With this class, we continue looking at the “Four Points Raised in John Warwick Montgomery’s article, ‘Christian Apologetics in the Light of the Lutheran Confessions.’” Today’s class looks at points three and four.
3. After the fall, man has a bound will in spiritual matters (Ephesians 2:1, “dead in trespasses and sins.”) Nevertheless, man still has freedom of the will in non-spiritual matters. “The human will has liberty in the choice of works and things which reason comprehends by itself…. There is left in human nature reason and judgment concerning objects subjected to the senses.” The believer and unbeliever share a common ground of logic and fact. What are we to make of those who have reason and judgment and yet come to the illogical conclusion that there is no god(Psalm 14:1), etc.? They are fools. “…The power of concupiscence is such that men more frequently obey evil dispositions than sound judgment. And the devil, who is efficacious in the godless, as Paul says, Eph. 2, 2, does not cease to incite this feeble nature to various offenses” (Ap XXVIII Free Will, 70-71).
4. Apart from the power and efficacy of the Holy Spirit, man is neither enlightened nor converted. Therefore, we must confess that none of the capacities of the unregenerate man(human reason, the knowledge which it can obtain, apologetics) permit him to mend his broken relationship with God. Apologetics can reveal that man doesn’t know God, lacks righteousness, and doesn’t know God’s will toward man. Thus, God the Holy Spirit works through the means of grace in order to create and strengthen faith, “… neither preacher nor hearer is to doubt this grace and efficacy of the Holy Ghost, but should be certain that when the Word of God is preached purely and truly, according to the command and will of God, and men listen attentively and earnestly and meditate upon it, God is certainly present with His grace, and grants, as has been said, what otherwise man can neither accept nor give from his own powers” (FC SD II 55). Furthermore the Word is not efficacious through the recitation of syllables, as if Scripture were a magic spell. If the Word is twisted to a false interpretation, it abolishes the righteousness of faith. The Holy Spirit works through the perspicuous teaching of the Word so that man is brought to the Holy Spirit’s interpretation of that Word that we are saved by grace through faith in the work and person of Jesus Christ. “No sane man can judge otherwise…” (Ap IV 254).
Outline for today’s lesson: Apologetics-Moving-Forward.pdf
Book of Concord References for today’s lesson: Apologetics-Part-2-for-Aug-4-2019.pdf
Handout from July 21: Apologetics-Definition-a.pdf Page 2 has outline of Four Points Raised…
Note: Sunday, September 1, we will begin a new 9-month Bible study on the Book of Concord. The following is a reading guide (through December) for those who would like to read along with us.
Reading Guide for Tappert, Kolb, English only of Triglotta, Concordia Reader’s Edition: Book-of-Concord-Reading-2019-2020-Chart-1-Page-1-2.pdf
Reading Guide for Triglotta, Jacobs, Henkel, Die BekenntnisSchriften, Tappert, Kolb: Book-of-Concord-Reading-2019-2020-Chart-2-pages-1-2.pdf