Archive

Archive for February, 2012

So this Church-Growther and this Liturgomaniac Walk into a Bar…; Micro Koinonia Project Coming to BJS, by Pr. Rossow

February 29th, 2012 242 comments

So this Church –Growther and this Liturgomaniac walk into a bar… Well, it isn’t quite like that but it is close. It’s not a joke, it’s not a bar and it’s not really a church-growther and a liturgomaniac but it is about a pastor who espouses many church growth principles and a pastor who espouses the liturgy sitting down to talk to see how far apart they are and how close they can get, and doing it all for the world to see here on BJS. One of my friends and colleagues is Pastor Mark Schulz from Trinity Lutheran Church   More…

Justification is always the issue… Preaching

February 29th, 2012 179 comments

I know we have kind of beaten the horse a bit with this issue, but I don’t ever get bored with this.  Justification is always the issue.  So in this article, I would like to talk about how Objective Justification is expressed simply in the proclamation of the Gospel. What we know about the Bible is that it all centers around Christ, who He is, and what He did.  So practically, all teachings of Scripture tumble down if the Bible’s message about Christ’s reconciliation of the world to God and His justification for all people is not true. For one,   More…

The Conflict over the HHS Regulations — It Is Theological

February 28th, 2012 37 comments

Readers of this blog are, by now, familiar with the ongoing conflict between various churches and political factions over the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (hereafter HHS) regulations which would mandate that “all employers” provide contraceptives and abortifacients to their employees, regardless of moral or conscience objections. “All employers” is qualified by the exemption for “sectarian organizations,” which exemption probably means only “houses of worship,” although that is unclear at the present. President Matthew Harrison’s forthright confession of the position of the LC-MS before the House Committee has been joined now by statements by all members of the   More…

Sermon — Rev. Tony Sikora — Lent 1

February 28th, 2012 No comments

Grace, mercy and peace be unto you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  AMEN!  Our text for this morning’s sermon is taken from St. Mark’s gospel account the first chapter (Mark 1:9-15)   Beloved in the Lord, In Jesus, the Lord has broken through the devil’s ramparts.  With His birth in Bethlehem a new King stakes His claim not only on Israel, but on humanity.  The King has come and the dominion of this world’s prince is challenged.  With His baptism in the Jordan the heavens are rent asunder, they are opened for the Spirit to descend, the Father   More…

News from the ACELC updated

February 28th, 2012 2 comments

From the ACELC Board of Directors:   Dear Friends, We just wanted to drop you a short note advising you that all of the 2012 Conference Sermons and the Table Talk sessions from our recently concluding Theological Conference have now been posted on our website. In addition, the final posting of the papers presented at this Conference has also been completed. In addition, we are feverishly working on some short videos for release via YouTube, and when these have been completed we will forward information to you about those as well. If you support the work of the ACELC, Please continue   More…

Great Stuff Found on the Web — Good things in small packages…

February 28th, 2012 No comments

Found over on Pastoral Meanderings .. Pastor Peter’s blog:   Smallness is often under appreciated. I like it when the folks at my local branch remember my name and know who I am. I do not like it when I have to call through a menu que to speak with someone a thousand miles away when I do certain business with that same bank. As much as I see benefits to a multi-national bank, I do not want to be one customer number in a bank too big to fail. I want to talk to Jeanette and Kat. It reminds   More…

Weedon goes to Saint Louis: Hamel’s loss is YOUR gain by Rev. Charles Lehmann

February 28th, 2012 28 comments

Every time the Verba are spoken by one of the Lord’s pastors over the bread and wine, heaven comes down to earth.  Angels, archangels, and all the company of heaven sing before the Lamb who was slain but is alive forevermore.  The saints in heaven and on earth join together in song and praise their Savior for His glorious condescension. This reality is the same whether it’s happening at a small rural congregation with a dozen of the faithful who are there to receive the gifts or if it’s at a large cathedral in Europe that was built over the   More…

Google Stats Point to the Sunset of Contemporary Worship? by Pr. Rossow

February 28th, 2012 12 comments

We can only hope so! We have argued long and hard here on BJS that Contemporary Worship is an aberrant expression of the highly Romantic and anti-establishment character of the 60’s/70’s generation. Even the church growthers have acknowledged that a more reverent and spiritual worship form is needed with their creation of emergent worship (darkness, candles, chants, etc.) but thankfully that is passing too since it missed the true spirituality of the means of grace and was just another narcissistic substitute for ancient and historic liturgy. Over on another post Rev. James Schulz posted the following interesting factoid from Google: I’m hopeful that   More…

Why didn’t this business model come with Church Growth?

February 28th, 2012 74 comments

On my recent trip out east for the Brothers of John the Steadfast National Conference my family and I had the fine opportunity to eat at one of our favorite “eastern” restaurants, Steak n Shake.  At the second location my children noticed that everything in the store seemed identical to the previous one we had stopped at (sure there were local differences, mainly in the staff).  In fact, they were the same as the restaurant as we remembered back when would get out in Fort Wayne during seminary days.  It got me thinking, since Church Growth folks like to borrow   More…

Council of Presidents Unanimously Endorses President Harrison’s Statement on HHS Mandate, by Pr. Rossow

February 27th, 2012 3 comments

We are pleased to report that the Council of Presidents (all of the district presidents and the presidium of the LCMS) has unanimously endorsed the statement made by President Harrison a week ago Friday. It is good to see this sort of unity in the synod. In the last twenty years or so the COP has taken on a sort of college-of-cardinals like authority. This authority seems to be self-asserted and has not always been a friend of traditional, liturgical and confessional ways in the synod. We hope this marks the beginning of true koinonia in our midst. Here is the statement   More…

Steadfast ELS — Contending for the Faith

February 26th, 2012 21 comments

It is an honor to be asked to add the occasional ELS perspective to the Steadfast Lutherans. The ELS is the little “sister synod” of the Wisconsin Synod (WELS). The ELS consists of 132 member congregations in 19 states, for a baptized membership of just over 19,000. Not to be overshadowed by its big sister, the ELS has its own history, identity and character. The ELS traces its roots to the original “Norwegian Synod” of 1853.  Among the leaders of the Norwegian Synod were Hermann Amberg Preus, Jacob Aal Otteson, and Ulrick Vilhelm Koren aka, “The Norwegian Walther.”  The Norwegian   More…

Inquisition time–The ACELC Chairman of the Board

February 24th, 2012 46 comments

While I attended the 2nd annual Conference of the ACELC a few weeks ago I had the chance to sit down with Rev. Clint Poppe, the chairman of the board for the ACELC.  I had the chance to ask him some of the common questions/concerns that I hear others have with the group and their actions.  Hopefully this will help inform others about the ACELC. Why did you send out the letter (fraternal admonition letter) when you did? We were working on the letter as pastors and laity throughout the Synod and having discussions about the best way to communicate   More…

Steadfast WELS — It begins on paper

February 23rd, 2012 48 comments

I’ve been graciously asked to bring a little bit of WELS history and an occasional WELS perspective to the Steadfast readers. I’m quite sure most of my brothers in the WELS would agree that I’m not exactly your stereotypical (or even typical) WELS pastor. There. Now you know. This should be interesting. Let’s begin with the most important thing in the Holy Christian Church on earth – numbers. Here’s how the WELS looks on paper: Congregational membership: 389,545 Churches: 1279 Elementary Schools:334 Pastors: 1305 Teachers: 1846 Staff ministers: 106 The synod operates one seminary, one pastor/teacher training college and two   More…

Steadfast in School — In Praise of Vocational Education

February 23rd, 2012 11 comments

We Lutherans speak a lot about vocation. In a nutshell, these are the various callings the Lord gives to each of His children to serve Him by serving one’s neighbor: one person might be at the same time a son, brother, father, citizen, and worker. When the church instructs young people in how a Christian is to live, we don’t tell him to become a monk and disengage from society, but instead we praise those roles in life where the neighbor is served to the glory of God. But in the secular realm, vocation has gotten a rather bad reputation.   More…

(Approved) Sermon on Luke 12:13-21

February 23rd, 2012 No comments

I thought since I haven’t gotten around all week to posting anything new, I would post this.  It was approved by my advanced preaching professor, Dr. Torgerson (a fantastic teacher and preacher!), so I thought I would build up the courage to share this. I will not quote the text, so you can look it up: Luke 12:13-21 Sermon preached in chapel at CLTS, St. Catharines. Dear friends in Christ, You probably remember being in school. Do you remember the relationship between you and your teachers? Your teachers taught you reading, writing, and arithmetic. And in their teaching, as your   More…