Lent with the Lord’s Commands: Fourth and Fifth Commandments

Preached at St. Silas Lutheran Church on 2 Samuel 15:1-14. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The Fourth Commandment concerns God’s authority on earth. Through father and mother God rules households. Through … Continue reading

Lent with the Lord’s Commands: Second and Third Commandments

Preached at St. Silas Lutheran Church in North Liberty, IA on 1 Kings 18:20-40. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The Second and Third Commandments flow from the First. In the First … Continue reading

A Laymen’s Commentary on the Augsburg Confession: Distinction of Meats

This entry is part 27 of 30 in the series A Layman's Commentary on the Augsburg Confession

Article XXVI: Of the Distinction of Meats. 1] It has been the general persuasion, not of the people alone, but also of those teaching in the churches, that making Distinctions of Meats, and like traditions of men, are works profitable … Continue reading

Philip Melanchthon’s Early Teaching on Justification

Philip Melanchthon published his first major theological work, Loci Communes (Theological Commonplaces) in 1521. At the age of 21, in 1518 Melanchthon had come to Wittenberg to teach Greek, but soon took on other teaching responsibilities.  He began to lecture on … Continue reading

A Laymen’s Commentary on the Augsburg Confession: Abuses of Confession

This entry is part 26 of 30 in the series A Layman's Commentary on the Augsburg Confession

Article XXV: Of Confession. 1] Confession in the churches is not abolished among us; for it is not usual to give the body of the Lord, except to them that have been previously examined and absolved. And 2] the people … Continue reading

Memorizing the Catechism: False Dichotomy between Words and Meaning or, How to Forget the Faith

When I was a child, we already had the Small Catechism memorized before we entered confirmation instruction. We recited portions in Sunday School from about the third or fourth grade onward. We recited all portions in Vacation Bible School year … Continue reading

The First Sunday in Lent – “Christ’s Victory Over the Devil”

The First Sunday in Lent   February 18, 2018   “Christ’s Victory Over the Devil”   Matthew 4:1-11   Click here to listen to audio of this sermon.   Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness … Continue reading

A Laymen’s Commentary on the Augsburg Confession: The Mass

This entry is part 25 of 30 in the series A Layman's Commentary on the Augsburg Confession

Article XXIV: Of the Mass. 1] Falsely are our churches accused of abolishing the Mass; for the Mass is retained among 2] us, and celebrated with the highest reverence. Nearly all the usual ceremonies are also preserved, save that the … Continue reading

Martin Luther’s Confession of the Gospel of Justification

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Martin Luther's Discovery of the Doctrine of Justification

In 1519, Luther published an edited copy of his lectures on Galatians.  This text represented his clearest exposition of the doctrine of justification.  His new colleague, Philip Melanchthon, edited the text and gave Luther the citations of the church fathers.[1] … Continue reading