Walther and the Predestination Controversy or The Error of Modern Missouri by Schodde et al.

Justified and saved by grace alone, for Christ’s sake, through faith — that is the kernel of the whole Gospel. This is the fundamental article of the Christian faith and upholds the entire system of Christian doctrine as well as the church itself.

“Any doctrine that cannot be “rhymed” with the doctrine of justification, bears on its face the brand of apostasy from the one revealed truth and stands disclosed as a false interpretation of Scripture. For this article of justification is “the chief topic of Christian doctrine, which, understood aright, illumines and magnifies the honor of Christ (which is of especial service for the clear, correct understanding of the entire Holy Scriptures, and alone shows the way to the unspeakable treasure and right knowledge of Christ and alone opens the door to the entire Bible.”

On This Page

Luther on “The Chief Article”

“If this article is apprehended and kept with a sure and firm faith, the other articles will gradually follow. For in the same all articles of our faith are comprehended; if that is kept pure, the others are taken good care of.”

Chemnitz on Justification by Faith

“This article is, as it were, the fortress and chief bulwark of the whole Christian doctrine and religion. If this article remains inviolate, the perversions of the other articles will cease of themselves.”

The Lutheran Church Unanimous

“Since the publication of the Formula of Concord, for some 300 years, the Lutheran Church has unanimously held that the doctrine of our Confession and of the following teachers of our Church harmonized perfectly also in the article of predestination. Modern Missourians are the first “Lutherans” who assert the contrary; it is to be hoped that they will also be the last.”

Walther’s Saddest Hour

Towards the end of his life, C. F. W. Walther brought forth a teaching of election which many Missouri and other American Lutherans could not reconcile with the Scriptures or the Lutheran Confessions. The resulting “Predestination Controversy” split the Lutheran Church.

Summary Book Contents

  • Introduction.

  • I. The Present Controversy on Predestination

    • I. Historical Introduction.
    • II. The Formula Of Concord And The Old Lutheran Dogmaticians.
    • III. The Doctrine Of Predestination In The Missouri Synod.
      • A. Before The Year 1877.
      • B. The Synodical Report Of The Western District For The Year 1877.
      • C. The Synodical Report Of The Western District For The Year 1879.
      • D. Altes und Neues And Lehre und Wehre Before The General Pastoral Conference At Chicago In The Autumn Of 1890.
      • E. The General Pastoral Conference In The Autumn Of 1880.
      • F. After The Pastoral Conference In The Autumn Of 1880.
      • G. Comparative Summary.
        • 1. What Is Predestination?
        • 2. What Has God Regarded In Election?
        • 3. What Is The Relation Especially Of Faith To Election?
        • 4. In What Sense Does The Formula Of Concord Speak Of Election?
        • 5. Is Man’s Conversion And Salvation In Every Sense Independent Of His Conduct?
        • 6. May We Speak Of Man’s Decision Or “Self-Determination” In Conversion?
        • 7. What Is The Difference Between The Lutheran And The Reformed Doctrine Of Election?
        • 8. How Must The Doctrine Of The Dogmaticians Of The Seventeenth Century Be Regarded?
        • 9. How Is The Doctrine Of Modern Missouri To Be Regarded?
      • H. Appendix: An Ally Of Modern Missouri In Germany.
    • IV. The Doctrine Of Predestination In The Ohio Synod.
  • II. “Intuitu Fidei”

    • Part 1. What Do The Lutheran Church Fathers Teach Regarding “God Elected In View Of Faith”?
    • Introductory Remarks.
    • 1. Over against Romanism
    • 2. Sola Fide and Intuitu Fidei
    • 3. Dr.Samuel Huber
    • 4. Correct Understanding of Testimonies
    • 5. Missouri’s New Discovery
    • 6. Missouri Holds Fast the Doctrine of Our Old Teachers and Also Rejects It
    • 7. Meeting of Synodical Conference in Chicago
    • 8. Quotations from Orthodox Publications and Teachers
      • A. Authors Of The Formula Of Concord: David Chytraeus, Jacob Andreae, Christopher Koerner, Martin Chemnitz, Selnecker
      • B. Original Subscribers And Defenders Of The Formula Of Concord: Aegidius Hunnius, The Wittenberg Faculty., The Wuertemberg Theologians., John Wigand., Matthew Vogel., G. Mylius., Stephen Gerlach., Daniel Arcularius., John George Sigwart., Luke Backmeister And Jacob Coler (and Chytraeus)., David Lobech., John Winckelmann., Adam Francisci., Polycarp Leyser., Solomon Gesner., Wolfgang Mamphrasius., John Pappus., Andrew Schaafmann., Philip Nicolai., John Habermann (Avenarius)., Matthias Hafenreffer., Luke Osiander., John Coler., Concluding Remarks.
      • C. The Immediate Pupils Of The Subscribers Of The Formula Of Concord: Introduction., Leonhard Hutter., Frederick Balduin., John Weber., David Runge., George Stampel., Joachim Zehner., Esaias Silberschlag., Wolfgang Franz., Balthasar Mentzer., Peter Piscator., John Schroeder., Luke Osiander, Jr., Albert Grauer., John Foerster., John Gerhard., Justus Feuerborn., Nicolas Hunnius., Conrad Dietrich.
    • Part 2. Do Our Lutheran Fathers Depart From The Confession When Teaching That The Election Took Place In View Of Faith?
      • Does Missouri Claim Our Fathers Departed From the Confession?
      • Did Missouri Hold To Her Present Doctrine in 1872?
      • Colloquy in Columbus 1879 and Following
      • Scriptures, Ordination to Salvation, Acta Huberiana, Wuertemberg Men
    • Part 3. Is The Doctrine That God Has Elected Men To Salvation In View Of Faith Found In Our Lutheran Confession?
      • Intuitu Fidei Found In the Book of Concord
      • The Formula of Concord
      • The Eleventh Article
      • Missouri Guilty of Misusing The Confession.
  • III. A Testimony Against The False Doctrine Of Predestination Recently Introduced By The Missouri Synod.

    • General Introduction.
    • Introduction To The Doctrinal Discussion.
    • The Blue Island Theses.
      • Thesis 1.
        • Wider Sense
        • Confession and Universal Counsel
        • Dr. Luther’s Preface to Romans
        • Wider Sense – Gospel
      • Thesis 2.
        • Missouri – Faith in Election – Faith in Justification
        • Missouri Doctrine Of Election And The Biblical Doctrine Of Grace
        • Thoughts of a Troubled Heart
        • Chemnitz, Contingency
        • If You Are To Be Saved
        • Romans 11:33
        • Missouri Repeating Role of Old Israel
        • Election Revealed in Scripture
        • Certainty of Salvation Conditional
        • A Missourian On The Witness Stand
        • Luther To A Heart Troubled About Predestination
        • The Windy Thing on Legs
        • Dr. Walther’s Postil
        • Is It A Mystery Why God Did Not Ordain All To Eternal Life?
      • Thesis 3.
        • Election Revealed In The Gospel
        • Confession on “Election Revealed In The Gospel”
        • Words of Confession as Chief Point of Controversy
        • Missouri and The Thoughts of Reason
        • Is Redemption Only For The Elect?
        • The Eight Points
        • Missouri’s False Construction Of The Eight Points Refuted
      • Thesis 4.
        • We Place No Merit In Man
        • Dr. Walther’s Proof Of Our Synergism
        • Luther, The Confession, The Scriptures Speak As We Do
        • Baier and Huelsemann Speak As We Do
        • Quenstedt Speaks Likewise
        • Faith Impels God
      • Thesis 5.
        • The Point Of The Controversy
        • Matthew 22:1-14
        • Chemnitz on Matthew 22:1-14
        • Romans 8:28-30
        • “Foreknow”
        • Ephesians 1:3-6
        • 2 Thessalonians 2:13
        • 1 Peter 1:1-2
        • Obedience
        • Review of Scripture Passages
        • The Analogy of Faith
        • What Elect Means
        • Election and the Preacher
  • The Predestination Controversy: How It Happened.

    • How the Predestination Controversy “Broke Out”

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Publication Information

  • Lutheran Library edition first published: 2019-05-24
  • Updated: 2019-10-03 (v5)
  • Copyright: CC BY 4.0
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