Showing posts from November, 2014

Pragmatism is not our friend

I'm a very pragmatic guy in general.

As a child, in math class I wanted to skip to giving the answer that I'd already figured out in my head rather than write down all of the steps that showed the teacher how I got to the answer.  To me, showing the steps was an enormous waste of time.  (But of course, the teacher was right in making me show my work, because if there was an error, he or she could show my how I arrived at the correct answer).

In English class, I couldn't have cared less about verbs, nouns, and adverbs.  Why did I need to know about those things?  Why couldn't we just use the language?

I'm a pragmatic person by nature, but I learned early on that pragmatism is poisonous for the church. "Whatever works" might be great for some areas of life, but for the church "whatever works" is dangerous and deadly.

When we find pragmatism in the Bible, things do not go well.  Such as when...

Sarah told Abraham to have a child with Hagar

Sarah wa…

What in the world is a DCE? A DCO? Or a Deaconess?

The only office of the church established by God in His Word is the Pastoral Office, yet today there are all kinds of different "professional church workers."  So what gives?

Here's how the Commission on Theology and Church Relations of the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod explains it.

The Office of the Public Ministry - it is the divinely established of office referred to in Scripture as "shepherd," "elder," or "overseer." This term is equivalent to "the pastoral office." Within this of office are contained all the functions of the ministry of Word and sacrament in the church.

Auxiliary Offices - These are offices established by the church. Those who are called to serve in them are authorized to perform certain of the function(s) of the office of the public ministry. These offices are "ministry" and they are "public," yet they are not the office of the public ministry. Rather, they are auxiliary to that unique pas…

A Lutheran You Should Know

Charles Porterfield Krauth (1823-1883) isn't likely a name that you're familiar with (unless you attended a confessional Lutheran seminary), which is a shame because he is one of the most important figures in the history of Lutheranism in the United States.

He stood firm for the faith while more popular individuals (like Samuel Simon Schmucker) wanted to dismiss and/or change the Augsburg Confession and other statements of faith so that they would fit in better with the thinking of the culture of his day.

Krauth's message resonates today because there are still many who claim the title of "Lutheran" while undermining basic Lutheran teachings.  The battles that he fought (the authority of scripture, use of the sacraments, sound theology, etc.) are the same battles we face today.

Below is one of the most famous quotes from Krauth and boy does it resonate today!

When error is admitted into the Church, it will be found that the stages in its progress are always three.…

You're Not Special

A few years ago a commencement speaker made waves when he told graduates that they are not special.  It was a dose of honesty that many of us need to hear.

As Christians, we need to hear "you're not special" because when Christians begin to believe that they are special, bad things happen.  When a Christian believes that he or she is special, things begin to be looked at in a skewed way.  God has established ways that He wants us to act and things He want us to do and it's really important to walk in those ways...for everyone except me of course, because I'm special.

David thought that He was special and so instead of being on the front lines, leading his army, as he should have been, he was instead at home and got himself into trouble with Bathsheba.  And it all started with David thinking, "I'm special." The son's of Eli thought that they were "special."  Therefore they exploited their positions and abused God's people for person…