News from the Mission Field — Как слышать без проповедующего?

Pastor Alan Ludwig is one of our missionaries that BJS publicizes from time to time; his latest newsletter is available here: October Siberian Letter. To support this missionary, go to LCMS.org/ludwig; to subscribe to his newsletters click on the button at the bottom of SiberiaMissionary.org.

By the way; the title translates to: How shall they hear without a preacher? It the Russian of Romans 10:14 for “How will they hear without a preacher?”

Here is the start of the newsletter.

 

Image2A New Year of Grace in Learning

Fall courses have begun again and a new school year is well underway. Our students are back behind the desks and are busy cracking the books—quite a change from their summer vacation or practicum in parishes of the Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church. The month of September has been cool, and with no warmth in the building we’ve really had to add the outer layers. The continual chill made some of the students sick. Now the heat is turned on and we have hot running water, and so things are going more comfortably. This semester I’m teaching Biblical Hebrew, Biblical Hermeneutics (the art and Image3science of interpreting the Bible), the Book of Isaiah in Hebrew, and the Theology of the Lutheran Book of Concord. This is no light teaching load, since our lectures are an hour and a half long, each conducted two or three times a week. I spend a fair amount of time preparing my lectures, especially for two courses, one of which I’m teaching for the first time.

In addition, I continue this year to conduct a Sunday morning Bible class for the laity. In a few weeks we’ll finish our study of the Book of Genesis. What will come next? Logically, the Book of Exodus. Or perhaps the Psalms.

Whether the audience is seminarians or parishioners, whether the subject matter is simple or complex, I always strive to stick to the essential. That is, all of Scripture testifies of Jesus Christ, the Savior of a lost world. Amid our discussions of the waw consecutive and the genitive absolute—points of Hebrew and Greek grammar—I keep bringing it all back to the one thing needful: God’s grace in Christ. The goal is to show future pastors how the technical tools of theology will serve and enhance their preaching. Most Image4people don’t want to know the boring details of how their hot new car and shiny computer run, but still they need them to be designed well and run right. Likewise, no one wants to hear preachers show off their knowledge of biblical languages and theology. But everyone needs them to have such knowledge. So I never consider my work with a biblical text to be complete until I have led my students to consider how it may be preached and taught to the church in a simple and clear way, in order to bring sinners to repentance and bestow upon repentant sinners the riches of God’s forgiveness in the cross of Jesus.

Higher Education on a Lower Level

Can a person get higher by going lower? It makes no sense. Yet this is exactly how it is in the kingdom of God. To be great in the kingdom, the Christian must become servant and slave of all.

In a far more ordinary way, in order to rise, I’ve had to go down. That is, while last year I took Russian language classes for foreigners on the sixth floor of Novosibirskiy gosudarstvenniy universitet (Novosibirsk State University), this year I am attending regular university lectures for Russian students, which take place mostly on the second and first floors. For all of its being quite a few steps down, this is definitely higher education for me—all the more since NSU ranks as one of the top universities in the world.

Education at an Older Age

Image6Yes, it seems my lot is to be a student for life. This is part of what it takes for me to be able to serve where I am. Requirement or no, I enjoy the stimulation of new knowledge from a different perspective, all the while improving my use and comprehension of Russian. The courses I’m taking are all related to Russian language, literature, and culture. The course of study is called philology, and those who graduate in this program will become linguists, journalists, translators, language teachers, and professionals in other spheres where language skills are required.

 

To read the rest of the newsletter, click here.

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

News from the Mission Field — Как слышать без проповедующего? — 1 Comment

  1. Dear Norm,

    Thanks for posting this information about Pastor-Professor Ludwig. He is a very talented and dedicated pastor; and those adjectives describe his family too. He was for awhile the copy editor for LOGIA, which is how I first got to know him. His wife has been the Layout person for LOGIA for almost its entire history. And his daughter Sarah is presently our LOGIA business manager.

    Pastor-Professor Ludwig is one of the many people who have worked for years “behind the scenes” to make the recent fellowship declaration between the LCMS and Siberian Lutheran Church possible. Excellent Lutheran teaching by patient and dedicated pastors, serving as missionaries in the field, over a long period of time, is what makes these types of church-relations possible.

    We are truly blessed to have people like the Ludwigs in our church-body. I encourage every congregation to consider some support for Professor Ludwig in their budget. The Lutherans in Russia will definitely benefit!

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

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