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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Fall of Daniel Preus – layman judges blindness; Part 2b

      This concludes from Part 2a, how a review of old posts sparked a living history from 50 years ago.
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      The testimony of Dr. Siegbert Becker 50 years ago dramatically exposes today's LC-MS.

Rev. Daniel Preus
- sees no false doctrine
- on "Holiday"
Vice-President Rev. Dr. Daniel Preus
In 1999 Rev. Preus authored a good essay on the fall of the LC-MS in its past – "LC-MS Holiday from History".  But I can no longer read this essay because the author V.P. Daniel Preus is now part of the "Holiday" that he wrote about!  Becker's 50-year old essay (see Part 2a) dramatically tells the story of today's Pastor Daniel Preus, who was formerly a defender of truth.  Here is a copy of the latest communication between Preus and layman Harold Dagenhart of Taylorville, N.C. as reported in the January 16, 2017 Christian News – both a copy of the newspaper clipping and extracted text (text file here):

Let me highlight Mr. Dagenhart's wonderful layman's judgment:
"When he [Daniel Preus] asks me to identify the false doctrine, he is admitting that he sees none. His response is clear, he sees no false doctrine in the Kloha paper."
Not only is layman Dagenhart seeing clearly in regards to V.P. Rev. Daniel Preus, he is by implication correctly judging Prof. Kloha's teaching on the effect of variant readings as false doctrine.  Mr. Dagenhart is just like the layman "von Klencke" who cried out against theologian Albrecht Ritschl († 1889). Could Mr. Harold Dagenhart of Taylorsville, N.C. be one of those "lay circles" that Franz Pieper speaks about, those who will keep the Church alive during struggles with devastating false doctrine – just like Dr. Siegbert Becker had to deal with 50+ years ago?
==>> To Mr. Harold Dagenhart
As you read the great testimony of Dr. Siegbert Becker above, know this.  You are standing on the Rock, that is the Word of Christ, just like Dr. Siegbert Becker did when he so masterfully exposed the LC-MS for what it was... and is now.  You are exercising your God-given duty.  As Walther says: "The Sheep Judge Their Shepherds".
Robt. Preus:
—— "Walther and the Scriptures" ——

      What irony! ... that at the upcoming 2017 Emmaus Conference, who should represent C.F.W. Walther and his theology?...  Rev. Dr. Daniel Preus.  It was his own father, Dr. Robert Preus, who so wonderfully praised "Walther and the Scriptures" – Walther's teaching on the Inspiration, Infallibility, and Inerrancy of Holy Scripture in the pages of Concordia Theological Monthly, November 1961 (text here).  I have found fault with Robert Preus's weaknesses in other teachings, but not with this essay.  On page 685, R. Preus references that same 1886 Lehre und Wehre Foreword of Walther quoted in the last blog post about the weeping lady:
"In his Foreword to Lehre und Wehre of January 1886 he takes note [pp. 1-2] of a statement of Professors Volck and Muehlau of Dorpat denying the inerrancy of the Bible. Had this statement been made in the 17th century a storm of protest would have arisen. But Walther observes in 19th-century Germany not one word of protest from any theological faculty."
... "not one word of protest from any theological faculty"!  ... the same as today with Prof. Jeffrey Kloha in America's "Dorpat" -- St. Louis Concordia Seminary.  Robert Preus chose well his sources to reveal the true Walther.  — On the same page 685, Preus says
"What, then, does Walther mean by the inerrancy of Scripture? He means what the church has always meant, that all the declarative statements of Scripture are true, that they correspond to fact..."
Here Robert Preus is not just reporting what Walther taught, he joins with the church of all times in teaching the very same thing.
      I recall some Valparaiso University students who were friends of my older brother when they visited our family during a school vacation time.  They sounded quite strange – like they didn't believe the Bible.  Thank God!... my brother hung onto and believed the Bible even unto death. — The weeping students that Prof. Becker reported above sound like me 40+ years ago!
     And I thank God for the testimony of Dr. Siegbert Becker for it lives on today!... even if the LC-MS (and CHI) continue on Daniel Preus's "Holiday from History".

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

"Why I Left the Missouri Synod"; weeping, robbed! (Part 2a)

      This continues from Part 1, an update and review of past blog posts.
50 Years Ago — Just Like Today
Siegbert Becker
"Why I Left the Missouri Synod"

       The real eye-opener in my review of old blog posts was to again read the biograghies of Prof. Siegbert Becker and his explanation for "Why I Left the Missouri Synod".  As I read his history published 50+ years ago of the fall of the LC-MS from its teaching on the inspiration of Holy Scripture, (and against Prof. Martin H. Scharleman) it seemed that I was reading about today's LC-MS and its current fall regarding the heretical teaching of Prof. Jeffrey Kloha.  One quote (p. 6 of 26) exposes just how bad things can get in the LC-MS, then and now:
"Students came to me weeping and saying that they did not know what to believe any more. They told me of girls lying on their beds sobbing for hours and so disturbed that they wanted to quit school and the church because they were being robbed of their assurance of salvation."
I like those words "weeping", "sobbing", "robbed".  Weeping and tears… just as C.F.W. Walther spoke of a lady in tears in a footnote to his 1886 Foreword in Lehre und Wehre where he reported on the Dorpat professors Volck, Mühlau, Harnack, etc. and their blasphemous disavowal of the inerrancy of Holy Scripture. (See also 1886 Synodical Conference.) On pages 2-3 Walther reported it was
"heard from Dorpat about the painful complaint that many have been confused and grieved. A lady had said with tears about the Bible: "I can not read it anymore!"
Becker's clear-headed assessment confirms a statement made by Franz Pieper in his Christian Dogmatics, vol. 1 (see this blog post):
"The fact that the denial of inspiration leads to the denial of the satisfactio vicaria was already realized in his [Delitzsch's] time..."
The new (English) LC-MS has robbed its youth, its people of the Bible – which is "their assurance of salvation".  I want to republish what the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary republished from the series originally published in Herman Otten's Lutheran News (now Christian News). Google Doc here.

I cannot leave this essay without calling attention to at least one quote from the dear Dr. Becker. In a letter to A. O. Fuerbringer, president of Concordia Seminary, Becker wrote:
M. H. Scharlemann
"...only those who are deliberately and culpably blind cannot fail to see it. If we let him [Martin H. Scharlemann] continue his attacks on Scripture today, we will have no Christ tomorrow."
Concordia Historical Institute (CHI) ran a 5-part serial essay from Summer 2011 to Summer 2012 in their Historical Footnotes publication entitled “Dr. Martin H. Scharlemann: A Faithful Servant”. Purporting to tell us the story of "A Faithful Servant", it entirely ignored the famous report of Prof. Siegbert Becker and its wonderful rebukes of Scharlemann and President Behnken. At least CHI ended their series (p. 7) with the telling question:
“Will the real Martin Scharlemann please stand up.”
As I read Siegbert Becker's great testimony 50 years ago on the travesty within the hemorrhaging LC-MS, I could not help thinking of the recent testimony of a layman against a well-known LC-MS leader... in the next Part 2b.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Notice: updated links; updated WELS, McCain; Part 1

      For anyone who has linked to any of my old blog references which utilize my Dropbox account before 2016, be aware that I have had to change these hyperlinks due to a cancellation of Dropbox's "Public" folder for security reasons.  This involves perhaps 100 or more hyperlinks but does not affect any references over the past year or so where I switched to using Google Drive.  All of the larger files in my Box account are untouched, e.g. the St. Louis Edition of Luther's Works.
      In the process of reviewing all my old blog posts, I have also attempted to fix broken links where the original web pages have gone offline or changed their URL.  Sometimes using the WayBack Machine's archive worked.  Other times I located the changed page URL and updated my link to it.  If anyone finds a broken or outdated hyperlink after today, please let me know by email.
      One particularly welcome discovery was a pleasant surprise on a WELS website.  Thanks WELS for updating your Statement of beliefs on Justification by removing your reference to "forfeiting the forgiveness won for me by Christ" -- see this blog post.  That is a good first step.  Now go the full distance and teach that God had a Change of Heart, not just a change of relationship toward man – 2 Cor. 5:19.

      It is sad for me that Paul McCain completely erased his CyberBrethren blog.  Although I have rebuked his errors, yet some of his blog posts were helpful.  I have in particular worked to salvage one of his posts -- his review article "When is the Book of Concord Not the Book of Concord?" of Prof. Roland Ziegler's essay "Locking the Barn Door" which was a defense of the text of the Book of Concord.  This is a treasure!  I was able to capture a screenshot of McCain's blog from the WayBack Machine and am making it available here, extracted text Google Doc here.

      But there was a particularly striking find as I reviewed my past blog posts – a history of today's LC-MS written 50 years ago.  I present that in my next Part 2.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Pastoral 2017: corrections & compliment; old Ohio Synod request; #4 conclusion

[2017-03-04 & 03-08: added text in red below]
      This concludes from Part 3 of the series of blog posts related to the new 2017 Concordia Publishing House edition of Walther's Pastoral Theology.   See Part 1 for Table of Contents.
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      There is common terminology used by today's LC-MS teachers and leaders when speaking about Walther which is typified by the following statement of Editor David Loy in his Introduction, p. xv (bolding mine):
"The present work shows the fruits of his labors. In it, he applies Lutheran theology for nineteenth-century Lutheran pastors conducting their ministries in the United States."
One could assume that Prof. David W. Loy (of Philosophy) does not mean to limit Walther's theology to only the 19th century, and indeed he includes a section entitled "Why Read Walther's Pastoral Theology Today?" (p. xvi).  In this section Loy makes the following admirable statement:
...many issues Walther addresses continue to face Lutheran pastors in the twenty-first century, and for many of these issues, Lutheran doctrine establishes fairly specific boundaries for practice that are valid across historical contexts.
Loy's words here are hard to find fault with.  Yet even as he defends several areas where Walther's doctrine and practice are still valid, he also explicitly denies other areas due to "historical circumstances".  Either in his Introduction or his own footnotes, he denies Walther on Usury (p. 176 n. 5), and Life Insurance (p. 348 n 1).  Also translator Christian Tiews calls Walther's admonition against modern Dance "humorous" ("Translator's Notes", p. xx n. 3; p. 122). I have previously blogged on all of these topics and will leave them for the reader to use the hyperlinks to each of these matters to get Walther's (and Pieper's) biblical, evangelical teaching.  But there is one matter that Loy raises that I have not blogged on before because it is so obvious from the Bible itself.

A “New Challenge”?

      Editor David Loy, in his Introduction (p. xix) speaks of “new challenges we face” today and includes among these challenges “homoerotic behavior”.  It is implied that “homoerotic behavior” was not a “challenge” in the 19th century.  But the Bible speaks quite clearly on the matter of “homoerotic behavior” and is to be handled like all sexual sin.  How do I know that the Bible speaks clearly and is not ambiguous?  One does not find this specific subject handled in Walther’s Pastoral Theology.  But why?  Now what would Walther say today about this subject?  Here is one way that he might address this matter with Editor (philosopher?) David Loy:  it can be answered by the widely known homosexual Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson (retired) who said (IndyStar / Journal & Courier, October 28, 2013; text file here):
Bishop Gene Robinson (2013)

“When discussing Bible Scripture that states ‘man shall not lie with man, as with a woman,’ Robinson said the text seems pretty clear.” — Bishop Gene Robinson @ Purdue University October 28, 2013

Yes, I say to you Editor David Loy: listen to Bishop Gene Robinson for he says “the text seems pretty clear”.  And he should know.  Would you now try to refute Bishop Robinson and say that the text isn’t clear?  But if the text is clear, then Walther gives clear Christian counsel for someone troubled with a particular sin, for example on your page 338 (see right, or here) where he uses Law (“in calm seriousness”), then “the riches of the free, divine grace and mercy in Christ, despite the exorbitance of their sins, according to Romans 5:20”. Sound familiar?  Just because the world around us has lost all sense of "natural law" does not mean that God's Word has changed in the slightest.  —

Carl S. Meyer
"Walther was:
haughty, proud, inconsiderate, Donatist,
quaint exegete, pietist, 
not wholly Christocentic
To:  Professor David W. Loy
   If you should think that I am being overly harsh with you, I must say that I am pleased that you did not say that Walther "could be haughty, proud, and at times even inconsiderate", you did not say that Walther came "close to Donatism", you did not say Walther verged on Pietism, you did not say Walther's exegesis was "quaint", you did not say Walther was "not wholly Christocentric", you did not say Walther was strongly "biblicistic" as the Director of Concordia Seminary School for Graduate Studies and great "historian" of the LC-MS Carl S. Meyer did say in his book Walther Speaks to the Church, pgs 10-11, 62, 65, 90, in his essay in CTM 1972 vol 43, p. 262 (also here), and as reported in CTM 1973, vol. 44, #3, p. 163 (also here). — Now Prof. Loy, do not be surprised that your association with the name of “Walther” wins you no true spiritual friends among teachers and leaders of the LC-MS (but maybe enemies?), notwithstanding a few endorsements (and cheerleading).  Certainly the 1960-69 director of Concordia Seminary Graduate Studies would look askance at you for not joining with his judgments. (You might ask Dr. Robert Kolb if his judgments match those of Meyer's. (See also Berthold von Schenk.)
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To President Matthew Harrison:
      I was glad to see that CTS-FW President Prof. Lawrence Rast added his name to the endorsements!  But where is the endorsement by the other seminary president Prof. Dale Meyer?...  the well-known Dr. Robert Kolb?...  chairman of the practical theology department Prof. David J. Peter?...  Prof. Jeffrey Kloha (you and he both endorse Sasse)?...   Prof. Cameron MacKenzie?...  and what about the Robert D. Preus Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, Prof. Roland Ziegler, who helped you translate your At Home in the House of My Fathers?  Ziegler wrote a complementary essay on Walther's theology for the 2011 anniversary in the CTQ... would not his endorsement be helpful?   —  Now, President Harrison, show how important Walther's Works really are to you and your LC-MS – have Walther's Licht des Lebens sermon book translated and published.  Better yet, have Walther's Epistel Postille sermon books published for they have already been translated!  And here is a key item that cries out for the light of day for our “here and now” times – Walther's Foreword to the 1886 Lehre und Wehre on the Inspiration of Scripture.  Just ask Dr. Thomas Manteufel how important this doctrine was for Walther.
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      I want to end this limited commentary with a most interesting book announcement given for the original German edition of Walther's book that I ran across many years ago as I was ravaging through all things related to “old Missouri”.  It is surprisingly from the old Ohio Synod (forerunner of today's ELCA), Columbus Ohio. (The first edition of Walther's book was apparently in 1872, 2nd edition in 1875. PDF copy of announcement here). Bolding is mine:

“American Lutheran Pastoral Theology.”
(from the Lutheran Standard of the Ohio Synod, early 1873)
     A book with this title has been issued from the press of the Missouri Synod at St. Louis. It is written by Rev. Prof. C. F. W. Walther, which is a sufficient voucher for its ability and thoroughness. But we would perform a service especially to our ministerial brethren by calling particular attention to the work. No Lutheran minister, who is at all able to read the German, should deprive himself of the aid which its rich materials will furnish him in understanding the duties of his high calling and in directing him in the way of their proper performance.
     The word American in the title may suggest to some minds the un-Lutheran doctrine and practice in vogue among so-called Lutherans of the General Synod, who are especially fond of calling themselves American Lutherans. It is used in no such sectarian sense in this book, which is a Lutheran Pastoral Theology. The author says in his preface: “That the predicate American Lutheran is used will require no apology, as the choice of the pastoral theological materials was determined by the wants of the American Lutheran pastor.” It is this feature that gives it peculiar value for our ministers, cause for profound gratitude to God that such a Pastoral Theology should he given to the American Lutheran Church.
     It would extend our notice to too great a length were we to give even a brief outline of the subjects treated in this admirable look. In its fifth paragraphs and numerous notes everything that properly comes within the compass of Pastoral Theology, and much that some writers would refer to a different branch of theological science, is amply discussed and set forth in that exhaustive manner which is character­istic of the old Lutheran theologians. It would seem that all the wealth of pastoral theology, laid up in many old volumes, to most of which but few of our ministers have access, is collected here into one great treasury. And this whoever will may obtain at the small cost of $2.25.
An alphabetical index of subjects is appended, which greatly enhances the value of the work as a book of reference, for which purpose it will frequently be called into requisition.
     The volume contains 445 octavo pages, and is printed on good paper and in clear type. It is for sale by the agent of the Missouri Synod, Mr. M. C. Barthel, corner of 7th and Lafayette Streets, St. Louis, Mo. It is a book which it is profitable even for those ministers to buy who must practice close economy to spare the amount which it costs.
     There is but one wish in regard to it that we would yet express. The book is German, and English ministers, though the number is not very large as yet who would be likely to use it, need it so much. Would that the blessing to the American Lutheran Church could be multiplied by its publication in the English language. 
What a glorious tribute to C.F.W. Walther's work by the old Ohio Synod! ... and with a heart-felt request attached.  (Apparently the old Ohio Synod would not agree with Carl S. Meyer's judgment of Walther.)  Indeed, Concordia Publishing House, Matthew Harrison, Christian Tiews, David Loy, and Benjamin Mayes, you may all take a bow now, for the great request of the Ohio Synod of 1873 has finally been fully completed!  You also did well in not only getting this fully translated, but also in retaining the full official name for this book:
American-Lutheran Pastoral Theology.

And that is what it is, the gold standard in “pastoral theology” (like the “golden ConcordiaTriglotta), for our modern times, for the whole world of Christianity, as it is distinguished from the demise of Germany’s “scientific”, rationalistic, ego-based theology.  I am sure that Dr. John Drickamer would be glad for this book and would complement it by name were he still with us here on earth today.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Pastoral #3: Fritz's editions, unionism, deep fog; Mueller-Kraus edition

      This continues from Part 2 in a series of blog posts related to the new 2017 Concordia Publishing House edition of Walther's Pastoral Theology.   See Part 1 for Table of Contents.
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Prof. J.H.C. Fritz
      As mentioned in Part 1, the 2 editions of Pastoral Theology authored by Prof. J.H.C. Fritz (1932 and 1945) were not mentioned in the new 2017 edition of Walther's work. The Fort Wayne seminary bookstore used to sell copies of the 1932 Fritz edition – I purchased one in the 1990s. But I see that it is not shown as available any more (but call them). I decided to include Fritz's editions in my table of cross-references because they were the first ones published in English by Concordia Publishing House.  And they were the main source of pastoral theology to many in the intervening years.  There are some who are interested in the history of "pastoral theology" or "practical theology" in the LC-MS after it had transferred its main language from German to English.  I am one of the interested ones because I wanted to see where there were amendments or supplements to Walther's original.  I knew there had to be differences because the LC-MS gradually, steadily changed its teaching after the death of Franz Pieper in 1931.  And yet one will find that in the specific topics where Pieper referred to Walther's "Pastorale" in his Christliche Dogmatik, Prof. Fritz did not significantly deviate from Pieper or Walther -- my cross-reference table proved this to me.  But with some other topics, Fritz did deviate somewhat from "old Missouri".  
      It was not a straightforward task to compare Fritz's editions to Walther's original because he did not follow Walther's order.  Fritz says in his 1932 Preface:
“I did not limit myself to a literal translation of those portions which I took over from Walther's Pastoraltheologie; I rather reproduced the subject-matter either by a literal or by a free translation, inserting such thoughts as suggested themselves to me at the time of writing and as seemed necessary or desirable to add.”
An example of one of the "insertions" was on "Christian Stewardship" where he quoted extensively from one of Franz Pieper's convention essays (pp. 261-262, 266-267).  Indeed, Fritz informs us in his preface that he was indebted to "the sainted Dr. F. Pieper, under whom I studied Pastoral Theology while a student at Concordia Seminary".
       I spent considerable time cross-referencing to both of Fritz’s editions, even hyperlinking to copies of pages, so that true students of "pastoral theology" could see what the LC-MS used for many decades after it abandoned the German language.   I found that most of the points that Pieper highlighted in his Dogmatik were covered by Fritz.  Prof. J.H.C. Fritz’s work is perhaps most disappointing in that it only roughly follows Walther’s subject matter, excluding portions, adding to other portions -- topics not specifically addressed by Walther.  It was rather difficult to refer back to Walther’s work from either of Fritz’s works, 1932 or 1945.  This highlights one of the greatest benefits of the new 2017 edition which allows the reader to be exposed to the (mostly) complete pure Walther as he presented his material.  Another benefit is that there is no difficulty comparing the original German edition to this 2017 English edition as it even keys each page to the original page number – a very helpful feature!
      Now I want to address the one topic that reveals the downfall of the external Church in America in the Twentieth Century.  I will incorporate the story of two other professors of Concordia Seminary,  Prof. Fritz's associates, to fully illustrate this history:


Unionism is one of the topics covered by Prof. Fritz that is not named specifically by Walther.  However Walther does speak clearly of church "fellowship" in several places in his book, leaving no doubt as to his teaching that condemns all forms of unionism.  (See also the 2014 CPH book Walther's Works: Church Fellowship.) -- In 1932, Fritz begins well with the following definition of unionism (p. 219):
“Joining in religious worship or in religious work or in both by such as are not in doctrinal agreement is religious unionism.”
Prof. W. Arndt
A few years later, in 1937, a close associate, Prof. William Arndt, showed similar firmness against unionism as he stated the following on the topic of prayer fellowship in his book Christian Prayer, p. 65 (quoted in Erlandsson Church Fellowship, p. 41):
"Whoever changes the teachings of Jesus thereby creates a division in the church and sets himself in opposition to all those who adhere to the doctrine of Christ. We have learned from St. Paul that we must avoid all such causes of division (Ro. 16:17). That naturally means that we can have no prayer fellowship with them."

Arndt: from "no prayer fellowship" to "Deep Fog"

But this firmness in doctrine and practice gradually broke down.  Through his extensive involvement in doctrinal discussions with the American Lutheran Church (ALC), in 1943 (CTM vol. 14, #11 November pp. 787-791), he came to write the essay "God Purposes To Justify Those That Have Come to Faith" which is an attempt to defend the ALC's statement of the same name.  Arndt admits (p. 787) that "Everybody can see that the sentence under discussion puts the creation of faith before the pronouncement of justification."  But compare this to Walther's words from Central District 1868: "…you often hear pastors preach, 'You are saved if you believe.' What they should be saying is, 'You are saved so that you might believe.'" Arndt here ignores Universal Justification and so his essay confuses the Lutheran Doctrine of Justification.  (See also this blog post on Arndt's error) Then in the summer of 1946, Prof. Arndt was again in the middle of further discussions with the ALC, and preceding official agreement, he said (Fendt, The Struggle for Lutheran Unity..., p. 79):
  • 'In my opinion the meeting, if it is held, should be opened with joint prayer. A common document constituting a confession of faith has been drawn up by representatives of two church bodies, which document will be considered by both bodies when they meet in convention. If the representatives of these bodies cannot jointly ask for God's guidance when they meet, then I move in a deep fog as to the scope and meaning of joint prayer.
But there is no record of an opening prayer at the August 23, 1946 joint meeting. Evidently Dr. Arndt did not get enough support for that in his group.
How sad are these words of Prof. Arndt – "a deep fog".  But they fit the situation where one finds oneself departing from the clear Word of Holy Scripture.  Perhaps a modern word fits here – schizophrenia might be used.  I recall this same feeling for my own self when falling away from the Bible. —
      And we see that Prof. Fritz had just the year before, in the 1945 2nd edition of his Pastoral Theology, supplemented his 1932 1st edition definition of Unionism (highlightedp. 211):
“Joining in religious worship or in religious work or in both by such as are not in doctrinal agreement, or, in other words, joint work or worship by which the truth is either denied or the appearance of denial, or at least of indifferentism, is given, is religious unionism.”
Th. Aaberg

The difference of wording has been identified by other members of the Synodical Conference as evidence of a change towards subjectivism in the LC-MS.  Theodore Aaberg of the ELS wrote in his book A City Set on a Hill, p. 158:
“Where previous to this, certain acts in themselves had been called unionistic, now it was not the act itself which constituted unionism, but whether or not it was done in such a way as to imply denial of truth or support of error.  This new definition of unionism found its way into an important publication of the Missouri Synod, Pastoral Theology, by John H. C. Fritz...”

Fritz to Graebner: Retract! 

Prof. Th. Graebner
"false picture"
I had originally thought that this judgement by Aaberg against Fritz may have been overly harsh.  Edward C. Fendt reported (Struggle, p. 83) the following incident in 1947 involving Profs. Fritz and Theo. Graebner which shows Fritz's desire to stand firm, even in the face of heavy unionistic pressure from a prominent associate:
When the Missouri Synod Committee on Doctrinal Unity met on May 8, 1947 the following entry in the minutes appears right after the opening prayer and statement of the purpose of the meeting by the chairman, Dr. Fritz:
  • "A letter written by Dr. Graebner, in which he accuses our Committee of presenting a false picture on current relations with the ALC was read by Prof. Baepler. It was resolved to request Dr. G[raebner]. to retract this accusation in a letter to us and to his correspondents" (neither Dr. Behnken nor Dr. Arndt was present when this action was taken). 
Dr. Graebner did not retract.
We see that Prof. Fritz endured strong pressure from Graebner toward unionism and wanted this letter to be retracted.

Fritz's new definition ==> "Common Confession"

Unfortunately this firmness in the face of such intimidating unionism began to weaken and fall for it was Prof. J.H.C. Fritz who was the leading teacher from the Missouri Synod who in 1949 drafted the infamous "Common Confession" with men from the ALC.  For a penetrating analysis of the history surrounding this document, see Aaberg, p. 172-177; also see Wendland, Review of Common Confession [added 2017-03-05], Fendt, p. 136-138.  So we see the tragic consequences of Fritz's revision in  the 1945 definition of "unionism" which paved the subjective road to ruin.

      Further comments on Fritz's work are beyond the scope of this blog.  It is sad for me to again review the steps of the downfall of the old Missouri Synod to today's modernist, heterodox LC-MS.  But I view Prof. J.H.C. Fritz's Pastoral Theology books as not completely denying his teacher, Franz Pieper, or Walther's work.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Pastoral Theology (1990)
by Mueller and Kraus
      There was another book of "pastoral theology" put out by Concordia Publishing that escaped my notice until now, the 1990 (and 1996) editions of Pastoral Theology of Norbert Mueller and George Kraus.  I am sorry that I did not include it in my cross-reference table.  I suspect it has been the required reading for all LC-MS students of theology since its introduction.  Even the ELS bookstore sells this book!  (Why isn't the ELS in church fellowship with the LC-MS?)  I think I investigated this book 20 years ago and gave up on the LC-MS.  For my part, the work of Mueller and Kraus has little promise of shedding the errors of the modernist, heterodox LC-MS – otherwise Matthew Harrison and John T. Pless would not be so visibly promoting the new 2017 edition of Walther's work!
Pastorskoe bogoslovie
(Russian Pastoral Theology)

This book was also translated into Russian by the Lutheran Heritage Foundation in 1999 (search "Pastoral Theology" and Language="Russian").  This is a different version than the Drickamer 1995 edition... and certainly not nearly as faithful in doctrine and practice.  I wonder that the Russian Lutherans may already know the difference...
In the last Part 4, I comment further on the new 2017 edition of Walther's work.  At least 2 topics show a distinct change in the LC-MS from its former pure teaching of Bible truths.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Pastoral 2017: criticism or honor for Drickamer? #2

      This continues from Part 1 in a series of blog posts related to the new 2017 Concordia Publishing House edition of Walther's Pastoral Theology. See Part 1 for Table of Contents.
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       There is an elitism in the LCMS today associated with the 2017 edition. No one – not Harrison, not editor David Loy, not translator Christian Tiews, not any of the CPH endorsers – no one in the book itself ever directly mentions or praises the prior 1995 abridged translation made by Dr. John M. Drickamer († 1999?).  Translator Tiews condescendingly speaks of it as “highly abridged and only covers one third of Walther’s original book”.  My chart shows that Drickamer’s edition included practically all of the core teachings of Walther.  All of Walther's 50 sections are included, more or less, and in the exact same order that Walther presents them. (Note to President Harrison: I heartily thanked God for the 1995 edition when it came out!... even as I thank Him for this 2017 edition.)  If all these people are so glad for their full translation, then why is there no honor for the one who gave us at least the abridged (not supplemented) version over 20 years ago?  Was it not important to have the essentials that Drickamer brought to the world two decades ago? (It was a life-line for me.) Oh, I too strongly desired that Drickamer had provided the full content of Walther's book, but he did not have the resources of Concordia Publishing House with the help of its editors!  No, he had to find someone else and went to Pastor Herman Otten’s publishing house (Lutheran News / Christian News) which does not have those resources, but at least Otten took this project on. More on this below. —
So I will give the honor to Dr. John Drickamer that should have been given to him in the 2017 edition!  Drickamer was a scholar in the German language – I believe a first rate scholar.  He hosted an online German language lesson series (Drueckhammer's Deutsch Academie) for “those who wished to read the Lutheran Confessions in their original language (clergy and laity)” on the website – now apparently defunct. This website reported that Drickhamer had a “Th.D. in Ecclesiastical History” and was “a past professor of both theology and the German Language”.   I even wonder that he may have been more qualified as a translator than Rev. Christian Tiews.  Shame on Harrison and Pless for not acknowledging this fruitful work of Dr. Drickhamer!  And because of this, I think those truly interested in Walther’s “Pastoral Theology” will still be interested in purchasing Drickamer’s book to compare translations, and still have an abridged version, or for those wanting a quicker read or even a cheaper copy (currently only $9 + shipping).

Comments on Prof. Pless’s Facebook page per CN Feb. 13, 2017 p. 9:
Steven Anderson: “I have the Drickamer/CN edition.  That will have to suffice.”  –
Lincoln Winter: “I know that Drickamer leaves out a lot.  But is the translation significantly inferior to the new one?  Tight budget these days means there needs to be significant weakness to make me buy a second copy of a book I already have.  Anywhere we can see examples of some improvements?  Otherwise, I will have to stick with the ‘Can’t Won’t’ edition.” - Feb. 2 at 7:30 am;
Note to Lincoln Winter: My cross-reference table in Part 1 will help you to compare these editions for yourself.  Drickamer included at least the core information for ALL chapters of Walther’s work, in the order that Walther presented them.  You will see that contrary to the “one third” notion of some, Drickamer’s edition is more than this.  Although I disagree with Matthew Harrison’s “Can’t Won’t” opinion, yet I would say that whenever another sale comes up, you should purchase the full 2017 edition, for this work of Walther is so important, especially if you are considering the office of ministry.  If all you want is the basics of Walther’s teaching, or an “easy read”, then Drickamer’s edition can be used.

Now I present the following reprint of the author’s biography from page 301 of Drickamer/CN 1995 translation of Walther’s Pastoral Theology.  I was glad to see that Pastor Otten did the same thing on his February 13 issue of Christian News, page 8:
Dr. John M. Drickamer

      John M. Drickamer, a lifelong Lutheran, was raised in the suburbs of Cleveland,Ohio. He was educated at Lutheran parochial schools through the eighth grade. In 1971 he received the B.A. degree from Capital University, with majors in philosophy, history, and ancient languages. His seminary education was at Concordia Theological Seminary, Springfield, Illinois (now located at Fort Wayne, Indiana), from which he received the M. Div. degree in 1975. His vicarage was at Zion Lutheran Church, Chamberlain, South Dakota, in 1973 and 1974.  
      In 1978 Drickamer received the Th.D. degree from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, majoring in historical theology. From 1977 to 1980 he taught courses in theology and religious history at Concordia College, Ann Arbor, Michigan. From 1980 to 1986 he was pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Georgetown, Ontario, Canada, and also taught theology at Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary in St. Catharines, Ontario. Since returning to the United States he has served churches in Illinois, Kansas and Oregon.
     Drickamer has published over nine hundred items, including books, poems, hymns, translations, scripts, sermons and short stories.
$8.99 + shipping

      Herman Otten exposes the duplicity of both Harrison and Pless (and today's LCMS) when he gives the “rest of the story” of the history of Drickamer's edition, CN 2017-02-13 p. 8:
“Drickamer suggested that CN ask the Schwan Foundation for the $10,000 CPH said it would pay Drickamer for his translation.  This foundation, according to Drickamer, had agreed to give CPH $10,000 for his work in producing the translation.  CN would then turn the $10,000 over to Drickamer.  When CN asked the Schwan Foundation for the $10,000 to publish Drickamer's translation of Walther's Pastoral, the foundation declined, claiming there was no real interest in Walther's work.  When CN became involved with the translation, the Schwan Foundation was no longer interested in it.  Years later the Schwan Foundation financed a Russian translation of Drickamer's translation by the Lutheran Heritage Foundation [search Language="Russian", Title="Pastoral Theology"; WorldCat here], since is was much easier to understand and helpful today than a translation of Walther's entire volume with all of its footnotes.  CN granted the Lutheran Heritage Foundation permission to publish Drickamer's translation in Russian without charge.”
According to Otten's report, it appears that Concordia Publishing House backed out of a commitment to pay Dr. John Drickamer $10,000 for his translation.  (Note to Concordia Publishing House: Is this true?) —  Otten then rightfully reprinted the glowing endorsements of Drickamer's edition by CHI director August Suelflow and CTS-FW President Robert Preus. (Aren't Harrison and Pless also condemning Robert Preus and August Suelflow?) —  Pastor Otten should reveal all the details he can gather on Drickamer showing all his publications and scholarly experience.  Otten should research and reveal all the details that he can scrounge up regarding the "unfortunate things" that happened to him as a result of his bold proclamation of the Word of God.
The old website reported the fate of Dr. Drickamer (from Wayback Machine, emphases mine):
“Due to Dr. Drickamer's experience of the unfortunate things that so often are done to those who boldly proclaim the Word of God as the Lutheran Confessions rightly set it forth, these lessons were forced to take a hiatus when Dr. Drickamer was no longer able to afford to stay electronically connected to us. Due to his untimely (to us; timely to his Lord and, thus, blessed to Dr. Drickamer) death, these lessons stopped completely.”
I emphasize 2 points from the above quote:
  1. "What were these "unfortunate things" that happened to Dr. Drickamer because of his bold proclamation of the “Word of God as the Lutheran Confessions rightly set it forth”? Could it have been reprisals against him from the LCMS? The website does not specify.  
  2. Note to Concordia Publishing House:  By this account, Dr. Drickamer was not a rich man… he could not afford to “stay electronically connected”.  Could that be because you squeezed him out of a promised payment of $10,000 for his 1995 edition? … and so he was forced to go elsewhere, eventually to Pastor Herman Otten and his Lutheran News publishing?  And could it be that Otten’s report of the Schwan Foundation’s comment, that
“...there was no real interest in Walther's work”
actually came from you, CPH?  Could it be that all this criticism of Drickamer’s edition is in reality a coverup for your (and today’s LCMS) shameful treatment of Dr. John Drickamer?  Could it be that all the cheerleading for the new 2017 edition and criticism of Dr. John Drickamer’s edition are in reality a duplicitous endeavor?
The Woman Who Cared
by Dr. John M. Drickamer

      Oh, and what are we reminded of?... that Dr. Drickamer was published also by Northwestern Publishing House.  He had 3 books published by them (no longer available from them, but see Amazon).  See the attached picture of one of those publications, the one that I have kept for over 20 years, and not discarded.  The proper thing for Northwestern to do now would be to defend Dr. Drickamer against these unwarranted attacks by today's LC-MS leaders.  

   Oops!  There he is – Dr. Drickamer's book of translation of other works of Walther is still being sold by CPH!  Drickamer is the translator for their Print-On-Demand book Selected Writings of C.F.W. Walther - Walther on the Church. (Why now Print-On-Demand only?)  On the dust jacket of the original 1981 hardback edition, it says this of Dr. Drickamer: “John M. Drickamer, Th.D., a parish pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Georgetown, Ont., Canada, also served as a religion instructor at Concordia Lutheran College, Ann Arbor, Mich.”  And in the Translator's Preface, Drickamer wrote this: 

The translation in this volume makes use of Dr. Mueller's work. His translations have been exhaustively compared with the original German, and numerous revisions have been made.”
This comment clearly shows not only the scholarly translation capability of Dr. Drickamer, but also his scrupulous intent to keep the precise meaning of Walther where even Prof. J.T. Mueller may have strayed too far.  I even wonder that if Drickamer was not hampered by CPH's "space limitations" in 1981, that he could have given a full translation of Walther's Church and Ministry back then, better than Matthew Harrison's The Church and The Office of The Ministry of 2012!  —  Hmmm... aren't these LC-MS leaders who criticize Drickamer's translation work hurting one of Concordia Publishing's own books that is actively sold now?  It would seem so.
      Although I may not be the best judge of translation quality, I wonder that Christian Tiews and/or editor David Loy would not be so ready to harshly criticize and say that Drickamer's “translation is inadequate” as Prof. Pless does.  How about it Pastor Christian Tiews?... Prof. David Loy?... Prof. Benjamin Mayes?

But Thanks Be To God!... that this duplicitous behavior by today's LC-MS did not greatly hamper this edition.  To all those students of theology wondering whether they should purchase this edition if they already have the Drickamer edition –by all means they should make a concerted effort to do so.  All parents and supporters of students of theology should gift this book to their students!  Why?  Because it is the complete work of … C.F.W. Walther, and Thank God!...  that in spite of the very real hatred of Walther in today’s LC-MS, this edition has seen the light of day.  (Has anybody seen any endorsement by Profs. Herrmann or Kloha for this new 2017 edition?)
And if they continue to criticize Drickamer’s “abridgment”, then they are condemning themselves for Concordia Publishing House has for decades enforced "space limitations" on translation projects of Walther's works. In the 1981 edition of Selected Writings of C.F.W. Walther - Law and Gospel, p. 10, translator Bouman wrote:
“The current work represents a considerable abridgment and condensation of the original.  Many of Walther's extensive citations from Luther and other authors were either reduced to their essential point or deleted entirely.,  As a rule, ... much of Walther's running comment was condensed. These cuts in the material were dictated by the publisher's space limitations.”
The reader should not wait too many years to purchase this book because it will likely fall into disuse in today’s LC-MS – may God prevent it! – for even now CPH has discontinued the complete set of Pieper’s Christian Dogmatics, primarily because they have abandoned the index volume (or volume 4).  You can no longer purchase a new copy of this book as of 2016.  CTS-FW President Rast earlier promised that “At Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, there is no intention of 'doing away with' Pieper.” That may still be so (I hope), but new students will likely go without the Index. The index volume was a tremendous aid in searching out subject matter in “Walther’s Dogmatics”, i.e. Franz Pieper’s Christliche Dogmatik (Christian Dogmatics).

      All those who have had good experience with Dr. John Drickamer and/or his works should now come forth and point out just how good a scholar and Christian teacher he was.  How about it, Northwestern Publishing House (WELS), Lutheran Synod Book Co. (ELS),  Lutheran Heritage Foundation, etc, the pastors of the old CAT41 organization (Confess and Teach for Unity), etc. I know he was a good teacher for I benefited from his writings as I returned to the Christian faith.  And even though I rebuked Drickamer by letter for some weakness that he had in defending Universal, Objective Justification, his response gave me full assurance that he had not fallen away but was only a little confused in terminology.  How sad I was when I learned of his untimely passing... but also glad for his good confession of faith.  

      Thank God!... for Dr. John Drickamer and his translation of Walther's Pastoral Theology!  I hope Pastor Otten or Timothy Otten reveal even more details of the sorry treatment of Drickamer at the hands of the LC-MS.  And although I thank God for the 2017 CPH edition, I cannot do this with President Matthew Harrison!  (Note to Harrison: now publish Prof. Jeffrey Kloha's glowing endorsement of Walther's work!  You know, the same glowing endorsement that both you and he give to Hermann Sasse's works, here and here)
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      In the next Part 3, I discuss the works of Prof. J.H.C. Fritz, the first English language Pastoral Theology books published by CPH.