Imagine My Surprise

I am a post-Evangelical adult convert to confessional Lutheranism, something I’m content to wear on my sleeve.  My journey out of Evangelicalism was a long, difficult road of seeking to make sense of some tough situations in life.  I resonate very … Continue reading

Law & Gospel Does Not Make Reformed & Evangelical Churches Orthodox

Confessional Lutherans were tantalized by the idea of other denominations adopting Law/Gospel language in the expectation that it might lay a bridge across the Missouri. There were high hopes for former Presbyterian pastor Tullian Tchividjian to be the celebrity convert whose high … Continue reading

Fundagelical Newness of Life

When I go out of town I love to read the newspaper, particularly when I’m in a small, isolated, rural community. You get a feel for the local culture. For example, when I worked for the Desplaines Valley News in … Continue reading

Baptismal Regeneration: A False Gospel?

I am consistently amazed at the visceral reaction of those who deny the efficacy of Baptism to any talk about how Baptism is efficacious. One person wrote a long response to my article, “Three Examples of How Lutherans DenyJustification by … Continue reading

Living Catechisms

Despite all of the emphasis Scripture puts on life together, it’s really common for Christians to see faith individualistically. Of course you can’t believe for anyone else, but it’s easy to overlook the impact your faith (or lack thereof) has … Continue reading

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

This blog article, “How Lutherans Implicitly Deny Faith Alone in Christ Alone,” showed up in my Facebook news feed a couple days ago. I usually allow things like this to drift past without a second glance. This one, however, I … Continue reading

FiveTwo: Movements and Gifts

One of the problems with FiveTwo is that it is a movement. The thing about movements is that they move (or at least try to move). They change things already instituted. For example, Christ instituted the office of public ministry. … Continue reading

Which Part of “From the Devil” don’t you understand?

“Therefore we ought and must constantly maintain this point, that God does not wish to deal with us otherwise than through the spoken Word and the Sacraments. It is the devil himself whatsoever is extolled as Spirit without the Word … Continue reading

A Theological Reflection on the Winter Olympics

I find that watching the Winter Olympics is mostly unsatisfying, but not simply because I should be doing more productive things. Maybe it doesn’t actually break down this way, but it seems that more than half of the competitions in … 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

Last Sunday of the Church Year: Wake Awake, for Night is Flying (St. Matthew 25:1-13)

The Bridegroom soon will call us, “Come to the wedding feast.” May slumber not befall us nor watchfulness decrease (LSB 514, st. 1). Ten virgins went out to meet the bridegroom, but only five got in to His wedding feast. The … Continue reading

Sheep Food

It goes without saying that major festivals (e.g., Christmas and Easter) are important for the life of the Church.  The Church year is ordered around the life of Christ, drawing us into the story of salvation.  Instead of ordering our … Continue reading

Psalm 33 on Worship and the Word of Yahweh

Psalm 33, verses 1—11 The Seventh Sunday after Trinity 1 Shout for joy to Yahweh, O righteous ones, praise is fitting for the upright! 2 Praise Yahweh with the lyre, with a harp of ten strings make music to Him! … Continue reading

If You Dismiss The Sacraments, You Lose Lutheranism!

Early on in my ministry I downplayed the sacraments of baptism and communion. I believed the church growth ideologies that said the sacraments were stumbling blocks to the growth of the church and that if I wanted to be a … Continue reading

Keeping the Two-Edged Sword Sharp

The author of Hebrews says, “The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword,” (Hebrews 4:12).  A sharp sword is a powerful and dangerous weapon.  It’s something that must be handled with care, lest it … Continue reading

Steadfast Office – Is AC V Alive?

Associate Editor’s Note:  Please remember Pastor Wurst, his congregation and the whole community of Duluth, MN in your prayers as they have been recently struck with horrible flooding. Is AC V Still Alive? In my post on the Steadfast Office … Continue reading

Steadfast Office – The Divine Call

So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive … Continue reading