Introducing… The Church Growth Translation of the Bible!

Do you want to grow your congregation? It’s simple! Just follow these two easy steps. 1) Read the Bible. 2) Do the exact opposite. See! Easy peasy lemon squeezy. But don’t worry, if you’re so apathetic to the Bible that you won’t … Continue reading

Why the McDonald’s Bathroom Isn’t as Holy as the Divine Service

Prolegomena: This is the sixth and what will likely be the final chapter of the recent discussion on praise bands between Pr. Reeder and myself, as he has indicated that he will not be making any further response. For my part, … 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 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

Snatched, Scorched, & Strangled (or: High Fructose Hymns and Liturgical Saccharine): A Sermon for Sexagesima on St. Luke 8:4-15

There were two types of sowing in the ancient world. The first method, by far the most accurate, was to scatter the seeds by hand, placing them with an almost surgical precision in the most fertile soil. The other (less … Continue reading

Who Left Whom? CoWo Isn’t a Practice of Walking Together

One thing I don’t understand about this whole affair of CoWo at CUNE and in LC-MS congregations (please read this thread and the comments for some examples and context) is why those introducing this recent innovation into the LC-MS have … Continue reading

Adolescent Ecclesiology

In The Contemplative Pastor, Eugene Peterson makes the observation that  our culture is “unwell in a new way.”  In contrast to previous generations, where older generations passed their values and wisdom down to younger ones, it appears that in our … Continue reading

The Kyrie: Simple Words, Profound Comfort

(Luther, “The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector”) Sometimes the most simple and obvious things are also the most profound.  We often go to great lengths to find comfort, to improve our situation in life, to find peace.  … Continue reading

The Divine Service Can Be Like Going to Mars

Have you ever been to a foreign country where the language and customs of its people were utterly strange to you? Visiting some countries is nearly an extraterrestrial experience and interestingly enough, going to the divine service for the first … Continue reading

What Struggles Do Former Evangelicals Have With The Lutheran Liturgy?

The journey from American Evangelicalism into Confessional Lutheranism is a long, difficult, and sometimes scary road. The journey is neither something that just happens overnight, nor is it an easy shift. The shift has linguistic, emotional, worldview, and epistemological challenges … Continue reading

Does your worship prepare you for death?

I had the opportunity to hear an excellent presentation this afternoon from a neighboring pastor (Rev. Shawn Kumm of Zion, Laramie) on Lutheran worship.  One of the best points that he made was related to how worship is meant to … Continue reading

Higher Things — Top Ten Reason Why We Use the Liturgy

by The Rev. William Cwirla ((Found by a friend’s facebook posting on higherthings.org)) Why the Liturgy? First a definition and a disclaimer. By “liturgy” I mean the western catholic mass form as it has been handed down by way of … Continue reading

Blessed Easter – The Vigil from Chicago, by Pr. Rossow

Each year our parish (Bethany – Naperville, Illinois) marks the Easter Vigil. It is an abbreviated service, about an hour and a half, not the entire night in vigil. It starts with a procession from a bonfire outside the church and … Continue reading