Wednesday, November 28, 2012

One Savior for All

Christian News, December 3, 2012

As we come to the time when most of the world will recognize the birth of Christ, though Santa Claus will overshadow this for many, we wish to look at the reason why Christ came to earth.

First of all, we must recognize that the virgin conception and birth, which is denied by many “Christians,” was not the beginning of the life of Jesus. He, along with the Father, had no beginning but was and is from everlasting to everlasting. (John 1:1).

Jesus Christ came to earth to save mankind from their sins. (Matthew 1:25) Today there are many “saviors” represented by various religions. The universalism taught in many of today’s churches claims that there are many ways to Heaven. But the Bible declares that there is only one way to eternal life with the Father. Jesus declared, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6). Just previous to this statement he gave the assurance of a real Heaven.

The Fundamentalists are pretty well in agreement that there are two salvation plans, though most are reluctant to call it that. One is for the Jews and one is for the Gentiles. They correctly teach that the Jews were God’s chosen people in the old covenant. They also correctly teach that the plan of salvation was offered first to the Jews. But they then declare with no biblical support that when the Jews refused this offer God came up with an “alternative plan.”

This delusion is called “the parenthetical church age” or “the time of the Gentiles.” It is based on one misconstrued New Testament verse (Romans 11:26) and wrongly interpret Old Testament passages. From this comes the mythical earthly millennial kingdom which is mainly Jewish in nature. Here such nonsensical things as resurrected bodies and natural bodies living side by side is proclaimed. Prior to this is when Christ is supposed to return than the living Jews will all repent and be saved. Paul makes it plain that this is not necessary or even possible. (Romans 10:12, 13).

This masterminded deception has caused some to declare that modern day Jews do not need to be evangelized. This is not love for the Jewish people. Another associated tragedy is the events taking place in modern day Israel. The truth has been hidden from the minds of most individuals through false teaching and the media. We are told that God gave Israel the right to steal from, kill and destroy property of the Palestinians. That the land was unoccupied prior to 1948 when Israel was declared a state by the United Nations. Nehemiah 9:7,8 declares that the land promise God gave was fulfilled.

Perhaps the greatest lie of all is that the Palestinians were all terrorists who wanted to destroy all the Jews. The truth is that many of the Palestinians were Christians. They were Christians that believed in peace. Though opposed to both Christianity and Judaism, even the Moslem Arabs did not want war with the Jews at this point. The violence all began when the Jews from Germany, called Zionists, were sent to Israel to live. There were already Orthodox Jews, Reformed Jews and secular Jews living in Israel at this time. All of these wanted to live in peace with the Palestinians. The Zionists came with the belief that God gave them all of Israel as an inheritance and that they had the divine right to take it by force. Eventually they and the Reconstructionists, though differing greatly in theology, joined together and started a plan to “save” Israel. Their “miraculous” success in their first war gave them international fame. It was some time after this that some Palestinians decided that they needed to defend themselves. From this came the feared terrorists.

Some Christians have turned the joyful coming of Christ to earth to a time of sadness for innocent people. The fact that many use it as a time for drunkenness and debauchery is terrible. But taking innocent lives in the name of seeking Christ’s second coming in downright sickening!

James M. Hite
Palmyra, PA

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Challenging “The Great Scholars and Brains” CN’s 65 Year Battle for True Scholarship

Christian News, November 19, 2012

Last week CN reported that the latest issue of the Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly said that when the liberals, often referred to as “moderates,” left Concordia Seminary, St. Louis and formed Seminex, taking more than a 100,000 with them, the LCMS suffered a great “brain drain.” The liberals such as Martin Marty and Jaroslav Pelikan were hailed as the brains the LCMS lost. CN challenged this notion in a long editorial “NO BRAIN DRAIN.”

CN’s battle with “The Great Scholars” began during the editor’s prep school days at the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Concordia, Bronxville Prep School and Jr. College (1947-1952) when he got into difficulty for disagreeing with a professor who was a strong defender of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The future CN editor was sent to the principal to get straightened out for suggesting that FDR, contrary to his public promise, wanted war and refused to inform Admiral Kimmel and General Short in Hawaii about the coming Japanese attack upon Pearl Harbor he had been told was coming. One of the books the editor informed the professors he had read was The Crime of the Ages by Ludwig A. Fritsch, PhD., D.D. endorsed by Lutheran Hour Speaker Walter Maier. (Walter A. Maier Still Speaks – Missouri and the World Should Listen, pp. 199, 218). The editor soon found out that some of the “Great Scholars” were not always so well informed and at times simply refused to study the evidence when they were uninformed.

When he entered Concordia Seminary, St. Louis in 1952 he was not impressed with the scholarship of some of the “Great Scholars” who refused to consider the evidence refuting the J-E-D-P source hypothesis and the translation of Almah in Isaiah 7:14 as “young woman” rather than virgin.

He was not impressed with the ridicule by some professors of Senator Joe McCarthy and those concerned about the infiltration of communism exposed by the U.S. House Committee on Un-American Activities and U.S. Senate Security Committee. Later he was not impressed with the scholarship of those who refused to consider the evidence for the number of Jews exterminated by the Germans during WWII and the existence of gas chambers to exterminate millions.

Here is a section on “Sound Scholarship” in the editor’s Baal or God published in 1965: While the testimony of Scripture settles this issue for the Christian, there is absolutely no scholarly reason why we must reject the Mosaic authorship of the first five books of the Bible. Some of the latest and finest scholarship on this subject is found in The Composition of the Pentateuch, A Fresh Examination, by M. Segal, Professor Emeritus at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, pages 68-114 in Scripta Hierosolymitana, v. VIII, Studies in The Bible, ed. by Chaim Rabin.

Concerning the documentary J-E-D-P source hypothesis, this work says: The reader cannot but be forcibly impressed by the highly artificial character of this complicated process of authorship spread over the centuries. Hebrew literature, or any other literature all the world over, cannot show another example of the production of a literary work by such a succession of recurring amalgamations and such a succession of compilers and redactors centuries apart, all working by one and the same method, as attributed by the Theory to the formation of the Pentateuch. But beside this striking artificiality, the Theory also puts forward highly improbable assumptions without offering any evidence for their veracity. Two disparate authors removed from each other by centuries both agreed to avoid in a large portion of their work the divine name YHWH, which no doubt they constantly used in their daily life, because of some antiquarian theory concerning the time of its revelation. Such avoidance strikes us as pure pedantry quite foreign to the characteristic simplicity of ancient Hebrew writers (p.71).

The preceding pages have made it clear why we must reject the Documentary Theory as an explanation of the composition of the Pentateuch. The theory is complicated, artificial, and anomalous. It is based on unproved assumptions. It uses unreliable criteria for the separation of the text into component documents (p. 95).

[On Genesis] A careful reading of the contents of the book shows clearly that the book is the work of an author with a definite and preconceived purpose, and not a compilation of disconnected fragments put together by late redactors. The narratives in the book are all related - directly or indirectly to its main subject, viz. the story of the covenant with the Patriarchs and the selection of Israel” (p. 98).

[On Leviticus] Such an inspired teacher, who presented a legislation in successive addresses to the people, could only have been Moses in the wilderness. The hypothetical pseudonymous legislators of the critics, working in exilic and post-exilic times, who ascribed their legal composition to Moses, would have written their laws as written and complete compositions, and not as oral and incomplete addresses; (p. 108). It may be surmised that the bulk of the work was composed in the long leisurely years spent at Kadesh (Deut. i, 46), and that the last chapters of Numbers and the whole of Deuteronomy were added in the plains of Moab (Num. xxxvi, 13; Deut. 15; xxviii, 69). The finishing touches were added to the work after the death of the author by his disciples like Joshua and the priests Eleazer and Phineas” (p. 113). The entire J-E-D-P documentary theory, now being advanced in Protestant Sunday School curriculums, has also been discredited by M. Segal "El, Elohim, and YHWH in the Bible" in the Jewish Quarterly Review, 1956, pp. 85-115, and by U. Cassuto, The Documentary Hypothesis, 1961. Orthodox theologians have always accepted the Mosaic authorship of the first five books. Walter A. Maier, first International Lutheran Hour speaker and Old Testament professor at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, lists the following reasons for rejecting the documentary hypothesis, the view that Moses did not write the Pentateuch:

A. It contradicts the plain statements of the Old Testament and of the New Testament that Moses is the author of the Pentateuch. B. It contradicts the internal linguistic evidence of the Pentateuch. . . . .E. It is a theory that has been built up by arbitrary and high-handed procedures.... F. It is a theory that leads to absurdities. . . . G. It is a theory which is built up on a vicious and impossible principle, the evolution of religion, according to which the religion of the Israelites has been a gradual and natural growth from the lower to the higher, and which leaves no room or reason for the supernatural, the divine, the revealed. Such premises are repudiated by every conception of Bibliology and of God which the Scriptures contain.

Reprinted in this issue from the January 28, 1974 Christian News is “Who Are the Scholars?” and “An Open Letter to the Great Scholars at the Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.” This letter quotes from Robert Dick Wilson’s “Is the Higher Criticism Scholarly?” It appears on pages 526-533 of A Christian Handbook on Vital Issues which CN sent to all delegates to the LCMS’s 1973 convention. This convention adopted resolution 3-09 condemning the false doctrine in “Faithful to Our Calling – Faithful to Our Lord” adopted by the faculty of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. Dr. Eugene Klug, chief author of 3-09, told CN how helpful his committee found A Christian Handbook on Vital Issues. It helped prepare the convention to take a strong stand vs. the St. Louis seminary. Of course, none of this is mentioned in the LCMS’s CPH published A Seminary in Crisis which credits LCMS President Jacob Preus for the LCMS’s great victory in its battle for the Bible. Unlike many of the organized conservatives, who preferred to work in secrecy behind the scenes, CN regularly tackled the actual theological issues involved and always championed real scholarship while it exposed the anti-scriptural and unscientific scholarship of the liberals. Footnote one to The Twenty-First Century Formula of Concord published last week in CN lists some of the many articles CN has published promoting true biblical scholarship and opposing the anti-scriptural and unscientific scholarship of the liberals. CN opposed the church politics of LCMS President Jacob Preus and the organized conservatives who supported him. When Preus wanted to get rid of Richard Neuhaus, CN urged him not to use any underhanded political means but to remove him for his false doctrine after an open and fair trial. CN then filed formal charges of false doctrine vs. Neuhaus. CN did the same when an LCMS churchman publicly supported abortion. In each case Preus and his supporters refused to deal with these charges in an open and fair matter. Newsweek was correct when it said Christian News called for heresy trials. CN wanted such a trial to expose the scholarship of the liberals as contrary to scripture and the best scholarly evidence.

CN’s battle for true scholarship and opposition to scholars who refuse to consider solid evidence continues after 65 years.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly - THE LCMS’s GREAT “BRAIN DRAIN”

Christian News, Vol. 50, No. 44; Nov. 12, 2012
The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod experienced a great “brain drain” when Seminex was formed and many liberal professors, pastors, and seminarians left the LCMS says Mike Doyle in a 34 page article on Dr. Paul Manz in the Fall, 2012 Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly. When Manz died on October 28, 2009, the November 9, 2009 Christian News published “Paul Manz, Distinguished Lutheran Organist, Composer and Teacher, Dies,” a long report from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on the great work of Manz. CN’s editorial on Manz was titled: “Paul Manz – 1919-2009 – Belonged with the LCMS – Not ELCA – One of the World’s Greatest Organists.” Manz championed Bach. However, he left the LCMS and became a leading fund raiser for Seminex. The 1973 convention of the LCMS said in resolution 3-09 that the professors who formed Seminex were guilty of false doctrine which was not to be tolerated in the LCMS.

The November 9, 2009 Christian News said: Dr. Manz should have followed the example of another great musician who champions Bach, Dr. Robert Bergt. Bergt now is the conductor of Bach at the Sem, at the LCMS’s Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. Both the theology and music of Bach does not fit with the theology of ELCA and Seminex. Bergt in his younger years did sign Seminex’s Faithful to Our Calling—Faithful to Our Lord but since then he made it clear that he is with the confessional Lutheran theology promoted by Bach and officially still in the LCMS.

Hopefully, at the funeral of Dr. Paul Manz it was made clear that he like Martin Luther, Johan Sebastian Bach, and all great Lutheran musicians and organists trusted not in all his great achievements, but only in the saving merits of Jesus Christ for his eternal salvation. To God Alone The Glory.

The CHIQ says that “Mr. Doyle has authored numerous articles in the Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly. He is the author of seven books, of which four have received awards from Concordia Historical Institute.” The CHIQ has highly praised such defenders of Seminex as Dr. John Strietelmeyer of Valparaiso University in a cover story. Doyle writes in the CHIQ:

“In July of 1969 Paul (Manz) was invited to be the organist for the 48th Regular convention of the Missouri Synod conducted in Denver, Colorado. He also presented concerts at the Air Force Academy and St. John's Lutheran Church in Denver. Unfortunately, the beauty of these programs was overshadowed by the events at the convention, which would cause turmoil for many in Synod, including Paul. At this convention, Rev. Dr. Jacob Preus was elevated from the presidency of Concordia Seminary in Springfield to the presidency of the LCMS in 1969. He soon embarked on a conservative agenda that had far-reaching conse­quences within the Synod. The advancement toward fellowship with the ALC (American Lutheran Church) was terminated. Members of the LCMS mission staff and faculty members at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis who were regarded as too liberal were removed. He appointed a fact-finding committee to investigate what he saw as liberalism at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. In 1973, as a result of the committee's report, the majority of the faculty was accused of false teaching, in effect, heresy.

“In 1974 the seminary's moderate president, Rev. John H. Tietjen, was removed, with the majority of the faculty boycotting class­es to protest his removal. After Synod ousted Concordia's president, the seminary faculty walked out, along with the majority of the students, causing a ‘brain drain’ among theologians that cost the Synod the ser­vices of some of its most prominent spokesmen, including Dr. Martin Marty and Dr. Jaroslav Pelikan. A rebel seminary was established at Eden Seminary and Saint Louis University, ultimately called Christ Seminary-Seminex; among the first students to graduate from Christ Seminary was John Manz. His decision put his father in a very awk­ward position at Concordia College in St. Paul, making it difficult for Paul to stay at the college. Dr. Marty said: "Church musicians aren't usually rebels, and Paul was not a rebel. But what was happening in the Missouri Synod reached his artistic integrity and his sense of fair­ness."

“In response to actions against the Concordia Seminary faculty, Evangelical Lutherans in Mission (ELIM) was organized within Synod after the New Orleans Convention.

President J. A. O. Preus made ev­ery effort to stop the group, including implementation of disciplinary actions against the clergy, congregations, and the Synod's colleges that actively supported or participated in ELIM. Since Paul became an active member after the convention and played hymn festivals at some of ELIM's events, he became suspect. “At the 1975 LCMS Convention in Anaheim, a resolution was passed that declared ELIM to be schismatic and offensive to the Synod, warning supporters that action would be taken against them if they continued to support this group.” Christian News has long insisted that when Seminex was formed and such liberals as Martin Marty and Jaroslov Pelikan left the LCMS, contrary to what Doyle writes in the Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly, there was no “brain drain” in the LCMS. When the press reported that the entire controversy in the LCMS and at Concordia Seminary was a struggle between power and scholarship. According to the liberals and the press, the liberals and moderates had the scholarship while the conservatives had the power, money and enough convention votes to get their men elected.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

WELS Reviewers Blast ESV’s Readability

By David Becker

Christian News, November 5, 2012


The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod came out with extensive reviews of three Bible translations. The Translation Evaluation Committee of the WELS "decided to limit the review to...the English Standard Version (ESV), the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB), and the NIV11. All three of these translations were prepared by cross-denominational teams of evangelical Christians, with all translators holding to the inerrancy of the Bible. All three use the same Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, following the best practices of contemporary scholarship. All three are readily available in print and digital formats. All three are overseen by cross-denominational oversight committees that intend to improve the translations periodically." 102 members of the WELS, all male, participated in the review of the three translations.    
The ESV received much criticisms in the reviews. Here is just one example. "In my opinion, the ESV is not really a literal translation, it is an exercise in nostalgia. Some people want something that sounds more like the KJV. If that’s what they want, that’s ok, but I am not a fan of the recurring theme that it is 'in the great tradition of English Bible translation.' I think it is more honest to say that the ESV is a revision of a revision (the RSV) that few people really like to begin with." Many other ESV reviewers said pretty much the same thing. Just check the attached file. There is a huge number of similar comments that could be cited.

I'm attaching two files recently released by the WELS TEC: the introduction and the ESV review document. The complete set of files released by the WELS TEC is at

* * * * * *

A Challenge to the ELS, CLC, and AFLC

“WELS Reviewers Blast ESV’s Readability” on page one by David Becker comments on a 139 page report on Bible translations just released by the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. How many will read this report?

CN has shown for years in issues of Christian News sent to almost all WELS, ELS, and LCMS schools that confessional Lutherans should publish a Bible translation which is the work of true Lutheran scholars rather than a mixture from evangelical, charismatic, fundamentalist and liberal churches. It should use William Beck’s An American Translation. The AAT is primarily Beck’s work but incorporates helpful suggestions made for some 35 years by some of the best confessional Lutheran scholars in the LCMS, WELS, and ELS.

However, it is simply not politically correct in the LCMS and WELS to recognize anything coming from Christian News, referred to by various critics as racist, anti-Semitic, fundamentalist, reptilian, hatemonger, Nazi, liar, etc.

Perhaps the Church of the Lutheran Confessions, Evangelical Lutheran Synod, or Association of Free Lutheran Churches should publish the translation by confessional Lutheran scholars using Beck’s AAT as a basis to get the Bible done in a short time, leaving it open for valid changes in future printings.

Beck’s New Testament (AAT) was first published by the LCMS’s CPH in 1962. Several LCMS conventions asked CPH to publish Beck’s entire AAT. CPH said it would but then declined. Now under Paul McCain, with the financial support of the Schwan Foundation, the LCMS promotes the ESV, which is 91% the work of the RSV translators. Almost all of the RSV translators denied the deity of Christ. The RSV, which McCain says is reliable, is copyrighted by the liberal National Council of Churches.