About T. R. Halvorson

T. R. Halvorson was born in Sidney, Montana on July 14, 1953, baptized at Pella Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sidney, Montana on November 8, 1953, and confirmed at First Lutheran Church in Williston, North Dakota in 1968. He and his wife, Marilyn, are members of Trinity Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Sidney, Montana. They have three sons and six grandchildren. T. R. farms at Wildrose, North Dakota, and is Deputy County Attorney in Sidney, Montana. He has been a computer programmer; and an author, conference speaker, instructor, and consultant to industry in online legal information. He is among the authors of the religion column in the Sidney Herald at Sidney, Montana. He is the Editor of LutheranCatechism.com.

Book Review: Thank, Praise, Serve, and Obey by William Weedon

Jesus lived a perfect human life. We know that. But it is easy to miss some of his practices. It might sound strange, but Jesus was pious. He had godly habits. By them, he lived joyously, even though He also … Continue reading

The Holy Spirit is Coaxing Me to Trust

Every now and then, when there is an issue or concern in my life, the Holy Spirit uses the Word in its variety of forms and places of proclamation to repeatedly reveal the same truth over and again and call … Continue reading

“Their Lord needs them” — Advent 1 Sermon by Pr Ryan D. Wendt

“Their Lord need them” Matthew 21:1-9 First Sunday in Advent 2017 Pr Ryan D. Wendt Christ the King Lutheran Church,  Billings, Montana (Hear sermons by Pr Wendt here) And there was evening and there was morning, another day. So it … Continue reading

Freeing the Catechism in English !!

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of England. These loving people are giving away “the layman’s little Bible”—Luther’s Small Catechism— in English as a gift to English-speaking Christianity. The ELCE has published its Reformation Anniversary … Continue reading

The Cross of Christ Is the Burnt Out Ground, Safe from Fire

Drought and fires this year recall memories of prairie fires in homesteading days. In high winds, fires moved rapidly, burning grass, crops, livestock, wildlife, buildings, and people. One time a homesteading father saw a fire fanned by winds toward his … Continue reading

I Would Not Give This Book To My Granddaughters

A new book this year for women by Cindy Koch is titled Woman: The Forgotten Story, published by NRP Books, an imprint of New Reformation Publications. According to their websites, either New Reformation Publications is a project of the 1517 … Continue reading

Prioritize this Book: Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?

My to-read-soon stack of books is an embarrassment of riches. So many great Christian books already bought, paid for, and waiting to be read when Rev. Dr. Matt Richard sent me an advanced reader copy of his new book, Will … Continue reading

Who Goes with You into Surgery?

One of my vain ideas was to reach 60 without being an inpatient of a hospital. Didn’t work. Two Januaries in a row, I was hospitalized. I was a suffering puppy, though still nothing like many around me. My condition … Continue reading

Two Lutheran Elephants: Negligent House Pastors and Divorce

The decline in membership of Lutheran churches in America is a like a migraine headache. It is always there. We keep explaining it with the same explanations. We keep taking the same medications. The pain continues. What is the right … Continue reading

Relevant Worship: The Story of Your Life

In the worship wars, one of the alleged reasons for abandoning the historic liturgy is to make worship relevant. We want application of the Gospel in ways that connect with people. Dear friends, the historic liturgy is like a many-layered … Continue reading

Free Book about Loss of the Gospel in The Shack

A new book offers a new kind of critique of the novel and movie, The Shack. My articles here on Brothers of John the Steadfast have been transformed into a book that the Steadfast Lutherans are distributing to you for free on … Continue reading

The Shack – A Journey from Pain to Truth to Error – Part 4: A Lutheran Critique

This entry is part of 4 in the series The Shack: ...Pain to Truth to Error

Editor’s Note: To understand what is meant by “Trinitarian Theology” in this post, please see Part 2. Having traced the journey of Wm. Paul Young, author of The Shack, and his main character, Mackenzie Phillips, from the pain of their Great … Continue reading

“Say It!” Says the Little Girl — by Pastor Ryan Loeslie

Note: The following is a guest article by Rev. Ryan Loeslie, Pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Merna, Nebraska. Most Lutherans who went through junior high confirmation class at one time in their lives are familiar with Luther’s famous question from his Small … Continue reading

The Shack – A Journey from Pain to Truth to Error – Part 3: Truth to Error

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series The Shack: ...Pain to Truth to Error

In Part 1 of this series of articles we saw that The Shack and its theology arise from two pressures experienced by its author, Wm. Paul Young, and main character, Mackenzie Phillips: pain and the inadequacy of “traditional Christianity” to … Continue reading

The Shack: A Journey from Pain to Truth to Error – Part 2: Pain to Truth

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series The Shack: ...Pain to Truth to Error

In Part 1 of this series of articles, we saw that The Shack and its theology arise from two pressures: Pain, loss, and suffering. The perceived inadequacy of Calvinistic and Wesleyan-Arminian evangelicalism to heal pain. These two pressures – pain … Continue reading

The Shack: A Journey from Pain to Truth to Error – Part 1: Pain

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series The Shack: ...Pain to Truth to Error

The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity[1] is a presentation of Trinitarian Theology and perichoresis[2] in the form of story, novel, and dialogue. This Trinitarian Theology is both like and not like our Lutheran confession of the Trinity.[3] The differences are … Continue reading

The Shack — It’s a Novel, but Not Just a Novel

  The novel, The Shack, is coming out as a movie. So it is time again for Christians to have discernment about this material. Many Christians have written previously about the false teachings in The Shack. Those who have defended … Continue reading

The Cracked Foundation of Forde’s Radical Lutheranism

Gerhard Forde says, “Sanctification, if it is to be spoken of as something other than justification, is perhaps best defined as the art of getting used to the unconditional justification wrought by the grace of God for Jesus’ sake.”[1] There … Continue reading

Commemorate Luther as Catechist

This year marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses. Historians mark the beginning of the Reformation from Luther’s publication of them. Many organizations have planned commemorations of Luther and the Reformation. Maybe these commemorations will have an impact. … Continue reading

Threatened with Loss of the Word

Holly Marie Scheer recently wrote an article titled, “Why ‘Mary Did You Know’ Is The Most Biblically Illiterate Christmas Tune.” The digest at the head of the article says, Anyone who has even a slight familiarity with the biblical account … Continue reading

Conversion: Trusting God’s Word for Your Regeneration and Resurrection

We must trust Christ to raise us from death to life. We must trust him for this twice: regarding our resurrection, and regarding our regeneration. These two cases are alike. In both cases, we are dead, and because we are … Continue reading

Conversion: To See Decisions Dead People Make, Visit the Cemetery

My Dad liked Billy Graham. When Graham’s crusades were televised, Dad watched. Graham had a gift of oratory. He preached God’s Law. He preached sin and salvation. He preached the person and work of Christ. But his sermons were spoiled … Continue reading

The Will in Conversion: Protestant Rationalism versus Lutheran Adherence to Scripture

A recurring issue in Christian conversations is: what is the role of man’s will in conversion. Some say this is no better than arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. This issue really matters, … Continue reading

A Simple Map of Conversion Terminology

On a recurring basis, online Lutheran discussions will confront you with terms like pelagianism, synergism, and monergism. You will see one participant claim that what another person said is wrong because it is pelagian. Maybe you ventured to speak up, … Continue reading

Advent – A Good Time to Pair Arch Books to the Lectionary

The Brothers of John the Steadfast have said before that, “We can use Arch Books coordinated with the Lectionary to engage young children in the Divine Service.” The Brothers published an “Arch Books to Lectionary Table (Historic 1-Year Lectionary)” to … Continue reading