If the Confessions may contradict your position...

...just censor any translation of the Confessions which renders the passage in question inconveniently!

The newly-resurrected What You Do, Do Quickly explains exactly what's behind the withdrawal of LCMS doctrinal certification from the perfectly defensible- if not preferable- translation of a segment from Luther's Large Catechism in "McCain edition" of the Book of Concord.

And who: Daystar, the liberal pressure group in the LCMS, which is proudly taking credit for the decision.

At stake: whether Luther asserts that Allah and other monotheistic falsifications of the Holy Trinity really are the true God, or whether he hypothetically discusses what would be the case if they were.

My German is far from adequate to offer an opinion. But the Daystar interpretation (which, to be fair, the Kolb/Wengert translation also uses) seems, to linguists I respect, to be at least questionable grammatically- and would require the conclusion that Luther regarded it as possible to worship the true God- however inadequately- apart from the mediation of Jesus! That would clearly contradict everything I've ever read about Luther's position on the matter.

To say nothing of Luke 10:22, Matt. 11:27, John 5:23; 14:6-9; Luke 10:16. (Thanks for the concordance work, Bunnie!) So I guess the real question is whether or not Martin Luther agreed with Jesus on the matter, eh? We know, of course, that Daystar doesn't.

Anyway, check the post over there- and the comments- over. Same with the archived post at Beggars All, and the comments thereupon, from last June, when the complaint about the Readers Edition was first submitted to the CTCR.


katie said…
Thanks for the link to that archived conversation. It cleared up a lot for me.
In fact, it's becoming so clear, I can't get past feeling smacked in the chest.
Glad I bought one, anyways. It has seemed like a gem in my hands and to my eyes.
phil said…
so glad you've entered the discussions, and have moved past john 13-27's anonymity.
it's not as if, really, he's hiding anything of consequence. even pastors answer questions about 'the troubles' with lots of caveats/warnings/and concealment of parties' identities.
i'm glad it's being discussed, beyond the inside snipes of fellow 'conspirators'--the tone much of the 'lcms troubles' has taken.
Bob Waters said…
Phil, in defense of John 13-27, for all we know he is a pastor- or one in a position in which speaking his mind could be professionally dangerous. As a colloquy candidate, I enter this discussion myself with much apprehension.

I grew up in the LCMS. I know that no matter who is running things, there has always been a sort of "police state" atmosphere about the synod, in which one has to watch what one says unless he is in a position of absolute institutional security. I am under no illusions that becoming involved in these conversations is without professional hazards.

But on the other hand, a pastor (or even a potential pastor) who is muzzled, and pulls his punches where matters of the Faith and the well-being of his church body are on the line seems to me to be less than useless. If participation in the controversies surrounding the Synod in a responsible fashion is unacceptable to the synodical powers that be, so be it.

I myself deeply dislike anonymity. But I find it difficult to be too hard on those who resort to it, given the atmosphere in the Synod- not simply as it is now, but frankly as it has always been, regardless of who was running things. It's not a healthy situation.

But as one who once left my career and my church body behind for reasons of conscience, I find it difficult to be too hard on those who think of their pensions and their families, and who look for some way to say what they feel called to say without endangering them.

I agree, in any case, that it would be well if both sides could be a little less paranoid and conspiratorial, and a little more open.
phil said…
perhaps i didn't make myself clear. you need not defend john 13-27 to me. i am grateful for and enlightened by his blog.
and on his anonymity, my meaning was that he is not hiding any worthwhile truth from his readers; not hedging his position or cheating his readers in any way. anonymity is not without its problems, but certainly not without its benefits as well: the benefit to him or his position of the freedom from jeopardy, and the benefit to his readers of his forthright honesty and razor wit and dead-on insights.
i'm sure pastors walk a fine line in sharing intra-synod problems with their flocks. many would be disheartened and discouraged--i can think myself of a few who would be afraid, even. many would simply flee in disgust.
and, as it is, contending for the faith is nothing new, really.
thank you. i much enjoy your blog and appreciate your struggle.
Pomeranus said…
I finally found time to look at the documents. 1)I find the objection to the translation in question way over the top. The translation in Concordia is mild compared to the German text in the BSELK. There should be a reprimand for a frivolous objection. As you know, I am conversant in German and have done extensive work with 16th century German and Latin texts. Only purposeful distortion could be behind the objection.

2)The response of the commission rightly rejects the charge of the translation being "misleading or erroneous." The commission then makes a concession by desiring the text of the Bente/Dau translation ins square brackets. The translation is adequate ("even if" not as pointed as Luther is in German). This is a "reader's edition! If the translation is adequate, leave it alone. There are downright stupid, ignorant translations in the American Edition of Luther's Works. Maybe that enterprise should get cleaned up. The commission's suggestion leaves the impression that maybe the translation is tendentious. It is mild compared to Luther's German. So why call the Concordia translation into question. I was uninformed and disinterested in this matter until I looked at the texts of the decision and of the books. It is interesting that an ancient underlining of that whole paragraph is evident in my BSELK edition. I know it is ancient, because it was done with a fountain pen I haven't used for years. I must have been prescient back then to recognize the importance of the paragraph.

3)The rejoicing of Daystar reminds me of the first Psalm. It is amazing how ignorance can be so boastful.
Bob Waters said…
Pomeraneus, BTW, served as a pastor in the EKiD for a number of years. To say that he is competent in German would be to put it mildly.

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