First, Pr. Rydecki offers an excerpt from The Article of the Gracious Justification of Sinful Man before God, Explained by Means of Questions and Answers by St. Aegidius Hunnius the Elder (1550-1603), one of the chief authors of the Wittenberg Faculty in their campaign against the arch-heretic Samuel Huber and his teaching of Universal Justification. Hunnius rightly observes:
"How many causes of justification are there?
Three. First is grace, that is, the gracious favor of God. Second: The obedience of Christ. Third: Faith.
[. . .]
So then, you are making faith a third cause of our justification?
Very much so. And this together with the Prophets and Apostles, who have set forth that justification of faith illustrated by the example of Abraham (Gen. 15, Rom. 4)."
Unlike the Huberian dogma, which asserted that the justification of the sinner exists whether one believes it or not, Hunnius skillfully enumerates that faith is a very cause of justification, just as the Fathers, blessed Apostles, and holy Patriarchs had before him. And lest one falsely assumes that St. Hunnius was anomalous in his defense of the Orthodox Lutheran view of justification, Pr. Rydecki has today offered up an excerpt from Theological Assertions Concerning the Justification of Man before God by St. Polycarp Leyser the Elder (1552-1610), of which the following is particularly damning to those arguing against Lutheran Orthodoxy:
"The instrumental cause with regard to us is faith, which acknowledges the fullness of the divine promise about Christ, offered in the Word and sealed in the Sacraments; embraces it with firm assent; and rests in it with great confidence that has no doubt concerning its salvation."
It seems clear that the concept of justification without faith is foreign to the Scriptures, the Confessions, and the Confessors. Regardless, those claiming the Lutheran moniker today would have us believe that these Fathers of our faith were misguided, misled, and unfamiliar with the very teachings they codified in the Book of Concord. To borrow an analogy, whose interpretation of the United States Constitution would you expect to be more accurate: Those who signed it in the 18th Century, or those who interpret it in the 21st? So too, why would you assume that the 19th-20th Century innovations of people like C.F.W. Walther are more accurate than the Fathers who put together the Book of Concord?