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Archive for November, 2012

We are Christians not Faith-ians

November 20th, 2012 39 comments

I have, over the years, talked to many Calvinists, in person and over the Internet. I always ask them, “Do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are among God’s elect and are saved?” There are generally two reactions to that question: (1) A long and rather painful pause after which they say, “I hope I am. I do believe in Christ.” or (2) A quick, “Yes, I believe in Christ.” Now, let’s be honest here and admit that many Lutherans would answer in somewhat the same way. But here is the problem.

[Unfortunately there are some cranks who roam the Internet claiming to be Lutherans who also fall into this error. You shall know them by their sixth grade-level photoshopping skills. <g>]

If our confidence that we are saved is based on our feeling that we have faith, we will flounder. The answer we must always give to the question of “Do you know you are saved?” is not, “Yes, because I have faith” but rather, “Yes, because Christ Jesus died for me” and of course, in my opinion, the very best answer of all is simply to point people to Luther’s explanation of the Creed and say, “Here, this puts it very well.”

Never look to your subjective feeling that there is faith in your heart. Always, always, always, look to Christ and what He has done for you and the whole world. Do not confuse faith in faith, with trust in Christ. There is a key difference. If you believe you are a child of God because you feel you have faith, this is no better than the Mormon who tells you about the “burning in his bosum” or the Muslim who tells you he feels the Koran is true, etc.

Salvation rests on objective realities that have absolutely nothing to do with feelings or emotions. Faith is merely and only the receiving hand God gives us and into which He pours His good gifts, it is not the cause of our salvation.

We are Christians, not Faith-ians.

Read, and memorize, Luther’s explanation to the Apostles’ Creed. It is clear. Simple, Easy to understand and…true!

 

Daily Growth in Faith and the Fruits It Produces

November 19th, 2012 5 comments

 

Sadly, I continue to read serious confusion among Lutherans who have been sucked into error and overstatement from people like Gerhard Forde, and others, who speak incorrectly about sanctification. Nothing like a bracing slap of reality from the Lutheran Confessions to correct errors about this. Enjoy this quote from the Large Catechism. Just the other day, I heard a person trying to explain away Christ’s words, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” as applying only by way of “second use of the Law” and thus directed at the unconverted, not to Christians. Huh?

Until the last day, the Holy Ghost abides with the holy congregation or Christendom, by means of which He fetches us to Christ and which He employs to teach and preach to us the Word, whereby He works and promotes sanctification, causing it [this community] daily to grow and become strong in the faith and its fruits which He produces. Source: The Large Catechism Part II/Article III.54; Triglotta, p. 691-93.


 

Categories: Christian Life

When you see a rainbow….

November 18th, 2012 5 comments

I’ve always loved rainbows. When they appear it is always a beautiful surprise, sometimes there is just a portion, sometimes, it is a full bow in the sky, like the one in this picture, which I could only capture a portion of on my iPhone camera. Rainbows always remind me of God’s promise to Noah, but also remind me of the One enthroned in the heavens, coming again some day with great power, glory, might and salvation, our Lord Jesus.

“And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.” Genesis 9:12-13

“Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking.” Ez 1:28

“Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire.” Rev. 4:3

“And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald.” Rev. 4:3

Categories: Uncategorized

Peruse the Professional/Academic Publications from Concordia Publishing House

November 15th, 2012 2 comments

I believe I managed to get four words that start with the letter “P” in the title of this blog post. Here is a PDF version of our Professional/Academic Resources Catalog, which you can, in fact, peruse at your leisure.

Now you can browse our selection of books—from historical theology to biblical studies to apologetics—anywhere and anytime just by clicking this link.

With our catalog you can:

  • Learn about our series subscription programs, which offer a 30% discount (p. 1)
  • Discover what is available in Logos, for instant electronic access to resources (p. 9)
  • Authors: see if our Peer Review process is right for your next book (p. 15)
  • Review our Faculty Discount and Examination Policy (p. 33)

Of course, you’ll also find new resources, best-sellers, and classic backlist titles.

Click on the image below and the catalog will download to your computer.

Categories: CPH Resources

Thanksgiving and Christmas Children’s Books on Sale Now

November 15th, 2012 Comments off

Only $3 each when you purchase ten or more copies of the books on sale.

Categories: CPH Resources

Ode to the English Plural from “English is a Crazy Language”

November 15th, 2012 2 comments

An Ode to the English Plural

We’ll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn’t the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!

Let’s face it—English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England. We take English for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham? Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend. If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.

In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? We ship by truck but send cargo by ship. We have noses that run and feet that smell. We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway. And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out, and in which an alarm goes off by going on.

And, in closing, if Father is Pop, how come Mother’s not Mop?
!

 

Richard Lederer.

It’s from the introduction to his book Crazy English (Pocket Books 1989).

He seems to be fighting a battle to get credit for it as it spreads through the Web. Let’s help him out.

Categories: Humor

GERHARD in LOGOS Format — Pre-Publication Offer Available Now

November 14th, 2012 5 comments

LOGOS.COM and Concordia Publishing House are partners in offering you resources in the most popular theological research software program available: LOGOS.

In order to evaluate interest in having the volumes presently available in the translation of Gerhard’s Theological Commonplaces, LOGOS is now taking pre-publication orders and the price will never be lower than it is now.

I can’t encourage you strongly enough to sign up for this special offer. If enough people do sign up, we will be able to proceed with offering Gerhard in LOGOS format.

Please follow this link to sign up.

 

Categories: CPH Resources

Read Walther with the Precision He Intended

November 13th, 2012 Comments off

Saint Louis, MO— During the 19th century, the doctrine of the church and ministry was a controversial issue as Lutherans had to understand what it means to be a Lutheran Church in a their new homeland where the church was not controlled by the government. Today, this conversation continues.

Dr. C.F.W. Walther’s classic study of The Church and The Office of The Ministry provides a faithful, careful presentation of these issues. Walther’s book on the subject remains to this day the official doctrinal position of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

Concordia Publishing House (CPH) is publishing a new translation prepared and edited by current president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri synod, the Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison.

Originally penned by Walther, the fresh translation of The Church and the Office of the Ministry includes editorial introductions from Pastor Harrison, helpful footnotes explaining terms and history, marginal references to Scripture and church fathers, and additional historical documents from Walther’s time that clarify and provide additional context for Walther’s work.

Harrison’s extensive knowledge on the subject provides professional church workers and interested lay members alike with a wealth of insight from the Bible, the Lutheran Confessions, ancient church fathers, Luther, the orthodox Lutheran fathers, and more.

“The issue of church and office is too often a muddle among us,” said Rev. Harrison. “Walther can be most helpful if he is allowed to speak with the precision he intended.”

For this reason, CPH’s revamped study edition of The Church and The Office of The Ministry was edited and translated to restore Walther’s precise language and make more readable this official statement that explains the Biblical Lutheran teaching concerning the Church and the office of the ministry.

“This is by far the most readable translation available,” said Rev. Edward Engelbrecht, editor at CPH. “The wealth of notes included takes it far beyond the original text. They enrich a reader’s understanding of what the relationship of the church and the office of the ministry should be.”

This title is expected to bin November 28, 2012 and is currently available for pre-order at cph.org or by calling 1-800-325-3040.

Theological journals interested in reviewing this excellent new edition should contact Emily.Barlean@cph.org to request a complimentary review copy.

Categories: CPH Resources

Church Year Worship Planner: Series C — Get Them While You Can

November 12th, 2012 Comments off

We have, as of moments ago when I checked our inventory system, only 148 copies left of our Series C Worship Planner. I highly recommend you wait no longer to order the copies you will need for your congregation and staff. Call 800-325-3040 or order online, by clicking here.

Here is what is contained in the resource:

Thoughtful service planning has never been easier. Designed with both pastor and musician in mind, this comprehensive planning calendar provides resources for the Sundays and principal feasts ofLutheran Service Book Year C, from the First Sunday in Advent (December 2, 2012) through Thanksgiving Day (November 28, 2013). Click here to look inside.

The resources of numerous planning books are brought together under one cover with a two-page spread for each Sunday that features:

• Readings (including Psalm) and synopsis
• Theme of the Day (a big-picture overview of the readings and their connections)
• Hymn of the Day
• Collect of the Day
• Hymn Suggestions for the Readings
• Other Hymn Suggestions
• Calendar of the upcoming week (highlighting feasts, festivals, and commemorations)

Music suggestions:

• Small Choir
• Large Choir
• Children
• Keyboard
• Handbell

Fill-in-the-blank Divine Service outline, including:

• Options within the service
• Hymn selections
• Pre- and post-service music selections
• and more

Several indices are also included to make planning the Church Year even easier:

• Lectionary Summary (Year C)
• Old Testament / First Reading (Year C)
• Psalm (Year C)
• Epistle / Second Reading (Year C)
• Holy Gospel (Year C)
• Hymn of the Day: Arranged by Church Year (Year C)
• Hymn of the Day: Arranged by Hymn Number (Year C)

Categories: CPH Resources

The Lord Has Laid Something On Your Heart…or not

November 11th, 2012 Comments off

Categories: Humor

A Beautiful and Powerful Witness from a Veteran

November 11th, 2012 3 comments

Please overlook the goofy stuff at the beginning and end of this video, but you truly owe it to yourself to watch this video. I consider it a singular privilege and honor that I grew up in Pensacola, Florida, the “cradle of naval aviation.” Our congregation, Redeemer Lutheran Church, had many US military active duty personnel and their families in it and many veterans. I relished the opportunities I had to speak to and learn from veterans from WWII, Korea and Vietnam. I had a job on the air station and enjoyed enormously the wonderful times I had with everyone from the Captain of our Naval Air Rework Facility down to the enlisted men whom I spent some time while on photojournalist duties for the Public Affairs Office.

This video reminds me of so many fine men whom I got to know during my formative years and I thank God for them all.

Please take a moment to watch this.

Categories: Uncategorized

Thank You Veterans

November 11th, 2012 1 comment

Categories: Uncategorized

Happy Birthday United States Marine Corps — Semper Fi!

November 10th, 2012 3 comments

Yes, the line from “A Few Good Men” was spot on, we need hard, tough men on the “wall” protecting and defending us from those who would harm. They are God’s instruments. Today we celebrate the birthday of the United States Marine Corps, and in honor of the Corps’ birthday, here is something that has a lot of truth, with some humor as well:

In honor of the Marine Corps’ 237th Birthday, here’s an old Corps favorite on how to act in a gunfight:

1. Bring a gun. Preferably, bring at least two guns. Bring all of your friends who have guns.

2. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap. Life is expensive.

3. Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.

4. If your shooting stance is good, you’re probably not moving fast enough nor using cover correctly.

5. Move away from your attacker. Distance is your friend. (Lateral and diagonal movement are preferred.)

6. If you can choose what to bring to a gunfight, bring a long gun and a friend with a long gun.

7. In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived.

8. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating, reloading, and running.

9. Accuracy is relative: most combat shooting standards will be more dependent on “pucker factor” than the inherent accuracy of the gun.

10. Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.

11. Always cheat; always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.

12. Have a plan.

13. Have a back-up plan, because the first one won’t work.

14. Use cover or concealment as much as possible.

15. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.

16. Don’t drop your guard.

17. Always tactical load and threat scan 360 degrees.

18. Watch their hands. Hands kill. In God we trust. Everyone else, keep your hands where I can see them.

19. Decide to be aggressive enough, quickly enough.

20. The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.

21. Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun, the caliber of which does not start with a “4.”

22. Be courteous to everyone, friendly to no one.

23. Your number one option for personal security is a lifelong commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation.

24. Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

Categories: Uncategorized

Copy Cat Alert!!

November 9th, 2012 1 comment

 

So, get this, there’s a guy who runs a really wacky web site (RWWS) and whines about the fact that I quote from various sources but do not use Chicago Manual of Style references. He routinely prints a picture of Martin Chemnitz on his site that I took when I was in Braunschweig, Germany several years ago, without attribution of any kind. Go figure! Pretty funny stuff actually.

We won’t mention names, since the one thing he craves is attention.

Here’s what Grumpy Cat has to say to you.

 

 

Categories: Humor

You Know Why This Puppy Looks So Sad?

November 9th, 2012 1 comment

Because you have not ordered a copy of The Apocrypha: Lutheran Edition, or have not ordered enough copies. I report.  You decide.

Categories: CPH Resources