Issues, Etc. continues to provide excellent, informative programming for the thinking Christian. Here is what we have to look forward to this coming week: The Order of
Creation, False Christs vs. The Christ, Feminism & Abortion, How to
Stay Christian in College, The Angel of the Lord in the Old Testament,
Divorce and more. If you have never given Podcasting a whirl, here's your chance. Well worth your time and a great way to fill the time on your commute to and from work, or at any time, on demand.
Rev. Scot Kinnaman, the General Editor of the Treasury of Daily Prayer, is providing white papers explaining the thinking behind the Treasury and the underlying understandings that shaped its preparation and contents.
The other day a pastor asked me an interesting question, a natural one. "Paul, why should I buy the Treasury of Daily Prayer if I already own the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau's resource For All the Saints?" Good question!
We have prepared this comparison of the two resources that serves to highlight the similarities and differences. Simply put, Treasury offers far more depth and breadth of resources, hands-down, in a single volume, that is far less expensive than the four volumes of the ALPB resource. Now, am I saying the ALPB resource is "bad"? No, I'm not saying that. I will say, unequivocally, that the Treasury is far better. But, you be the judge. And as you review this comparison, you will gain an even greater appreciation for the scope of the Treasury.
Resources specific to the Day
For All the Saints: Daily Prayers and Readings: this includes an opening and closing prayer, Old Testament Reading (I), New Testament Reading (II and Gospel Reading (III)—the readings appointed by the LBW Daily Lectionary which is now discontinued, and a writing from a church father (IV). Each of these are fully printed out.
Treasury of Daily Prayer: Propers for Daily Prayer-this includes a Psalmody, 5-9 verses printed out with pointing for chanting; additional one or two Psalms suggested for use; Old Testament reading; New Testament reading—the readings follow the Lutheran Service Book Daily Lectionary; a Writing from a church father; Hymnody with the text of one or two stanzas printed out, a Collect, when a festival or commemoration falls on the day, and a biography or description; a suggested reading from the Book of Concord.
For All the Saints features the following orders for daily prayer: Morning Prayer/Matins, Evening Prayer/Vesper, Prayer at the Close of the Day/Compline. These are text only, and no longer have continuity with the orders used in any widely used hymnal.
Treasury of Daily Prayer: The following services are printed with their full musical setting just as they are found in Lutheran Service Book: Matins, Vespers, Compline, Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, The four brief orders of Daily Prayer for Individuals and Families, Responsive Prayer 1 and Responsive Prayer 2 (Sufferages), The (Great) Litany. Also, a full set of seasonal Invitatories, Antiphons, and Responsories for use with Matins and Vespers, the breadth of which we have not seen in a hymnal anywhere.
Both books contain the complete 150 psalms of the Psalter. For All the Saints’ presentation follows the LBW model and provides psalm prayers paired with the text of the psalm. The text is not fully pointed for chanting. The Treasury of Daily Prayer provides psalms that are fully pointed and therefore easily chanted as well as spoken.
For All the Saints provides a selection of additional prayers for various occasions (11 prayers in volume II). Treasury of Daily Prayer offers a selection of Prayers, Intercessions, and Thanksgiving that features a set of prayers for each day of the week, the text of the (Great) Litany, and a collection of Prayers for the Baptismal life (55 prayers).
For All the Saints: none that we can see.
Treasury of Daily Prayer: Materials that present, support, and further the use of the Christian Church Year; Encouragement to Pray; presentation of the Daily Office in both its historical background and as an accessible practice today; Ember Days; Luther’s Small Catechism; Preparation for Confession and Absolution, including personal examination and the order of Individual Confession and Absolution from LSB; and Preparation for the Sacrament of the Altar featuring Christian Questions with Their Answers; and finally, a quick start guide called How to Use, that makes the resources of the Treasury immediately available to the user for at least one ordered devotion a day.
Pastor Matthew Harrison has finally stepped into the 21st century and is now officially a Lutheran blogger. Check it out.
I'm glad to see Harrison coming out of his shell and being a bit more extroverted. I am looking forward to his recounting his truly incredible experiences as he travels the world on behalf of LCMS Human Care and World Relief.
He is the only person in the world, I would venture to guess, who plays banjo and translates Luther and 16th century fathers, at the same time!
My colleague, and the General Editor of the Treasury of Daily Prayer, Rev. Scot Kinnamann is beginning a series of "white papers" on the Treasury of Daily Prayer, explaining how it was put together, the thinking behind it, the rhyme-and-reason to it, etc. I think you'll enjoy this behind the scenes look at the creation of the Treasury. [Update: Sorry for the bad link, folks, it is now fixed].
Michael Spencer, a well known blogger, who describes himself this way: "I am a post-evangelical reformation Christian in search of a Jesus shaped spirituality" had this to say about the Treasury of Daily Prayer which he kindly asked to review, on his always-interesting blog site: Internet Monk. If you do not have Michael's blog bookmarked, you should. It's one of the most consistently well done blogs I read [and I read a lot].
I have to admit that I’ve never been particularly excited about any
book called “Treasury.” It’s a title I’d be reluctant to use for any
serious resource. So aside from that extremely minor point of personal
taste, I want to use every superlative possible to tell my readers that
Concordia has produced the most comprehensive, well edited, plainly
explained and thoroughly impressive resource for liturgical daily
prayer I’ve ever encountered.
If you want a resource for personal or small group liturgical
prayer, with abundant options, complete explanation of the Christian
year, scripture passages printed out, readings from Church fathers
included and much more, your search is permanently over. The Treasury of Daily Prayer surpasses any resource I’ve seen.
What impresses me the most here is not what other resources do, but
what no other resource does. I am constantly looking for resources
synced with the Christian year AND for the Christian year to be
completely explained. Done.
I’m looking for Lenten devotions with a catechetical focus. Done. I
want liturgical prayer that includes readings from the church fathers
and reference to doctrinal confessions. Done. I want the process of
liturgical prayer explained step by step and in its component parts, so
that those with no background in such prayer can begin with confidence.
This is a Lutheran resource, published by the LCMS publishing house.
It is catholic in the sense that conservative Lutheran resources are
expected to be. This isn’t a resource that does anything with
contemporary generic evangelicalism in mind. The confessions referenced
are Lutheran confessions, and Luther is generously represented in the
readings. The lectionary is the LCMS lectionary.
This in no way limits the value of this resource for any Protestant.
Even with the sacramental disagreements that may be underlined in some
portions of the material, the vast majority of what you’ll find in The Treasury of Daily Prayer is completely usable by any Christian.
It’s a feast folks. Seriously. I’ve seen nothing this good or even close.
This is the kind of large resource that can make a lifetime
contribution to personal worship. It is a complete education in the
Protestant liturgical prayer tradition, Lutheran version.
Many congregations think that they can save money by printing their own bulletins and design them themselves. Several factors however actually might mitigate against this theory. First, a professionally designed bulletin cover requires the use of pre-made graphics, photos, and other such designs, which do not necessarily come cheap. Second, a bulletin specifically designed to support the Lutheran Service Book three year lectionary, with cover image and options for what is on the back is already available. Third, printing out color bulletins, or any graphic intensive bulletin, for that matter, consumes both toner cartridges, paper and valuable staff time. A better alternative is to subscribe to Concordia Publishing House's Every Sunday Bulletin Service. Here are a couple of whimsical videos that make a good point! For more information on CPH's ESBS program, please call 800-325-3040. Or visit the "Save the Copier" web site. Here are a couple whimsical videos that make these points.
If you get a chance, and I hope you do, pay a visit to a new Internet radio program called The God Whisperers. It is fun to listen to, but more than that, helpful and a good teaching resource.
Pastor Esget has written a succinct, spot-on analysis of a growing problem in confessing Lutheranism: antinomianism—in both practice and preaching. Here you go:
There is a growing problem of antinomianism in contemporary Lutheranism. “Christ does all good works through me,” some will say—and
accuse you of false doctrine if you preach that the Christian does (and
ought to do) good works. Such people find a warm welcome in congregations
that bill themselves as “confessional” and “liturgical.”
But do the Confessions teach that “Christ does all good works
through me” (or the variant, “The Holy Spirit does all good works
through me”)? Here’s what the Formula of Concord says (Epitome, Article
Fruit of the Spirit, however, are the works wrought by God’s Spirit, who dwells in believers. The Spirit works through the regenerate. These works are done by believers because they are regenerate.
They act as though they knew of no command, threat, or reward. In this
way God’s children live in the Law and walk according to God’s Law….
The believer, so far as he is regenerate, acts without constraint and
with a willing spirit to do what no threat of the Law (however severe)
could ever force him to do.
As I read it, the Spirit does the works and the believer
does the works. Together. The Spirit dwells in the believer, who freely
cooperates. Both do the works. Which is why I find it a reprehensible
doctrine to say that the believer doesn’t do good works, only Christ (or only the Holy Spirit – sheesh, make up your minds already!) does them.
It is a doctrine that becomes an excuse to ignore the Christian
life. The typical formulaic “You’re a sinner; Jesus died for you; all
is forgiven” sermon leads to antinomianism, where the believer is
taught that he needs no guide and does no good works. You’re free to
believe that. You’re just not free to call yourself “Lutheran,” much
less “confessional” if you do.
We are also now taking orders for the Treasury. I recommend that you reserve a copy now, either the plain soft cover version, or the soft-cover bonded leather version. Demand for this long-anticipated book is going to be strong, and though we do our best to anticipate demand with our first print run, we always plan conservatively, so if you want to be sure of receiving a copy when it is first available, it is a very good idea to "get in line" now.
Remember those long lines of people sleeping in lawn chairs in front of Apple stores waiting for the iPhone. Yea, that's pretty much it. [OK, maybe not that crazy, but you get the picture].
Let me know what you think after you check out the excerpts, and please feel free to pass the PDF files around to others, post them on your blog, help spread the word. Many thanks.
A DVD was sent out recently to all LCMS, WELS and ELS congregations titled Children Making Music. You can read more about it here and order a free copy (while supplies last) by sending an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
It is truly superb! I think you will really love it.
"Children Making Music" runs 30 minutes and is divided into three
segments aimed at children, parents, and pastors and educators,
Rev. Paul Grime, who initiated the DVD project,
hopes congregations will play the video at board meetings and Bible
classes, for Parent Teacher Leagues and Sunday school students. He grew
acutely aware of the shortage of church musicians (and the shrinking
supply of people to lead church music programs) in his former post as
Commission on Worship executive director.
"If the DVD is shown
in just half our congregations and schools, and if it provides the
needed encouragement to only a couple of students in each parish, that
would ultimately mean several thousand additional musicians who might
one day be leading our congregations in song," said Grime, now dean of
the chapel and associate professor of pastoral ministry and missions at
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind.
Making Music" was developed by a committee representing three Lutheran
church bodies: The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS), the Wisconsin
Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), and the Evangelical Lutheran Synod
(ELS). The Marvin M. Schwan Charitable Foundation provided funding.
the Archbishop wrong? What do you think of this report.
The prefect of the Apostolic Signature, Archbishop Raymond Burke, said
this week that Catholics, especially politicians, who publically defend
abortion should not receive Communion, and that ministers of Communion
should be responsibly charitable in denying it to them if they ask for
it, “until they have reformed their lives.”
In an interview with the magazine, Radici Christiane, Archbishop
Burke pointed out that there is often a lack of reverence at Mass when
receiving Communion. “Receiving the Body and Blood of Christ
unworthily is a sacrilege,” he warned. “If it is done deliberately in
mortal sin it is a sacrilege.”
To illustrate his point, he referred to “public officials who, with
knowledge and consent, uphold actions that are against the Divine and
Eternal moral law. For example, if they support abortion, which entails
the taking of innocent and defenseless human lives. A person who
commits sin in this way should be publicly admonished in such a way as
to not receive Communion until he or she has reformed his life,” the
“If a person who has been admonished persists in public mortal sin
and attempts to receive Communion, the minister of the Eucharist has
the obligation to deny it to him. Why? Above all, for the salvation of
that person, preventing him from committing a sacrilege,” he added.
“We must avoid giving people the impression that one can be in a
state of mortal sin and receive the Eucharist,” the archbishop
continued. “Secondly, there could be another form of scandal,
consisting of leading people to think that the public act that this
person is doing, which until now everyone believed was a serious sin,
is really not that serious - if the Church allows him or her to
“If we have a public figure who is openly and deliberately upholding
abortion rights and receiving the Eucharist, what will the average
person think? He or she could come to believe that it up to a certain
point it is okay to do away with an innocent life in the mother’s
womb,” he warned.
Archbishop Burke also noted that when a bishop or a Church leader
prevents an abortion supporter from receiving Communion, “it is not
with the intention of interfering in public life but rather in the
spiritual state of the politician or public official who, if Catholic,
should follow the divine law in the public sphere as well.”
“Therefore, it is simply ridiculous and wrong to try to silence a
pastor, accusing him of interfering in politics so that he cannot do
good to the soul of a member of his flock,” he stated.
It is “simply wrong” to think that the faith must be reduced to the
private sphere and eliminated from public life, Archbishop Burke said,
encouraging Catholics “to bear witness to our faith not only in private
in our homes but also in our public lives with others in order to bear
strong witness to Christ.”
I had an interesting conversation some time back with my colleague here at CPH: Rev. Robert Lail, the mastermind/creator/programmer of the Lutheran Service Builder software. He indicated to me that he was surprised to note that when one compares how many verses of the Bible one receives in the three year lectionary, with how many in the one year lectionary, the difference is not really as large as one might assume. He counted verses in each lectionary, which may not be the most accurate way of doing it, say, as opposed to word counts, but since that standard is applied to both lectionaries, it gives a good ballpark, to be sure. What are the results?
Here is a screen shot of the Excel file Bob gave me. You can see here the percentage of verses in each book of the book of the Bible between the two lectionaries, which book is featured less, or more, between the two lectionaries, and the total, at the bottom of the image: 23.9% of the Bible is provided in the three year lectionary, and 14.8% of the Bible is provided in the one year lectionary. Not that massive a difference, as one might think. Interesting, no? [Click on the image for a much more readable version].
I ran across this rather breathtaking, but helpfully candid, statement of antinomianism, the teaching that there is no unique use, or function, of the law in the life of a Christian. The person who made this statement was asked, "Are you free to sin?" His answer:
Stand fast in the freedom for which Christ has set you free”! The 1st
and 2nd use of the law is all that is necessary. God doesn’t need your
good works, your neighbor does. You’re free to do them… or not. You are
FREE! Sins and all.