Relevant Worship: The Story of Your Life

In the worship wars, one of the alleged reasons for abandoning the historic liturgy is to make worship relevant. We want application of the Gospel in ways that connect with people. Dear friends, the historic liturgy is like a many-layered … Continue reading

Monergism of Grace and the Lord’s Supper

Monergism of Grace and the Lord’s Supper Rev. John A. Frahm III In our context “monergism” means the “sole working” of Christ in giving His gifts and fulfilling the promises of His institution of the Lord’s Supper of His body and … 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

Pastor, Can We Sing Patriotic Songs in Church?

A friend of mine recently had a parishioner ask him if they could sing patriotic songs in the Divine Service this Fourth of July weekend. Of course he said no, like the good and faithful pastor he is. But the … Continue reading

An Arch to Engage Young Children in the Divine Service

We can use Arch Books coordinated with the Lectionary to engage young children in the Divine Service. We can reap other significant benefits at the same time. We have a problem with young children in the service. They are a … Continue reading

Why You Should Think of Your Pastor as a Priest

In keeping with the theology of the Old Testament, some Christian churches (including many Lutheran ones)[i] have retained the custom of referring to clergy as “priests.” Now it is not my purpose to argue for a return to this terminology or … Continue reading

Antichrist in America Again

“…it is manifest that the Roman pontiffs andtheir adherents defend godless doctrines and godless forms of worship, and it is plain that the marks of the Antichrist coincide with those of the pope’s kingdom and his followers. For in describing the … Continue reading

You Aren’t a Christian if…

…you despise preaching and the Sacrament. In other words, Christians go to church. Those who leave the fellowship of the Church are not Christians (1 John 1:29). Sometimes physical disabilities prevent people from making it to church. In those cases, … Continue reading

unLutheran Worship

If you were to visit 5 different LCMS congregations, there’s a good chance you’d witness 5 very different approaches to worship. Hopefully you would come across at least one Divine Service, but you would almost certainly come across blended services, contemporary services, postmodern multi-media … Continue reading

A Circuit Meeting Taught Me Again the Importance of the Liturgy

  Before our circuit meetings, the pastors come together for the Divine Service.  In a recent meeting, a retired pastor was the preacher.  He wore a sports jacket and tie.  He did not preach from the pulpit. He prefaced the … Continue reading

Why the Praise Band & I Are Never, Ever, Ever Getting Back Together

Please note: This post is a response to Pastor Kent Reeders’ response to my post, “Why I Quit the Praise Band.” If you haven’t read those two articles already, please do so as it will provide you with the necessary context … Continue reading

Why I Quit the Praise Band

Quitting the praise band wasn’t easy for me. Nor did I just play in the praise band— I started it. It was my baby. I was a guitar performance major in college, and as providence would have it, my (LCMS) … Continue reading

Why Christians Make the Sign of the Holy Cross (and a word on genuflection)

In The Small Catechism, Martin Luther encouraged Christians to retain the practice of making the sign of the cross. The Missouri Synod, following Luther’s advice, has encouraged Christians to continue making the sign of the cross, notably at a number of places during … Continue reading

Liturgy: Do We Really Want to Go to Heaven?

In 1964, my oldest brother, David, participated in the Sixth National Jamboree of the Boy Scouts of America at Valley Forge. The rest of the family, on our way to the New York World’s Fair, visited him. For a whole … Continue reading

Is Manipulation Ever Loving?

When thinking back about evangelistic efforts from my past, I must admit that manipulation was a welcomed friend. It wasn’t broadcast as such, but instead rationalized under the guise that “the ends always justify the means” when salvation is on … 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

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

A Belated Reflection on Projection Screens in the Liturgical Context

The use of projection screens in place of printed books or bulletins in the Divine Service has become quite prevalent in some parts of North American Lutheranism.   With this said, I am not aware of any major study that has … Continue reading

The Vocation of Music in the Divine Service

We Lutherans, who are heirs of Johann Sebastian Bach and so many other great composers of sacred music, certainly understand that various instruments can be used faithfully in the liturgical context to God’s glory.   But what are some important considerations … Continue reading