Letters to the Editor: A Tale of Two Synods

Subscribers to the magazine Lutheran Witness, the official magazine of the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod, are no doubt aware of recent improvements to that periodical. From clean and sharp graphics to new authors, Lutheran Witness has been putting out … Continue reading

Christmas Is For Sinners

Many years ago my family and I had a wonderful time giving my grandfather a lump of coal for Christmas.  Yes, that is all he got.  No shiny present and no Christmas card.  A lump of coal in a cardboard … Continue reading

Mormon Church Softens on Homosexuality

or, Divine Revelation Evidently Done by Internal Polling and Focus Groups The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have launched a website and program to encourage LDS members to be compassionate when discussing … Continue reading

Jesus’ Genealogy: Forgiven Sinners

Researching one’s family history can turn up surprises. A couple years ago, a distant cousin of mine researched our family line using a computer program. How surprised I was to learn that my family had been in this country for … Continue reading

Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies — Christmas and Sol Invictus

Did Christianity Steal the Date of Sol Invictus? The claim is that Sol Invictus “Invincible Sun” is a more ancient pagan holiday in Rome celebrated on December 25th. The claim assumes that this pagan holiday was so popular and dangerous … Continue reading

Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies — Christmas

Of the major Christian Holy Days, Christmas, Easter and Pentecost are the high points in the Historic Church Year. On these Holy Days we celebrate God the Father’s gift of His only-begotten Son in the birth of Jesus Christ, we … Continue reading

Attention All Former Evangelicals

Attention all former Evangelicals! I am currently enrolled at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis in their doctor of ministry program. With my schooling I am responsible to conduct and write a Major Applied Research Project (i.e. MAP). The MAP is a … Continue reading

Mayan Madness

In this catechism post, I’ve prepared a few responses to popular questions about the end-times hysteria surrounding the Maya calendars, the year 2012 and eschatology in general. It is intentionally concise and designed for use by  pastors and laity as … Continue reading

Conscience and Worship

When pastors engage others in conversation about their conscience – the sense of one’s self in relation to God and creatures – we are usually dealing with those who understand conscience as an inner voice. But one must realize that … Continue reading

Why God’s Doctrine is for God’s People

What happens when Justification becomes peripheral and not the central article? I’ll tell you what happens: Doctrine becomes not life. Doctrine becomes something not for the people. The word Doctrine becomes theological jargon that is used only by theologians and … Continue reading

Willful ignorance is not simple, childlike faith.

Simple, childlike faith in Jesus is good.  In fact, children often make fine examples of the Christian Faith (note Jesus’ use of them to teach adults in Matthew 19).  When Jesus wants to teach about simple trust, He sets a … Continue reading

Q&A — Gender as Social Construct

Another question came in using our Ask a Pastor button on the right. Sorry these are taking a while to answer, but we are getting quite a number of questions, some of which are difficult to research and answer. Studying … Continue reading

Try A Little Kindness, Help A Brother Out, However You Say It, Encourage Your Pastor When He’s Discouraged!

We’ve all seen it play out either before our eyes or in cyber space. A pastor is discouraged about something. Before you know it, that pastor has resigned a Call and has joined another fellowship. Maybe he has disqualified himself … Continue reading

The Theology of Rob Bell: Making Evil Good and Good Evil?

Several years ago there was a lot of buzz on the internet about Rob Bell’s new book titled, Love Wins.  The conversation in the blogosphere was heightened though when Justin Taylor released an article on Bell’s book before the book was officially … Continue reading

“Teaching Children to be Thankful”

A child’s first word is usually “mama” or “dada.”  For my son, his first word was “Thank you.”  While he pronounced it “Tay-due,” we knew what he meant.  We started calling him “Tay-due” for his nickname.  What a polite and … Continue reading

Continued conversations — an offense to the Gospel?…

A word from Flacius about the current desires to have more debates about things which are clearly taught in Scripture: “A year ago, in the Christmas season, when an assembly was held in the marketplace about the new Interim at … Continue reading

Sound Off on the Election Results, by Pr. Rossow

For sure BJS is not a political blog. I am actually surprised and pleased at how seldom the BJS nation inserts political commentary into the blog comments. As a reward, or maybe not, let’s take this one post and use it to … Continue reading

Lehenbauer and Harrison Team Up and Put Thrivent $$$ to Good Use for Confessional Theology, by Pr. Rossow

The 2010 LCMS convention asked the Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR) to work with the synod president to promote confessional Lutheran theology worldwide. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans provides boat loads of money via grants each year for the major Lutheran … Continue reading

The Lord’s Supper is the Gospel

The Lord’s Supper is the Gospel. Jesus cut the meal loose from the Jewish Passover festival, which was honored according to certain calendar and legal requirements. Instead, His Church gathers to feast on His body and blood as gift. If … Continue reading

Table Talk: Beth Moore part 1

Jesus warned His disciples in Matthew 16, “How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that he did not tell them … Continue reading

Q&A — Lutheran High School Chapel

Here’s another question that came in using our Ask a Pastor button on the sidebar. I teach at a Lutheran high school, my children attended a Lutheran grade school. In both women are allowed to give chapel. This is not … Continue reading

Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies — Hallowe’en: A short history

Associate Editor’s Note:  With this post we want to introduce a series of articles written by Pastor Joseph Abrahamson, a personal friend who grew up not far from me and also then served a parish not far from where I … Continue reading

A Divine Vocation: Motherhood

I started writing this post about a month ago, and I stopped writing and almost forgot about it. But yesterday I read from the October 8th, 2012 issue of Christian News a response to Christianity Today’s “50 Women You Should … Continue reading

Steadfast Media Pick of the Week — A Pick in Exile

A Pick in Exile I was too young to remember the struggles in the church during the 1970’s and I’ve never been too interested in diving into this part of LCMS history. But Pr. Scheer recommended a debate to me … Continue reading

Steadfast in Society: Aesthetics as Catechesis

“These are not floor plans but explorations of forms that distinguish relationship between congregation, presider, and the transcendent.” –Father Gilbert Sunghera Ahhhh, the sweet sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste of liturgics! How wonderfully important it is that we receive … Continue reading