There is a study guide available to help individuals and groups (elders, church councils, confessions reading groups, Bible classes, etc.) work through Rev. Harrison’s popular paper titled “It’s Time.” Click here for the study guide.
Harrison’s paper is finding fans in all corners of the LCMS. I have met and heard about conservatives and liberals alike who see this paper as a breathe of fresh air from the LCMS bureaucracy. Frankly speaking, President Kieschnick does not strike one as a Lutheran in every fiber of his being. In his writing and speaking Lutheranism takes a back seat to methods and techniques, business strategies applied to the church, missions at all costs, etc. He seasons his talk with Lutheran terms but he has never come across to me as one who lives and breathes Lutheranism.
Rev. Harrison has been the director of human care in the LCMS for the last several years. As such he has directed the care that we members of the LCMS have provided for others in need, and seen to it that our gifts and talents have been put to use in places like the inner city, New Orleans, Africa, Europe and just about anywhere that you have heard of human need. People all around the synod are impressed with his administrative skills. We witnessed his impressive theological acumen when he presented the concluding address at last fall’s Walther conference.
There has been a lot of division in the synod since the election of President Kieschnick. We have lost our focus on our conservative approach to doctrine and culture. There is a lack of doctrinal supervision. President Kieschnick has not always handled controversial matters effectively.
Some are talking about Matt Harrison as a potential LCMS president someday. His work heading up the human care department of synod has shown good administrative skills and his paper “It’s Time” shows that he can handle the pen, Lutheran theology and is able to meld doctrine and practice together seamlessly. Take a look at his paper (it’s retrievable just below the Brother’s Cafe) and make use of this new study guide to lead you and your LCMS friends and fellow church members through this timely and important paper.
Pastor Tim Rossow
Bethany Lutheran Church, Naperville, Illinois