We at BJS have created a new column where we hope to review at least one program from Issues, Etc. each week. Our hope in doing this is to help people to understand what types of programs are available on Issues, Etc. and perhaps to generate interest in the show by new listeners. We also hope to make it easier for you to introduce Issues, Etc. to friends or members of your church; you can print these out and hand them to people who might be interested in the topic. Listen to the show to learn more about this topic, or go to the On Demand page on Issues Etc for other programs.
One of my favorite features on Issues, Etc. is the Pastors Roundtable. There is nothing better than a room full of confessional pastors talking about confessional things – ok add a few confessional laymen and some beer and you have a truly great thing – but that is another matter.
This installment of Issues’ Pastors Roundtable finds our intrepid host Pastor Wilken leading the table talk through an investigation of The Church, in light of the Augsburg Confession, in particular Articles VII & VIII. Rev. Weedon, Rev. Hemmer, and Rev. Nuckols all make excellent contributions to the discussion, basing their arguments in one of the seminal writings of the Lutheran Confessions.
Pastor Wilken says, “With books filling the shelves of many pastors, of Christian bookstores purporting to tell you what the church is, what the church can be, what the church used to be and isn’t anymore, we have phrases floating around like “this isn’t your grandfathers church”…but what is that thing that isn’t grandfathers church anymore?” Where are God’s people? Where is the Church? The Church is the congregation of saints of all believers. Find that and you find the Church. Thus starts a great discussion on this topic. How do you know there are saints in your church? What is the unity of the Church? Will reorganizing the church bring unity?
Maintenance ministry is often a derogatory term given to congregations that focus on proclaiming the Word and administering the sacraments – should it be? Doesn’t the church need to be doing something more than just being the Church? How should things called out as adiaphora in the Confessions be dealt with? In view here is how we practice the mass, and the Confessions clearly call out that we can do things differently. How should we approach applying this to alternative forms of services? Does it mean that anything goes? What do the reformers have to say about this?
When does the Church cease to be present? You might have the trappings of a church – the building, sermon, music, etc. – but when you distill church down to its essence, what should be present? What members of a congregation are members of the true Church? Who is a member of The Congregation of saints and true believers? How does the faithfulness and/or effectiveness of your pastor affect the church?
Bringing history, recent events, the Bible and Confessions together, this program will provide simple and clear answers to these questions. I don’t want to ruin the ending so to speak, thus I will leave it to you to give a listen to a great installment from one of the best radio shows on the planet, one that happens to keep Christ at the center and remain focused on the cross.