Sunday, October 02, 2005

Objective Justification

Ok! I promised I'd post this week, since I've not been posting since my return to here is an interesting quote on objective justification that I came across in class. It pertains to both separating faith from its object (Christ) and the fact that justification is externally and objectively true.

"If someone were to say to the fanatics: 'Here is bread, but it has a nourishing power only if it is eaten by him who is hungry,' or: 'this medicine has its healing power only when a sick person takes it'; then they would themselves realize that this is nonsense. But so also the Gospel has its power not only where a penitent hungerer for grace hears it, but also when it is proclaimed to the godless. That of course is true: he who does not eat the bread, him it does not nourish; who does not take the medicine, him it does not heal; and he who does not believe the Gospel, him it does not comfort. But even a fanatic ought to see that the power of the Word does not lie in man, as little as the nourishing power of bread lies in him.

"From the claim that the Gospel and Absolution are not efficacious in the case of the impenitent, the most dreadful consequences follow: Thereby is denied Christ's all-sufficient merit, the redemption and reconciliation of the world, for then faith must always be conceived of as a work which must be added, in order that there might be forgiveness in the Gospel. Then it follows that Christ's merit is not all-sufficient. But if Christ's merit is not all-sufficient, then also Christ is not true God. One could not then with a clear conscience preach the Gospel to anyone or admit him to the Supper, of whom one were not certain that he believes. Now to be sure, as regards the latter, no one is to be admitted to the Sacrament unless he be examined and confess that he believes; but whether he tells the truth or dissimulates I cannot know, for I cannot look into his heart. So I do what God has commanded me, and am certain that I truly absolve all; whether they benefit from it, I do not know. The fact is, however, that a justification is not only made possible, but has been acquired and has occurred."

Quote taken from p. 34, "Justification--Objective and Subjective: A translation of the Doctrinal Essay read at the First Convention of the Synodical Conference in 1872", trans. Kurt Marquart, CTS Press.


DRB said...

Thanks for the informative post. I'm going to ask my library to find the reference.

Josh Schneider said...

It's probably not available at most libraries. The CTS press is a small printshop here at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana. The printshop runs are usually small, and I'm not certain that they sell them elsewhere. However, the booklet is less that $4, and you might be able to get it if you ordered by phone.

Mutti said...

We know you're busy, but sheesh, you could post a two sentence thought every once in awhile couldn't you? ;)

Scott said...

interesting stuff... come join me at my blog... there are many "not yet believers" that we are reaching out to. Here is the link:



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L P Cruz said...

I was just thinking of this too, I am looking for Dr. Little's short paragraph about objective and subjective justification.