Do you subscribe to The Lutheran Witness?

For many years, The Lutheran Witness was seen as a publication in decline. The articles were treacly more than engrossing. And they weren’t known for being the most effective transmission of Lutheran doctrine. I stopped caring about the publication altogether. But several years ago the magazine started improving. And it has continued to improve . . . to the point that I just ordered a 3-year subscription. I know that public perception about publications can be difficult to alter, so it’s worth spreading the good news that The Lutheran Witness is a magazine worth reading and encouraging friends to subscribe to.

Excerpts from the most recent edition include:

President’s message: LIFE TOGETHER: Confession or Witness?

Rev. William Weedon’s When Half-Spent Was the Night, about the first Divine Service of Christmas

Dr. Reed Lessing’s look at the light of Christianity.

Rose E. Adle’s “Yes, Virginia. There are angels!

Terence Maher’s explanation of the 12 Days of Christmas.

Lonie Eatherton’s Christian analysis of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

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Do you subscribe to The Lutheran Witness? — 25 Comments

  1. Funny you would mention that. I just saw one in the church office the other day, took a look at it, noticed the better quality and asked my wife why we don’t get it at home. I thought all pastors got it and then realized that was probably years ago.

    Now that you mention it, I think I will subscribe as well.


  2. I used to read it to see all of the terrible things going on in the Synod. Lately, I have noticed that the articles are much, much better.

  3. What a marvelous change in The Lutheran Witness recently! Our congregation has a blanket subscription, mailed directly to the home of each member, and considering the roster of authors and articles they now have I urge every confessional, conservative congregation to go and do likewise! Another option is a bulk subscription with a copy put in member mailboxes. Or at least you can advertise it in your newsletter and bulletin and urge members to subscribe themselves.

    Luther said the Gospel is like a shower that passes by, which God withdraws from those who take it for granted. Many of us have been waiting for YEARS for The Lutheran Witness to make needed changes. Now that they have the right vision and personnel and are finally bringing it to pass, we need to support their efforts!

  4. I have subscribed to the Lutheran Witness for many years. I think my entire adult life. I noticed a few copies ago a huge improvement on the look, and wrote to the editor to compliment her for the new look. (No more Ablaze logos 🙂 )
    I think it has had many good articles over the years. When I was first learning why we worship as we do, I was reading articles from the Lutheran Witness. I encourage everyone to subscribe. Each year, we can turn our check into the office or put in the offering plate, and they order for us. I appreciate that.

  5. The new editor, Adriane Dorr, was a former student of mine. When I first knew her as a freshman at Mequon, she was saying how she wanted to be a writer in the service of confessional Lutheranism. Now she is! I am very proud of her, and I second that emotion, that the Witness has gotten good and that everyone should subscribe to it! (She’s got me committed to doing several columns on cultural issues over the year. But don’t let that stop you!)

  6. I, too, am impressed with how the LW has grown over the past several years! I always look forward to it coming in the mail at the first of every month (should be getting our new one any day now!) and my wife knows when it comes, I’m lost for a couple of hours while I devour it! lol … The articles have become so much more thought-provoking in the past year and, being a journalist, I know how tough it can be sometimes to put into words a story that has complex ideas and I think the LW staff does a great job of doing just that!

  7. As the marketing manager for the Lutheran Witness I am so happy to hear the positive comments about the improvements we have made to the magazine. I am happy to inform everyone that the January 2011 issue will have even more to show in our move to refresh the product. You will notice a completely new look on the cover, along with several new elements that we have added. We asked our readers what they wanted to see in the Witness, and we have now delivered. Keep an eye out for this great new look at the end of the month. I think you will all be even more impressed!

  8. #4 Kitty :Blogs are far more interactive and usually just as informative. Oh, and they’re free.

    Interactive sure; informative maybe. But a national print publication has high standards and it is difficult (as it should be) to get printed. Any fool with a PC and an internet connection can blog and spout off stupid opinions lacking any factual substance. I’ll take my chances with print. $12 bucks isn’t going to bankrupt me. LW has and is improving since the change last summer.

  9. We used to subscribe at home. Got tired of the feel good garbage that was in there most of the time and canceled our subscription (important to note is that the article about KFUO and IE, about 6 years ago is what FINALLY got me to listen to IE on a regular basis – b/c the article mentioned that it was online). Recently we’ve noticed some much better articles when skimming the church copy. We’re going to re-subscribe for our home. I want to read Dr Veith’s articles! 🙂

  10. I stopped subscribing after former President Kieschnicks’s famous “Get out your check books” article. It so turned me off that I closed my check book to subscribing to the magazine until I recognized true chages in synod. I read copies that my church receives and that my Dad get, but my money is closed until the changes actually occur….

  11. Pastor Kirchner, I have to say that the even lower point was a number of years ago when the Witness published an account of a bunch of youth group campers who were receiving divine messages from the flashlight images on their tents.

  12. After the “Get out your check books” article I didn’t pick up the LW again until the previous issue. I really does seem to have improved.

  13. When we get to the Doctrinal and Practical articles of the old, Der Lutheraner and Walther’s ,Lehre und Wehre I will subscribe albeit the Lutheran Witness is looking up.

  14. @Dr. Veith: When was the article about youth-group campers getting messages from their flashlight images? I don’t remember that one, but I haven’t been reading it as much after the old editor left maybe four or five years ago.

  15. KFUO has had some great changes as well.

    In the morning, there is always a guest pastor in the studio and one or two others on the phone. CCM is gone. Pastor Fred Baue was in-studio one day last week and it was great fun to listen to. There are lay guests on the phone too; Mark Bender phoned in this morning.

    At 10 am, there’s the Bible Study, led by one of our pastors. Then at 11, “Ask the Pastor” also hosted by one of our pastors. Mark Femmel has been on several times in the last few weeks, for example. Charles Henrickson was one occasionally even during the last administration.

    At noon (this is not a change) Pastor Mark Hawkinson provides one hour of music and Gospel commentary (he has been doing this a long time). Much of the music he plays was arranged and recorded in the 80s, 90s and 00s. He selects the music and frames it in Lutheran ministry of the Word.

    Then at one pm, there are two hours of classical, choral and sacred music.

    Pastor Tom Baker has deservedly moved to three pm and is doing a great job talking about issues and theology, as always.

    4-6 pm weekdays is a topical show hosted by a Lutheran layman and is often interesting and good. There is often but not always a MO pastor on the phone. I trust that with the other good changes, the lay host of this program will not be left to defend doctrine in the presence of a strongly heterodox guest. However, if that happens, I would urge people to contact the station and the synodical administration.

  16. @mbw #21

    > 4-6 pm weekdays is a topical show hosted by a Lutheran layman and is often interesting and good

    Guests today: A synodical director; Martin Noland; Lane Burgland.

    And a clarification: I did not clearly distinguish changes from non-changes. Bible Study, Ask the Pastor, and Hawkinson are longstanding programs. The 4-6 slot is newer but not recent.

  17. yes, Ariel. The new editor is Adriane Dorr. She had been the editor of the Higher Things magazine, so that should tell you something.

    That Witness article about the lights on the tents was from several decades ago. When I get a chance I’ll plunge into the archives online to see if I can find it. Does anyone else remember that?

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