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ZWINGLI, CALVIN, AND PIETISM

 

 

INTRODUCTION

If Lutherans are to understand what their leaders have done in betraying their synods,  the doctrine of Zwingli, Calvin, and Pietism must be studied. Although this topic could easily fill several books, since so many conflicts have arisen, the purpose of including the material will be achieved if serious students of the Word have the evidence they need to show that most Lutheran leaders in America are little more than crypto-Calvinists (Lutherans who secretly and dishonestly promote the doctrines of Calvin in opposition to the Scriptures). Lutherans must face this fact and repudiate the false doctrines so thorough entrenched in their synods.

 

The author’s background, earning a master’s degree and a Ph.D. at Notre Dame, is often used by Church Growth advocates to dismiss any criticism of Fuller Theological Seminary, their alma mater. Several pertinent facts are often omitted from the often repeated charges of these people. First of all, most of the academic work at Notre Dame involved the comparison of various theological viewpoints, providing an excellent background for dealing with the Church Growth Movement. Secondly, the dissertation itself providentially added to this background by being concerned with Lutheran mergers, the Synodical Conference, and the Social Gospel Movement in the Augustana Synod, a Swedish Lutheran group that formed in opposition to the 19th century surrender to Reformed doctrine.

 

If all the historical threads of this topic were followed, with adequate attention to all the significant leaders, the result would so complicated and footnote bound that many would give up their pursuit of the truth. Readers should charitable in their reaction to what has been omitted and ready to pursue additional study. When one pastor was paid to give confessional Lutheran lectures at Bethany College (Evangelical Lutheran Synod), he did not know the answer to a significant question arising from his topic, “Pietism.” He was asked the view of Jacob Spener on the sacraments. His explanation for not knowing was disappointing, “I am a busy parish pastor.” In the old days, Concordia Seminary president Ludwig Fuerbringer refused to accept many speaking invitations because he needed to devote more time to study. Many people make fun of the Lutheran leaders of those days, with their quaint dedication to study. The synods were growing then, instead of collapsing. Therefore, this topic is not a substitute for research but a prelude to additional work. Those who wisely purchase a few of the best Lutheran books will have no trouble following up on the work condensed here.

 

LACK OF TRUST IN THE WORD, ITS ORIGIN IN ZWINGLI AND CALVIN

 

The Reformation is often presented as Luther’s break with the Church of Rome and the Vatican’s subsequent repudiation of his doctrine at the Council of Trent. The opposition of Hudreich Zwingli in Zurich, Switzerland and the later and more subtle antagonism of John Calvin in Geneva, Switzerland, both contributed to a significant undercurrent in Lutheranism, a plague that continues to this day. The problem can be summarized in two ways.

 

 

1) Magisterial or Ministerial Use of Reason

One is the error of subjecting the Word of God to rationalistic analysis, as Sig Becker proved so well in his classic work, The Foolishness of God. By making human reason magisterial (superior to) rather than ministerial (serving and subordinate to), Zwingli and Calvin prepared the way for the ultimate victory of rationalism in the Unitarianism of the National Council of Churches today. In fact, after becoming bored with Unitarianism, Marixist and homosexual activism, many of the old established denominations have moved to embracing all religions as equal. Needless to say, one major theme of Luther’s work has been the magisterial use of reason. Not surprisingly, genuine Lutheranism has been wary of fads, movements, phony union efforts, tricks, gimmicks, and reliance upon subjective experience. Luther’s doctrine is planted in the unchanging nature of God’s Word, so it is inherently conservative and therefore hated intensely by all agents of corruption, within and without Lutheranism.

 

The folly of subordinating the Word of God to human reason can be shown by the mysteries of the faith impervious to man’s understanding or experience: the holy Trinity, the Creation, the Incarnation and Virgin Birth, and the resurrection. All attempts to explain or prove these articles of faith have reduced these versions of Christianity to a reasonable and positive philosophy of love, brotherhood, and do-goodism, devoid of the cross, robbed of the Gospel, incapable of comfort.

 

2) Enthusiasm

The second way to summarize the problem can be identified in one word: enthusiasm. The term enthusiasm is used by Luther and the Book of Concord to identify all efforts to separate the Word from the work of the Holy Spirit. The classic passage is found in the Smalcald Articles, which Luther wrote for the upcoming Roman council, ultimately the Council of Trent.

 

"All this is the old devil and old serpent, who also converted Adam and Eve into enthusiasts, and led them from the outward Word of God to spiritualizing and self-conceit, and nevertheless he accomplished this through other outward words. Just as also our enthusiasts [at the present day] condemn the outward Word, and nevertheless they themselves are not silent, but they fill the world with their pratings and writings, as though, indeed, the Spirit could not come through the writings and spoken word of the apostles, but [first] through their writings and words he must come. Why [then] do not they also omit their own sermons and writings, until the Spirit Himself come to men, without their writings and before them, as they boast that He has come into them without the preaching of the Scriptures?"

Smalcald Articles, VIII., Confession, 3-5, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 495. Tappert, p. 312f.   

 

For [indeed] the Papacy also is nothing but sheer enthusiasm, by which the Pope boasts that all rights exist in the shrine of his heart, and whatever he decides and commands with [in] his church is spirit and right, even though it is above and contrary to Scripture and the spoken Word."

Smalcald Articles, VIII., Confession, 3-5, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 495. Tappert, p. 312.  

 

"And in those things which concern the spoken, outward Word, we must firmly hold that God grants His Spirit or grace to no one, except through or with the preceding outward Word, in order that we may [thus] be protected against the enthusiasts, i. e., spirits who boast that they have the Spirit without and before the Word, and accordingly judge Scripture or the spoken Word, and explain and stretch it at their pleasure, as Muenzer did, and many still do at the present day, who wish to be acute judges between the Spirit and the letter, and yet know not what they say or declare. For [indeed] the Papacy also is nothing but sheer enthusiasm, by which the Pope boasts that all rights exist in the shrine of his heart, and whatever he decides and commands with [in] his church is spirit and right, even though it is above and contrary to Scripture and the spoken Word."

Smalcald Articles, VIII., Confession, 3-5, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 495. Tappert, p. 312.  

 

"In a word, enthusiasm inheres in Adam and his children from the beginning [from the first fall] to the end of the world, [its poison] having been implanted and infused into them by the old dragon, and is the origin, power [life], and strength of all heresy, especially of that of the Papacy and Mahomet. Therefore we ought and must constantly maintain this point, that God does not wish to deal with us otherwise than through the spoken Word and the Sacraments. It is the devil himself whatsoever is extolled as Spirit without the Word and Sacraments. For God wished to appear even to Moses through the burning bush and spoken Word; and no prophet, neither Elijah nor Elisha, received the Spirit without the Ten Commandments [or spoken Word]. Neither was John the Baptist conceived without the preceding word of Gabriel, nor did he leap in his mother's womb without the voice of Mary."

Smalcald Articles, VIII. Confession, 9-10 Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 497. Tappert, p. 313. 2 Peter 1:21. 

 

"Also, we reject and condemn the error of the Enthusiasts, who imagine that God without means, without the hearing of God's Word, also without the use of the holy Sacraments, draws men to Himself, and enlightens, justifies, and saves them."

Formula of Concord, Epitome, Article II, Free Will, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 789. Tappert, p. 471.

 

"The Lutheran Confessions take a decisive stand against 'enthusiasts,' who teach that the Holy Spirit works in the hearts of men without the Word and Sacraments (SA-III VIII 3-13; LC II 34-62; FC Ep II 13)."

John T. Mueller, "Grace, Means of," Lutheran Cyclopedia, Erwin L. Lueker, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1975, p. 344. 

 

"The Lutheran theologians, in general, had reason to illustrate very particularly the doctrine of the operation of the Word of God, in order to oppose the Enthusiasts and Mystics, who held that the Holy Spirit operated rather irrespectively of the Word than through it; and to oppose also the Calvinists, who, led by their doctrine of predestination, would not grant that the Word possessed this power per se, but only in such cases where God chose...."

Heinrich Schmid, The Doctrinal Theology of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, trans., Charles A. Hay, Henry E. Jacobs, Philadelphia: Lutheran Publication Society, 1889, p. 511.       

 

"A denial of the efficacy and sufficiency of the means of grace is contained in the theological systems of all religious enthusiasts."

Edwin E. Pieplow, "The Means of Grace," The Abiding Word, ed., Theodore Laetsch, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1946, II, p. 343.  

 

"The divine power must never be separated from the Word of Scripture; that is to say, the Holy Ghost does not operate beside or outside the Word (enthusiasm, Calvinism, Rathmannism in the Lutheran Church), but always in and through the Word, Romans 10:17; 1 Peter 1:23; John 6:23."

John Theodore Mueller, Christian Dogmatics, A Handbook of Doctrinal Theology, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934, p. 134f. Romans 10:17; John 6:23; 1 Peter 1:23.

 

Huldreich Zwingli

Huldreich Zwingli was born on New Year’s Day, 1484, so he was a few months older than Martin Luther. In all other respects he was quite different from Luther. Zwingli read many books, but he was never formally trained in theology, while Luther earned a doctorate in the Scriptures. Although many people know Luther’s simple and basic works, they do not realize that he could argue Medieval theology and examine the philosophical terms in great detail. His massive Galatians commentary is an example, where he dealt with the Roman terms “congruent” and “condign grace” for 100 pages.

 

Luther was not political, teaching with great energy the concept of the two regiments (often called the two kingdoms). Luther saw the foolishness of the papacy assuming secular rule and also using force to advance the doctrines and fortunes of the Church of Rome. Therefore, he asserted that the material regiment should use the sword to enforce peace, punish offenders, and defend the nation. The spiritual regiment should use only the Word to teach the truth and defeat false teachers. In contrast, Zwingli was extremely nationalistic, serving as a chaplain, and ultimately dying on the field of battle with many other armed ministers and patriots, at the battle of Cappel, 1531, shortly after the Marburg Colloquy with Luther.

 

While Luther was often falsely accused of immorality, the charges invented by an unstable man named Cochlaeus (in The Seven-Headed Luther), Zwingli admitted to affairs while a priest, included one in which he impregnated the daughter of a barber.[1] The slander against Luther continues to be repeated, even though the material has been previously refuted by Roman Catholic scholars, but Zwingli is simply remembered as the Zurich reformer. It is doubtful whether most Lutherans understand the nature of Zwingli’s quirky reformation in Zurich and how it influenced the more refined doctrinal errors of John Calvin, who worked later in Geneva. For instance, a senior at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary (WELS), when asked in a class on the Book of Concord who was wrong at the Marburg Colloquy, answered with great sincerity that Luther was wrong and stubborn about the Real Presence in holy communion, a doctrinal position rejected by Zwingli.

 

Zwingli’s theological illiteracy has been reproduced on a massive scale today, even though seminary graduates want to be known as “masters of divinity.” Many conservative Lutheran pastors leave seminary with a shallow knowledge of the Lutheran Confessions, accompanied by an attitude that these documents are outdated, uninteresting, and irrelevant. Unfortunately, most conservative seminary professors are called through their political connections, not because of their scholarly abilities. One seminary professor was called without having a bachelor’s degree! Zwingli is a good example of enthusiasm, since he was vain, untrained, jealous of Luther, and yet eager to publish his religious opinions. Zwingli’s Lutheran disciples are similarly untrained, vain, and jealous of anyone who might counter their glib opinions with the Scriptures and the Confessions.

 

Zwingli Quotes

"Zwingli said, 'I believe, yea I know, that all the Sacraments are so far from conferring grace that they do not even convey or distribute it. In this, most powerful Emperor, I may perhaps appear too bold to thee. But I am firmly convinced that I am right. For as grace is produced or given by the divine Spirit (I am using the term 'grace' in its Latin meaning of pardon, indulgence, gracious favor), so this gift reaches only the spirit. The Spirit, however, needs no guide or vehicle, for He Himself is the Power and Energy by which all things are borne and has no need of being borne. Nor have we ever read in the Holy Scriptures that perceptible things like the Sacraments certainly bring with them the Spirit.' (Fidei Ratio, ed. Niemeyer p. 24; Jacobs, Book of Concord, II, 68)"

Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1953, III, p. 132f.   

 

"Furthermore, consider this: All doctrines of the Bible are connected with one another; they form a unit. One error draws others in after it. Zwingli's first error was the denial of the presence of Christ's body and blood in the Lord's Supper. In order to support this error, he had to invent a false doctrine of Christ's Person, of heaven, of the right hand of God, etc."

Francis Pieper, The Difference between Orthodox and Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon: St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 41.         

 

"I believe, yea, I know, that all the Sacraments are so far from conferring grace that they do not even convey or distribute it. In this, most powerful Emperor, I may perhaps appear too bold to thee. But I am firmly convinced that I am right."  [Zwingli]

Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1950, III, p. 132f. Fidei Ratio, ed. Niemeyer, p. 24;         

 

"Zwingli, who was a moralist and a Humanist rather than a truly evangelical reformer, taught: 'In itself the Law is nothing else than a Gospel; that is, a good, certain message from God by means of which He instructs us concerning His will.' (Frank 2, 312.)"

F. Bente, Concordia Triglotta, Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 161.

 

"They [the Zwinglians] divorced the Word and the Spirit, separated the person who preaches and teaches the Word from God, who works through the Word, and separated the servant who baptizes from God, who has commanded the Sacrament. They fancied that the Holy Spirit is given and works without the Word, that the Word merely gives assent to the Spirit, whom it already finds in the heart. If, then, this Word does not find the Spirit but a godless person, then it is not the Word of God. In this way they falsely judge and define the Word, not according to God, who speaks it, but according to the man who receives it. They want only that to be the Word of God which is fruitful and brings peace and life..."

Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 664f.    

 

"The term 'Reformed' has therefore become a distinctive name and denotes all those church bodies which follow the theology and particularly the church practices of Zwingli and John Calvin. It is correct when Lutherans insist that there are three large groups of Christians: the Catholics, the Lutherans, and the Reformed."

F. E. Mayer, American Churches, Beliefs and Practices, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1946, p. 24.

   

"Luther protested against Rome's soul-destroying teachings and reformed the Church by restoring the pure doctrine of God's Word. Zwingli hoped to reform the Church by abolishing Rome's superstitious practices. Calvin believed that a complete reformation implied two things: First, it was necessary to abolish all ceremonies, even those which were in use in the ancient Church, such as the liturgy, the church year, pulpits, altars; secondly, a truly reformed Church must follow the pattern of the Apostolic Church in all its church practices and adopt the form of church government given to Israel in the Old Testament."

F. E. Mayer, American Churches, Beliefs and Practices, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1946, p. 24.      

 

As Otto Heick has observed in A History of Christian Thought, Zwingli was more of a Savanarola, a political reformer in the guise of a religious leader. Zwingli was influenced by Erasmus and Luther, but he remained a humanist and a rationalist. His literary production is considered impressive in size and quality, but not “monumental.” One does not find standard works of Zwingli as we do of Luther, Calvin, and other religious leaders. However, in Calvin and in all non-Lutheran Protestants, we find the same basic error taught with such relish by Zwingli: denial of the efficacy of the Word in the Means of Grace. This is not a casual or minor error, but so fundamental that the Reformed return to it repeatedly, like people who must constantly shore up a bad argument. Pentecostals and Baptists refuse to baptize infants, but they are not significantly different from the Presbyterians and Methodists who baptize babies while denying baptismal regeneration.

 

Zwingli’s thought, as summarized by Heick:

“As the Word of God, Scripture is clear. It needs neither interpreters nor commentators. Tradition is useless, if not downright harmful. Man must be taught by God. Strictly speaking, the spoken or material Word is no means of grace at all, let alone the sacraments.”

            Otto W. Heick, A History of Christian Thought, 2 volumes, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1965, I, p. 357.

 

In addition, the confusion between Law and Gospel in Zwingli is magnified among all those who have followed him in error, knowingly or unknowingly. This is another facet of the denial of the efficacy of the Word. In errorists, the Law dominates, so that one is both condemned as a sinner by the Law and also saved through works of the Law. When the power of the Holy Spirit is divorced from the visible and invisible Word, the human mind seeks restlessly for a substitute. Sadly, visible replacements for the divinely ordained sacraments are such demonic tricks as speaking in tongues, giving up an obvious or imagined vice (such as dancing), or observing certain human rites (taking a pledge in front of the congregation). Methods of the Law cannot provide comfort, so additional replacements for the sacraments are sought. Holiness Christians (no dancing, card playing, movies, make-up, or jewelry) become tongue speakers. Tongue speakers turn to the occult, with spirit guides from the Fourth Dimension, as Paul Y. Cho teaches.

 

Lurking in the minds of all Enthusiasts is the Monster of Uncertainty. Roman Catholics ask, “Are we really doing enough?” The doctrine of Purgatory feeds the monster, in spite of good works, daily masses, confessions of sin, monetary offerings, acts of contrition, pilgrimages, and estate planning. The Reformed monster is no less demanding, asking if the Law has really been obeyed to perfection, if enough souls have been won for Christ, if health and wealth are conspicuous enough to impress unbelievers.

 

From Zwingli we get the plague of rationalism but also its false antidote, irrationalism. Rationalism seeks to explain the Scriptures in such a way that most people can accept what is beyond their limited understanding, as if God did not say, “My thoughts are not your thoughts; and My ways are not your ways.” Trying to make the Creation fit into a scheme of evolution is one form of rationalism, but proving the Six Day Creation with scientific research is another form of the same illness. Making the Word germane or appealing, selling the Gospel, is still another form of rationalism. The Lutheran Zwinglian says to himself, “If I can find out what the felt needs of the average person are, then I can show people that my version of the Gospel answers their felt needs – whether they are lonely, stressed, or short on time. Then they will flock to my congregation. However, I must avoid such downers as doctrinal purity, the historic liturgy, classic hymns, and creeds. In fact, it would be better if I avoid the name Lutheran altogether.” Needless to say, many of these Zwinglian Lutheran pastors have become mere Zwinglians.[2]

 

 

 

John Calvin

 

John Calvin was a second generation reformer, born in northern France in 1509, when Luther was already (CHECK). He studied at the University of Paris and earned a master’s degree when he was 19 years old. Trained in ancient languages, Calvin published a commentary on the Latin author Seneca, but it did not bring him notice or acclaim. In 1536, Calvin’s Institutes (revised and enlarged in many editions) became a sensation and drew people to him. He was delayed in Geneva, Switzerland, during a trip, encouraged by the Protestant minister G. Farel to stay and help with the work there in 1537. Calvin and Farel were expelled from Geneva, but invited back in 1541. Calvin married but did not have any surviving children. He became a preacher and theologian without being ordained as a pastor, so he had much in common with Luther’s younger associate, Melanchthon, who was also trained in the classics.

 

Luther died in 1546 and never met Calvin. Melanchthon (1497-1563) was younger  than Luther  and met Calvin at the Worms and Regensburg colloquies, 1540-41. Calvin and Melanchthon became friends, resulting in Calvin’s firmness affecting Melanchthon’s judgment and doctrine. Melanchthon suffered from a need to bring warring groups together based upon compromise rather than doctrinal agreement. After Luther’s death, Melanchthon was so timid in the face of Roman opposition that Calvin felt compelled to rebuke him.

 

Calvin, June 18, 1550 to Melanchthon: "My grief renders me almost speechless. How the enemies of Christ enjoy your conflicts with the Magdeburgers appears from their mockeries. Permit me to admonish you freely as a true friend. I should like to approve of all your actions. But now I accuse you before your very face. This is the sum of your defense: If the purity of doctrine be retained, externals should not be pertinaciously contended for. But you extend the adiaphora too far. Some of them plainly conflict with the Word of God. Now, since the Lord has drawn us into the fight, it behooves us to struggle all the more manfully. You know that your position differs from that of the multitude. The hesitation of the general or leader is more disgraceful than the flight of an entire regiment of common soldiers."

F. Bente, Concordia Triglotta, Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 101.   

 

Melanchthon, as heir, to Luther, became the instrument by which Calvinism was secretly introduced to Lutheranism. Most Lutherans do not realize today that Calvin seemed to be Lutheran for many years. We now look back at that period as a time of stress and mutual rejection, but Calvin was considered a Lutheran and willingly assumed that role for years. He was no different from Paul Kelm, David Valleskey, Kent Hunter, or Waldo Werning today, accepting the benefits of being considered a Lutheran while advancing the views of Zwingli.

 

"For the adoption of the Consensus Tigurinus in 1549, referred to above, cannot but be viewed as an overt act by which the Wittenberg Concord, signed 1536 by representative Lutheran and Reformed theologians, was publicly repudiated and abandoned by Calvin and his adherents, and whereby an anti-Lutheran propaganda on an essentially Zwinglian basis was inaugurated. Calvin confirmed the schism between the Lutherans and the Reformed which Carlstadt, Zwingli, and Oecolampadius had originated."

F. Bente, Concordia Triglotta, Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 174.       

 

Calvin’s Doctrine

To understand the crypto-Calvinist (secret Calvinist) Lutherans, we need to examine the teachings of John Calvin about the Means of Grace. Not surprisingly, some of the most revealing statements come from his booklet, Against Westphal, for the Lutheran Joachim Westphal taunted Calvin for some time, to bring out his actual views. The crypto-Calvinists of today loudly moan about “Christian-bashing,” a term borrowed from homosexual activist, when someone asks for doctrinal clarity. It is easy to see from Against Westphal that such polemical literature is used by God to distinguish between sound and false doctrine.

 

1 Corinthians 11:18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. 19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

 

It was good for Westphal to annoy Calvin and even better for Calvin to answer Westphal honestly. Similarly, when it was rumored that Luther had given up his Biblical views about the Lord’s Supper, he responded with his Brief Confession on the Lord’s Supper, another superb document. Today, the massive doctrinal indifference in American Lutheranism is a direct result of people studiously avoiding all doctrinal conflict. We lose our spiritual muscle tone through lack of effort just as we lose normal muscle tone from inactivity. The inactive person not only loses the ability to exert himself, but also the will to try. Lutherans have become so lazy and inert that they would rather suffer from false teachers, soul murderers and wife murderers, than object to the most obnoxious heresies in their midst. Pastors fear for their tiny pensions but not for their sheep being attacked by wolves. Synodical professors quake at the thought of returning to the parish, so they promote Reformed doctrine and methods in the name of making their institutions strong, though they are dying.

 

To understand the secret Calvinists, let us look first at Calvin’s doctrine.

 

"But the sacraments properly fulfill their office only when the Spirit, that inward teacher, comes to them, by whose power alone hearts are penetrated and affections moved and our souls opened for the sacraments to enter in. If the Spirit be lacking, the sacraments can accomplish nothing more in our minds than the splendor of the sun shining upon blind eyes, or a voice sounding in deaf ears."

Benjamin Charles Milner, Jr., Calvin's Doctrine of the Church, Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1970, p. 119. Institutes. IV.xiv.9.        

 

"The nature of baptism or the Supper must not be tied down to an instant of time.  God, whenever He sees fit, fulfills and exhibits in immediate effect that which he figures in the sacrament.  But no necessity must be imagined so as to prevent His grace from sometimes preceding, sometimes following, the use of the sign."

Benjamin Charles Milner, Jr., Calvin's Doctrine of the Church, Leiden:  E. J. Brill,  1970, p. 121. Against Joachim Westphal.

 

"Wherever we see the Word of God purely preached and heard, and the sacraments administered according to Christ's institution, there, it is not to be doubted, a church of God exists."

Benjamin Charles Milner, Jr., Calvin's Doctrine of the Church, Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1970, p. 100. Institutes. IV.i.9 

 

"Therefore, a part of revelation consists in baptism, that is, so far as it is intended to confirm our faith."

Benjamin Charles Milner, Jr., Calvin's Doctrine of the Church, Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1970, p. 116. Titus 3:5.  

 

"Baptism seals to us the salvation obtained by Christ." Benjamin Charles Milner, Jr., Calvin's Doctrine of the Church, Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1970, p. 116. Comm. Titus 3:5.  

 

 

 

"The nature of baptism or the Supper must not be tied down to an instant of time. God, whenever He sees fit, fulfills and exhibits in immediate effect that which he figures in the sacrament. But no necessity must be imagined so as to prevent His grace from sometimes preceding, sometimes following, the use of the sign."

Benjamin Charles Milner, Jr., Calvin's Doctrine of the Church, Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1970, p. 121. Against Joachim Westphal.         

 

"The offspring of believers are born holy, because their children, while yet in the womb, before they breathe the vital air, have been adopted into the covenant of eternal life."

Benjamin Charles Milner, Jr., Calvin's Doctrine of the Church, Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1970, p. 123. True Method of Reforming the Church. 

 

"We must establish such a presence of Christ in the supper as may neither fasten Him to the element of bread, not enclose Him in bread, not circumscribe Him in any way (all of which clearly derogate from His heavenly glory)...."

Benjamin Charles Milner, Jr., Calvin's Doctrine of the Church, Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1970, p. 128. Insti.IV.xvii.19.    

 

 

 

"In the theological conflicts after Luther's death three parties may be distinguished. The first party embraced chiefly the Interimists, the Synergists, and the Crypto-Calvinists. They were adherents of Philip Melanchthon, hence called Melanchthonians or, more commonly, Philippists, and were led by the theologians of Electoral Saxony. Their object was to supplant the authority and theology of Luther by the unionistic and liberal views of Melanchthon. Their headquarters were the universities of Wittenberg and Leipzig."   Chief representatives: Joachim Camerarius, Paul Eber, Caspar Cruciger, Jr., Christopher Pezel, George Major, Caspar Peucer (son in law of Philip), Paul Crell, John Pfeffinger, Victorin Strigel, John Stoessel, George Cracow. F. Bente, Concordia Triglotta, Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 102.    6) Antinomistic Controversy, 1527-1556. John Agricola, repentance wrought by Gospel, not Law. Rejection of Third Use. Decided by FC, Articles V and VI. 7) Crypto-Calvinistic Controversy, 1560-1574. Philippists in Wittenberg, Leipzig, Dresden, tried to supplant Luther's doctrines with Calvin's on the Lord's Supper and the majesty of the human nature of Christ. Unmasked in 1574. Decided by FC, Articles VII and VIII. 8) Descent into Hell - John Aepinus in Hamburg. FC, Article IX. Once saved, always saved. Zanchi, a Crypto-Calvinist, in Strassburg. FC, Article XI.

F. Bente, Concordia Triglotta, Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 103.     

 

 

 

 

 

"The indignation of the Lutherans against the Calvinistic propaganda, roused by Westphal and his comrades in their conflict with Calvin and his followers, was materially increased by the success of the crafty Calvinists in Bremen and in the Palatinate." F. Bente, Concordia Triglotta, Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 184.

 

"Such was the manner in which the Elector allowed himself to be duped by the Philippists who surrounded him,--men who gradually developed the art of dissimulation to premeditated deceit, falsehood, and perjury. Even the Reformed theologian Simon Stenius, a student at Wittenberg during the Crypto-Calvinistic period, charges the Wittenbergers with dishonesty and systematic dissimulation." F. Bente, Concordia Triglotta, Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 188.         

 

"To all practical purposes the University of Wittenberg was already Calvinized. Calvinistic books appeared and were popular. Even the work of a Jesuit against the book of Jacob Andreae on the Majesty of the Person of Christ was published at Wittenberg. The same was done with a treatise of Beza, although, in order to deceive the public, the title-page gave Geneva as the place of publication. Hans Lufft, the Wittenberg printer, later declared that during this time he did not know how to dispose of the books of Luther which he still had in stock, but that, if he had printed twenty or thirty times as many Calvinistic books, he would have sold all of them very rapidly." F. Bente, Concordia Triglotta, Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 189.     

 

of innocent and faithful Lutheran ministers. The fact was clearly established that these Philippists had been systematically plotting to Calvinize Saxony. The very arguments with which Luther's doctrine of the Lord's Supper and the Person of Christ might best be refuted were enumerated in these letters. However, when asked by the Elector whether they were Calvinists, these self-convicted deceivers are said to have answered that 'they would not see the face of God in eternity if in any point they were addicted to the doctrines of the Sacramentarians or deviated in the least from Dr. Luther's teaching.' (Walther, 56.)" F. Bente, Concordia Triglotta, Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 190.     

 

"By mistake the letter was delivered to the wife of the court-preacher Lysthenius....After opening the letter and finding it to be written in Latin, she gave it to her husband, who, in turn, delivered it to the Elector. In it Peucer requested Schuetze dexterously to slip into the hands of Anna, the wife of the Elector, a Calvinistic prayer-book which he had sent with the letter. Peucer added: 'If first we have Mother Anna on our side, there will be no difficulty in winning His Lordship [her husband] too.' Additional implicating material was discovered when Augustus now confiscated the correspondence of Peucer, Schuetze, Stoessel, and Cracow. The letters found revealed the consummate perfidy, dishonesty, cunning, and treachery of the men who had been the trusted advisers of the Elector, who had enjoyed his implicit confidence, and who by their falsehoods had caused him to persecuted hundreds F. Bente, Concordia Triglotta, Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 190.  

 

"Thus ended the Crypto-Calvinistic drama in Electoral Saxony. Henceforth such men as Andreae, Chemnitz, and Selneccer were the trusted advisers of August, who now became the enthusiastic, devoted and self-sacrificing leader of the larger movement for settling all of the controversies distracting the Lutheran Church, which finally result in the adoption of the Formula of Concord." F. Bente, Concordia Triglotta, Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 191f.        

 

"While according to medieval theologians the descent into hell was regarded as an act by which Christ, with His soul only, entered the abode of the dead; and while according to Calvin and the Reformed generally the descent into hell is but a figurative expression for the sufferings of Christ, particularly of His soul, on the cross, Luther, especially in a sermon delivered 1533 at Torgau, taught in accordance with the Scriptures that Christ, the God-man, body and soul, descended into hell as Victor over Satan and his host." F. Bente, Concordia Triglotta, Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 192.       

 

"Calvin and his adherents boldly rejected the universality of God's grace, of Christ's redemption, and of the Spirit's efficacious operation through the means of grace, and taught that, in the last analysis, also the eternal doom of the damned was solely due to an absolute decree of divine reprobation (in their estimation the logical complement of election), and this at the very time when they pretended adherence to the Augsburg Confession and were making heavy inroads into Lutheran territory with their doctrine concerning the Lord's Supper and the person of Christ,--which in itself was sufficient reason for a public discussion and determined resentment of their absolute predestinarianism." F. Bente, Concordia Triglotta, Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 195f.     

 

"As a matter of fact, however, also in the doctrine of predestination Zwingli and Calvin were just as far and as fundamentally apart from Luther as their entire rationalistic theology differed from the simple and implicit Scripturalism of Luther. Frank truly says that the agreement between Luther's doctrine and that of Zwingli and Calvin is 'only specious, nur scheinbar.' (1, 118.) Tschackert remarks: 'Whoever [among the theologians before the Formula of Concord] was acquainted with the facts could not but see that in this doctrine [of predestination] there was a far-reaching difference between the Lutheran and the Calvinistic theology.' (559.) F. Pieper declares that Luther and Calvin agree only in certain expressions, but differ entirely as to substance. (Dogmatics, III, 554.)" F. Bente, Concordia Triglotta, Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 209.   

 

"Waere die Erleuchtung eine unwiderstehliche, wie die Kalvinisten lehren, so waere auch ein Verlieren derselben nicht moeglich. (If enlightenment were irresistible, as the Calvinists teach, then being lost would not be possible.)" Adolf Hoenecke, Evangelische-Lutherische Dogmatik, 4 vols., ed., Walter and Otto Hoenecke, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1912, III, p. 250. 

 

"Wohl scheint auf den ersten Blick die ganze Differenz recht unbedeutend; aber in Wahrheit gibt sich hier die gefaehrliche Richtung der Pietisten zu erkennen, das Leben ueber die Lehre, die Heiligung ueber die Rechtfertigung und die Froemmigkeit nicht als Folge, sondern als Bedingung der Erleuchtung zu setzen also eine Art Synergismus und Pelagianismus einzufuehren. (At first glance, the total difference seems absolutely paltry, but in truth the dangerous direction of Pietism is made apparent: life over doctrine, sanctification over justification, and piety not as a consequence but declared as a stipulation of enlightenment, leading to a kind of synergism and Pelagianism.)" Adolf Hoenecke, Evangelische-Lutherische Dogmatik, 4 vols., ed., Walter and Otto Hoenecke, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1912, III, p. 253.     

 

"Zwingli, Calvin, and their adherents denied that the Word of God always possesses the same efficacy, and that God always operates through the Word." E. Hove, Christian Doctrine, Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1930, p. 27.   

 

"...it is exceedingly difficult to prevent this low view from running out into Socinianism, as, indeed, it actually has run in Calvinistic lands, so that it became a proverb, often met with in the older theological writers--'A young Calvinist, an old Socinian.' This peril is confessed and mourned over by great Calvinistic divines. New England is an illustration of it on an immense scale, in our own land." Charles P. Krauth, The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology, Philadelphia: The United Lutheran Publication House, 1871, p. 489.         

 

"We probably think first of such groups coming into being in the late 1600s in connection with Pietism. Spener promoted them as a vehicle by which pious laypeople could be a leaven for good in reforming the 'dead orthodoxy' of a congregation and its pastor." Prof. David Kuske, "Home Bible Study Groups in the 1990s," Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly, Spring, 1994. p. 126.  "The point being made here is that the reason for having home Bible study in small groups seems to have shifted from the Pietists' or parachurch groups goal of creating cells of people who will reform the church to having small groups as an integral part of a congregation's work." Prof. David Kuske, "Home Bible Study Groups in the 1990s," Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly, Spring, 1994. p. 127. 

 

 

 

"Meanwhile, back in Europe the corrosive effects of Pietism in blurring doctrinal distinctions had left much of Lutheranism defenseless against the devastating onslaught of Rationalism which engulfed the continent at the beginning of the 19th century. With human reason set up as the supreme authority for determining truth, it became an easy matter to disregard doctrinal differences and strive for a 'reasonable' union of Lutherans and Reformed." Martin W. Lutz, "God the HS Acts Through the Lord's Supper," God The Holy Spirit Acts, ed., Eugene P. Kaulfield, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1972, p. 176.        

 

 

 

 

 

"The doctrine of the means of grace is understood properly only when it is considered in the light of Christ's redemptive work (satisfactio vicaria) and the objective justification, or reconciliation, 2 Corinthians 5:19-20, which He secured by His substitutionary obedience (satisfactio vicaria). If these two doctrines are corrupted (Calvinism: denial of the gratia universalis; synergism: denial of sola gratia), then also the Scripture doctrine of the means of grace will become perverted." John Theodore Mueller, Christian Dogmatics, A Handbook of Doctrinal Theology, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934, p. 442. 2 Corinthians 5:19-20.       

 

"Calvinism rejects the means of grace as unnecessary; it holds that the Holy Spirit requires no escort or vehicle by which to enter human hearts." John T. Mueller, "Grace, Means of," Lutheran Cyclopedia, Erwin L. Lueker, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1975, p. 344.  

 

"Pietist preachers were anxious to discover and in a certain sense to separate the invisible congregation from the visible congregation. They had to meet demands different than those of the preceding period: they were expected to witness, not in the objective sense, as Luther did, to God's saving acts toward all men, but in a subjective sense of faith, as they themselves had experienced it. In this way Pietism introduced a tendency toward the dissolution of the concept of the ministry in the Lutheran Church." Helge Nyman, "Preaching (Lutheran): History," The Encyclopedia of the Lutheran Church, 3 vols., ed. Julius Bodensieck, Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1965, III, p. 1943.      

 

"All those doctrinal questions which were not immediately connected with the personal life of faith were avoided. The standard for the interpretation of Scripture thus became the need of the individual for awakening, consolation, and exhortation. The congregation as a totality was lost from view; in fact, pietistic preaching was (and is) more apt to divide the congregation than to hold it together." Helge Nyman, "Preaching (Lutheran): History," The Encyclopedia of the Lutheran Church, 3 vols., ed. Julius Bodensieck, Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1965, III, p. 1943.        

 

"Pietism greatly weakened the confessional consciousness which was characteristic of orthodox Lutheranism." Helge Nyman, "Preaching (Lutheran): History," The Encyclopedia of the Lutheran Church, 3 vols., ed. Julius Bodensieck, Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1965, III, p. 1945.   "In other words, Zwingli and his numerous adherents declare that the means God has ordained are unnecessary and hinder true piety." Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1953, III, p. 104.  

 

"Because saving grace is particular, according to the teaching of the Calvinists, there are no means of grace for that part of mankind to which the grace of God and the merit of Christ do not extend. On the contrary, for these people the means of grace are intended as means of condemnation. Calvin teaches expressly: 'For there is a universal call, through which, by the external preaching of the Word, God invites all, indiscriminately, to come to Him, even those for whom He intends it as a savor of death and an occasion of heavier condemnation' (Institutes, III, 24, 8)." Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1953, III, p. 118f.      

 

"But according to the teaching of Calvinism this 'inner illumination' is not brought about through the means of grace; it is worked immediately by the Holy Ghost. Modern Reformed, too, teach this very emphatically. Hodge, for example, says: 'In the work of regeneration all second causes are excluded....Nothing intervenes between the volition of the Spirit and the regeneration of the soul....The infusion of a new life into the soul is the immediate work of the Spirit....The truth (in the case of adults)[that is, the setting forth of the truth of the Gospel through the external Word] attends the work of regeneration, but is not the means by which it is effected." [Hodge, Systematic Theology, II, 634f.] Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1953, III, p. 120.    

 

"Zwingli is a good example of those who separate grace from the means of grace. His assertion that the Holy Ghost needs no vehicle (vehiculum) is well known. And this rule he applies not only to the Sacraments [Fidei Ratio, ed. Niemeyer, p. 24], but to the Word of the Gospel as well. Zwingli asserts emphatically that faith does not come through the outward Word, but through the immediate operation of the Holy Spirit: ipse tractus internus (through which we are converted to God) immediate operantis est Spiritus. [Zwingli, Opp., ed. Schulthess, IV, 125]" Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1953, III, p. 127.      

"Zwingli is a good example of those who separate grace from the means of grace. His assertion that the Holy Ghost needs no vehicle (vehiculum) is well known. And this rule he applies not only to the Sacraments but to the Word of the Gospel as well." Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1950, III, p. 127. Fidei Ratio, ed. Niemeyer, p. 24;         

 

 

 

"No other human writer has so forcefully as Luther set forth the nature of the divinely ordained means of grace, their importance for faith and life, and the destructive effect of severing grace from the means of grace. For Luther was trained in the school of the terrors of conscience for the work of reforming the Church, while Zwingli's reformation and theology sprang largely from the soil of Humanism and bears a speculative stamp throughout. Calvinistic theology from Calvin down to our day teaches not so much the God who has revealed and given Himself to us in His Word, but at the critical points substitutes speculations regarding the absolute God for what the divine Word teaches." Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1953, III, p. 137f.     

 

"Furthermore, it must be admitted that the Reformed teaching of the means of grace filtered, particularly through Pietism, also into the Lutheran Church." Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1953, III, p. 143.   "Thus Calvin, as we saw, cautions against seeking to discern one's election from the universal call, that is, from the Word of the Gospel (Institutes, III, 24, 8). Likewise the Consensus Tigurinus (c. 20) warns against the thought that the 'visible sign [the Sacraments], in the same moment when it is being offered, brings with it the grace of God' (Niemeyer, p. 195). The Geneva Catechism, too, enjoins ['De Sacramentis'], that salvation must not be sought in the visible signs." Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1953, III, p. 145.       

 

"In fact, there is no basis for a real disagreement between Zwingli and Calvin. The situation here is analogous to the one that obtains in the doctrine of Christ's Person and Word and the doctrine of the Lord's Supper. In these doctrines Zwingli and Calvin and all Reformed will agree as long as they all teach that Christ's body can possess only a local and visible mode of subsistence or presence. Similarly, Zwingli and Calvin cannot differ materially in their teaching on the means of grace because they agree, first, that Christ's merit and saving grace do not apply to all who use the means of grace; secondly, that saving grace is not bound to the means of grace." Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1950, III, p. 163.    

 

"In so far as Pietism did not point poor sinners directly to the means of grace, but led them to reflect on their own inward state to determine whether their contrition was profound enough and their faith of the right caliber, it actually denied the complete reconciliation by Christ (the satisfactio vicaria), robbed justifying faith of its true object, and thus injured personal Christianity in its foundation and Christian piety in its very essence." Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1953, III, p. 175.         "The history of dogma tells this story: In those doctrines in which it differs from the Lutheran Church and for the sake of which it has established itself as a separate body within visible Christendom, the Reformed Church, as far as it follows in the footsteps of Zwingli and Calvin, sets aside the Scripture principle and operates instead with ratioalistic axioms. The Reformed theologians frankly state that reason must have a voice in determining Christian doctrine." Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1950, I, p. 25.       

 

[Zwingli placed Numa, Aristides, Socrates, etc. among the dwellers in heaven] Zwingli: "A heathen, if he nurses a pious mind within himself, is a Christian, even though he is ignorant of Christ." (Witus Winshemius: "Beware, my hearers, of the heaven of the Zwinglians: I should not like to live in that heaven; I should be afraid of the club of Hercules.") Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1950, I, p. 376.         

 

 

 

"The happy result of this altercation [about Selnecker promoting the Wittenberg corpus doctrinae], however, was that Selnecker came completely around to the position of Chemnitz on the mode of Christ's presence in the Supper, especially after the Crypto-Calvinists at Wittenberg published their Wittenberg Catechism and were finally exposed and driven out by Duke August in 1574." J. A. O. Preus, The Second Martin, The Life and Theology of Martin Chemnitz, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1994, p. 173.

 

"The Exegesis perspicua [1573] marked the end of the hidden and underhanded efforts of those within Saxony who had espoused Calvinism. Everything was out in the open. These men repudiated the sacramental union, the oral eating of the body of Christ, and the eating of the body by the wicked. They held that Christ's body is enclosed in heaven and Christ is present in the Supper only in His power. There is no union of the body of Christ with the bread. The ubiquity doctrine of Brenz is repudiated as Eutychianism, and ancient heresy that asserted that after the union of the divine and human natures in Christ only one nature remained. Believers who participated in the Supper, the Wittenbergers asserted, become members of Christ who is present and efficacious through the symbols of bread and wine. They lavished praise on the Reformed and urged immediate union with them in opposition to the papacy." J. A. O. Preus, The Second Martin, The Life and Theology of Martin Chemnitz, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1994, p. 175f.   

 

"What really gave Andreae a break and promoted his unity endeavors was the exposure of the Crypto-Calvinists in Wittenberg in 1574. Thus all three groups of true Lutherans were for the first time in many years to sit down at the table and devote their efforts to their internal problems. Just about this time Andreae providentially published his Six Christian Sermons. At this point and on these sermons Chemnitz was willing to talk." J. A. O. Preus, The Second Martin, The Life and Theology of Martin Chemnitz, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1994, p. 183.         

 

"The Lutheran theologians, in general, had reason to illustrate very particularly the doctrine of the operation of the Word of God, in order to oppose the Enthusiasts and Mystics, who held that the Holy Spirit operated rather irrespectively of the Word than through it; and to oppose also the Calvinists, who, led by their doctrine of predestination, would not grant that the Word possessed this power per se, but only in such cases where God chose...." Heinrich Schmid, The Doctrinal Theology of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, trans., Charles A. Hay, Henry E. Jacobs, Philadelphia: Lutheran Publication Society, 1889, p. 511.       

 

"Only little weight is attached to the ministry of the Word, to worship services, the Sacraments, to confession and absolution, and to the observance of Christian customs; a thoroughly regenerated person does not need these crutches at all. Pietism stressed the personal element over against the institutional; voluntariness versus compulsion; the present versus tradition, and the rights of the laity over against the pastors." Martin Schmidt, "Pietism," The Encyclopedia of the Lutheran Church, 3 vols., ed. Julius Bodensieck, Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1965, III, p. 1899.        

 

"The church is no longer the community of those who have been called by the Word and the Sacraments, but association of the reborn, of those who 'earnestly desire to be Christians'...The church in the true sense consists of the small circles of pietists, the 'conventicles,' where everyone knows everyone else and where experiences are freely exchanged." Martin Schmidt, "Pietism," The Encyclopedia of the Lutheran Church, 3 vols., ed. Julius Bodensieck, Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1965, III, p. 1899.         

 

"When intent upon establishing their peculiar tenets, Calvin and Zwingli likwise preferred rational argumentation to the plain proofs of Holy Writ. Their interpretation of the words of the Sacrament is but one glaring instance; but there are many more. The schools and the denominations which they founded became infected with this same disease of theology." Martin S. Sommer, Concordia Pulpit for 1932, Martin S. Sommer, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1931, p. iii.         

 

"Since the age of Rationalism and Lutheran Pietism a new spirit has crept into the life of the church which is un-Lutheran, un-Evangelical, and un-biblical. The Sacraments have been neglected at the expense of the Word." Walter G. Tillmanns, "Means of Grace: Use of," The Encyclopedia of the Lutheran Church, 3 vols., Julius Bodensieck, Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1965, II, p. 1505. 

 

"The Sacraments are not mere symbolic expressions by which faith is strengthened (Calvin), nor are they mere acts of confession of faith (notae professionis, Zwingli), but are effective means by which God sows faith in the hearts of men." Walter G. Tillmanns, "Means of Grace: Use of," The Encyclopedia of the Lutheran Church, 3 vols., Julius Bodensieck, Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1965, II, p. 1506. "The Sacraments are not mere symbolic expressions by which faith is strengthened (Calvin), nor are they mere acts of confession of faith (notae professionis, Zwingli), but are effective means by which God sows faith in the hearts of men." Walter G. Tillmanns, "Means of Grace: Use of," The Encyclopedia of the Lutheran Church, 3 vols., Julius Bodensieck, Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1965, II, p. 1506.

 

"In what vulgar terms does Zwingli here speak of these sacred matters! When the Holy Spirit wants to approach man, He does not need the Word of God, the Gospel, Baptism, the Lord's Supper, for a conveyance; He can come without them! It must be a queer Bible which Zwingli read." C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel, trans., W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p. 156.

 

"Calvin was dissatisfied with Zwingli's interpretation of the Lord's Supper, but his own interpretation was also wrong. He said that a person desiring to receive the body and blood of Christ could not get it under the bread and wine, but must by his faith mount up to heaven, where the Holy Spirit would negotiate a way for feeding him with the body and blood of Christ. These are mere vagaries, which originated in Calvin's fancy. But an incident like this shows that men will not believe that God bears us poor sinners such great love that He is willing to come to us." C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel, trans., W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p. 185.      

 

"What may be the reason why the Pietists, who were really well-intentioned people, hit upon the doctrine that no one could be a Christian unless he had ascertained the exact day and hour of his conversion? The reason is that they imagined a person must suddenly experience a heavenly joy and hear an inner voice telling him that he had been received into grace and had become a child of God. Having conceived this notion of the mode and manner of conversion, they were forced to declare that a person must be able to name the day and hour when he was converted, became a new creature, received forgiveness of sins, and was robed in the righteousness of Christ. However, we have already come to understand in part what a great, dangerous, and fatal error this is." C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel, trans., W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p. 194f. Thesis IX  

 

"And it is of advantage, so far as can be done, to adorn the ministry of the Word with every kind of praise against fanatical men, who dream that the Holy Ghost is given not through the Word, but because of certain preparations of their own, if they sit unoccupied and silent in obscure places, waiting for illumination, as the Enthusiasts formerly taught, and the Anabaptists now teach." Article XIII, The Sacraments, 13, Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 311. Tappert, p. 213.        

 

"Moreover, the declaration, John 6:44, that 'no one can come to Christ except the Father draw him,' is right and true. However, the Father will not do this without means, but has ordained for this purpose His Word and Sacraments as ordinary means and instruments; and it is the will neither of the Father nor of the Son that a man should not hear or should despise the preaching of His Word, and wait for the drawing of the Father without the Word and Sacraments." Solid Declaration, Article XI, Election, #76, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 1087. Tappert, p. 628f. John 6:44.       

 

 

 

"And in those things which concern the spoken, outward Word, we must firmly hold that God grants His Spirit or grace to no one, except through or with the preceding outward Word, in order that we may [thus] be protected against the enthusiasts, i. e., spirits who boast that they have the Spirit without and before the Word, and accordingly judge Scripture or the spoken Word, and explain and stretch it at their pleasure, as Muenzer did, and many still do at the present day, who wish to be acute judges between the Spirit and the letter, and yet know not what they say or declare.

 

"This doctrine concerning the inability and wickedness of our natural free will and concerning our conversion and regeneration, namely, that it is a work of God alone and not of our powers, is [impiously, shamefully, and maliciously] abused in an unchristian manner both by enthusiasts and by Epicureans; and by their speeches many persons have become disorderly and irregular, and idle and indolent in all Christian exercises of prayer, reading and devout meditation; for they say that, since they are unable from their own natural powers to convert themselves to God, they will always strive with all their might against God, or wait until God converts them by force against their will; or since they can do nothing in these spiritual things, but everything is the operation of God the Holy Ghost alone, they will regard, hear, or read neither the Word nor the Sacrament, but wait until God without means..." Formula of Concord, Epitome, Article II, Free Will, 46, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 899. Tappert, p. 530.  

 

"On the other hand, the enthusiasts should be rebuked with great earnestness and zeal, and should in no way be tolerated in the Church of God, who imagine [dream] that God, without any means, without the hearing of the divine Word, and without the use of the holy Sacraments, draws men to Himself, and enlightens, justifies, and saves them." Formula of Concord, Epitome, Article II, Free Will, 80, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 911. Tappert, p. 536.         

 

Dr. Luther, Large Catechism: "Again: With this Word you can strengthen your conscience and say: If a hundred thousand devils, together with all fanatics, should rush forward, crying, How can bread and wine be the body and blood of Christ? I know that all spirits and scholars together are not as wise as is the Divine Majesty in His little finger. Now, here stands the Word of Christ: 'Take, eat; this is My body. Drink ye all of this'...Here we abide, and would like to see those who will constitute themselves His masters, and make it different from what He has spoken." Formula of Concord, Epitome, Article VII, Lord's Supper, 22, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 979. Tappert, p. 573.      

 

"Dr. Luther, who, above others, certainly understood the true and proper meaning of the Augsburg Confession, and who constantly remained steadfast thereto till his end, and defended it, shortly before his death repeated his faith concerning this article with great zeal in his last Confession, where he writes thus: 'I rate as one concoction, namely, as Sacramentarians and fanatics, which they also are, all who will not believe that the Lord's bread in the Supper is His true natural body, which the godless or Judas received with the mouth, as well as did St. Peter and all [other] saints; he who will not believe this (I say) should let me alone, and hope for no fellowship with me; this is not going to be altered [thus my opinion stands, which I am not going to change]." Formula of Concord, Epitome, Article VII, Lord's Supper, 33, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 983. Tappert, p. 575.   

 

"Hence it is manifest how unjustly and maliciously the Sacramentarian fanatics (Theodore Beza) deride the Lord Christ, St. Paul, and the entire Church in calling this oral partaking, and that of the unworthy, duos pilos caudae equinae et commentum, cuius vel ipsum Satanam pudeat, as also the doctrine concerning the majesty of Christ, excrementum Satanae, quo diabolus sibi ipsi et hominibus illudat, that is, they speak so horribly of it that a godly Christian man should be ashamed to translate it. [two hairs of a horse's tail and an invention of which even Satan himself would be ashamed; Satan's excrement, by which the devil amuses himself and deceives men]

Formula of Concord, Epitome, Article VII, Lord's Supper, 67, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 997. Tappert, p. 581f.     

 

"In short, enthusiasm clings to Adam and his children from the beginning to the end of the world. It has been implanted and infused (gegiftet) into them by the Old Dragon and is the source, strength, and power of all heresy, also of the heresy of the papacy and Mohammedanism."

Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 915.

 

"He wants to teach you, not how the Spirit is to come to you but how you are to come to the Spirit, so that you learn how to float on the clouds and ride on the wind." [Enthusiasm]

Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 916. 

 

"In an initial burst of enthusiasm reflecting Preus's concern for missions, the Fort Wayne faculty had petitioned the 1977 convention of the Missouri Synod to have each of its subdivisions or districts "make a thorough study of the Church Growth materials." What is more, the districts were to be urged to "organize, equip, and place into action all of the Church Growth principles as needed in the evangelization of our nation and the world under the norms of the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions." By the time of the 1986 synodical convention, however, the same faculty, while appreciating the "valuable lessons of common sense" to be learned from Church Growth, asked that "the Synod warn against the Arminian and charismatic nature of the church-growth movement."

Kurt E. Marquart, "Robert D. Preus," Handbook of Evangelical Theologians, ed., Walter A. Elwell, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1995, pp. 353-65. Reprinted in CN, 6-26-95, p. 21.  

 

"The practical result of the separation of the divine power from the divine Word of Scripture is the rejection of the Bible as the only source and norm of faith (norma normans). This is proved by the very fact that the enthusiasts have invariably placed the 'inner word' (verbum internum), or the 'spirit,' above Holy Scripture (verbum externum), assigning to the latter an inferior place in the realm of divine revelation. To the enthusiasts the Bible is only a norma normata, or a rule of faith subject to the 'inner word,' that is, to their own notions and figments of reason." John Theodore Mueller, Christian Dogmatics, A Handbook of Doctrinal Theology, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934, p. 135.       

 

"Then there is the church growth movement, which has made more devastating headway in LCMS than in ELCA (although it is evident enough in the latter). Today, it is said, Missouri has three seminaries-- St. Louis, Ft Wayne, and Fuller Seminary in California, the hothouse of church growth enthusiasms. The synodical and district mission offices are frequently controlled by church growth technocrats...But the idea that Word and Sacrament ministry is somehow validated by calculable results is utterly alien to the Lutheran Reformation...The triumph of style over substance, however, is all too evident in LCMS congregations that look like Baptists with vestments. As we have noted before, second-rate Lutherans make fourth-rate Baptists." Rev. Richard Neuhaus, (ELCA at the time), Forum Letter, 338 E 19th Street New York, NY 10003 November 26, 1989 p. 2. 

 

 

 

 

"On the contrary, with the Anabaptists and the Reformed Church in general, the Mennonites are Enthusiasts, lay great stress on the immediate working of the Holy Ghost, who is said to 'guide the saints into all truth.' In his Geschichte der Mennonitengemeinden John Horsch, a prominent Mennonite, states that the Holy Spirit is the 'inner word,' who enables Christians to understand the Scriptures. Without the inner word, or the light, the Scripture is a dead letter and a dark lantern."

            The. Engelder, W. Arndt, Th. Graebner, F. E. Mayer, Popular Symbolics, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934, p. 260.        

 

Luther: "True, the enthusiasts confess that Christ died on the cross and saved us; but they repudiate that by which we obtain Him; that is, the means, the way, the bridge, the approach to Him they destroy...They lock up the treasure which they should place before us and lead me a fool's chase; they refuse to admit me to it; they refuse to transmit it; they deny me its possession and use." (III, 1692)

The. Engelder, W. Arndt, Th. Graebner, F. E. Mayer, Popular Symbolics, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934, p. 5.         

 

 

"The practical result of the separation of the divine power from the divine Word of Scripture is the rejection of the Bible as the only source and norm of faith (norma normans). This is proved by the very fact that the enthusiasts have invariably placed the 'inner word' (verbum internum), or the 'spirit,' above Holy Scripture (verbum externum), assigning to the latter an inferior place in the realm of divine revelation. To the enthusiasts the Bible is only a norma normata, or a rule of faith subject to the 'inner word,' that is, to their own notions and figments of reason."

John Theodore Mueller, Christian Dogmatics, A Handbook of Doctrinal Theology, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934, p. 135.      

 

"The Christian doctrine of the means of grace is abolished by all 'enthusiasts,' all who assume a revealing and effective operation of the Holy Spirit without and alongside the divinely ordained means of grace."

Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1953, III, p. 127. 

 

"To remain properly humble while firmly rejecting all erroneous teachings regarding the means of grace, we should remind ourselves how even Christians who teach and, as a rule, also believe, the correct doctrine of the means of grace, in their personal practice very often lose sight of the means of grace. This is done whenever they base the certainty of grace, or of the forgiveness of sin, on their feeling of grace or the gratia infusa, instead of on God's promise in the objective means of grace. All of us are by nature 'enthusiasts.'"

Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1953, III, p. 131.       

 

"Our opponents hold that saving faith must be founded on Christ Himself, not on the means of grace. This reasoning, common to the Reformed, the 'enthusiasts' of all shades, and modern 'experience' theologians, assumes that faith can and should be based on Christ to the exclusion of the means of grace." Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1953, III, p. 152.

 

"The pietism and unionism of Muhlenberg and his colaborers was the door through which, in the days of Wesley and Whitefield, revivalism had found an early, though limited, entrance into the Lutheran Church."

F. Bente, American Lutheranism, 2 vols., The United Lutheran Church, Gen Synod, Gen Council, Un Syn in the South, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1919, II, p. 78. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



[1] Zwingli’s answer to the charges can be found in Hans J. Hillerbrand, The Reformation, New York: Harper and Row, 1964, p. 115f. The charges against Luther are discussed and explained in the last chapter of Catholic, Lutheran, Protestant.

[2] Wisconsin Synod pastors who have left Lutheranism include: Rick Miller, Randy Cutter, Mark Freier, Kelly Voigt, Robert Rhyne, and Marc Schroeder. The same experience has been repeated in the Missouri Synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Synod. The ELS Church Growth guru, Steve Quist, is now an ELCA pastor, which is tantamount to leaving Lutheranism.