Archive for September, 2008

New Subscription and Pricing Option on Growing in Worship

September 30th, 2008 2 comments

Concordia Publishing House is making a new children’s every-Sunday worship resource available, titled, “Growing in Worship.” It helps children in the Divine Service, through visuals and interactive activities, which they use as they listen to the Gospel lesson, the collect and other aspects of the service. It is then designed to be taken home and used through the week, to connect children and their families with the church’s life of worship. To read more about it, view a sample of it, and to learn about the various pricing and subscription plans, please go here. Would you please help get the word out on this new resource by sharing this with your friends?

Note: There are thirteen weeks in a quarter, and Growing in Worship is delivered in quantities of five copies per Sunday, ten per copies per Sunday and twenty-five copies Sunday, for each of the thirteen Sundays in a given quarter.

Here are the pricing and subscription options.

Bulk subscription, packaged in weekly quantities of:
 5 – $19.50 per quarter
10 – $26.00 per quarter
25 – $48.75 per quarter

+ Individual subscriptions are $6.50 per quarter

+ Add or subtract quantities on a quarterly basis (see schedule)

+ Shipments arrive four times a year

+ Continuous subscription—no need to renew

“Growing in Worship provides children with a weekly guide to the words, actions, people and Bible stories they encounter in worship each Sunday. It engages their minds and their spirits with Christ as He is encountered each week in Word and Sacrament, and then sends them home with Christ–centered ideas and suggestions for the week ahead. Every congregation should get Growing in Worship. It is truly a wonderful resource for our children!”
— Revs. David Johnson and Jon Vieker LCMS Commission on Worship

Categories: Uncategorized

We’ve Only Begun to See the Internet’s Capabilities

September 30th, 2008 2 comments

I'm no "futurist" but I do find myself daydreaming about the future of the Internet and communications. I'm convinced that we will continue to see strides forward in sending, and receiving, massive amounts of data to and from computers, to the point where all our media will be streamed and will have incredibly interactive functionality, complete with some kind of holographic human interfaces on our media devices. Our computers will continue to become media centers, offering massive storage capacities and the ability to sort and generate media and data files of all types. I'm very excited to see what the state of computer technology will be in twenty years. I know how far we've come since I bought my first computer in 1987. This article portends the future of the Internet and computing. Where do you see computing and the Internet in twenty, or fifty years from now?

Categories: Uncategorized

In the Bunker: My Visit to Issues, Etc.

September 29th, 2008 2 comments

Todd and Jeff kindly asked me to spend some time with them and their listeners for the next seven weeks, Mondays from 3:30-4:00, central time, talking about the Lutheran Confessions. Something I love to do.

It was great to see them and to be back on Issues, Etc. again. Their "bunker" as they refer to their small, but extremely well equipped studio and offices, is a great venue for them. The sound quality is extremely high. This is a first-class "new media" operation. If you haven't listened yet to the new Issues, Etc. I heartily recommend you do. And if you care to hear what I had to say today, here, and here, is where you can listen.

From the photo below, obviously, you can see I dressed up for the occasion. Todd and Jeff and Craig? Well, life in the bunker is a bit tough for them. I was happy to bring down some provisions. The climb down to the bunker is a killer. The security search before they let you in is a tad, well, uncomfortable. The retinal scan and fingerprinting was a bit much. But all in all, it was well worth the trip.

Todd & Paul McCain

Categories: Lutheran Radio

Update on Treasury of Daily Prayer, with Photos

September 25th, 2008 4 comments

We received back from the printer a set of unbound signatures of Treasury of Daily Prayer. It is exciting to seeing it coming into shape and form. The paper is really nice and thin enough to make the book not at all overwhelmingly thick, yet thick enough to make sure you can read it without a problem with bleed-through. Some of you have reminded me, in varying degrees of politeness, that I said promotional materials would be hitting your congregations about now. Well, there was apparently a bit of miscommunication on that point. The promotional materials are coming, but won't be arriving until the third week in October. We are striving to get them out sooner. But they are coming, along with a nice sign-up poster so you may take group orders in your congregation. Until then, please be sure to refer people to our comprehensive review-site: We are also working on placing files on the site that you can use once the sample runs out on Oct. 5.

Here is a photo of some of the unbound signatures on a table in our office. Click on it to enlarge it.


Categories: CPH Resources

Endorsements for Treasury of Daily Prayer

September 25th, 2008 Comments off

We continue to receive great endorsements from folks who have seen a complete pre-publicaton copy of Treasury of Daily Prayer. Here is what we have so far, and more are coming in. Sales are clipping along nicely, and particularly impressive is the fact that relatively little has been said in major way about the resource, beyond some comments here and on some e-mail lists and blog sites. Keep spreading the word, and thanks for all the enthusiastic interest I've received from everyone. Here is where you can order Treasury of Daily Prayer.

“The Treasury of Daily Prayer promises to be both instructive and devotional, encouraging a richer daily life of prayer.  It is by no means a “clergy” book, but will be accessible to all, including youth as a devotional book they can grow into.  It will make a great Christmas gift.  CPH is to be congratulated for bringing together such a fine resource that will have a place both in a pastor’s study and at the home altar.”
 —Pastor William Cwirla
Hacienda Heights, CA

“I am so impressed and excited about the release of this new material, that I have gone ahead and ordered two copies (one for myself and the other for my wife). I now have to wait until the FedEx truck arrives at my door.  . . . Can't wait to get my hands on it.”
—Kyle Wright
Stafford, VA

“I was amazed to find you had produced nothing less than encouragement to a complete devotional life between hard cover. THANK YOU!”
—pastor from St. Louis, MO

“Daily individual and family devotions are not an alternative to the worship of the church, but a part of it. Treasury of Daily Prayer integrates daily devotional life into the pattern of the church year, and will offer the discipline of structured daily offices to carry Sunday’s worship through the week. It would make an ideal confirmation gift, providing confirmands with a single source of prayers, catechesis, and lectionary to nourish their faith. “
—Pastor Reg Quirk
Chairman, The Evangelical Lutheran Church of England (ELCE)

“All I can say is: PREPARE TO BE BLOWN AWAY! The good folks who have worked on this puppy have produced something that I have never seen in the whole of Lutheran liturgical history: a daily office book and so much more in a SINGLE volume.”
—Pastor William Weedon
Hamel, IL

“In my library there is a shelf filled with precious and regularly used reference books. Although the Treasury of Daily Prayer could sit amongst those volumes, instead it occupies a permanent place of prominence upon my desk. Why? A quick scan will show the Treasury of Daily Prayer is more than its simple name implies. Treasury of Daily Prayer is nothing less than a spiritual pacemaker which can bring a steady rhythm to an irregular devotional life.

“Using the loom of the church year, Rev. Kinnaman, and his team of associate editors have woven a seamless cloth for prayer. Taking readings from Scripture, texts from hymns and appropriate threads from the Confessions and Church Fathers, they have created a wondrous tapestry leading to prayerful worship. “
—Rev. Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker, The Lutheran Hour

“I think this will be the single best resource the Church has ever seen for family devotions. No kidding. I'm not saying that because I was involved.  . . . I was quite happy to do it because I loved the concept. I fully expect to use this book everyday with my family.”
—Pastor David Petersen
Fort Wayne, IN

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. Done. 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.”
Michael Spencer

“Simply put Treasury of Daily Prayer is without parallel! Indeed it is a treasury of Scripture, Catechism, prayers, hymnody and devotional readings cast within the calendar of the church year to assist the Christian to pray without ceasing. I know of no resource that comes close to Treasury of Daily Prayer in terms of providing both pastors and laity a richly Lutheran book for reading, reflection and intercession. Treasury of Daily Prayer is a worthy companion to Lutheran Service Book as it clearly reflects the piety of our hymnal, drawing together things old and new that will provide fresh springs from God’s living words to edify and enlighten users for years to come. Ancient collects of the church are included along with newly-crafted prayers. It is evident that those who prepared this book took seriously Luther’s understanding of the Catechism as a text to be prayed. I especially appreciate the devotional gems gleaned from Lutheran writers of the Reformation period as well as more recent times. This is a book that delights not only the heart and mind but also the eye with its clean graphics and user-friendly lay out. No doubt that it will become a devotional classic the likes of which American Lutheranism has not yet seen. It is a literary testimony to the spiritual vitality of confessional, orthodox Lutheranism. “
John T. Pless
Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions/Director of Field Education
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN

“The Treasury of Daily Prayer has the potential to radically improve the daily prayer lives of any who make use of it. With helpful material that introduces the purpose and procedure of daily prayer the Treasury will prove to be a great resource to introduce the practice into the lives of many. I can see the Treasury serving as something like a "virus" infecting the Lutheran church and beyond with the result of spreading the practice of daily prayer far more broadly than it is practiced at the present time. The Treasury will have a unifying effect as many will
be reading the same lections each day – something Hermann Sasse once wished for among the Lutheran clergy. This may lead to discussion groups forming around the daily lections as well as conferences and conventions that will include praying the Offices as part of the schedule. Finally, one more important point regarding the Treasury. As many have found, the practice of daily prayer and of praying the daily Offices is a blessing, but also a challenge at times. The challenge lies mainly in our flesh. We often allow any excuse to interfere. Often we find it too burdensome to go through several resources. The Treasury does a fine job of providing all the resources in one volume. I have made use of the materials for the last week and it is very simple to use. The "old Adam" will have far less to complain about if one makes the Treasury a regular part of their daily prayer life. I recommend the Treasury of Daily Prayer highly and I look forward to see how this resource will positively impact both clergy and laity alike.”
Pastor Michael L. Keith
Fort Qu'Appelle, SK, CANADA

“If you have ever longed to be like the psalmist who mediates on God’s word day and night (Psalm 1:2) with the result that your life is marked by the enduring fruit of the Spirit (Psalm 1:3), then the Treasury of Daily Prayer is just for you! Resources abound, so much so that your cup will run over! Daily Offices, Psalms, prayers, and hymns are combined with readings from the Bible, the Lutheran Confessions, and the Church Fathers. Together these texts provide a spiritual smorgasbord that will add great joy to your daily walk with Jesus. I commend Treasury of Daily Prayer to pastors and laity alike!”
Rev. Dr. R. Reed Lessing
Associate Professor of Exegetical Theology and Director of the Graduate School
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO

Treasury of Daily Prayer is a must for the devotional life of every pastor in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.  In turn, pastors should encourage their members to make use of Treasury of Daily Prayer for their daily devotional life.  This resource will serve everyone well as it provides foundational material to guide the weekly rhythm of his or her worship life.”   
—Rev. Dr. Ray G. Mirly,
President of the Missouri District of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

“At last, a comprehensive prayer book for Lutherans! As the Lectionary Committee for Lutheran Service Book completed its assignments, a resource was envisioned that would give the good laypeople of our church a rich and easy-to-use collection of readings, prayers, and other treasures for their daily life of prayer. When time ran out to complete this goal, the task was handed over to Concordia Publishing House—and now they have delivered! This Treasury of Daily Prayer will most certainly prove to be a treasure as it leads laypeople and pastors alike into the riches of God’s Word and gives voice to the prayers of all the saints.”
—Rev. Dr. Paul J. Grime
Dean of the Chapel—Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN
Project Director for Lutheran Service Book, 1999–2007

“ ‘Just as I am without one plea’ is how God receives us, completely with His saving grace apart from our works, but God loves us too much to leave us just as we are.  His grace to us in justification continues in His grace that grows us in holiness.  To that end, the Treasury is a good resource for the discipline required on our part.  ‘Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure’ (Philippians 2:12-13).”
—Dale A. Meyer
President, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO

Categories: Uncategorized

Calvinism: A Dreary Business Indeed

September 24th, 2008 5 comments

Calvinists are constantly having to explain to people why when God's Word says, "God so loved the world" it doesn't really mean "the world" and why when God's Word says, "Christ died for all" it doesn't really mean "all."

What a dreary business it is defending a system that so starkly contradicts God's Word. That's why I continue to appreciate the razor-sharp proclamation of the love of God, in Christ, that is the very heart and center of Scripture, and hence, the beating heart of Lutheranism.

A dreary business indeed, Calvinism is.

Categories: Calvinism

Löhe Conference

September 23rd, 2008 Comments off

You might recall that in an earlier blog post, I quoted Dr. C.F.W. Walther, who said that it is surely the case that from a human perspective, Wilhelm Löhe is the spiritual father of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Here is news about a conference being held at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne. CTS Fort Wayne was started by Löhe who later turned the seminary over to The LCMS as a gift.

Wilhelm Loehe Conference—Still Time to Register.
Space is still available to attend the upcoming conference to
commemorate the bicentennial birthday of Wilhelm Loehe, who just
happens to be the founder of Concordia Theological Seminary. The
conference runs from 6:00 p.m., Friday, October 10, through noon,
Saturday, October 11. Cost is only $25, which includes breakfast and lunch on Saturday!
Program change: now appearing on the program is
Dr. Wolfgang Fenske of Berlin, Germany.
Dr. Fenske has spent several years doing research in Neuendettelsau,
the town where Loehe lived and worked. Dr. Fenske, who is also a vicar
in the SELK, our partner church in Germany, will present the paper at
our conference dealing with Loehe’s liturgical theology. Please contact the seminary at (260) 452-2100.


Categories: Uncategorized

The New Home of the Book of Concord on the Internet

September 21st, 2008 3 comments

Check it out.  And please spread the word.

Picture 2

Categories: Lutheran Confessions

The Luther Decade Begins: Roman Catholic Cardinal Urges Return to Faith of Luther

September 21st, 2008 2 comments

The state church in Germany, in cooperation with government agencies and institutions, is launching the "Luther Decade" — a celebration of all things Luther, culminating in 2017, the 500th anniversary of the posting of the 95 theses. Of particular interest will be a special exhibition in Halle, featuring the archeological finds from recent decades in Mansfeld and Wittenberg. This is a remarkably unique opportunity for all who continue to cherish and hold fast to Luther's doctrine to help people understand that we are not celebrating a man, as much as we are celebrating the Word of the Lord, which endures forever, and celebrating the renewal and reformation of the Church with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the ever living Gospel of which Luther was but the herald and messenger. I'm already very concerned by what I've heard and read from the mouths of the leadership of the liberal Lutheran churches and worldwide Lutheran church organizations. Try as they might, however, the message of the Gospel is irrepressible.

So far, the best comment I've heard has come not from Lutherans, but from Cardinal Walter Kasper, head of the Vatican's Walter Kasper, head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity who was quoted as saying that:

he also hoped
Protestantism would return to the faith of Martin Luther, "who would
have been deeply averse to all of today's liberal tendencies". 
[See rest of the ENI story below].

Sadly, the leadership of the Lutheran World Federation will, in all likelihood, not will not speak a word of judgment and condemnation against the liberal theology, which Kasper rightly says, Luther would have been "averse to." They will, in all likelihood, not reject and condemn the open embrace of homosexuality, abortion on demand and dreadful deviations from the Biblical revelation and witness in all areas of Christian theology, which is the root cause for the state of theological corruption in the German state churches.

But as Kasper also rightly notes, wherever Luther's hymns and commentaries on the Bible sound forth, there we have the "spiritual power" of the Gospel of Christ shining brilliantly through!

Confessional Lutherans will want to do all they can to make sure the
Gospel of Christ is sounded loudly and clearly at this event, and the
solid doctrine of God's Word proclaiming that Gospel is crystal clear.
We can expect much more emphasis to be placed not on the Reformation,
per se, but on Luther as a cultural figure, a great man in the history
of Western thought. But as long as they let Luther's words be heard,
the Gospel will sound forth, as it did then, as it does now. This is, in fact, not a "Luther decade" but the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the great Reformation of the Church, which is always an opportunity for repentance of sin and return to true and genuine trust in Christ and His Word.

Read more…

Categories: Lutheranism

Good Times at Truman State University

September 20th, 2008 5 comments

We just returned from a great day at Truman State University, in Kirksville, Missouri where our son Paul began his university adventure in mid-August.

Paul was awarded a full academic scholarship to this unique public
university: one of the few in the country that has dedicated itself to
being a liberal arts university, with a strong focus on academics.
Proof? The Truman State University football team was crushed today, 48-0, by
Northwest Missouri State University. I was not aware there even was a
university in the northwestern part of Missouri. I'm pleased to be
involved with a university that places a premium on academics, not a
football program.

Lynn and Paul
Mom was glowing, as only moms can do when they are with their sons. It was parents' day weekend and we enjoyed seeing Paul enjoying himself so much, and doing so well. He was happy to see us, proud to introduce us to his friends and show us where he goes and what he does. Boy, it sure brought back a lot of memories of the fun and excitement of college days for his mom and dad! We toured the campus, marveled at a very neat and clean dorm room, which no doubt it always so neat and clean, and enjoyed Paul showing us his progress in his classes, via some impressive online tracking tools the students have. We spent time in the thriving metropolis of Kirksville, Missouri: population 5,000, not counting the 5,500 or so people at the university.

Good times, indeed, thanks be to God.

Oh, yes, I finally was able to meet one of my favorite U.S. Presidents, Harry S. Truman. He seemed please to meet me. He could not wipe that big grin off his face.

Paul T and Harry S

Categories: Uncategorized

Growing in Worship: New Worship Folder for Children

September 19th, 2008 6 comments

I’m really pleased to be able to show you a great new resource from Concordia Publishing House. It is titled “Growing in Worship” and is a four page weekly worship folder that can be handed to every child attending the worship service in your congregation. Deaconess Pamela Nielsen, and her team of editors, have prepared this resource for our church.

It is designed to enhance their engagement in, and understanding of, the church’s worship life. You can read more about it here and see a copy of one of the issues. This resource supports the Lutheran Service Book's three year lectionary readings. If you sign up now, your first issue will come to begin using them starting on the second Sunday in Advent, this year.

Here is a complete preview of the first issue.

More details:

“Growing in Worship provides children with a weekly guide to the words, actions, people and Bible stories they encounter in worship each Sunday. It engages their minds and their spirits with Christ as He is encountered each week in Word and Sacrament, and then sends them home with Christ–centered ideas and suggestions for the week ahead. Every congregation should get Growing in Worship. It is truly a wonderful resource for our children!”
— Revs. David Johnson and Jon Vieker LCMS Commission on Worship

Categories: CPH Resources

Find Where Your Name Is

September 18th, 2008 2 comments

This is a really cool site that allows you to enter your last name and identify where in the world that name is most frequently located. McCain? Mostly in the USA, but …. in Ireland? Yup, Northern Ireland. I should have guessed.

Picture 3

And my mother's name? Geipel? [She is first generation American, me? Second, on my mom's side.] Yup…LutherLand, most commonly found in Saxony, Saxon-Anhalt and Thuringia. Figures. A combination of Northern Irishman and a Saxon German. Quite a combination, don't you think?

Categories: Internet Resource

Book of Concord on the Internet: Your Opinion Please!

September 17th, 2008 Comments off

The Book of Concord web site is the most frequently visited web site on the Internet for the Lutheran Confessions. It's been around for years. That's the good news. The bad news? It's been around for years. The good folks who help me maintain and run the site have kindly donated their time to improving the site's look, and feel. So, would you kindly take a gander and take the survey?

Here is where you can take a gander at the new site.

Here is where you can take the survey.

Categories: Uncategorized

Cranach Magnified

September 14th, 2008 Comments off

The Getty museum has a way for web site viewers to take a very close look at the details in several of Cranach's paintings. Take a look, and even a closer look.

Categories: Uncategorized

This Week on Issues, Etc.

September 13th, 2008 Comments off

OLD THEOLOGY, NEW TECHNOLOGY…Tune in this week to a LIVE Lutheran
radio talk show. Issues, Etc. is produced by Lutheran Public Radio and
hosted by LCMS Pastor Todd Wilken. Topics include: Responding to the
Arguments of Atheists, Moses, The Civil Use of God’s Law, the Wretched
Man in Romans 7, Mormonism & Heaven, the Influence of Christianity
on Labor and more. Issues, Etc. broadcasts LIVE from 4-5 p.m. on KSIV,
1320 AM in St. Louis. Or you can listen to what you want when you want

Categories: Uncategorized