The Anti-Church

New ideas require new ways of speaking.  Old terminology doesn’t cut it when it comes to modern conceptions of church, especially when those modern approaches represent a radical break from traditional ecclesiology.  To be sure, it is helpful when this … Continue reading

Turning the Devil’s Own Arrows against Him: A Brief Meditation on Habakkuk 3:17—18

The prophet Habakkuk preaches to soldiers and royal counselors as a city is burned in the background. Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield … Continue reading

Psalm 33 on Worship and the Word of Yahweh

Psalm 33, verses 1—11 The Seventh Sunday after Trinity 1 Shout for joy to Yahweh, O righteous ones, praise is fitting for the upright! 2 Praise Yahweh with the lyre, with a harp of ten strings make music to Him! … Continue reading

What Liberals Can Teach Us about the Liturgy

For the conservative scholar, modern Biblical studies have been something of a disappointment.  Much of 20th century biblical scholarship was more concerned with what a text didn’t say (how it came into being, which texts were authentic vs. later additions, … Continue reading

Do Hebrew and Greek Really Matter?

When I was first learning the Biblical languages, I found a great deal of encouragement in Luther’s  words:  “In proportion then as we value the gospel, let us zealously hold to the languages. For it was not without purpose that … Continue reading

One Question Satan Wants Every Church to Ask

Not all questions are good questions.  Godly curiosity has limitations.  The serpent’s question, “Did God really say…?” (Genesis 3:1) resulted in the fall into sin.  The question seemed innocent enough, which is exactly what Satan wanted.  After all, the tree … Continue reading

DOXOLOGY: the One Program Satan Doesn’t Want Your Pastor to Attend

In “Dying to Live: The Power of Forgiveness”,[1] Harold Senkbeil makes the observation that when a Christian is baptized, Satan puts a target on their back.  Since we cannot see the flaming darts Satan is constantly hurling at us (Ephesians … Continue reading

Caricatures of Catholicism: Mary

The present divisions within Christendom are surely the result of a great deal more than doctrinal divisions.  Doctrinal divisions exist, to be sure, but our differences are easier to address when we approach one another with compassion.  Doctrine has never … Continue reading

Keeping the Two-Edged Sword Sharp

The author of Hebrews says, “The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword,” (Hebrews 4:12).  A sharp sword is a powerful and dangerous weapon.  It’s something that must be handled with care, lest it … Continue reading

The Small Catechism: A Treasury of Daily Prayer

Good prayer books are hard to find.  While good prayer books are available, [endnote 1] most people are after convenience.  Just as many people “nourish” their bodies with whatever they can find at the local fast food establishment, so also … Continue reading

Christian-craft: Godly Prayer or Satanic Art?

You wouldn’t think Satan would be able to use something as godly as prayer for his demonic purposes.  When he can’t stop us from praying altogether, he shifts his attention to making sure our prayers aren’t godly.  He would have … Continue reading

Do I Have “Torah” Written on My Forehead? (The Importance of Daily Devotions)

The Divine Service is the main course of a wholesome, spiritually nutritious diet.  There’s nothing quite like the gathering of the saints—past and present—around Word and Sacrament.  This is no ordinary meal; it’s the very Wedding Feast of the Lamb … Continue reading

Neutering the Bible

Words matter.  Luther once said, “And let us be sure of this: we will not long preserve the gospel without the languages [Hebrew, Aramaic & Greek].  The languages are the sheath in which this sword of the Spirit [Eph 6:17] … Continue reading

Weasel Creeds and the devil’s tricks…

 St. Paul teaches that the Church is the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:12ff.).  Christ is not divided (1 Cor 1:13), nor should any division be found in His Church.  As the Psalmist declares, “How good and pleasant it is … Continue reading

Sermon on Genesis 2-3

Have you ever had the dream where you were up in front of a crowd giving a speech, only to realize at some point that you were totally naked?  It’s difficult to think of something more embarrassing than this.  Many … Continue reading

Divine Service in Genesis 1-3

 A proper relationship with God is one in which we are first of all passive.  This is clearly taught in the first two chapters of Genesis.  Before the Fall into sin (Genesis 1–2), God does most of the talking and … Continue reading

Polycarp and the fire which only burned for a season — A sermon by Rev. Eric Andersen

Associate Editor’s Note:  With this posting we welcome Pastor Eric Andersen to our regular writers.  He will usually be writing in the category of Steadfast in the OT.  Rev. Eric Andersen of Faith Lutheran Church in Johnstown, CO wrote this … Continue reading