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Archives for October 2017

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Reformation Day Service On October 31, 2017

The Reformation is not dead. At age 500 (October 31, 2017) it is, however, ailing. It's not the first time. In the past, attempts were made on its life, and it often lay wounded. But by God's grace the Reformation continues. It affirms all that is good in the history, theology and practice of the church of the ages. While at the same time serving as the counter weight to a...

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The Study Of Church History

The church, which is perfectly united in the Body of Christ is, outwardly, divided. We are aware of the schism that the Reformation brought about, but there was also an earlier Great Schism, that we should all be familiar with. That is the division that occurred between the Latin Church and the Greek Church in 1054 AD. As a result of it, and the Protestant Reformation, th...

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Treasures Of The Reformation

Just tonight I discovered the youtube video called "Treasures Of The Reformation" narrated by our LCMS President Rev. Matthew Harrison, and posted just 2 days ago. It's a brief, but very nice treatment of Luther and the Reformation, and I recommend it to you all.  It comes in two volumes, each about 20 minutes long, and can be appreciated by children as well as adult...

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The Power Of Liturgy

Last Sunday on the way out of church I was greeted by a 5 year old boy who has been in church perhaps 5 times. As we shook hands he said: Pastor, God forgives me.  That's the power of liturgy! Liturgy is not designed to be catechetical, but constitutes the factual worship of God instead. That said, there is no more powerful teacher of the faith than liturgy. Wh...

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500th Anniversary of the Reformation

October 31, 2017 is the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. On that day in 1517 Martin Luther posted 95 Theses which he proposed to discuss with his fellow academics at the University of Wittenberg where he was a professor. He attached them to the church door which was the town bulletin board. It's the place where people came to hear about the happenings of the day. The...

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God Rested - How To Read And Interpret Scripture

By this post I hope to do two things. First to underline the liturgical nature of Scripture, and secondly, to show how Christ crucified is the subject of it all. There is no doubt in my mind that the first two chapters of Genesis are not narrative, or historical report, but liturgy. That is not to say the six day creation is untrue. It is most assuredly true, but it's not...

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True Man

"But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins he said to the paralytic, 'Rise, take up your bed and go home.' And he rose and went home. When the crowds saw it they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men." Matthew 9:6-8 The church has defended the Lord's divinity so hard, for so long, that she may not a...

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Luther and the Jews

One of the remonstrations that Lutherans are always hearing, and often repeating, is that the Reformer Martin Luther was responsible for the holocaust which occurred nearly 400 years after his death. Some writers make hazy connections, others draw a straight line from Luther to Hitler. You may be hearing some of these polemics as we celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the R...

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Viva La Reforme!

In some ways the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation doesn't excite me much. Why would a Lutheran pastor say such a thing? Because the Reformation didn't change Rome a bit (except to harden her). Also because it spawned the greatest balkanization of the church in Christian history via the Swiss and Radical Reformations; thus the countless Protestant denomination...

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Motive For The Las Vegas Massacre Revealed

The Culture is at a loss! It can't explain why Stephen Paddock did what he did. But the church can. Even if there were an ideological motive it still would not get at the heart of the matter, which is the heart of man! In the words of the prophet Jeremiah, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly corrupt: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9) Or in the ...

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Living Together Before Marriage

It seems today that nearly all couples who present themselves to the pastor for marriage are already living together. Many have children of their own and/or from a previous marriage or relationship. They are often paying their bills together, and own property in common. What I say below I address first to the members of my own parish because they are my responsibility. Bu...

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More On The Las Vegas Massacre

A few days ago I wrote a post about the Las Vegas massacre, but I'd like to say more. From what I can tell this villainous crime, on par with 9/11 and Sandy Hook, has taken its toll on our people. It should not surprise us to find that we are suffering to some degree from "critical incident stress" and/or "post traumatic stress." But alas I am a pastor and not a psycholo...

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Tertullian - On Baptism

Christians don't only need faith, they also need knowledge. In that spirit I include below two paragraphs from Tertullian, one of the most important early church fathers of our faith. You may need to read through this more than once to get it, but the dividends will be worth it. Tertullian was born c. 155, /160, in Carthage (now in Tunisia) and died after 220 in Carthage....

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What Is The Bible?

What is the Bible? How should we think about it, and how should we employ it? Some people think of the Bible as great literature. They are not wrong, but Scripture is far more than that. Others think of it as their personal devotional book. But that is like considering the ocean to be your own private swimming pool. Protestants, at least traditionally, conceive of the Bib...

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Ambush The Innocent

My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say, "Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood; let us ambush the innocent without reason; like Sheol let us swallow them alive, and whole, like those who go down to the pit" ... my son, do not walk in the way with them; hold back your foot from their paths, for their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blo...

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