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23 March 2006
  Intercepts from the Death Star

Sith LordsYou don't have to be a Sith Lord to attempt to darken the enlightening spread of the Gospel and its pure exposition in the Lutheran Confessions. A friend sent some companion source documentation to my previous post Concordia Discordia. The Rev. James Rogers sent out the following post and copy of a letter to the entire DayStar mailing list.

JesusFirst, the other Lutheran League of Liberals, attacked the book on the same passage.


Dear Stars,

Thanks to the eternal interim CEO of CPH Paul McCain, many of our congregations have received a free copy of CONCORDIA: The Lutheran Confessions (A Reader's Edition of the Book of Concord). If you recall recent history, Dave Benke has been maligned by many confessionalists. They have said that Dave says that Muslims worship the true God. Well, actually, Dave was merely quoting Martin Luther in the Large Catechism (Third Article, paragraph 66). Unfortunately, the confessionalists who are maligning Dave do not know the Confessions!

Would you believe that this Reader's Edition has actually changed the meaning of paragraph 66 and misrepresents what Luther said on this issue? Whether it was intentionally done in order to undermine the ministry of Dave Benke, we cannot judge. But the fact that the Reader's Edition got through Doctrinal Review with this change is unfortunate. The LCMS bylaws at (2004 edition) state very clearly how "members of synod" (i.e. ministers of religion - ordained and ministers of religion - commissioned and congregations) can "challenge the doctrinal review certification of a published item." I am doing just that. The chairman of the Commission on Doctrinal Review is Dr. Wm. Schumacher of the St. Louis Sem (a fair-minded guy.) Others on the Commission are also fair-minded, and I think we will get a good review.

Here is where YOU come in, you who are "members of the synod." If you are willing to sign on to the letter that follows, you need to either email me directly at jrogers(at)lordoflifelcms.org or reply to this post and saying you want to do so. Please give your full name (as it appears on the roster in the Lutheran Annual) and where you serve or if you are emeritus, crm, or whatever.

Time is of the essence, since McCain is marketing this thing like there is no tomorrow. PLEASE respond within the next 36 hours if at all possible. I plan to personally deliver the letter and a list of those who have signed on to Dr. Schumacher this Friday.

Here is the letter.

June 29, 2005

Dr. William Schumacher, Chairman
LCMS Commission on Doctrinal Review
Concordia Seminary
1 Seminary Place
St. Louis MO 63105

Dear Dr. Schumacher,

When I was ordained as a pastor in the LCMS, I gladly and publicly subscribed to the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. My subscription to the confessions was unashamedly quia rather than quatenus. With the constant help of the Holy Spirit, I believe I have lived up to those ordination vows.

I would wholeheartedly agree with a statement written by the sainted Dr. Robert Preus back in 1970: "A true Lutheran does not need to protest and avow continuously his loyalty to the Lutheran confessions. His ministry and teaching and personal confession will be a witness to his commitment to our confessions. However, there are times and circumstances when one must clearly enunciate his position toward the creeds and confessions of the church. To be silent would constitute a denial of meaningful commitment." ("Confessional Subscription: Faithful Confessional Life in the Church — from the Lutheran Congress, August 31 – September 2, 1970)

Dr Preus also wrote in the same article, "Confessional subscription . . . is a responsible public act of confession, done in fellowship and union with the Christian church and indicating that I share unconditionally the unanimous and correct understanding of the church which has steadfastly remained in the pure doctrine. The confessions do not belong to me, but to the church as the unanimously approved pattern of doctrine. They are above me or any individual."

Because I take my Confessional subscription seriously; because the confessions belong to the church and not to individuals; and because to be silent concerning the confessions would constitute "a denial of meaningful commitment," I cannot remain silent concerning a glaring addition to the confessions that has appeared in the recently released CONCORDIA: Readers Edition of the Book of Concord (CPH, 2005). This addition is doctrinally incorrect and changes the meaning of what Dr. Martin Luther stated in his Large Catechism. The unwarranted addition is in Luther's Large Catechism in the Third Article of the Creed, paragraph 66.

Here is the LATIN: "Quicumque enim extra christianitatem sunt, sive gentiles, sive Turcae, sive Judaei aut falsi etiam christiani et hypocritae, quamquam unum tantum et verum Deum esse credant et invocent . . ."

Here is the GERMAN: "Denn was auser der Christenheit ist, es seien Heiden, Turken, Juden oder falsche Christen und Heuchler, ob sie gleich nur einem wahrhaftigen Gott glauben und anbeten . . ."

Here is the BENTE-DAU English translation: "For all outside of Christianity, whether heather, Turks, Jews, or false Christians and hypocrites, even though they believe in and worship only the one true God . . ."

Here is the HENRY JACOB translation of 1908: "For all outside of Christianity, whether heathen, Turks, Jews, or false Christians and hypocrites, although they believe in and worship only one true God . . ."

Here is the TAPPERT translation of 1959: "All who are outside the Christian church, whether heathen Turks, Jews, or false Christians and hypocrites, even though they believe in and worship only the one, true God . . ."

Here is the KOLB-WENGERT translation of 2000: "All who are outside this Christian people, whether heathen, Turks, Jews, of false Christians and hypocrites — even though they believe in and worship only the one, true God . . ."

Please note that all four English versions above translate the German and the Latin quite accurately, saying that the heathen, Turks, Jews, false Christians and hypocrites believe in and worship only the one true God. All the versions also rightly go on to say that even though these people believe in and worship only the one true God, they nevertheless do not know what his attitude is toward them, cannot be confident of his love and blessing, and remain in eternal wrath and damnation.

This I believe; to this I have subscribed.

However, the recently released CONCORDIA Reader's Edition of the Book of Concord mistranslates thus: "Even if we were to concede that everyone outside Christianity ñ whether heathen, Turks, Jews, or false Christians and hypocrites — believe in and worship only one true God . . ."

By adding the words "Even if we were to concede" changes the meaning of what Luther wrote in his Large Catechism. I would hate to think that when seminary graduates stand in front of their District President and are asked to subscribe to the Book of Concord at their ordinations, they will have to ask "Which translation are we talking about?"

The CONCORDIA Reader's Edition has changed the meaning of Luther's words here. Has it also happened elsewhere?

I am using this letter in accordance with LCMS Bylaw and I hereby challenge the doctrinal review certification of CONCORDIA: The Lutheran Confessions (CPH, 2005). The addition of the words "even if we were to concede" introduces a new and different and incorrect doctrine to Luther's Large Catechism.

Dr. Schumacher, this is not a trivial matter. CONCORDIA is being marketed as something "designed to serve the needs of those who may not be familiar with the Lutheran Confessions" and "is intended for use in homes, congregations, classrooms, parish halls." (Preface, page 7) The hope of the publisher is to make it widely available to and accepted by the pastors, teachers, and lay people of our Synod. But the book should not have passed doctrinal review. It introduces a false teaching.

In the work's Preface it is stated "The text of this edition is based on the English translation in the Concordia Triglotta by William H. T. Dau and Gerhard F. Bente." (page 7). But at paragraph 66 of the Large Catechism, the Dau-Bente translation has been significantly and incorrectly revised.

By changing the meaning of what Luther said in the Catechism to something that is neither Biblical nor Confessional is inexcusable. This change not only undermines what Luther said; it also undermines what Paul says about the natural man in Romans 1 and 2 and his approach to the Athenians in Acts 17. At best, this addition is an unwarranted, incorrect, misguided, and misleading editorial comment.

I call on the Commission on Doctrinal Review to revoke the doctrinal review certification of CONCORDIA and to withdraw the publication of CONCORDIA until this glaring error is corrected. Because the publication is being heavily marketed (a copy has already been mailed to every congregation in the Synod) I call on the Commission to act quickly in this matter. I would hope that the matter could be resolved no later than August 1, 2005.

Thank you,

Here endeth the intercept.
I dunno....I've always been taught that religions that reject the three persons of the trinity as one God are false religions. Islam clearly rejects the Christ as the 2d person of the Trinity, thus how CAN IT worship the one true God!?
Islam clearly rejects the Christ as the 2d person of the Trinity, thus how CAN IT worship the one true God!?

Exactly! Yet in this whole mess, many defenders of syncretism grasp at the single straw of a questionable traslation in the Large Catechism rather than the entire message of Scripture and Confessions, not to mention the entire body of Luther's work.
How is it that a person who confesses Jesus Christ as Lord can say that those who deny him worship the one true god? What is it about Christ's clear teaching that if we don't have him we do not have the Father that is so difficult to understand? To deny Christ's word is to deny Christ. The Rev.James Rogers and those who spread this heresy need to repent or be excommunicated. Is that too harsh?
Shouldn't we understand the language used based upon its time. Idioms and metaphors used in Scripture don't make sense to us to day, based upon our use of language. Therefore, when the BOC says "Even though", it must be understood as "Even if". Though did any one else catch that this was paragraph 66 as in Executive Order 66? Is there a connection for DeathStar?
Doesn't it also say in the Book of Concord that Mohammedans are among the greatest enemies Christianity ever had?
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