Full Text for Introduction to Sacred Theology, part 4 (Text)

II arnurnrbta IDqrnlngiral :!Inutqly Continuing Lehre und Wehre (Vol. LXXVI) Magazin fuer Ev.-Luth. Homiletik (Vol. LIV) Theol. Quarterly (1897-1920) -Theol. Monthly (Vol. X) Vol. II September, 1931 No.9 CONTENTS Page ENGELDER, TH.: Ein modern-lutherischer Beitrag zur Eschatologie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 641 KRETZMANN, P. E.: The Inspiration of the New Testa- ment... ... ......... ......... ..... ......... 655 MUELLER, J. T.: Introduction to Sacred Theology.. 666 KRETZMANN, P. E.: Schreibfehlel' in den Buechern Sa- muels.. .... .. . ... .. . ... ... . ................. , ........ 679 ARNDT, WM.: The Preacher and Allegorical Interpreta- tion ................................................... " 684 Dispositionen ueber die von del' Synodalkonferenz ange- nommene Serie alttestamentlicher Texte............... 697 Theological Observer. - Kirchlich-Zeitgeschichtliches. . . . .. 705 Book Review. - Literatur ................................. . 713 Ein Prediger muss niebt allein weiden, Es ist kein Ding, das die Leute mebr also dass er die Sebale unterweise, wie bei der Kircbe bebaelt denn die gute ale reebte Christen Bollen seln, sondem aueb daneben den Woelfen wehren, dass .ie die Sebafe niebt angreifen und mit WBeber Lebre verfuebren und Irrtum ein· fuebren. - Luther. Predigt. - Ap%gie, Art. 2.+. If the trumpet give an uncertain BOund, who shall prepare himself to tbe battle? 1 Oor. LJ,8. Published for the Ev. Luth. Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States CONCORDIA PUBLISHING HOUSE, St. Louis, Mo. 666 Introduction to Sacred Theology. "But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ." These passages surely claim for the message of the apostles the same authority as that possessed by the writings of the prophets. But St. Paul speaks in the same strain. He writes Rom. 16, 25-27 : "Now, to Him that is of power to stablish you according to my Gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith, to God only wise, be glory through J €Sus Christ forever!" Again, in Eph. 2, 20: "And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets," where St. Paul even puts the apostles in first place. Also in Eph. 3, 4. 5: "How that by revelation He made known unto me the mystery ... whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ, which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit." Cpo 2 Tim. 2, 14. These surely are bold and comprehensive statements, and they would have little meaning if they could not be accepted in the spirit in which they were made, namely, that the writers of the New Testament were conscious of being on the same level with the prophets of old in the matter of inspiration. (To be concluded.) P. E. KRETZ MANN. 4 •• Introduction to Sacred Theology. (Prolegomena.) The Nature and Constitution of Sacred Theology. 10. Theology Considered as Doctrine. As theology, in its subjective sense, is the habitude, or ability, to teach the Word of God as set forth in Holy Scripture, in all its truth and purity, so Christian theology, in its objective sense, or conceived as doctrine, is nothing more and nothing less than the true and pure presentation of the doctrine of Holy Scripture. 1 Pet. 4, 11: "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God." Titus 2, 7-10: "In doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned, ... showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God, our Savior, in all things." The claim of being a Christian theologian may be properly made only by such as teach nothing but Scripture doctrine. This doctrine, how- ever, is not drawn or developed from human reason, but is taken in all its parts alone from Holy Scripture. The function of the Christian theologian therefore consists merely in grouping in distinct para- graphs and chapters and under proper heads the various teachings Introduction to Sacr.ed Theology. 667 which Holy Scripture inculcates in its several pasllages on one given subject. If he applies synthesis and analysis, it is merely in the formal arrangement of the various Scripture doctrines. So far as the doctrines themselves are concerned, he allows them to stand, neither adding thereto, nor taking away from them, no matter whether they appear consistent with reason and experience or not. In this way the Ohristian theologian secures his "system of doctrine," or his "dogmatic theology." In accord with this principle the Lutheran theologian Pfeiffer writes (Thes. Herm., p. 5): "Positive theology [dogmatic theology] is, rightly estimated, nothing else than Holy Scripture itself, arranged under proper heads in clear order; whence not even one member, not even the least, must be found in that body of doctrine which cannot be supported from Holy Scripture, rightly understood." (Baier, I, 43. 76.) Luther very aptly calls all true theo- logians "catechumens and disciples of the prophets, who repeat and preach only what they have heard and learned from the prophets and apostles." (St. L. Ed., III, 1890.) This faithful repetition (N ach- sagen) of the 'teachings of the prophets and apostles by the Ohristian theologian is to Luther a matter of so grave concern that he writes: "No other doctrine should be taught or heard in the Ohurch than the pure Word of God, that is, Holy Scriptrue; or else let both teachers and hearers be damned." (Op. Pieper, Christl. Dogmatik, I, p.56.) The same truth is expressed in the axiom: Quod non est biblicum, non est theologicum." The Ohristian theologian must therefore exclude from his system of doctrine all opinions and speculations of men, and he must teach nothing but God's own immutable truth and doctrine (doctrina divina) as it is exhibited in Holy Scripture (doctrina e Scriptura Sacra hausta). This demand is made by God Himself, 001. 2, 8: "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Ohrist." And this divine demand involves not merely the chief doctrines, on which man's salvation depends directly, but all teach- ings of Holy Scripture, Matt. 28, 20: "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." In whatever matter Holy Scripture has spoken definitely, the Ohristian theologian must sup- press his own views, opinions, and speculations and adhere un- waveringly to the divine truths revealed in Holy Scripture. At no place is he permitted to inject into the body of divine truths his own imaginings and reasonings, and at no time must he allow his reason the prerogative of doubt, criticism, or denial, but every thought must everywhere be brought into captivity to the obedience of Ohrist, 2 001'. 10, 5. That is the demand which God Himself makes on all who would serve Him as theologians; in every instance they are to attest and proclaim His Word, not their own. 668 Introduction to Sacred Theology. All teachers of the Church who refuse to do this are not Ohris- tian theologians, but false prophets and pseudapostles, against whose pernicious work God warns His saints. J er. 23, 16: "Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you. . .. They speak a vision of their own heart and not out of the mouth of the Lord." And in the New Testament this warning is reiterated with no less emphasis, 1 Tim. 6, 4; 2 John 8-11; Rom. 16, 17, etc. Luther's insistence on faithfulness in teaching God's Word is well known. He writes: "If anyone wishes to preach, let him keep silent with respect to his own words." "Here in the Ohurch he should not speak any- thing but the Word of this generous Host; otherwise it is not the true Ohurch. Therefore he must say: 'God speaks.''' (Op. Pieper, Ohristl. Dogmatik, I, 60 ff.) Emphasizing the great truth that all doctrine taught in the Ohurch must be divine doctrine, our Lutheran dogmaticians asserted that all theology proclaimed by the Ohristian theologian must be ectypal theology, or derived theology (theologia If>,-,;v:llo.), that is, a re- print or reproduction of archetypal theology (theologia aexlrV:llo.), or original theology, as it is originally in God Himself. Hollaz explains these terms as follows (3. 4): "Archetypal theology is the knowledge which God has of Himself and which in Him is the model of that other theology, which is communicated to intelligent creatures. Ecty- pal theology is the knowledge of God and divine things communicated to intelligent creatures by God, after the pattern of His own theology." (Doctr. Theol., p. 16.) Modern rationalistic theology has rejected this distinction as useless and misleading; in reality, however, it is most profitable since it expresses the Scriptural truth that God's ministers must speak only what their divine Master has revealed to them. Moreover, the distinction is Scriptural; for it declares very clearly that all true knowledge of God inheres originally and essentially in Him and that it is by divine grace that the l.' evangelium inscribit. Luther writes: "A legalistic preacher compels by threats and punishments; a preacher of grace calls forth and moves by showing divine goodness and mercy." (St. L. Ed., XII,318.) 3. The Law checks sin only outwardly, while it increases sin in- wardly; but the Gospel, by converting the sinner, destroys sin both Introduction to Sacred Theology. 675 inwardly and outwardly. Rom. 7, 5: "For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sin, which were by the Law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death." V. 6: "But now we are delivered from the Law, that being dead wherein we were held, that we should serve in newness of spirit and not in the oldness of the letter." V. 14: "Sin shall not have dominion over you; f~r ye are not under the Law, but under grace." This important truth is stated in the axiom: "Lex 'l/,6cat peccatorem, non peccatum; evangelium necat peccatum, non peccatorem." Luther writes: "Hence, whosoever knows well this art of distinguishing between Law and Gospel, him place at the head and call him a doctor of Holy Scripture." (St. L. Ed., IX,802.) 2. FUNDAMENTAL AND NON-FuNDAMENTAL DOCTRINES. The doctrines of Holy Scripture have been fittingly divided into fundamental and non-fundamental doctrines. The purpose of this division is not to discard certain teachings of the Word of God as practically unimportant or unnecessary. Such a procedure would be in direct opposition to Scripture itself. Matt. 28, 20: "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." Rom. 15,4: "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope." According to these words, God demands of the Ohristian theologian that he teach the entire Scriptural content, add- ing nothing and taking away nothing. Nevertheless the distinction of which we here speak is fully Scriptural and serves an excellent purpose. It helps the Ohristian theologian to recognize and dis- tinguish those doctrines of God's Word which "are so necessary to be known that, when they are not known, the foundation of faith is not savingly apprehended or retained." (Hollaz.) In other words, the fundamental doctrines are those "which cannot be denied con- sistently with faith and salvation because they are the very founda- tion of the Ohristian faith." (Quenstedt.) In order that we may understand this, we must remember that not everything which Holy Scripture teaches is the object or foundation of justifying and saving faith. For instance, we are not saved by believing that David was king or that the Pope at Rome is the great Antichrist. However, the Ohristian theologian does not for that reason deny these facts, for they are based upon God's infallible Word. But these truths which the theologian accepts as such are non-fundamental as far as saving faith is concerned. Saving faith is faith in the forgiveness of sin through the vicarious atonement of Jesus Ohrist, or trust in God's justification of a sinner without the works of the Law, for Ohrist's sake. That is the essence of the Ohristian religion, the foundation on which the entire Ohristian hope is built. Of this essence and foundation nothing can be removed without destroying the whole 676 Introduction to Sacred Theology. Christian religion. Anyone who denies even a particle of this fun- damental doctrine is outside the pale of the Christian Church. Lu- ther says very correctly: "This doctrine [of justification by faith] is the head and corner-stone, which alone begets, nourishes, builds up, preserves, and protects the Church, and without this doctrine the Church of God cannot exist one hour." (St. Louis Ed., XIV,168.) Again: "As many in the world as deny it [justification by faith] are either Jews, or Turks, or papists, or heretics." (St. Louis Ed., IX, 29.) Because of its paramount importance our Lutheran dog- maticians have called the doctrine of justification by grace through faith in Ohrist's vicarious satisfaction "the most fundamental of all doctrines" (omnium fundamentalissimum). The doctrine of justification by grace through faith in Christ's atonement, however, presupposes and includes other fundamental doc- trines. These are- 1. The doctrine of sin and its consequences. All who deny the Scriptural doctrine of sin cannot have saving faith because saving faith is implicit trust in God's gracious forgiveness of sin. The true Ohristian believes that all his sins, both original and actual, are fully pardoned for Jesus' sake. In other words, he believes both the divine Law, which condemns sin, and the divine Gospel, which pardons sin; Both doctrines, the doctrine of sin and that of forgiveness of sin, are fundamental. This truth our Savior affirms when He says that "re- pentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in His name among all nations," Luke 24,47. According to Ohrist's direction the preaching of repentance for sin, or of contrition, must preoode the preaching of forgiveness. Our divine Lord further illustrates this great truth by the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican. The Pharisee, who did not believe the Scriptural doctrine of sin and who therefore did not regard himself as a sinner, could not be justified; in his opinion he had no need of justification and forgiveness. The publican, on the other hand, believed the fundamental doctrine of sin, declared himself guilty and lost, and, trusting in divine grace, received forgiveness through faith. In short, saving faith can exist only in a contrite heart, that is, in a heart which is terrified and sorry because of its sin. Is. 66, 2: "To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit and trembleth at My Word." Is. 57, 15: "I dwell with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit." Ps. 34, 18: "The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit." Cpo Ps. 51, 16. 17; Luke 4, 18; Matt. 11, 28. Hence we rightly classify the doctrine of sin among the fundamental doctrines of Holy Scripture. 2. The doctrine of the Person of Ghrist. The doctrine of the Person of Ohrist is fundamental because saving faith is trust in the divine-human Redeemer who died for the sins of the world. For this Introduction to Sacred Theology. 677 reason the denial both of Ohrist's true deity and of His true humanity makes saving faith impossible. Our divine Lord very severely dis- countenanced the opinions of those who regarded Him as John the Baptist, Elias, Jeremias, or as one of the prophets and required of His disciples that they believe in Him as "the Ohrist, the Son of the living God," Matt. 16, 13-17; cpo also 1 John 1, 1-4. Modern rationalistic theology, which denies the true deity of Ohrist and ascribes deity to Him only honoris causii. (cp. RitschI's declaration: "In our judgment we ascribe to Him the value of a God"), is not Ohristian, but Unitarian and so extra ecclesiam; that is to say, the doctrine of God which modern rationalistic theology inculcates is essentially paganistic, for it rejects the true God of the Bible. It is self-evident that true faith in the divine Ohrist must include also faith in the Triune God. In other words, the true Ohristian who believes in the deity of Ohrist believes also that the true God is none other than the unus Deus, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; for without faith in the Father no one can believe in the Son, Matt. 16, 17; 11,27; and again, without the Holy Ghost no one can call Jesus Lord, 1 001'. 12, 3; Rom. 8, 15; John 16, 13-15. The Scrip- tural doctrine of the Holy Trinity is therefore as fundamental as is that of the deity of Ohrist. - However, also the doctrine of Ohrist's true humanity is fundamental; for the denial of Ohrist's substantial humanity (cp. the error of the Docetae) implies the denial of His actual suffering and death. Saving faith is trust in the vicarious atonement of the theanthropic Ohrist ({}s''''{}ewno,), Jdhn 1,14--17: "The Word was made flesh; . . . and of His {ulness have all we re- ceived grace for grace. . .. Grace and truth came by Jesus Ohrist." Hence we rightly classify among the fundamental doctrines of the Ohristian religion the doctrines of the Holy Trinity, of Ohrist's true deity, and of His true humanity. 3. The doctrine of Christ's vicarious atonement. Saving faith is faith in Ohrist, not merely as a Teacher of the divine Law or as an Ensample of Virtue or as the "Ideal Man," as modernistic theology claims, but it is faith in Ohrist as "the Mediator between God and man," who has given His life as a ransom for many, and the "Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world," 1 Tim. 2, 5. 6; Matt. 20, 28; Eph. 1, 7; John 1, 29. All who decline to put their trust in the vicarious satisfaction of Ohrist (Is. 53, 1-6) are obliged to trust for reconciliation and pardon in their own good works and thus sever themselves from the grace of God secured by Ohrist's substitutionary death, Gal. 5, 4. That is true of all who depart from the Scriptural doctrine of justification by grace through faith and reject the sola gratia and the sola fide. The Semi-Pelagianist, the Arminianist, and the synergist, if they consistently hold to their error, are as much extra ecclesiam as is the rationalist and the Modernist. The warning 678 Introduction to Sacred Theology. of the Apology is well in place: "But most of those errors which our adversaries defend, overthrow faith, as their condemnation of the article concerning the remission of sins, in which we say that the remission of sins is received by faith. Likewise it is a manifest and pernicious error when the adversaries teach that men merit the re- mission of sins by love to God prior to grace. In the place of Ohrist they set up their works, orders, masses, just as the Jews, the heathen, and the Turks intend to be saved by their works." (Art. IV, 22.) If within those churches that teach the paganistic doctrine of work- righteousness individual persons still remain Ohristians, this is due to the paramount grace of God, as the Apology rightly reminds: "Therefore, even though Popes or some theologians and monks in the Ohurch have taught us to seek remission of sins, grace, and right- eousness through our own works and to invent new forms of worship, which have obscured the office of Ohrist and have made out of Ohrist, not a Propitiator and Justifier, but only a Legislator, nevertheless the knowledge of Christ has always remained with some godly persons." (Art. III, 271.) 4. The doctrine of the Word of God. The Word of God, that is, the external Word of the holy Gospel, which Ohrist commanded His blessed apostles to preach and teach to all nations (Matt. 28, 19. 20 ; Mark 16, 15. 16) and which is set forth in Holy Scripture, is both the object and the means of saving faith. It is the object of saving faith because saving faith believes the Gospel, Mark 1, 15; Rom. 1, 1. 2; it is the means of saving faith, since saving faith is engendered only through the Gospel, Rom. 10, 17; 1, 16; John 17, 20; J as. 1, 18. Every "faith" that is not produced through the Word of God is not faith, but a figment of the mind or fancy. Such faith Luther rightly styles "faith in the air." True, saving faith is always God-made, never man-made, 1 Tim. 6, 3. 1 001'. 2, 1-5: "That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." For this reason the doctrine of the Word of God is likewise a fundamental doctrine. The penalty of the rejection of the Gospel is damnation, Mark 16, 15. 16. 5. The doctrine of the resurrection. Modern rationalistic the- ology discards the Scriptural doctrine of the resurrection, denying both Ohrist's glorious resurrection and the resurrection of all the dead. In place of the resurrection it teaches the immortality of the soul. Holy Scripture, however, affirms that the denial of the resur- rection involves the denial of the entire Gospel of Ohrist, 1 001'. 15, 12-19. Those who deny the resurrection it unqualifiedly condemns as having made shipwreck of their faith and erred concerning the truth, 1 Tim. 1, 19. 20; 2 Tim. 2, 17. 18. Hymenaeus and Alexander, who denied the doctrine of the resurrection, were delivered by St. Paul "unto Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme." The denial of 6c9teibfef)(er in ben lSiicgetn 6amuefS. 679 the resurrection is therefore tantamount to blasphemy of Ohrist. It is for this reason that we classify the doctrine of the resurrection among the fundamentals of the Ohristian religion. When we speak of the fundamental doctrines of the Ohristian religion, we mean, of course, these doctrines as they are presented in Holy Scripture, not the dogmatic formulation of these teachings or the dogmas of the Ohurch. Dogmas may be faulty; the teachings of Holy Scripture are infallible. Nevertheless it must be borne in mind that, whenever the doctrines of Holy Scripture have been for- mulated correctly, the rejection of such dogmas or creeds is nothing less than the rejection of Holy Scripture itself. Thus Modernists who reject the Apostles' Oreed or the Nicene Oreed or the Athanasian Oreed reject the very Word of God, because the doctrines expounded and defended in these confessions are the teachings of Holy Scripture. JOHN THEODORE MUELLER. (To be oontVnued.) Sdjfeibfe~lef in ben ~iidjefn 5tlmnd~. ~at ber ljeIiriiifdje unb griedjifdje ~e6t b'er SjeHigen @3djrift, tute tuir iljn in unfern jetigen mmefau§gaIien bor un§ ljaIien, ba§ infpit:ierte ~ort @otte§ ift, unb atnar aUf @runb tnorHidjer ®ingeIiung, ba§ fteljt ffrr jeben Iutljerifdjen ~eoIogen bon bornljerein feft. ~at aIier biefe ~nfpit:ation audj bie mafforetifdjen lTSunfte mit einfdjIiete, tnie man in reformierten S'rreifen auetft oeljauptete, unb bat fie audj aUe @3djreiIi" felj!er Iii§ aUf biefen ~ag QU§fdjIief3e, ba§ finb ~nnaljmen, bie fidj ein" fadj nidjt mit ben un§ borIiegenben ~atfadjen bereinIiaren Iaffen. ~ie IDliinner, bie im Banfe ber ~aijrljunberte bie ~Iif djriften ber ljeiHgen mfrdjer Iieforgien, tuaren getnoijnfidje, oft fogar berijiiltni§miif3ig un" gefeljrte IDlenfdjen, bie batum audj leidjt it:ren fonnten, Iiefonbet§ in einem rein menfdjIidjen unb batum aum ~eiI medjanifdjen linter" neljmen, tuie e§ ba§ ~Iifdjremen bon ~e6ten nun dnma! if±. ~orrten tuir Die IDlogIidjfeit unb bM tatfiidjIidje mOtijanbenfein bon @3djtem" feijfern Ieugnen, fo tufrtben tnit geIegentIidj mit bet @3djtnierigfeit bon @3djeintuibetfptfrdjen au tedjnen ijaIien. ~iefe ~atfadjen fennen tuir, unb mit iijnen redjnen tuir, inbem tnir bie @runbfii1,?e ciner fonfetbaiiben Sjermeneutif aUt ~ntnenbung Iitingen. ®§ ift niimfidj ein getnaItiger linterfdjieb atnifdjen tuirfIidjer, bernfrnf" tiger ~e6tftitif unb bet in mandjen S'rteifen nodj ljeute frIiIidjen ~on" jefturaIfritif au Iieadjten. ®rftere geijt rein oIijeftib au ~erfe, inbem fie fidj IebigIidj Iiemfrijt, "wet Die urfprfrngHdje @eftart be§ ~e6te§ fidj @etnif3ijeit au betfdjaffen" (~frtIitinget); Ie1,?tere geijt mit fuIijeftibem morurteH an bie 2etftfrcMung be§ ~e6te§, unb atuat meiften§ im ~ntereff e ber ijoijeren ~ritil.