Rev. Fisk on the Book of Concord

Rev. Fisk again hits a homerun with a video talking about his experience finding the Book of Concord, starting with seeing his future wife’s copy of it that she purchased because she took one class that required it. His first reaction was anger — why would a church need a book other than the bible as its confession? He also makes the point that in his Confessions 1 and 2 class in his first year of Sem he didn’t even open the book — with 400 pages to read, what are the students going to read — what the prof talks about of course!

A few links that he points out:

Dare to Read the Book of Concord

And be sure to check out:
www.bookofconcord.org
Daily Reading by email or twitter

And one more:
BoC Study Group on the Wittenberg Trail

 

 

Head on over to Rev Fisk’s videos for more great New Media!

About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord, LCMSsermons.com, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

More of his work can be found at KNFA.net.

Comments

Rev. Fisk on the Book of Concord — 28 Comments

  1. FWIW, some of us actually did the assigned BoC… though I blame trying to cram the historical context along with covering the entirety of the BoC as well as discussing confessional subscription into 20 weeks (60 hours of classtime).

  2. I’ve read the entire Book of Concord and I never attended seminary. If you are going to subscribe to something as the true exposition of Scripture, then reading and understanding it is integral.

    Perhaps, reading and understanding major parts of the Book of Concord should be part of prerequisites.

    I would also argue that a solid foundation in the languages (Hebrew, Greek, Latin, German) and late medieval and Reformation history would argue for pre-seminary programs.

  3. I also read through the Book of Concord when I took Confessions I and II at St. Louis. I regret to see that Rev. Fisk graduated from there in 2006, so things must have changed. I hope this apparent deficiency in their curriculum can be rectified.

    I was however careful to avoid one professor for Dogmatics who was famous for his penchant for endlessly discoursing about a certain non-Lutheran theologian he had written his doctorate on instead of the course content, so maybe that’s the kind of thing that happened here.

    I also agree with the need for pre-seminary studies, because I was blessed to have already read the BOC through during college. Two friends of mine who attended there only to play sports converted to LCMS and became pastors because of those required BOC readings.

  4. Yeah…I did “open it.” However, it was only to read the portions I had to “team teach.” It was a hoop in a syllabus. Sadly, taking the time to study the texts was not the focus of the coursework. And I did not read any of the rest of it because there was other reading that was going to be discussed, such as Grane’s commentary on the AC, etc.

    The purpose of the class was more on historic context and the meaning of confessional subscription. Kind’a ironic: “this class is about how you need to subscribe to the words in this book unconditionally. Hopefully you’ll read it in your own time.” 😉

    FWIW, I’m not trying to bash my alma mater. I’m trying to encourage them to think about where their students really are. As an ignorant whelp, I didn’t need a commentary on the AC. I needed the AC!

  5. I am sorry that you had that experience. I graduated in 2005 from St. Louis and read the Book of Concord along with Pieper’s dogmatics as the primary text’s both years. To be honest, I don’t even remember the other books except maybe “Confessing the Faith” by Dr. Kolb. It could be a difference in the professors as well.

    I actually have my High School students read portions of the Book of Concord (well I reprint portions of it since I don’t have copies for all 25 of them at a time…) and we discuss it together. It is a great tool that even High School students can understand and creates great discussion.

  6. At the time I attended Concordia University Irvine, pre-sem and church work students are expected to take the Lutheran Confessions class. The primary text? The Book of Concord. We took our Tapperts, get out the highlighters and marked all over it.

    I hope they still do that. Any Irvine students here?

  7. I took the Book of Concord as an undergraduate.
    I figured, if I was going to a Lutheran college, take advantage of it!
    My text, a little worse for years and wear, is the English portion of the Triglotta.

  8. Norm,
    Saw this video on Father Hollywood’s blog already. 🙂
    It’s just as TOTALLY AWESOME there as it is here.

    Hey, BTW, when will the BJS crew start posting those BOC quizes again??? Hmmm?
    No pressure though.

  9. RevMill :I am sorry that you had that experience. I graduated in 2005 from St. Louis and read the Book of Concord along with Pieper’s dogmatics as the primary text’s both years. To be honest, I don’t even remember the other books except maybe “Confessing the Faith” by Dr. Kolb. It could be a difference in the professors as well.
    I actually have my High School students read portions of the Book of Concord (well I reprint portions of it since I don’t have copies for all 25 of them at a time…) and we discuss it together. It is a great tool that even High School students can understand and creates great discussion.

    I will confirm the testimony of my classmate, Rev. Fisk. I regret to inform the ministerium that I was able to ace all my systematics (except that B in Systematics III) without ever having to crack the BoC or Pieper. I have been studying the BoC (albeit not as deligently as I should) ever since I confessed my belief that the BoC is a true exposition of Scripture at my ordination. I suppose I felt guilty. Pieper…well…he’s in my future plans.

  10. I’ve taken advantage of the CPH sales on the Reader’s Editions and purchased them by the case to give to my elders, cong chairmen of the congregations I serve. A couple of them have given me the purchase price, but it is a small sacrifice to give them this Confession. In fact, I have a case of them right here waiting for their new homes. It will change your understanding of what being ‘Lutheran’ means, for the better!

  11. I’d like to see an equally vibrant version of the video, without being quite as silly–but that’s just me.

  12. >>Pieper…well…he’s in my future plans

    Boy, Pieper is great . . . and I’m not a dogmatics geek. You will find it is very practical in the ministry. I can’t tell you how many times I have avoided a major pastoral or theological error because of Pieper. Get it out and read it. You will be blessed.

    I think the mistake the seminaries make is to look upon dogmatics as a philosophical exercise. That comes later — AFTER you’ve had the basics. These introductory courses should be exactly that. I don’t want to consider the ontological implications vis-a-vis Aquinas’ framework as reflected in late Medieval scholasticism . . . FIRST JUST TEACH ME WHAT I BELIEVE, AND WHY I BELIEVE IT.

  13. @Kebas #14
    FIRST JUST TEACH ME WHAT I BELIEVE, AND WHY I BELIEVE IT.

    They hope you came to seminary knowing “what” and maybe even some of the “why”…

    But they ought not to assume it!

  14. @Carol Rutz #7

    Carol, I am an Irvine grad also (graduated 89 when it was still “Christ College Irvine”). I read Tappert (not the best translation, but serviceable) then and at St. Louis Sem. I guess I was not as lazy as that slacker Rev. Fisk!

    (Just kidding – I have enormous respect for him and have watched all his broadcasts. Better late to the Confessions than not at all!)

  15. Cheers for “revfisk” who is proving you do not have to throw away Lutheranism to be creative for YouTube!

    (I trust this is not his Sunday a.m. routine though.) 🙂

  16. @17: A little Googling reveals

    St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church
    http://www.oocities.com/st-john-church/stjohn.html (no longer appears to be maintained)
    http://stjohnspringfield.blogspot.com/ (This appears to be more recent)
    and
    http://philadelphialutheran.blogspot.com/ (not updated since June)

    Why so many sites for the church? Seems pretty confusing to me.

    Rev. Jonathan Fisk’s blog w/ sermons
    http://beallwashedup.blogspot.com/

    Blogger profile
    http://www.blogger.com/profile/06019695047249137807

    And, of course, the youtube video site mentioned at the end of this BJS article.

  17. Greetings,

    The history of St John and her websites is a long story. We are in the process of making http://stjohnspringfieldpa.blogspot.com the main website.

    This is the site listed on lcms.org, but it is an even “more differenter” address than those above. Thank you for the reminder to take those down! (At least, the ones I have access to.)

  18. It was nice to finally “see” you RevFisk! Will you be attending a future BJS event?
    Oh, and I just had to add that I enjoyed hearing how a confessional woman finally brought you around to reading the BOC! [That is a sneaky plan, but hey, it worked!] 😉

  19. @Heartbroken

    I don’t think I’ll be able to attend this year as I’ll be attending two other conferences in January. I made it out last year and had a blast.

  20. Dusted off a little book/article. This site has sure made me think(may not always agree, but well that is being human.)

    So here it goes. “Getting into The Story of Concord” by none other than David P. Scaer.
    Section 1 page 8
    “There is an old story about a man who was asked what he believed. He replied that he believed what the church believed. When asked what the church believed, he replied that it believed what he believed. The poor man had argued in a circle, and the questioner remained completely in the dark about what the man and his church believed. Lutherans have a ready-made answer to this kind of dilemma. Even if a member of the Lutheran Church is not absolutely sure about what his church believes, he can direct the questioner to the Lutheran Confessions, which have been collected in the Book of Concord.

    Hmmmmm
    I’m coming home.

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