The last seven months have been insanely busy. My various vocations have had me running in every direction imaginable—to the point where human cloning seemed an ethical thing to do. I am the sole pastor at a small but growing congregation. We also have a Classical School at which I serve as headmaster and teacher. And I’m a husband and the father of six children. That’s a long way of saying—I don’t have a lot of free time.
I mention that because it’s important for this review. When it comes to blogs and podcasts, I have had less time for them this last year than I normally do. So, if I’m going to read or listen to something it needs to be worth my time.
That’s where A Word Fitly Spoken comes in.
When it first came out, my initial reaction was probably similar to a lot of people’s reactions, “That’s just what we need ANOTHER Lutheran blog and podcast.” I even liked the line-up of pastors that were going to be writing and speaking. I just didn’t see a need for one more blog/podcast—especially considering how much time it takes to keep up with the ones I already like.
I’ve always enjoyed reading more than listening to podcasts so I began by reading some of their blog posts. One thing I liked right away was that their posts are concise. They are well written and to the point. Don’t think this means they are shallow posts—far from it! The various authors pack a lot into their posts. The posts are faithful to Scripture and clearly teach and confess the truth. They have five categories for their posts: 1) Exegetical, 2) Lectionary Study, 3) Historical, 4) Practical, 5) Important. No matter what category the post is in they are all extremely well written.
Some examples may help to get you started. They have a new post on Psalm 7 by the Rev. Zelwyn Heide. In less than 1100 words, Pastor Heide clearly explains the Psalm’s context, meaning, and application. He begins with two important questions, “What is a Christian supposed to do when someone brings a false accusation against them? What can be done when justice seems distant?” He beautifully answers those questions in what follows.
One of my favorite series that they have done is one called “Biblical Piety” where, again, Pastor Heide covers the Foundation of piety, Scripture and Hearing the Word of God, Prayer and the Practice of Prayer, Fasting, and Alms.
All of their blog posts are worthy of your time whether you are a pastor or a layman. You won’t be disappointed with the content.
This brings me to the podcast. It took me longer to start listening to the podcast. Once I did, I kept coming back for more. They have a lot of great stuff there. I want to discuss two series that, for me, epitomizes why you should be listening to it.
The first is a series on Geberding’s book, The Lutheran Pastor. This series is a great crash course in Pastoral Theology. They do an amazing job of summarizing the content of the book, discussing its value and its application, over a just a couple of hours. It is a fantastic summary of what the Bible requires of a pastor. This makes it helpful for pastors and laymen alike.
And, something that is quite important for a podcast, it is enjoyable to listen to—the pastors do a good job of discussing things in a way that is engaging for the listener. They are doing the same thing with a much longer work—Walther’s Pastoral Theology.
They aren’t afraid to go after Lutheran clichés or to speak God’s Word clearly on matters that sometimes Confessional Lutherans leave to Evangelicals and others.
The second series I want to highlight, in episodes 10 and 11, deal with evangelism and witnessing for Christ. These are two episodes that all Lutherans should listen to. They are two of the best presentations on the subjects that you will find anywhere. Both episodes are theologically rich and immediately practical. I especially enjoyed that they went after some of the false views of evangelism that float around in our circles, yes, even among Confessional Lutherans. If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, then you should go listen right now.
Marcus Aurelius would say, “To waste time is one of the greatest crimes.” I agree completely—which is why I wouldn’t recommend A Word Fitly Spoken unless I thought it was a wise use of your time.