Saturday, January 30, 2010

"Der Lutheraner"

If an article is just signed "W", does that make it Walther?  Several authors are just simply identified by initials.

See the angel?  The quote is from Revelation 14, 6 and 7.  If you saw my first post on "At Home in the House of my Father's", you'll know who that angel is said to be, as Walther lays out.


Friday, January 29, 2010

"Der Lutheraner" / diatribe by Reformed urging union

Had a wonderful day including a nice visit with a fellow organist who lent me a fascinating book:  "Der Lutheraner" from years in the 1870's bound into a large volume.  If he does not mind I will photograph it and quote from it.  It dovetails fascinatingly with the "At Home in the House of my Fathers".

I  googled  "Der Lutheraner"  to get more background and ended up reading a portion of this old book (see below).  It is from 1825 and a defense of the union between the Lutherans and the Reformed.  This also dovetails nicely with reading Harrison's book.  This book from 1825 is a very sad manipulation by the some Reformed people.  Very deceptive.  Very misleading.  Very wrong.  Very slanderous. Very wicked, really.
This is the kind of thing Walther and Wyneken were up against, apparently.  I've read to page 35, and I don't know if I want to waste any more time on this diatribe.

Here is a sample page

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

PowerPoint or no PowerPoint

It depends on the speaker, in my opinion.

When you can hear a speaker who is really good and keeps everyone's attention by his rhetorical skills or personality, aside from the spell-binding content,  it is a real treat.  Dr. Patrick, whom I mention sometimes, is one of those.  Everyone says it was fabulous in terms of both content and delivery when he's finished.  He loves talking, he is very bright, knowledgeable and experienced and we gladly hang on every word.  He uses not a single picture, and we don't need any.  He could talk all day and we could listen all day.

When you have someone who loves talking, BUT is not as organized or disciplined in doing so, getting sidetracked, irrelevant or repetitive, PowerPoint is a great way to keep him on the straight and narrow.

PowerPoint can be abused, as when the speaker is not a speaker but a slide reader.

If there is going to be a lot of content people are supposed to remember, a PowerPoint is nice, you can just print off notes for them.

Anyhow, PowerPoint can make things a lot more interesting and easily comprehended by adding outlines and images.

Regarding the use of images on the other hand: one pastor told me that because the power is in the word, he does not like to rely on images.  I said: " Yea, but... Jesus came in the flesh,... and he told very picturesque and creative stories."  Which, he says, is all fine, but he thinks the word should not be buried in the image overload.  I don't know what to make of that.  I read lots.  I don't need pictures.  But I really like pictures.  I have eyes.  Vision is a wonderful God-given sense.

Those are my pro's and con's on Power Point.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Couple of comments from me

1.  No comments on Walther and Wyneken.  They must be right, then! :)

2.  There has been a lot of reading on my blog from down East.  Perhaps you could say hi!  It would be so nice.  You can also e-mail me at ringheim at live dot com.

3.  I think over the next few days I will write about 12 and 13 months after the fatal accident.  It may take several posts and I think it will provide a little tiny bit of closure at this time.  Indulge me.

For your viewing pleasure today, find included the picture I have on my desktop right now.  It is from September's trip to the Yellowstone Park.  It a view of the North East corner of the Park.  You see the first snowfall as well.  The Park closed to the public a couple of days after we were there.  That was close.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Wyneken: "Theses on the Rights, Privileges, and Duties of the Free Church"

From Wyneken in "At Home of the House of My Fathers". There is a lot of material here from pages 437 to 477 divided into 18 Theses.

Essentially, Wyneken is making a defense of the free church model as established in the Lutheran church in America, contrasting it to the state church in Europe.  This was no small matter for people on either side of the Atlantic.  The churches in Germany were ridiculing the free churches and failing to see the domination they were under and where it was leading.  This was very serious business for Walther and Wyneken involving them in trips and innumerable discussions and labors all the while organizing the Missouri synod.

Wyneken  is establishing in this essay how the free church is the biblically correct model, as well as in line with the reformation and Luther.

Harrison introduces the document including these sentences:

The essay is a tutorial on the rationale for Missouri's high view of the rights of the congregation, the nature of the office and the priesthood, and --I believe--our fathers' correct interpretation of Luther on the issue of church and state.  Affairs in European Lutheranism since Wyneken wrote this only confirm his thesis.

I am going to quote from Thesis 5, pages 447,448, because it pushed a button with me:  man's stupidity vs. God's will.

Thesis V

God's providence has nothing more to do with this than with any other stupidity of men.

The preceding theses have made it clear that the entanglement of the Church with the stat is stupidity and, indeed, contrary to God.  But today, precisely where the evil consequences of this union of Church and state are being felt, there are those who remain in the territorial church and excuse it by saying:  "This was also brought about by God.  All of it developed gradually under divine providence.  God willed it, and now we must not tear the bonds that hold Church and state together."  But what has God's providence to do with the origin of the state church?  Not everything that happens does so according to God's strict will.  God also allows many things out of fate and punishment for infidelity.

On the same grounds, the sons of Jacob could excuse their selling of their brother Joseph:  "You see indeed, we sold Joseph.  But this is how we have been brought to Egypt, and our entire tribe has been saved.  Through it, the evil act does not become good.  God rather demonstrates His great goodness and wisdom when He so works it that something good still comes out of it.

It is horrible how in recent times, the doctrine of divine providence is misused.  One hears it said for instance "You Lutherans speak so intensely against the pope.  Are you blind?  Have you not learned from church history that the dear God established the papacy for this reason, that by it the wild peoples be converted by the strong arm of the pope?  Was it not divine providence that Charlemagne drove the pagan Saxons into the River Elbe and forced them to be baptized?  What glorious consequences that had!  The pagans became Christians."  Indeed, the Jesuits grant that the consequences were not so great after all! But they do not say "wild peoples" were struck dead like dumb dogs in order to convert them.  Is it not blasphemy when what such wicked men perpetrate is ascribed to the providence of God?  Indeed, God allows that devil to rage and murder in this world.  But He has him bridled so that he must only do what God can use for the glorification of His name.  He also allowed the devil to enter the heart of Judas, so that he betrayed Jesus.  But would it not be horrible to say, "How can you blame the betrayer?  Has not a good deed, namely, Christ's redemptive death, come out of the betrayal?"  It is just as horrible to declare that the binding together of the state with the Church is a work of God.  There is no denying that in the territorial church, much good has happened and bountiful blessings have been poured out.  But these blessings came indeed only through the Word and through God's great goodness and wisdom.  He who would justify or excuse the evil matter of the entanglement of state and church on the basis of these wonderful gifts of God says thereby that God would deal according to the Jesuit principle that evil means are sanctified by good ends.

A few things could be pulled out.

One of them, which peeves me a lot, and this is why I quote this section, is when "God's will" or the "Holy Spirit" are made responsible for man's thoughtless actions, poor or hurried decisions, lack of due diligence, administrative bungling, lack of consultation, laziness or manipulation.  Worse yet can be the lack of consultation of the Bible or Confessions.  Or as Wyneken simply says: "stupidity".  It is indeed blasphemous.  He is right.

The other point is regarding the matter he is really trying to deal with:  which way should the church be organized?  When I go to Germany, I covet the beautiful buildings, the choirs, the organs, the cantors, the entire church infrastructure.  It is beautiful.  And there is much Gospel in the hymns and Bach cantatas, Bible studies and so on.  There are the diaconical works in both the RC and ev. Luth. Church.  There are the government supported schools, the "gymnasiums" (grammar schools), etc. which makes what we have look completely bush league and neglected and with the children not reared carefully and richly enough.  Yet, when I think about North America, and I had for a long time felt exiled to it, I am grateful for the correct teaching which I found here, never mind the sorry state of some of the congregations.

Still, neither here nor in Germany, (I just can't get my head around it) do you ever find anything written by Martin Luther easily available for anybody.  It's like the pearl of great price duly buried in the ground for no one to find.

When I go into a bookstore, I often ask if there is anything there by Martin Luther.  There never is.  The only place, and this is where I made my "serendipitous" find of Luther's commentary on Galatians, was the University of Alberta bookstore.  There I chanced upon it.  Never again have I seen a volume by him in any store.  Why is this?

Of course, now you can find anything online.  What an opportunity.

So, about the state church:  many of my friends are leaving it.  My husband's relatives are all in the free Lutheran church.  My friends are in brand new free churches, reinventing every theological wheel, as they go, not wanting any advice from any "theologian", having been burned by so called "theologians" in the state church, so that no decent person can go by the label "theologian".  However, there seemed to me to be enough good men around to give guidance.  I attended a service, that was just fabulously Gospel oriented, warning people to stay away from a legalistically oriented interpretation.  The preacher laid out things in classic Lutheran Law/Gospel fashion.  He was from Marburg and had had great teachers, whom he talked about.  That was indeed hopeful.  And Wyneken would call this a remaining blessing from the reformation.

My relatives are in the fellowships, which are gradually breaking away more and more, having started out within the state church but breaking bonds more and more, now performing their own baptisms, etc.  I also heard the Gospel in the fellowship meeting I attended.

Twice, I attended state church services, where, though scripture was handled, I heard nothing solid preached.
So, from my last visit, I'd have to agree.  If you want to hear the Gospel preached, you won't be as likely to hear it preached in the state church, except in its music and readings. 

So much for all that.  Matthew Harrison should also bring out this book in German.  He'd only have to translate his introductions.!!!!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Issues Podcasts and I Pod and the Treadmill

I hope you are impressed.  Like, very impressed.  Just because of the technological advance.

Tonight I exercised to Issues, etc. podcasts.

Music is easier, I have to admit.  Now there are almost 1000 songs on the I pod.  But podcasts are also an option and good use of time. 

And all that before I composed a blog post. I want to share some Wyneken  tomorrow.

And now its already reading time with hubby. So tada for tonight.

Friday, January 22, 2010

More entertaining/January

This is a picture from my living room (couple day's ago).
Had more friends over today, the regular birthday group (not my birthday). XOXO
Tomorrow more entertaining.

Which means I should spend the rest of the time on the treadmill or go grocery shopping.

But now it's snowing. I could just shop in town. Nah, I'll go to the city. That'll take longer and I won't be on the treadmill.

Ah, shucks, I can probably do both if I get off the computer.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Subscribing unconditionally.../5/Conclusion

Walther concludes.

If our Church, which is now [1858] lying in the dust, shall rise again and not gradually degenerate into a body that is Lutheran in name only, without any characteristics of the Church of the Reformation, then all the fine words about ecclesiastical propriety, about the reintroduction of ancient rites and ceremonies, all attempts to invest the Office of the Ministry with special glory and authority, all this with be utterly in vain.  The only help for resurrecting our church lies in a renewed acceptance of its old orthodox confessions and in a renewed unconditional subscription to its Symbols.

To which adds the Editorial Committee of 1947:

That our Synod in its centennial year still holds high the banner of "God's Word and Luther's doctrine pure" is due to Walther's indefatigable efforts in the classroom, at pastoral conferences and synodical conventions, and through the printed word to exalt the priceless treasure contained in our symbolical Books.  One way in which we, the heirs of God's grace, can show our gratitude is a renewed study of the Book of Concord.

Subscribing unconditionally.../4

This will mostly finish the document, p. 131-137.  Guebert has most of it covered.  Just some things he does not have.

Before we conclude, it is necessary to discuss two questions.
The first is this:  Is it fully in accord with the spirit of our Symbols to demand an unconditional subscription of the servants of our Church?  I respond:  There can be absolutely no doubt about this.

... We intend also, by the grace of the Almighty, faithfully to abide until our end by this Christian Confession, mentioned several times, as it was delivered in the year 1530 to the Emperor Charles V;  and it is our purpose, neither in this nor in any other writing, to recede in the least (from the oft-cited Confession, nor to propose another or new confession (Triglotta, 847;  "Introduction to the Formula of Concord").  (In the Latin original it says, "vel transversu, ut ajunt, ungue," that is, not to depart even a finger's breadth.)  The same thing is expressed in the Preface to the Book of Concord also of the other previous Symbols, regarding the Ecumenical Creeds, the Augsburg Confession, its Apology, the Smalcald Articles, and both catechisms, when it says there:  "Therefore we also have determined not to depart even a finger's breadth... either from the subjects themselves or from the phrases which are found in them (Latin:  vel a rebus ipsis vel a phrasibus;  neither in the content of the matter taught, nor in the form and manner of speaking of it) but, the Spirit of the Lord aiding us, to persevere constantly, with the greatest harmony, in this godly agreement, and we intend to examine all controversies according to this true norm and declaration of the pure doctrine...

Finally, the Formula of Concord designates all the previous Lutheran Confessions as "a unanimously accepted, definite, common form of doctrine, which all our evangelical churches together and in common confess, from and according to which, because [not insofar as] it has been derived from God's Word, all other writings should be judged and adjusted as to how far they are to be approved and accepted" (Triglotta, 855;  FC SD Rule and Norm 10).

The second question that remains, which is herewith drawn into consideration is this:  Is our assertion that the Symbols of our Church are to be subscribed unconditionally  by our teachers confirmed by the practice of our Church?  To answer this question, let us make a few historical points.

... After the Formula of Concord had been introduced in Saxony, all the servants of those churches and schools since 1602 were asked to take the following oath:

     'You shall vow and swear that you will continue and remain steadfastly and without guile in the pure, Christian understanding of the Gospel current in this territory as it is recorded in the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, repeated and explained in the Christian Book of Concord, and preserved against all falsifications, and will neither secretly nor openly practice anything against it, but will at once fearlessly reveal anyone who departs from, or practices against, that understanding.  If God should decree--May He graciously prevent it!--that you follow the dreams and vagaries of men, depart from this pure doctrine and understanding of God's Word, and turn to the Papists or Calvinists or other sects that are described and rejected in the  religious peace because they are not in sympathy with our pure Confession, you shall swear that because of your oath you will without fear immediately report your change of mind to the proper authorities and await further regulations and resolutions.  May you do all this faithfully and without deceit!'

A Leipzig licentiate of theology had to swear:

   'I, N.N., swear to you, the Deacon and the Theological Faculty, that I intend to follow the holy doctrine of Christ, conveyed in the writing of the apostles and prophets, and explicated in the received creeds and in the Augsburg Confession delivered to Emperor Charles V in 1530, as also its Apology, in the Smalcald Articles, both Catechisms of Luther, and in the Book of Concord, and without any false intent I will fight as much as I can any godless, dark, heretical, and unionistic [religionsmengerischen] views and remain faithful to the statutes of the faculty.  God help me through his holy Gospel!'

Osiander was the first to protest against this.

Parents should well consider whether or not to let their sons to to Wittenberg to become doctors or masters [of theology].  For there their money is taken from them, and if the parents think their son could become a first-rate man, well-rounded in the Holy Scriptures, able to oppose all fanatics and heretics, instead he becomes a poor captive whose conscience is hemmed in and confused.  For he has to foreswear the Word of God and swear adherence to the doctrine of Phillipp.  He has to permit himself to be muzzled in matters of faith.  He is not to come to any conclusions until he has conferred with his elders who maintain the Confession.  He must remain in harmony with he Confession because of his oath even though Scripture says something else.  He is therefore a member of a secret society, a conspiracy which has a higher regard for the word of men than the Word of God, and Christianity is certainly the worse for it.

Against these accusation, Melanchthon responded in an address published in 1553.  There he says, among other things;

   He (Osiander)boasts of his vaunted freedom and refusal to tolerate these bonds.  Many today have fallen prey to this cry, in a time of great licentiousness and anarchy, claiming unlimited freedom to spouse opinions and, like the skpetic philosopher Pyrrho, render all things handed over as doubtful.  But pious and wise people see this happen not without great pain and recognize where it leads, namely, that the youth and the upright are not once reminded of discretion.  Then wild, impudent men who are full of themselves can neither through such promises nor through other bonds be held in check.... First let me speak with us.  it was introduced by this faculty at Wittenberg some twenty years ago, by Luther, Jonas and the pastor of this congregation, Dr. Pomeranus... Osiander does a great disservice to these upright men when he suggests that these men wanted to establish a tyranny.  It is quite clear that they had the most honorable cause and intent. Also at that time there were many fanatics flying about who soon were spreading about new stupidities:  Anabaptist, Servetus, Campanus, Stenkfeld, etc.  so much as human diligence could accomplish it, the purpose of the Wittenberg symbolical pledge was two-fold:  to admonish talented men to observe in humility proper bounds, and to check restless spirits as much as possible.  This was also the custom of the Ancient church, in which as yet no tyranny ruled and the source of doctrine remained pure.  ... In the Nicene Synod not only the bishops subscribed the decrees, but also the Emperor Constantine, all with their own hands.  And no one was admitted to the office of the gospel, unless he were examined beforehand and expressly affirmed that the confession rendered the doctrine of the gospel unfalsified and he would not depart from it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Subscribing unconditionally to the symbols of our church/ 3

There is quite a bit in the Guebert translation in the section that follows, which I won't copy again.  Mostly these points deal with a number of objections to demanding unconditional subscription.

I will just pick out the point Guebert does not pick up on and that I find quite interestingly put:  Walther calls "indifferentism" not a confession of a faith but a denial.

Again, some say:  "If the Union Church swears itself as much to the Symbols of the Lutheran and of the Reformed Church, so far as both agree with the other, but in points of difference goes back to the Scriptures, thus the Union Church thereby is at least justified against the accusation that it is confessionless and therefore is no church, or no heretical church, rather only a body held together by the bond of indifferentism.  I answer:  The commonality of several mutually contradictory and mutually condemning Symbols, which only theologians can find so deeply grounded therein, to declare for the confession of a churchly fellowship is so completely contrary to the nature and goal of an ecclesiastical confession that it requires no proof.  Such a declaration salvages only the appearance of a confession, but builds only a covering for Gallionism (Acts 18:12-17) [i.e., indifference to doctrine'.  There is no doubt that a Lutheran (or even a Reformed person), who in this manner accepts both he Lutheran and Reformed confessions, instead of confessing his faith, disgracefully denies it.  Those of the Union Church have appeared to sense this, therefore they have partly tired of finding and establishing the consensus of both Symbols...

..And whoever permits such doctrines to be treated as open questions surrenders the fortress of the Confession of our Church and is in reality no loyal Lutheran.

... Only a skeptic, who is always learning and never coming to the truth, despairs of ever finding the truth and will maintain "Men have written this and therefore it must contain error."  But if error should really be found in our Symbols, we would be the first to pass the death sentence on them.  But we defy the whole world to point out an error in doctrine in our Book of Concord.  for the past three hundred years all the enemies of our Church have tried in vain to find an error, but have failed.  They have shown, and we admit it, that our Symbols contain points that are contrary to their blind reason;  but they have failed to prove that our Symbols contradict Scripture in the smallest point.   Now, just as vain and scandalous, a similar attempt has begun by persons who wish to be viewed as nothing less than the most faithful sons of our Church.  they seek to point out that the voice of our spiritual mother in her public Confessions is in part the voice of error.  But they will demonstrate nothing more than that they are bastards who, because they do not believe the holy divine Scriptures, besmirch the church as a temptress who confesses what she has found in the Scriptures as her heart's faith.

Strong words on a subject of vital importance.  

Subscribing unconditionally to the symbolical writings of our church/ 2

This is all from Walther in Harrison's book.  We are now on page 126.

Since all divisions within Christendom appeal to Scripture--papists, Schwaermer, and Rationalists, as much as orthodox Christians, who all say that their doctrine is based on the Scriptures, if only they are rightly understood and explicated--the mere confession that one believes what is in Scripture is not a confession that clearly distinguishes the confessor from the false believer.  For, in spite of this confession, no one knows whether one accepts Scripture in the true sense or not or whether one is a papist or a Schwaermer or a Rationalist or an orthodox Christian.  Therefore an unconditional subscription is indispensable.  For the sake of clarity it is necessary to declare how one understands and interprets Scripture and the articles of faith that are contained in it.  [Harrison's emphasis] It is essential to keep in mind that the purpose of our Symbols is a) that our Church clearly and unequivocally confess its faith and its doctrine before the world;  b) that it distinguish itself [H] from all heterodox bodies and sects; c) that it may possess a united, certain, general form and norm of doctrine for all its teachers, on the basis of which all other writings and teachings can be judged and regulated.  But if the Church demands only a conditional acceptance of its symbols, it virtually retracts the faith and the doctrine that it had set forth in the Symbols.  Then the document that the Church had offered as its Confession is after all not its real confession, and the charge can be raised that the Church is double-tongued and is deceiving the world with its Symbols.

By demanding only a conditional subscription to its Symbols, the church forfeits its distinctively Lutheran characteristics, and by admitting that is Symbols contain errors, it places itself on the same level with the heterodox bodies.  In this case, the church is without a united, certain, general form and norm of doctrine, on the basis of which each one is able to judge his own teaching as well as all other writing and teachings.

...Finally, the purpose of binding the teachers of the Church to its public confessions is to remove the long controversies that have been thoroughly discussed and settled, at least in the orthodox Church.  A mere conditional subscription, however, opens the door for a renewal of controversies that have already been settled and paves the way for everlasting discord.

... The declaration that one accepts the Symbols "insofar as" and not "because"' they agree with Scripture is not a pledge to teach according to the Symbols, but according to his conscience and opinion.

...Again, some say that there can be no better interpretation of the Symbols than that which is according to Scripture.  That is a fallacious proposition.  Only that can be interpreted according to Scripture which is essentially the same as Scripture.  No human writing can therefore be interpreted according to Scripture;  this applies only to Scripture.  As Scripture must be interpreted by Scripture, so every human document must be interpreted according to is own content.  If one interprets a man made document according to Scripture, he equates the two an declares a priori that any dark statement in the Symbols must agree with Scripture, a fact that would be true only of a new immediate revelation.  No, a human document must be tested and, if necessary, improved, but not interpreted, according to Scriptures.  A subscription to the Confession is the Church's assurance that its teachers have recognized the interpretation and understanding of Scripture that is embodied in the Symbols as correct and will therefore interpret Scripture as the Church interprets it.   If the Church therefore would permit its teachers to interpret the Symbols according to the Scriptures, and not the Scriptures according to its symbols, the subscription would be no guarantee that the respective teacher understands and interprets Scripture as the Church does.  It would only tell the Church what he himself holds for correct.  Thus each personal conviction of its teachers of that moment would become the Symbol to which they are sworn!

I am still chewing on that.-- One can then interpret Scripture according to Scripture, Symbol according to Symbol, even Scripture according to Symbol, but not Symbol according to Scripture, as that is bringing your own opinion to where better people than yourself have hashed this out in incredible labors and difficulties and you are supposed to be teaching what they taught, which is scriptural to begin with. 

And you are supposed to be convinced of that otherwise don't bother teaching in the church (or "Church", as it is capitalized throughout.)

But what of some honest, upright men who either lack the ability to test the whole Book of Concord according to the Word of God and therefore are not convinced that the Symbols agree with Scripture in every point, or who have conscientious scruples about certain points?  In either case, such are not fit to become teachers in the Church, for a bishop must, above all things, be "apt to teach" and "be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:9)..."

Monday, January 18, 2010

Subscribing unconditionally to the symbolical writing of our church/1

In "At Home in the House of my Fathers", p. 119 and onwards there is an essay by C.F.W. Walther delivered in 1858. Previously a portion was translated by Guebert, now the remainder by Harrison.

In his introductory comments the latter says:

"The only guarantee we have in remaining truly Lutheran is in our church--including its pastors and church workers--confessing genuine Lutheran doctrine. That doctrine is presented in the Book of Concord. Walther's lucid and pointed defense of full, uncompromised subscription to the Lutheran Confessions is a clarion call for us in times of division and challenge to rally around what we share in our great affirmation of the Lutheran Symbols... It is the very content of this essay which has allowed the Missouri synod to endure to this day as a confessional body unlike the Lutheran churches against which he writes, which are now all part of the ELCA. This essay is all the more amazing in that it was prepared by Walther on the precipice of his breakdown. Let us be charitable, but let us fully confess the Book of Concord because it is in full accord with the Holy Scriptures!"

From here on we have Walther.

"The Symbols are confessions of faith or of the doctrine of the church and never were intended to be anything more nor less; therefore, an unconditional subscription to the Symbols can be interpreted in only one way.

An unconditional subscription is the solemn declaration that the individual who wants to serve the Church makes under oath 1) that he accepts the doctrinal content of our Symbolical Books because he recognizes the fact that they are in full agreement with Scripture and do not militate against Scripture in any point, whether that point be of major or minor importance; and 2) that he therefore heartily believes in this divine truth and is determined to preach this doctrine without adulteration."

There is quite a bit more detail elucidating what this means exactly. I will skip that for now. I should probably go back and study that more. He finishes this section with the contrary:

"Here it is self-evident what it means on the other hand to subscribe only conditionally to the Symbols"

By a conditional subscription to the Symbols, the subscriber does not pledge himself to accept every doctrine contained in the Symbols as in full agreement with Scripture and reserves the rightly to distinguish between the doctrines presented. In the course of time, various formulations of a conditional subscription have been advocated.

1. A man may subscribe to the Symbolical Books "if" and "insofar as" [quatenus] they do not militate against Scripture or "if" and "insofar as" they agree with Scripture. The so-called Pietists employed this conditional formula, and later on the Rationalists. However, it should be stated that by using this formula, the Pietists did not want to yield they fundamental articles of our faith. The Rationalists, on the other hand, did not want to be bound to these articles, even as they accepted Scripture as a rule and norm for their teaching only insofar as the content of Scripture was not contrary to their reason.

2. A man subscribes conditionally if he accepts the Symbols insofar as he believes that they teach the fundamental doctrines of the Bible correctly or teach them in a matter substantially correct. [This is the manner in which the present-day General Synod and its individual synods confess the Augsburg Confession.]

3. Some want to subscribe to the Symbols with the proviso that they may interpret them according to Scripture or understand them correctly. This was the condition under which the Reformed declared themselves ready to subscribe to the Unaltered Augsburg Confession. ... Zanchi subscribed to the Augsburg confession in 1563 with the following words: 'I accept the form of doctrine to the extent that I acknowledge it as godly.'... To the extent that I recognize and regard it for godly, I accept it as such, so long as it is understood as I have explained it. The Calvinist Peter Martyr wrote to the Landgrave of Hesse in 1565: 'I am happy to accept the Augsburg Confession, if it is properly and suitably understood.'

This reminds me of what my grandmother used to say: "Ich esse alles gerne--was ich selber koche." Which is: "I like to eat everything--that I've cooked myself."

In a similar manner, some few years ago, an entire Lutheran pastoral conference gathered in Fuerth in Bavaria, led by Herr Pastor Loehe, expected our Synod to understand and interpret the Symbols according to the Scriptures, in order to come to unity in light of the doctrines of Church and Office that had become controverted. The conference stated, 'We do not doubt--provided we accept the Word of God as the sole rule in all matters--that we understand our good confessions according to the precedent of the Scriptures, and in light of the opposition fought against at that time, then the Spirit of Truth will also lead his church into all truth.' With similar assertions they intended to subscribe to the Confessions, if one should dare to understand them correctly. But this cannot mane merely daring to understanding the Confessions as they actually sound and are intended. For only someone who is insane can understand them differently. Such statements merely indicate that the Confessions cannot be accepted as they read and as they were actually intended. In so doing one reserves the right to put a meaning into the words of the Confessions which is not actually present, but which a person holds to be correct and in accord with he Bible.

It is exactly the same kind of matter when it is asserted that the Symbols are to be accepted in their 'historical context'...

4. Another conditional subscription is to subscribe only to that which is confessional in the Symbols. Pastor Loehe, for instance, subscribes to the symbols only with this condition. He writes: 'I differentiate in the Book of Concord between what is said by way of confession and what is not said as confession. And I distinguish still more. I am disinclined to hold on to the letter and allow myself to be guilty of symbolatry....' it is self-evident that such a conditional subscription excludes a considerable portion of the doctrinal content of the symbols from that which on can confess as his faith [as then Pastor Loehe bluntly declares in the same document the idea], that other parts of the doctrine which are expressed in the Symbols are not pure and therefore are subject to clarification.

5. A fifth type of conditional subscription is one that demands the right to subscribe to the Symbols of both he Lutheran church and of the Reformed church if and insofar as they agree with each other. The Union Church, in which this form of oath is used, as is well know, not only excludes several of the chief doctrines in the Symbols as nonbinding but also leaves the question undecided as to which doctrines these are.

6. Others have subscribed with the reservation to regard as open questions even those points a controversy has arisen, e.g., the question concerning the church and the Ministry. They assert that these must be viewed an treated as open questions...

7. Finally, the seventh and coarsest manner of a merely conditional subscription to the Church's Confessions is the manner of the Rationalists. They do bot pledge themselves to the letter, but to the so-called spirit of the Symbolical Books. it is evident that a mere conditional subscription runs counter to the purpose of the symbols in general as well as to the purpose of the pledge in particular.

So much for today.

Just the transition to the remainder of the essay:

"Now we proceed toward answering our question: Why are the Symbolical Books of our Church to be subscribed to by ministers of the same not conditionally, but unconditionally? Answer: Because a merely conditional subscription contradicts both the purpose of the Symbols in general and also the purpose of the oath of subscription in particular."

Sunday, January 17, 2010 on suffering in Haiti.

Posted using ShareThis

Pastor Harrison deals with the tragedy in Haiti and Pat Roberson's explanation for the earthquake. Very good points made about suffering and reversals in life.

Girlfriends' day

Walther has to wait a bit.  My friends are coming over for lunch.

Do click on the picture to see the hoary frost.  It is incredibly bright today.

Later:  my friends were over.  Very cosy.  Thanks.  One of them, a fellow CURVES member also sent me this today.  Pretty good.

Recently, in a large city in Australia , a poster featuring a young, thin and tan woman appeared in the window of a gym.  It said, "This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?"

A middle-aged woman, whose physical characteristics did not match those of the woman on the poster,
responded publicly to the question posed by the gym.

To Whom It May Concern,
Whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, sea lions, curious humans.)  They have an active sex life,
get pregnant and have adorable baby whales.  They have a wonderful time with dolphins stuffing themselves with shrimp.  They play and swim in the seas, seeing wonderful places like Patagonia, the Bering Sea and the coral reefs of Polynesia.  Whales are wonderful singers and have even recorded CDs. They are incredible creatures
and virtually have no predators other than humans. They are loved, protected and admired by almost everyone in the world.

Mermaids don't exist.  If they did exist, they would be lining up outside the offices of Argentinean psychoanalysts
due to identity crisis.  Fish or human?  They don't have a sex life because they kill men who get close to them, not to mention how could they have sex?  Just look at them ... where is IT?  Therefore, they don't have kids either.  Not to mention, who wants to get close to a girl who smells like a fish store?

The choice is perfectly clear to me:
I want to be a whale.

P..S. We are in an age when media puts into our heads the idea that only skinny people are beautiful, but I prefer to enjoy an ice cream with my kids, a good dinner with a man who makes me shiver, and a glass of wine with my friends.  With time, we gain weight because we accumulate so much information and wisdom in our heads that when there is no more room, it distributes out to the rest of our bodies.  So we aren't heavy, we are enormously cultured, educated and happy.  Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think, ¨Good grief, look how smart I am!¨

Friday, January 15, 2010

Gossip: "She scandalized my name"

Someone and I have been talking a little about the nature of gossip and the undermining of relationships that people often feel free to engage in. They may even perversely feel that have helped serve justice by doing so. We like to speak freely, but not this way. James was right about the tongue.

This brilliant little simple song is on one of my sister's CD's. I listened to it for the first time last night. It's also performed quite charmingly on this YouTube segment.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What to do with this blog

Somewhere along the line, this blog made it onto Google consciousness. For example when you go to Google Images and search for "silesia expulsion" (I hate to type it here because now the poor googlers will be directed to this useless post) you will find that my grandpa's picture comes up first. If you type in "silesia expulsion" not searching for images, it's on the first page, too. Thus most times I post something, it ends up googled. The last post has a picture and story of Solomon, so I would not be surprised if someone googles Solomon, they will have that listing.

Nothing I write is thought through well enough to send helpless googlers over here. I feel kind of bad for them, though I think my grandpa's picture is very good. Makes me think I should either disable the google feature or create a better blog.

Handel and treadmill

I don't have anything thoughtful to report though I have been thinking about the way we call pastors.

Last night, exercised to Handel's Solomon on my I-Pod. Got in 45 minutes on the treadmill this way working harder than usual. So that was good. Someone recommended Handel for workouts. Thank you. That was helpful.

I could not make out the text well while exercising, so I looked it up. A little bit of praying for wisdom, a little bit about wedded love, a little on wise decisions such as regarding the infant and the two women, always praising God for this gift of wisdom, a little on the Queen of Sheba rejoicing with him, finishing with the praise of God, who alone is just and wise.

The libretto can be found here.

A sample aria is below:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Miep Gies died at 100 years old

Miep Gies was the woman, originally from Austria, who brought food to Anne Frank's family during WW II. She also is credited with saving Anne Frank's diary. She says she only did what seemed appropriate at the time. She maintained a website here.

I used to attend Anne-Frank-Elementary-School from grade 1 to 4.

It is a loss that the adults from this time are all getting very old or are gone already. As children we did not want to hear about all the atrocities and sad fates but could not help overhear. It was not always interesting and too upsetting at the same time. But there was no way around it.

I used to be overcome with the ethical dilemmas of it all. To lie or not to lie to save a skin, or your own skin. To sacrifice your own life for another. Are women with children exempt from making such a sacrifice? In Catholic school it seemed like all the literature we studied had to do with the holocaust and also with such dilemmas. Or maybe they just left the greatest impression on me. The one time we went to the movie theater for a field trip was for a film on the holocaust. Of course, we also studied Anne Frank's diary.

Germans have truly beaten themselves up over this over the years. They are honest and conscientious people. It is sad to me when this never comes across in the English media. It is also sad when the whole matter gets treated in a superficial way as explored in the Fabricated Luther. It is also sad that the last witnesses are dying. Yet, we are grateful for their witness and frequent heroism. It is never completely dark.

Monday, January 11, 2010


We attended with a different Lutheran congregation the other week. In the bulletin was this little quote about the Bible, not attributed to anyone. Martin really wanted to keep it, so now it's here in this post. He can get it whenever he wants. He wants to copy this into a Lutheran Study Bible he has coming for an upcoming confirmation of a god-child.
The quote:

The Bible

This book contains: the mind of God, the state of mankind, way of salvation, the fate of sinners, and the happiness of believers.

Its doctrine is holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy.

It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler's map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s charter. Here heaven is open, and the gates of hell disclosed.

Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet.

Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, health to the soul, established forever.

It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labor, and condemn all who trifle with its contents.

I might not have said "practice it to be holy" as we are holy independent of our works and practice; yet it's not wrong because we are called to practice it.

While I was shopping at CPH, I also ordered the recording of the daily orders of prayer CD, which is new. I'm really looking forward to this one coming. Paul McCain has a post about this. Only $10.00.

On a roll

Well, one podcast, now we know what we're doing. I set up Martin's subscription for the "Lutheran Hour" in his i-tunes and myself for "Issues etc" for the "Tagesschau" (German newscast, good way to keep the language current. It seemed to me last time in Germany, that the language has really changed since the advent of the internet).

I'm also finally importing the stack of CD's. I haven't actually bought anything on-line, but I might try it soon. A Mozart opera I was looking for remains elusive at this point. What is it? Is there a German i-tunes? Will they have Mozart operas?

First podcast on my I Pod.

I downloaded my first podcast onto my I-pod and listened to it in the car. This one was easy to do. Subject matter: intelligent design, about 10 min.

Friday, January 8, 2010


I find this controversy fascinating. Just read about it on Cranach. Was Hume proseletyzing? Should it be avoided in the media? Apparently Hume has his own story, which I am still interested in but haven't learned about, yet.

The video of the comment by Hume is here.
A very good and compelling commentary on the outcry is here.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A little Wyneken

The man goes on and on, but I don't know what not to underline. Every one of his many sentences carries its weight. I just want to copy a bit about Christian unity because I just read it yesterday and as a comment for Howard and Craig.

The world laughs at such a boast when it sees external Christianity split into so many different sects. Even believers may become downcast at this spectacle of division. Still the Church sings it with great certainty and surety. Thus it is and cannot be otherwise. Believers at all times and in all places--the perfected righteous in heavenly triumph or those still struggling under the banner of the cross here on earth--they all have only one mind. Even now, they are of one heart and soul.

And how can it be otherwise? The old mind of the world and of the flesh with its deadly fruits is bitterly opposed to repentance, hates it, and fights against it. but through the blessed knowledge of Jesus Christ and the grasping of His all-sufficient merit, all those who have been born anew are united in a new divine light and a new divine life. So you not only have one spiritual understanding, one and the same spiritual judgment, one and the same desire in divine and heavenly things, you have Christ Himself. He is the light and life of men. In all of your hearts, He is your light and life, your one treasure and crown, the desire of your heart, your only love. He is the boast and praise of your hearts. Because He lives in, works in, and governs all of you, because He is your very heart and your life, how can you be anything other than of one mind according to Christ? How can you love something other than Him? How can you seek to please someone other than Him? How can you strive for anything but to sanctify His name, to advance His honor, and to spread His kingdom? Your heart and soul are concerned with one thing. Your dealings, deliberations, calculations, and aspirations are all directed to a single goal: Christ and His kingdom.

We often find like-mindedness and shared aspiration in the world. Like-minded individuals often bind themselves to one external fellowship. But the basis of this fellowship is not always inner unity of the heart and love.
They are often founded only upon the fellowship of natural love that is self-seeking. So long as it works fellowship, it endures.

It is something completely different with believers.
With them, external fellowship is only the expression, the consequence, and the fruit of the deepest fellowship of life and love. It also profoundly embraces believers that they personally do not know, indeed, even those who, completely out of ignorance, are found among those who fight against them! For Christ, who through faith lives in your hearts, is indeed the eternal divine fire of love itself. He not only melds you together with Himself in the most profound love, but He joins you with all those in whom He dwells. pp. 384,385.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A little more Walther (On reading material in the home.)

I thought this was important and a little funny, as well. From the "Duties of an Evangelical Lutheran Synod", translated by Everette Meier, delivered in Iowa, 1879. This is not a newly translated piece, but new to me. In retrospect, it seems to me a "must-read"--long, thorough, convincing, instructive.

This quote is from close to the end, where there is a thesis: the synod "must make every effort to disseminate good literature."

I had to laugh at the excuse of people for not reading the Book of Concord: "What I'm not told, that leaves me cold." I'm assuming in German it was "Was ich nicht weiss, macht mich nicht heiss." --What I don't know can't make me hot (under the collar). Otherwise known in German as the "Vogel Strauss" policy, the "ostrich policy".

One thing more. During our discussion of the first thesis, we spoke a great deal about the Confessions. The Book of Concord should also be in every Lutheran home. For that reason, Synod should provide a good, inexpensive copy, and pastors should see to it that every home has one. Because "What I'm not told, leaves me cold." If a person isn't familiar with this book, he'll think, "That old book is just for pastors. I don't have to preach. After plowing all day, I can't sit down and study in the evening. If I read my morning and evening devotions, that's enough." No, that is not enough! The Lord doesn't want us to remain children, who are blown to and fro by every wind of doctrine; instead of that, He wants us to grow in knowledge so that we can teach others, contradict heretics--in short, become capable of doing the work of the office through which the body of Christ will be edified and built up" (Ephesians 4:12-14)

When a pastor first arrives in a new congregation, one of the first questions he should ask in the course of his visits with the members is this: "Dear friends, what kind of religious books do you have?" They may have only a Bible, a hymnal, and a catechism. Then you ask, "What kind of a Bible do you have? Do you know where it is?" They may answer, "Sadly, that's a good question; where is it anyway?" They may have to dig it out of a junk room and blow the dust off of it, since no one has used it for who knows how long. Then the pastor should say, "My, it sure is dusty! You know, it doesn't do any good just lying around, or using it only when you have a bad headache or something! You need to read it regularly. But in addition to that, you really need to get some more books. You don't just eat bread all the time, do you? No doubt you have all kinds of good food and drink in your kitchen, cellar, and the pantry. Why, then, would just one kind of food be enough for the soul?" You see, when our body needs something we can readily feel that. But it's very difficult to "feel" what the soul needs. The Holy Spirit has to create that feeling of need and number for different kinds of spiritual food. Of course, the various kinds of spiritual foods are the Bible, followed by the Book of Concord, Luther's writing,a biography of Luther, a booklet for confirmands such as our Timotheus, etc. These are books Christians should buy. And to facilitate that, pastors should take such books with them on their home visits and read interesting portions to the families. When the families listen to such excerpts, they will say, "If the book has wonderful parts like that, I'll buy it." That is how you must try to get them to make the joyful decision to buy a publication like the Altenburg Bible, even if it means sacrificing a few dollars. That will be effective even with those who are a bit reluctant at first, thinking that this will cost them another half-dollar. A number of American book dealers have even said that the price for such a comprehensive and beautifully illustrated book like the Altenburg Bible is more reasonable than any other publication in their store. (pp. 307, 308)

See the Essential Lutheran Library at CPH.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Thank you for your thoughts, prayers and messages

We are sad, but we know we all live only by God's grace, and it makes us glad.

Walther 2

The trip report and related documents goes from page 15 to 118. One learns a few things regarding conditions in Germany, but not enough to think one understands anything. Need another book.

I will share here only a couple of paragraphs about how Walther describes the people whom he met. These introductions are marvelously done, I think. It must be a little bit like blogging for Walther: you want to be frank and informative, but not let it all hang out and be rude. Still, I think, he seems to have a nature that is mostly grateful and kind, while extremely determined. I do wonder why he did not see Loehe more while he was there, as Loehe complains.

There is a little nostalgia for me when he talks about Loehe, Neudettelsau and Gunzenhausen. Hailing from lower Franconia (North West Bavaria) myself, Neudettelsau is where I went for my confimation retreat. Gunzenhausen is where our deaconesses came from and I believe I was there for a Pentecost youth conference.

I won't go into issues in this post, though the people he met with where obviously pivot-ally involved in the various struggles.

Before he went he became seriously ill. He describes this personal episode in a deep and eloquent way:

However, it pleased God to throw me into a serious illness at this time, and thus berfore the trip to lead me into the loving school of His holy cross. Yet, as I pondered my whole life, which I would have gladly given back into the hands of my dear heavenly Father, my precious congregation pleaded before God for the preservation of my poor life. God answered their prayer and mercifully lifted me up again after a few weeks. Although I was still rather weak, I was able to leave from here... (p.32)

When he and Wyneken first arrived in Germany he mentions this illness again and the first people he met.

"We went on our way via Harburg toward Verden, a suburb of Hannover situated a few miles south of Bremen, where Pastor Wyneken's very aged mother, a pastor's widow, still lived. We thought we might rest here from the stresses of the ocean voyage and gather strength for our work, because this author especially was still suffering from the painful aftermath of his last serious illness. We stayed overnight in Harburg. Here we found the warmest brotherly reception with Mr.
Stuerje, the harbormaster. He was a former captain of a ship and one those few people in every region who, already a number of years ago, untangled themselves from the net of the Union Church. By the grace of God, such people have come to the living consciousness of what they have in their old Evangelical Lutheran Church." 38,39)

Walther met here with "brother reception" in other places he had to carry on a lot of disputes. Overall, he complains gently how much battling over doctrine needed to be done while he was in Germany. Personally, I still know so little about this business with the Union Church vs. the Confessions, I don't know how it is possible for me to be so clueless.

On page 40, he meets with Wyneken's mother and we learn that Walther just lost his own mother and he might have met her one last time if the timing had been a little different. I can just feel for him. All my grandparents were buried while a was in Canada. I had known them all very well. In those days, one did not phone and travel so readily, not to mention e-mail, skype and other things we do. A separation across the ocean was like a final good-bye, a heavy loss. And then there had been a possibility to see each other again. What a disappointment. It almost makes me cry.

"On the next day, around noon on the 13th, we hurried toward Verden. Indeed, this moving scene of the reunion of mother and son after a separation of many years, of which I was a witness, awakened in me a deep nostalgia. It had pleased God to take away this joy for which I had also hoped through the sudden and unexpected calling home of my elderly mother, who up until a few months ago was still alive in Germany. I was taken in not as a stranger but as a second son and brother. In the old house of this pastor's widow, I soon felt so at home that I could take part in the joy of my dear friend Wyneken, as if I had come once again to the beloved place of my childhood, with its sweet memories." p. 40

A few times in the report we hear about Dr. Harless (Gottlieb Christoph Adolf, 1806-1879). I think this is where he comes up for the first time.

"On Saturday, the 20th of September, early in the evening, we arrived in Leipzig, as was already mentioned. Soon, to his great joy, the author could see for himself that a great change had taken place in the time since his last stay in this city, a change for the better at that. The traces of great mercy can be seen everywhere. In these blessed workings we think especially of Dr. Harless, who, during the short time that he was active here as a professor at the university and as pastor at the St. Nicholas church, contributed a great deal.

Dr. Harless' successor at the university, Dr. Kahnis, is now making an effort to continue the blessed work that has begun. among other things, the numerous student groups founded under Dr. Harless's initiative, who bear the name Philadelphia, remain intact under Dr. Kahnis' direction. These groups named "Philadelphia" seek to build an inner fellowship among those students (including those who aren't studying theology) who hold fast to the ground of faith of our Evangelical Lutheran church amid the currents of human opinion and wish to preserve themselves from the same. Another important aspect and further ground for joy in regard to this student group is that as the young ken mutually assist one another spiritually, they have their eye more to the practical than to the academic. However, great earnestness and zeal for study show themselves among these students...

We hear about these student groups several times more. Walther must have really enjoyed them. It reminds me of the work of some of the more influential professors I know or have heard about. They develop student groups and take a great interest in these students. One of them them is Dr. John Patrick from from Augustine College who speaks for the Love Life conference on occasion and the CMDS in Edmonton (Christian Medical Dental Society). He takes groups of students to Africa regularly and started groups of Agnostics 101 at the University of Ottawa, when students challenged him to do something other than complaining about the lack of formation for students at University. I also think of our confessional president at the local college, after whom a few students are called Krispinites (maybe a better name could be found). It also makes me think of Bror who cites Dr. Rosenblatt as a mentor. These really strike me as the great people, who can nurture well the generation coming up behind them. It also makes me think of Jesus taking on the twelve disciples--what skill, what depth, what patience and time required! What faith for the future.

Anyways, Dr. Harless, seems to be this kind of man. Later Walther meets Harless in Dresden, but did not hear him preach in his role as the High Court Preacher.

"The next day we traveled from here to Dresden. We hoped that the next day, Sunday, we would be able to hear Dr. Harless, the High Court Preacher, preach. Customarily he preaches only every second Sunday. Much to our chagrin, we came ton a Sunday when Harless was not to be found in the pulpit. Indeed, in the whole of this large capital city with is many churches, no preaching of the pure divine Word was to be heard on this day. The only exception was in the hall of a hospital, but we got word of this too late. Thus we had to be content to speak in private with the High Court Preacher, who already when we were in Leipzig, sent us an inviation to come to Dresden. This we did. And although Dr. Harless is overloaded with extremely i8mportant duties, which he can only manage with a great deal of effort (he is Hight Court Preacher, vice president of the High Consistory, advisor to the Department of Worship abnd Chruch order, Examiner, and responsible for church visitations), nonetheless, he devoted numerous hours to us every day of our stay... In the High court Preacher we made the acquaintance of a man whose entire appearance filled us as much with the most heartfelt reverence as with full and unreserved trust. In him we found paired with his exhaustive erudition (it does not even cross our minds to think that we could testify to it) true Christian simple-mindedness, with the urbanity necessary for his high and unique position. We found German integrity and a true sense of unswerving duty. With his great strength and energy there is an astounding gentleness and patience. He has an utterly unprejudiced appreciation of everything new that is truly good, and yet he has a decidedly assiduous faithfulness to the old and ever new Confession of our Church and humble submission to our old teachers. This last characteristic especially filled us with great joy... As Bavaria is now the place in Germany where an interest in American Lutheran affairs has been awakened, Dr. Harless presented us first with a letter of recommendation to Her Majesty, Queen Marie of Bavaria, and to her confessor, Deacon Lord von Burger in Munich, to take with us." p. 57-59.

Dr. Harless seems to be a singular shining light in Dresden. But everywhere matters seem to be very complicated. I don't want to get into the stuff with Queen Marie, and Loehe and the State church of Bavaria. It gets too convoluted. Well, how I understood it, Loehe is in trouble himself over the unionistic practices of the Lord's Supper, which he rejects, so Walther with his even stricter approach to the confessions, really can't accept support from the church that gives Loehe troubles. So, no go with Queen Marie. In the end, then, Dr. Harless' intervention was therefore useless, as well.

I'll quit here for today. Going for a walk with my neighbor at 1:15 and 20 below Celsius, for our New Year's Day refreshment. In other years we went to New Year's services together at the Catholic church in Gibbons, which actually held such things, at the time.

If this is too much quoting from his book for Rev. Harrison, he will have to complain. :) The book is easily obtainable on the internet. I recommend it.
Blessed New Year. Brigitte.