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Archive for June, 2012

Great Stuff — ULC (MN) Final Services and Thoughts

June 30th, 2012 2 comments

Posted by Pastor Marcus Zill on facebook:   In case you haven’t seen all of it yet, the following page contains a lot of great links to everything (pics, video, bulletin, sermon) related to the closing service at ULC in Minneapolis. I would like to publicly say how proud I am of both ULC and Pastor David Kind for the manner in which they have handled everything over the course of this past year and a half. They have been resolute where they must, yet charitable where they could, in the face of an unspeakable and unwarranted cross, brought on   More…

Great Stuff — Are Lutherans Like Catholics? Yes, and No. Read this interview.

June 30th, 2012 13 comments

Found on Cyberbrethren:   Concordia Publishing House recently published the translation of an excellent book that documents how much of traditional church practice was retained during the Lutheran Reformation. Lutherans, unlike Calvinists, did not set out to tear down and destroy historic church practices. Calvinist churches in Geneva and elsewhere are infamous for literally ripping down church art and destroying visual symbolism, among other things. Learn more about Faith and Act and purchase a copy. Here is an interview with the translation of Faith and Act, Kevin Walker, talking about the book and the issues it raises. An Interview with Kevin   More…

Categories: Found on the Web Tags:

The Need For “Understanding” To Precede Criticism

I learned a lesson in humility from a book that I recently read. In the book the authors, Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren, speak about criticism and making judgments on books as well as other people’s opinions. The authors state, “You must be able to say, with reasonable certainty, ‘I Understand,’ before you can say any one of the following, ‘I Agree,’ or ‘I Disagree,’ or ‘I Suspend Judgement.’” For myself I have had plenty of experiences where I’ve been critically questioned or criticized by others and I have also watched fellow students question teachers in a critical manner   More…

Imagine… No God?

June 29th, 2012 12 comments

In 1971 John Lennon issued his hit single titled Imagine which managed to take the #3 spot in Billboard’s “Hot 100.” Shortly after John Lennon’s death in December of 1980 the song was resurrected as an anthem supporting utopian ideas such as a world without any religion, no countries, no possessions, but simply a world comprised of a single brotherhood. These same sort of impracticable ideas are not new and will no doubt continue in the world until the final day when Jesus Christ returns. The law of God which is written on everyone’s heart bears witness of our fallen   More…

Categories: Jim Pierce Tags: , , ,

Sermon — Rev Tony Sikora — Blood, Death, and Jesus All in a Day’s Word

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 (evening’s) sermon is taken from St. Mark’s gospel account the 5th chapter (Mark 5:21-43).   Beloved in the Lord, When God speaks He promises that His Word does not return void.  When Jesus steps off the boat and onto the beach He is there both to speak and to save.  His promises are for all who hear him both then and now.  The Word of Jesus gives the Life of Jesus.  And His life is   More…

Categories: Steadfast Sermons Tags:

Steadfast Media Pick of the Week — A Pick from the Archives

June 28th, 2012 No comments

A Pick from the Archives This week’s pick is from the pre-cancelation days of Issues, Etc. and it’s a Sunday night national show on campus ministry with Pr. Marcus Zill. Pr. Zill discusses the challenges of campus ministry from the perspectives of the church, the students, and parents. World views, homosexuality, and faith challenges are just a few of the topics discussed. At ~15:30 of the first hour Pr. Zill tells a story about how he and his congregation faced the controversy that ensued after the murder of Matthew Shepard. Most importantly, Pr. Zill talks about how campus ministry keeps   More…

Law and Gospel: One Small Step Toward Unity?

June 28th, 2012 16 comments

I spent a week’s vacation last week with my family behind the “Cheddar Curtain” in Wisconsin, as well as in southeast Minnesota. Though I was riddled with lower back pain and sciatica, it was a restful week spent reading the first half of C.F.W. Walther’s timeless classic, “The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel.” I appreciate what Concordia Publishing House has done with the “Reader’s Edition.” Walther’s words are brought into easy to understand English. It is as if the man himself were speaking to me. What strikes me most about this book is the fact that I am once   More…

Categories: Steadfast Potpourri Tags:

Contrary To What You Think, Legalists Do Not Have A High View Of The Law

Several years ago I received the criticism from some parishioners (former now), that I was preaching and teaching with a low view of the Law. The criticism was that I was weak on the Law and too heavy on the Gospel. In response to their criticism, I can recall sharing that their confusion came not over my supposed weak view of the Law, but rather my strong view of the Law. In other words, I had a much stronger view of the Law than they did, which resulted in them believing that I was weak on the Law. Confused? Yes,   More…

A Primer on the Problem of Evil

One of the more frequent objections to Christianity is the problem of evil. Typically it’s phrased the following way: “If a good and loving God exists, why is does evil exist (i.e. the Holocaust and the terror attacks of September 11, 2011), why is there wide-spread suffering in the world (i.e. AIDS in Africa, Avian flu in Asia) and why does God allow natural disasters (i.e. hurricanes, tsunamis and earthquakes) to happen?”  Most people draw several conclusions from this dilemma, better known as theodicy: 1)      Either God is not good because if He was He would surely not allow evil   More…

ULC Final Divine Service and Closing Service

Note: Special thanks to Norm Fisher, BJS tech guru for making this post possible.  The artful summary video set to Psalm 48 is thanks to the work of Peter Wagner, one of ULC’s students. The final three videos come from Robin Muench – thank you Robin for your support of ULC! The congregation of ULC is now without a chapel to call their own.  The building has been restored to its “profane” (that is, not sacred) use.  The building will soon be demolished to make room for apartments and so forth.  What follows are videos of the final service (De-consecration)   More…

Categories: Pastor Joshua Scheer Tags:

Becoming Steadfast: Politics and the Lutheran Reformation (Part 1)

In his sermon given at the funeral of Duke John of Electoral Saxony (John the Steadfast), Martin Luther stated, “a prince is also a human being and always has ten devils around him where another man has only one, so that God must give him special guidance and set his angels about him.” (Luther’s Works, vol. 51, p. 236)  While the Lutheran Reformation revolved around the theological rediscovery of essential biblical teachings (i.e. justification by faith), political events played a major role in the Lutheran Reformers’ temporal success.  Most likely, Dr. Luther would have gladly embraced martyrdom in 1521.  However,   More…

Categories: Steadfast Past Tags: ,

Who can discuss the LCMS?

Recently the topic of whether someone from outside of the LCMS can discuss or be critical of the LCMS came up on a discussion here at BJS.  I have heard this “defense” of the LCMS before.  Here is my answer to who can discuss or criticize the LCMS: Anyone. That’s right, anyone can and should criticize the LCMS if she appears to be in error.  It is only fitting that we are a very public church body that we would gladly accept offers of correction from anyone, regardless of affiliation – with the caveat that the correction should involve either:   More…

Categories: Pastor Joshua Scheer Tags:

Great Stuff Found on the Web — The Devil and ULC

June 25th, 2012 7 comments

Found on Pastor Fiene’s The High Midlife:   This is the sanctuary of University Lutheran Chapel. This is the place where the Bridegroom cleansed and sanctified His bride.  This is the place where the Lamb of God took away the sin of the world.  This is the place where the Good Shepherd fed His sheep with salvation. And those things will no longer happen in this place because the Board of Directors of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod’s Minnesota South District took this place away from the pastor who was feeding with that salvation and the congregation who was feasting on   More…

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Forgotten Lutheran Classics

June 25th, 2012 16 comments

I am an incurable bibliophile. Yes, I am even a member of a Facebook group about book smelling. The smell of a book, whether a newly published paperback or a musty tome, makes me almost euphoric. In my theological library are a host of books one might call “Forgotten Lutheran Classics.” Some are published by good ol’ Concordia Publishing House. Others are published by houses long since gone (Muhlenberg Press comes to mind). Some of these books may not even be considered “classics” because they were not big sellers or because their theological method leaves something to be desired. Whatever   More…

Categories: Steadfast Potpourri Tags:

The Evangelical Lutheran Church- Doctrine and Practice (Part 1)

One of the first district pastors’ conferences that I ever attended, and certainly one that I will always remember, was in the late 80s in Omaha, Nebraska. There was much buzz about this specific conference because of the main presenter, Rev. David S. Luecke, and his recent book, Evangelical Style and Lutheran Substance (CPH 1988).  Lutheran Church Extension Fund had purchased and provided the book for everyone in attendance (along with George Barna’s Marketing the Church) and we were encouraged to read it before the conference. I must admit, at the time I didn’t fully grasp what all the fuss   More…