Archive for December, 2009

Read through the Bible: A Good Time to Start!

December 31st, 2009 2 comments

Have you ever read through the Bible? This is a good time to start! Many of us have just finished reading through the Book of Concord. Well, now The Lutheran Study Bible has been published, which has “A Two-Year Reading Plan” (pp. lix-lxiii) in it. And with the start of a new year, this is an opportune time to begin. Having read through the Bible before, and having taught OT and NT survey courses, I can tell you this is a great way to grow in your faith and understanding. And the amount of reading per day and per week   More…


December 31st, 2009 29 comments

The Brothers of John the Steadfast are pleased to announce the hiring of Suzanne Zobel from Clinton Township, Michigan to serve as the Associate Director of the organization. Suzanne will be working full time starting January 1 and focusing on  better service to our members and chapters, growing the organization and starting the new Sisters of Katie Luther organization. Most importantly Suzanne will help us to get back to our original focus: raising up members/chapters committed to 1) promoting and teaching the Lutheran Confessions, 2) supporting the historic liturgy, 3) funding and developing new Lutheran media and 4) promoting the   More…

Why is “Centering Prayer” Wrong? A Helpful Comment from Pr. John A. Frahm

December 30th, 2009 10 comments

It is relatively easy to point out the flaws in the LCMS under President Kieschnick’s leadership as I have done recently with this “Centering Prayer” issue. It is like shooting ducks in a pond. It takes a little more effort to teach to correct the flaws. We thank Pr. Frahm for posting the following quotes from Luther in the Smalcald Articles. The  quotes from Luther point out that anytime we seek spiritual enlightenment apart from the written word of God, as centering prayer does, we are engaging in the false theology of “enthusiasm” which literally means “being in God” (Greek   More…

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The Commission that has Endorsed Pagan Prayer Practices is Appointed Entirely by the Synod President, by Pastor Rossow

December 29th, 2009 36 comments

Here is the description of the Commission on Ministerial Growth and Support from the LCMS Handbook. Notice section All thirteen members are appointed by the synod president. Since Gerald Kieschnick has been in office for years, it is clear that this is his commission that is endorsing pagan prayer practices as we reported yesterday. For a critique of the “centering prayer” that is endorsed by the commission appointed by President Kieschnick we recommend you read BJS regular Scott Diekmann’s article on it in his critique of the Emergent Church.

More Problems with Prayer in the LCMS ““ Commission on Ministerial Growth and Support Endorses “Centering Prayer,” by Pr. Rossow

December 29th, 2009 85 comments

A few months ago we alerted our readers to the problematic theology behind the LCMS’s special prayer events. We posted these concerns on July 27 and July 28. Now we have the Commission on Ministerial Growth endorsing an ancient and heretical practice of mystical centering prayer. Here is what was sent out from the International Center of the LCMS this morning.

Another Letter to President Forke ““ The LCMS Leadership has Abandoned the Noble Request for Liturgical Uniformity, by Klemet Preus

December 28th, 2009 9 comments

Brother Forke, Allow me a few words about the place of freedom in our discussion. The idea of “Freedom” is very difficult for us to rise above. Question freedom or threaten to deprive someone of it and watch us squirm. Years ago I sat down with my daughter and told her what I intended to give her to help with her college education. At the same time my ex-wife went to court against me to require me to pay for my daughter’s education. The requirement she sought was actually less than I had freely promised. My lawyer advised me not   More…

Preus and Forke on Worship – Four New Posts, by Klemet Preus

December 26th, 2009 4 comments

(For the previous posts in this discussion go to the Brothers” Cafe on the homepage and click on Pastor Klemet Preus or click here.) Brother Forke, At long last I respond to your letter of December 9. Having finished all my Christmas sermons I turn my attention to you. I won’t even bore you with the reasons for my delay in writing except to say that, with the exception of your hunting trip, they were more enjoyable than the reasons for a tardy response that you gave in your last letter – one not nearly as tardy as this. Let   More…

Blessed Christmas to all our Readers and Thanks to our Volunteers

December 25th, 2009 1 comment

John 1:9  The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10  He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11  He came to his own,  and his own people  did not receive him. 12  But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13  who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. 14  And the Word became flesh and dwelt   More…

Calvin, Luther, KFUO and a Merry Christmas – Comment from the Cello Player

December 24th, 2009 2 comments

“Cellolee” has been leaving interesting comments all through the KFUO discussion. We thought this one was worth a broader read and was appropriate for today since it ends with Christmas greetings. (For the entire string of comments click here. You might also want to check the last few comments from Rev. Stefanski on this string. He does a helpful service of reminding us to distinguish the Word from the music.) December 24th, 2009 at 02:31 | #441 Interesting the direction this thread is going despite a few barbs thrown back and forth. I’m trying to wrap my mind around this   More…

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The Nativity of Christ and the Work of the Brothers of John: Confession, Vocation, Liturgy and New Media, by Pr. Rossow

December 24th, 2009 4 comments

Each of the characters of the nativity bring to mind the work of the Brothers of John the Steadfast and reflecting devotionally on each of them will help us focus this Holy night on the gracious brother of a not so steadfast mankind, our Lord Jesus Christ. Abraham, David, Jechoniah and Joseph – Confessing the True Faith Matthew begins the Gospel of Jesus with a genealogy that flows from notorious Abraham through messianic David to faceless Jechoniah (father of Joseph) and down to Joseph himself, the husband of Mary. We certainly see the Brothers of John the Steadfast and our   More…

Comprehensive Analysis on the Blue Ribbon Proposals Part 8 ““ Recommendation #5: The Liberal Bias of the Task Force ““ Pitting Laity against the Clergy, by Pr. Rossow

December 23rd, 2009 18 comments

This is Part  8  of a continuing series analyzing the final report of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Structure and Governance (BRTFSG). All posts in this series are listed here.   DuPage County Illinois is Slowly Growing Liberal and so is the LCMS DuPage County, Illinois in the western suburbs of Chicago has long been a stronghold of conservative politics but over the last fifteen years it is growing more and more liberal. As the average American grows less and less interested in politics there is a natural slide toward tolerance and this favors liberalism in the polling booth.   More…

Comprehensive Analysis on the Blue Ribbon Proposals Part 7 ““ Recommendation #4: Why Go to the District to get Lousy Programs when the Synod is Capable Enough of Turning out Lousy Programs? by Pr. Rossow

December 22nd, 2009 5 comments

This is Part  7  of a continuing series analyzing the final report of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Structure and Governance (BRTFSG). All posts in this series are listed here.   This proposal is an upside down solution to an invented crisis that addresses the wrong problem with a proposal that works against the folks’ ingrained territorial tendency that in the end is controlled by a single person. Other than that it is a harmless proposal, well, except for the hundreds of thousands of dollars that it will cost. Let me explain. The Proposal Proposal #4 calls for a   More…

The Church that Walther, Chemnitz, Luther, Paul, Moses and Elijah would Attend, A Discussion Between Phillip Magness and George in Wheaton

December 21st, 2009 75 comments

Last week’s post about  a Matt Harrison presidency and what that would mean for the local parish has led to a helpful exchange between Cantor Phillip Magness of Bethany – Naperville, Illinois and BJS regular “George of Wheaton.” The exchange  resulted in Magness describing how a “non-traditional Lutheran church” can be slowly and deliberately re-made into a church that practices historic Lutheranism. The exchange began with this assertion from Magness: December 18th, 2009 at 11:32 | #21 …So “traditional” worship is not necessarily the answer. The answer is simply…..Lutheran worship. Not high church, not low church, not organ church, not   More…

Gathering the Force in Dearborn (2 of 2), by Glen Piper

December 20th, 2009 27 comments

(Editor’s Note: This is from Glen Piper’s blog Territorial Bloggings. Glen is a delegate to the LCMS convention in 2010, so he attended the Regional Gathering in Dearborn, MI.) Part 1 of this article is found here. Let the gathering breakdown continue! If you haven’t already, you can check out Part 1 to get an idea about the nuts & bolts of how the BRTFSSG Gathering of the IN, OH, MI, & northern circuits of the EN Districts worked. In Part 2 my goal is to lay out what was discussed & presented during the 25 hours of the gathering,   More…

One Big Word Concerning Contemporary Worship: “Repent,” Three Excellent Comments on Worship by Rev. William J. Orr

December 19th, 2009 20 comments

The following three comments were left early this morning on an  old string from July. They were written by Rev. William J. Orr who is listed on the LCMS website as pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Willow Springs, Illinois (suburban Chicago). One Big Word – Repent December 19th, 2009 at 01:47 | #165 As I have been reading this thread, I found myself quoting Hamlet in my mind when reading Pastor Louderback’s comments, “Sir, Me thinks thou doth protest too much?” The problem of this debate are the terms – traditional and contemporary. This is the framework for the   More…

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