Full Text for CTM Brief Studies 31-10 (Text)

CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL MONTHLY Volume XXXI October 1960 Number 10 Published by THE LUTHERAN CHURCH-MISSOURI SYNOD Edited by THE FACULTY OF CONCORDIA SEMINARY SAINT LOUIS, MISSOURI CONCORDIA PUBLISHING HOUSE SAINT LOUIS, MISSOURI CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL MONTHLY is published monthly by Concordia Publishing House, 3558 S. Jefferson Ave., St. Louis 18, Mo., to which all business correspondence is to be addressed. $3.50 pet annum, anywhere in the world, payable in advance. Second-class postage paid at St. Louis, Mo. CRINTED IN U. 5. A. BRIEF STUDIES I A STATEMENT ON THE FORM AND FUNCTION OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES In the course of the past two years the faculty of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, has studied the theology of the Word on the basis of the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. The following statement was adopted by the faculty April 26, 1960, as an expression of its position on the form and function of the Holy suipnues. Since the study of the sacred Word and its function in the church is the continual obliga- tion of the church, we are making available this expression of our convictions in the hope that it will adequately communicate our profound sense of obedience to the Scriptures and lead others to study, ponder, and appreciate this gift of God. Please address comments and suggestions to: THE FACULTY OF CONCORDIA SEMINARY c/o Pms. A. 0. FUERBRINGER 801 De Mun Avenue St. Louis 5, Missouri and from death to life, and thus moves them to submit to the will of God. 3. The Scriptures express what God wants them to say and accomplish what God wants them to do. In this sense and in the fulfill- ment of this function they are inerrant, in- fallible, and wholly reliable. Their truthful- ness, their infallibility as the only rule of faith and practice, and their reliability are incontrovertible. There is no human or sec- ular criterion by which their truthfulness, their infallibility as the only rule of faith and practice, and their reliability can be measured and made evident. This truthful- ness, this infallibility as the only rule of faith and practice, and this reliability is known and can be asserted only in faith; those who be- lieve the Scriptures, trust them, and rely on them are not put to shame, for the Scriptures neither go astray nor lead astray. 11. The Function of the Scsifituses in the Additional copies may be obtained from ~h,h Concordia Seminary. 1. God Himself has spoken in the inspired I. Tbe Origin and Nature of the Scriptures words of the Scriptures, and it is God Him- 1. The kiptures are given by divine in- self who speaks to men today when this spiration according to both content and word. message in its various forms (preaching, They are the result of a miraculous act of Baptism, Sacrament of the Altar, Power of God and as such are the Holy Scriptures. the Keys, mutual conversation and consola- 2. The authors of the Scripmres are wit- tion of brethren) is proclaimed in and by nesses and vessels of God's revelation. Chosen the church. Hence the Scriptures are both and inspired by Spirit of God as His the source of the church's dogmas and the instruments, they record what God said and norm according to which all teachers and all did in and through the historical events as the things that they teach are to be evaluated. they present them. their words ~~d dis- They are reliable because they are the au- closes *imself as the Judge and Deliverer of thoritative Word of God. In controversies, man. H~ makes known His will for man in therefore, they alone are the final court of Jesus Christ, in whose death and resurrection and decision. this revelation has its center. These human 2. Lutherans declare their allegiance to inspired words give men knowledge of the the Holy Scriptures by subscribing to "the mind and work of God and are the media Lutheran Symbols as a true exposition of the through which the Holy Spirit creates faith Scriptures." Hereby they confess themselves in Christ, hlrns men from darkness to light to be in the succession of the church which 626 BRIEF STUDIES 627 remained loyal and obedient to the prophetic Baptism died to sin and lives to God, a life and apostolic Scriptures. of fellowship with Christ and all who are 111. The Interpretation of the Scriptures 1. The above considerations will provide the proper basis for (a) the interpreter's attitude toward the content of the Scriptures -God's revelation of Himself in His deal- ings with His people for the salvation of all men through His Son Jesus Christ and God's action through the salvation by Jesus Christ by which He brings men to Himself and moves them to live His life; (b) the inter- preter's attitude toward the form of the Scriptures as a divinely inspired revelation given by the Spirit of God through human beings speaking in terms and forms of their historical environment. 2. It is possible for the interpreter so to center his attention on the form of Scripture that he loses sight of its unique nature as revelation and its unique purpose as proc- lamation of God's judgment in the Law and of His grace in the Gospel. It is possible also that he so focuses upon the content of the Scriptures that the historically conditioned form is disregarded and either the way is opened for unwarranted and skeptical judg- ments upon the Scriptures or the interpreter fails to utilize the historical, human, and formal aspects of the Scriptures as the ve- hicle of revelation. The form and content of the Scriptures may be differentiated con- ceptually but may never be divorced. Thy constitute an indissoluble whole. 3. If the interpreter by constant, dedicated, and prayerful study involves himself in the thought world of the Scriptures, he will be able to deal with form and content as an organic whole. He will be dealing with the Scriptures not as a Scriptura mortua but as the living Word of the living God in which God is continually active to make known and His, a life of repentance and faith, constantly created anew and sustained by the hearing of the Gospel and by participation in the Holy Communion. 4. The attitude of the Christian inter- preter, who desires to employ the best tools available to uncover the exact meaning of words and passages of the Scriptures, must always be one of humility and awe for the unique authority of Scripture as the Word of God. In the use of any method of inter- pretation the Christian interpreter will be cautious lest he set himself up as an authority over Scripture, fail to do justice to the data of Scripture, or in any way distort or dis- credit the witness of Scripture. When he finds it impossible to explain to his satis- faction difficulties which he meets, he will reverently let them stand, remembering that in this life we know only "in part." 5. God is given all glory and honor when the Scriptures are accepted, interpreted, and obeyed as His word, His revelation, as wholly reliable, and as able to accomplish their purpose. This is done among us when we use the Scriptures according to God's purposes to admonish and edify our fellow Christians, and to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ to the multiplying numbers of non-Christians in this last time before Jesus Christ returns. ( A Review + ) The form of this study will be to offer rather disconnected impressions and com- ments on Barth's Church Dogmatics, Vol. IV,2, which deals with the doctrine of the person of Christ and the subject of soteriol- -- accomplish His will. The interpreter's life ' Karl Barth. Chwch Dogmutics (Edin- under the Scriptures as a living of burgh: T, & T. Clark, 1958). Val. lV, 2. 867 God will be the life of one who has by pages. Cloth. 50s. 628 BRLEF STUDIES ogy. Both of these topics are discussed by Barth under the general theme of reconcilia- tion (Vol. lV, 1 ) , the implication of such an arrangement being that we know the person of Christ and our own existence in Him by His work. One thing is quite certain even to one who would only casually peruse this latest volume of the Church Dogmatics: older em- phases and motifs constantly recur, although viewed usually from a fresh approach; hence one discovers that Barth is concerned not so much to teach many things as to press certain points from every possible direction, conse- quently bringing them into the sharpest focus and impressing them upon the reader's imag- ination. This is the explanation for what at first glance seems to be mere redundancy in Barth's theologizing. At the outset one must voice appreciation for the many impressive and stimulating ac- cents and studies to be found in this volume. Barth's emphasis on Christ's conservativism and on His rule in the midst of His enemies (IV, 2, 173 ff.) is most significant. His dis- cussion of Christ's miracles, of the mercy displayed therein toward human misery, of the fact that faith in His miracles meant faith in the "Son of David," of the reality of demon possession and of the exorcisms of Christ, is quite relevant today. Barth's avoid- ance of various modern theories of kenosis by insisting that Jesus be understood in the light of the New Testament, which was ad- mittedly written after the fact, and by re- fusing to construa a life of Christ is at the least refreshing in our day of new quests for the historical Jesus ( IV, 2, 248 ) . His com- bining the prophetic and kingly offices of Christ under the theme of Christ as xl~uE is interesting and imaginative (IV, 2, 154 ff.) . His exposition of the centrality of the cross in the synoptics and John as well as in Paul is to be greatly appreciated. His constant refrain on the security and assurance which all believers have in Christ is both comfort- ing and strengthening. His analysis of Num. 13-14, under the theme "Be Careful for Nothing," is probably the most masterful dis- cussion in the entire book. And all this is to mention only a few of the splendid features of this book. But we must proceed to a more specific evaluation of the contents of the volume. My present remarks fall under four headings. 1. Bartbs Chistology The Christology of Karl Barth may be understood and evaluated best by studying first his own assessment of the older classical Protestant (as well as patristic) Christology and then proceeding to examine his own views. This is fair to him, for the older Christology is the very terminus from which he evokes his own ideas on the subject. Oriented in the classical Reformed tradi- tion, Barth adheres closely to this older terminology, directing his discussion, for in- stance, under the headings of the two natures of Christ and the two states of Christ. How- ever, as he says, he has left even Reformed Christology far behind (IV, 2, 106). Banh says that in any Christological discussion precedence must be given to the doctrine of the unio hypostatica over that of the com- munio natwarum. This is to favor the Re- formed over the Lutheran approach. But is this the Lutheran approach? That the Lu- therans were concerned with the communio naturmlcm is due only to their desire to take seriously the unio personalis and its impli- cations. Lutheran theology has always rightly stressed a thorough study and classification of the so-called propositiones personales (i. e., Scripture statements regarding the per- son and work of Christ). It is from these statements, properly classified, that we learn our Christology, not from our own thoughts of what the personal union ought to mean. Reformed theology, with its doctrine of di- vine sovereignty and incommunicable attri- butes, has not seriously made this study, and at this point Banh too falls down, although he has carefully studied the Lutheran formu- BRIEF STUDIES 629 lations and generously concedes that the Lu- theran efforts in this direction have been "noble." Concerning the three classifications (gen- era) of the communication of attributes we find Barth, like the old Reformed dogmati- cians, adhering to the first (genus idiomari- cum). He insists that it was not merely "a man called Jesus, who was different from God," who was crucified, dead, and buried, but "the Son of God in human essence" (IV, 2, 74). However, he seems not to feel the full impact of what the fathers called i6~onoiqa~g by his reluctance to approve such statements as "God died (IV, 2, 76). Such statements, Barth feels, are the result of some abstract Lutheran doctrine of a communion of natures. But this is not the case; they conform to plain Biblical statements (cf. Acts 3:15; 20:28; 1 Cor.2:8; 1 John 1:7), and they result from the personal union, from the ~S~OXO~~ULS, the "appropriation" by the Logos of human nature. The second Lutheran classification (genus maiestaticum) of the communication of attri- butes is rejected by Barth, not, however. before he has betrayed his misunderstanding of what was meant. For instance, he says that Lutheranism ascribed all the divine predicates to the human nature of Christ (IV, 2, 79). This is a false allegation. How could anyone attribute, let us say, eternity to the human nature, which obviously had a beginning in time? When he goes on to ask whether this second classification does not involve "either a deification of the crea- ture or a humanization of the Creator or both?" he is basing such a false conclusion on his former dictum simpliciter that in the Lutheran view all the divine attributes are communicated to the human nature of Christ. Barth's real dislike of the genus maiesta- ticum rests upon this, that, in spite of the careful Lutheran qualification that the com- munication pertains only to the human nature of Christ in the concrete (Barth does not bother to explain this qualification clearly), the door is opened to a dangerous anthro- pology (IV, 2,82). He says. "If the supreme achievement of Christology, its fkal word [my emphasis], is the apotheosised flesh of Jesus Christ, omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient, deserving of our worship, is it not merely a hard shell which conceals the sweet kernel of the divinity of humanity as a whole and, as such, a shell which we can confidently discard and throw away once it has performed this service?" Even the cari- cature which makes up the premise of this syllogism will not yield the conclusion he offers. However, Barth is so captivated by his conclusion here that he proceeds to make Lutheran Christology responsible directly for the Hegelian and Biedermannian unity be- tween the absolute and the finite spirit. It is quite clear where the fault lies in Barth's entire discussion. He never seriously considers the passages which speak of divine attributes and glory being communicated to Christ's humanity. Of Matt. 28: 18 he calmly says that the "power in heaven and earth is not "given" to the human nature, but to Christ, the Son of God. Commenting on Col. 2:9 he asks whether a temple (Christ's human nature), if deified, does not cease to be a temple. But it requires more than clever rationalistic questions to break down the implication of such a passage. Barth speaks as though the passage offers no more than an analogy of a dwelling place, that God is in this man somehow. The signifi- cance of the awpat~xc5g ("bodily") has some- how eluded him. Again in typical Reformed fashion Barth gives lip service to the third genus of the communion of attributes (genus apotelesma- ticum), viz., that all the redemptive acts of Christ are carried out by the person, each nature in union doing what is proper to it in every given case. "In the existence of this man," he says, "we have to reckon with the identity of His action as a uue man 630 BRIEF STUDIES with the action of the true God" (IV, 2,99). Although he makes other statements which seem weaker than the above we would not wish to criticize him unduly. Throughout the above discussion it would appear that Barth is following Reformed Christology rather closely. In every case of differences he will side with the Reformed against the Lutherans. However, he wants to be known as one who goes beyond the old Reformed Christology. That he has broken with Reformed Christology is seen on a number of counts. We find him re- jecting the traditional distinction between the unitio and unio, for there is no difference between being and aa to him (IV, 2, 11 3). He says he wants a more dynamic concept of Christ, who was and is and will be (IV, 2, 114). Again we find hi teaching a doctrine of the two "states" of Christ which is quite novel. He merges the humiliation and exal- tation of Christ, denying that there is any time sequence involved -and he states his thesis with tiresome repetition (IV, 2, 72; 108; 110; 132; 294; 299; 354; cf. IV, 1, 13 1-132 ). To him the humiliation of the Son of God is the exaltation of the Son of man. His entire present volume is built on this structure. All traditional theology, fol- lowing the clear implication of the ios Bd~oicos of Phil. 2:7, made the subject of both exinanition and exaltation the human nature of Christ in the concrete. Barth is at pains to say that it is God who is humil- iated, a strange conclusion in view of the above noted denunciation of Lutheranism for bringing God and man together. Hence holding to a dynamic unio against a static once-for-all udio he makes humiliation and exaltation concomitants. Traditional theology spoke of the Logos assuming a human nature as a condescension; to Barth this is the humiliation. "The humiliation of the Son by the assumption of human essence is His becoming man" (IV, 2, 72). "Humanity is exalted in Him by the humiliation of the Godhead" (IV, 2, 72). 2. The Relevancy of the Chist Even? Barth has great trouble making the events of Christmas and Easter contemporary and meaningful. He seems to solve the "problem" in the following way. The saving Christ event (incarnation) may be viewed either in its primary character (ontic character) as the incarnation itself or in its secondary character (noetic character) as the revelation and knowledge of it. The ontic and noetic character of the Christ event are not iden- tical, but "there can be no doubt that we have here the characters of one and the same fact, His ontic character being reflected in a noetic" (IV, 2, 122 ) . How, then, may the Christ event be ap- propriated by me today? By revelation which is a character of the event itself. Not by any witness or formulation through tradition, Christ, or the Bible. Somehow the "basic text" - which is Christ -makes its impact upon me, but not with a result that I can ever control my knowledge of this fact (IV, 2, 124). I can know that the fact is revealed to me and know it "with self- grounded certainty which corresponds to its self-grounded being and occurrence." But - and here is the qualitication - this knowl- edge cannot be transmitted. Here is the source of all Barth's difficulty in making the Christ event relevant. To him revelation is only the incarnation with its noetic character. There is no revelatory kerygma, no means of grace, which may bring this Christ and His benefits to modern man. Hence the impossible conclusion: "We can and must act as those who know. But we must not claim to be those who know." Barth decries any doctrine of an inner light, but really is there any other way open to him? These difficulties and barriers we would hurdle by saying simply that the Gospel is a revelation of God which makes Christ contemporaneous BRIEF STUDIES 63 1 with everyone whom it brings to faith in Christ. When Barth speaks of our appropriation of Christ he is at his best. His consistent monergism never fails to shine through every discussion and to comfort the reader. God alone is His own Truth, and the door to Him can only be opened from the inside (IV, 2, 297). "A man can be a Christian only when he cannot be it of himself" (IV, 2, 308). Man is sleeping a sleep of death, and only God can awaken him. Even though all this does not exclude the involvement of man, "of his inner and outer forces, of his whole heart and soul and mind" - other- wise it would not be his awakening - still it is God who sets all these factors in motion "in the meaning and direction He has ap- pointed" (IV, 2, 556-7). But there is always a sovereign Calvinistic immediacy associated with all of Barth's dis- cussions on this subject. There is a sub- suming of the organic principle of theology under the material principle (IV, 2, 126). There is a reducing of the causes of our conversion to only one, the Holy Spirit (IV, 2, 128). One is more than once tempted to feel that Barth's style of moner- gism tends to make man's faith, conversion and quickening, less than it is. He asks, Of whom are we thinking when we speak of man's conversion? And the answer is Christ. He is the origin and basis of the conversion of the many (IV, 2, 582). Only referring indirectly to ourselves can we speak of being converted, repenting, being in a state of mortificaiio and uiuificatio. This is all wrong. These activities involve us individually. The dangerous extent of Barth's objectivism is brought out clearly in the following quota- tion, "What are we with our little conversion, our little repentance and reviving, our little ending and new beginning, our changed lives, whether we experience them in the wilderness, or the cloister, or at the very least at Caux? How feeble is the relationship, even in the best of cases, between the great categories in which the conversion of man is described in the New Testament and the corresponding event in our own inner and outer life!" But certainly there is never anything little about my conversion, or re- pentance, and that simply because (as Barth affirms) this is all wrought by God in me. How different Barth's words sound from Luther's classic statement, "When God cre- ates faith in a man, it is certainly as great - a work as if He were creating heaven and earth (WA 12, 270). Barth's extreme objectivism in dealing with the Christ event provokes another far- reaching consequence: inasmuch as we are all in Him, we know ourselves only in Him. This might not sound so surprising or un- orthodox, were we only to read statements like the following: "The greater the concen- tration with which we look at Him, the better will be the knowledge that we h&e of our- selves" (IV, 2, 269). But Barth goes further than this simple and correct Biblical em- phasis. It is his conviction that Jesus Christ is the one true man, and all human beings have their being by virtue of this fact (IV, 2, 280). One immediately sees the difficulty here. There is no primeval man (IV, 2, 490), no state of integrity before the Fall. But the Christological difficulties are more serious than the anthropological. To Barth man as a sinner in his fallenness is not a genuine (wakhaftig) man; to be genuine, man must be free, must be in the state of non posse peccare (IV, 2, 495). Thus only Christ is truly man. "This man [Christ] is the man -and only He properly speaking" (KD 111, 2, 49). Christ in His incarnation did not assume a human nature that was already there. Rather human nature has its essence by virtue of the fact that it shares in His nature. "It is not He who is to share in the human essence, but the human essence is to share in Him" (KD 111, 2, 69). Here we have a recapitulation theory with a ven- 632 BRIEF STUDLES geance (Banh might call it supralapsarian- ism) -Christ is not the second Adam, but the first man, the genuine man. Incarnation is logically prior not only to the Fall (which does not take sin quite seriously) but also to creation. It should hardly be necessary to refute this view. Paul says in Rom. 8:3 that God sent His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh (BY i~p0~6pat~ ua~xbq dpaetiag), i. e., human nature - already existent human na- ture- weakened by sin. One cannot but marvel that Barth, who is so insistent against docetism, can maintain the position he does at this point. 3. Ordo SaIiltis Like many modern theologians Barth finds fault with the older Protestant dogmatics for working out an wdo salutis in their discus- sions of sanctification in the broad sense. In this he is justified, for these wdines be- come very long and involved and invariably differ from theologian to theologian. But he is wrong when he says that for the most part this ordo salutis was thought of as a tem- poral sequence or as a "series of different divine actions" (IV, 2, 502 ff.). No Lu- theran theologian until the time of Pietism taught such a thing. They simply found that they had to speak about single divine acts from different points of reference just as Scripture does. The ordo for them was simply the attempt to discuss soteriology in an ordwly manner. Such a procedure was perfectly justifiable, and it is really quite doubtful if anyone can discuss soteriology without resorting to some ordo. It is only when unscriptural distinctions are drawn between themes and concepts, when inter- changeable themes and concepts are disso- ciated, when the Christological basis is ig- nored, when causal or chronological nexus between concepts is insinuated (thus result- ing in synergism or some other heresy), or when psychological pragmatics (which Barth rightly deplores) are brought into the pic- ture, that the discussion of the "one event of salvation" becomes pernicious. Actually Barth himself operates with an ordo: justi- fication, sanctification, the call to discipleship, conversion (repentance), good works, the cross. And he does so because all these things are obviously not the same, and yet all pertain to the work of the Spirit of God and are concomitant; and Barth must speak about one thing at a time. This was all that the older Lutherans and Calvinists wanted to do. Frankly, I believe that Barth's ordo is rather well chosen in that it considers subsidiary concepts under a few basic ones and is not too complicated. 4. Bmrth's Dialectics Nowhere does Barth's difficult dialectics come into view more clearly than in this Christological discussion. Thus the humilia- tion of the Son of God is the exaltation of the Son of man, God's revelation is also His hiddenness, God is what God does (I, I, 426), the Christian has come into being and is in the process of becoming (IV, 2, 307), the Christian is both in the flesh and in the spirit (IV, 2, 497), man's atonement is man's conversion. Now some of this dia- lectics has some Biblical basis, but there can be no doubt that much of this fusion of concepts is unbiblical and is due either to a delight in paradox or more likely to Barth's apparent dislike of any status and his affection for the dynamic. Whatever the reason be, it makes Barth's dogmatics ex- ceedingly difficult to read and get straight in one's mind, and that particularly because he has begun his discussions with accepted ecclesiastical terminology and then given old terms a new sense. R. PREUS (Statistics by the News Bureau of the National Lutheran Council) Lutheran churches in North America had 8,313,848 baptized members at the end of 1959, and for the first time their combined membership in the United States alone sur- passed the eight-million mark. BRIEF STUDIES 633 The Lutheran bodies reported 8,054,4 17 members in the United States and 259,431 members for their a5liated groups in Can- ada, according to the annual statistical sum- mary issued by the National Lutheran Coun- cil. The figures were compiled by Miss Helen M. Knubel, secretary of research and statistics in the Council's Division of Public Relations. The total represents a gain of 223,805 members, or 2.8 per cent, during 1959- 2 14,523 in the U. S. and 9,282 in Canada. The percentage of increase varies only slightly from the average gain over the past decade. Comprising the third largest Protestant denominational grouping in America, the Lutheran churches are exceeded in numbers only by the Baptists and the Methodists. The council's summary is based on statis- tics supplied by 16 Lutheran church bodies, plus the Negro Missions conducted by four groups associated in the Lutheran Synodical Conference. Fourteen of the bodies recorded increases in membership, and two reported no change. All submitted reports this year. The eight bodies that participate in the National Lutheran Council - United, Evan- gelical, American, Augustana, Lutheran Free, United Evangelical, Suomi Synod, and Amer- ican Evangelical-have 5,483,373 baptized members. The Synodical Conference - con- sisting of the Missouri Synod, Wisconsin Synod, Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Churches, and Evangelical Lutheran Synod, with Negro Missions - has 2,803,992 mem- bers. Four independent bodies -National Evangelical, Finnish Apostolic, Lutheran Brethren, and Eielsen Synod -total 26,483 members. The gain in baptized membership of 223,805 in 1959, distributed among the 17,958 congregations, marks an average in- crease of 12.4 new members per local church, which has been about the average for the past ten years. Confirmed or adult membership advanced by 107,742 to a grand total of 5,452,826, a gain of 2 per cent. This would indicate an average accession of 6 adult members per congregation in 1959 or 1.2 less than the previous year. For the 15th consecutive year the highest numerical increase was made by The Lu- theran Church - Missouri Synod, and among the major bodies it also showed for the second year in a row the greatest gain on a percentage basis. The synod added 72,185 baptized members, or 3.1 per cent, to boost its total membership to 2,387,292. Over the past 15 years it has added 946,92 1 mem- bers, an average of 63,128 annually. The Missouri Synod is the second largest Lu- theran body in America and one of four with more than a million members. The top-ranking United Lutheran Church in America reported a net increase of 37,220, or 1.5 per cent, for a total of 2,477,O 12 members. The third-place Evan- gelical Lutheran Church gained 3 3,5 22, or 3 per cent, to 1,152,643. The American Lutheran Church, fourth largest, added 29,203, or 2.9 per cent, to 1,034,377. The greatest gain percentagewise of any body, regardless of size, was registered by the Church of the Lutheran Brethren. It showed an increase of 1,161 or 24 per cent to 6,006 members. Next highest was the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod with a gain of 27,643, or 8 per cent, to 374,433. Both the Lutheran Brethren and Wiscon- sin Synod changed statisticians during the past year, and lacking any other explanation, possible revision of reporting methods may be the chief reason for the unusual growth of these bodies. Far above the average also was the in- crease reported for the Negro Missions spon- sored by the Synodical Conference. The missions showed a gain of 556 members, or 7.5 per cent, and now have 7,999 members. Other gains were reported as follows: Augustana Lutheran Church, 14,2 7 3, or 2.4 per cent, to 605,380; Lutheran Free Church, 3,348, or 4.2 per cent, to 83,596; United Evangelical Lutheran Church, 3,117, 634 BRIEF STUDLES or 4.6 per cent, to 70,149; American Evan- gelical Lutheran Church, 381, or 1.6 per cent, to 23,952; Evangelical (formerly Nor- wegian) Lutheran Synod, 298, or 2.1 per cent, to 14,302; Suomi Synod. 301, or 0.8 per cent, to 36,264; National Evangelical Lutheran Church, 562, or 5.4 per cent, to 10,976; the Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (formerly Slovak Church), 35, or 0.2 per cent, to 19,966. The Eielsen Synod reported 1,500 mem- bers and the Finnish Apostol~c Church 8,001 members, both the same as the previous year. The latter body stated that no census had been taken by the denomination since 1953. In the field of parish education the churches enrolled a record total of 4,041,907 pupils, 203,508 more than in 1958. Sunday schools gained 105,3 15 pupils, vacation Bible schools 91,057, released time schools 919, and parochial schools 6,217. Sunday schools had 2,662,058 pupils in 17,957 schools served by 31 7,047 teachers: vacation Bible schools had 1,082,222 pupils in 11,807 schools with 107,925 teachers; released-time schools had 119,488 pupils in 1,981 schools with 8,166 teachers; and paro- chial schools had 178,139 pupils in 1,696 schools with 6,359 teachers. Most of the parochial or Christian day schools are conducted by The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, with 1,284. The Wisconsin Synod has 219 schools, the Amer- ican Lutheran Church 90, the Evangelical Lutheran Church 38, the Evangelical Lu- theran Synod 15, the National Evangelical Lutheran Church 4, the United Evangelical Lutheran Church 3, the Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Churches and the Augustana Lu- theran Church 2 each, and the Eielsen Synod 1. Last year the United Lutheran Church in America listed ten such schools, but this year reported that no figures were available. The number of ordained Lutheran pastors rose to 18,423, an increase of 454 over 1958. Of these 13,557, or 262 more than the previous year, were serving in pastorates dur- ing 1959. A striking upswing was reported in the number of both congregations and preaching places. Congregations totaled 17,958, a net gain of 244 compared with only two in 1958. Preaching places, which decreased by 12 in 1958, showed an increase of 345 and now number 745. Property valuation neared the $2 billion- mark with an increase of $188,997,032, or 10.6 per cent, to a grand total of $1,973,929,663. Of the latter amount, 18.1 per cent represented indebtedness, which increased by $51,734,100, or 16.9 per cent, to a total of $357,770,027. In 1945 church debts amounted to $14,656,13 1. In congregational finances a sharp down- ward trend was reported in both local ex- penses and benevolences. Expenditures by the churches for their own activities in- creased by only $6,708,706, compared to over $19 million in 1958, to a total of $319,904,084. Contributions to church work at large showed a gain of only $1,313,370, compared with nearly $6 million the previous year, and reached $77,570,346. Total ex- penditures amounted to $397,474,475, a gain of $8,022,121 over 1958 but far below the increase of $2 5,622,683 in that year. A separate compilation of statistics for the Lutheran churches in Canada, included in the foregoing figures, revealed that Canada has 259,431 baptized members and 163,125 con- firmed or adult members. They are served by 1,059 congregations and 87 preaching places. The clerical roll consists of 676 pas- tors, of whom 539 are serving congregations. Property of the Canadian Lutheran churches, which are all dliated with par- ent bodies in the United States, is valued at $38,750,528, with indebtedness of $8,3 11,880. During 1959 the churches devoted $6,241,926 to local expenses and $1,594,981 to church work at large. Total expenditures amounted to $7,836,907.