Archive for August, 2008

Thick Skin, by Jonathan Townsend

August 31st, 2008 11 comments

(Editor’s Note: Jonathan is on our BJS steering committee. He is the author, producer and voice of our fine promotional spots on Issues, Etc. We also introduce him here as one of our regular columnists. His column is titled  “I Desire Mercy, Not Sarcasm – But a Little Satire is Good for the Soul.” You can read a description of the column on our Regular Columns page.)   Online Lutheran discussion forums….. A friend related to me some bad experiences at one or two of them. My response was, “You need thick skin to take part in those things.”     More…

Categories: I Desire Mercy not Sarcasm Tags:

Introducing “I Desire Mercy, Not Satire…”

August 31st, 2008 1 comment

Mercy is an oft redefined word; so much so that people use it in conjunction with killing and do not laugh themselves silly at the oxyMORONIC nature of language in the post-modern age. Sarcasm is a piece of steel that pokes and prods and is swung around and causes blunt force traumas that are hard to heal. Satire is that sarcastic piece of steal sharpened. Oh it can injure just as sure as Sarcasm, but its finely honed edges can be used to cut out cancer. Satire may hurt, but its intent to Reform can be a tool of Mercy.   More…

What Happens to the Intellectual Property in an LCMS Divorce? by Attorney Craig Parton

August 29th, 2008 63 comments

(Editor’s Note: BJS is proud to have attorney Craig Parton on our advisory board. Mr. Parton is a former evangelical who catechized into  Lutheranism a few years ago when he came to understand  the Biblical teaching of the sacraments. He is a Christian apologist and author of numerous books and articles including his most recent book “Religion on Trial.”) What if the there is divorce in the synod? Click here to see an attorney’s take on who gets the intellectual property.

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A Tent is not a Castle, by Gene White of the CLCC

August 29th, 2008 3 comments

(Editor’s Note: Confessional Lutherans for Christ’s Commission (CLCC) is one of the many confessional   organizations  that have a regular column on the BJS website. Their special concern is to educate laymen and women of the LCMS through seminars and district chat groups.) In past weeks Pastor Jarvis wrote an article in which he mentioned tents, which reminded me of this article which I had written a couple of years ago. Nothing was done with it, I merely wrote it to vent my frustrations prior to the 2007 convention. Perhaps now is the time to give it the light of   More…

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Brief Update on BJS Chapter Start-Ups

August 27th, 2008 1 comment

I just got word of a chapter starting up in Pennsacola, Florida. James Neiswonger informs us that their group is unamed as yet but had thier first meeting last week. They are starting out with six members. They have been passing information amongst themselves about BJS, Higher Things and Issues. Etc. Now that fall is around the corner we are getting much more interest in chapter start-ups.  If you are interested in starting up a group send  an e-mail to [email protected] and we will get a start-up kit out to you. Due to my recent two week vacation we are   More…

Categories: BJS Newsreel Tags:

The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire! (Mollie)

August 27th, 2008 6 comments

Pastor Joel Brondos has written a fascinating test that analyzes the theology of the Ablaze! movement by offering side-by-side statements. The first statement represents positions which are clearly in line with the Scriptures and Lutheran Confessions while the second statement represents an antithesis. Readers are encouraged to consider which statement matches Ablaze! better. Here are the first three sets of statement: (1) The Means by which it works ☐ 1A. It clearly shows how the Lord does His gracious work through the Holy Scriptures, Holy Baptism, Holy Absolution, and Holy Communion, demonstrating in accordance with the Lutheran Confessions that these   More…

Categories: Mollie Hemingway Tags:

Confessional Lutherans Checking In from Southern California ““ Welcome SOCO

August 26th, 2008 5 comments

(Editor’s Introduction: We thank David Atkinson, a BJS steering committee member, for this description of the confessional group that meets regularly out in Orange County, California. They will be keeping us abreast of their activities via their entry on the “Regular Columns” page. Their membership includes some familiar names like Pastor Bill Cwirla, Craig Parton – an advisory board member of BJS, Rod Rosenbladt – professor of theology at Christ College, and Robert Meyer, also a BJS steering committee member.)   SOCO or South Orange County Outreach is a mission society of Faith Lutheran Church of Capistrano Beach – Pacific   More…

New Confessional Reading Groups Added to the Counter

August 25th, 2008 1 comment

Ablaze has its evangelism counter and BJS has its Confessional Reading Groups counter. The news in the synod lately and my recent vacation have distracted me from keeping the counter up to date. It is important for us to keep an eye on such news items as the Texas District Youth Gathering and the Synod Convocation but our most important work here is to promote an organization that gets individuals and groups into the Lutheran Confessions so it is with great joy that we add to our ticker. In the long run it is men (and women) with a deep   More…

Categories: Editor's Introduction Blog Tags:

Description of the Convocation, by Pr. Rossow

August 23rd, 2008 27 comments

A few of the comments to various stories about the synod convocation have asked for a description of what went on. The following is based on  discussions with  a  pastor who attended.   Overall, it was perceived by this person to be a bit of a waste of time. The main purpose of the event, the presentation of the Blue Ribbon’s proposals, was simply done by having them read to the group. This could have been accomplished by e-mail or website publication.   Also included in the agenda was a presentation by Leonard Sweet, a so called “futurist.”   The   More…

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It’s Not all a Bed of Luther Roses Out There, by Pr. Ben Ball

August 21st, 2008 16 comments

(Editor’s Note: we welcome Pastor Ben Ball from St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Brookfield, Illinois. He will be offering analysis and commentary on the church in this regular column.)   Calls and Catechesis   I received a letter in the mail a while ago “asking for my prayers and assistance” from the members of a parish’s call committee.   This parish is seeking a “personable man with good sermon abilities…a pastor with larger church skills and first hand experience in growing a church with multi-staff environment”.       They also included a list of traits they are seeking in   More…

Breaking: Restructuring up on Web site

August 20th, 2008 36 comments

Check it out here. Update: A reader sends along his highlights from an initial reading: No more decision making boards in the Synod. All boards merely advisory. All executives report to The LCMS President, who would also hire them. All power concentrate in hand of Synod president, who would now be elected to six year terms. Delegate representation slashed to only less than 700 delegates at a convention. Congregations get two delegates for every 750 members they have. Either 100 districts, or only 20 districts. Either smaller districts, or much larger. More political activities than ever before, since all voting   More…

Categories: Mollie Hemingway Tags:

An Allegory On Restructuring, by Pr. Klemet Preus

August 19th, 2008 43 comments

(Editor’s note: Pr. Preus’ spot in the Brothers’ Cafe has several posts about synodical restructuring that you may want to re-read.) One upon a time there was pastor. He had been leading a church for a half a dozen years or so when he started hearing grumbling and complaining.   “The church isn’t growing,” some were saying. “We called you because you were a missionary pastor with a mission heart and we have lost more members during your tenure than any other time in history.”   Others complained because of the church’s finances. “We used to be solvent, in the   More…

Categories: Pastor Klemet Preus, Uncategorized Tags:

A Historical Review of the Relationship Between District and Synod, by August Suelflow, Summarized by Dr. Ken Schurb

August 19th, 2008 No comments

Pastor Charles Henrickson passed along this timely summary of a report given to the synod back in 1961 when structural changes were being considered. It was written by LCMS historian August Suelflow and is summarized for us here by Dr. Ken Schurb, formerly the assistant to synodical president Al Barry. As you read Dr. Schurb’s summary of this report notice how things have changed in our synod. Notice that there was formerly much more emphasis on doctrinal supervision. Notice how the role of the circuit counselor (originally called the “circuit visitor”) has morphed from a doctrinal supervisor to an administrative   More…

Listening to Issues in the Canadian Shield, by Pastor Rossow

August 18th, 2008 No comments

Driving through the radio broadcast wasteland in the Canadian Shield north of Lake Superior in Canada could be a mind-numbing trip if not for some great friends and their wonderful son-in-law Erich K. (For those of you in New Haven – the Canadian Shield is a big rock that is 3,000 miles long by 2,000 miles wide stretching from the Arctic circle to Lake Superior which supports no life save for countless fir trees, several thousand moose and beautiful blue lakes for as far as the eye can see.) For the last week and a half my wife and I   More…

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Being Steadfast Includes Being Vigilant: Preview of the LCMS Convocation on Structure, by Pr. Tim Rossow

August 18th, 2008 26 comments

Being steadfast in part means being vigilant, i.e. keeping watch. For the next three days it is crucial for steadfast laymen (and pastors) to keep watch on what is going on in St. Louis at the synod’s third theological convocation being held August 18-20 at the Airport Marriot. This year’s theme is the relationship between theology and church structure. Over the course of the convocation, this website will be providing information and commentary along with  links to other sites. Today’s link comes from from the vigilant folks over at More on that below. These convocations in the past have   More…

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