Archive for October, 2009

Bethany Lutheran – Naperville, Illinois has a “This is Your Grandfathers’ Church” All Saints Celebration, by Pr. Rossow

October 31st, 2009 15 comments

Blessed Reformation and All Saints Days to all our readers! At the parish I serve we like to have as many actual feasts on the feast days of the church year as possible.  This year Pastor Stephen Schumacher, my co-worker in Christ at  Bethany Lutheran Church and School – Naperville, Illinois put together an All Saints feast and came up with the clever theme: “This is Your Grandfathers’ Church.” After our late service tomorrow we are having a potluck where everyone will be making dishes that have been passed down through the years from their grandfathers and grandmothers. We will   More…

Seminaries: Beware Who You Host – President Kieschnick and All His Men May Not be much Interested in Retaining Residency Seminaries, by Pr. Rossow

October 30th, 2009 19 comments

This notice appeared at the Ft. Wayne Seminary: P R E S I D E N T ‘ S O F F I C E Dear Seminary Family: This coming week, November 4-6, it will be our privilege to host the President’s Seminary Summit to discuss and plan for the future of theological education in our church. Our guests will include President Kieschnick and his staff, the Board for Pastoral Education, the Board of Regents and President Meyer of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and our Board of Regents. Keynote speaker for the Summit will be Dr. Daniel Aleshire, Executive Director   More…

Dr. David Scaer Gives Matt Harrison’s New Book High Marks

October 30th, 2009 5 comments

Review: “Reconnect with Synod’s Noble Past”                                                               Thursday, 29 October 2009 20:05 For all of his failings Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher saw the church was at least a community with its own culture. With the passing of every year, our pastors and people are removed farther and farther away from the men who defined who we were and still are as a church. Casting a line into the Missouri Synod   More…

Church Growth / WCA long-term impact on a church.

October 29th, 2009 14 comments

Below is a comment that came in regarding the WCA article on the BJS site that we felt was worthy of  posting on the homepage. The author has been verified by us and we know who it is, but obviously because of the situation he does not want the congregation or himself identified. This shows the situation in a congregation that years ago bought into the Church Growth movement and became a member of the Willow Creek Association. The writer of this note is a Pastor who came into this situation and is attempting to deal with the aftermath. I   More…

409,703 Clams, Bucks, Smackers, Dead Presidents and/or Cold Hard Cash Spent On Consultants by the Synod for Structure Proposals, by Pr. Rossow

October 29th, 2009 30 comments

Thanks to Rev. J Wheeler who went straight to the LCMS Treasurer Tom Kuchta, we now know how much was spent on consultants for the Blue Ribbon proposals: $409,703. Tom Kuchta also mentioned that the money came from Thrivent. This is not Tom Kuchta’s excuse but I have heard this Thrivent line used to excuse such spending.  And what does that excuse? Would Thrivent have refused to give  the 409,703 clams if we had asked to for it to pay for seminary tuition? Would Thrivent have refused to give  409,703 smackers  in order to add a  missionary to the field?   More…

Fill “˜Er Up With Law Please

October 29th, 2009 20 comments

We continue to bring you things that we find around the web .. here is another post that we found on Scott Diekmann’s Stand Firm blog: Feeling like your missional gas tank is on “E?” Head on over to, where your tank can be filled with a little Gospel and a lot of Law. Complete with inspirational quotes from Rick Warren and Perry Noble. If you aren’t familiar with Perry Noble, please watch the video below, but make sure you’re sitting down first.

Part IV of Martin Noland’s Essay on Laymens’ Rights — Contemporary Challenges to Laymen’s Rights in the LCMS: The Blue Ribbon Proposal

October 29th, 2009 5 comments

(Editor’s Note: for an introduction to this essay and for Part I  click here. For Part II click here  and for Part III cilck here.) IV. Contemporary Challenges to Laymen’s Rights in the Missouri Synod – The Blue Ribbon Proposal                       Now that we understand the history of laymen’s rights in Lutheran congregations, especially as that is found in the Missouri Synod, we can assess some current challenges to those rights.   Does the Blue Ribbon Task Force directly attack laymen’s rights?   No.   Will their proposals reduce laymen’s   More…

Let’s Not Tinker with Article II of the Constitution, by Klemet Preus

October 28th, 2009 36 comments

The final report of President Kieschnick’s Blue ribbon task force is on the synod’s web site and the conversation surrounding it has continued. Much ink will be invested during the next nine months discussing the relative merits of the far reaching changes anticipated by President Kieschnick’s men. One recommended change on the face of it may seem godly and pious. But all that glitters is not gold. I speak of the suggestion that Article II of the constitution be changed. Currently this article states: Article II Confession The Synod, and every member of the Synod, accepts without reservation: 1. The   More…

A New and Disturbing Revelation from the BRTFSG: Religion and Cultural Pluralist Consultant is the Guiding Force Behind the Blue Ribbon Proposals, by Pr. Rossow

October 28th, 2009 42 comments

I hope to work my way through the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Structure and Governance’s (BRTFSG) Final Report (pdf)  one section at a time and provide some analysis and commentary. We begin with the introductory pages where we find a disturbing revelation. The proposals to remake our synod are based on the advice of non-Lutheran consultants, one of whom is religion and cultural pluralist David Roozen. Cultural pluralism and its cousin multiculturalism are sociological approaches to understanding human behavior which promote a diversity of viewpoints (truth systems) and reject the idea that there is one foundational truth. As far   More…

Time for a BRTFGS – LCMS Safety Pause Brought to You by Alaska Airlines

October 27th, 2009 12 comments

I found this on Scott Diekmann’s Stand Firm blog. Scott is a frequent BJS author and commentator, and is an airline pilot for Alsaka Airlines in “real life”, which is helpful to know to understand why  he talks about taxiing and getting ready for takeoff. Here he talks about the need for us to step back, take a safety pause, and figure out what direction we really want to go in the LCMS. (Norm Fisher) Every once in a while when I’m at work I take what I call a “safety pause.” We might be taxiing out getting ready for   More…

The Ministry of Silly Walking Together (by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

October 27th, 2009 15 comments

President Kieschnick’s Blue Ribbon Task Force Final Report It’s . . . Monty Python’s Flying Task Force . . . Man: I’d like to have an argument, please. Receptionist: Certainly, sir. Do you want to have a thorough, well-reasoned argument with a free and open discussion of pros and cons and with all the input laid on the table, or were you thinking of just a propaganda piece with a bogus, one-sided “survey” full of loaded questions? Man: Well, I think it’s probably best if we have a free and open discussion. Receptionist: Fine. Mr. Ribbon will see you now.   More…

Tell Us What You Really Think about the Blue Ribbon Proposals…

October 27th, 2009 12 comments

The author has retracted this post.

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Final Blue Ribbon Proposals Published – One Sample of the Control Proposed and the Manipulation of Ideas Used to Support It, by Pr. Rossow

October 26th, 2009 36 comments

The final report of the BRTFSG is out. (PDF)   I will need some more time to thoroughly understand it but I thought I would open the discussion with a curious sample. I am sure that the Task Force has good intentions for the LCMS but here is an example of the sort of top down control that they are proposing and the manipulation of ideas to justify it.

Part III of Martin Noland’s Essay on Laymens’ Rights ““ The Development of Laymen’s Rights in the Lutheran Church

October 26th, 2009 10 comments

(Editor’s Note: for an introduction to this essay and for Part I  click here. For Part II click here.) I am surprised that so few church historians have commented on the role of laymen in the reform and later establishment of the Lutheran church.   But there is no doubt that Luther succeeded, in contrast to others such as Wycliffe and Hus, because he had gained the support of the secular princes.   This is seen most clearly in the signatures attached to the Augsburg Confession, which were all made by secular princes or rulers.  There is not one theologian   More…

TCN Troubles in the Congregation: A Godly Exchange Between Necessarily Rough Dan and a Struggling Parish Board Chairman, by Pr. Rossow

October 25th, 2009 54 comments

Yesterday a comment was posted here that sends chills up your spine making us realize how TCN is preying upon naive parishes. The chill was taken off however by a great response from another of our regular readers, Dan from Necessary Roughness. Seeing a public exchange like the following is exactly why we made a decision early on here at BJS to try to become a go-to place for Lutheran news and commentary. It truly warms our hearts that we can be a part of the solution to the problem of a synod gone crazy with business, sociologocal and psychological   More…