What’s So Special About the Reformation? Scripture Alone.

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series What's So Special About the Reformation?

This is the second article in a series published in the local newspapers of Clayton County, IA. Luther was brought before the Emperor, Charles V, at the Diet of Worms in 1521.  They told him to recant his writings about … Continue reading

What’s So Special About the Reformation? Introduction

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series What's So Special About the Reformation?

The following is the first of a series of articles written for the local papers in Clayton County, Iowa. This October 31st is the 500th anniversary of what is known as the Reformation. On this day, the eve of All … Continue reading

Luther’s Tower Experience — Pastor’s Class Notes, Reformation Sunday 2017, Pr Rolf Preus

Luther’s Tower Experience: Martin Luther Finds the Gospel St. John and Trinity Lutheran Churches Sunday, October 29, 2017 We date the Reformation back to October 31, 1517 when Martin Luther, an Augustinian friar and professor of theology, nailed the ninety … Continue reading

The Life of Christian Holy People

You have perhaps read or heard someone say that the life of a Christian looks exactly the same as the life of an unbeliever. Some even say that the life of pagans is often externally more righteous than that of … Continue reading

They Yet Have Nothing Won

Last year our congregation sent out and asked all the congregations in the Wyoming District of the LC-MS for any old copies of The Lutheran Hymnal (TLH) they had lying around unused. I was killing too many trees by inserting … Continue reading

The Second Table of the Law and Sanctification by Martin Luther

Beyond these seven chief ways of Christian sanctification there are also additional external marks by which the holy Christian church is recognized. Put another way: The Holy Spirit sanctifies us also according to the Second Table of the Law. The … Continue reading

The Scandalous Source of Christian Joy

Paul calls the message of the Christian Gospel a skandalon. And yet it is this very message, carried to the Christian by way of the narrative that is to be preached. Why? Because it informs the joy of the believers. … Continue reading

“Born a Priest, Made a Pastor” (Sermon on Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-16, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“Born a Priest, Made a Pastor” (Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-16) Circuit Pastors’ Conference, November 10, 2015 Today is Martin Luther’s birthday. He’s 532 today, although I’d say he doesn’t look a day over 490. Yes, it was on this day, November … Continue reading

Learning to Pray from the Imprecatory Psalms

    We can learn a lot from the imprecatory psalms. These are the psalms that speak godly judgment on the ungodliness of the world. And they are good for us to pray, because they teach us both to decry … Continue reading

Martin Luther and the Enthusiasts-Part III

This third post on this topic will focus on Dr. Luther’s response to the Enthusiasts and how this response shaped the Lutheran Confessions. Martin Luther responded initially to both men’s teachings with letters.  In July 1524 he published an open … Continue reading

Martin Luther and the Enthusiasts-Part II

In this second post on this topic we will examine the basic teachings of Andreas Karlstadt and Thomas Müntzer in the early 1520s (part 1 can be found here).  Both men challenged Luther’s teachings on the Word and Sacraments. These … Continue reading

Inviting Tullian Tchividjian Gave the Wrong Impression

In a recent article highlighting examples of how LCMS institutions sow confusion among members, the comments overwhelmingly concerned Tullian Tchividjian’s recent address at Concordia Seminary St. Louis (CSL). The comments were quite balanced in favor of and against Tchividjian’s appearance … Continue reading

“A Mighty Fortress is Our God” — Sermon for Reformation Sunday

Reverend Christopher I. Thoma + Text and Theme: Lutheran Service Book, Hymn 656, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” (The Preaching of the Gospel for this feast takes a different form than what is our usual practice. The intention is to … Continue reading

The Godly Kind of Mercy Killing

There’s a ungodly type of mercy killing that receives a great deal of sympathy, if not support, in our world today. Consider the Terri Schaivo case that lasted from 1990—2005. Terri had been diagnosed by her doctors as being in … Continue reading

Making Disciples In America And Africa

Last weekend I had the opportunity to speak at the ‘Making Disciples Conference’ in Fairview Heights, IL.  This was one of the conferences sponsored by Brothers of John the Steadfast.  At the conference both Rev. James May and I spoke … Continue reading

Sasse, Harrison, and Inerrancy

It has been a long time since I have been so thoroughly edified, educated, and stimulated by one book.  I am talking about Hermann Sasse’s Letters to Lutheran Pastors, Volume 1, 1948-1951 (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2013) (available here in … Continue reading

Ad Te Levavi- Homeless Jesus (St. Matthew 21:1-9)

Behold, your king is coming to you, humble and mounted on a donkey (Matt 21:5). A donkey—it just doesn’t seem a fitting chariot for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And not only was he sitting on a lowly … Continue reading

Luther’s Small Catechism Part 2 The First Commandment

Our BJS Catechism Series continues with Part 2, the First Commandment. Watch for these and share it with your friends, you will not be disappointed. And as the summer goes by, keep coming back for more installments. For those pastors … Continue reading

The Small Catechism Snippets on YouTube – a New BJS Project

Great news to our readers (and watchers!).  Some of our authors here at BJS are working diligently on what we are calling “The Brothers of John the Steadfast Catechism Series”, which are 2-5 minute video segment summaries of the Small … 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

Listen to Luther, Melancthon, and Chemnitz on your mp3 player for free!

On my way to the 2013 BJS Conference I had some time to listen to stuff on my cheap mp3 player while I sat in the airport and flew on the planes.  So since I was working on catechizing my … Continue reading

Luther on Idolatry in the Appendix to the First Commandment

We all know the First Commandment, “You shall have no other gods” (or more literally, You shall have no other gods before My face). Although we don’t recite these words when listing the Commandments in the Small Catechism, Moses records … Continue reading

Luther vs. Erasmus on Scripture — Round 2

Erasmus, over and against Luther’s understanding concerning the authority of Sacred Scripture, places great importance on the interpretation of the church fathers concerning the Holy Scriptures.  Before Erasmus begins his discussion on the inspiration of the Holy Spirit upon Scripture, … Continue reading

Excellent resource on sale – one of the keys to understanding our Life Together debates

Luther’s work “On Christian Freedom” was required reading at seminary.  It provided a great way to understand the freedom we have in Christ (by faith) and also the bonds we have to one another (by love).  This is as I … Continue reading

Look down on or Despise: Luther on the extent of the law

1st Timothy 4:12 says, ” Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” The Greek word, kataphroneito, means to despise or look down on. … Continue reading