Author Archive -- Scott Diekmann

Hiding Life in Death

April 18th, 2014 No comments

Quoting Rev. William Cwirla from his article “Suffering, Death, and the Hidden God” in Modern Reformation, Sept/Oct 2002, v. 11, no. 5., pp. 22-31,     The theology of the cross it the theology of Jesus Christ, the second Adam, who lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. His glory is the cross; his death is his hour of power. The theology of the cross sees the glory of God hidden under the suffering and death of the Son of God. The cross of Christ is the starting point and the focal point for all theological thinking,   More…

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Proud Members of the Religious Left

March 27th, 2014 43 comments

We all saw the coverage of the 40th anniversary of the Seminex debacle last month, including a couple of related articles on BJS here, here, and here. What you probably didn’t see was the view from the “other side.” To see what forty years of liberal theology and the Historical-Critical Method get you, here’s a few quotes from those sympathetic to the walkout. From a University Lutheran Chapel of Berkely post by Rev. Jeff Johnson titled “Seminex turns 40!”: On February 20, 1974 a group of approximately 500 seminary students, and 45 faculty, and their families walked out of Concordia   More…

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Thrivent: We Don’t Need Your Blood Money

February 7th, 2014 23 comments

“Think of the things you can do with that money, Choose any charity – give to the poor. We’ve noted your motives – we’ve noted your feelings, This isn’t blood money – it’s a fee nothing, Fee nothing, fee nothing more…” So said Caiaphas to Judas as they enticed him to betray Jesus in the 1970 rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar.  We all know the ending of Judas’ story.  There’s a similar tragedy for the unborn lurking in the wings of the real life drama know as Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. BJS previously reported on Thrivent’s position allowing Choice dollars   More…

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My Little Black Book

January 9th, 2014 4 comments

I keep it in the den drawer – my little black book.  It reminds me of what I once was.  I know what you’re thinking – it’s not that kind of little black book.  This one is much blacker, much darker.  This book once belonged to a Jehovah’s Witness.  It’s a record of the house calls made, the pamphlets handed out, and the spiel to be performed along the broad way to servitude.  No, I was never a Jehovah’s Witness, but at one time, I thought like them – we all did.  Before Christ puts His Name on us in   More…

Freedom of Worship? Attend the 2014 Lutheran Concerns Association Conference

January 6th, 2014 4 comments

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution reads: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. “Freedom of religion” has been one of the hallowed rights, literally etched into stone, of our republic.  Not so much any more.  Freedom of religion is morphing into “freedom of worship.”  It’s the perfect storm – a swirling low pressure void that occurs where the left   More…

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Christmas Treats

December 30th, 2013 3 comments

Here’s a few tasty morsels for you to snack on from the Winter 2013-2014 edition of Around the Word. ATW is a quarterly theological and devotional journal that extols the Lord’s gifts of Law and Gospel for the curious Christian. From Pastor Bryan Wolfmueller’s article “A Body Under Attack: Spiritual Warfare in the Church”: We are to be spiritually awake, which means we are watchful in our prayers. The sleeping Christian is the Christian who does not pray. From Sarah E. Ludwig’s article “The Care and Feeding of Pastors”: So he has years of education, a fancy degree, and he   More…

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Negative Impact?

September 13th, 2013 7 comments

I was running on the Centennial Trail outside Woodland Park, Colorado – a practice I wouldn’t recommend unless you’re in shape and at least somewhat acclimated to the 8,400’ elevation.  Rounding the bend I came across this non-denominational church sign – hmm. I wonder if they’ve got sermons soaking wet with Jesus Christ and what He’s done for you?  (I checked.  They don’t.)  Which is exactly what you’d expect from a sermon series titled “Your Next Step.”  So what is your next step? “Jesus answered them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has   More…

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New from the CLCC: New Testament Houses of Worship

August 1st, 2013 No comments

For those of you who aren’t familiar, the Confessional Lutherans for Christ’s Commission (CLCC) is an organization which fosters “a united and coordinated voice among Confessional Lutherans and to build up Christ’s Church by providing education and training primarily for the laity, but also including commissioned workers and the clergy.” Among other things, they offer Parish Workshops, designed to be led by your pastor (or they can be led by a qualified CLCC instructor) as a half-day study, or other format such as an extended Bible class.  Their newest Workshop is titled New Testament Houses of Worship, and comes in   More…

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The Center for U.S. Missions: Incarnational and Sacramental?

July 26th, 2013 42 comments

Lutherans are incarnational. We believe that God is not somewhere up there, where we climb a ladder to reach Him with our good works or with our emotional experience or with our intellectual knowledge. God is down here, with us, for us, in us. His plan to redeem His fallen creatures is so absurd that it comes down to this: He became one of us. God hungers, He thirsts, He dies. He justifies. Only a man could pay for the sin of Adam. Of course, Jesus paid for the sin of all people for all time, because He is also   More…

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With Great Liberty Comes Great Responsibility

July 19th, 2013 7 comments

Quoting C.F.W. Walther from the 16th Central District Convention in 1871: We would emphasize particularly that confession by deed and action is here demanded of every Christian. Many are often of the opinion that they are not responsible for what their pastors do or do not do, or that they have no right to do anything against the majority which depart from the confession. That is, however, a dangerous error! Does not every individual belong to the whole? And ought he not to be responsible for everything he permits to be done? If church discipline languishes, if false doctrine forces   More…

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District Presidents Who Tilt at Windmills

June 14th, 2013 9 comments

Is this quote… …As traditional Christians are driven from the [public] square, the door is also closed for the Gospel. …synonymous with this quote?: …The church, besieged by spiritual and temporal forces, must withdraw from the field, raise the drawbridge and fortify our church walls in order to protect what we hold dear. The first quote was originally made by Synod President Matt Harrison in the April 2013 issue of The Lutheran Witness, and now quoted out of context by California-Nevada-Hawaii District President Robert Newton in a campaign letter sent to the convention delegates in his District. The second quote   More…

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Critical Thinking — It’s an election year.

June 8th, 2013 11 comments

You likely read Jim Pierce’s post on the email sent out by Northwest District President Paul Linnemann to LCMS presidential electors in his district. I also received the email, since I’ll be one of the electors. It’s worth taking a second look at this email, not to pick on the District President, but to examine his ideas, which seem somewhat representative of the beliefs of many like him in the Synod.  (The full text of the email was pasted in the comments section of Jim’s post.) The author presents what he believes are the two divergent paths in the upcoming   More…

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Let the Games Begin

April 29th, 2013 23 comments

Pardon my less-than-pious title. As Pastor Henrickson pointed out, the Convention Workbook for the upcoming July LCMS Regular Convention is now available online here (and will eventually be available in paper form from CPH). For you delegates out there, time to study up and get ready for that swollen inbox/mailbox. If you’re an outsider and happen across a copy of this thing, you’ll be totally discombobulated. I’ll let a few antipodean overtures illustrate my point. Though we all claim to share the same confession, with such divergent goals, we can’t all share the same theology, can we? Overture 3-31 [p.   More…

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The Death of Christ is the Life of the Godly

March 29th, 2013 No comments

What follows is Johann Gerhard’s Meditation XI from the book Gerhard’s Sacred Meditations, written in 1606, and translated by Rev. C. W. Heisler in 1896.  You can download the book here in ePub or pdf format for free (click on the red button), or you can purchase the paperback here from Repristination Press.   MEDITATION XI. THE SATISFACTION FOR OUR SINS. The Death of Christ is the Life of the Godly. “COME unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. xi. 28), are the precious words of our Saviour. Truly, my   More…

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The History Channel’s The Bible, Parts 3 & 4: Fire the Narrator

March 11th, 2013 37 comments

Last night featured the next installment of Executive Producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downeys’ docu-drama The Bible on The History Channel. Theirs is a tough challenge, as they try to capture the broad sweep of Holy Scripture in ten hours. They’ve done a decent job of creating a grandiose setting with beautiful landscapes and nice special effects, and so far they’ve systematically marched through a compressed linear presentation of the Bible. Where they seem to be lacking is in presenting the theology behind the spectacle, specifically, the Biblical themes of Law and Gospel, and on an even more basic level,   More…

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