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Archive for October, 2011

Join the Reformation

October 12th, 2011 9 comments

We have a little promotional effort underway, and are using the theme “Join the Reformation!” let me know what you think of the theme, and check out the items associated with it here.

 

Categories: CPH Resources

On Heaven, Hell and Spiritual Prudes

October 12th, 2011 1 comment

C. S. Lewis:

I spoke just now of fiddling while Rome burns. But to a Christian the true tragedy of Nero must be not that he fiddled while the city was on fire but that he fiddled on the brink of hell.

You must forgive me for the crude monosyllable. I know that many wiser and better Christians than I in these days do not like to mention heaven and hell even in the pulpit. I know, too, that nearly all the references to this subject in the New Testament come from a single source. But then that source is Our Lord himself. People will tell you it is St. Paul, but that is untrue. These overwhelming doctrines are dominical. They are not really removable from the teaching of Christ or of His Church.

If we do not believe them, our presence in this church is great tomfoolery.

If we do, we must overcome our spiritual prudery and mention them.

—C. S. Lewis, “Learning in War-Time” (1939)

 

HT: Justin Taylor

Categories: Uncategorized

New from Concordia Publishing House: Commentary on the Small Catechism: Creed and The Church from Age to Age

October 11th, 2011 Comments off

Good news! Two new books are now in stock and available for immediate shipping. Click the book title below to place your order, or call 800-325-3040. The 20% professional church worker discount applies to each title.

Commentary on Luther’s Catechisms: Creed by Albrecht Peters
The Church from Age to Age: A History

Here are a couple pics followed by a video.

 

 

Categories: CPH Resources

What Happens When Unmarried People Get a Divorce?

October 10th, 2011 5 comments

I know, they aren’t “divorced” but…well…what do you call it when people who are living together, sharing common property and so forth, just like a married couple, decide to call it quits and, effectively, get a “divorce”? Picked up up from G.E. Veith’s blog site and thought you would find it interesting.

As the number of co-habiting couples skyrockets, a new legal problem has come to the fore:   What to do when the couples split up?  From an article in the Washington Post:

A study by the Pew Research Center found that 39 percent of Americans think marriage is becoming obsolete. But it still takes a marriage (or some other legally binding agreement) to get a divorce. And as the number of couples choosing to live together rather than marry has increased drastically, so have the spats over their splits. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that almost half of its 1,600 members are seeing an increase in court battles between cohabiting couples. Nearly 40 percent of those lawyers said they’ve seen an increase in demand for cohabitation agreements — the equivalent of a prenup, sans wedding ring.

“It’s pretty heartbreaking,” Luxenberg says. “People don’t have rights unless they have the title — their name is on a piece of property or a bank account or something like that.”

Luxenberg recalls one client who lived with her partner for 20 years. They’d had a child and built a home together. The woman’s income was about $50,000, Luxenberg says, and her boyfriend’s was “six or seven times that.” When the couple split, the woman hired Luxenberg to see what recourse she had. The answer: not much.

There would be child support, “but she didn’t get any of his pension benefits or any of his profit sharing. And she wasn’t going to get alimony,” Luxenberg says. “I don’t think people think about those kinds of issues.” . . .

A recent census report found that 7.5 million heterosexual couples lived together in 2010, up 13 percent from 2009. The report suggests that some of the shift may be attributed to the economy — more couples than in the previous year reported at least one party being unemployed. (An Onion TV headline put it this way: “Nation’s Girlfriends Unveil New Economic Plan: ‘Let’s Move In Together.’ ”)

The numbers have been climbing over the past decade as cohabitation has become more socially acceptable.

Brad Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project, an organization that promotes marriage, worries about the effect this has on children.

The good news, he says, is that divorces among parents with children have returned to levels not seen since the 1960s. Of couples who married in the early 1960s, 23 percent divorced before their first child turned 10. The rate peaked at slightly more than 27 percent in the late 1970s. By the mid-1990s, the rate dropped to just above 23 percent.

But a recent report Wilcox wrote, titled “Why Marriage Matters,” concludes that American families are less stable overall, in large part because couples are choosing cohabitation over marriage. Today, 24 percent of U.S. children are born to cohabiting couples, according to the report, and an additional 20 percent will live in a cohabiting household at some point in their childhood.

And 65 percent of children born to cohabiting parents will experience a parental breakup by the time they turn 12, compared with 24 percent of kids born to married parents.

“The more commitment people have to a relationship, typically the better they’ll do, the happier they are,” Wilson says.

This generation’s preference for cohabitation, he adds, may be a backlash against their parents’ propensity for divorce. But not getting married doesn’t protect couples who live together from heartache when the relationship falls apart.

The article goes on to give a number of sad stories.  But isn’t the point of just living together instead of getting married so that no one gets “tied down”?  Don’t a lot of people avoid getting married precisely so as to free themselves from the cost of divorce, alimony, sharing of assets, and the like?   If a couple isn’t married, what claim can they possibly have on each other’s property?   I don’t see how cohabiting couples have any grounds for complaining.  Of course the relationship isn’t permanent.  Of course you don’t have any kind of legal ties.  I thought that was the point!

Maybe we could restore the time-honored option of common law marriage.  If you live together for longer than a specified time, then you are married, whether you have a ceremony or whether you want to be or not, with all of the rights and responsibilities thereof!

Categories: Culture, Current Affairs

Beautiful Time Lapse Photography

October 9th, 2011 Comments off
Categories: Uncategorized

What Do Older Eyes Think of Think of the Compact Edition of The Lutheran Study Bible?

October 8th, 2011 8 comments

 

Read the comment we received for yourself…..and then, if you want one, head on over here to get one.

Hello,

I just wanted to write to let you know how amazingly pleased I am – thrilled, really – with the compact edition of The Lutheran Study Bible I ordered.

I have the regular-sized edition in the hard copy and have the Kindle version as well (which is also great), but really wanted a physical version that I could hold and carry more easily with me. For my every day reading and personal study I have grown to love the NASB, but I like the ESV translation as well and use them side-by-side. The articles and study notes in TLSB are just wonderful. But as someone with over-40 eyes now, I was afraid to order the compact edition. I debated and debated. I actually have trouble reading the regular size version because of some bleed-through, so I was very hesitant to order. But I did, and I am so glad. The Bible text is beautifully easy to read, even without magnifying lenses, and although it’s easier with glasses I can read the notes as well – and I can even make out the footnotes and cross-references if I really try! That’s not a criticism – I need glasses more and more now but can still read this text. And unlike the smaller version of Crossway’s ESV Study Bible, you have included all of the articles and notes and references from the original! That is amazing! And it’s not unmanageably thick, either – it fits very comfortably in hand. And to top it all off, it’s pink! (I know that’s probably a bit controversial with some other customers, but it’s my favourite colour and it is really a beautiful binding.)

All this to say – thank you for this wonderful edition. I was so hesitant to order and afraid it wouldn’t work for me, but as I said I am just thrilled and wanted to let you all know.

Blessings,

Laurel W.

New From Concordia Publishing House – Samples, CDs, Book

October 7th, 2011 4 comments

I’ve gathered up a number of things that hit my desk in the last couple of days, decided to produce yet another potentially Oscar winning short documentary.

Here are the links to the things mentioned in the video:

The Church from Age to Age

Bible Handbook for Students

We Praise You and Acknowledge You, O God

Hymns for All Saints: Psalms, Hymns, Spiritual Songs

 

Categories: CPH Resources

Twenty-First Century Excommunication: Episcopalian Style

October 7th, 2011 5 comments

Mollie Ziegler-Hemingway has a fantastic article today in the Wall Street Journal’s Houses of Worship section, titled, Twenty-First Century Excommunication . It is a fascinating insight into what’s going on now in the ECUSA as it handles dissenters. Apparently, the ECUSA, a church body that continues to experience declining numbers of adherents, still has enough funds left in its investments to effectively hunt down and persecute dissenting congregations. Here’s a snippet of the article:

When the Church of the Good Shepherd in Binghamton, N.Y., left the Episcopal Church over disagreements about what the Bible says about sexuality, the congregation offered to pay for the building in which it worshiped. In return the Episcopal Church sued to seize the building, then sold it for a fraction of the price to someone who turned it into a mosque. The congregation is one of hundreds that split or altogether left the Episcopal Church—a member of the Anglican Communion found mostly in the United States—after a decades-long dispute over adherence to scripture erupted with the consecration of a partnered gay bishop in 2003. But negotiating who gets church buildings hasn’t been easy. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said she’d rather have these properties become Baptist churches or even saloons than continue as sanctuaries for fellow Anglicans.

Read the whole article here.

Concordia Christmas Catalog – Free Shipping on Orders of $75 +

October 7th, 2011 Comments off

The items we are offering in our Christmas Catalog are now gathered on our web site for you to peruse. Please be sure to pay careful attention for the requirements to obtain free shipping on any order of $75 or more.

Christmas Catalog Free Shipping Offer
Concordia Publishing House offers free standard U.S. and Canada shipping* on all qualifying Christmas Catalog orders $75 or more. Only items in the Christmas Gift Catalog and marked with the words free shipping qualify for the free shipping offer. Shipping charges will apply on all other items. Imprints do not qualify towards the $75 free shipping minimum. Offer ends December 24, 2011.

*Enter GT (promo code) at checkout to receive the Free Shipping offer.

 

Categories: CPH Resources

Down With Evil Corporations!!

October 6th, 2011 9 comments

Categories: Culture, Current Affairs

Reformation Week at Issues, Etc.

October 6th, 2011 Comments off

Categories: Uncategorized

iSad – A Lutheran Perspective on the Death of Steve Jobs – One More Thing

October 6th, 2011 Comments off

Steve Jobs was a man God blessed with many gifts. Lutherans have a particularly keen focus on the doctrine of vocation, that is, that no matter who we are, God uses the gifts He gives us to serve our neighbor and the world. God works through what we call “First Article” gifts. What does that mean? Martin Luther in his explanation of the First Article of the Apostles’ Creed, “I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth” asserts that God has given, each of us, all our abilities and talents, everything we are, and everything we have is a gift from God to be used to serve others. This is true of every human being. Steve Jobs was gifted with many of these “First Article” blessings. And it is through the gifts that God gives to all men, that He blesses the world with tools and technologies that help us. Steve Jobs was a person God chose to use to give us many of us these wonderful tools, tools now being used to communicate the Gospel of Christ worldwide in ways that we could hardly have even dreamed of just thirty or even twenty years ago. How we use those tools is the key.

Unlike some of my fellow Lutherans and other fellow Christians, who felt a need at Jobs’ passing to begin making pronouncements about his eternal destiny, I am not rushing to judgment. I can’t help but recall Abraham Lincoln’s quip, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than open your mouth and remove all doubt.” Can we learn from Steve Jobs’ errors and mistakes in life? Of course, and we should. Every bit as much as we must learn from our own. But must we, on the news of his passing, be so quick to condemn him and focus only on his faults and failings? No.

One more thing . . .

Steve Jobs was baptized and instructed in the Christian faith, so we can do a bit more than talk about “common grace,” we can also hope that God, in His own ways, at times and places of His choosing, may have worked in Steve’s life, at the last, a remembrance of the gifts from Christ He had received in His life. Unless you have been with a person in their last days, you have no idea what goes on in a person’s heart and mind in the closing days and moments of life. Let us hope that God brought back to Steve the remembrance of what he had been taught as a young man in a Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod confirmation class, taught by my friend Rev. Dr. Martin Taddey, now deceased.

So, let’s leave the judgement to God, and leave the judgmentalism to those who have no hope. We who have hope in Christ know that for all mankind the One who suffered, died and rose again as the victor over our greatest enemies: sin, death and the devil, has called us to be His very own. We hold out hope that, in His mercy, He once more reached into Steve Jobs’ heart and mind at the end. And that is the “one more thing” that would be better than anything Steve ever announced and told us about.

Categories: Apple Computer

Celebrating the Faithfulness of Dr. C.F.W. Walther

October 5th, 2011 Comments off

Please click on the image below to go to our CPH web site offering a whole host of resources for celebrating and observing this significant anniversary.

 

Categories: CPH Resources

Jack is Back …. News about Next Gerhard Volume

October 4th, 2011 1 comment

Yes, I know to you his name is Johann Gerhard, or John Gerhard, but to those who work with his writings day-in and day-out around here, they’ve become such good friends with him, he is Jack to us. Well, ok, at least to me.

Here’s some great information on the next volume in Gerhard’s magnificent doctrinal work, the Loci Theologici, translated into English. My colleague Rev. Dr. Benjamin Mayes supplied this information to me to pass along. By the way, standing subscriptions to the series now receive a 30% discount off the full price.

The doctrine of the ministry has been debated back and forth within the Lutheran church for generations, and much of the problem stems from not knowing our historical theology. The best way to remedy this problem is to read, and there is perhaps no better author to read on classic Lutheran theology than Johann Gerhard.

The next volume of Gerhard’s Commonplaces will be the first part of On the Ecclesiastical Ministry. Read Dr. Benjamin Mayes’ introduction to the volume at the Lutheran Orthodoxy blog. This volume deals especially with ministers of the church: their necessity, call, ordination, transfer, removal, and the like. With detailed and penetrating examination and analysis, Gerhard first proves that there is an ecclesiastical ministry instituted by God, an affirmation disputed by contemporary Anabaptists and Unitarians. Next, Gerhard demonstrates from Scripture the necessity of a specific call to the ministry, a call given by God through the church, before one may carry out the pastoral functions and duties. Besides the qualifications for holding this office in the church, Gerhard discusses the call of Martin Luther, the degree of Doctor of Theology, and ordination through prayer and the imposition of hands, among many other topics that are of importance to the church still today.

You can read a sample from the forthcoming book here.

The Theological Commonplaces series is the first-ever English translation of Johann Gerhard’s monumental Loci Theologici. Gerhard was the premier Lutheran theologian of the early seventeenth century. Combining his profound understanding of evangelical Lutheran theology with a broad interest in ethics and culture, he produced significant works on biblical, doctrinal, pastoral, and devotional theology. Gerhard interacts with the writings of the church fathers, Luther and his contemporaries, and the Catholic and Calvinist theologians of his day. His 17-volume Loci is regarded as the standard compendium of Lutheran orthodoxy, with topics ranging from the proper understanding and interpretation of Scripture to eschatology.

Useful for research on Lutheran doctrine, Gerhard’s accessible style makes this a must-have on the bookshelf of pastors and professional church workers.

Each embossed hardback volume includes

• the translation of Gerhard’s Loci (originally published from 1610 to 1625)
• a glossary of key theological, rhetorical, and philosophical terms
• a name index
• a Scripture index
• a carefully researched works cited list that presents guidance for deciphering the numerous abbreviations of the other titles from which Gerhard quotes.

Call 1-800-325-3040 and become a subscriber to the series and save 30% off the retail price!

Categories: CPH Resources

My First Copy of My First Hymnal – Nice Looking Book!

October 4th, 2011 4 comments

Just thought I’d show you a picture of the first copy of My First Hymnal to hit my desk today. It is fantastic! Beautiful inside and out, and simply great content. Perfect for children up to age ten. We are sending all congregations a promotional poster and sign up form in the next few weeks, so stay tuned. The price is $19.99 and no additional discounts will be offered, so you can start stocking up now. It is printed on heavy paper stock and has a nice “heft” to it, making for a durable and beautiful keepsake book. You can place your order online or by calling 800-325-3040. I have a feeling these are really going to move fast, so…well, you know.

 

Video Overview of My First Hymnal

 

Categories: CPH Resources