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Artist Recreates Hand Written Black Letter Script

February 28th, 2013 Comments off

This is really beautiful to watch. From “Galley Cat” blog site.

One artist will recreate a lost style of gorgeous handwriting, using web video to share his ancient practice.

Type designer, illustrator and artist Seb Lester will revive the BlackLetter script that has been out of use for more than three hundred years. He will document his efforts on video, a gorgeous tribute to handwritten letters (embedded above). Check it out:

BlackLetter was used throughout Europe from about 1150 until the end of the 17th century. One of my current preoccupations is developing a set of modern BlackLetter capitals that are highly legible, in BlackLetter terms, and yet retain the richness and beauty inherent in this ancient category of letterform.

The name of this classical font has become synonymous with old books. According to Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, it has this secondary meaning: “Given to the study of books in black letter; that is, of old books.”

 

BlackLetter was used throughout Europe from about 1150 until the end of the 17th century. One of my current preoccupations is developing a set of modern BlackLetter capitals that are highly legible, in BlackLetter terms, and yet

retain the richness and beauty inherent in this ancient category of letterform. From time to time I will film clips like this to record my progress. Prints and originals available from www.seblester.co.uk. Music by Carlos Márquez, https://soundcloud.com/cmdigital

Categories: Uncategorized

Are Some Lutherans Antinomian? Yes, But Genuine Lutheranism is Not!

February 27th, 2013 34 comments

Yes, some Lutherans are antinomian. Witness the actions of the ELCA in formally embracing as acceptable and good, what God’s Word has declared to be sin and wrong. Witness the rhetoric we hear among so-called “conservative” and “confessional” Lutherans who make excuses for sin, who shrug it off, who bristle at any talk in a sermon of the way Christians are to live. I recall a conversation with a fellow pastor who told me about certain incidents involving fellow Lutheran pastors that shocked me. The excuse made for bad behavior was that they were enjoying the “freedom” of the Gospel. Such “freedom” be cursed to hell where it belongs and from which it comes! It is only the “freedom” pigs have to wallow in mud and their own filfth.

We Lutherans are rightly criticized by other Christians for a certain antinomian tendency among us. And it is not merely a perception based on their faulty theology, it is reality. When we still think it is appropriate to sell and promote T-shirts that say “Weak on sanctification” and make excuses for it, and about it, and when we praise public teachers who like to gas on about how they are “antinomians” and make it a butt of jokes and laughter, when we allow ourselves to grow lazy and indifferent when it comes to holiness of living, we are trifling with the Word of God. The likes of Werner Elert and Gerhard Forde have not been helpful to us on these issues. We have been preaching comfort into the ears of people, and avoiding telling them the consequences of being a Christian. I’ll say it again, and it always irritates some people when I do, but the reality is that there are those who have been so “comforted” that they think nothing of engaging in sin and pursuing vile activities, all the while appealing to their Baptism, or being “free in Christ” or being “Gospel and Christ-centered.” I have had actually had pastors tell me we should not quote St. Paul’s letters in our sermons when he talks about good works, because Paul’s letters were never intended as sermons, or that a sermon should never end with any kind of exhortation to do good works, because that would be a confusion of Law and Gospel. I’m not making this up!

Such antinomian and anti-holy living attitudes are not Lutheran. Period. No way. No how.

“Not all are Christians who boast of faith. Christ has shed His blood. We are justified by faith alone without works. You say, “I believe this.” The devil, you say! You have learned the words you have heard the same way mockingbirds learn to repeat things. Where are the fruits demonstrating that you truly believe? You remain in sins; you are a usurer and more. Surely Christ did not die and shed His blood for the sins that you are intent on committing continually, but so that He might destroy the works of the devil [1 John 3:8]. If you were formerly a usurer, say, like Zacchaeus: “I will give half of my goods, and if I have defrauded anyone, I will restore it fourfold.” [Luke 19:8]. The blood of Christ kills sin; it does not make it alive, which is the work of the devil, who inflames the desire that makes human beings murderers and adulterers. Christ did not die so that you might remain that kind of sinner, but so that sin, having been slain, might be blotted out, and you might henceforth love God and your neighbor. Faith takes away sins and puts them to death, so that you might not live in them but in righteousness. Therefore, show by your works and your fruits that there is faith in you. If not, the blood of Christ does not help. If you are a usurer, disobedient, neglectful of your station, then look to see whether you believe. For faith is victorious, triumphant, a conqueror of the world [1 John 5:4]. If you truly believe, you would not commit usury or adultery; you would not be disobedient. Let each one think: I have been made a believer; I have been washed in Baptism with the blood of the Son of God, so that my sins might be dead. [I will] not be disobedient and will declare this with my deeds.” Otherwise, give up the boast of being a believer. You know that you are a disobedient son, an adulterer; do not boast of faith and the blood of Christ. You belong to the devil, the way you are going, etc. You are bringing the name of the Lord into shame and yourself to eternal damnation.”

— Martin Luther, Sermon for the First Sunday after Trinity on 1 John 4:16-21, Preached in St. Mary’s Church, Wittenberg, Germany June 7, 1545. Translated by Christopher Boyd Brown. Unpublished translation. Pr 2002; WA 49:80-87. Copyright Concordia Publishing House, 2010.

Do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. Romans 6:12-14

Categories: Christian Life

Broken Poster – Click It, Download It, Print It, Share It

February 26th, 2013 2 comments

To get the full size version, click on the image a couple of times.

 

513437_03 banner

Categories: CPH Resources

Post Card Promoting the Sale on the Book “Broken” Coming Soon to Your Congregation

February 26th, 2013 Comments off

Your Lutheran congregation should be receiving this postcard in the mail in the next few weeks, offering special pricing on Broken.

25+ or more copies for $11.89 with free shipping. (mention code 12-4389YBN).

Click on the image a couple of times to see it in full size.

broken post card

Categories: CPH Resources

Awesome Beard=Awesome Books

February 26th, 2013 Comments off

The complete works of Martin Chemnitz, published in English translation by Concordia Publishing House, are now available for only $250, that is a savings of 34% and you receive free shipping.

Read more about this special offer here.

Click on the image below and then click on it again to see the full sized version.

 

Chemnitz beard and books

Categories: CPH Resources

Aversion to Sanctification Caused by Phobic Allergic Reaction to Any Talk About Good Works

February 25th, 2013 27 comments

 

In light of some recent comments I’ve run across again on this issue, it’s time once more for the “Aversion to Sanctification” blog post, since the problem persists and appears to have become part-and-parcel of what some perceive to a confessional Lutheran understanding of God’s Word.

More recent examples of this problem in action include a pastor posting a picture of a guy giving “the finger” and claiming there is nothing wrong with that and defending it, continued comments about how no matter what good works are done they are still “sinful,” and the ongoing effort to turn every comment in the Scriptures about the good works to which we are called into a discussion about the second use of the law, virtually laughing off Proverbs 31 and saying that text does not really apply to individuals but is really about Christ and the Church. I’ve had occasion, unfortunately, to observe pastors in my church body defending the use of obscenity and profanity. Why? Because they are “free” in Christ to do. I wish I was making this kind of thing up.

I think the comment that took the prize was posted on my Facebook wall some time ago where the text of God’s Word was actually twisted to the point that the that indicates that God has prepared good works for us to walk in, to read “good work upon which God has prepared us to work” thus not about good works, but about Christ. All these things are put forward with the best of intentions, but they betray an unhealthy lack of balance and understanding on these issues.

I read recently a lay Lutheran theologian taking broad swipes with little understanding of the subject about which he was speaking, and, I should note, this lay theologian is a disciple and fan of Gerhard Forde, whose writings I have always found to be remarkably unremarkable and, in fact, a cause of some of the problems we have on these issues. As one wag put it, the only thing he finds helpful in Forde’s writings is when he is quoting Martin Luther. Keep in mind that Forde denied the Biblical teaching concerning the atonement, the very heart of the Gospel itself, and from there he went wrong on sanctification, the law, good works and a whole host of other Christian doctrines. My advice for any seminarian or college student reading this is: put away Forde and take up much better resources on Lutheran theology!

The memory of a most disturbing conversation with two younger men I had some time ago still is as fresh as ever. They were gleefully asserting that listening to the audio pornography and vile filth of Eminem is appropriate for Christians. One suggested that because only what comes out of a man is what makes him sinful that it matters not what he sees, or hears, as a Christian. These two young men are sadly typical of a poorly formed understanding of the life of good works to which we are called as Christians that seems pandemic in the Christian Church, where apparently some can wax eloquent about how they are striving to be faithful to God’s Word, but then turn right around and wallow in the mire and squalor of sin. This all the more underscores for me the point that we have a serious lack of emphasis on the call to holy living and good works which is part-and-parcel of our new life in Christ, truths that have, apparently until recently, been taught in our beloved Lutheran church. There is much teaching that is not being done, that must done. Simply repeating formulas and phrases about justification is not teaching and preaching the whole counsel of God. Comforting people with the Gospel when there is no genuine repentance for sin is doing them a disservice. There is a serious “short circuit” here that we need to be mindful of. Let this be clear. Listening to the “music” of swine such as Eminem is sinful and willfully choosing to listen to it is sin that drives out the Holy Spirit. This is deadly serious business. Deadly. Serious.

Pastors who wash their hands of this responsibility claiming that they want to avoid interjecting law into their sermons when they have preached the Gospel are simply shirking their duty as preachers and are being unfaithful to God’s Word.

We have done such a fine job explaining that we are not saved by works that we have, I fear, neglected to urge the faithful to lives of good works as faithfully and clearly as we should. This should not be so among us brethren. Parenesis is lacking in much preaching and teaching. Sermons become a never ending recitation of the doctrine of justification, as if that is the only doctrine taught in Holy Scripture.

I’m growing increasingly concerned that with the necessary distinction between faith and works that we must always maintain, we Lutherans are tempted to speak of good works and the life of sanctification in such a way as to either minimize it, or worse yet, neglect it. I read sermons and hear comments that give me the impression that some Lutherans think that good works are something that “just happen” on some sort of a spiritual auto-pilot. Concern over a person believing their works are meritorious has led to what borders on paranoia to the point that good works are simply not taught or discussed as they should be. It seems some have forgotten that in fact we do confess three uses of the law, not just a first or second use.

The Apostle, St. Paul, never ceases to urge good works on his listeners nad readers. I recall a conversation once with a person who should know better telling me that the exhortations to good works and lengthy discussions of sanctification we find in the New Testament are not a model at all for preaching, since Paul is not “preaching” but rather writing a letter. This is not a good thing.

A number of years ago an article appeared that put matters well and sounded a very important word of warning and caution. It is by Professor Kurt E. Marquart of Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I strongly encourage you to give it your most serious attention.

Antinomian Aversion to Sanctification?

An emerited brother writes that he is disturbed by a kind of preaching that avoids sanctification and “seemingly questions the Formula of Concord . . . about the Third Use of the Law.” The odd thing is that this attitude, he writes, is found among would-be confessional pastors, even though it is really akin to the antinomianism of “Seminex”! He asks, “How can one read the Scriptures over and over and not see how much and how often our Lord (in the Gospels) and the Apostles (in the Epistles) call for Christian sanctification, crucifying the flesh, putting down the old man and putting on the new man, abounding in the work of the Lord, provoking to love and good works, being fruitful . . . ?”

I really have no idea where the anti-sanctification bias comes from. Perhaps it is a knee-jerk over-reaction to “Evangelicalism”: since they stress practical guidance for daily living, we should not! Should we not rather give even more and better practical guidance, just because we distinguish clearly between Law and Gospel? Especially given our anti-sacramental environment, it is of course highly necessary to stress the holy means of grace in our preaching. But we must beware of creating a kind of clericalist caricature that gives the impression that the whole point of the Christian life is to be constantly taking in preaching, absolution and Holy Communion-while ordinary daily life and callings are just humdrum time-fillers in between! That would be like saying that we live to eat, rather than eating to live. The real point of our constant feeding by faith, on the Bread of Life, is that we might gain an ever-firmer hold of Heaven-and meanwhile become ever more useful on earth! We have, after all, been “created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). Cars, too, are not made to be fueled and oiled forever at service-stations. Rather, they are serviced in order that they might yield useful mileage in getting us where we need to go. Real good works before God are not showy, sanctimonious pomp and circumstance, or liturgical falderal in church, but, for example, “when a poor servant girl takes care of a little child or faithfully does what she is told” (Large Catechism, Ten Commandments, par. 314, Kolb-Wengert, pg. 428).

The royal priesthood of believers needs to recover their sense of joy and high privilege in their daily service to God (1 Pet. 2:9). The “living sacrifice” of bodies, according to their various callings, is the Christian’s “reasonable service” or God-pleasing worship, to which St. Paul exhorts the Romans “by the mercies of God” (Rom. 12:1), which he had set out so forcefully in the preceding eleven chapters! Or, as St. James puts it: “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (1:27). Liberal churches tend to stress the one, and conservatives one the other, but the Lord would have us do both!

Antinomianism appeals particularly to the Lutheran flesh. But it cannot claim the great Reformer as patron. On the contrary, he writes:

“That is what my Antinomians, too, are doing today, who are preaching beautifully and (as I cannot but think) with real sincerity about Christ’s grace, about the forgiveness of sin and whatever else can be said about the doctrine of redemption. But they flee s if t were the very devil the consequence that they should tell the people about the third article, of sanctification, that is, of new life in Christ. They think one should not frighten or trouble the people, but rather always preach comfortingly about grace and the forgiveness of sins in Christ, and under no circumstance use these or similar words, “Listen! You want to be a Christian and at the same time remain an adulterer, a whoremonger, a drunken swine, arrogant, covetous, a usurer, envious, vindictive, malicious, etc.!” Instead they say, “Listen! Though you are an adultery, a wordmonger, a miser, or other kind of sinner, if you but believe, you are saved, and you need not fear the law. Christ has fulfilled it all! . . . They may be fine Easter preachers, but they are very poor Pentecost preachers, for they do not preach… “about the sanctification by the Holy Spirit,” but solely about the redemption of Jesus Christ, although Christ (whom they extol so highly, and rightly so) is Christ, that is, He has purchased redemption from sin and death so that the Holy Spirit might transform us out of the old Adam into new men . . . Christ did not earn only gratia, grace, for us, but also donum, “the gift of the Holy Spirit,” so that we might have not only forgiveness of, but also cessation of, sin. Now he who does not abstain fro sin, but persists in his evil life, must have a different Christ, that of the Antinomians; the real Christ is not there, even if all the angels would cry, “Christ! Christ!” He must be damned with this, his new Christ (On the Council and the Church, Luther’s Works, 41:113-114).

Where are the “practical and clear sermons,” which according to the Apology “hold an audience” (XXIV, 50, p. 267). Apology XV, 42-44 (p. 229) explains:

“The chief worship of God is to preach the Gospel…in our churches all the sermons deal with topics like these: repentance, fear of God, faith in Christ, the righteousness of faith, prayer . . . the cross, respect for the magistrates and all civil orders, the distinction between the kingdom of Christ (the spiritual kingdom) and political affairs, marriage, the education and instruction of children, chastity, and all the works of love.”

“Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, unto Thy Church Thy Holy Spirit, and the wisdom which cometh down from above, that Thy Word, as becometh it, may not be bound, but have free course and be preached to the joy and edifying of Christ’s holy people, that I steadfast faith we may serve Thee, and in the confession of Thy Name abide unto the end: through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.”

Kurt Marquart

Concordia Theological Quarterly

Categories: Christian Life

American Religious Naievete – Projecting Christianity On To Other Religions

February 25th, 2013 9 comments

This is really a thoughtful piece.

Allah, Odin, and Thor: Mythical Gods of War, Not of Love

Brian James’ novel Ragnarok brings the brutality of the Viking Apocalypse to the modern world.
by

David Forsmark

Americans have a naïve view of religion. The religious freedom that is so ingrained in our tradition — and our Constitution — has morphed beyond tolerance to a sort of anthropomorphic acceptance of pretty much anything.

In other words, in order to prove how tolerant we are, we take our basically Judeo-Christian view of what religion and God should be, and assume all other religions share the same goals, have the same values, and are just differing manifestation of the same loving and just God.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, the God of the Bible is unique in the history of the world’s religions. From Baal to Zeus, from Jupiter to Allah and Odin, the gods of paganism are capricious masters, not loving fathers. Control is their goal — when they think of humans at all — not justice or peace.

But saying so is sooooo judgmental!

Marvel Comics master storyteller Stan Lee took the most interesting of the Norse gods, Thor, the God of Thunder, and made him a crusader for truth, justice, and maybe even the American Way… or at least Western values.

But think of it from the view of the Vikings — what could be more capricious and destructive than the god of the weather?

But of course, a self-centered destructive superhero who loves war and longs to be worshiped would make for a crappy comic book.

On the serious side, though, a misunderstanding of a leading world religion has serious implications for most of the current world conflicts.

Even George W. Bush mouthed the diplomatically convenient canard “Islam means peace.” Yes, and Pravda means “truth.”

A non-rebellious slave is at “peace” with his master, too. Read more…

Categories: Books, books and reading

Reminiscere: Second Sunday in Lent

February 24th, 2013 2 comments

Scripture Readings

Introit: Ps. 91:1–2, 9–10, 13; antiphon 15-16
Psalm of the Day: Ps. 32; antiphon v. 7
Old Testament Lesson: Genesis 32:22–32
Gradual: Ps. 91:11–12
Epistle Lesson: 1 Thessalonians 4:1–7
Verse: Ps. 91:1, 4a, 15a, 16
Gospel Lesson: Matthew 15:21–28

Lectionary Summary

Jacob wrestled with God; he would not let Him go until he received a blessing from Him (Gen. 32:22–32). So it was with the Canaanite woman. Though Jesus seemed to ignore and reject her, she continued to call upon His name and look to Him for help (Mt. 15:21–28). Even when the Lord called her a little dog, she held on to Him in faith and would not let Him wriggle out of His words: “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” This Gentile woman shows herself to be a true Israelite, who struggles with God and man in Christ and prevails. “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire” (Mt. 15:27–28). This is the sanctifying will of God (1 Thess. 4:1–7)–to test your faith in order that it may be refined and strengthened. For tribulation produces perseverance; perseverance, character; character, hope. And hope in Christ does not disappoint (Rom. 5:1–5).

Collect for the day:
O God, You see that of ourselves we have no strength. By Your mighty power defend us from all adversities that may happen to the body and from all evil thoughts that may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

From Luther’s Sermon Notes on the Gospel

This is written for our comfort and instruction, that we may know how deeply God conceals his grace before our face, and that we may not estimate him according to our feelings and thinking, but strictly according to his Word. For here you see, though Christ appears to be even hardhearted, yet he gives no final decision by saying “No.” All his answers indeed sound like no, but they are not no, they remain undecided and pending. For he does not say: I will not hear thee; but is silent and passive, and says neither yes nor no. In like manner he does not say she is not of the house of Israel; but he is sent only to the house of Israel; he leaves it undecided and pending between yes and no. So he does not say, Thou art a dog, one should not give thee of the children’s bread; but it is not meet to take the children’s bread and cast it to the dogs; leaving it undecided whether she is a dog or not. Yet all those trials of her faith sounded more like no than yes; but there was more yea in them than nay; aye, there is only yes in them, but it is very deep and very concealed, while there appears to be nothing but no.

By this is set forth the condition of our heart in times of temptation; Christ here represents how it feels. It thinks there is nothing but no and yet that is not true. Therefore it must turn from this feeling and lay hold of and retain the deep spiritual yes under and above the no with a firm faith in God’s Word, as this poor woman does, and say God is right in his judgment which he visits upon us; then we have triumphed and caught Christ in his own words. As for example when we feel in our conscience that God rebukes us as sinners and judges us unworthy of the kingdom of heaven, then we experience hell, and we think we are lost forever. Now whoever understands here the actions of this poor woman and catches God in his own judgment, and says: Lord, it is true, I am a sinner and not worthy of thy grace; but still thou hast promised sinners forgiveness, and thou art come not to call the righteous, but, as St. Paul says in I Tim 1, 15, “to save sinners.” Behold, then must God according to his own judgment have mercy upon us.

Infographic: How a Pope is Elected

February 22nd, 2013 Comments off

— Design by Den Fajardo/RSJ, GMA News

howtoelectapope

Categories: Uncategorized

The Antidote for Legalism is NOT Antinomianism

February 22nd, 2013 2 comments
NoLaw_Sign-32
“That final and ultimate proof that Protestant modernism is the end result of Christian legalism is clearly demonstrated in its confusion of the Law and the Gospel.  If Jesus Christ is to be understood basically as a teacher and giver of the Law, then there is no need for the old church dogma about his person and work.  Such a moralistic view of Christianity no longer requires a definition of the Gospel which depends on Christ’s redemptive death and resurrection.  With this kind of understanding, the church is nothing more than a one huge, immense reformatory school.   Her claim to existence would depend on the principles of morality she promotes and the ethical behavior which they produce.  If it seems that Christianity does not live up to the expectations of these moral principles, then all the evidence is in place for doing away with Christianity.  We would fair better to look around for another reformatory school other than the church to accomplish what we want.  Every attempt which history has undertaken up until this time to actualize the rule of God or Christ in the world by obtaining recognition of divine Law or the Law of Christ [lex Christi][1]has ended up in tragedy for the church.
“This is as old as the medieval church’s massive efforts to exercise worldwide dominion in the name of Christ.  It happened again in the later theocratic experiments during the Reformation[2]and now more recently in the efforts of modern Protestantism after the Great War [WW I].  Each of these programs attempted to gain the ascendancy for Christian principles  in politics, or what were considered Christian principles.  Each time these experiments came to a bitter conclusion resulting in profound disappointment and even defections from the church.  How many people are there today who have left the church with a sense of deep disillusionment when they realized that these moral ideals were absent in the church.  In looking for these high ideals they went after a new order in government and society and these took the place of the church in their lives.  There is another option.  Rather than renouncing the church, the church should be assigned obligations which have nothing to do with what she really is.  Then she would no longer be in a position to surrender, to give away or loose anything.  It happened once before in the time of the Reformation.  Our fathers fought against the Enthusiasts who had turned the Gospel into new laws for directing life in society and the state.  Luther’s one time colleague, Andreas Carlstadt [ca. 1480-1541], and the fanatical Thomas Muenzer [ca. 1489-1525] come to mind.   They applied the Gospel to their experiments. This was their motto: `The Gospel does not tolerate new government regulations,’ [Nec fert evangelium novas leges de statu civiles.]  Attempts to introduce what was alleged to be the Law of Christ [lex Christi] only resulted in wild abandonment, murder, arson and anarchy with complete lack of civil restraint.  No further proof was needed to conclude that what was proclaimed was not the Gospel.  To such civil disobedience the Lutherans responded: “The Gospel does not introduce any new laws about the civil estate, but commands us to obey existing laws (Ap XVI, 3; Tappert, 222-223).”  The Apology of the Augsburg Confession is not endorsing a conservative, uninvolved, laissez faire attitude for Christians to take in political or civil sphere, as if everything that happened there was of equal moral value.  Rather the Apology wants it self-understood that the Gospel is something entirely different from the Law.   Where this is forgotten, the Gospel ceases to be the Gospel and the church ceases to be the church.  That’s the way it is, whether one likes and knows it or not.  The situation under Pope Gregory VII[3]is a case in point.
“If legalism ends in this way, then isn’t there some justification for antinomianism?  Whoever thinks that antinomianism is the alternative to legalism should face up to the fact that he also has confused the Law and the Gospel.  Tertullian [ca. 160- ca. 225] noted this confusion in Marcion [d. ca. 160].  But we must ask this question:  Wouldn’t Marcion be right, if the Gospel’s essence is the forgiveness of sins and Jesus is no law giver?   Then we have to give the benefit of doubt to the antinomians of the Reformation era.  Weren’t they justified in their program in holding that the law belonged to the civil sphere, that is, the government.  They could even quote Luther: “The Decalogue belongs to city hall and not in the pulpit.”[4]  They used his  characterization of the Law to support their view that there is no other Jesus than a “sweet” Christ.  Whenever the Law and the Gospel are separated from each other, wherever the connection between the Law and the Gospel is lost, then what Luther said proves itself to be true: Where either the Law or the Gospel is lost, then the other is also thoroughly destroyed.  Every form of antinomianism necessarily destroys the Gospel.  Where the preaching of the Law does not work the recognition of sins, how is it possible to experience or understand the forgiveness of sins [Gospel]?   Already it was Marcion who no longer understood that redemption meant the forgiveness of sins.  If in our time the church neglects the preaching of the Law, the proclamation of the unchanging commands of God to people and nations, then one day the Gospel will inevitably be lost.  The contemporary danger of a practical antinomianism is overpowering.  How easy it is for the church of an age stridently to forbid the preaching of God’s commandments and to derive the definitive ethic for all human behavior from resources stemming from the world itself, and then to retreat to the gospel, as if the church’s task was proclaiming that God forgives a world which according to its own laws is decaying in sin.  No, the forgiveness of sins can only be preached to the penitent.  No church can call upon the Reformation and even upon Luther to exempt it from preaching the Law to everyone within the nation and state.  Simply for the reason that the reformers were careful in stating that the preaching of the Law consisted in the civil use of the Law, the usus legis elenchticus  [the first use law] as well as usus legis in renatis, the application of the Law to the regenerate.[5]  The regenerate have come to know that the Gospel is more than and something other than the divine Law, because in the Gospel God is not doing a foreign work, but his own work by which he justifies sinners and makes them alive.

“Between the Scylla of legalism and Charybis of antinomianism leads a narrow and dangerous path which the church must follow in her ethical thought.  Whether she finds the way depends on the purity of her proclamation and on this depends her existence.  It is my wish that the World Conference of Churches meeting at Oxford [1937] would be so endowed that churches of Christendom would serve in some way as a light house on this way.  Each of the churches must find its own way.  They can only find their ways by turning away from the world’s tempting siren calls and in this benighted century to listen to the voice of him who speaks to Christendom the same message which he spoke to the apostles and the reformers and which they believed: “I am the way.” [John 14:6]”

“Law and Gospel” by Hermann Sasse (1936) translated by David Scaer, will appear in “Letters to Lutheran Pastors” vol. III (CPH).


[1] Lex Christi is the technical term especially in Roman Catholics for Christ’s gospel interpreted as law and associated with the Sermon on the Mount. DPS
[2]John of Leyden’s establishment of a religious government in Muenster was one of many attempts during this time. DPS
[3]Gregory VII (d. 1085), known as Hildebrand. Instituted reforms with respect to Simony and other matters and met with opposition from William I of England and Henry IV of Germany. Henry held two synods at Worms and Piacenza (1076) and declared the pope deposed. His political situation grew tenuous and he finally submitted to Gregory however. ODCC p. 708. MH
[4] “I assume that you received some time ago a copy of the disputations against the new spirits who have dared to expel the law of God or the Ten Commandments from the church and to assign them to city hall. I never expected that such false spirituality would occur to the mind of man, much less that anyone would support it.” LW 47.107; the comments Carlstadt used to support his position are found in LW 47.107 and WA 39.344. MH
[5] It is more likely that Sasse here is referring to the second use of the law, lex semper accusat, and not the third use, the application of the law to Christian life in a positive.  While his use of the `regenerate’ suggests the third use, his argument fits the second use. DPS
Categories: Uncategorized

The Works of Martin Chemnitz in English — 34% Discount and Free Shipping!

February 21st, 2013 5 comments

Chemnitz' Works

In my opinion, this is one of the best $250 investments you could possibly make. For $250 you can have the complete works of Martin Chemnitz available in English, published by Concordia Publishing House.

Martin Chemnitz’s major theological works translated into English are now available in beautifully bound matching hardback volumes to endure years of study and use.

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These eight books purchased individually would retail for $419.92, but when you buy the complete collection save 34% and get them for only $249.99, with free shipping!

The series includes:

Examination of the Council of Trent, Volumes I-IV

Enchiridion

The Lord’s Supper

The Lord’s Prayer

The Two Natures in Christ

Loci Theologici, Volumes I&II

Chemnitz

Martin Chemnitz

Categories: CPH Resources

“Broken” Is On Sale Again – Great Bulk Order Discounts Available, with Free Shipping

February 21st, 2013 Comments off

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If you missed out on the great sale of the book Broken at the end of last year, I’ve got good news for you. It’s on sale again, at great bulk order discounts. So, start gathering orders in your congregation or among your friends.

If you do not know what Broken is all about, we have a web site just for you: http://www.cph.org/broken

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Categories: CPH Resources

A Betrayal of the Gospel: The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification

February 21st, 2013 9 comments

Unfaithful_Logo

More than years after it appeared, we still continue to hear that the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification was a “breakthrough” between the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church. The media loves to perpetuate this myth. In fact, the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification is a fraud. It was a sell-out by revisionist liberal Lutherans to Rome. The Vatican certainly knows this is not true. Liberal Lutherans and those who support them keep repeating it, in spite of the fact that it is simply not true. Here are resources to help you counter this lie and this betrayal of the Gospel.

When, or if, you hear any Lutheran, or Roman Catholic, claim that the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church have reconciled their differences on the doctrine of justification by grace alone, through faith alone, on account of Christ alone this is simply untrue. It is a lie. A complete and total fabrication.

Rome is not to be faulted in any of this. The Vatican has consistently maintained and upheld the historic position of the Roman Church and did not change it. Mainline liberal Lutherans, however, compromised the key doctrine of the Scriptures and the very heart of the Lutheran Confessions. When I served as Assistant to the President of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, at the time this statement came out in 2000, we prepared an extensive set of documents illustrating precisely why the JDDJ is a fraud and a betrayal of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. You might want to save this post on your computer somewhere for future reference.

When you hear or read someone asserting that the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification was a “breakthrough” feel free to share this material with them. We must continue to correct this erroneous view of the JDDJ.

Was Trent set aside by the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification?

No, quite the contrary. The Vatican was very careful to make it clear that it has not set aside the Council of Trent and that Trent still remains authoritative, binding dogma for the Roman Catholic Church. Cardinal Cassidy, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christianity Unity, the individual responsible in large part for Rome’s involvement in the Joint Declaration, went out of his way to clarify this point in a press conference held when the JDDJ was signed. Here is what he had to say:

“Asked whether there was anything in the official common statement contrary to the Council of Trent, Cardinal Cassidy said: ‘Absolutely not, otherwise how could we do it? We cannot do something contrary to an ecumenical council. There’s nothing there that the Council of Trent condemns” (Ecumenical News International, 11/1/99).

With this statement by Cardinal Cassidy in mind, one is led to wonder how a document that is alleged to be a faithful Lutheran statement of justification contains nothing that Trent condemned.

What Did Trent Condemn?

Canon IX: If anyone says that the ungodly is justified by faith alone in such a way that he understands that nothing else is required which cooperates toward obtaining the grace of justification . . . let him be condemned.

Canon XII: If anyone says that justifying faith is nothing else than trust in divine mercy, which remits sin for Christ’s sake, or that it is this trust alone by which we are justified, let him be condemned.

Canon XIV: If anyone says that a man is absolved and justified because . . . he confidently believes that he is absolved and justified . . . and that through this faith alone absolution and justification is effected, let him be condemned.

Note: These canons clearly indicate that something more than trust in Christ is necessary for salvation

Read more…

Categories: Roman Catholicism

Things Jesus Never Said …

February 20th, 2013 1 comment

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Categories: Uncategorized

The “Must Have” Pew Bible for Lutherans

February 20th, 2013 3 comments

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Save over 50% off the individual price of $16.99 when purchased by the case. Click here to order by the case and save over $200.00! Click here to look inside.
 This important Bible places the highest priority on accuracy and precision for the best kind of Bible comprehension. The English Standard Version (2007 text edition) is a word-for-word translation where each word and phrase is carefully weighed against the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek to ensure the fullest accuracy and clarity.
This special edition of the Concordia ESV Pew Bible includes:
  • Orders of daily prayer for morning, noon, early evening, and close of the day
  • A collection of prayers including the Te Deum, Benedictus, Magnificat, Litany, and other prayers for use throughout the day
  • The Small Catechism by Dr. Martin Luther, including the Introduction, the Six Chief Parts, the Table of Duties, and Christian Questions and Answers for Communicants
  • A brief introduction to the Holy Scriptures, in an easy to understand,question and answer format
  • An essay on the key themes of Holy Scripture including: the grace of God, faith, Scripture, Law and Gospel, means of grace, and Christology
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Words of Christ are in black to make them more legible.
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Categories: CPH Resources