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

Lutheran Church or 7-Eleven? A Sermon for the Twelfth Sunday after Trinity

In today’s Holy Gospel (Mark 7:31-37), our Lord shows us how profoundly our hearing affects us. Before he’d heard God’s Word, the man in our text was deaf and had trouble speaking. But then he heard God’s Word and his … Continue reading

Conversion and Repentance

I was recently asked this most reasonable and logical question regarding our “decision” to become a Christian, in the comments section of a previous essay (In Response to Hans Bischof Regarding Decision Theology and Silly Arguments): Don’t we decide to … Continue reading

Preaching, God’s Laxative for Your Heart

Before next Sunday, we will once again celebrate that most significant of events in human history, the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the wonderful proclamation that for your sake, God came down from heaven, was incarnate by … Continue reading

The Gospel According to Elsa

Jesus never said, “Let go and let God”, He said, “Repent and believe in the Gospel.” There’s a big difference. Both “let go and let God” and “repent and believe” acknowledge that we have trouble, but they locate the source … Continue reading

Three Examples of How Lutherans Deny Justification by Faith Alone: A Response – Part Two of Two

This is the second part of my response to the blog article, “How Lutherans Implicitly Deny Faith Alone in Christ Alone.” Three Examples of How Lutherans Deny Justification by Faith Alone: A Response – Part Two of Two 3) Loss … Continue reading

The Intolerance of the “Tolerant”

Christians are often accused of hypocrisy and intolerance. As sinners, we routinely fail to practice what we preach. However, hypocrisy is not synonymous with moral failure, Merriam-Webster notwithstanding. Hypocrisy is claiming to hold beliefs that you don’t actually hold. Samuel Johnson was right: … Continue reading

Tolerance: Narcissism in Disguise

We live in a highly individualistic age, an age which fancies itself tolerant. The sad description of Israel under the Judges could equally well be said about our selfish generation. In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone … Continue reading

The Most Dangerous Situation You’ll Ever Encounter: A Sermon for Wednesday of Judica on Psalm 130

Click here for a free, downloadable Bible study of Psalm 130 from Around the Word. Out | of the depths*      I cry to you, | O LORD! O Lord, | hear my voice!*      Let your ears be attentive … Continue reading

False Christs and Wrong Answers: A Sermon for the Confession of St. Peter on St. Mark 8:27-35

From the very beginning of St. Mark’s Gospel, things hadn’t been going particularly well for our Lord. In chapter 1 He’s tempted by Satan, opposed by demons, and disobeyed by even those He had healed. In chapter 2, the scribes … Continue reading

Jesus Visited Doc Martin’s Surgery

In the British television show, Doc Martin, the newly arrived doctor in a small village is annoyed by villagers using the waiting room of his surgery as a social club. They assemble without having medical complaints. Doc Martin rudely tells … Continue reading

A New Era in American Evangelicalism?

The lead article in the December 2013 issue of Christianity Today (hereafter CT) was about the Colorado Springs megachurch called New Life and the years that have followed the scandal surrounding its founding pastor, the Rev. Ted Haggard (see Patton … Continue reading

Dialogueolatry

Dialogue is not the infallible cure-all that we often make it out to be. There comes a point when we simply need to call a spade a spade, to call sin to repentance. To have dialogue after endless dialogue is … Continue reading

Burned Alive: A Sermon for Populus Zion (Malachi 4:1-6)

Virgil Solis (1514-1562), “Malachi” Malachi speaks to the people about the return of Elijah. In the background, John the Baptist points to Jesus. A burn is a bodily injury resulting from exposure to heat, caustics, electricity or certain radiations. Burns result in varying … Continue reading

The Two Natures of the Divine Call

The Church stands or falls on the article of justification. Ask any Lutheran about justification and it won’t be long before you’re hearing about salvation by grace through faith. But follow that question up with, “And from whence does this … Continue reading

Thanksgiving Day- Jesus is Not Ashamed of You (Romans 1:16)

  Thank God for the Gospel! As we celebrate this day of Thanksgiving, it is meet, right, and salutary to give thanks to God for the Gospel. You’re probably thinking, Of course! I know that, preacher! Let’s get on with … Continue reading