Reforming The Local Congregation

It has been said before that the church is in need of a continuous reformation. In other words, this call for reformation is a plea for the church to daily reclaim her fundamental roots. The reason why the church is … Continue reading

Sanctified In Christ; Living From The True Vine

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you … Continue reading

Why Do Many Evangelicals Find It Difficult To Accept Infant Baptism?

During my past 9 years of pastoral ministry the discussion with Evangelicals that has resulted in the most confusion, tension, and conflict is most definitely the dialog over infant baptism. Otherwise stated, in my humble opinion there is nothing more … Continue reading

Questions To Ask Those Who Are Against Abortion ‘And’ Pro-Choice

In case you have not heard the news yet, North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple has signed legislation that would ban most abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected, something that can happen as early as six weeks into a … Continue reading

Who Is The World’s Greatest Sinner? Why Is The Answer So Relevant Today?

In Bible studies I have at times asked a provocative question to stimulate discussion, “Who is the world’s greatest sinner? Who is the most sinful; the vilest person the world has ever known?” In response to this question I often … Continue reading

Mercedes-Benzes, Premium Wine, And The Tools Of The Pastoral Ministry

Many people are unaware that before ministry I was a finance and economics major in college. In fact, during my senior year of college at Minot State University I was hired by American International Group (i.e., AIG). This new job … Continue reading

Be Aware Of The Back Door Tactic Of The Evil One

In the book Grace Upon Grace the author, Dr. John Kleinig, describes Satan’s attack on Christians and the Church. Kleinig notes that we too quickly think of spiritual battle in supernatural or spectacular ways. We think of Satan doing glamorous … Continue reading

Keep Watch For The Theological Underpinnings Of Word-Faith Tenets In The History Channel’s “The Bible”

Last night The History Channel aired its miniseries, “The Bible.” It is a miniseries produced by Roma Downey and Mark Burnett. Leading up to this miniseries there seemed to be a well organized marketing campaign to promote this series. The … Continue reading

The Pelagian Captivity Of Evangelicalism—What The Reformers Would Think Of Modern Evangelicalism

Confession time!  I’ve had more and more of a difficult time applying the label of ‘Evangelical’ to myself as of late. (Note: When I use the word ‘Evangelicalism’ I use it to describe the current national-cultural form of American Christianity.) … Continue reading

Pastors Are Not To Subject God’s People To “Their Laws and To The Works Ordained By Them,” But To God’s Word Alone

Pastors are called to be servants of the flock. The congregation elects pastors. The congregation calls pastors. The congregation ordains pastors. Since this is the case, it certainly sounds as if the pastor is accountable to the will of the … Continue reading

Hello, My Name Is ‘Former Evangelical.’ It Is Nice To Meet You!

Several months ago I posted an article titled, “Attention All Former Evangelicals” on Steadfast Lutherans. In this article I announced the need for former Evangelicals who ‘have’ or ‘are’ journeying into Confessional Lutheran thought.  The need was for more participants to provide … Continue reading

What Do We Seek At Church?

If we see ourselves as sinners (damned by our thoughts, words and deeds) we will go to church to hear the Gospel Word and to be gifted the forgiveness of sins in the Sacraments. However, if we reject original sin … Continue reading

Do We Lutherans Need To Move Beyond The Cross; Is Our Cross Theology Too Narrow?

Many Christians regard Lutherans as being very one-sided or narrow in their theology. The accusation is that we Lutherans shrink the church year together into Good Friday. In other words, Lutherans are often blamed for making every day Good Friday, … Continue reading

Advice From A Young Pastor

It seems to me that the Steadfast Lutheran website has had a lot of conversation lately on the age and experience of pastors.  Pastor Wilken recently wrote an article titled, “These Young Confessors.”  This was followed up by a wonderful … Continue reading

Looking Beyond Just Numerical Church Growth

There is no doubt about it that most American churches have felt the effects of the church growth movement, the pressure to expand the kingdom by filling the pews with more people through sociological and quantitative methods. While I can … Continue reading

American Idol: The Search For The Superstar Of ‘Self’

When one thinks about the topic of idolatry it is easy to imagine primitive people groups worshiping and showing their devotion to false deities carved out of stone or wood. While there may be some truth to this general characterization … Continue reading

We Need The Lutheran Confessions Because A Theology Of Experience Is Not Easily Transferable

This past week I had a dialogue with a gentleman on Facebook over a theological topic. Part way through the discussion he asked me to define my position so that he could properly understand my context and perspective. I also … Continue reading

Exposing Ten Myths Of The Church Growth Movement

Brian Orme has an excellent article on the “Church Leaders” website titled, 10 Old Wives’ Tales About Church Growth. In this article he expounds on 10 myths that he has accumulated over the last several years in regard to the … 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

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

What Is So Convenient About Prevenient Grace?

Prevenient grace is the official doctrine of the Church of the Nazarene, as well as Methodism. It is found in the roots of Pietism and Puritan theology. Its wide range of appeal makes it a dominate conversion theology in North … 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

Legalism, Licentiousness, And Freedom From Reactionary Aversion Theology

I recently posted an article on Steadfast Lutherans and my personal blog PM Notes titled, “Free The Gospel! The Gospel Does Not Lead To Licentiousness.” In this article my main point was to stress the fallacy that licentiousness is limited or … Continue reading

The Church Of Cain Will Always Attack The Church Of Abel

In Genesis 4 we read of the first murder in the Bible. In this  story, Cain kills his brother Abel. Michael Horton in the article, “Pelagianism,” comments on this saying, “Cain murdered Abel because Cain sought to offer God his … Continue reading

Pik – A – Pastor (A Good Laugh)

While we can get a good laugh from the previous cartoon, this causes us to ask the more serious question, “What ‘is’ the role of the pastor?” We can also ask, “What should congregations expect from pastors?” To answer these … Continue reading