Issues Etc: The Aftermath

I was going to do a final post where I listened to the interview again, and documented each of my statements regarding 2KR from the proponents. Why? Because I have heard ad nauseum, on FB, in comments, in e-mails, in phone calls, and even in private groups I should not have seen, that I do not understand 2KR as it is being taught.

However, at this time I will have to let my interview stand on its own. I have too many projects, including both my parish and my family. I need to concentrate on them. Additionally, all but a couple of statements I made in the interview have already been supported by previous articles. You can see them HERE, HERE, and HERE. The rest, I assure had documentation. I had thirty pages of documentation in front of me. In a short interview I could not possible get to it all – or even most of it. The goal was to lay out in a simple way what 2KR was, and to explain why it is not the best way to speak. 

Since then, I have been accused of setting up a straw man. “If you only understood it as it is actually taught, you would have no problem with it.” Well, I have a problem with it as it is being presented by the proponents in their own writings. If that is not definitive for what this thing is, then it is something so plastic as to be useless.

According to one commenter, “Law-Gospel has no room for a Christian ethic.” But Law and Gospel are not merely one way of understanding holy scripture. They are THE way that God speaks to us in Holy Scripture. If there is something missing from Law and Gospel, then there is something actually deficient in Lutheran Theology, as Luther taught it, and as it is confessed in the Book of Concord.

More will, I suspect, be written on this in the coming months and years on both sides, and by better minds than me. It seems like the LCMS is about to have a major battle over whether God speaks to us in Law and Gospel, or whether that is merely one way among others of understanding scripture. I would never have guessed that the church of CFW “Law and Gospel” Walther would come to this, but then who would have guessed we would spend two decades arguing about whether the bible actually communicates facts or not.

Our task it to preach the Word of God. When wolves attack, we move to where they are and fight them off. We don’t get to pick where that is. For now,  I’ve said all I care to say, and all that will likely be useful, at this time. I will continue reading, studying and preparing defenses against it. For this is a danger.

“He just doesn’t get it.”

In that I don’t see any need to reject Law and Gospel, no, I don’t get it. I see no need to twist Luther’s teaching to match the intellectual fancies of the “bright lights” of our generation. I see no need to reject that which I have been taught, first from my confirmation pastor, my Lutheran Day School and High School teachers, then from my professors, but always from God’s Word. This “New Theology” seeks to undermine the pure doctrine of the Word of God. And so, I suppose what I don’t get is why anyone would want to do that.

Satis est. For now.

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5 Responses to Issues Etc: The Aftermath

  1. If ethics reside in the kindgom of God’s left hand, then we need nothing but the Law as a curb for ethics. As a curb, the Law is known not only from Scritpure. There are, after all, ethical unbelievers who got their ethics without Scripture, though not without Law.

    That, however, provides nothing in the way of an hermeneutic for Scripture. People can cry that Law and Gospel provides too little ethic, and that is matched by 2KR providing too little hermeneutic. With too little hermeneutic, Scripture provides too little on every subject, including on ethics and justification.

    In their cry, they give too little place to the Spirit. An absolved and grateful heart can, as fruits of the Spirit, equal Adam’s ethic.

  2. stgoodr says:

    It is also correctly said that believers who in Christ through faith have been justified, have in this life first the imputed righteousness of faith, and then also the incipient righteousness of the new obedience or of good works. But these two must not be mingled with one another or be both injected at the same time into the article of justification by faith before God. (FC SD 3:32)

  3. William Fritsche says:

    In the Issues Etc. interview you indicated that can’t find reference to TKR in the Confessions. But see Formula of Concord – Solid Declaration III # 32:

    32] It is also correctly said that believers who in Christ through faith have been justified, have in this life first the imputed righteousness of faith, and then also the incipient righteousness of the new obedience or of good works. But these two must not be mingled with one another or be both injected at the same time into the article of justification by faith before God. For since this incipient righteousness or renewal in us is incomplete and impure in this life because of the flesh, the person cannot stand with and by it [on the ground of this righteousness] before God’s tribunal, but before God’s tribunal only the righteousness of the obedience, suffering, and death of Christ, which is imputed to faith, can stand, so that only for the sake of this obedience is the person (even after his renewal, when he has already many good works and lives the best [upright and blameless] life) pleasing and acceptable to God, and is received into adoption and heirship of eternal life.

    Thanks for a thought provoking interview

    • Mike says:

      Like Fritsche said. 2KR is all that Law and Gospel is and more. The sooner Rev. Winter will understand that 2KR takes nothing at all away from Law and Gospel (which is the vertical aspect of 2KR) but rather allows one to talk about the New Obedience clearly without the threat of confusing it as works righteousness, then the sooner he will be on board with the much needed task of actually teaching our people about the responsibilities God has for them in relation to their neighbors. This is sorely needed in our day when it isn’t always obvious to the baptized how they go about serving. The standard Lutheran approach of the last-half century has been to kill with the law, quicken with the Gospel, drop the mic, and hope for the best. 2KR shows us that moral exhortation has always been a lively part of our tradition, that only in recent times has been so neglected. Unfortunately, when the L/G paradigm became the end-all-be-all, the unintended consequence was a faith tradition devoid of an ethic. 2KR shows me how I can, with my identity as a child of God securely in place through the Gospel, serve in fervent love toward my neighbor. 2KR is merely Luther’s post-communion prayer we pray each week.

      • Country Preacher says:

        “The standard Lutheran approach for the last half century…” There’s a lot in that phrase to unpack. Why has that been standard? I never considered it the standard approach. Law and Gospel are the end all and be all because they are an especially precious light. Without them scripture is and remains a closed book. Those who reject that understanding may be many things. Actually Lutheran is not among them. Count me among those who will happily never “get on board” with this Methodist claptrap.

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