Franz Pieper - Conversion and Election: a plea for a united Lutheranism in America

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Almost one hundred years ago, the Norwegian Lutherans in the USA grew tired of a generation long fight over Predestination and in theological discussions in Madison, hammered out a theological agreement.  It outlined two different "forms" used by Lutherans to describe predestination, and condemned some points of view that opponents heard the other as saying.

When this merger was being arranged, the Norwegian Synod was in fellowship with the Synods in the Synodical Conference, even if it had withdrawn from it because of the controversy, and the Synodical Conference was not pleased that their old friends were uniting with their theological opponents.  And so one of the theological leaders of the Synodical Conference, Franz Pieper, wrote this book explaining their position and and begging for unity not on compromise, but on truth.

Most of the Norwegian Synod went along with the merger because they understood that their teaching was acknowledged, giving them freedom to continue proclaiming it.  A few did not - the fathers of what is today the Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

And as I look back at this history, I am personally conflicted.  You see, the first congregation of which I remember was an old Norwegian congregation near Chicago where half of the members attended Luther College of the old Norwegian Synod.  There they DID continue teaching as they had been  - that even when you feel like a broken reed and utterly destroyed, that Jesus is (unqualified) FOR you - not only for you if you apply yourself, or if you choose to have faith, or the like.  Two of the most important theologians in the USA in the late 20th century (Gerhard Forde and Robert Jenson) - as different as they were - both were greatly influenced by their teacher Herman Preus.

They were not silent, and I would like to think that I am an example of how their witness has born fruit.  And yet, part of why I am now LCMS is that when I needed people to tell me a clear gospel word later in life, it was either absent or quite qualified, and so I see the danger of which Pieper is warning.

Anyhow, this booklet is a rather clear statement of "Missouri's" position by one of the old warriors who had been fighting for it for a generation, and so is valuable as a historical document.  Source for this edition is


Ken McGuire

The Gospel is not ... a "new law," on the contrary, ... a "new life." - William Julius Mann

L8 Anglican, Lutheran and Orthodox Silver, Reformed Basic, Academic Essentials

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Milford Charles Murray | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 21 2013 7:23 PM

Peace, Ken!    *smile*              I'm absolutely delighted by this "sharing"!!!    Thanks so very much!

Philippians 4:  4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand..........

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