The Reformation of Penance

When Martin Luther published his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517, he sought to redefine the foundation of late medieval piety: the sacrament of penance.  While he argued that Christ “willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance,” Luther … Continue reading

You’re Killing Me Peter: Wiki Part 2

You’re Killing Me Peter St. Paul guides us to treat one another gently when it comes to correcting each other. He, inspired by the Holy Spirit in Galatians 6:1 declared, “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who … Continue reading

Luther on Just War Against the Turks

In the early sixteenth century the Ottoman Empire had become the dominant power in the Middle East.  When Suleiman the Magnificent (r.1520-66) became Sultan in 1520 the empire included modern Turkey, Syria, Northern Iraq, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, the west coast … Continue reading

WIKI15 part 1

Let’s Get Together Psalm 133:1 says, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity.” These are the words I read in the Treasury of Daily Prayer on the first day of the Wiki15 conference in Katy, … Continue reading

Luther on the Crusades

“The popes have never seriously intended to wage war against the Turk; instead they used the Turkish war as a cover for their game and robbed Germany of money by means of indulgences whenever they took the notion….If they had … Continue reading

God Makes Rulers Mad

“For God the Almighty has made our rulers mad; they actually think they can do–and order their subjects to do–whatever they please.  And the subjects made the mistake of believing that they, in turn, are bound to obey their rulers … Continue reading

Free Time in Christ

St. Paul wrote to the churches in Galatia saying, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your … Continue reading

Jesus IS Our Friend

At his table one day Martin Luther said, “Christ is friendlier than we are.  If I can be good to a friend, how much more will Christ be good to us!”  (LW 54:143)  In this blog post I will discuss … Continue reading

Becoming Steadfast: Politics and the Lutheran Reformation (Part 2)

For part one of this series, click here. When Martin Luther departed Worms in May 1521 his earthly future seemed bleak.  According to the edict of Worms Luther was a heretical outlaw.   In order to protect Luther and his own … Continue reading

Martin Luther and the Enthusiasts-Part I

“Christ finds not only Caiaphas among his enemies, but also Judas among his friends.” (Martin Luther, LW 40:66) Martin Luther wrote this sentence in an open letter to Christians in Strasbourg to warn them against Dr. Andreas Bodenstein von Karlstadt’s … Continue reading

Weak confession gives weak absolution

Our Lord speaks through His prophet Ezekiel saying, “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous … Continue reading

Here we Stand

Yesterday, Reverend President Dr. Matthew Harrison posted a fantastic response to the inability of a panel of judges to carry out the charges against Reverend Dr. Matthew Becker. His confession is as follows: When a public teacher on the roster … Continue reading

Should Lutheran Pastors Chant the Words of Institution?

The English verb, ‘to chant’ derives from the Latin word, ‘cantare,’ which simply means to sing.  Some form of singing or chanting existed in the Christian Church since its inception.  Various forms of chanting in Christian worship evolved during the … Continue reading

Labor Preaching Part I

Christ the Lord says, “When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born … Continue reading

Today’s Evils

Christ our Lord spoke to His disciples saying, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34). Do we really believe this? Do we live … Continue reading

Distinguishing Between Doctrine and Life

“Doctrine and life must be distinguished. Life is bad among us, as it is among the papists, but we don’t fight about life and condemn the papists on that account.” (LW 54:110) Dr. Luther spoke these words at his table … Continue reading

Fruity Preachers

Christ our Lord taught about preachers and their proclamation saying, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or … Continue reading

Vision Casting

Christ our Lord says, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. 48 When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good … Continue reading

The Godly Kind of Mercy Killing

There’s a ungodly type of mercy killing that receives a great deal of sympathy, if not support, in our world today. Consider the Terri Schaivo case that lasted from 1990—2005. Terri had been diagnosed by her doctors as being in … Continue reading

A Fat and Lazy Church

I recently returned from Madagascar where I, Professor John Pless, Rev. Bryan Wolfmueller, and Rev. Evan Goeglein, taught a group of Malagasy pastors the theology of Dr. Martin Luther. I was privileged to teach them Luther’s theology of preaching. While we … Continue reading

A Free God for a bound sinner

Justification, according to the third article of the Formula of Concord Solid Declaration means to “pronounce righteous and free from sins and to count as freed from the eternal punishment of sin because of Christ’s righteousness, which is ‘reckoned to … Continue reading

Martin Luther on Studying Theology and Reading Scripture

“Moreover, I want to point out to you a correct way of studying theology, for I have had practice in that.  If you keep to it, you will become so learned that you yourself could (if it were necessary) write … Continue reading

Madagascar Trip

March 21, 2014 Dear Friends of Luther Academy, Grace and peace be yours from our Lord Jesus Christ! I write you today to plead for your prayers to our heavenly Father and also your support of the first Luther Academy … Continue reading

Why your Pastor should read Luther this summer

Arguing against Erasmus, Dr. Martin Luther, of blessed and holy memory, wrote, “Therefore, it is not irreverent, inquisitive, or superfluous, but essentially salutary and necessary for a Christian, to find out whether the will does anything or nothing in matters … Continue reading

Luther’s Small Catechism and Lent

Dr. Martin Luther’s Small Catechism has been associated with the season of Lent since the time Luther first published in chart in time for Lent in 1529. In his sermon of March 25, 1529, he says: “This exhortation ought not … Continue reading