MARTIN CHEMNITZ PRESS
A MIGHTY FORTRESS LUTHERAN CHURCH
Pastor Gregory L. Jackson, Ph.D.
IS JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH A JOKE FOR CHRISTIAN NEWS?
Someone pointed out that the October 9, 2000 issue of Christian News had a cartoon by James B. Romnes. Jesus is on the cross saying, “Father, forgive them.” A soldier warns that this may be Kokomoism. I think it is utterly boorish to use the crucifixion to support the Kokomo Statements of the Wisconsin Synod.
I am extremely disappointed that Romnes has used his talent to make a mockery of justification by faith. Romnes is a member of the Wisconsin Synod. He illustrated The Wormhaven Gardening Book for me. My wife and I have had supper with him and his wife and with their friends Pastor and Mrs. Steve Flo.
I should get used to being sand-bagged by someone on my doctrinal bulletin list. It has happened many times before, often in exactly the same way. Someone who gets weekly sermons and quotations from me via email, as Romnes does, could easily write back and ask questions. I spend many hours each week answering email questions, usually on the same day. I have addressed the issue of justification many times and I have provided quotations at great length on the subject.
If you wonder why the Lutheran Church is collapsing, look at the way in which Christian News is edited. The worst frauds are paraded in the newspaper as the wise men of the Kingdom of God. They remind me of the character in a play who received a typewriter by mistake in the mail, assumed she was a writer, and immediately turned into an author, creating a huge pile of useless manuscripts.
The current issue of CN lavishly promotes (on page one) the newest work by Waldo Werning, ecumenist, feminist, and Church Growth salesman. His 35 page booklet costs $8.00. If Thy Strong Word cost as much per page, it would sell for $148! The current issue also promotes the latest version of a very bad Bible translation, the Beck, which repeats the text errors of all modern versions. CN contributes to apostasy by promoting doctrinal confusion and a Biblical Babel. The King James Version is still the best and most reliable translation of the Bible in English.
As several people have complained to me, Otten ignored the news that Thy Strong Word was published. The editor later asked for a FREE review copy of TSW and then weeks later printed a clueless hack job by Air Force Sergeant Rich Futrell, who salutes every fad marching through town. Serious periodicals do not print book reviews by dabblers.
I knew from the beginning that the liberals would thumb through Thy Strong Word (as the imposter Jack Cascione confessed) and utter their shock and dismay that I did not endorse their closet Universalism. Rolf Preus, another hot air merchant, was able to review the book before he even received a copy. Has anyone heard from them on the subject at Cascione’s vanity website, LutherQuest [sic]? The usual order is this:
Cascione and Rolf Preus work this way:
They do not need to agree with 10 years of research, but where is their refutation? Will they hide behind a cartoon from their court jester? I believe that if Cascione, Otten, and Rolf Preus actually studied the 650 pages of Thy Strong Word, wrote serious reviews, and laid out their own positions, it would be beneficial for everyone.
I am not going to rework 80 pages of text on justification from Thy Strong Word, but I would like to send along some quotations from Theodore Engelder, whose articles were reproduced and sold through Concordia Seminary, Ft. Wayne. LCR Pastor A. Tschopp sells copies and sent one to someone on my list. You can see from the quotations that Engelder clearly defined justification without faith as found in the Kokomo Statements and the Missouri Synod Theses on Justification.
Professor Lenski: "2 Corinthians 5:18-20 is badly bungled by many, notably Missourians. Preconceived notions violate the highly significant tenses." R. C. H. Lenski, May issue, The Pastor's Monthly, "The Mediator of the New Testament,"
Cited in Theodore Engelder, Objective Justification, Concordia Theological Monthly, 1933, Ft. Wayne: Concordia Seminary Press, n.d. p. 507. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20.
Professor Lenski: "What has been made of this famous passage? [2 Corinthians 5:18-20] This, that on Easter morning God forgave all sins to every individual sinner in the world, those then already damned in hell, those not yet born; and that this, an actus simplex, is the only justification there is!" R. C. H. Lenski, May issue, The Pastor's Monthly, "The Mediator of the New Testament,"
Cited in Theodore Engelder, Objective Justification, Concordia Theological Monthly, 1933, Ft. Wayne: Concordia Seminary Press, n.d. p. 508. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20.
"As to the doctrine in general, he [Lenski] repudiates and ridicules the teaching that on Easter morning God forgave, really forgave, all the world all its sins, really and truly justified the world. He protests against making objective reconciliation, general justification, mean that God on Easter morning did actually pronounce the world, all individuals making up the world, really innocent of all sin and guilt."
Theodore Engelder, Objective Justification, Concordia Theological Monthly, 1933, Ft. Wayne: Concordia Seminary Press, n.d. p. 508. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20.
"Does Missouri teach 'that this, an actus simplex, is the only justification there is'? Yes and no. We do not teach that the objective justification of Easter morning is the only justification there is...But most readers of the Pastor's Monthly know that Missouri teaches that there is a) an objective justification and b) a subjective justification."
Theodore Engelder, Objective Justification, Concordia Theological Monthly, 1933, Ft. Wayne: Concordia Seminary Press, n.d. p. 514. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20.
[Attempt to use Calov to support two justifications]
Theodore Engelder, Objective Justification, Concordia Theological Monthly, 1933, Ft. Wayne: Concordia Seminary Press, n.d. p. 567. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20.
END OF QUOTATIONS
I would like to remind readers that Robert Preus’ last work is a clear repudiation of the two justification nonsense that bore its bitter fruit with the Kokomo Statements and the LCMS Theses on Justification. I know that Rolf and Daniel Preus will jump in and say, “Our daddy wrote those theses.” My intuition is that Robert Preus had a hand in them, but did not write them by himself. Whether he did or not, if an angel from heaven told me that someone is justified without the Means of Grace, without faith, I would say to him, “Damn you to Hell.” (Galatians 1:8 – once a favorite text among Lutherans but now rusted from disuse.) KJV Galatians 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Robert Preus was an ordinary human being like the rest of us, but he was also a remarkable scholar. Because he continued to study the Word, he continued to grow as a theologian. Thus his “Justification and Rome” is an outstanding work, concise and clearly written. In his very last work he said nothing, not a word, about Objective Justification. He did not use any of the familiar phrases which we find in Engelder, Pieper at his worst, or Kokomo.
Dr. Preus made a point of proving that Calov did NOT promote justification without faith. Calov has been used wickedly by many Kokomites because they realize how few Lutherans can find a single Calov quotation anywhere.
Abraham Calov: "Although Christ has acquired for us the remission of sins, justification, and sonship, God just the same does not justify us prior to our faith. Nor do we become God's children in Christ in such a way that justification in the mind of God takes place before we believe." [Apodixis Articulorum Fide, Lueneburg, 1684]
Cited in Robert D. Preus, Justification and Rome, St. Louis: Concordia Academic Press 1997, p. 131n. [emphasis added; footnote in Thy Strong Word, Chapter Five]
Dr. Preus made his position clear:
"But the imputation of Christ's righteousness to the sinner takes place when the Holy Spirit brings him to faith through Baptism and the Word of the Gospel. Our sins were imputed to Christ at His suffering and death, imputed objectively after He, by His active and passive obedience, fulfilled and procured all righteousness for us. But the imputation of His righteousness to us takes place when we are brought to faith."
Robert D. Preus, Justification and Rome, St. Louis: Concordia Academic Press 1997, p. 72.
The blowhards on LutherQuest [sic] cannot come to grips with these two quotations, which by themselves refute all their snorting, pawing the earth, and bellowing. The two quotations also make hash of the tacky Christian News cartoon by Romnes.
As Luther wrote (see F. Bente, Historical Introductions), the Christian faith has been attacked along three fronts: 1) the divinity of Christ; 2) the humanity of Christ; 3) justification by faith. For all their bombast, Cascione, Romnes, Rolf Preus, and many others are not orthodox Lutherans. They are closet Universalists who advocate forgiveness without and before faith. The WELS Easter commercials do not say, “Christ died for the sins of the world,” an obstacle in recruiting members, but “I am saved through Jesus Christ. You are too.” WELS pre-printed signs stated the same Universalistic message.