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Archive for June, 2011

A Serious Argument Against the Ordination of Women

June 10th, 2011 6 comments

 

I appreciated these words from an Anglican bishop in Rwanda, perhaps you will too.

A Serious Argument Against the Ordination of Women to the Priesthood and Episcopate

by The Rt. Rev. John Rodgers
June 6, 2011

A Case for the Male-Only Priesthood

God, being a God of order and being all-wise, good, and gracious, has ordered all things in creation for our good. This order in the creation he has retained and renewed in redemption. As part of this good order God has appointed the man to be the head of the family and to be the elder (presbyter) or priest in the wider family of the Church. God’s good order does not envision nor permit women to exercise the ministry of “headship” in the family, nor the ministry of oversight involved in the offices of the priesthood and episcopate as they are understood and practiced by Anglicans. This is in no way detrimental to women for God has an equally significant, different, and complementary ministry for women in the family and in the Church. This godly order is to be enjoyed and respected. When men and women are thus united in partnership we walk in the path of freedom and fulfillment. Other paths may seem attractive and promise much but in the end they prove deceptive and full of contention.

The reasons we hold these convictions are primarily drawn from Scripture. Attempts have been made to interpret the Scriptures to allow women to serve as co-heads of the family and as priests and bishops in the Church. Responsible exegesis simply will not support these interpretations nor does experience confirm them. Alongside Scripture there are other significant reasons found in the experience of God’s people in history and in God’s other book-the book of creation or nature-that corroborate the biblical reasons. We will mention only the most significant of them in this brief chapter.

The primary and chief factual point that we wish to make is this: nowhere in Scripture do we read of a woman being either a priest in the Old Testament or an elder in the New Testament. In the New Testament no woman was chosen by Jesus to be one of the twelve apostles. Jesus could have chosen one of the women who accompanied him, prepared her along with the other apostles-in-training, and after the resurrection appointed her an apostle had he felt that to be appropriate. He did not do so. The same is true of the apostles. Not once did they appoint a woman to be a presbyter or bishop. It was the unvarying practice of God’s people from beginning of Israel to the close of Scripture to call men to these official, stated positions in the people of God. Israel did this in sustained and self-conscious contrast to the practice of the surrounding nations and religions.

Read more…

NEWS FLASH: Lutheran World Federation Seeks to Redefine Path!

June 10th, 2011 Comments off

I was very excited when this ENI story popped into my mail box recently. I hoped that it would be an article on how the LWF is going to finally embrace full-throated confessing Lutheranism and reject all errors contrary to it. Heck, I would have been happy enough with an announcement that it was even going to require all members to subscribe to the six chief parts of the Small Catechism, and reject errors contrary to them, but no…instead the LWF is redefining its path … to put more emphasis on climate change and disaster response. Shouldn’t they change their name to the United Nations or the Red Cross?

Lutheran community seeks to redefine path at meeting in Geneva
By Meritxell Mir

Geneva, 8 June (ENInews)–At a meeting taking place from 9 June through 14 June in Geneva, members of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) will vote on adopting a renewal process for the years 2012 through 2017 that places greater focus on responding to emergencies, especially those having to do with the environment. The new focus also includes proposals for increasing the role of youth and creating financial sustainability.

“There is a need to explore how to get involved in advocacy work that is linked to climate change,” said LWF General Secretary Rev. Martin Junge, who is leading the renewal process. Under the proposal, Lutheran churches hope to be able to better respond to human suffering through coordinated actions with partners.

The creation of regional hubs for emergency response in countries such as El Salvador, Nairobi, and Kathmandu will make it easier to distribute food, water, medicines, and blankets in the event of a natural disaster. Lutherans were on the forefront of issues such as AIDS and the environment, said Junge, and from now on this will make up a bigger part of the LWF agenda.

With membership of many big churches declining, the LWF needs to find new ways to ensure it can continue its mission. “We can have a reasonably realistic plan only for the next three years,” said Junge, “so we cannot say what the situation in 2017 will be. The organization has plans to develop relationships and raise funds, but if that doesn’t work, it will have to reduce expenses.”

LWF leaders think it’s crucial to give young church members a bigger role. “We believe young people should be able to participate in decision-making for the church as a whole, not just for youth programs,” said Junge. “Youth should not be treated as the future, but as the present of the church.”

The LWF’s proposed agenda comes in response to several factors, such as increased global connectivity, widening gaps between the rich and the poor, widespread natural disasters, more forced and voluntary migration, and increased secularization in the Western world. The new strategy consists of a more structured and efficient system for linking churches with training opportunities, scholarships, and education. The biggest challenge, according to leaders, is bringing different views and perspectives together in a way that affirms a shared vision for all Lutheran churches in a coherent, long-term strategy.

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Random Trendy Sounding Bio Statement Generator

June 9th, 2011 Comments off

This is great fun, and now I’ve discovered where other publishers get their copy for their author profiles. Cool! HT: MZH.

Categories: Uncategorized

Luther: The Graphic Novel is Here and In Stock

June 9th, 2011 3 comments

Just in time for you to enjoy on June 25th while you are observing the anniversary of the Augsburg Confession (get your copies of the AC here)….I present Luther: Echos of the Hammer—The Graphic Novel. It is in stock and we are offering quantity discounts. Here’s the link and here’s the scoop:

Introductory Special Pricing
1 to 9 only $10.99 each!
10 or more only $9.99 each!
Use promo code YEH at checkout

This is the story, from birth to death, of Martin Luther who headed a revolution that changed the world. From a small town in medieval Germany, the Reformation resulted in dramatic, sweeping change that still echoes today. Here is Luther’s story of adventure, courage, and faith told for the first time in graphic novel style. Scattered throughout the book are informational call-outs of key supporters and enemies of Luther including Frederick the Wise, Katherine von Bora, Charles IV, and many others. Also included is a comprehensive explanation of Luther’s Seal and an extensive history timeline that gives broad context to Luther’s life.

This Luther biography provides an educational and appreciation of Luther and the Reformation in a fun, comfortable format. It’s perfect for adults, children, and classroom use.

Author Susan K. Leigh is an editor and author who lives in a small town in Illinois. She is the author of several children’s picture books, including twelve titles in the popular “God, I Need to Talk to You” series.

Illustrator Dave Hill graduated from Glasgow School of Art. He has worked in the video game industry for ten years. As a freelance illustrator, Dave’s passion is children’s book and comic books. He lives in Scotland with his wife and their two children.

Here’s a promotional video, be sure to share far and wide:

Looking to Buy an Original Cranach? Here you go!

June 8th, 2011 4 comments

Up for auction, estimated value: $110,000, titled, Lot and His Daughters. Here’s the link to the auction house. Cranach’s usually go for much more than their “estimated value.”

Categories: Art

The Sunday after the Ascension: Exaudi

June 5th, 2011 1 comment

The Introit for the Day

Introit:
Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice! Alle- | luia.*
Your face, LORD, I will seek. Do not hide Your face from me. Alle- | luia. (Psalm 27:7-9)

Psalm:
The LORD is my light and my sal- | vation;*
whom | shall I fear?
The LORD is the strength | of my life;*
of whom shall I | be afraid?
Teach me Your | way, O LORD,*
do not deliver me to the will of my adver- | saries;
for false witnesses have risen a- | gainst me,*
and such as breathe out | violence. (Psalm 27:1, 11-12)

The Scripture Readings for the Day
Old Testament: Ezekiel 36:22-28
Epistle: 1 Peter 4:7-11
Gospel: John 15:26-16:4

The Collect for the Day
O King of glory, Lord of hosts, uplifted in triumph far above all heavens, leave us not without consolation but send us the Spirit of truth whom You promised from the Father; for You live and reign with Him and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Lectionary Summary

The Spirit of Truth Bears Witness to Jesus
The Spirit of Truth bears witness to Jesus, who is the truth. But the world does not receive the truth. It loves its own and hates those who are of the truth. Just as Jesus was scorned, so is His Church. “The hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God” (John 16:2). Yet it is by Jesus’ suffering and death that we are saved. Therefore we rejoice to share in His sufferings, that we may also share in His resurrection glory (1 Pet. 4:7–14). Through the ministry of the Spirit of Truth, we are cleansed from the deceit of our idols and given a new heart and a new spirit, the heart and Spirit of Christ (Ezek. 36:22–28). He now works in us fervent, self-giving love for one another, love which covers a multitude of sins, “that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Pet. 4:11).

Bach’s Cantata for the Day (words first, then video, if available)

Cantata for Exaudi
1. Rezitativ B
Sie werden euch in den Bann tun, es kömmt aber die Zeit, daß, wer euch tötet, wird meinen, er tue Gott einen Dienst daran.
(John 16:2)
1. Recitative B
They will put you under banishment, but the time will come, when, whoever kills you will think that he does God a service by it.
2. Arie T
Ich fürchte nicht des Todes Schrecken,
Ich scheue ganz kein Ungemach.
Denn Jesus’ Schutzarm wird mich decken,
Ich folge gern und willig nach;
Wollt ihr nicht meines Lebens schonen
Und glaubt, Gott einen Dienst zu tun,
Er soll euch selben noch belohnen,
Wohlan, es mag dabei beruhn.
3. Aria T
I do not fear the horror of death,
no hardship at all scares me.
For Jesus’ protective arm will cover me,
I gladly and willingly follow after Him;
if you do not wish to spare my life
and believe you are doing God a service,
He Himself will yet reward you,
indeed, this can be relied upon!
3. Rezitativ A
Ich bin bereit, mein Blut und armes Leben
Vor dich, mein Heiland, hinzugeben,
Mein ganzer Mensch soll dir gewidmet sein;
Ich tröste mich, dein Geist wird bei mir stehen,
Gesetzt, es sollte mir vielleicht zuviel geschehen.
3. Recitative A
I am ready to give up my blood and my poor life
before You, my Savior,
my entire being shall be dedicated to You;
I assure myself that Your Spirit will stand with me,
granted, that perhaps it shall all be too much for me.
4. Arie S
Höchster Tröster, Heilger Geist,
Der du mir die Wege weist,
Darauf ich wandeln soll,
Hilf meine Schwachheit mit vertreten,
Denn von mir selber / selbst / kann ich nicht beten,
Ich weiß, du sorgest vor mein Wohl!
4. Aria S
Highest Comforter, Holy Spirit,
You who show me the way
that I should travel,
help my weakness in my place,
since I cannot pray for myself,
I know that You take care for my well-being!
5. Choral
Du bist ein Geist, der lehret,
Wie man recht beten soll;
Dein Beten wird erhöret,
Dein Singen klinget wohl.
Es steigt zum Himmel an,
Es steigt und läßt nicht abe,
Bis der geholfen habe,
Der allein helfen kann.
(“Zeuch ein zu deinen Toren,” verse 5)
5. Chorale
You are a Spirit that teaches
how one should rightly pray;
Your prayers will be heard,
Your singing is harmonious.
It climbs up to heaven,
it climbs and will not diminish,
until the One has lent aid,
who alone is able to help.
John 16:2 (mov’t. 1); “Zeuch ein zu deinen Toren,” verse 5: Paul Gerhardt 1653 (mov’t. 5)
©Pamela Dellal
I’d put up the videos available for this Cantata, but some sick person posted it to YouTube with photos of the hammer and sickle communist flag. I won’t sully Bach by pointing you to that. You can find it for yourself on YouTube if you wish.

Interpreting the “Coexist” Symbol

June 4th, 2011 15 comments

Ever wonder what the “Coexist” bumper sticker means? Here you go:

Categories: Uncategorized

Rare Book for Sale: Latin BOC from 1677

June 4th, 2011 5 comments

Update: Sold, pending delivery of funds.

Here is a Latin edition of the Book of Concord from 1677. For whatever reason, finding copies of the Latin BOC from this time period is not as common as finding them printed after 1700. You can find Latin BOC editions from the 1700s somewhat easily, but finding them printed, in this good a shape, from before 1680 is more difficult.

It is in great shape, tightly bound.

It is yours for $325, including shipping via USPS Priority Mail (2 Day). If you want insurance and delivery confirmation, that’s $5 extra. I will accept discreet Paypal, money order, or check. I will ship only to continental USA addresses.

Here are some pictures:

Categories: Books

Rare Book for Sale: 1847 Latin BOC for Sale.

June 4th, 2011 Comments off

I’m putting up some books for sale and here are two more. If you want them, let me know by sending me an e-mail to BOC1580@gmail. I’ll take payment via discreet PayPal, but please add 3% to the price. I’ll also accept checks, and will hold books until the check clears, or money order. Shipping via USPS Priority Mail (2 Day mail) is included in the selling price, but if you want delivery confirmation and insurance, add $5 extra. I will ship only to the continental USA.

Here is a Latin BOC from 1847 for sale. I’m asking $75, shipped, for it.

 

 

Categories: Books

C.F.W. Walther’s Doctrinal Text: First Edition/First Printing of Baier’s Compendium – Fantastic Condition – For Sale

June 4th, 2011 1 comment

I’m beginning to divest of some of my books so you’ll be seeing “for sale” ads over the coming months.

First, I begin with a set of Walther’s doctrinal textbook that he edited. These are in very good condition. The spine material is wearing, but each of these volumes is nice and tight in the binding and the paper is in very good shape. Baier’s Compendium is in Latin, with extensive citations from Lutheran theologians, in German. This was printed at Concordia Publishing House in 1879. They are yours for $265, which includes shipping via USPS Priority Mail to addresses in the continental USA. These books are from the first printing, first edition.

Here is more information about these books.

Dr. Robert Preus, in his The Theology of Post-Reformation Lutheranism said this about John William Baier:

“John William Baier (1647-95) studied at Jena, where he came under the influence of John Musaeus, who later became his father-in-law. He was called as professor at the University of Jena and later at Halle, where he did not always get along very peaceably with the pietists. However, like many of the later orthodox Lutherans, he was somewhat affected by Pietism. Baier is known primarily for one book, his Compendium Theologiae Positivae (1685). While demonstrating that the Jena theology was not syncretistic but orthodox, this work, which on every page leans on Musaeus, is not wholly free from the latter’s synergism. Baier’s presentation and formulations are very scholastic and indicate a decline in the forcefulness of orthodox Lutheran dogmatics. His theological shorthand, although precise, becomes so abbreviated at times as to be quite bewildering to one who has not read in other theologians of that day. Nevertheless, because of its clarity and convenient size the book was used in many schools and was re-edited in Germany and America in the 19th. century.”

Apparently from the beginning of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Baier’s Compendium of Positive Theology was used as the basic dogmatic textbook, primarily because it was easy to find. John William Bauer (1647-1695) had been professor at the University of Jena and the University of Halle. Although he wrote a number of other books entitled Compendium (one of historical theology and one of exegetical theology), his Compendium of Positive Theology is his best known work.

In 1865, Dr. C. F. W. Walther wrote that he had been persuaded to try and write his own dogmatic textbook, but this, unfortunately, never happened. Instead, synodical president H. C. Schwan “compelled” Walther to publish an edition of Baier’s Compendium that would include “annotatioins,” and that edition began coming off the press in May 1879. Besides correcting the publishing errors of earlier editions, Walther included copious quotations from sixteenth- and seventeenth-century theologians as elaborations on Baier’s terse comments. In this translation, the major loci and footnotes to them are from Baier. The interspersed quotations from Luther, Chemnitz, Gerhardt, et. al., were added to this edition of Baier by Walther.

 

Categories: Books

Dare To Read Like a Lutheran (Version Two)

June 3rd, 2011 13 comments

My 21 year old son said our poster needed some tweeking to appeal to teens and twenties better, here is his fifteen minutes worth of editing on the poster. Pretty cool!

Categories: CPH Resources

A Lutheran “Pastor” and His Long Distance Congregation

June 3rd, 2011 11 comments

 

The dangers of the Internet extend beyond the naughty things we know are out there, to naughty theology and scandalous practice. I cite but one recent example. There is a man who used to be a Lutheran pastor, but who has left or has been kicked out of the full range of Lutheran churches in the USA, including the LCA, the LCMS, the WELS, and the ultra-tiny CLC. He now offers a little Internet worship service out of a spare bedroom in his house and claims to have a “congregation.” His sermons are appallingly bad, rambling rants about all things wrong with Lutheranism, real or imagined. But it gets even worse than this.I was sent this explanation by one of his “members” of what goes on. This is a classic example of a cult leader misguiding and misleading his little sect. This man also has, for years, opposed the Gospel of the full and free salvation won for the world on the cross. Here is what I was given today. He has his Internet congregants put their bread and wine in front of their computer monitors and then he claims to consecrate the elements via Internet. Pathetic, isn’t it?

I’m a member of Pastor XYZ’s Bethany Lutheran Church. Each family that attends the services either the live broadcast or replaying the recording has the bread and wine set for providing communion to themselves and their families. Pastor XYZ follows the TLH order for Communion service. He consecrates the elements of Holy Communion for those with him and for those attending in their homes around the world. It is rightly distributed. It is my responsibility as head of my household to ensure that those who I distribute Christ’s body and blood to understand the nature and purpose of Holy Communion and that it’s taken in a confession of faith in Christ alone. This happens in each home. You seem to be saying that Christ’s Word is not effective over the phone wires or when purely taught and heard over the internet? Is this true?

Categories: Uncategorized

Dare to Read Like a Lutheran

June 2nd, 2011 Comments off

This is the advertisement we are placing in Higher Things’ conference materials this summer and it was too cool not to share with you. Feel free to grab it and stick it here and there around the interwebs and twitterbooks and facetweets you frequent.

 

 

Categories: CPH Resources

Thoughts for Ascension Day: CPH Chapel Homily Today

June 1st, 2011 2 comments

Ascension 2011
Year A, Luke 24:36-53 (expanded)
Rev. Robert C. Baker
Concordia Publishing House Chapel, June 1, 2011

In a remarkable display of divine forbearance, the rapture came and went May 21, 2011, and you were left behind.

Thank God, because in Scripture those who are swept away—think of everyone in the Flood besides Noah and his family, or Pharaoh’s huge army in the midst of the Red Sea—those who are swept away are those who are damned.

But being caught up bodily to meet the Lord in the air—which is a Scriptural promise, let’s not mock that—will occur, on the Last Day, when the trump will sound (1 Cor. 15:52), when the King of Kings and Lord of Lords will appear (1 Tim. 6:14-16; Rev. 17:14; 19:16), returning in the same manner as His apostles and disciples saw Him depart this very earth (Acts 1:11).

And here we come to the Ascension.

St. Luke is a good and careful author, and where others of lesser skill might have run-on sentences, Luke has chunks of run-on history, detailing the life of our Lord in rapid pace, particularly at the end of his Gospel. It’s almost as if he’s excited to tell you about a lot of things that are very important.

And he does. In his twenty-fourth chapter, Luke has Jesus rising, walking, questioning, chiding, and explaining; then sitting, breaking, revealing and disappearing; then appearing, then peace-ing, then eating, then opening, then teaching, then leading, then blessing, then ascending. All in 50 verses.

Perhaps Luke can’t wait to get to Acts chapter 1!

But notice how Luke describes Jesus’ body. Jesus’ crucified and resurrected body does things bodies normally do but, then again, Jesus’ body does things bodies don’t normally do. Topping it all off, Jesus ascends bodily into heaven. A real human body, Jesus’ crucified and resurrected body, really rising—not just rising above the clouds, but above all things.

Wrap your noodle around that.

Jesus—crucified, risen and ascended—ruling and reigning—sitting “at the right hand of the Father… will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead, whose kingdom will have no end” (Nicene Creed).

Until that day, the day when the Lord returns, ponder the real Great Commission of St. Luke, not the one in St. Matthew (28:18-20), which pertains to Baptism and the Holy Office, but the Great Commission of St. Luke, in which Jesus says: “The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:46-47).

Damned are they who reject this Messiah and who refuse to repent of their sins. Blessed are you who repent, trusting in the forgiveness this Messiah brings through the shedding of His blood. Happy are you, on that day known by no man (Matt. 24:26), when your risen and ascended Lord returns, when you shall rise bodily from the earth to meet Him and all the departed saints in the air, and “so we will always be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:17).

Think about these things October 21, 2011.

Amen.