I was going to hold off doing this series of reviews of Rast, but Walther's writings, especially on the proper form of a Christian congregation, cornered me... I could not let Rast's false teaching presume to speak for Walther.
Despite their protestations of "sola Scriptura," the Reformers showed that the "Scriptura" has never been "sola." (The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, Volume 4, page vii)Perhaps you could expand on this with your Ph.D. from Vanderbilt... maybe you could outdo Pelikan on this statement? Yes, it took quite a bit of "scholarship" for Pelikan to make the above statement... but maybe you can surpass him? Maybe you and Dr. Christopher Boyd Brown (the new CPH Pelikan) could have a contest on this?
There was Herman Cremer of Greifswald, who contributed a dictionary of the New Testament Greek, recommended by Professor Walther to his students although the author was a rationalist. (Dr. Walther excused this recommendation with the somewhat caustic remark that we are permitted to make use of the works of rationalistic authors even as the Israelites were instructed to make use of the Canaanites as hewers of wood and carriers of water.) [Joshua 9:21, 23, 27]This was written by Theo. Graebner in his book Dr. Francis Pieper, A Biographical Sketch (on page 7) about his teacher, Prof. C.F.W. Walther.
Do you hear that, Dr. Rast? You are just a "hewer of wood and drawer of water" for true Christians. The services of Concordia Historical Institute have also been largely limited to this function from its beginning. Why? Because your "church history" of the old (German) Missouri Synod largely lacks the true spiritual purpose required for true Church History.
No, the LC-MS could not fully praise Walther in October 1961 (CTM Vol. 32, October 1961), and neither can it praise him today for his 200th anniversary. Neither can it praise Franz Pieper.
What? Not even Rast's praise of Pieper in his essay on Pieper? Not the praise of Pieper in Scaer's article "Francis Pieper", not Marquart's praise of Pieper... not the praise of Pieper by C.S. Meyer and a host of others who lack the true praise of Pieper? Not the praise of Walther that Rast gives him at times?
No, Dr. Rast, Pastor Jack Cascione's defense against you (also blogger "Carl Vehse") is too mild and your admittedly heterodox LC-MS... could the "tangles" in your LC-MS be largely a pack of "ravening wolves", dressed in "sheep's clothing", ... that the sheep should be wary of? ... "ravening wolves" who can't get the Doctrine of Justification right?... and so cannot properly teach the doctrines Church and Ministry, Church Government, Baptism and Communion, the Election of Grace, the proper distinction of Law and Gospel, Antinomianism, ... cannot properly teach against the error of Pietism?... and yes, not even Christology? ... and who knows what other errors lurk in your heterodox LC-MS? Indeed, Dr. Rast, the only surety a Christian can glean from your theological writings is where you give verbatim quotations from Pieper and Walther. But why not just read them and dispense with you... because you might falsify them where you quote them? How so?
- by offering no praise of Engelder and PEK for their attempts to uphold the veracity of Holy Scripture, even though there may have been weaknesses in their defenses.
- by having an essay of yours included in a book that masks the true heart of Christian teaching, the Doctrine of Justification – e.g. by Richard John Neuhaus, a book honoring Prof. David Scaer and his "All Theology is Christology".
1) I tell you, Dr. Rast, that Walther's analysis of Pietists applies to you and your LC-MS:
Pietists admit the thesis, that faith alone justifies without works, and they do not deny this expressly any place. But to admit this is not the same as saying that they teach justification in a pure way.2) I tell you, Dr. Rast, that Prof. Roland Ziegler's analysis of the Reformed and pietists (here, pg 306) applies to you and your LC-MS:
The error of the Reformed or the pietists is that they point to an experience of grace which assures one of salvation instead of pointing them to word and sacrament.... The inexperienced is deceived by pious phrases and the seeming sincerity, how sin in such a case is taken seriously, how "cheap grace" is avoided. (page 306 here)3) I tell you, Dr. Rast, that your own analysis of Samuel Schmucker (see here) applies to you and your LC-MS:
For Schmucker, there is a universal atonement, but it does not equal the justification of the sinner before God. Something must happen personally, individually, before one can said to be justified.
==>>I tell you, Dr. Rast, that all praise of Christ, of grace, of the means of grace — and all praise of Franz Pieper, C.F.W. Walther, and Martin Luther — is nothing without the right doctrine of justification.