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Editor’s Introduction Blog

There is no Greater Rush than Chanting Shalom at the 5/2 Wiki Conference, by Pr. Rossow

November 22nd, 2014 3 comments

http://steadfastlutherans.org/clips/FiveTwo%20_%20Facebook%20vb.299881677616.mp4 The attached video is part of a presentation by Ian Morgan Cron at the Five Two Wiki conference this fall. It has the feel of a youth convention. Here is a tweet on the video clip on the Five Two web page: There is something incredibly beautiful in chanting “shalom” together as a body of believers. Thank you Ian Morgan Cron Ian Morgan Cron is an Episcopal priest, lecturer, psychotherapist and apparent docent to the universe. Here is a clever, contrary tweet on the same post by confessional Lutheran James Wilson: Some folks are known to say ‘shalom, shalom’   More…

The Fort to Provide Weekly Lectionary Podcast, by Pr. Rossow

November 19th, 2014 6 comments

The following is from an email I just received. This looks like a really great service to pastors and those laity who want to take a look. Providing valuable resources for the clergy and laypeople of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) is a task the faculty of Concordia Theological Seminary takes seriously. The latest offering from the faculty is a weekly Lectionary Podcast based upon the Gospel reading for the upcoming Sunday from the three-year lectionary. The podcasts will be posted every Tuesday on the Seminary’s Facebook page,www.facebook.com/ctsfw, beginning November 25 with the reading for Advent 1. No login is required to view the podcast. “Our   More…

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Cuisine for BJS Conference Set: The Lutheran Church Basement – We Need Your Ideas, by Pr. Rossow

November 18th, 2014 24 comments

The 2015 BJS Conference cuisine has just been announced. The two day conference will include all the usuals (manly man breakfast, Chicago pizza banquet, complimentary snacks for the road, the infamous no pietists allowed parties, etc.) served with the usual world class hosting and special touches by the Bethany staff, volunteers and local BJS chapter. This year’s cuisine is being planned around the theme of the Lutheran Church Basement Dinner. (Cuisine maybe a bit too high brow of a word for the church basement.) We need your ideas. We already have some great casseroles and classic jellos in mind for   More…

You’re On Five Two’s Enemies List Bud, by Pr. Rossow

November 15th, 2014 152 comments

Why do people put Face Book blogs up on the internet and then delete comments that they don’t like? I guess it is their prerogative since it is their page but it smacks of fear and propaganda. It is peculiarly odd when a group that stands for everything new, out of the box, fearless and cutting edge does it. The 5/2 Group has deleted numerous comments that raise questions about their Lutheran pedigree and have even banned several BJS writers from commenting at all on 5/2 blogs. BJS author TR Halvorson coined the phrase “Banned Brothers” to describe his fellow   More…

Check Out the D Min Program at Fort Wayne, by Pr. Rossow

November 12th, 2014 9 comments

I completed the D Min program at Concordia Theological Seminary a few years back and it was one of the highlights of my pastoral career. They have recently revamped the program and it looks great. I cannot recommend it highly enough. I never felt burnt out or that I was just treading water in the Lord’s ministry but when I started taking classes in the D Min program I was greatly energized and motivated for my last twenty years or so of service to the Lord. I probably was a little worn out and didn’t realize it. (You can click   More…

To Heterodox Teacher Beth Moore – It is a Faithless Generation that Looks for Signs, by Pr. Rossow

November 8th, 2014 44 comments

In the Gospel reading for this week in the one year series Jesus says “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” In a parallel passage in Luke 11:29-32 Jesus says “An evil and adulterous generation looks for a sign.” What does the Bible say about signs from heaven? This is a serious topic of spirituality in this emotional and pietistic generation that we live in. Beth Moore and other evangelicals promote a spirituality of divine hunches that rival the authority of the Word of God. Beth Moore’s Harmful “Hunch Spirituality” I like to call it “hunch spirituality.”   More…

A Solution to the CUS Problem – So You Don’t Think I am Just a Bomb-Lobbing Curmudgeon, by Pr. Rossow

November 4th, 2014 14 comments

So you don’t think I am just a bomb-lobbing curmudgeon, I thought I would offer a few thoughts by way of solution to the CUS problem I identified in a post the other day. Since starting BJS a few years ago and writing several articles pointing out the dark side of the LCMS,  I have experienced an interesting thing. People who don’t know me started assuming I am some sort melancholic curmudgeon. Actually, I am the happiest person I know. After all, I have a cat named Happy Bob who is my good buddy. He greets me at the door   More…

LCMS Inc. – Please Stop Touting the Pagan Growth of the Concordias, by Pr. Rossow

November 1st, 2014 68 comments

The sprawling headline across the top of the most recent Reporter (November 2014), the official newspaper of the LCMS, brags “CUS Enrollment Hits Record 36,250 Still Climbing after 22 Years.” What do you suppose my 86 year old mother in rural Iowa thinks when she reads that headline? She is proud that the university system that she sent her son to almost 4o years ago is still a great source of pride for us LCMS’ers. Sorry Mom, it’s just pagan growth. No reason for pride in this statistic. No doubt there are a lot of good things going on in   More…

Vanessa was Disappointed by Her Phone Call to St. Louis, by Pr. Rossow

October 31st, 2014 63 comments

Comment #50 over on the Five Plus Two Makes Three post caught my eye. I think it is worth posting for all to read. It is from a BJS reader named Vanessa. (This is the same Vanessa who authored the post earlier today.) Unfortunately, when I called the synod office and asked what Pres Harrison was planning to do about the situation with FiveTwo, I was told he couldn’t really do anything. I was told the dispute resolution process needed to be used. When I asked how anything could happen when DPs are in line with the heterodoxy, the answer   More…

BJS’ers Not the Only Ones Getting Deleted at 5/2; Just as Chris Rosebrough, by Pr. Rossow

October 25th, 2014 100 comments

Rev. Chris Rosebrough is the founder and moderator of Pirate Christian Radio. He is a sharp witted and sharp thinking Lutheran. He has his own story to tell about how the 5/2 Network folks are deleting comments on their blogs that ask hard and important questions of them. Click here to read his account of deleted comments and questions on the 5/2 Facebook blogs.

Deleted Comments at 5/2 Blog – DP’s, Who is Genuinely Courageous and Open, 5/2’ers or BJS’ers? by Pr. Rossow

October 24th, 2014 23 comments

The 5/2 editors are deleting comments on their blogs that they apparently don’t like. (You can find these blogs at the Five Two Facebook page.) A couple of our writers have posted comments asking questions about some of the 5/2 practices and they have been deleted. So I ask the District Presidents of the LCMS, who are the genuinely courageous and open folks in the LCMS, the 5/2’ers or the BJS’ers? We have a very liberal and open comment policy here at BJS. Through the years I have been pressured to delete various comments that include false teaching and personal   More…

I Applaud Mr. 5/2 Bill Woolsey, No, Really I Do, by Pr. Rossow

October 23rd, 2014 15 comments

Don’t write off entrepreneurs in the church. I know some great churchy entrepreneurs such as Todd Wilken (Issues, Etc.), my partner in ministry here at Bethany, Jonathan Fisk (Worldview Everlasting), Bryan Wolfmueller (radio, publishing, comedy, etc.), and even Matt Harrison who before he headed up Lutheran World Relief put together an ambitious urban renewal project sponsored by his parish (Zion, Fort Wayne), the LCMS and the city of Fort Wayne. Furthermore I take personal offense to those who cast stones at entrepreneurs “cuz I is one.” I started a publishing company that was a bust (although there are still a   More…

The Real Reasons LCMS Pastors Want to be like American Evangelicals, by Pr. Rossow

October 12th, 2014 54 comments

In a post yesterday Martin Noland quoted John Hannah asserting that an aversion to Roman Catholicism is what makes LCMS’ers want to look like Evangelicals. I am sure that is a part of it but I think it is a lot simpler than that. It’s not theological. It’s personal. It has to do with the personal experience in junior high, high school and college of the young men who became pastors in the LCMS in the last generation. I have identified seven things in the life of the pastors of the last generation that have caused them to want to   More…

Some Thoughts on Synod, Mercy, the Divine Service and a Restored Church, by Pr. Rossow

September 9th, 2014 33 comments

St. Paul Lutheran Church, Hamel, Illinois dedicated its restored sanctuary on Sunday. It was devastated months ago by a fire in the church basement. The smoke from that fire ruined the sanctuary. (You can see some pictures of the restored sanctuary here on the blog of former St. Paul Pastor William Weedon.) I learned of the dedication when Pastor Ben Ball sent out a message to the email list of the Northern Illinois Confessional Lutherans. He mentioned that the redo would be highlighted in LCMS communications. I emailed him back congratulations on the dedication and also mentioned that it is too   More…

Updates from St. Louis on Work of Task Forces, by Pr. Tim Rossow

September 5th, 2014 8 comments

A few months ago I complained that most of the email coming out of synod and district was weighted toward the mercy end of our denominational theme of “witness, mercy and life together.” I was pleased to get a mass email the other day from President Harrison with updates on the work of the task forces appointed by the last synod convention. You can see these updates by clicking here. Two of the four task forces deal with the doctrine of the office of the ministry. I have not had time to study the details of each task force so   More…