This Must be the Season for Great Reader Comments – BJS Instrumental in a Reader Becoming Lutheran, by Pastor Rossow

I remember reading the original Issues, Etc. petition and being astonished at all of the folks who credited becoming Lutheran to Pastor Wilken and his radio show. We will never be in that league but yesterday we received another inspiring comment from a reader this time from someone in the Boston area attributing his conversion to Lutheransim to the Brothers of John the Steadfast. Here is what he said:

I have the same question about Boston. Any good confessional Lutheran churches in or around Boston? May sound corny but I think I may have actually become a Lutheran because of BJS.

One of our feature writers from a few weeks ago, Bethany Tanis, has steered him towards a confessional church in Boston.

In his follow-up he credits the entire LCMS confessional movement for his newfound love of the confessional Lutheran Gospel including Issues, Etc.

Thank you one and all for your responses and encouragement. New England (or at least Metrowest Boston) is generally Gospel-hostile and increasingly seeker-sensitive. We belong to a CRC church that has replaced the Gospel with Life Lessons. I had been following the White Horse Inn, heard Rod Rosenbladt speak about the Lutheran position on election, baptism, Lord’s Supper, etc. and was introduced to Issues, Etc. by way of an announcement on WHI over a year ago now that IE had mysteriously gone silent. Upon it’s return I began listening to every IE podcast. Reformed thinkers like Horton, Riddlebarger, and Sproul kept me engaged mentally. I’d listen to them and think, “that makes sense.” But, when IE covered a topic I’d think, “that’s true.” Now that’s perhaps an unreliable and decidedly non-technical assessment but to me there’s a difference and the difference is supported by both Scripture and Confession. Maybe I’ve trivialized something bigger than what I am equipped to express but BJS, the postings and articles, references to other like-minded blogs, the devotion by BJS to Lutheran essentials of worship and sacrament, and so on have all led me to re-asses what the Gospel means to me and to a fallen humanity. If I’m resting my hope for salvation from sin on something that makes sense or something that must be true, I’ll take Scripture and Creed pointing me to Christ and the Cross over reasoned explanations that satisfy my intellect. I’ve studied the Small Catechism, started reading the Book of Concord, subscribed to Logia, read Bondage of the Will (brilliantly written — how come I never knew about this?), scoured Romans and Galatians with a new perspective (a new perspective on the Cross, not on Paul) and am feeling at home. Now I need a church. Thanks for your encouragement.

(For the entire string of comments click here.)

As the reader says, thank you everyone. Keep up the good work everybody and God’s blessings to you as you remain steadfast in his word.

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.


This Must be the Season for Great Reader Comments – BJS Instrumental in a Reader Becoming Lutheran, by Pastor Rossow — 9 Comments

  1. 🙂 Te Deum Laudamus . . .

    . . . “We praise You, O God, . . .” (from Matins)

  2. I give thanks whenever God brings someone into the Lutheran faith.

    I’m wondering, though, how posts like this are any different than the Ablaze!(TM) “counter” and “conversion stories” posted with it?

  3. Anthony,

    The difference is that we do not set quotas. We do not say that we will spend $300,000 to raise $500,000 (or whatever the ratio is) so that we can get people excited and on fire about Jesus.

    We simply confess the truth of God’s word to those that like it and those that like it not and let God have His way with people rather than manipulating them, using bait and switch tecniques, focussing on leadership instead of preaching, etc.

    Now if you really want to see us using Ablaze techniques, go to the confessional growth page of this website and you will see our version of the counter/ticker. We are counting confessional reading groups. Sadly we are not as effective as the Ablaze movement but we will keep trying. 🙂


  4. The difference that I see is that on the Ablaze counter on the LCMS website. The people are telling what they did that they think may have brought someone to faith in God. The people on this post are telling how they were brought to faith hearing the Word on Issues Etc. and understanding the importance of confessional worship on BJS.

  5. The Ablaze! Counter! is part of a Marketing! Program! conceived by men as a way of generating Excitement! and Measurable Results! This post was not.

    On the other hand, I am a little uncomfortable with any sort of self-promotion. This isn’t, but it could be construed as a “how great we confessionals are.” We all keep in mind that it’s all about Jesus and what he has done, not about how great confessionals are.

    [WRT the White Horse Inn vs. IE, I’d say that I generally find WHI to be emotionally satisfying and occasionally find myself thinking “what planet did this come from?” when listening to IE. But I love them both. And Fighting for the Faith, although I often feel like I need a long, hot shower after listening to some of the FFtF clips].

  6. I’m trying to think of a clever comment that includes the words “critical” and “event” but I’ve got nothing.

  7. Dear Anonymous –

    How about this:

    Critical – Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.

    Event – He is Risen – and so will we who believe, teach and confess our risen Savior. Alleluia!

  8. Hey Peskey,

    I was just thinking of you yesterday. Hadn’t seen any comments from you lately. Glad to see you are alive and kicking.

    Great comment.


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