“This Magazine is designed to supply the want, long since felt, of a Lutheran periodical devoted to theological discussion. Its aim will be the exposition and defense of the doctrines of the Church as confessed in the Book of Concord.
Has the Lord declared the whole world righteous? The answer to this question shapes one’s deep understanding of the gospel. The Columbus Theological Magazine dedicated its first volume to examining this subject in depth.
“The doctrine of Justification by Faith alone, was the turning point of the Reformation; it was the experience of its necessity and efficacy in the heart of Martin Luther that constituted his best qualification for the work of the Reformation; and as it distinguished the Lutheran Church from the Church of Rome, so it has come to be regarded as the distinguishing mark of separation between Protestantism and Romanism.
“Human reason and inclination are always in their natural state averse to the doctrine of Justification by Faith. Hence it is no wonder that earth and hell combine in persistent efforts to banish it from the Church and from the world.
“The message of the Law is needed in our congregations today as much as ever. Even where church attendance is gratifying, spiritual life is often on a rather low spiritual and moral plane… The range of topics treated in these sermons is virtually extensive with the spiritual needs and duties of our people.
“Add… the rejection of the sacramental element in the Reformed churches, and their bald worship will be sufficiently accounted for. They do not believe in the real, active presence of the Savior in His Church.
“This volume on Genesis follows the first volume on the Psalms because the volumes ought to be published first that are needed most and will do the most good… While both these volumes will be a healthy corrective to the Old Testament critics, their contribution to the biblical knowledge and the devotional life of Protestantism cannot be exaggerated.
“The Fourth of July! Independence Day! One hundred and fifty-two years ago today there took place in history one of those events the like of which takes place only once in five hundred or a thousand years; the promulgation of that immortal Declaration of Independence.
“It seems but a small concession that we are asked to make when an article of our confession is represented as a stumbling block… but surrendering that article would only lead to the surrender of another on the same ground, and that is the beginning of the end.
“There are two general ways of looking at God; from the point of view of Sinai, or as He is revealed to us on Calvary. If we know God only, or chiefly, as He is revealed to us in the lights and shadows, the thunderings and threatenings, of Sinai, He will appear to us rather stern and austere, — a Lawgiver and Judge.
“Sincere believers of the truth revealed in Christ for man’s salvation have no reason to be ashamed of Luther, whom God sent to bring again to His people the precious truth in Jesus and whose heroic contention for the faith once delivered to the saints led to the establishment of the Church of the Augsburg Confession, now generally called the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Eternal death [is not] the eternal extinction of life, or the cessation of conscious existence. There are those who hold that in the future world the soul of the wicked shall die, just as the body does here, — that the time comes, sooner or later, when the soul ceases to act, to feel, to be; and that it will never be restored.
The Christian faith is not simply that there is to be a continuity of human life, but that the body is to be raised from the dead, reunited with its animating, controlling spirit; and thus, as a complete human being, not as soul only, but body and soul; continue to live on forever after the great awakening.
Faith, and faith alone, appropriates forgiveness. God loved the world, and gave His Son, that whosoever believeth in this Son, and the work He did, as the result of which He is able to forgive, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.
There is a great difference… between justification and sanctification. Justification is an instantaneous act of God, the results of which, however, endure forever, unless one proves a traitor to God. Sanctification, on the contrary, is a life-long process.