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2 Competing Understandings Of Christian Worship

This quote by Gregory Dix contrasts two very different understandings of the holy Christian faith and the worship of the one, true God in Christ. There is the puritan understanding, and the ceremonious / incarnational one. Dix says: "Briefly, the puritan theory is that worship is a purely mental activity, to be exercised by a strictly psychological 'attention' to a subjec...

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Lift High The Cross

Today sacred history continued unabated. Today God's people did what God's people have always done: erect sacred icons of their faith. Images that preach the gospel day in and day out without saying a single word. And speaking of sacred images, there is none higher than the crucifix. It is the visual icon of the holy Christian faith. It is our life and salvation. It is o...

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In The Cross Of Christ I Glory

Our new crucifix is nearly complete as you can see by the attached picture. It will also be on display tomorrow in the community room. It will be a powerful addition to our sanctuary and to our faith, for it is THE icon of our redemption. Though the Lord's death and resurrection are past events historically, they are ever alive among the baptized; in our worship, in Wor...

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A Pastoral Letter On Sexual Morality For 21st Century Christians

Beloved in Christ, In our day the floodgates of sexual immorality have opened wide. Within the dead culture there are no longer any restrictions. Those who manipulate culture have succeeded in turning the world away from Christian morality, which provided divine light to the western world (and beyond) for 17 centuries. What Melville pointed out in Moby Dick was true: ...

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Hymn # 548 - What A Gem

The parting hymn at Christ Lutheran Church this Lord's Day was #548, "My Inmost Heart Now Raises." The hymn is written to be sung in the morning, and is a wonderful way to start day. I especially love the last two verses: 5. God shall do my advising,Whose might with wisdom blends;May He bless rest and rising,My efforts, means, and ends!To God, forever blest,Will I with mi...

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More On The Perpetual Virginity Of Mary

The doctrine of Mary's perpetual virginity is unquestioned by most of the world's Christians. That doesn't settle the matter, but it should cause Lutherans to examine both sides of it. Objectors give Matthew 1:24-25 as evidence against the possibility, "When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she...

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A Retake On "The Book Of Philemon"

Gentle Reader, please consider this "retake" on the translation and interpretation of St. Paul's epistle to Philemon. This "book" or "letter" is usually taken to be little more than a diplomatic request by Paul on behalf of the run away slave Onesimus. It is that, but much more! Have your Bible handy as you read this, and those who are so able, your Greek N.T. v. 1 Like a...

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Quote From St. Ambrose (5th century)

"Marah was a fountain of most bitter water: Moses cast wood into it and it became sweet. For water without the preaching of the Cross of the Lord is of no avail for future salvation, but, after it has been consecrated by the mystery of the saving cross, it is made suitable for the use of the spiritual laver and of the cup of salvation. As then...

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A Pastoral Letter For 21st Century Christians

Background: Much of St. Paul's letter to the Ephesians leads me to believe that it is not merely an abstract epistle, but that it has all the marks of a homily for those who are about to be baptized, and anointed (chrismated or confirmed) with the Holy Spirit. For this seems to be the church's earliest practice, that candidates were baptized, and upon emerging from th...

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Worship At The Table

This article nicely highlights the things Lutherans are in the midst of recovering, and so I commend it to you. There is one little gliltch in the last paragraph, however. Our worship is not a return to Eden and its tree of life. Rather those looked foward to the Cross and the Supper which do not look backward, but look forward instead to the New Heaven; whe...

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