Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Welcome back, Past Elder

Past Elder has finally broken his new year's resolution, and revisited Sentire Cum Ecclesia to leave a comment on this post. Same old, same old, of course, but that's what we love about him. It's good to know some things don't change! Honestly, Terry, welcome back. This one's for you:

30 Comments:

At Tuesday, February 19, 2008 11:53:00 pm , Anonymous Lucian said...

Past Elder, Pastor Weedon,

Lutherans have trempled underfeet Luther himself, whose name they even bare, for crying out loud ... not to mention the Fathers. :-\

 
At Wednesday, February 20, 2008 12:03:00 am , Anonymous Lucian said...

Protestant defenses of Sola Scriptura are very beautiful ... very beautiful praises raised to the glory of God's marvelous Scriptures ... which is perfectly A.O.K. ... and they kinda remind me of Catholic defenses of mandatory celibacy of the Priesthood: very beautiful praises raised to the glory of virginity (Christ, Mary, John the Baptist, John the Apostle, Paul, Eliijah).

What strikes me in particular is how they both so miserably fail to accomplish that which they were supposed to do in the first place: defend *SOLA* Scriptura and *MANDATORY* celibacy of *ALL* Priests.

 
At Wednesday, February 20, 2008 12:12:00 am , Anonymous Lucian said...

As for Romans four, which supposedly teaches us very clearly the so-called doctrine of imputed righteousness, it's very interesting to see how when both halves of the *very same* chapter are read together, in tandem, such mischievious notions are simply dispelled. (It's also beyond me why someone [anyone!] would leave the word justificatio untranslated ['justification'] instead of translating him as straightening, which would be much clearer and do more justice to the text). -- No wonder such a "fundamental" teaching was left "undiscovered" by anyone until the Advent of Martin Luther. Hmmm ... :-?

[That again, if it took 1,500 yrs for the OT Church from Moses to Christ to become corrupted by Tradition, why not the same amount of time, from Christ to Luther, for the NT Church to be corrupted by the same Tradition. :-? ].

 
At Wednesday, February 20, 2008 2:45:00 am , Blogger William Weedon said...

David,

I love your sense of humor, friend. LOL.

Lucian,

I don't have the first clue what you are talking about. To trample on either Blessed Martin or the Fathers is something that this Lutheran would renounce as utterly faithless to the tradition we've been graced with. That does not mean, of course, elevating either to the level of the Sacred Scriptures. On that, I'm 100% with St. Thomas in his treatment of the topic in the Summa.

 
At Wednesday, February 20, 2008 3:43:00 am , Anonymous Lucian said...

I know that Luther isn't a Protestant Pope, and I know that his Theses aren't like the Ten COmmandments, and that his books aren't Scripture.

But, let's face it: Lutheranism is Lutheranism and Luther is Luther.

And, as far as regards the Fathers concerning the reception of their writings or ideas in Lutheranism: ... even less so. :-\

This kinda "sums" it up: ("theologically" or not). :-\

 
At Wednesday, February 20, 2008 3:57:00 am , Blogger William Weedon said...

Well, it might be honestly asked how Lutheran LutheranISM is these days. The great Australian Lutheran, Henry Hamann certainly expressed his doubts in his wondrous little work "On Being a Christian." What is Lutheran is the faith confessed in the Book of Concord; Lutheranism these days is at all points of tension with that. To quote Farris, "I don't believe in isms." But I am glad to be a Lutheran.

 
At Wednesday, February 20, 2008 5:09:00 am , Anonymous Lucian said...

Yes, I know; and it's precisely in the Book of Concord where our problem lies: there is no concord in the Book of Concord in the first place. :-\

Father, I've read Luther's 95 Theses (several times), as well as Luther's two Cathechisms: and the picture that they paint is pretty internally consistent.

This picture does NOT, however, fit with the conclusions, drawn from the same Book of Concord that also contains the afore-mentioned two Cathechisms; and namely that:

When I hear God making commands, he is not saying - I believe you can do it, instead I hear him, this is my standard and you do not meet it, you are doomed
.

Yes Luther said that the life of a Christian is a life of repentance. The thing though is that his idea of repentance is not what you think it is. In fact his idea of repentance is that you are to repent in thinking that you can satisfy for yourself the commandments of God. You are to repent of yourself reliance in thinking you can do the Law( moral law or spiritual laws included etc ie any commands of God), for God requires them to be executed without fail 24 x 7
.

These are fragments from a discussion I had ages ago with Mr. L.P. Cruz back at the Beggars-All-Reformation blog-site. Their claim to represent the true Lutheran teaching as confessed by Lutherans that hold to the Book of Concord was -to my stunning surprise!- consistently witnessed, defended and approved by Past Elder, as well as our host over here, Herr Schuetz. -- and, I assume, it has Your "Amen" as well .

Now, the problem is thus: both views (on repentance and on the 10 Commandments) are clearly contradictory to those that we see expressed in the two Cathechisms, contained in the Book of Concord.

OK, ... maybe NOT *both* ... but the one concerning the Decalogue surely so. The one concerning repentance clearly contradicts just the 95 Theses, which do *not* belong in the Book of Concord -- but which, as pointed above, are -nonetheless- pretty consistent with the 2 Cathechisms. :-\

Do You get my point now? :-|

What I'm trying to say is this: Lutherans weren't even capable of maintaining a continuity with Luther himself, who lived no more than a few decades before them (which is, in and of itself, perfectly OK). --> But how on God's green earth are they supposed to have been consistent with the Fathers who lived more than half-a-millenium, or a millenium, or one-and-a-half-millennium before them !? :-\

Am I getting through to You? :-|

It's OK to be you own selves...why try and pretend to be something which you are not? :-\ Do You see *us* pretending to be, say, faithful adepts of Confucius, and zealously abiding by the Holy ... Qur'an ? :-\ I mean, I don't get it, what's the point? :-\

 
At Wednesday, February 20, 2008 7:29:00 am , Blogger William Weedon said...

The point is that I don't see your point at all. Lutherans have NEVER subscribed to every thought of Blessed Martin. They DO subscribe to what Blessed Martin wrote that is in the Book of Concord. I think you are really operating with a stereo-type of what a Lutheran believes, teaches, and confesses. A Lutheran knows that in this life we will never fulfill the law of God perfect - our lives will not become wholly love - though we also know that we are to grow ever more into that love each day by the grace of the Holy Spirit so that we become ever more like our Savior, or said even better, so that His life becomes ever more our own life. We live in repentance because our life in this age is never wholly the life of Christ Himself - wholly and purely love. But we can live in Him under the joy of His forgiveness, His pardon, until the end, and thus set free to continue to grow ever more into Him. This is how Dr. Chemnitz expressed this: "But men are to be admonished that they should through the Spirit mortify the deeds of the flesh and firmly adhere to Christ by faith and through the use of the Word and of the Sacraments become more and more united with Him and seek from God the gift of perseverance, and wrestle, lest the wantonness of the flesh drive out the gift of perseverance." Examen I:607

 
At Wednesday, February 20, 2008 2:54:00 pm , Anonymous Lucian said...

OK. (And weren't precisely the two Cathechisms from this Book of Concord that I was talking about?).

Read (or glimpse over) Luther's over-all conclusion to the Ten Commandments from his Larger Cathechism ... maybe You might also want to re-read (or just glimpse over) the conclusions to each of the Ten Commandmets as well ... just to make sure ... and then take a long, hard look again at LP Cruz's statement, sumarizing the faith of the Book of Concord:

When I hear God making commands, he is not saying - I believe you can do it, instead I hear him, this is my standard and you do not meet it, you are doomed
.

and then tell me if Blessed Brotehr Martin Luther would or would not be twisting in his grave were he to hear this. :-|

I have hardly any conceptions OR mis-conceptions about Lutheranism: I didn't have a "contact of the third degree" with it until relatively very recently, in the discussion mentioned above, and the subsequent verifications as regards its confirmation by two or three independent sources. :-|

And regardless: I *AM* able to read AND write, so ... :-\

 
At Wednesday, February 20, 2008 3:11:00 pm , Anonymous Lucian said...

... and I have no problem with Luther's thought evolving in the course of time either [I have for a long time now entertained such an idea, and it seems to have been likewise confirmed] ... but were THIS to be the case, the choice of including his two Cathechisms [showing ubiquitous traces of his early and 'un-evolved thought'] is a clumsy and mis-fortunate one AT BEST. :-\ Just my two euro-cents.

 
At Wednesday, February 20, 2008 4:11:00 pm , Blogger Past Elder said...

A welcome back really isn't appropriate, because I do not intend to be back. Ironically, the welcome back itself demonstrates why. Isabella put it rather well in the previous post. I'll put it like this here: clearly, the "magisterium" has no intent to substantially address anything and those who have made themselves its running dogs will do so neither, and I find it ironically telling to be dismissed, as usual, on the grounds of saying the same old thing, by one who insists his present church is the true church because it indeed is saying the same old thing.

Your mother-in-law is right, David. But I warn you, these men will kill you. They will kill you. I hope you see that before another "Catholicism" replaces what you take to be Catholicism now. You are younger than I am and may live to see it. Look for it in the first papacy or two filled by men whose priestly formation was not pre-conciliar.

PS -- Hi Lucian! I always enjoy encountering you!

 
At Thursday, February 21, 2008 9:50:00 am , Blogger William Weedon said...

Lucian,

Let's go to the last written piece in the Lutheran Symbols, the Formula of Concord.

It specifically says:

The Law shows how to order a life in accordance with God's eternal and unchangeable will.

and

The word Law has only one sense. It means God's unchangeable will, according to which people are to guide themselves in their lives.

Do you find this in any way in conflict with the Catechisms' treatment of the Commandments? I certainly don't.

 
At Thursday, February 21, 2008 12:34:00 pm , Anonymous Lucian said...

Tell this to Mr. LP Cruz, Past Elder, and Herr Schuetz over here.

 
At Thursday, February 21, 2008 2:04:00 pm , Blogger Past Elder said...

Tell it to me? I believe it! The statements re the Law in the FC I find at no variance with the treatment of the Law in the catechism, large or small -- which are also part of the Book of Concord.

 
At Thursday, February 21, 2008 2:05:00 pm , Blogger Past Elder said...

Tell it to me? I believe it! The statements re the Law in the FC I find at no variance with the treatment of the Law in the catechism, large or small -- which are also part of the Book of Concord.

 
At Friday, February 22, 2008 6:14:00 am , Anonymous Lucian said...

Then we have the 95, the Two, and the FC agreeing. Question: from whence then do the ideas that diverge with this view spring from?

 
At Friday, February 22, 2008 6:15:00 am , Anonymous Lucian said...

I mean: they do have to come from SOMEWHERE, ... don't they?

 
At Friday, February 22, 2008 2:07:00 pm , Blogger William Weedon said...

They come from the same place as "tollhouses."

 
At Friday, February 22, 2008 2:52:00 pm , Blogger L P Cruz said...

Too bad I missed all the excitement.

Lucian, thank you for giving me so much credit, what me? Summarizing the Book of Concord? That is quite a flattery, but as they say, will get nowhere.

Since Past Elder and our good host being an ex-Lutheran agree with my assesment as to how the Law functions then you must be reading the LC and SC not the way we are reading them.

Have you read the Apology of Augsburg IV? Perhaps that might give you a clue as to how the Law is used.

Any way Smalcald was written by the smelley monk and this is what he said in Article II - the Law,
4] But the chief office or force of the Law is that it reveal original sin with all its fruits, and show man how very low his nature has fallen, and has become [fundamentally and] utterly corrupted; as the Law must tell man that he has no God nor regards [cares for] God, and worships other gods, a matter which before and without the Law he would not have believed. In this way he becomes terrified, is humbled, desponds, despairs, and anxiously desires aid, but sees no escape; he begins to be an enemy of [enraged at] God, and to murmur, etc. 5] This is what Paul says, Rom. 4, 15: The Law worketh wrath. And Rom. 5, 20: Sin is increased by the Law. [The Law entered that the offense might abound.]

LPC

 
At Saturday, February 23, 2008 12:25:00 am , Anonymous Lucian said...

LP Cruz, Your passage doesn't answer my question. :-\ It says that, before being anything, the Law is a like beacon of light that shows us how sinful we really are in the first place. If or when we decide to do anything about it is another problem, which is obviously not the first. (First observation, then taking measures). --> Show me some clear passages that basically sustain Your P.O.V. (which seems to be the opinion of all ol'-fashioned Lutherans). I *KNOW* that such clear passages HAVE TO be there, somewhere, in the Book of Concord ... I just have no idea where, so I'm counting on You guys to gimme a little hand over here, do some [unremunerated] detective work for me here. [We've already deduced that such passages can not be found in the Two, in the 95, and in the FC --> they have to be therefore somewhere else, in the rest of those documents].

William Weedon, if it comes from Tradition (Lutheran Tradition !?) then why do Past Elder, Herr Schuetz and LP Cruz (together with Yourself) agree with it then? :-\

 
At Saturday, February 23, 2008 3:04:00 am , Blogger William Weedon said...

We agree with it because Tradition (with a capital T, if you will) is simply Scripture properly understood. The Law's chief function is not the Law's ONLY function. There's no tension between asserting what the Law chiefly does (showing us our sin, especially the depths of our corruption and falling away from love) is not the only thing it does (it does also guide our lives and is the perfect expression of God's will for us). FWIW.

 
At Saturday, February 23, 2008 3:19:00 am , Anonymous Lucian said...

That's what I was saying: his example isn't fit to support the view presented, which view DOES indeed come from somewhere in the same Book of Concord also:

When I hear God making commands, he is not saying - I believe you can do it, instead I hear him, this is my standard and you do not meet it, you are doomed
.

 
At Saturday, February 23, 2008 3:21:00 am , Anonymous Lucian said...

That comment came from a post entitled "Tim Staples keeps the Commandments"; that was the under-layer of the discussion.

 
At Saturday, February 23, 2008 3:36:00 am , Blogger William Weedon said...

I can't answer for Lito on that, but I would say it is an overstatement. God's commandment which shows me my sin and my helplessness at the same time is the guide that shows what God can and will accomplish in my life through the Holy Spirit's work. The Lutheran take is NOT lex SOLA accusat, but lex SEMPER accusat.

 
At Saturday, February 23, 2008 3:46:00 am , Anonymous Lucian said...

Same here. (But, that again, maybe we mean different things by that).

 
At Tuesday, February 26, 2008 8:59:00 pm , Blogger L P Cruz said...

Lucian,

I think you simply refuse to see the words ...when I say I am doomed, I am in despair and hence Luther says that in the Smalcald Article I quoted to you. Since other Lutherans agree with me then what more do we do to convince you that that is those who agree take it to be ... here it is again...

a matter which before and without the Law he would not have believed. In this way he becomes terrified, is humbled, desponds, despairs, and anxiously desires aid, but sees no escape; he begins to be an enemy of [enraged at] God, and to murmur,

That is what I mean when I hear the Law of God preached to me. It accuses me of not having done it and thus it terrifies me.

What is to be doomed but to see no way of escape which Luther himself said in that article I gave you.


I think we do not also have the same notion of Original Sin.

I think you are offended with the Lutheran doctrine of original sin. Perhaps man is just sick not completely dead in trespasses and sin. He is just sick in trespasses and sin and needs a little bit of boosting, no?


LPC

 
At Wednesday, February 27, 2008 3:36:00 am , Anonymous Lucian said...

So, practically, when You said "When I hear God making commands, he is not saying - I believe you can do it, instead I hear him, this is my standard and you do not meet it, you are doomed" You were NOT denying the fact tha we HAVE TO accomplish the Ten Comandments, as Luther so clearly states it in his two Cathechisms?

But if this is indeed the case, then why did You write: "Yes Luther said that the life of a Christian is a life of repentance. The thing though is that his idea of repentance is not what you think it is. In fact his idea of repentance is that you are to repent in thinking that you can satisfy for yourself the commandments of God. You are to repent of yourself reliance in thinking you can do the Law( moral law or spiritual laws included etc ie any commands of God), for God requires them to be executed without fail 24 x 7" !? :-\

You said these things, and let's say that the first one was missunderstood by me ... but in the light of the other one ... :-\

Well, those, as well as other statements by You from our kilometric discussion, as well as from Your whole blog ...

The Two Cathechisms paint a pretty clear picture about the Ten Commandments ... and the 95 These paint a pretty clear picture about Luther's view of repentance ... which 95 are not in the Book of Concord, yet, for some reason, You felt [or, at least to me it seemed that way] like "pushing it" too far when You said: *HIS* idea of repentance is not what you think it is -- now, You mentioned him not being a Protestant Pope (obviously) ... but if You agree with this, why did You have to write "Luther [...] *HIS* idea", instaed of "Lutheranism's idea" !? :-\

Or am I just as usual simply over-suspicious? :-\

 
At Wednesday, February 27, 2008 10:47:00 am , Blogger L P Cruz said...

Lucian,

On Repentance: I could have misunderstood you, so let me see if I am getting your idea of repentance correctly. Do you belive that repentance include penance? If so that is what I mean, because Luther does not (IMHO) believe that penance is included in repentance.

Here again is his Smalcald Articles

1] This office [of the Law] the New Testament retains and urges, as St. Paul, Rom. 1, 18 does, saying: The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. Again, 3, 19: All the world is guilty before God. No man is righteous before Him. And Christ says, John 16, 8: The Holy Ghost will reprove the world of sin.

2] This, then, is the thunderbolt of God by which He strikes in a heap [hurls to the ground] both manifest sinners and false saints [hypocrites], and suffers no one to be in the right [declares no one righteous], but drives them all together to terror and despair. This is the hammer, as Jeremiah 23, 29 says: Is not My Word like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? This is not activa contritio or manufactured repentance, but passiva contritio [torture of conscience], true sorrow of heart, suffering and sensation of death.

3] This, then, is what it means to begin true repentance; and here man must hear such a sentence as this: You are all of no account, whether you be manifest sinners or saints [in your own opinion]; you all must become different and do otherwise than you now are and are doing [no matter what sort of people you are], whether you are as great, wise, powerful, and holy as you may. Here no one is [righteous, holy], godly, etc.

4] But to this office the New Testament immediately adds the consolatory promise of grace through the Gospel, which must be believed, as Christ declares, Mark 1, 15: Repent and believe the Gospel, i.e., become different and do otherwise, and believe My promise. And John, preceding Him, is called a preacher of repentance, however, for the remission of sins, i.e., John was to accuse all, and convict them of being sinners, that they might know what they were before God, and might acknowledge that they were lost men, and might thus be prepared for the Lord, to receive grace, and to expect and accept from Him the remission of sins. Thus also Christ Himself says, Luke 24, 47: 6] Repentance and remission of sins must be preached in My name among all nations.

7] But whenever the Law alone, without the Gospel being added exercises this its office there is [nothing else than] death and hell, and man must despair, like Saul and Judas; as St. Paul, Rom. 7, 10, says: Through sin the Law killeth. 8] On the other hand, the Gospel brings consolation and remission not only in one way, but through the word and Sacraments, and the like, as we shall hear afterward in order that [thus] there is with the Lord plenteous redemption, as Ps. 130, 7 says against the dreadful captivity of sin.

9] However, we must now contrast the false repentance of the sophists with true repentance, in order that both may be the better understood.



If you noticed I higlighted where I agree - he says repentance is passiva, meaning - true sorrow of heart,suffering and sensation of death.

This can not be draw, unless one sees the Law as a hammer. Which I was saying or at least that is the gist of what I meant.

That is the reason I believe that Past Elder, our host and Pr. Will agreed. But they can correct me if they care and have time on minute detail.

Also remember in the SC, the 10 Commandments get exposited first before the Creed. This was his Law & Gospel pattern.


Hope this helps,


LPC

 
At Thursday, February 28, 2008 4:12:00 am , Anonymous Lucian said...

manufactured repentance ... you all MUST become different and do otherwise than you now are and are doing ... become different and do otherwise ... contrast the false repentance of the sophists with true repentance

There's what he calls a "false" and "manufactured" way of doing repentance ... then there's what he calls "[torture of conscience], true sorrow of heart, suffering and sensation of death", ... and then there's what he calls "become different and do otherwise".

Q: are You by ANY chance confounding or conflating the first and the last one, sticking only with the middle one? Or is it just a further missunderstanding from my part? :-\ Or a lack of clarity from Your side in our innitial conversation, back at >Beggars-All< ? :-\ As far as I can tell, for Luther, the last two go hand-in-hand. :-/ I'ld be very interested in Your answer. :-?

 
At Thursday, February 28, 2008 12:01:00 pm , Blogger L P Cruz said...

Lucian,

Try to read further and do not stop there. It is not good procedure not to account for the whole context of the quote.

7] But whenever the Law alone, without the Gospel being added exercises this its office there is [nothing else than] death and hell, and man must despair, like Saul and Judas; as St. Paul, Rom. 7, 10, says: Through sin the Law killeth.


This is what I mean, there is death and hell and despair, when the Law alone is heard without the Gospel.

For me, the primary function of the Law which is what Luther says - a hammer gets to me first, rather than the notion, you can do it.

Precisely what Luther was saying - you should do better and be altogether different but -- you don't do it at least not 24X7.

Or is it just a further missunderstanding from my part? :-\ Or a lack of clarity from Your side in our innitial conversation, back at Beggars-All ?

My answer to all questions: Probably. That interchange was quick and I was in a hurry and lacked time as I still do now.

If you think you read Luther better than we did (including the host, Past Elder and myself) then so be it, you are entitled to your opinion. We just disbelieve each other I suppose and move on.


Since you consulted PE and DS on this who have Lutheran backgrounds and agreed with me, try someone who may not agree, perhaps that might bring some comfort.


Cheers,


LPC

 

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