A draft of this article that was shared with key participants in the July 2004 Missouri Synod Convention may have played a role in the most important action taken by that Convention: namely, defeating a motion from the floor to require District Presidents to enforce doctrinal statements adopted by Synodical Conventions. By doing that the Convention in effect reversed notorious Resolutions 3-01 and 3-09 of the 1973 New Orleans Convention. The former made “A Statement of Biblical and Confessional Principles” binding on consciences. The latter declared the faculty majority guilty of teaching “false doctrines not to be tolerated in the Church of God” for not teaching in accord with A Statement.
After the 1973 Convention Piepkorn said that the Synod he had known was “dead” and “gone forever.” Thirty-one years later, by the grace of God, the 2004 Convention took a step back in the direction of evangelical catholicity!
I have posted three new articles on the Center Website. Two are by me and are on the Printable Files page (one on who may distribute the Body and Blood in Holy Communion, and one on surd evil). The third posting is a 155 word meditational “gem” by Piepkorn. It is posted on the “Piepkorn Sermons” page.
A new page on “Law and Gospel” has been added. At this point the only item on the page is a marvelous statement about the Gospel that Piepkorn made in an unpublished essay in October 1960. It is eminently usable in a Bible Class, Adult Instruction Class, or even (with a few edits) in a sermon, or just for meditation. I am working on an article on Piepkorn’s understanding of Law, Gospel, and Justifiction.
The “Lost ‘Legal Brief'” is not by Piepkorn, but by his son-in-law, Richard Hoffmann. See details on the page by that name.
If you know the whereabouts of the Piepkorn/Halter triptych, please click on The Lost Triptych below.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: There is a serious omission in “Arthur Carl Piepkorn, Confessor” (Lutheran Forum, Fall 2004). By haplography, on page 35 I omitted the words in red font in the following quotation: “Pres[ident Jacob A. O.] Preus himself has written, Saving faith does not come from or rest upon convincing evidence for the inerrancy of the Bible. Faith in the Gospel is not a by-product or a derivative from a prior view of the Bible. Lutherans believe the Bible because we believe the Gospel; it is not Lutheran to say we believe the Gospel because we believe the Bible. (Lutheran Witness, Jan. 28, 1973. p. 29.)
Also an associate editor of Lutheran Forum made substantive changes in the article without my knowledge. For example, “Symbols” was changed to “doctrinal statements,” despite the fact that the distinction between the two is a major theme of the article. Material that was in endnotes and was not appropriate for the text was also put into the text in an obtrusive way. For a complete errata or to download a copy of the 7200 word, 16 page original final draft, or a copy showing all of the changes Lutheran Forum made in the original, go to the “Publications Errata” page. The happlography referred to above has been corrected in the original MS, which can also be downloaded from the Center Publications page.
The October 2004 issue of Lutheran Forum contains:“Arthur Carl Piepkorn, Confessor” (see below for a description of its content)The first complete printing of Piepkorn’s Personal Confession of Faith (part was omitted by the printer’s haplography in the 1973 Faithful to Our Calling)