Sermon — Pr. Martin Noland — The Train of Witnesses

Sermon Text: Mark 16:1-8 Easter Sunday, Series B Most any day I can hear from my office a long train whistle, coming from 3/4s of a mile west of here, where the CSX trains cross Franklin Street next to Pigeon … Continue reading

Four Overtures for the 2016 Convention

It’s time . . . to start submitting overtures regarding the issues confronting the LCMS. The following are four overtures that address, in my opinion, some of the most significant issues that need to be dealt with at the LCMS … Continue reading

Sermon — Pr. Martin Noland — The Beginning of the Gospel

Sermon Text — Mark 1:1-8 December 7, 2015 — 2nd Sunday in Advent, Series B There is always something exciting and auspicious about beginnings.  Today we baptized John Smith [fictional names], which baptism marks the beginning of–and created–his Christian faith.  … Continue reading

Sermon — Pr. Martin Noland — Behold Your King

Text: Matthew 21:1-9 [First Sunday in Advent] Today the Christian church changes its colors from green to purple. Although some churches use the color blue during Advent, we retain the traditional color purple at Trinity because of its history and … Continue reading

Problems with 2013 Dispute/Expulsion System

Editorial Comment: Pastor Noland has been working on analyzing the Dispute Resolution Policy of the LCMS and this is a document that he recently generated. Feel free to download and distribute it widely per his instructions below.   A person … Continue reading

Five-Two and PLI Too

The recent BJS posts about the “Five-Two” network may all sound vaguely familiar to any of you who have been reading BJS for four years or more. In August 2010, Pastor Rossow did a great article on the topic of … Continue reading

Deconstructing Lutheran Identity

A recent blog comment by Rev. John Hannah, President of the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, stated a good bit of truth and got me to thinking. He writes: I believe that the strong desire within the LCMS to look like … Continue reading

Why I’m Optimistic About the LC–MS

Some folks have recently challenged my often-stated assertion since 2010 that “These are good days for the LCMS.” I think it is fair that I respond to that challenge, by explaining why I think that way. People often judge a … Continue reading

What is a “Confessional Lutheran”?

Simple Answer: Someone whose religion is in congruence with the canonical Scriptures and the Lutheran confessions found in the “Book of Concord.” The adjective “confessional” comes from the noun “Lutheran confessions,” not from the “confessional” office, i.e., the Office of … Continue reading

Further review of “A Lutheran Book on Purgatory”

This is originally written on a post A Lutheran book on purgatory, pastoral purgatory (written by Pastor Scheer) that was originally written as a comment by Pastor Noland. We at BJS felt it needed wider dissemination than a comment on … Continue reading

Sermon — Pr. Martin Noland — Two Kinds of Righteousness

Text: Luke 15:1-10 [3rd Sunday after Trinity; one year lectionary] Are you righteous? The dictionary states that the term “righteous” is an adjective describing someone who “acts in accordance with divine or moral law.” Let’s put that question another way. … Continue reading

Do Non-Christians Believe In and Worship the True God?

Consider the argument settled. The Latin version settles it—as it often does . . . After the Yankee Stadium “Prayer for America” in September 2001, in which a district president of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod joined together in a worship … Continue reading

The Challenges of Church Growth and Decline

When my wife Karla and I were first married, over twenty years ago, I invited her to join me for the banquet at our annual LCMS district pastor’s conference. The food was great, but the banquet speaker was not. His … Continue reading

Sermon — Pr. Martin Noland — Praying in the Name of Jesus

Text: John 16:23-30 (1-Year Series) May 25, 2014 — Sixth Sunday of Easter Prayer is one of the simplest things in our religion. Even a child can pray. Truth be told, children probably pray better than adults. This is part … Continue reading

Sermon — Pr. Martin Noland — Do You Hear the Word of God?

Text: John 8:46-59 [Fifth Sunday in Lent] In our Gospel lesson this morning, we see Jesus in an intense debate with the Jewish leaders at the Jerusalem temple. At issue was the question “Are you of God?” We can see … Continue reading

Why Biblical Inerrancy is Important — and Always Will Be

Forty years ago, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (hereafter LCMS) was in an uproar. Its Saint Louis seminary president, John Tietjen, was suspended in the January 20, 1974 meeting of the seminary’s Board of Control. On January 21st the majority of … Continue reading

A New Era in American Evangelicalism?

The lead article in the December 2013 issue of Christianity Today (hereafter CT) was about the Colorado Springs megachurch called New Life and the years that have followed the scandal surrounding its founding pastor, the Rev. Ted Haggard (see Patton … Continue reading

Sasse, Harrison, and Inerrancy

It has been a long time since I have been so thoroughly edified, educated, and stimulated by one book.  I am talking about Hermann Sasse’s Letters to Lutheran Pastors, Volume 1, 1948-1951 (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2013) (available here in … Continue reading

The Moment Everything Changed

In Tuesday’s USA Today, Rick Hampson published an interesting article on the change in America after the assassination of John F. Kennedy titled “Moments before the moment everything changed” (November 19, 2013, pp. 1A and 6A). Hampson lists over a … Continue reading

Huck Finn and Impostor Preachers

Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn shows up often in lists of the most important, and most influential, American novels. No doubt its exploration of the issue of slavery through the character of Huck’s friend “old Jim” makes this … Continue reading

Commentary and Review of 2013 LCMS Resolutions by Martin R. Noland

Editorial comment: Pastor Charles Henrickson has done a great job working through all the resolutions and presenting comments on them. Pastor Martin Noland was asked by a friend to prepare his comments, and we felt another perspective might be helpful. … Continue reading

Sermon — Pr. Martin Noland — Facing Death Without Fear or Sorrow

Text: Luke 7:11-17 [3rd Sunday afte Pentecost] What will you do when you are personally faced with death?  Death could stare you in the face with a diagnosis of incurable cancer.  Death could stare you in the face with a … Continue reading

Is the Missouri Synod an Isolationist, Sectarian, or Legalistic Church-Body?

Former Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS) President Gerald Kieschnick recently commented on the responses to the Newtown, Connecticut interfaith prayer service held on December 16, 2012. He wrote: The overwhelming majority of people both in and beyond the LCMS who hear … Continue reading

Regarding the Biblical Causes for the Removal of Ministers from a Call

Whereas our forebears in the faith consistently followed the orthodox Lutheran practice of only removing a pastor, teacher, or other church-worker from his or her call for three biblical causes: teaching false doctrine (Titus 1:9); scandalous conduct (1 Timothy 3:1-7); … Continue reading

Thank God for our Concordias!

I recently was trying to find a good exegetical treatment of the Bible’s doctrine of creation, when I found Joel D. Heck’s little booklet In the Beginning, God: Creation from God’s Perspective (Saint Louis: CPH, 2011) (available here for $3.99). … Continue reading