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The following are the latest 30 comments on Steadfast Lutherans.

“Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven Is at Hand” (Sermon on Matthew 3:1-12, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)
“In Holy Absolution, Christ’s minister speaks the mighty word of forgiveness, loosing those sins from you. In Holy Communion, once again today, Christ gives you his body and blood for the forgiveness of sins.”

Does that mean that, in the Divine Service, Holy Communion delivers forgiveness only for those sins committed since the …
    Carl H at Dec 03 2016 06:30 pm

Reformers Are Not Radicals
For many of us, I would imagine, a favorite hymn of comfort is “Be Still My Soul” sung to the tune Finlandia by Sibelius. Some years ago I came across an old opinion piece concerning some of the content being proposed at the time for The Lutheran Hymnal that was eventually published in 1941. In that piece, the Lutheran writer(s) objected to the use of Finlandia because the purpose for which it was composed (and perhaps, as I vaguely recall, the …
    Carl H at Dec 03 2016 12:12 pm

The Will in Conversion: Protestant Rationalism versus Lutheran Adherence to Scripture
@Roger Kaeding #8

Yes, it is that simple.

Now, if we could get everyone to keep it that simple, we would not have to respond to …
    T. R. Halvorson at Dec 03 2016 11:35 am

The Will in Conversion: Protestant Rationalism versus Lutheran Adherence to Scripture
It seems to me to be simple. Salvation is entirely God’s doing. Damnation is entirely the individual’s doing. Anything in between is a danger zone. After all, is thinking 95% God and 5% me okay? Then why not 95% me and 5% God? Where is the line that goes from heterodoxy to heresy? Just teach God does it all in aalvation and damnation is entirely man’s work. Scriptural and …
    Roger Kaeding at Dec 03 2016 10:38 am

The Will in Conversion: Protestant Rationalism versus Lutheran Adherence to Scripture
@Ken Miller #6

Thank you for your kind words.

What you said about confusion is true of many people I know. That confusion is probably what usually accounts for the discrepancy between what some people confess and what they actually are trusting in. What is actually happening with them is …
    T. R. Halvorson at Dec 02 2016 11:02 pm

The Will in Conversion: Protestant Rationalism versus Lutheran Adherence to Scripture
@T. R. Halvorson #5

I really liked your article. The graphics are great and easy to follow. I’m not quite as fond, however, about your response to Carl…

I think both Calvinist and Arminian Christians are trusting in Christ for their salvation. They’re confused about the details of how that happens, but I …
    Ken Miller at Dec 02 2016 05:36 pm

The Will in Conversion: Protestant Rationalism versus Lutheran Adherence to Scripture
@Carl H #1

Hi Carl,

Thank you for the question.

You asked what is meant by “grievous error” in the last paragraph. Examples are in that paragraph itself.

The paragraph says:

“Man is not to credit for salvation, and God is not to blame for damnation. We see this from Scripture, and this reading …
    T. R. Halvorson at Dec 02 2016 12:51 pm

A Simple Map of Conversion Terminology
@Jim S. #11

Feel free to print it or use it in any way you deem …
    T. R. Halvorson at Dec 02 2016 12:34 pm

A Simple Map of Conversion Terminology
Excellent way to present complex theological concepts! I often struggle to get this across to my people, and this kind of “more visual, less auditory” approach is a big …
    Jim S. at Dec 02 2016 12:21 pm

The Will in Conversion: Protestant Rationalism versus Lutheran Adherence to Scripture
@Carl H #1

“Of course, personal salvation is not merely a matter of external membership in or association with any church organization or denomination (including the LCMS), but comes through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

All those who confess Jesus Christ as Savior are recognized as “Christians” by the …
    John Rixe at Dec 02 2016 12:02 pm

The Will in Conversion: Protestant Rationalism versus Lutheran Adherence to Scripture
@Carl H #1

You are kinda proving the point of this article to conclude from your reasoning that “my Calvinist friends are not going to Heaven”.
You are implying; “If God is pleased to keep his people in the truth, therefore, those who are deceived into grievous error will be condemned to …
    Mark at Dec 02 2016 11:26 am

The Will in Conversion: Protestant Rationalism versus Lutheran Adherence to Scripture
@Carl H #1

Kinda punting on first down, aren’t …
    Rev. William Ringer at Dec 02 2016 10:49 am

The Will in Conversion: Protestant Rationalism versus Lutheran Adherence to Scripture
What is meant at the end by “grievous error”?
Are my Calvinist friends not going to …
    Carl H at Dec 02 2016 09:30 am

Reformers Are Not Radicals
Initially Luther used the folk melody associated with his first stanza as the tune for this hymn. Later he composed this new tune for his text. VOM HIMMEL HOCH was first published in Valentin Schumann’s Geistliche Lieder in 1539. Johann S. Bach (PHH 7) used Luther’s melody in three places in his well-known and loved Christmas …
    Steve Brummett at Dec 02 2016 07:17 am

A Simple Map of Conversion Terminology
@Jeff Arnold #8

That is so true, and it would behoove more of us to view various question from the perspective of the …
    T. R. Halvorson at Dec 02 2016 12:16 am

“The Mountain of the House of the Lord” (Sermon on Isaiah 2:1-5, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)
Great sermon from a great Greek review professor! And great use of a baseball movie analogy. I love that Isaiah 2 reading. Not to be melodramatic, but it almost takes one’s breath away. Stunning, stunning passage. …
    Joel T Dieterichs at Dec 02 2016 12:12 am

A Simple Map of Conversion Terminology
@Jeff Arnold #8

Yes, I’ve heard the ‘so what?’ or ‘it doesn’t matter how people come to faith’ remarks too. However, the comfort/assurance that a Christian receives knowing that ‘I cannot by my own reason or strength believe on the Lord Jesus Christ or come to Him, but He has called me by the gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctifies, and keeps …
    Diane at Dec 01 2016 09:37 pm

A Simple Map of Conversion Terminology
The questions I deal with as regards this issue have to do with the “so what?” of synergism. A person confesses with their mouth that Jesus is Lord and believes with their whole heart that God raised Him from the dead. They may even be baptized. They are, therefore saved, even if they understand the workings of grace imperfectly. But here is where I found my answer to this question… At the death of my dearly departed uncle, who had no …
    Jeff Arnold at Dec 01 2016 06:53 pm

Who Is “Apt to Teach”?
@adam #19

Sunday school has only been around for around a hundred years, or even less in the LCMS which had its own school system. It probably falls under the head of household vocation, not …
    TimS at Dec 01 2016 06:11 pm

Reformers Are Not Radicals
Several online sources that appear to be authoritative convey this interesting factoid: The first stanza of “From Heaven Above to Earth I Come,” written by Luther, was based upon the refrain of a folk song, “From Distant Land I Come To You.” (http://www.hymnary.org/text/from_heaven_above_to_earth_i_come_to_bea)

The folk song — known as a “garland song” — had accompanied a mildly flirtatious game: “A young man would sing the refrain and …
    Carl H at Dec 01 2016 05:44 pm

Who Is “Apt to Teach”?
@Tim Givan #18

Actually Tim, that gets to the heart of my question but is not yet an answer.
It sounds as though you and I have a very similar theological self-education, so I can understand feeling knowledgable enough to give instruction. But who has certified that you or I do indeed have a sufficiently firm grasp on Christian Doctrine? Further, even if …
    adam at Dec 01 2016 04:19 pm

Reformers Are Not Radicals
“In these writings the first Lutherans made it clear that they did not intend to make a new church, but to reform the Christian church.” This is not a reformation, but a return to what is right and proper, i.e. a restoration. Reform means to alter the basic substance or function of a thing; restore means to return a thing to its’ initial and proper state. What I do not comprehend is when I go to our Synodical Cyclopedia and search …
    Dennis Peskey at Dec 01 2016 09:18 am

Justification Central to Lutheran Hymnody
The one time I “experimented” with the youth of my congregation, with their open-eyed agreement, and took a group to our district youth gathering, as I recall, this was the only thing approaching a “hymn” at the gathering “worship service”. In the context of the rest of the Pietistic, legalistic, feelings-oriented claptrap that made up that “service”, this “hymn” was laid bare to me. “I” am the primary actor in the entire hymn. I use it much …
    Rev. David Mueller at Nov 30 2016 01:50 pm

A Simple Map of Conversion Terminology
Mr. Halvorson: Thank you for a clear and unequivocal explanation of conversion. Although both Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox have held to a form of synergism, I see a slow movement on the part of Roman Catholics today toward monergism.
I am looking forward to your possibly expanding your explanation of synergism and monergism into the Christian life after conversion in the process of sanctification.
Monergism is a fundamental attribute …
    George A. Marquart at Nov 30 2016 09:52 am

A Simple Map of Conversion Terminology
@Carl H #3

Hi Carl,

Thanks for the question. Indeed, the Bereans were noble, and we should be more like them.

Much could be said on the question, but here are just a few things.

1. We need to be careful how we use historical or biographical material to form doctrinal conclusions. We should interpret historial and biographical happenings in …
    T. R. Halvorson at Nov 30 2016 08:50 am

A Simple Map of Conversion Terminology
One of the best articles I have ever seen from a Lutheran theologian. Thank you for using graphics and diagrams to bring the point to life, rather than droning on for 20 academic pages to impress other …
    Eric Hiller at Nov 30 2016 07:55 am

A Simple Map of Conversion Terminology
@Carl H #3

Passive is exactly the correct word to use particularly in regards to infant baptism when the baby is converted from a child of Satan to a child of God. In fact, infant baptism is a wonderful example of how God works faith in a person’s heart. No altar call, no decision, no accepting Jesus into the heart, etc., just God’s Word and simple …
    Diane at Nov 30 2016 06:44 am

A Simple Map of Conversion Terminology
James 1:17-18 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above…. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth….”

But describing conversion in terms of being “passive” gives the impression that conversion is a mindless experience. Rather, responsible adults will use their God-given minds to test a message (truth claim) before they accept it. Wouldn’t it be accurate to say that they are “active” in that sense, but that …
    Carl H at Nov 30 2016 04:10 am

Who Is “Apt to Teach”?
To TimS #17. Thank you for the link to the Small Groups Paper. I had not seen this paper. Gives me much to think about and will show it to my pastor.

Question: In Ephesians 4:11, is the office of teacher and the office of shepherd one office? Or is it a separate office? I could read the English either way. I think there could be an appropriate place for the office of teacher in the church but they have to be under the authority of the …
    Tim Givan at Nov 29 2016 09:25 pm

The Wise and Foolish Virgins — Sermon by Pastor Rolf Preus
Verses eleven and twelve describe what happens to those with dry …
    Rolf Preus at Nov 29 2016 03:11 pm