Free, yes, that’s right, free….apps, for both iOS and Android.
Get the free iOS version of the Echoes of the Hammer game here.
Get the free Android version, here.
Free, yes, that’s right, free….apps, for both iOS and Android.
Get the free iOS version of the Echoes of the Hammer game here.
Get the free Android version, here.
My good friend Pastor Weedon made a comment on a Lutheran forum and a few of you have drawn it to my attention. So, I’m passing it along to the rest of you. I think Pr. Weedon is making a point that is lost on many Lutherans, or, to be more charitable about it, not clearly understood, neither by Lutherans or non-Lutherans. Lutherans are very hard for Calvinists, Evangelicals, Baptists, Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthdoox to figure out. Just when they think they’ve got us nightly shut up tightly into our “denominational” box we go and say something, or do something, that jumbles their well ordered “systems.”
Here then is why this is so, as explained by Pr. Weedon:
We in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod do not accept denominationalism. We do not believe in the “branch theory” of the Church. We recognize that our practice of closed communion is exactly what would be appropriate for the entire visible Church on earth. We believe that what we believe is precisely what every jurisdiction/communion should believe, because it is—we hold—nothing other than what the Scriptures teach.
In other words, we don’t regard those who hold to a different Confession as just “another denomination.” We regard the other confessions to the extent they differ from ours to be falsifications of the truth. As offensive and prideful as they may sound, it’s not intended to be anything less than what (until very recent times) everyone believed about their own confession.
So we act in our communion discipline as what we believe the Lutheran confession of the Faith actually is: the legitimate heir and successor to the Catholic Church of the West. That’s a self-understanding derived from our Lutheran Symbols. We do not claim to be the only jurisdiction in this Catholic Church of the West, purified by the Gospel. We recognize other particular churches around the globe in whom the same faith resides—from the churches of the Archbishop of Latvia, to the churches of the Archbishop of Kenya and the Bishop of Southern Africa and the President of the Lutheran Church—Canada, and a bunch of others. Consequently the notion that our altars are closed to non-Missourians is actually not at all accurate.
In the corrupted state of the Church in which doctrine that we cannot but regard as false and dangerous is enshrined in the confessions of other jurisdictions, this leads invariably to acknowledging in them that while members of the Church Catholic may well reside in their midst (in fact, most certainly DO), nonetheless those Churches by the acceptance of various falsehoods alongside the truth of God, cannot be acknowledged as true sister churches on a par with our Synod. Again, I know it sounds horrific to the ears of those who think denominationally, but if you think confessionally it makes perfect sense: confessions can be entirely pure, somewhat corrupted, or totally destructive of the Christian faith. We tend to put almost all the other confessions (Anglican, Reformed, Roman, Orthodox) as “somewhat corrupted.” Totally destructive would be something like a Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness confession.
So back to the assumption that an LCMS person holds the pure confession – that IS the assumption we would make, unless the person in question gives evidence that his participation at our altars is in fact a lie – that he disagrees with our Lutheran confession of the Christian faith as expressed in our Lutheran Symbols.
I’ve probably offended all my ELCA friends and many of my Missouri ones by the above, but I think it’s clear that until we can get the differing ecclesiologies understood, there’s no hope of anyone understanding our practice of responsible communion (my preferred term), which takes seriously into account the nature of one’s public profession at a given altar.
I keep hearing from folks who ask me questions about reading the Bible, praying, studying Scripture, or theology and so on and so forth. It’s always wonderful to hear from folks and get all their interesting questions. If I had to summarize all their questions with only one question, it would be this, “Pastor, I feel my prayer life is empty and missing something. Can you help me?”
And it is precisely because I and others at Concordia Publishing House are so often asked this question that we developed a resource, designed to be used by a congregation and the contregation’s pastor, to help the whole congregation learn the ancient art of what I call a “prayerful meditation on God’s Word.” There are other names for it, most notably, “Lectio Divina” or “Divine Reading” of Scripture. More on that in a moment.
Now, I know that there are all kinds of red flags and caution signals that go up,and off, in some people’s minds when they hear the expression, “Lectio Divina.” And I understand why, but here we have a classic example of the old adage that “improper use does not rule out a proper use” or, in Latin, abusus non tollit usum. [You can say that and wow and amaze your friends!]
In fact, not many people realize that Martin Luther himself was a champion of a proper approach to Lectio Divina, having practiced this ancient Christian art of prayer and meditation for so many years as a monk. He recognized the dangers of improper use of it, but encouraged a proper use of it, most famously perhaps, in his letter to Peter, his barber, who asked Father Martin for a better way to pray. Luther explained how a person should mediate and ruminate on the texts of Scritpure, slowly and prayerfully, seeking in the Word of God, its meaning and application to one’s life.
Concordia Publishing House prepared a resource that does exactly this and teaches you how to do it. It is called “Light of Life” and takes a person through the Gospel of John, offering a lot of helpful, introductory materials to help you understand how to do this. Here is where you can buy a copy of the resource.
For a congregation wishing to use it across the congregation we prepared a CD filled with resources for promotion and explanation, you can get that here.
You can take a look at a sample from “Light of Life” by clicking this link.
My friend, Pastor William Cwirla, posted this somewhere…..just passing it along.
Why the Liturgy? First a definition and a disclaimer. By “liturgy” I mean the western catholic mass form as it has been handed down by way of the Lutheran Reformation consisting of the five fixed canticles – Kyrie, Gloria in Excelsis, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei. Pardon the Greek and Latin, but it sounds cool and we still use ‘em. “Liturgy” also includes the assigned Scripture texts for the Sundays, feast days, and seasons. Most of what I will say about the liturgy of the Divine Service will pertain to “liturgical worship” in general.
Now, why do we worship according to the western, catholic liturgy?
Ten is one of those good numbers in the Bible signifying completeness, so I’ll stop at ten. I’m sure there are more.
Almighty God, You gave Your servant John the Baptist to be the forerunner of Your Son, Jesus Christ, in both his preaching of repentance and his innocent death. Grant that we, who have died and risen with Christ in Holy Baptism, may daily repent of our sins, patiently suffer for the sake of the truth, and fearlessly bear witness to His victory over death; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
We meditate on Holy Scripture
We reflect on this festival
In contrast to the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (observed on June 24), this festival commemorates his beheading by the tetrach, Herod Antipas. From the perspective of the world, it was an ignominious end to John the Baptist’s life. Yet it was in fact a noble participation in the cross of Christ, which was John’s greatest glory of all. Christ Himself said that there had arisen none greater than John the Baptist. He was the last of the Old Testament prophets and also the herald of the New Testament. As the forerunner of Christ, John fulfilled the prophecy that the grat prophet Elijah would return before the great and terrible day of the Lord. By his preaching and Baptism of repentance, John turned “the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers.” And in the footsteps of the prophets who had gone before him—in anticipation of the Christ whose way he prepared—this servant of the Lord manifested the cross by the witness of his death. (From the Treasury of Daily Prayer, p. 670.
It seemed like a great idea yesterday to completely detail strip, inspect and clean my M1 Carbine…now I just have to put it all back again.
I appreciated this comment overheard on a Lutheran Internet forum…. what do you think?
Open communion is a function of denominationalism. It really destroys the whole concept of church by allowing anyone and everyone to be their own church. Closed communion takes division seriously; open communion does not. The NALC and LCMC will have to decide if they are in full communion with the ELCA. If so, their leaving was an exercise in pointlessness; why make a point of disassociating in some outward way if you’re going to insist that the only unity that matters remains unchanged? But if not, why not? Open communion simply means that nothing beyond individual opinion ultimately matters; the church cannot confess anything, because it cannot separate itself from contrary confessions.
Pictures of my M1 Carbine parts I’ve found marks on after using the M1 Carbine Club Data Sheet. The most mysterious, to me at least, is the D D and series of number on the bottom of the slide box, if that is the right nomenclature.
Here you go, in no particular order. If you click through, twice, on each photo, you get the largest version, for better detailed viewing.
Today we honor and remember St. Monica, beloved and blessed mother of St. Augustine. Her experiences as a wife of a man who was a harsh pagan, but who was converted eventually due in large measure to her loving patience with him, are immortalized for us by St. Augustine himself, chiefly in his deeply introspective work of spiritual autobiography, Confessions. Her ardent and continuing prayers for her son and her constant love and support for him saw him move from paganism, to heretical Christianity, while living outside marriage with a woman who fathered him a child, to eventual orthodox Christianity and service as a bishop. Here is The LCMS biographical note about her.
A native of North Africa, Monica (A.D. 333–387) was the devoted mother of Saint Augustine. Throughout her life she sought the spiritual welfare of her children, especially that of her brilliant son, Augustine. Widowed at a young age, she devoted herself to her family, praying many years for Augustine’s conversion. When Augustine left North Africa to go to Italy, she followed him to Rome and then to Milan. There she had the joy of witnessing her son’s conversion to the Christian faith. Weakened by her travels, Monica died at Ostia, Italy on the journey she had hoped would take her back to her native Africa. On some church year calendars, Monica is remembered on May 4.
Here is a longer biographical note about her from “Lives of Saints”, Published by John J. Crawley & Co., Inc.
From the president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, Pastor Matthew Harrison, via his blog site. Pastor Harrison is providing the Missouri Synod with a new edition of C.F.W. Walther’s Church and Ministry, this is from his revised translation.
WARNING: STRONG ORTHODOX LUTHERAN CONTENT. From time to time the question arises whether LCMS Christians, or even clergy, should be communing at non-orthodox Lutheran altars. The Missouri Synod’s position is unambiguous. It was adopted by the Synod in one form in 1852 when the following text was voted the position of Synod as it relates to the doctrines of church and office. This text was reaffirmed when in 1998 the Synod reaffirmed its commitment to C.F.W. Walther’s “Church and Ministry.” The 1998 resolution affirms not only the theses from Walther’s book, but the book in its entirety. The strong content of what follows should be understood in the entire context of Walther’s great document which clearly affirms the existence of the church well beyond the bounds of orthodox Lutheranism. The following is taken from thesis VIII on the Church. The text is the revision of Walther that I’ve been working on and which is scheduled for publication by CPH next year.
B. Every believer for the sake of his salvation must flee all false teachers and avoid fellowship [Gemeinschaft] with heterodox congregations [Gemeinden] or sects.
1. Proof From God’s Word
Not a few, on hearing that the church exists wherever the Word and the sacraments are still found essentially, infer from this fact that it is a matter of indifference whether they belong to an orthodox [rechtgläubige] or to an unorthodox [falschgläubige] church, since after all they are in the church [Kirche] and so can be saved. But they are mistaken. True, it is not necessary to leave a heterodox communion [Gemeinschaft] in order to be in the church, and many indeed are saved who, for lack of knowledge, outwardly belong to sects and nevertheless continue in the [true] faith. But what does it profit anyone to be in the church if he is not of the church and [so] does not belong to it? Whoever has learned to recognize the false doctrine of the sects and their teachers and despite this fact continues to belong to them is indeed still in the church but not of the [true] church. Such a person does not belong to the divine seed that is hidden in the sects. His maintaining of fellowship [Gemeinschafthalten] with the sects is not a sin of weakness, with which the state of grace can exist, for such a person acts willfully and contrary to the will of God, who in His holy Word commands [gebietet] us to flee and avoid false teachers and their false worship.
As little, therefore, as the doctrine that true [begnadigte] Christians still commit sins of weakness justifies those who think that for that reason they knowingly and willfully may continue in sin, indeed, as surely as those who thus sin against [divine] grace are children of perdition, so little also does the doctrine that in the sects there are children of God justify those who contrary to God’s Word knowingly desire to continue in them; indeed, so surely also such willful partakers of the perversion of the Word of truth are children of perdition; for thus it is written:
Deut. 13:1–3: “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Matt. 7:15: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”
Matt. 24:23–24: “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.”
I was really impressed by Dr. Albert Mohler’s speech delivered at the opening convocation of the Southern Baptist seminary where he serves as president. I think you will find it well worth your time to listen to his message, available here.
Almighty God, Your Son Jesus Christ chose Bartholomew to be an apostle to preach the blessed Gospel. Grant that Your Church may love what he believed and preach what he taught; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
All praise for him whose candor Through all his doubt You saw When Philip at the fig tree Disclosed You in the Law. Discern beneath our surface, O Lord, what we can be, That by Your truth made guileless, Your glory we may see… for You have mightily governed and protected Your holy Church, in which the blessed Apostles and Evangelists proclaimed Your divine and saving Gospel. Therefore with Patriarchs and Prophets, Apostles and Evangelists, with Your servant Bartholomew, and with all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify Your glorious name, world without end. Amen.
God’s Word for the Festival of St. Bartholomew
Old Testament: Prov. 3:1-8
Epistle: 2 Cor. 4:7-10
Gospel: Luke 22:24-30
Information about Bartholomew
One of the Twelve Apostles, mentioned sixth in the three Gospel lists (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14), and seventh in the list of Acts (1:13).
The name (Bartholomaios) means “son of Talmai” (or Tholmai) which was an ancient Hebrew name, borne, e.g. by the King of Gessur whose daughter was a wife of David (2 Samuel 3:3). It shows, at least, that Bartholomew was of Hebrew descent; it may have been his genuine proper name or simply added to distinguish him as the son of Talmai. Outside the instances referred to, no other mention of the name occurs in the New Testament.
Nothing further is known of him for certain. Many scholars, however, identify him with Nathaniel (John 1:45-51; 21:2). The reasons for this are that Bartholomew is not the proper name of the Apostle; that the name never occurs in the Fourth Gospel, while Nathaniel is not mentioned in the synoptics; that Bartholomew’s name is coupled with Philip’s in the lists of Matthew and Luke, and found next to it in Mark, which agrees well with the fact shown by St. John that Philip was an old friend of Nathaniel’s and brought him to Jesus; that the call of Nathaniel, mentioned with the call of several Apostles, seems to mark him for the apostolate, especially since the rather full and beautiful narrative leads one to expect some important development; that Nathaniel was of Galilee where Jesus found most, if not all, of the Twelve; finally, that on the occasion of the appearance of the risen Savior on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias, Nathaniel is found present, together with several Apostles who are named and two unnamed Disciples who were, almost certainly, likewise Apostles (the word “apostle” not occurring in the Fourth Gospel and “disciple” of Jesus ordinarily meaning Apostle) and so, presumably, was one of the Twelve. This chain of circumstantial evidence is ingenious and pretty strong; the weak link is that, after all, Nathaniel may have been another personage in whom, for some reason, the author of the Fourth Gospel may have been particularly interested, as he was in Nicodemus, who is likewise not named in the synoptics.
No mention of St. Bartholomew occurs in ecclesiastical literature before Eusebius, who mentions that Pantaenus, the master of Origen, while evangelizing India, was told that the Apostle had preached there before him and had given to his converts the Gospel of St. Matthew written in Hebrew, which was still treasured by the Church. “India” was a name covering a very wide area, including even Arabia Felix. Other traditions represent St. Bartholomew as preaching in Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt, Armenia, Lycaonia, Phrygia, and on the shores of the Black Sea; one legend, it is interesting to note, identifies him with Nathaniel.
The manner of his death, said to have occurred at Albanopolis in Armenia, is equally uncertain; according to some, he was beheaded, according to others, flayed alive and crucified, head downward, by order of Astyages, for having converted his brother, Polymius, King of Armenia. On account of this latter legend, he is often represented in art (e.g. in Michelangelo’s Last Judgment) as flayed and holding in his hand his own skin. His relics are thought by some to be preserved in the church of St. Bartholomew-in-the-Island, at Rome. His feast is celebrated on 24 August. An apocryphal gospel of Bartholomew existed in the early ages.
You can take a look at a sample from the book, by clicking this link. The PDF file will download automatically to your computer.
You can place an order for the book, and receive it when we receive it from the printer. The price is $36.99, and the professional church worker discount of 20% applies. The book is 1068 in an easy to read and hold paperback edition. Click here to order, or call 800-325-3040.
• Dr. Robert G. Clouse is professor emeritus of history at Indiana State University. He was a founding member of the Conference on Faith and History, served on the editorial board of the Brethren Encyclopedia, and was a contributing editor of the New Twentieth Century Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge.
• Dr. Karl H. Dannenfeldt † served as professor of history at Arizona State University, the American editor of Archiv f ür Reformationsgeschichte, a committee member for the American Society of Church History, and president and officer for the American Society of Reformation Research.
• Edward A. Engelbrecht (STM) is senior editor for professional and academic books at Concordia Publishing House and general editor for The Lutheran Study Bible (2009), which is currently being translated into Spanish and Portuguese.
• Dr. Marianka S. Fousek is an independent historian who served as a professor at Miami University and other schools. She also served as a council member for the American Society of Church History.
• Walter Oetting † (MA) served as professor of Church history at Concordia Seminary. He died young, just after completing his book for the Church in History series, which was reissued in 1992 due to its continuing interest as an introductory text.
• Dr. K. Detlev Schulz is associate professor and chairman for the department of pastoral ministry and mission at Concordia Theological Seminary, serves as the PhD supervisor of the missiology program, and is dean of the graduate school. He grew up in Africa, studied in Europe and the United States, and served as a missionary in Botswana.
• Dr. Roy A. Suelflow † served as a missionary in China, Japan, and Taiwan. He also served as a seminary professor and mission director in East Asia. He later taught church history at Concordia Seminary and served as associate editor for the Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly.
• Dr. Carl A. Volz † served as professor of church history at Luther Seminary and as an editor for Dialog: A Journal of Theology. In 1997, the American Academy of Parish Clergy selected his book, The Medieval Church, as one of the ten best books of that year.
—Douglas A. Sweeney
An outstanding book! . . . Combines all the elements that make for a great text.
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
A clear, thorough and balanced coverage of world Christianity.
North Park University (Chicago)
A marvelous survey text. . . . I will certainly be using it in my own teaching ministry.
—Douglas A. Sweeney
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Very readable and lively. . . . Exceptional research.
Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary
Both erudite and accessible. . . . Encourages a truly global vision of the Church.
—Joseph P. Amar
The University of Notre Dame
Filled with a rich array of fresh resources for . . . study and teaching.
—Garth M. Rosell
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Accurately reflects the dispersion and diversity of the Christian movement.
—Nathan A. Finn
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
[A] magnum opus. . . . See where Christianity has been and where it is going.
—Joel C. Elowsky
Center for Early African Christianity, Eastern University
In honor of the 200th anniversary of Dr. C.F.W. Walther’s birth, Concordia Publishing House is pleased to be the exclusive provider of a commemorative medallion. We are asking people to express their interest in receiving a copy by placing advance orders. We have to receive at least 200 orders to move forward on this project. So, if you are interested in having a keep-sake, limited edition commemorative medallion, please reserve a copy before September 1. Place your reservation order here.
Here is more information.
Honor Walther’s Lasting Leadership
This October will be the bicentennial celebration of one of the most influential leaders in the history of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, C.F.W. Walther. As the first president of our synod, Walther used his passion and outspoken nature to ensure that Lutherans in 19th century America remained faithful to the Scriptures and Lutheran Confessions. A beautiful reminder of Walther’s lasting leadership, this antique bronze medallion is now available for pre-order. The front features a timeline of his accomplishments, while the back pays homage to his most popular work, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel. This impressive 3″ medallion will make a striking statement on your desk or library shelf! This limited edition medallion requires a minimum order quantity be achieved by September 1, 2011. In the event this minimum order is not reached, your pre-order will be cancelled with no strings attached.
Here is a picture of the front of the medallion:
Here is what the back will look like: