This doesn’t relate directly to the current controversy, in that there is no discussion at all of righteousness of any kind. Rather, this is Walther’s advice to young preachers. This is the ‘mature Walther’. As you can see from the picture, by ‘mature’ I mean really, really, really, horribly old.
All joking aside, the lectures which constitute Walther’s “Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel” were delivered as a series of Friday night lectures – more informal than regular classroom lectures – and represent the wisdom learned in a half-century of preaching, now being given to prospective preachers. Many pastors read this annually. I think that would be a salutary practice. For today, we have Thesis 1:
The doctrinal contents of the entire Holy Scriptures, both of the Old and the New Testament, are made up of two doctrines differing fundamentally from each other, viz., the Law and the Gospel.
Expounding on this, he says (apparently quoting Luther):
The difference, then, between the Law and the Gospel is this: The Law makes demands of things that we are to do; it insists on works that we are to perform in the service of God and our fellow-men. In the Gospel, however, we are summoned to a distribution of rich alms which we are to receive and take: the loving-kindness of God and eternal salvation.
Such words are balm to a weary soul.