Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Two Book Reviews

Understanding Luther's Galatians can be found here on Amazon.

Top review from the United States

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This book is a re-issue of Dr. Theodore Graebner’s shorter translation of Martin Luther's “Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians.”

In his forward, Dr. Graebner expressed his reason for his translation of Martin Luther's work:

“The importance of this commentary on Galatians for the history of Protestantism is very great. It presents, like no other of Luther's writings, the central thought of Christianity, the justification of the sinner for the sake of Christ's merits alone.”

Dr. Gregory L. Jackson added an introduction along with comments, which he embedded within the text. He enclosed his comments within boxes, in order to separate them from Luther's words.

In his introduction, Dr. Jackson wrote that:

“By stealth, Lutherans have steadily eroded the Biblical doctrine of the Reformation (justification by faith alone), which established them as Evangelicals and Protestants, by now allowing others to use those names and surrendering to the worst inclinations of Calvinists, Pietists, and Roman Catholics. The uniting cause, to soothe every worldly conscience, is to declare that God in his grace has already declared the entire world absolved of all sins. … God declared the world righteous through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus…”.

Dr. Jackson quoted from the work of the 18th century theologian Georg Christian Knapp to show the false doctrine that flowed from universal absolution without regard to faith.

“This is conveniently expressed by the terms Objective and Subjective Justification. Objective Justification is the act of God by which he proffers pardon to all through Christ. Subjective Justification is the act of man by which he accepts the pardon freely offered in the Gospel.”

In a comment on page 56, Dr. Jackson succinctly elucidated the error of those who adhere to the doctrines of Objective and Subjective Justification:

“The false teachers reverse what Paul and Luther taught. The Objective Justification fanatics lay hold of universal forgiveness and make faith in Jesus irrelevant. Faith in Christ has nothing to do with their divine declaration of forgiveness. Secondly, their subjective justification is not faith in Christ, but rather trust in the truth of universal forgiveness.”

As a Lutheran layman, I know that the idea that God forgave the sins of every member of the human race upon the death or resurrection of Christ and this made them righteous is not what Paul taught. Rather, he taught that God declares a person righteous after God imputes the person's sins to Christ, and he imputes the merits of Christ’s sinless life and perfect obedience to the person. Faith is the means by which a person receives righteousness. Is righteousness simply the forgiving of sins, as the Objective justification proponents claim? No. Righteousness requires God to impute the sins of the sinner to Christ, and the merits of Christ's sinless life and perfect obedience to the sinner. Only after this double imputation is a sinner righteous in God's sight.

The idea that “we need to accept the pardon offered by God” is not found in Paul's teaching. It brings to mind the famous Arminian preacher Billy Graham and his call to “Make a decision for Christ.”

I would recommend this book to someone who wishes a read a condensed version of Luther's Commentary on Galatians. It is an excellent introduction for someone who is unfamiliar with the Apostle Paul's doctrine on justification by faith alone. Dr. Jackson's comments highlight key doctrinal points in the text. His comments also illustrate the degree to which the doctrines of present-day confessional Lutheran churches have diverged from the plain teachings of the Apostle Paul and Martin Luther.

Dr Jackson discusses the problems of present day Christian denominations on his internet blog. Google ichabodthegloryhasdeparted for the URL. He conducts a weekly traditional Lutheran worship service via the internet, the blog has a link to the broadcast site which also has archived broadcasts.

Reviewed in the United States on January 17, 2021
This is an epiphany for lovers of alternative church history. The author connects the dots and reveals many inconvenient details that he deduced from his careful reading of contemporaneous sources. The ball is now in the court of his detractors. Will they respond?

I am not holding my breath.

Walther, the American Calvin: A Synod Built on Felonies

Monday, January 18, 2021

The Modular Book of Concord


Graphic by Wolfmueller. Has he read more than this in Chemnitz and Luther?

The Book of Concord, 1580, is an imposing volume. The Triglotta version made it even heavier, with tiny print serving as an eyesight test.

May I be frank? Most clergy own a lot of books, but they do not read a lot.

The clown in the video poses and postures below a mountain of untouched books. Kittel? Is he kidding us? He uses a Greek 101 New Testament, a pony, with the English on one side and the Greek on the other. See one of his recent manic videos - where he cannot even read the cue cards and get his confused message across.

The main point is - Rev. Chatterbox has no grasp of the Gospel at all. He is a shrieking OJ copycat of his fanatical, Calvinist Pietist seminary professors. 

The Universalists among you need to read this, since they are Confessional Lutherans. Ha!

Back to the main point. The most portable Book of Concord is the Tappert, scorned by the Objective Justification crowd. They remind me of the boy who visited our house. He said, "I am not allowed to dance. But of all the dances I am not allowed to do, the Moon Walk is my favorite." And he was good.

They do not read or study the Book of Concord in Lutherland, no matter what the synod. The ELS makes a big point of teaching in rooms with Triglottas, but they still enforce Justification without Faith - with Enthusiasm

The Solution is the modular Book of Concord, published by 

Print volumes are portable and easy to read for the elderly like me. The online copies are handy for searching and copying important passages.

Large Catechism - we can expose false doctrine published by the OJ Universalists.

I learned Luther's Large Catechism because I had the ALC volume of the LC alone. I read it here and there and startled when someone made claims obviously against Luther's sermons as confessions.

Read about the crypto-Calvinists. As one translator wrote, "They are not crypto (secret) anymore." Has anyone done a health and wellness check on him?

Ask Pastor OJ if he has ever read this, especially the part on Justification by Faith.
He will apologize, clear this throat, and mumble something.

I would give this first, among all the modules, to any Lutheran. 
These are Luther's sermons, crafted to be confessions for all Lutherans.
WELS calls the Book of Concord "boring and irrelevant." No, it is especially relevant for a sect known for alcoholism, adultery, and cross-dressing.

The Formula of Concord is a clearly written Biblical commentary on the issues dividing Lutherans. Read Article III - The Righteousness of Faith. The Biggies in your synod do not know, comprehend, or teach this - but they label themselves as Confessional Lutherans, Orthodox Lutherans, Bronze Age Lutherans. They are Seminexers who knew they could not win on that odious label, so they used Church Growth as their cover story.

The Small Catechism, plain and simple, without the accumulation of garbage used to make it "better" and "more understandable."