Sermon — Pr. Martin Noland — The Kingdom of God Comes Near

Sermon Text: Luke 10:1-20 [7th Sunday after Pentecost] In our Gospel lesson this morning, we see Jesus appointing the “seventy-two.”  These men, who went out two-by-two, were what we today call “evangelists” or “missionaries.”  Their job was not to serve … Continue reading

Lay Ministry Biblical References

Here is a post from our archives written by Pr. Martin Noland that may help with our current day issues. What are good bible references that speak against lay ministry programs? If there is someone who thinks the lay ministry … Continue reading

No room in the C.U.S. Regenthood

“There’s no room in the ‘hood for you!” That is the message that LC-MS parish pastors, commissioned ministers, stay-at-home-moms, and most laymen might get when they read the qualifications for the Boards of Regents of Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod colleges and … Continue reading

Sermon — Pr. Martin Noland — The Train of Witnesses

Sermon Text: Mark 16:1-8 Easter Sunday, Series B Most any day I can hear from my office a long train whistle, coming from 3/4s of a mile west of here, where the CSX trains cross Franklin Street next to Pigeon … Continue reading

Sermon — Pr. Martin Noland — Cases of Hidden Identity

Sermon Text: Mark 9:2-9 The Transfiguration of Our Lord; Series B People are often not what they seem to be. Hidden behind a gruff exterior might be the nicest, most generous guy in the world. Hidden behind a jocular and … Continue reading

Four Overtures for the 2016 Convention

It’s time . . . to start submitting overtures regarding the issues confronting the LCMS. The following are four overtures that address, in my opinion, some of the most significant issues that need to be dealt with at the LCMS … Continue reading

Sermon — Pr. Martin Noland — The Kingdom of God is Near

Sermon Text: Mark 1:14-20 [3rd Sunday after Epiphany, Series B] After five years of autumn in Evansville, I have learned not to procrastinate when it comes to raking up leaves. When I first moved here, I thought I might have … Continue reading

Sermon — Pr. Martin Noland — With God Nothing is Impossible

Text: Luke 1:26-38 Fourth Sunday in Advent; Series B When I was a doctoral student at The Union Theological Seminary in New York City, I avoided getting into arguments about theology and the Bible with my classmates or professors as … Continue reading

Sermon — Pr. Martin Noland — The Beginning of the Gospel

Sermon Text — Mark 1:1-8 December 7, 2015 — 2nd Sunday in Advent, Series B There is always something exciting and auspicious about beginnings.  Today we baptized John Smith [fictional names], which baptism marks the beginning of–and created–his Christian faith.  … Continue reading

Problems with 2013 Dispute/Expulsion System

Editorial Comment: Pastor Noland has been working on analyzing the Dispute Resolution Policy of the LCMS and this is a document that he recently generated. Feel free to download and distribute it widely per his instructions below.   A person … Continue reading

Five-Two and PLI Too

The recent BJS posts about the “Five-Two” network may all sound vaguely familiar to any of you who have been reading BJS for four years or more. In August 2010, Pastor Rossow did a great article on the topic of … Continue reading

Deconstructing Lutheran Identity

A recent blog comment by Rev. John Hannah, President of the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, stated a good bit of truth and got me to thinking. He writes: I believe that the strong desire within the LCMS to look like … Continue reading

Sermon — Pr. Martin Noland — Dealing with Death

Sermon Text: Luke 7:11-17 October 5th, 2014; 16th Sunday after Trinity; one year series Our American culture has a problem in dealing with death. This was not always the case, when the vast majority of our population was Christian and … Continue reading

Why I’m Optimistic About the LC–MS

Some folks have recently challenged my often-stated assertion since 2010 that “These are good days for the LCMS.” I think it is fair that I respond to that challenge, by explaining why I think that way. People often judge a … Continue reading

Remembering Robert

Last month marked the silver anniversary of the “retirement” of Dr. Robert Preus from the presidency of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana. On July 27, 1989 the Fort Wayne Board of Regents opened its summer meeting with a devotion led by Preus. After the devot

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Sermon — Pr Martin Noland — The Proper Use of Mammon

Text: Luke 16:1-9 [Ninth Sunday after Trinity] Our Gospel lesson this morning is one of the more difficult of Jesus’ parables. In order to understand it properly, we have to tease out every little clue, while also making sure that … Continue reading

What is a “Confessional Lutheran”?

Simple Answer: Someone whose religion is in congruence with the canonical Scriptures and the Lutheran confessions found in the “Book of Concord.” The adjective “confessional” comes from the noun “Lutheran confessions,” not from the “confessional” office, i.e., the Office of … Continue reading

Further review of “A Lutheran Book on Purgatory”

This is originally written on a post A Lutheran book on purgatory, pastoral purgatory (written by Pastor Scheer) that was originally written as a comment by Pastor Noland. We at BJS felt it needed wider dissemination than a comment on … Continue reading

Do Non-Christians Believe In and Worship the True God?

Consider the argument settled. The Latin version settles it—as it often does . . . After the Yankee Stadium “Prayer for America” in September 2001, in which a district president of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod joined together in a worship … Continue reading

The Challenges of Church Growth and Decline

When my wife Karla and I were first married, over twenty years ago, I invited her to join me for the banquet at our annual LCMS district pastor’s conference. The food was great, but the banquet speaker was not. His … Continue reading

Sermon — Pr. Martin Noland — Praying in the Name of Jesus

Text: John 16:23-30 (1-Year Series) May 25, 2014 — Sixth Sunday of Easter Prayer is one of the simplest things in our religion. Even a child can pray. Truth be told, children probably pray better than adults. This is part … Continue reading

Why Biblical Inerrancy is Important — and Always Will Be

Forty years ago, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (hereafter LCMS) was in an uproar. Its Saint Louis seminary president, John Tietjen, was suspended in the January 20, 1974 meeting of the seminary’s Board of Control. On January 21st the majority of … Continue reading

A New Era in American Evangelicalism?

The lead article in the December 2013 issue of Christianity Today (hereafter CT) was about the Colorado Springs megachurch called New Life and the years that have followed the scandal surrounding its founding pastor, the Rev. Ted Haggard (see Patton … Continue reading

Sermon — Pr. Martin Noland — Keep Watch!

Text:  Luke 12:35-48 [New Year’s Eve] I don’t know about your household, but we pretty much have the tornado routine down pat.  When the emergency weather radio sounds its alarm, I drop whatever I’m doing, and go look at the … Continue reading

Sasse, Harrison, and Inerrancy

It has been a long time since I have been so thoroughly edified, educated, and stimulated by one book.  I am talking about Hermann Sasse’s Letters to Lutheran Pastors, Volume 1, 1948-1951 (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2013) (available here in … Continue reading