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Showing posts from July, 2005

Final Sermon for Vicarage! Isaiah 55:1-3a

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen. The sermon text is Isaiah 55:1-3a,

Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live.

I’ve heard it said that you shouldn’t go shopping for groceries when you are hungry. According to some people, if you shop while you’re hungry, you are much more likely to buy more junk food or unhealthy food choices. Or you end up buying more than you need. I don’t really know if this advice is generally true, but I know that when I shop hungry I do tend to buy more snack food. Regardless of how true this advice is, here in today’s Word to us from Isaiah and also in the Go…

Submission to Gov't cont'd

Since the discussion I posted awhile back on "Submission to government or Independence" is still ongoing somewhat
here, I decided to start a new thread.
Rick Ritchie posted this comment:
Do you have a definition of revolution? Do we just go by the historical label?
The Continental Congress was called in part to respond to the king's actions, one of which was to restrict the activities of the Massachusetts legislature. So you have a legal question as to whether or not the king had the right to restrict such activities.
The term 'insurgent' itself begs the question.
While I would likely side with Bonhoeffer against Sasse, I don't see even Bonhoeffer's action in the same light as the American Revolution. You would have a better parallel if when Hitler dissolved the German parliament, it had continued to meet and it called for armed resistance.


So to offer some balance, perhaps, I offer a quote from Gene Veith's book that I just read, "God at Work: Your C…

"Sharing the Eternal Truth with an Ever-Emerging Culture"--a response

Just the other week I received an email containing this article by Rick Warren, explaining his philosophy or method of outeach:
Sharing the Eternal Truth with an Ever-Emerging Culture. Here follows my response and attempt at offering a Lutheran critique of Warren's principles of evangelism.

First I want to say that I do admire Warren's passionate desire to spread the Gospel, and his enthusiasm for evangelism. But his whole premise in this letter is that the church should be changing as rapidly as the culture. A few examples:

--Warren says, "In other words, someone who prefers a choir and more traditional music can worship in that atmosphere, and then at the scheduled time, see the exact same sermon as those worshiping in our main auditorium. This is duplicated across our campus with an acoustic worship, another aimed at Gen-X, and so on. "

This is one of the biggest mistakes of 'church growth' in my opinion. He openly admits that they are trying to make wor…

Pro-life apologetics

I just listened to an excellent discussion of Pro-life apologetics on Issues Etc, with guest Scott Klusendorf. One of the statements that really struck me, pertaining to the Schiavo case was this: "Terri Schiavo had no duty to get well." How true. Just because a person may not be able to recover from their handicaps, does not make their life any less valuable or worthy of our protection. Listen to the program here and here.

Sermon on Isaiah 44:6-8

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen. The sermon text is Isaiah 44:6-8, (I’ve made a slight revision of the first verse to match with more accurate translations)

Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: “I am the first and last; apart from me there is no God. Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and lay out before me what has happened since I established my ancient people, and what is yet to come—yes, let him foretell what will come. Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”

When the prophet Isaiah recorded these words, the Southern Kingdom of Judah was witnessing the Northern Kingdom of Israel fall to the Assyrian empire. The Assyrians were a ruthless people, known for their cruel warfare. It was a time of fear and uncertainty for bot…

New and Improved! version 2.0

Well folks, I've finally done some tinkering with my blog, beyond the bare essentials. I've added a blogroll of the blogs that I read or browse, and I also changed my profile to include my email address, so that if anyone wants to send a private comment instead of posting publicly, they may choose to do so. If you want me to link to your blog, and don't find it on my list, feel free to shoot me an email.

Good advice for the young book-worm (me)

"It is not many books or much reading that makes men learned; but it is good
things, however little of them, often read, that make men learned in the
Scriptures and make them godly too. Indeed the writings of all the holy
fathers should be read only for a time, in order that through them we may be
led to the Holy Scriptures. We are like men who study the signposts ad never
travel the road. The dear fathers wished, by their writings, to lead us to
the Scriptures, but we so use them as to be led away from the Scriptures,
though the Scriptures alone are our vineyard in which we all ought to work
and toil."

I read this Luther quote today, and it happened to be while I was relishing the opportunity to begin reading the Church Fathers, which I purchased on Libronix software. He makes a good point about better learning coming from reading and re-reading few good books instead of the tendency (like mine) to just keep reading endless piles of books. I still greatly look forward to rea…

Will heaven be boring???

Have any of you ever thought, as a child or as an adult, that heaven might actually turn out to be boring? I think as a child I had thought like that, but have long since abandoned such a notion. Yet I've heard it crop up again in various places, even among adults, which has caused me to ponder, "Why do people think that heaven will be boring?" Some of the images that no doubt lead to such a notion include: floating around on clouds playing harps and/or singing hymns to God for eternity. Maybe this picture of heaven seems almost as bad as getting stuck at choir practice for eternity :)

First off, I'd like to poll the readers here of what suggestions they have for the root cause behind the notion that heaven will be boring. (Ok, you with the short attention span :) --if you've lost interest already, please skip down to my third point and PLEASE read the sermon [it's not mine! :) ] )

Secondly, I propose my theory: I think that much of this fear of a boring aft…

Submission to the Government or Independence?

Perhaps it was just coincidence, but I happened to be reading an essay by Herman Sasse this Fourth of July, that addressed several of the pertinent questions about the rise of new governments from the anarchy of revolution, and the fall of old governments that have neglected their God-given responsibilities in the maintenance of peace and justice. Some of those questions might be whether citizens have the right to rebel against government; what constitutes legitimate government; and how does a government become established as an authority under God? So on this Day of Independence, I thought I'd offer some particularly illuminating (and possibly controversial) quotations from Sasse's essay, "The Social Doctrine of the Augsburg Confession." (For those who don't know Sasse, he was a German-born pastor/theologian who was a contemporary of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and though he vigorously opposed the Nazi's he was not of a like mind with Bonhoeffer in regards to how t…

Sermon on Romans 7:15-25a "Saint and Sinner"

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. The sermon text is Romans 7:15-25a,

15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the la…