Legalism is worse than liberalism

More on how Christians from all traditions are discovering Luther’s distinction between Law and Gospel.  This is evident in this post from Southern Baptist pastor Micah Fries at Project TGM, who goes on to make a further point that we conservative Lutherans might sometimes overlook:

When I grew up, the great enemy of the gospel was almost always known as “liberalism”, or possibly, “moderate theology”. Today, however, it seems that we must equally be on guard against a different enemy. This new enemy is just as old as the first, but it is often more difficult to spot. Of course, it would be the enemy of legalism.

These two polar opposites of liberalism and legalism both stand apart from each other, in a sense, but in a very real way, they both accomplish the same goal; that of undermining God’s word. Liberalism, of course, reduces God’s word, and in doing so attempts to make a mockery of those who would dare take that word at face value. It assumes a position of great authority, in fact it could be argued that it assumes a position of greater authority than scripture itself as it attempts to “rectify” the “errors” found in the bible. Legalism, however, is also guilty of reducing the power and authority of God’s word, albeit in a much more insidious manner. While liberalism takes away from God’s word, legalism adds to it, and although it is different in practice from liberalism, it is essentially accomplishing the same goal, that of assuming authority over God’s word. While liberalism claims that scripture says too much, legalism claims that scripture does not say enough.

In all of this, however, I often find myself wondering if legalism might not be a greater danger to the Gospel, than the danger that liberalism itself poses. . . .

First, legalism is a difficult to diagnose cancer. All too often legalism is a subtle, creeping cancer that masquerades as holiness. In Matthew 23, Jesus points out that the Pharisees were guilty of adding “heavy loads” to the backs of their disciples. In Philippians 3 Paul points out that the Judaizers were “dogs” who “mutilated the flesh” in their pursuit of holiness. Both of these groups were guilty of affirming Scripture and yet adding to it in a further attempt to clarify their brand of “holiness”. When we take our personal convictions and apply them unilaterally, regardless of their clarity in Scripture, we may be guilty of this same creeping legalism. . . .

Second, legalism leads to a diminished recognition of sin. . . .A certain mark of legalism is a capacity to recognize others’ sins while failing to see our own. In his article on a topic similar to this, J.D. Greear cautions us concerning this danger. Good legalists get so busy playing watchdog for the sins of others, that they fail to see their own gross failure. As a result, personal sin is diminished, all in the name of “protecting holiness”. . . .

Third, legalism worries more about “its reputation” than it worries about Jesus’ reputation. . . .Legalism worries more about whether someone else saw them talking to that “sinner” than it worries about that sinner actually being engaged with the gospel. Legalism is happy to preach to the sinner, so long as they will clean up and show up at the church on Sunday morning, but it would recoil in horror at the thought of going to the gutter with the person who is far from God. Ironically enough, at this point legalists are terrified of becoming like Jesus as we see Him in Mark 2:16. This unhealthy understanding of God and the gospel undermines the Romans 5:8 nature of the gospel and assumes a false righteousness must precede our ability to respond to the gospel, while also denying our own personal depravity and in doing so it neuters the heart of the gospel.

Fourth, legalism trumpets man’s capacity to do good, and in doing so undermines the depth of God’s grace. Legalism, in its efforts to adhere to the “holiness” code of rules and regulations, assumes man’s ability to “do good” and in doing, pulls the legs out from under the grace of God as exhibited in the gospel. Legalism loves hard work, and lots of it. The more you are able to work, the more holy you must be. Interestingly enough, this kind of pursuit will almost lead to a forced, false spirituality. Legalism judges you on behavior, not the condition of your heart, and therefore can encourage behavioral change, regardless of the heart’s condition. It is because of this that our churches are filled with unregenerate people, who still feel completely at home in our congregations. They have applied the appropriate levels of behavior modification to be found acceptable, so that their dark hearts are rarely if ever noticed.

These are just a few of the many dangers that legalism poses to the heart of the gospel. While liberalism was, is and always will be an enormous threat to the gospel, I would plead with Southern Baptists to recognize the danger that legalism also poses to the gospel. While it is easy to preach about the liberals “out there”, it is probably beyond time that we preach against the legalists who are among us; who often are us.

HT:  Adrian Warnock

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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.

  • Norman Teigen

    This was a thoughtful and well written piece. It was a good read early in the morning.

  • Norman Teigen

    This was a thoughtful and well written piece. It was a good read early in the morning.

  • fws

    More on how Christians from all traditions are discovering Luther’s distinction between Law and Gospel.

    Legalism vs Liberalism.
    Legalism vs License.

    This is so very not the distinction between Law and Gospel.
    This is Aristotle´s definition of Virtue as being neither deficit nor excess.
    Fake Christians and pagans can do this.
    Pure Doctrine can (and should be done) by fake Christians too.
    Pure doctrine is an outward discipline that require no Holy Spirit or Christ to do.

    Apology to the Augsburg Confession. Article 18. Free Will.

    [BEING ABLE TO AVOID BOTH LIBERALISM, LEGALISM AND LICENSE]:

    70] Nor, indeed, do we deny liberty to the human will.
    The human will has liberty in the choice of works and things which reason comprehends by itself. It can to a certain extent render civil righteousness or the righteousness of works; it can speak of God, offer to God a certain service by an outward work, obey magistrates, parents; in the choice of an outward work it can restrain the hands from murder, from adultery, from theft.
    Since there is left in human nature reason and judgment concerning objects subjected to the senses, choice between these things, and the liberty and power to render civil righteousness, are also left.
    For Scripture calls this the righteousness of the flesh which the carnal nature, i.e., reason, renders by itself, 71] without the Holy Ghost.

    Although the power of concupiscence is such that men more frequently obey evil dispositions than sound judgment. And the devil, who is efficacious in the godless, as Paul says, Eph. 2:2, does not cease to incite this feeble nature to various offenses.
    These are the reasons why even civil righteousness is rare among men, as we see that not even the philosophers themselves, who seem 72] to have aspired after this righteousness, attained it.

    [CONTRASTED WITH WHAT, ALONE, REQUIRES THE HOLY SPIRIT AND CHRIST]:

    For human hearts without the Holy Ghost are without the fear of God; without trust toward God, they do not believe that they are heard, forgiven, helped, and preserved by God. Therefore they are godless. For neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit, Matt. 7:18. And without faith it is impossible to please God, Heb. 11:6.

    73] Therefore, although we concede to free will the liberty and power to perform the outward works of the Law , yet
    we do not ascribe to free will these spiritual matters,
    namely, truly to fear God, truly to believe God, truly to be confident and hold that God regards us, hears us, forgives us, etc.

    These are the true works of the First Table, which the heart cannot render without the Holy Ghost, as Paul says, 1 Cor. 2:14: The natural man, i.e., man using only natural strength, receiveth not the things 74] of the Spirit of God.

    That is, a person who is not enlightened by the Spirit of God does not, by his natural reason, receive anything of God’s will and divine matters.

    And this can be decided if men consider what their hearts believe concerning God’s will, whether they are truly confident that they are regarded and heard by God. Even for saints to retain this faith and, as Peter says (1 Pet. 1:8), to risk and commit himself entirely to God, whom he does not see, to love Christ, and esteem Him highly, whom he does not see is difficult, so far is it from existing in the godless.

    This faith is conceived, as we have said above, when terrified hearts hear the Gospel and receive consolation when we are born anew of the Holy Ghost.

    [THE IMPORTANCE OF SUCH A DISTINCTION:]

    75] This distinction is of advantage in which
    [the outward discipline] civil righteousness is ascribed to the free will and
    spiritual righteousness[that is invisible and of faith alone] to the governing of the Holy Ghost in the regenerate.

    For thus the outward discipline is retained, because all men ought to know equally, both that God requires this civil righteousness. God will not tolerate indecent, wild, reckless conduct. And this distribution makes the exact point that, in a measure, we can do outward discipline.

    And yet a distinction is shown between human and spiritual righteousness, between philosophical doctrine and the doctrine of the Holy Ghost, and it can be understood for what there is need of the Holy Ghost. 76] Nor has this distinction been invented by us, but Scripture most clearly teaches it.

  • fws

    More on how Christians from all traditions are discovering Luther’s distinction between Law and Gospel.

    Legalism vs Liberalism.
    Legalism vs License.

    This is so very not the distinction between Law and Gospel.
    This is Aristotle´s definition of Virtue as being neither deficit nor excess.
    Fake Christians and pagans can do this.
    Pure Doctrine can (and should be done) by fake Christians too.
    Pure doctrine is an outward discipline that require no Holy Spirit or Christ to do.

    Apology to the Augsburg Confession. Article 18. Free Will.

    [BEING ABLE TO AVOID BOTH LIBERALISM, LEGALISM AND LICENSE]:

    70] Nor, indeed, do we deny liberty to the human will.
    The human will has liberty in the choice of works and things which reason comprehends by itself. It can to a certain extent render civil righteousness or the righteousness of works; it can speak of God, offer to God a certain service by an outward work, obey magistrates, parents; in the choice of an outward work it can restrain the hands from murder, from adultery, from theft.
    Since there is left in human nature reason and judgment concerning objects subjected to the senses, choice between these things, and the liberty and power to render civil righteousness, are also left.
    For Scripture calls this the righteousness of the flesh which the carnal nature, i.e., reason, renders by itself, 71] without the Holy Ghost.

    Although the power of concupiscence is such that men more frequently obey evil dispositions than sound judgment. And the devil, who is efficacious in the godless, as Paul says, Eph. 2:2, does not cease to incite this feeble nature to various offenses.
    These are the reasons why even civil righteousness is rare among men, as we see that not even the philosophers themselves, who seem 72] to have aspired after this righteousness, attained it.

    [CONTRASTED WITH WHAT, ALONE, REQUIRES THE HOLY SPIRIT AND CHRIST]:

    For human hearts without the Holy Ghost are without the fear of God; without trust toward God, they do not believe that they are heard, forgiven, helped, and preserved by God. Therefore they are godless. For neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit, Matt. 7:18. And without faith it is impossible to please God, Heb. 11:6.

    73] Therefore, although we concede to free will the liberty and power to perform the outward works of the Law , yet
    we do not ascribe to free will these spiritual matters,
    namely, truly to fear God, truly to believe God, truly to be confident and hold that God regards us, hears us, forgives us, etc.

    These are the true works of the First Table, which the heart cannot render without the Holy Ghost, as Paul says, 1 Cor. 2:14: The natural man, i.e., man using only natural strength, receiveth not the things 74] of the Spirit of God.

    That is, a person who is not enlightened by the Spirit of God does not, by his natural reason, receive anything of God’s will and divine matters.

    And this can be decided if men consider what their hearts believe concerning God’s will, whether they are truly confident that they are regarded and heard by God. Even for saints to retain this faith and, as Peter says (1 Pet. 1:8), to risk and commit himself entirely to God, whom he does not see, to love Christ, and esteem Him highly, whom he does not see is difficult, so far is it from existing in the godless.

    This faith is conceived, as we have said above, when terrified hearts hear the Gospel and receive consolation when we are born anew of the Holy Ghost.

    [THE IMPORTANCE OF SUCH A DISTINCTION:]

    75] This distinction is of advantage in which
    [the outward discipline] civil righteousness is ascribed to the free will and
    spiritual righteousness[that is invisible and of faith alone] to the governing of the Holy Ghost in the regenerate.

    For thus the outward discipline is retained, because all men ought to know equally, both that God requires this civil righteousness. God will not tolerate indecent, wild, reckless conduct. And this distribution makes the exact point that, in a measure, we can do outward discipline.

    And yet a distinction is shown between human and spiritual righteousness, between philosophical doctrine and the doctrine of the Holy Ghost, and it can be understood for what there is need of the Holy Ghost. 76] Nor has this distinction been invented by us, but Scripture most clearly teaches it.

  • larry

    This is a very subtle poison and very dangerous article, subtle in its deception that does not see its own devilish flaw; no Gospel “pro me” and “extra nos”. He needs to ask himself why legalism develops? He answers it, unknown to himself due to his theology in two contradictory statements:

    “It is because of this that our churches are filled with unregenerate people, who still feel completely at home in our congregations. They have applied the appropriate levels of behavior modification to be found acceptable, so that their dark hearts are rarely if ever noticed.

    For why have they …applied the appropriate levels of behavior modification to be found acceptable…, or why the despairing on one hand trying to do this and on the other hand those thinking they pull it off? The answer is simple no “for me” Gospel that is “outside of me” actually “given to me” so that I know I’m forgiven and saved.

    One cannot miss the Baptist lingo here in the …our churches are filled with unregenerate people…. Because the question becomes, now, how do I get regenerate? How do I know I am regenerate or born again or elected or predestined. For this is where the legalism slips in, the need for a for me so that I know its me that’s regenerate, born again, elect, predestine, etc….

    Let’s say a Baptist congregant takes notice and seriously of what he says here. He/she now must ask, “Maybe that describes me, I’ve been baptized (I think) but maybe I’m not really regenerate, how do I get from here to there and then really baptized…”.

    The Baptist writer/pastor puts them back into the hell of unbelief they cannot get out of with that statement.

    The only way one can say: “It is because of this that our churches are filled with unregenerate people, who still feel completely at home in our congregations. They have applied the appropriate levels of behavior modification to be found acceptable, so that their dark hearts are rarely if ever noticed. , is to in reality deny the bondage of the human will to not be able to believe it is forgiven of God (one has to grasp what a Baptist means with that tiny little insertion our churches are filled with unregenerate people). That is, at the end of the day, the only reason the sacraments are denied to actually give the forgiveness of sins. That’s why this pastor can say Baptized churches are full of unregenerate people who are baptized people.
    This article is far from a distinction of Law and Gospel, it is an utter (and subtle) confusion of it.

  • larry

    This is a very subtle poison and very dangerous article, subtle in its deception that does not see its own devilish flaw; no Gospel “pro me” and “extra nos”. He needs to ask himself why legalism develops? He answers it, unknown to himself due to his theology in two contradictory statements:

    “It is because of this that our churches are filled with unregenerate people, who still feel completely at home in our congregations. They have applied the appropriate levels of behavior modification to be found acceptable, so that their dark hearts are rarely if ever noticed.

    For why have they …applied the appropriate levels of behavior modification to be found acceptable…, or why the despairing on one hand trying to do this and on the other hand those thinking they pull it off? The answer is simple no “for me” Gospel that is “outside of me” actually “given to me” so that I know I’m forgiven and saved.

    One cannot miss the Baptist lingo here in the …our churches are filled with unregenerate people…. Because the question becomes, now, how do I get regenerate? How do I know I am regenerate or born again or elected or predestined. For this is where the legalism slips in, the need for a for me so that I know its me that’s regenerate, born again, elect, predestine, etc….

    Let’s say a Baptist congregant takes notice and seriously of what he says here. He/she now must ask, “Maybe that describes me, I’ve been baptized (I think) but maybe I’m not really regenerate, how do I get from here to there and then really baptized…”.

    The Baptist writer/pastor puts them back into the hell of unbelief they cannot get out of with that statement.

    The only way one can say: “It is because of this that our churches are filled with unregenerate people, who still feel completely at home in our congregations. They have applied the appropriate levels of behavior modification to be found acceptable, so that their dark hearts are rarely if ever noticed. , is to in reality deny the bondage of the human will to not be able to believe it is forgiven of God (one has to grasp what a Baptist means with that tiny little insertion our churches are filled with unregenerate people). That is, at the end of the day, the only reason the sacraments are denied to actually give the forgiveness of sins. That’s why this pastor can say Baptized churches are full of unregenerate people who are baptized people.
    This article is far from a distinction of Law and Gospel, it is an utter (and subtle) confusion of it.

  • larry

    Beat me to it Frank, and ditto!

  • larry

    Beat me to it Frank, and ditto!

  • fws

    [In the Doctrine of the Two Kingdoms, aka Law and Gospel Distinction] a distinction is shown between human and spiritual righteousness, between philosophical doctrine and the doctrine of the Holy Ghost, and it can be understood for what there is need of the Holy Ghost.

    The Holy Spirit is not needed for Pure Doctrine. That is an outward discipline for which reason is sufficient.

    The Holy Spirit is needed, alone, to have a heart-kn0wing or heart-trust in Two Words: “given and shed FOR YOU, for the forgiveness of sins”. Alone. Alone. Alone.

    The Earthly Kingdom includes ALL we can see and do, which is ALL about our exercise of will power, free will and reason. Especially in Church, also in family and society.

    The Heavenly Kingdom includes nothing at all we can DO. How could it? ALL we are able to DO for righeousness, is already ALL included in the Earthly Kingdom of the Law driven by reason and free will. The Heavenly Kingdom, ALONE , consists of the heart-knowing or heart-trust in Two Words. Alone.

    It is this heart-knowing, alone, that requires the Holy Spirit. NOTHING else requires the Holy Spirit.

    Satan knows the difference between liberty and license and legalism. So does Aristotle and reason. Knowing this is not to know the distinction between Law and Gospel.

  • fws

    [In the Doctrine of the Two Kingdoms, aka Law and Gospel Distinction] a distinction is shown between human and spiritual righteousness, between philosophical doctrine and the doctrine of the Holy Ghost, and it can be understood for what there is need of the Holy Ghost.

    The Holy Spirit is not needed for Pure Doctrine. That is an outward discipline for which reason is sufficient.

    The Holy Spirit is needed, alone, to have a heart-kn0wing or heart-trust in Two Words: “given and shed FOR YOU, for the forgiveness of sins”. Alone. Alone. Alone.

    The Earthly Kingdom includes ALL we can see and do, which is ALL about our exercise of will power, free will and reason. Especially in Church, also in family and society.

    The Heavenly Kingdom includes nothing at all we can DO. How could it? ALL we are able to DO for righeousness, is already ALL included in the Earthly Kingdom of the Law driven by reason and free will. The Heavenly Kingdom, ALONE , consists of the heart-knowing or heart-trust in Two Words. Alone.

    It is this heart-knowing, alone, that requires the Holy Spirit. NOTHING else requires the Holy Spirit.

    Satan knows the difference between liberty and license and legalism. So does Aristotle and reason. Knowing this is not to know the distinction between Law and Gospel.

  • fws

    Back at ya Larry.

    This article is subtle and pure poison.

    It is a rearranging of the deck chairs of philosophical righeousness which is all about romans 8 flesh which will perish.

  • fws

    Back at ya Larry.

    This article is subtle and pure poison.

    It is a rearranging of the deck chairs of philosophical righeousness which is all about romans 8 flesh which will perish.

  • Tom Hering

    How do we know the author has discovered Luther’s distinction between Law and Gospel, when he doesn’t tell us what he means by “gospel”?

  • Tom Hering

    How do we know the author has discovered Luther’s distinction between Law and Gospel, when he doesn’t tell us what he means by “gospel”?

  • Michael B.

    Some more conservative Christians will claim that “legalist” is an insult hurled at anyone who believes that the lifestyle of a Christian should be in any way significantly different than the public at large.

  • Michael B.

    Some more conservative Christians will claim that “legalist” is an insult hurled at anyone who believes that the lifestyle of a Christian should be in any way significantly different than the public at large.

  • fjsteve

    So is there anything to praise in this article? Or is it just poison?

  • fjsteve

    So is there anything to praise in this article? Or is it just poison?

  • SKPeterson

    What we have is a recognition of the surface symptoms – legalism and liberalism are both bad, legalism may be even worse – while failing to diagnose the underlying cause of the disease – a poor theology of grace and the sacraments. This is not so much a Law/Gospel distinction as it is a manifestation of a Cross/Glory theological distinction.

  • SKPeterson

    What we have is a recognition of the surface symptoms – legalism and liberalism are both bad, legalism may be even worse – while failing to diagnose the underlying cause of the disease – a poor theology of grace and the sacraments. This is not so much a Law/Gospel distinction as it is a manifestation of a Cross/Glory theological distinction.

  • SKPeterson

    fjsteve @ 9 – I think the article does have merit in noting the dangers of both liberalism and legalism, but that it is limited in its scope due to its underlying theological assumptions.

  • SKPeterson

    fjsteve @ 9 – I think the article does have merit in noting the dangers of both liberalism and legalism, but that it is limited in its scope due to its underlying theological assumptions.

  • http://www.matthewcochran.net/blog Matt Cochran

    Seeing as how liberalism is also legalism (albeit with a non-traditional moral code), I’m not sure that it makes sense to say one is worse than the other.

  • http://www.matthewcochran.net/blog Matt Cochran

    Seeing as how liberalism is also legalism (albeit with a non-traditional moral code), I’m not sure that it makes sense to say one is worse than the other.

  • fws

    1) there is not even the most tiny drop of Gospel here.
    2) This article is pure 100% philosophical righeousness of reason that IS a outward righeousness that any fake christian , and also true believer is required to practice.
    3) The idea here is that somehow “right thinking” has to do with the Gospel. That it will fix something. This is Aristotle/reason.
    4) It is true! We are to become virtuous by exercising reason to subdue our emotions and natural appetites until that practice becomes a habit or second nature.
    5) The error of Rome is that they placed this aristotelian virtue as habit as meritorious preparation to be granted Grace, and say that the Holy Spirit is necessary for this work.
    6) Geneva (following late Melanchthon) places this same aristotelian virtue AFTER Grace/Justification as a necessary and Holy Spirit enabled fruit of the Gospel (even though it is really pure law and mortification) and they call it “sanctification”, which says that such aristotelian virtue is a work requiring the Holy Spirit. That is the error. And it is the error in this article.

  • fws

    1) there is not even the most tiny drop of Gospel here.
    2) This article is pure 100% philosophical righeousness of reason that IS a outward righeousness that any fake christian , and also true believer is required to practice.
    3) The idea here is that somehow “right thinking” has to do with the Gospel. That it will fix something. This is Aristotle/reason.
    4) It is true! We are to become virtuous by exercising reason to subdue our emotions and natural appetites until that practice becomes a habit or second nature.
    5) The error of Rome is that they placed this aristotelian virtue as habit as meritorious preparation to be granted Grace, and say that the Holy Spirit is necessary for this work.
    6) Geneva (following late Melanchthon) places this same aristotelian virtue AFTER Grace/Justification as a necessary and Holy Spirit enabled fruit of the Gospel (even though it is really pure law and mortification) and they call it “sanctification”, which says that such aristotelian virtue is a work requiring the Holy Spirit. That is the error. And it is the error in this article.

  • fws

    fjsteve @ 9

    Philosophical , aka carnal righeousness that is the body/flesh of romans 8 is demanded of us by God in the second table. God praises it and promises to reward it. He threatens to punish those who don´t do it. To seek the Aristotelian Golden Mean between license and liberty, liberality versus legalism results in more mercy and less chaos at the same time
    .
    But the error here IS pure poison.
    Why?

    It implies, in context, that knowing this distinction requires the Holy Spirit or Christ or Christianity. It implies that some outward discipline, such as getting our thinking right, requires Christianity, the Holy Spirit or Christ.

    Only a heart-knowing of Two Words requires the Holy Spirit.
    But a baptist denies the creative Power of those Two Words in Holy Baptism , the Supper, the Absolution and the Preacher Sent as also being the arrival of our Eternal Election, eternal security, assurance, and the effective substance of all that .

    A baptist will make the “Gospel” be about rational assent to a Biblical proposition that both is and also results in something…. we DO.

    And they will call this the Gospel. And some Lutherans fail to see what is happening. Again: Not even the tiniest drop of FOR YOU Gospel here.

    The Law always accuses and always and only kills. Here we should all be terrified in our consciences at the fact that we endlessly vascilate between legalism and liberality seeking life in our Old Adam by getting our thinking just right, and thus hoping that also our actions will follow. What is missing in that is what

  • fws

    fjsteve @ 9

    Philosophical , aka carnal righeousness that is the body/flesh of romans 8 is demanded of us by God in the second table. God praises it and promises to reward it. He threatens to punish those who don´t do it. To seek the Aristotelian Golden Mean between license and liberty, liberality versus legalism results in more mercy and less chaos at the same time
    .
    But the error here IS pure poison.
    Why?

    It implies, in context, that knowing this distinction requires the Holy Spirit or Christ or Christianity. It implies that some outward discipline, such as getting our thinking right, requires Christianity, the Holy Spirit or Christ.

    Only a heart-knowing of Two Words requires the Holy Spirit.
    But a baptist denies the creative Power of those Two Words in Holy Baptism , the Supper, the Absolution and the Preacher Sent as also being the arrival of our Eternal Election, eternal security, assurance, and the effective substance of all that .

    A baptist will make the “Gospel” be about rational assent to a Biblical proposition that both is and also results in something…. we DO.

    And they will call this the Gospel. And some Lutherans fail to see what is happening. Again: Not even the tiniest drop of FOR YOU Gospel here.

    The Law always accuses and always and only kills. Here we should all be terrified in our consciences at the fact that we endlessly vascilate between legalism and liberality seeking life in our Old Adam by getting our thinking just right, and thus hoping that also our actions will follow. What is missing in that is what

  • fws

    Michael B @ 8

    Give me just ONE example, besides showing up in Church every sunday, that makes the Christian Lifestyle in anyway different than that of a vituous unbeliever or a fake christian.

    Your comment is based on a non distinction and non difference.
    There is absolutely zero way to distinguish between a true believer and a hipocrite.

    At the same time, it is true that someone who neglects to seek after the same outward discipline of righeous behavior that pagans are fully able to know and do, could not possibly be a christian .

  • fws

    Michael B @ 8

    Give me just ONE example, besides showing up in Church every sunday, that makes the Christian Lifestyle in anyway different than that of a vituous unbeliever or a fake christian.

    Your comment is based on a non distinction and non difference.
    There is absolutely zero way to distinguish between a true believer and a hipocrite.

    At the same time, it is true that someone who neglects to seek after the same outward discipline of righeous behavior that pagans are fully able to know and do, could not possibly be a christian .

  • Lou G.

    Tom: “How do we know the author has discovered Luther’s distinction between Law and Gospel, when he doesn’t tell us what he means by “gospel”?”
    That is an excellent question and one that I have come up with numerous times when encountering certain theologians and pastors. There is a lot of talk “about” the Gospel, but very little actual Gospel given (via Word and sacraments). The Gospel seems to have become objectified, assumed and exploited in some ways. A few writers use the Gospel as an adjective for everything.

    I also tend to see legalism and liberalism as equivalent errors. Within traditionally fundamentalist churches, I think legalism may be a greater threat, as the people tend to be on constant guard against liberalism, while being fairly unaware of their assumed legalistic roots. There are several specific examples that I may elaborate upon in a separate comment.

  • Lou G.

    Tom: “How do we know the author has discovered Luther’s distinction between Law and Gospel, when he doesn’t tell us what he means by “gospel”?”
    That is an excellent question and one that I have come up with numerous times when encountering certain theologians and pastors. There is a lot of talk “about” the Gospel, but very little actual Gospel given (via Word and sacraments). The Gospel seems to have become objectified, assumed and exploited in some ways. A few writers use the Gospel as an adjective for everything.

    I also tend to see legalism and liberalism as equivalent errors. Within traditionally fundamentalist churches, I think legalism may be a greater threat, as the people tend to be on constant guard against liberalism, while being fairly unaware of their assumed legalistic roots. There are several specific examples that I may elaborate upon in a separate comment.

  • fjsteve

    fws

    “At the same time, it is true that someone who neglects to seek after the same outward discipline of righeous behavior that pagans are fully able to know and do, could not possibly be a christian .”

    What?? I think I might have read this wrong. Please explain.

  • fjsteve

    fws

    “At the same time, it is true that someone who neglects to seek after the same outward discipline of righeous behavior that pagans are fully able to know and do, could not possibly be a christian .”

    What?? I think I might have read this wrong. Please explain.

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

    I agree about the lack of gospel, and for those of you who don’t keep tabs on those circles, this is what I expect from the vacuous and exploited “gospel-centered” movement – a word game in which the Pastor’s Pet Peeve of the Week is suddenly baptized with “gospel-significance”. Don’t try to understand the previous uses of the word gospel, they haven’t actually got any meaning. On the other hand, I am a bit surprised to hear this from an SBCer. Given the baptist tendency to preach behavior modification, this is a bold step. Should improve the blog traffic (he noted cynically).

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

    I agree about the lack of gospel, and for those of you who don’t keep tabs on those circles, this is what I expect from the vacuous and exploited “gospel-centered” movement – a word game in which the Pastor’s Pet Peeve of the Week is suddenly baptized with “gospel-significance”. Don’t try to understand the previous uses of the word gospel, they haven’t actually got any meaning. On the other hand, I am a bit surprised to hear this from an SBCer. Given the baptist tendency to preach behavior modification, this is a bold step. Should improve the blog traffic (he noted cynically).

  • trotk

    Frank, larry, and fjsteve -

    If you ever wonder why more people don’t want to be Lutheran, one reason is because of reactions like yours.

    A Southern Baptist(!) writes an article noting that legalism is more insidious than liberalism. Instead of praising the man for taking a step in the right direction, you blast him, calling his article “pure poison,” because he doesn’t get the gospel and the sacraments.

    First, how the hell do you know? The nature of the gospel or the sacraments isn’t the point of this article. You must be judging him based on his denomination, which seems to be a flagrant disregard for “put the best construction on everything.”

    Second, even if he doesn’t, at least step back and recognize that a Southern Baptist chastising the legalism in his denomination is an opportunity for rejoicing.

    Third, your reaction is as anti-gospel as anything in the SBC. Sorry, but you aren’t saved by your understanding any more than baptists are saved by their legalism. Have some grace with the man. Allow Christ to save in spite of our imperfect understanding. This, perhaps more than anything, is what drives people away from Lutheranism. You oftentimes display a condescension that seems to say “my understanding of the doctrine is more important before God than you are as a person.” It is the epitome of “knowledge puffs up.”

    Guys, come on. Learn that mercy triumphs over judgment, and knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.

    I am not saying that you shouldn’t correct false doctrine, but have some grace in the way that you do it, and for goodness sakes, don’t manufacture an enemy of the faith when a man writes against legalism.

  • trotk

    Frank, larry, and fjsteve -

    If you ever wonder why more people don’t want to be Lutheran, one reason is because of reactions like yours.

    A Southern Baptist(!) writes an article noting that legalism is more insidious than liberalism. Instead of praising the man for taking a step in the right direction, you blast him, calling his article “pure poison,” because he doesn’t get the gospel and the sacraments.

    First, how the hell do you know? The nature of the gospel or the sacraments isn’t the point of this article. You must be judging him based on his denomination, which seems to be a flagrant disregard for “put the best construction on everything.”

    Second, even if he doesn’t, at least step back and recognize that a Southern Baptist chastising the legalism in his denomination is an opportunity for rejoicing.

    Third, your reaction is as anti-gospel as anything in the SBC. Sorry, but you aren’t saved by your understanding any more than baptists are saved by their legalism. Have some grace with the man. Allow Christ to save in spite of our imperfect understanding. This, perhaps more than anything, is what drives people away from Lutheranism. You oftentimes display a condescension that seems to say “my understanding of the doctrine is more important before God than you are as a person.” It is the epitome of “knowledge puffs up.”

    Guys, come on. Learn that mercy triumphs over judgment, and knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.

    I am not saying that you shouldn’t correct false doctrine, but have some grace in the way that you do it, and for goodness sakes, don’t manufacture an enemy of the faith when a man writes against legalism.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Well, I thought it was a pretty good article.
    But then I read the comments here.
    I’m worried that I didn’t pick up on the “subtle poison.”

    I think I might not be “regenerate.”

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Well, I thought it was a pretty good article.
    But then I read the comments here.
    I’m worried that I didn’t pick up on the “subtle poison.”

    I think I might not be “regenerate.”

  • fws

    fsteve @ 17

    [ Our adversaries d0] not know how the remission of sins occurs, and how, in the judgment of God and terrors of conscience, trust in works is driven out of us.(Augsburg Confession II Justification. Bente)

    17] This whole doctrine [of Good Works] is to be referred to that conflict of the terrified conscience, neither can it be understood apart from that conflict.

    Therefore 18] inexperienced and profane men judge ill concerning this matter, who dream that Christian righteousness is nothing but civil and philosophical righteousness. (Augsburg Confession, Good Works. Bente.)…
    hypocrites, in their security, think simply their works are worthy, and that for this reason they are accounted righteous.
    On the other hand, terrified consciences doubt concerning all works, and for this reason are continually seeking other works..(Apology III, Love and the Law. Bente) …

    21] Likewise 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. Wherefore 22] it cannot exist in those who live according to the flesh who are delighted by their own lusts and obey them. Accordingly, Paul says, Rom. 8, 1: There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. So, too 8, 12. 13: We are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the
    flesh, ye shall die; but if ye, through the Spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 23]
    Wherefore, the faith which receives remission of sins in a heart terrified and fleeing from sin does not remain in those who obey their desires, neither does it coexist with mortal sin.

    I would suggest you download the pdf of the Bente Book of Concord. You can do word searches there. Search on “Terr” to capture all the places terror, terrors, and terrified occur. Read those passages in their contexts. You will find great, great comfort in these passages dear brother.

    The understanding of the distinction between faith and good works can only be understood in the middle of living with a terrified conscience you hear them say.

    How could someone be glad to be saved from their sin, and NOT want there to be an end to sin and to flee it in terror?

    What you are hearing is the Law. We don´t flee sin in our Old Adam do we?! We chase after it. We will it to happen from the very bottom of our Old Adam heart. We cleaverly place ourselves in situations where it “just happens”, we excuse ourselves by making a bogus distinction between willful sin and… what? NO sin happens unless we will it to happen with our heart, soul and mind and jump into it with both feet! And the Law is convicting you of this fact dear brother!

    Go do that wordsearch of the downloadable Bente edition. You will find true comfort!

  • fws

    fsteve @ 17

    [ Our adversaries d0] not know how the remission of sins occurs, and how, in the judgment of God and terrors of conscience, trust in works is driven out of us.(Augsburg Confession II Justification. Bente)

    17] This whole doctrine [of Good Works] is to be referred to that conflict of the terrified conscience, neither can it be understood apart from that conflict.

    Therefore 18] inexperienced and profane men judge ill concerning this matter, who dream that Christian righteousness is nothing but civil and philosophical righteousness. (Augsburg Confession, Good Works. Bente.)…
    hypocrites, in their security, think simply their works are worthy, and that for this reason they are accounted righteous.
    On the other hand, terrified consciences doubt concerning all works, and for this reason are continually seeking other works..(Apology III, Love and the Law. Bente) …

    21] Likewise 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. Wherefore 22] it cannot exist in those who live according to the flesh who are delighted by their own lusts and obey them. Accordingly, Paul says, Rom. 8, 1: There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. So, too 8, 12. 13: We are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the
    flesh, ye shall die; but if ye, through the Spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 23]
    Wherefore, the faith which receives remission of sins in a heart terrified and fleeing from sin does not remain in those who obey their desires, neither does it coexist with mortal sin.

    I would suggest you download the pdf of the Bente Book of Concord. You can do word searches there. Search on “Terr” to capture all the places terror, terrors, and terrified occur. Read those passages in their contexts. You will find great, great comfort in these passages dear brother.

    The understanding of the distinction between faith and good works can only be understood in the middle of living with a terrified conscience you hear them say.

    How could someone be glad to be saved from their sin, and NOT want there to be an end to sin and to flee it in terror?

    What you are hearing is the Law. We don´t flee sin in our Old Adam do we?! We chase after it. We will it to happen from the very bottom of our Old Adam heart. We cleaverly place ourselves in situations where it “just happens”, we excuse ourselves by making a bogus distinction between willful sin and… what? NO sin happens unless we will it to happen with our heart, soul and mind and jump into it with both feet! And the Law is convicting you of this fact dear brother!

    Go do that wordsearch of the downloadable Bente edition. You will find true comfort!

  • fws

    fjsteve @ 17

    The idea is this:

    Apart from a heart-knowing of Two Words “For YOU!” that is to know God´s will to us in Christ . the Law can only creates sinners that are secure hypocrites or licentious/libertine terrified consciences that chase after more good works to do our just give up at that and try to distract the conscience with legalisms or hedonism.

    This is all to flee the judgement of God. It is to embrace sin and hate God.

    This describes your Old Adam who still clings to you in your flesh! It describes ALL you can see and do , which is all about your using your reason and will power to try to somehow subdue the flesh. It is philosophical righeousness. It is external discipline. God demands this and rewards and punishes here based upon what we DO.

    The New Man embraces God´s Judgement in fear, love and trust in God. He is therefore terrified at ALL he can see and do. He hates sin and wishes to be rid of it. And he confesses that sin is ALL that Old Adam can do. So trust in Good Works is driven out of him, and instead he hides ALL he can do in the Works of Another.

    At the same time New Man will take up the Law and mortify the Old Adam, just as any pagan does. Why? to be obedient to God? No only Christ can render that. Why then? He hears the cries of those who are being devoured alive by the effects of sin in them and in others. So we become living sacrifices. Our Good Works? They are now all about our death for the creaturely mercy of others. We no longer seek Life in our Good Works. But our Old Adam never stops pursuing that project that he imagines is some Obedience that God demands that only Christ can do.

  • fws

    fjsteve @ 17

    The idea is this:

    Apart from a heart-knowing of Two Words “For YOU!” that is to know God´s will to us in Christ . the Law can only creates sinners that are secure hypocrites or licentious/libertine terrified consciences that chase after more good works to do our just give up at that and try to distract the conscience with legalisms or hedonism.

    This is all to flee the judgement of God. It is to embrace sin and hate God.

    This describes your Old Adam who still clings to you in your flesh! It describes ALL you can see and do , which is all about your using your reason and will power to try to somehow subdue the flesh. It is philosophical righeousness. It is external discipline. God demands this and rewards and punishes here based upon what we DO.

    The New Man embraces God´s Judgement in fear, love and trust in God. He is therefore terrified at ALL he can see and do. He hates sin and wishes to be rid of it. And he confesses that sin is ALL that Old Adam can do. So trust in Good Works is driven out of him, and instead he hides ALL he can do in the Works of Another.

    At the same time New Man will take up the Law and mortify the Old Adam, just as any pagan does. Why? to be obedient to God? No only Christ can render that. Why then? He hears the cries of those who are being devoured alive by the effects of sin in them and in others. So we become living sacrifices. Our Good Works? They are now all about our death for the creaturely mercy of others. We no longer seek Life in our Good Works. But our Old Adam never stops pursuing that project that he imagines is some Obedience that God demands that only Christ can do.

  • fws

    fjsteve @ 17

    Even when we manage to practice outward discipline as good as any unbeliever and get our doctrine right as good as any false christian could do as well using reason, still we realize that our heart is not in it. the Law still condemns us. Proof: Good works require that we WORK at them. If we did them from the bottoms of our hearts, there would be no effort or resistance to overcome in doing them!

    And we can know THIS Law, that condemns our hearts, only when Christ himself comes and removes the veil of moses that God has placed over reason as an act of mercy.

    This veil, mercifully, allows us to function focusing on the earthly reward and punishment God promises with earthly righeousness. Removing this veil , apart from the Two Words, would have the entire planet in their garage with a gun in their mouth and pulling the trigger.

  • fws

    fjsteve @ 17

    Even when we manage to practice outward discipline as good as any unbeliever and get our doctrine right as good as any false christian could do as well using reason, still we realize that our heart is not in it. the Law still condemns us. Proof: Good works require that we WORK at them. If we did them from the bottoms of our hearts, there would be no effort or resistance to overcome in doing them!

    And we can know THIS Law, that condemns our hearts, only when Christ himself comes and removes the veil of moses that God has placed over reason as an act of mercy.

    This veil, mercifully, allows us to function focusing on the earthly reward and punishment God promises with earthly righeousness. Removing this veil , apart from the Two Words, would have the entire planet in their garage with a gun in their mouth and pulling the trigger.

  • fws

    trotke

    My comments were not aimed at the article itself.

    To do the righeousness of reasoning through the golden mean between legalism and licentiousness is truly a Good Work that God will bless.
    Conclusion: Nothing wrong with the article.

    My comments were aimed actually at this comment;

    More on how Christians from all traditions are discovering Luther’s distinction between Law and Gospel. This is evident in this post from Southern Baptist pastor …

    Again Trotke: It is important to note that there was not even the teeniest droplet of Gospel here. This is pure philosophical righeousness.

    Is this kind of carnal righeousness to be praised, admired and encouraged? Of course! It will end alot of suffering. I am glad to see it happening.

    Is it a law and gospel distinction? nope. That was the point Trotke

  • fws

    trotke

    My comments were not aimed at the article itself.

    To do the righeousness of reasoning through the golden mean between legalism and licentiousness is truly a Good Work that God will bless.
    Conclusion: Nothing wrong with the article.

    My comments were aimed actually at this comment;

    More on how Christians from all traditions are discovering Luther’s distinction between Law and Gospel. This is evident in this post from Southern Baptist pastor …

    Again Trotke: It is important to note that there was not even the teeniest droplet of Gospel here. This is pure philosophical righeousness.

    Is this kind of carnal righeousness to be praised, admired and encouraged? Of course! It will end alot of suffering. I am glad to see it happening.

    Is it a law and gospel distinction? nope. That was the point Trotke

  • trotk

    But Frank, it didn’t pretend to be a law-gospel distinction. It merely was an article claiming that legalism is more of an enemy to the gospel than liberalism. So why blast the guy for failing to distinguish between law and gospel when that wasn’t his purpose?

  • trotk

    But Frank, it didn’t pretend to be a law-gospel distinction. It merely was an article claiming that legalism is more of an enemy to the gospel than liberalism. So why blast the guy for failing to distinguish between law and gospel when that wasn’t his purpose?

  • SKPeterson

    Mike @ 20 – Probably.

    I thought it was a pretty good article as well, as far as it goes; it does point out the problems with legalism, which is a good thing to do. As I stated above, I don’t think the problem with the article is a Law and Gospel distinction failure, but rather that it has an assumption of a Theology of Glory against a Theology of the Cross.

  • SKPeterson

    Mike @ 20 – Probably.

    I thought it was a pretty good article as well, as far as it goes; it does point out the problems with legalism, which is a good thing to do. As I stated above, I don’t think the problem with the article is a Law and Gospel distinction failure, but rather that it has an assumption of a Theology of Glory against a Theology of the Cross.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    “Some more conservative Christians will claim that “legalist” is an insult hurled at anyone who believes that the lifestyle of a Christian should be in any way significantly different than the public at large.”

    In some circles, it absolutely is.

    “Give me just ONE example, besides showing up in Church every sunday, that makes the Christian Lifestyle in anyway different than that of a vituous unbeliever or a fake christian.”

    You can even eliminate the distinction of showing up in church on Sunday if you start talking about Mormons.

    That said, the Spirit does clearly give fruit to those He is indwelling, does He not? Did not the ancient Romans know who really trusted Christ when they herded them into the Circus Maximus? They certainly wrote as if they knew!

    It’s not as easy as “I don’t drink and I don’t chew, and I don’t go with girls that do!” (does that mean they go with girls that don’t?), but there is a way of telling.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    “Some more conservative Christians will claim that “legalist” is an insult hurled at anyone who believes that the lifestyle of a Christian should be in any way significantly different than the public at large.”

    In some circles, it absolutely is.

    “Give me just ONE example, besides showing up in Church every sunday, that makes the Christian Lifestyle in anyway different than that of a vituous unbeliever or a fake christian.”

    You can even eliminate the distinction of showing up in church on Sunday if you start talking about Mormons.

    That said, the Spirit does clearly give fruit to those He is indwelling, does He not? Did not the ancient Romans know who really trusted Christ when they herded them into the Circus Maximus? They certainly wrote as if they knew!

    It’s not as easy as “I don’t drink and I don’t chew, and I don’t go with girls that do!” (does that mean they go with girls that don’t?), but there is a way of telling.

  • trotk

    Frank (and this is truly an aside, as it has nothing to do with the point of the article), I have often heard you voice this:

    “Give me just ONE example, besides showing up in Church every sunday, that makes the Christian Lifestyle in anyway different than that of a vituous unbeliever or a fake christian.”

    The more I hear you voice this, the more it bothers me. In your attempt to steer clear of any sort of working toward our own salvation, legalism, confusion of Law and Gospel, etc, you seem to have fallen off the other side of the cliff.

    The New Testament frequently claims that we will know people by their fruit, their joy, and their love. This claim obviously needs to be balanced by the understanding that none of those things save us, and all of those things are the work of the Spirit in us, rather than our work, but I do not see how you can deny the claim of Jesus, Paul, John, and James that we will bear fruit that is distinctly the work of the Spirit (and hence fruit that a non-believer cannot have, no matter how he tries to fake it).

    I cannot tell you what this looks like, because in many instances the work of the Spirit is only evident to those who knew what the person was prior to salvation, but to deny that the Spirit produces fruit is to deny the direct teaching of the New Testament.

    Will this person be more moral than a virtuous non-Christian? Maybe, or maybe not. I agree that it is stupid to get into the pissing match of “Be Christians, because we are the best!” But we can err in the opposite direction by ignoring that the Spirit changes our entire lives, which includes our behaviors and dispositions. If there is no distinguishable fruit, something is wrong.

  • trotk

    Frank (and this is truly an aside, as it has nothing to do with the point of the article), I have often heard you voice this:

    “Give me just ONE example, besides showing up in Church every sunday, that makes the Christian Lifestyle in anyway different than that of a vituous unbeliever or a fake christian.”

    The more I hear you voice this, the more it bothers me. In your attempt to steer clear of any sort of working toward our own salvation, legalism, confusion of Law and Gospel, etc, you seem to have fallen off the other side of the cliff.

    The New Testament frequently claims that we will know people by their fruit, their joy, and their love. This claim obviously needs to be balanced by the understanding that none of those things save us, and all of those things are the work of the Spirit in us, rather than our work, but I do not see how you can deny the claim of Jesus, Paul, John, and James that we will bear fruit that is distinctly the work of the Spirit (and hence fruit that a non-believer cannot have, no matter how he tries to fake it).

    I cannot tell you what this looks like, because in many instances the work of the Spirit is only evident to those who knew what the person was prior to salvation, but to deny that the Spirit produces fruit is to deny the direct teaching of the New Testament.

    Will this person be more moral than a virtuous non-Christian? Maybe, or maybe not. I agree that it is stupid to get into the pissing match of “Be Christians, because we are the best!” But we can err in the opposite direction by ignoring that the Spirit changes our entire lives, which includes our behaviors and dispositions. If there is no distinguishable fruit, something is wrong.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    Legalism as a departure from God’s word is Liberalism.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    Legalism as a departure from God’s word is Liberalism.

  • Lou G.

    Legalists are rotting from the inside out, so you can’t see the rot as easily as you do with the licentious. Yet, as bike bubba wrote, there is something perceivably different about those of us who “were washed, .. sanctified, .. justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:11 ESV)

    And also, Romans 12:1-2 gives us the “Therefore” – or result — of the theological proofs laid out by Paul in Romans Chapters 1-11. The result is that we offer ourselves as living sacrifices, “holy and acceptable to God, which is (our) spiritual worship.” We are no longer “conformed to this world”, but “transformed by the renewal of (our) minds, that by testing (we) may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

    That is the outworking of what God works in us.
    “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13 ESV)
    “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10 ESV)

    Jesus said that the watching world will know us first *by our love for one another*, but also by the love we have for the Lord and for our neighbor. It’s a lot easier to set up outward measurements like what we wear, how we look, and how we present ourselves to outsiders. But those are all legalistic behavor modification. Like Jesus said of the Pharisees, they polished up the outside of the cup, meanwhile they were actually like whitewashed tombs, full of dead man’s bones.
    Legalists are rotting from the inside out, so you can’t see the rot as easily as you do with the licentious.

  • Lou G.

    Legalists are rotting from the inside out, so you can’t see the rot as easily as you do with the licentious. Yet, as bike bubba wrote, there is something perceivably different about those of us who “were washed, .. sanctified, .. justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:11 ESV)

    And also, Romans 12:1-2 gives us the “Therefore” – or result — of the theological proofs laid out by Paul in Romans Chapters 1-11. The result is that we offer ourselves as living sacrifices, “holy and acceptable to God, which is (our) spiritual worship.” We are no longer “conformed to this world”, but “transformed by the renewal of (our) minds, that by testing (we) may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

    That is the outworking of what God works in us.
    “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13 ESV)
    “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10 ESV)

    Jesus said that the watching world will know us first *by our love for one another*, but also by the love we have for the Lord and for our neighbor. It’s a lot easier to set up outward measurements like what we wear, how we look, and how we present ourselves to outsiders. But those are all legalistic behavor modification. Like Jesus said of the Pharisees, they polished up the outside of the cup, meanwhile they were actually like whitewashed tombs, full of dead man’s bones.
    Legalists are rotting from the inside out, so you can’t see the rot as easily as you do with the licentious.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Trotk has a point here. The fellow’s theology is not what we might like it to be, but if you’ve had ANY experience with Baptist Legalism (and closes associations thereof, as I have), this article is astounding. Because, in praxis, Baptist Theology = Legalism, most of the time.

    The tendency to micro analyse someone’s theology (and then utterly condemn), instead of looking at the broad direction, is worrying, as it often points to either a deep-seated theological angst, which one tries to cover by being theologically over-scrupulous, and/or a tendency to think that Doctrine saves. Which again is legalism, but of the mind.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Trotk has a point here. The fellow’s theology is not what we might like it to be, but if you’ve had ANY experience with Baptist Legalism (and closes associations thereof, as I have), this article is astounding. Because, in praxis, Baptist Theology = Legalism, most of the time.

    The tendency to micro analyse someone’s theology (and then utterly condemn), instead of looking at the broad direction, is worrying, as it often points to either a deep-seated theological angst, which one tries to cover by being theologically over-scrupulous, and/or a tendency to think that Doctrine saves. Which again is legalism, but of the mind.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I haven’t read the above comments but let’s not forget that calling something liberal doesn’t make it so.

    Many things done by alleged liberals are in fact legalistic. They are codified laws.

    Mandated purchase of health insurance.

    Maximum legal size of soft drink

    Proscribing the right of states to criminalize the provision of abortion

    Examples abound of intrusive legal restrictions and requirements on citizens and their lives and liberty. These laws are mislabeled liberal. They are legalism.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I haven’t read the above comments but let’s not forget that calling something liberal doesn’t make it so.

    Many things done by alleged liberals are in fact legalistic. They are codified laws.

    Mandated purchase of health insurance.

    Maximum legal size of soft drink

    Proscribing the right of states to criminalize the provision of abortion

    Examples abound of intrusive legal restrictions and requirements on citizens and their lives and liberty. These laws are mislabeled liberal. They are legalism.

  • Lou G.

    trotk: “I cannot tell you what this looks like, because in many instances the work of the Spirit is only evident to those who knew what the person was prior to salvation, but to deny that the Spirit produces fruit is to deny the direct teaching of the New Testament.”

    Well-stated!

  • Lou G.

    trotk: “I cannot tell you what this looks like, because in many instances the work of the Spirit is only evident to those who knew what the person was prior to salvation, but to deny that the Spirit produces fruit is to deny the direct teaching of the New Testament.”

    Well-stated!

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    sg – I understand what you are trying to say, but following your logic to its conclusion, it would seem that only two categories remain:

    Legalists and Anarchists.

    I think one needs to acknowledge that Legalism is the excessive use of laws and rules, leading to the near-total control of the individual. Thus, it is a subjective classification, with lots of grey areas. Context, for one, matters, as does the objective of the rules.

    IE – not drinking, when the individual is pregnant, is a good directive. Not drinking because “alcohol is evil” is a bad one. A speed limit on the road is a good one. Prosecuting someone because they broke the limit in a life-or-death situation is a bad one.

    IE, it ain’t simple….

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    sg – I understand what you are trying to say, but following your logic to its conclusion, it would seem that only two categories remain:

    Legalists and Anarchists.

    I think one needs to acknowledge that Legalism is the excessive use of laws and rules, leading to the near-total control of the individual. Thus, it is a subjective classification, with lots of grey areas. Context, for one, matters, as does the objective of the rules.

    IE – not drinking, when the individual is pregnant, is a good directive. Not drinking because “alcohol is evil” is a bad one. A speed limit on the road is a good one. Prosecuting someone because they broke the limit in a life-or-death situation is a bad one.

    IE, it ain’t simple….

  • DonS

    trotk nailed this thread @ 19.

    FWS @ 24: “My comments were not aimed at the article itself.”

    “Conclusion: Nothing wrong with the article.”

    FWS @ 6: “Back at ya Larry. This article is subtle and pure poison.”

    So, FWS says there is nothing wrong with the article, but it is pure poison, nonetheless. Yeah, that makes sense.

    As usual on these types of threads, Larry poisoned the thread @ 2.

    Which, of course, is why non-Lutherans seldom bother to participate on theology threads anymore.

  • DonS

    trotk nailed this thread @ 19.

    FWS @ 24: “My comments were not aimed at the article itself.”

    “Conclusion: Nothing wrong with the article.”

    FWS @ 6: “Back at ya Larry. This article is subtle and pure poison.”

    So, FWS says there is nothing wrong with the article, but it is pure poison, nonetheless. Yeah, that makes sense.

    As usual on these types of threads, Larry poisoned the thread @ 2.

    Which, of course, is why non-Lutherans seldom bother to participate on theology threads anymore.

  • DonS

    I’m sorry. Larry poisoned the thread @ 3.

  • DonS

    I’m sorry. Larry poisoned the thread @ 3.

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    ACTION=
    James 2:17-Even so faith if it hath not works, is dead…
    and read on!
    Lk 19 -Christ’s command -”Occupy til I come”
    Gen MacArthur-was given charge to OCCUPY Japan-
    BTW-He asked the CHRISTian Church leaders to -”Send Bibles” -
    that did not happen- business/engineering minds were ‘sent’ though- that’s why I drive a Lexus!
    Works = ACTION-
    Bonhoeffer took ACTION – but- no other Christian? leaders? were watching his back-(his 6- if you will)- so Hitler was ‘allowed’ to carry on–
    I could go on w/these bits of HIStory -but some of us WORK–
    Carol-CS

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    ACTION=
    James 2:17-Even so faith if it hath not works, is dead…
    and read on!
    Lk 19 -Christ’s command -”Occupy til I come”
    Gen MacArthur-was given charge to OCCUPY Japan-
    BTW-He asked the CHRISTian Church leaders to -”Send Bibles” -
    that did not happen- business/engineering minds were ‘sent’ though- that’s why I drive a Lexus!
    Works = ACTION-
    Bonhoeffer took ACTION – but- no other Christian? leaders? were watching his back-(his 6- if you will)- so Hitler was ‘allowed’ to carry on–
    I could go on w/these bits of HIStory -but some of us WORK–
    Carol-CS

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    DonS – more than one Lutheran here agrees with you, if you noticed.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    DonS – more than one Lutheran here agrees with you, if you noticed.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    CCS – please, it would do everybody the world of good if you could find a way to increase the lucidity of your comments. As such, it appears a bit like Joyce’s streams of consciousness, and not a particularly sane stream either…

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    CCS – please, it would do everybody the world of good if you could find a way to increase the lucidity of your comments. As such, it appears a bit like Joyce’s streams of consciousness, and not a particularly sane stream either…

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Sorry, that would be James’ stream of consciousness, as in William James.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Sorry, that would be James’ stream of consciousness, as in William James.

  • JunkerGeorg

    The issue: Is SIN something we do, or something we are in/of our fallen flesh? Likewise, is Saintliness something we do from some supposed resources in/of ourselves, or something we are in Christ?

    All theology is one. What is said about one part, or ‘loci’, of theology affects what is said about every other part. In this case, depending on one’s view of Biblical anthropology relative to doctrines like hamartiology/post-lapsarian view of the Fall (i.e., was the Image and/or Likeness of God retained, completely lost, or just marred but still there?), then one can see how a doctrine like the will of man relative to spiritual matters is determined, whether it go total depravity/Bondage of the Will ala Luther, or Pelagian, Semi-Pelagian, Arminian, etc.

    Dr. Veith’s article here reminded me of the phrase:

    “We are sinners not because we sin. We sin because we are sinners.”

    Did a Google on that phrase and found a well-written article addressing these topics within Biblical anthropology by an evangelical scholar named Tim Challies (he’s co-founder of “Cruciform Press”). He wrote from the perspective of Jonathan Edwards. I was delighted to see how much I as a Lutheran agreed with what he wrote. Here’s the link:

    http://www.challies.com/articles/sin-what-we-do-or-what-we-are

  • JunkerGeorg

    The issue: Is SIN something we do, or something we are in/of our fallen flesh? Likewise, is Saintliness something we do from some supposed resources in/of ourselves, or something we are in Christ?

    All theology is one. What is said about one part, or ‘loci’, of theology affects what is said about every other part. In this case, depending on one’s view of Biblical anthropology relative to doctrines like hamartiology/post-lapsarian view of the Fall (i.e., was the Image and/or Likeness of God retained, completely lost, or just marred but still there?), then one can see how a doctrine like the will of man relative to spiritual matters is determined, whether it go total depravity/Bondage of the Will ala Luther, or Pelagian, Semi-Pelagian, Arminian, etc.

    Dr. Veith’s article here reminded me of the phrase:

    “We are sinners not because we sin. We sin because we are sinners.”

    Did a Google on that phrase and found a well-written article addressing these topics within Biblical anthropology by an evangelical scholar named Tim Challies (he’s co-founder of “Cruciform Press”). He wrote from the perspective of Jonathan Edwards. I was delighted to see how much I as a Lutheran agreed with what he wrote. Here’s the link:

    http://www.challies.com/articles/sin-what-we-do-or-what-we-are

  • Lou G.

    Klasie, you wrote: ” Legalism is the excessive use of laws and rules, leading to the near-total control of the individual”
    Not necessarily. I see legalism as an excessive focus on self.

    Legalism is trying to gain God’s favor by what we do for Him. Sometimes legalists boil it down to really simply things like going to church every Sunday or not watching rated R movies.

    Trying to earn our position before Him is fruitless, and we know that all of our righteous acts are but filthy rags before a Holy God.

    A legalist thinks he or she is holding a higher view of the Law because of certain things they’ve done or not done. The fact is they’re actually denigrating the Law by imagining that we somehow are able to keep it adequately.

  • Lou G.

    Klasie, you wrote: ” Legalism is the excessive use of laws and rules, leading to the near-total control of the individual”
    Not necessarily. I see legalism as an excessive focus on self.

    Legalism is trying to gain God’s favor by what we do for Him. Sometimes legalists boil it down to really simply things like going to church every Sunday or not watching rated R movies.

    Trying to earn our position before Him is fruitless, and we know that all of our righteous acts are but filthy rags before a Holy God.

    A legalist thinks he or she is holding a higher view of the Law because of certain things they’ve done or not done. The fact is they’re actually denigrating the Law by imagining that we somehow are able to keep it adequately.

  • JunkerGeorg

    If one believes the Biblical doctrine of original sin, then “liberalism” and “legalism” are not an either/or, but a both/and. In other words, both of these are part and parcel of our fallen sinful nature, leading to sins in both directions, if not sins in both directions at the same time in some ways. We are as much libertines as we are legalists, that is, in our flesh. All the more reason to recognize the utter rescue–not merely from the devil and the world, but from ourselves–which God has given us in and through Jesus Christ our Lord via His Word and Sacraments.

  • JunkerGeorg

    If one believes the Biblical doctrine of original sin, then “liberalism” and “legalism” are not an either/or, but a both/and. In other words, both of these are part and parcel of our fallen sinful nature, leading to sins in both directions, if not sins in both directions at the same time in some ways. We are as much libertines as we are legalists, that is, in our flesh. All the more reason to recognize the utter rescue–not merely from the devil and the world, but from ourselves–which God has given us in and through Jesus Christ our Lord via His Word and Sacraments.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Lou, I was thinking of Legalism as phenomenon, more than just within the context of theology / religious practice.

    Sure, it is a focus on self. But in some ecclesiastical circles, speaking from experience, it is also an instrument of power, power over congregants/followers. If you can make lots of rules, you can control.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Lou, I was thinking of Legalism as phenomenon, more than just within the context of theology / religious practice.

    Sure, it is a focus on self. But in some ecclesiastical circles, speaking from experience, it is also an instrument of power, power over congregants/followers. If you can make lots of rules, you can control.

  • Helen K.

    Haven’t read through all the comments throughly but I have to credit TROTK @ 19 for his kind and insightful remarks. I grew up in what some of you would probably call a “legalistic” church and no, not baptist, and I never felt this way. I think at times the theological discussion might be lost on an “average” individual when what they need is the pure gospel message of God’s grace and forgiveness. Not everyone is able to understand or comprehend all the nuances. I give the author of the aritcle credit for his insight.

  • Helen K.

    Haven’t read through all the comments throughly but I have to credit TROTK @ 19 for his kind and insightful remarks. I grew up in what some of you would probably call a “legalistic” church and no, not baptist, and I never felt this way. I think at times the theological discussion might be lost on an “average” individual when what they need is the pure gospel message of God’s grace and forgiveness. Not everyone is able to understand or comprehend all the nuances. I give the author of the aritcle credit for his insight.

  • Helen K.

    Misspelled “article” and who knows what else. Forgive me.

  • Helen K.

    Misspelled “article” and who knows what else. Forgive me.

  • Abby

    Jesus made it easier: Mark 1:4,14-15; Acts 2:38; Luke 18:9-14; Luke 7:36-50; Matthew 26:26-29

  • Abby

    Jesus made it easier: Mark 1:4,14-15; Acts 2:38; Luke 18:9-14; Luke 7:36-50; Matthew 26:26-29

  • WebMonk

    “More on how Christians from all traditions are discovering Luther’s distinction between Law and Gospel.”

    Ummm, yeah. I’m not seeing anything at all about any distinction between Law and Gospel in the article, no references to Luther or anything Lutheran, or anything else along those lines. And yet it’s a discovery of Luther’s distinction between Law and Gospel … how??

    That’s wildly grasping at straws to find some sort of public “discovery” of something. It’s a good article, and there’s not reason to twist and mangle things to generate a “Lutheran” reason for commenting on it. It’s a good article and can be posted and commented on for no other reason, even though there’s nothing Lutheran (LCMS splinter style) about it.

    I only made it through the first couple of comments before skipping down to here, though. Just tossing this bit in and ducking back out before the flames catch me too.

  • WebMonk

    “More on how Christians from all traditions are discovering Luther’s distinction between Law and Gospel.”

    Ummm, yeah. I’m not seeing anything at all about any distinction between Law and Gospel in the article, no references to Luther or anything Lutheran, or anything else along those lines. And yet it’s a discovery of Luther’s distinction between Law and Gospel … how??

    That’s wildly grasping at straws to find some sort of public “discovery” of something. It’s a good article, and there’s not reason to twist and mangle things to generate a “Lutheran” reason for commenting on it. It’s a good article and can be posted and commented on for no other reason, even though there’s nothing Lutheran (LCMS splinter style) about it.

    I only made it through the first couple of comments before skipping down to here, though. Just tossing this bit in and ducking back out before the flames catch me too.

  • Stone the Crows

    The author of the article is incorrect, as Matt Cochran and Dr. Luther in the 21st also said, Liberalism is Legalism. Its just Legalism with a different moral code, to set them at odds with one another or say one is worse is to either not understand liberalism in the church or to not understand legalism or both. One group sees the marks of the church by how it separates itself from the rest; the other’s mark is inclusion, but they’re both based on the same old pietistic crud. Both leave people bound in sin, one because they’re overwhelmed with guilt, and the other because they have whitewashed guilt but its the same error at its root.

  • Stone the Crows

    The author of the article is incorrect, as Matt Cochran and Dr. Luther in the 21st also said, Liberalism is Legalism. Its just Legalism with a different moral code, to set them at odds with one another or say one is worse is to either not understand liberalism in the church or to not understand legalism or both. One group sees the marks of the church by how it separates itself from the rest; the other’s mark is inclusion, but they’re both based on the same old pietistic crud. Both leave people bound in sin, one because they’re overwhelmed with guilt, and the other because they have whitewashed guilt but its the same error at its root.

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    trok #19
    Thank you for your thought – filled comment–it gives me encouragement -
    C-CS

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    trok #19
    Thank you for your thought – filled comment–it gives me encouragement -
    C-CS

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    Klasie Kraalogies October 9, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    CCS – please, it would do everybody the world of good if you could find a way to increase the lucidity of your comments.

    Klasie-learn HIStory and my comments will become clear to you–
    BTW-you are anon-do you have a real name- and are you bold enough to use it!!?
    Anonymous is not CLASSY-z

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    Klasie Kraalogies October 9, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    CCS – please, it would do everybody the world of good if you could find a way to increase the lucidity of your comments.

    Klasie-learn HIStory and my comments will become clear to you–
    BTW-you are anon-do you have a real name- and are you bold enough to use it!!?
    Anonymous is not CLASSY-z

  • Abby

    “If you cannot believe that God will forgive your sins for Christ’s sake, whom he sent into the world to be our high priest, how then, I ask you, will you believe that he will forgive your sins for the works of the law, which you never could perform, or for your own works, which, you must admit, cannot possibly counteract the judgment of God?

    The doctrine of grace can by no means stand with the doctrine of the law. The one must simply be refused and abolished, and the other confirmed or established.”

    Martin Luther, commentary on Galatians 1:7.

  • Abby

    “If you cannot believe that God will forgive your sins for Christ’s sake, whom he sent into the world to be our high priest, how then, I ask you, will you believe that he will forgive your sins for the works of the law, which you never could perform, or for your own works, which, you must admit, cannot possibly counteract the judgment of God?

    The doctrine of grace can by no means stand with the doctrine of the law. The one must simply be refused and abolished, and the other confirmed or established.”

    Martin Luther, commentary on Galatians 1:7.

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

    I don’t think the purpose of the article was to address the gospel. I think it was for the purpose of elaborating on legalism, which is essentially works-righteousness as addressed in the article.

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

    I don’t think the purpose of the article was to address the gospel. I think it was for the purpose of elaborating on legalism, which is essentially works-righteousness as addressed in the article.

  • Tom Hering

    I wonder if legalism and theological liberalism are at least partly responsible for this:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/10/08/nones-protestant-religion-pew/1618445/

  • Tom Hering

    I wonder if legalism and theological liberalism are at least partly responsible for this:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/10/08/nones-protestant-religion-pew/1618445/

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    #51: I’m quite well versed in history, thank you very much. What I questioned is not your view / knowledge, but your writing, which is not lucid AT ALL.

    Also, most of the folks here know my real name, as I used to post under it. Quite a few of them know me through facebook and more professional places as well. Also, apart from my name, an examination of the archives will tell you where I was born, where I live now, what my vocation is etc etc. Enough said.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    #51: I’m quite well versed in history, thank you very much. What I questioned is not your view / knowledge, but your writing, which is not lucid AT ALL.

    Also, most of the folks here know my real name, as I used to post under it. Quite a few of them know me through facebook and more professional places as well. Also, apart from my name, an examination of the archives will tell you where I was born, where I live now, what my vocation is etc etc. Enough said.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Webmonk, there actually was not that much flame throwing – 1 or 2 individuals only, way up there.

    See my response @ 31….

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Webmonk, there actually was not that much flame throwing – 1 or 2 individuals only, way up there.

    See my response @ 31….

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Oh, btw Carol, I’m not the first one to mention the difficulty of following / understanding many of your comments. If Todd was here, I’d ask him to google it, but I’m too lazy.. :)

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Oh, btw Carol, I’m not the first one to mention the difficulty of following / understanding many of your comments. If Todd was here, I’d ask him to google it, but I’m too lazy.. :)

  • WebMonk

    I’ll post something, oh mysterious and unknown KK.

    CCS, individually I can references all the things you put into your posts. How those particular items link together into a coherent whole, though, is a bizarre mystery to anyone outside your own thought process.

    Lk 19 -Christ’s command -”Occupy til I come”
    Gen MacArthur-was given charge to OCCUPY Japan-
    BTW-He asked the CHRISTian Church leaders to -”Send Bibles” -
    that did not happen- business/engineering minds were ‘sent’ though- that’s why I drive a Lexus!

    Random capitalization. Nonsensical and useless quote and double quote marks thrown in at random points. Bizarre jumps in topics. Unexplained linkages between you driving a Lexus and “business/engineering minds were ‘sent’ through”. (send them through what? to where?)

    How does that apply to people being asked to send Bibles to Japan? How does sending Bibles to Japan link with your importance of the word “occupy” as in MacArthur’s occupation of Japan? How does it link to Jesus telling people to “occupy til I come” in Luke 19? And then to top it all off, you’re mixing up the meaning of the KJV’s “occupy” in verse 13 – the word means “put to use”, not “take charge of something” like MacArthur did in Japan.

    Do you maybe get an inkling of where people might get confused? Just maybe? KK didn’t spell it all out for you, so maybe you just don’t recognize your own post’s incomprehensibility, but it is far from sounding sane, and yes, people have frequently commented on it in the past.

  • WebMonk

    I’ll post something, oh mysterious and unknown KK.

    CCS, individually I can references all the things you put into your posts. How those particular items link together into a coherent whole, though, is a bizarre mystery to anyone outside your own thought process.

    Lk 19 -Christ’s command -”Occupy til I come”
    Gen MacArthur-was given charge to OCCUPY Japan-
    BTW-He asked the CHRISTian Church leaders to -”Send Bibles” -
    that did not happen- business/engineering minds were ‘sent’ though- that’s why I drive a Lexus!

    Random capitalization. Nonsensical and useless quote and double quote marks thrown in at random points. Bizarre jumps in topics. Unexplained linkages between you driving a Lexus and “business/engineering minds were ‘sent’ through”. (send them through what? to where?)

    How does that apply to people being asked to send Bibles to Japan? How does sending Bibles to Japan link with your importance of the word “occupy” as in MacArthur’s occupation of Japan? How does it link to Jesus telling people to “occupy til I come” in Luke 19? And then to top it all off, you’re mixing up the meaning of the KJV’s “occupy” in verse 13 – the word means “put to use”, not “take charge of something” like MacArthur did in Japan.

    Do you maybe get an inkling of where people might get confused? Just maybe? KK didn’t spell it all out for you, so maybe you just don’t recognize your own post’s incomprehensibility, but it is far from sounding sane, and yes, people have frequently commented on it in the past.

  • Grace

    CCS did the very same thing over on the “Pulpit Freedom Sunday”.

    http://www.geneveith.com/2012/10/08/pulpit-freedom-sunday/

    She has a thing for “occupy”

  • Grace

    CCS did the very same thing over on the “Pulpit Freedom Sunday”.

    http://www.geneveith.com/2012/10/08/pulpit-freedom-sunday/

    She has a thing for “occupy”

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    # 57 and #58-
    Thank you – I have gotten so used to writing in word ‘bytes’ -

    I have written many a tome in my life– even have a book going –
    SO-
    it’s back to long sentences and actual paragraphs–

    or – I could draw some clarifying illustrations- as are those on my side roll–

    remind me to show you the short story that lead to RINO-
    I posted it on my site some time ago–
    the story is a mini-tome : – )
    C-CS

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    # 57 and #58-
    Thank you – I have gotten so used to writing in word ‘bytes’ -

    I have written many a tome in my life– even have a book going –
    SO-
    it’s back to long sentences and actual paragraphs–

    or – I could draw some clarifying illustrations- as are those on my side roll–

    remind me to show you the short story that lead to RINO-
    I posted it on my site some time ago–
    the story is a mini-tome : – )
    C-CS

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    Grace # 59-
    Yes-OCCUPY -OKJV-
    Lk. 19: 12- 13-Christ’s parable-
    12:”He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. (anyone guess to whom Christ was referring?)
    13 : And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.

    Occupy- in business – politics- battle (military-hold the ground won)- in everything we – His followers do–til He Comes Again–
    I’ve read the OKJV 6 times – cover to cover-
    twice aloud- as it is written rather like Shakespeare wrote – and – Shakespeare must be read aloud to ‘get it’ too-as does all poetic writings–
    and – yes – I have read many of the other interpretations as well-
    I find that OKJ fits my artistic personality the best—

    do you have a copy-Grace-?
    Happy reading : – )
    C-CS

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    Grace # 59-
    Yes-OCCUPY -OKJV-
    Lk. 19: 12- 13-Christ’s parable-
    12:”He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. (anyone guess to whom Christ was referring?)
    13 : And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.

    Occupy- in business – politics- battle (military-hold the ground won)- in everything we – His followers do–til He Comes Again–
    I’ve read the OKJV 6 times – cover to cover-
    twice aloud- as it is written rather like Shakespeare wrote – and – Shakespeare must be read aloud to ‘get it’ too-as does all poetic writings–
    and – yes – I have read many of the other interpretations as well-
    I find that OKJ fits my artistic personality the best—

    do you have a copy-Grace-?
    Happy reading : – )
    C-CS

  • Grace

    CCS “I’ve read the OKJV 6 times – cover to cover-
    twice aloud- as it is written rather like Shakespeare wrote”

    It isn’t as you say “written rather like Shakespeare wrote” it’s the way the HOLY Spirit inspired those of his Apostles to write, (over 2000 years ago) under the HOLY Spirit. I see not one person who’s writing compares to Scripture. Shapespeare is not given such an elevated ability. Strange that you would even mention him.

    In answer to your last question, I have many Bibles. I have no idea how many. I have very old ones from 1730′s or older, from my family, and others which my father had purchased. It isn’t the amount of Bibles one owns, the point being, if they understand what God’s Word states.

    If an individual had one Bible it would be sufficient, as many abroad can attest, having been denied for a very long time, owning a Bible, and great joy and blessings in reading and searching out God’s Word to a lost world.

    There is no answer to mans sinful self, other than the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • Grace

    CCS “I’ve read the OKJV 6 times – cover to cover-
    twice aloud- as it is written rather like Shakespeare wrote”

    It isn’t as you say “written rather like Shakespeare wrote” it’s the way the HOLY Spirit inspired those of his Apostles to write, (over 2000 years ago) under the HOLY Spirit. I see not one person who’s writing compares to Scripture. Shapespeare is not given such an elevated ability. Strange that you would even mention him.

    In answer to your last question, I have many Bibles. I have no idea how many. I have very old ones from 1730′s or older, from my family, and others which my father had purchased. It isn’t the amount of Bibles one owns, the point being, if they understand what God’s Word states.

    If an individual had one Bible it would be sufficient, as many abroad can attest, having been denied for a very long time, owning a Bible, and great joy and blessings in reading and searching out God’s Word to a lost world.

    There is no answer to mans sinful self, other than the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Good heavens, you guys . . .You are misinterpreting my introductory sentence. I am not saying the author discovered Luther or is in any way a Lutheran. This Baptist pastor is turning against legalism, emphasizing instead salvation by the work of Christ. Now this is at least the beginning of seeing a distinction between Law and Gospel. But the article is not about that. The article is about this pastor’s realization that the old bugaboo of theological liberalism is not as deadly as legalism. Frank, did you read the whole article? In one of his points after the jump he says WHAT YOU YOURSELF have said, about how many churches think sinners have to “clean themselves up” before they can even come to church, etc., etc., and how that should not be, since Christianity is for sinners.

    We Lutherans too also are vigilant against liberals and are often less so when it comes to legalism, including when we ourselves slip into that trap. You can argue that the two are ultimately the same, but they often seem to be quite opposed: Liberals deny the authority of the Bible and are generally laissez-faire when it comes to moral issues, while legalists tend to be very concerned with traditional morality and affirm the inerrancy of Scripture with the best of them. And yet, tragically, they are trying to save themselves and even think they have done so. Their self-righteousness means they see no need for forgiveness, for grace, for Christ. So, yes, they are “unregenerate,” lacking faith in Christ. Larry, this guy is not doing what you say he is. He isn’t urging the “unregenerate” to more good works; he is doing the opposite, telling them to stop putting their trust in their works! Though perhaps trapped in a theology that isn’t going to be much help to him out of the dilemma, he is recognizing its limitations.

    And TrotK and others are right about how Lutherans often drive people away from Lutheran theology by coming down so harshly on the weak in faith, instead of trying to nourish that faith and make it stronger.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Good heavens, you guys . . .You are misinterpreting my introductory sentence. I am not saying the author discovered Luther or is in any way a Lutheran. This Baptist pastor is turning against legalism, emphasizing instead salvation by the work of Christ. Now this is at least the beginning of seeing a distinction between Law and Gospel. But the article is not about that. The article is about this pastor’s realization that the old bugaboo of theological liberalism is not as deadly as legalism. Frank, did you read the whole article? In one of his points after the jump he says WHAT YOU YOURSELF have said, about how many churches think sinners have to “clean themselves up” before they can even come to church, etc., etc., and how that should not be, since Christianity is for sinners.

    We Lutherans too also are vigilant against liberals and are often less so when it comes to legalism, including when we ourselves slip into that trap. You can argue that the two are ultimately the same, but they often seem to be quite opposed: Liberals deny the authority of the Bible and are generally laissez-faire when it comes to moral issues, while legalists tend to be very concerned with traditional morality and affirm the inerrancy of Scripture with the best of them. And yet, tragically, they are trying to save themselves and even think they have done so. Their self-righteousness means they see no need for forgiveness, for grace, for Christ. So, yes, they are “unregenerate,” lacking faith in Christ. Larry, this guy is not doing what you say he is. He isn’t urging the “unregenerate” to more good works; he is doing the opposite, telling them to stop putting their trust in their works! Though perhaps trapped in a theology that isn’t going to be much help to him out of the dilemma, he is recognizing its limitations.

    And TrotK and others are right about how Lutherans often drive people away from Lutheran theology by coming down so harshly on the weak in faith, instead of trying to nourish that faith and make it stronger.

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    Grace- # 62
    … I see not one person who’s writing compares to Scripture. Shapespeare…

    As I recall- the KJV was formed at the same time frame as Shakespeare’s works- and has a similar tempo as does S’s works–
    King James gathered many highly esteemed Biblical scholars who had lexicon (al) knowledge that far exceeded the ‘normal’ clergy–
    They translated the HOLY SPIRIT inspired works by scholars from Greece- Chaldea- and MANY others- to form the KJV (English)–
    BTW-even this lowly Lutheran who was University trained –knows that the Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit!!!

    the fact that my University / Lutheran training did NOT teach about the true Christian based Founding of this Great Republic-(I had to start learning that at my first HOME SCHOOL Convention 1984!!) makes me a bit sad–

    C-CS

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    Grace- # 62
    … I see not one person who’s writing compares to Scripture. Shapespeare…

    As I recall- the KJV was formed at the same time frame as Shakespeare’s works- and has a similar tempo as does S’s works–
    King James gathered many highly esteemed Biblical scholars who had lexicon (al) knowledge that far exceeded the ‘normal’ clergy–
    They translated the HOLY SPIRIT inspired works by scholars from Greece- Chaldea- and MANY others- to form the KJV (English)–
    BTW-even this lowly Lutheran who was University trained –knows that the Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit!!!

    the fact that my University / Lutheran training did NOT teach about the true Christian based Founding of this Great Republic-(I had to start learning that at my first HOME SCHOOL Convention 1984!!) makes me a bit sad–

    C-CS

  • Michael B.

    @Grace@62

    ” I see not one person who’s writing compares to Scripture. Shapespeare is not given such an elevated ability. Strange that you would even mention him.”

    If you get a chance, read some of the apocrypha sometime. For example, you probably think Revelations is a very unique-sounding book, but there were plenty of others that sounded just like it written during the time. As far as quality goes, while it is true that the authors of the New Testament were part of an educated elite ( a small percentage of Rome was literate), don’t suppose it was the highest quality literature produced in the period. For example, read Cicero.

  • Michael B.

    @Grace@62

    ” I see not one person who’s writing compares to Scripture. Shapespeare is not given such an elevated ability. Strange that you would even mention him.”

    If you get a chance, read some of the apocrypha sometime. For example, you probably think Revelations is a very unique-sounding book, but there were plenty of others that sounded just like it written during the time. As far as quality goes, while it is true that the authors of the New Testament were part of an educated elite ( a small percentage of Rome was literate), don’t suppose it was the highest quality literature produced in the period. For example, read Cicero.

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    Did any of you fellow Lutherans watch the Lutheran Hour presentation -the Intersection of Church and State—on FOX last Sunday-
    http://www.intersectionofchurchandstate.com/

    Pres. Harrison plus many other Biblical – and HIStorical scholars were in it and helped produce it—

    As I stated in another comment- there is still hope for the Lutheran Church!!!
    C-=CC

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    Did any of you fellow Lutherans watch the Lutheran Hour presentation -the Intersection of Church and State—on FOX last Sunday-
    http://www.intersectionofchurchandstate.com/

    Pres. Harrison plus many other Biblical – and HIStorical scholars were in it and helped produce it—

    As I stated in another comment- there is still hope for the Lutheran Church!!!
    C-=CC

  • Michael B.

    @fws@15

    “Give me just ONE example, besides showing up in Church every sunday, that makes the Christian Lifestyle in anyway different than that of a vituous unbeliever or a fake christian.”

    But let me just play the Devil’s advocate for a second. If a person really has had a change of heart and been converted, shouldn’t he look profoundly different than the public at large? Take any other experience, trivial or great — we expect there to be some outward change in the person. But when it comes to a Christian conversion, our expectations seem to be relatively low.

    Furthermore, when we read the Bible, we get this sense that God is more concerned with our works than the average Christian supposes. Matthew talks about “bearing fruit”. James says “now someone may argue, ‘Some people have faith; others have good deeds.’ But I say, ‘How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.’”

    And much of the Old Testament is page after page of people disobeying God and God punishing them (or blessing them for obeying him.)

  • Michael B.

    @fws@15

    “Give me just ONE example, besides showing up in Church every sunday, that makes the Christian Lifestyle in anyway different than that of a vituous unbeliever or a fake christian.”

    But let me just play the Devil’s advocate for a second. If a person really has had a change of heart and been converted, shouldn’t he look profoundly different than the public at large? Take any other experience, trivial or great — we expect there to be some outward change in the person. But when it comes to a Christian conversion, our expectations seem to be relatively low.

    Furthermore, when we read the Bible, we get this sense that God is more concerned with our works than the average Christian supposes. Matthew talks about “bearing fruit”. James says “now someone may argue, ‘Some people have faith; others have good deeds.’ But I say, ‘How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.’”

    And much of the Old Testament is page after page of people disobeying God and God punishing them (or blessing them for obeying him.)

  • Grace

    CCS @ 64 YOU WROTE: “As I recall- the KJV was formed at the same time frame as Shakespeare’s works- and has a similar tempo as does S’s works–
    King James gathered many highly esteemed Biblical scholars who had lexicon (al) knowledge that far exceeded the ‘normal’ clergy–
    They translated the HOLY SPIRIT inspired works by scholars from Greece- Chaldea- and MANY others- to form the KJV (English)–”

    It makes no difference when the KJV Translation was made and completed. The manuscripts were penned to paper by those who observed the LORD Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection. All manuscripts were not put together when the KJV was translated.

    There is no such “tempo” as you state above, none! From what you’ve written, I doubt you understand the work of the translators, or the fact that Shakespeare had not one thing to do with, the KJV translation, in any way.

    The New Testament was written in Greek – we don’t have the original documents, but we do have almost six thousand copies of the Greek manuscripts that were copied close to the originals in time. The interesting and MOST important part of these copies agree with each other and its almost one hundred percent (100%) accurate. The NT is just over being 99.5% pure textually —- taking it another step further there is about 1/2 of maybe 1% of all the manuscripts that don’t agree 100%. Most of the so called inaccuracies are nothing more than spelling errors, which in themselves are minor. It’s been pointed out many times that the errors are those which are, instead of the copy saying Jesus, instead says Jesus Christ. The documents have been proven to be accurate as that of the original manuscripts/documents – The Bible we have is the inerrant inspired Word of God.

    When the Bible is translated they don’t translate from one translation to another – they translate from the original language into our language – the translation is made from the original to whichever language the Bible is being translated, in other words it’s not done from Greek to English to French, to German – each translations is from the Greek manuscripts to whichever language the Bible will be translated into. The accuracy of the translations are trustworthy.

    When one realizes how miraculous the Old Testament is, and the findings of the ‘Dead Sea Scrolls, one begins to understand the POWER of GOD to keep HIS Word pure. Nothing has changed, it is what HE wants it to be.

    God did not send His Son to die for our sin, and then allow His Word to go adrift. Then again, look at the ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’ how HE proves the power of HIS Hand on the Word. Read the Old Testament and prophecy and its coming to fruition in the New Testament regarding the birth and death of the LORD Jesus Christ. It’s a fit, there isn’t a piece out of place. That’s the miracle, that’s what HE gave us so that we might know the TRUTH.

  • Grace

    CCS @ 64 YOU WROTE: “As I recall- the KJV was formed at the same time frame as Shakespeare’s works- and has a similar tempo as does S’s works–
    King James gathered many highly esteemed Biblical scholars who had lexicon (al) knowledge that far exceeded the ‘normal’ clergy–
    They translated the HOLY SPIRIT inspired works by scholars from Greece- Chaldea- and MANY others- to form the KJV (English)–”

    It makes no difference when the KJV Translation was made and completed. The manuscripts were penned to paper by those who observed the LORD Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection. All manuscripts were not put together when the KJV was translated.

    There is no such “tempo” as you state above, none! From what you’ve written, I doubt you understand the work of the translators, or the fact that Shakespeare had not one thing to do with, the KJV translation, in any way.

    The New Testament was written in Greek – we don’t have the original documents, but we do have almost six thousand copies of the Greek manuscripts that were copied close to the originals in time. The interesting and MOST important part of these copies agree with each other and its almost one hundred percent (100%) accurate. The NT is just over being 99.5% pure textually —- taking it another step further there is about 1/2 of maybe 1% of all the manuscripts that don’t agree 100%. Most of the so called inaccuracies are nothing more than spelling errors, which in themselves are minor. It’s been pointed out many times that the errors are those which are, instead of the copy saying Jesus, instead says Jesus Christ. The documents have been proven to be accurate as that of the original manuscripts/documents – The Bible we have is the inerrant inspired Word of God.

    When the Bible is translated they don’t translate from one translation to another – they translate from the original language into our language – the translation is made from the original to whichever language the Bible is being translated, in other words it’s not done from Greek to English to French, to German – each translations is from the Greek manuscripts to whichever language the Bible will be translated into. The accuracy of the translations are trustworthy.

    When one realizes how miraculous the Old Testament is, and the findings of the ‘Dead Sea Scrolls, one begins to understand the POWER of GOD to keep HIS Word pure. Nothing has changed, it is what HE wants it to be.

    God did not send His Son to die for our sin, and then allow His Word to go adrift. Then again, look at the ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’ how HE proves the power of HIS Hand on the Word. Read the Old Testament and prophecy and its coming to fruition in the New Testament regarding the birth and death of the LORD Jesus Christ. It’s a fit, there isn’t a piece out of place. That’s the miracle, that’s what HE gave us so that we might know the TRUTH.

  • Grace

    Michael,

    If you don’t believe the Bible to be the inerrant Word of God, I cannot change your mind.

  • Grace

    Michael,

    If you don’t believe the Bible to be the inerrant Word of God, I cannot change your mind.

  • Grace

    Michael @65

    The Apocrypha was never quoted by Jesus nor His Apostles. There are more than 240 quotations from the Old Testament brought forward into the New Testament……. but no quotation from the Apocrypha. The Apocrypha was in existence during Christ Jesus time on earth, yet He never referred to it, most likely because it had no merit. That would be a very good reason to leave it out of the Bible which is inspired and inerrant.

  • Grace

    Michael @65

    The Apocrypha was never quoted by Jesus nor His Apostles. There are more than 240 quotations from the Old Testament brought forward into the New Testament……. but no quotation from the Apocrypha. The Apocrypha was in existence during Christ Jesus time on earth, yet He never referred to it, most likely because it had no merit. That would be a very good reason to leave it out of the Bible which is inspired and inerrant.

  • Helen K.

    It is nice to see Dr. Veith’s statement (63), especially his last paragraph. As I mentioned earlier I came up in what I guess you’d called a “pietistic” church but we were never made to feel we were doing good works and observing certain rules of behavior in order to be “saved”. All the glory was given to God. Behavior and works were considered to be fruits of the Spirit. I appreciate the Lutheran church (LCMS) for it’s adherence to the confessions as so many groups today just seem to operate on whims. So many little splinter groups. I feel a solidarity in my Lutheran beliefs. I think I’ve had the best of both worlds….and given a very firm foundation now in an orthodox and historical faith. For this I am very grateful.

  • Helen K.

    It is nice to see Dr. Veith’s statement (63), especially his last paragraph. As I mentioned earlier I came up in what I guess you’d called a “pietistic” church but we were never made to feel we were doing good works and observing certain rules of behavior in order to be “saved”. All the glory was given to God. Behavior and works were considered to be fruits of the Spirit. I appreciate the Lutheran church (LCMS) for it’s adherence to the confessions as so many groups today just seem to operate on whims. So many little splinter groups. I feel a solidarity in my Lutheran beliefs. I think I’ve had the best of both worlds….and given a very firm foundation now in an orthodox and historical faith. For this I am very grateful.

  • Grace

    Michael @65

    You made a statement which I should have addressed earlier:

    YOU WORTE: ” As far as quality goes, while it is true that the authors of the New Testament were part of an educated elite ( a small percentage of Rome was literate), don’t suppose it was the highest quality literature produced in the period.”

    Jesus Christ Apostles penned the new Testament. Luke and Mark were not Apostles. Paul was educated, as for the rest, they were not educated men. What ALL of them put to parchment, was guided by the HOLY Spirit. It wasn’t Rome Michael, it was the LORD Jesus Christs Apostles.

    There has never been, nor ever will be, a more important rendering, the only Gospel, the only words from our LORD through the HOLY Spirit to mankind then the Bible. Through those Gospels, we are made to understand Salvation, and how to obtain it. It is all about faith, believing in HIM, as Savior.

  • Grace

    Michael @65

    You made a statement which I should have addressed earlier:

    YOU WORTE: ” As far as quality goes, while it is true that the authors of the New Testament were part of an educated elite ( a small percentage of Rome was literate), don’t suppose it was the highest quality literature produced in the period.”

    Jesus Christ Apostles penned the new Testament. Luke and Mark were not Apostles. Paul was educated, as for the rest, they were not educated men. What ALL of them put to parchment, was guided by the HOLY Spirit. It wasn’t Rome Michael, it was the LORD Jesus Christs Apostles.

    There has never been, nor ever will be, a more important rendering, the only Gospel, the only words from our LORD through the HOLY Spirit to mankind then the Bible. Through those Gospels, we are made to understand Salvation, and how to obtain it. It is all about faith, believing in HIM, as Savior.

  • larry

    Frank, Tom, Lou G. spot on the money. My guess is the guy is moving somewhat from an arminian flavor of baptist to a calvin flavor baptist.

    As do “how do I know”, I was deeply in this. His language is not unfamiliar whatsoever to me. I can analyze this not from just a Lutheran point of view but “having actually walked MILES in his shoes” point of view.

    Basically a form of reformed theology seems to be a breath of fresh air if you’ve been suffocating under forms of arminian theology. So the legalism issue arises to the front and for example you realize as a SB via Calvin, “Hey this no beer no movies BS is legalism. And now I can even say “BS” as a calvinist baptist”. So you since a “breath of fresh air”. An apparent freedom. But that’s short lived when you have figure out how it is “pro me” and your back in the hamster wheel going 100x as fast now under divine election.

    His comment about numbers of unregenerate church members plaguing, while unnoticed perhaps to life long Lutherans, is quite noticable to any baptist or ex-baptist. That’s where the “role purging” in some form will begin – I know, I was involved in it, its internal conversation ESPECIALLY among the calvinistic turning SB. They will eventually throttle back on baptisms too if it continues, I saw that. When they do baptize they will examine to death for signs of actual regeneration, this is various both to the given church and even given elder.

    The cheese on the mouse trap is “we are now against legalism (fill in the blank whatever that is locally and the old ‘house rules’), but the trap snaps on your neck when you have to figure out how YOU in particular will know it is FOR YOU and actually delivered and given to you (how am I elect, reborn, saved, etc…). This is punted all the time with word games. And eventually how you know you are saved moves from “legalism” to “well you love”. Some think they are pulling that off, others despair sensing the inner reality. What you will eventually have is a bifurcated church, one the half assed involved, the other the really dedicated (and silently, likely really saved, the others are always under silent suspicion). You’ll get to the point even, in some cases, of looking for a way to maybe even “die for the faith” and even consider going to some ‘hot bed’ area where this could take place. This to prove “you love” so much you’ll give even your life for it, BUT, secretly you will wonder “Will that prove I’m elect, saved, regenerate, etc…”.

    This is not a positive move at all, its a poisonous move. And Frank nailed it most simply when he said its just rearranging the Aristotlian deck furniture and I would add “on the Aristotlian Titanic”.

  • larry

    Frank, Tom, Lou G. spot on the money. My guess is the guy is moving somewhat from an arminian flavor of baptist to a calvin flavor baptist.

    As do “how do I know”, I was deeply in this. His language is not unfamiliar whatsoever to me. I can analyze this not from just a Lutheran point of view but “having actually walked MILES in his shoes” point of view.

    Basically a form of reformed theology seems to be a breath of fresh air if you’ve been suffocating under forms of arminian theology. So the legalism issue arises to the front and for example you realize as a SB via Calvin, “Hey this no beer no movies BS is legalism. And now I can even say “BS” as a calvinist baptist”. So you since a “breath of fresh air”. An apparent freedom. But that’s short lived when you have figure out how it is “pro me” and your back in the hamster wheel going 100x as fast now under divine election.

    His comment about numbers of unregenerate church members plaguing, while unnoticed perhaps to life long Lutherans, is quite noticable to any baptist or ex-baptist. That’s where the “role purging” in some form will begin – I know, I was involved in it, its internal conversation ESPECIALLY among the calvinistic turning SB. They will eventually throttle back on baptisms too if it continues, I saw that. When they do baptize they will examine to death for signs of actual regeneration, this is various both to the given church and even given elder.

    The cheese on the mouse trap is “we are now against legalism (fill in the blank whatever that is locally and the old ‘house rules’), but the trap snaps on your neck when you have to figure out how YOU in particular will know it is FOR YOU and actually delivered and given to you (how am I elect, reborn, saved, etc…). This is punted all the time with word games. And eventually how you know you are saved moves from “legalism” to “well you love”. Some think they are pulling that off, others despair sensing the inner reality. What you will eventually have is a bifurcated church, one the half assed involved, the other the really dedicated (and silently, likely really saved, the others are always under silent suspicion). You’ll get to the point even, in some cases, of looking for a way to maybe even “die for the faith” and even consider going to some ‘hot bed’ area where this could take place. This to prove “you love” so much you’ll give even your life for it, BUT, secretly you will wonder “Will that prove I’m elect, saved, regenerate, etc…”.

    This is not a positive move at all, its a poisonous move. And Frank nailed it most simply when he said its just rearranging the Aristotlian deck furniture and I would add “on the Aristotlian Titanic”.

  • larry

    And let me make a point here to address Dr. Veith’s concern that “he is not doing what (I) say he is doing”. That’s the way it works. I agree and concur, he does not think he’s doing that. That’s poison of it. Neither I as SB nor ANY pastor I know “do/did it” in a hand wringing kind of way as if to “plot” out a new false path. EVERYONE does it with the best intention, but it’s the blind leading the blind and it leads down the deadly path because of the fact that it’s so very sincere (and I mean that). My former pastor, SB, was a WONDERFUL man, better than I will ever be in this life. But that same man, or rather the theology espoused and others like him I trusted had me talking myself off of a cliff daily for five years quite literally (and I know of MANY others with this story). That’s their danger. Because such men will lead many ultimately into despair, even themselves (the danger is not just to those under them). Hell I’ve got these type of ministers in my family, they are VERY loving people, but they are equally the most dangerous spiritually. This is no easy issue as if I’m able to point to an open enemy and say, “I don’t like you”. By analogy because of how we feel towards these historical figures: If this were Hitler espousing this we’d all say, “RAARARAG bad guy!”, quite easily, and pat each other on the backs. But because it’s more like Mother Theresa we tend to over look the actual danger. The wooden Trojan Horse itself does not know its own cargo.

    One has to realize that even before an awakening to legalism that just before that happened, that “legalist” was well meaning too. That’s how the trick works, either way. This is more about how the devil operates than “a/the man” in question. Most false teachings come from those entirely unaware they are doing it. It silently dances around the MAIN issue, “how do I know for me”. That’s why that statement about the unregenerate in the church is significant. Because people under that believe that and if they are taking it seriously they have to ask, “am I”. Some will think they are pulling it off, this creates part one of the bifurcation, the silent “That guy over there has figured it out, now how can I”. The other, the one’s that WILL despair, must of necessity ask, “how about me, am I”. IF the Gospel, then does not come, this person WILL become an atheist/agnostic (I’ve seen it happen multiple times). That’s why the question “how do YOU know for you?” Is so very pertinent to this situation. What other question REALLY matters when all is said and done? And by extension what other answer REALLY matters when all is said and done?

    The Law ALWAYS strikes “contra me”, i.e. in the particular, even when generalize, it never remains generalized. Thus, if you believe in believers baptism as your baseline theology, then when I state “this is why we have so many unregenerate in the church”, unregenerate means “not saved and going to hell”, that law strikes not just a general group but “pro me” to the man, to ______ fill in the blank with your name here. But without a “pro me” Gospel all you have is a general gospel that may or may not be “for me”.

    Preachers should preach to every single person, group or individual as if that guy/gal is going to die the very next minute.

    If he’s not doing what I’m saying he’s doing (even unknown to himself), then ask him, how do I (or you) know, how do I get regenerate, how do I know I’m saved/regenerate/elect (pick your term), and have him answer. I will guarantee it will be one of: a complete word game punt, a law or a plethora of non-pro me applied scripture quotes or mixture of all these. Because legalism is really not the issue is it, but rather “am I (in particular) saved and ok with God or is hell my lot”. You will find he is doing, ever so lovingly, exactly what I said. Not so much by his design nor intent, but due to the doctrine he espouses.

    The most eye opening, and life saving/soul saving a Lutheran pastor ever said to me at my time under this very kind of preaching, after diagnosing it as law, was that “I had not heard the for you” in the Gospel, and then he took me there.

  • larry

    And let me make a point here to address Dr. Veith’s concern that “he is not doing what (I) say he is doing”. That’s the way it works. I agree and concur, he does not think he’s doing that. That’s poison of it. Neither I as SB nor ANY pastor I know “do/did it” in a hand wringing kind of way as if to “plot” out a new false path. EVERYONE does it with the best intention, but it’s the blind leading the blind and it leads down the deadly path because of the fact that it’s so very sincere (and I mean that). My former pastor, SB, was a WONDERFUL man, better than I will ever be in this life. But that same man, or rather the theology espoused and others like him I trusted had me talking myself off of a cliff daily for five years quite literally (and I know of MANY others with this story). That’s their danger. Because such men will lead many ultimately into despair, even themselves (the danger is not just to those under them). Hell I’ve got these type of ministers in my family, they are VERY loving people, but they are equally the most dangerous spiritually. This is no easy issue as if I’m able to point to an open enemy and say, “I don’t like you”. By analogy because of how we feel towards these historical figures: If this were Hitler espousing this we’d all say, “RAARARAG bad guy!”, quite easily, and pat each other on the backs. But because it’s more like Mother Theresa we tend to over look the actual danger. The wooden Trojan Horse itself does not know its own cargo.

    One has to realize that even before an awakening to legalism that just before that happened, that “legalist” was well meaning too. That’s how the trick works, either way. This is more about how the devil operates than “a/the man” in question. Most false teachings come from those entirely unaware they are doing it. It silently dances around the MAIN issue, “how do I know for me”. That’s why that statement about the unregenerate in the church is significant. Because people under that believe that and if they are taking it seriously they have to ask, “am I”. Some will think they are pulling it off, this creates part one of the bifurcation, the silent “That guy over there has figured it out, now how can I”. The other, the one’s that WILL despair, must of necessity ask, “how about me, am I”. IF the Gospel, then does not come, this person WILL become an atheist/agnostic (I’ve seen it happen multiple times). That’s why the question “how do YOU know for you?” Is so very pertinent to this situation. What other question REALLY matters when all is said and done? And by extension what other answer REALLY matters when all is said and done?

    The Law ALWAYS strikes “contra me”, i.e. in the particular, even when generalize, it never remains generalized. Thus, if you believe in believers baptism as your baseline theology, then when I state “this is why we have so many unregenerate in the church”, unregenerate means “not saved and going to hell”, that law strikes not just a general group but “pro me” to the man, to ______ fill in the blank with your name here. But without a “pro me” Gospel all you have is a general gospel that may or may not be “for me”.

    Preachers should preach to every single person, group or individual as if that guy/gal is going to die the very next minute.

    If he’s not doing what I’m saying he’s doing (even unknown to himself), then ask him, how do I (or you) know, how do I get regenerate, how do I know I’m saved/regenerate/elect (pick your term), and have him answer. I will guarantee it will be one of: a complete word game punt, a law or a plethora of non-pro me applied scripture quotes or mixture of all these. Because legalism is really not the issue is it, but rather “am I (in particular) saved and ok with God or is hell my lot”. You will find he is doing, ever so lovingly, exactly what I said. Not so much by his design nor intent, but due to the doctrine he espouses.

    The most eye opening, and life saving/soul saving a Lutheran pastor ever said to me at my time under this very kind of preaching, after diagnosing it as law, was that “I had not heard the for you” in the Gospel, and then he took me there.

  • trotk

    Larry, you do know that you have a tendency to project your experience onto everyone else, don’t you?

    You do know that within any given denomination there are a variety of stances on various theological and doctrinal issues, don’t you?

    You do know that your understanding of the truth is just that – your understanding (not God’s), right?

    You do know that you think that you know better than everyone else what they really believe, right?
    This one drives me crazy, because you have done it to me, and you were so far off the mark that I could only bang my head against the wall or laugh at the foolishness of your audacity.

    Get down off your high horse. For all your talk about understanding his language and denomination, all you really know is what he has written in this article. And, perhaps more to the point, you don’t have God’s grasp on theology. You might be wrong. In lots of places. Have some humility. It will help you win friends and influence people, or perhaps, just give you an opening to talk to these poor souls caught on their hamster wheels.

  • trotk

    Larry, you do know that you have a tendency to project your experience onto everyone else, don’t you?

    You do know that within any given denomination there are a variety of stances on various theological and doctrinal issues, don’t you?

    You do know that your understanding of the truth is just that – your understanding (not God’s), right?

    You do know that you think that you know better than everyone else what they really believe, right?
    This one drives me crazy, because you have done it to me, and you were so far off the mark that I could only bang my head against the wall or laugh at the foolishness of your audacity.

    Get down off your high horse. For all your talk about understanding his language and denomination, all you really know is what he has written in this article. And, perhaps more to the point, you don’t have God’s grasp on theology. You might be wrong. In lots of places. Have some humility. It will help you win friends and influence people, or perhaps, just give you an opening to talk to these poor souls caught on their hamster wheels.

  • larry

    Trokt,

    Get down off of your false accusation horse. In as much as it is “my theology”, then it is unreliable. But that does not extend to God’s Word being without exception true and reliable. “I believe” may be false and various, “I am baptized” is absolutely certain and without doubt, and THAT is the difference.

    I only mention “my experience”, as one of many, to show the resultant of what is believed – theologies true or false do have effects and those effects, like it or not are in fact heaven or hell and that is a fact not “my theology”.

    No where in the entirety of Scripture is speaking and confessing what is true, which includes identifying what is false is it called “high horseness”, in fact Scripture everywhere ubiquotously says this is what a Christian IS to do.

    If you wish to see high horseness, then look into the mirror of your subjective relativism toward YOUR theology. It is you defending the “individual’s theology” over the a true singular theology, not me, in fact quite the opposite. It is you saying, “back off of MY theology and religion I’m so sure of”. You are pointing me to you, I am pointing (trying to at least) to the objective, which is crystal clear in what I said. How one knows for themselves it is for them is not subjective (what you defend) but objective (the pro mes).

    You leave men in despair and deception. You pick on the despairing and defend the pround, calling the despairing “proud” and the pround “humble”.

    You first accuse of “how do you know” and when I answer that charge, “because unlike you I’ve walked this road and actually know it”, you then turn your false accusation toward that answer you asked for in the first place. If you don’t want the answer, then don’t ask the question. Otherwise you prove yourself to be nothing more than what you are accusing everyone else of, on a high horse. Because if you don’t want the answer and yet ask the question, the motive is only to set someone up for a knock down.

  • larry

    Trokt,

    Get down off of your false accusation horse. In as much as it is “my theology”, then it is unreliable. But that does not extend to God’s Word being without exception true and reliable. “I believe” may be false and various, “I am baptized” is absolutely certain and without doubt, and THAT is the difference.

    I only mention “my experience”, as one of many, to show the resultant of what is believed – theologies true or false do have effects and those effects, like it or not are in fact heaven or hell and that is a fact not “my theology”.

    No where in the entirety of Scripture is speaking and confessing what is true, which includes identifying what is false is it called “high horseness”, in fact Scripture everywhere ubiquotously says this is what a Christian IS to do.

    If you wish to see high horseness, then look into the mirror of your subjective relativism toward YOUR theology. It is you defending the “individual’s theology” over the a true singular theology, not me, in fact quite the opposite. It is you saying, “back off of MY theology and religion I’m so sure of”. You are pointing me to you, I am pointing (trying to at least) to the objective, which is crystal clear in what I said. How one knows for themselves it is for them is not subjective (what you defend) but objective (the pro mes).

    You leave men in despair and deception. You pick on the despairing and defend the pround, calling the despairing “proud” and the pround “humble”.

    You first accuse of “how do you know” and when I answer that charge, “because unlike you I’ve walked this road and actually know it”, you then turn your false accusation toward that answer you asked for in the first place. If you don’t want the answer, then don’t ask the question. Otherwise you prove yourself to be nothing more than what you are accusing everyone else of, on a high horse. Because if you don’t want the answer and yet ask the question, the motive is only to set someone up for a knock down.

  • trotk

    Good grief, Larry.

    One can be humble without being subjective. A person can acknowledge that God’s word is reliable and true and still recognize that he doesn’t fully understand it. One can recognize that explanations of Scripture (the sort of stuff you fill your posts with) are not the same as Scripture.

    I think that’s the issue. You think that your explanations of Scripture are “confessing the truth.” Anytime you put the truth in your own words (which you do in every post), you should be aware of the fact that you are interpreting and explaining the truth, and therefore, you should have humility, because you might have distorted it in some way.

    Scripture is true always. This is objective, and I will always confess exactly what the Bible says. (Which is why I reject the Baptist position on the sacraments, because they explicitly deny what Scripture says.) Larry’s explanations and views of Scripture are oftentimes true, but not always. They are the product of your mind interpreting and explaining, and therefore always will be incomplete and lacking. In order to explain Scripture, you add to it (which we all do, necessarily), which necessarily narrows it.

    You don’t really see this, though. You equate your wording and explanation of the truth with the truth, failing to see how many experiential and cultural issues bias your interpretation. There is room for honest disagreement about certain Biblical doctrines, and anyone who denies this is a fool. Anything beyond Scripture (and your posts are full of stuff beyond Scripture) should be held very humbly.

    The reason why I reject your explanation for the question, “How do you know?” is because you always answer it by projecting your personal experience onto others. When you did that to me, you were completely wrong, and yet you insisted in your boneheaded doggedness that you knew better than I did what I believed. I too have plenty of experience in Calvinist and Baptist churches and theology. But that doesn’t mean that I know exactly what every single one of them thinks and believes. What foolish proof you offer for how you know!

  • trotk

    Good grief, Larry.

    One can be humble without being subjective. A person can acknowledge that God’s word is reliable and true and still recognize that he doesn’t fully understand it. One can recognize that explanations of Scripture (the sort of stuff you fill your posts with) are not the same as Scripture.

    I think that’s the issue. You think that your explanations of Scripture are “confessing the truth.” Anytime you put the truth in your own words (which you do in every post), you should be aware of the fact that you are interpreting and explaining the truth, and therefore, you should have humility, because you might have distorted it in some way.

    Scripture is true always. This is objective, and I will always confess exactly what the Bible says. (Which is why I reject the Baptist position on the sacraments, because they explicitly deny what Scripture says.) Larry’s explanations and views of Scripture are oftentimes true, but not always. They are the product of your mind interpreting and explaining, and therefore always will be incomplete and lacking. In order to explain Scripture, you add to it (which we all do, necessarily), which necessarily narrows it.

    You don’t really see this, though. You equate your wording and explanation of the truth with the truth, failing to see how many experiential and cultural issues bias your interpretation. There is room for honest disagreement about certain Biblical doctrines, and anyone who denies this is a fool. Anything beyond Scripture (and your posts are full of stuff beyond Scripture) should be held very humbly.

    The reason why I reject your explanation for the question, “How do you know?” is because you always answer it by projecting your personal experience onto others. When you did that to me, you were completely wrong, and yet you insisted in your boneheaded doggedness that you knew better than I did what I believed. I too have plenty of experience in Calvinist and Baptist churches and theology. But that doesn’t mean that I know exactly what every single one of them thinks and believes. What foolish proof you offer for how you know!

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Larry, Trotk is completely right. You have done it to me too (and I’m Lutheran!!). You have turned your specific understanding of doctrine into absolute LAW, binding on everyone, and condemning everyone who differs but a shade.

    It is shameful.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Larry, Trotk is completely right. You have done it to me too (and I’m Lutheran!!). You have turned your specific understanding of doctrine into absolute LAW, binding on everyone, and condemning everyone who differs but a shade.

    It is shameful.

  • larry

    KK what you and TROKT are doing is shameful, because you set a person up to answer your question. Trokt liked to whine and accuse Lutherans of “this is why they don’t listen to us you Lutherans”, but when some who has been there answers problem, answers how it affects them, what it did to them and does to others, that this is laughing matter then you resort to your “Law of relativism”.

    For example it is not “my” specific understanding of baptism that makes me or any Lutheran in time trial cry back to the life saving “I am baptized”. And that’s the point you are blind to. IF it were “my understanding of the doctrine”, if that were true, then I nor could anyone find any comfort in “I am baptized”. If I thought for a split second that “I am baptized” (and all that goes with it) was “just my law understanding of it” then there would be no more “pro me” Gospel in that than in any of the plethora of subjective “how do you know its for you” subjective personal conversion touch stones that baptist and reformed doctrine use to figure out “I hope I’m saved/elect/etc…”.

    If you cannot see that then you are blind as bat. If what you say is true, that this is my specific law, in this example (baptism), then I should have no more comfort in that than any baptist doctrine and then all is lost and Lutherans really have no other objective truth.

    You purposely for the point of your hyperbolic argument confuse objectivity with law and my own personal religion, then insist upon your own subject, shade, hair’s breadth difference relativism. you are definitely not the kind of man I’d want at my death bed where “maybe” its true or “that’s your point of view” baptism is given to me. You argue shamefully thus: I say, “The sky is blue”. You reply, “Why shameful law maker, you have turned your specific understanding of the sky into absolute LAW, binding on everyone, and condemning everyone who differes but a shade.”

    Why you can make that asinine argument concerning Christ’s word, “I am the way and the truth and the life”: “Why, you have turned your specific understanding of doctrine into absolute LAW, binding on everyone, and condemning everyone who differs but a shade.”

    Your introduction of a “shade” is false and only in order to support your obvious relativism. It is not a “shade” different whether a person knows he/she is favored of God, forgiven there sins by God Himself to him/herself in their person and by such posess eternal life as to be in possession of hell. It’s a matter of eternal life or death.

    And you are guilty of what you accuse me (falsely) of doing, you assume anyone correcting this has the movtivation of being ill or mean spirited. I don’t assume that of this pastor, I assume he wishes to do good. That’s my baseline assumption as to his motivation. But you don’t assume that of me, you assume of me what you imagine I assume of him and thus are guilty of the very thing you accuse me of applied to me.

    Trotk accuses of some “well how do you know”. When I say how I know, its not just some theory on paper but I actually lived, breathed it, imbibed it deeply, thus understand it better than the accussing Trokt. He then turns the honest answer into another shameless accusation. The other reason I say this is how it works is not just “that’s my experience” but that I’ve privately been told by numerous folks “hey I know what you are talking about”. Because the despairing, when in that, tend to be very reserved about it because they are haning on by their finger nails and “this close” to ending it all and they don’t need to hear another “well this might be right too” they need someone to pull them out of fire with real Gospel. They are the most delicate of all and yet you show forth just how much you despise them with your “well maybe, that’s your opinion, if it works for you, gospel”. You do not see the difference in “baptism saves you” and “Well if those Lutherans think God has done something for them in baptism, I won’t oppose it.” Which opposes it by putting it into, “must be THEIR idea”, as opposed to God’s.

    In fact everything I’m saying here in principle miltates AGAINST it being “my” doctrine, for ‘my doctrine’ won’t save or comfort a damn thing. One needs God’s doctrine on the matter and therein lies the difference between me and you. You are the one championing, by your own admission a personal subjective doctrine that is to be a law for everyone to follow, you follow your law, I’ll follow mine and we’ll just say its a right and saves. You are defending the very thing you accuse me of.

    I could care less about the monicker “Lutheran” per se, its the doctrine that saves (or damns), not the name. If you want to be point blank about it, the difference is between what is Christian and what is not Christian.

    And we are not talking about “can I drink beer or play the lottery”, we are talking about “how one knows”. And there is nothing more important in life than that, to possess that is to possess eternal life, to not possess it is in reality to possess hell. One already possesses one or the other, after death of the body, it merely consumated.

  • larry

    KK what you and TROKT are doing is shameful, because you set a person up to answer your question. Trokt liked to whine and accuse Lutherans of “this is why they don’t listen to us you Lutherans”, but when some who has been there answers problem, answers how it affects them, what it did to them and does to others, that this is laughing matter then you resort to your “Law of relativism”.

    For example it is not “my” specific understanding of baptism that makes me or any Lutheran in time trial cry back to the life saving “I am baptized”. And that’s the point you are blind to. IF it were “my understanding of the doctrine”, if that were true, then I nor could anyone find any comfort in “I am baptized”. If I thought for a split second that “I am baptized” (and all that goes with it) was “just my law understanding of it” then there would be no more “pro me” Gospel in that than in any of the plethora of subjective “how do you know its for you” subjective personal conversion touch stones that baptist and reformed doctrine use to figure out “I hope I’m saved/elect/etc…”.

    If you cannot see that then you are blind as bat. If what you say is true, that this is my specific law, in this example (baptism), then I should have no more comfort in that than any baptist doctrine and then all is lost and Lutherans really have no other objective truth.

    You purposely for the point of your hyperbolic argument confuse objectivity with law and my own personal religion, then insist upon your own subject, shade, hair’s breadth difference relativism. you are definitely not the kind of man I’d want at my death bed where “maybe” its true or “that’s your point of view” baptism is given to me. You argue shamefully thus: I say, “The sky is blue”. You reply, “Why shameful law maker, you have turned your specific understanding of the sky into absolute LAW, binding on everyone, and condemning everyone who differes but a shade.”

    Why you can make that asinine argument concerning Christ’s word, “I am the way and the truth and the life”: “Why, you have turned your specific understanding of doctrine into absolute LAW, binding on everyone, and condemning everyone who differs but a shade.”

    Your introduction of a “shade” is false and only in order to support your obvious relativism. It is not a “shade” different whether a person knows he/she is favored of God, forgiven there sins by God Himself to him/herself in their person and by such posess eternal life as to be in possession of hell. It’s a matter of eternal life or death.

    And you are guilty of what you accuse me (falsely) of doing, you assume anyone correcting this has the movtivation of being ill or mean spirited. I don’t assume that of this pastor, I assume he wishes to do good. That’s my baseline assumption as to his motivation. But you don’t assume that of me, you assume of me what you imagine I assume of him and thus are guilty of the very thing you accuse me of applied to me.

    Trotk accuses of some “well how do you know”. When I say how I know, its not just some theory on paper but I actually lived, breathed it, imbibed it deeply, thus understand it better than the accussing Trokt. He then turns the honest answer into another shameless accusation. The other reason I say this is how it works is not just “that’s my experience” but that I’ve privately been told by numerous folks “hey I know what you are talking about”. Because the despairing, when in that, tend to be very reserved about it because they are haning on by their finger nails and “this close” to ending it all and they don’t need to hear another “well this might be right too” they need someone to pull them out of fire with real Gospel. They are the most delicate of all and yet you show forth just how much you despise them with your “well maybe, that’s your opinion, if it works for you, gospel”. You do not see the difference in “baptism saves you” and “Well if those Lutherans think God has done something for them in baptism, I won’t oppose it.” Which opposes it by putting it into, “must be THEIR idea”, as opposed to God’s.

    In fact everything I’m saying here in principle miltates AGAINST it being “my” doctrine, for ‘my doctrine’ won’t save or comfort a damn thing. One needs God’s doctrine on the matter and therein lies the difference between me and you. You are the one championing, by your own admission a personal subjective doctrine that is to be a law for everyone to follow, you follow your law, I’ll follow mine and we’ll just say its a right and saves. You are defending the very thing you accuse me of.

    I could care less about the monicker “Lutheran” per se, its the doctrine that saves (or damns), not the name. If you want to be point blank about it, the difference is between what is Christian and what is not Christian.

    And we are not talking about “can I drink beer or play the lottery”, we are talking about “how one knows”. And there is nothing more important in life than that, to possess that is to possess eternal life, to not possess it is in reality to possess hell. One already possesses one or the other, after death of the body, it merely consumated.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    its the doctrine that saves (or damns), not the name

    As they say, quod erat demonstrandum.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    its the doctrine that saves (or damns), not the name

    As they say, quod erat demonstrandum.

  • WebMonk

    CCS, in spite of your apparent desire to improve the coherency of what you write, you aren’t there yet. I still can’t get heads or tails of what you’re writing there. You still have the weird random capitalization, the bizarre quotes, the unconnected thoughts, useless punctuation, and atrocious grammar.

    I’m only writing this because you said you wanted to change your style, and I assume you tried, but you might not have realized there was no appreciable difference.

    Good luck!

  • WebMonk

    CCS, in spite of your apparent desire to improve the coherency of what you write, you aren’t there yet. I still can’t get heads or tails of what you’re writing there. You still have the weird random capitalization, the bizarre quotes, the unconnected thoughts, useless punctuation, and atrocious grammar.

    I’m only writing this because you said you wanted to change your style, and I assume you tried, but you might not have realized there was no appreciable difference.

    Good luck!

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Re 81: I would suggest CCS start by forcing herself to write full sentences. And asking herself how each individual sentence connects to the former sentence, but not from her own point of view, but from someone else’s. What she does is write her comments as bullet points representing her own thought process, but that process is opaque to the rest of us.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Re 81: I would suggest CCS start by forcing herself to write full sentences. And asking herself how each individual sentence connects to the former sentence, but not from her own point of view, but from someone else’s. What she does is write her comments as bullet points representing her own thought process, but that process is opaque to the rest of us.

  • larry

    Klassie, the problem is you accuse me of shades, but what shade of a non-essential doctrine have I mentioned. You make the accusation, now back it up. Is it baptism, is there a “shade” there? If so why are we not communion with baptist? For to break communion on shades is the true definition sectarianism. You insert the “shades”, what shades of what doctrine, be specific and quite accusing in generalities nobody can pin down so that the accusation remains aloof and unassailable.

    You accuse me of being harsh, yet I’ve always maintained when I look out across the baptist or SB or other denominations I see nothing but actual Christians. Even those, and I have plenty such family members for various reason, who have like exSB minister turned shock comedian Sam Kineson fled the denomination or church, yet they did not flee their baptism are in fact dutiful Christians. They may not know due to lack of information where truth is but they’ve smelled the falsehood and lack of assurance in such. I look across the very same churches this author speaks of and see it chalked full of Christians, yet he sees with his eyes and I quote, “It is because of this that our churches are filled with unregenerate people, who still feel completely at home in our congregations.” And yet I’m “believe my way or the highway guy”.

    You are not an unintelligent man, this I know, and I know you must see this.

    In any case, whatever you meant or I perceived, I forgive you (and I mean that, how can I not).

  • larry

    Klassie, the problem is you accuse me of shades, but what shade of a non-essential doctrine have I mentioned. You make the accusation, now back it up. Is it baptism, is there a “shade” there? If so why are we not communion with baptist? For to break communion on shades is the true definition sectarianism. You insert the “shades”, what shades of what doctrine, be specific and quite accusing in generalities nobody can pin down so that the accusation remains aloof and unassailable.

    You accuse me of being harsh, yet I’ve always maintained when I look out across the baptist or SB or other denominations I see nothing but actual Christians. Even those, and I have plenty such family members for various reason, who have like exSB minister turned shock comedian Sam Kineson fled the denomination or church, yet they did not flee their baptism are in fact dutiful Christians. They may not know due to lack of information where truth is but they’ve smelled the falsehood and lack of assurance in such. I look across the very same churches this author speaks of and see it chalked full of Christians, yet he sees with his eyes and I quote, “It is because of this that our churches are filled with unregenerate people, who still feel completely at home in our congregations.” And yet I’m “believe my way or the highway guy”.

    You are not an unintelligent man, this I know, and I know you must see this.

    In any case, whatever you meant or I perceived, I forgive you (and I mean that, how can I not).

  • trotk

    Larry,

    You have a tendency to accuse people of not knowing or understanding the gospel because they don’t express it in one specific Lutheran formula.

    Don’t get me wrong. I believe everything that the Bible says about baptism. I also believe everything the Bible says about the Eucharist. But it is possible to get “saved by grace through faith” and simply have assurance in the fact that God does not lie. Luther’s turning to “I am baptized” in a time of despair is a powerful statement of clinging to the truth. But so is Paul’s statement in Rom. 10:9-11. The Baptist is clinging to that, just as you are clinging to the belief that the Baptism was “for you.”

    Neither one is false. Both are Biblical. Why do you claim the Baptist doesn’t get the gospel because they misunderstand Baptism? If Baptism saves because it is God’s work (which you believe), what does the Baptist’s (or your) understanding have to do with it?

    In the New Testament, assurance is offered based on the faithfulness of Christ, not the terminology or understanding of man.

  • trotk

    Larry,

    You have a tendency to accuse people of not knowing or understanding the gospel because they don’t express it in one specific Lutheran formula.

    Don’t get me wrong. I believe everything that the Bible says about baptism. I also believe everything the Bible says about the Eucharist. But it is possible to get “saved by grace through faith” and simply have assurance in the fact that God does not lie. Luther’s turning to “I am baptized” in a time of despair is a powerful statement of clinging to the truth. But so is Paul’s statement in Rom. 10:9-11. The Baptist is clinging to that, just as you are clinging to the belief that the Baptism was “for you.”

    Neither one is false. Both are Biblical. Why do you claim the Baptist doesn’t get the gospel because they misunderstand Baptism? If Baptism saves because it is God’s work (which you believe), what does the Baptist’s (or your) understanding have to do with it?

    In the New Testament, assurance is offered based on the faithfulness of Christ, not the terminology or understanding of man.

  • larry

    The reason why I reject your explanation for the question, “How do you know?” is because you always answer it by projecting your personal experience onto others.

    No trotk, that is not the spirit in which I answered it that’s your personal interpretation of it. I was answering your accusation, “First, how the hell do you know?” How the hell do you know, you asked. Because my conversation was not started on the sacraments but the Baptist doctrine of regenerate church. How do I know the emphasis sounds on that. Here’s how I know, I was one, this was my experience. I was not projecting my personal experience on you, but answer the question, here’s how I know “I was actually there, I actually lived and breathed” it’s not a cold academic doctrinal exercise for me, for which you too accuse me. See I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t. It’s “how the hell do you know” or if I answer that “now you are projecting yourself”. You would not do that if you asked a man from China how he knows the effects of communism if he said, “Well I lived in it and this is how it affected me and my family”. Your response of such a person “projecting themselves” would be obviously false and flat, after asking the man, “how the hell do you know”.

    That’s not my projection, my journey, though not isolated, is not the only one, but it IS how I know and I do know. Not only that, I’ve attended Southern Seminary, I lived around it, breathed the air deeply, very involved in the ministries, part of my family is nothing but ministers in the SB church – its rooted deeply in my experience. That’s no projection, but it is “how the hell I know”. It’s like asking a life long Lutheran “how the hell he/she knows what is meant by I am baptized” as being assurance. Well you sure as hell don’t learn that outside of Lutheranism. So that’s ‘how the hell I know what the emphasis is on the unregenerate chalked full in his church. One cannot read a Lutheran back reading into the term regeneration as used by the Baptist and say, ‘Well he means what Luthrans mean”.

  • larry

    The reason why I reject your explanation for the question, “How do you know?” is because you always answer it by projecting your personal experience onto others.

    No trotk, that is not the spirit in which I answered it that’s your personal interpretation of it. I was answering your accusation, “First, how the hell do you know?” How the hell do you know, you asked. Because my conversation was not started on the sacraments but the Baptist doctrine of regenerate church. How do I know the emphasis sounds on that. Here’s how I know, I was one, this was my experience. I was not projecting my personal experience on you, but answer the question, here’s how I know “I was actually there, I actually lived and breathed” it’s not a cold academic doctrinal exercise for me, for which you too accuse me. See I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t. It’s “how the hell do you know” or if I answer that “now you are projecting yourself”. You would not do that if you asked a man from China how he knows the effects of communism if he said, “Well I lived in it and this is how it affected me and my family”. Your response of such a person “projecting themselves” would be obviously false and flat, after asking the man, “how the hell do you know”.

    That’s not my projection, my journey, though not isolated, is not the only one, but it IS how I know and I do know. Not only that, I’ve attended Southern Seminary, I lived around it, breathed the air deeply, very involved in the ministries, part of my family is nothing but ministers in the SB church – its rooted deeply in my experience. That’s no projection, but it is “how the hell I know”. It’s like asking a life long Lutheran “how the hell he/she knows what is meant by I am baptized” as being assurance. Well you sure as hell don’t learn that outside of Lutheranism. So that’s ‘how the hell I know what the emphasis is on the unregenerate chalked full in his church. One cannot read a Lutheran back reading into the term regeneration as used by the Baptist and say, ‘Well he means what Luthrans mean”.

  • larry

    In the New Testament, assurance is offered based on the faithfulness of Christ, not the terminology or understanding of man.

    THAT is what I’m getting at, not the terminology. I agree.

  • larry

    In the New Testament, assurance is offered based on the faithfulness of Christ, not the terminology or understanding of man.

    THAT is what I’m getting at, not the terminology. I agree.

  • larry

    I agree with you concerning the Baptist, but it is that doctrine, believers baptism and all wrapped up in it that looses Christ. Keep in mind two things here: (1) as I said above, I see nothing but Christians in the Baptist church, that’s in contradistinction with what he said. When he says unregenerate, he does not mean like Lutherans mean that term, he means never saved (unless he has personal view on this that is in reality not Baptist concerning unregenerate). He means baptism did nothing of such a think. That’s the context of the unregenerate statement and comfort in their congregations.

    The other reason I bring up my experience, its one thing to analyze this as we can now actually believing something else to be the truth, altogether different when you in that and believe THAT to be true. It makes all the difference in the world, the Baptist hearing that does not have Luther to lean on. In fact in his/her ear Luther is wrong. Thus, the unregenerate comment takes on a whole new meaning. Don’t think for a second that one despairing is not despairing because he/she wonders, “I’m legalist therefore, unregenerate…what do I do”. The despairing will know they are legalist at heart, anybody, including myself, glancing five seconds inwardly in the present tense must see this.

    And you loose Christ, in despairing unbelief, via believers baptism which is connected to the inner looking for regeneration. Because who alone is baptized according to the doctrine? ONLY the regenerate. Who then are the regenerate according to the doctrine? Those truly elected (the Calvinist twist) or the truly converted (the Arminian twist), and note the adjectives “truly” (alt. “really”, “actually”, etc…). The doctrine says regeneration is an inward thing and thus they admit when discerning an adult baptism, mostly the Calvinist/reformed side of the Baptist house, they cannot read hearts but must discern outward things. But what are those outward things that in essence say, “Bingo, can be baptized”? The whole of the doctrine goes inward and to works, thus merely recognizing rank legalism does little. It is precisely as Frank stated, rearranging the same old works based salvation deck chairs.

    When I say folks loose the faith, it is not because they got some doctrinal test question wrong, but the effects, the despairing of Christ for them that the false doctrine produces. This is not a teacher slapping a kids hand because they got the answer wrong (a law), but they are being lied too and tricked into despair.

    Think more of the oft repeated story we hear in various legends of two separated lovers and the one that is away promises their certain return. But an evil person gives them news that this is not really going to happen and their beloved is dead and lost forever. That lover, without this good news for them to sustain them in this vale of tears, now begins to utterly despair and they commit suicide the pain is so great. When the lover returns he/she finds their beloved dead having taken their life to get away from the pain.

    THAT is what happens. One should feel sadden and sorrowed for people under this.

  • larry

    I agree with you concerning the Baptist, but it is that doctrine, believers baptism and all wrapped up in it that looses Christ. Keep in mind two things here: (1) as I said above, I see nothing but Christians in the Baptist church, that’s in contradistinction with what he said. When he says unregenerate, he does not mean like Lutherans mean that term, he means never saved (unless he has personal view on this that is in reality not Baptist concerning unregenerate). He means baptism did nothing of such a think. That’s the context of the unregenerate statement and comfort in their congregations.

    The other reason I bring up my experience, its one thing to analyze this as we can now actually believing something else to be the truth, altogether different when you in that and believe THAT to be true. It makes all the difference in the world, the Baptist hearing that does not have Luther to lean on. In fact in his/her ear Luther is wrong. Thus, the unregenerate comment takes on a whole new meaning. Don’t think for a second that one despairing is not despairing because he/she wonders, “I’m legalist therefore, unregenerate…what do I do”. The despairing will know they are legalist at heart, anybody, including myself, glancing five seconds inwardly in the present tense must see this.

    And you loose Christ, in despairing unbelief, via believers baptism which is connected to the inner looking for regeneration. Because who alone is baptized according to the doctrine? ONLY the regenerate. Who then are the regenerate according to the doctrine? Those truly elected (the Calvinist twist) or the truly converted (the Arminian twist), and note the adjectives “truly” (alt. “really”, “actually”, etc…). The doctrine says regeneration is an inward thing and thus they admit when discerning an adult baptism, mostly the Calvinist/reformed side of the Baptist house, they cannot read hearts but must discern outward things. But what are those outward things that in essence say, “Bingo, can be baptized”? The whole of the doctrine goes inward and to works, thus merely recognizing rank legalism does little. It is precisely as Frank stated, rearranging the same old works based salvation deck chairs.

    When I say folks loose the faith, it is not because they got some doctrinal test question wrong, but the effects, the despairing of Christ for them that the false doctrine produces. This is not a teacher slapping a kids hand because they got the answer wrong (a law), but they are being lied too and tricked into despair.

    Think more of the oft repeated story we hear in various legends of two separated lovers and the one that is away promises their certain return. But an evil person gives them news that this is not really going to happen and their beloved is dead and lost forever. That lover, without this good news for them to sustain them in this vale of tears, now begins to utterly despair and they commit suicide the pain is so great. When the lover returns he/she finds their beloved dead having taken their life to get away from the pain.

    THAT is what happens. One should feel sadden and sorrowed for people under this.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Klassie, the problem is you accuse me of shades

    What I said was

    You have turned your specific understanding of doctrine into absolute LAW, binding on everyone, and condemning everyone who differs but a shade.

    The use of the word “shade” by you is not the same as I used it. You used it as shades of grey. I used it as condemnation of the minutest difference.

    I appreciate your statement that you see “Christians” when looking at Baptists. But the sense one gets, the immense condemnation implied by your doctrinal statements, does not equate with that. Maybe it is a writing style issue. Maybe also is that you tend to bring your “Lutheran Doctrinal Machine Gun” to every discussion, which is entirely inappropriate.

    I often say that we are saved by faith in Christ, no by faith in the doctrine that we are saved by faith in Christ. Therefore, although we can critically discuss the lack of assurance brought about by Baptistic Doctrine (in some, be careful of projection), we should not blast everyone with doctrinal machine gun spray at every opportunity. That tactic engenders derision, hate, and turning away from the wonderful treasures we have. It is foolish at best, and creates suspicion about Doctrinal legalism as I indicated above.

    Wisdom, my friend, wisdom. Also, even when we do discuss doctrine, one should realize that carrying doctrinal purity to the n-th degree, as when you blasted me for a non-literal understanding of the early chapters of Genesis, an issue which is most manifestly NOT a prime doctrinal issue, is extremely counter-productive.

    Leave the machine-gun at home, my brother.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Klassie, the problem is you accuse me of shades

    What I said was

    You have turned your specific understanding of doctrine into absolute LAW, binding on everyone, and condemning everyone who differs but a shade.

    The use of the word “shade” by you is not the same as I used it. You used it as shades of grey. I used it as condemnation of the minutest difference.

    I appreciate your statement that you see “Christians” when looking at Baptists. But the sense one gets, the immense condemnation implied by your doctrinal statements, does not equate with that. Maybe it is a writing style issue. Maybe also is that you tend to bring your “Lutheran Doctrinal Machine Gun” to every discussion, which is entirely inappropriate.

    I often say that we are saved by faith in Christ, no by faith in the doctrine that we are saved by faith in Christ. Therefore, although we can critically discuss the lack of assurance brought about by Baptistic Doctrine (in some, be careful of projection), we should not blast everyone with doctrinal machine gun spray at every opportunity. That tactic engenders derision, hate, and turning away from the wonderful treasures we have. It is foolish at best, and creates suspicion about Doctrinal legalism as I indicated above.

    Wisdom, my friend, wisdom. Also, even when we do discuss doctrine, one should realize that carrying doctrinal purity to the n-th degree, as when you blasted me for a non-literal understanding of the early chapters of Genesis, an issue which is most manifestly NOT a prime doctrinal issue, is extremely counter-productive.

    Leave the machine-gun at home, my brother.

  • larry

    KK,

    Your how I use shades versus how you use shades is so much word gaming, it still stands, show me.

    What you call a machine gun I call essential, including the age of the earth issues (won’t debate here). The problem is you see them as law, I see them as denying the gifts of the gospel. Put another way because you don’t see them as Gospel issues of necessity you hear doctrinal purity by way of the law. Put yet another way, I see them quite literally as soul murdering poisons and I would no less use sugar coated language to kids saying “well it maybe doesn’t taste so good”.

    That’s the difference, I don’t see them as I have painfully said a plethora of times as “getting test questions on doctrine correct”, the accusation you constantly throw at me, rather desperate eternal life giving vs. life taking matters, and as such I speak very plainly and forth right (or at least attempt to do so). To borrow from Romney’s last debate (no politics meant here), you are not privledged to your own set of facts in order to paint your picture of me.

    The reason I can see Christians in the same churches that for example this guy sees mostly unregenerate is BECAUSE I see them as life and death and precisely because I’m not saying X because they need to get the doctrinal exam correctly.

    When I ask for example, “how do you know”, its not to get an answer precisely as I’d formulate it or Luther would, I asked that when a despairing baptist so that I could know. Do you grasp that? Because you see me as testing doctrine for an exam, you seem to not understand that and thus color everything I say with that broad brush in spite of my explanations time and time and time again. I ask that question, like this (analogy), “A starving child asks an apparently oppulent man, where might I find some bread”. But the man answers, “Be fed”, and thinks that he has helped. Now you, as an observer, would not condemn that child and say, “Why you law making little doctrinal wonk, how dare you plague that poor man and demand that your request for food just the way you want him to.” You see the problem with that immediately, same thing. On the same line, it is obvious that the man’s answer does not answer where to get bread to feed the starving child, he just says, “be fed” and pretends. That’s the kind of answer many give, the despairing, a new law, some nebulous fruits to look for, or a blasting of scripture quotes that are quite nebulous. Because the despairing in such are asking, “how do you know”, in light of the (false) doctrine they are under.

    That’s why I emphasize its one thing for you and I as Lutherans to now set on a perch and analyze this, quite another to have known that despair and know what it actually means when you actually believe it and are in its deadly teeth.

    The problem with far too many Lutherans is that they assume some of the cross over language is the same, such as “unregenerate”, but there’s a whole other doctrine packed in that word under the baptist doctrine that creates the deadly poison. You cannot hear that as a Lutheran and read Luther into it, you must read it as a baptist.

    It’s like an American and man from China thinking they are talking in concord with each other about ‘garage sells’, until the man from China wonders why these crazy Americans sell their garages so frequently.

  • larry

    KK,

    Your how I use shades versus how you use shades is so much word gaming, it still stands, show me.

    What you call a machine gun I call essential, including the age of the earth issues (won’t debate here). The problem is you see them as law, I see them as denying the gifts of the gospel. Put another way because you don’t see them as Gospel issues of necessity you hear doctrinal purity by way of the law. Put yet another way, I see them quite literally as soul murdering poisons and I would no less use sugar coated language to kids saying “well it maybe doesn’t taste so good”.

    That’s the difference, I don’t see them as I have painfully said a plethora of times as “getting test questions on doctrine correct”, the accusation you constantly throw at me, rather desperate eternal life giving vs. life taking matters, and as such I speak very plainly and forth right (or at least attempt to do so). To borrow from Romney’s last debate (no politics meant here), you are not privledged to your own set of facts in order to paint your picture of me.

    The reason I can see Christians in the same churches that for example this guy sees mostly unregenerate is BECAUSE I see them as life and death and precisely because I’m not saying X because they need to get the doctrinal exam correctly.

    When I ask for example, “how do you know”, its not to get an answer precisely as I’d formulate it or Luther would, I asked that when a despairing baptist so that I could know. Do you grasp that? Because you see me as testing doctrine for an exam, you seem to not understand that and thus color everything I say with that broad brush in spite of my explanations time and time and time again. I ask that question, like this (analogy), “A starving child asks an apparently oppulent man, where might I find some bread”. But the man answers, “Be fed”, and thinks that he has helped. Now you, as an observer, would not condemn that child and say, “Why you law making little doctrinal wonk, how dare you plague that poor man and demand that your request for food just the way you want him to.” You see the problem with that immediately, same thing. On the same line, it is obvious that the man’s answer does not answer where to get bread to feed the starving child, he just says, “be fed” and pretends. That’s the kind of answer many give, the despairing, a new law, some nebulous fruits to look for, or a blasting of scripture quotes that are quite nebulous. Because the despairing in such are asking, “how do you know”, in light of the (false) doctrine they are under.

    That’s why I emphasize its one thing for you and I as Lutherans to now set on a perch and analyze this, quite another to have known that despair and know what it actually means when you actually believe it and are in its deadly teeth.

    The problem with far too many Lutherans is that they assume some of the cross over language is the same, such as “unregenerate”, but there’s a whole other doctrine packed in that word under the baptist doctrine that creates the deadly poison. You cannot hear that as a Lutheran and read Luther into it, you must read it as a baptist.

    It’s like an American and man from China thinking they are talking in concord with each other about ‘garage sells’, until the man from China wonders why these crazy Americans sell their garages so frequently.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Ah well, Larry, it is obvious that you miss the whole direction of my comment. Nevermind, I shan’t be beating the equine….

    But, one remark: Never, ever, ever again assume that I do not know anything about the despair accompanying bad doctrine. I was immersed in cultic pelagian bullcrap, with knobs on, from age 7 to my mid 20′s. I know all about it. And the thrust of the article above is NOT THAT, it is a step in the right direction. As Gene said.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Ah well, Larry, it is obvious that you miss the whole direction of my comment. Nevermind, I shan’t be beating the equine….

    But, one remark: Never, ever, ever again assume that I do not know anything about the despair accompanying bad doctrine. I was immersed in cultic pelagian bullcrap, with knobs on, from age 7 to my mid 20′s. I know all about it. And the thrust of the article above is NOT THAT, it is a step in the right direction. As Gene said.

  • Larry

    First of all I never said you didn’t understand personally that despair, once again you paint a picture of me of your own liking then pretend to knock it down.

    Second, I didn’t miss thrust of your comment, rather understood but yet as usual you once again evade the question, show me, you made the accusation, show me. You can evade all you want but you’ve yet to show me your accusation.

    The article above is not about pelagianism, your straw man, I never said that, its about the pro me of the Gospel and the relation of the baptist understanding of unregenerate. For what he is saying, coming from that doctrine is not, ‘well they were once Christian but now are not’. A baptist cannot say that. He is saying they never were, that group he has in mind of unregenerate people in their midst.

    So the “move in the right direction” is the law and doctrine he is espousing and saying in essence because of legalism that many are not regenerate in their midst, yet I who am a “law wonk” because I insist on the for you/me of the Gospel say all I see is Christians and wolf shepherding them.

    That’s very ironic; he’s a nice guy but those of us insisting on the Gospel clarity rather than assumed are the mean guys.

    “As they say, quod erat demonstrandum”

    I agree with you.

  • Larry

    First of all I never said you didn’t understand personally that despair, once again you paint a picture of me of your own liking then pretend to knock it down.

    Second, I didn’t miss thrust of your comment, rather understood but yet as usual you once again evade the question, show me, you made the accusation, show me. You can evade all you want but you’ve yet to show me your accusation.

    The article above is not about pelagianism, your straw man, I never said that, its about the pro me of the Gospel and the relation of the baptist understanding of unregenerate. For what he is saying, coming from that doctrine is not, ‘well they were once Christian but now are not’. A baptist cannot say that. He is saying they never were, that group he has in mind of unregenerate people in their midst.

    So the “move in the right direction” is the law and doctrine he is espousing and saying in essence because of legalism that many are not regenerate in their midst, yet I who am a “law wonk” because I insist on the for you/me of the Gospel say all I see is Christians and wolf shepherding them.

    That’s very ironic; he’s a nice guy but those of us insisting on the Gospel clarity rather than assumed are the mean guys.

    “As they say, quod erat demonstrandum”

    I agree with you.

  • Booklover

    I, for one, appreciate Larry’s comments on this blog. Many of his experiences mirror mine. With the comments, you can take them or leave them. You don’t have to accept them, but maybe you can learn from them. I also enjoy listening to the stories of tales of converts to Catholicism–I learn from them.

    There is a difference between worship that focuses on Christ, and “worship” that focuses on whether one is regenerate or unregenerate. Believe me, there are just as many ugly sinners in the latter type as in the former, and the focus is in the wrong place.

  • Booklover

    I, for one, appreciate Larry’s comments on this blog. Many of his experiences mirror mine. With the comments, you can take them or leave them. You don’t have to accept them, but maybe you can learn from them. I also enjoy listening to the stories of tales of converts to Catholicism–I learn from them.

    There is a difference between worship that focuses on Christ, and “worship” that focuses on whether one is regenerate or unregenerate. Believe me, there are just as many ugly sinners in the latter type as in the former, and the focus is in the wrong place.

  • fws

    Booklover @ 92

    +1

    I want to apologize to Trotke for being offensive to him in some of my comments. When I have time I will go back and see what I can soften or retract.

    At the same time, Larry , like myself, clings to some important distinctives of Lutheranism for our very life. I hope the good brothers here will forgive a certain zeal in carefully trying to protect those things as so very precious to us.

    KK, you are right that we are not saved by getting our doctrine right. That is a common error among Lutherans. I am certain Larry agrees with this as are you.

    We need to always speak with charity and in a winsome way, aiming at comforting troubled consciences. It is so very easy to not be mindful of the tone of what we write here, perhaps since we are not looking at our listeners face to face . What I just said was meant as an apology. I often fail to meet that standard or aim for that goal as I should.

    Trotke, there probably are some issues here we simply dont agree on.

    This article does indeed represent real mercy to those beaten up by baptist legalism and the Law.
    The problem is that the provided solution is……. more Law.

    Now you need to understand that that is not a cricitism! Whenever we study aristotle, aesops fables or practice virtues taught by groups like the Rotary Club for example we end up doing more Mercy for others. We become more virtuous and the pain we inflict upon our own selves and others is diminished.

    Let me make this more personal.
    I am a gay man. I am in the LCMS because doctrine is still important there. And there is lots and lots of legalism in the LCMS. its true.

    And the ELCA? They do the Law better, in many ways, than do those in the LCMS. How? They actively look for ways to welcome and include men and women like me. How is someone ever going to hear the gospel and believe, and amend their lives not just morally but also spiritually unless they are welcomed to church where, alone, they will hear the Two Words that , alone, give eternal Life?

    And their mercy and rejection of the legalism of the LCMS is to be praised just this article is to be praised! They, by showing the mercy of inclusion, are dimishing the pain of many. And no, they dont teach that we are not all sinners in need of Christ just because they cant see that a particular thing is a sin.

    So what is their problem?
    It is the same as this article.
    They do the mercy the Law demands, and then, there is not one drop of Gospel.
    There is only a gospel or mercy that is about doing better law in the form of avoiding legalism.

    Again that mercy they do is to be praised, but it IS very very important to point out that this is a philosophical righeousness being done, that God does indeed will, and that requires NO Holy Spirit and NO Christ and even no Bible to know and to do.

    The HS is alone require to create in us a heart knowing of Two Words. alone. alone. alone.

    Trotke, if I was inartful or harsh in my effort to make this one distinction a very clear and bright line, then I need to apologize, but this distinction is essential and useful precisely to be clear that there is only ONE thing we can do that can ONLY be done with the Holy Spirit. To blur this distinction is to lose the Gospel.

  • fws

    Booklover @ 92

    +1

    I want to apologize to Trotke for being offensive to him in some of my comments. When I have time I will go back and see what I can soften or retract.

    At the same time, Larry , like myself, clings to some important distinctives of Lutheranism for our very life. I hope the good brothers here will forgive a certain zeal in carefully trying to protect those things as so very precious to us.

    KK, you are right that we are not saved by getting our doctrine right. That is a common error among Lutherans. I am certain Larry agrees with this as are you.

    We need to always speak with charity and in a winsome way, aiming at comforting troubled consciences. It is so very easy to not be mindful of the tone of what we write here, perhaps since we are not looking at our listeners face to face . What I just said was meant as an apology. I often fail to meet that standard or aim for that goal as I should.

    Trotke, there probably are some issues here we simply dont agree on.

    This article does indeed represent real mercy to those beaten up by baptist legalism and the Law.
    The problem is that the provided solution is……. more Law.

    Now you need to understand that that is not a cricitism! Whenever we study aristotle, aesops fables or practice virtues taught by groups like the Rotary Club for example we end up doing more Mercy for others. We become more virtuous and the pain we inflict upon our own selves and others is diminished.

    Let me make this more personal.
    I am a gay man. I am in the LCMS because doctrine is still important there. And there is lots and lots of legalism in the LCMS. its true.

    And the ELCA? They do the Law better, in many ways, than do those in the LCMS. How? They actively look for ways to welcome and include men and women like me. How is someone ever going to hear the gospel and believe, and amend their lives not just morally but also spiritually unless they are welcomed to church where, alone, they will hear the Two Words that , alone, give eternal Life?

    And their mercy and rejection of the legalism of the LCMS is to be praised just this article is to be praised! They, by showing the mercy of inclusion, are dimishing the pain of many. And no, they dont teach that we are not all sinners in need of Christ just because they cant see that a particular thing is a sin.

    So what is their problem?
    It is the same as this article.
    They do the mercy the Law demands, and then, there is not one drop of Gospel.
    There is only a gospel or mercy that is about doing better law in the form of avoiding legalism.

    Again that mercy they do is to be praised, but it IS very very important to point out that this is a philosophical righeousness being done, that God does indeed will, and that requires NO Holy Spirit and NO Christ and even no Bible to know and to do.

    The HS is alone require to create in us a heart knowing of Two Words. alone. alone. alone.

    Trotke, if I was inartful or harsh in my effort to make this one distinction a very clear and bright line, then I need to apologize, but this distinction is essential and useful precisely to be clear that there is only ONE thing we can do that can ONLY be done with the Holy Spirit. To blur this distinction is to lose the Gospel.

  • Larry

    Booklover, thank you for your very kind comment. I too like hearing experiences, not because it “makes one’s theology” but because it says “this is more than just philosophy on paper, it does real things”. You nailed it in that last paragraph, you get it no doubt.

    Thanks,

    Larry

  • Larry

    Booklover, thank you for your very kind comment. I too like hearing experiences, not because it “makes one’s theology” but because it says “this is more than just philosophy on paper, it does real things”. You nailed it in that last paragraph, you get it no doubt.

    Thanks,

    Larry

  • trotk

    Frank,

    I wasn’t offended. My point was more about how the author of the article was being treated. I didn’t, and still don’t, understand the attack you all leveled against him. I mean, I understand your words and statements, but I really think that you have totally missed the point.

    The article is not attempting to explain the gospel. The assumption in Larry’s comments was that this man doesn’t get the gospel. Somehow the author’s charge to guard against legalism (which charge, I agree, is not the gospel) gets labeled “poison” – I don’t get this at all.

    In fact, the more I think about it, the less anything either you or Larry said makes any sense whatsoever. In your attempt to be doctrinally pure, you seem to have totally missed the forest sitting in front of you. This article has nothing to do with the content of the gospel, except that it implicitly claims that it is true to Scripture (not liberal) and an act of grace (not legalistic). To be honest, I would assume that you would jump up and down in joy with the fact that this man gets at least that much (and he probably gets a bunch more).

    But he makes the mistake of giving the command, “Guard the gospel against legalism” and he gets attacked for poisoning the gospel and turning it back into a different type of legalism. The only way you can come to that conclusion is to a.) ignore the point of his article, and b.) assume a great deal about what he believes.

    Are you so frightened of commands that anytime you encounter one you have to point out that it is Law, and therefore cannot save? The funny thing is that the author of this article got that too. That was his whole point.

    Larry’s assumption that somehow the baptist will struggle with assurance because they don’t get their assurance from their baptism is utterly silly to me. I get that baptism is one of the root places of objective assurance that I have, just as the Eucharist is. But the Spirit Himself provides assurance through the faith He creates in me. The Bible says this! Why is that ignored, and why does the fact that baptists have bad theology in certain areas become an opportunity for assuming they automatically have no assurance and turn people into legalists? I know plenty of baptists who have just as much assurance as you or I do, simply because the Spirit bears witness that Christ has saved them! I know plenty of Calvinists who trust in God for their salvation and don’t turn to work-righteousness any more than you or I do!

    In the Lutheran mistrust of subjective experience (and therefore healthy reliance on extra nos and pro me), you seem to have abandoned the intra nos of the Spirit. This too is Scriptural. One of the chief reasons that I am Anglican is because I am not forced to choose between these things. What I am saying is nothing other than what Romans 8 says explicitly. We have received a different Spirit who cries out assurance within us.

    All men can doubt that, and need to be reassured. But all men can also doubt the objective nature of baptism. Reassure each as he needs. We shouldn’t have to choose between intra nos and extra nos, but the Scriptures say that the two are both true.

    Correct the bad theology of the baptist and the Calvinist, but don’t assume that their lack of assurance comes from bad theology. Luther, too, struggled with lack of assurance, which is why he turned to “I have been baptised.”

    Don’t assume bad theology about baptism = misunderstanding of the gospel. The heart of the gospel is simply who Christ is and what He has done. How and when He does it is secondary.

  • trotk

    Frank,

    I wasn’t offended. My point was more about how the author of the article was being treated. I didn’t, and still don’t, understand the attack you all leveled against him. I mean, I understand your words and statements, but I really think that you have totally missed the point.

    The article is not attempting to explain the gospel. The assumption in Larry’s comments was that this man doesn’t get the gospel. Somehow the author’s charge to guard against legalism (which charge, I agree, is not the gospel) gets labeled “poison” – I don’t get this at all.

    In fact, the more I think about it, the less anything either you or Larry said makes any sense whatsoever. In your attempt to be doctrinally pure, you seem to have totally missed the forest sitting in front of you. This article has nothing to do with the content of the gospel, except that it implicitly claims that it is true to Scripture (not liberal) and an act of grace (not legalistic). To be honest, I would assume that you would jump up and down in joy with the fact that this man gets at least that much (and he probably gets a bunch more).

    But he makes the mistake of giving the command, “Guard the gospel against legalism” and he gets attacked for poisoning the gospel and turning it back into a different type of legalism. The only way you can come to that conclusion is to a.) ignore the point of his article, and b.) assume a great deal about what he believes.

    Are you so frightened of commands that anytime you encounter one you have to point out that it is Law, and therefore cannot save? The funny thing is that the author of this article got that too. That was his whole point.

    Larry’s assumption that somehow the baptist will struggle with assurance because they don’t get their assurance from their baptism is utterly silly to me. I get that baptism is one of the root places of objective assurance that I have, just as the Eucharist is. But the Spirit Himself provides assurance through the faith He creates in me. The Bible says this! Why is that ignored, and why does the fact that baptists have bad theology in certain areas become an opportunity for assuming they automatically have no assurance and turn people into legalists? I know plenty of baptists who have just as much assurance as you or I do, simply because the Spirit bears witness that Christ has saved them! I know plenty of Calvinists who trust in God for their salvation and don’t turn to work-righteousness any more than you or I do!

    In the Lutheran mistrust of subjective experience (and therefore healthy reliance on extra nos and pro me), you seem to have abandoned the intra nos of the Spirit. This too is Scriptural. One of the chief reasons that I am Anglican is because I am not forced to choose between these things. What I am saying is nothing other than what Romans 8 says explicitly. We have received a different Spirit who cries out assurance within us.

    All men can doubt that, and need to be reassured. But all men can also doubt the objective nature of baptism. Reassure each as he needs. We shouldn’t have to choose between intra nos and extra nos, but the Scriptures say that the two are both true.

    Correct the bad theology of the baptist and the Calvinist, but don’t assume that their lack of assurance comes from bad theology. Luther, too, struggled with lack of assurance, which is why he turned to “I have been baptised.”

    Don’t assume bad theology about baptism = misunderstanding of the gospel. The heart of the gospel is simply who Christ is and what He has done. How and when He does it is secondary.

  • fws

    trotke @ 95

    I didn’t, and still don’t, understand the attack you all leveled against him.

    I merely aimed to point out that (1) the article had nothing at all to do with the Gospel and therefore nothing at all to do with what makes one a Christian, and (2) it is soley discussing a philosophical righeousness and virtue that Aristotle or any other virtuous pagan also can and must know and do.

    How is that a criticism of the article Trotke?
    God demands virtue be practiced. It is, as Aristotle says, and as the Lutheran Confessions quote him as saying, more beautiful and radiant than the morning star”.

    The assumption in Larry’s comments was that this man doesn’t get the gospel. Somehow the author’s charge to guard against legalism (which charge, I agree, is not the gospel) gets labeled “poison” – I don’t get this at all.

    Take this point up with Larry. I get what Larry is saying. Maybe you can too. I understand that he praises this practice of virtue sees it as mercy.

    At the same time he says , in the baptism contexts he knows of, that this ends up being one more way to separate wheat from tare, sheep from goat etc. This is, very narrowly and specifically, what he identifies as poison. In fairness, the article does seem to take it there Trotke.

    This article has nothing to do with the content of the gospel, … it implicitly claims that it is … an act of grace.

    Act of grace, that is: a good work. A virtue. A movement away from legalism. I DID praise that part Trotke. So did Larry.
    I also DID say that there is ZERO Gospel in the article. So we agree here.

    So where do we disagree dear Trotke? I had to take a day away from this site to think about that in response to what you wrote since I obviously hit a raw nerve and did hurt you. And I do love you dear man and so that really bothered me!

    I am thinking we maybe are not assigning the same “content” to Gospel. Let me define Gospel in the Lutheran way just for clarity:

    The preaching of Christ crucified and also the Holy Supper are the most terrifying and horrifying preachments of the Law that always and only accuses and kills that exist Trotke the Confessions teach. This is where Christ himself take the Law into his own hands to aim the Law directly at our hearts and remove the Veil of Moses that covers our reasonable understanding of the Law that is about our doing something.

    So how do these terrifying preachments of the Law become Gospel? It is in this work that , alone the Holy Spirit and Christ are needed: This Law becomes Gospel when the Holy Spirit created new heart movements in us that are a heart-knowing and heart-trust in Two Words: “Given and shed FOR YOU! for the forgiveness of sins.”

    For ALL Good Works and virtue and righeousness NO christ , NO Holy Spirit is needed, not even to know and assent to every word in the Bible as being true. Satan believes in that way. The HS and Christ are alone needed to plant that heart-knowing in the hearts of sinful men. Alone.

    So you can see by that , that we are not commiting (a very common) Lutheran heresy of thinking we are saved by getting our doctrines just right. Getting doctrine right is a carnal righeousness that requires NO HS and NO Christ! Satan can do that. Fake christians can do that as well.

    But he makes the mistake of giving the command, “Guard the gospel against legalism” and he gets attacked for poisoning the gospel and turning it back into a different type of legalism. The only way you can come to that conclusion is to a.) ignore the point of his article, and b.) assume a great deal about what he believes.

    “guarding the gospel against legalism” means what if the “content” of the word “Gospel” is what we Lutherans say it is Trotke?
    Again:
    The man is doing virtue
    Are you so frightened of commands that anytime you encounter one you have to point out that it is Law, and therefore cannot save? The funny thing is that the author of this article got that too. That was his whole point.

    Larry’s assumption that somehow the baptist will struggle with assurance because they don’t get their assurance from their baptism is utterly silly to me. I get that baptism is one of the root places of objective assurance that I have, just as the Eucharist is. But the Spirit Himself provides assurance through the faith He creates in me. The Bible says this! Why is that ignored, and why does the fact that baptists have bad theology in certain areas become an opportunity for assuming they automatically have no assurance and turn people into legalists? I know plenty of baptists who have just as much assurance as you or I do, simply because the Spirit bears witness that Christ has saved them! I know plenty of Calvinists who trust in God for their salvation and don’t turn to work-righteousness any more than you or I do!

    In the Lutheran mistrust of subjective experience (and therefore healthy reliance on extra nos and pro me), you seem to have abandoned the intra nos of the Spirit. This too is Scriptural. One of the chief reasons that I am Anglican is because I am not forced to choose between these things. What I am saying is nothing other than what Romans 8 says explicitly. We have received a different Spirit who cries out assurance within us.

    All men can doubt that, and need to be reassured. But all men can also doubt the objective nature of baptism. Reassure each as he needs. We shouldn’t have to choose between intra nos and extra nos, but the Scriptures say that the two are both true.

    Correct the bad theology of the baptist and the Calvinist, but don’t assume that their lack of assurance comes from bad theology. Luther, too, struggled with lack of assurance, which is why he turned to “I have been baptised.”

    Don’t assume bad theology about baptism = misunderstanding of the gospel. The heart of the gospel is simply who Christ is and what He has done. How and when He does it is secondary.

  • fws

    trotke @ 95

    I didn’t, and still don’t, understand the attack you all leveled against him.

    I merely aimed to point out that (1) the article had nothing at all to do with the Gospel and therefore nothing at all to do with what makes one a Christian, and (2) it is soley discussing a philosophical righeousness and virtue that Aristotle or any other virtuous pagan also can and must know and do.

    How is that a criticism of the article Trotke?
    God demands virtue be practiced. It is, as Aristotle says, and as the Lutheran Confessions quote him as saying, more beautiful and radiant than the morning star”.

    The assumption in Larry’s comments was that this man doesn’t get the gospel. Somehow the author’s charge to guard against legalism (which charge, I agree, is not the gospel) gets labeled “poison” – I don’t get this at all.

    Take this point up with Larry. I get what Larry is saying. Maybe you can too. I understand that he praises this practice of virtue sees it as mercy.

    At the same time he says , in the baptism contexts he knows of, that this ends up being one more way to separate wheat from tare, sheep from goat etc. This is, very narrowly and specifically, what he identifies as poison. In fairness, the article does seem to take it there Trotke.

    This article has nothing to do with the content of the gospel, … it implicitly claims that it is … an act of grace.

    Act of grace, that is: a good work. A virtue. A movement away from legalism. I DID praise that part Trotke. So did Larry.
    I also DID say that there is ZERO Gospel in the article. So we agree here.

    So where do we disagree dear Trotke? I had to take a day away from this site to think about that in response to what you wrote since I obviously hit a raw nerve and did hurt you. And I do love you dear man and so that really bothered me!

    I am thinking we maybe are not assigning the same “content” to Gospel. Let me define Gospel in the Lutheran way just for clarity:

    The preaching of Christ crucified and also the Holy Supper are the most terrifying and horrifying preachments of the Law that always and only accuses and kills that exist Trotke the Confessions teach. This is where Christ himself take the Law into his own hands to aim the Law directly at our hearts and remove the Veil of Moses that covers our reasonable understanding of the Law that is about our doing something.

    So how do these terrifying preachments of the Law become Gospel? It is in this work that , alone the Holy Spirit and Christ are needed: This Law becomes Gospel when the Holy Spirit created new heart movements in us that are a heart-knowing and heart-trust in Two Words: “Given and shed FOR YOU! for the forgiveness of sins.”

    For ALL Good Works and virtue and righeousness NO christ , NO Holy Spirit is needed, not even to know and assent to every word in the Bible as being true. Satan believes in that way. The HS and Christ are alone needed to plant that heart-knowing in the hearts of sinful men. Alone.

    So you can see by that , that we are not commiting (a very common) Lutheran heresy of thinking we are saved by getting our doctrines just right. Getting doctrine right is a carnal righeousness that requires NO HS and NO Christ! Satan can do that. Fake christians can do that as well.

    But he makes the mistake of giving the command, “Guard the gospel against legalism” and he gets attacked for poisoning the gospel and turning it back into a different type of legalism. The only way you can come to that conclusion is to a.) ignore the point of his article, and b.) assume a great deal about what he believes.

    “guarding the gospel against legalism” means what if the “content” of the word “Gospel” is what we Lutherans say it is Trotke?
    Again:
    The man is doing virtue
    Are you so frightened of commands that anytime you encounter one you have to point out that it is Law, and therefore cannot save? The funny thing is that the author of this article got that too. That was his whole point.

    Larry’s assumption that somehow the baptist will struggle with assurance because they don’t get their assurance from their baptism is utterly silly to me. I get that baptism is one of the root places of objective assurance that I have, just as the Eucharist is. But the Spirit Himself provides assurance through the faith He creates in me. The Bible says this! Why is that ignored, and why does the fact that baptists have bad theology in certain areas become an opportunity for assuming they automatically have no assurance and turn people into legalists? I know plenty of baptists who have just as much assurance as you or I do, simply because the Spirit bears witness that Christ has saved them! I know plenty of Calvinists who trust in God for their salvation and don’t turn to work-righteousness any more than you or I do!

    In the Lutheran mistrust of subjective experience (and therefore healthy reliance on extra nos and pro me), you seem to have abandoned the intra nos of the Spirit. This too is Scriptural. One of the chief reasons that I am Anglican is because I am not forced to choose between these things. What I am saying is nothing other than what Romans 8 says explicitly. We have received a different Spirit who cries out assurance within us.

    All men can doubt that, and need to be reassured. But all men can also doubt the objective nature of baptism. Reassure each as he needs. We shouldn’t have to choose between intra nos and extra nos, but the Scriptures say that the two are both true.

    Correct the bad theology of the baptist and the Calvinist, but don’t assume that their lack of assurance comes from bad theology. Luther, too, struggled with lack of assurance, which is why he turned to “I have been baptised.”

    Don’t assume bad theology about baptism = misunderstanding of the gospel. The heart of the gospel is simply who Christ is and what He has done. How and when He does it is secondary.

  • larry

    The reason you find this incomprehensible, Trokt, is the very reason I answered your question of “how I know”. I know the doctrine and the language. It was not because he identified legalism versus liberalism, I agree with that observation. But that is not move in the right direction and it beared itself out in his assertion of “churches full of unregenerate member comfortable in their midst”.

    I know this approach well, I know it very very very well. They are going in the direction of a calvinistic SB church, they will probably if not already because some language alludes to it be linking onto ministries like John Pipers. I noted that after going to their web site the Puritan writings are already coming into view, no surprises so far.

    They are coming out of arminianism which has legalism toward calvinism, which at first glance appears to relieve. Ask other folks, not just me, that went this route.

    They even noted that legalism prevents men looking into their darks hearts, check been there. To a Lutheran that sounds like a move in the right direction, right? But what you are not putting together is that ultimately they are going in the direction of Piper of getting the dark heart righted, and you’ll hear of “desiring God”, you should be “desiring God”. In a sense they are getting at 200 proof law, but they will call and imply it as “gospel”. I.e. if your regenerate you will desire God, you will love, your heart will be righted, then your baptism is a baptism and you can be baptized or rebaptized whatever the case may be.

    In short its:

    “Where there is salvation and life, (then) there is forgiveness of sin” (Calvin in a nutshell)

    Not:

    “Where there is forgiveness of sins, there is life and salvation” (Luther – the Lord’s Supper catechism).

    The problem is you don’t see the inversion of the same language.

    Point two: Interestingly people are agreement with this, that he judges many in his church and denomination to be unregenerate. That in and of itself is a hirlings thinking, not shepherds. So we have a pastor judging people and that seem fine. But anyone judging/discerning him, a teacher, that’s wrong. Yet Scripture says just the opposite. And we judge his teaching not his heart, I firmly believe he thinks he’s doing good.

    And the Gospel is at its heart “for me” not just what Christ has done, that helps in and of itself no one. Luther states this very clearly that we are to accustom ourselves to the pronouns and believe with a vigorous faith that it is “pro me”. Luther further states quite emphatically that anyone who does not believe it is “pro me” (quote) “…is not a christian”.

    I understand under a Lutheran mindset that this appears to be a good move, but a Lutheran intuitively knows they can reach for the “pro me” and you cannot read that into this situation, unless they abandone their own doctrine (which I’ve never seen).

    Lutherans, modern ones, do a fairly good job at being on guard for crass legalism in arminian type settings, but many are simply blind to the camoflage of calvin. They might see Calvin in a formal analysis but they don’t see it coming in action and reality the way they see arminianism.

    And that’s what’s happening here, its not a good move and you have to understand the doctrine of the regenerate church among the baptist to even begin to see why its not good. It’s not an issue “just about baptism” baptism is an example of the issue, its an issue of the “for me”. You have to realize, take baptism out of the equation, take LS out of the equation, as they approach Calvin in the baptist church all pro nouns Luther mentioned increasingly go away. John 3:16 will become “good news…for some of you” and so forth.

    So we can remove the example of baptism altogether and what we will find is what you say they can take comfort in, Trokt, is also the same thing being attacked and lost. Baptism is just one pro me example, your scriptures are others.

    Hope that helps.

  • larry

    The reason you find this incomprehensible, Trokt, is the very reason I answered your question of “how I know”. I know the doctrine and the language. It was not because he identified legalism versus liberalism, I agree with that observation. But that is not move in the right direction and it beared itself out in his assertion of “churches full of unregenerate member comfortable in their midst”.

    I know this approach well, I know it very very very well. They are going in the direction of a calvinistic SB church, they will probably if not already because some language alludes to it be linking onto ministries like John Pipers. I noted that after going to their web site the Puritan writings are already coming into view, no surprises so far.

    They are coming out of arminianism which has legalism toward calvinism, which at first glance appears to relieve. Ask other folks, not just me, that went this route.

    They even noted that legalism prevents men looking into their darks hearts, check been there. To a Lutheran that sounds like a move in the right direction, right? But what you are not putting together is that ultimately they are going in the direction of Piper of getting the dark heart righted, and you’ll hear of “desiring God”, you should be “desiring God”. In a sense they are getting at 200 proof law, but they will call and imply it as “gospel”. I.e. if your regenerate you will desire God, you will love, your heart will be righted, then your baptism is a baptism and you can be baptized or rebaptized whatever the case may be.

    In short its:

    “Where there is salvation and life, (then) there is forgiveness of sin” (Calvin in a nutshell)

    Not:

    “Where there is forgiveness of sins, there is life and salvation” (Luther – the Lord’s Supper catechism).

    The problem is you don’t see the inversion of the same language.

    Point two: Interestingly people are agreement with this, that he judges many in his church and denomination to be unregenerate. That in and of itself is a hirlings thinking, not shepherds. So we have a pastor judging people and that seem fine. But anyone judging/discerning him, a teacher, that’s wrong. Yet Scripture says just the opposite. And we judge his teaching not his heart, I firmly believe he thinks he’s doing good.

    And the Gospel is at its heart “for me” not just what Christ has done, that helps in and of itself no one. Luther states this very clearly that we are to accustom ourselves to the pronouns and believe with a vigorous faith that it is “pro me”. Luther further states quite emphatically that anyone who does not believe it is “pro me” (quote) “…is not a christian”.

    I understand under a Lutheran mindset that this appears to be a good move, but a Lutheran intuitively knows they can reach for the “pro me” and you cannot read that into this situation, unless they abandone their own doctrine (which I’ve never seen).

    Lutherans, modern ones, do a fairly good job at being on guard for crass legalism in arminian type settings, but many are simply blind to the camoflage of calvin. They might see Calvin in a formal analysis but they don’t see it coming in action and reality the way they see arminianism.

    And that’s what’s happening here, its not a good move and you have to understand the doctrine of the regenerate church among the baptist to even begin to see why its not good. It’s not an issue “just about baptism” baptism is an example of the issue, its an issue of the “for me”. You have to realize, take baptism out of the equation, take LS out of the equation, as they approach Calvin in the baptist church all pro nouns Luther mentioned increasingly go away. John 3:16 will become “good news…for some of you” and so forth.

    So we can remove the example of baptism altogether and what we will find is what you say they can take comfort in, Trokt, is also the same thing being attacked and lost. Baptism is just one pro me example, your scriptures are others.

    Hope that helps.

  • fws

    trotke @ 95 continued

    “guarding the gospel against legalism” means what if the “content” of the word “Gospel” is what we Lutherans say it is Trotke? I simply don´t know what that means.
    Fact: Practicing philosophical virtue, which is the 100% content of the article, has nothing to do with “guarding the Gospel”
    Again:
    The man is doing the aristotelian virtue of searching for the golden mean that lies somewhere between the letter of the Law and it´s Divine intent. Cool. NO one, not Larry, not me, is criticizing that part.
    Where is the criticism in this you are accusing us of?

    Are you so frightened of commands that anytime you encounter one you have to point out that it is Law, and therefore cannot save? The funny thing is that the author of this article got that too. That was his whole point.

    Where does he make that point Trotke? I reread the article. He says that legalism is a force spirituality that is working hard at good works. What makes this “force spirituality” is that our hearts are not into it.

    I went online and googled this guy.
    The vector he takes this to is that we are supposed to do those good works not as a legalistic drudgery, but, alternatively, with the right “heart motive”. A truly good work, he says, is where the work a) conforms to the Law + b) it is done with the right heart motive, as a free and unforced response to the Gospel, in an attitude of gratitude. The Puritans also taught this. This is pure Law Trotke. Where is the Gospel in any of this? Larry is making that point I do believe.

    Larry’s assumption …[that baptists cant have assurance because they dont have it in baptism] is utterly silly to me. I get that baptism is one of the root places of objective assurance that I have, just as the Eucharist is. But the Spirit Himself provides assurance through the faith He creates in me. The Bible says this!

    That was not quite Larry´s point , so it is good you didnt get it. Larry´s point is that that the HS creates faith in you and others never apart from the Objective Promise. And he agrees with you that that Promise is found in Baptism, the Supper and also in the Preached Word. Specifically it is found in only Two Words… “For YOU!” It is , alone the Object-tive preaching of those Two Words that works that faith that you were given. And those two words are preached in several forms just as you say Trotke.

    Why is that ignored, and why does the fact that baptists have bad theology in certain areas become an opportunity for assuming they automatically have no assurance and turn people into legalists? I know plenty of baptists who have just as much assurance as you or I do, simply because the Spirit bears witness that Christ has saved them!

    This is a good thing! It is because the HS has planted that heart trust in Two Words in their heart by the Objective preaching of those Two Words that were preached to them, given to them in their baptism, and in the Blessed Sacrament. WHERE does the HS, alone, bear witness? Alone in, with and under the preached Word of God in preaching and also in the sacraments. Apart from the preached Two Words, there is no such faith. No one is ignoring that Trotke.

    I know plenty of Calvinists who trust in God for their salvation and don’t turn to work-righteousness any more than you or I do!

    The fact is there are many Lutherans who turn daily to works righeousness Trotke. I am one of those! My Old Adam´s continuous project is to have me trust in what I do. That is why it is important to draw that bright line between virtue which requires NO Christ or HS and that thing that , alone, requires the HS and Christ, which is that heart-trust in those Two Words.

    In the Lutheran mistrust of subjective experience (and therefore healthy reliance on extra nos and pro me), you seem to have abandoned the intra nos of the Spirit. This too is Scriptural.

    You think? How so? Experience is 100% subjective by definition. And experience is 100% of what it is we are able to see and do with our reason and free will. It is where we live daily. So it demands our most intense focus Trotke. It is where we are to take up the Law and mortify and kill our Old Adam. And we are to work at this with every ounce of our being in order to be useful to others. But our Life is not in ANY of that. Our Life, is , alone, to hide ALL our experience and Good Works and Virtue in the Works of Another as the moral equivalent of used tampons that they are.

    a chief reasons that I am Anglican is because I am not forced to choose between these things. What I am saying is nothing other than what Romans 8 says explicitly. We have received a different Spirit who cries out assurance within us.

    So dear Trotke, are we truly disagreeing or are we doing logomachy? You tell me dear man.

    All men can doubt that, and need to be reassured. But all men can also doubt the objective nature of baptism. Reassure each as he needs. We shouldn’t have to choose between intra nos and extra nos, but the Scriptures say that the two are both true.

    I know that in me, that is in my flesh, dwells no good thing. At the same time we are given the indwelling of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit in our New Man Trotke. There are TWO things that are intra-nos! The Intra that we can see , in ALL we are able to do and see that we can do is ALL Old Adam. Then there is that intra-nos that we know, alone by invisible faith alone, that is created and kept, alone, by that extra-nos preaching of Two Words that create that intra nos heart-trust in those two words. It does not get more subject-ive than this ! Again dear trotke, are we dealing with logomachy or a real difference?

    Correct the bad theology of the baptist and the Calvinist, but don’t assume that their lack of assurance comes from bad theology. Luther, too, struggled with lack of assurance, which is why he turned to “I have been baptised.”

    Lack of assurance ALWAYS is the result of bad theology Trotke. This is true for Lutherans too! I am full of that bad theology within me. So I will for sure assume that ANY theology that does NOT give assurance or that seeds doubt in assurance IS , by very definition, bad theology. Again , where do we differ here?

    Don’t assume bad theology about baptism = misunderstanding of the gospel. The heart of the gospel is simply who Christ is and what He has done. How and when He does it is secondary.

    Well Now. (1) I explained earlier that what you just described is really the most terrifying Law there is. and (2) what Christ did and who he is would be worthless to us if it was not delivered, subjectively and experientially (!) to us. So I disagree stongly that how Christ and the HS delivers his Mercy to us is in any way secondary! You believe this too Trotke? Where is the real Trotke? I think I am dealing with an impostor now! :)

  • fws

    trotke @ 95 continued

    “guarding the gospel against legalism” means what if the “content” of the word “Gospel” is what we Lutherans say it is Trotke? I simply don´t know what that means.
    Fact: Practicing philosophical virtue, which is the 100% content of the article, has nothing to do with “guarding the Gospel”
    Again:
    The man is doing the aristotelian virtue of searching for the golden mean that lies somewhere between the letter of the Law and it´s Divine intent. Cool. NO one, not Larry, not me, is criticizing that part.
    Where is the criticism in this you are accusing us of?

    Are you so frightened of commands that anytime you encounter one you have to point out that it is Law, and therefore cannot save? The funny thing is that the author of this article got that too. That was his whole point.

    Where does he make that point Trotke? I reread the article. He says that legalism is a force spirituality that is working hard at good works. What makes this “force spirituality” is that our hearts are not into it.

    I went online and googled this guy.
    The vector he takes this to is that we are supposed to do those good works not as a legalistic drudgery, but, alternatively, with the right “heart motive”. A truly good work, he says, is where the work a) conforms to the Law + b) it is done with the right heart motive, as a free and unforced response to the Gospel, in an attitude of gratitude. The Puritans also taught this. This is pure Law Trotke. Where is the Gospel in any of this? Larry is making that point I do believe.

    Larry’s assumption …[that baptists cant have assurance because they dont have it in baptism] is utterly silly to me. I get that baptism is one of the root places of objective assurance that I have, just as the Eucharist is. But the Spirit Himself provides assurance through the faith He creates in me. The Bible says this!

    That was not quite Larry´s point , so it is good you didnt get it. Larry´s point is that that the HS creates faith in you and others never apart from the Objective Promise. And he agrees with you that that Promise is found in Baptism, the Supper and also in the Preached Word. Specifically it is found in only Two Words… “For YOU!” It is , alone the Object-tive preaching of those Two Words that works that faith that you were given. And those two words are preached in several forms just as you say Trotke.

    Why is that ignored, and why does the fact that baptists have bad theology in certain areas become an opportunity for assuming they automatically have no assurance and turn people into legalists? I know plenty of baptists who have just as much assurance as you or I do, simply because the Spirit bears witness that Christ has saved them!

    This is a good thing! It is because the HS has planted that heart trust in Two Words in their heart by the Objective preaching of those Two Words that were preached to them, given to them in their baptism, and in the Blessed Sacrament. WHERE does the HS, alone, bear witness? Alone in, with and under the preached Word of God in preaching and also in the sacraments. Apart from the preached Two Words, there is no such faith. No one is ignoring that Trotke.

    I know plenty of Calvinists who trust in God for their salvation and don’t turn to work-righteousness any more than you or I do!

    The fact is there are many Lutherans who turn daily to works righeousness Trotke. I am one of those! My Old Adam´s continuous project is to have me trust in what I do. That is why it is important to draw that bright line between virtue which requires NO Christ or HS and that thing that , alone, requires the HS and Christ, which is that heart-trust in those Two Words.

    In the Lutheran mistrust of subjective experience (and therefore healthy reliance on extra nos and pro me), you seem to have abandoned the intra nos of the Spirit. This too is Scriptural.

    You think? How so? Experience is 100% subjective by definition. And experience is 100% of what it is we are able to see and do with our reason and free will. It is where we live daily. So it demands our most intense focus Trotke. It is where we are to take up the Law and mortify and kill our Old Adam. And we are to work at this with every ounce of our being in order to be useful to others. But our Life is not in ANY of that. Our Life, is , alone, to hide ALL our experience and Good Works and Virtue in the Works of Another as the moral equivalent of used tampons that they are.

    a chief reasons that I am Anglican is because I am not forced to choose between these things. What I am saying is nothing other than what Romans 8 says explicitly. We have received a different Spirit who cries out assurance within us.

    So dear Trotke, are we truly disagreeing or are we doing logomachy? You tell me dear man.

    All men can doubt that, and need to be reassured. But all men can also doubt the objective nature of baptism. Reassure each as he needs. We shouldn’t have to choose between intra nos and extra nos, but the Scriptures say that the two are both true.

    I know that in me, that is in my flesh, dwells no good thing. At the same time we are given the indwelling of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit in our New Man Trotke. There are TWO things that are intra-nos! The Intra that we can see , in ALL we are able to do and see that we can do is ALL Old Adam. Then there is that intra-nos that we know, alone by invisible faith alone, that is created and kept, alone, by that extra-nos preaching of Two Words that create that intra nos heart-trust in those two words. It does not get more subject-ive than this ! Again dear trotke, are we dealing with logomachy or a real difference?

    Correct the bad theology of the baptist and the Calvinist, but don’t assume that their lack of assurance comes from bad theology. Luther, too, struggled with lack of assurance, which is why he turned to “I have been baptised.”

    Lack of assurance ALWAYS is the result of bad theology Trotke. This is true for Lutherans too! I am full of that bad theology within me. So I will for sure assume that ANY theology that does NOT give assurance or that seeds doubt in assurance IS , by very definition, bad theology. Again , where do we differ here?

    Don’t assume bad theology about baptism = misunderstanding of the gospel. The heart of the gospel is simply who Christ is and what He has done. How and when He does it is secondary.

    Well Now. (1) I explained earlier that what you just described is really the most terrifying Law there is. and (2) what Christ did and who he is would be worthless to us if it was not delivered, subjectively and experientially (!) to us. So I disagree stongly that how Christ and the HS delivers his Mercy to us is in any way secondary! You believe this too Trotke? Where is the real Trotke? I think I am dealing with an impostor now! :)

  • http://mattiechatham.wordpress.com/ Mattie

    [without reading the earlier comments]

    This has gotten post has gotten some attention on an ATI “survivors” forum, and a lot of people have been really blessed by it. Thanks for passing it along.

  • http://mattiechatham.wordpress.com/ Mattie

    [without reading the earlier comments]

    This has gotten post has gotten some attention on an ATI “survivors” forum, and a lot of people have been really blessed by it. Thanks for passing it along.

  • SKPeterson

    Mattie @ 99 – thanks for chiming in. But the ABSOLUTE RULE is that you have to read every single post on a thread before you can just come in and say how helpful it has been. Even if your eyes go dry and hunger calls out or even sleep beckons – you must read every post. Then you can comment guilt-free to your heart’s content. ;)

    Just as an fyi for me, what is (an) ATI?

  • SKPeterson

    Mattie @ 99 – thanks for chiming in. But the ABSOLUTE RULE is that you have to read every single post on a thread before you can just come in and say how helpful it has been. Even if your eyes go dry and hunger calls out or even sleep beckons – you must read every post. Then you can comment guilt-free to your heart’s content. ;)

    Just as an fyi for me, what is (an) ATI?

  • http://mattiechatham.wordpress.com/ Mattie

    Ha. :)

    ATI = Advanced Training Institute. Cultish homeschool program started by Bill Gothard.

  • http://mattiechatham.wordpress.com/ Mattie

    Ha. :)

    ATI = Advanced Training Institute. Cultish homeschool program started by Bill Gothard.

  • SKPeterson

    Trotk – Lutherans do understand the intra nos, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, it is just that we don’t trust the vessel in which the Spirit is dwelling, if that makes sense. It is the external assurance that effectively reminds the flesh that the Spirit is inside working.

    For Lutherans (and I think it is paralleled with Anglicans) the issue is progressive sanctification. Luther himself noted, “Christ apprehended by faith, and dwelling in the heart, is the true Christian
    righteousness, for the which God counts us righteous and gives us eternal life.”

  • SKPeterson

    Trotk – Lutherans do understand the intra nos, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, it is just that we don’t trust the vessel in which the Spirit is dwelling, if that makes sense. It is the external assurance that effectively reminds the flesh that the Spirit is inside working.

    For Lutherans (and I think it is paralleled with Anglicans) the issue is progressive sanctification. Luther himself noted, “Christ apprehended by faith, and dwelling in the heart, is the true Christian
    righteousness, for the which God counts us righteous and gives us eternal life.”

  • SKPeterson

    Mattie @ 101 – I looked up ATI. Very, uhh…. interesting. Peculiar even.

  • SKPeterson

    Mattie @ 101 – I looked up ATI. Very, uhh…. interesting. Peculiar even.

  • larry

    Trokt,

    I have perhaps not been clear and sometimes I assume (incorrectly) an on going conversation that may not have been on-going.

    Something you said made me consider this, because I’ve been scratching my head where we disagree. It hit me, we don’t really, I’ve been unclear.

    It was when you asked this great question: “Why is that ignored, and why does the fact that baptists have bad theology in certain areas become an opportunity for assuming they automatically have no assurance and turn people into legalists?”

    Let me try:

    I use the issue of baptism to reveal the underlying problem because, it’s not just about baptism. The Baptist doctrine on baptism is an effect of a much deeper problem, this is why the “unregenerate” in their midst comment means so much. You have to realize that is a Baptist defining distinctive. It’s sine quo non to Baptist just as one associates immediately “the Law and Gospel distinctive” with the name “Lutheran”. And similarly it is the heartbeat of the religion. My fear was never with his legalism distinction only that it will appear at first to be “fresh wind” to those struggling under more Arminian style Baptist leadership, but it is as Frank well says the solution will be more Law and deeper Law. I remember this very move myself. It at first was GREAT to move from Baptist theologians/preachers like Adrian Rogers and Paige Patterson who would bind your conscience on drinking beer and wine to John Piper who’d say “desiring God”. It seems to be free at first, but ends up being worse law than ever and Gospelless as it gets.

    The focus is the “pro me”, for me. There’s nothing else in life more needed than that, without it you have hell, with it you have heaven. Thus, again, the doctrine (or error) on baptism is an effect of a deeper and the real cause – an underlying antichristic (that’s not meant to be mean but analytically labeling) doctrine that yes murders souls in both direction, the despairing and furthers the legalism of the legalist. The later now move from “getting a few behavior modifications right” to actually “getting their hearts right and desiring God”. In essence they become uber Pharisees if you will. And all those comforts, even the ones you mention and not just baptism, go away…even the one’s you mention and I agree with. I agree, yea getting baptism wrong does not mean =no Christian, I’ve said that before, but the rest will follow.

    All of the “pronouns” in Scripture that say one way or the other “for you” disappear. You can no longer find them as incorporating you into them. Depending on the Baptist church this is either due to the limited atonement/double predestination adoption from Calvin, or the more Arminian “how’s your holiness growing”. Baptism is but one of the “pronouns”, you and I know this, there are others for example the Lord’s Supper that’s another, formal absolution that’s another, and then there are the plethora of “pronouns” in Scripture itself – Baptism is but one of them. Nonetheless, all these go away under the Baptist doctrine, especially the doctrine of the regenerate church, not just baptism, all the pronouns of which the pronoun of baptism is but one. This is why baptism is a good example of the deeper theological Christ denying issue, believers baptism un-incorporates one from that pronoun (for you) by placing a legal requirement a priori. The objective “Christ has died FOR YOU and has become YOUR very sin, every sin past, present and into the total future, gone, wiped away, in Him FOR YOU. Even if and before you believe, even if you never get better, it has already been taken away – all of that under the Baptist doctrine, that which makes it distinctively Baptist goes away. The sins of the whole world, of which you are, gone!

    In short one has to deny the actual Baptist doctrine to remain a Christian in a Baptist church. Because that doctrine removes you from being incorporated, already, within the pro nouns. John 3:16 “for God so loved the world…”, again depending on the flavor of Baptist, you the individual may or may not be incorporated into that word “world”, if you are not elect…nope and ultimately the unregenerate are not elect.

    Yes there are MANY Baptist and Calvinist that have assurance in Christ, that’s why I said I see nothing but Christians where this author sees his churches mostly full of unregenerate folks. You actually disagree with him just as much as I do! But they have assurance IN SPITE of their doctrines that make define “Baptist” and “Calvinist” which are against the Word that actually gives them the assurance they have. The danger is when one is under those doctrines, one is giving authority to them to bind/free them, and it can be in a split second one day when one of those doctrines challenges one’s assurance. Again, its different to analyze this as we can right here, altogether if you are one in that believes this and gives authority permission to it. A Baptist has to intuitively deny believers baptism to have assurance, maybe not formally, but intuitively they do. It’s not the individuals, the sheep that are the issue, they are dear brothers and sisters of ours, it’s the danger they are in.

    Ask yourself why it is that you and I and Frank and KK can look at these same congregations and say, “I see true Christians, all of them”, because we all agree on this, but this author mostly sees “unregenerate”? And when he says unregenerate he means people even that he baptized and has been shepherding to have never, ever once for a split second have been Christians, never possessed faith, never saved Christ, all this time condemned. That’s what he means by “unregenerate” and that’s not a reading of his heart that’s an exact description of that doctrine.

    I hope that’s been at least more helpful, but I have truly appreciated this conversation. Your question made me think hard on this, I appreciate that and thank you, truly!

  • larry

    Trokt,

    I have perhaps not been clear and sometimes I assume (incorrectly) an on going conversation that may not have been on-going.

    Something you said made me consider this, because I’ve been scratching my head where we disagree. It hit me, we don’t really, I’ve been unclear.

    It was when you asked this great question: “Why is that ignored, and why does the fact that baptists have bad theology in certain areas become an opportunity for assuming they automatically have no assurance and turn people into legalists?”

    Let me try:

    I use the issue of baptism to reveal the underlying problem because, it’s not just about baptism. The Baptist doctrine on baptism is an effect of a much deeper problem, this is why the “unregenerate” in their midst comment means so much. You have to realize that is a Baptist defining distinctive. It’s sine quo non to Baptist just as one associates immediately “the Law and Gospel distinctive” with the name “Lutheran”. And similarly it is the heartbeat of the religion. My fear was never with his legalism distinction only that it will appear at first to be “fresh wind” to those struggling under more Arminian style Baptist leadership, but it is as Frank well says the solution will be more Law and deeper Law. I remember this very move myself. It at first was GREAT to move from Baptist theologians/preachers like Adrian Rogers and Paige Patterson who would bind your conscience on drinking beer and wine to John Piper who’d say “desiring God”. It seems to be free at first, but ends up being worse law than ever and Gospelless as it gets.

    The focus is the “pro me”, for me. There’s nothing else in life more needed than that, without it you have hell, with it you have heaven. Thus, again, the doctrine (or error) on baptism is an effect of a deeper and the real cause – an underlying antichristic (that’s not meant to be mean but analytically labeling) doctrine that yes murders souls in both direction, the despairing and furthers the legalism of the legalist. The later now move from “getting a few behavior modifications right” to actually “getting their hearts right and desiring God”. In essence they become uber Pharisees if you will. And all those comforts, even the ones you mention and not just baptism, go away…even the one’s you mention and I agree with. I agree, yea getting baptism wrong does not mean =no Christian, I’ve said that before, but the rest will follow.

    All of the “pronouns” in Scripture that say one way or the other “for you” disappear. You can no longer find them as incorporating you into them. Depending on the Baptist church this is either due to the limited atonement/double predestination adoption from Calvin, or the more Arminian “how’s your holiness growing”. Baptism is but one of the “pronouns”, you and I know this, there are others for example the Lord’s Supper that’s another, formal absolution that’s another, and then there are the plethora of “pronouns” in Scripture itself – Baptism is but one of them. Nonetheless, all these go away under the Baptist doctrine, especially the doctrine of the regenerate church, not just baptism, all the pronouns of which the pronoun of baptism is but one. This is why baptism is a good example of the deeper theological Christ denying issue, believers baptism un-incorporates one from that pronoun (for you) by placing a legal requirement a priori. The objective “Christ has died FOR YOU and has become YOUR very sin, every sin past, present and into the total future, gone, wiped away, in Him FOR YOU. Even if and before you believe, even if you never get better, it has already been taken away – all of that under the Baptist doctrine, that which makes it distinctively Baptist goes away. The sins of the whole world, of which you are, gone!

    In short one has to deny the actual Baptist doctrine to remain a Christian in a Baptist church. Because that doctrine removes you from being incorporated, already, within the pro nouns. John 3:16 “for God so loved the world…”, again depending on the flavor of Baptist, you the individual may or may not be incorporated into that word “world”, if you are not elect…nope and ultimately the unregenerate are not elect.

    Yes there are MANY Baptist and Calvinist that have assurance in Christ, that’s why I said I see nothing but Christians where this author sees his churches mostly full of unregenerate folks. You actually disagree with him just as much as I do! But they have assurance IN SPITE of their doctrines that make define “Baptist” and “Calvinist” which are against the Word that actually gives them the assurance they have. The danger is when one is under those doctrines, one is giving authority to them to bind/free them, and it can be in a split second one day when one of those doctrines challenges one’s assurance. Again, its different to analyze this as we can right here, altogether if you are one in that believes this and gives authority permission to it. A Baptist has to intuitively deny believers baptism to have assurance, maybe not formally, but intuitively they do. It’s not the individuals, the sheep that are the issue, they are dear brothers and sisters of ours, it’s the danger they are in.

    Ask yourself why it is that you and I and Frank and KK can look at these same congregations and say, “I see true Christians, all of them”, because we all agree on this, but this author mostly sees “unregenerate”? And when he says unregenerate he means people even that he baptized and has been shepherding to have never, ever once for a split second have been Christians, never possessed faith, never saved Christ, all this time condemned. That’s what he means by “unregenerate” and that’s not a reading of his heart that’s an exact description of that doctrine.

    I hope that’s been at least more helpful, but I have truly appreciated this conversation. Your question made me think hard on this, I appreciate that and thank you, truly!

  • larry

    I found this very helpful, a recent quote by Dr. Kilcrease, not directly related to this particular topic but related as to why concepts, not just words mean things. Though in this case the comment about “unregenerates” in their churches is significant:

    Doctrines are concepts. Concepts can be expressed in a lot of different ways. Just because a word isn’t present, doesn’t mean that a concept isn’t present (true or false – L). Remember that Luther never uses the word “justification” in the Small Catechism. Nevertheless, he teaches the doctrine on every page.

    Nevertheless, why should we use different words in different situations? Why doesn’t the Church just decide on certain terms and keep with them forever? The fact of the matter is that theological terminology develops over time in order to deal with issues at hand. Someone who didn’t say homoousia in the 2nd century wasn’t a heretic, but after 324 AD they were.”

    –End Quote

    This is why Paul warns watch the sound form of doctrine, not just the words mimicked. That’s why this is dangerous, it disarms that and appears to be “in the right direction”.

  • larry

    I found this very helpful, a recent quote by Dr. Kilcrease, not directly related to this particular topic but related as to why concepts, not just words mean things. Though in this case the comment about “unregenerates” in their churches is significant:

    Doctrines are concepts. Concepts can be expressed in a lot of different ways. Just because a word isn’t present, doesn’t mean that a concept isn’t present (true or false – L). Remember that Luther never uses the word “justification” in the Small Catechism. Nevertheless, he teaches the doctrine on every page.

    Nevertheless, why should we use different words in different situations? Why doesn’t the Church just decide on certain terms and keep with them forever? The fact of the matter is that theological terminology develops over time in order to deal with issues at hand. Someone who didn’t say homoousia in the 2nd century wasn’t a heretic, but after 324 AD they were.”

    –End Quote

    This is why Paul warns watch the sound form of doctrine, not just the words mimicked. That’s why this is dangerous, it disarms that and appears to be “in the right direction”.

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