A Long Distance Confessions-Reader to Inspire Others

I have had several thrills during the seven year history of our local Confessions Reading Group but last night may have been the greatest thus far. On Monday I had a phone message from John in Bensonville, Illinois a Chicago suburb about 30 minutes northeast of the suburban church I serve, Bethany, Naperville. He had read about our Confessions Reading Group here on the website  (see the Confessional Growth page)  and was asking permission to come join us. Of course,  I encouraged him to come.  It was a thrill last night when John came to the group and studied the Lutheran Confessions with the rest of us.

John is one of the thousands of Issues, Etc. success stories  (peruse the signatures and you will see numerous stories like John’s story). He was formerly a member of Willow Creek Church (the premier example of the American Evangelical church that has sold out to relevance over reverence, and felt needs over doctrine). It is a story that we have heard time and time again. He started listening to Issues Etc. and now has become a confessional Lutheran. John is a member of Pastor Steve Cornwell’s Church in Hillside, Illinois where he gets superior pastoral care and oversight. He is free on Tuesday nights, saw the reference to our reading group on this website and decided to add our group to his routine of edification.

We had a smaller group of only six people last night. (The group averages between five and fifteen in attendance.) Included in the group was Rosemarie, the woman I first started reading the Confessions with seven years ago which eventually became our regular group and which is now blossoming into dozens of groups around the country.

Last night we continued our study of the Lutheran Manifesto (see the button on our home page beneath the Brother’s Cafe)  the which we have been using in our reading group and Bible studies for the last several weeks and have found that it is not only heightening our appreciation of the Augsburg Confession but is also taking us deeper into the contemporary issues that threaten our Scriptural confession of the faith.

It was great to meet you John. Welcome to our group. I hope your thirty minute drive each Tuesday night is motivation for others to check out our list and seek out a similar reading group near them. By the way, we have several new reading groups to add to the list. I hope to get to that later this week.

Pastor Rossow

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.


A Long Distance Confessions-Reader to Inspire Others — 1 Comment

  1. Pastor Rossow,

    Thank you for the kind words. I very much enjoyed the discussion last night. The gender issue is certainly a controversial one these days. I think we just began to scratch the surface of this volatile problem in the culture. Many are trying to make it a gender neutral culture with no specific roles for men and woman. This causes much confusion in many of the relationships we have to deal with on a regular basis. Because of the discussion I think I am beginning to get much more clarity on the issue. It all centers around the “order of creation” which we touched on briefly last night. I can’t wait to continue the discussion on Dec. 9th.

    I also read over the “Lutheran Manisfesto” this morning and am sorry I missed the earlier discussions. The manisfesto is a great tool to unify around. I hope it bears much fruit in the upcoming years.

    I was never a member of Willow Creek but I did go there on and off for a number of years. My journey to the reformation has been a long, slow and crooked one but I finally really feel at home with fellow Lutherans. I will not bore anyone with the gory details- thank God that the emphasis in my life centers on Christ and not myself these days. I have to thank the Lutherans and the Reformed for breaking me out of centering my life on “my progress” and “my walk.” Ultimately, the only thing that really matters is what Christ did for us in his life, death on the cross and resurrection from the dead. To God be all the glory- Sola Scriptura, Sola Gracia, Sola Fide, Sola Christos!!!

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