A Summary of the Christian Faith brings Hutter’s classic Compendium into a readable and easily accessible form. Henry Eyster Jacobs writes: “The book is not a mere compilation, but the matured expression of the convictions of the author, from the time when, as a child he was introduced to many of the problems treated, to the present.
"A decade has fully passed since the outbreak of the eventful controversy which has divided the Lutherans of North America into two camps. Dr. Walther showed already in the years of 1864—70, a leaning to the Calvinistic doctrines… The controversy itself broke out first in the year 1872, when Lehre und Wehre, the organ of the Missourians, (p.
“[Missouri’s] new doctrine would have us believe that there is saving grace only for the few embraced in God’s purpose of election.”
“We shall, by the grace of God, be neither enticed nor driven into such folly, but shall abide by the old and well established doctrine of the Church, that God desires with equal sincerity the salvation of all men, and that He saves, and has elected unto salvation, all those who do not obstinately resist the saving work of the Spirit.
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.
“On November 16, 1881, 12 pastors and teachers, 4 representatives of congregations, and 9 guests met at Blue Island, Illinois to discuss the new doctrine of predestination the Missouri Synod had begun to teach at that time.
“This article [justification by faith] 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.
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.
“How much the Bible makes of faith! How little, comparatively, of election! Everywhere Christ insisted on faith and belief, while scarcely more than half a dozen times does He refer to “the elect,” and almost always in passages whose interpretation is more or less difficult.