Modern Lutheran Quote of the Day

Here is Krauth’s illustration that explains the Lutheran understanding of Baptism as it is presented in the Augsburg Confession:

The washing of Naaman (1 Kings 5:14) in the Jordan, may be considered a foreshadowing of the baptismal idea. A promise was given to Naaman, to wit, that his leprosy should be healed. This promise was conditioned upon the presupposed faith of Naaman, but this faith was not sufficient; a mean was appointed for the fulfillment of the promise, and faith in the mean was as absolutely prerequisite in Naaman as faith in the promise. Faith in God always involves faith in His means as well as faith in His promises. If Naaman had not believed the promise he would not have gone to the Jordan; but in Naaman had believed the promise, and had yet refused to go and wash–which was the attitude he actually assumed as first–he would not have been saved from the leprosy.

The washing of Naaman was not an arbitrary association, but was made of God a real and operative mean, so that in, with, and under the water, the divine power wrought which healed his leprosy. Naaman was bound to the means, so that no element but water–no water but that of the Jordan–would have availed to cleanse him. His faith would not cleanse him without the water. Abana and Pharpar, and every river that rolled, and every sea that lifted its waves, would have rolled and risen in vain, for the water that was to do such great things was not mere water, but that water which God had enjoined, and with which his promise was bound up (Luther: Small Catechism). Yet if Naaman, earnestly striving to reach the Jordan after the promise, ad been providentially prevented, we may believe that God would have wrought the cure without the means.

Charles Porterfield Krauth
The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology
p. 440

Modern Lutheran Quote of the Day

The truth is, no system so thoroughly as that of the Lutheran Church places the salvation of infants on the very highest ground. The PELAGIAN system would save them on the ground of personal innocence, but that ground we have seen to be fallacious. The CALVINISTIC system places their salvation on the ground of divine election, and speaks of elect infants, and hence, in its older and more severely logical shape at least, supposed not only that some unbaptized, but also that some baptized infants are lost.

Charles Porterfield Krauth
The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology
p. 434

Modern Lutheran Quote of the Day

When the new birth takes place, it is invariably wrought by the Holy Spirit. This proposition sounds like a truism. Theoretically, all Christians, with any pretensions to the name Evangelical, would accept it, and yet, practically, it is constantly ignored. Let our faith rest on this, that whether with means or without means, the Holy Spirit is the author of regeneration, simply and absolutely; that the human being can accomplish no part of it whatever. It is not man’s own work, it is not the work of his mind, of his heart, of his will, but it is God’s work in his mind, in his heart, in his will. The power of an adult human being in the matter of his regeneration is absolutely negative. He can resist, he can thwart, he can harden himself, but in and of himself he cannot yield, or consent, or make his heart tender.

Charles Porterfield Krauth
The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology
p. 421

Modern Lutheran Quote of the Day

It is confessed that the sin of the first man reduced all the race to the condition of his fallen nature. It follows, then, that without some Divine arrest of natural consequence, the penalty which attended that condition in him would attend it in us. In his case the penalty was death, so then must it be in ours. Death is so tenaciously allied to sin that only God can separate them.

Charles Porterfield Krauth
The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology
p. 410-11

Modern Lutheran Quote of the Day

Rationalism has made it a reproach that the doctrine of original sin lies at the foundation of the evangelical system. We accept the reproach as in fact a concession that the evangelical system grounds itself, where alone a just system in regard to human restoration can be grounded; for the first question when disease is to be cured is, Wat is that disease? Is it so trifling as to need no physician? Can a man heal it himself? Will it heal itself simply by the general energy of the system? of is it radical true disease, mortal in its highest order, and remedies of the most exquisite adaptation and potency? To all of these questions, with characteristic simplicity and practical force, our great Confession replies, when it says: “Original sin is truly sin.”

Charles Porterfield Krauth
The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology
p. 406-407

Modern Lutheran Quote of the Day

He who has false views of morbus*, is not likely to obtain a thorough cure of it. His determination to call a plague-boil a pimple, will not make it a pimple; tubercular consumption is not a trifling cough, nor a cancer a corn, because men may think them such. We can neither think facts out of being, nor into being.

Charles Porterfield Krauth
The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology
p. 396

*Morbus is a theological sense, is moral sickness, disease, or plague (p 392)