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

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

Encouragement for the Scared Father

Not long ago in a discussion in an online Lutheran group, one father did a manly thing. He admitted he was scared in his role as father. He said, “Nothing scares me quite like teaching my children.” Hallelujah! I told … Continue reading

Book Review: Ten Ways to Kill a Pastor

TEN WAYS TO KILL A PASTOR By Reverend Christopher I. Thoma 102 pp. Grail Quest Books. Available from Rev. Chris Thoma’s book, Ten Ways to Kill a Pastor, contains a series of bleak sketches that chronicle unspeakable cruelty in … Continue reading

Law and Gospel in Marriage.

My wife and I have been married for over 14 years. In terms of our lives in the church, we have both changed over those 14 years. Our upbringings in the church were vastly different and the years before we … Continue reading

Bosom, Burial, Banishment – Step 5 in the Humiliation of Christ

Bosom Jesus from eternity was in the bosom of the Father. No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. (John 1:18) Skip the dead illustrations … Continue reading

Who Are These Candidates, Really?

This is a presidential election year. There have been so many candidates. People wanted to know, who are these people, really? Who are these promise makers? One of the parties started with four candidates. One candidate is a political veteran … Continue reading

FiveTwo Gains LCMS Support Whilst Scrubbing Lutheran Distinctives

Business Consultancy FiveTwo has upgraded its WikiConference to a ‘National Conference’ that convenes in Austin, Texas next month. The rebooted event is a hybrid TED / Willowcreek Global Leadership Summit clone offering a menu of Christianized pop sociology, corporate vogue, and entrepreneurial motivation. In … Continue reading

Book Review – Gospel DNA: Five Markers of a Flourishing Church

GOSPEL DNA: FIVE MARKERS OF A FLOURISHING CHURCH By Michael W. Newman232 pp. Ursa Publishing. $8.99 Kindle / $12.99 Paperback Summary Gospel DNA is the latest book from Michael Newman, a full-time missiologist with the Texas District of the Lutheran Church … Continue reading

Review of Praying Luther’s Small Catechism by John T. Pless

Luther’s Small Catechism is a prayer book. It is “a spiritual companion on a man’s journey from cradle to grave; the Christian’s daily prayer and meditation.”[1]  “First and foremost the catechism is meant to be prayed, as a daily exercise, … Continue reading

Dr Jeffrey Kloha and Textual Criticism – A Post Convention Report

Two Overtures to the 2016 synodical convention of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod presented questions concerning a paper by Dr. Jeffrey Kloha about ongoing revisions of the Greek New Testament. Overture 4-23 was titled, “To Settle Professor Jeffrey Kloha … Continue reading

Mission: Decline of the Church, Self-Esteem, and the Small Catechism

At the recent LCMS convention, a recurring topic was the decline of the church. President Harrison had written about it in his report. Some had criticized one part of what he said, the part about declined birth rates among church … Continue reading

Small Catechism Memory and Flash Cards in 11 English Translations

Small Catechism memory cards and flash cards are great tools for learning by heart and meditating on the truths of Scripture “which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:15) … Continue reading

Intinction Would Have Withdrawn the Word of Forgiveness from Me

Recently I attended the funeral of a major person in my life. The Sacrament of the Altar was administered. It was administered by intinction. This was in a synod with whom I am not in altar fellowship, so I did … Continue reading

A Layman’s Take on the Plastic Text of the New Testament — Part 3, Conclusion and Issues

Part 1 of this series set forth the premises and resolves of two overtures in the Convention Workbook 2016 of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod concerning a paper by Dr. Jeffrey Kloha about ongoing revisions to the text of … Continue reading

A Layman’s Take on the Plastic Text of the New Testament — Part 2, Dr. Kloha’s Paper

Part 1 of this series set forth the premises and resolves of two overtures in the Convention Workbook 2016 of the Lutheran Church – Missouri synod concerning a paper by Dr. Jeffrey Kloha about ongoing revisions to the text of … Continue reading

Husband, Love your Wife with the Small Catechism

Adam fell down on his vocation as catechist of Eve. Ever since, husbands have had the tendency to default on their calling to teach the Word to their wives. This sin of husbands has had terrible effects in marriage and … Continue reading