Monday, March 16, 2009

Guest Blogger Dr. Rod Rosenbladt

Rosenbladt. There’s a name that brings a smile to my face. Dr. Rod Rosenbladt is Professor of Systematic Theology and Christian Apologetics at Concordia University in Irvine. That sounds a little intimidating doesn’t it? I picture a stereotypical “delicate-genius” sort of guy with really thick glasses and an inability to communicate with the poor slob who lives across the backyard fence, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Most of you already know what I’m talking about, but if you’ve missed Dr. Rosenbladt so far, check out his February appearance on Issues, Etc. discussing repentance, or his series last September on the Solas. You can also catch him on the national Christian apologetics radio program The White Horse Inn, where he’s one of the Co-Hosts.

One of my friends had Dr. Rosenbladt over to speak to a group of us a few years back. After the dust had settled and most people had headed home, one of the attendees remarked that Rod was “a little rough around the edges.” Exactly! I don’t want some stuffy pious sounding highbrow snob teaching me theology, I want somebody who’s actually been down in the trenches, drinking the muddy water that’s pooled in the low spots. Somebody who’s a real live sinner. Rod isn’t afraid to use the vernacular to make a point - in that regard he’s a lot like Luther, and is a master at teaching Lutheran theology in an easy to understand way.

So why does “Rosenbladt” bring a smile to my face. Certainly, what he teaches should bring a smile to anybody’s face, but there’s more to it than that. He’s also got a dry sense of humor that matches my own, which draws me like a skeeter to a bug zapper. My email conversations with Rod are entertaining all by themselves, even when they weren’t intended to be. What could be better, theology and humor all rolled into one! God is good.

I guess I should stop talking now. It’s a little embarrassing when the intro rivals the guest blogger’s target post length.

Here's Dr. Rosendbladt:

Congratulations to Issues, Etc. for this benchmark.

What is the strength of Issues? Very simple, I think. Issues presents the theology of “old Missouri,” the theology of Missouri’s grandfathers, to 25-yr. olds! Theology done by Scripture verses, and in particular, Scriptures about the Bible’s “Grand Story,” C.S. Lewis’ “The Grand Miracle” and Dorothy Sayers’ “greatest plotline in all of human history.” Put even more simply, “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mk. 10:45) Or “But to him who does not work, but believes in the One who justifies the wicked, his faith is reckoned to him as if it were righteousness.” (Rom. 4:5)

And then Issues Etc. defends this amazing view as actually true, THE “meta-narrative” that passes the classical tests for truth (and competitors do not so pass). When Caesar Augustus was planning the first tax census, and when Quirinius was governor of Syria, the Second Person of the Trinity became flesh to satisfy the law for us poor sinners and to die as the “Great Paschal Lamb” for all the sin of the world! “But when the time had fully come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law to redeem those under law . . .” That is the script of Issues Etc. This story is not just a happy story. It is a/the true story!

How does Issues differ from what we call “Christian radio?” Well, it represents the Lutheran Reformation and the doctrine of justification of the sinner by grace alone through faith alone and on the basis of Christ’s cross and blood alone! AND Issues – unlike Christian radio – even goes so far as to discuss the delivery of the benefits of Christ’s death to the sinner by water and bread and wine! That is utterly foreign to “Christian radio.”

So. Issues does evangelism. And it does apologetics – the cognitive defense for the non-Christian of Christianity as true. And it even does a “full Sacramental” theology: Christ’s benefits actually delivered by the preaching of the Gospel and real Sacraments. It doesn’t get better than this!

Keep it up, guys! Christ is placarded as crucified in all that you do!

Dr. Rod Rosenbladt


Matt Jamison said...

I think Todd and Jeff would be first to say that what makes Issues, Etc. so good is the guests.

And Dr. Rosenbladt is one of the very finest!

Thank you, Dr. Rosenbladt, for the considerable time and effort that you spend teaching through Issues and the White Horse Inn. I'm sure you're not in it for the money!

Kari said...

I also appreciate listening to your lectures on Sola's. I think that's the name? On Pirate Christian radio. I think you explain things so well and down to earth, like Todd and Jeff do on Issues Etc. WHI is good too.

Tessa said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Scott Diekmann said...

Thanks Ruth!

Anonymous said...

Rod is one of the nicest guys I know. He is also very easy to talk to about theology, etc. I don't agree with him on everything, since I am Reformed, but still enjoy talking to him. I am thankful to know him. Loved when he was on The God Whisperers.

The best Rosenbladt message is one found on called "The gospel for Those Broken By The Church." There are some great resources on there.