27 October 2005

Lutheran Eye for the Quia Guy

(Quia means one subscribes the Lutheran Confessions BECAUSE they are a faithful exposition of Scripture - every Lutheran likes to think he's a quia. The nasty alternative is quatenus - subscribing insofar as the Confessions agree with Scripture. What follows is a test of your quianess. Enjoy!)

True or False:

1. Virginity is a higher gift than marriage.
2. Mary prays for the Church
3. Mary is called the most holy virgin
4. Prayer for the dead is not useless
5. It would be wicked thing for private absolution to disappear from the church
6. The bread in the Lord’s Supper is Christ’s body.
7. Pastors do not commune those they have not examined and absolved.
8. Mary is the Mother of God.
9. Justification can mean “to declare righteous” or “to make righteous” because Scripture speaks both ways.
10. 2 Maccabees is Scripture.
11. In the Eucharist the flesh of Christ given for the life of the world is our food and makes us alive by joining us to Christ.
12. We should teach people that church rites (made by humans) are to be kept if they can be observed without sin and contribute to peace and good order.
13. The best way for the Church to be governed is to have one head, Christ, and all the bishops – equal in office – keep diligently together in unity of teaching, faith, sacraments, prayers and works of love.
14. When the church is deprived of valid judicial process, you can’t remove ungodly teachings and impious forms of worship.
15. An ordination performed by a pastor in his own church is valid by divine right.
16. Children should be taught to make the sign of the cross.
17. The baptized children of God have free will and cooperate with the Holy Spirit.
18. After Baptism, the inborn corruption is to daily decrease so that we become increasingly gentle, patient, and meek, breaking away from greed, hatred, envy, and pride.

If you got 18 statements as true, congratulations!!! You really are a quia!


Anonymous said...

Pr. Weedon,

Could you post the answer key for us please?

Pr. Peperkorn

Anonymous said...

Oh and I forgot, you missed one:

That Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, suffered, crucified, dead and buried, so that He might reconcile the Father to us. (AC III)

In Christ,
Pr. Peperkorn

Jason Evans said...

Pr Weedon,

Could you explains statesments 1-4 and statement 10. Thanks.

Chaz said...

Pr. Weedon steadfastly refuses to provide citations for these, but for 1-4 and 10 I think if he weren't ornery he would point you to:

1. Apology XXIII (XI), paragraph 38
2. Apology XXI (IX), paragraph 27
3. Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, VIII, paragraph 24
4. Apology XXIV (XII), paragraph 96
10. Apology XXI (IX), paragraph 9

William Weedon said...

Pr. Pepperkorn,

I did NOT forget that one. I left it off on purpose. : (

William Weedon said...

Also, Pr. Pepperkorn, I've told my Vicar that every Vicar and Pastor should simply KNOW where the references are from. But I will tell you that the one you might find helpful in the blasts against a certain Higher Things presentation is:

Apology XXII:10

Note the passage that is running underneath - "flesh of Christ" "life of the world"

Cool, eh?

William Weedon said...

Dear Jason,

You asked for some explanation of 1-4 and 10. Will do my best. Vicar Lehmann referred you already to the places where the Confessions say these things. Let me give me my take on their meaning.

1. Virginity is a higher gift than marriage.

The Confessions are clear that neither virginity nor marriage justifies,but that virginity is a higher gift precisely because it permits more time for prayer, for the Word and for the work of the Kingdom.

2. Mary prays for the Church

The Confessions assert this, granting that it is the case, but arguing that it does not follow from this that the saints are to be invoked. The Confessions assert that the blessed dead are in fact alive in Christ and intercede for the church "in a general way" but they are agnostic about whether the blessed dead know individual circumstances and point out that there is no promise in Scripture that they would.

3. Mary is called the most holy virgin

This is the Latin of the Formula, SD VIII:100. She is the most holy Virgin for she alone is the Virgin Mother of God. The Symbols also say that she is worthy of amplest honors.

4. Prayer for the dead is not useless

Not that the Christian prays for the dead to be moved from one state to another. But that the Christian prays for the dead to enjoy the blessings Christ has promised. You might think: But God will give them that anyway whether we ask for it or not. Right. Just like His name is hallowed without our prayer, His kingdom comes without our prayer, and He gives us our daily bread without our prayer. But He desires we pray for these things. To pray for the dead is to ask for them enjoy the full blessedness Christ has secured for them, and it usefully reminds us of the promises of God AND it joins our hearts together in love, for love always remembers.

10. 2 Maccabees is Scripture.

This one is most curious. The Ap says that Scripture has nothing to say about the dead praying *except for the dream in 2 Maccabees* - this is the dream where Jeremiah (dead already) is seen praying for Jerusalem. All early Lutheran Bibles (and every Bible CPH ever published in German) contained the books of the Apocrypha as books not quite to be held on the same par as the rest of Scripture but good and useful to read. To this day, portions of the Apocrypha appear in the Lutheran liturgy.

Hope those answers were of some help!

Chris Jones said...

Fr Weedon

You say that What follows is a test of your quianess.

But I think the noun form of quia is not quianess, but quiatitude (which rhymes with "beatitude"). It's the mental state that results from having a "quia attitude".

Anonymous said...

pastor weedon,

i'm going to jump on the bandwagon here and ask for further clarification on number nine.



Carl Vehse said...

Here some more of what the Confessions state:

1] 1. We believe, teach, and confess that the sole rule and standard according to which all dogmas together with [all] teachers should be estimated and judged are the prophetic and apostolic Scriptures of the Old and of the New Testament alone, as it is written Ps. 119, 105: Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. And St. Paul: Though an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you, let him be accursed, Gal. 1, 8.

2] Other writings, however, of ancient or modern teachers, whatever name they bear, must not be regarded as equal to the Holy Scriptures, but all of them together be subjected to them, and should not be received otherwise or further than as witnesses, [which are to show] in what manner after the time of the apostles, and at what places, this [pure] doctrine of the prophets and apostles was preserved.

William Weedon said...


#9 is what the Apology says in Article IV, par. 71, 72. Thus, when Scripture speaks of justification, one must ask in which sense the word is being used. To declare righteous or to make righteous?

Strictly speaking, the sinner on the day of judgment will be declared righteous by faith because of Christ in his most holy obedience. The justification in the sense of "making righteous" is an ongoing process in this life and one that will never be finished before death. Thus it cannot be the basis of the verdict of God upon a person's life.

William Weedon said...

Dr. Strickert,

Do you imagine that I think otherwise than the portion of the Formula you cited? I do not.

William Weedon said...


You are no doubt correct. Quiatude it is!

Garrett said...


William Weedon said...


One can but wonder what WOW means in this context.

Wonderful Onlist Wonders


Woeful Offputting Wanderings

Garrett said...

"Q-q-q-quia" (sung to the tune of the old Chia pet TV commercial)

Much of this wrangling over quia and the like seems to miss the real earthly Jesus of Nazareth, the long awaited messiah, who brought both Jew and Gentile out of exile. Let's not be blind as we look to the BoC and in the meantime turn our holy faith into a set of a-historical dogmatic propositions muttered by the stained glass Jesus of the 16th century.


William Weedon said...

Always a good word of warning, Garrett. As a friend of mine likes to say: "Truth wore sandals."

But are you making a "both/and" into an "either/or"? The propositions were not "a-historical." The One born of the most holy Virgin, leaving her virginity inviolate, and manifested in our flesh to redeem our flesh through His suffering, death, and resurrection - well, HE is very historical! The one who unites all peoples in Himself - He isn't an idea or some such. A real person who lived and breathed and who still lives and breathes in His glorified Body. To Him be glory together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, unto the ages of ages!

Jason Evans said...

Pr Weedon,

Thanks for the explanations. With the explanations that you gave, and I can say that I agree with all of the statements. The problem is that the way that they are worded makes them sound pretty Romish.

William Weedon said...

Of course, the interesting thing, Jason, is that the wording that sounded "Romish" is actually the wording of the Confessions themselves!

Jason Evans said...

Knowing the context of a statement is half of the understanding. To my own detriment, I didn't know the context and so the statement came off as sounded Romish. Thanks again for the explanations. Now I have something new to look up and dig further into.

Garrett said...

But are you making a "both/and" into an "either/or"?

No, not in the least bit. I merely want to bring to reminder that, regardless of the trueness of a quia subscription, the BoC is not Holy Spripture, regardless of the attempt of some to make it out to be exactly that.

Or to put it another way, the message of Jesus was not a string of dogmatic prepositions (be they in the Eastern mystical, Catholic Thomistic/aristotelian, or Protestant confessional tradition) that you can simply check of the list.

Eric Phillips said...

This quia-quatenus dichotomy is a set-up. There has to be an option in the middle, e.g. "99% quia."

I'm fine with this list, though.

William Weedon said...

Traditionally in Missouri Lutheranism there IS no option in the middle. It was an all or nothing for the definition of what is Lutheran. See Walther's essay on why we require confessional subscription.

Eric Phillips said...

Yeah, I know. And it's probably a sensible way to organize a church. Doctrinal compromise at the institutional level is suicide. But when people run with the rhetoric, and make it sound as if there's no difference between having a problem with one or two minor details in the BoC, and being a Calvinist or a Romanist, or heck--a Hindu--it's just ridiculous.

Chris said...

Wow! I was unaware that those were in the Confessions. When did the Apocrypha get taken out of the German Bibles? Why if Luther thought that they were good history (not infallible though) and had some good praise and theology were they taken out?

William Weedon said...

The Apocrypha, Chris, was not taken out of the German Bible as far as I know. At least here in the USA, for as long as CPH published German Bibles, it was there. And it was part of the original KJV. It was taken out of the ENGLISH Bible here in America, though, and so when the switch was made from German to English, Lutherans adjusted to a Bible without the Apocrypha, sadly.

William Weedon said...

A fuller version and answer key is found at my friend, Chris Orr's blog:

Click Here

Dcn Latif Haki Gaba SSP said...

Nice test, Father. I'd say it might make for a good 18 session class in the parish. And it's worth noting that regarding the KJV, it not only had the Apocrypha, but indeed it has it, in the present tense. (I got mine from Cambridge University Press before beginning seminary.) It's just that the religious culture of the American Lutheran scene (and general Protestant scene, of which the Lutherans too often think themselves a part) has no stomach for it. In my view, it was bad decision making on the part of the Missouri Synod not to continue its tradition of using Bibles with the Apocrypha, when the language shift happened. And once that switch happened, the fix was in, for generations, on any number of fronts. But I am an optimist, and think that with prayer and action, the Church in our day can help change the winds.