Archive for May, 2008

How To Subscribe to Growing in Christ Podcasts in iTunes

May 31st, 2008 1 comment

OK, I admit it. I do not use podcasts, but I know I should. I've never bothered to learn how. I use my iPods only to listen to music, but I have no excuse why I've not used them to listen to podcasts on my commute. Thanks to for instructions on how to listen to the Growing in Christ podcasts in iTune. My understanding is that once you set this up in iTunes it will automatically grab a new podcast, and when you sync your iPod, the Podcast will be downloaded to you iPod. (My apologies to those shaking their heads over such "obvious" information!).

Copy the Podcast address
(i.e. and open
iTunes. In iTunes, go to Advanced on the taskbar, select “Subscribe to
Podcast…” and paste the address there. The podcast will show up in your
podcast tab on the left.

Here is Apple's information page on podcasts and iTunes, and if you dig around a bit you find this important statement:

Not in the Store? Not a problem..

If while surfing the
web, you ever come across a podcast that you can’t find in the iTunes
Music Store, here’s an easy way to subscribe to it anyway. From the
Advanced menu, choose “Subscribe to Podcast…” and enter the podcast
feed URL. iTunes will subscribe you to the podcasts and begin
downloading immediately.

Categories: Uncategorized

Podcast for Growing in Christ

May 30th, 2008 Comments off

Growing in Christ, the great Lutheran Sunday School curriculum, featured an extremely popular weekly radio interview in which the Senior Editor, Deaconess Pamela Nielsen, reviewed the coming week's lesson. We know that thousands of people were downloading these and listening to them.

After a brief hiatus, these helpful talks are available again as podcasts directly from Concordia Publishing House. We are expanding our Internet media and content delivery and this is part of that effort.

Please go to the CPH podcast page. You may subscribe to our podcasts so you get them when they become available. I've heard from a lot of people who enjoyed these shows before, even though they were not Sunday School teachers. Each week Deaconess Nielsen will, with Pastor Baker, be walking you through the upcoming Growing in Christ lesson. I think you will really like it! Check it out.

Categories: Uncategorized

Christian Spirituality for Today: Grace Upon Grace

May 30th, 2008 Comments off

Please don't miss this new book. This is a powerful study of Christian spirituality with solid, pastoral advice, direction, suggestions and guidance for understanding what "spirituality" is all about for the Christians. With all the dreck floating out there purportedly offering help for Christians to have a fuller, richer spiritual life, this book "delivers the goods" — anchoring you in Christ and His gifts. You are going to love this book.

"Christian spirituality is, quite simply, following Jesus. It is the ordinary life of faith in which we receive Baptism, attend the Divine Service, participate in the Holy Supper, read the Scriptures, pray for ourselves and others, resist temptation, and work with Jesus in our given location here on earth." – from the Introduction of Grace Upon Grace: Spirituality for Today by John Kleing

The longing for spiritual fulfillment, inevitably paired with spiritual frustration, is common among Christians.

    * Do we read and study the Bible enough?
    * Do we worship often and in the right way?
    * Do we pray enough, in the correct way, and for the right things?
    * How do we become truly spiritual?

And the answers from numerous self-help spirituality books only lead to confusion and the fear of missing key steps on the road to becoming spiritual.

In response, John W. Kleinig clarifies that there is no process for becoming spiritual. Instead, God graciously gives to us every spiritual gift that we need, beginning with the very gift of faith in Christ, our Savior. Because God has joined us to Christ, He continually comes to give us life. This book offers good, solid, pastoral advice, wisdom and direction for people looking to recover the classic resources of Christian spirituality.

About the Author

Rev. Dr. John Kleinig

About the author:  The Reverend Dr. John Kleinig is author of Leviticus (Concordia Commentary Series, Concordia Publishing House, 2003). Dr. Kleinig serves as lecturer and dean of chapel at Australian Lutheran College in North Adelaide, South Australia.

Regular Price: $14.99. The 20% church worker discount applies.
To order call 800-325-3040
Or order online.

Product Details:
Format: Paperback
Item Number: 12-4289WEB
Number Of Pages: 287
Availability: In Stock

Categories: Uncategorized

Vatican Declares Automatic Excommunication

May 29th, 2008 2 comments

Vatican City, May 29, 2008 / 02:29 pm (CNA).- The
Vatican declared today that any women who attempt “ordination” or any
bishops who attempt to “ordain” women are automatically excommunicated
from the Church by their actions. The decree from the Congregation for
the Doctrine of the Faith is said to be absolute, universal and
immediately effective.

The rest of the story

Here is the text of the decree:

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
General Decree

Regarding the crime of attempting sacred ordination of a woman

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to protect the nature and
validity of the sacrament of holy orders, in virtue of the special
faculty conferred to it by the supreme authority of the Church (see
canon 30, Canon Law), in the Ordinary Session of December 19, 2007, has

Remaining firm on what has been established by canon
1378 of the Canon Law, both he who has attempted to confer holy orders
on a woman, and the woman who has attempted to receive the said
sacrament, incurs in latae sententiae excommunication, reserved to the
Apostolic See.

If he who has attempted to confer holy orders on
a woman or if the woman who has attempted to receive holy orders, is a
member of the faithful subject to the Code of Canon Law for the Eastern
Churches, remaining firm on what has been established by canon 1443 of
the same Code, they will be punished with major excommunication, whose
remission remains reserved to the Apostolic See (see canon 1423, Canon
Law of the Eastern Churches).

The current decree will come into
immediate force from the moment of publication in the 'Osservatore
Romano' and is absolute and universal.

William Cardinal Levada
Angelo Amato, S.D.B.
Titular Archbishop of Sila

Categories: Uncategorized

Indiana Jones Thirty Second Review

May 28th, 2008 3 comments

If you were never much of a fan of Indiana Jones movies, you won't like this one either; on the other hand, if you are like hundreds of millions of other human beings on this planet who love Indiana Jones, this movie is a real treat. Here is my thirty second review:

Same old fedora. Same old Indy. Film makers at the top of their game. Beautiful camera work. Breathtaking effects. Suspend disbelief and enjoy the ride. Spooky graves. Frightening chases. Evil villains. Unexpected surprises. Sheer entertainment. You'll never look at an ant hill the same way again. Classic Hollywood escapism. Extremely satisfying. Grade: A+

Categories: Uncategorized

NASA Spends $420 Million to Discover My Back Yard

May 28th, 2008 7 comments

One of the first images back from the latest trip to Mars shows this patch of ground. I would gladly have allowed NASA to send a probe to my back yard in August. It would have found the same thing: red, rocky, lifeless soil. I'm all for exploring. I love it in fact, so no problems there. But spending $420 million dollars got me thinking on other big projects we, as a nation, need to be moving on, quickly.

I guess I'm at a point where I'm fed up with the federal government and
big oil for not harnessing all the power of their respective resources
to perfect and finish the development of alternative fuel technologies. The Congress should open up oil exploration off the shores of our
nation and allow for the sideway drilling technology into the Denali
National Forest in Alaska to provide us with oil, and time to perfect alternative fuel source technology: water, wind, solar, hydrogen. 

A large percentage of the obscene profits being raked in these
days by big oil should be diverted to alternative fuel technology development, mandated by law. If we are going to be paying $4-$5 a gallon for fuel (which has been the case in Europe for years, by the way). I'd like to think that at the end of the day the profits from these sales will result in stable, alternative fuels that do not require me to be putting cash into the pockets of nations and terrorist groups that would love to kill me and destroy my nation. We put a man on the moon in less than ten years. We can
get this job done too.

Categories: Uncategorized

Prince Caspian Thirty-Second Review

May 28th, 2008 7 comments

We are hitting the big recent releases this week. Here is my thirty second review of Prince Caspian.

Confusing. Lots of talking animals. Lots. Badgers make soup. Cute talking mice. Tough-guy dwarves. Lots of heavily accented English, hard to understand. Sound track poorly recorded. Shiny swords waved about. Battles here and there. No overt Christian symbolism, as in the first movie. Good guys win. Bad guys get killed. Little blood. Lots of violence. Maybe if you are a big fan of the books you'll like it a lot more. I give it a C.

Categories: Uncategorized

The Roman Catholic Mass

May 25th, 2008 Comments off

MassA A new conversation is underway at the Blog of Concord, on the Smalcald Articles, Part II, Article II. Come on over and check it out. 

Categories: Uncategorized

Treasury of Daily Prayer: Coming This October

May 24th, 2008 16 comments

Have you ever been frustrated trying to juggle multiple books as you
attempt to have a daily, structured, time of prayer and meditation on
the Word of God? Have you ever wondered why it is that Roman Catholics
and Anglicans have such fine books for daily prayer, called breviaries,
but that Lutherans kind of/sort of do, but don’t—almost, but not quite
there? Have you wondered why most one-volume prayer resources that are now out there are so
complicated, complex and vexing to use, requiring you to turn pages
until you are dizzy? Are you looking for a resource that will allow you
to dwell richly in the Word, and engage in the ancient practice of lectio divina (divine reading)? Have you been looking
for a daily resource for a full, complete life of prayer and meditation
on the Word that reflects the rich heritage of Lutheranism with its
keen focus on Christ and His Gospel? Well, your wait is over.

Announcing the most complete resource for daily prayer ever before
provided in the history of the Lutheran Church, in any language, let
alone English. I present to you:

Treasury of Daily Prayer
Concordia's Treasury of Daily Prayer is a comprehensive
uniquely Lutheran resource for daily devotions, unlike anything else before, or
presently available, bringing together under one cover Scripture
readings, prayers, psalmody, hymnody, and devotional readings from the
church fathers. The chief benefit of this resource is that everything
for daily prayer and meditation on God’s Word will be available in a
single book, with all the "propers" for each day provided together in
the same place in the book.

The heart of Treasury of Daily Prayer is the Daily Lectionary developed for Lutheran Service Book.
Each day’s section will contain: (1) the full text of the two Scripture
readings. Using this plan nearly all of the New Testament, and about a
third of the Old Testament, is read each year. (2) Psalmody and (3)
Hymnody that captures the content, subject or theme of the appointed
readings. (4) A devotional writing from a church father or the Lutheran
Confessions; (5) on the days where a feast, festival, or commemoration
falls, a brief biography of the person (or event) being commemorated
will be included. (6) Finally, a brief prayer will be included that
collects the thoughts and themes that are seen in the day, especially
the New Testament Reading.

Treasury of Daily Prayer is designed to be equally useful for
individuals, families, and small groups with the inclusion of the four
brief orders of Daily Prayer for Families and Individuals. In addition,
for those who choose to use them, the order of Matins, Vespers and
Compline are included in the center of the volume.

In addition to the Daily Readings and Writing and the Orders of Daily
Prayer, the book will contain a section of daily and occasional
prayers, the Litany, the common canticles of the Church, Luther’s Small
Catechism, all 150 Psalms, and several other resources for daily prayer
and piety.  

God willing, this will be published this coming October. We are not
taking orders for it yet, but I thought you would like to hear about
it. I’ll keep you posted.

Categories: Uncategorized

Memorial Day and Veterans Day

May 24th, 2008 3 comments

Note: Memorial Day is NOT Veterans Day. They are two unique and distinct national holidays. Memorial Day is set aside to honor those who died in battle serving our nation. Veterans Day honors all who have served in the Armed Forces. One of my pet peeves is when people mistake the two days. I know that for many war veterans, it is embarrassing for them to be singled out on a holiday set aside to remember those who died in battle. Every war veteran I've spoken with, and I'm an avid student of World War II, every single one, and there have been hundreds, they all say the same thing: the real heroes are those who never made it home.

Categories: Uncategorized

The Lutheran Study Bible

May 23rd, 2008 12 comments

Please pass this news along to your various e-mail groups, blog sites, mailing lists, social networking sites, to your friends and neighbors

For Immediate Release


Saint Louis, MO – Concordia Publishing House will release The Lutheran Study Bible in October 2009. The Lutheran Study Bible
is the first study Bible in English to be developed from the ground-up
with notes that are “exclusively and distinctively Lutheran.”

The Lutheran Study Bible
includes more than 26,500 study notes, including over 2,000 application
notes and prayers for every part of the Bible; over 80,000 center
column cross-references and 900 cross-references to 120 full or
half-page maps, charts, and diagrams; and more than 220 articles and
introductions to biblical books and topics. The Lutheran Study Bible
notes were prepared by Lutheran theologians, scholars, and pastors from
12 Lutheran church bodies. “We are excited to offer all
English-speaking Christians a study Bible that offers such a comforting
and powerful Christ-centered understanding of the Scriptures,” shares
Rev. Paul T. McCain, Publisher and Executive Director of Editorial for
CPH. “As the Lutheran Reformers put it, Christ and His Gospel is the
unspeakable treasure that alone opens the door to the entire Bible.”

The Lutheran Study Bible
uses the English Standard Version® translation, one of the fastest
growing translations worldwide and considered to be one of the most
precise English translations available. “TLSB is a truly unique
offering in the study Bible ‘market’,” says Gretchen Jameson, CPH’s
Corporate Communications manager, “it combines a personal, devotional,
and practical application approach to Bible reading, alongside solid
scholarly study notes. There is, quite simply, nothing else like it
available today.”

Detailed information about the unique features of The Lutheran Study Bible will be online at in October 2008.

The Lutheran Study Bible is available for Internet pre sale in March 2009.   

For more information about this news release, please email

Categories: CPH Resources

Stay Tuned for First News on The Lutheran Study Bible

May 20th, 2008 1 comment

Word to the wise: stay tuned for a press release from Concordia Publishing House on The Lutheran Study Bible, the first study Bible, in English, to be prepared using exclusively Lutheran scholars, theologians, pastors, researchers and authors, who are all committed to the confession of historic, genuine Lutheranism, designed from stem-to-stern by Lutherans. It uses the English Standard Version of the Bible. That's all I'll say for now, but it is coming and we are beginning to talk about it.

By the way, that picture to the left is *not* it. That's the very first complete translation of the Bible, by Martin Luther, from 1534. Not to worry: The Lutheran Study Bible will not be that huge. Big? Yes. Huge? No. Chocked-full of Lutheran goodness? Most definitely! But that wonderful Luther Bible will play a role in TLSB. Every cross reference put in the 1534 Luther Bible will be included in The Lutheran Study Bible. Cool, huh?

This is most definitely not simply a new edition of the Concordia Self-Study Bible. This is entirely new. You are going to love it. It has a rich variety of notes, annotations, study helps, articles, introductions, including quotes from Luther, the Confessions, Early Church Fathers, and the like. But I'll say no more for now.

Well, maybe a bit more. It combines sturdy scholarly notes and helps, with richly devotional and practical Law/Gospel application notes. That's all I'll say though.

OK, one more thing. This Bible puts "legs" on this statement from the Lutheran Confessions: "The chief topic of Christian doctrine
[justification] isespecially 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." Really, that's all I'll say for now. More is coming. I can't wait to share more news with you about it, soon, very soon.

Categories: Uncategorized

Digital Book of Concord and Digital ESV Bible: $20

May 20th, 2008 1 comment

Please be sure to take advantage of a limited-time offer from Concordia Publishing House. Get the Concordia edition of the Book of Concord *and* the complete ESV Bible in digital/computer format for only $19.99. This is a self-contained product and installs the software you need to run it on your computer, the Libronix system. It works on PCs and Macs running the Parallels or Bootcamp software. Pass the word on to the Lutheran blogosphere. This price is good from May 19-June 1.

Categories: Digital Resources

High School Graduation

May 17th, 2008 5 comments

What happened? Just a couple years ago I was holding this guy in my arms, now look what happened: he just graduated from high school last night! This is our son, Paul Jerome, quite happy as he is shaking hands with the principal of his high school here in West County St. Louis. Because of his ACT score of 34 (two points shy of a perfect score), he received a full academic scholarship to Truman State University here in Missouri, where he will be headed off to college this coming August. He maintained a high-A average throughout high school, while maintaining a very full schedule of music, and being drum major for the marching band for two years. Can you tell I’m a proud dad? Yup, I am. And so his mother. I mean, she is a proud mother, not a proud dad. You know what I mean.

(Photo geeks: We were sitting in the top row of the bleachers in the arena where the graduation took place. Fortunately, we were on the right side for me to get this shot of Paul crossing the stage after receiving his diploma. This is a cropped image from the original taken with natural light, from about 250  feet away. Taken with the Canon 5D, with the 100-400 mm L IS lens, handheld. ISO 3200. Not too bad!)

Categories: Uncategorized

Revitalizing Lutheran congregations that are no longer Lutheran

May 16th, 2008 5 comments

I was reading a Missouri Synod district’s blog site and ran across this comment by the district president. I appreciated his candor and pastoral wisdom. I believe that it is precisely in such honest assessment of reality as we find it in the church today that we have the best opportunity for the kind of open, honest communication that is so necessary.

This month I’d like to talk about
revitalization. If you remember the goals of ABLAZE, you recall that
one of them is to revitalize 2000 congregations by 2017. While a number
of our congregations have asked to hear a presentation on this process,
and while some have already begun the process, I want to draw your
attention to a different kind of revitalization that four of our
District pastors have been involved in at one time or another in their
ministry (and not all of these happened while they were in the Ohio
District). When they reached their congregations, these four pastors
made a surprising and sad discovery: their congregations were no longer
Lutheran. Oh, they were Lutheran in name, but certainly not Lutheran in
teaching and practice. In several instances, some lay leaders and
members proved to be quite hostile to any suggestion that Lutheran
teaching should be reintroduced. Yet, to their credit, these pastors
very patiently and lovingly set about to bring those congregations back
into something resembling Lutheran congregations. For the most part,
they taught and preached from Luther’s Small Catechism. In some cases
the teaching was received happily; in other cases, life became very
difficult and challenging for them, especially when strong objections
came or when people packed up and left. But these pastors persevered
and with God’s help, most saw progress. To their credit, when some
laity saw that they were now being taught Lutheran doctrine, they left.
They admitted they really did not believe our Lutheran teaching after
all. I commend them for that integrity.

I once thought that reviewing the
catechism with the congregation on a regular basis was pretty boring. I
don’t think so any more. What pastors know by heart is not always
embedded so firmly in the hearts and minds of those we shepherd. A
daily barrage of “Christian” radio and TV can muddy our distinctives
over time. How pastors re-establish Lutheran teaching varies with each
congregation and with each pastor’s ability to apply the catechism to
today’s American version of Christianity.

These pastors could have taken an easier
route. They could have rolled with the situation and continued down the
path they found. But instead, they took the road less traveled. The
saving Gospel of Jesus Christ, minus legalism, minus decision-theology,
minus pietism, was restored in all of its comforting beauty and power.
Wherever people hear that their sins are forgiven and that through
faith in this Christ, a glorious eternity awaits them, a fruitful
response comes and the congregation is strengthened.

I am fully aware that other pastors
share the same desire to see their congregations revitalized in just
that way, too. Restoring a Lutheran identity is a commendable task. But
do you have the patience? Do you possess a winsome spirit? Can you be
happy with progress sometimes measured in millimeters? If not, instead
of revitalization, you may bring even worse discord and division that
now has been agitated by a strident personality. It was said of our
Lord that “a bruised reed He would not break, a smoldering wick he
would not extinguish.” Besides a love for the Truth, an evangelical
spirit coupled with a love for your people must be in any pastor who
undertakes such an ambitious and praiseworthy revitalization project.
Without them, however, the last state of such a congregation may become
worse than the first.

Ohio District ABLAZE

Rev Terry Cripe
May, 2008
Categories: Lutheranism