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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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It Is Not Good For The Woman To Be Alone

We learn in Genesis 2:16 that "it is not good for the man to be alone." For all the splendor that Adam enjoyed as one created in the very image of his God and Father, he was still not complete. "Not good" in Biblical parlance until God completed him by making, "the right kind of helper" for him. By making woman. But nor is it good for the woman to be alone. Women have pr...

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Liturgical Note - The Elevation Of The Host

Why does the celebrant elevate the host, and then the cup, following the consecration of each of these elements?  By this gesture the church means to show that she is offering Christ to God. Offering his body and his blood as atonement for our sins. Not in the old Roman Catholic sense wherein Christ is sacrificed anew at each Eucharist for Scripture says, "We know th...

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Reclaiming The Word Catholic

Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled; without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the catholic faith is this:...

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More On Sacred Images

No Lutheran would ever think of praying the rosary, but many have been taught that Exodus 20:4 probibits the church from creating sacred images. Both of those theologies are equally foreign to the Lutheran faith. As surely as we don't pray to Mary; we don't refrain from making sacred art.As I explained in yesterday's sermon it is because "the Word was made flesh." (John 1:...

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Liturgy, The Verb

This essay is based on Hebrews 8:1-3, "Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a liturgist in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; thus it is necessary for this priest also...

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A Retake On James Chapter Three

This is a recap of this morning's pastor's class at Christ Lutheran Church, entitled: A Retake On James Chapter 3. One can understand James 3 as an general admonition to the baptized on the use of the tongue; or as a specific admonition to the clergy of the church that James addresses. I take it as the latter, and then analogically also the former. Why? If one reads Scri...

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The Eucharistic Elements

In this essay I will discuss the earthly elements of the Eucharist, the bread and the wine. At the risk of stating the obvious the first thing we should remember is that these are the elements Jesus chose for the Sacrament of his body and blood. Of all that he might have employed he “took” these. He did not say of roast lamb, herbs, olives, fish or figs &ldquo...

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