Search This Blog

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Fick 9: Walther's doctrine of Church!; Atheist attacks

      This continues from Part 8 (Table of Contents in Part 1), publishing an English translation of C.F.W. Walther's biography of Pastor C.J. Hermann Fick. —
- - - - - - - - - - - -
      Walther practically startles us as he approvingly describes our Fick as a “foe of all priestly types”, confirming once again that he (Walther) was the greatest theologian since Martin Luther to highlight the importance of “the spiritual priesthood of all believers”.  —  After learning of a change of pastorate, his marriage, and another writing for Der Lutheraner, we are then introduced to the blasphemous hoax (from Germany) capitalized on by atheist free-thinkers in St. Louis.  And our Fick is primed to step onto the wider stage to defend Christianity.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
This translation by BackToLuther (BTL), taken from Der Lutheraner, Vol. 42, Nos. 14 (July 15, 1886) to 18 (September 15, 1886). All underlining is emphasis from original. All highlighting by BTL. — This portion:– vol. 42, #16 & 17, p. 122-123, 129.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
In Memory of Our Unforgettable Fick.
(by C.F.W. Walther; Part 9, cont'd from Part 8)

So new now was much of what our beloved Fick heard and saw over here (who of course came from the state church), so soon he convinced himself not only that he had found here a church fellowship independent of the State, which, both in intention of doctrine as well as practice was strictly established in accordance with Biblical principles; but from then on he was able to thank God, even to his death, with all his soul, for having led him into a church of this very form. Believing in the Holy Scriptures as the Word of the Great God, and recognizing the symbolic books of our Church as the golden confession of the true Church of all time, the zeal of the Missouri Synod was to him for purity and unity in doctrine and practice not something repulsive, but rather it seemed to him the necessary seal of a true visible church whose member he wanted to be.

And since he had always been a foe of all priestly types from the beginning, the doctrine of our synod on the sovereignty of true Christians as the spiritual priesthood and of the Christian congregation as the original owner of all church power in their living faithful members seemed to him to be one the most precious gems of the Lutheran Church of the Reformation.

As soon as Fick had returned home from the synodical assembly, he therefore wrote in the fire of first love [page 123, col. 1] those four glorious “Discussion of Two Lutherans on the Constitution of the Church”, which can be found in numbers 22 to 25 of the third year of our Der Lutheraner. [Baseley #22, #25]
On May 29, 1847 at the festival of Trinity Fick was ordained before his congregation in New Melle with commitment to the symbolic books of our church. He was  ordained by the blessed Fr. Bünger with the assistance of Schieferdecker, and solemnly introduced into his office. At that time, the congregation consisted of 60 families, mostly from the parishes of Melle and Buer in Osnabrück, who settled there and formed a Lutheran congregation.
After spending a year alone, solitary and alone, in great blessing, Fick experienced the truth of the divine Word: “It is not good that the man should be alone” (Gen. 2:18). He became engaged therefore through Mr. Andreas Langbeins, a faithful member of the local Lutheran congregation, to his eldest daughter  Miss Henriette Langbein, and was blessed in marriage to her in the local Immanuel Church on May 10, 1848. From this marriage six children were born, of which, however two of them preceded their father into eternity in their early childhood. The children who have survived are two sons, both doctors of medicine, and two grown unmarried daughters.
Fick would, however, only lay the foundation in New Melle. In fact, in 1850 he received a call from a small congregation in Bremen near St. Louis, which consisted of only eight voting and almost entirely poor members, and a call which he felt to have penetrated to his conscience. Just at Bremen, at that time a suburb of St. Louis, a large German population retreated, so that even then it had the reputation that this city would become almost purely German. In addition, at that time rationalism, indeed atheism, was spreading, whose victims the Germans of Bremen seemed to want to become, unless a Lutheran congregation were founded here. Fick had the correct opinion that under certain circumstances a small congregation could be more important than a larger one, and that one had to take into consideration the future of a congregation if comparisons were to be made. *)
Thus Fick left his considerably larger congregation with their consent and did not care that in Bremen he could be granted a much lower salary and a much more limited house than his beloved New Melle had granted him. By the way, despite the small size of the new congregation, he had here more work instead of less than in New Melle, as his preaching office in Bremen was connected with a small, but still with a city-wide education office. **) With great loyalty now Fick here managed his new office quietly. He also saw his work crowned with God's blessing. The small congregation grew, internally and externally, albeit slowly but visibly and steadily. At the same time our Fick remained a hardworking contributor to Der Lutheraner.  From that time comes, among other things, the
*) Already a year ago, that Bremen congregation that started out so small contained 236 voting members and 1428 souls, and is currently the second largest Evangelical Lutheran congregation of St. Louis.
**) Already one year ago, the Bremen congregation had a four-class school organization with four teachers and 378 schoolchildren.

[page 129, col. 2] excellent essay “The Wittenberg Concord, Example of True Union”, which can be found in 1848, volume 4,  No 18, May 2, and No. 19, May 16. [Baseley translation, p. 139-141, 148-150.]
Franz Schmidt
“Free Men’s Society”

At that time, an atheist newspaper appeared in Bremen, which neighbored
St. Louis, under the title: Free Paper. An organ for religious education. Published and edited by Franz Schmidt.” [Freie Blätter, WorldCat here and here] Blaspheming all saints, this so-called “Free Paper” set itself to the special task of proving that the Four Gospels of the New Testament are concoctions of a later time, and that the history of Christ contained in them is nothing but miserable inventions and fables. The so-called “Free Congregation” [Freie Gemeinde, search “Free Gemeinden” in The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief, 2007], which had just been founded in St. Louis and the “Free Men’s Society” [Freie-Männer-Verein, search “Verein Freier Männer” in The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief, 2007] at first mustered everything to spread the “Paper” among the Germans of St. Louis and Bremen. Now immediately Der Lutheraner [BTL: the “Old Lutherans” in St. Louis; see e.g. here. here. here.] stood up against the “Free Paper” and irrefutably proved with scientific reasons the groundlessness of Franz Schmidt's outrageous assertions in many lengthy articles.  

But when in the “Free Paper” readers were fooled that recently was found by an Abyssinian trading company at Alexandria, in a former monastic monastery, a scroll of parchment, derived from the Essene sect and containing reliable "historical revelations about the real mode of death of Jesus" [WorldCat], Fick realized that it was useless to disprove the miserable blasphemy with scientific weapons; for Schmidt's readers did not read such refutations, but also took the ridiculous allegations thereof for irrefutable evidence that the whole of Christianity is apparently built on nothing but lies and deceit.
- - - - - - - - - - -  continued in Part 10  - - - - - - - - - - - -

      There was a similar newspaper to Schmidt's Freie Blätter that was printed in Berlin Germany 3 years before (1848) edited by Adolf Glassbrenner, another German radical (full view in HathiTrust here).  I wonder that Schmidt took the name for his newspaper from this other German radical.  In Steven Rowan's translation of Henry Boernstein's Memoirs of a Nobody p. 232, the following additional information is given on Schmidt:
“Using the code name Theseus, he corresponded with the Communist Party Central Committee in Brussels while in St. Louis.”
There is no USA Wikipedia article on this Franz Schmidt (1818-1853), the political figure of both Germany and America, although there are others (here and here) with the same name.  But judging by the extensive German Wikipedia article on him, it almost seems that Germany now reveres this Franz Schmidt, although it expelled him in 1848.

Walther knew all about Communism and Socialism and their attacks on Christianity. He was asked by his St. Louis congregation in 1878 to give lectures on these ideologies which were subsequently published under the title Communismus und Socialismus.  There have been other writings against these but no one else presents the pure spiritual defense against them like Walther. The English translation of this work is still sold today here. I am considering publishing an improved edition of this translation since our modern world practically falls head-over-heels towards these ideologies.  — We are about to learn the rest of the story on Franz Schmidt, and a humorous defense against his blatant attacks on Christianity… in the next Part 10.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Fick 8: Congregation is free, supreme authority– New Melle, Mo.; C.S. Meyer's poor history

      This continues from Part 7 (Table of Contents in Part 1), publishing an English translation of C.F.W. Walther's biography of Pastor C.J. Hermann Fick. —
- - - - - - - - - - - -
      After weeks of translating this biography, and nearing the finish of it, I marveled at how detailed it was, at how it strengthened my faith (but see below for an alternate view).  —  We discover in this portion where New Melle, Missouri is.  I wonder if New Melle will today hear the Christian message of its first pastor?  And what a message he brought to them!  Will today's LC-MS hear the Christian doctrine concerning a Christian congregation?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
This translation by BackToLuther (BTL), taken from Der Lutheraner, Vol. 42, Nos. 14 (July 15, 1886) to 18 (September 15, 1886). All underlining is emphasis from original. All highlighting by BTL. — This portion:– vol. 42, #16, p. 121-122..
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
In Memory of Our Unforgettable Fick.
(by C.F.W. Walther; Part 8, cont'd from Part 7)

In March of the same year [1847], a public appeal of the German Evangelical Lutheran congregation at New Melle, St. Charles Co., Mo., appeared in a local political paper in which those who were inclined to become their preacher were called upon to get in touch. Now that Fick was here to wait for a job in office, he could not shake off the thought of whether that call coming into his hands might not be a hint from God for him. He therefore answered. The letter of Fick has been preserved by the congregation at Neumelle and has been kindly sent to us by the present preacher, Pastor Matushka, for use in this biography. It was written on March 2, 1847 and, with the omission of the introduction and the conclusion, reads as follows:
“For the many souls who are here in North America, it is certainly of the utmost necessity for an evangelical Lutheran church to hold fast to God's words and Lutheran doctrine if they are not to fall into the hands of the Methodists and other erring teachers, as unfortunately happened here and there. That is why it is the sacred duty of a [page 122, col. 2] Lutheran preacher to teach God's Word pure and clear, so that the souls are built up in the most holy faith in which they are faithfully educated by their parents and teachers, and thus, with God's help, above all are preserved from error and disunity. If a church is so united in doctrine and in faith, then it will certainly resist victoriously the approaches and conversion attempts of the sectarians, and will grow and increase, and flourish in all respects with God's help.

“But yet another evil often threatens to split and destroy Evangelical Lutheran congregations, in that often unseen people creep into the sacred office of the preacher, who then often give great offense by obvious heresies or by a shameful way of life. There it is now a proper grace of God in that our new fatherland is a free country, and that here the most complete freedom of conscience prevails. Therefore, if a preacher gives an outrage, then the church has not only the right, but according to God's Word also the duty to relieve such an unworthy one of his office. In general, the freedom of conscience is such a precious and glorious good that it is to be wished that all preachers and congregations seek to preserve it seriously, so that they do not, as is the case in some parts of Germany, become devices for the bondage of men.
“The proper constitution of a church, on the other hand, is the one that follows the Word of Christ: one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren”. [Matt. 23:8] Therefore, when a church calls a preacher, he receives from the church the right and the duty to administer the sacred ministry, that is to distribute the sacraments, to practice pastoral care, to visit and comfort the sick and the troubled, and to preach the Word of God and the Lutheran doctrine. And then it is a precious thing that we have the small Lutheran Catechism and the Augsburg Confession, in which the pure doctrine of God's Word is expressed so simply and clearly that every Lutheran Christian has in it a certain guideline for his faith.
But as far as the administration of the congregation is concerned, the institutions and other things that serve the good of the church, no individual has the right to force an Evangelical Lutheran congregation into anything, because the congregation is free and has the supreme authority. [oberste Gewalt] Therefore, all the members of the congregation, as well as the leaders and preachers, have the right to vote and to discuss the affairs of the congregation in fraternal fellowship, with the majority of the votes being decided because that is the most just.
“Some churches contract with their preacher for a period of time, half a year, or a year, believing that this is the best way to protect themselves against bad preachers. But I frankly confess to you that it is against my conscience to be accepted by a congregation for a certain time. For if a preacher is hired for a certain time by a church, he is not a properly appointed preacher before God, but a hireling. Such a one, as the Lord Christ says, does not respect the sheep, John 10:13, and does not serve the church for God's sake, but for the sake of money. He does not truly love his church, but as soon as he can get a better job that brings in more money, becomes faithless to his congregation. And the congregation is also at a great disadvantage, because if they hire a preacher for a certain time and [page 122, col. 3] makes a contract with him, it may be easy for the preacher to give offense immediately afterwards, by heresy or by a bad way of life, and that then the congregation must continue to maintain such a person for a long time, during which time he can do much harm. Nor does the church benefit from a hired preacher, because he can have no love for his congregation and for his holy vocation, since he administers his office only for money and not out of love for God and for his brothers. On the other hand, according to God's Word and Luther's doctrine, when a church calls a preacher for so long as he faithfully and conscientiously administers his holy ministry in God's Word, then God takes him either through death, or with permission the congregation is called into another sphere of activity.
“If the congregation wishes me to give an “election” sermon, I ask that I may appoint a Sunday on which to come to New Melle. Also, I would like to have more accurate information about the circumstances of the congregation. At the same time, I cordially ask you to reply to my letter as soon as possible, as I would like to have speedy certainty, as other congregations turn to preachers here as well.”
Based on this letter, the congregation invited the candidate Fick to deliver an “election” sermon on the following Palm Sunday. This happened as well, whereupon Fick was unanimously chosen by the congregation to be their preacher and pastor. But since many preparations were required by the congregation to receive their preacher, it was agreed by both sides that the introduction to the office should take place only on Sunday after Pentecost. This corresponded to Fick's wishes to a great extent, since the opening of the first annual assembly of the Missouri Synod in Chicago was scheduled for April 24 of the current year, in which Fick eagerly wished to take part. This also happened to his, and the whole synod’s, great joy.
- - - - - - - - - - -  continued in Part 9  - - - - - - - - - - - -

Jack Cascione
"Reclaim News"
      When I first translated Fick's pronouncement concerning the Christian congregation, I was a little stunned at how blunt it sounded – I had to double check the German original to be sure that I was translating it correctly. How similar it sounded to Jack Casione's shibboleth for the doctrine that C.F.W. Walther taught.  How hard this is to swallow by even the most conservative teachers and leaders in today's LC-MS who would claim that this is not the teaching of Walther or Pieper since they also strongly defended the divine institution of the Ministry.  But note well! This biography was written by none other than C.F.W. Walther himself in the pages of his Der Lutheraner concerning his “favorite pastor”.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
Carl S. Meyer
LCMS Historian
      As mentioned at the top of this blog, I was so happy to have discovered this biography.  And with every column I translated, I became even more convinced that this biography was a great treasure for Lutheranism and Christianity!  So it was quite a shock to subsequently discover that the Director of Concordia Seminary Graduate Studies, Carl S. Meyer († 1972), wrote an article for Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly (CHIQ) in their August 1972 issue commenting on Walther's writing of two biographies in his lifetime.  I was repulsed when I read various veiled and not so veiled criticisms of Walther [my comments in red]:
  • p. 193: “It is readily evident that they belong to the writings of der alte Walther.” [What does this mean?]  “… The two biographies reveal a warm and personal side of C. F. W. Walther not evident readily elsewhere except in some of his letters.” [So when Walther taught that preachers should preach to the people “You are already saved, so that you might believe”, it was not “warm and personal”?]
  • p. 200: “He did not know Wilhelm Dilthey’s concept of the scientific nature of biography. … He was no Plutarch,…” [I suppose I should look up what Meyer might have meant with these obscure comments, but... I won't.]
  • p. 204: “Walther’s emphasis on the religious experiences, the actual conversion experience of an individual, so characteristic of Pietism…” [Meyer stopped just short of calling Walther a Pietist (or did he?) as he did so elsewhere.]
  • p. 206: "Walther does not tell about the Erweckungsbewegung [revival movement in Germany] in these biographies, although he amply documents unionism and Rationalism. That the emigrants had motives other than religious ones for leaving Germany is not acknowledged. We sense a lack of perspective and the want of a balanced presentation.  [This is a false charge and leaves one to wonder if Meyer read Walther's writing completely.  Walther mentions Louis Harms, Superintendent Catenhusen, and even Wilhelm Loehe.  Let the reader judge against the Director of Graduate Studies of Concordia Seminary, Carl S. Meyer!]
I wonder that Carl S. Mundinger and Walter O. Forster, two other LCMS historians, were on a first-name basis with Carl S. Meyer. – I am publishing this article of Meyer >> here << (in violation of CHIQ's copyright) so that the world can judge whether Carl S. Meyer, the great LC-MS historian, was a true Church Historian... or not. — In the next Part 9...

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Fick 7: St Louis, Walther; ‘I Am A Lutheran’ poem– Der Lutheraner author; Methodists

      This continues from Part 6 (Table of Contents in Part 1), publishing an English translation of C.F.W. Walther's biography of Pastor C.J. Hermann Fick. —
- - - - - - - - - - - -
      After a short side story of Fick's fellow traveler Francke and his first pastorate, Walther relates his joy in remembering his first meetings with the new immigrant German, Hermann Fick.  And how Fick impressed Walther!  Fick, after a time of counsel with The American Luther (Walther), became an instant bastion of Lutheran teaching, a great Church Historian, and… the “Missouri Nightingale”.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
This translation by BackToLuther (BTL), taken from Der Lutheraner, Vol. 42, Nos. 14 (July 15, 1886) to 18 (September 15, 1886). All underlining is emphasis from original. All highlighting by BTL. — This portion:– vol. 42, #16, p. 121-122.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
In Memory of Our Unforgettable Fick.
(by C.F.W. Walther; Part 7, cont'd from Part 6)

Francke, whose special desire was to be used to seek out and supply abandoned fellow-believers in the far west, hurried to St. Louis, Mo., and waited here now for the LORD's call in his vineyard. He had also taken the right time to do so, when just then a number of mostly north German Lutherans in Lafayette County, Missouri (about 200 miles west of St. Louis) had approached this writer [Walther!] with a request to provide them with a good pastor. Therefore, when they were informed of the arrival of a candidate from northern Germany, they immediately sent a call to their pastor, which Francke also accepted immediately. After receiving ordination in the local Trinity Church on December 29, 1846, he set out in grim cold on the way to the place of his destiny, which he reached only after eight days journey partly by cart, partly on horseback, partly on foot, with unspeakable hardships.*)

*) As Francke one day along with his fellow travelers, prompted by the stage coachman himself, stopped at a lonely farm to warm up his frozen limbs a little, and when, after about fifteen minutes, he came out of the farmhouse again to take his place in the mail-van, behold, the post-coachman with his horses had disappeared. Francke had been forced on horseback into the unknown, hard-to-travel, snow-covered area in danger of freezing, to continue his journey. He reported this to the writer by letter, expressing the deepest gratitude for God's wonderful preservation, but without complaining about his hardships, in the best sense of humor. He had already expected such hardships in Germany in his decision to serve the scattered Lutherans here.

[page 121, col. 2] When we had let Francke know how much we were pleased by such a strength as he had received for the service of our American mission church, he replied in his humility, "Just wait; soon my friend Fick will follow me; that is a very different man than I who is such a poor man.”
That Fick would soon follow him also came to our great joy. It is true that Fick had already made some attempts to carry out so-called Inner Mission in the Cincinnati area while on his journey here from Fort Wayne; but finally he had decided to go to St. Louis, Mo., and to go to the service of the Church, wherever help was most needed. He had no desire to be the only one to obey the Word of his God: “For thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.” (Jer. 1:7)
Fick arrived here in mid-January 1847, and God did it so that we could enjoy his fellowship daily until the end of May of the same year. At the time, our domestic circumstances did not allow us to house Fick; that was gladly taken over by a dear, now long departed church member, pharmacist Tschirpe; but he [Fick] was my guest at this time every day from morning to night. The days of this fellowship with him are among the most beautiful and blessed days of our lives. His amiable personality in every respect soon won our whole heart. Gentleness and sincerity, childhood simplicity and vigor, yes, we saw this harmoniously paired in him with a certain chivalrous nature in the loveliest way. Full of youthful enthusiasm for everything true, good and beautiful, yet he was free from those youthful exuberances in which one makes oneself a world in his thoughts, without thinking of how it really is.

But the most glorious thing that we saw in him was a firm childlike faith in the Word of God and in the grace of his Savior, as the basis of his soul’s peace, [page 121, col. 3] his joy, his hope and his desire to serve the Lord in his fellow-redeemed. Apparently in constant communication with his God, he showed himself far from all enthusiasm. As often and as much as we discussed about theology and the church, we almost always met in our convictions. There may occasionally be some obscurity and wavering in connection with this, but it always manifested itself that the excellent young man was on the right footing, that the ultimate result of our exchange was always the fullest unity of faith in all points of doctrine. The study of the writings of Luther had obviously saved him through all the dangers of falling into dangerous heresy or even hanging on to it. We could only praise God for having given to our American Lutheran Church a gift in this man, as we needed right now.
As ready as he was to collaborate with our Der Lutheraner, we were sure that we would soon be able to invite him to cooperate in this only organ (at that time) of the orthodox American Lutheran Church with a cheerful conscience.  Already in the number of the Der Lutheraner of February 9, 1847  [Baseley], therefore, there is the beginning of that glorious first article from Fick's pen, which deceives the title “The Marburg Colloquy, One Evidence that the Lutheran Church of that Time had Not Rejected True but False Church Union,” with the motto “The Lutheran Church does not make a union, it is the union.” This excellent article strengthened us powerfully in the conviction that during those low days God in grace had bestowed on us in Fick a most distinguished collaborator in His great work, also by writing. The second contribution, which Fick delivered at that time for the Der Lutheraner and which appeared in this paper on March 23, 1847  [Baseley], consisted in the widely known song I Am a Lutheran, the True Church Member.” We declare this incomparable song to be known far and wide, for after it had been excluded from one German church  paper, it gradually appeared in a whole series of German Lutheran church papers, [page 122, col. 1] although sometimes without indication of the source. We also soon learned that Fick had set the right tone for our local Lutheran people. After some time, when we came to be a church in which the Der Lutheraner had some subscribers, we asked a member, a farmer, about his faith. He answered, “I am a Lutheran, the true Church member.” and now he recited the whole song of Fick by heart with a raised voice and visible joy. At that time an article by a certain Peter Schmucker appeared in the Methodist so-called “Apologist”, in which the Confirmation commonly in use in the Lutheran Church was abominably blasphemed and called the "confirmation machine" of the Lutherans, which was introduced by them instead of conversion.

At the same time, the aforementioned Methodist article writer agitated against the sacred place of Baptism and the Lord's Supper held by the Lutherans as a holy “Sacrament”, which he declared to be a heathenish (!) superstition. Indignant by this equally crude and ungodly fanatic (Schwärmerei), Fick immediately wrote a counter-article, which also appeared in that issue of the Der Lutheraner of March 23, 1847 [Baseley], in which he showed so clearly the ridiculousness and abomination of the fanatical spirit that even the simplest reader could grasp it with his hands. Fick's essay therefore produced a great movement. Not a few Lutherans, who until then had been troubled in their conscience by the pious appearance of the Methodists, were now completely convinced by Fick's counter-article that the spirit of Methodism was not the Holy Spirit, but a fiercely enthusiastic (fanatical) spirit.
With Fick's entry onto the staff of the Der Lutheraner, a new important segment of the effectiveness of this paper began.  Its sole purpose was from the beginning and has remained by God's grace until today, to draw again into the light “God's Word and Luther's doctrine” and bring it to bear.  It was to expose the false Lutherans. It was to return to the truth or to put it to work. It was to close the door to the enthusiastic souls who were already about to eat the local dead name-only Lutheran Church as carrion like eagles, and to call the old venerable Church of the Reformation back to life here and build it. —  
- - - - - - - - - - -  continued in Part 8  - - - - - - - - - - - -
      One sees in the last paragraph above how Walther relished telling Fick's story and remembering the “sole purpose” of his Der Lutheraner, to
  • “draw again into the light ‘God's Word and Luther's doctrine’”, 
  • “close the door to the enthusiastic souls about to eat the Lutheran Church as carrion like eagles”,
  • “call the old venerable Church of the Reformation back to life here and build it.”     
Only $55 + shipping
      I own a copy of Baseley's Der Lutheraner translations volumes 1-3.  Why would I purchase this book when the content is freely available in Google Books?  It is because the content of Baseley's translations is so rich in Lutheran teachings and history that it demands my attention when all other theological writings of our age oppress me. It is wonderful to read on a printed page, not just on a web page.  There is something of value to ink on paper... don't you agree? What a treasure it is to read through Fick's essay on the Marburg Colloquy and his masterful poem “I Am a Lutheran
      As I read Walther's remembrance of a farmer reciting Fick's poem “I am a Lutheran”, I thought of my farmer father's confession at a Bible study years ago: “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)   —  In the next Part 8, we hear of Fick's first pastorate. Also I will review another LCMS historian's report on Walther's two biographies, but in quite a different way than by August Suelflow.