It is not complicated, at all. The United States Constitution recognizes the right to keep and bear arms. Note I used the word “recognizes.” It is a right, it is not a privilege given you by the government. It is a right inherent to being a free man. Sometimes when I post things about firearms on my blog people wonder how it is that I would possibly enjoy the shooting sports or would exercise my Second Amendment rights. If you are an American citizen, I encourage you to do the same. Here’s a video explaining why:
When Amazon first released the Kindle, I was, of course, an early adopter. But…I rarely used it. Why? Because I rarely read fiction. My nose is, usually, and always has been, buried deeply in non-fiction: history, theology, current events, politics, biography, you name it. Non-fiction has been my steady diet for a long while now, though, as a boy, I read fiction and literature voraciously.
Sure, I’d take my Kindle along on trips, and it was great to use, but otherwise, I’d just set it aside until the next trip.
But in the past year I have become a total Kindle addict. It feeds my long buried fiction addiction and I have read, perhaps, more fiction in the past year than I have in the previous ten years, or more.
I thought I was alone in this, but my friend Dr. Gene Edward Veith recently commented on this and told me that using a Kindle to read e-books has reawakened his passion for reading fiction, which got him into his lifelong journey to begin with, leading to his doctorate in literature, etc. He has become one of my best “recommenders” of fiction to read, he turned me on to The Hunger Games, for example. Told me, “Once you start reading them, you won’t be able to stop.” He was right.
I realized that his experiences with the Kindle are precisely my experiences in the past year.
At first, I thought the Kindle was a nice toy, a nice gadget, but surely it could not replace the “experience” of reading. No physical paper or pages. Sure, reading would not be the same. I was one to snort it off and look down my nose at it. No more.
I’m telling you today that in fact reading is every bit as much a pleasure and then some because of the Kindle. I can take my books with me wherever I go and read them wherever I am and whenever I want.
Kindle is with me anywhere my iPhone is, which is to say, everywhere, all the time.
I find myself ending most days now spending at least thirty minutes, to an hour, with my Kindle reader, reading some work of fiction. I’ve got titles stacked up now in the list waiting to be read, all kinds of fiction.
Most recently it has been The Hunger Games [what a great read!], next up will be another read of the British seafaring fiction of Patrick O’Brian which rises to the level of fine literature.
So, that’s my story, the Kindle and I have a beautiful friendship.
Care to share your own experiences with the Kindle or e-books in general? Do you find yourself reading more fiction?
From Rev. William Weedon, LCMS Director of Worship and IC Chaplain, by the way, here is a link to all Gerhard works in our inventory, and, below Pastor Weedon’s remarks, is information on becoming a subscriber to Gerhard, to receive 30% off and free shipping/handling. The free shipping offer is available to subscribers to our “Lutheran Fathers” program. Be sure to ask about that
An observation that my good friend Heath Curtis has made lately more than once needs to be underscored: our theological education had huge gaps, and if you are looking to fill those gaps, there is hardly a better person to be reading than the Loci of Johann Gerhard.
There is literally almost NO controversy that we think of as “modern,” no crisis in practice, no challenge from the polemics of others, that he has not already visited, prayerfully thought through, listened to the Sacred Scriptures, the Church Fathers, and canon law on, and provided a genuinely Lutheran answer to. Seriously. He continually blows me away.
Pastors and theologians: put some more Gerhard in your diet. You will be utterly amazed. Just a page or two a day! It’s the education in God’s Word, Church History, and practical application that you’ve been looking for.
And I’d add that one thing I LOVE about Gerhard is that his rich dogmatics do not come unglued from a fervent commitment to prayer and to clear, practical preaching. Pious, yes, without “pietism.” Profound insight, with no sense of theological showmanship. You just can’t do much better than reading him and let him bring you into the depths of Scripture!
Special thanks to Bishop Heiser’s Repristination Press and to our own Concordia Publishing House for making so many of his works accessible to this generation! May it continue the renewal among us English speakers that began with the bringing of the great works of Chemnitz into our language a generation or two ago.
Become a subscriber and save! The new Theological Commonplaces series by Johann Gerhard are currently priced at $54.99 each, but as a subscriber you pay only $38.49, a 30% savings. To become a subscriber or for additional information call our award winning customer service department at 1-800-325-3040.
Are you a FiskFan? Don’t know who Fisk is or why you should be, or would want to be, a fan?
Well, this person is listed on the clergy roster of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod: Fisk, Jonathan M.
A few years back Pr. Fisk started making weird YouTube videos, a whole Lord of Rings/World of Warcraft meets Monty Python with Ninjas and kitties kind of thing, but all about good Biblical Lutheran theology. He is still making them. They are still weird. They are still good. The YouTube channel is called “Worldview Everlasting”
He has a habit of making two videos a week, more or less. One is devoted to a discussion of the Gospel reading for the upcoming Sunday based on the original Greek, the other is a video devoted to … ummmm … well, not sure how to describe it. You just have to experience them to get it, or not, or sort of.
The last Greek Tuesday video he made was titled, “Don’t Cut Off Body Parts!” His videos are full of helpful safety tips like that.
I started watching his videos, along with a lot of other videos, when he started making them.
Fast forward a couple years to the point that Concordia Publishing House reached out to Fisk and said, “Hey, you weird YouTube video making person, you, would you like to do a book?” Took some convincing. Took him doing some writing and then us doing some editing and him doing some writing and then us doing some … you know. Well, at any rate. Fast forward to present time.
We are just about ready to send this book off to the printer.
It’s very good. I mean very good. Very. Very. Good. Because of my vast nearly limitless power as “Publisher” at this place, called “Concordia Publishing House” I can, at any time, with the press of a few buttons on my magic word machine (which others call a “computer”) bring to my very eyes pages from projects buried deeply in our computer servers, housed in a secure undisclosed location, which I have to ask permission to see in spite of my vast power….
I grabbed a page for you to take a look/see at.
The book reads and looks, kind of, like Fisk’s videos. Which is good. Also weird. But a good weird. Want to put in your preorder? We’ve got hundreds and hundreds of orders already, before the book is even published.
Don’t be left out when all the cool people in your church have a copy and you don’t and they won’t share with you but just look at you with that, “I’m cooler than you because I have a copy of this book and you don’t.” No, you don’t want that to happen, do you? I didn’t think so. So get in line, place an order.
Oh, what’s this I saw today coming across my desk? The promo kit for President Harrison’s translation of The Church and the Office of The Ministry. Should be available by mid-November. Nice! The promo kit includes a nice sampler from the book as well as a sign up poster for copies to be purchased by members of your congregation.
Purchase 10 or more copies of Church and Ministry for only $23.99 each.
“The issue of church and office is too often a muddle among us, and Walther can be most helpful if he is allowed to speak with the precision he intended.”
Matthew C. Harrison
President of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod
Matthew Harrison’s new edition of this seminal writing by the first president of the LCMS restores Walther’s precise language on the doctrines of church and ministry. As the subtitle of the original German edition states, Church and Ministry is “a collection of testimonies . . . from the Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church and from the private writings of orthodox teachers of the same.” Professional church workers and interested lay members will find a wealth of insights from the Bible, the Confessions, ancient church fathers, Luther, the orthodox Lutheran fathers, and more on the key questions of what or who is the Church, what is and who holds the Office of the Ministry, and what are the powers and duties of each.
editorial introductions from Rev. Matthew Harrison
Purchase 10 or more copies of Church and Ministry for only $23.99 each.
Use promotional Code LWT on the checkout screen to receive your discount!
One of the most significant Lutheran theologians in North America, C. F. W. Walther (1811–87) dominated the theological landscape of the mid-1800s. A leader in the Saxon immigration to Missouri in 1839, Walther helped to found the college that would become Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, as well as to organize The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. In addition to serving as a pastor, Walther was the synod’s first president and the president of the seminary and its leading teacher. A prolific author, Walther wrote on a variety of topics, corresponded with numerous religious leaders, edited the theological journal Der Lutheraner, and helped start Concordia Publishing House.
During the 20th century, the ecumenical movement made the doctrine of the church one of the most discussed issues of its day. Today, this controversy still exists with congregations exploring the boundaries of what it means to define the church. C.F.W. Walther’s classic study of Church and Ministry provides biblically-based answers to these questions facing congregations today.
Become a subscriber to Walther’s Works and SAVE 30%
Now you can subscribe to Walther’s Works and receive each volume at a 30% savings off list price. (Volumes are priced differently, so discounted prices will vary.) Your subscription starts with the newest volume (you will need to order previously released volumes separately), and you will continue to receive each new volume upon its release. In addition, subscribers may purchase previously released volumes at the same 30 % discount.
Become a subscriber to Fathers of the Lutheran Church Program and SAVE EVEN MORE!
Luther, Gerhard, Walther: Three Programs. One Subscription.
Through the Fathers of the Lutheran Church Subscription Program, the newest volumes of Luther’s Works, Johann Gerhard’s Theological Commonplaces, and Walther’s Works are shipped to you automatically—and you receive a 30% savings off list price plus FREE shipping.
OK, first, let’s just get this out of our system…trying saying “papyrologist” four times in a row, very fast, without giggling a lot. OK, good. Now for more giggles read this from my friend Anthrony Sacramone, via his blog STRANGE HERRING, which you must put in your “daily blogs I (should) read list.”
More scholars weigh in on this earth-shattering find that will turn the Christian churches upside down and right-side up (that’s me reading between the lines, in brackets):
“There’s something about this fragment in its appearance [Office Depot watermark] and also in the grammar of the Coptic[repeated use of "groovy"] that strikes me as being not completely convincing somehow,” he said in an interview on the sidelines of the conference.
Another participant at the congress, Alin Suciu, a papyrologist at the University of Hamburg, was more blunt.
“I would say it’s a forgery [you idiots]. The script doesn’t look authentic” [it's printed with an IBM Selectric] when compared to other samples of Coptic papyrus script dated to the 4th century, he said.
[Dr. Karen] King acknowledged Wednesday that questions remain about the fragment [which Target did you buy this from, the one on Hillside?], and she welcomed the feedback from her colleagues. [I'll kill you bastards if I get the chance] She said she planned to subject the document to ink tests to determine if the chemical components match those used in antiquity [which, as we know, stretches from the days of the Pharoahs right up to the Coolidge administration].
“We still have some work to do, testing the ink and so on and so forth, but what is exciting about this fragment is [all the attention I'm getting and] that it’s the first case we have of Christians[Gnostics] claiming that Jesus had a wife,” she said.
She stressed that the text, assuming it’s authentic, doesn’t provide any historical evidence that Jesus was actually married [I never said that and please stop spreading the rumor that I did], only that some two centuries after he died, some early Christians believed he had a wife [which is good enough for me to get into the New York Times].
Wolf-Peter Funk, a noted Coptic linguist, said there was no way to evaluate the significance of the fragment because it has no context [although it will be featured on Letterman tonight]. It’s a partial text and tiny, measuring 4 centimeters by 8 centimeters (1.5 inches by 3 inches), about the size of a small cellphone [which it references repeatedly, which is also weird].
“There are thousands of scraps of papyrus where you find crazy things [I know, I wrote most of them],” said Funk, co-director of a project editing the Nag Hammadi Coptic library at Laval University in Quebec. “It can be anything [like Jell-o].”
He, too, doubted the authenticity, saying the form of the fragment was “suspicious.” [why is half the text X'd out with the word "stet"?]
And if it is proved a forgery, you will still hear from some quarters: “But why would someone fake this if they didn’t already have reason to believe others would believe it to be true? Why is that? Because … it’s true—and the forgery proves it!”
As with the Jesus Seminar, the standards of scholarly rigor drop precipitously the closer you get to anything that might resemble the so-called Jesus of faith…
Nothing makes quite the bold fashion statement that a copy of a Concordia Commentary, that you have written, can…especially when it your own personal copy, bound in leather….awesome!!
You don’t believe me? Photos don’t lie.
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, hosted the annual Day of Exegetical Reflection on Sept. 17, 2012. The seminary graciously allowed CPH to honor three commentary authors by presenting them with special leather-bound copies of their most recent contributions to the series. Pictured, from left to right, are Dr. Jeffrey Gibbs (Concordia Seminary, St. Louis), holding Matthew 11:2–20:34; Dr. Christopher Mitchell, commentary editor at CPH; Dr. Reed Lessing (Concordia Seminary, St. Louis), holding Isaiah 40–55; and Dr. Curtis Giese (Concordia University Texas), holding 2 Peter and Jude. Dr. Giese has assumed the role of New Testament Editor for the series, a role previously filled by Dr. Gibbs.
Four commentary authors gave presentations on the theme “Christ in the Old Testament.” . Dr. Charles Gieschen (author for 1–2 Thessalonians) delivered his paper “The Image of the Invisible God: The Role of the Son in the Revelation of YHWH.” Dr. David Adams (author for Genesis) spoke about “Christ in the OT: The Problem of Method(s).” Dr. Paul Raabe (author for Isaiah 13–23) focused on “Christ and the Nations: On Isaiah’s Gentile Oracles.” Dr. Jeffrey Gibbs (author for Matthew) expounded “The End of the Story (not the Law): Christ’s Fulfillment of the OT in Matthew.”
Keep a close eye on your parish mailbox, perhaps even pitch a tent and camp out by it, day and night, in breathless anticipation of an incoming mailing to your congregation about The Apocrypha: The Lutheran Edition with Notes.
You will be receiving a nice packet of informative, er, information, etc. It went into the United States Postal Service mail stream which means you should get it in … a week? Two weeks? Three? Four? Next year? No telling with bulk mail, but it is on the way. Also, in a week or so I’ll be sharing a nice promotional video we made featuring Pastor Matthew Harrison, LCMS President, Pastor William Weedon, LCMS Director of Worship, and Pastor Edward Engelbrecht, General Editor of the Apocrypha: Lutheran edition.
But, keep in mind, there is no need to wait to place an order. The price point is the same, and for every ten copies ordered, you get free shipping/handling as part of our Fall Bible Promotion. You can mix/match Bibles in the promotion, so if you wish to grab a few copies of something else and add it to the order, check out this web site.
So call 800-325-3040 or go online and place your order, today…or tomorrow. Or, sooner. Or, later.
Here is the list of which congregations should be receiving the mailing. As you can tell, we have the waterfront of Lutheran denominations in North America pretty much covered: