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Archive for December, 2008

Tragedy and Triumph – Bishop Elisa Called to Heaven

December 31st, 2008 No comments

We just received word through Brother of John the Steadfast Jon Townsend that Bishop Andrew Elisa has been called to heaven. There is very little information at this time. You can check the Lutheran Heritage website for updates. We learned of this through a personal e-mail to Jon. As of the posting of this article the LHF website did not have the news posted yet. Please pray for the Lutheran Church in Sudan. This is a great loss for them. Jon had just posted last week on the bishop’s failing health.    

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Ablaze Update: Using Policy Analysis to Get Rid of Policy ““ This is Just Warmed Over 60’s Anti-authoritarianism, by Pr. Rossow

December 31st, 2008 16 comments

Yesterday Mollie introduced us to a fascinating article on the Ablaze program written by insider Rev. David Vaughn. Rev. Vaughn is a mission executive working for the synod. His article is a self-proclaimed policy analysis of Ablaze. There are many possible angles of critique one could take on this article. In this post I would like to focus on Rev. Vaughn’s desire that Ablaze be a movement and not just a program. This is really just warmed over 1960’s radicalism if you ask me.   Dreaming up  movements  is for hopeless romantics. I thought we got over that in the   More…

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Policy Analysis Cited by Mollie Now Available Here

December 30th, 2008 6 comments

The article Mollie referred to in her last post is now available on the site. You will most likely have the same love/hate response to this article as I had. On the one hand it states that Ablaze is failing. On the other hand the proposed solution for this failure is even more fire! Read Mollie’s introduction for some background and then read the article and let us know what you think. We will also be providing some commentary of our own in the days to come. Pastor Rossow

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Analyzing Ablaze! (Mollie)

December 30th, 2008 2 comments

You may be interested in an fascinating analysis of the Ablaze! program from an LCMS mission executive. The Rev. David Vaughn served as director of Ablaze! Connection and is currently getting his Ph.D. in Public Policy at Saint Louis University. It looks like he came into the ministry through some alternate route certification at Concordia Seminary in 2007 after retiring from Anheuser-Busch, where he was director of the College of Sales and Marketing. He’s on the board of Family Shield Ministries. He wrote up a policy analysis of the program for Missio Apostolica, a journal published in May and November   More…

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New edition of the Book of Concord – Henkel German to English translation

December 29th, 2008 5 comments

As a word or three of introduction, my Mother-in-law, my wife, and I were involved in the project that BJS is promoting below. I cannot tell you the enjoyment that it brought to us as we typed, read, and proofread 30 some-odd pages of the Henkel edition of the Book of Concord of 1854. We were assigned random sections of the book, but it just seems that on every page of the Book of Concord there is understanding of our faith. I’m sure that I’ve read many of these sections in the past, but to actually type or proofread them   More…

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The Emerging Church, Part 5: A Generous Orthodoxy?

December 29th, 2008 7 comments

(Editor’s Note: This is the fifth and final post in this series on the Emerging Church by lay theologian Scott Diekmann. Check out his blog at Stand-Firm.) The phrase “a generous orthodoxy” comes from the pen of Emerging Church leader Brian McLaren. Some people might call his phrase describing the Emerging Church an oxymoron, positing that while the Emerging Church is generous, you may not want to call it orthodox. That would be a wrong assumption, because it is neither generous, nor orthodox. McLaren states in his book The Church on the Other Side: We shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously.   More…

Reading through the Book of Concord, week of Dec 29th

December 28th, 2008 4 comments

For those of you who have said that you want to start the Online Reading Group when we start at the beginning of the Book of Concord — START READING THIS WEEK! We are in week 1, so we are starting at the beginning. One of the goals of the Brothers of John the Steadfast is the creation of reading groups whose intention is to get with a Pastor and read through the Book of Concord. For those people who do not have access to a reading group, it occurred to us that we might try creating an “online reading   More…

Notes on the Liturgy #14 – The Prayers

December 28th, 2008 1 comment

(One of the goals of Brothers of John the Steadfast is to train the Brothers in good practice and theology. This article is one in a series that teaches about the liturgy.

How Does Anybody Get a 10 Week Preaching Series on Fatherhood?, by Pr. Rossow

December 27th, 2008 3 comments

Here’s a  quick note while I take a break from finishing the sermon for this week. I have some statistics that undermine the church-growth movement’s proclivity for “practical” sermon series. The re-making of the Christian church by those interested in relevance, modernization and a kinder, gentler spirit moves them to  forego the prescribed readings for the liturgical church year and replace them with thematic series on topics like “Christian Financial Management,” “Practical Christianity,” “The Purpose-Driven Life,” and others.

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If I were the Devil, by Pr. Klemet Preus

December 27th, 2008 36 comments

If I were the devil I would try to get people to stop singing hymns. What a great idea, if I were the devil. It seems like such a benign idea. That’s what makes it so diabolically clever. It’s not really awful like fornication or murder. And if I were successful I would make the lives of Christians less beautiful, which if you’re the devil is an added bonus. Beauty comes from God and has a type of self-corrective force within itself. Take away beautiful hymns and you take away a bit of beauty and you win twice. You make   More…

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The Property of Congregations, by Rev. Andrew Simcak

December 26th, 2008 15 comments

(Rev. Simcak writes on behalf of the Texas Confessional Lutherans. Their other posts can be found on the Regular Columns page of the website.)   Even if our church body were not in doctrinal turmoil, it would be meet, right, and salutary for all of us to carefully examine the terminology in our church Constitutions and Bylaws to ascertain what they actually say about the ownership of our church property. Now that there is an ever escalating problem of doctrine and practice within our synod, it is even more necessary to make certain that our church constitutions affirm what we   More…

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Another New Chapter Founded – St. Paul Lutheran – Lockport, Illinois

December 26th, 2008 No comments

The Brothers of John the Steadfast have added another chapter. It is located at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Lockport, Illinois. This is now our tenth chapter. As we have reported before, we are pleased to have chapters far and wide around the country in such places as Florida, California, New York, Texas and of course the Midwest. We also have a chapter across the border in Canada. The chapter in Lockport is already strong and will certainly be a leader in the Brothers of John the Steadfast organization. They already have about 15 men at their get-togethers. They are   More…

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The Manly Side of Christmas and Some Stories to Watch in the Next Few Days

December 24th, 2008 6 comments

Manly Christmas Christmas has turned into a holiday for kids and women. The kids have their toys while Hallmark and HGTV have seen to it that the holiday has been appropriately  feminized to keep pace with the rest of our  whimpy culture. But in the Scriptures  all sorts of  masculine stuff is going on at the birth of Christ. There is Joseph who is a real man and takes the pregnant Mary under his wings at the angel’s command. Then there is the rustic side of Christmas: a stable, a feed trough, smelly shepherds in the fields and the bloody   More…

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Bishop Andrew Elisa of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sudan is Gravely Ill ““ and Could Use our Help and Prayers, by Jon Townsend

December 24th, 2008 2 comments

(Editor’s Note: Jon writes a column for us titled “I Desire Mercy and Not Satire but a Little Satire is Good for the Soul.” This post has no satire but describes a very serious situation that calls for our support and prayers.)   It was a cold and snowy Sunday in January of 2005 when I first saw Bishop Elisa. He slowly stepped into the pulpit of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Dearborn. He spoke slowly too, so that we could understand the sermon he gave. My then two year old son, Alistair, was bouncing around on the kneeler, my knee,   More…

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A Lesson on the Two Kingdoms from Rick Warren, A Lesson on What Not to Do, by Pr. Rossow

December 23rd, 2008 19 comments

Picking on Rick Warren’s theology of the two kingdoms is like shooting ducks on a pond. For that matter, picking on Rick Warren’s theology of anything is like shooting ducks on a pond, but I thought that  his recent comments to a Muslim group make for a  simple lesson on properly distinguishing God’s left hand rule from his right hand rule. Many of our readers are new to this blessed enterprise of promoting and learning the Lutheran Confessions and so I also thought this might be a good introductory lesson to this  difficult Bible doctrine of the left and right   More…

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