The PostBarthian
28Feb/120

Valentin Ernst Löscher’s Thirteen Objections To Pietism

Karl Barth called Valentin Ernst Löscher (1673-1749) the "last significant representative of Lutheran orthodoxy" before the church was rampaged by Pietism and the Enlightenment (see Barth's "Protestant Theology in the Nineteenth Century: Its Background and History" pg. 126, where I found this list.)

  1. Indifference to the truth of the Gospel, boasting that Christianity is a Christianity of power;
  2. Devaluation of the means of grace by their association with human piety;
  3. Weakening of the ministry of the Church by the denial of the objective grace of the ministry (to be affirmed not for the benefit of godless pastors but by virtue of the matter itself);
  4. The confusion of the righteousness of faith with works, the understanding of justification as the process which in the last resort takes place within man;
  5. A tendency towards chiliasm; (*n.b. belief in a literal 1000 year reign of Christ after he returns). 
  6. The limitation of repentance to a particular time of life;
  7. Preciousness, that is the suppression of all natural pleasure and the so-called intermediates;
  8. A mystical confusion of nature and grace in the conception of an essential part of man which is pure and good in itself even before the rebirth;
  9. The annihilation of the so-called subsidia religionis, i.e. the outward and visible Church, by devaluation of its symbols and ordinances, by the contestation of the theological systems;
  10. The fostering and acquittal of manifest enthusiasts;
  11. The conception of an absolute perfection that is both possible and necessary, which leads to pride or despair;
  12. The undertaking to improve not only people but the Church itself, that is, the desire to alter it;
  13. The cause of manifest schisms.

 Here's a supplementary video featuring a devastating critique of Pietism by Michael Horton on The Gospel Coalition: Piety and Confessionalism: Friend or Enemies?

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Posted by Wyatt

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