Archive for October, 2006

Heretical Hymns?

October 17th, 2006 8 comments

If a Roman Catholic can figure this out, why can’t we?

Link: Heretical Hymns?.

Categories: Uncategorized

When is a Book of Concord not the Book of Concord? Part II: A Look at the 1584 Latin Edition with further thoughts on the Apology and Treatise

October 16th, 2006 Comments off

In this second post on the question, "When is a Book of Concord not a Book of Concord? I would like to offer some observations on the 1584 Latin edition of the Book of Concord, and additional thoughts on the question of the first and second edition of the Apology of the Augsburg Confessions. The first edition of the Apology is known as the Quarto edition and the second, the Octavo. These words are references to the format of the book they were printed in. We also need to talk about the  text of the Treatise included in the Kolb/Wengert edition.

From what I’m told, there appears to be some confusion out there in Lutheran cyberspace about what we are talking about when we refer to "the Latin edition of the Book of Concord." One of you told me that somebody now is claiming that the Latin translation of the BOC done in 1580 is also what is in view when somebody refers to the "Book of Concord of 1580." No, that is not correct. Now, I grant you, this gets rather confusing. The authoritative and received edition of the Book of Concord, in German, is from 1580. The received and authoritative Latin edition is from 1584. I would refer you to Bente’s Historical Introductions to the Lutheran Confessions. You may read this text on line as well, it is available at

The Octavo and its use in editions of the Book of Concord

One of the reasons that the first translation of the BOC into Latin, in 1580, was rejected was ecause it used the second Latin edition of the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the Octavo edition. It is important to clarify something that is often lost in the shuffle when these issues are discussed and debated. The second edition of the Apology is not a "bad edition." It is not a "Variata" text like later Melanchthonian editions of the Augsburg Confession itself. It is helpful and useful and contains many wonderful extended remarks on justification, etc. And, it has a certain confessional status in light of the fact that the Smalcaldic League did adopt the Apology in the form of the Octavo, as well as one of the Variata editions of the Augustana, much to the protest of John Frederick the Magnanimous. In 1577 the Formula of Concord quotes exclusively from the Quarto edition in 1577 and the Octavo text was not chosen to be used in the 1584 Latin edition. The point being that while the Latin Octavo edition of the Apology is a useful text to study and it is good we have it now in English translation, it is not the text used in either edition of our Book of Concord, thus it does not belong in a book that carries the title "Book of Concord." That’s the issue here. But, as you shall soon see, ironically, if we insist on the German BOC of 1580, as I believe is only appropriate, we do in fact have a form of the Octavo edition. It would have been much wiser for K/W either to give us a complete translation of the 1580 German Book of Concord text of the Apology, or the Latin of 1584. But not a translation of the Latin Octavo text of the Apology, which was never used by either authoritative edition of the Book of Concord. That’s the point.

The Quarto edition of the Apology, the first edition, was published in Spring of 1531, the Latin second edition, the Octavo, was published in September 1531. The German translation that Jonas produced was based on the second Latin edition. It was first published however with the Latin Quarto, first edition. Thus it is that the German 1580 BOC contains what is, in effect, a form of the Octavo, by way of Jonas translation into German. Jonas translation was done with Melanchthon’s knowledge, approval of, and contribution. He says as much in a letter he wrote indicating that he done quite a lot of work on the Jonas German translation. He made changes and emended the translation. So, the Latin Octavo text, second edition, of the Apology never was used in either edition of the Book of Concord, but Jonas did use it when he translated the first edition, the Quarto, into German. I would find it impossible to believe that Jonas did not consult with Luther as he did his translation work. We know they were working closely together on Luther’s Bible, which was published in 1534. Given the proximity of their homes, and of their lives and work, I can’t believe that Luther had no involvement in the Jonas translation of the Apology.

My suspicion that Luther may well have had played a role in the preparation of Jonas’ translation is further increased by these remarks in Bente’s Historical Introductions where we read the following comments on the German Apology. Note that Bente acknowledges that Jonas did in fact use the Octavo, second edition, as he did his translating work, and that Melanchthon was very much played an important part in the translation. Italics in the material that follows are mine, for emphasis.

German Translation by Jonas.
The Apology was written in Latin. The _editio princeps_ in quarto of 1531 contained the German and the Latin texts of the Augsburg Confession, and the Latin text of the Apology. From the very beginning, however, a German translation was, if not begun, at least planned. But, though announced on the title-page of the quarto edition just referred to, it appeared six months later, in the fall of 1531. It was the work of Justus Jonas. The title of the edition of 1531 reads: _"Apologie der Konfession, aus dem Latein verdeutscht durch Justus Jonas, Wittenberg._ Apology of the Confession done into German from the Latin by Justus Jonas, Wittenberg." For a time Luther also thought of writing a "German Apology." April 8, 1531, Melanchthon wrote to Brenz: _"Lutherus nunc instituit apologiam Germanicam._ Luther is now preparing a German Apology." (_C.R._ 2, 494.501.) It is, however, hardly possible that Luther was contemplating a translation. Koellner comments on Melanchthon’s words: "One can understand them to mean that Luther is working on the German Apology." _Instituit_, however, seems to indicate an independent work rather than a translation. Koestlin is of the opinion that Luther thought of writing an Apology of his own, because he was not entirely satisfied with Melanchthon’s. (_Martin Luther_ 2, 382.) However, if this view is correct, it certainly cannot apply to Melanchthon’s revised Apology, to which Luther in 1533 expressly confessed himself, but to the first draft at Augsburg, in which, _e.g._, the 10th Article seems to endorse the concomitance doctrine. (_Lehre und Wehre_ 1918, 385.) At all events, Luther changed his plan when Jonas began the translation of the new Apology. The translation of Jonas is not a literal reproduction of the Latin original,but a version with numerous independent amplifications. Also Melanchthon had a share in this work. In a letter of September 26, 1531, he says: "They are still printing the German Apology, the improvements of which cost me no little labor." (_C.R._ 2, 542.) The deviations from the Latin original therefore must perhaps be traced to Melanchthon rather than to Jonas. Some of them are due to the fact that the translation was based in part not on the text of the _editio princeps_, but on the altered Latin octavo edition, copies of which Melanchthon was able to send to his friends as early as September 14. See, for example, the 10th Article, where the German text follows the octavo edition in omitting the quotation from Theophylact. The German text appeared also in a separate edition, as we learn from the letter of the printer Rhau to Stephen Roth of November 36, 1531: "I shall send you a German Apology, most beautifully bound." (Kolde, 39.) German translations adhering strictly to the text of the _editio princeps_ are of a much later date.

So, ironically, at the end of the day, when we appeal to the German BOC
of 1580 and the Latin of 1584 we have the best of both worlds! We have a German translation of the Latin Quarto, that  made use of the Octavo, one that has Melanchthon’s approval. And we have the first edition of the Apology in the Latin 1584. The K/W was  right to explain the importance and usefulness of the Octavo
edition of the Apology, but was wrong to use it and present it as part of the Book of Concord. The Latin Octavo
edition of 1531 is not appropriately used in a book that has the name
stamped on it, "The Book of Concord."

The Treatise: What belongs in a Book of Concord, and what doesn’t

One other point is sometimes raised in conversations about the Book of Concord. The Treatise is not mentioned specifically in Lutheran listings of the confessions, not even in the lists in the Formula of Concord, Epitome or Solid Declaration. Why is this? It was produced at the request of the Smalcaldic League, at the same time that they received, but did not adopt, Luther’s articles, it has always been included with the Smalcald Articles. The very fact that it was included in the 1580 German edition of the Book of Concord and the 1584 Latin edition of the Book of Concord is sufficient proof of it confessional status.

There is however an issue about the text used for the Treatise. Thanks to the reader who
also wisely noted and reminded me of a point I had noticed while
working through these issues some time ago The Kolb/Wengert  uses an
edition of the Treatise that is not in either the Latin or German
editions of the Book of Concord. The reader noted
correctly that when the textual decisions of the Kolb/Wengert text are
being discussed:

"All the focus has been on the Apology. In some respects, the
issue with the Treatise is even more problematic being that, while you
can argue that the octavo text had acquired authority from 1531-1577,
Spalatin’s clean copy never had.  While I personally like Spalatin’s
clean copy — particularly in Tr. 72 — I think it is in many respects
more problematic than the issue with respect to the Apology. Of course,
the variations in that text are not as noticeable as the larger
differences between the quarto and octavo texts."

Well said! And, consequently, we return to the question, "When is a Book of Concord not a Book of Concord?" When is it? When it uses texts that are found only in the Book of Concord! That is to say, in either the 1580 German Book of Concord or the 1584 Latin Book of concord. These are the editio princeps of the Book of

Here are more details on the Latin edition of the Book of Concord. These details are drawn from the most recent edition of the Bekenntnisschriften. I’ve put some of the text below in italics for emphasis.

The 1584 Latin edition of the Book of Concord

Plans for a Latin edition of the Book of Concord had begun already at the Bergen Abbey in 1577, when the Formula of Concord was finalized. David Chytraeus and Nicholas Selnecker both offered to translate the Formula of Concord into Latin, but Jacob Andreae insisted that a Latin version of the Formula be prepared in Swabia. On April 12, 1579, Andreae reported that his brother-in-law, Lucas Osiander, with the help of Jacob Heerbrand, had finished translating the Formula of Concord. A copy of this translation was sent to Martin Chemnitz, who carefully edited and reviewed it. Nicholas Selnecker used this translation to quickly prepare an entire Latin edition of the Book of Concord, which was released before the end of 1580. The translation was widely criticized. As a result, in July 1581, Selnecker asked his prince for a six week leave in order to rework the Latin edition of the Book of Concord. Selnecker wanted to use this reworked Latin translation in a German-Latin edition of the Book of Concord, which he released in 1582. Unfortunately, even this reworked Latin edition, was not sufficient. It was recognized that it was necessary to prepare an authoritative Latin edition and so a more deliberative editorial process began. A special conference was held in Quedlinburg, beginning in December 1582, to deal with the Latin edition of the Book of Concord. “Thus it was that the final, universally accepted Latin text of the Book of Concord of 1584 was established at Quedlinburg in January of 1583” (BKS, xliv). It was printed in Leipzig at the publishing house of George Defner. This Latin edition relied heavily on the text that Selnecker had continued to work on and improve, with Martin Chemnitz contributing substantial editorial changes and improvements. The 1584 Latin edition was published without the signatories of the Formula of Concord so that nobody could say that they had not been given the opportunity personally to review the Latin edition for themselves. As its printing history demonstrates, the Latin Book of Concord of 1584 was as widely received and approved as the 1580 German edition. It was published in various editions at least thirteen times between 1602 and 1742 and was the text used in Lutheran universities.

Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions
Second Edition
p. xx.
(St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2006)

Categories: Lutheran Confessions

Lutheran Blog Directory

October 15th, 2006 Comments off

With a good feed reader, keeping up on the ever expanding number of Lutheran blogs out there is very easy. The other essential tool for Lutheran bloggers is the Lutheran Blog Directory. Highly recommended. There is now a permanent link to it in the right hand column of this site. I don’t provide individual blog links on my site. There are too many to keep up with and I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings whose blog site might not be on my lift. So, browse away on the Lutheran Blog Directory.

Categories: Blogging

When is a Book of Concord Not a Book of Concord?

October 13th, 2006 Comments off

With apologies to readers who may well find the following discussion far too much of a technical “inside baseball” presentation, I thought some readers might find this information interesting.

An interesting discussion, and an important one, has arisen in light of the publication of Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions; namely, which texts should be used when preparing an edition of the Book of Concord? Several years ago Professor Roland Ziegler identified a significant problem in putting the words "Book of Concord" on a book that contains in fact not actually the texts of the Lutheran Confessions as they appear in either of the two authoritative editions of the Book of Concord: the German of 1580 and the Latin of 1584, but rather, translations of the forms of the texts of the Lutheran Confessions as they are presented in the latest edition of the German critical edition, the Bekenntnisschriften. By the way, you may download Professor Ziegler’s presentation ttitled, The New English Translation of the Book of Concord: Locking the Barn Door After …

With the Tappert edition released in the late 1950s, English speaking Lutheranism, which at the time was caught up in the "Battle for the Bible" may well not have noticed what was actually happening to the Book of Concord. The notion that the "Book of Concord" is something other than the form of the texts adopted in 1580 and 1584 was introduced by the Tappert edition. This decision stood in stark contrast to the decisions made when the Concordia Triglotta was produced in 1921, an edition that used only the texts of the Confessions as they are contained either in the German BOC of 1580 or the Latin BOC of 1584, both being the "received texts" of historic Lutheranism. While the "quest for the historical form of the Lutheran Confessions" is an interesting and helpful pursuit, it is wrong to propose that the historic forms of these documents are in fact the Book of Concord. We know what the Book of Concord is. We know what the editions of the Book of Concord are.

This trend continued with the Kolb/Wengert edition, which, in a very bold move, swapped out the longest text in the Book of Concord, the Apology, with what is actually not the first edition of the Apology, the edition cited in the German BOC of 1580 and used in the Latin 1584, but a text that was revised by Melanchthon and published months after the first edition was released and then translated by Justas Jonas into German.

By the way, there are other even more serious problems with the Kolb/Wengert edition, including the use of gender-neutral language conventions, "fem-speak" as one wise man put it recently, which reduces the human nature of Christ to a "creature," along with numerous other absurdities of lesser importance. In other places the Kolb/Wengert text intentionally distorts and mistranslates the original language of the Confessions to avoid referring to male clergy. Ths problem was known to exist long before the book’s publication, but has never been corrected.

There are numerous interesting issues that arise here, but one thing must be made clear: there is no point of doctrine compromised or changed as a result of the "textual critical" editions choosing to use forms of the Confessions actually not used in either the BOC of 1580 or 1584 (how those texts are translated, however, is highly problematic, as noted above); however, it is also very important to recognize that the claim that, for instance, the Kolb/Wengert or Tappert editions are presenting the church with the Book of Concord, is simply not true. The manner in which these issues are presented in both editions is confusing and, though perhaps unintentional, quite misleading.

The bottom line is that editions of the Lutheran Confessions that do not use, exclusively, the texts of the Confessions as found in either the 1580 German edition of the Book of Concord, or the 1584 Latin edition of the Book of Concord, can not be said to be translations, or editions, of the Book of Concord. They are editions, rather, of predecessor forms of the documents that were included in the Book of Concord, but they really have no business stamping "Book of Concord" on their covers, a point Professor Ziegler made very well and a point I came more fully to understand over the past several years.

Ironically, to this day, the only complete translation of the German edition of the Book of Concord of 1580 is the translation prepared by the Henkels in the 1850s, with the 1854 second edition being the better edition. Subsequent English editions of the Book of Concord chose to use texts from the German or the Latin editions of the BOC, depending on the original language in which the individual documents were first prepared and presented. That explains why both Jacobs and the Triglotta, for instance, chose to use the Latin edition of the Apology, the first edition, though the Triglotta provides much of the Jonas German translation in brackets, which is the German BOC’s text of the Apology. The claim that this text is somehow "inferior," or merely Jonas’ personal paraphrase, doesn’t stand up to close scrutiny, since, Melanchthon himself personally approved of Jonas’ translation and it more than highly likely that Luther too knew of and approved of Jonas’ work on the German translation of the Apology. Regardless, the German translation of the Apology is part of the Book of Concord, in its German edition of 1580.

Work on Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions really opened my eyes to this issue. In the second edition of the book we have a discussion of this issue and what follows below is that discussion. I hope you find it interesting, and enlightening.

Considerations When Selecting Texts to Include in Translations
of the Book of Concord

What is the implication of textual variations between the two editions and amongst the various forms of the constituent documents in the Book of Concord? Does it mean that the text is uncertain or unreliable? No. Does it mean that the text is constantly changing according to the latest critical edition of the Lutheran Confessions(now in its twelfth edition)? No. There are numerous extant copies of the 1580 and 1584 first editions of the Book of Concord. For example, in the year 1580 alone, at least six thousand copies of the first German edition were printed and distributed.

Therefore, it is not the case that we have an uncertain or hopelessly confusing set of textual variants or that we have no reliable editions of the Book of Concord. Further, it is extremely important to make it clear that in spite of the textual variations between the two editions of the Book of Concord, or the variations in the received texts of the individual documents, there are no doctrines that have been changed, altered, or called into question because of textual variance.

Readers of the Lutheran Confessions in English translations based on the 1580 and 1584 editions of the Book of Concord can be confident that they have a reliable presentation of our Lutheran Confessions as they were published in the Book of Concord.

It is also important to recognize that when a situation arises in which the precise meaning of a word or phrase in our Lutheran Confessions is required, the Confessions will be read and studied in their original languages: German and Latin. Also, no English translation can ever make the claim that it is the “definitive” edition of the Book of Concord, even as we would never point to any
particular English translation of the Bible and declare, “This, and no other, is the translation that should be used in the Church.” How then do editors working on an English translation of the
Book of Concord go about choosing which form of our Lutheran Confessions to include?

Do they use the earliest edition of each Confession contained in the Book of Concord? Do they decide on a document-by-document basis which edition of the document to use? Or do they use the form of the Lutheran Confessions as they are presented in the 1580 German and 1584 Latin editions of the Book of Concord?
The editors of Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions were guided by several important considerations that led them to conclude that they would use the texts in the 1580 and 1584 editions of the Book of Concord. They were keenly mindful of the fact that the over 8,100 professors, pastors, teachers, and other church ministers—along with eighty-six rulers, territories, and cities—pledged themselves unconditionally to the Lutheran Confessions as contained in the Book of Concord, but not necessarily to the earlier editions of the various documents.

To this day, congregations, pastors, and teachers are still pledged to the Book of Concord. This is especially so in Lutheran churches that require an unconditional subscription to the Lutheran Confessions (even though formulas of confessional subscription do not refer to a specific edition of the Book of Concord). There is a helpful explanation of what an unconditional subscription means on pages xxv–xxvi.

For these reasons, the editors of Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions chose to use the text of the various documents in the Lutheran Confessions as they are found in the 1580 and 1584 officially approved and accepted editions of the Book of Concord, the same decision made by editors of the Concordia Triglotta. Depending on the specific document, sometimes the translation is based on the 1584 Latin edition; in other cases, the 1580 German edition. In Concordia, when one edition is being translated but words from the other edition are inserted for clarity’s sake, those words are set in ‹ ›. See the User’s Guide, p. xxvii.

The editors were also mindful of the fact that the 1580 and 1584 editions of the Book of Concord were prepared and finalized by Jacob Andreae and Martin Chemnitz. The editors believe that these men were in a better position to make determinations about these matters than anyone is today. Although one may disagree with the choices made by Andreae and Chemnitz, the fact remains that the text that resulted from their work is the Book of Concord, a book received, approved, subscribed, and used by the Lutheran Church as its confession of faith since 1580.

Therefore, the key issue for editors of an English translation of the Book of Concord is deciding if priority should be given to the texts of the Lutheran Confessions as they were published in the 1580 German Book of Concord and the 1584 Latin Book of Concord or in the latest critical edition of the Lutheran Confessions, as contained, for example, in the Bekenntnisschriften edition. The latest opinions about the historic form of the constituent documents in the Book of Concord are helpful and insightful, but the editors of Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions did not believe that they as individuals had the right to substantially deviate from the texts as contained in the 1580 and 1584 editions of the Book of Concord, the received texts of the Lutheran Church.

Categories: Lutheran Confessions

Macintosh Nirvana

October 13th, 2006 5 comments

iMac 24-inch, dual core…’nuff said. My new work computer.

Categories: Macintosh

Bloglines Out, Google Reader In

October 13th, 2006 1 comment

I’ve dumped Bloglines, about which I raved about a year ago. Google Reader is a lot easier to use, no comparison.

Categories: Blogging

The Hymns of Martin Luther

October 13th, 2006 1 comment

I’ve mentioned this item here before, but I am listening now to the complete collection of Luther hymns that Concordia Publishing House produced several years ago. And, again, I am both delighted and impressed with the recording. The significant added value of this collection is the little book that comes with the four CDs, which includes the words of each hymn and an explanation of each hymn. It is an education in itself. If you have not purchased this collection, I strongly encourage you to do so. It is a great treasure. You can read more about it on the CPH web site, listen to a sample of each hymn, download and read the entire book that comes with the collection, etc. This is the only complete recording of Luther’s hymns in English, and the most comprehensive complete recording of his hymns available in any language. If there is another collection as comprehensive as this one available for sale, on CD, I would appreciate knowing about it.

Categories: Lutheranism

The Chief Article of the Christian Faith: Justification

October 10th, 2006 3 comments

I heard it said recently that the doctrine of justification is not the "chief article" of the faith, but rather that Christ is the "chief article." Such a comment reflects a sad ignorance of titanic proportions about what, precisely, the Lutheran Confessions teach about the doctrine of justification and Christ. The Apology of the Augsburg Confession has a beautiful way of putting it, with the German edition offering a powerful explanation of why the doctrine of Justification is the chief article.

When it is understood correctly, it illumines and amplifies Christ’s honor ‹which is especially useful for the clear, correct understanding of the entire Holy Scriptures, and alone shows the way to the unspeakable treasure  and right knowledge of Christ, and alone opens the door to the entire Bible›. It brings necessary and most abundant consolation to devout consciences.

Apology of the Augsburg Confession
Article IV.2
Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions
(St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2006)
p. 82-83

Categories: Lutheranism

Church for Guys

October 10th, 2006 2 comments

I know I’ve expressed concerns here about the feminization of the Church, but…this is taking things too far in the other direction. With apologies to Dave Barry, from whom I steal the next two expressions: I’m not making this up. Thanks to alert reader Karl H. for sending this.

An Essex County, N.J., congregation recently staged a special football service, with church women playing cheerleaders, the choir and pastor dressed in numbered jerseys and a banner proclaiming, "Christ: He gave his all for the team.

Read the whole story


Best Mozart, At Least I Think So, for Now

October 10th, 2006 2 comments

OK, I love J.S. Bach. I know God loves J.S. Bach too. Karl Barth is reported to have said, "When the angels are around the throne of God, they sing their praises to the music of Bach.  But when they are en famille, they play Mozart.  And God, listening, is well-pleased." I must say that I agree with Barth, on this point.

I put it to you, if you care or are familiar with it, is there anything more delightful than the Violin Concerto Number 3 in G Major? I read a description and analysis of it on Wikipedia. And, came away from that experience feeling much as I always did in literature courses that forced you to read painfully long analyses of great poetry, but it was helpful.  Here’s a RealPlayer link to a portion of the Rondeau movement.

Categories: Uncategorized

Consider the birds of the air….

October 9th, 2006 2 comments

I love stories like this. Immediately the Scripture was brought to mind, "Consider the birds of the air, they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" (Matt. 6:26). But then I thought this verse applies to this "new" bird as well, "Even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these" (Matt. 6:29).

Categories: Uncategorized

Lutheran Blessing of Animals or Another Example of What Happens When You Drift Free From Your Theological Mooring

October 8th, 2006 10 comments

Two questions: A) Why do pets and other animals need the church’s "blessing"? B) What Lutheran congregation in its right mind would so such a thing? I know, it is "cute" and I’m sure the kiddies and grown ups all are quite pleased with the whole thing and it makes a lot of people happy, but….is that any reason to engage in such activity? This happened in Georgetown, South Carolina at an ELCA congregation. I’m wondering what might happen if the congregation were to "bless" a nice fat pig and then slaughter it on the spot and roast it for a delicious pork feast. Now that might be something a bit more appropriate if we are truly to celebrate God’s gift of animals to us, "Take and eat" as St. Peter was told. But it would be terribly messy, might upset some folks and kind of be a damper on the whole "cuteness" thing going on here. In our house we "bless" animals every day when we pray, "Lord God, Heavenly Father, bless us and these Thy gifts, which we receive from Thy bountiful goodness, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

Daniel Cox ran around the lawn of Trinity Lutheran Church in Maryville
Sunday afternoon showing everyone in attendance his turtle Marty, one
of the numerous pets gathered by their owners for the first-ever
Blessing of the Animals service held at the church.

“Everything needs a blessing, even the animals. I figure this will help them,” Daniel’s dad, Richie Cox said.

While dogs greatly outnumbered the other pets that were there to
receive a blessing from Pastor Nedra Merriman, there were also ferrets,
guinea pigs, cats and – for a short time – a horned owl.

said Blessing of the Pets and Animals services are quite common across
the country but, as far as she knows, this was the first held in

The services are generally held in early October to
coincide with the Oct. 4 date of death of St. Francis of Assisi, the
Roman Catholic patron saint of animals and ecology.

She said such services were held at her church in Atlanta and she wanted to bring the tradition to Georgetown.

About two dozen people gathered outside the church under perfect fall
weather as the service began with Irene Mobley presenting and then
releasing a horned owl that has been receiving care from International
Center for Birds of Prey.

“It came into the center in June. She had
been found on the ground in Walterboro. She had severe emaciation, we
don’t know why. We gave her antibiotics and kept her and fed her and
now she was ready to be released,” Mobley said, adding that she fed the
owl half a rat prior to being set free.

As the owl flew out of
sight towards the marshes surrounding the city, Merriman and some kids
from her church read scriptures as the pets sat amazingly quiet and
still next to their owners.

Merriman, after the scriptures and a
prayer, walked around touching each animal, delivering a personal
blessing to each one. What the pets probably liked the most was the bag
of treats each was given for their owners to take home and feed them.

Shelley Kaufman had two dogs in tow – Jed and Molly – for the service.

“My mom is a member of the church and these dogs are very important to us,” she said.

Mobley also brought her ferret, Otter, to the service which seemed to take a liking to many of the dogs and other pets on hand.

Little Tyler Bone, who spent a lot of time rubbing the stomach of her
dog Cassie, had people laughing when she ran up front asking Merriman
to also bless two small stuffed animals she was carrying.
Merriman, herself a pet lover, had her dog Shelly by her side during the service.

“It’s amazing the friendship human beings develop with their pets. She
loves me when it seems other people may not. She is glad to see me and
I am glad to see her. I care for her the way God cares for me,”
Merriman said.

She said the service is “an acknowledgment of our great love for God’s creation.”

She also said she was amazed at how well the various animals got along.
She said she had feared there may be problems when they were all
brought together but the service was peaceful.


Categories: Liberal Christianity

Roman Catholic Excommunications

October 8th, 2006 Comments off

I found this site interesting, a "blotter" reporting excommunications in the Roman Catholic Church.

Categories: Roman Catholicism

Fraser Pearce’s Paper on Ordination of Women

October 7th, 2006 Comments off

A key event took place at the Lutheran Church of Australia’s general pastoral conference when Pastor Fraser Pearce delivered a paper supporting the LCA’s position against ordaining women to be pastors. I encourage you to read it.

Australian Lutherans Reject Women’s Ordination

October 6th, 2006 1 comment

The Lutheran Church of Australia has met in convention and again
failed to adopt the heterodox practice of ordaining women to the
pastoral office. A pastor friend from Australia sent the message below
to me. A 2/3 majority was required for adopting and the pro-women’s
ordination folks didn’t come close to it. The "pro" vote was lower this time than last time, in fact. This is the second time in
six years this effort has failed. Those agitating for women’s ordination here in the USA were hopeful it would pass.

Worldwide, liberal Lutheran Churches are strongly
pressuring emerging Lutheran churches into adopting women’s ordination,
and loosening up their attitudes about homosexuality and abortion.
Is The Lutheran
Church–Missouri Synod doing enough to speak out very openly and publicly rejecting the agenda of the LWF and women’s ordination?
            Greetings in Christ

You may have heard but if you
haven’t the vote at the Australian General Pastor’s conference (26th
-29th of September 2006) and General Synod (30th September – 5th
October 2006) , both in Toowoomba Queensland, re the ordination of
women in the Lutheran Church of Australia, did not get the two thirds
majority required.


The GPC vote was 111 for the
ordination of women, 99 against, and 8 abstained.  At General
Synod: 194 for, 169 against, 20 abstained, 1 informal, and 1 non


This is twice in six years that the GPC and GS of the LCA have landed with a near 50/50 vote.

Liberalism is on the brink of
collapse world-wide and the church catholic needs Christ-centred
pastors to fight the good fight. Many of us have weathered massive
attacks from our liberal brothers and sisters, we continue to pray for
them, and remain under the authority of our leaders.