Join the Growing Group of LutheranWiktionary Contributors

So far we have had over a half dozen folks contribute definitions for our new LutheranWiktionary. Don’t be timid. Join in the fun. We have pastors who are reviewing the entries and editing where as necessary so you need not worry about getting something wrong. Take a theological topic you know a little something about, do some research and offer up a definition. For sure, if you see a word or phrase used on this site send us an e-mail and we will put it in the hopper and have one our editors write up a definition.

We can also use editors. If you are a well versed laymen or a pastor we would like you to join our editorial team. Just send us an e-mail.

Here are some of the latest entries that have gone into the LutheranWiktionary:

If you wish to make suggested changes to any of these or the other definitions please click here and give us your suggested changes  and our editors will take then under consideration.  This is a group project and so we invite all of our readers to participate as we share our collected knowledge with one another.

The LutheranWiktionary is accessible from the button below the Brother’s Cafe on the right hand side of the home page.

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.


Join the Growing Group of LutheranWiktionary Contributors — 8 Comments

  1. This is a great idea Pastor Rossow. No wonder you have such a big Church. I will be busy for a couple days but plan on picking some subject to add to the list.

  2. I have a question about the differences between Lutherans and Calvinists in regards to the Lord’s Supper. This is a major difference that I know seperates the two groups. In answering a question about how the elements of the Lord’s Supper are “the communion of the body and blood of Christ,” Heidelberg catechism question 79 answers that Christ’s crucified body and shed blood are the true meat and drink of our souls. They are not so metaphorically but actually. “We are as really partakers of His true body and blood by the working of the Holy Spirit, as we receive by the mouth of the body these holy tokens in remembrance of Him.” Believers “really” eat his “true body and blood” only by the working of the Spirit.

    Belgic Confession 35 likewise says that, in the Supper, believers eat and drink the “proper and natural body, and the proper blood of Christ.” Despite the fact that the “operations of the Holy Spirit are hidden and incomprehensible,” nevertheless, our communion or partaking is “by the Spirit through faith.”

    Please explain to me how this differs from the Lutheran belief. It seems to me that Lutherans and the Reformed have much in common. We are outnumbered by the Arminians and Revivalists and those who go to the big growth and emerging Churches in the area. Would it not be better if we could dialog a bit more witht he Reformed to try to come to some kind of concensus about our differences? Would this not strengthen our voice against those who are our antagonists within the Church? Perhaps not, but it is a question that kind of bothers me.

  3. The key word is “BELIEVERS”. We believe teach and confess that anyone coming to the altar recieves the true body and blood of the Lord, not dependent on the faith or belief of the person.

  4. Well, does that really make any difference except for the fact that those who partake in unbelief bring condemnation upon themselves. This is the main reason for closed communion is it not? We have closed communion out of charity towards those who really do not believe in Christ’s substitutionary death for our sins.

    It seems to me that the Reformed do not address that issue- I am assuming they practice closed communion too but for other reasons perhaps. I know Luther would say you cannot appeal to reason in regards to the Gospel and the sacraments but simply believe what the scriptures say on the matter. Perhaps this gets closer to the differences between us and the Reformed- they allow for some use of reason in determining their confession of faith.

  5. Well, does that really make any difference except for the fact that those who partake in unbelief bring condemnation upon themselves.

    Yes, a big difference. It is the difference between whether the Body and Blood of Christ are objectively present or not, which also involves the ‘how’ of Christ’s presence. The Bible (and, thus, Lutherans) teaches that Christ, through His words, makes His Body and Blood present whether or not any individual receiving believes, but the Reformed teach that MAN makes Christ appear or disappear by means of his faith–or, rather, that the believer reaches up and apprehends Christ ‘somehow’ along with, but not “in, with, and under,” the bread and wine. (Thus, it is akin to those who later defected from Calvinism, the followers of Arminius, who would have us push God’s buttons to save us by means of our deciding for Jesus, etc.)

    Reading Calvin and trying to make him fit with our teaching is something that neither plays honestly with Calvin nor with the Confessions and the Bible.


  6. I am not trying to make him fit- I am just trying to understand the differences. It does seem that the Reformed try to add words and phrases which are different than the words and phrases the Lutherans use. For example, the Lutherans do not seem to need to insert the phrases “working of the Holy Spirit” or “the operations of the spirit are hidden and incomprehensible.” The Lutherans never use the word “remembrance” either in reference to the supper.

    The only thing that I am trying to do is determine who has a more biblical approach to the issue. And who is right and who is wrong. And then to determine what kind of implications and errors it can lead to in other areas of the Christian life.

    Also, it seems you are saying that Calvin is opening the door to a will that has to cooperate with God in order for the Supper to be effectual. Or, that faith is something we can somehow turn on or off by our wills. Perhaps this is beyond the scope of a blog like this and I am sure I can probably find material to read more deeply on the subject.

    It also seems to me that there is still a lot of misunderstanding between the Calvinists and Lutherans and some do not represent their positions accurately when trying to explain the issue.

  7. Also, it seems you are saying that Calvin is opening the door to a will that has to cooperate with God in order for the Supper to be effectual.

    I’m glad it seems that way to you, because that is exactly what I am saying. Or, we;;, I would say “efficacious,” rather than “effectual,” but other than that, yes.

    I am sorry for the implication contained in my “trying,” which was, in my mind, not directed towards you in particular; it came across that way, and I shouldn’t have written it in such a fashion.

    WRT the place of the Holy Spirit in the Lord’s Supper, the Calvinists, since they don’t believe that it is the very Body and Blood of Christ objectively, but only that the believer receives Christ somehow in connection with the ‘Sacrament’, consider that it is by the Holy Spirit that the believer grabs Christ in Heaven, whereas Lutherans simply rely on you to connect “all hearts to believe” in the Small Catechism with the explanation of the Third Article of the Creed, where we find that such faith is the result of the Spirit’s work. Thus, the Holy Spirit is at work; He calls through the Gospel, here, the Gospel in visible form, the connection of the Word and the elements.

    I hope this helps in your quest,


  8. Thanks Rev. Stefanski- I appreciate your comments. I always tell everyone on the sites I blog on to correct me if I am in error in anyway. This does not offend me at all- in fact, I wish more people would not be afraid to do so. I may come back and try to defend my position if I do not think you are understanding what I am saying but I try to do it in a respectful manner. Unless, of course, someone really angers me and I have to resort to other more nasty means of communication. I know this is what Luther did on occasion and perhaps should not have done so in some cases. I try to take into consideration that we are still fallen human beings and prone to error and often resort to less than gracious ways of communicating with each other.

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