“Mom always liked you best.” That was the signature line of the comedy act, the Smothers Brothers. In an interview by PBS, Tommy Smothers recalled how it started. He was the younger, dumber brother. Dick was the older, smarter brother. Dick, as usual, was running Tommy down. He did it so convincingly that the audience […]
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 […]
Gospel Determinism: A Preview by T. R. Halvorson Published originally on Brothers of John the Steadfast, January 21, 2020 NOTE: This article may be downloaded as a PDF Document Contents Elements Effects First Round: On Scripture Second Round: On Doctrine and Practice Example Effects Caveats Caveat 1: Partial Partakers Caveat 2: Individual Salvation The Throbbing Question […]
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.
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 […]
“The begats” is a listing of generations from Adam to Noah. It was repetitious and boring. In each generation, it says someone was born, had kids, lived awhile longer and they died. This repeats nine times. In the King James version, the wording was, the person “begat” sons and daughters. That’s why I call the […]
Our fourth grade teacher gave us reading comprehension tests. We read compositions and answered questions. My grade was a shock. One little letter said the same thing as my teacher. “You don’t understand what you read,” she said. Literature was a locked book, and I did not have a key. This afflicted me especially with […]
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 […]
Do you feel that, because of your sins, you cannot go to the Lord’s Supper? Perhaps you do because of how many your sins are. Or perhaps because of one that is besetting, a sin that many times you have resolved and even taken measure against repeating, but here you are again, right in the […]
The following is from David P. Scaer, Law and Gospel and the Means of Grace, pp. 4-5 (The Luther Academy: St. Louis, 2008). According to a confessional Lutheran understanding, the law lays down God’s requirements or regulations in such a way that sinful people by themselves cannot fulfill them. Those who understand the law’s message in […]
A mindless repetition. That is what critics of creeds say about reciting the Creed. Opponents of liturgy call it a vain repetition. Of course, it is possible to say the Creed mindlessly. People say all kinds of things mindlessly. Sometimes we even say well-intended things like, “I love you,” somewhat mindlessly. We still should say […]
Ulrich Luz The Theology of the Gospel of Matthew Review Outline Citation Luz, Ulrich. The Theology of the Gospel of Matthew. trans. J. Bradford Robinson. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995. The Author Ulrich Luz is a world-renowned theologian. He is regarded highly for his extensive work in the study of the Gospel of Matthew. […]
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 […]
The Gospel text for January 4 is Luke 2:41-52. After God gives Jesus to Mary, He seems to take him away from her. When she loses him on the return journey from the Passover in Jerusalem, she and Joseph search for him for three days. Are they able to sleep during the intervening nights? When […]
At the time of Luther, the practice of the Sacrament of the Altar by papists inflicted many abuses upon the laity. These included withholding the cup from the laity, selling masses, masses for the dead, and more. The greatest abuse was warping the Sacrament from being a sacrament into being a sacrifice. In a sacrifice, people […]
Marilyn and I were walking in Nice, Provence. While passing a gallery, something on a wall inside caught me. I stopped, stepped back, took a second look, and said, “That can’t be here. It’s in Chicago.” Marilyn humored me as we went inside and headed straight to the painting that was the spitting image of […]
Drought and fires this year (2017) recall memories of prairie fires in homesteading days. In high winds, fires moved rapidly, burning grass, crops, livestock, wildlife, buildings, and people. One time a homesteading father saw a fire fanned by winds toward his farm. He realized he and his family could not run away from it. He […]
The first time my Dad sent me out seeding alone, a feeling of pessimism overcame me. That night I said, “How can we expect a green, leafy, lush crop from this? We are dropping dry seed through dead iron machinery into dirt.” He said, “It’s made to work.” That gave me something to think about. […]
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 […]
A Lutheran pastor friend of mine recently posted this status on Facebook: Be sure, before you get defensive, that you understand the difference between individual racism and systemic racism and how systemic racism is perpetuated by all of us white folks. For purposes of this article, I am not going to evaluate each of the […]
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.