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Posts Tagged ‘Pr Matt Richard’

A Steadfast Lutheran Interview With Pastor Tullian Tchividjian (Part 2 of 2)

January 16th, 2014 34 comments

In part one of the Steadfast Lutheran Interview with Presbyterian Pastor, Tullian Tchividjian, I interviewed Tchividjian about his background and explored his various interactions with Confessional Lutheranism. In this second part of the Steadfast Lutheran Interview, Pr. Tchividjian discusses the reformation that is occurring within American Evangelicalism, as well as some of his thoughts on the ongoing challenges of American Evangelicals discerning and understanding Law and Gospel. __________ Pr. Richard:  Let us shift gears a bit.  What is the difference between your Grandfather’s ministry and your ministry?  In other words, what is the difference between Billy Graham’s pastoral focus and   More…

A Steadfast Lutheran Interview With Pastor Tullian Tchividjian (Part 1 of 2)

January 14th, 2014 83 comments

“He must be a Lutheran; he sure sounds like one.”  These were some of the first words out of my mouth when I first read the writings of Pr. Tullian Tchividjian.  However, upon further investigation I discovered that Pr. Tchividjian is not a Lutheran pastor, but the pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, the church founded by Dr. D. James Kennedy.  Furthermore, I learned that Pr. Tchividjian is the grandson of the evangelist Billy Graham and the visiting professor of theology at Reformed Theological Seminary.  Even though I was able to put together a loose biography   More…

Why Words Are Powerful And Why They Matter

September 2nd, 2013 17 comments

We have all heard the phrase, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Is this phrase true, that words are powerless? I am sorry but this phrase is not true. In fact, I believe it is the exact opposite. Words are powerful. They communicate; they deliver information, express feelings, inspire others, give guiding protection, teach, and so forth. It is amazing that “mere puffs of wind should allow men to discover what they think and feel, to share their attitudes and plans, to anticipate the future and learn from the past, and to create   More…

Letters From The “Becoming Lutheran Research Participants” To Lutheran Pastors And Journeying Evangelicals

August 30th, 2013 11 comments

As many of you know, I have been working on a Major Applied Research Project over the last two years examining the journey of American Evangelicals into Confessional Lutheran thought. After examining over 700 surveys, I decided to construct two letters from all the research participants’ suggestions/recommendations.  The first letter is to Lutheran Pastors who are presently receiving these former Evangelicals.  The second letter is to individuals currently traveling from American Evangelicalism into Confessional Lutheran thought.  In constructing the letters from the research participants I used actual phrases from the surveys; therefore, think of these letters as a collective voice. Enjoy these pleas! Rev. Richard     More…

Is There Forgiveness of Sins In Baptism? Taking A Closer Look At Acts 2:38

August 25th, 2013 211 comments

“And Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” Acts 2:38-39 Acts 2:38 is a very popular Bible passage among Christians. If one does a Google search on this passage, they will find themselves immersed in 3.5 million hits pertaining to this passage. So, what is the fascination   More…

Why Evangelicals Struggle With Infant Baptism; The Platonic Connection

August 21st, 2013 22 comments

In a previous article about infant baptism on Steadfast Lutherans, I covered one of the main reasons why Evangelicals struggle with infant baptism. In my previous article I assert that the reason for the struggle over infant baptism is due to it being the quintessential picture of divine monergism. Monergism, as you may know, is completely contrary to any and all free will theologies, thus the reason why infant baptism is so difficult for many Credobaptist Evangelicals to accept. Otherwise stated, in the previous article I showed that infant baptism is very offensive to credobaptist theology because it infringes upon, violates, and overthrows   More…

Liturgy, Neither Alone Nor Neutral

August 13th, 2013 4 comments

“The liturgy, as a true service, is that which aids both the proclamation of and the hearing of the Gospel for the sake of faith, this is true worship.”[1] The liturgy of the Church builds a framework for the worshiper to live the life of faith. The liturgy of the church, as found in the Lutheran Service Book, teaches the full counsel of God because it is based on God’s very Word given in the Scriptures. Vilmos Vajita speaks about liturgy the following way, Rites and ceremonies indeed form a training school of faith. To this extent, the pedagogical view   More…

God’s Word, A Javelin: An Essay Contending for the Javelin like Nature of the Word of God

August 3rd, 2013 1 comment

Here is an essay that I wrote about the javelin like nature of the Word of God that’s a bit too long for an article on BJS. I’ve included the excerpt here and then included the PDF file for you to read the remainder of it.   The chief god in Scandinavian mythology, Odin, carried a javelin called Gungnir. This javelin was no ordinary javelin, for it was created by a group of dwarves known as the Sons of Ivaldi. It was fashioned from the holy wood of Yggdrasil, a tree centered in the cosmos that reached to the heavens.   More…

Why Popular Talking Points Obstruct The Gospel From Homosexuals

Talking points are concise statements that are used to support a side of an issue. Such statements can either develop through popular use or are designed by political think tanks in order to tactically frame public opinion to their favor. Frankly, everybody has talking points. Republicans and Democrats have them. Atheists and Christians have them. The Pro-choice movement and the Pro-life movement have them. Talking points are not inherently bad and I am certainly not advocating that we dismiss them. It is helpful to have pithy statements in order to clarify positions. It is healthy to have succinct avowals that   More…

Predestination Matters And Here’s Why…

Here is an article that I wrote about Predestination that’s a bit too long for an article on BJS. I’ve included the first few paragraphs here and then included the PDF file for you to read the remainder of it.   Predestination, Why Bother? A Facebook friend once asserted to me that the historical controversies, as well as the present ongoing debates, over the doctrine of predestination are nothing more than opposing sides stirring up trouble by arguing over linguistic nuances; hence, to become engaged in the controversy over predestination is to be pulled into a futile theological war. Is   More…

Attention Lutheran Pastors, New “Becoming Lutheran Catechesis Aid”

Evangelicals face very large hurdles, obstacles, and bring with them several presuppositions that need to be addressed and resolved during their Lutheran catechesis process. Research conducted in this area through the author’s ongoing and unpublished Major Applied Research Project at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis will serve in a foundational manner to this teaching aid. This catechesis aid is not designed to replace the catechism curriculum of the local Lutheran parish. Otherwise stated, this aid is not to be a substitute for the Small Catechism, it does not function independently from a more comprehensive catechism curriculum. Rather it is an educational   More…

If You Dismiss The Sacraments, You Lose Lutheranism!

Early on in my ministry I downplayed the sacraments of baptism and communion. I believed the church growth ideologies that said the sacraments were stumbling blocks to the growth of the church and that if I wanted to be a successful pastor I needed to downplay these supposedly controversial Lutheran teachings. The problem with de-emphasizing the sacraments though, as many Lutheran pastors have done and are tempted to do, is that you may lose Lutheranism. Yes, the sacraments are inseparable from Lutheranism, for they are not secondary doctrines or a matter of adiaphora.  Rather, the sacraments have a primary place   More…

Let’s Shed Some Platonism!

So, let’s have a quick lesson on the teachings of Plato. In Platonic thought there are two categories. In the first category there is the true essence; the wonderful perfect form of something; the ideal. Then in the other category there is the visible copy of the ideal in the here and now. Confused? Yes, I get confused in thinking about this stuff too. Let me see if I can boil it down a little more simply. Take a baseball bat for example. In Platonic thought/philosophy there is a perfect bat that exists ‘out there’ (i.e., the good form) and   More…

What Struggles Do Former Evangelicals Have With The Lutheran Liturgy?

The journey from American Evangelicalism into Confessional Lutheranism is a long, difficult, and sometimes scary road. The journey is neither something that just happens overnight, nor is it an easy shift. The shift has linguistic, emotional, worldview, and epistemological challenges that accompany it, thus producing a great deal of anxiety, stress, and uncertainty for the individual. Not only does one experience this shift ideologically, but one also experiences misunderstandings, hesitations, and struggles with the changes from non-liturgical worship settings to the worship practices of the Lutheran liturgy. In order explore this subject more thoroughly I conducted a survey several weeks   More…

Reforming The Local Congregation

It has been said before that the church is in need of a continuous reformation. In other words, this call for reformation is a plea for the church to daily reclaim her fundamental roots. The reason why the church is in need of constant reformation is that we as sinners are prone to wander; we are prone to leave the God that we love. Due to the tactics of the old Adam, there is a tendency for churches to drift away from a Christ-centered and Christ-crucified Gospel to an ‘ism.’ Generally speaking, the church will drift into one of the   More…