Zach soloing in the jazz band.
The first guests on the new and long awaited Issues, Etc., as reported by the Issues, Etc. website, are John Green of The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, speaking on religious voters and the 2008 election, and Dr. Carl Fickenscher, of Concordia Theological Seminary, speaking on the Gospel. The first show is on Monday, June 30th.
They’re picking up where they left off, Christ-centered and cross-focused.
From the website:
Issues, Etc.™ broadcasts live weekdays from 3:05 to 5:00 PM Central. You can listen via webstreaming, provided through Pirate Christian Radio.
Issues, Etc.™ can also be heard in St. Louis from 4:05 to 5 PM Central on 1320 AM Bott Radio Network.
Studio Line - (877) 623-MYIE (6943)
Comment Line - (618) 223-8384
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Today's challengeThere has been a lot in the news lately about the California Supreme Court decision that overturns that state's ban on same-sex marriages. (My recent statement in response to this decision is posted on the LCMS Web site at: http://www.lcms.org/?13613/.) [It's actually located at http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=13613] This is yet another reminder that our Synod faces the challenge of shifting its focus from being an orthodox, confessional, evangelical, Lutheran Christian church body that defines itself primarily over against heterodox Christian church bodies to being an orthodox, confessional, evangelical, Lutheran Christian church body that must determine how best to reach people who are indifferent-even hostile-to the Christian faith in a post-Christian era in a country that in many ways is in danger of losing its moral compass.We must continue to speak and work to preserve and strengthen the values we hold near and dear, the values espoused by our grandfathers and grandmothers, especially the sanctity of life, the blessing of marriage between one man and one woman, and the God-designed creation of and distinction between male and female. We must speak and work, in a godly manner, against abortion, unscriptural divorce, homosexual behavior, and any other denigration of God's holy and perfect will for mankind.
Conserve and promote the unity of the true faith (Eph. 4:3–6; 1 Cor.1:10), work through its official structure toward fellowship with other Christian church bodies, and provide a united defense against schism, sectarianism (Rom. 16:17), and heresy.
Strengthen congregations and their members in giving bold witness by word and deed to the love and work of God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and extend that Gospel witness into all the world.
My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is. So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. Colossians 2:2-8
Before we go to Pastor Zwonitzer's final remarks, I'll share a comment with you that was posted by Adam on the Wittenberg Trail regarding the discussion of the Church Growth Movement and Pastor Kieschnick's book. His comment reflects the seductive nature of some of the emphases in the Church Growth Movement:
I would like to make a comment on this new type of Lutheran theology. My wife and I spent ten years in a church very much driven by the Kieschnick approach both John & Jerry). Thank God, the spirit led us to another Lutheran Church where this approach is very much shunned. My wife is a life-long Lutheran and I am a convert, after changing churches, we were truly stunned to find that we were both well down the path to becoming unchurched.
The most frightening thing was, of course, that we had no idea that this was happening as it crept in so slowly. I do not say this lightly; this doctrine will destroy the Lutheran Church if it is permitted to spread.
There’s been some confusion over the whole pirate aspect of that. I think people have been expecting Jeff and I to show up carrying scabbards with eye patches and things like that. There’s really nothing more to it than what people who are familiar with radio recognize immediately that pirate radio is often considered to be radio that operates somewhere outside the boundaries, outside the lines, and Pirate Christian Radio is that web service that’s going to let us bring our signal back to the web in the form of live streaming and on demand and podcasting.
The fundraising is going very well, better than expected. We have had some big donors give us a good beginning. But to sustain the new show in the long run will require us to get the 300 and the Reformation club back up and running.
Review of Chapter 6—Bible Study: The Door of Insight
At the beginning of this chapter he quickly tells how reading an article during his training to become LCMS teacher by Walther on “the distinction and correlation of the biblical teaching of law and grace (gospel)” changed his life. (page 140) It is different that he wants to and does talk from here on about law and grace, not the more common law and gospel. Grace is certainly a major thread of the entire Bible, but to change a discussion about gospel into grace? Is there any reluctance here to say that God’s grace only comes through the pure gospel? That the gospel comes only through the means of grace?
His conversation here about Bible study revolves around a question he had from a question from one of his members: “If God forgives us and accepts us no matter what we do—that’s grace, isn’t it?—then why can’t I just go out and do whatever I want to do?”
He has some good things to say about all this, e.g. “I don’t like what it (law) says about me or to me, but I sure like where it leads me—to the cross of Jesus Christ where I find love, forgiveness, and freedom from my guilt.” (page 141) However, this sentence gave me concern: “As believers, we now know that the law continues to protect us from ruining our lives and tarnishing our witness to those who need to know Jesus. The law doesn’t cease to exist when we become Christians. Instead, it takes on an important role of guiding us as we strive to do God’s will.” (page 141) Is this third use of the law all that there is of God’s law for believers? What about the first and second uses of the law? Do not they apply to believers as well? At the very least, he wants to emphasize this third use of the law, again a CGM characteristic. Hopefully, this is but mere omission on the author’s part, but makes one suspect, since CGM is so shy of using the first and second uses of the law in worship especially! Do not do real Confession and Absolution, as seekers do not like this.
Kieschnick speaks of the Bible as God’s inspired word, affirms its authority and personally says of it: “I have high regard for God’s word.” I find this lacking, in that he does not say that it is inerrant. To ignore such a confession can only allow us to ask what is his stance on what has been a controversial doctrine among us. He seems to be very pragmatic, and laments that many believers have not grown as God expects in His Word. He speaks of four elements in understanding and applying God’s truth (taken from 2Tim. 3:16-17): teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. (pages 146-149) He removes this from the context of what pastors are to do (since this letter was from Pastor Paul to Pastor Tim) and omits any discussion at all of rebuking and correcting and training in righteousness which a pastor does with the flock, to more an every member correcting the others gently for sins and orients it again not for doctrine but for life (see the previous chapter’s review for these details). Again, the trend is observed here of sanctification orientation and away from the office of the public ministry to the priesthood of all believers.
His suggestions for aiding the layperson’s study of Scripture are a mixed bag. He recommends paraphrased translations such as Eugene Peterson’s are very useful, while they do have serious translation problems. This is unfortunate. His good suggestions are many here, including starting with a gospel rather than Genesis, going to a church where Bible is valued and taught, etc.
His summary of this chapter appears to be also the summary of the book up to this point: “When we realize that God’s purpose for us is to partner with him in the greatest enterprise the world has ever known, our hearts burn with passion to honor him. Bible study need not be dull—it can still produce burning hearts.” (page 154)
Seven reviews down, three more to go!
May His Word be a lamp to your feet!
Pastor Rod Zwonitzer
Click here to continue to the next part of Pastor Zwonitzer's review.
Some want to subscribe to the Symbols with the proviso that they may interpret them according to Scripture or understand them correctly. This was the condition under which the Reformed declared themselves ready to subscribe to the Unaltered Augsburg Confession. (Why Should Our Pastors, Teachers and Professors Subscribe Unconditionally to the Symbolical Writings of Our Church)
Again, there are those who are ready to subscribe to the Confessions with the understanding that they be interpreted "according to Scripture," or "correctly." . . . By subscribing to the Symbols a man does not declare his readiness to interpret them ‘according to Scripture,’ but the minister or candidate in question makes the solemn declaration to the congregation that he has already discovered what Scripture teaches and he finds the Lutheran Confessions to be the expression of his own faith and confession.
“For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard." Acts 4:20
Disappointment over the elimination of the program manifested itself in various ways. Numerous e-mails were sent to Strand, to BCS members, to district presidents, and others within the Synod. An online petition netted more than 7,000 signatures, including not only Lutherans but signors from other Christian denominations. On April 14, a peaceful demonstration was held outside the LCMS office building in St. Louis to protest the decision to cancel the program. Meanwhile, several district pastoral conferences or boards of directors petitioned the BCS to revisit the decision. These appeals were answered individually by the chairman of the BCS.
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you--unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 1 Corinthians 15:1-9
You can say what I wish I could say, so please go back to your usual speak.
The best feature of your posts was (is) the lack of "trendy contemporary terminology ."
Better stick with your old, honest self, Scott!:-)
...I don't think you'll ever "make it" in the contemporary Lutheran bureaucratic world, thanks be to God...
"I've searched all the parks in all the cities and found no statues of committees."
- G.K. Chesterton
You're not gonna get a statue if you keep this up.
CGM Working presuppositions:
1. Barriers basically are anything that hinders attendance (Growth).
2. People will not attend or return if they “feel” uncomfortable or unwelcome.
Break down and deliberately remove actual/overt and perceived target audience barriers to growth.
Of the many areas to examine, the following sample areas are not immune, especially in light of “the purity of doctrine” comment:
a. Preaching the Law and sin, thereby making people uncomfortable.
b. Closed Communion
c. Prohibitions against women’s/lay involvement
d. Pastoral authority
e. Liturgical worship (vice “emotion” oriented and entertaining worship)
f. Lack of serendipitous character
g. Having conditions on membership and involvement vice full privilege from day one.
h. Thorough doctrinal training/instruction classes for membership