Christian Cyclopedia

About the Cyclopedia

Foerster, Erich

(1865–1945). B. Greifswald, Ger.; educ. Schulpforte, Marburg, and Berlin; pastor Hirschberg 1893, Frankfurt am Main 1895; honorary prof. ch. hist. Frankfurt 1915; adherent of Bekennende Kirche (see Kirchenkampf).

Fogazzaro, Antonio

(1842–1911). B. Vicenza, It.; liberal RC; poet; novelist; philos.

Foliot, Gilbert

(ca. 1110–ca. 1187). Bp. London; opposed T. À Becket.*


Receptacle for water used at baptism.

Foot Washing

(Lat. pedilavium; called mandatum by RCs, from mandatum novum [Lat. “a new commandment”], Jn 13:34). In Bible times it was a required courtesy to give a guest water to wash his dusty feet (Gn 18:4; Lk 7:44); to wash the feet of others was servants' work (1 Sm 25:41). Foot washing was invested with spiritual meaning by Christ when He washed the feet of His disciples (Jn 13:4–20). This act of Jesus led to development of a ceremony in the ancient ch. (1 Ti 5:10; MPL 33, 220). It is mentioned as a liturgical rite by the 694 Syn. of Toledo. By the 11th c. the custom had come to Rome.

The ceremony is preserved in RC and E Orthodox chs., performed on Maundy Thursday by bp. on 12 or 13 poor or in monasteries by abbot on monks accompanied by singing of antiphons from Jn 13. See also Church Year, 8.

Luther held that the physical washing is unimportant and that the original act is repeated in our acts of humility, kindness, love, and service toward fellowmen (WA 52, 216–226). Anabaps. (esp. Mennonites) and early Angl. Ch. practiced it. Called “kleine Taufe” by Brethren.*

Foot washing is practiced by some Baps. (e.g., Regular Baps.), some Holiness chs. (e.g., the Ch. of the Living God), Gen. Eldership of the Chs. of God in N. Am., and others. By some (e.g., Amana Ch. Soc.) it was observed in connection with the Lord's Supper. EL

See also Adventist Bodies, 4.

Forbes, Alexander Penrose

(1817–75). The “Scottish Pusey” (see Pusey, Edward Bouverie); b. Edinburgh, Scot.; studied at Glasgow U., Scot., and Haileybury Coll., Hertford, Eng.; in civil service in India; returned to Eng.; studied at Brasenose Coll., Oxford; influenced by Oxford Movement; Scot. Episc. bp. Brechin, Scot.; moved episc, residence to Dundee; defended doctrine of Real Presence; supported Tractarianism* and Old* Catholics. Works include A Short Explanation of the Nicene Creed; An Explanation of the Thirty-nine Articles.

Forbes, Anderson Oliver

(1833–88). B. Hawaii; son of C. Forbes*; educ. Princeton Theol. Sem.; ABCFM miss. to Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) 1858.

Forbes, Cochran

(1805–80). B. Goshen, Pennsylvania; educ. Princeton Theol. Sem.; ABCFM miss. to Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) 1833–47.

Ford, Joshua Edwards

(August 3, 1825–April 3, 1866). B. Ogdensburg, New York; educ. Union Theol. Sem., New York; arrived Beirut 1848 to join Syria Mission; returned to US 1865.

Foreign-Tongue Missions

(Ger. Fremdsprachige Missionen). Technical term denoting home miss. work carried on in their native tongue in the US among persons of for. origin and their descendants.

Foreign Christian Missionary Society.

Organized by Disciples* of Christ at Louisville, Kentucky, 1875. Fields included Eng., Scand., Fr., Turkey, India, Japan, China, Afr.

Foreign Missions, History of.

See entries for the various countries. See also Missions; Missions Bibliography.

Forensic Justification.

Act of God by which He judicially declares a sinner righteous for the sake of Christ. See also Justification, 7.


(Canadian Order of Foresters; Independent Order of Foresters). These 2 organizations, indep. of each other, are similar in purpose and structure. Both maintain local lodges with initiation and other rituals containing religious significance. The Canadian order offers a funeral service. Emphasis in both organizations is on life insurance, which they offer without participation in the local lodge. Insurance is issued on application for membership in the lodge and is not canceled if the applicant does not submit to initiation. PHL

Forgiveness of Sins.

The act of divine grace by which, in virtue of the merits of Christ's atonement, appropriated by faith, God frees the sinner from the guilt and penalties of his sins. The Law is vindicated by the atonement of Christ, and the penalty of sin is paid. God offers free and full forgiveness to all (Jn 3:16), and such forgiveness is received by all who believe in Christ as their Mediator and Redeemer (Is 1:18; 55:1–2; Acts 5:31; Ro 3:24, 28; 1 Jn 2:12). Viewed from another angle, this act is called justification, not in the sense that the person justified is morally just, but just with respect to the Law and the Lawgiver, i. e., one who has received pardon is justified in the sense that he is declared innocent, being placed in a position of not having broken the Law and not deserving punishment. See Justification. Such forgiveness is granted believers as a free gift, not because of any merit of their own (Eph 2:8). The whole pattern is one of mercy, to which the sinner makes his appeal. This mercy provided a Redeemer who reconciled men to God (2 Co 5:19).

R. C. Rein, “Forgiveness of Sin,” The Abiding Word, I, ed. T. Laetsch (St. Louis, 1946), 146–167.


Exernalism. The term has been applied to 1. overemphasis of outward observances of religion or rules of morality combined with neglect of inner spirit or value; 2. support of religious body in power (17th c. Eng.; now obsolete); 3. theories holding that the form of the moral law alone is ground for moral action without reference to purpose or value.

Formal Principle.

The principium cognoscendi or formal principle of the Luth. Ch. is Holy Scripture, source and norm of all doctrine. See Grace, Means of, I 4; Sola Scriptura.

W. H. T. Dau, “The Heritage of Lutheranism,” What Lutherans Are Thinking, ed. E. C. Fendt (Columbus, Ohio, 1947), pp. 9–25.

Forman, Charles William

(d. August 27, 1894). B. Kentucky; educ. Princeton Theol. Sem.; sailed for India August 11, 1847, as miss. of Am. Presb. Bd. (N); worked at Lahore; organized and supervised system of miss. schools.

Formula of Government and Discipline.

S. S. Schmucker* drafted Formula for the Government and Discipline of the Lutheran Church in Maryland and Virginia for the Syn. of Maryland and Virginia (see United Lutheran Church in America, The, Synods of, 11, 29). This Formula was adopted by that syn. 1822 and, with alterations, by The Ev. Luth. General* Synod of the United States of North Am. 1823. In 1827 Schmucker was on a committee instructed to draw up a const. for the govt. of dist. syns. In 1829 this committee presented such a const. to the Gen. Synod. After being amended, this const. was recommended by the Gen. Syn. to its constituent syns. for adoption. These 2 documents and the 1820 const. of the Gen. Syn. constitute the Formula for the Government and Discipline of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (General Synod).

Minutes of the Proceedings of the [Second] General Synod, of the Evang. Luth. Church in the United States; Convened at Fredericktown (Maryland) October 1823 (York, Pennsylvania, 1823); Minutes of the Proceedings of the [Fourth] General Synod of the Ev. Lutheran Church in the United States. Convened at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, October 1827 (Gettysburg, 1827); Minutes of the Proceedings of the Fifth General Synod of the Ev. Luth. Church, in the United States. Convened at Hagerstown, Maryland, October 1829 (Gettysburg, 1829); P. Anstadt, Life and Times of Rev. S. S. Schmucker, DD (York, Pennsylvania, 1896); A. R. Wentz, Pioneer in Christian Unity: Samuel Simon Schmucker (Philadelphia, 1967).

Forsander, Nils

(September 11, 1846–August 21, 1926). B. Gladsax, Swed.; educ. Augustana Coll. and Theol. Sem., Paxton, Illinois; pastor in Illinois and Iowa; prof. Augustana Theol. Sem.; ed. Augustana Theological Quarterly 1900–12; contributed to Korsbaneret and other Swed. Luth. periodicals. Works include Augsburgiska Bekännelsen; Life Pictures from Swedish Church History; Olavus Petri; The Marburg Colloquy; Lifsbilder ur Augustana Synodens historia.

Forster, Johann

(Förster; Forsthemius; Vorster; 1496–1558). B. Augsburg, Ger.; educ. Ingolstadt and Leipzig; taught Heb. at Zwickau 1522–23; preacher Wittenberg and Augsburg; prof. Heb. Tübingen 1539; provost St. Lawrence, Nürnberg, 1542; supt. Merseburg 1548; prof. Heb. Wittenberg 1549; involved in Leipzig Interim.*

Forsyth, Peter Taylor

(1848–1921). Brit. Cong.; liberal in early life through influence of G. W. F. Hegel* and A. Ritschl*; later stressed need of atonement and cross.

Fortunatus, Venantius Honorius Clementianus

(ca. 530–ca. 610). Poet; b. near Ceneda and Treviso, It.; to Gaul 565; bp. Poitiers ca. 600. Hymns include “Vexilla regis prodeunt”; “Agnoscat omne saeculum”; “Salve, festa dies.”


Pseudoscience of predicting the future. Various alleged signs or indications have been used, e.g., the flight of birds, the position of the intestines in a slaughtered sacrificial animal, the coincidence of minor happenings in a person's life, the appearance of water or other liquids in sacred cups and other vessels, the manner in which a deck of cards falls when dealt, the configuration of the lines in a person's hands, crystal globes. Divination is forbidden in the OT (Lv 19:26; Dt 18:10–11). When Saul became king, he cast all that had familiar spirits and the wizards out of the land (1 Sm 28:9), the witch at Endor being apparently the only person of that kind left in the country. Later the prophets reprimanded the people for practicing divination (Is 44:24–25; Mi 3:7). Compare 2 K 21:6 and 23:24. Christianity takes an unequivocal stand against fortune-telling.

Forty Hours Devotion.

RC service in honor of the Eucharist; performed in the presence of the host; lasts 40 hrs.

Fosdick, Harry Emerson

(1878–1969). B. Buffalo, New York; educ. Colgate U., Hamilton, New York, and Union Theol. Sem., NYC; ordained Bap. 1903. Pastor Montclair, New Jersey, 1904–15; 1st Presb. Ch., NYC, 1918–25; Park Ave. Bap. Ch., NYC, 1925 (it developed into Riverside Ch., which he served till 1946). Taught at Union Theol. Sem. 1908–46. Liberal; Modernist (see Modernism); exponent of the social* gospel. Works include The Modern Use of the Bible; A Guide to Understanding the Bible; The Manhood of the Master; The Meaning of Faith; The Matt from Nazareth; The Living of These Days; Riverside Sermons.


Grave diggers in early ch.

Fossum, Ludvig Olsen

(June 5, 1879–October 10, 1920). B. Wallingford, Iowa; educ. St. Ansgar (Iowa) Sem. and the United Ch. Sem. (St. Paul, Minnesota) of the United Norw. Luth. Ch.; ordained 1902; pastor Slayton, Minnesota, 1902–05; miss. to Nestorian Chaldeans, Urmia, Persia, 1906–09; pastor Chicago, Illinois, 1909–10; emissary Luth. Orient(al) Miss. Soc. 1910–11; miss. Missions to Mohammedan Kurds, Sonjbulak, Kurdistan, 1911–16; mem. Am. Red Cross in Armenia 1916–19; Dist. Commander of the Near East Relief at Erivan (Erevan; Yerevan), Armenia, 1919–20. Reduced Kurdish language to writing; works include a Kurdish grammar, Kurdish Luth. hymnal, tr. of Luther's SC into Kurdish.

Foster, Frank Hugh

(1851–1935). B. Springfield, Massachusetts; educ. Andover Theol. Sem., Harvard U., Leipzig U.; ordained Cong. clergyman 1877; prof. Middlebury (Vermont) Coll., Oberlin (Ohio) Theol. Sem., Pacific Theol. Sem. (Berkeley, California); pastor Olivet, Michigan; prof. Olivet (Michigan) Coll. Works include Christian Life and Theology; A Genetic History of the New England Theology.

Foster, George Burman

(1858–1918). B. Alderson, W Virginia; educ. U. of W Virginia, Rochester (New York) Theol. Sem., Göttingen U., Berlin U.; pastor First Bap. Ch., Saratoga Springs, New York; prof. McMaster U., Toronto, and Divinity School of U. of Chicago. Works include The Finality of the Christian Religion; The Function of Religion in Man's Struggle for Existence; Christianity in Its Modern Expression.

Foundation, Religious.

A nongovernmental, nonprofit organization with a principal fund of its own managed by trustees or directors, est. to maintain or aid religious activities serving the common welfare. Both charitable trusts and corporations are included. Foundations are a phenomenon of the 20th c. There was mushroom growth of foundations in the 1940s and even faster growth in the 1950s. By 1964 there were ca. 15,000 philanthropic foundations in the US Some support only religious endeavors; others administer religious grants as part of a more comprehensive philanthropic program.

In 1962, $46 million was granted for religious purposes by US foundations, totaling 6% of foundational philanthropy. Larger foundations granted a proportionately smaller percentage of total endowment to religious endeavors than did smaller foundations. Larger foundations (assets exceeding $10 million) administered 2% of total grants for religious work; smaller foundations (assets under $1 million) contributed ca. 20% to religion.

Religious grants vary widely in nature and purpose. In 1962 the larger foundations contributed ca. $5 million to religious causes. 36% of this total went to theol. sems., 27% to religious welfare agencies, 14% to religious educ., 11% to ch. and temple support, 12% to other agencies. Smaller foundations contributed ca. $41 million in a parallel pattern but including theol. scholarships, miss. support, religious hospitals, and other religious causes.

Foundations include Prot.: Cook, Elgin, Illinois; Christian, Columbus, Indiana; Lilly, Indianapolis, Indiana; Luce, New York, New York; Mabee, Tulsa, Oklahoma; Davis, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Jarman, Nashville, Tennessee; Oldham Little Church, Houston, Texas; Sealantic, New York, New York; Moody, Galveston, Texas Meth.: Duke, New York, New York Presb.: Campbell, Atlanta, Georgia Mennonite: Schowalter, Newton, Kansas Gk. Orthodox: Taylor, New York, New York RC: Doheny, Los Angeles, California; Dorum, San Francisco, California; Raskob, Wilmington, Delaware; Cuneo, Chicago, Illinois; Murray-Macdonald, New York, New York Jewish: Fischel, New York, New York Unspecified: Merrill, Ithaca, New York; Atkinson, San Francisco, California; Hazen, New Haven, Connecticut; Danforth, St. Louis, Missouri; McDonald, Hastings, Nebraska; Anglican, Garden City, New York; Booth Ferris, New York, New York; James, New York, New York; Teagle, New York, New York; Kresge, Detroit, Michigan JEG

See also Foundation, The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod; Center for Reformation Research.

Foundation, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

Est. 1959 by the LCMS to carry on religious, benevolent, educ., and miss. work in agreement with the principles of the LCMS

Channels through the Foundation include 1. gifts, benefactions, and donations of money; 2. gifts of real estate and similar property; 3. bequests through wills; 4. annuities; 5. life income gifts; 6. life insurance; 7. stocks and bonds; 8. foundations; 9. revocable and irrevocable trusts; 10. special arrangements; 11. miscellaneous.

Causes and objects served by the Foundation include 1. missions; 2. education; 3. auxiliary agencies; 4. Christian literature; 5. research.

The Foundation has been inc. in Missouri as of January 1, 1959. Its affairs are administered by Bd. of Trustees elected by the LCMS Bd. of Dir. ERB

Four Elements.

Fire, air, water, earth; recognized as primary bodies by some Gk. thinkers.

Four Points.

C. Porterfield Krauth* in “Fraternal* Address” invited all syns., pastors, and congs. in US and Can. confessing the UAC to meet and form a new gen. body. After the organization of the General* Council of the Ev. Luth. Ch. in (North) America, misgivings led the Ohio Syn. (see also Ohio and Other States, The Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of, 5) to ask the Gen. Council at its 1st Regular Convention 1867 to declare its stand on 4 points: chiliasm, mixed communion (altar fellowship), exchange of pulpits with sectarians (pulpit fellowship), and secret or unchurchly societies. The 1867 answer of the Gen. Council did not satisfy the Ohio Syn. The 1868 “Pittsburgh Declaration” of the Gen. Council declared: “I. AS REGARDS 'CHILIASM.' … 2. The General Council has neither had, nor would consent to have, fellowship with any Synod which tolerates the 'Jewish opinions' or 'Chiliastic opinions' condemned in the XVII Article of the Augsburg Confession. … II. AS REGARDS 'SECRET SOCIETIES.' … 2. Any and all societies for moral and religious ends which do not rest on the supreme authority of God's Holy Word, as contained in the Old and New Testaments—which do not recognize our Lord Jesus Christ as the true God and the only Mediator between God and man—which teach doctrines or have usages or forms of worship condemned in God's Word and in the Confessions of His Church—which assume to themselves what God has given to His Church and its Ministers—which require undefined obligations to be assumed by oath, are unChristian, … III. AS REGARDS 'EXCHANGE OF PULPITS.' We hold: 1. That … no man shall be admitted to our pulpits, whether of the Lutheran name or any other, of whom there is just reason to doubt whether he will preach the pure truth of God's Word as taught in the Confessions of our Church. 2. Lutheran Ministers may properly preach wherever there is an opening in the pulpit of other Churches, unless the circumstances imply, or seem to imply, a fellowship with error or schism, or a restriction on the unreserved expression of the whole counsel of God. IV. AS REGARDS THE 'COMMUNION WITH THOSE NOT OF OUR CHURCH.' We hold: 1. That the principle of a discriminating as over against an indiscriminate Communion is to be firmly maintained. Heretics and fundamental errorists are to be excluded from the Lord's Table. The responsibility for an unworthy approach to the Lord's Table does not rest alone upon him who makes that approach, but also upon him who invites it. 2. It is the right and duty of every Pastor to make such examination as is necessary to determine the Scriptural fitness, in doctrine and life, of persons applying for admission to the Communion.”

Because the Declaration of the Gen. Council regarding the “Four Points” was regarded unsatisfactory, the Ohio Syn. refused to join, the Iowa Syn. decided it could not enter into full membership, Wisconsin left 1869, Minnesota and Illinois Syns. left 1871, Michigan left 1888. Texas joined the Iowa Syn. as a dist. 1896. WGP

Foursquare Gospel, The.

Aimee Scruple McPherson (1890–1944) organized Echo Park Evangelistic Association (see Evangelistic Associations, 20), Angelus Temple, Los Angeles, California, 1923, and the Internat. Ch. of the Foursquare Gospel, as evangelistic body with missions in many lands, 1927; Pentecostal. The name points to 4 basic articles of faith: conversion, divine healing,* baptism of the Holy Ghost (including gift of tongues*), premillennial advent of Christ (see Millennium, 7). A fuller statement of teaching is in Declaration of Faith, by Mrs. McPherson. Her son, Rolf Kennedy McPherson (b. 1913), continued the work.

Fourth World.

The poorest, most underdeveloped nations of the third* world, with annual per capita income below $200. See also First World; Second World.

Fowler, Charles Henry

(1837–1908). B. Burford (later Clarendon), Ont., Can.; Meth. cleric; pastor Chicago; pres. Northwestern U. (Evanston, Illinois) 1873–76; ed. Christian Advocate 1876–80; corresponding secy. Meth. Episc. Miss. Soc. 1880–84; bp. 1884; founded univs. in Peking and Nanking 1888.

Fox(e), John

(1516–87). B. Boston, Lincolnshire, Eng.; martyrologist; fled persecutions of Mary* I; tr. A Fruitfull Sermon of the Moost Evangelicall wryter M. Luther, made of the Angelles upon the xviii Chapi. of Mathew; other works include Rerum in ecclesia gestarum … commentarii, popularly called The Book of Martyrs.

Fox, George

(1624–1691). Mystic; founded Soc. of Friends.* B. Drayton, Leicestershire, Eng.; in late teens grieved at sham and insincerity in ch.; experienced “new light” 1647; convinced that Spirit of God dwells in heart of man; emphasized direct fellowship with God and disparaged external ordinances because he felt that they led to formalism and hypocrisy; at first opposed organizing his followers, but a const. was written 1660 and chs. organized. Visited W. Indies and Am. 1671–72.

Fox, Margaret

(1833–93). Most prominent of “The Fox Sisters.” B. Bath, Can.; moved to Hydesville, New York; claimed to have heard supernatural rappings with her sister Catherine (Kate) 1848; moved to Rochester, New York, with Mrs. Leah Fish, an older sister (or aunt), who took Margaret and Kate to NYC, where the last 2 acted as mediums and held séances; also appeared in other parts of US and in London, Eng.; became RC 1888 and declared spiritism* a fraud; later retracted her confession and returned to rappings for a living.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

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Content Reproduced with Permission

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