Archive for November, 2012

Seminex: A Debt of Gratitude(?)

November 30th, 2012 75 comments

I stumbled upon this video a while back. The Reverend John S. Damm was once Academic Dean of Concordia Seminary under John Tietjen’s administration. He was one of the 35 professors who exiled themselves from Concordia Seminary in February of 1974 to begin Concordia Seminary in Exile (Seminex), later Christ Seminary-Seminex. Damm later became Pastor of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in the borough of Manhattan, New York, NY. He is retired, but has been given the honorific title “Pastor Emeritus”. The video is worth your watching. The one thing Damm rightly points out is the doctrine of Baptism and how   More…

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Great Stuff Found on the Web — What Should the Synod Do?

November 30th, 2012 4 comments

A post by Pastor David Petersen on Gottesdienst Online. We thought it might generate some interesting comments here as well as over on the original site.   Rumor has it that Synodical-types lurk on Gottesdienst. That may or may not be true. But let’s play a little game for them. Instead of our normal Gottesdienst bomb throwing complaints about what the Synod is doing, what could the Synod do to support, encourage, and help congregations and pastors? The synod’s restructuring offers an opportunity to not only streamline the Synod’s corporate functions but also make the synod useful to congregations. So   More…

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The Third Use of the Law – A Historical Examination, with Questions, pt. 1

November 30th, 2012 11 comments

Part 2     Part 3 Responding to Nikolaus Selnecker’s praise for his contributions to the Evangelical Church of Braunschweig in the latter’s introduction to his Institution of the Christian Religion, Jacob Andrea drafted the Six Sermons, an attempt, at the time they were preached during 1572-73, to establish a new fresh course toward concord within a vitriolic Lutheran church. Among the Six Sermons the fifth, On the Proper Distinction of Law and Gospel, and What the Gospel Really is, and Whether the Law Should Be Taught to the Regenerate in Christendom, sought to repair an old sticking point amongst   More…

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The Pastor Debt Monster

Originally posted on OuterRimTerritories by Pastor Christopher Gillespie.   Back in June, Larry Crume of LCEF posted a blog on the increasing level of student loan debt for the pastors of our church. In various conversations I have discovered that most are unaware of the real financial burdens of those who are graduates of residential seminary education. The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod collectively has affirmed that  a Masters of Divinity earned at one of our two seminaries is necessary preparation to be a faithful steward of the mysteries of God. Over recent decades the LCMS has also added non-residential programs   More…

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Great Stuff — The religion incapable of delivering its promise…

November 29th, 2012 9 comments

Another great article posted by Pastor Peters on PastoralMeanderings:   George Weigel wrote in First Things of the inability of shallow, tribal, institutional-maintenance religion to meet the challenge before Christians, to sustain the life of Christians wearied by the changes and chances of this mortal life, and intimidated by the press of cultural religion and generic spirituality.  Only a robustly, unapologetically evangelical [Christianity], winsomely proposing and nobly living the truths about the human condition the Church teaches, will see us through…. [read it here] Though Weigel certainly directed his comments to Roman Catholics, his words are worth a wider reading.    More…

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The Kingdom of Heaven, part 2

November 29th, 2012 1 comment

Part I ended with these questions: “This leaves us wondering, then, at what point does the child cease to be a child? And at this point is the kingdom that belonged to him or her as an infant and child now ripped from him or her? Is this the so-called age of reason? Additionally, what role does faith and hearing play in the lives of the unborn and infants? Difficult questions that I hope to answer or at least explore in Part 2.” I will say at the outset that if your looking for a sort of one-for-one answer in   More…

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BJS Authors practice real church growth in their parishes

November 28th, 2012 47 comments

Over the past year, the authors of BJS have increased a lot, but another thing has been increasing as well – the size of the authors’ households and consequently our parishes.  No, we haven’t veered off the narrow way of Word and Sacrament to find methods and manipulations to sheep steal or anything else – we have simply been who we are in the vocations that God has placed us.  Most of us are husbands and fathers and pastors also – and there is one thing that God does through husbands and wives to grow His Church, He gives the   More…

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ACELC — Tis the Season – for Repenting!

November 28th, 2012 27 comments

Repentance is something the Lord means to be ongoing in the life of the Christian. But, repentance isn’t easy. Who wants to repent? Oh, we repent after eating too much at our Thanksgiving feasts, but that’s just our discomfort speaking. As soon as the pressure on the waist band subsides, we’re right back at it; left-over heaven! Genuine repentance is different from wanting to be rid of discomfort so that we can get back to what put us in the discomfiture in the first place. Repentance is a gift from above. The Lord gives it in His Word, specifically, His   More…

Mayan Madness

November 28th, 2012 7 comments

In this catechism post, I’ve prepared a few responses to popular questions about the end-times hysteria surrounding the Maya calendars, the year 2012 and eschatology in general. It is intentionally concise and designed for use by  pastors and laity as a bulletin insert or newsletter article. If you find this pithy piece to be of use and service in your home or congregation, it is yours for the taking. After all, all theology is plagiarism.  What do Mayan calendars, mayonnaise and mayors have in common, aside from the fact that they begin with the letters “M,” “A” and “Y”? Zero.   More…

Great Stuff — New Pira Survey Reveals Real Reasons the Unchurched Don’t Attend Church

November 27th, 2012 16 comments

Found on Letter of   INDIANAPOLIS – A newly released Pira Survey of the Biblical texts reveals the real reasons why the unchurched do not attend church and the results are sending shockwaves through the seeker-driven and missional camps. Chris Rosebrough, lead researcher for Pira, the organization responsible for this Biblical survey said, “For decades the conventional wisdom in the broader church growth and missional movements has told us that the reason why unchurched people don’t attend church is because they think church is boring and irrelevant. Although true, the conventional wisdom has not been able to satisfactorily explain   More…

What Is So Convenient About Prevenient Grace?

November 27th, 2012 14 comments

Prevenient grace is the official doctrine of the Church of the Nazarene, as well as Methodism. It is found in the roots of Pietism and Puritan theology. Its wide range of appeal makes it a dominate conversion theology in North American Evangelicalism. More specifically it is embraced primarily by Arminian Christians who are influenced by the theologies of Jacobus Arminius and John Wesley. We even see the Roman Catholic Church commenting on prevenient grace saying, “without any merits existing on their parts, they are called; that so they, who by sins were alienated from God, may be disposed through His   More…

Conscience and Worship

November 26th, 2012 8 comments

When pastors engage others in conversation about their conscience – the sense of one’s self in relation to God and creatures – we are usually dealing with those who understand conscience as an inner voice. But one must realize that in the Lutheran tradition we are not referring to merely an inner-voice. We are not concerned with the popular understanding which posits the conscience as an inner voice, or blank slate, or a clear conscience. Instead, one’s conscience already has voices in it. These voices are like the mythical siren which lured sailors to their death. Also, psychologists, anthropologists and   More…

Why God’s Doctrine is for God’s People

November 26th, 2012 15 comments

What happens when Justification becomes peripheral and not the central article? I’ll tell you what happens: Doctrine becomes not life. Doctrine becomes something not for the people. The word Doctrine becomes theological jargon that is used only by theologians and a few pastors. You can’t expect the people to care about Doctrine when the central article does not remain that God justifies the ungodly for Christ’s sake through faith in His Name. Why is this? This is because Justification is personal. Justification reaches you even when no one else knows your hidden faults, but your heart is kindled, and you   More…

“The End of the World’s Coming” (Sermon for the Last Sunday of the Church Year, on Mark 13:24-37, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

November 24th, 2012 2 comments

“The End of the World’s Coming” (Mark 13:24-37) “In those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.” Mark 13:24-25. Sunday, April 14, 1935. Palm Sunday. Across the Great Plains of America–in Kansas, Oklahoma, the Texas Panhandle, Colorado, New Mexico–people awoke that day to a bright and clear morning. It looked like it would be a fine, sunny day. This came as a welcome relief. For several years, that part of the country had   More…

Sermon on Psalm 126 ~ Sowing with Tears Before She Can Sing for Joy: The Seven Marks of the True Church

November 24th, 2012 51 comments

1 When the LORD brought back the exiles of Zion, we were like those who dream. 2 Then laughter filled our mouth, and our tongues with shouts of joy. 3 Then they said among the nations: “The LORD has done great things for them.” 4 The LORD has done great things for us, we will rejoice! 5 O LORD, lead our captives back, as streams in the Negeb. 6 Those who sow with tears, will reap with songs of joy. 7 He who goes out weeping, carrying the seed for sowing, will come home with songs of joy, carrying his   More…

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