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German Professors Protest JDDJ

Here is my English translation of the Statement by German academics against the JDDJ mentioned in the Suedeutsche Zeitung earlier this week. I thank Prof. Haerle's office at Heidelberg for supplying me with the original German text. The list of 251 signatories is impressive. —Mark Menacher

Date unknown


Position Statement of Theological Instructors in Higher Education to the Planned Signing of the Official Common Statement to the Doctrine of Justification

In realization of their responsibility for theology and church, the undersigned theological instructors in higher education issue the following position statement in relation to the planned signing on 31 of October 1999 of the Official Common Statement of the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church (OCS) with which the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ) shall be confirmed:

  1. The OCS together with its Annex does not remove the critical objections which have been raised against the JDDJ on the part of theological instructors in higher education and which have been put forth by many synods in their position statements to the JDDJ. Above all, the criticism related to the lack of consensus in the JDDJ on the meaning of word and faith for justification, on the certainty of salvation, on the nature of the justified human being as sinner, on the meaning of good works for salvation as well as on the criterial function of the doctrine of justification; further, the criticism related to the still insufficient consensus on the relationship between law and gospel; finally, the criticism related to the lack of consideration of the Old Testament. None of these points of criticism has actually been refuted by the OCS.
  2. It is acknowledged in the OCS that further work on many theological questions - including the doctrine of justification itself - is needed. However, the hoped for clarifications from this future work on these fundamental questions must be attained before a Joint Statement can be signed responsibly.
  3. To be sure, the OCS does include a few Lutheran formulations, for example "simul iustus et peccator" or "by faith alone", but it interprets these statements in a Roman Catholic sense against their Reformation meaning. The declaration of the OCS that the condemnations of the Council of Trent no longer apply to the Lutheran church is only valid with the condition of this interpretation. (In relation to the "simul" phrase and to the doctrine of concupiscence, this was subsequently confirmed and emphasized not only by the Council for Unity but also by the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith). This interpretation, which has been adapted to the Tridentine condemnations, fundamentally calls into question the Lutheran Doctrine of Justification to which all Lutheran pastors and bishops are obligated to uphold in their ordination vows.
  4. If it is claimed, in contrast to this, that the Roman Catholic Church accepts through the OCS hitherto condemned Reformation insights, then this contradicts not only the contents of the OCS but surely its function. Indeed, it (the OCS) became necessary only and solely to remove the contradictions to the condemnations of the Tridentinum which the Roman Catholic Church displayed in its official response to the JDDJ from the 25th of June 1998.
  5. Through the OCS, the JDDJ is supposed to be confirmed "in its entirety". This would thereby affirm the whole Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogue process as mentioned in the JDDJ, together with the ecumenical perspective of purpose which has been one-sidedly influenced by the ecumenism-programme of the Roman Catholic Church. Further, this assessment is not contradicted by the OCS phrase about "unity in diversity, in which remaining differences would be ‘reconciled'" since this phrase refers expressly to the "basis of the agreements reached" in the sense of the Roman Catholic interpretation and is subsequently valid only within this framework.
  6. The signing of the OCS would result in no improvements whatsoever in the practicalities of Protestants and Catholics living together in families and in congregations. At this point it becomes clear that the meaning of the Doctrine of Justification as the centre of the teaching and life of the church has been ineffectual in these texts.
  7. A signing of the OCS would mean passing over the member churches of the Lutheran World Federation responsible for doctrinal questions. None of their synods has yet taken a position on the OCS, let alone affirmed it. Neither the interpretation of the JDDJ and of Lutheran doctrine contained in the OCS nor the intention to confirm the JDDJ in its entirety can be based upon official votes on the JDDJ by member churches.

Summation:

Because the OCS...

  • in the content of its statements fundamentally calls the Lutheran Doctrine of Justification into question,
  • presupposes an ecumenical notion of purpose which is irreconcilable with Reformation criteria,
  • has not received the consent of the instances responsible for doctrinal questions,
  • results in no practical consequences for ecumenical togetherness on the ground,

the undersigned theological instructors in higher education consider themselves occasioned to express their weighty objections against the OCS and to warn against its signing.

Signatories (251)

  • Prof. Dr. Barbara Aland, Münster
  • PD Dr. Christian Albrecht, Tübingen
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Günter Altner, Heidelberg
  • Prof. Dr. Erik Aurelius, Göttingen
  • Prof. Dr. Elke Axmacher, Bielefeld
  • Prof. Dr. Horst-Robert Balz, Bochum
  • Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Bartelmus, Kiel
  • Prof. Dr. Ulrich Barth, Halle
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Peter F. Barton, Wien
  • PD Dr. Michael Basse, Bonn
  • Prof. Dr. Hans-Dieter Bastian, Bonn
  • Stud.-prof. Dr. Günter Bauckmann, Münster
  • Prof. Dr. Jörg Baur, Göttingen
  • Prof. Dr. Oswald Bayer, Tübingen
  • Prof. Dr. Jürgen Becker, Kiel
  • PD Dr. Uwe Becker,
  • Prof. Dr. Michael Beintker, Münster
  • Prof. Dr. Friedrich Beißer, Mainz
  • Prof. Dr. Otto Betz, Tübingen
  • Prof. Dr. Albrecht Beutel, Münster
  • Prof. Dr. Franz-Heinrich Beyer, Bochum
  • Prof. Dr. Karlmann Beyschlag, Erlangen
  • Prof. Dr. Christoph Bizer, Göttingen
  • Prof. Dr. Peter C. Bloth, Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Bonhoeffer, Bochum
  • Prof. Dr. Karin Bornkamm, Bielefeld
  • Prof. Dr. Günther Brakelmann, Bochum
  • Prof. Dr. Egon Brandenburger, Mainz
  • Prof. Dr. Martin Brecht, Münster
  • Prof. Dr. Hans-Christof Brennecke, Erlangen
  • Prof. Dr. Axel Denecke, Hamburg
  • Prof. Dr. Hermann Deuser, Frankfurt /M.
  • Prof. Dr. Karl Dienst, Frankfurt /M.
  • Prof. Dr. Jörg Dierken, Hamburg
  • Prof. Dr. Irene Dingel, Mainz
  • PD Dr. Angelika Dörfler-Dierken, Heidelberg
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Herbert Donner, Kiel
  • Prof. Dr. Volker Drehsen, Tübingen
  • Prof. Dr. Hans-Georg Drescher, Dortmund
  • Prof. Dr. Gerhard Ebeling, Zürich
  • Prof. Dr. Klaus Ebert, Köln
  • Prof. Dr. Wilfried Eckey, Wuppertal
  • Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Eckstein, Heidelberg
  • Prof. Dr. Wilfried Engemann, Münster
  • Prof. Dr. Erwin Fahlbusch, Frankfurt/M.
  • Prof. Dr. Wilhelm-Ludwig Federlin, Frankfurt/M.
  • Prof. Dr. Hermann Fischer, Hamburg
  • Prof. Dr. Christofer Frey, Bochum
  • Prof. Dr. Jörg Frey, München
  • PD Dr. Martin Friedrich, Hagen
  • Prof. Dr. Hans Friedrich Geißer, Zürich
  • PD Dr. Jan Ch. Gertz, Göttingen
  • Prof. Dr. Carl-Friedrich Geyer, Frankfurt/M.
  • Prof. Dr. Hans-Georg Geyer,
  • Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Gräb, Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Erich Gräßer, Bochum
  • Prof. Dr. Friedrich W. Graf, Augsburg
  • PD Dr. Dirk-Martin Grube, Groningen
  • Prof. Dr. Wilfried Härle, Heidelberg
  • Prof. Dr. Helmut Hanisch, Leipzig
  • Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Hasenfratz, Bochum
  • Prof. Dr. Christoph M. Haufe, Leipzig
  • PD Dr. Rainer Hauke, Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Peter Hauptmann, Münster
  • Prof. Dr. Eberhard Hauschildt, Bonn
  • Doz. Dr. Matthias Heesch, Wuppertal
  • Prof. Dr. Horst Heinemann, Kassel
  • Prof. Dr. Martin Hengel, Tübingen
  • Prof. Dr. Peter Henke, Marburg
  • Prof. Dr. Gerhard Hennig, Tübingen
  • Prof. Dr. Richard Hentschke, Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Michael Herbst, Greifswald
  • PD Dr. Jan Hermelink, Halle
  • PD Dr. Siegfried Hermle, Tübingen
  • Prof. Dr. Eilert Herms, Tübingen
  • Prof. Dr. Franz Hesse, Münster
  • Prof. Dr. Jürgen Heumann, Oldenburg
  • Prof. Dr. Dietrich von Heymann, Freiburg
  • Prof. Dr. Peter Höffken, Lüneburg
  • Prof. Dr. Otfried Hofius, Tübingen
  • Prof. Dr. Martin Honecker, Bonn
  • Prof. Dr. Friedrich W. Horn, Mainz
  • Prof. Dr. Gottfried Hornig, Bochum
  • PD Dr. Michael Hüttenhoff, Solingen
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Klaas Huizing, Würzburg
  • Prof. Dr. Bernd Janowski, Tübingen
  • Prof. Dr. J. Christine Janowski, Bern
  • Prof. Dr. Traugott Jehnichen, Bochum
  • Prof. Dr. Werner Jetter, Tübingen
  • Prof. Dr. Helmar Junghans, Leipzig
  • Prof. Dr. Otto Kaiser, Marburg
  • PD Dr. Jürgen Kampmann, Münster
  • Prof. Dr. Karl-Hermann Kandler, Leipzig
  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Kaufmann, München
  • Prof. Dr. Günther Keil, Marburg
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Siegfried Keil, Marburg
  • PD Dr. Rudolf Keller, Neuendettelsau
  • PD Dr. Hans-Martin Kirn, Münster
  • Prof. Dr. Werner Klän, Oberursel
  • Prof. Dr. Günter Klein, Münster
  • Prof. Dr. Dietrich-Alex Koch, Münster
  • Prof. Dr. Traugott Koch, Hamburg
  • Prof. Dr. Matthias Köckert, Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Ulrich Köpf, Tübingen
  • Prof. Dr. Ulrich Körtner, Wien
  • Prof. Dr. Dietrich Korsch, Marburg
  • Prof. Dr. Rolf Kramer, Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Reinhard G. Kratz, Göttingen
  • PD Dr. Friedrich Krause, Leipzig
  • Prof. Dr. Friedhelm Krüger, Osnabrück
  • Prof. Dr. Peter Lampe, Heidelberg
  • Prof. Dr. Dietz Lange, Göttingen
  • Prof. Dr. Hans-Günter Leder, Greifswald
  • Prof. Dr. Martin Leiner, Neuchatel
  • Prof. Dr. Hermann Lichtenberger, Tübingen
  • Prof. Dr. Heinz Liebing, Marburg
  • Prof. Dr. Wulf-Volker Lindner, Hamburg
  • Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Liwak, Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Jürgen Lott, Bremen
  • Prof. Dr. Ingetraut Ludolphy, Dresden
  • Doz. Dr. Hartmut Ludwig, Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Dieter Lührmann, Marburg
  • Prof. Dr. Inge Mager, Hamburg
  • Prof. Dr. Theodor Mahlmann, Marburg
  • Prof. Dr. Christoph Markschies, Jena
  • Prof. Dr. Rudolf Mau, Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Gerhard May, Mainz
  • Prof. Dr. Günter Mayer, Mainz
  • PD Dr. Wichmann. v. Meding, Kiel
  • PD Dr. Martin Meiser, Erlangen
  • Prof. Dr. Ulrich Mell, Kiel
  • PD Dr. Ute Mennecke-Haustein, Jena
  • Prof. Dr. Otto Merk, Erlangen
  • Prof. Dr. Michael Meyer-Blanck, Bonn
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Koloman N. Micskey, Wien
  • Prof. Dr. Bernd Moeller, Göttingen
  • Prof. Dr. Michael Moxter, Hamburg
  • Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz zur Mühlen, Bonn
  • Prof. Dr. Ekkehard Mühlenberg, Göttingen
  • Prof. Dr. Hans Martin Müller, Tübingen
  • PD Dr. Michael Murrmann-Kahl, Wien
  • PD Dr. Susanne Natrup, Marburg
  • Prof. Dr. Gottfried Nebe, Bochum
  • PD Dr. Heinz-Dieter Neef, Tübingen
  • Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Nethöfel, Marburg
  • Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Neuser, Münster
  • Prof. Dr. Karl Ernst Nipkow, Tübingen
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Kurt Nowak, Leipzig
  • Prof. Dr. Manfred Oeming, Heidelberg
  • Prof. Dr. Jörg Ohlemacher, Greifswald
  • Prof. Dr. Martin Ohst, Wuppertal
  • Prof. Dr. Jürgen van Oorschot, Jena
  • Prof. Dr. Gottfried Orth, Braunschweig
  • Prof. Dr. Eva Oßwald, Weimar
  • Prof. Dr. Gert Otto, Mainz
  • Prof. Dr. Hermann Peiter, Kiel
  • Prof. Dr. Lothar Perlitt, Göttingen
  • PD Dr. Christian Peters, Münster
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Klaus Petzold, Jena
  • Prof. Dr. Martin Petzoldt, Leipzig
  • Prof. Dr. Karl-Friedrich Pohlmann, Münster
  • Prof. Dr. Reiner Preul, Kiel
  • PD Dr. Erwin Quapp, Marburg
  • Prof. Dr. Klaus Raschzok, Jena
  • Prof. Dr. Gerhard Rau, Heidelberg
  • Prof. Dr. Henning Graf Reventlow, Bochum
  • PD Dr. Ingrid Riesener, Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Joachim Ringleben, Göttingen
  • Prof. Dr. Gerhard Ringshausen, Lüneburg
  • Prof. Dr. Hartmut Rosenau, Duisburg
  • Prof. Dr. Günther Roth, Oldenburg
  • Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Rothfuchs, Oberursel
  • Prof. Dr. Udo Rüterswörden, Leipzig
  • Prof. Dr. Dieter Sänger, Gießen
  • Prof. Dr. Arno Sames, Halle
  • Prof. Dr. Jörg V. Sandberger, Münster
  • Prof. Dr. Christa Schäfer-Lichtenberger, Bethel
  • Prof. Dr. Arnulf von Scheliha, Hamburg
  • Prof. Dr. Rolf Schieder, Landau
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Johannes Schilling, Kiel
  • Prof. Dr. Martin Schloemann, Bochum
  • Prof. Dr. Heinz Schmidt, Heidelberg
  • Prof. Dr. Ludwig Schmidt, Erlangen
  • Prof. Dr. Walter Schmithals, Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Hans-Christoph Schmitt, Erlangen
  • Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Schneemelcher, Bonn
  • Prof. Dr. Hans Schneider, Marburg
  • Prof. Dr. Günther Schnurr, Heidelberg
  • Prof. Dr. Ingrid Schoberth, Wuppertal
  • Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schoberth, Bayreuth
  • Prof. Dr. Johannes Schreiber, Bochum
  • Prof. Dr. Hans-Walter Schütte, Göttingen
  • Prof. Dr. Gerd Schunack, Marburg
  • Prof. Dr. Hans Schwarz, Regensburg
  • Prof. Dr. Reinhard Schwarz, München
  • Prof. Dr. Klaus Schwarzwäller, Göttingen
  • Prof. Dr. Horst Schwebel, Marburg
  • Prof. Dr. Friedrich Schweitzer, Tübingen
  • Prof. Dr. Christoph Schwöbel, Heidelberg
  • Prof. Dr. Gottfried Seebaß, Heidelberg
  • Prof. Dr. Horst Seibert, Darmstadt
  • Prof. Dr. Martin Seils, Jena
  • Prof. Dr. Kurt-Victor Selge, Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Notger Slenczka, Göttingen
  • Prof. Dr. Reinhard Slenczka, Riga
  • Prof. Dr. Walter Sparn, Erlangen
  • PD Dr. Angela Standhartinger, Frankfurt/M.
  • Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Steck, München
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Hartmut Stegemann, Göttingen
  • PD Dr. Johann Anselm Steiger, Heidelberg
  • Prof. Dr. Lothar Steiger, Heidelberg
  • Prof. Dr. Konrad Stock, Gießen
  • Prof. Dr. Udo Sträter, Halle
  • Prof. Dr. Hans Strauß, Bonn
  • Prof. Dr. Peter Stuhlmacher, Tübingen
  • Prof. Dr. Robert Stupperich, Münster
  • Prof. Dr. Jens-Wilhelm Taeger, Münster
  • Prof. Dr. Martin Tetz, Bochum
  • Prof. Dr. Winfried Thiel, Bochum
  • Prof. Dr. Angelika Thol-Hauke, Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Hermann Timm, München
  • Prof. Dr. Michael Trowitzsch, Jena
  • PD Dr. Dr. Jörg Ulrich, Jena
  • PD Dr. Harald Wahl, Marburg
  • Prof. Dr. Ernst-Joachim Waschke, Halle
  • Prof. Dr. Johannes Wallmann, Bochum
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Günther Wartenberg, Leipzig
  • Prof. Dr. Edmund Weber, Frankfurt/M.
  • Prof. Dr. Hans Weder, Zürich
  • Prof. Dr. Horst Weigelt, Bamberg
  • Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Weiß, Mainz
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Michael Welker, Heidelberg
  • Prof. Dr. Dorothea Wendebourg, Tübingen
  • Prof. Dr. Wilfrid Werbeck, Tübingen
  • Prof. Dr. Martin Weyer-Menkhoff, Schwäb.-Gmünd
  • Prof. Dr. Stephan Weyer-Menkhoff, Mainz
  • Prof. Dr. Ulrich Wickert, Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Günter Wied, Dortmund
  • Prof. Dr. Johannes Wirsching, Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Oda Wischmeyer, Erlangen
  • Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wischmeyer, Wien
  • Prof. Dr. Eberhard Wölfel, Kiel
  • Prof. Dr. Michael Wolter, Bonn
  • PD Dr. Werner Zager, Bochum
  • Prof. Dr. Dietrich Zilleßen, Köln
  • Prof. Dr. Hellmut Zschoch, Wuppertal
  • Prof. Dr. Jean Zumstein, Zürich

Zusätzlich haben folgende Fachvertreter für Kirchenrecht die Stellungnahme unterzeichnet:

  • Prof. Dr. Karl-Hermann Kästner, Tübingen
  • Prof. Dr. Christoph Link, Erlangen
  • Prof. Dr. Jörg Müller-Vollbehr, Marburg
  • Prof. Dr. Gustav Reingrabner, Wien