Christians sometimes torment themselves with thoughts relating to election, thoughts about what they imagine to be God’s secret counsel, his secret will about their salvation. If this happens to you, hear this Word of God: Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke […]
Lay Lutherans and personal evangelism have a strained relationship. First, we are tempted to think that only pastors should witness for Christ. If asked about it in a quiz, however, we are good enough test takers to know that is not the right answer. While only rightly called and ordained pastors should publicly preach and […]
Winston Churchill was visiting New York the day after the stock market crash of 1929. The noise of a crowd outside his hotel woke him. “Under my very window a gentleman cast himself down fifteen stories and was dashed to pieces, causing a wild commotion and the arrival of the fire brigade,” he wrote. Over […]
What is more common than talk of love? The word is overused. So much love is false. Billy Joel sang truth in “A Matter of Trust”: Some love is just a lie of the heartThe cold remains of what began with a passionate startSome love is just a lie of the soulA constant struggle for […]
Bishop Tyranny and Heresy By T. R. Halvorson Note: This article may be downloaded as a PDF file. Introduction Some friends in a Lutheran congregation of a different synod from mine have been in a long pastoral vacancy. The bishop refused to give the congregation any names of candidates for a long time. He said […]
Faith does not spring from nature, nor from our own reason, strength, or will. The Holy Spirit creates faith by the Word and Sacraments. When God said, “Let there be light,” there was light. “For He spoke, and it was; He commanded, and it stood fast.” (Psalm 33:9) Light could do nothing to bring itself […]
Dr. Matthew Becker was a controversial theologian in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod until his departure. His controversial doctrines all arise because of his view of Scripture. Through a series of stages, some of which are orthodox and others of which are not, Dr. Becker gradually shrinks the Word of God until the remnant that […]
During World War II, General Douglas MacArthur was on the Philippine island of Corregidor helping to defend that country from invasion by the Empire of Japan. Fearing that Corregidor would fall and MacArthur would be taken prisoner, President Franklin Roosevelt ordered MacArthur to go to Australia. MacArthur balked from February 20 to March 11. He […]
Note: This article may be downloaded as a PDF document. Introduction Scripture often is misused. It happens in a variety of ways: misreading, misquoting, misinterpreting, misapplying. Let us consider one type of error to which our generation is particularly susceptible: Unwarranted Associative Jump. “Unwarranted associative jump” is the formal name of an exegetical fallacy. The […]
Have you heard the terms “objective justification” and “subjective justification”? Have you had questions about them? Have you been confounded by them? Be of good cheer! Pastor Todd Wilken interviews Pastor Rolf Preus on Issues, Etc., on “Objective & Subjective Justification.” Listen to this clarifying and faith-strengthening broadcast on demand.
The presiding bishop of a Lutheran body said during an interview by reporter Robert Herguth during his podcast “Faith to Face” that there might be a hell, but she thinks it is empty. In reality, many in that body don’t believe in hell. This comes into the open when congregations of that body remove, “He descended […]
I almost flunked out of high school. The first time was in algebra, trying to solve polynomials. “Solving” means finding the roots of many terms. My translation? Trying to make sense of a heap of concepts. Good gravy. After my algebra disaster, it was surprising how well I did in geometry. It’s not that geometry […]
The Evangelical Kyrie by T. R. Halvorson NOTE: This article may be downloaded as a PDF Document The character of Lutheran worship is a rich tapestry of traits. It is like the catechism: it can be learned by a child, but no one can master it. Here are a few vital threads woven into the […]
One spring when I was a teenager, my Dad injured his back. He landed in the hospital in traction. That left seeding the crop to me. Could I get it done? I doubted and dreaded. When I got to the farmyard, before I knew what I was doing, I had climbed the windmill tower and […]
Text: Mark 5:21-43 As with other events in the ministry of Jesus, this text shows the priority of the Word of God. Before we have the Word, we might have optimism or happy superstition, but not faith. Before God makes a promise, there is nothing to believe. Once we have his Word, the Holy Spirit […]
Television has many talent competitions. Big hit shows include Pop Idol, American Idol, Britain’s Got Talent, America’s Got Talent, The Voice, and The X Factor. Sometimes the choice of judges is controversial. Highly accomplished vocal performer, Sir Tom Jones, took a swipe at The X Factor’s Simon Cowell, saying he is not qualified to judge because he has never sung live on stage […]
The Pagan and secular worlds say we have three options for emphasis in our lives: 1. Being 2. Doing 3. Thinking (or Believing) Which is it? None of the above. They overlook the fourth option: 4. Receiving Yes, receiving. The Doer is God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God creates. The Father […]
by T. R. Halvorson Note: This article may be downloaded as a PDF file. Outline Citation Evaluation The Atonement in Lutheran Theology Plan of the Book The Problem Teaching of Christ and the Apostles Teaching of the Postapostolic Fathers Citation Dierks, Theodore. Reconciliation and Justification. St Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1938. Evaluation Dierks’ work in Part […]
Lutheran worship, when true to Lutheran faith, takes the shape or form of a W, so to speak. The W begins above with God who comes down to us — \ — offering gifts in Word and Sacrament. When repentance receives these gifts with contrition and faith, faith believing the Gospel responds according to the […]
This is a presidential election year. There have been so many candidates. People wanted to know, who are these people, really? Who are these promise makers? One of the parties started with four candidates. One candidate is a political veteran who has been known for decades. The others are less known. People wondered, who are […]
Liturgy and Communion
Luther’s Liturgical Criteria and His Reform of the Canon of the Mass
Luther reformed the Canon of the Mass, the way the Sacrament of the Altar is administered. He has been branded a liturgical hack.
Was he a hack or a surgeon? What part did Jesus’ own words have in Luther’s reform. Is the Lord’s Supper a sacrifice we are to offer to God, or is it a testament and gift that Christ gives to the Church?
World renowned scholar Bryan D. Spinks reports the findings of his research. Spinks identifies errors of scholastic procedure in the body of literature. He examines root sources. By his industry and workmanlike procedure, Spinks succeeds at what he set out to do: Let Luther answer for himself.
As John T. Pless says in the Foreword: “It took an Anglican to rescue Luther from the Lutheran liturgical gurus. That was my first response to reading this tightly-packed and potent monograph years ago. Its value has not diminished with the passage of time. … Spinks demonstrates that Luther’s liturgical revisions were not sloppily done but carried out with integrity based on his confession of justification by faith alone. Luther understood God to be the donor in the liturgy of the Lord’s Supper. Thanksgiving which flows from the gift dare not blur this fact. The Sacrament is the Gospel.”
Spinks’ achievement gives this work an exceptional place in the literature. A new audience needs it. This is why it should be republished. First published in 1982, it has gone out of print. Used copies are rare and expensive. Dr. Spinks once more gives a precious gift to the Church by readily and graciously granting his permission for this new edition.
With new musical engravings of the Verba and The German Sanctus by Jon D. Vieker and commendation by William C. Weedon, this new edition bursts the epiphany of Spinks’ brilliance into the sight of a new audience and generation.