ and the Law of the mind, Rom. 7:25; 8:7; Rom. 8:2; Gal. 6:2.

    And here is the part where you say Melancthon is wrong if he says there is no difference between Aristotle’s morality and that of the believer….

    EP 7] 6. … the Law is and remains both [for]…penitent and impenitent, regenerate and unregenerate , one and the same Law …and the difference, so far as concerns obedience, is alone in man [and not in the good works themselves].
    [In what sense is this so?]
    [the UN]regenerate [ie the Old Adam in the believer , "which clings to ALL the believers internal and external powers" SD 6] does for the Law out of constraint and unwillingly what it requires of him.
    [in contrast] . .. the believer, so far as he is regenerate [New Man], does without constraint and with a willing spirit that which no threatenings however severe of the Law could ever extort from him.

    There IS a “use” of the Law that is ONLY for believers Nathan. It is the Law that Christ himself takes into his own hands. This Law is to terrify us when we see ALL that we can do in both our inward and outward powers Nathan. Without this use, the Apology (which is not Melancthon’s private opinion!!!) says that Old Adam must become either a pharisee or a despairing Judas. Christ takes the Law into his own hands precisely to turn us all into that despairing Judas! We must despair of ALL we can do, even as believers, in “ALL our inward and outward powers”. And then must be immediately added the Gospel.

    To summarize, note that FC art VI tells us that the SAME Law should be taught in the SAME identical way, and to the same identical DEGREE to both believers and unbelievers!

    SD 26] Accordingly… the SAME Law, in the above-mentioned way and degree…should …be urged upon both Christians and the true believers, [and] the unbelieving, unchristians, and impenitent. We reject and condemn any contrary teaching …as an error pernicious and detrimental to Christian discipline, as also to true godliness.

    Bless you Nathan.
    I hope you will see that it is good to read the Formula in the context of the Apology and Catechisms. This is what the authors Chemnitz, Andreae and Selnicker clearly intend. There is NO disagreement between what the Apology says and the Formula. If you need to make them disagree, then there is something screwy with your theology..

    The Apology, I repeat, is NOT to be looked at as Melancthons private opionion. The Apology is the formal confession of faith of Martin Luther. He had a heavy hand in it’s edit and publicly confessed it. The Apology is the confession of Martin Luther and all the Lutherans of his time. It is THE explanation of our Augustana, which also, is NOT the private opinions of Melancthon.

  • fws

    nathan

    NATHAN: The first point I want to bring up here is that I have been led to believe that there is a difference between Biblical morality and that of Aristotle – even if Aristotle did talk about the importance of love, mercy, and right motivations (to go with the actions).

    FRANK: You are not alone. Many Lutherans seem to think this. I suggest that this is contrary to our confessions.

    SD 6] … if the believing…were completely renewed.. [and] free from sin [aka Old Adam], they would need no law, … they would do … voluntarily, without …instruction, admonition, urging or driving of the Law,… just as the sun, the moon,… have their regular course of themselves,…without admonition, urging, driving, force, or compulsion, according to the order of God which God once appointed for them, yea, just as the holy angels render an entirely voluntary obedience.
    … nevertheless the old Adam clings to them still in their nature and all its internal and external powers…. although their sin is covered by the perfect obedience of Christ, … and also the mortification of the old Adam and the renewal in the spirit of their mind is begun through the Holy Ghost

    I suggest this says that the ONLY use of the Law for believers is to kill the Old Adam. Now as to what I state saying that Good Works are identical in themselve whether fruit of Law or fruit of Spirit:

    EP 5] 4. Now, as regards the distinction between the works of the Law and the fruits of the Spirit,…
    …works…done according to the Law…are called works of the Law …are …extorted …by urging the punishment and threatening of God’s wrath.
    EP 6] 5. Fruits of the Spirit, … are … works through the regenerate, …done by believers so far as they are regenerate [spontaneously and freely], as though they knew of no command, threat, or reward; …which [mode of living] St. Paul in his epistles calls the Law of Christ and the Law of the mind, Rom. 7:25; 8:7; Rom. 8:2; Gal. 6:2.

    And here is the part where you say Melancthon is wrong if he says there is no difference between Aristotle’s morality and that of the believer….

    EP 7] 6. … the Law is and remains both [for]…penitent and impenitent, regenerate and unregenerate , one and the same Law …and the difference, so far as concerns obedience, is alone in man [and not in the good works themselves].
    [In what sense is this so?]
    [the UN]regenerate [ie the Old Adam in the believer , "which clings to ALL the believers internal and external powers" SD 6] does for the Law out of constraint and unwillingly what it requires of him.
    [in contrast] . .. the believer, so far as he is regenerate [New Man], does without constraint and with a willing spirit that which no threatenings however severe of the Law could ever extort from him.

    There IS a “use” of the Law that is ONLY for believers Nathan. It is the Law that Christ himself takes into his own hands. This Law is to terrify us when we see ALL that we can do in both our inward and outward powers Nathan. Without this use, the Apology (which is not Melancthon’s private opinion!!!) says that Old Adam must become either a pharisee or a despairing Judas. Christ takes the Law into his own hands precisely to turn us all into that despairing Judas! We must despair of ALL we can do, even as believers, in “ALL our inward and outward powers”. And then must be immediately added the Gospel.

    To summarize, note that FC art VI tells us that the SAME Law should be taught in the SAME identical way, and to the same identical DEGREE to both believers and unbelievers!

    SD 26] Accordingly… the SAME Law, in the above-mentioned way and degree…should …be urged upon both Christians and the true believers, [and] the unbelieving, unchristians, and impenitent. We reject and condemn any contrary teaching …as an error pernicious and detrimental to Christian discipline, as also to true godliness.

    Bless you Nathan.
    I hope you will see that it is good to read the Formula in the context of the Apology and Catechisms. This is what the authors Chemnitz, Andreae and Selnicker clearly intend. There is NO disagreement between what the Apology says and the Formula. If you need to make them disagree, then there is something screwy with your theology..

    The Apology, I repeat, is NOT to be looked at as Melancthons private opionion. The Apology is the formal confession of faith of Martin Luther. He had a heavy hand in it’s edit and publicly confessed it. The Apology is the confession of Martin Luther and all the Lutherans of his time. It is THE explanation of our Augustana, which also, is NOT the private opinions of Melancthon.

  • fws

    nathan

    My point is this:

    Many Lutherans are conditioned to think that a Good Work has two infused ingredients 1) conformity to the Law and 2) right internal motive. So the good works of a believer have a different internal quality, as to the work inself. This is really neo-scholasticism I suggest.

    One COULD read FC art VI in this very Reformed sense. But if one reads FC Art VI in light of FC I and what it says about our Old Adam, art V about Law and Gospel and especially what the Apology says, this reading is impossible. Why? In the believer OLD Adam is ALL we can do and see in ourselves down to our very essence and substance and will and soul and reason etc. FC art I.

    Note what the FC VI says! What we do, as believers (!) is not imputed to us why? It is covered by what? “The perfect obedience of Christ”.

    Our believer good works are forgiven us not because they have the inchoate workings of the HS that insert an “attitude of gratitude” or some “right motive” that seeks no heavenly reward. No. They are ALL forgiven because they are HIDDEN in the Perfect Obedience of Another!

  • fws

    nathan

    My point is this:

    Many Lutherans are conditioned to think that a Good Work has two infused ingredients 1) conformity to the Law and 2) right internal motive. So the good works of a believer have a different internal quality, as to the work inself. This is really neo-scholasticism I suggest.

    One COULD read FC art VI in this very Reformed sense. But if one reads FC Art VI in light of FC I and what it says about our Old Adam, art V about Law and Gospel and especially what the Apology says, this reading is impossible. Why? In the believer OLD Adam is ALL we can do and see in ourselves down to our very essence and substance and will and soul and reason etc. FC art I.

    Note what the FC VI says! What we do, as believers (!) is not imputed to us why? It is covered by what? “The perfect obedience of Christ”.

    Our believer good works are forgiven us not because they have the inchoate workings of the HS that insert an “attitude of gratitude” or some “right motive” that seeks no heavenly reward. No. They are ALL forgiven because they are HIDDEN in the Perfect Obedience of Another!

  • fws

    Nathan

    always, only, alone.
    Take those works very literally wherever you read them!

    always, only= what the law says about ALL you can do, internally and externally Nathan. This is where the Law calls ALL you can do or emote, internally and externally the moral equivalent of a used tampon. You are to be terrified at seeing all those works!

    alone: the works ALONE of Christ alone. Apart from your own rightly motivated works.

    Separate ALL you can do as far as earth is from the furthest star from what ALONE is presentable to God.

    you are not accepting those words all, always, only and ALONE Nathan in the radical way you need to.

  • fws

    Nathan

    always, only, alone.
    Take those works very literally wherever you read them!

    always, only= what the law says about ALL you can do, internally and externally Nathan. This is where the Law calls ALL you can do or emote, internally and externally the moral equivalent of a used tampon. You are to be terrified at seeing all those works!

    alone: the works ALONE of Christ alone. Apart from your own rightly motivated works.

    Separate ALL you can do as far as earth is from the furthest star from what ALONE is presentable to God.

    you are not accepting those words all, always, only and ALONE Nathan in the radical way you need to.

  • fws

    Nathan:

    “Right – and those works of ours that are not good works (objectively, that is, looking at it from the outside AND FROM THE INSIDE!!!!!as those things the Scriptures tells us are of benefit to our neighbor) are his also – and they are the ones He not only purifies by His blood but eliminates.”

    Nathan. You excluded the Third USE in what you said. The third use is only something Christians and despairing Judases have. it points us to what is wrong in our hearts as the root of all sin.

    This is the Law, that Christ takes into his own hands to terrify us. Reason imagines that doing is perhaps possible. But the command to love , spontaneously, from the bottom of our hearts, is something noone can do! We are to be terrified at seeing that demand of the Law Nathan. Even as believers we see only and always OLD ADAM who is of the very essence of our willpower, reason, emotions, desires, and very soul.

    That there exists in us that new will of the new man that spontaneously agrees with the Law from the bottom of the heart is an article of faith Nathan. We cannot see it. IF we could, then that should be the basis of our assurance. And that is why the Reformed and Romans have NO assurance. They insist on such navel gazing. We Lutherans say “stop looking for tangible signs of Life”. Make your life ALL, and ALWAYS, and ONLY about seeking your death out of love for neighbor. Look for Life , alone, in the Works of Another.

    Pagans and false believers regard only the outward part of the Law. The veil of Moses is the very reasonable opinion that we can keep the Law by keeping the letter of the Law. Which includes love, and forgiveness . Pagans know they need to do those things too.

    I think this is homing in on what the Confessions say that I suggest you are missing.

  • fws

    Nathan:

    “Right – and those works of ours that are not good works (objectively, that is, looking at it from the outside AND FROM THE INSIDE!!!!!as those things the Scriptures tells us are of benefit to our neighbor) are his also – and they are the ones He not only purifies by His blood but eliminates.”

    Nathan. You excluded the Third USE in what you said. The third use is only something Christians and despairing Judases have. it points us to what is wrong in our hearts as the root of all sin.

    This is the Law, that Christ takes into his own hands to terrify us. Reason imagines that doing is perhaps possible. But the command to love , spontaneously, from the bottom of our hearts, is something noone can do! We are to be terrified at seeing that demand of the Law Nathan. Even as believers we see only and always OLD ADAM who is of the very essence of our willpower, reason, emotions, desires, and very soul.

    That there exists in us that new will of the new man that spontaneously agrees with the Law from the bottom of the heart is an article of faith Nathan. We cannot see it. IF we could, then that should be the basis of our assurance. And that is why the Reformed and Romans have NO assurance. They insist on such navel gazing. We Lutherans say “stop looking for tangible signs of Life”. Make your life ALL, and ALWAYS, and ONLY about seeking your death out of love for neighbor. Look for Life , alone, in the Works of Another.

    Pagans and false believers regard only the outward part of the Law. The veil of Moses is the very reasonable opinion that we can keep the Law by keeping the letter of the Law. Which includes love, and forgiveness . Pagans know they need to do those things too.

    I think this is homing in on what the Confessions say that I suggest you are missing.

  • fws

    nathan @ 116

    “Again, you attribute all of this to me when it is the furthest thing from my mind. Faith does not talk about faith – or even how certain it is of being real (and hence certain). Faith talks about Jesus. ”

    I believe you mean this Nathan. but your words allow for a different understanding.

    ALL we can do, in ALL our internal and external powers AS believers:
    death, Old Adam, moral equivalent of used tampon. This includes our attempts to flee sin . It is all worthless in God’s eyes Nathan. God spits it all out.
    In ALL we can see and do and feel and emote, love, forgiveness, etc etc: The judgement of the Law is that this is all the moral equivalent of a used tampon Nathan. God hates ALL we do for the sin it is that means. These things do not take on a new quality once we have the inchoate HS.

    ALL that God accepts ALONE:
    The works ALONE of Christ. ALL we do are hidden in Him.

  • fws

    nathan @ 116

    “Again, you attribute all of this to me when it is the furthest thing from my mind. Faith does not talk about faith – or even how certain it is of being real (and hence certain). Faith talks about Jesus. ”

    I believe you mean this Nathan. but your words allow for a different understanding.

    ALL we can do, in ALL our internal and external powers AS believers:
    death, Old Adam, moral equivalent of used tampon. This includes our attempts to flee sin . It is all worthless in God’s eyes Nathan. God spits it all out.
    In ALL we can see and do and feel and emote, love, forgiveness, etc etc: The judgement of the Law is that this is all the moral equivalent of a used tampon Nathan. God hates ALL we do for the sin it is that means. These things do not take on a new quality once we have the inchoate HS.

    ALL that God accepts ALONE:
    The works ALONE of Christ. ALL we do are hidden in Him.

  • fws

    works are EXCLUDED.
    ALL OUR works = death. plus…. nothing.
    ALL Christ’s works, alone, = Life. alone alone alone

    so what is “necessary” beyond the works of Christ? fleeing sin? not “willfully ” sinning? no. that is Christ + something.

    So why are good works necessary? Without Good Works , life on earth would be impossible. They are necessary because our neighbor needs them precisely as carnal righeousness.

    The only spiritual righeousness of Romans 8 that will not perish on the earth? The finished works of Christ. Alone alone alone.

    All else will perish.

  • fws

    works are EXCLUDED.
    ALL OUR works = death. plus…. nothing.
    ALL Christ’s works, alone, = Life. alone alone alone

    so what is “necessary” beyond the works of Christ? fleeing sin? not “willfully ” sinning? no. that is Christ + something.

    So why are good works necessary? Without Good Works , life on earth would be impossible. They are necessary because our neighbor needs them precisely as carnal righeousness.

    The only spiritual righeousness of Romans 8 that will not perish on the earth? The finished works of Christ. Alone alone alone.

    All else will perish.

  • fws

    nathan @ 117

    “Regarding my finding the Law “only accuses” in the Confessions (IV, 257). Well – I think context is critical here. Within the context of Ap. IV, par. 257, the statement concerning the law is referring to the preaching of penitence. It is talking about how when preaching with the intent to accuse it only accuses. Otherwise, it always accuses, but there is more to the story. Since the Old Adam is still part of the Christian the “law always accuses”, but that does not say everything that needs to be said about the law, of course. That is like saying, to an extent: “The wages of sin is death!” and leaving it at that. Well, it is true, isn’t it? But more must be added…

    WHAT part must be added Nathan. That is the question. Some spiritual use of the Law that instructs but does not kill? No. Some Reformed wet dream called “Law as indicative”? no.

    It is the Gospel that must be added.
    See this in FC where they talk about repentence!

    Also see Luther in the Large Catechism where he declares that the Baptism is nothing other than repentence (not penance). The best description of Baptismal Life is the Law and Gospel understanding of Baptism with its two parts… what baptism works, delivers from and gives. Gospel! and then what baptism “signifies” or “paints a picture of” in the life of the believer. that is the Law…. contrition (grinding down) and repentence.

    Instead of pondering sanctification as describing the christian life (which is why the Reformed get it all screwed up and mix law and gospel), try the Lutheran description of the christian life as being one of continual repentence. Baptism is repentence. Baptism is what the christian life looks like.

    ALL God has done? Gospel. Life

    and then separate what follow as far as the earth is from the most distant star Nathan!….

    ALL we do, even as believers… Law. Death.

  • fws

    nathan @ 117

    “Regarding my finding the Law “only accuses” in the Confessions (IV, 257). Well – I think context is critical here. Within the context of Ap. IV, par. 257, the statement concerning the law is referring to the preaching of penitence. It is talking about how when preaching with the intent to accuse it only accuses. Otherwise, it always accuses, but there is more to the story. Since the Old Adam is still part of the Christian the “law always accuses”, but that does not say everything that needs to be said about the law, of course. That is like saying, to an extent: “The wages of sin is death!” and leaving it at that. Well, it is true, isn’t it? But more must be added…

    WHAT part must be added Nathan. That is the question. Some spiritual use of the Law that instructs but does not kill? No. Some Reformed wet dream called “Law as indicative”? no.

    It is the Gospel that must be added.
    See this in FC where they talk about repentence!

    Also see Luther in the Large Catechism where he declares that the Baptism is nothing other than repentence (not penance). The best description of Baptismal Life is the Law and Gospel understanding of Baptism with its two parts… what baptism works, delivers from and gives. Gospel! and then what baptism “signifies” or “paints a picture of” in the life of the believer. that is the Law…. contrition (grinding down) and repentence.

    Instead of pondering sanctification as describing the christian life (which is why the Reformed get it all screwed up and mix law and gospel), try the Lutheran description of the christian life as being one of continual repentence. Baptism is repentence. Baptism is what the christian life looks like.

    ALL God has done? Gospel. Life

    and then separate what follow as far as the earth is from the most distant star Nathan!….

    ALL we do, even as believers… Law. Death.

  • fws

    nathan @ 115

    NATHAN: “Willpower is ALL Old Adam.” So you deny we have a new will?

    FRANK: Of course not. You know better Nathan. I have never suggested otherwise.

    NATHAN: Where does it say in the Scriptures or the Confessions that there is no such thing as unwillful sinning? (you who are so eager to stick with the language of the Apology *except* where it talks about mortal sin I guess!)

    FRANK: Everywhere Nathan. Let me quote from Luther’s Preface to his 1545 Romans translation, which IS referenced by our Confessions as a further explanation of what they mean… It is very clear on this point. And it is mature Luther at his best….

    Sin in the Scriptures means not only external works of the body but also all those movements within us which bestir themselves and move us to do the external works, namely, the depth of the heart with all its powers. Therefore the word do should refer to a person’s completely falling into sin. No external work of sin happens, after all, unless a person commit himself to it completely, body and soul. In particular, the Scriptures see into the heart, to the root and main source of all sin: unbelief in the depth of the heart.

    http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html

    Where in the Scriptures or Confessions does it say our new man never succumbs to Old Adam? (Romans 7?).

    the believer does indeed succumb to old adam Nathan. The New Man cannot. that would be impossible! 1 john 2:3

    And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
    (1 John 2:3-6 ESV)

    This is true about you insofar as you are regenerated Nathan. In Christ you have the mind of Christ, the Law of Christ. For you to say that your New Man succumbs to satan and sin and Old Adam is to say that Christ in you succumbs to those things. That would be impossible Nathan. Your New Man is fully in Christ!

  • fws

    nathan @ 115

    NATHAN: “Willpower is ALL Old Adam.” So you deny we have a new will?

    FRANK: Of course not. You know better Nathan. I have never suggested otherwise.

    NATHAN: Where does it say in the Scriptures or the Confessions that there is no such thing as unwillful sinning? (you who are so eager to stick with the language of the Apology *except* where it talks about mortal sin I guess!)

    FRANK: Everywhere Nathan. Let me quote from Luther’s Preface to his 1545 Romans translation, which IS referenced by our Confessions as a further explanation of what they mean… It is very clear on this point. And it is mature Luther at his best….

    Sin in the Scriptures means not only external works of the body but also all those movements within us which bestir themselves and move us to do the external works, namely, the depth of the heart with all its powers. Therefore the word do should refer to a person’s completely falling into sin. No external work of sin happens, after all, unless a person commit himself to it completely, body and soul. In particular, the Scriptures see into the heart, to the root and main source of all sin: unbelief in the depth of the heart.

    http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html

    Where in the Scriptures or Confessions does it say our new man never succumbs to Old Adam? (Romans 7?).

    the believer does indeed succumb to old adam Nathan. The New Man cannot. that would be impossible! 1 john 2:3

    And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
    (1 John 2:3-6 ESV)

    This is true about you insofar as you are regenerated Nathan. In Christ you have the mind of Christ, the Law of Christ. For you to say that your New Man succumbs to satan and sin and Old Adam is to say that Christ in you succumbs to those things. That would be impossible Nathan. Your New Man is fully in Christ!

  • fws

    nathan @

    “you who are so eager to stick with the language of the Apology *except* where it talks about mortal sin I guess!”

    1) Nathan, is there such a think as a sin that is not mortal? What sin would that be? Where would I find that idea in scriptures or the Confessions?

    2) Instead of looking for prooftexts in the Confessions that refute what I am saying, try this approach: Does what Frank is suggesting illuminate other texts? Does it war with the context of those texts, or does it make what they say more clear? Does it provide an explanation for more difficult texts that is less forced and more natural? Does what Frank say seem to overlay or shoehorn or impose something onto the text, or does it seem rather to allow the text speak for itself?

  • fws

    nathan @

    “you who are so eager to stick with the language of the Apology *except* where it talks about mortal sin I guess!”

    1) Nathan, is there such a think as a sin that is not mortal? What sin would that be? Where would I find that idea in scriptures or the Confessions?

    2) Instead of looking for prooftexts in the Confessions that refute what I am saying, try this approach: Does what Frank is suggesting illuminate other texts? Does it war with the context of those texts, or does it make what they say more clear? Does it provide an explanation for more difficult texts that is less forced and more natural? Does what Frank say seem to overlay or shoehorn or impose something onto the text, or does it seem rather to allow the text speak for itself?

  • fws

    Nathan,

    we are not robots. Christ increased in wisdom and stature.

    I think that Christ probably forgot his prayer shawl at times and had to run back home to get it. He didnt always make a chair right for his dad and had to learn how to make a better chair.

    You can meditate upon and study the life of Christ Incarnate to see precisely and exactly how it is that your New Man looks. Christ got tired. He felt the need to be alone. He was a man of sorrows and he intimately knew what grief and emotional pain looks like. He did not want to die on the cross if there had been another way. Human.

  • fws

    Nathan,

    we are not robots. Christ increased in wisdom and stature.

    I think that Christ probably forgot his prayer shawl at times and had to run back home to get it. He didnt always make a chair right for his dad and had to learn how to make a better chair.

    You can meditate upon and study the life of Christ Incarnate to see precisely and exactly how it is that your New Man looks. Christ got tired. He felt the need to be alone. He was a man of sorrows and he intimately knew what grief and emotional pain looks like. He did not want to die on the cross if there had been another way. Human.

  • fws

    nathan @ 117

    wayyy too much speculation. Not enough reading of the Confessions….

    NATHAN:So can the new man learn the law?
    FRANK: Define Learn. Define New man.
    New man = believer? no.
    NATHAN: Popular reception would say that the New Man simply knows the law.
    FRANK: The Confessions say that “natural man” , aka Old Adam simply has the Divine Law, all of it, written in his Reason.
    And Old Adam heart is at war with the Law in Reason.
    The Confessions say that the New Man , in fulfillment of Jer 31, now also has that Law written in his heart as well.
    The heart of the new man agrees with the Law written in Reason now.
    Why would that make a difference? Connect the dots.
    NATHAN: But here, once again, could the law for the new man be like Christ for the child who is baptized?
    FRANK: It is exactly like that!
    NATHAN: I.e. does faith grasp the law when presented to it, like it grasps Jesus
    FRANK: No. The Law always and only accuses and kills. Faith alone can accept the judgement of the Law on ALL it can do. So faith alone can be terrified at ALL it can do. And so faith does not try to flee that judgement by any doing. Instead it knows to hide ALL it can do in the Works of Another.
    Jesus only gives Life. Faith does not grasp the Law in the same way it grasps the Gospel. No. Better to stick to how the Confessions present all this , rather than pose a curious question and spin lots of speculations from that.
    NATHAN: when presented to the child in an Archbook or on a flannel graph in Sunday school?
    FRANK: The believing Child is old adam in all is internal and external powers as far as is sensible. Does he have a new will? Yes. how can he know he has that new will in Christ? Only by reading what the Bible says and accepting what the Bible says , by faith alone. There will never be sensible, tangible evidence of this New Will.
    FC art VI

    sd 11] For the Law says indeed that it is God’s will and command that we should walk in a new life, but it does not give the power and ability to begin OR do it; but the Holy Ghost, who is given and received, not through the Law, but through the preaching of the Gospel, Gal. 3:14, renews the heart. 12] Thereafter the Holy Ghost employs the Law … when they are idle, negligent, and rebellious in this matter because of the flesh,

    He reproves them on that account through the Law, so that He carries on both offices together :
    He slays and makes alive;
    He leads into hell and brings up again.

    For His office is not only to comfort, but also to reprove, as it is written: When the Holy Ghost is come, He will reprove the world (which includes also the old Adam) of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.
    13] But sin is everything that is contrary to God’s Law. 14] And St. Paul says: All Scripture given by inspiration of God is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, etc., and to reprove is the peculiar office of the Law.
    Therefore, as often as believers stumble, they are reproved by the Holy Spirit from the Law, and…
    by the same Spirit are raised up and comforted again with the preaching of the Holy Gospel.

    Now read this in the context of what the Catechism says about the Law terrifying us and what that has to do with faith:

    [When we go to the Supper] we …remember and proclaim His death and the shedding of His blood. [We] should we remember and proclaim His death … so we may learn to be horrified by our sins, and to regard them as very serious.
    what more forcible, more terrible declaration and preaching of God’s wrath against sin is there than just the suffering and death of Christ, His Son? the preaching of the suffering and death of Christ, the Son of God, is an earnest and terrible proclamation and declaration of God’s wrath, whereby men are first led into the Law aright, after the veil of Moses has been removed from them, so that they first know aright how great things God in His Law requires of us, none of which we can observe.
    the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins,and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened.

    Ponder what you read very carefully and try to place it into the context of your current thinking about fleeing sin, and doing as a reflection of the work of the Holy Spirit in New Man of the Believer
    .
    NATHAN: “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” “Who is He Lord that I may believe in Him?” might be understood as far as the New Man is concerned in this way: “Do you know the Law of God?”
    FRANK: No. The Apology calls this “historical faith”. Reason can know this and also believe this. Old Adam can also believe ALL the Bible says. Satan believes it all , after all.
    NATHAN: “What is it, Lord, that I may know it?” In other words, the moment the New Man hears the law he instantly grasps it and says, “Yes! That is right!” with no fear or compunction.”
    FRANK: Yes. We believe, as an article of faith, and not anything at all we can see, that this is true about our New Man! But in ALL our inward and outward powers…. we can see Old Adam at work. he must die. there is no instructing him or transforming him. there is only disciplining him like we would a recalcitrant ass , by taking up the Law and clubbing and beating him with it.

  • fws

    nathan @ 117

    wayyy too much speculation. Not enough reading of the Confessions….

    NATHAN:So can the new man learn the law?
    FRANK: Define Learn. Define New man.
    New man = believer? no.
    NATHAN: Popular reception would say that the New Man simply knows the law.
    FRANK: The Confessions say that “natural man” , aka Old Adam simply has the Divine Law, all of it, written in his Reason.
    And Old Adam heart is at war with the Law in Reason.
    The Confessions say that the New Man , in fulfillment of Jer 31, now also has that Law written in his heart as well.
    The heart of the new man agrees with the Law written in Reason now.
    Why would that make a difference? Connect the dots.
    NATHAN: But here, once again, could the law for the new man be like Christ for the child who is baptized?
    FRANK: It is exactly like that!
    NATHAN: I.e. does faith grasp the law when presented to it, like it grasps Jesus
    FRANK: No. The Law always and only accuses and kills. Faith alone can accept the judgement of the Law on ALL it can do. So faith alone can be terrified at ALL it can do. And so faith does not try to flee that judgement by any doing. Instead it knows to hide ALL it can do in the Works of Another.
    Jesus only gives Life. Faith does not grasp the Law in the same way it grasps the Gospel. No. Better to stick to how the Confessions present all this , rather than pose a curious question and spin lots of speculations from that.
    NATHAN: when presented to the child in an Archbook or on a flannel graph in Sunday school?
    FRANK: The believing Child is old adam in all is internal and external powers as far as is sensible. Does he have a new will? Yes. how can he know he has that new will in Christ? Only by reading what the Bible says and accepting what the Bible says , by faith alone. There will never be sensible, tangible evidence of this New Will.
    FC art VI

    sd 11] For the Law says indeed that it is God’s will and command that we should walk in a new life, but it does not give the power and ability to begin OR do it; but the Holy Ghost, who is given and received, not through the Law, but through the preaching of the Gospel, Gal. 3:14, renews the heart. 12] Thereafter the Holy Ghost employs the Law … when they are idle, negligent, and rebellious in this matter because of the flesh,

    He reproves them on that account through the Law, so that He carries on both offices together :
    He slays and makes alive;
    He leads into hell and brings up again.

    For His office is not only to comfort, but also to reprove, as it is written: When the Holy Ghost is come, He will reprove the world (which includes also the old Adam) of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.
    13] But sin is everything that is contrary to God’s Law. 14] And St. Paul says: All Scripture given by inspiration of God is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, etc., and to reprove is the peculiar office of the Law.
    Therefore, as often as believers stumble, they are reproved by the Holy Spirit from the Law, and…
    by the same Spirit are raised up and comforted again with the preaching of the Holy Gospel.

    Now read this in the context of what the Catechism says about the Law terrifying us and what that has to do with faith:

    [When we go to the Supper] we …remember and proclaim His death and the shedding of His blood. [We] should we remember and proclaim His death … so we may learn to be horrified by our sins, and to regard them as very serious.
    what more forcible, more terrible declaration and preaching of God’s wrath against sin is there than just the suffering and death of Christ, His Son? the preaching of the suffering and death of Christ, the Son of God, is an earnest and terrible proclamation and declaration of God’s wrath, whereby men are first led into the Law aright, after the veil of Moses has been removed from them, so that they first know aright how great things God in His Law requires of us, none of which we can observe.
    the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins,and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened.

    Ponder what you read very carefully and try to place it into the context of your current thinking about fleeing sin, and doing as a reflection of the work of the Holy Spirit in New Man of the Believer
    .
    NATHAN: “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” “Who is He Lord that I may believe in Him?” might be understood as far as the New Man is concerned in this way: “Do you know the Law of God?”
    FRANK: No. The Apology calls this “historical faith”. Reason can know this and also believe this. Old Adam can also believe ALL the Bible says. Satan believes it all , after all.
    NATHAN: “What is it, Lord, that I may know it?” In other words, the moment the New Man hears the law he instantly grasps it and says, “Yes! That is right!” with no fear or compunction.”
    FRANK: Yes. We believe, as an article of faith, and not anything at all we can see, that this is true about our New Man! But in ALL our inward and outward powers…. we can see Old Adam at work. he must die. there is no instructing him or transforming him. there is only disciplining him like we would a recalcitrant ass , by taking up the Law and clubbing and beating him with it.

  • fws

    Nathan, this is not so hard…

    ALL you can see and do, with ALL your internal and external powers is ALL AND ALWAYS, AND ONLY sin, and death. It is ALWAYS AND ONLY the Law ALWAYS AND ONLY being applied by the HS to your flesh to make him do Good Works and love and mercy. This work of the HS is necessary. It is ALWAYS necessary for the flesh to die. And it is also necessary for the flesh to die to end sin. Flesh cannot be transformed. It is necessary for it to die. Otherwise love and mercy and Good Works would never happen here on earth , neither in the believer nor the false believer or pagan. This is the force of that word necessary ALWAYS AND ONLY in ALL we can see or do in both our inward and outward powers.

    ALONE Christ and HIS works are Life. Alone. alone . alone.

    This means there is NO Life ANYwhere else. Not in anything we can do, not in the Law, not in our internal or external powers. Not in anything we can see or do or sense or emote or (fill in the blank here with anything at all you want Nathan!)

  • fws

    Nathan, this is not so hard…

    ALL you can see and do, with ALL your internal and external powers is ALL AND ALWAYS, AND ONLY sin, and death. It is ALWAYS AND ONLY the Law ALWAYS AND ONLY being applied by the HS to your flesh to make him do Good Works and love and mercy. This work of the HS is necessary. It is ALWAYS necessary for the flesh to die. And it is also necessary for the flesh to die to end sin. Flesh cannot be transformed. It is necessary for it to die. Otherwise love and mercy and Good Works would never happen here on earth , neither in the believer nor the false believer or pagan. This is the force of that word necessary ALWAYS AND ONLY in ALL we can see or do in both our inward and outward powers.

    ALONE Christ and HIS works are Life. Alone. alone . alone.

    This means there is NO Life ANYwhere else. Not in anything we can do, not in the Law, not in our internal or external powers. Not in anything we can see or do or sense or emote or (fill in the blank here with anything at all you want Nathan!)

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  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Thanks again for your comments and the ongoing engagement. Hoping to comment later today, but may need to wait until tomorrow. We will see.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Thanks again for your comments and the ongoing engagement. Hoping to comment later today, but may need to wait until tomorrow. We will see.

    +Nathan

  • fws

    nathan here is something that might help us here…

    I think that people miss what the Apology says because of this fact: We think we just know the meaning and definition of words.

    And alot of that assumption we have never ever questioned.

    And so in the Apology, we need to consider the meaning of words as understood by the audience it is addressing and hoping to persuade.

    So who is the person, with his assumed vocabulary that the Apology hopes to persuade and correct? You will need to read the Apology as that person.
    You will need to read the Apology as though it is being address to you personally. And who are you personally? You are a Roman Catholic Scholastic who has baptized Aristotle into your theology.

    So then what you have is that the task of becoming Virtuous , of achieving your telos, is to allow Reason to rule over your heart/emotions in order to properly channel the natural appetites to achieve your telos or “flourishing” So the goal of human existence is for Reason to know what man’s Telos is, and to be reconformed to that. Then man will “flourish”.

    In the hands of St Thomas, this is to have Reason, aided by the Holy Spirit, rule over concupiscence, which are yourr “natural appetites” (and so not sin) , in order to perfect faith by love and so be prepared to recieve enabling grace and so achieve your telos, which is to become reconformed to the Decalog and the Divine Design reason can see in nature, and that are the very Mind or Image of God. So the return to the Image of God is to become reconformed to the Image or Mind or Reason of God, which is the Law of God.

    Justification = the power, in natural man, to be reconformed to the Law of God , which is the Image and Mind of God.

    So then the Apology will deliberately take up those words you assume you know the meaning for, based upon reason and aristotle and aim the Scriptures at those very words.

    Lutherans (redux of Apology II):

    Whatever existed prior to the fall and also still exists in man after the fall can NOT be the Image of God.

    Those things should all be fully included as part of what St Paul calls the “natural man”.

    And the natural man cannot know the things of God.

    This especially includes Reason in natural man.

    That does not mean that Reason is fallen. Man can know the Law fully so he is without excuse. It is not God’s fault that he does not know.

    That does not mean that “concupiscence” is “natural” appetites. Sin is not God’s creation. It is not God’s fault.

    The Image of God is what existed before the fall and was lost to man after the fall. Seth was created in the image and likeness of Adam.

    The Law of God existed before the fall. It also exists after the fall in the Reason of man. Romans 2:15

    That is why weLutherans identify the Divine Law that is FULLY written in the Reason of ALL men “natural law”.

    So what is the Image of God?

    What is it , that is , alone, restored to man, that man cannot and does not have prior to regeneration and that is unnatural to fallen Adam?

    What is it that is, alone , super-natural to man such that it MUST be restored from above?

    It must be faith alone in Christ alone. Alone.

    Therefore Adam’s Original Righeousness was also faith alone in Christ alone.

    So why is it that natural man cannot follow the Reason that is unfallen in him?

    Man cannot follow the Law written in his Reason because his heart is totally devoid of faith alone in Christ alone.

    Man’s failure to keep the Law is not because the Law in Conscience is defective or deficient in man. It is because Reason/Law in man is clouded by the Veil of Moses.

    When faith is restored in the heart (right affections and emotions, true fear love and trust) then Heart agrees with Reason (Jer 31)

    When heart agrees with reason then good works simply happen has light from sun, spontaneously, as the angels do God’s Will.

    So the restoration of the Law is a consequence of having the Image of God restored , which is fear-love-trust, new-heart-movements, new affections, new emotions, love!

    Justification = faith, alone, in Christ, alone = the restoration of the Image of God.

    And when Image is restored, then…. the Affections of the Heart now agree with the Law in Reason.

    Righeousness simply happens as the thermonuclear reaction of the sun to the Will of God.

    Reformed (Melancthon and the Lutheran Neo Scholastics):

    Man is fallen and totally depraved,

    But there is a faint ember or spark of the Image of God in man that remains after the fall of man.

    The Image of God is not entirely lost!

    That faint spark or ember of the Image of God is the Law of God written in the Reason of man.

    Regeneration restores the power to fan that Spark and ember into flame.

    So Regeneration is the restoration of faith that enables man to achieve his Ultimate Purpose.

    The Ultimate Purpose of Man is to become reconformed to the Divine Mind which is the Divine Law.

    So the Reformed, following Melancthon and the Lutheran scholastics return here to Rome.

    Justification = the power, in the regenerated man, to be restored to the Mind and Image of God, which is found in the Third Use of the Law.

  • fws

    nathan here is something that might help us here…

    I think that people miss what the Apology says because of this fact: We think we just know the meaning and definition of words.

    And alot of that assumption we have never ever questioned.

    And so in the Apology, we need to consider the meaning of words as understood by the audience it is addressing and hoping to persuade.

    So who is the person, with his assumed vocabulary that the Apology hopes to persuade and correct? You will need to read the Apology as that person.
    You will need to read the Apology as though it is being address to you personally. And who are you personally? You are a Roman Catholic Scholastic who has baptized Aristotle into your theology.

    So then what you have is that the task of becoming Virtuous , of achieving your telos, is to allow Reason to rule over your heart/emotions in order to properly channel the natural appetites to achieve your telos or “flourishing” So the goal of human existence is for Reason to know what man’s Telos is, and to be reconformed to that. Then man will “flourish”.

    In the hands of St Thomas, this is to have Reason, aided by the Holy Spirit, rule over concupiscence, which are yourr “natural appetites” (and so not sin) , in order to perfect faith by love and so be prepared to recieve enabling grace and so achieve your telos, which is to become reconformed to the Decalog and the Divine Design reason can see in nature, and that are the very Mind or Image of God. So the return to the Image of God is to become reconformed to the Image or Mind or Reason of God, which is the Law of God.

    Justification = the power, in natural man, to be reconformed to the Law of God , which is the Image and Mind of God.

    So then the Apology will deliberately take up those words you assume you know the meaning for, based upon reason and aristotle and aim the Scriptures at those very words.

    Lutherans (redux of Apology II):

    Whatever existed prior to the fall and also still exists in man after the fall can NOT be the Image of God.

    Those things should all be fully included as part of what St Paul calls the “natural man”.

    And the natural man cannot know the things of God.

    This especially includes Reason in natural man.

    That does not mean that Reason is fallen. Man can know the Law fully so he is without excuse. It is not God’s fault that he does not know.

    That does not mean that “concupiscence” is “natural” appetites. Sin is not God’s creation. It is not God’s fault.

    The Image of God is what existed before the fall and was lost to man after the fall. Seth was created in the image and likeness of Adam.

    The Law of God existed before the fall. It also exists after the fall in the Reason of man. Romans 2:15

    That is why weLutherans identify the Divine Law that is FULLY written in the Reason of ALL men “natural law”.

    So what is the Image of God?

    What is it , that is , alone, restored to man, that man cannot and does not have prior to regeneration and that is unnatural to fallen Adam?

    What is it that is, alone , super-natural to man such that it MUST be restored from above?

    It must be faith alone in Christ alone. Alone.

    Therefore Adam’s Original Righeousness was also faith alone in Christ alone.

    So why is it that natural man cannot follow the Reason that is unfallen in him?

    Man cannot follow the Law written in his Reason because his heart is totally devoid of faith alone in Christ alone.

    Man’s failure to keep the Law is not because the Law in Conscience is defective or deficient in man. It is because Reason/Law in man is clouded by the Veil of Moses.

    When faith is restored in the heart (right affections and emotions, true fear love and trust) then Heart agrees with Reason (Jer 31)

    When heart agrees with reason then good works simply happen has light from sun, spontaneously, as the angels do God’s Will.

    So the restoration of the Law is a consequence of having the Image of God restored , which is fear-love-trust, new-heart-movements, new affections, new emotions, love!

    Justification = faith, alone, in Christ, alone = the restoration of the Image of God.

    And when Image is restored, then…. the Affections of the Heart now agree with the Law in Reason.

    Righeousness simply happens as the thermonuclear reaction of the sun to the Will of God.

    Reformed (Melancthon and the Lutheran Neo Scholastics):

    Man is fallen and totally depraved,

    But there is a faint ember or spark of the Image of God in man that remains after the fall of man.

    The Image of God is not entirely lost!

    That faint spark or ember of the Image of God is the Law of God written in the Reason of man.

    Regeneration restores the power to fan that Spark and ember into flame.

    So Regeneration is the restoration of faith that enables man to achieve his Ultimate Purpose.

    The Ultimate Purpose of Man is to become reconformed to the Divine Mind which is the Divine Law.

    So the Reformed, following Melancthon and the Lutheran scholastics return here to Rome.

    Justification = the power, in the regenerated man, to be restored to the Mind and Image of God, which is found in the Third Use of the Law.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    First of all, I love this:

    “You can meditate upon and study the life of Christ Incarnate to see precisely and exactly how it is that your New Man looks. Christ got tired. He felt the need to be alone. He was a man of sorrows and he intimately knew what grief and emotional pain looks like. He did not want to die on the cross if there had been another way. Human.”

    Very nice (when you go on to say “There will never be sensible, tangible evidence of this New Will” this has not been my experience, although I do not base my salvation on what I perceive to be evidence of the New Will in me… this is not supposed to be the basis of my assurance ultimately, but rather the Word and sacrament – Christ’s forgiving word for those crushed by the Law)

    Second, a clarification. When I said:

    “Right – and those works of ours that are not good works (objectively, that is, looking at it from the outside as those things the Scriptures tells us are of benefit to our neighbor) are his also – and they are the ones He not only purifies by His blood but eliminates.”

    I should have said that He purifies our good works and purifies us from our bad works. He does not purify our bad works, i.e. make these works acceptable and good.

    That said, you end your most recent comments to me by saying:

    “NATHAN: “What is it, Lord, that I may know it?” In other words, the moment the New Man hears the law he instantly grasps it and says, “Yes! That is right!” with no fear or compunction.”

    FRANK: Yes. We believe, as an article of faith, and not anything at all we can see, that this is true about our New Man! But in ALL our inward and outward powers…. we can see Old Adam at work. he must die. there is no instructing him or transforming him. there is only disciplining him like we would a recalcitrant ass , by taking up the Law and clubbing and beating him with it.

    Nathan, this is not so hard…

    ALL you can see and do, with ALL your internal and external powers is ALL AND ALWAYS, AND ONLY sin, and death. It is ALWAYS AND ONLY the Law ALWAYS AND ONLY being applied by the HS to your flesh to make him do Good Works and love and mercy. This work of the HS is necessary. It is ALWAYS necessary for the flesh to die. And it is also necessary for the flesh to die to end sin. Flesh cannot be transformed. It is necessary for it to die. Otherwise love and mercy and Good Works would never happen here on earth, neither in the believer nor the false believer or pagan. This is the force of that word necessary ALWAYS AND ONLY in ALL we can see or do in both our inward and outward powers.

    ALONE Christ and HIS works are Life. Alone. alone . alone.

    This means there is NO Life ANYwhere else. Not in anything we can do, not in the Law, not in our internal or external powers. Not in anything we can see or do or sense or emote or (fill in the blank here with anything at all you want Nathan!)”

    (end quote)

    Amen to all of this. This is my confession.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    First of all, I love this:

    “You can meditate upon and study the life of Christ Incarnate to see precisely and exactly how it is that your New Man looks. Christ got tired. He felt the need to be alone. He was a man of sorrows and he intimately knew what grief and emotional pain looks like. He did not want to die on the cross if there had been another way. Human.”

    Very nice (when you go on to say “There will never be sensible, tangible evidence of this New Will” this has not been my experience, although I do not base my salvation on what I perceive to be evidence of the New Will in me… this is not supposed to be the basis of my assurance ultimately, but rather the Word and sacrament – Christ’s forgiving word for those crushed by the Law)

    Second, a clarification. When I said:

    “Right – and those works of ours that are not good works (objectively, that is, looking at it from the outside as those things the Scriptures tells us are of benefit to our neighbor) are his also – and they are the ones He not only purifies by His blood but eliminates.”

    I should have said that He purifies our good works and purifies us from our bad works. He does not purify our bad works, i.e. make these works acceptable and good.

    That said, you end your most recent comments to me by saying:

    “NATHAN: “What is it, Lord, that I may know it?” In other words, the moment the New Man hears the law he instantly grasps it and says, “Yes! That is right!” with no fear or compunction.”

    FRANK: Yes. We believe, as an article of faith, and not anything at all we can see, that this is true about our New Man! But in ALL our inward and outward powers…. we can see Old Adam at work. he must die. there is no instructing him or transforming him. there is only disciplining him like we would a recalcitrant ass , by taking up the Law and clubbing and beating him with it.

    Nathan, this is not so hard…

    ALL you can see and do, with ALL your internal and external powers is ALL AND ALWAYS, AND ONLY sin, and death. It is ALWAYS AND ONLY the Law ALWAYS AND ONLY being applied by the HS to your flesh to make him do Good Works and love and mercy. This work of the HS is necessary. It is ALWAYS necessary for the flesh to die. And it is also necessary for the flesh to die to end sin. Flesh cannot be transformed. It is necessary for it to die. Otherwise love and mercy and Good Works would never happen here on earth, neither in the believer nor the false believer or pagan. This is the force of that word necessary ALWAYS AND ONLY in ALL we can see or do in both our inward and outward powers.

    ALONE Christ and HIS works are Life. Alone. alone . alone.

    This means there is NO Life ANYwhere else. Not in anything we can do, not in the Law, not in our internal or external powers. Not in anything we can see or do or sense or emote or (fill in the blank here with anything at all you want Nathan!)”

    (end quote)

    Amen to all of this. This is my confession.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Regarding the believer needing instruction, I know what it says in FC VI (“without instruction), but consider that we really cannot comprehend the action of the New Man apart from the Old Adam, and even apart from the person which is the Christian. Thus it is not the New Man within Nathan who does good works, but Nathan who does good works. And it is not the Old Adam who sins, but Nathan who sins. I’d say there is a difference between simply hearing the truth and joyfully recognizing it (and incorporating it naturally into life), and formal instruction which seeks to actively inculcate truth through things like repitition, discipline, and grammar-level exercises. In other words, even the New Man only needs the former (***due to the simple fact that we are social beings***), not the latter. Further, consider, how is it that the “Old-Adamless” Eve and Adam fall? Is it not because Satan deceives them by misconstruing the Word of God? Eve simply trusts Satan with his words because she apparently has no reason not to… he seems nice and helpful and everything (and the fact that she does not have knowledge that Satan himself is evil is not a sinful deficiency since she is “very good” [although innocently, not maturely]). Therefore, the New Man is not just an individual entity like a heavenly body which is incapable of being taken off track in one way or another by being deceived… Here’s a way of looking at it: this is similar to a child who innocently sins because he is led into sin by an adult, an adult who lies (!) to the child–so perhaps the whole issue with the millstone around the neck hearkens back to the curse of the serpent in Eden, ***a tremendous curse for it is the child’s very innocence itself which is deployed against the child!…*** after all, trust is good (see more on trust below)

    Likewise, when you say:

    “To summarize, note that FC art VI tells us that the SAME Law should be taught in the SAME identical way, and to the same identical DEGREE to both believers and unbelievers!

    SD 26] Accordingly… the SAME Law, in the above-mentioned way and degree…should …be urged upon both Christians and the true believers, [and] the unbelieving, unchristians, and impenitent. We reject and condemn any contrary teaching …as an error pernicious and detrimental to Christian discipline, as also to true godliness.”

    Again, a hearty “Yes”!

    Now though, my caveats, which I will state briefly (and then I will expand on some of these points more later). I think the problem with a lot of theology today is that it takes a few concepts (i.e. “Law-Gospel”, “Two Kinds of Righteousness”, etc.) and tries to build an entire theological system out of it. We want our theological anthropology to be simple but maybe it is more complicated, and like Christology, demands much more, i.e. two natures, their hypostatic union and the communication of their attributes ; the humiliation and exaltation ; prophet, priest, king, etc. We need good models – even if they seem overly complex – that take into account all of the data.

    …..

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Regarding the believer needing instruction, I know what it says in FC VI (“without instruction), but consider that we really cannot comprehend the action of the New Man apart from the Old Adam, and even apart from the person which is the Christian. Thus it is not the New Man within Nathan who does good works, but Nathan who does good works. And it is not the Old Adam who sins, but Nathan who sins. I’d say there is a difference between simply hearing the truth and joyfully recognizing it (and incorporating it naturally into life), and formal instruction which seeks to actively inculcate truth through things like repitition, discipline, and grammar-level exercises. In other words, even the New Man only needs the former (***due to the simple fact that we are social beings***), not the latter. Further, consider, how is it that the “Old-Adamless” Eve and Adam fall? Is it not because Satan deceives them by misconstruing the Word of God? Eve simply trusts Satan with his words because she apparently has no reason not to… he seems nice and helpful and everything (and the fact that she does not have knowledge that Satan himself is evil is not a sinful deficiency since she is “very good” [although innocently, not maturely]). Therefore, the New Man is not just an individual entity like a heavenly body which is incapable of being taken off track in one way or another by being deceived… Here’s a way of looking at it: this is similar to a child who innocently sins because he is led into sin by an adult, an adult who lies (!) to the child–so perhaps the whole issue with the millstone around the neck hearkens back to the curse of the serpent in Eden, ***a tremendous curse for it is the child’s very innocence itself which is deployed against the child!…*** after all, trust is good (see more on trust below)

    Likewise, when you say:

    “To summarize, note that FC art VI tells us that the SAME Law should be taught in the SAME identical way, and to the same identical DEGREE to both believers and unbelievers!

    SD 26] Accordingly… the SAME Law, in the above-mentioned way and degree…should …be urged upon both Christians and the true believers, [and] the unbelieving, unchristians, and impenitent. We reject and condemn any contrary teaching …as an error pernicious and detrimental to Christian discipline, as also to true godliness.”

    Again, a hearty “Yes”!

    Now though, my caveats, which I will state briefly (and then I will expand on some of these points more later). I think the problem with a lot of theology today is that it takes a few concepts (i.e. “Law-Gospel”, “Two Kinds of Righteousness”, etc.) and tries to build an entire theological system out of it. We want our theological anthropology to be simple but maybe it is more complicated, and like Christology, demands much more, i.e. two natures, their hypostatic union and the communication of their attributes ; the humiliation and exaltation ; prophet, priest, king, etc. We need good models – even if they seem overly complex – that take into account all of the data.

    …..

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Caveats:

    1) Paul sets “doing” against faith (which is a gift first received passively in the will and is then utilized actively [i.e. desperate, clinging, groping trust]. You, frankly, do not.
    2) Even though God will always make sure good works will always happen here on earth through the use of His Law (through the Holy Spirit), we still hold down the full extent of God’s Law, actively suppressing (to some degree *successfully* insofar as He allows this) its content (Romans 1). Aristotle may have articulated the Law more successfully than any pagan, but even his conscience was not fully good in some areas (I certainly uphold what Melanchton wrote in the Apology, but not your understanding of it).
    3) I do not see why my statement about the Law being the only framework that we know of that allows relationships to flourish is incompatible with the Scriptures or Confessions. I rather contend that it, like the language used in order to define the Trinity, may actually be needed to counter false understandings that arise in the Church regarding these issues.
    4) Something cannot be said to really show God’s Law in its truest sense if it does not include the first table of the commandments. In other words, “second table” action is not devoid of “first table” proclamation. Therefore, the performance of the Law benefits our neighbor not only carnally, but spiritually as well.

    I hope this clears things up Frank. If not, please see below where I unpack some of these statements more:

    1. Paul sets “doing” against faith (which is a gift first received passively in the will and is then utilized actively [i.e. desperate, clinging, groping trust]. You, frankly, do not.

    Frank, first of all, when I say (quoting my pastor):

    NATHAN: “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” “Who is He Lord that I may believe in Him?” might be understood as far as the New Man is concerned in this way: “Do you know the Law of God?”

    You replied: “No. The Apology calls this “historical faith”. Reason can know this and also believe this. Old Adam can also believe ALL the Bible says. Satan believes it all , after all.”

    To which I reply this kind of reply could be historical faith, but it need not be.

    Frank: “The third use is only something Christians and despairing Judases have. it points us to what is wrong in our hearts as the root of all sin.”

    Let me note that I don’t deny sin is the root problem – not sins. That said….

    Frank: “ALL we can do, in ALL our internal and external powers AS believers:
    death, Old Adam, moral equivalent of used tampon. This includes our attempts to flee sin . It is all worthless in God’s eyes Nathan. God spits it all out… so what is “necessary” beyond the works of Christ? fleeing sin? not “willfully ” sinning? no. that is Christ + something.”

    (I capitalize below because I copied and pasted your reply into a word doc and then commented in it with caps – I am simply copying and pasting from that doc you back into another before posting it online. I’m not yelling at you. : ) )

    SO WE SHOULD NOT FLEE FROM PARTICULAR SINS WE ARE AWARE OF? IT SEEMS TO ME THAT YOU ARE SAYING THE FOLLOWING: IN FLEEING FROM *SINS* (ALL EVIL ACTION) *WE MUST LOVE CHRIST PERFECTLY WHICH WE CAN’T DO BECAUSE OF SIN*. IS THAT RIGHT? BUT THIS IS WHY WE LUTHERANS UPHOLD FAITH – I.E. DESPERATE, GROPING TRUST – AS THE REAL KEY – THE ONLY KEY – THAT SAVES US FROM THE GUILT AND *POWER* OF SIN (AND THEREFORE *SINS*). AND THIS FAITH – WHICH CLINGS ONLY TO THE PERSON AND WORK OF ANOTHER – IS A GIFT FROM GOD, AND NOT OF OUR OWN POWERS. THAT PERFECT LOVE THAT GOD DOES INDEED REQUIRE GROWS FROM THIS FAITH ALONE AND NOT OTHERWISE. FAITH MAY COME TO US AFTER OR IN THE MIDDLE OF WHEN WE ARE COMMITTING PARTICULAR SINS – AND WHEN IT DOES, WE “SEE” CHRIST, CALL OUR SIN “SIN” (FAITH IN THE LAW), AND CALL GRACE, “GRACE” (FAITH IN THE GOSPEL). FIRST, WE RECEIVE THIS PASSIVELY IN OUR WILLS, BUT THEN WE ALSO GET ACTIVE, ACTIVELY AND CONSCIOUSLY FLEEING TO CHRIST FOR FORGIVENESS, LIFE AND SALVATION – EVEN IF WE CANNOT FEEL *ANY LOVE FOR GOD IN OUR HEARTS*. (WHAT COMFORT!) BUT AGAIN – BY PAUL’S DEFINITION – IT IS NOT “DOING” OR “WORKS”. IT IS CONTRASTED WITH THIS.

    ….

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Caveats:

    1) Paul sets “doing” against faith (which is a gift first received passively in the will and is then utilized actively [i.e. desperate, clinging, groping trust]. You, frankly, do not.
    2) Even though God will always make sure good works will always happen here on earth through the use of His Law (through the Holy Spirit), we still hold down the full extent of God’s Law, actively suppressing (to some degree *successfully* insofar as He allows this) its content (Romans 1). Aristotle may have articulated the Law more successfully than any pagan, but even his conscience was not fully good in some areas (I certainly uphold what Melanchton wrote in the Apology, but not your understanding of it).
    3) I do not see why my statement about the Law being the only framework that we know of that allows relationships to flourish is incompatible with the Scriptures or Confessions. I rather contend that it, like the language used in order to define the Trinity, may actually be needed to counter false understandings that arise in the Church regarding these issues.
    4) Something cannot be said to really show God’s Law in its truest sense if it does not include the first table of the commandments. In other words, “second table” action is not devoid of “first table” proclamation. Therefore, the performance of the Law benefits our neighbor not only carnally, but spiritually as well.

    I hope this clears things up Frank. If not, please see below where I unpack some of these statements more:

    1. Paul sets “doing” against faith (which is a gift first received passively in the will and is then utilized actively [i.e. desperate, clinging, groping trust]. You, frankly, do not.

    Frank, first of all, when I say (quoting my pastor):

    NATHAN: “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” “Who is He Lord that I may believe in Him?” might be understood as far as the New Man is concerned in this way: “Do you know the Law of God?”

    You replied: “No. The Apology calls this “historical faith”. Reason can know this and also believe this. Old Adam can also believe ALL the Bible says. Satan believes it all , after all.”

    To which I reply this kind of reply could be historical faith, but it need not be.

    Frank: “The third use is only something Christians and despairing Judases have. it points us to what is wrong in our hearts as the root of all sin.”

    Let me note that I don’t deny sin is the root problem – not sins. That said….

    Frank: “ALL we can do, in ALL our internal and external powers AS believers:
    death, Old Adam, moral equivalent of used tampon. This includes our attempts to flee sin . It is all worthless in God’s eyes Nathan. God spits it all out… so what is “necessary” beyond the works of Christ? fleeing sin? not “willfully ” sinning? no. that is Christ + something.”

    (I capitalize below because I copied and pasted your reply into a word doc and then commented in it with caps – I am simply copying and pasting from that doc you back into another before posting it online. I’m not yelling at you. : ) )

    SO WE SHOULD NOT FLEE FROM PARTICULAR SINS WE ARE AWARE OF? IT SEEMS TO ME THAT YOU ARE SAYING THE FOLLOWING: IN FLEEING FROM *SINS* (ALL EVIL ACTION) *WE MUST LOVE CHRIST PERFECTLY WHICH WE CAN’T DO BECAUSE OF SIN*. IS THAT RIGHT? BUT THIS IS WHY WE LUTHERANS UPHOLD FAITH – I.E. DESPERATE, GROPING TRUST – AS THE REAL KEY – THE ONLY KEY – THAT SAVES US FROM THE GUILT AND *POWER* OF SIN (AND THEREFORE *SINS*). AND THIS FAITH – WHICH CLINGS ONLY TO THE PERSON AND WORK OF ANOTHER – IS A GIFT FROM GOD, AND NOT OF OUR OWN POWERS. THAT PERFECT LOVE THAT GOD DOES INDEED REQUIRE GROWS FROM THIS FAITH ALONE AND NOT OTHERWISE. FAITH MAY COME TO US AFTER OR IN THE MIDDLE OF WHEN WE ARE COMMITTING PARTICULAR SINS – AND WHEN IT DOES, WE “SEE” CHRIST, CALL OUR SIN “SIN” (FAITH IN THE LAW), AND CALL GRACE, “GRACE” (FAITH IN THE GOSPEL). FIRST, WE RECEIVE THIS PASSIVELY IN OUR WILLS, BUT THEN WE ALSO GET ACTIVE, ACTIVELY AND CONSCIOUSLY FLEEING TO CHRIST FOR FORGIVENESS, LIFE AND SALVATION – EVEN IF WE CANNOT FEEL *ANY LOVE FOR GOD IN OUR HEARTS*. (WHAT COMFORT!) BUT AGAIN – BY PAUL’S DEFINITION – IT IS NOT “DOING” OR “WORKS”. IT IS CONTRASTED WITH THIS.

    ….

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Here is some more about trust:

    Trust is good indeed. Trust is what makes the world go around. (But in a fallen world, trust can be bad, depending on its object). It is a beautiful thing, a beautiful gift. It is a very big part – if not the part – of what it means to be human. Trust, understood in its proper context (Creator and Redeemer God), is related to persons, and as such, is life itself. It derives from love and gives birth to love. Our “survival” – in the best sense of that word (not “red in tooth and claw”) depends on it. Without it, we would not exist. Trust in God is supremely necessary. It is expected. It is required. To not trust, is sin indeed. It is sheer stupidity, foolishness, even wickedness. To not trust in Christ is to believe that one can deal with one’s sinful acts and sinfulness on their own. Trust is not only good, it is a “work” – in the sense that it is not only something passive that “happens to us”, but something active that our persons engage in as well. Trust inevitably results in action – ie, in thought, word, and deed. But technically, faith or trust is not a “good work”. “Good works” are very specifically defined in the New Testament. There is faith and trust towards God, born of his word of love, which results in love, which expresses itself in love for ones neighbor, and is explicitly seen in our works of service for them for Christ’s sake. Trust, is sometimes very difficult. It is not easy. Sometimes it takes what we perceive as desperate circumstances for us to trust. Trust, which is a component of faith is totally, as the Scriptures say, a gift from God.

    Frank: “In ALL we can see and do and feel and emote, love, forgiveness, etc etc: The judgement of the Law is that this is all the moral equivalent of a used tampon Nathan. God hates ALL we do for the sin it is that means. These things do not take on a new quality once we have the inchoate HS.”

    RIGHT – BUT DO WE CONDEMN PERSONS FOR THIS AS THEY RUN TO CHRIST WITHOUT PERFECT LOVE? HE HAS GIVEN ME THAT DESIRE TO RUN TO HIM FROM MY SIN AND SINS (OBJECTIVE EVIL ACTIONS). HE IS THE FRIND OF SINNERS FRANK, NOT THOSE WHO RUN TO HIM FROM PURE AND UNSULLIED MOTIVES.

    You say: “works are EXCLUDED.
    ALL OUR works = death. plus…. nothing.
    ALL Christ’s works, alone, = Life. alone alone alone”

    YES, BUT WE WILL DIE ETERNALLY IF WE DO NOT FIRST PASSIVELY RECEIVE IN OUR WILL THE WHOLE OF THE LAW HE REVEALS TO US (ALIEN WORK ROOTING OUT SINS AND SIN) AND THE GOSPEL…. WHICH OF COURSE LEADS TO RUNNING, TO ACTIVE FAITH WHICH SEEKS TO CLING TO CHRIST ALL THE MORE, EVEN WITHOUT PERFECT LOVE.

    As you keep pointing out from the confessions:

    “the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins, and ***seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin***. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened.” (stars mine!)

    Amen!

    By the way, when Luther says: “No external work of sin happens, after all, unless a person commit himself to it completely, body and soul” he is right. If we end up doing something, our *will* is indeed involved, either actively or passively (whether consciously or at a level below the immediate consciousness). There is no excluding culpability here!

    ….

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Here is some more about trust:

    Trust is good indeed. Trust is what makes the world go around. (But in a fallen world, trust can be bad, depending on its object). It is a beautiful thing, a beautiful gift. It is a very big part – if not the part – of what it means to be human. Trust, understood in its proper context (Creator and Redeemer God), is related to persons, and as such, is life itself. It derives from love and gives birth to love. Our “survival” – in the best sense of that word (not “red in tooth and claw”) depends on it. Without it, we would not exist. Trust in God is supremely necessary. It is expected. It is required. To not trust, is sin indeed. It is sheer stupidity, foolishness, even wickedness. To not trust in Christ is to believe that one can deal with one’s sinful acts and sinfulness on their own. Trust is not only good, it is a “work” – in the sense that it is not only something passive that “happens to us”, but something active that our persons engage in as well. Trust inevitably results in action – ie, in thought, word, and deed. But technically, faith or trust is not a “good work”. “Good works” are very specifically defined in the New Testament. There is faith and trust towards God, born of his word of love, which results in love, which expresses itself in love for ones neighbor, and is explicitly seen in our works of service for them for Christ’s sake. Trust, is sometimes very difficult. It is not easy. Sometimes it takes what we perceive as desperate circumstances for us to trust. Trust, which is a component of faith is totally, as the Scriptures say, a gift from God.

    Frank: “In ALL we can see and do and feel and emote, love, forgiveness, etc etc: The judgement of the Law is that this is all the moral equivalent of a used tampon Nathan. God hates ALL we do for the sin it is that means. These things do not take on a new quality once we have the inchoate HS.”

    RIGHT – BUT DO WE CONDEMN PERSONS FOR THIS AS THEY RUN TO CHRIST WITHOUT PERFECT LOVE? HE HAS GIVEN ME THAT DESIRE TO RUN TO HIM FROM MY SIN AND SINS (OBJECTIVE EVIL ACTIONS). HE IS THE FRIND OF SINNERS FRANK, NOT THOSE WHO RUN TO HIM FROM PURE AND UNSULLIED MOTIVES.

    You say: “works are EXCLUDED.
    ALL OUR works = death. plus…. nothing.
    ALL Christ’s works, alone, = Life. alone alone alone”

    YES, BUT WE WILL DIE ETERNALLY IF WE DO NOT FIRST PASSIVELY RECEIVE IN OUR WILL THE WHOLE OF THE LAW HE REVEALS TO US (ALIEN WORK ROOTING OUT SINS AND SIN) AND THE GOSPEL…. WHICH OF COURSE LEADS TO RUNNING, TO ACTIVE FAITH WHICH SEEKS TO CLING TO CHRIST ALL THE MORE, EVEN WITHOUT PERFECT LOVE.

    As you keep pointing out from the confessions:

    “the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins, and ***seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin***. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened.” (stars mine!)

    Amen!

    By the way, when Luther says: “No external work of sin happens, after all, unless a person commit himself to it completely, body and soul” he is right. If we end up doing something, our *will* is indeed involved, either actively or passively (whether consciously or at a level below the immediate consciousness). There is no excluding culpability here!

    ….

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    2. Even though God will always make sure good works will always happen here on earth through the use of His Law (through the Holy Spirit), we still hold down the full extent of God’s Law, actively suppressing (to some degree *successfully* insofar as He allows this) its content (Romans 1). Aristotle may have articulated the Law more successfully than any pagan, but even his conscience was not fully good in some areas (I certainly uphold what Melanchton wrote in the Apology, but not your understanding of it).

    Frank: “Pagans and false believers regard only the outward part of the Law. The veil of Moses is the very reasonable opinion that we can keep the Law by keeping the letter of the Law. Which includes love, and forgiveness . Pagans know they need to do those things too.

    I think this is homing in on what the Confessions say that I suggest you are missing.”

    SURE. BUT PAGANS GET THE LETTER WRONG TO START WITH (I.E. THE CONCRETE ACTIONS TO DO AND NOT DO)… DON’T KNOW WHAT LOVE LOOKS LIKE EXTERNALLY MUCH LESS INTERNALLY. THAT IS MY POINT.

    3. I do not see why my statement about the Law being the only framework that we know of that allows relationships to flourish is incompatible with the Scriptures or Confessions. I rather contend that it, like the language used in order to define the Trinity, may actually be needed to counter false understandings that arise in the Church regarding these issues.

    I’m not sure what else I can say here as regards this. Perhaps here I should address the following comment:

    “And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
    (1 John 2:3-6 ESV)
    … “This is true about you insofar as you are regenerated Nathan. In Christ you have the mind of Christ, the Law of Christ. For you to say that your New Man succumbs to satan and sin and Old Adam is to say that Christ in you succumbs to those things. That would be impossible Nathan. Your New Man is fully in Christ!

    Frank, the “we” in this passage describes the whole Christian person, not just their New Man. After all, earlier John says “if *we* say we have no sin”. Same “we”. The believer really does not allow himself to be controlled by sin, but rather fights against it (Romans 7). Our “New Man” is not Christ. The fact of the matter is that the believer can fall away from faith. Christ allows that, if we want it badly enough.

    ….

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    2. Even though God will always make sure good works will always happen here on earth through the use of His Law (through the Holy Spirit), we still hold down the full extent of God’s Law, actively suppressing (to some degree *successfully* insofar as He allows this) its content (Romans 1). Aristotle may have articulated the Law more successfully than any pagan, but even his conscience was not fully good in some areas (I certainly uphold what Melanchton wrote in the Apology, but not your understanding of it).

    Frank: “Pagans and false believers regard only the outward part of the Law. The veil of Moses is the very reasonable opinion that we can keep the Law by keeping the letter of the Law. Which includes love, and forgiveness . Pagans know they need to do those things too.

    I think this is homing in on what the Confessions say that I suggest you are missing.”

    SURE. BUT PAGANS GET THE LETTER WRONG TO START WITH (I.E. THE CONCRETE ACTIONS TO DO AND NOT DO)… DON’T KNOW WHAT LOVE LOOKS LIKE EXTERNALLY MUCH LESS INTERNALLY. THAT IS MY POINT.

    3. I do not see why my statement about the Law being the only framework that we know of that allows relationships to flourish is incompatible with the Scriptures or Confessions. I rather contend that it, like the language used in order to define the Trinity, may actually be needed to counter false understandings that arise in the Church regarding these issues.

    I’m not sure what else I can say here as regards this. Perhaps here I should address the following comment:

    “And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
    (1 John 2:3-6 ESV)
    … “This is true about you insofar as you are regenerated Nathan. In Christ you have the mind of Christ, the Law of Christ. For you to say that your New Man succumbs to satan and sin and Old Adam is to say that Christ in you succumbs to those things. That would be impossible Nathan. Your New Man is fully in Christ!

    Frank, the “we” in this passage describes the whole Christian person, not just their New Man. After all, earlier John says “if *we* say we have no sin”. Same “we”. The believer really does not allow himself to be controlled by sin, but rather fights against it (Romans 7). Our “New Man” is not Christ. The fact of the matter is that the believer can fall away from faith. Christ allows that, if we want it badly enough.

    ….

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    4. Something cannot be said to really show God’s Law if it does not include the first table of the commandments. In other words, “second table” action is not devoid of “first table” proclamation. Therefore, the performance of the Law benefits our neighbor not only carnally, but spiritually as well.

    You say:

    “So why are good works necessary? Without Good Works , life on earth would be impossible. They are necessary because our neighbor needs them precisely as carnal righeousness.

    The only spiritual righeousness of Romans 8 that will not perish on the earth? The finished works of Christ. Alone alone alone.”

    I say: God is making us finished works in Christ. Is proclaiming His Name – making the good confession – a good work or not? (Melanchton, in the Apology, says it is!). Is this the carnal righteousness that our neighbor needs for his body? Or is this also what he needs for “soul food”? Again, this serves to illustrate that the “Law of Aristotle” is lacking in many, many ways. Aristotle did not believe that the first table inevitably went hand in hand with the second. And the same law is to be preached both to believers and unbelievers, as the Formula reminds us.

    Frank: “Many Lutherans are conditioned to think that a Good Work has two infused ingredients 1) conformity to the Law and 2) right internal motive. So the good works of a believer have a different internal quality, as to the work inself. This is really neo-scholasticism I suggest…. Our believer good works are forgiven us not because they have the inchoate workings of the HS that insert an “attitude of gratitude” or some “right motive” that seeks no heavenly reward. No. They are ALL forgiven because they are HIDDEN in the Perfect Obedience of Another!”

    Me: WELL YES – I SEE YOUR POINT HERE – BUT WE CAN ALSO SAY THAT IT IS A VERY GOOD THING TO INCREASE IN GOOD WORKS THAT HAVE MORE TRUST IN AND, FEAR AND LOVE FOR GOD, CAN WE NOT? WE WANT THIS TO BE THE CASE WITH US – BECAUSE WE ARE SAVED IN HIM!

    Finally, at one point you ask (regarding mortal sin – as regards mortal sin specifically, I think all sins are mortal in one sense and in another sense “mortal sin” is simply sin that has the effect of driving out faith – it is, as I John 5 says, sin that leads [directly] to death [see Walther’s Law and Gospel for more here]):

    “Instead of looking for prooftexts in the Confessions that refute what I am saying, try this approach: Does what Frank is suggesting illuminate other texts? Does it war with the context of those texts, or does it make what they say more clear? Does it provide an explanation for more difficult texts that is less forced and more natural? Does what Frank say seem to overlay or shoehorn or impose something onto the text, or does it seem rather to allow the text speak for itself?”

    If one applies those words more broadly to not just your view of mortal sin, but your views on other matters, I do think that I have to answer these questions in the negative. Sadly.

    Again Frank, I appreciate the ongoing dialogue. I hope I can keep up with it (but probably nothing from me for at least a week)

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    4. Something cannot be said to really show God’s Law if it does not include the first table of the commandments. In other words, “second table” action is not devoid of “first table” proclamation. Therefore, the performance of the Law benefits our neighbor not only carnally, but spiritually as well.

    You say:

    “So why are good works necessary? Without Good Works , life on earth would be impossible. They are necessary because our neighbor needs them precisely as carnal righeousness.

    The only spiritual righeousness of Romans 8 that will not perish on the earth? The finished works of Christ. Alone alone alone.”

    I say: God is making us finished works in Christ. Is proclaiming His Name – making the good confession – a good work or not? (Melanchton, in the Apology, says it is!). Is this the carnal righteousness that our neighbor needs for his body? Or is this also what he needs for “soul food”? Again, this serves to illustrate that the “Law of Aristotle” is lacking in many, many ways. Aristotle did not believe that the first table inevitably went hand in hand with the second. And the same law is to be preached both to believers and unbelievers, as the Formula reminds us.

    Frank: “Many Lutherans are conditioned to think that a Good Work has two infused ingredients 1) conformity to the Law and 2) right internal motive. So the good works of a believer have a different internal quality, as to the work inself. This is really neo-scholasticism I suggest…. Our believer good works are forgiven us not because they have the inchoate workings of the HS that insert an “attitude of gratitude” or some “right motive” that seeks no heavenly reward. No. They are ALL forgiven because they are HIDDEN in the Perfect Obedience of Another!”

    Me: WELL YES – I SEE YOUR POINT HERE – BUT WE CAN ALSO SAY THAT IT IS A VERY GOOD THING TO INCREASE IN GOOD WORKS THAT HAVE MORE TRUST IN AND, FEAR AND LOVE FOR GOD, CAN WE NOT? WE WANT THIS TO BE THE CASE WITH US – BECAUSE WE ARE SAVED IN HIM!

    Finally, at one point you ask (regarding mortal sin – as regards mortal sin specifically, I think all sins are mortal in one sense and in another sense “mortal sin” is simply sin that has the effect of driving out faith – it is, as I John 5 says, sin that leads [directly] to death [see Walther’s Law and Gospel for more here]):

    “Instead of looking for prooftexts in the Confessions that refute what I am saying, try this approach: Does what Frank is suggesting illuminate other texts? Does it war with the context of those texts, or does it make what they say more clear? Does it provide an explanation for more difficult texts that is less forced and more natural? Does what Frank say seem to overlay or shoehorn or impose something onto the text, or does it seem rather to allow the text speak for itself?”

    If one applies those words more broadly to not just your view of mortal sin, but your views on other matters, I do think that I have to answer these questions in the negative. Sadly.

    Again Frank, I appreciate the ongoing dialogue. I hope I can keep up with it (but probably nothing from me for at least a week)

    +Nathan

  • fws

    Nathan @ 132 :)

    Nathan @ 133
    Remember that I am trying to just paraphrase the FC art VI scrupulously trying to exercise the discipline of adhering to even it’s form of presentation.

    The FC VI is about applying the distinction of Law and Gospel WITHIN the “believer”. Lutherans always use Law and Gospel distinction to resolve ALL doctrinal disputes. And the dispute at hand in art VI is over that word “believer”. There was a Law and Gospel confusion/undistinguishing with that very word,

    So instead of “believer” insert the word “Nathan”. You are right. it is nathan doing stuff. And that Nathan , insofar as all you can see and are able to do, is fully described in FC art I. Only God will be able to separate out the New Man from that Old that is ALL and ESSENCE of Nathan as far as we are able to evidentially see.

    So “believer” implies ALL new man who needs no Law.
    And the corrective is to say that believer is all Old Adam insofar as we can see or experience, but… in with and under that Old Adam is also a New Man , that can be known only by faith alone.

    So think of yourself as like the the sacramental union of Old Adam (bread and wine) and New Man (Christ in with and under ). This is not a perfect analogy, but it is not too bad a one.

    Or Christ incarnate… visibly a man fully so, but in with and under fully God. You are visibly ALL Old Adam but in with and under that is New Man . ALL of you is Nathan. And… there is NO communication of attributes between our Old Adam and New Man. Also the Old Adam in you is Nathan that was Nathan, but now Old Adam is an unwelcomed parasite that still is so much a part of you and your body mind soul will that only God will be able to untangle the New you from that Old dead you.

  • fws

    Nathan @ 132 :)

    Nathan @ 133
    Remember that I am trying to just paraphrase the FC art VI scrupulously trying to exercise the discipline of adhering to even it’s form of presentation.

    The FC VI is about applying the distinction of Law and Gospel WITHIN the “believer”. Lutherans always use Law and Gospel distinction to resolve ALL doctrinal disputes. And the dispute at hand in art VI is over that word “believer”. There was a Law and Gospel confusion/undistinguishing with that very word,

    So instead of “believer” insert the word “Nathan”. You are right. it is nathan doing stuff. And that Nathan , insofar as all you can see and are able to do, is fully described in FC art I. Only God will be able to separate out the New Man from that Old that is ALL and ESSENCE of Nathan as far as we are able to evidentially see.

    So “believer” implies ALL new man who needs no Law.
    And the corrective is to say that believer is all Old Adam insofar as we can see or experience, but… in with and under that Old Adam is also a New Man , that can be known only by faith alone.

    So think of yourself as like the the sacramental union of Old Adam (bread and wine) and New Man (Christ in with and under ). This is not a perfect analogy, but it is not too bad a one.

    Or Christ incarnate… visibly a man fully so, but in with and under fully God. You are visibly ALL Old Adam but in with and under that is New Man . ALL of you is Nathan. And… there is NO communication of attributes between our Old Adam and New Man. Also the Old Adam in you is Nathan that was Nathan, but now Old Adam is an unwelcomed parasite that still is so much a part of you and your body mind soul will that only God will be able to untangle the New you from that Old dead you.

  • Fws

    Nathan

    I dont have time to just have an wide open conversation that is speculative. I would be more than willing to discuss any text in scripture or the confessions . We can agree or disagree on what those texts mean and debate that. With other texts.

    Please ask me questions about what i think any text means and i will try to discipline myself to answering with how i think our Confessions, not luther or walther or whoever would think.

    I cannot be useful to you beyond that. Where you disagree with me, you are disagreeing with what i propose out confessions say. Feel free to challenge me, on any assertion i have made, to produce where the confessions teAch what i am saying and i will produce the text and we can then discuss whether or not i am properly exegeting that text.

    I am not very interesting in discussing theology that does not carry us back. The text of the confessions. I am not saying that such discussions would be wrong or unuseful, i am just not interested is all.

    I welcome further discussions as you would find them helpful within these limitations.

    Blessings. Frank

  • Fws

    Nathan

    I dont have time to just have an wide open conversation that is speculative. I would be more than willing to discuss any text in scripture or the confessions . We can agree or disagree on what those texts mean and debate that. With other texts.

    Please ask me questions about what i think any text means and i will try to discipline myself to answering with how i think our Confessions, not luther or walther or whoever would think.

    I cannot be useful to you beyond that. Where you disagree with me, you are disagreeing with what i propose out confessions say. Feel free to challenge me, on any assertion i have made, to produce where the confessions teAch what i am saying and i will produce the text and we can then discuss whether or not i am properly exegeting that text.

    I am not very interesting in discussing theology that does not carry us back. The text of the confessions. I am not saying that such discussions would be wrong or unuseful, i am just not interested is all.

    I welcome further discussions as you would find them helpful within these limitations.

    Blessings. Frank

  • fws

    Nathan @ 134
    NATHAN:Regarding the believer needing instruction, I know what it says in FC VI (“without instruction),
    FRANK: You then do a long speculation. What about what the text says? Would you care to comment on it? Disagree with it? Refer to another passage of Scripture or Confessions that amplify or contradict it?
    NATHAN: …I think the problem with a lot of theology today is that it takes a few concepts (i.e. “Law-Gospel”, “Two Kinds of Righteousness”, etc.) and tries to build an entire theological system out of it.
    FRANK: You miss the point I suggest. The confessions are not to be read as a catalog of doctrine, or even a written magisterium (ie a text that dictates what is and is not official doctrinal position).
    The Confessions say that a) the Proper Distinction of Law and Gospel is essential in order to properly read Scriptures. b) ALL heresies are because the Law and Gospel have not be properly distinguished. This includes Christology according to the Confessions. Pick an article in the Confessions, any article: I will show you how they are doing Law and Gospel distinction there to resolve a doctrinal controversy or to Illumine the Bible with Christ.
    Nathan @ 134
    NATHAN: 1) Paul sets “doing” against faith (which is a gift first received passively in the will and is then utilized actively [i.e. desperate, clinging, groping trust]. You, frankly, do not.
    FRANK: Show me where St Paul “sets doing against faith”. I don’t know what you mean without your citing a passage to make your point. Let’s focus on texts together please.
    NATHAN: 2) Even though God will always make sure good works will always happen here on earth through the use of His Law (through the Holy Spirit), we still hold down the full extent of God’s Law, actively suppressing (to some degree *successfully* insofar as He allows this) its content (Romans 1).
    FRANK: Ok. How is this a caveat?
    NATHAN: Aristotle may have articulated the Law more successfully than any pagan, but even his conscience was not fully good in some areas (I certainly uphold what Melanchton wrote in the Apology, but not your understanding of it).
    FRANK: What text of the Apology or other Confessional text that teaches this? “Concerning morality, nothing can be demanded beyond the Ethics of Aristotle” is the text. What do you think that says grammatically Nathan? Let’s focus on actual texts please.
    NATHAN: 3) I do not see why my statement about the Law being the only framework that we know of that allows relationships to flourish is incompatible with the Scriptures or Confessions.
    FRANK: a) I don’t know what you mean by that. b) Where is this taught in the Confessions or Scriptures? c) define “Law” and “only” and “flourish” in your statement please. “Flourish” is a technical term used by Aristotle and by Thomist Scholastics. What do you mean by using the word? What Law? ” the Divine Law fully written in the Reason of ALL men (rom 2:15) that agrees with the Decalog because it is the SAME Law? (ap IV)?”
    Lots of times you introduce terms, assuming your reader knows how you define the term.
    NATHAN: I rather contend that it, like the language used in order to define the Trinity, may actually be needed to counter false understandings that arise in the Church regarding these issues.
    FRANK: You lost me. “I rather contend that”. That indicates this is in contrast to something I said. I am lost here.
    NATHAN: 4) Something cannot be said to really show God’s Law in its truest sense if it does not include the first table of the commandments.
    FRANK: The Apology says that THE Divine Law of God is written in the Reason of ALL men. They do not say anywhere that does not include the First Table. In fact they say it DOES include the first table. How do we know that? a) They say that Reason is veiled to the first table by the Veil of Moses. So this indicates that it IS there in reason, but it is veiled to Reason by the Veil of Moses. b) They also say that this Law is a Law that deals with matters of the heart. Ask yourself why they say that. They are trying to make a point by making a contrast. They are contrasting what with what? What is the point they are trying to make? You need to start asking this sort of question when you read the Apology. You are not doing that.
    NATHAN: In other words, “second table” action is not devoid of “first table” proclamation.
    FRANK: I don’t know what that means. What text of the Confessions or Scripture are you paraphrasing here?
    NATHAN: Therefore, the performance of the Law benefits our neighbor not only carnally, but spiritually as well.
    FRANK: You are contrasting carnal with spiritual in a way that neither the Confessions nor Scripture do. The Law ALWAYS kills and accuses. The Law ONLY kills and accuses. The Law always and only works death. What spiritual benefit beyond killing Old Adam are you thinking of here? What bible or confessional passage are you thinking of here?
    NATHAN: I hope this clears things up Frank. If not, please see below where I unpack some of these statements more:
    FRANK: I am lost. Try more to state your basis for your assertion from a text . as in: “text” [which i suggest says that....] I am not interested in exchanging creative ideas or speculations. I am interested in getting at a better understanding of any text at all in the Confessions. I say Confessions and not Scriptures, because I would like to narrow our discussion to being about determining the truly Lutheran reading of Scriptures and doctrines.
    NATHAN: 1. Paul sets “doing” against faith (which is a gift first received passively in the will and is then utilized actively [i.e. desperate, clinging, groping trust]. You, frankly, do not.
    Frank, first of all, when I say (quoting my pastor):
    NATHAN: “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” “Who is He Lord that I may believe in Him?” might be understood as far as the New Man is concerned in this way: “Do you know the Law of God?” You replied: “No. The Apology calls this “historical faith”. Reason can know this and also believe this. Old Adam can also believe ALL the Bible says. Satan believes it all , after all.”To which I reply this kind of reply could be historical faith, but it need not be
    FRANK: I dont remember the context for this, and I am not getting your point here.
    NATHAN: Frank: “The third use is only something Christians and despairing Judases have. it points us to what is wrong in our hearts as the root of all sin.”Let me note that I don’t deny sin is the root problem – not sins. That said….Frank: “ALL we can do, in ALL our internal and external powers AS believers: death, Old Adam, moral equivalent of used tampon. This includes our attempts to flee sin . It is all worthless in God’s eyes Nathan. God spits it all out… so what is “necessary” beyond the works of Christ? fleeing sin? not “willfully ” sinning? no. that is Christ + something.” (I capitalize below because I copied and pasted your reply into a word doc and then commented in it with caps – I am simply copying and pasting from that doc you back into another before posting it online. I’m not yelling at you. : ) ) SO WE SHOULD NOT FLEE FROM PARTICULAR SINS WE ARE AWARE OF? IT SEEMS TO ME THAT YOU ARE SAYING THE FOLLOWING: IN FLEEING FROM *SINS* (ALL EVIL ACTION) *WE MUST LOVE CHRIST PERFECTLY WHICH WE CAN’T DO BECAUSE OF SIN*. IS THAT RIGHT? BUT THIS IS WHY WE LUTHERANS UPHOLD FAITH – I.E. DESPERATE, GROPING TRUST – AS THE REAL KEY – THE ONLY KEY – THAT SAVES US FROM THE GUILT AND *POWER* OF SIN (AND THEREFORE *SINS*). AND THIS FAITH – WHICH CLINGS ONLY TO THE PERSON AND WORK OF ANOTHER – IS A GIFT FROM GOD, AND NOT OF OUR OWN POWERS. THAT PERFECT LOVE THAT GOD DOES INDEED REQUIRE GROWS FROM THIS FAITH ALONE AND NOT OTHERWISE. FAITH MAY COME TO US AFTER OR IN THE MIDDLE OF WHEN WE ARE COMMITTING PARTICULAR SINS – AND WHEN IT DOES, WE “SEE” CHRIST, CALL OUR SIN “SIN” (FAITH IN THE LAW), AND CALL GRACE, “GRACE” (FAITH IN THE GOSPEL). FIRST, WE RECEIVE THIS PASSIVELY IN OUR WILLS, BUT THEN WE ALSO GET ACTIVE, ACTIVELY AND CONSCIOUSLY FLEEING TO CHRIST FOR FORGIVENESS, LIFE AND SALVATION – EVEN IF WE CANNOT FEEL *ANY LOVE FOR GOD IN OUR HEARTS*. (WHAT COMFORT!) BUT AGAIN – BY PAUL’S DEFINITION – IT IS NOT “DOING” OR “WORKS”. IT IS CONTRASTED WITH THIS.
    FRANK: You are describing the Christian Life Nathan. Lutherans have a name for the Christian Life Nathan. That name is Repentence. Baptism is nothing other than Repentence. Reformed would instead use the word Sanctification. If instead you think of what Repentence is , always, when you think of the shape and nature of the Christian Life, what the christian life is to look like, you will then properly distinguish law and gospel in the christian life Nathan!
    from the Apology:
    Christ says, Matt. 11, 28: Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Here there are two members. The labor and the burden signify the contrition, anxiety, and terrors of sin and of death. To come to Christ is to believe that sins are remitted for Christ’s sake; when we believe, our hearts are quickened by the Holy Ghost 45] through the Word of Christ. Here, therefore, there are these two chief parts, contrition and faith. And in Mark 1, 15 Christ says: Repent ye and believe the Gospel, where in the first member He convicts of sins; in the latter He consoles us, and shows the remission of sins. For to believe the Gospel is not that general faith which devils also have [is not only to believe the history of the Gospel], but in the proper sense it is to believe that the remission of sins has been granted for Christ’s sake. For this is revealed in the Gospel. You see also here that the two parts are joined, contrition when sins are reproved, and faith, when it is said: Believe the Gospel. If any one should say here that Christ includes also the fruits of repentance or the entire new life, we shall not dissent. For this suffices us, that contrition and faith are named as the chief parts. 46] Paul almost everywhere, when he describes conversion or renewal, designates these two parts, mortification and quickening, as in Col. 2, 11: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, namely, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh. And afterward, 2, 12: Wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God. Here are two parts. [Of these two parts he speaks plainly Rom. 6, 2. 4. 11, that we are dead to sin, which takes place by contrition and its terrors, and that we should rise again with Christ, which takes place when by faith we again obtain consolation and life. And since faith is to bring consolation and peace into the conscience, according to Rom. 5, 1: Being justified by faith, we have peace, it follows that there is first terror and anxiety in the conscience. Thus contrition and faith go side by side.] One is putting off the body of sins; the other is the rising again through faith. Neither ought these words, mortification, quickening, putting off the body of sins, rising again, to be understood in a Platonic way, concerning a feigned change; 47] but mortification signifies true terrors, such as those of the dying, which nature could not sustain unless it were supported by faith. So he names that as the putting off of the body of sins which we ordinarily call contrition, because in these griefs the natural concupiscence is purged away. And quickening ought not to be understood as a Platonic fancy, but as consolation which truly sustains life that is escaping in contrition. Here, therefore, are two parts: contrition and faith. For as conscience cannot be pacified except by faith, therefore faith alone quickens, according to the declaration, Hab. 2, 4; Rom. 1, 17: Thejust shall live by faith. 48] And then in Col. 2, 14 it is said that Christ blots out the handwriting which through the Law is against us. Here also there are two parts, the handwriting and the blotting out of the handwriting. The handwriting, however, is conscience, convicting and condemning us. The Law, moreover, is the word which reproves and condemns sins. Therefore, this voice which says, I have sinned against the Lord, as David says, 2 Sam. 12, 13, is the handwriting. And wicked and secure men do not seriously give forth this voice. For they do not see, they do not read the sentence of the Law written in the heart. In true griefs and terrors this sentence is perceived. Therefore the handwriting which condemns us is contrition itself. To blot out the handwriting is to expunge this sentence by which we declare that we shall be condemned, and to engrave the sentence according to which we know that we have been freed from this condemnation. But faith is the new sentence, which reverses the former sentence, and gives peace and life to the heart.
    Nathan @ 135
    NATHAN: Trust is a “work”. But technically, faith or trust is not a “good work”. “Good works” are very specifically defined in the New Testament. Trust, which is a component of faith is totally, as the Scriptures say, a gift from God.
    FRANK: Trust is not a component of, it is faith. It is a synonym for faith. Both faith and trust can be works, they can be good works, they can be sin, and they can mean saving faith/trust. The same words have several different meanings. It is important to identify which meaning you intend. You often don’t do that Nathan. Or you use the same word in various sentences, but you shift the meaning of the word the next time you use it. There is no “technically” about it. ALL the meanings are valid meanings depending on their context and proper usage.Faith/Trust that is a work or good work is not the same faith/trust that is a sin is not the same faith/trust that is a gift that leads to Life.
    NATHAN: Frank: “In ALL we can see and do and feel and emote, love, forgiveness, etc etc: The judgement of the Law is that this is all the moral equivalent of a used tampon Nathan. God hates ALL we do for the sin it is that means. These things do not take on a new quality once we have the inchoate HS.”
    RIGHT – BUT DO WE CONDEMN PERSONS FOR THIS AS THEY RUN TO CHRIST WITHOUT PERFECT LOVE? HE HAS GIVEN ME THAT DESIRE TO RUN TO HIM FROM MY SIN AND SINS (OBJECTIVE EVIL ACTIONS). HE IS THE FRIND OF SINNERS FRANK, NOT THOSE WHO RUN TO HIM FROM PURE AND UNSULLIED MOTIVES.
    FRANK: You have never had a pure or unsullied motive in your entire life Nathan. Neither have I. “Sin” is not objective evil actions. The opposite of sin is not goodness. The opposite of sin is faith. Sin is lack of faith in Christ alone, and it is the placing of faith in something else, like our goodness or good intentions or motives.
    NATHAN: You say: “works are EXCLUDED. ALL OUR works = death. plus…. nothing. ALL Christ’s works, alone, = Life. alone alone alone”YES, BUT… WE WILL DIE ETERNALLY IF WE DO NOT FIRST PASSIVELY RECEIVE IN OUR WILL THE WHOLE OF THE LAW HE REVEALS TO US (ALIEN WORK ROOTING OUT SINS AND SIN) AND THE GOSPEL…. WHICH OF COURSE LEADS TO RUNNING, TO ACTIVE FAITH WHICH SEEKS TO CLING TO CHRIST ALL THE MORE, EVEN WITHOUT PERFECT LOVE.
    FRANK: yes+but = no. You just negated ALL. EXCLUDED. ALONE. Just say no. It is easier.
    Show me the Scripture or Confessions that you are paraphrasing.
    NATHAN: aS you keep pointing out from the confessions:
    “the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins, and ***seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin***. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened.” (stars mine!)
    Amen!
    By the way, when Luther says: “No external work of sin happens, after all, unless a person commit himself to it completely, body and soul” he is right. If we end up doing something, our *will* is indeed involved, either actively or passively (whether consciously or at a level below the immediate consciousness). There is no excluding culpability here!….
    nATHAN @ 136
    NATHAN: 2. Even though God will always make sure good works will always happen here on earth through the use of His Law (through the Holy Spirit), we still hold down the full extent of God’s Law, actively suppressing (to some degree *successfully* insofar as He allows this) its content (Romans 1). Aristotle may have articulated the Law more successfully than any pagan, but even his conscience was not fully good in some areas (I certainly uphold what melanchton wrote in the Apology, but not your understanding of it).
    FRANK: Apology: “regarding morality, nothing can be demanded beyond the Ethics of Aristotle”. what part of “nothing” is there to understand Nathan?
    NATHAN Frank: “Pagans and false believers regard only the outward part of the Law. The veil of Moses is the very reasonable opinion that we can keep the Law by keeping the letter of the Law. Which includes love, and forgiveness . Pagans know they need to do those things too. I think this is homing in on what the Confessions say that I suggest you are missing.”SURE. BUT PAGANS GET THE LETTER WRONG TO START WITH (I.E. THE CONCRETE ACTIONS TO DO AND NOT DO)… DON’T KNOW WHAT LOVE LOOKS LIKE EXTERNALLY MUCH LESS INTERNALLY. THAT IS MY POINT.
    FRANK: “Concerning morality, nothing can be demanded beyond the Ethics of Aristotle”. What part of ‘nothing” are you disagreeing with Nathan. You disagree with our Confessions here. Just say that. Or agree if you want to.
    NATHAN: 3. I do not see why my statement about the Law being the only framework that we know of that allows relationships to flourish is incompatible with the Scriptures or Confessions. I rather contend that it, like the language used in order to define the Trinity, may actually be needed to counter false understandings that arise in the Church regarding these issueS.
    FRANK: i am not following. What is your point? Define “Law”, “framework” “relationships to flourish” What do you mean by Law? “The Divine Law written in the Reason of ALL that agrees with the Decalog since it is the SAME Law”?
    NATHAN: I’m not sure what else I can say here as regards this. Perhaps here I should address the following comment:“And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. (1 John 2:3-6 ESV) … “This is true about you insofar as you are regenerated Nathan. In Christ you have the mind of Christ, the Law of Christ. For you to say that your New Man succumbs to satan and sin and Old Adam is to say that Christ in you succumbs to those things. That would be impossible Nathan. Your New Man is fully in Christ!
    Frank, the “we” in this passage describes the whole Christian person, not just their New Man. After all, earlier John says “if *we* say we have no sin”. Same “we”. The believer really does not allow himself to be controlled by sin, but rather fights against it (Romans 7). Our “New Man” is not Christ. The fact of the matter is that the believer can fall away from faith. Christ allows that, if we want it badly enough.
    FRANK: It is true that “we” means “believer”. John is not talking to pagans is he?
    The “whoever” as in “whoever…does not keep his commandments ALSO refers to the believer. YOur flesh/Old Adam will NEVER do this. and then this “whoever says he abides in him OUGHT to walk in the same way in which He walked”? Do you do that or not Nathan. According to your flesh (Old adam) you do not. According to your New Man, in Christ, you do! LAW AND GOSPEL NATHAN!
    NATHAN @. 137

    NATHAN 4. Something cannot be said to really show God’s Law if it does not include the first table of the commandments. In other words, “second table” action is not devoid of “first table” proclamation. Therefore, the performance of the Law benefits our neighbor not only carnally, but spiritually as well.
    You say:
    “So why are good works necessary? Without Good Works , life on earth would be impossible. They are necessary because our neighbor needs them precisely as carnal righeousness.
    The only spiritual righeousness of Romans 8 that will not perish on the earth? The finished works of Christ. Alone alone alone.”
    I say: God is making us finished works in Christ. Is proclaiming His Name – making the good confession – a good work or not? (Melanchton, in the Apology, says it is!). Is this the carnal righteousness that our neighbor needs for his body? Or is this also what he needs for “soul food”?
    FRANK: Law and Gospel Nathan. For YOU it is carnal righeousness and it is for your neighbor as well. It is a good work. FC art VI says this: the Preaching of the Law and Gospel pertain only to this life and will end with it. Romans 8 “flesh” Nathan. What the Holy Spirit does , that works Eternal Life, in with and under that Carnal Righteousness WE DO is not OUR work. Baptism is OUR work. In with and under that good work, the Word works faith. That word working is not our work, but it is God’s Work that is in with and under carnal righeousness. We are commanded to do it. It is Law. Same with preaching. Pastors are commanded to preach. Law. Carnal righeousness. will perish with the earth. Romans 8 flesh. In, with and under that God works faith. That part is God’s work. Romans 8 spirit.
    NATHAN: Again, this serves to illustrate that the “Law of Aristotle” is lacking in many, many ways. Aristotle did not believe that the first table inevitably went hand in hand with the second. And the same law is to be preached both to believers and unbelievers, as the Formula reminds us.
    FRANK: your first premise failed. Therefore your conclusion also fails. You are disagreeing with “Concerning morality, nothing can be demanded beyond the Ethics of Aristotle. ” why not just say you dont agree? You are not disagreeing with me. I am not making the assertion am I?
    NATHAN: Frank: “Many Lutherans are conditioned to think that a Good Work has two infused ingredients 1) conformity to the Law and 2) right internal motive. So the good works of a believer have a different internal quality, as to the work inself. This is really neo-scholasticism I suggest…. Our believer good works are forgiven us not because they have the inchoate workings of the HS that insert an “attitude of gratitude” or some “right motive” that seeks no heavenly reward. No. They are ALL forgiven because they are HIDDEN in the Perfect Obedience of Another!”me: WELL YES – I SEE YOUR POINT HERE – BUT WE CAN ALSO SAY THAT IT IS A VERY GOOD THING TO INCREASE IN GOOD WORKS THAT HAVE MORE TRUST IN AND, FEAR AND LOVE FOR GOD, CAN WE NOT? WE WANT THIS TO BE THE CASE WITH US – BECAUSE WE ARE SAVED IN HIM!
    FRANK: Stop already. “yes … but” is not agreement. And it is not a useful way to disagree.You need to say what part of what I said is wrong. That is the only way to disagree. Yes… but doesnt cut it. Stop that! I am making an all inclusive very exclusionary statement. I am saying ALL. ONLY. NOT. You do not agree. This adds no clarity. It obsfuscates. I dont want to hear “yes… but”. But always trumps yes. it negates it.
    NATHAN: Finally, at one point you ask (regarding mortal sin – as regards mortal sin specifically, I think all sins are mortal in one sense and in another sense “mortal sin” is simply sin that has the effect of driving out faith – it is, as I John 5 says, sin that leads [directly] to death [see Walther’s Law and Gospel for more here]):
    FRANK: Skip Walther. Skip even Luther. Give me scriptures or the Confessions. ALL sin is moral. ALL sin drives out faith. ALL sin kills. ALL sin is dangerous and deadly and is to be feared. Faith is TERRIFIED at sin, it wishes to flee it and be free of it our confessions say. Mortal Sin is a category that implies there is sin that is NOT mortal. Otherwise the category has no meaning. What would not be a mortal sin? Name three.
    NATHAN: “Instead of looking for prooftexts in the Confessions that refute what I am saying, try this approach: Does what Frank is suggesting illuminate other texts? Does it war with the context of those texts, or does it make what they say more clear? Does it provide an explanation for more difficult texts that is less forced and more natural? Does what Frank say seem to overlay or shoehorn or impose something onto the text, or does it seem rather to allow the text speak for itself?”
    If one applies those words more broadly to not just your view of mortal sin, but your views on other matters, I do think that I have to answer these questions in the negative. Sadly.
    FRANK: Ya lost me Nathan. I am 56 years old. I have said lots of things. Many I repent of and reject. What in the heck are you talking about?
    NATHAN: Again Frank, I appreciate the ongoing dialogue. I hope I can keep up with it (but probably nothing from me for at least a week) +Nathan

  • fws

    Nathan @ 134
    NATHAN:Regarding the believer needing instruction, I know what it says in FC VI (“without instruction),
    FRANK: You then do a long speculation. What about what the text says? Would you care to comment on it? Disagree with it? Refer to another passage of Scripture or Confessions that amplify or contradict it?
    NATHAN: …I think the problem with a lot of theology today is that it takes a few concepts (i.e. “Law-Gospel”, “Two Kinds of Righteousness”, etc.) and tries to build an entire theological system out of it.
    FRANK: You miss the point I suggest. The confessions are not to be read as a catalog of doctrine, or even a written magisterium (ie a text that dictates what is and is not official doctrinal position).
    The Confessions say that a) the Proper Distinction of Law and Gospel is essential in order to properly read Scriptures. b) ALL heresies are because the Law and Gospel have not be properly distinguished. This includes Christology according to the Confessions. Pick an article in the Confessions, any article: I will show you how they are doing Law and Gospel distinction there to resolve a doctrinal controversy or to Illumine the Bible with Christ.
    Nathan @ 134
    NATHAN: 1) Paul sets “doing” against faith (which is a gift first received passively in the will and is then utilized actively [i.e. desperate, clinging, groping trust]. You, frankly, do not.
    FRANK: Show me where St Paul “sets doing against faith”. I don’t know what you mean without your citing a passage to make your point. Let’s focus on texts together please.
    NATHAN: 2) Even though God will always make sure good works will always happen here on earth through the use of His Law (through the Holy Spirit), we still hold down the full extent of God’s Law, actively suppressing (to some degree *successfully* insofar as He allows this) its content (Romans 1).
    FRANK: Ok. How is this a caveat?
    NATHAN: Aristotle may have articulated the Law more successfully than any pagan, but even his conscience was not fully good in some areas (I certainly uphold what Melanchton wrote in the Apology, but not your understanding of it).
    FRANK: What text of the Apology or other Confessional text that teaches this? “Concerning morality, nothing can be demanded beyond the Ethics of Aristotle” is the text. What do you think that says grammatically Nathan? Let’s focus on actual texts please.
    NATHAN: 3) I do not see why my statement about the Law being the only framework that we know of that allows relationships to flourish is incompatible with the Scriptures or Confessions.
    FRANK: a) I don’t know what you mean by that. b) Where is this taught in the Confessions or Scriptures? c) define “Law” and “only” and “flourish” in your statement please. “Flourish” is a technical term used by Aristotle and by Thomist Scholastics. What do you mean by using the word? What Law? ” the Divine Law fully written in the Reason of ALL men (rom 2:15) that agrees with the Decalog because it is the SAME Law? (ap IV)?”
    Lots of times you introduce terms, assuming your reader knows how you define the term.
    NATHAN: I rather contend that it, like the language used in order to define the Trinity, may actually be needed to counter false understandings that arise in the Church regarding these issues.
    FRANK: You lost me. “I rather contend that”. That indicates this is in contrast to something I said. I am lost here.
    NATHAN: 4) Something cannot be said to really show God’s Law in its truest sense if it does not include the first table of the commandments.
    FRANK: The Apology says that THE Divine Law of God is written in the Reason of ALL men. They do not say anywhere that does not include the First Table. In fact they say it DOES include the first table. How do we know that? a) They say that Reason is veiled to the first table by the Veil of Moses. So this indicates that it IS there in reason, but it is veiled to Reason by the Veil of Moses. b) They also say that this Law is a Law that deals with matters of the heart. Ask yourself why they say that. They are trying to make a point by making a contrast. They are contrasting what with what? What is the point they are trying to make? You need to start asking this sort of question when you read the Apology. You are not doing that.
    NATHAN: In other words, “second table” action is not devoid of “first table” proclamation.
    FRANK: I don’t know what that means. What text of the Confessions or Scripture are you paraphrasing here?
    NATHAN: Therefore, the performance of the Law benefits our neighbor not only carnally, but spiritually as well.
    FRANK: You are contrasting carnal with spiritual in a way that neither the Confessions nor Scripture do. The Law ALWAYS kills and accuses. The Law ONLY kills and accuses. The Law always and only works death. What spiritual benefit beyond killing Old Adam are you thinking of here? What bible or confessional passage are you thinking of here?
    NATHAN: I hope this clears things up Frank. If not, please see below where I unpack some of these statements more:
    FRANK: I am lost. Try more to state your basis for your assertion from a text . as in: “text” [which i suggest says that....] I am not interested in exchanging creative ideas or speculations. I am interested in getting at a better understanding of any text at all in the Confessions. I say Confessions and not Scriptures, because I would like to narrow our discussion to being about determining the truly Lutheran reading of Scriptures and doctrines.
    NATHAN: 1. Paul sets “doing” against faith (which is a gift first received passively in the will and is then utilized actively [i.e. desperate, clinging, groping trust]. You, frankly, do not.
    Frank, first of all, when I say (quoting my pastor):
    NATHAN: “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” “Who is He Lord that I may believe in Him?” might be understood as far as the New Man is concerned in this way: “Do you know the Law of God?” You replied: “No. The Apology calls this “historical faith”. Reason can know this and also believe this. Old Adam can also believe ALL the Bible says. Satan believes it all , after all.”To which I reply this kind of reply could be historical faith, but it need not be
    FRANK: I dont remember the context for this, and I am not getting your point here.
    NATHAN: Frank: “The third use is only something Christians and despairing Judases have. it points us to what is wrong in our hearts as the root of all sin.”Let me note that I don’t deny sin is the root problem – not sins. That said….Frank: “ALL we can do, in ALL our internal and external powers AS believers: death, Old Adam, moral equivalent of used tampon. This includes our attempts to flee sin . It is all worthless in God’s eyes Nathan. God spits it all out… so what is “necessary” beyond the works of Christ? fleeing sin? not “willfully ” sinning? no. that is Christ + something.” (I capitalize below because I copied and pasted your reply into a word doc and then commented in it with caps – I am simply copying and pasting from that doc you back into another before posting it online. I’m not yelling at you. : ) ) SO WE SHOULD NOT FLEE FROM PARTICULAR SINS WE ARE AWARE OF? IT SEEMS TO ME THAT YOU ARE SAYING THE FOLLOWING: IN FLEEING FROM *SINS* (ALL EVIL ACTION) *WE MUST LOVE CHRIST PERFECTLY WHICH WE CAN’T DO BECAUSE OF SIN*. IS THAT RIGHT? BUT THIS IS WHY WE LUTHERANS UPHOLD FAITH – I.E. DESPERATE, GROPING TRUST – AS THE REAL KEY – THE ONLY KEY – THAT SAVES US FROM THE GUILT AND *POWER* OF SIN (AND THEREFORE *SINS*). AND THIS FAITH – WHICH CLINGS ONLY TO THE PERSON AND WORK OF ANOTHER – IS A GIFT FROM GOD, AND NOT OF OUR OWN POWERS. THAT PERFECT LOVE THAT GOD DOES INDEED REQUIRE GROWS FROM THIS FAITH ALONE AND NOT OTHERWISE. FAITH MAY COME TO US AFTER OR IN THE MIDDLE OF WHEN WE ARE COMMITTING PARTICULAR SINS – AND WHEN IT DOES, WE “SEE” CHRIST, CALL OUR SIN “SIN” (FAITH IN THE LAW), AND CALL GRACE, “GRACE” (FAITH IN THE GOSPEL). FIRST, WE RECEIVE THIS PASSIVELY IN OUR WILLS, BUT THEN WE ALSO GET ACTIVE, ACTIVELY AND CONSCIOUSLY FLEEING TO CHRIST FOR FORGIVENESS, LIFE AND SALVATION – EVEN IF WE CANNOT FEEL *ANY LOVE FOR GOD IN OUR HEARTS*. (WHAT COMFORT!) BUT AGAIN – BY PAUL’S DEFINITION – IT IS NOT “DOING” OR “WORKS”. IT IS CONTRASTED WITH THIS.
    FRANK: You are describing the Christian Life Nathan. Lutherans have a name for the Christian Life Nathan. That name is Repentence. Baptism is nothing other than Repentence. Reformed would instead use the word Sanctification. If instead you think of what Repentence is , always, when you think of the shape and nature of the Christian Life, what the christian life is to look like, you will then properly distinguish law and gospel in the christian life Nathan!
    from the Apology:
    Christ says, Matt. 11, 28: Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Here there are two members. The labor and the burden signify the contrition, anxiety, and terrors of sin and of death. To come to Christ is to believe that sins are remitted for Christ’s sake; when we believe, our hearts are quickened by the Holy Ghost 45] through the Word of Christ. Here, therefore, there are these two chief parts, contrition and faith. And in Mark 1, 15 Christ says: Repent ye and believe the Gospel, where in the first member He convicts of sins; in the latter He consoles us, and shows the remission of sins. For to believe the Gospel is not that general faith which devils also have [is not only to believe the history of the Gospel], but in the proper sense it is to believe that the remission of sins has been granted for Christ’s sake. For this is revealed in the Gospel. You see also here that the two parts are joined, contrition when sins are reproved, and faith, when it is said: Believe the Gospel. If any one should say here that Christ includes also the fruits of repentance or the entire new life, we shall not dissent. For this suffices us, that contrition and faith are named as the chief parts. 46] Paul almost everywhere, when he describes conversion or renewal, designates these two parts, mortification and quickening, as in Col. 2, 11: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, namely, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh. And afterward, 2, 12: Wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God. Here are two parts. [Of these two parts he speaks plainly Rom. 6, 2. 4. 11, that we are dead to sin, which takes place by contrition and its terrors, and that we should rise again with Christ, which takes place when by faith we again obtain consolation and life. And since faith is to bring consolation and peace into the conscience, according to Rom. 5, 1: Being justified by faith, we have peace, it follows that there is first terror and anxiety in the conscience. Thus contrition and faith go side by side.] One is putting off the body of sins; the other is the rising again through faith. Neither ought these words, mortification, quickening, putting off the body of sins, rising again, to be understood in a Platonic way, concerning a feigned change; 47] but mortification signifies true terrors, such as those of the dying, which nature could not sustain unless it were supported by faith. So he names that as the putting off of the body of sins which we ordinarily call contrition, because in these griefs the natural concupiscence is purged away. And quickening ought not to be understood as a Platonic fancy, but as consolation which truly sustains life that is escaping in contrition. Here, therefore, are two parts: contrition and faith. For as conscience cannot be pacified except by faith, therefore faith alone quickens, according to the declaration, Hab. 2, 4; Rom. 1, 17: Thejust shall live by faith. 48] And then in Col. 2, 14 it is said that Christ blots out the handwriting which through the Law is against us. Here also there are two parts, the handwriting and the blotting out of the handwriting. The handwriting, however, is conscience, convicting and condemning us. The Law, moreover, is the word which reproves and condemns sins. Therefore, this voice which says, I have sinned against the Lord, as David says, 2 Sam. 12, 13, is the handwriting. And wicked and secure men do not seriously give forth this voice. For they do not see, they do not read the sentence of the Law written in the heart. In true griefs and terrors this sentence is perceived. Therefore the handwriting which condemns us is contrition itself. To blot out the handwriting is to expunge this sentence by which we declare that we shall be condemned, and to engrave the sentence according to which we know that we have been freed from this condemnation. But faith is the new sentence, which reverses the former sentence, and gives peace and life to the heart.
    Nathan @ 135
    NATHAN: Trust is a “work”. But technically, faith or trust is not a “good work”. “Good works” are very specifically defined in the New Testament. Trust, which is a component of faith is totally, as the Scriptures say, a gift from God.
    FRANK: Trust is not a component of, it is faith. It is a synonym for faith. Both faith and trust can be works, they can be good works, they can be sin, and they can mean saving faith/trust. The same words have several different meanings. It is important to identify which meaning you intend. You often don’t do that Nathan. Or you use the same word in various sentences, but you shift the meaning of the word the next time you use it. There is no “technically” about it. ALL the meanings are valid meanings depending on their context and proper usage.Faith/Trust that is a work or good work is not the same faith/trust that is a sin is not the same faith/trust that is a gift that leads to Life.
    NATHAN: Frank: “In ALL we can see and do and feel and emote, love, forgiveness, etc etc: The judgement of the Law is that this is all the moral equivalent of a used tampon Nathan. God hates ALL we do for the sin it is that means. These things do not take on a new quality once we have the inchoate HS.”
    RIGHT – BUT DO WE CONDEMN PERSONS FOR THIS AS THEY RUN TO CHRIST WITHOUT PERFECT LOVE? HE HAS GIVEN ME THAT DESIRE TO RUN TO HIM FROM MY SIN AND SINS (OBJECTIVE EVIL ACTIONS). HE IS THE FRIND OF SINNERS FRANK, NOT THOSE WHO RUN TO HIM FROM PURE AND UNSULLIED MOTIVES.
    FRANK: You have never had a pure or unsullied motive in your entire life Nathan. Neither have I. “Sin” is not objective evil actions. The opposite of sin is not goodness. The opposite of sin is faith. Sin is lack of faith in Christ alone, and it is the placing of faith in something else, like our goodness or good intentions or motives.
    NATHAN: You say: “works are EXCLUDED. ALL OUR works = death. plus…. nothing. ALL Christ’s works, alone, = Life. alone alone alone”YES, BUT… WE WILL DIE ETERNALLY IF WE DO NOT FIRST PASSIVELY RECEIVE IN OUR WILL THE WHOLE OF THE LAW HE REVEALS TO US (ALIEN WORK ROOTING OUT SINS AND SIN) AND THE GOSPEL…. WHICH OF COURSE LEADS TO RUNNING, TO ACTIVE FAITH WHICH SEEKS TO CLING TO CHRIST ALL THE MORE, EVEN WITHOUT PERFECT LOVE.
    FRANK: yes+but = no. You just negated ALL. EXCLUDED. ALONE. Just say no. It is easier.
    Show me the Scripture or Confessions that you are paraphrasing.
    NATHAN: aS you keep pointing out from the confessions:
    “the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins, and ***seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin***. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened.” (stars mine!)
    Amen!
    By the way, when Luther says: “No external work of sin happens, after all, unless a person commit himself to it completely, body and soul” he is right. If we end up doing something, our *will* is indeed involved, either actively or passively (whether consciously or at a level below the immediate consciousness). There is no excluding culpability here!….
    nATHAN @ 136
    NATHAN: 2. Even though God will always make sure good works will always happen here on earth through the use of His Law (through the Holy Spirit), we still hold down the full extent of God’s Law, actively suppressing (to some degree *successfully* insofar as He allows this) its content (Romans 1). Aristotle may have articulated the Law more successfully than any pagan, but even his conscience was not fully good in some areas (I certainly uphold what melanchton wrote in the Apology, but not your understanding of it).
    FRANK: Apology: “regarding morality, nothing can be demanded beyond the Ethics of Aristotle”. what part of “nothing” is there to understand Nathan?
    NATHAN Frank: “Pagans and false believers regard only the outward part of the Law. The veil of Moses is the very reasonable opinion that we can keep the Law by keeping the letter of the Law. Which includes love, and forgiveness . Pagans know they need to do those things too. I think this is homing in on what the Confessions say that I suggest you are missing.”SURE. BUT PAGANS GET THE LETTER WRONG TO START WITH (I.E. THE CONCRETE ACTIONS TO DO AND NOT DO)… DON’T KNOW WHAT LOVE LOOKS LIKE EXTERNALLY MUCH LESS INTERNALLY. THAT IS MY POINT.
    FRANK: “Concerning morality, nothing can be demanded beyond the Ethics of Aristotle”. What part of ‘nothing” are you disagreeing with Nathan. You disagree with our Confessions here. Just say that. Or agree if you want to.
    NATHAN: 3. I do not see why my statement about the Law being the only framework that we know of that allows relationships to flourish is incompatible with the Scriptures or Confessions. I rather contend that it, like the language used in order to define the Trinity, may actually be needed to counter false understandings that arise in the Church regarding these issueS.
    FRANK: i am not following. What is your point? Define “Law”, “framework” “relationships to flourish” What do you mean by Law? “The Divine Law written in the Reason of ALL that agrees with the Decalog since it is the SAME Law”?
    NATHAN: I’m not sure what else I can say here as regards this. Perhaps here I should address the following comment:“And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. (1 John 2:3-6 ESV) … “This is true about you insofar as you are regenerated Nathan. In Christ you have the mind of Christ, the Law of Christ. For you to say that your New Man succumbs to satan and sin and Old Adam is to say that Christ in you succumbs to those things. That would be impossible Nathan. Your New Man is fully in Christ!
    Frank, the “we” in this passage describes the whole Christian person, not just their New Man. After all, earlier John says “if *we* say we have no sin”. Same “we”. The believer really does not allow himself to be controlled by sin, but rather fights against it (Romans 7). Our “New Man” is not Christ. The fact of the matter is that the believer can fall away from faith. Christ allows that, if we want it badly enough.
    FRANK: It is true that “we” means “believer”. John is not talking to pagans is he?
    The “whoever” as in “whoever…does not keep his commandments ALSO refers to the believer. YOur flesh/Old Adam will NEVER do this. and then this “whoever says he abides in him OUGHT to walk in the same way in which He walked”? Do you do that or not Nathan. According to your flesh (Old adam) you do not. According to your New Man, in Christ, you do! LAW AND GOSPEL NATHAN!
    NATHAN @. 137

    NATHAN 4. Something cannot be said to really show God’s Law if it does not include the first table of the commandments. In other words, “second table” action is not devoid of “first table” proclamation. Therefore, the performance of the Law benefits our neighbor not only carnally, but spiritually as well.
    You say:
    “So why are good works necessary? Without Good Works , life on earth would be impossible. They are necessary because our neighbor needs them precisely as carnal righeousness.
    The only spiritual righeousness of Romans 8 that will not perish on the earth? The finished works of Christ. Alone alone alone.”
    I say: God is making us finished works in Christ. Is proclaiming His Name – making the good confession – a good work or not? (Melanchton, in the Apology, says it is!). Is this the carnal righteousness that our neighbor needs for his body? Or is this also what he needs for “soul food”?
    FRANK: Law and Gospel Nathan. For YOU it is carnal righeousness and it is for your neighbor as well. It is a good work. FC art VI says this: the Preaching of the Law and Gospel pertain only to this life and will end with it. Romans 8 “flesh” Nathan. What the Holy Spirit does , that works Eternal Life, in with and under that Carnal Righteousness WE DO is not OUR work. Baptism is OUR work. In with and under that good work, the Word works faith. That word working is not our work, but it is God’s Work that is in with and under carnal righeousness. We are commanded to do it. It is Law. Same with preaching. Pastors are commanded to preach. Law. Carnal righeousness. will perish with the earth. Romans 8 flesh. In, with and under that God works faith. That part is God’s work. Romans 8 spirit.
    NATHAN: Again, this serves to illustrate that the “Law of Aristotle” is lacking in many, many ways. Aristotle did not believe that the first table inevitably went hand in hand with the second. And the same law is to be preached both to believers and unbelievers, as the Formula reminds us.
    FRANK: your first premise failed. Therefore your conclusion also fails. You are disagreeing with “Concerning morality, nothing can be demanded beyond the Ethics of Aristotle. ” why not just say you dont agree? You are not disagreeing with me. I am not making the assertion am I?
    NATHAN: Frank: “Many Lutherans are conditioned to think that a Good Work has two infused ingredients 1) conformity to the Law and 2) right internal motive. So the good works of a believer have a different internal quality, as to the work inself. This is really neo-scholasticism I suggest…. Our believer good works are forgiven us not because they have the inchoate workings of the HS that insert an “attitude of gratitude” or some “right motive” that seeks no heavenly reward. No. They are ALL forgiven because they are HIDDEN in the Perfect Obedience of Another!”me: WELL YES – I SEE YOUR POINT HERE – BUT WE CAN ALSO SAY THAT IT IS A VERY GOOD THING TO INCREASE IN GOOD WORKS THAT HAVE MORE TRUST IN AND, FEAR AND LOVE FOR GOD, CAN WE NOT? WE WANT THIS TO BE THE CASE WITH US – BECAUSE WE ARE SAVED IN HIM!
    FRANK: Stop already. “yes … but” is not agreement. And it is not a useful way to disagree.You need to say what part of what I said is wrong. That is the only way to disagree. Yes… but doesnt cut it. Stop that! I am making an all inclusive very exclusionary statement. I am saying ALL. ONLY. NOT. You do not agree. This adds no clarity. It obsfuscates. I dont want to hear “yes… but”. But always trumps yes. it negates it.
    NATHAN: Finally, at one point you ask (regarding mortal sin – as regards mortal sin specifically, I think all sins are mortal in one sense and in another sense “mortal sin” is simply sin that has the effect of driving out faith – it is, as I John 5 says, sin that leads [directly] to death [see Walther’s Law and Gospel for more here]):
    FRANK: Skip Walther. Skip even Luther. Give me scriptures or the Confessions. ALL sin is moral. ALL sin drives out faith. ALL sin kills. ALL sin is dangerous and deadly and is to be feared. Faith is TERRIFIED at sin, it wishes to flee it and be free of it our confessions say. Mortal Sin is a category that implies there is sin that is NOT mortal. Otherwise the category has no meaning. What would not be a mortal sin? Name three.
    NATHAN: “Instead of looking for prooftexts in the Confessions that refute what I am saying, try this approach: Does what Frank is suggesting illuminate other texts? Does it war with the context of those texts, or does it make what they say more clear? Does it provide an explanation for more difficult texts that is less forced and more natural? Does what Frank say seem to overlay or shoehorn or impose something onto the text, or does it seem rather to allow the text speak for itself?”
    If one applies those words more broadly to not just your view of mortal sin, but your views on other matters, I do think that I have to answer these questions in the negative. Sadly.
    FRANK: Ya lost me Nathan. I am 56 years old. I have said lots of things. Many I repent of and reject. What in the heck are you talking about?
    NATHAN: Again Frank, I appreciate the ongoing dialogue. I hope I can keep up with it (but probably nothing from me for at least a week) +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Again, thank you for your persistence and patience. I don’t doubt that there is much I have to learn from you. This is a good work! : ) I am writing earlier than planned because I want things to be fresh in our minds… don’t know if I can keep it up though…

    First, thank you for your explanation of the old and new man (your sinner/saint construction) – let me chew on that for a while.

    Second, I agree trust can be said to be faith, full stop. Faith can also be described as trust, assent, and knowledge as well though. Saving faith (if I say faith I mean saving faith) and trust can not be called “good works” though Scripturally, because works and faith are always kept in sharp distinction by Paul.

    Third, “Sin” is not objective evil actions, but “sins” are.

    ….

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Again, thank you for your persistence and patience. I don’t doubt that there is much I have to learn from you. This is a good work! : ) I am writing earlier than planned because I want things to be fresh in our minds… don’t know if I can keep it up though…

    First, thank you for your explanation of the old and new man (your sinner/saint construction) – let me chew on that for a while.

    Second, I agree trust can be said to be faith, full stop. Faith can also be described as trust, assent, and knowledge as well though. Saving faith (if I say faith I mean saving faith) and trust can not be called “good works” though Scripturally, because works and faith are always kept in sharp distinction by Paul.

    Third, “Sin” is not objective evil actions, but “sins” are.

    ….

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Fourth, my “yes, buts”…

    NATHAN: You say: “works are EXCLUDED. ALL OUR works = death. plus…. nothing. ALL Christ’s works, alone, = Life. alone alone alone”YES, BUT… WE WILL DIE ETERNALLY IF WE DO NOT FIRST PASSIVELY RECEIVE IN OUR WILL THE WHOLE OF THE LAW HE REVEALS TO US (ALIEN WORK ROOTING OUT SINS AND SIN) AND THE GOSPEL…. WHICH OF COURSE LEADS TO RUNNING, TO ACTIVE FAITH WHICH SEEKS TO CLING TO CHRIST ALL THE MORE, EVEN WITHOUT PERFECT LOVE.

    FRANK: yes+but = no. You just negated ALL. EXCLUDED. ALONE. Just say no. It is easier.
    Show me the Scripture or Confessions that you are paraphrasing.

    No. Faith only exists in repentance. And repentance is from our sin nature and objective sins. If God reveals sins to you in your conscience and you do not flee from them to His Son when He is given to you as the Answer, your spiritual life is in peril.

    NATHAN: Frank: “Many Lutherans are conditioned to think that a Good Work has two infused ingredients 1) conformity to the Law and 2) right internal motive. So the good works of a believer have a different internal quality, as to the work inself. This is really neo-scholasticism I suggest…. Our believer good works are forgiven us not because they have the inchoate workings of the HS that insert an “attitude of gratitude” or some “right motive” that seeks no heavenly reward. No. They are ALL forgiven because they are HIDDEN in the Perfect Obedience of Another!”

    me: WELL YES – I SEE YOUR POINT HERE – BUT WE CAN ALSO SAY THAT IT IS A VERY GOOD THING TO INCREASE IN GOOD WORKS THAT HAVE MORE TRUST IN AND, FEAR AND LOVE FOR GOD, CAN WE NOT? WE WANT THIS TO BE THE CASE WITH US – BECAUSE WE ARE SAVED IN HIM!

    FRANK: Stop already. “yes … but” is not agreement. And it is not a useful way to disagree.You need to say what part of what I said is wrong. That is the only way to disagree. Yes… but doesnt cut it. Stop that! I am making an all inclusive very exclusionary statement. I am saying ALL. ONLY. NOT. You do not agree. This adds no clarity. It obsfuscates. I dont want to hear “yes… but”. But always trumps yes. it negates it.

    I respond: Fine. “Yes”. Period. I don’t see why this is a big deal. I’m curious then: “is it not a good thing to increase in good works that have more trust, fear, and love for God” or not? Not in order to be saved, but because we are saved?
    ….

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Fourth, my “yes, buts”…

    NATHAN: You say: “works are EXCLUDED. ALL OUR works = death. plus…. nothing. ALL Christ’s works, alone, = Life. alone alone alone”YES, BUT… WE WILL DIE ETERNALLY IF WE DO NOT FIRST PASSIVELY RECEIVE IN OUR WILL THE WHOLE OF THE LAW HE REVEALS TO US (ALIEN WORK ROOTING OUT SINS AND SIN) AND THE GOSPEL…. WHICH OF COURSE LEADS TO RUNNING, TO ACTIVE FAITH WHICH SEEKS TO CLING TO CHRIST ALL THE MORE, EVEN WITHOUT PERFECT LOVE.

    FRANK: yes+but = no. You just negated ALL. EXCLUDED. ALONE. Just say no. It is easier.
    Show me the Scripture or Confessions that you are paraphrasing.

    No. Faith only exists in repentance. And repentance is from our sin nature and objective sins. If God reveals sins to you in your conscience and you do not flee from them to His Son when He is given to you as the Answer, your spiritual life is in peril.

    NATHAN: Frank: “Many Lutherans are conditioned to think that a Good Work has two infused ingredients 1) conformity to the Law and 2) right internal motive. So the good works of a believer have a different internal quality, as to the work inself. This is really neo-scholasticism I suggest…. Our believer good works are forgiven us not because they have the inchoate workings of the HS that insert an “attitude of gratitude” or some “right motive” that seeks no heavenly reward. No. They are ALL forgiven because they are HIDDEN in the Perfect Obedience of Another!”

    me: WELL YES – I SEE YOUR POINT HERE – BUT WE CAN ALSO SAY THAT IT IS A VERY GOOD THING TO INCREASE IN GOOD WORKS THAT HAVE MORE TRUST IN AND, FEAR AND LOVE FOR GOD, CAN WE NOT? WE WANT THIS TO BE THE CASE WITH US – BECAUSE WE ARE SAVED IN HIM!

    FRANK: Stop already. “yes … but” is not agreement. And it is not a useful way to disagree.You need to say what part of what I said is wrong. That is the only way to disagree. Yes… but doesnt cut it. Stop that! I am making an all inclusive very exclusionary statement. I am saying ALL. ONLY. NOT. You do not agree. This adds no clarity. It obsfuscates. I dont want to hear “yes… but”. But always trumps yes. it negates it.

    I respond: Fine. “Yes”. Period. I don’t see why this is a big deal. I’m curious then: “is it not a good thing to increase in good works that have more trust, fear, and love for God” or not? Not in order to be saved, but because we are saved?
    ….

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Fifth, regarding Paul putting “doing” in general vs faith, see Gal. 3:10-14 and also Romans 10:1-17

    Sixth, Aristotle:

    NATHAN: Therefore, the performance of the Law benefits our neighbor not only carnally, but spiritually as well.

    FRANK: You are contrasting carnal with spiritual in a way that neither the Confessions nor Scripture do. The Law ALWAYS kills and accuses. The Law ONLY kills and accuses. The Law always and only works death. What spiritual benefit beyond killing Old Adam are you thinking of here? What bible or confessional passage are you thinking of here?

    First of all, sorry about using the term “flourish” (“the Law being the only framework that we know of that allows relationships to flourish”). You are right. I don’t need to do that. Maybe what follows will help.

    The Law does work death in the one who lives *by* it as power (i.e. not by faith), and not “liv[ing] and walk[ing] *in* the Law” (FC SD VI – note I am using the confessional quotes ; also “…free from the curse of the Law, yet they should daily exercise themselves *in* the Law of the Lord”) by the power of the Spirit (i.e. faith). Note I said the *performance* of the Law is what benefits our *neighbor* spiritually. In other words, even a fake Christian who not only follows the second table of the law but also the first table of the Law (i.e. without faith, hope and love – or, with the veil of Moses) can benefit their neighbor spiritually. The neighbor sees, evidentially, that they confess Jesus Christ as God and the savior of the world from sin. The fake Christian does this because they understand that to love God with their whole heart means to confess what He gives them to believe, teach, and confess. They are to proclaim the great works of God, and not just any God, but the God who reveals Himself in Jesus Christ. After all, they are to have no other Gods before Him. As best the neighbor can tell, this fake Christian does not even take God’s name in vain, but rather proudly proclaims it, and prays using it, etc. Further, this fake Christian faithfully (in a worldly sense) attends worship, gathering to hear the Word and receive the sacraments, and does not *contradict* this message, bringing shame by living an immoral life, so the Name of God is not blasphemed among the Gentiles because of them. This is what I mean then by saying what I say above. The Law is what God whatever we are to do. This is set opposite to faith, which is understood as that which God alone does, by giving us a preacher (a little Paulson there for you). The fruit that comes from the Spirit and the fruit that comes from the Law looks exactly the same after all, and as you say benefits the neighbor. Maybe the neighbor even picks up his Bible, takes a look, and concludes “this man (the fake Christian) walks in the same way in which Jesus walked”! Wrong. But then, maybe, they read the Word and are really converted.

    In any case, this is exactly what Aristotle taught about the Law of the One True God, right? : ) Really, how can we even begin to think this?

    Are you seeing my point now? I understand your point about how this is all “carnal righteousness” (as “FC art VI says this: the Preaching of the Law and Gospel pertain only to this life and will end with it. Romans 8 “flesh”), but is not the law (i.e. what He tells us to do) *ultimately* about love for God and neighbor, whether it be the fallen world or the world to come (Will we not, out of love for Him, praise, laud, magnify, and honor His Name in heaven? Will we not, in love, proclaim His Great Name and Works to our neighbor even there, even as we love them in other ways as well?)? Finally, regarding the statement “Concerning morality, nothing can be demanded beyond the Ethics of Aristotle”, we are both saying that this passage needs to be read in the proper context, a context that we obviously cannot agree on.

    For me, if Melanchton really did mean what you claim he meant, that would involve saying that here, the Reformers got it wrong.
    ….

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Fifth, regarding Paul putting “doing” in general vs faith, see Gal. 3:10-14 and also Romans 10:1-17

    Sixth, Aristotle:

    NATHAN: Therefore, the performance of the Law benefits our neighbor not only carnally, but spiritually as well.

    FRANK: You are contrasting carnal with spiritual in a way that neither the Confessions nor Scripture do. The Law ALWAYS kills and accuses. The Law ONLY kills and accuses. The Law always and only works death. What spiritual benefit beyond killing Old Adam are you thinking of here? What bible or confessional passage are you thinking of here?

    First of all, sorry about using the term “flourish” (“the Law being the only framework that we know of that allows relationships to flourish”). You are right. I don’t need to do that. Maybe what follows will help.

    The Law does work death in the one who lives *by* it as power (i.e. not by faith), and not “liv[ing] and walk[ing] *in* the Law” (FC SD VI – note I am using the confessional quotes ; also “…free from the curse of the Law, yet they should daily exercise themselves *in* the Law of the Lord”) by the power of the Spirit (i.e. faith). Note I said the *performance* of the Law is what benefits our *neighbor* spiritually. In other words, even a fake Christian who not only follows the second table of the law but also the first table of the Law (i.e. without faith, hope and love – or, with the veil of Moses) can benefit their neighbor spiritually. The neighbor sees, evidentially, that they confess Jesus Christ as God and the savior of the world from sin. The fake Christian does this because they understand that to love God with their whole heart means to confess what He gives them to believe, teach, and confess. They are to proclaim the great works of God, and not just any God, but the God who reveals Himself in Jesus Christ. After all, they are to have no other Gods before Him. As best the neighbor can tell, this fake Christian does not even take God’s name in vain, but rather proudly proclaims it, and prays using it, etc. Further, this fake Christian faithfully (in a worldly sense) attends worship, gathering to hear the Word and receive the sacraments, and does not *contradict* this message, bringing shame by living an immoral life, so the Name of God is not blasphemed among the Gentiles because of them. This is what I mean then by saying what I say above. The Law is what God whatever we are to do. This is set opposite to faith, which is understood as that which God alone does, by giving us a preacher (a little Paulson there for you). The fruit that comes from the Spirit and the fruit that comes from the Law looks exactly the same after all, and as you say benefits the neighbor. Maybe the neighbor even picks up his Bible, takes a look, and concludes “this man (the fake Christian) walks in the same way in which Jesus walked”! Wrong. But then, maybe, they read the Word and are really converted.

    In any case, this is exactly what Aristotle taught about the Law of the One True God, right? : ) Really, how can we even begin to think this?

    Are you seeing my point now? I understand your point about how this is all “carnal righteousness” (as “FC art VI says this: the Preaching of the Law and Gospel pertain only to this life and will end with it. Romans 8 “flesh”), but is not the law (i.e. what He tells us to do) *ultimately* about love for God and neighbor, whether it be the fallen world or the world to come (Will we not, out of love for Him, praise, laud, magnify, and honor His Name in heaven? Will we not, in love, proclaim His Great Name and Works to our neighbor even there, even as we love them in other ways as well?)? Finally, regarding the statement “Concerning morality, nothing can be demanded beyond the Ethics of Aristotle”, we are both saying that this passage needs to be read in the proper context, a context that we obviously cannot agree on.

    For me, if Melanchton really did mean what you claim he meant, that would involve saying that here, the Reformers got it wrong.
    ….

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan


    Finally:

    “What the Holy Spirit does , that works Eternal Life, in with and under that Carnal Righteousness WE DO is not OUR work. Baptism is OUR work. In with and under that good work, the Word works faith. That word working is not our work, but it is God’s Work that is in with and under carnal righeousness. We are commanded to do it. It is Law. Same with preaching. Pastors are commanded to preach. Law. Carnal righeousness. will perish with the earth. Romans 8 flesh. In, with and under that God works faith. That part is God’s work. Romans 8 spirit.”

    You lost me here big time. Ultimately, we claim nothing that we do is our work, for God crowns His own work in us. At the same time, Paul talks about “saving some”, for example. It seems to me we must not disallow the Apostle’s own language. Also, how is baptism our work? You mean it is “for us”? It is not something we do, but that God does to us, through His servants. And why do you call it a “good work” when Paul sets works (and we say that all works/good works are the same, no matter who does them) vs. faith? Do the Confessions call it a “good work”? That remark (baptism as a good work) seems directly opposite to what I think.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan


    Finally:

    “What the Holy Spirit does , that works Eternal Life, in with and under that Carnal Righteousness WE DO is not OUR work. Baptism is OUR work. In with and under that good work, the Word works faith. That word working is not our work, but it is God’s Work that is in with and under carnal righeousness. We are commanded to do it. It is Law. Same with preaching. Pastors are commanded to preach. Law. Carnal righeousness. will perish with the earth. Romans 8 flesh. In, with and under that God works faith. That part is God’s work. Romans 8 spirit.”

    You lost me here big time. Ultimately, we claim nothing that we do is our work, for God crowns His own work in us. At the same time, Paul talks about “saving some”, for example. It seems to me we must not disallow the Apostle’s own language. Also, how is baptism our work? You mean it is “for us”? It is not something we do, but that God does to us, through His servants. And why do you call it a “good work” when Paul sets works (and we say that all works/good works are the same, no matter who does them) vs. faith? Do the Confessions call it a “good work”? That remark (baptism as a good work) seems directly opposite to what I think.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Also, on another thread you said the following:

    “Try this just for fun:

    1) Point out to anyone who pushes for [Thomist]Natural Law that marriage, birth control, one-flesh-union, etc are all and ONLY about the mortification of Old Adam. Death. Insist that there is NO eternal consequence or significance to any of those things except mortification and death.

    2) Watch them go absolutely wild.

    Old Adam always “surreptiously” wants to find Life in something other than faith alone in Christ alone.
    It is all he really knows to do.

    Life is, alone , in the Works of Another, outside of us and for us.”

    Life is in Christ alone. And in heaven we will neither be married nor given in it. But doesn’t the fact that marriage was instituted *before* the fall have anything to say to this?

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Also, on another thread you said the following:

    “Try this just for fun:

    1) Point out to anyone who pushes for [Thomist]Natural Law that marriage, birth control, one-flesh-union, etc are all and ONLY about the mortification of Old Adam. Death. Insist that there is NO eternal consequence or significance to any of those things except mortification and death.

    2) Watch them go absolutely wild.

    Old Adam always “surreptiously” wants to find Life in something other than faith alone in Christ alone.
    It is all he really knows to do.

    Life is, alone , in the Works of Another, outside of us and for us.”

    Life is in Christ alone. And in heaven we will neither be married nor given in it. But doesn’t the fact that marriage was instituted *before* the fall have anything to say to this?

    +Nathan

  • fws

    Nathan @143ff

    We appear to be going round and round and never , truly, reaching a point of disagreement.
    And that is quite pointless and a waste of time.

    So let’t try this. Lets try to retrace how the Confessions present our Lutheran faith over against the Roman Thomist proponents of Thomist Natural Law. I think this will clarify lots. Why?
    We are really just rehashing all the arguments between Luther and Melancthon and the Thomist Natural Law proponents found in the Apology.

    I won’t debate whether the following is true or not. We are both Lutherans. To debate what I will present then, can be done, but it would mean that one of us is not really Lutheran.

    Apology Art II

    1) Image of God:
    The Image of God, which consisted of Original Sinlessness, was FULLY lost in the fall.
    To deny that the Image of God was fully lost in the fall is to deny Original Sin.

    1) Original sin
    Original sin = Lack of Faith in Christ/God. Full Stop.
    Lack of faith = Lack of fear, love, trust, and true knowledge of God.
    Full Stop.
    Original sinlessness then is Faith alone. Full Stop.
    “That which is not of faith is sin”.
    The opposite of sin is not goodness. It is alone, faith in Christ/God.

    So the FULL restoration of Original Sinlessness, which is the restoration of true fear, love and trust in God, and perfect knowledge of God, is , ALONE , FAITH, ALONE, in Christ, ALONE.

    This settles everything we have been discussing Nathan.
    It answers all questions you have had. If you disagree, then what are the questions you pose that are NOT fully answered here?

    Therefore:

    If you disagree with what I say the text of our Confessions say, you will need to dig into that same text of the Confessions to show me that I am misreading them, OR , you will need to just say that you do not agree with our Confessions.

  • fws

    Nathan @143ff

    We appear to be going round and round and never , truly, reaching a point of disagreement.
    And that is quite pointless and a waste of time.

    So let’t try this. Lets try to retrace how the Confessions present our Lutheran faith over against the Roman Thomist proponents of Thomist Natural Law. I think this will clarify lots. Why?
    We are really just rehashing all the arguments between Luther and Melancthon and the Thomist Natural Law proponents found in the Apology.

    I won’t debate whether the following is true or not. We are both Lutherans. To debate what I will present then, can be done, but it would mean that one of us is not really Lutheran.

    Apology Art II

    1) Image of God:
    The Image of God, which consisted of Original Sinlessness, was FULLY lost in the fall.
    To deny that the Image of God was fully lost in the fall is to deny Original Sin.

    1) Original sin
    Original sin = Lack of Faith in Christ/God. Full Stop.
    Lack of faith = Lack of fear, love, trust, and true knowledge of God.
    Full Stop.
    Original sinlessness then is Faith alone. Full Stop.
    “That which is not of faith is sin”.
    The opposite of sin is not goodness. It is alone, faith in Christ/God.

    So the FULL restoration of Original Sinlessness, which is the restoration of true fear, love and trust in God, and perfect knowledge of God, is , ALONE , FAITH, ALONE, in Christ, ALONE.

    This settles everything we have been discussing Nathan.
    It answers all questions you have had. If you disagree, then what are the questions you pose that are NOT fully answered here?

    Therefore:

    If you disagree with what I say the text of our Confessions say, you will need to dig into that same text of the Confessions to show me that I am misreading them, OR , you will need to just say that you do not agree with our Confessions.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Let’s say I do agree to that in full (I need to explore more why we can’t say a “corrupted image of God”).

    But do you agree about this?:

    “No. Faith only exists in repentance. And repentance is from our sin nature and objective sins. If God reveals sins to you in your conscience and you do not flee from them to His Son when He is given to you as the Answer, your spiritual life is in peril.”

    It seems to me that you want to make this all about an entire theological superstructure (not that these are not important) where I want to make this about some simple truths a child could understand.

    God shows us our sin and objective sins in His Law (revealed in nature and in the Scriptures) which tells us what to do and not to do.

    We rightly fear Him and His punishment. We are terrified.

    He preaches His Word of forgiveness to us, creating faith in us which turns from sin/s and clings to Christ.

    Some reject this or that aspect of the above. Faith only lives in repentance.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Let’s say I do agree to that in full (I need to explore more why we can’t say a “corrupted image of God”).

    But do you agree about this?:

    “No. Faith only exists in repentance. And repentance is from our sin nature and objective sins. If God reveals sins to you in your conscience and you do not flee from them to His Son when He is given to you as the Answer, your spiritual life is in peril.”

    It seems to me that you want to make this all about an entire theological superstructure (not that these are not important) where I want to make this about some simple truths a child could understand.

    God shows us our sin and objective sins in His Law (revealed in nature and in the Scriptures) which tells us what to do and not to do.

    We rightly fear Him and His punishment. We are terrified.

    He preaches His Word of forgiveness to us, creating faith in us which turns from sin/s and clings to Christ.

    Some reject this or that aspect of the above. Faith only lives in repentance.

    +Nathan

  • fws

    nathan @147

    Let’s say I do agree to that in full (I need to explore more why we can’t say a “corrupted image of God”).

    We need to lay a foundation before we try to construct an edifice. The Apology starts here. So must we.
    There is no point in going on until you can say that

    1) the Image of God consisted, alone , of faith in Christ and therefore,
    2) that it was totally, utterly, completely lost to Adam, and to us, in the fall.
    3) and that regeneration is exactly the restoration of what was also the righteousness, alone, of Adam, which is , alone, faith, alone, in Christ, alone. Alone. Alone. alone.

  • fws

    nathan @147

    Let’s say I do agree to that in full (I need to explore more why we can’t say a “corrupted image of God”).

    We need to lay a foundation before we try to construct an edifice. The Apology starts here. So must we.
    There is no point in going on until you can say that

    1) the Image of God consisted, alone , of faith in Christ and therefore,
    2) that it was totally, utterly, completely lost to Adam, and to us, in the fall.
    3) and that regeneration is exactly the restoration of what was also the righteousness, alone, of Adam, which is , alone, faith, alone, in Christ, alone. Alone. Alone. alone.

  • fws

    Nathan @ 147

    We both confess to be Lutheran.
    We both need to agree on what Apology art II says about sin and the Image of God and faith.
    It will be quite pointless to continue if we cannot agree on that .

  • fws

    Nathan @ 147

    We both confess to be Lutheran.
    We both need to agree on what Apology art II says about sin and the Image of God and faith.
    It will be quite pointless to continue if we cannot agree on that .

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Will re-read Apology article 2 soon (I hope) just for you Frank!

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Will re-read Apology article 2 soon (I hope) just for you Frank!

    +Nathan

  • fws

    Nathan @ 150

    Bless you.
    Remember you are reading ap II to decide what it says about this:

    Let’s say I do agree to that in full (I need to explore more why we can’t say a “corrupted image of God”).

    The Apology is addressed to Thomist Scholastics.
    Thomists say: “corrupted image of God”.
    It is this precise disagreement that is our difference with Rome.

    Apology II says that this precisely deny Original Sin.
    To deny Original Sin is to deny that salvation cab ONLY be , alone, by faith, alone, by Christ. Plus (sound of crickets).

    So I am glad you are going to take a pause and reflect on this point. Talk to your pastor about this. Maybe print out what I said about not needing to go on till we nail down what Ap II says.

    Blessings Nathan!

  • fws

    Nathan @ 150

    Bless you.
    Remember you are reading ap II to decide what it says about this:

    Let’s say I do agree to that in full (I need to explore more why we can’t say a “corrupted image of God”).

    The Apology is addressed to Thomist Scholastics.
    Thomists say: “corrupted image of God”.
    It is this precise disagreement that is our difference with Rome.

    Apology II says that this precisely deny Original Sin.
    To deny Original Sin is to deny that salvation cab ONLY be , alone, by faith, alone, by Christ. Plus (sound of crickets).

    So I am glad you are going to take a pause and reflect on this point. Talk to your pastor about this. Maybe print out what I said about not needing to go on till we nail down what Ap II says.

    Blessings Nathan!

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Last night, I read Epitome 1 and 2. I also looked up Image of God and Sin in the index of Tappert and read the stuff noted there that seemed relevant to our conversation. I was not able to read more yet, but will try to tackle the whole SD 1 and 2 over the weekend (please note, I have read these before many times).

    Again, I mean “period” and everything in the Epitomes 1 and 2 made total sense to me and they are my confession. Was there anything in particular that you wanted me to notice?

    So saying this, I am not sure how relevant the Image of God question is to our conversation. I agree that we lost the image of God. Period. We do not have fear, love, and trust in God – original righteousness (although note: of these 3, it is only one that saves – the other two grow from the first when the first is true – and even the presence of these two is a result of our justification and not a cause)

    Now, a caveat (which is irrelevant to our conversation since I said “period” above, but I add for the benefit of others who may have questions): a person probably could define the image of God narrowly and broadly (narrowly would be the definition above). More broadly, a person could say that God originally created man in God’s image, and we are no longer in God’s image, strictly speaking. The “fractured image”, however, might remain, insofar as we are talking about defining “image of God” (which Scripture does not define) in any way other than saying it means that we have some spark of goodness in our natural powers that would enable us to contribute in some way to our justification.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Last night, I read Epitome 1 and 2. I also looked up Image of God and Sin in the index of Tappert and read the stuff noted there that seemed relevant to our conversation. I was not able to read more yet, but will try to tackle the whole SD 1 and 2 over the weekend (please note, I have read these before many times).

    Again, I mean “period” and everything in the Epitomes 1 and 2 made total sense to me and they are my confession. Was there anything in particular that you wanted me to notice?

    So saying this, I am not sure how relevant the Image of God question is to our conversation. I agree that we lost the image of God. Period. We do not have fear, love, and trust in God – original righteousness (although note: of these 3, it is only one that saves – the other two grow from the first when the first is true – and even the presence of these two is a result of our justification and not a cause)

    Now, a caveat (which is irrelevant to our conversation since I said “period” above, but I add for the benefit of others who may have questions): a person probably could define the image of God narrowly and broadly (narrowly would be the definition above). More broadly, a person could say that God originally created man in God’s image, and we are no longer in God’s image, strictly speaking. The “fractured image”, however, might remain, insofar as we are talking about defining “image of God” (which Scripture does not define) in any way other than saying it means that we have some spark of goodness in our natural powers that would enable us to contribute in some way to our justification.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    So, I think that we have removed the Image of God as an obstacle in our conversation.

    I think we can focus on the real issue now, which I will get to in a minute.

    First, I want to repeat something I said and you said above:

    SO WE SHOULD NOT FLEE FROM PARTICULAR SINS WE ARE AWARE OF? IT SEEMS TO ME THAT YOU ARE SAYING THE FOLLOWING: IN FLEEING FROM *SINS* (ALL EVIL ACTION) *WE MUST LOVE CHRIST PERFECTLY WHICH WE CAN’T DO BECAUSE OF SIN*. IS THAT RIGHT? BUT THIS IS WHY WE LUTHERANS UPHOLD FAITH – I.E. DESPERATE, GROPING TRUST – AS THE REAL KEY – THE ONLY KEY – THAT SAVES US FROM THE GUILT AND *POWER* OF SIN (AND THEREFORE *SINS*). AND THIS FAITH – WHICH CLINGS ONLY TO THE PERSON AND WORK OF ANOTHER – IS A GIFT FROM GOD, AND NOT OF OUR OWN POWERS. THAT PERFECT LOVE THAT GOD DOES INDEED REQUIRE GROWS FROM THIS FAITH ALONE AND NOT OTHERWISE. FAITH MAY COME TO US AFTER OR IN THE MIDDLE OF WHEN WE ARE COMMITTING PARTICULAR SINS – AND WHEN IT DOES, WE “SEE” CHRIST, CALL OUR SIN “SIN” (FAITH IN THE LAW), AND CALL GRACE, “GRACE” (FAITH IN THE GOSPEL). FIRST, WE RECEIVE THIS PASSIVELY IN OUR WILLS, BUT THEN WE ALSO GET ACTIVE, ACTIVELY AND CONSCIOUSLY FLEEING TO CHRIST FOR FORGIVENESS, LIFE AND SALVATION – EVEN IF WE CANNOT FEEL *ANY LOVE FOR GOD IN OUR HEARTS*. (WHAT COMFORT!) BUT AGAIN – BY PAUL’S DEFINITION – IT IS NOT “DOING” OR “WORKS”. IT IS CONTRASTED WITH THIS.

    FRANK: You are describing the Christian Life Nathan. Lutherans have a name for the Christian Life Nathan. That name is Repentence. Baptism is nothing other than Repentence. Reformed would instead use the word Sanctification. If instead you think of what Repentence is , always, when you think of the shape and nature of the Christian Life, what the christian life is to look like, you will then properly distinguish law and gospel in the christian life Nathan!

    Frank, I agree that this is repentance and not sanctification. As regards properly distinguishing Law and Gospel here, strictly speaking, all I write above is related to justification, which we receive perpetually (assurance of God viewing us through His “Christ-glasses” as He actually forgives us again and again). That said, of course no one will be saved who has not also begin to be sanctified (see Large Catechism, Creed, paragraphs 38 and 39 in Tappert), but again, this does not belong to the article of justification, which must be kept separate.

    That said, let’s look at what it means for faith to live in repentance some more…

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    So, I think that we have removed the Image of God as an obstacle in our conversation.

    I think we can focus on the real issue now, which I will get to in a minute.

    First, I want to repeat something I said and you said above:

    SO WE SHOULD NOT FLEE FROM PARTICULAR SINS WE ARE AWARE OF? IT SEEMS TO ME THAT YOU ARE SAYING THE FOLLOWING: IN FLEEING FROM *SINS* (ALL EVIL ACTION) *WE MUST LOVE CHRIST PERFECTLY WHICH WE CAN’T DO BECAUSE OF SIN*. IS THAT RIGHT? BUT THIS IS WHY WE LUTHERANS UPHOLD FAITH – I.E. DESPERATE, GROPING TRUST – AS THE REAL KEY – THE ONLY KEY – THAT SAVES US FROM THE GUILT AND *POWER* OF SIN (AND THEREFORE *SINS*). AND THIS FAITH – WHICH CLINGS ONLY TO THE PERSON AND WORK OF ANOTHER – IS A GIFT FROM GOD, AND NOT OF OUR OWN POWERS. THAT PERFECT LOVE THAT GOD DOES INDEED REQUIRE GROWS FROM THIS FAITH ALONE AND NOT OTHERWISE. FAITH MAY COME TO US AFTER OR IN THE MIDDLE OF WHEN WE ARE COMMITTING PARTICULAR SINS – AND WHEN IT DOES, WE “SEE” CHRIST, CALL OUR SIN “SIN” (FAITH IN THE LAW), AND CALL GRACE, “GRACE” (FAITH IN THE GOSPEL). FIRST, WE RECEIVE THIS PASSIVELY IN OUR WILLS, BUT THEN WE ALSO GET ACTIVE, ACTIVELY AND CONSCIOUSLY FLEEING TO CHRIST FOR FORGIVENESS, LIFE AND SALVATION – EVEN IF WE CANNOT FEEL *ANY LOVE FOR GOD IN OUR HEARTS*. (WHAT COMFORT!) BUT AGAIN – BY PAUL’S DEFINITION – IT IS NOT “DOING” OR “WORKS”. IT IS CONTRASTED WITH THIS.

    FRANK: You are describing the Christian Life Nathan. Lutherans have a name for the Christian Life Nathan. That name is Repentence. Baptism is nothing other than Repentence. Reformed would instead use the word Sanctification. If instead you think of what Repentence is , always, when you think of the shape and nature of the Christian Life, what the christian life is to look like, you will then properly distinguish law and gospel in the christian life Nathan!

    Frank, I agree that this is repentance and not sanctification. As regards properly distinguishing Law and Gospel here, strictly speaking, all I write above is related to justification, which we receive perpetually (assurance of God viewing us through His “Christ-glasses” as He actually forgives us again and again). That said, of course no one will be saved who has not also begin to be sanctified (see Large Catechism, Creed, paragraphs 38 and 39 in Tappert), but again, this does not belong to the article of justification, which must be kept separate.

    That said, let’s look at what it means for faith to live in repentance some more…

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    One more thing I forgot: the image of God is restored by faith alone. And we are not justified because we now have trust, love and fear, but only trust. Our love and fear will never contribute to our justification.

    Now, repentance, and what it looks like.

    Here is what I wrote this morning: http://infanttheology.wordpress.com/2012/07/13/confession-i-am-narrowminded/

    Here is the post (you’ll need to go to the actual post to click on some of the links – sorry, no time to put them in here to, plus this post would get held up):

    Confession: I am narrowminded.

    And that is a good thing. Confession not as in “mea culpa” but as in “believe, teach, and confess”.

    What do I mean specifically? Well, not that pursuing knowledge in areas such as modern science, the liberal arts, or philosophy is a bad thing (otherwise I would not have this blog, neglected though it is) – these are of the things mentioned in Philippians 4:8.

    I mean this: narrow gates (Matt 7:14) require appropriately narrow minds.

    These minds know this by faith: “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

    I.e. Jesus, the most inclusive yet exclusive man who ever existed – the God-Man and Savior of the whole world.

    Not only this, but I’ve noticed something in some of my blog conversations with others who claim Christ. With Luther, they are more than eager to call themselves sinners when it comes to their original sin, or sin nature. From the Smalcald Articles:

    36]This repentance is not piecemeal [partial] and beggarly [fragmentary], like that which does penance for actual sins, nor is it uncertain like that. For it does not debate what is or is not sin, but hurls everything on a heap, and says: All in us is nothing but sin [affirms that, with respect to us, all is simply sin (and there is nothing in us that is not sin and guilt)]. What is the use of [For why do we wish] investigating, dividing, or distinguishing a long time? For this reason, too, this contrition is not [doubtful or] uncertain. For there is nothing left with which we can think of any good thing to pay for sin, but there is only a sure despairing concerning all that we are, think, speak, or do [all hope must be cast aside in respect of everything], etc.

    37] In like manner confession, too, cannot be false, uncertain, or piecemeal [mutilated or fragmentary]. For he who confesses that all in him is nothing but sin comprehends all sins, excludes none, forgets none. 38] Neither can the satisfaction be uncertain, because it is not our uncertain, sinful work, but it is the suffering and blood of the [spotless and] innocent Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world.

    39] Of this repentance John preaches, and afterwards Christ in the Gospel, and we also. By this [preaching of] repentance we dash to the ground the Pope and everything that is built upon our good works. For all is built upon a rotten and vain foundation, which is called a good work or law, even though no good work is there, but only wicked works, and no one does the Law (as Christ, John 7:19, says), but all transgress it. Therefore the building [that is raised upon it] is nothing but falsehood and hypocrisy, even [in the part] where it is most holy and beautiful.

    All well and good. But note what directly follows:

    40] And in Christians this repentance continues until death, because, through the entire life it contends with sin remaining in the flesh, as Paul, Rom. 7:14-25, [shows] testifies that he wars with the law in his members, etc.; and that, not by his own powers, but by the gift of the Holy Ghost that follows the remission of sins. This gift daily cleanses and sweeps out the remaining sins, and works so as to render man truly pure and holy.

    This part dealing with actual sins evidently does not grab them so much (this part is actually quoted in full in the Formula of Concord as well: Solid Declaration, part 2, On Free Will)

    The Apostle Paul, as we might recall, had quite grave things to say in relation to this (see Gal. 5:19-21, I Cor. 6:9-11, and Eph. 5:3-7). Do not be deceived indeed! If God makes you aware of these sins in your life, agree with and believe His word – and do so with His forgiveness even more! (or, hopefully, you will be loved enough for this to happen!)

    Finally, this is how Luther closes this part of the Smalcald Articles (Part III, Article III, Penitence):

    43] It is, accordingly, necessary to know and to teach that when holy men, still having and feeling original sin, also daily repenting of and striving with it, happen to fall into manifest sins, as David into adultery, murder, and blasphemy, that then faith and the Holy Ghost has departed from them [they cast out faith and the Holy Ghost]. For the Holy Ghost does not permit sin to have dominion, to gain the upper hand so as to be accomplished, but represses and restrains it so that it must not do what it wishes. But if it does what it wishes, the Holy Ghost and faith are [certainly] not present. For St. John says, 1 John 3:9: Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin, … and he cannot sin. And yet it is also the truth when the same St. John says, 1:8: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

    Deliver us from our sin and sins, O Christ. If we fail, may this (see #69) be true of us.

    Make our minds narrow in You.

    Amen.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    One more thing I forgot: the image of God is restored by faith alone. And we are not justified because we now have trust, love and fear, but only trust. Our love and fear will never contribute to our justification.

    Now, repentance, and what it looks like.

    Here is what I wrote this morning: http://infanttheology.wordpress.com/2012/07/13/confession-i-am-narrowminded/

    Here is the post (you’ll need to go to the actual post to click on some of the links – sorry, no time to put them in here to, plus this post would get held up):

    Confession: I am narrowminded.

    And that is a good thing. Confession not as in “mea culpa” but as in “believe, teach, and confess”.

    What do I mean specifically? Well, not that pursuing knowledge in areas such as modern science, the liberal arts, or philosophy is a bad thing (otherwise I would not have this blog, neglected though it is) – these are of the things mentioned in Philippians 4:8.

    I mean this: narrow gates (Matt 7:14) require appropriately narrow minds.

    These minds know this by faith: “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

    I.e. Jesus, the most inclusive yet exclusive man who ever existed – the God-Man and Savior of the whole world.

    Not only this, but I’ve noticed something in some of my blog conversations with others who claim Christ. With Luther, they are more than eager to call themselves sinners when it comes to their original sin, or sin nature. From the Smalcald Articles:

    36]This repentance is not piecemeal [partial] and beggarly [fragmentary], like that which does penance for actual sins, nor is it uncertain like that. For it does not debate what is or is not sin, but hurls everything on a heap, and says: All in us is nothing but sin [affirms that, with respect to us, all is simply sin (and there is nothing in us that is not sin and guilt)]. What is the use of [For why do we wish] investigating, dividing, or distinguishing a long time? For this reason, too, this contrition is not [doubtful or] uncertain. For there is nothing left with which we can think of any good thing to pay for sin, but there is only a sure despairing concerning all that we are, think, speak, or do [all hope must be cast aside in respect of everything], etc.

    37] In like manner confession, too, cannot be false, uncertain, or piecemeal [mutilated or fragmentary]. For he who confesses that all in him is nothing but sin comprehends all sins, excludes none, forgets none. 38] Neither can the satisfaction be uncertain, because it is not our uncertain, sinful work, but it is the suffering and blood of the [spotless and] innocent Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world.

    39] Of this repentance John preaches, and afterwards Christ in the Gospel, and we also. By this [preaching of] repentance we dash to the ground the Pope and everything that is built upon our good works. For all is built upon a rotten and vain foundation, which is called a good work or law, even though no good work is there, but only wicked works, and no one does the Law (as Christ, John 7:19, says), but all transgress it. Therefore the building [that is raised upon it] is nothing but falsehood and hypocrisy, even [in the part] where it is most holy and beautiful.

    All well and good. But note what directly follows:

    40] And in Christians this repentance continues until death, because, through the entire life it contends with sin remaining in the flesh, as Paul, Rom. 7:14-25, [shows] testifies that he wars with the law in his members, etc.; and that, not by his own powers, but by the gift of the Holy Ghost that follows the remission of sins. This gift daily cleanses and sweeps out the remaining sins, and works so as to render man truly pure and holy.

    This part dealing with actual sins evidently does not grab them so much (this part is actually quoted in full in the Formula of Concord as well: Solid Declaration, part 2, On Free Will)

    The Apostle Paul, as we might recall, had quite grave things to say in relation to this (see Gal. 5:19-21, I Cor. 6:9-11, and Eph. 5:3-7). Do not be deceived indeed! If God makes you aware of these sins in your life, agree with and believe His word – and do so with His forgiveness even more! (or, hopefully, you will be loved enough for this to happen!)

    Finally, this is how Luther closes this part of the Smalcald Articles (Part III, Article III, Penitence):

    43] It is, accordingly, necessary to know and to teach that when holy men, still having and feeling original sin, also daily repenting of and striving with it, happen to fall into manifest sins, as David into adultery, murder, and blasphemy, that then faith and the Holy Ghost has departed from them [they cast out faith and the Holy Ghost]. For the Holy Ghost does not permit sin to have dominion, to gain the upper hand so as to be accomplished, but represses and restrains it so that it must not do what it wishes. But if it does what it wishes, the Holy Ghost and faith are [certainly] not present. For St. John says, 1 John 3:9: Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin, … and he cannot sin. And yet it is also the truth when the same St. John says, 1:8: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

    Deliver us from our sin and sins, O Christ. If we fail, may this (see #69) be true of us.

    Make our minds narrow in You.

    Amen.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Amen?

    If not, where am I going wrong?

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Amen?

    If not, where am I going wrong?

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Sorry, these statements got mixed up. The first paragraph should follow the second:

    Again, I mean “period” and everything in the Epitomes 1 and 2 made total sense to me and they are my confession. Was there anything in particular that you wanted me to notice?

    So saying this, I am not sure how relevant the Image of God question is to our conversation. I agree that we lost the image of God. Period.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Sorry, these statements got mixed up. The first paragraph should follow the second:

    Again, I mean “period” and everything in the Epitomes 1 and 2 made total sense to me and they are my confession. Was there anything in particular that you wanted me to notice?

    So saying this, I am not sure how relevant the Image of God question is to our conversation. I agree that we lost the image of God. Period.

  • fws

    Nathan @ 154

    One more thing I forgot: the image of God is restored by faith alone

    No. The Image of God IS faith. Alone.

    Nathan:
    @ 151 I urged you to read Apology Art II.
    @152 you read the FC Art I and II.
    Utter confusion.
    Would you please do as we agreed:

    Apology II summary:
    The TOTAL loss of faith in God is the Definition of Original Sin.
    Original Sin-less-ness therefore is exactly Faith. Alone.
    Adam’s Righteousness consisted of Faith. Alone. Apart from Love.
    Our Righteousness consists of Faith. Alone. Apart from Love.
    Therefore:
    The Image of God is , alone, faith, alone, in Christ alone.
    The restoration of the Image of God therefore is, alone, Baptism.

    One Practical application:
    The rest0ration of a homosexual to the Divine Design God intended for him is , alone, accomplished, in Baptism.
    Faith alone is what can restore a homo to the Image of God.
    Faith alone is able to put an end to sin in a homosexual.

  • fws

    Nathan @ 154

    One more thing I forgot: the image of God is restored by faith alone

    No. The Image of God IS faith. Alone.

    Nathan:
    @ 151 I urged you to read Apology Art II.
    @152 you read the FC Art I and II.
    Utter confusion.
    Would you please do as we agreed:

    Apology II summary:
    The TOTAL loss of faith in God is the Definition of Original Sin.
    Original Sin-less-ness therefore is exactly Faith. Alone.
    Adam’s Righteousness consisted of Faith. Alone. Apart from Love.
    Our Righteousness consists of Faith. Alone. Apart from Love.
    Therefore:
    The Image of God is , alone, faith, alone, in Christ alone.
    The restoration of the Image of God therefore is, alone, Baptism.

    One Practical application:
    The rest0ration of a homosexual to the Divine Design God intended for him is , alone, accomplished, in Baptism.
    Faith alone is what can restore a homo to the Image of God.
    Faith alone is able to put an end to sin in a homosexual.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Oye – sorry about that. I don’t know why I thought I was supposed to be reading SD 2… : )

    In any case, I recently read Article II on Original Sin in the Apology anyways, so that is good.

    “The Image of God IS faith. Alone.”

    I must have missed that. Where are you seeing this? In any case, I am not sure how this would change anything I just said above?

    Let’s see … (I’ll do caps here, not yelling : ) )

    Apology II summary:
    The TOTAL loss of faith in God is the Definition of Original Sin.

    ALSO MENTIONS IGNORANCE OF GOD, CONTEMPT OF GOD, LACK OF FEAR OF GOD, INABILITY TO LOVE HIM ; ALSO, IT IS IMMODERATE LUST AND “LACK OF PROPER RIGHTEOUSNESS” (PARAS 4, 6, 28, TAPPERT). STILL, I THINK I CAN AGREE WITH YOU ON THIS.

    Original Sin-less-ness therefore is exactly Faith. Alone.

    WELL, I SUPPOSE. TRUST, YES, BUT FAITH IS ABOUT WHAT IS UNSEEN. DO WE KNOW ADAM NEVER SAW GOD PRE-FALL? STILL, I THINK I CAN GO HERE. YES!

    Adam’s Righteousness consisted of Faith. Alone. Apart from Love.

    I DON’T KNOW ABOUT THIS. ADAM DID NOT NEED TO BE JUSTIFIED BEFORE GOD. HE DID NOT NEED SINS REMOVED. HE JUST HAD THE CREATED FAITH, LOVE AND FEAR THAT THE UNCREATED GOD GAVE HIM. THERE REALLY IS NO NEED TO INSIST ON “APART FROM LOVE”. THE APOLOGY DOES NOT INSIST ON THIS HERE.

    Our Righteousness consists of Faith. Alone. Apart from Love.

    YES! GOD JUSTIFIES THE WICKED, WHICH MEANS THAT HE DOES THIS EVEN FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NO LOVE OF GOD IN THEIR HEART BUT ONLY BELIEVE IN HIM DUE TO THE FEAR OF GOD (FOR THEIR SINS) THAT THEY HAVE!

    Therefore:

    The Image of God is , alone, faith, alone, in Christ alone.

    AGAIN. I’LL NEED TO SEE THE ACTUAL WORDS IN THE APOLOGY OR OTHER CONFESSIONS SAYING THIS. I’VE NEVER HEARD THAT FAITH IS THE IMAGE OF GOD. I DID A GOOGLE SEARCH FOR THAT PHRASE AND GOT 5 HITS – ONE IS FROM ANOTHER POST ON THIS BLOG, WHICH I AM GUESSING IS YOU.

    The restoration of the Image of God therefore is, alone, Baptism.

    I DON’T SEE WHY I SHOULD HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THIS STATEMENT, ALTHOUGH I WONDER IF IT IS IN THE CONFESSIONS (EPH. 5:9 AND COL. 3:10, QUOTED IN PARA 20, ARE INTERESTING, BUT DON’T SAY EXACTLY THIS)?

    One Practical application:

    The rest0ration of a homosexual to the Divine Design God intended for him is , alone, accomplished, in Baptism.

    SOUNDS GOOD. BUT WE CAN JUST SAY “SINNER”. : )

    Faith alone is what can restore a homo to the Image of God.

    YES. AGAIN, JUST “SINNER”.

    Faith alone is able to put an end to sin in a homosexual.

    YES. BUT WHAT ARE THE MANIFESTATIONS OF SIN? WHAT ARE “SINS”? ALL WE DO IS INFECTED BY SIN, BUT GOD NEVERTHELESS DISTINGUISHES BETWEEN OBJECTIVE EVIL ACTIONS AND OBJECTIVELY GOOD ACTIONS – AND IN ORDER FOR US TO TAKE PAUL’S AND LUTHER’S WARNINGS SERIOUSLY, WE CAN’T IGNORE THIS.

    RIGHT?

    Frank – I’ll check back Monday morning. Hope to see that you’ve been back here!

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Oye – sorry about that. I don’t know why I thought I was supposed to be reading SD 2… : )

    In any case, I recently read Article II on Original Sin in the Apology anyways, so that is good.

    “The Image of God IS faith. Alone.”

    I must have missed that. Where are you seeing this? In any case, I am not sure how this would change anything I just said above?

    Let’s see … (I’ll do caps here, not yelling : ) )

    Apology II summary:
    The TOTAL loss of faith in God is the Definition of Original Sin.

    ALSO MENTIONS IGNORANCE OF GOD, CONTEMPT OF GOD, LACK OF FEAR OF GOD, INABILITY TO LOVE HIM ; ALSO, IT IS IMMODERATE LUST AND “LACK OF PROPER RIGHTEOUSNESS” (PARAS 4, 6, 28, TAPPERT). STILL, I THINK I CAN AGREE WITH YOU ON THIS.

    Original Sin-less-ness therefore is exactly Faith. Alone.

    WELL, I SUPPOSE. TRUST, YES, BUT FAITH IS ABOUT WHAT IS UNSEEN. DO WE KNOW ADAM NEVER SAW GOD PRE-FALL? STILL, I THINK I CAN GO HERE. YES!

    Adam’s Righteousness consisted of Faith. Alone. Apart from Love.

    I DON’T KNOW ABOUT THIS. ADAM DID NOT NEED TO BE JUSTIFIED BEFORE GOD. HE DID NOT NEED SINS REMOVED. HE JUST HAD THE CREATED FAITH, LOVE AND FEAR THAT THE UNCREATED GOD GAVE HIM. THERE REALLY IS NO NEED TO INSIST ON “APART FROM LOVE”. THE APOLOGY DOES NOT INSIST ON THIS HERE.

    Our Righteousness consists of Faith. Alone. Apart from Love.

    YES! GOD JUSTIFIES THE WICKED, WHICH MEANS THAT HE DOES THIS EVEN FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NO LOVE OF GOD IN THEIR HEART BUT ONLY BELIEVE IN HIM DUE TO THE FEAR OF GOD (FOR THEIR SINS) THAT THEY HAVE!

    Therefore:

    The Image of God is , alone, faith, alone, in Christ alone.

    AGAIN. I’LL NEED TO SEE THE ACTUAL WORDS IN THE APOLOGY OR OTHER CONFESSIONS SAYING THIS. I’VE NEVER HEARD THAT FAITH IS THE IMAGE OF GOD. I DID A GOOGLE SEARCH FOR THAT PHRASE AND GOT 5 HITS – ONE IS FROM ANOTHER POST ON THIS BLOG, WHICH I AM GUESSING IS YOU.

    The restoration of the Image of God therefore is, alone, Baptism.

    I DON’T SEE WHY I SHOULD HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THIS STATEMENT, ALTHOUGH I WONDER IF IT IS IN THE CONFESSIONS (EPH. 5:9 AND COL. 3:10, QUOTED IN PARA 20, ARE INTERESTING, BUT DON’T SAY EXACTLY THIS)?

    One Practical application:

    The rest0ration of a homosexual to the Divine Design God intended for him is , alone, accomplished, in Baptism.

    SOUNDS GOOD. BUT WE CAN JUST SAY “SINNER”. : )

    Faith alone is what can restore a homo to the Image of God.

    YES. AGAIN, JUST “SINNER”.

    Faith alone is able to put an end to sin in a homosexual.

    YES. BUT WHAT ARE THE MANIFESTATIONS OF SIN? WHAT ARE “SINS”? ALL WE DO IS INFECTED BY SIN, BUT GOD NEVERTHELESS DISTINGUISHES BETWEEN OBJECTIVE EVIL ACTIONS AND OBJECTIVELY GOOD ACTIONS – AND IN ORDER FOR US TO TAKE PAUL’S AND LUTHER’S WARNINGS SERIOUSLY, WE CAN’T IGNORE THIS.

    RIGHT?

    Frank – I’ll check back Monday morning. Hope to see that you’ve been back here!

    +Nathan

  • fws

    Nathan @ 158
    Focus brother! Your aim is not just to parse the text of Apology art II. It is to seek the answer to a very specific question.

    The question we are seeking to answer is the one you posed that was this ” I paraphrase):

    “Why can’t we view the Image of God as not COMPLETELY lost, but rather horribly damaged or corrupted.”

    Why does that matter? The Apology starts out with this exact attack of the Thomist Natural Law disciples, as the very foundation for all that follows in the Apology. So this should signal that this is not just AN important thing to resolve. It is a foundational issue.

    Are you aware that the Apology is a response to the attacks of Thomist Natural Law disciples, upon the Augsburg Confession in a document called “The Confutation”?

    The start of the attack was responded to here:

    ..immediately at the very threshold,… the writers of the Confutation [lack] judgment,..[and] candor. …they say:
    “To be without the fear of God, to be without faith, is actual guilt;” and therefore they deny that it is original guilt.

    Nathan. Just stop and ponder this. This one statement is all you need to know the entire rest of Article II.
    Here is the logical sylogism that will follow:

    Original sin is the total loss/absence of Faith in God.
    The Image of God in Adam consisted of Righteousness.

    Therefore:

    Original sin is the total lost of the Image of God.

    Therefore:

    The Original Image of God and Sin-less-ness in Adam was…
    Alone, faith in Christ!

    Therefore:

    The restoration of the Image of God and Righeousness in both Adam and us is alone fully effected in: Holy Baptism!

    Righeousness and the Image of God, consists of , alone, faith, alone, in Christ Alone.

    You do not need to read the rest of Apology II. That first response to the attack of the Thomist Natural Law disciples upon the Augustana really says it all. I am merely outlining the sylogistic logic that Luther and Melancthon draw from that first response.

  • fws

    Nathan @ 158
    Focus brother! Your aim is not just to parse the text of Apology art II. It is to seek the answer to a very specific question.

    The question we are seeking to answer is the one you posed that was this ” I paraphrase):

    “Why can’t we view the Image of God as not COMPLETELY lost, but rather horribly damaged or corrupted.”

    Why does that matter? The Apology starts out with this exact attack of the Thomist Natural Law disciples, as the very foundation for all that follows in the Apology. So this should signal that this is not just AN important thing to resolve. It is a foundational issue.

    Are you aware that the Apology is a response to the attacks of Thomist Natural Law disciples, upon the Augsburg Confession in a document called “The Confutation”?

    The start of the attack was responded to here:

    ..immediately at the very threshold,… the writers of the Confutation [lack] judgment,..[and] candor. …they say:
    “To be without the fear of God, to be without faith, is actual guilt;” and therefore they deny that it is original guilt.

    Nathan. Just stop and ponder this. This one statement is all you need to know the entire rest of Article II.
    Here is the logical sylogism that will follow:

    Original sin is the total loss/absence of Faith in God.
    The Image of God in Adam consisted of Righteousness.

    Therefore:

    Original sin is the total lost of the Image of God.

    Therefore:

    The Original Image of God and Sin-less-ness in Adam was…
    Alone, faith in Christ!

    Therefore:

    The restoration of the Image of God and Righeousness in both Adam and us is alone fully effected in: Holy Baptism!

    Righeousness and the Image of God, consists of , alone, faith, alone, in Christ Alone.

    You do not need to read the rest of Apology II. That first response to the attack of the Thomist Natural Law disciples upon the Augustana really says it all. I am merely outlining the sylogistic logic that Luther and Melancthon draw from that first response.

  • fws

    Nathan @ 158

    John Gerhard states this:
    To deny that the Image of God was ENTIRELY lost, is to deny the reality of Original Sin.

    This is the position of the Lutheran Church. This is the exactly reason why Lutherans reject Thomist Natural Law in the Apollogy.

    This fact of Original Sin, the TOTAL loss of the Image of God, and the fact that Original Righeousness AND the Image of God were ALONE faith, alone, in Christ alone, are what I will come back to again and again and again. Why?

    This contains the answer to ALL of your questions Nathan.
    The answer to each and every one of your questions is here.

    Question: How is the Original Image of God FULLY restored?
    Answer: Baptism. Alone. Apart from Love and doing.

    Here Nathan is the part that you seem to keep getting stuck on and want to get back to:

    And Love? Love is a fruit of this.

    In new man it simply IS . “as light from sun” is now FC VI describes this. This is invisible to us. We can’t see it. If we could, then we would be able to separate wheat from tare, sheep from goat, and be able to use love as our evidence that we are true christians. And this is not possible.

    In Old adam? Love is the SAME fruit. But in Old Adam it is extorted out of us by the Law. We can see love being done in us this way. And it is necessary to be seen , in our actions, or it is not love. St James makes this exact point.

    Love that shines out of us as a result of the Gospel or is driven out of us by the law is the EXACT SAME IDENTICAL Love. Love is the Eternal Will of God. Love is ALWAYS God’s work. He makes the SAME Love happen by both the Law in Old Adam and the Gospel in New Man.

    That is the child-can-understand answer for you.

  • fws

    Nathan @ 158

    John Gerhard states this:
    To deny that the Image of God was ENTIRELY lost, is to deny the reality of Original Sin.

    This is the position of the Lutheran Church. This is the exactly reason why Lutherans reject Thomist Natural Law in the Apollogy.

    This fact of Original Sin, the TOTAL loss of the Image of God, and the fact that Original Righeousness AND the Image of God were ALONE faith, alone, in Christ alone, are what I will come back to again and again and again. Why?

    This contains the answer to ALL of your questions Nathan.
    The answer to each and every one of your questions is here.

    Question: How is the Original Image of God FULLY restored?
    Answer: Baptism. Alone. Apart from Love and doing.

    Here Nathan is the part that you seem to keep getting stuck on and want to get back to:

    And Love? Love is a fruit of this.

    In new man it simply IS . “as light from sun” is now FC VI describes this. This is invisible to us. We can’t see it. If we could, then we would be able to separate wheat from tare, sheep from goat, and be able to use love as our evidence that we are true christians. And this is not possible.

    In Old adam? Love is the SAME fruit. But in Old Adam it is extorted out of us by the Law. We can see love being done in us this way. And it is necessary to be seen , in our actions, or it is not love. St James makes this exact point.

    Love that shines out of us as a result of the Gospel or is driven out of us by the law is the EXACT SAME IDENTICAL Love. Love is the Eternal Will of God. Love is ALWAYS God’s work. He makes the SAME Love happen by both the Law in Old Adam and the Gospel in New Man.

    That is the child-can-understand answer for you.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank.

    Thanks again. Please note I value many of your insights and observations, though I do not always point to them or mention them in my response.

    Right. The image (at least in the critically important narrow sense) is completely lost. Period. And I’m not saying it’s really about love, which you are right, flows from faith. I’m just saying original righteousness was fear, love, and trust in God according to the Apology itself.

    “The Original Image of God and Sin-less-ness in Adam was…
    Alone, faith in Christ!”

    Here’s the crux. Actually, more specifically, it is faith in the Word of God, which brings both Law and Gospel. I say this because while love is not always mentioned with trust/faith in the Apology, fear is (here we are not just talking filial fear, but now, post-fall, something that will become terror…).

    As Luther says, we only learn that we are born and conceived in sin by the Word (death is not some sort of natural necessity, but punishment for sin). Here, faith is required. You’d agree, I’m sure, but on the other hand, what about faith regarding the other matters of the Law, i.e. what is the “content” of the Law specifically? Here, Luther talks about how it is not only some abstract subject matter that is clearly revealed in Scripture, but ***all the things contained in it are clearly revealed*** (even though not all texts are clear). Remember His Words to Erasmus in the BOW? Frank, we need to get real here. This is where the battle has been fought the whole of the last 150 years!

    That’s why, ultimately, our debate actually comes down to the nature of our relation with the Apostolic Scriptures.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank.

    Thanks again. Please note I value many of your insights and observations, though I do not always point to them or mention them in my response.

    Right. The image (at least in the critically important narrow sense) is completely lost. Period. And I’m not saying it’s really about love, which you are right, flows from faith. I’m just saying original righteousness was fear, love, and trust in God according to the Apology itself.

    “The Original Image of God and Sin-less-ness in Adam was…
    Alone, faith in Christ!”

    Here’s the crux. Actually, more specifically, it is faith in the Word of God, which brings both Law and Gospel. I say this because while love is not always mentioned with trust/faith in the Apology, fear is (here we are not just talking filial fear, but now, post-fall, something that will become terror…).

    As Luther says, we only learn that we are born and conceived in sin by the Word (death is not some sort of natural necessity, but punishment for sin). Here, faith is required. You’d agree, I’m sure, but on the other hand, what about faith regarding the other matters of the Law, i.e. what is the “content” of the Law specifically? Here, Luther talks about how it is not only some abstract subject matter that is clearly revealed in Scripture, but ***all the things contained in it are clearly revealed*** (even though not all texts are clear). Remember His Words to Erasmus in the BOW? Frank, we need to get real here. This is where the battle has been fought the whole of the last 150 years!

    That’s why, ultimately, our debate actually comes down to the nature of our relation with the Apostolic Scriptures.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    No more from me today. Have a good day, and I’ll check back in tomorrow.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    No more from me today. Have a good day, and I’ll check back in tomorrow.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Real quick – see Luther on Genesis (AE 1: 65) where he talks about how until the image of God is fully restored in heaven, we can’t have an adequate knowledge of what it was that was lost in the Fall. We just have what faith and the word teach about the glory of the divine image…

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Real quick – see Luther on Genesis (AE 1: 65) where he talks about how until the image of God is fully restored in heaven, we can’t have an adequate knowledge of what it was that was lost in the Fall. We just have what faith and the word teach about the glory of the divine image…

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Still here and hoping to here back from you.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Still here and hoping to here back from you.

    +Nathan

  • fws

    Nathan @ 164

    “That which is not of faith is sin”

    The opposite of sin is not goodness, innocence or the sacred.

    The opposite of sin is, alone, faith , alone in Christ alone.
    We CAN know what the restoration of the Image of God consists of.
    It consists of what was lost in the Fall.
    It consists of the opposite of sin.
    It consists in sinlessness and Righteousness.
    Adam’s Righteousness was that of the Works of Another
    Adam’s Righeousness is found exactly where ours is found:
    Faith in the Works of Another, apart from our own works.

    Isaiahs calls all our works menstrual rags.
    He is speaking of the works of a believer.
    The only thing that makes our works acceptable to God is that he does not see them. They are hidden in the Works of Another.

  • fws

    Nathan @ 164

    “That which is not of faith is sin”

    The opposite of sin is not goodness, innocence or the sacred.

    The opposite of sin is, alone, faith , alone in Christ alone.
    We CAN know what the restoration of the Image of God consists of.
    It consists of what was lost in the Fall.
    It consists of the opposite of sin.
    It consists in sinlessness and Righteousness.
    Adam’s Righteousness was that of the Works of Another
    Adam’s Righeousness is found exactly where ours is found:
    Faith in the Works of Another, apart from our own works.

    Isaiahs calls all our works menstrual rags.
    He is speaking of the works of a believer.
    The only thing that makes our works acceptable to God is that he does not see them. They are hidden in the Works of Another.

  • fws

    I repeat:

    Adam righteousness before the fall consisted of what is also his righteousness after the fall.

    Adam is robed with the same righeousness we are robed with.
    Adam before the fall was robed with the Righteousness that was not of him but of the Works of Another outside of him.
    Both we and Adam are now robed with that SAME righteousness that Adam was robed with before the fall.
    That righteousness, both before and after the fall , which was , and still is, the very Image of God, is alone faith alone in the Works of Another Who is Christ.

  • fws

    I repeat:

    Adam righteousness before the fall consisted of what is also his righteousness after the fall.

    Adam is robed with the same righeousness we are robed with.
    Adam before the fall was robed with the Righteousness that was not of him but of the Works of Another outside of him.
    Both we and Adam are now robed with that SAME righteousness that Adam was robed with before the fall.
    That righteousness, both before and after the fall , which was , and still is, the very Image of God, is alone faith alone in the Works of Another Who is Christ.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Thanks. More from me later.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Thanks. More from me later.

    +Nathan

  • fws

    Nathan

    Let me further condense the Lutheran doctrine on this:

    Adam’s prefall Original Righteousness/Image =
    Adam’s and the believers’ post fall Restored Righeousnness/Image of God=
    Righeousness/Image in Eternity for all men=
    The Works of Another

    another way to say this+

    ALL mankind prefall =Sin-less=God’s Image=Faith=Christ

    ALL believers in earthly life since the fall (including Adam)=
    New Man=Original Adam=Right-eous=God’s Image=Faith=Christ
    PLUS
    Old Adam: Devoid of anything new man and: full if it’s opposite.

    ALL believers in eternity=New Man. Old Adam is gone forever

  • fws

    Nathan

    Let me further condense the Lutheran doctrine on this:

    Adam’s prefall Original Righteousness/Image =
    Adam’s and the believers’ post fall Restored Righeousnness/Image of God=
    Righeousness/Image in Eternity for all men=
    The Works of Another

    another way to say this+

    ALL mankind prefall =Sin-less=God’s Image=Faith=Christ

    ALL believers in earthly life since the fall (including Adam)=
    New Man=Original Adam=Right-eous=God’s Image=Faith=Christ
    PLUS
    Old Adam: Devoid of anything new man and: full if it’s opposite.

    ALL believers in eternity=New Man. Old Adam is gone forever

  • fws

    Nathan:

    note that New Man is the SAME Original Adam…

    before the fall
    now in earthly existence in the new birth
    and for eternity.

    The ONLY difference is that now in earthly existence exists Fallen (Old) Adam, that still clings to believers until death.
    This Old Adam is described in FC I.
    Old Adam is ALL we can see and are able to do in this life.
    Old Adam is ALL we are able to perceive and evidentially know in this life.
    Old Adam is ALL that is tangible and sense-ible about us in this life.

    New Man who is exactly Original Adam restored, can be known, alone by faith, alone through what we are told in God’s Word.
    New man is invisible, intangible, without sense-ble evidence in our life.
    New man’s existence is purely an article of faith.

  • fws

    Nathan:

    note that New Man is the SAME Original Adam…

    before the fall
    now in earthly existence in the new birth
    and for eternity.

    The ONLY difference is that now in earthly existence exists Fallen (Old) Adam, that still clings to believers until death.
    This Old Adam is described in FC I.
    Old Adam is ALL we can see and are able to do in this life.
    Old Adam is ALL we are able to perceive and evidentially know in this life.
    Old Adam is ALL that is tangible and sense-ible about us in this life.

    New Man who is exactly Original Adam restored, can be known, alone by faith, alone through what we are told in God’s Word.
    New man is invisible, intangible, without sense-ble evidence in our life.
    New man’s existence is purely an article of faith.

  • fws

    Nathan

    Therefore:
    To subdue Old Adam, we use the methods Aristotle describes.
    This work is the sum total of ALL we can do on earth.
    Our purpose in this work is to be equipped to be useful to others.
    Alone.

    To kill Old Adam is alone the work done in Baptism.
    To nourish New Man is the work done alone in Baptism.

    Baptism is nothing other than, and is exactly the same thing as Repentence.

  • fws

    Nathan

    Therefore:
    To subdue Old Adam, we use the methods Aristotle describes.
    This work is the sum total of ALL we can do on earth.
    Our purpose in this work is to be equipped to be useful to others.
    Alone.

    To kill Old Adam is alone the work done in Baptism.
    To nourish New Man is the work done alone in Baptism.

    Baptism is nothing other than, and is exactly the same thing as Repentence.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    You’ve obviously got things well mapped out in your mind!

    I still think this argument is ultimately about the stuff I talked about in 161 and not really the stuff you just mentioned (unless you thought you were somehow directly addressing my concerns in #161? If so, help a guy out!)

    Why? Well, earlier I said:

    “In sum, there are indeed three forms of righteousness we should be talking about: the first being that of Christ credited to the sinner through faith ; the second which is the righteousness which grows within the Christian ; and the third, which is the righteousness that is seen before men (which may or may not be the same as the first two.) Lutheranism traditionally has embraced all three.”

    Now, going from our conversation, I don’t think you deny that any of these exist, even if for righteousness #2, you say that there’s no actual evidence for it that we can discern (I think you are saying the Christian says this: I believe I really do have a new nature [same person though!] even if I don’t focus on this, because I’m too busy wanting to believe in and confess Jesus).

    So why do you think that we need to be talking about the stuff you mention instead, rather than the particular content of the Law of God (i.e. what real love looks like) as clearly revealed in the Scriptures? Do you have a well-thought out reason? (given all your other answers, I would not be surprised….)

    Probably nothing more from me until Monday at least….

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    You’ve obviously got things well mapped out in your mind!

    I still think this argument is ultimately about the stuff I talked about in 161 and not really the stuff you just mentioned (unless you thought you were somehow directly addressing my concerns in #161? If so, help a guy out!)

    Why? Well, earlier I said:

    “In sum, there are indeed three forms of righteousness we should be talking about: the first being that of Christ credited to the sinner through faith ; the second which is the righteousness which grows within the Christian ; and the third, which is the righteousness that is seen before men (which may or may not be the same as the first two.) Lutheranism traditionally has embraced all three.”

    Now, going from our conversation, I don’t think you deny that any of these exist, even if for righteousness #2, you say that there’s no actual evidence for it that we can discern (I think you are saying the Christian says this: I believe I really do have a new nature [same person though!] even if I don’t focus on this, because I’m too busy wanting to believe in and confess Jesus).

    So why do you think that we need to be talking about the stuff you mention instead, rather than the particular content of the Law of God (i.e. what real love looks like) as clearly revealed in the Scriptures? Do you have a well-thought out reason? (given all your other answers, I would not be surprised….)

    Probably nothing more from me until Monday at least….

    +Nathan

  • fws

    Nathan.

    Naw. I dont have it all layed out.
    But fortunately our Confessions do!
    FC on free will is where I will go to answer you.

  • fws

    Nathan.

    Naw. I dont have it all layed out.
    But fortunately our Confessions do!
    FC on free will is where I will go to answer you.

  • fws

    Nathan:

    I agree that there are these three forms of righteousness.
    Where I identify our disagreement is as to the effective cause of each of the three forms.

    I think you are thinking that #2 comes about by infused grace.
    I believe that Confessions agree with that.
    They actually have no problem with the word infused.
    But the problem is this:

    Your definition of what infused grace is defined, exactly so, by how we are to acquire it.

    The Lutheran layout for all this is thus:

    The Image of God is COMPLETELY lost in man. This is FC art I.

    The follow on to FC I which answers how it is that we acquire that second kind of righteousness is found in FC II.

    The answer in FC II is entirely dependent upon the description of the believer (!) in FC I.

  • fws

    Nathan:

    I agree that there are these three forms of righteousness.
    Where I identify our disagreement is as to the effective cause of each of the three forms.

    I think you are thinking that #2 comes about by infused grace.
    I believe that Confessions agree with that.
    They actually have no problem with the word infused.
    But the problem is this:

    Your definition of what infused grace is defined, exactly so, by how we are to acquire it.

    The Lutheran layout for all this is thus:

    The Image of God is COMPLETELY lost in man. This is FC art I.

    The follow on to FC I which answers how it is that we acquire that second kind of righteousness is found in FC II.

    The answer in FC II is entirely dependent upon the description of the believer (!) in FC I.

  • fws

    Nathan,,
    I suspect that we need more clarity to as to how that third form of righteousness comes about, and of what it consists.

  • fws

    Nathan,,
    I suspect that we need more clarity to as to how that third form of righteousness comes about, and of what it consists.

  • fws

    Nathan @ 171

    I am a little disappointed in our conversation Nathan.
    I pointed you to our Confessions and what they have to say, very specifically as to Love. It is as though I didnt even do that.

    Nothing.
    No response.

    here it is again. Our confessions agree that Love is a greater gift of the HS than even faith. But…

    http://bookofconcord.org/defense_5_love.php#para97

    Please read this in context. What is the context? The Thomist Natural Law adherents attacked the Augsburg Confession in the Roman Confutation
    The Apology is a response to their arguments.

    I am proposing that you are arguing to place love into our theology in exactly the same way the Thomists were arguing for it’s insertion.
    Faith perfected by love is saving faith is what they say…

    Read. And then reflect on how your theology differs from that of the Thomists Nathan. I am not seeing that difference. Show me what I am missing in what you are saying that sets you apart from the good Thomist doctors.

  • fws

    Nathan @ 171

    I am a little disappointed in our conversation Nathan.
    I pointed you to our Confessions and what they have to say, very specifically as to Love. It is as though I didnt even do that.

    Nothing.
    No response.

    here it is again. Our confessions agree that Love is a greater gift of the HS than even faith. But…

    http://bookofconcord.org/defense_5_love.php#para97

    Please read this in context. What is the context? The Thomist Natural Law adherents attacked the Augsburg Confession in the Roman Confutation
    The Apology is a response to their arguments.

    I am proposing that you are arguing to place love into our theology in exactly the same way the Thomists were arguing for it’s insertion.
    Faith perfected by love is saving faith is what they say…

    Read. And then reflect on how your theology differs from that of the Thomists Nathan. I am not seeing that difference. Show me what I am missing in what you are saying that sets you apart from the good Thomist doctors.

  • fws

    Nathan:

    I am saying this: in the Apology you are reading the answer to the Thomist argument for saving faith needed to be faith perfected by love. But you can’t read the Thomist argument in the Apology. You will only read the argument against the Thomist position.

    Ask yourself as you read the text: What was the Thomist thinking of the relationship between faith and love? What was wrong with it?

    The Apology says that wherever you read the word Love you should think Law. And the Law always and only accuses.

    So do this: Go back and insert the word Law in all of your posts in the place of whereever you use the word Love.

    See how the meaning changes for you. Love is not infused grace. it is not gospel. Love is always the always and only accusing Law. Always. Only.

    That is precisely what the Apology is telling the Thomists to do!

  • fws

    Nathan:

    I am saying this: in the Apology you are reading the answer to the Thomist argument for saving faith needed to be faith perfected by love. But you can’t read the Thomist argument in the Apology. You will only read the argument against the Thomist position.

    Ask yourself as you read the text: What was the Thomist thinking of the relationship between faith and love? What was wrong with it?

    The Apology says that wherever you read the word Love you should think Law. And the Law always and only accuses.

    So do this: Go back and insert the word Law in all of your posts in the place of whereever you use the word Love.

    See how the meaning changes for you. Love is not infused grace. it is not gospel. Love is always the always and only accusing Law. Always. Only.

    That is precisely what the Apology is telling the Thomists to do!

  • fws

    “You’ve obviously got things well mapped out in your mind!”

    The way to build doctrine is always to return to the foundation. It lends clarity.

    What I mapped out is the foundation by which all the rest is to be tested against.

  • fws

    “You’ve obviously got things well mapped out in your mind!”

    The way to build doctrine is always to return to the foundation. It lends clarity.

    What I mapped out is the foundation by which all the rest is to be tested against.

  • fws

    Nathan @ 171

    I repent of my previous response and retract it. This is extremely helpful and has brouht me clarity:

    … there are three forms of righteousness

    1) that of Christ credited to the sinner through faith ; the second
    2)which is the righteousness which grows within the Christian ;
    3) the third, which is the righteousness that is seen before men

    The Confessions say there are only two.
    They deny that there is any essential difference between the first two. The Apology call both 1) AND 2) Justification by Faith.

    Here is the quote:

    71] But when it is said that faith justifies, some perhaps understand it of the beginning, namely, that faith is the beginning of justification …that faith is highly praised, because it is the beginning.

    Metaphor to describe this: grammar makes the teachers of all arts, because it prepares for other arts,

    We do not believe thus concerning faith.

    We maintain this:
    Properly and truly, by faith in and of itself, we are for Christ’s sake accounted righteous, or are acceptable to God.

    72] And because “to be justified” means that out of unjust men just men are made , or born again,
    it means also that they are pronounced or accounted just.
    For Scripture speaks in both ways.
    The term “to be justified” is used in two ways:
    to denote 1) being converted, regenerated, [sanctified] 2) being accounted righteous.]

    Accordingly we wish first to show this, that faith alone makes of an unjust, a just man , i.e., receives remission of sins.

    In the Apology
    Forensic Justification=Objective Justification
    Sanctification=Subjective Justification

    And FC art II on Free Will confirms this understanding.
    Both are God declarative work.
    Declarative means that both are effected by God’s declaring of a Word.
    The effective agent in both is the Word of God. Alone

    Further, it is to be noted that also the effective agent in that third form of righteousness that is visible before men, is also the Word of God. But in that case it is the Word of Law, ALONE, that effects that righteousness in all men, believers, fake believers and pagans alike.

  • fws

    Nathan @ 171

    I repent of my previous response and retract it. This is extremely helpful and has brouht me clarity:

    … there are three forms of righteousness

    1) that of Christ credited to the sinner through faith ; the second
    2)which is the righteousness which grows within the Christian ;
    3) the third, which is the righteousness that is seen before men

    The Confessions say there are only two.
    They deny that there is any essential difference between the first two. The Apology call both 1) AND 2) Justification by Faith.

    Here is the quote:

    71] But when it is said that faith justifies, some perhaps understand it of the beginning, namely, that faith is the beginning of justification …that faith is highly praised, because it is the beginning.

    Metaphor to describe this: grammar makes the teachers of all arts, because it prepares for other arts,

    We do not believe thus concerning faith.

    We maintain this:
    Properly and truly, by faith in and of itself, we are for Christ’s sake accounted righteous, or are acceptable to God.

    72] And because “to be justified” means that out of unjust men just men are made , or born again,
    it means also that they are pronounced or accounted just.
    For Scripture speaks in both ways.
    The term “to be justified” is used in two ways:
    to denote 1) being converted, regenerated, [sanctified] 2) being accounted righteous.]

    Accordingly we wish first to show this, that faith alone makes of an unjust, a just man , i.e., receives remission of sins.

    In the Apology
    Forensic Justification=Objective Justification
    Sanctification=Subjective Justification

    And FC art II on Free Will confirms this understanding.
    Both are God declarative work.
    Declarative means that both are effected by God’s declaring of a Word.
    The effective agent in both is the Word of God. Alone

    Further, it is to be noted that also the effective agent in that third form of righteousness that is visible before men, is also the Word of God. But in that case it is the Word of Law, ALONE, that effects that righteousness in all men, believers, fake believers and pagans alike.

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  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    I responded to your last message line by line but it got a little long. Here are the highly condensed cliff notes : ) .

    I hope you don’t mind the terseness. I did it to save you time…

    Agree that our love is always the Law and that we understand grace relationally (I’d say even when grace sounds like a thing in Scripture its probably not) Surprised you now seem to deny any growth in sanctification. Also, although those God declares righteous (by faith, given as a gift) he makes righteous (faith + love), justification and sanctification are to be kept totally distinct in our theology for important pastoral reasons, therefore we don’t say [subjective] justification (faith alone)= sanctification (faith +love). When we are talking about reconversion (after unrepentant sin has driven out faith, which we are told can happen), we are talking about justification again. Let me know if you’d like the longer explanations (or if you respond and I think you haven’t understood my points I’ll post them), or if anyone else is following this conversation, let me know if you’d like those.

    In Christ,
    Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    I responded to your last message line by line but it got a little long. Here are the highly condensed cliff notes : ) .

    I hope you don’t mind the terseness. I did it to save you time…

    Agree that our love is always the Law and that we understand grace relationally (I’d say even when grace sounds like a thing in Scripture its probably not) Surprised you now seem to deny any growth in sanctification. Also, although those God declares righteous (by faith, given as a gift) he makes righteous (faith + love), justification and sanctification are to be kept totally distinct in our theology for important pastoral reasons, therefore we don’t say [subjective] justification (faith alone)= sanctification (faith +love). When we are talking about reconversion (after unrepentant sin has driven out faith, which we are told can happen), we are talking about justification again. Let me know if you’d like the longer explanations (or if you respond and I think you haven’t understood my points I’ll post them), or if anyone else is following this conversation, let me know if you’d like those.

    In Christ,
    Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    I just want you to know that I have not forgotten you. I am certainly eager to continue talking, if you desire to do so. I am reflecting deeply on all that you have said, and putting some of them to paper. They will be appearing as posts on my blog in the near future. That said, please know that I am eager to talk with you. If you were closer, I’d like to meet you and buy you a beer somewhere!

    God bless,

    Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    I just want you to know that I have not forgotten you. I am certainly eager to continue talking, if you desire to do so. I am reflecting deeply on all that you have said, and putting some of them to paper. They will be appearing as posts on my blog in the near future. That said, please know that I am eager to talk with you. If you were closer, I’d like to meet you and buy you a beer somewhere!

    God bless,

    Nathan