Home > Lutheranism > HERE WE STAND….still — A Response to FIRST THINGS

HERE WE STAND….still — A Response to FIRST THINGS

November 1st, 2012
Marketing Advertising Blog — VuManhThang.Com

FIRST THINGS, the very decidedly pro-Roman Catholic journal, enjoys posting editorials, by Lutherans, around Reformation Day. When they did this last year, the Lutheran pastor who wrote the piece was whining and wringing his hands that there was a Reformation. And guess what? I’ve learned that he left his Lutheran congregation and accepted a position at a Roman Catholic seminary directing their Lay Ministry program. Go figure. See note below for details.

Well, imagine my disappointment when my friend Russ Saltzmann was roped into this kind of Reformation Day nonsense by FIRST THINGS and wrote an article whining that he can’t receive the Lord’s Supper in the Roman communion. His “justification” for why he should (yes, pun intended) begins with a list of areas of agreement and, yup, sure enough, he asserts that Rome and Lutheranism now agree on justification by grace. Russ should know better. Of course we agree on justification “by grace” but what he leaves out is precisely the point of disagreement “through faith alone.” And that was the whole point of the Reformation, Russ, et al.

He cites Carl Braaten, the man whose dogmatics text has been used for many years in ELCA seminaries to fill hearts and minds with the detritus of liberal Lutheran theology. He asserts that nothing should prevent full communion since a closed altar post-JDDJ “has insufficient theological warrant from Scripture.” What a load of … baloney.

I posted this response to the FIRST THINGS site, which may, or may not, have gone through their system.

My friend, Russ, bless his heart, is just so very wrong from the very start when he begins his checklist of agreement by asserting that Lutherans and Rome have agreed on justification by grace.

Rome knows this is not true, which is why it was quick to issue a “clarification” after the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification was announced, making clear that it had not retracted any of its positions on this issue, as set in stone at the Council of Trent.

Further, the Lutheran World Federation “spun” the event to make it seem as though most/many Lutherans agreed, but that “spin” was flatly a lie. Many LWF member churches never signed on to the agreement.

Further, most of the most prominent Lutheran scholars in Germany and other countries issued a public statement saying, “Wait a minute….” and explained why the JDDJ was not some sort of marvelous break through.

And of course, those Lutheran church in the world that self-identify as Confessional Lutheran Churches, those that, unlike the ELCA and its sister churches in Scandinavia and elsewhere, still actually insists that Lutherans should confession that is in the Lutheran Confessions (I know, crazy, huh?) came out very loudly, clearly and publically asserting all the reasons why the JDDJ was not a breakthrough, but merely and only a liberal mainline Lutheran sell out, as usual, on this, the key teaching of Holy Scripture.

I’m sad to see that my friend Russ played right into the hands of the First Thing pro-Roman agenda by offering this piece around Reformation Day. I recall a year ago we had another such anemic effort by a young man wringing his hands over the fact that the Church was reformed. No surprise that the young man has left the Lutheran Church and “Poped.”

So, let the record show that the assertion that Rome and Lutheranism are in agreement on the doctrine of justification by grace through faith alone is simply not true. NOT. TRUE.

Happy Reformation Day!!

Here we stand, still.

[Note: The author of the other FIRST THINGS blog post to which I refer is Rev. Joshua Genig. He is listed on the roster of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod as a pastor but has accepted the position of Director of Lay Ministry at St. Cyril and St. Methodius Roman Catholic Seminary in Detroit. I have no idea how this is possible, and have sought further information from Rev. Genig. Here is what I asked: “How can this be? If you  are a Lutheran pastor how can you in good conscience serve as a director of Lay Ministry at a Roman Catholic seminary? Can you please explain?” He has not responded. Some have told me that RC institutions do not require their professors to be RC. I am well aware of that, but mind you: this is a seminary, and he is director of a program preparing people to be lay ministers in Roman Catholic parish settings. Quite a big difference there, folks.]

 

 

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!
Categories: Lutheranism
  1. Andrew
    November 1st, 2012 at 11:12 | #1

    I don’t think it is true to say that the author of the article last year has gone to Rome. He is teaching at a Roman institution but is still on the roster in the LCMS.

    • November 1st, 2012 at 11:26 | #2

      You are correct, that is why I modified the article.

      The author of the FIRST THINGS blog post, Rev. Joshua Genig, is listed on the roster of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod as a pastor but has accepted the position of Director of Lay Ministry at St. Cyril and St. Methodius Roman Catholic Seminary in Detroit. I have no idea how this is possible, and have sought further information from Rev. Genig. Here is what I asked: “How can this be? If you are a Lutheran pastor how can you in good conscience serve as a director of Lay Ministry at a Roman Catholic seminary? Can you please explain?” He has not responded.

      Given the fact that Genig has published a series of articles very sympathetic toward Rome, is a huge fan of the Pope and now has willingly left his Lutheran congregation to take a position at a Roman Catholic seminary begs from him a very full explanation for his actions.

      I’ve heard from a couple of people attempting to compare this situation to that of other LCMS people teaching at RC institutions. No comparison at all, frankly. Rev. Genig is on the staff of a RC seminary, leading a program by which they prepare laity to serve in RC parish ministries. Tell me precisely how a Lutheran who adheres to the Book of Concord could possibly do this in good conscience? I can not provide such an explanation.

  2. November 1st, 2012 at 12:30 | #3

    I wrote my college thesis on this very topic. I am surprised there is still such confusion about this issue, but then again, I should not be! It seems to me that the two sides have simply used different definitions for the words “faith” and “justification.” Because they do not define terms properly, they can create a joint declaration that sounds like an agreement on the surface, but still, the doctrines of the two church bodies are opposed to one another.

    Here we stand.

  3. Jim_777
    November 1st, 2012 at 14:32 | #4

    Dr. Pieper taught very correctly that there are two religions in this world: One is the Christian church, which teaches salvation by grace alone through faith alone in the Son of God alone. The other is paganism, which teaches salvation by works. Thank God that the confessional Lutheran Church is the sole true visible Christian church on earth. The Roman church is, tragically, an example of the the latter. Confessional Lutheranism and Romanism are as different as night is from day. There is no agreement, nor can there be. God preserve our precious Lutheran church from ever making common cause with rank paganism.

  4. Nicholas
    November 4th, 2012 at 18:18 | #5

    Rev. McCain, I visited Gregory L Jackson’s vile blog yesterday for the first and last time, and he slanders you as being some sort of crypto-papist. This and many other posts of yours show Jackson to be a purveyor of falsehood. He also derides the apocrypha like some low-church evangelical.

    • November 4th, 2012 at 19:46 | #6

      Greg Jackson is a deeply troubled individual. He is to be pitied.

  5. Nils
    November 4th, 2012 at 22:19 | #7

    Yep, First Things didn’t publish your comment, but they did publish one from an LCMS pastor who is part of a consortium trying to bring about reunification with Rome, as well as another from a priest who enjoys generalizing grandly about Lutheran ideology (he lumps all the synods together and refers to “typical Lutheran” responses, whatever the heck those are). I fear they’re not interested in a Confessional perspective.

    Re. Jackson’s site, I couldn’t make heads or tails of most of it–too much going on on the screen!

Comments are closed.