Full Text for Wilhelm Loehe: His Voice Still Heard in Walther's Church (Text)

Concordia Theological Quarterly Volume 75:3-4 July/October 2011 Table Contents Walther and the Revival of Confessional Lutheranism Martin R. Noland ................................................................................ 195 Grabau Versus Walther: The Use of the Book o/Concord in the American Lutheran Debate on Church and Ministry in the Nineteenth Century Benjamin T.G. Mayes ......................................................................... 217 C.F.W. Walther's Use of Luther Cameron A. MacKenzie ..................................................................... 253 Mission through Witness, Mercy, Life Together in Walther and the First Fathers of Missouri Albert B. Collver ................................................................................. 275 Eduard Preuss and C.F.W. Walther Roland F. Ziegler ................................................................................ 289 Wilhelm Lohe: His Voice Still Heard in Walther's Church John T. Pless ........................................................................................ 311 Walther, the Third Use of the Law, and Contemporary Issues David P. Scaer ..................................................................................... 329 The King James Version: The Beginning or the End? Cameron A. MacKenzie ..................................................................... 343 Theological Observer ...................................................................................... 367 Dean Wenthe: An Appreciation An Old Seminary, a New President, and the Unfolding of Divine History The Sacred Character of Human Life Book Reviews ................................................................................................... 372 Books Received ................................................................................................ 381 Indices for Volume 75 (2011) .......................................................................... 382 Observing Two Anniversaries Carl Ferdinand Wilhelm Walther was born on October 25, 1811, in Langenchursdorf, Saxony, Germany. It is appropriate that this issue honor C.F.W. Walther on this 200th anniversary of his birth because of his significant influence as the first and third president of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (1847-1850 and 1864-1878) and also president and professor at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (1850-1887). Most of the articles below, which were first presented at the 2011 Symposium on the Lutheran Confessions in Fort Wayne, reflect his influence in many areas of biblical teaching, confessional subscription, and the life of the church in mission. These historical and theological studies are offered here so that Walther may be understood in his context and continue to be a blessed voice in our synod as we face the future. This issue also recognizes one other anniversary. The venerated King James Version of the Bible, first printed in 1611, is now 400 years old. The article below on the King James Version was originally given as a paper at the 2011 Symposium on Exegetical Theology in honor of this anniversary. The importance of this translation for the English-speaking world is widely acknowledged. Although many may think that its day has passed, this article demonstrates the ongoing influence of the King James Version through other translations. The Editors CTQ 75 (2011): 311-328 Wilhelm Lohe: His Voice Still Heard in Walther's Church John T. Pless Writing on the bicentennial of Wilhelm Lohe's birth, Craig Nessan suggested two trajectories of the Neuendettelsau pastor's influence in con­ temporary American Lutheranism: one through the Iowa Synod and into the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the other through The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS). Given the fact that the Iowa Synod merged in 1930 with the Ohio and Buffalo Synods to form the"old" American Lutheran Church, which would join with other bodies to form the American Lutheran Church (ALC) in 1960 and finally the ELCA in 1988, Nessan observes that Lohe's influence in the ELCA is mainly discerned in two institutions initially connected with his work: Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, and Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. Apart from these institutions there was little, if any, recognition of the Lohe anniversary within the ELCA. By way of contrast, Nessan notes, /I As the two-hundredth anniversary of Lohe's birth is celebrated in 2008, Lohe is being reclaimed as an important ancestor in the history and life of the LCMS.//l Why is Lohe "being reclaimed as an important ancestor"? Hermann Sasse points to a parting of the ways between Lohe and Walther that im­ pacted the role Lohe played in the young Missouri Synod. One of the most grievous events in the history of the Lutheran Church in the 19th century was the fact that the two great churchmen Wilhelm Lohe and Ferdinand Walther went separate ways after the great theological leader of the Missouri Synod had in 1851 a most promising meeting with L5he in Neuendettelsau.2 Sasse echoes the deep pathos that surrounds these two men who seem­ ingly shared so much in common within the context of the confessional revival of their day. This paper will rehearse in part the history of how 1 Craig Nessan, "Lohe in America: Two Historical Trajectories in the Missouri and Iowa Synods," Logia: A Journal ofLutheran Theology 17:3 (Holy Trinity 2008),21. 2 Hermann Sasse, "Ministry and Congregation" in We Confess the Omrch, tr. Norman E. Nagel (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1986),69. John T. Pless is Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions and Director of Field Education at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana. l'"'­ 312 Concordia Tlleological Quarterly 75 (2011) Walther and Lohe would make common cause in their tireless efforts for confessional Lutheranism in mid-19th-century North America and chron­ icle the details of the fracture. 3 In the main it will examine how it is that Lohe's voice continues to be heard in the church body that received its theological and ecclesial shape from his contemporary, C.F.W. Walther (1811-1887). The primary link between Lohe and Walther is found in F.C.D. Wyneken (1810-1876), whose impassioned literary plea, The Distress of the German Lutherans in North America, captured Lohe's attention in 1840 and spurred him to action on behalf of scattered German immigrants on the American frontier. Conversely, it is through Lohe that Wyneken was then led to embrace authentic Lutheranism. By the time Wyneken wrote his Distress of the German Lutherans in North America, his Lutheran convictions and consciousness were becoming more solidly formed, even though the congregation that he served in Fort Wayne was one of mixed confession, both Lutheran and Reformed. Before his visit to Germany in 1841, Wyneken remained open to pastors who were either Lutheran or Reformed. His visit to Germany in late 1841 and early 1842 provided him with an opportunity to meet Lohe. The contact with Lohe deepened Wyneken's Lutheran instincts. When he returned to Fort Wayne, Wyneken began to preach on the differences between the Lutheran and Reformed confessions, leading the Reformed component of his congregation to with­ draw and organize a congregation of its own. Lohe's literary activities served as a robust echo of Wyneken's appeal. In response to Lohe's publicity of the dire needs in America, Adam Ernst and Georg Burger presented themselves as candidates for service on the frontier. Lohe provided training for these two men in a variety of theo­ logical and secular subjects. In the summer of 1842, Ernst and Burger were sent to the United States after agreeing to a set of stipulations that would govern their work and affiliations. Initially, Ernst and Burger made their way to Columbus to study at the seminary of the Ohio Synod. After the Ohio Synod affirmed the use of the unionistic distribution formula in the communion liturgy in 1845, Lohe ended his support of the Columbus seminary. Eleven of the men sent by Lohe were among the 22 who met in Cleve­ land on September 13-18, 1845, to draw up a declaration of separa-tion from the Ohio Synod. The document adopted by the assembly listed For a more complete telling of this story, see John T. Pless, "Wilhelm Lohe and the Missouri Synod," in Wilhelm L6he (1808-1872): Seine Bedeutung fUr Kirche und Diakonie, ed. Hermann Schoenauer (Stuttgart: Verlag Kohlhammer, 2008), 119-134. 313 Pless: Lohe's Voice in Walther's Church several reasons for their departure from the Synod: Ohio's favorable disposition toward unionism, the retention of the problematic distribution formula, the refusal to require a vow to the Book of Concord in ordination, the practice of licensing candidates for a specific period of time rather than issuing a call, and the toleration of some Reformed congregations in the membership of the Synod. The conference in Cleveland opened the way for a new synodical body that was marked by complete loyalty to the Lutheran Confessions and a renunciation of unionism. Lohe knew of both the Saxons in Missouri and the Prussians in New York and Wisconsin who formed the Buffalo Synod. In a letter to Ernst in October 1843, L6he expressed his mistrust of J.A.A. Grabau's hierarchical approach to the governance of the church.4 Likewise, L6he deplored the absolutistic claims made by Martin Stephan. In another letter, Lohe wrote to Ernst: "One recognizes that the scattered Saxons in Missouri have been purified and strengthened through the fire of tribulation, and certainly our hope is not in vain that other friends over there may be able to unite completely with them in one holy communion. In this the work of the church there will flourish more and more"5 Ernst's positive impression of the Saxons was gained by his reading of Der Lutheraner, a church paper edited by Walther. When Ernst first saw the paper during a visit to Wyneken in Fort Wayne, he remarked: "Thank God, there are still real Lutherans in America."6 Lohe likewise was impressed by the sturdy confessional and churchly nature of the paper. Ernst was encouraged to go to st. Louis for a meeting with Walther. This trip had to be delayed due to the upcoming gathering in Cleveland. Walther was invited to attend the Cleveland conference but was unable to attend due to illness. Instead Walther drafted a letter to Ernst expressing his support for a new synod and the desire of the Saxons to enter into a body of genuinely Lutheran character. In this letter, Walther noted that such a body should be marked by six characteristics: (1) it should be based on the Lutheran Symbols as contained in the Book of Concord and, if possible, the Saxon Visitation Articles; (2) it should eschew 4 James Schaaf, "Wilhelm Lohe's Relation to the American Church: A Study in the History of Lutheran Mission" (Th.D. diss., University of Heidelberg, 1961), 105. See also Benjamin Mayes, "Grabau Versus Walther: The Use of the Book of Concord in the American Lutheran Debate on Church and Ministry in the Nineteenth Century," CTQ 75 (2011): 217-252. 5 James Schaaf, "Wilhelm l(ihe and the Missouri Synod," Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly (May 1972), 58. 6 Schaaf, "Wilhelm Lohe's Relation to the American Church," 107-108. r"'-­ 314 Concordia Theological Quarterly 75 (2011) all syncretistic activity; (3) it should guard and promote the unity and purity of Lutheran doctrine; (4) it should be a consultative, not a judicial body; (5) it should give the laity rights as well as the clergy; and (6) it should allow each congregation to pass judgment on the synod's decisions. Those meeting in Cleveland authorized Ernst, Frederich Lochner, and Wilhelm Sihler to undertake a trip to St. Louis for a meeting with Walther. The meeting, which took place in May of 1846, resulted in a draft of a constitutional proposal drawn up chiefly by Walther but signed by Ernst, Lochner, Sihler, Walther, and six of the Saxon pastors. This document became the basis for a more formal constitution that was presented in Fort Wayne in July. Some potential synod members could not be present at this meeting so it was decided that the constitution would not go into effect for a year in order that it might be studied by those who were absent. The next meeting would be held in Chicago in April, 1847. It was at this meeting that the Missouri Synod was actually established with all but one of Lohe's men joining the new synod.? Over half of the ministerium of the newly­ organized Missouri Synod was composed of Lohe's men. Schaaf mis­ takenly asserts that of the Lohe contingent only Craemer was elected to a leadership.8 In fact, the constituting convention elected Shiler to serve as vice president. While Walther clearly emerged as the theological and organizational leader of the Missouri Synod, Lohe's men exerted considerable influence in the formation of the Synod. At the organizing convention a resolution was passed requesting Lohe to transfer the Fort Wayne seminary to the Synod while at the same time continuing to support the institution with funds and books. After consult­ ing with Wucherer, Lohe replied affirmatively to the request with three provisions: (1) that the seminary would serve only the Lutheran Church that accepts the entire Book of Concord; (2) only German would be used in instruction; (3) the seminary would not alter its mission of speedy prepa­ ration of pastors for German-speaking congregations.9 The seminary, now out of his hands, was perhaps his greatest gift to the Missouri Synod. Lohe had reservations about the constitutional foundation of the Synod from the beginning. He was especially uneasy regarding the notion of equal representation of clergy and laity in church governance. This 7 Schaaf, "Wilhelm Uihe's Relation to the American Church," 109. 8 Schaaf, "Wilhelm Uihe's Relation to the American Church," no. 9 Schaaf, "Wilhelm U:ihe's Relation to the American Church," 114. On the issue of the German language, it is important to remember the paucity of confessionally sound Lutheran literature in English at this time. The first English translation of the Book of Concord would not appear until 1851. B J , ( l .. 1 II 315 d it ;. :l a s r t Pless: Lohe's Voke in Walther's Church seemed to him to reflect a democratic form of church life more reflective of American principles than the ecclesiology of the New Testament. Such a democratic approach, Lohe feared, would subordinate the pastor to the will of the congregation. But at this early stage, Lohe chose not to protest too strongly, believing that over time the weaknesses of this approach would be realized and appropriate adjustments made in the constitution. Schaaf observes that for Lohe, "The desire for unity with confessionally minded Lutherans was stronger than the fear of congregationalism." IO In the months after the constituting convention, Lohe expressed his reservations in a number of letters. In a letter to Walther, written in September of 1847, Lohe wrote: With heartfelt sorrow we have noted that your synodical constitution, as it now stands, could not completely meet the model of the first con­ gregations and we fear, certainly with complete justification, that the fundamental strong mixing of democratic, independent, congrega­ tional principles in your constitution will cause greater damage than the mixing of princes and secular authorities in our homeland. Careful attention to many teachings of the holy apostle about the organization of the church and the Seelsorge in general would have taught the dear lay brethren something different. A constitution is a dogmatic adiaphoron, but not a practical one.ll A few months later, in December of 1847, Lohe wrote to his German pastoral colleague, Ludwig Adolph Petri: One thing is regrettable. When our good people arrive over there and breathe the American air they become imbued with democracy and one hears with amazement how independent and congregational they think about church organization. They are in danger of forgetting the high, divine honor of their office and becoming slaves to their congre­ gations.J2 These letters point to a conflict that would emerge in the coming years and ultimately contribute to a rift between Lohe and the Synod that he helped to establish. Casting shadows over the Synod's organizing convention in 1847 were two factors. First, there was the fresh and painful memory of the Stephan debacle and the spiritual anguish that it had inflicted among the Perry County colonists, even to the point of creating doubt as to whether they 10 Schaaf, "Wilhelm Lohe's Relation to the American Church," 118. Schaaf, "Wilhelm Lohe and the Missouri Synod/' 60. 12 Schaaf, "Wilhelm LOhe and the Missouri Synod," 60. r 316 Concordia Theological Quarterly 75 (2011) were still members of the una sancta.13 Then there was Grabau and his authoritarian defense of the pastoral office. Walther had come into conflict with Grabau as early as 1840 at the time the Prussian pastor had published his Hirtenbrief14 The two groups had experienced opposite threats. For Walther and the Saxons, it was the threat of abused episcopal authority in the hierarchical attitude of Stephan, whereas for Grabau and the Buffalo Synod, it was the threat of conventicles that would circumvent the ministerial office. There was heated literary exchange between the two groups, complicated by the unwillingness of the Missouri party to recognize excommunications en­ acted by Buffalo pastors that were often deemed unjust actions from the Missourian's point of view. Lohe's attempt to mediate this dispute earned him the disfavor of both groups. Pointing out what he believed to be errors in both the approaches of Grabau and Walther, Lohe urged each of the parties to something of a truce, leaving the disputed issues as II open questions" until they could re­ solve them in an amicable manner and, in this way, achieve reconciliation. The debate continued to simmer. At its 1850 convention, the Missouri Synod requested Walther to prepare a document clearly stating the Synod's position on church and ministry. That same convention invited Lohe to visit the United States in order to inspect the field cultivated by his labor and, most importantly, to meet with Walther and his associates to discuss the questions of church and ministry. Due to circumstances in Bavaria, Lohe declined this invitation in a letter to Wyneken dated February 13, 1851.15 The synod, meeting in convention later that year, deputized Walther and Wyneken to travel to Neudendettelsau to meet with Lohe in order to address what appeared to be a growing rift. In September 1851, Walther and Wyneken arrived in Germany where Lohe was embedded in controversy with the Upper Consistory of the Bavarian Church. Lohe and others were threatened with suspension for their insistence that the territorial church cease in admitting the Reformed 13 See Walter Foster, Zion on the Mississippi: TIle Settlement of the Saxon Lutherans in Missouri 1839-1841 (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1953),411-534. 14 For an account of the early relationship of Grabau and the Saxons, see William Cwirla, "Grabau and the Saxon Pastors: The Doctrine of the Holy Ministry 1840-1845," Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly (Summer 1995), 84-99. Also see Benjamin T. G. Mayes. "Reconsidering Grabau on Ministry and Sacraments," Lutheran Quarterly 28 (Summer 2006),190-212, and Mayes, "Grabau Versus Walther," 217-252. 15 The text of the letter is found in Gesammelte Werke, Vol. 2 "Bride 1848-1871," ed. Klaus Ganzert (Neuendettelsau: Freimund Verlag, 1985), 121. 317 is :t d le 'e ,e t­ ,e h s a i i 5 ) Pless: Lohe's Voice in Walther's Church to the sacrament. The Missourians stood with Lohe's insistence on the closure of Lutheran altars to the Reformed, even though this stance would come at the price of forgoing potential financial support from Bavaria.16 Walther's reports on his meetings with Lohe were strikingly positive. Just prior to departing Germany, Walther wrote a letter of thanks to Lohe, stating: I can and must confess to you that the unhappy prejudices with which I entered your house have completely dissipated; that I am taking with me a heartfelt trust in your fidelity to our dear Lutheran Church, and the strongest conviction of the unity of the spirit in which we Lutherans in North America stand with you .... I have seen how precious the welfare of our Church, which is largely a plant of your faithful care, lies to your heart, therefore, I do not have to beg you to do all your conscience will permit, that our orphan church in America may ever be able to extol her closest unity with you before the whole worldY Upon his return to the United States, Walther praised Lohe in the May 25, 1852, issue of Der Lutheraner: "We may assure our dear readers that a reconciliation in the truth and in love has by the grace of God been attained which is of far greater value than one which gets its guarantee from a subscription to certain strictly formulated theses, attained through insistent demands."18 Lohe likewise evaluated the meetings positively. He lauded the frater­ nallove and goodwill expressed by his Missouri visitors: "Such a spirit re­ quires no haste to become one in formulas and theses. Hand in hand they go to the school of the Holy Spirit, where they see over the doorway the inscription: 'the longer, the more love; the longer, the greater unity and faithfulness."19 Lohe extoled the progress made: We do have a common fundamental concept of the Church; we are one in the acknowledgement of a divinely-instituted pastoral office; the practice of our American brethren ... is known to us and recog­ nized by us as altogether good and proper; so that we joyfully desire 16 See ., Addendum to the Trip Report: Lohe Correspondence on Unionistic Prac­ tice" translated by Roland Ziegler with Matthew C. Harrison in At Home in the House of My Fathers, ed. Matthew C. Harrison (Fort Wayne: Lutheran Legacy Press, 2009), 107­ 112. 17 Erich Heintzen, "Wilhelm Lohe and the Missouri Synod, 1841-1853" (Ph.D. Diss. University of Illinois, Urbana, 1964), 201. 18 Erich Heintzen, "Wilhelm Lohe and the Missouri Synod/, 204. 19 Erich Heintzen, "Wilhelm Lohe and the Missouri Synod," 204. I"" I I 318 Concordia Theological Quarterly 75 (2011) leadto, and shall send our students to them and none other. We repeatedly found ourselves acknowledging to each other that we are funda­ pad mentally one.20 Lohe also included a reproof of Grabau's reckless handling of excommuni­ cation and rebuked him for his harsh words against the Missourians. Lohe added that he rendered this judgment against Grabau on his own accord and not at the prompting of his guests. Neither Walther nor Lohe thought that all disputed points had been resolved. Lohe listed four points he thought his American counterparts needed to address: (1) the relation of the invisible church to the visible, the necessity of a living expression and form of the invisible church to the visible; (2) the God-pleasing connection of the individual congregation with the whole church, the presentation of the doctrine of the body and its members in the pilgrim church; (3) the difference between Law and apostolic institution, and the full recognition of the latter for guidance of the visible church; (4) the proper recognition of the progress and victory of the Lutheran church in the Pietistic and related controversies of the previous centuries. 21 In this same article, Lohe declared his intention with the Missouri Synod but reserved for himself certain independence for future activity in the States. Coupled with the disputed theological issues of church and office, it was the friction that had developed in Saginaw that ultimately led to the break between Lohe and Walther. In addition to the four colonies Lohe had established in Michigan, he founded a teacher's seminary in Saginaw in 1852. The Michigan seminary, unlike the Fort Wayne institu-tion, was not handed over to the Missouri Synod. The director of the seminary, Georg Grossmann (1823-1897) chose not to affiliate with the Missouri Synod, even though he was a member of Holy Cross congre-gation. Grossmann was involved in a dispute with Ottomar Cloeter (1825-1897), another Lohe man who was the pastor at Holy Cross, on the doctrine of church and ministry.22 There were also tensions surrounding the last of the Lohe colonies established in Michigan. This colony was under the 20 Erich Heintzen, "Wilhelm Lohe and the Missouri Synod," 207. 21 Erich Heintzen, "Wilhelm Lohe and the Missouri Synod," 207-208. 22 For perspectives on this dispute, see Schaaf, "Wilhelm Lohe's Relation to the American Church," 168ff; Craig Nessan, "Wilhelm Lohe's Iowa Missionary Correspon­ dence 1852-1872," Lutheran Quarterly 24 (Summer 2010), 137-141; and Albert L Hoek, TIle Pilgrim Colony: The History of Saint Sebald Congregation, the Two Wartburgs, and the Synods of Iowa and Missouri (Minneapolis: Lutheran University Press, 2004), 64-115. 319 lly la­ lIDuni­ '. Lohe :lccord I been ~l}'arts ,Ie, the to the gation md its v and nce of ory of )f the 1 with ce for ~ice. it to the LOhe ~inaw 1, was inary, 5souri ;ation. 1897), ine of of the T the Pless: Lohe's Voice in Walther's Church leadership of Pastor Johannes Deindoerfer (1828-1907), who remained sym­ pathetic to Lohe's position on church and ministry. James Schaaf observes: The actual incidents in the Michigan colonies which led to the break with Missouri are shrouded in silence; the participants were loath to discuss the painful details and contented themselves with presenting generalities. Apparently no one single item led to the decision to leave Michigan; the final break was a result of hard feelings and dissatis­ faction which had been building for years.23 The break came in the summer of 1853. Grossmann and Deindoerfer decided to relocate in Iowa. Lohe sent a letter to Ferdinand Sievers, symbolically bordered in black, bidding farewell but also rebuking the Missourians for what Lohe identified as their "papistical territorialism."24 The controversy in Saginaw was between three young men-all in their twenties-sent by Lohe. Cloeter had arrived in 1849. Deindoerfer came in 1851 and was followed by Grossmann the next year. One might ask, how is it that Lohe's emissaries came to find themselves in conflict with one another? Siegfried Hebart suggests that Lohe's doctrine of the ministry evolved in four distinct periods. The first period embraced the early years of Lohe's work, up until 1841. In this period, Lohe's views on the office reflected the Lutheran dogmaticians of the 17th century. A second period, stretching from 1841 to 1848, included the publication of Three Books About the Church in 1844. In this period, Lohe sought to demonstrate how the invisible church is made visible. The Revolution of 1848 also accented the conservative, anti-democratic themes in Lohe. The third period ran from 1848 to 1860. This period is marked by the Aphorismen of 1849 and 1851 where Lohe became more innovative and used the language of spiritual aristocracy to describe the clergy. In the final stage, 1861-1872, Lohe does not contribute anything new or different to his discussion of the office. 25 Hebart's characterization of Lohe's theological development led James Schaaf to conclude that Lohe's early emissaries were steeped in his earlier teaching and did not find his later position congenial, while Grossmann and Deindoerfer would have been trained with the newly-developed insights of their teacher.26 23 Schaaf, "Wilhelm Lohe's Relation to the American Church," 165. to the 24 Heintzen, "Wilhelm Lohe and the Missouri Synod," 233. espon­ 23 See Siegfried Hebart, Wilhelm Uihes Lehre von der Kirche, ihrem Amt und Regiment; Hoek, Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Theologie im 19. Jahrhundret (Neuendettelsau: Freimund md the Verlag, 1939), 39-292. 26 Schaaf, "Wilhelm Lohe's Relation to the American Church," 147. rr­ 320 Concordia Theological Quarterly 75 (2011) There was occasional contact between the Missourians and their for­ mer mentor. For example, Johann Streckfuss wrote Lohe, saying that he did not wish to be counted among his ungrateful pUpilS.27 Sievers and Ernst were among those who remained on amicable terms with Lohe. Friedrich Wyneken's son, H.C. Wyneken, took an extended trip to Germany in 1869-1870. In his diary of June 23, 1869, he described his visit with the aging Pastor Lohe: I will not forget how he greeted be with a warm handshake and a sweet-melancholy smile, after having read my name on Mr. Volek's card. And my heart ached when he said: 'Yes, there is friendship ! : between me and your father, which seems to have been forgotten, though.' My silly heart's emotion only allowed me to say 'No, not at all.' I have retained my immense love and respect for this man from the very first moment I saw him.2S The reception of Lohe in the Missouri Synod in the latter part of the 19th century cannot be fully understood apart from the emergence of the Iowa Synod, established in 1854 by those who departed Saginaw. Led by Deindoerfer and Grossmann, a band of about 20 settlers established a I congregation and colony, Saint Sebald, in Clayton County, Iowa. This group became the nucleus of the Iowa Synod, dedicated to maintaining Lohe's teaching and to fulfill his vision of a missionary post on the American frontier.III ,f t Even though the Iowa Synod had its genesis in the controversy over the ministerial office, the new synod did not practice Lohe's doctrine. In I fact, Todd Nichol has demonstrated that the Iowa Synod embodied much of Lohe's legacy but not his doctrine of the ministry: The Iowa Synod, its history makes clear, learned much at the knee of Wilhelm L6he, but not its doctrine of the ministry. Like its synodical counterparts in the nineteenth century, Iowa drew its understanding of the ordained ministry from a fresh reading of the Scripture, of the Lutheran Confessions, and of the history of the wider Lutheran tradi­ tion. The synod's leading theologians, indeed, developed their views on the ministry on the basis of a new consideration of the sources of Christian and Lutheran traditions and in light of consider-able practical experience of church life in the United States. On the basis of this theological study and experience, they self-consciously entered 27 fleintzen. "Wilhelm Lohe and the Missouri Synod," 237. 28 Heinrich Christian Wyneken. A Journal of Travels in Germany 1869-1870, tr. Erika Bullman Flores (privately printed, 1999), 57. 321 for­ t he and 6he. ) to visit the the l by d a [bis ting the )ver . In uch Pless: Lohe's Voice in Walther's Church into what they regarded not only as an American Lutheran consensus but as a consensus representing the Lutheran tradition as a whole.29 In the remaining years of the 19th century, free conferences and literary exchanges between the Iowa and Missouri Synods gravitated toward other issues, including the scope of confessional subscription, eschatology, and especially the place of It open questions." Lohe had maintained that the doctrine of church and ministry was left unsettled by the Confessions and therefore open to fuller development and clarification. Walther and the Missourians were ultimately unwilling to concede this point. The Iowans never understood differences on this doc­ trine as church divisive. Hence, they developed a polity for their new con­ text that was at variance with Lohe's own preference. It is interesting to note that years after the break in Saginaw, Deindoerfer would write in the setting of another controversy-this time predestination-that while the ministry was an open question, election is not: It Although in former years the difference between us and the Missouri Synod did not stand in the way of church fellowship, the difference now existing in the doctrine [of predestination] is of such a nature that there can no longer be any church fellowship."30 The older Lohe was able to recognize shifts and changes in his own thinking that put him at odds with not only with the Missourians but also other confessionally-minded Lutherans in Germany. At a pastoral con­ ference in 1865 he stated: Formerly for me to be a Lutheran meant to confess the Symbols from A to Z. Now all of Lutheranism is wrapped up for me in the Sacrament of the Altar .... It is not so much the Lutheran doctrine about the Holy Supper, but the sacramental living and the experience of the blessing of the sacrament which is made possible only through frequent participation. This is now the main thing for me. My prog­ ress is summed up in the words It sacramental Lutheranism."31 During the final twenty years of his life, Lohe especially focused on the deaconess house. It is in this context that he wrote, 29 Todd Nichol, "Wilhelm Lohe, the Iowa Synod and the Ordained Ministry," Lutheran Quarterly 4 (Spring 1990): 24-25, 30 Martin J. Lohrmann, It A Monument to American Intolerance: The Iowa Synod's 'Open Questions' in Their American Context," in Wilhelm Lahe: Erbe und Vision, ed, Dietrich BlaufulS (Glitersloh: Gtitersloher Verlagshaus, 2009), 305. rika 31 Erika Geiger, The Life, Work, and Influence of Wilhelm Lahe 1808-1872, tr, Wolf Knappe (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2010), 209. r' \ 322 Concordia Theological Quarterly 75 (2011) If you want to know what we really desired, you have only to look at the Deaconess Institution. But you should not think only of the sisters. We wanted an apostolic-episcopal Church of Brothers. Lutheranism is not a part matter for us. What makes us Lutheran with all our soul is the Sacrament of the Altar and the doctrine of justification. We are not Lutherans in the sense of the Missourians, nor in the sense of the Altlutheraner (an orthodox Lutheran group). We are very old and very modern. What we really wanted in the final instance was for a Luth­ eranism to progress to an apostolic-episcopal Church of Brothers.32 I, Lohe's vision of "an apostolic-episcopal Church of Brothers" was never realized in Germany or in the Missouri and Iowa Synods. Lohe's dream of such a church, along with his eschatological speculations, made him in­ creasingly suspect in the Missouri Synod33 Even as Missouri's understanding of doctrine and confessional sub­ scription came under fire in the Iowa Synod, so Lohe and his American heirs would come under criticism by the Missourians in the last two decades of his life. When Lohe died in 1872, the February 15th issue of Der Lutheraner announced his death with little comment: "From Lutherische Zeitung we learned the shocking news that Pastor Loehe of Neuen­ dettelsau, 'after a brief illness' died at five forty-five 0'dock on the evening of January second."34 The significance of Lohe's work was often overlooked in the first one hundred years of the Missouri Synod's history. Writing in 1944, Theodore Graebner induded a chapter on Lohe in his book Church Bells in the Forest: A Story of Lutheran Pioneer Work on the Michigan Frontier 1840-1850, describ­ ing him as Ita man with a good heart."35 Walther Baepler's A Century of Grace: A History of the Missouri Synod 1847-1947 gives a positive but scant treatment of Lohe's role in the formative stage of the Missouri Synod's life.36 The few references to Lohe in Franz Pieper's Christian Dogmatics are 32 Geiger, 211. Here also see Wolfhart Schlichting, "Kirche-Bekenntnis-Pluralitat bei Wilhelm Lohe," in Wilhelm whe: Erbe und Vision. Schlichting points out Significant shifts in the later Lohe, noting that the Sacrament of the Altar becomes his "material principle," 143-145. See Geiger, 206, for a description of this controversy. 34 Heintzen, "Wilhelm Lohe and the Missouri Synod," Preface. 35 Theodore Graebner, Church Bells in the Forest: A Story of Lutheran Pioneer Work on the Michigan Frontier 1840-1850 (S1. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1944), 15-16. 36 Walter Baepler, A Century of Grace: A History of the Missouri Synod 1847-1947 (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1947),65-74. ------=---~ 323 ok at ,ters. ,mis ml is e not f the very ,uth­ as never Iream of him in­ nal sub­ merican last two le of Der therische Neuen­ evening first one heodore Ie Forest: describ­ 'fltury oj ut scant Synod's atics are ralitat bei ant shifts "material rWork on . 5-16. -1947 (St. Pless: Lohe's Voice in Walther's Church all negative, identifying him as one given to "Romanizing tendencies,"37 thus echoing commentary often made in Lehre und Wehre in the second half of the 19th century. Only in the 1950s and 1960s did a more appreciative picture of Lohe begin to emerge in the LCMS. This may, in part, come from the influence of Hermann Sasse, who himself came to a Lutheran confessional position through his reading of Lohe's Three Books About the Church while doing graduate studies at Hartford Seminary in 1925-1926. A number of Sasse's essays made positive use of Lohe.3B In 1949, Sasse wrote an article entitled "Walther and Lohe: On the Church,"39 in which he argued that Walther and Lohe shared much more in common than is often realized, and that each failed to apply his own principles in relation to the other. It was also during this post-war period that a number of Missouri Synod students pursued doctoral work at Erlangen, where the memory and to some extent the influence of Lohe was discernible.40 While there seem to be some parallels drawn between Arthur Carl Piepkorn and Lohe, especially in relationship to ecclesiology and the Lord's Supper, as far as I can tell, Piepkorn never produced any published essays dealing with Lohe in depth. In his Profiles in Belief, Piepkorn refers to Lohe as one who"argued that the confessional position of the Church of the Augsburg Confession is identical with that of the New Testament. He could, therefore, also affirm the catholicity and ecumenicity of the Lutheran Confessions." 41 A number of Piepkorn's students, however, 37 Franz Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., tr. Walter W.F. Albrecht (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1953), 3: 447-449. Also see Geiger, 204-205. Lohe defends himself against the charge: "I am opposed to Rome as much as anyone. But the way I feel, this opposition does not prevent me from seeing much that is laudable in less important things on the other side and much that is perverted and wrong on our side. Precisely because I find myself completely separated from the Roman Church, as also from other Church parties, I dare to notice the good things, and I do not shy away from saying it"(cited in Geiger, 205, from GW5/2, 865). 38 See Hermann Sasse, The Lonely Way, 2 vols., tr. Matthew C. Harrison (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2002-2003). 39 Hermann Sasse, "Walther and Lohe: On the Church," Springfielder (December 1971),176-182, written as a "Letter to Lutheran Pastors" in July 1949. A fresh translation by Norman E. Nagel appeared in We Confess the alurch, 69-83. 40 For the influence of Lohe at Erlangen, see Karl Beyschlag, Die Erlanger Theologie (Erlangen: Martin Luther-Verlag, 1993),51-53, and Lowell Green, The Erlangen School of Theology: Its History, Teaching, and Practice (Fort Wayne: Lutheran Legacy Press, 2010), 27-32 . 41 Arthur Carl Piepkorn, Profiles in Belief, 2 vols. (New York: Harper and Row, 1978),2: 28. rr 324 Concordia Theological Quarterly 75 (2011) wrote on Lohe. In 1954, John Tietjen submitted an S.T.M. thesis to Union Seminary on "The Ecclesiology of Wilhelm Loehe./I Walter Bouman (1929­ 2005) wrote his doctoral dissertation in 1962 on "The Unity of the Church in Nineteenth Century Lutheranism" for Edmund Schlink at Heidelberg and devoted a significant portion of this project to Lohe. I Bouman examined the ecclesiological thinking of 14 German-Lutheran theologians of the 19th century, probing their articulation of the nature and unity of the church. Among them was Lohe. Bouman observed that Lohe sought the church's perfection, that is, the invisible church being made visible, the church militant becoming more and more like the church triumphant.42 He identified Lohe as being a representative of an irenic, ecumenical Lutheranism and credited Lohe for speaking of the catholicity of the Lutheran church as it takes its middle place among the denominations.43 The category of IIopen questions" provided space for growth and development. Bouman noted Lohe's preference for the im­ agery of Romanticism in describing the periods of the church as blossoms on a flower. 44 While not attempting to equate his own view with that of Lohe, he saw some aspects in Lohe's ecclesiology that provide a reserve for ecumenical efforts. Bouman concluded, "But perhaps the discussion of the 19th century-still unresolved today-indicates that this is in need of I further dogmatic definition. Perhaps the c.A. has only made a beginning. Perhaps the dogmatic definition of the Church is still before us-before the whole of Christendom."45 This is not to say that Bouman finds Lohe without difficulty. For example, he sees in Lohe's thinking an identification of the apostolic word with Scripture rather than preaching.46 Nor did he think that Lohe was sufficiently able to work out the "ecclesiological significance" of an already existing unity.47 Beyond his dissertation Bouman did not do any additional work on Lohe. Before he left the Missouri Synod in 1977 for a teaching position at the Columbus seminary of the ALC, Bouman was a vocal participant in efforts to increase ecumenical participation and liturgical renewal. The remainder of his career, spent in the ALC and the ELCA, was marked by 42 Walter Richard Bouman, "The Unity of the Church in Nineteenth Century Lutheranism" (Th.D. diss., University of Heidelberg, 1962),46. 43 Bouman, "Unity of the Church," 47. 44 Bouman, "Unity of the Church," 351. 45 Bouman, "Unity of the Church," 365. 46 Bouman, "Unity of the Church," 49. 47 Bouman, "Unity of the Church," 341. Jj 325 non 129­ Irch )erg ~ran and ahe ade lI'Ch mc, city the for im­ ,ms t of for the of ng. the For )rd vas ldy on I at in be by ury Pless: Lohe's Voke in Walther's Church his aggressive advocacy of Called to Common Mission, which finally estab­ lished full communion between the ELCA and the Episcopal Church in 1999. Bouman identified himself as an "evangelical catholic." Although this term is elusive and elastic, David Ratke suggests that Lohe's theology "reveals a marked similarity" to this movement. 48 Most significantly, Kenneth F. Korby (1924-2006) authored his disser­ tation on "Theology of Pastoral Care in Wilhelm Loehe with Special Attention to the Function of Liturgy and the Laity" at Concordia Seminary in Exile in 1976.49 Korby, a professor for many years at Valparaiso University and then a parish pastor and adjunct professor for Concordia Theological Seminary, stimulated a renewed interest in Lohe. His instruction of future deaconesses at Valparaiso connected them with the diaconal tradition of Neuendettelsau. As an adjunct professor at Fort Wayne and frequent conference lecturer in the 1980s and 1990s, Korby challenged stereotypical renderings of Lohe, presenting him as a model for pastoral theology and mission in contrast to the therapeutic approaches of pastoral counseling and "church growth" paradigms for mission that were becoming increasingly popular in the LCMS. Among other things, Korby urged a recovery of the practice of private confession and absolution as the basis of pastoral care.50 One can also detect the imprint of images drawn from Lohe in Korby'S own writing and preaching. In 1964, Erich Heintzen authored a doctoral dissertation entitled "Wilhelm Loehe and the Missouri Synod 1841-1853." Heintzen concluded his dissertation with Walther's tribute to Lohe in 1852: Next to God, it is only Pastor Loehe to whom our Synod is indebted for its happy beginning and rapid growth in which it rejoices; it may well honor him as its spiritual father. It would fill the pages of an entire book to recount even briefly what for many years this man, with tireless zeal and in the noblest unselfish spirit, has done for our Lutheran Church and our Synod in particular.S) 4S David C. Ratke, Confession and Mission, Word and Sacrament: Tile Ecclesial Theology of Wilhelm Lolle (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2001), 207. 49 Kenneth F. Korby, TIleology ofPastoral Care in Wi/Ilelm Lohe with Special Attention to the Function of Liturgy and Pastoral Care (Th.D. diss. Concordia Seminary in Exile, 1976). Also see John T. Pless, "The Contribution of Kenneth Korby to a Renewed Interest in Pastoral Theology," CTQ 73 (April 2009): 99-114. 50 Korby, TIleology of Pastoral Care in Wilhelm Lohe with Special Attention to the Function ofLiturgy and Pastoral Care, 236-272. For Lohe's influence in the young Missouri Synod in to private confession and absolution, see Fred Precht, Lutheran Worship: and Practice (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1993), 347-351. 51 Heintzen, "Wilhelm Lohe and the Missouri Synod," 249. r 326 Concordia Theological Quarterly 75 (2011) Then Heintzen includes his own reflection on this tribute: These words, it is true, were written when the romance between Loehe and the Synod, though threatened, was still in bloom. After it faded, such acknowledgements became noticeably restrained, and it: Loehe gradually forgotten. The tribute, however, still remains what it was. Like any monument, though largely ignored, it stands for all to see if they will but 100k.52 A condensed and popular version of Heintzen's dissertation appeared in 1973 as Love Leaves Home: Wilhelm Loehe and the Missouri Synod. 53 When Concordia Thelogical Seminary celebrated its 125th anniversary in 1971, an anniversary issue of its theological journal, the Springfielder, prominently featured the legacy of Lohe.54 Other popular works, such as Herman Zehnder's "Teach My People the Truth!" The Story of Frankenmuth, Michigan published in 1970,55 Richard Stuckwisch's Johannes Konrad Wilhelm Loehe: Portrait of a Confessional Lutheran Missiologist published in 1993,56 and AM. Bickel's Our Forgotten Founding Father in 199757 served to accent Lohe's contributions to the LCMS. For much of the Missouri Synod's history, the significance of the pastor from Neuendettelsau has been only partially appreciated. At worst, Lohe was characterized as guilty of "Romanizing tendencies" as noted above. More generous assessments recognize his early assistance in pro­ viding human and financial resources that would be crucial for the development of what would become the Missouri Synod. 58 The bicen­ tennial of Lohe's birth in 2008 saw significant and positive appreciation of Lohe in the church body that he had a hand in establishing as a "father from afar." Evidence of this is seen in the fact that Concordia Theological Seminary hosted a conference on Lohe on October 10-11, 2008. The February 2008 issue of the Synod's official magazine, The Lutheran Witness, 52 Heintzen, "Wilhelm L6he and the Missouri Synod," 249. 53 Erich Heintzen, Love Leaves Home: Wilhelm Loehe and the Missouri Synod (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1973). 54 This issue contained the previously cited essay of Sasse on Walther and Lohe, as well as articles by F.W. Kantzenbach of Neuendettelsau and Max U:ihe of the Lutheran Church in Australia. :;5 Herman F. Zehnder, "Teach My Pepole the Truth!" The Story of Frankenmuth, Michigan (Frankenmuth, Michigan: Privately printed, 1970). 56 Richard Stuckwisch, Johannes Konrad Wilhelm Loehe: Portrait of a Confessional Lutheran Missi%gist (Fort Wayne: Concordia Theological Seminary Printshop, 1993). 57 A.M. Bickel, Our Forgotten Father (Napoleon, Ohio: Privately printed, 1997). 58 See John T. Pless, "Wilhelm L6he and the Missouri Synod: Forgotten Paternity or Living Legacy?" Currents in TI1e%gt} and Mission 33 (April 2006), 122-137. 327 'ed len an tly tan ~an he: M, e's he 'st, ed ro­ he n­ of ler Pless: Lohe's Voice in Walther's Church carried an article on Lohe. 59 The Holy Trinity 2008 issue of Logia: A Journal of Lutheran Theology, an independent journal with heavy influences from LCMS pastors, was published as "the Loehe bicentennial issue," featuring essays by North American and European scholars.60 Concordia Pulpit Resources, a homiletical journal for LCMS pastors, noted Lohe's con­ tributions to preaching and included the translation of one of his sermons on the Lord's Supper at the occasion of the Lohe bicentennia1.61 Concordia Publishing House published David C. Ratke's Confession and Mission, Word and Sacrament: The Ecclesial Theology ofWilhelm Uihe in 2001. In 2006, LCMS World Relief and Human Care commissioned a translation of Lohe on Mercy; Six Chapters for Everyone, the Seventh for the Servants of Mercy and has widely distributed this booklet throughout the congregations of the synod.62 John Stephenson, a professor of the Missouri Synod's sister church in Canada (Lutheran Church-Canada), has translated Lohe's 1849 Aphorisms.63 Concordia Publishing House recently released a translation of The Life, Work, and Influence of Wilhelm Lohe, a full length biography by Erika Geiger, a former Neuendettelsau deaconess. 64 Lohe's liturgical influence was felt in the early years of the Missouri Synod through his 1844 Agenda dedicated to Wyneken; it shaped the worship life of congregations until the adoption of the Saxon Agenda of 1856.65 Friedrich Lochner (1822-1902) transmitted something of the liturgical legacy he received from Lohe to students at the Springfield seminary. Lochner's book on liturgy was used at both LCMS seminaries well into the 20th century.66 :al he 'Ss, ris: as 'an or 59 John T. Pless, "The Missionary Who Never Left Home," Lutheran Witness 127 (February 2008): 11-13. 60 Included in this issue are articles by Dietrich BiaufuiS, Craig Nessan, and Walter Conser, as well as Frank Senn's introduction to the Preface of the 1844 Agenda and a translation of one of Lohe' s Trinity Sunday sermons. 61 Wilhelm Lohe, "Historical Sermon: A Sermon on the Lord's Supper," tr. Jason D. Lane, Concordia Pulpit Resources 18 (August 24-November 23, 2008),3-6. 62 Wilhelm Lohe, L6he on Mercy: Six Chapters For Everyone, the Seventh for Servants of Mercy, tr. Holger Sonntag with a Preface by Matthew C. Harrison (Saint Louis: LCMS Board for World Relief and Human Care, 2007). 63 Wilhelm Lohe, Aphorisms on the New Testament Offices and TIleir Relationship 10 the Congregation, tr. John Stephenson (Malone, TX: Repristination Press, 2008). 64 Erika Geiger, TIle Life, Work, and Influence of Wilhelm Loehe 1808-1872, tr. Wolf Knappe (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2010). 65 See Wilhelm Lohe, "Prefaces to the Agende fUr christliche Gemeinden des lutherischen Bekenntnisses" with an introduction by Frank C. Senn, Logia: A Journal of Lutheran Theology 17 (Holy Trinity 2008), 31-38 66 Pless, "Wilhelm Lohe and the Missouri Synod," 133. 328 Concordia Theological Quarterly 75 (2011) Lohe's liturgical influence is still visible in the LCMS. The LCMS hymnal, Lutheran Senl ice Book (LSB) contains one of Lohe's hymns, "Wide Open Stand the Gates" (LSB 639). LSB lists January 2, the date of Lohe's death, to commemorate his vocation as a pastor. The LSB Agenda and the Pastoral Care Companion bear some marks of Lohe's influence. This may be seen in the distinction made between IIordinary" and "extraordinary" means of pastoral care in the Introduction.67 Ironically, Lohe's rite for the anointing of the sick, which occasioned controversy in Germany and criticism from the 19th-century Missourians, is incorporated into the order for "Visiting the Sick and the Distressed" in the LSB Agenda.68 Lohe's voice has never been absent in Walther's church. Sometimes it has been muted and barely heard. Yet Lohe played an important role as he sent men and resources across the Atlantic, helping to shape the identity of the fledgling synod. In more recent years, various aspects of Lohe's legacy have been retrieved in LCMS efforts to broaden ecumenical perspective, deepen pastoral theology, enrich liturgical life, give shape to an authen­ tically Lutheran missiology, enhance the place of the female diaconate, sustain the church's corporate life of mercy, or to provide what is seen as a corrective to Walther's understanding of the office. Reviewing the reception of Lohe in Germany, Dietrich Blaufuss has noted attempts to render the Bavarian churchman either a "saint" or a JJheretic," often without serious engagement with Lohe's own literary work. 69 Fresh, unbiased engagement of Lohe's work is to be welcomed as an appropriate way to appreciate his legacy, alongside that of Walther, in order that his voice may contribute to the life and mission of the Lutheran church in our day. 67 See Lutheran Service Book Agenda (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2006), ix. Compare this with Korby, Theology of Pastoral Care in Wilhelm Liihc, 245-246; also Kennth Korby, "Lohe's Seelsorge for His Fellow Lutherans in North America" Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly (November, 1972), 227-246 and John T. Pless, "Lohe as Pastoral Theologian: The Discipline of the Shepherd" Lutheran 111eological Journal 43 (August 2009), 110-117. 68 LS8 Agenda, 45. See Geiger, 158-159 for a description of the controversy. 69 Dietrich BlaufulS, "Saint and Heretic: Wilhelm Lohe in German Historiography since 1872," Currents in Theology and Mission 33 (April 2006): 103-112.