Idiotic Theology

In Greek the word ἰδιώτης (idiotes) is used to refer to that which belongs to one’s own self. The English word idiom is a derivative. So is the word idiot, meaning someone who is uneducated or unskilled. This Greek word … Continue reading

He’s No Lincoln but is He a Churchill

I know President Matthew Harrison is no Lincoln, but could he be a Churchill? The first conclusion came to me while reading “This Day in U.S. Military History” for March 4, the day Lincoln was inaugurated in 1861.  In the … Continue reading

Steal This Book

That’s the title of a 1971 book written by Abbie Hoffman encouraging the counter counterculture against the established one.  I always liked the title. From time to time in the 70’s and later there were stories about people who were … Continue reading

Bach an Antinomian!?

You might think so if you’re of the same mind as the Lutheran pastor who said it was “inappropriate” to have a cigar band imprinted with the Luther Rose and Verbum Dei Manet in Aeternum Concordia A. D. 1580. Read … Continue reading

Words as Old as Sin

They are words as old as sin – words that are now as natural as life itself. Yet, they are words that are fought against, denied, and ignored. They are words that hang over every man, woman, child, infant, and … Continue reading

Where There Is No Love, There Doctrine Cannot Remain Pure

In this holy season of Advent, a time of repentance as we await the birth of the Savior according to the flesh, as well as in difficult circumstances in our country and, yes, even among Lutherans in America, let us … Continue reading

Seminex: A Debt of Gratitude(?)

I stumbled upon this video a while back. The Reverend John S. Damm was once Academic Dean of Concordia Seminary under John Tietjen’s administration. He was one of the 35 professors who exiled themselves from Concordia Seminary in February of … 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

Q&A — May I Speak at a Non-Lutheran Funeral?

A concerned reader sent this question: I am a Lutheran and understand that eulogies are not given in traditional Lutheran funeral services. But what should I say if I am asked to speak at the funeral of a family member … Continue reading

Franz Pieper on the Preaching Office

LCMS President Matthew Harrison is opening a Pandora’s Box of fun by posting little snippets of his translation work. I do not consider myself a translation scholar by any stretch of the imagination. I still use Google Translate to help … Continue reading

Harking Back: “That We May Grow”

My hometown newspaper has a frequent feature called “Harking Back.” The column is a look back at what was happening 5, 10, 20+ years before on that date. I’d like to steal the idea of “harking back” to a time … Continue reading

“Successful” “Failures”

My district (Northern Illinois) convention featured occasional videos of “New Believers” that came from “New Starts” in the district. What I noticed in the videos was that most of the congregations featured were in affluent, predominantly white suburbs. Many offer … Continue reading

Found on the Internet: Burying A Church

My Northern Illinois District brother Hans Fiene posted this on his blog today. It’s called “Burying A Church.” I sympathize with the anonymous writer of this blog post. I serve a small congregation (average weekly Divine Service attendance is 50ish) … Continue reading

The Sting Of Sin: If We Only Knew How Bad It Is

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23 ESV). I did not understand the implications of Romans 6:23 until I was a seminary student. The … Continue reading

Steadfast Encouragement from Luther

Blessed Martin Luther’s First House Postil for The Fifth Sunday after Trinity (Luke 5:1-11) is one of the most pastoral sermons I’ve had the pleasure to read. Using the miraculous catch of fish on Lake Genessaret as the text, he … Continue reading

Law and Gospel: One Small Step Toward Unity?

I spent a week’s vacation last week with my family behind the “Cheddar Curtain” in Wisconsin, as well as in southeast Minnesota. Though I was riddled with lower back pain and sciatica, it was a restful week spent reading the … Continue reading

Forgotten Lutheran Classics

I am an incurable bibliophile. Yes, I am even a member of a Facebook group about book smelling. The smell of a book, whether a newly published paperback or a musty tome, makes me almost euphoric. In my theological library … Continue reading

How The Missouri Synod Once Handled Difficult Doctrinal Issues

I am trying to teach myself German. I had one year in college and a little tutoring from a brother pastor in my circuit. The method I use is to let Google Translate help me with vocabulary. Grammar slowly comes … Continue reading

“Styles” of Ministry

And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with … Continue reading

Steadfast Potpourri – ‘Owzat?

You can’t pigeonhole me. Don’t even try. Not even the venerable editors of this website can pigeonhole me. That is why I have been given the appellation “Steadfast Potpourri.” There is no rhyme or reason to what I write, except … Continue reading