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Friday, July 23, 2010

Christian Unity and Holy Scripture

Gnesio Lutheran Blog posted the following from Franz Pieper. It says well what we have been talking about here for the past several years.

“Thus our precious Lutheran Church confesses: There is no teaching in the Christian faith which is not revealed in passages of Scripture with clear and unambiguous words. In these Scriptures all articles of the Christian faith have been revealed in a way which is accessible to both the learned and unlearned, as St. Augustine early affirmed. You should be grateful that God has led you to a church body which adheres to this scriptural position, a church body which takes very seriously the truth that Holy Scripture is a lamp unto our feet, and a light upon our path.

Perhaps you are wondering if this is not a position taken by all Protestant churches. By no means! If we look about us today, we must unfortunately conclude that their signature is one of despair about the clarity of Scripture – including that of modern Lutheran theology. Today they attempt to build unity in the church by disregarding unity in doctrine; indeed, they have declared it impossible to achieve unity in the church by means of doctrinal agreement. But why do they make such a declaration? Well, simply because they do not trust in Holy Scripture; they do not believe that God has provided us with clear Scriptures, and that by them all Christian teaching can be established with surety. Hence, they wish to bring unity by means of externals and “fundamentals,” but not by ‘all articles’ of Christian doctrine.

This is apparent nowadays also in that the churches allow not only a varied selection of beliefs but also a diversity of “opinions.” We, however, who maintain that our beliefs are not opinions but based on clear Scripture, are decried as romanizers with “infallibilist” tendencies…

But by the will of God you must not permit Holy Scriptures to be placed in doubt for you by the modern theology and unionism which are inundating the church. By God’s grace, cling to the inspiration, that is, the divinity, of Holy Scripture and its perfect clarity. It is only then you can have proper joy in Scripture and read God’s Word with firm countenance and, by God’s grace, obtain a sure conviction. It is only by belief in the clarity of Holy Scripture that you are orthodox Christians, true Lutherans.”

Via Pieper’s “Modernists Seek Unity Through Fundamentals Only”

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