Full Text for The Principles and Teachings of the Dialectical Theology, part 4 (Text)

<1!uururbtu m4rulugtral ilnut41y CODtiDuiDi LEHRE UND WEHRE MAGAZIN FUER Ev.-LuTH. HOMILETIK THEOLOGICAL QUARTERL Y-THEOLOGICAL MONTHLY Vol. VII :May, 1936 No.5 CONTENTS Der Pietismus. Theo. Hoyer •...••.•.••.••..••••.•.•.... The Principles and Teachings of the Dialectical Theology. T h. E ngelder •....• Luther, Bucer, and the Wittenberg Concordia. Page 321 329 P. E. Kretzmann • • .• 340 Der Schriftgrund fuer die Lehre von der satisfactio vicaria. P. E. Kretzmann • • .• 348 Beichtrede. o. Kaiser. . . • • • • . . . • . • . • • • • • • • • . • • • . • • • • .• 350 Dispositionen ueber die erste von der Synodalkonferenz angenommene Evangelienreihe .................... 354 :Miscellanea ........................................ 368 Theological Observer. - Kirchlich-Zeitgeschichtliches .... 374 Book Review. - Literatur. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 390 Ein P redlger mWlB nlcht alleln weid ... , alao daaa er die 8chafe unterwelse, wle lie rechte Ohrlaten IOllen eeln, sondem such daneben den Woe1fen wehren., da!;!! lie die 8chaf" nlcht angreUen und mit falacher Lehre verfuehren und Irrtum eln· fuebren. - Lulher. Es 1st keln Ding, du die Leute mmr bei der Kirche behaelt denn die JUte Predigt. - Apologi_, Arl. t~. It the t rumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare hlmeel1 to the battle? 1 Ctn'. ~, 8. Published for the Ev. Lut h. Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States CONCORDIA PUBLISHING HOUSE, St. Louis, Mo. A CHIVE The Principles and Teachings of the Dialectical Theology. 329 The Principles and Teachings of the Dialectical Theology. (Oontinued.) The formal principle of the dialectical theology is not that of the Reformation. What about its material principle~ The material prin- ciple of Lutheran theology is the doctrine of justification through faith, salvation by grace. As in Scripture, so in Lutheran theology this doctrine forms the heart and center. All other doctrines converge toward it or radiate from it. They either show the sinner the need of justification through faith or recount the blessings that flow from it. Take away the doctrine of justification and all the sublimest teachings of Scripture would have no real meaning for us. We can- not know God except as He has revealed Himself to us in this. doc- trine. Scriptnre therefore makes everything of it. What do the dialecticalists make of it? In the first place, while they make much of it, they do not place it in the center of their theology. The dialectical theology, a Re- formed growth, has retained the material principle of the old Re- formed theology. The doctrine of justification through faith never was the material principle of the Reformed system. The controlling idea in Oalvin's theology was not the grace of God in Ohrist, but the sovereignty of God, as it declared its.elf particularly in the alleged twofold predestination. The Reformed readily, gladly, admit that. A. Schweitzer declared: "The Reformed Protestantism is the protes- tation against every deification of the creature and consequently lays its emphasis on the absoluteness of God and the sovereignty of His will. This is its material principle." (See O. P. Krauth, The Oon- servative Reformation, p.123.) Abraham Kuyper, too, knows his Reformed theology and says: "Under God, it is John Oalvin who has made the dogma of God's eternal election the cor eccleB'iae, that is, 'the heart of the Ohurch.' . .. It was his convic,tion that the Ohurch had but one choice with respect to this teaching, namely, to make it the very center of our confession. '. .. He placed the eternal election in the foreground." (The Biblical Doctrine of Election, p. 6 f.) "This doctrine of eternal and unconditional election has some- times been called the 'heart' of the Reformed Faith," says L. Boettner, a staunch Presbyterian of our day. (The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, p. 96.) Reformed theology is dominated by the thought of the absolute majesty of God, the sovereignty of His will. The grace of God in Ohrist is of secondary importance. And the dialectical theology has not discarded or modified this principle, but has submitted to its sway. It has somewhat modified the parent system (N eo-Oalvinism), but has retained its essential feature (Neo-Oalvinism). E. Brunner stands squarely on Oalvin's 330 The Principles and Teachings of the Dialectical Theology. platform. "Melanchthon's formula 'Hoc est Ohrishun cognoscere, beneficia eills cognoscere' has a shade of meaning which not only could easily lead one astray, but has actually done so. It contains the germ of the whole anthropocentric point of view of later Luther- anism, and this simply means of religious egoism. Man occupies the center of the picture, with his need for salvation, not God and His glory, His revelation; thus God becomes the One who satisfies the needs of man. . .. This is not the view of the Bible. God reveals Himself for His own sake, in order to create His kingdom, in order to manifest His glory, in order to restore His own order, His dominion. The Bible is the book in which the glory of God is the first concern and the salvation of man comes second. . .. Not because Ghrist brings us beneficia is He the Son of God [meaning not clear], but because He reveals God to us, do we know ourselves also as sheltered and healed in Him." (The Mediato1', p. 407 f.) Whatever else Brunner may mean, he certainly means to say that the benefits of Ghrist, the grace of God, do not constitute the center of the Gospel. K. Barth takes the same stand. He summons his Reformed brethren back to "the Reformed doctrine of God with its blunt accentuation of God's uniqueness, sovereignty, and liberty; stressing particularly and strongly the polemical cardinal doctrines of the eternal divine predestination and election, doctrines which aTe concerned not so much with the life and fate of man in itself as rather with the nature of the will and work of God with respect to man." (Das Wort Gottes und die Theologie, p.200.) In his Roemerbrief he has Isaiah pro- claim "the mystery of the twofold predestination" (on Rom. 9, 24---29), and co=enting on Rom. 10, 3, he writes: "Zeal for God ~vith knowledge would have meant submission to the righteousness of God, of God Himself, of God alone, the bowing before the mystery of the divine predestination and the love of God enthroned in this mystery, since He alone is the true God. The righteousness of God is the freedom of God to be His own norm. . .. Knowledge of God would be the never-to-be-omitted, never-finished acknowledgment of this sovereignty of God." 1) "We shall, then, have to set this up 1) lI.L%(J.LOI1UV11 'tou 1'tEOU, "the righteousness of God," is made' to mean thH "freedom of God to be His own norm." See also Barth's inte'rpretation of this, term in Rom. 3,2'1 f.: "Now, the' righteousness, of God without the! L·aw is, manifes,ted ... , Hven the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ." "God decla,res that He ·ig tha,t He is, He justifies Him- self to Himself by this,. that He is mindful of man and his world and unceasingly cares for him. God's wrath, too', is God's righteousness (1,18) •.•. God is He that He is, the CCreator of the world, the> Lord of aU, YeH, and no,t No. . .. Righteousness of God is the Nevertheless! by which Hel declares Himself to be our God· and accounts us as His., and this Nevertheless! is incomprehensible, fa,thomless, founded only in itself, only in God, free from an 'because.' For God's will knnws no 'why.' He wills because, He is God. Righteousness of God is! f01'givenc8's, the basal The Principles and Teachings of the Dialectical Theology. 331 as the second criterion of a theology of the Word of God, that its conception of God must not only include in some way the concept of predestination, but must place it at the center" (the first criterion being whether a particular theology "is conscious of its relativity and as a consequence practises the necessary patience with other the- ologies." - Zwischen den Zeiten, 1929, p. 346 f.) Barth has even employed this strong language in characterizing the difference be- tween the Reformed and the Lutheran theological principles: "Die Reformierten kommen nicht her von der spezijischen Moenchsfrage nach dem gnaedigen Gott." (Das Wort Gottes, etc., p. 207.) - It is not the specific monkish concern about the gracious God which gives the Reformed thought its distinctive nature. The fundamental teach- ing of dialecticalism no less than of Oalvinism is that God deals with man not so much according to His grace as according to the laws of His absolute will.2) Let us point out in passing that this discussion of the divergence in principle of Reformed and Lutheran theology is not a matter of mere theoretical interest. ,Ve are dealing with principles by which men live. The question whether God deals with us according to His grace in Ohrist or according to His sovereignty is asked not only by the mind, but also by the heart, and the answer shapes not only the theology of a man, but also his inner life. The Lutheran Ohristian, as a Lutheran, looks upon God as his dear Father, the Oalvinistic Ohristian, as a Oalvinist, quakes at the thought of God and His dread majesty. Love of God and filial fear of His majesty can come only through the Gospel. (The Reformed Ohristian loves his God and Father only because he, at heart, repudiates his system of theology and takes refuge in the full Gospel.) As Kattenbusch puts it: "The difference between Oalvin and Luther is this: The former would have change of the term Theology of 01'isis is in place. As· used by the dialedicalists, thisl name aptly describes the leading thought Q>f their theolQ>gy. First, in what sensei is the term G1';sis used? Brunner sa.ys: "The word crisis has two meanings: first, it signifies the climax of an illlless.; second, it denotcB a. turning-point in thel progress of an enterprise or a· mo·vement. If in these lectures we use the word in its second meaning, it yet retains the distinct color of the fimt." (The '1'he- ology of Orisis, p. 1.) "The name 'Theology of Crisis' means something very similar" (to' what is· expressed by the name dialectical theo·logy, viz . .- "It is- Q>nly by means of thel contradiction between twO' ideas - God and man, grace and relsponsihility, hQ>liness and love-that we can ap- prehend the- contradictory truth that the eternal God enters time?'). "\V"hat the Word of God doss is to expose the cO'ntradiction O'f human exis,tenee, then in grace' to cover it. Man is placed in the critical position of ha,ving to de'aide; and such a, situa,tion, just because it is- critical, cannot be apprehended by means o·f any single theoretical idea.. Theoretica.l truth seeks the unity of the system; the theology O'f faith ins·ists on the reality of the existential uecision." (The Word and the Wodel, p.7.) Passing oover what is not clear to us in this passage,. we understand tha,t the, crisis s'poken of by the, dialecticalists refers to thel critica,l situation in which the sinner finds himself and to the necessity fnr a, right deoision, meaning the. decision Q>f faith. This thought iSi elaborated on pagel 55 f. : "Faith is the acknowledgment O'f Christ as the event through which God decides the fate Q>f my life. In this acknowledgment of thel deciding fact, fa.ith itself is dedsion. At the same time, the life of e,very one is taken out of the. security which immanent, timeless general truth giyes.. It is brought to a, crisis, to. a, crisis of life and death; nay, a, crisis of eternal life' and ete.rnal death. Not only does an covent of abso,lute significance take place in. J CRUS Christ, but the, same' turning-PO'int of time which He ig, takes place, in the life of every individual whom He caUs to' Himself and thm'eby cans also to that ad of turning." Faith the great decision! In The Mediato1' Brunner caUs again and again fQ>r the decision Q>f faith. Now, in the· second place, wha.t is the nature Q>f mis crisis, thi~ decig,ion of faith? We fincl that the ma.terial principle of dia.lecticalism - the idea nf the- absolute, sO'vereign, hidden Gnd - has shaped the concept of "crisis," The Principles and Teachings of the Dialectical Theology. 333 of the "decision of faith." We are with the' dialedicalists in insisting on the, supreme nece'ssity of faith. Faith brings thH critical situation of the sinne'r to a happy end. Faith is indeed the' great decision. HH who decide's to reject the sa,ving gra.ce of God Ims, decided for eternal damnation. He who, accepts JeSUE! as his Savior, he' in whom the grace of God has wrought faith,. the right decision, esca,pes dea,th and enters into life,. But on the, nature, of this crisis and of faith, which constitutes the turning-point, wC' and the dialecticalists a,re not at all agreed. With us, faith is the' firm trust in the objective promise, of the Gospel. With us, faith is the joy and comfort springing from the graoe of God in Olwist. What do the crisis theologians make of faith? Brunne'r describes it in The Mediator, p.335, thus: "Decision ought to mean an act in which the' self if> left behind, a, flying lea,p, rather than a, gliding motion. The act of decision ought to, mean a definite move forwa,rd, ste'pping over a, bounda,ry-line, the act of leaving our previous, experience behind. It should be a venture, an act in which the soul really steps out into the un7cnol1>n." (Italics ours.) Similarly Barth describes fa.ith as the' "Spt'ung ins Leet'e" (Roemet'brief, p.74). Of course" the basis, of faith is lacking" the sure! promise it. the Gospel; the sinner is, directed to' deal with the absolute, God; he certainly steps "into the unknown." Again,. a, theology the ma,terial principle of which is God in His absolute majesty and sovere,ignty cannot produce the comfort of joyful faith. A writer in the Pres,bytet'ian ha.s expressed the matter thus: "God remains, in Ba,rth'f> writings, the 'Totally Other One,' an. etenml 'Question,' a, 'Possibility,' but at the same time a strictly 'Impossible Possibility,' a, 'Presupposition,' a, da.rk· and concealed 'Background.' The supreme, event in the' Christian life is the moment of 'crisis,' or of 'decision,' when through this act of faith a divine despair descends upon the inquiring soul and lays low its human pride, reason, 'will to liv0.''' (See Theologioal Monthly, 9, p. 148.) There, is much of this "divine despair" in the Theology of Crisis, - and there' must be much of it in Christian theology, - but les,s of the' jayful faith that follows upon contrition. A writer in the Ohm'ohman gets the, same impreHsion as to wha,t the crisis theologians, empha,size,. "If the,re is vouchsafed to us the vision of the Lord exalted upon His throne, the greatest sa.int can only cry, 'vVot) is me', for I am undonel, because I am a man. of unclean lips.' \Ve may cloHe our eyes to- the' vision, but the Lord God Omnipotent nevertheless reigneth and judgesi us by confronting us· at eve,ry turn. Luther expreHsed this in Pauline, terms by saying tha,t the' La,w worketh wrath. The Ba.rthians, instead of 'the, Law,' prefer to sa,y 'God,' - it really comes· to' the' same thing, - and our constant con- fronta,tion by His a,wful righteousness is wha,t they can 'the crisis.' LHe is a, continuous crisis; W\l' a,re evermore face' to face with the Infinite, the WllOlly Other, and by this very fact our every act is judged and is. con- demnecl." (See! the PastOt~S Monthly, 19'31, p.312.) This writer is mis- taken in identifying the Theology af Crisis with the theology of LutheQ' ("The Barthian. theology is a deliberate amI explicit return to' the teach- ings af Ma,rtin Luther, and only as ~.uch can we' understand it"); but he is not mistaken in calling' a.ttcntion to the emphasis (we will say, the overemphasis) which Ba,rthianism places. on the' Deus damnans. vVho preached th€' Law lllore sternly thaD Luther? Yet Luthe'f lmew when the vaice o,f the La:w lllust be silenced, must give way to' the Gospel in its full sweetness. The Barthians do not know tha,t. TIley do preach the Gospel, but they permit the Law to predomina,te in their ministry. They canno.t do otherwise; fm- tho Absolute, God, the sovereignty of His will, domina,tes their thinking. "The, Lord God Omnipotent confronts us at every turn." A writer in the periodical Luthe1"tum puts it thus: "Th0' theme of the Barthian theology is: the ,Vord of God. But the ma,terial' theme' is: the permanent crisis of time and eternity. Wu will ha,ve to say' here· that this theme is 'Iwt the material theme o.f the ,Vmd o,f God in, Holy Scripture which the Church is bound to. proclaim and tea,ch ... '. The Church is held to proclaim, not that God is God, but that God a?ld: 334 The Principles and Teachings of the Dialectical Theology. principle O'f Lutheran theO'IO'gy; it has in sO'me way cO'mbined the twO' principles. "The wO'rk O'f this dynamic preacher [Barth] has been hailed by a great American scholar as 'in fact a revival of the theology of the RefO'rmation, Oalvinistic in its conception O'f God and Lutheran in its emphasis upon the experience of justification by faith.''' (Lu- theran Companion, Sept. 14, 1935.) But what Barth is here said to have done is impO'ssible to achieve. On the face O'f it, if the dominant idea in a system of theology is the sovereignty of God, the grace of GO'd cannO't be made the dominant idea. And looking more closely into the matter, these twO' principles are of such a nature that they cannot be fused intO' one. You cannot tell the stricken sinner that he should look for salvation to the grace of GO'd in Ohrist and tell him at the same time that he must read his fate in the decrees of the absolute will of the sovereignty of God. The stricken sinner will hear only the secO'nd part O'f what YO'U are saying. The glO'O'm of Oalvinism hides the glorious light of the Gospel of grace. You cannot operate with both principles. One excludes the other. They have no cO'mmO'n feature. The attempt has been made to establish a close relationship between them. Here is A. Keller's attempt: "All the reformers, Luther as well as Zwingli and o alvin, are in full agreement in theil' belief in the sovereignty of God's grace. In this respect there is no difference between the sola gratia of Luther and the soli Deo glo.ria of Oalvin. . .. The Lutheran Ohurch lays stress Ohri8't (we one. . .. Thel Lutheran ma,terial principle cO'mes, O'ut O'f a, Church which has recognized the \Vord O'f God as a, message in the prO'pe'1' sense" (meaning nO't clear). "which knO'ws. that the one concern of God's WO'rd is to' comfort, that it is spoken only in O'rde·r to consO'le the sinner. 'Praediaare de gratia Dei, consoZa.ri et viv'ificare, haec p1'opria s1l.nt prae- dicationi8' cvangelicae.' (F'. 0., I, V, 10." Trigl., p.802.) "The, material principle of Lutheran dogmatics must show itself in the' praetical theology of Luthemnism by making it tIle instrument of the comfort in Ohris.t .... One can unders.tancl that in the pre,seillt age, where the, foundations a.re crumbling, a Church which has been for some decades ceaselessly preaching the Judgment is making a grea.t impression. But that does not change the fact that a, Church which is dO'minated by such a, theology is. incapable O'f hea.ring and procla.iming the \Vord o.f God, the, true, pure Wurd o·f God, bringing to, the conscience the comfort in Christ. . .. The Ohurch is poor if the Word administered by it no longer comfort&. . .. Ita vult in- notesoere Deus, ita vult se noU, ut a,b ipso accipiamu8 beneficia, et quidem aocipiamus propteripsius misericordiam, non p1'opter meri,tn nostra. Haec est ampZi8'simn consolatio in omnibus nfflictionibus." (ApoL, IV (II), 60.. TrigZ., p.136. 800' Theo. Quartalschrift, 19'35, p. 292. f.) This writer has confused notions' as to the meaning of "Wonl of God"'; but he brings out very cle-aTly the difference. between the material principle O'f Lutheranism and tha.t of dialecticalism. The Gospel of grace, comfurting the stricken sinner" is the chief theme O'f the Bible. God has given us His WO'rd fur the- purpose, of comfort. E.ven wIlen God is preaching the Law, - which certainly is His Word, - He is, preparing the way for the' consola,tion of the Gospel. His one' concern, His grea,t command, is: "Com£urt yu, COlll- fort ye', My peO'ple'." Is. 40, 1. Tha.t cha,racterizes, the Lutheran preaching, 'The TheolO'gy of Orisis emphasizes the Judgment. It preaches the· Gospel, too, but all too spa,ringly. It is the "Theology of Orisis." The Principles and Teachings of the Dialectical Theology. 335 on the formula sola fide,. while the Reformed Ohurch emphasizes the formula soli Deo gloria,' but these formulae represent only two aspects of the same doctrine of God's sovereign grace." (Religion and Revolution, p. 27 f.) And Keller then proceeds to tell, from page 38 on, of "the rebirth of the spirit of the Reformation" through "the dialectic theology of Karl Barth and Emil Brunner." That will never do. The "sovereignty of grace" does not represent the common denominator of Lutheranism and Calvinism. In the first place, "sovereignty of grace," as expressive of Calvinism, is a misnomer. The Oalvinist does not mean "sovereignty of grace," but "sovereignty of God's absolute wilL" And, in the second place, the grace of which Calvinism certainly does speak is not the grace of which we speak. The Oalvinists' mean a grace granted by the absolute will of God; we, the grace of God in Ohrist; they, a limited grace; we, the universal grace; they, a grace brought through an immediate opera- tion of the Spirit; we, the grace offered and conferred by the means of grace. They commingle, when speaking of saving grace, the grace of justification and the grace of sanctification; we instruct men to base their salvation solely and exclusively on the iustitia il1?'putata, in no wise on the i1Lsiitia inhaerens. (Op. OONe. THEOL. MTHLY., 1935, p. 714 f.) No, the two principles are incompatible. The dialectical theology does not recognize the doctrine of jus- tification by faith as the material principle of Ohristian theology. But why quarrel with the dialecticalists on that score since they do teach, after all, that men arc justified sola fide? Is not all well as long as this doctrine is left intact? The trouble, however, with dialecticalism is that it does not leave this supremely important doctrine intact, does not present it in all its Scriptural relations and implications, but impairs and vitiates it in various ways. Barth and Brunner and the others make much of the doctrine of justification by faith. They do put strong emphasis on it. Oalvinism always has done so, and that has always been recognized and ap- preciated. We gladly note that Brunner proclaims the "sola g.ratia, sola fide" (p.295) and declares: We must "take the word faith in its fullest sense, and this means faith in justification through faith alone, and thus faith in the Mediator. For this is justification: that we have no good thing in ourselves, but that whatever we have must first of all have been received, that righteousness is not our own, but the l'ightcousness of Christ, which is made OUT own through the Word of Grace." (P. 608.) We note Barth's strong statement: "Amisso artiC1tZO iustificationis amissa est simul tota doctrina Ohristiana." That is I"uther's declaration, adopted by Barth and incorporated in his essay Die Lehr13 von den Sakramenten. (Zw£schen den Zeit en, 1929, p. 430.-See Luther, St. Louis Ed., IX, 24.) Again: "The doctrine of the purely imputed l'ighteousness must not be 336 The Principles and Teachings of the Dialectical Theology. changed by one iota." (Das Wort Gottes, etc., p. 208.) Now, they do not change it as to the bare statement of the doctrine, but they impair its purity and integrity by giving it a false setting and even infusing alien elements into it. For one thing, while they make much of it, they will not make it the chief thing. They have re- moved it, as has just been shown, from its dominating position in theology, making it of secondary importance, the article of supreme importance being the sovereignty of God's absolute will. That im- pairs the article of justification. Dislocating the members of a living organism leaves these members in the organism, but they are no longer what they were-they no longer function properly. In the Oalvinistic system the article of justification has been despoiled of some of its importance, and by so much its proper functioning is arrested. It cannot do for me what God would have it do if I say with Barth: "The laborious perquisitions of the Augsburg Oonfession as to whether and in what relation faith and good works do not exclude, but include each other, mean nothing here." (Op. cit., p.207.) One who can characterize the Lutheran solicitude for the absolute separa- tion of faith and works in the matter of justification as ''laborious perquisitions" has not grasped the supreme importance of this article . . And he who makes the idea of the sovereignty of God the material principle of his theology denies, as a matter of course, the supreme importance of the article of justification. So this is the situation: the Pelagians and Semi-Pelagians deny the article of justification by faith and thus keep it from functioning in the least. Oalvinism, by robbing it of its full importance, keeps it from functioning to the full. Another thing: The article of justification by faith becomes useless if it is not linked up at once and inseparably with the article of the means of grace. Scripture binds the two together. The for- giveness of sins gained by Christ is offered and conveyed to the sinner in the Gospel and the Sacraments and nowhere else. The Reformed deny this. And the consistent application of this denial of the vis dati1!a of the means of grace would cut off the sinner's appropriation of the benefits gained by Christ for him. "True, the enthusiasts confess that Christ died on the cross and saved ns [and that we are justified by faith]; but they repudiate that by which we obtain Him; that is, the means, the way, the bridge, the approach to Him, they destroy. . .. They lock up the treasure which they should place before us and lead me a fool's chase; they refuse to admit me to it; they refuse to transmit it; they deny me its pos- .session and use." (Ltdher, 3, 1692.) That certainly constitutes a :serious impairment of the article of justification by faith; the bless- jng to be obtained by faith is - unobtainable; the articulus stantis IBt cadentis ecclesiae is in reality nullified. Says Dr. Walther: "With The Principles and Teachings of the Dialectical Theology. 337 the Evangelical Lutheran Church most so-called Protestant churches do indeed subscribe to the statement: Man is justified before God by grace alone, through faith, for Christ's sake, without the deeds of the Laws; however, their teaching on the mean.s by which man is justified by God subverts this doctrine. They teach falsely, first, con- cerning the means of grace, the Word and the Sacraments, which are the vehicle for the bestowal of God's gifts, and, secondly, eoneerning the instrument by which man appropriates the gift, faith; and these errors, in their turn, 'are based on the false teachings concerning the redemptive work and the person of Christ and concerning the gracious will and gracious call of God." (Referat uebel' die Rechtfertigung, p. 35. Cpo Proceedings of Western Dist., 1859, p. 30.) Now, dialecticalism has retained the orthodox Reformed teach- ing on this point. On the all-important matter of the means of grace as vehicles for bestowing the forgiveness of sins Brunner says nothing. He is, to be sure, not writing a treatise on the means of grace. He is writing on the Mediator and justification. But if one does not direct the sinner to the Gospel and the Sacraments, the depository of the grace in Christ, one might as well write nothing on the Mediator and on justification. Brunner does not so much as mention Baptism and the Lord's Supper. He does treat of the Gospel, and he does say: "The righteousness of Christ . . . is made our own through the Word of Grace." (See statement above.) But that does not mean that the Gospel of Grace, preached, for example, in John 3, 16 and 2001'.5,19 ff., conveys to the sinner, and bestows upon him, the forgiveness of sins, that the words: "God so loved the world," etc., as they starrdand read, absolve the sinner, that the sinner need only stretch out the hand of faith and lay hold of his pardon. So the Lutheran views the Gospel. The Reformed cannot do it. He holds indeed that the Gospel speaks of the grace of God, but he denies that the Gospel confers this grace. And what does the dialecticalist mean by the "Word," the "Word of Grace" ? We investigated that in the two preceding articles of this series. The "Word" in dialecticalism is a most indefinite, nebulous matter. What is the "Word of Graee" on which the sinner should base the assurance of his pardon? Is it John 3, 16? Brunner says : "Justification means this miracle, that Christ takes our place and we take His. Here the objective vicarious offering has become a process of ex- change. . .. Indeed, justification simply means that this objective transaction becomes a 'Word' to us, the Word of God. When I know that it is God who is speaking to me in this event, that God is really speaking to me, I believe. Faith means knowing that this fact is God speaking to men in His Word." (P.524.) Brunner is unable to say to the sinner: God assures you of your forgiveness in the simple words set down John 3, 16. According to Brunner something 22 338 The Principles and Teachings of the Dialectical Theology. additional is needed. And that something is akin to the old Re- formed "immediate illumination of the Spirit." What does Barth think of the means of grace and their vis dativa? He declares that the Lutherans went too far "in their ex- tolling the fulness of the gift of grace in the Sacrament." (Das Wort Gottes, etc., p.207.) In his essay Die Lehre von den Sakra- menten he rejects the "Oatholic-Lutheran" (1) and the Zwinglian teaching and champions Oalvin's view. Quoting Luther's state- ments in the catechisms that Baptism "is a gracious water of life," "it is nothing else than a divine water (ein Gotteswasser)," he says: "Wir werden da nicht mitmachen." For the purpose and power of the Sacraments lies in this: "The immersion into the water of bap- tism is a sign of our dying and rising again with Ohrist, the eating and drinking of the bread and wine of the Lord's Supper is a sign of our preservation through Ohrist's sacrifice, His going to the Father." "Not indeed signa nuda, vacua et inefjicacia," but "effica- cious signs"-in the sense of Oalvin's words (Institutes, IV, 14, § 12) : "Our confidence ought not to be fixed on the Sacraments, nor ought the glory of God to be transferred to them, but passing beyond them all, our faith and confession should rise to Him who is the Author of the Sacraments and of all things." (Zwischen den Zeiten, 1929, pp. 456. 441 f. 458.) And what does Barth make of Rom. 10, 8, that outstanding locus classicus for the doctrine that the Gospel is the carrier of God's grace, the righteousness gained for us by OhrisH The passage reads: "The Word is nigh thee, even in. thy mouth and in thy heart; that is, the Word of Faith, which we preach." This is how the Lutheran Stoeckhardt reads it: "This Word tells of Ohrist and the righteousness, contains Ohrist and the righteousness, and brings both very close to man. He that receives this Word in faith thereby grasps and possesses Ohrist and the righteousness that avails before God." (Roemerbrief, p. 486.) This is how the Lutheran Pieper reads it: "As close as the Word of Faith, that is, the Gospel, is to us, so close to us is in every instance God's verdict of justifi- cation. When a Gospel word is in our mouth, for instance, the word 'God so loved the world,' etc., God's verdict of justification is thereby in our mouth, and we lay hold of justification by believing the Word. . .. How diligently we would hear, read, and study the Word of God if we always remembered that through this Word all the grace that Ohrist has gained is offered and given 1 How greatly would we cherish and love each single evangelical verse if we realized the fact that here all grace, heaven and its endless bliss, is beaming upon us 1 ... Every Gospel verse contains everything that we poor sinners need." (Christliche Dogmatik, II, p. 614 f.) And Luther: "God has placed the forgiveness of sins in Holy Baptism, in the Lord's Supper, and in the Word. Yea, He has placed it in the mouth of every The Principles and Teachings of the Dialectical Theology. 339 Ohristian, when he comforts you, promises you the grace of God gained through the merit of Ohrist; you must receive and believe it with no less assurance than if Ohrist Himself, by His own mouth, promised and gave it to you, as He here gives it to the palsied man. Therefore the sectarian spirits and enthusiasts, Zwinglians, Oecolam- padius, and their adherents, as also the Anabaptists, teach a most perilous error when they tear apart the Word and the forgiveness. of sins." (13, p.2440.) Barth sees nothing of this in our passage. What he sees is this: '" N ahe ist dir das Wort in deinem M unde ~md in deinern H erzen, naemlich das Wort von Gottes Treu0, das wir verhtencligen.' Das bedeutet in erster Linie: Es bedarf lceiner lllJ achenschaften, keiner Vel~renk·ungen, keiner K uenste, 7ceiner p'osi- fiven UND keiner negativen. Es bedarf nur eines: des Blickes in die Naehe, das heisst, in die Not und Verheissung de's Lebens, wie sie in jedem Wort deines 1Ylundes, in jeder Regung deines Herzens zum A usdruclc 7commen. Du stehsf einfach dadurch, dass du 1YI enseh bist, an jener G'l"enze del' ]Ylenschheit, in jener Problernati7c, auf die 'das 1'1' O1't von der T.reue Gottes, das wir verkuendigen', die einzige A nt- wort ist. . .. Denn noch einmal: 'N ahe ist dir daB Wort!' sagt die. Gerechtigkeit Gottes (Deut. 30, 14). Bereit liegt es, ernst genom- men zu werden, ber-eit, sich geltend zu ma.chen, bereit, uns aufs schwerste zu bedmengen und aufs hoechste zu befreien, bereit, von uns gehoert und gesprochen Z~b werden - das Wo.rt, das, weil es das W ort Chl'ist~lS' ist, doch nie ausgehoer-t, nie ausgesprochen sein wird," etc. (Roemerin-ief, p. 363 f.) 4) The dialecticalists do not find the vis dativa. of the Gospel in Rom. 10, 8 - and they do not find it taught anywhere else in Scripture. Together with all the Reformed they deny it. They teach justification by faith, but they do not direct faith straight to the means of grace.5) - And Reformed theology impugns the article of justification by faith directly. (To be ooncluded.) TH. ENGELDER. 4) The old-school Calvinists come nea,rer to the truth. Chades Hodge writes in his Oommentary on Romans: "ThH purpose o,f the a.postle is to contrast the legal and the Gospel method of salvation - to show that the one is impracticable, the other easy. By wnrks O'f the Law no' flesh living can. be' justified; whereas, whosoeve'r simply calls on thel name of the Lord shall be saved. . .. Paul represents the' Gospel as, speaking of itself. The method of justification by faith sa,ys', 'The vVO'rd is nea,r thee, in thy mouth, i. e., the word or doctrine of faith is thus ea,sy and familia,r . . .. The Gospel, instead of directing us to ascend into heaven or to gO' down to the, abyss, tells us the thing required is simple and easy. BelieVe> with thy heart, and thou shalt be sa,ved.'" These oId-school Calvinists deny tha,t the: vis dativa of the Gospel is taught here or anywherel else, but they can a,t least tell us what "Word," "Gospe,l," means. Nco-Calvinism (dialectica.lism) is too hazy on this point. 5) The material principle of Refnrmed theology is here at work. The sovereignty of God, His absolute will, and the immediate operation of the Spirit a,re correlatives. The sa,ving will of God, according to Lutheran tlleology, is voluntas ordinata., based on Christ's merit and ope'rating through the Gospel arid the Sacraments.