Quotable Quotes From Around the Blogosphere
The Brothers of John the Steadfast
Pastor Martin Noland
SMP Program is “Mega-Death for Lutheran Congregations
So, to put it simply, the real purpose of the SMP program was to reduce the training requirements for the pastoral office and to bypass the “gate-keeping” function of the seminary admissions offices.
Pastor Eric Brown
Letting Jesus be the Hero
It's not about you, it's not about your works or your praise or your strength or the justice you bring -- it's about Christ and His salvation and His righteousness. Come, let us fix our eyes not upon ourselves, but upon Christ Jesus, for He gives us faith and He brings that faith to its full end and flower in the life of the world to come!
Pastor Eric Brown
Seeing Through Dame Reason’s Stylish Sunglasses
I see people dimming the light of God's revealed Word by choosing to look through dame reason's stylish sunglasses.
Pastor Jason Braaten
Playing the das-ist-Katholisch Card
The Western Rite then should be the Lutheran's default position not an add-on of Roman Catholic style to an otherwise abstracted and neutral Lutheran substance. The historic ceremonies of the Western Rite retained during the Reformation are ours. They are our heritage. This isn't about style. This is about who we are as Lutherans and about what we believe, teach, and confess. After everything that obstructed the Gospel was removed, what remained was pure Gospel, a Gospel enacted by the very ceremonies of the Western Rite.
And so claiming the ceremonies of the Western Rite is, in fact, to teach and confess as Lutherans believe. It is teaching what it means to be Lutheran in word and deed. That is, after all, what ceremonies do, is it not (AC XXIV:1-3)? They teach. So let's teach. Teach your people. Use the historic ceremonies of the Western Church, vetted and retained during the Reformation, to teach what we as Lutherans believe, teach, and confess.
Pastor David Petersen
Sermon Writer’s Block
Laziness, though not sloth, is overcome by work. That distinction is another post. But what work will overcome laziness? Not study. Laziness loves study. It goes like this, "Oh, I don't know what to say, so I'll read more." Wrong. That won't get a sermon written. A sermon gets written by writing. Just write. That is the work that needs to be done. That is the best way to overcome laziness. Vomit on the page. Clean it up later. Just write.
Along with this vomit technique, the other great secret, is this: lower your standards. Don't try to be profound or insightful or clever. Be simple. It is okay that you say nothing new. It is probably far better that you don't. It is also okay that you bore the hearers and preach in a formulaic way. The people actually need to hear the same thing over and over and over again.
Pastor Kurt Hering
Islam v. Christianity: Church and State Perspectives
The doctrine and practice of Islam consists of the glory of Allah being defined, confessed, and completed in man killing and dying for Allah.
The doctrine and practice of Christianity consists of the glory of God being defined, confessed, and completed in God being killed and dying for man.
Pastor Larry Peters
The price of notoriety
Now, I have no bone to pick with any former metal band member or groupie who finds Jesus and wants to be Lutheran (at least I will admit to none) but it seems that this program was not tailor made for this circumstance. In fact, it sounds as if the program is being used because somebody does not want to go to seminary (who does). Even more so, it sounds to me that one of the reasons both sponsor and praise band leader do not want to go the seminary route is to keep the guy from becoming too Lutheran (hanging around with the likes of church musician Henry Gerike at St. Louis or talking liturgy with Art Just at Fort Wayne).
Pastor Gaven Mize
Heaven in Shepherdsville, Kentucky: Aesthetics as Catechesis
Ahhhh, the sweet sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste of liturgics! How wonderfully important it is that we receive the truth in a blissful, heavenly, and sacred space. Liturgics gives us a fantastic platform from which we receive the proclamation of the Gospel every single Sunday. Never should we just shrug off the importance of a beautiful sacred space in which we receive God’s gifts which are given to us so freely from our Lord Jesus Christ.
Dr. Rick Stuckwisch
Peace Be with You in the Body of Christ
As a disciple, Thomas should have believed the testimony of the other disciples, who had seen the Lord. And as a disciple, he should have been there with them in the first place, when Jesus came. It is fundamental to the Christian faith and life to be gathered together with the other members of His Body, the Church, on the Lord’s Day. For it is in the gathering of His disciples in His Name that the crucified and risen Lord Jesus comes and takes His stand, and speaks His Word, and grants His Peace, and bestows His Spirit, and gives Himself to you and all His Christians. It is in His Body that you find Him, and have your peace and rest.
Pastor Wil Weedon
Some Stray Liturgy Thoughts on Christmas
Now I have a confession to make: I used to try to make the Christmas liturgies "special." You know, substitute "Angels We Have Heard on High" for the Gloria in Excelsis (even though we haven't sung the Gloria all Advent, and are aching to let it ring out again!); moving the collect for the Midnight service to post-communion so it was prayed in the candle-light; things like that. But many years ago now, I totally stopped trying to make anything "special" out of the liturgies and just let them be. All creative juices, if you will, were to be poured forth into proclamation and into the musical presentation of the hymnody and such. Wow. What a difference it has made! So very, very many folks commented on the beauty of the services (just as they frequently do each year), and yet the liturgy was simply straight out of the book. The only "addition" if you will was reading the Kalends before the Divine Service actually began. The liturgy doesn't need to be made special; it just begs to be prayed.