A Church of Mercy

(cross-posted from simplyxian.com) Protestants, especially conservatives and/or Evangelicals, are often hesitant to champion social causes or acts of mercy...typically equating them with the 'social gospel' of the early 20th century and its associated liberal theology. The connection, however, is clearly unwarranted and unscriptural.  Hopefully that incorrect connection…

What Happens in Worship

Lutheran worship is primarily the proclamation of the gospel in Word and sacrament. As we gather together for worship, God speaks to us in his Word. Through the preaching of his law he crushes us with the stark and painful reminder of our own sin and unworthiness; he causes us…

"Scripture Does Not Speak of Christ" by Pr. Peters

Our understanding of the Word of God (especially with respect to its reading as part of liturgy, public worship, and private devotion)  is absolutely paramount to our theology of worship, both corporate and private.  I have never read a short piece on the theology of the Word that is as…

All Saints' Day?

For many Christians, especially those whose traditions do not observe the church calendar, the mere mention of "All Saints' Day" sounds eerily Roman Catholic or taboo.  But what exactly is this feast day (i.e., church celebration) all about?  I have found no better short explanation than that in the…

Walther on the Prosperity Gospel

Sadly, much of American Christianity is infatuated with the notion that, once I become a Christian, then God will order everything in my life such that I will be showered with material blessings galore--health, wealth, and prosperity of all kinds--even a hundredfold byond that which I give to the Lord…

Walther on Justifying Faith

One month after writing my initial post on the topic of justification in Galatians as presented in the NLT and ESV, I came across this reading by C.F.W. Walther this morning.  For those who may not be familiar with Walther, he was one of the founders and first…

The End Times?

So...are we in the end times?  What do you think? According to the testimony of the Word of God, the closer we come to the end of all things, the greater the world's security and lust will become.  As the terrible hour nears, an hour in which all things…

Justifying Faith? Luther on the Bronze Snake...

My recent post on justification by faith in Galatians has sparked some good conversation here, on Twitter, and via email...but it all begs the question, "What is this justifying faith in Christ?"  Not surprisingly, Luther asks and answer the question beautifully, illustrating it with the bronze snake in the…

The God Who Uses Means, Part 2

My last post took a quick look at God's providential use of means in the life of Israel during the wilderness wandering and in our lives each day over against idleness in the name of 'faith.'  My point there was that we mustn't use faith as an excuse for…

The God Who Uses Means

Last night during family devotions, we studied Jesus' temptation in the wilderness (Luke 4).  As we were reading and discussing this passage, I saw that the NLT Study Bible contains the following note regarding Jesus' first temptation, "Israel complained constantly about hunger in the wilderness, but Jesus depended on God…