Who was this John the Steadfast, anyway?

Kick off your Reformation celebration this year at the annual Reformation Lectures at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, MN, Thursday, October 27 to Friday, October 28, 2016.  This year’s topic is “The Cost of Confessing: Luther and the Three Princes.”  Hear what … 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

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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Luther’s View on Financial Support for the Office of the Holy Ministry

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus stated, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21) St. Paul also warned against the inordinate desire for money as a hindrance to true faith. (I Timothy 6:9-10) … Continue reading

A True and Bold Confession! Luther and Zwingli-Part III

Ulrich Zwingli and his colleagues responded to Luther’s treatise, That These Words of Christ, “This is My Body,” Etc., Still Stand Firm Against the Fanatics. They attempted to refute Luther’s main points and reaffirm their own assertions regarding the Lord’s … 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

Some Thoughts on Worship in Chapel: A Response to Rev. Robert Weinkauf’s Post

This blog (at least the few posts I’ve actually made) has focused on my expertise in church history.  I have desired to avoid commenting on any current issues within the Synod on this site because many others already do that … Continue reading

New from the CLCC: New Testament Houses of Worship

For those of you who aren’t familiar, the Confessional Lutherans for Christ’s Commission (CLCC) is an organization which fosters “a united and coordinated voice among Confessional Lutherans and to build up Christ’s Church by providing education and training primarily for … Continue reading

Is Every Christian a Minister?

The answer to this question may change depending on one’s understanding of minister.  If understood broadly, any Christian may serve others.  However, minister usually means someone whom Lutherans commonly call a pastor today.  Therefore, obviously, every Christian is not a … Continue reading

Augustine, Luther, and the Sacraments

“Baptism is a very different thing from all other water, not by virtue of the natural substance but because here something nobler is added, for God himself stakes his honor, his power, and his might on it.  Therefore it is … Continue reading

“There Is No Middle Ground”: Martin Luther, Zwingli and the Lord’s Supper-Part II

This is part 2 of a 3-part series; part 1 is found here   In 1527 Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli both published significant works concerning the Lord’s Supper.  Both represented responses to writings from the previous year.  In his … Continue reading

Luther, Zwingli and Supper-Part I

Martin Luther and his colleagues in Wittenberg were not the only theologians to set forth a theological program of reform in the early sixteenth century.  In fact, many competing visions of reform emerged.  In the early 1520s Ulrich Zwingli led … Continue reading

Dare to Be Wise: The Early Reformation and Education

“When schools flourish, things go well and the church is secure. Let us make more doctors and masters.  The youth is the church’s nursery and fountainhead.  When we are dead, where are others [to take our place] if there are … Continue reading

The Origin of Indulgences, Penance and the Crusades

Since we recently observed the 495th anniversary of Martin Luther’s publication of the Ninety-Five Theses, it may be instructive to understand the history of indulgences and the development of their use in the late medieval church. A close reading of … 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

Becoming Steadfast: Politics and the Lutheran Reformation (Part 1)

In his sermon given at the funeral of Duke John of Electoral Saxony (John the Steadfast), Martin Luther stated, “a prince is also a human being and always has ten devils around him where another man has only one, so … Continue reading