Lutherans have abandoned the Apostle Paul, signed on with Augustine, clergyman asserts
Paul and early church fathers were universalists says Jack Jacobsen
tion. Dr. Jack E. Jacobsen, who served congregations in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota, and is a one-time missionary to Nigeria, says Lutherans have abandoned the Apostle Paul and his promise that God intends all people to be saved.
Instead, says Jacobsen, Lutherans have preferred the teachings of St. Augustine, who taught that some people are destined for eternal life but not others. He argues that Lutherans endorse this view through their doctrine of election.
In The Theology of St. Augustine, A Biblical Analysis of Church Doctrines, a booklet he has self-published, Jacobsen says, “Church fathers [who] lived after Paul, and before Augustine, had a universalistic theology. [They believed] that our universal God would bring his universal creation back unto himself.”
Jacobsen quotes the church historian, Howard F. Vos, who says of Origen, one of the church fathers who lived after Paul’s death, “[He] believed the souls of all that God has created would some day return to rest in the bosom of the Father.”
In a challenge to his own denomination, Jacobsen says, “Let us abandon in our churches the theology of Augustine and let us repent and return to the teachings of God’s Word, to the prophets of the Old and New Testaments, and especially to Paul.”
“Augustine saw election for some,” he argues. “Paul saw all of mankind elected to know their Creator and Redeemer by the revelation of the Holy Spirit.”
Copies of The Theology of St. Augustine are available from Jacobsen by sending $3 to him at 8617 Edinbrook Crossing, Apt. 315, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443. (See an ad on page 10.)