Pr. Michael Walther of Good Shepherd Lutheran, Collinsville, Ill. and Pr. Peter Kirby of Zion Lutheran, Carlinville, Ill. discuss Matthew 22:1-14, “The Parable of the Wedding Feast”, with Pastor Todd Wilken. (mp3, 54:29, 21.9 MB, 2011-Oct-05)
Pastor Bruce Keseman, Christ Our Savior Lutheran, Freeburg, Ill. and Dr. Scott Murray, Memorial Lutheran, Houston, Texas, discuss Matthew 21:33-46, “The Parable of the Vineyard”, with Pastor Todd Wilken. (mp3, 54:58, 25.2 MB, 2011-Sep-29)
Pastor Klemet Preus, Glory of Christ Lutheran, Plymouth, Minn. (and author of "The Fire and the Staff"), and Pastor Mark Nebel, St. John Lutheran, Red Bud, Ill., discuss Matthew 20:1-16, “The Laborers in the Vineyard” with Pastor Todd Wilken (mp3, 54:29, 21.9 MB, 2011-Sep-15)
Pastor John Hellwege of Emmaus Lutheran, St. Louis, Mo. and Pastor Jonathan Fisk of St. John Lutheran, Springfield, Penn., discuss Luke 18:9-14, “The Pharisee and the Tax Collector” with Pastor Todd Wilken (mp3, 54:29, 21.9 MB, 2011-Sep-01)
Pastor Tony Troup, Immanuel Lutheran, Waterloo, Ill. and Pastor Steve Briel of St. John Lutheran, Corcoran, Minn., discuss Matt. 16:21-28 with Pastor Todd Wilken (mp3, 54:19, 21.7 MB, 2011-Aug-25)
Pastor Timothy Ostermeyer of Hope Lutheran, St. Ann, Mo., and Pastor Timothy Rossow of Bethany Lutheran, Naperville, Ill., discuss Matt. 16:13-20, "You are the Christ", with Pr. Todd Wilken (mp3, 54:29, 21.9 MB, 2011-Aug-18)
Dr. Ken Bailey, Lecturer in Middle Eastern New Testament Studies, discusses interpreting the parables of Jesus with Pr. Todd Wilken. (from the year 1999)
Part 1: Introduction and The Friend at Midnight - Luke 11:5-8 (mp3, 54:29, 21.9 MB, 2011-Aug-08)
Part 2: The Lost Sheep - Luke 15:3-7 (mp3, 54:29, 21.9 MB, 2011-Aug-09)
Part 3: The Lost Coin - Luke 15:8-10 & The Prodigal Son - Luke 15:11-32 (mp3, 54:29, 21.9 MB, 2011-Aug-10)
Part 4: The Prodigal Son - Luke 15:11-32 (mp3, 54:29, 21.9 MB, 2011-Aug-11)
Part 5: The Unjust Steward - Luke 16:1-8 (mp3, 54:29, 21.9 MB, 2011-Aug-12)
Dr. Kenneth Bailey's Book, Finding the Lost: Cultural Keys to Luke 15.
Pastor Kevin Martin of Our Savior Lutheran, Raleigh, NC and Pastor Kevin Golden of Village Lutheran, Ladue, Mo. discuss Matt. 14:22-33, Jesus Walks on the Sea, with Pastor Todd Wilken. (mp3, 54:29, 21.9 MB, 2011-Aug-04)
Pastor Jonathan Ferguson of Peace Lutheran, St. Louis, Mo, and Pastor Ralph Patrick of Peace with Christ Lutheran, Fort Collins, Co. discuss Matt. 14:13-21, Jesus Feeds the 5000, with Pastor Todd Wilken (mp3, 54:17, 21.8 MB, 2011-Jul-28)
In 1858, (C.F.W.) Walther preached on Reformation: "It is true that of all the church bodies which have left the papacy, it is precisely the Lutheran Church which is accused of retaining many papal abuses and of having been the least successful in cleansing itself. It is pointed out, for example, that in our church priestly clothing, church ornamentation, pictures, altar, crucifixes, candles, confession, the sign of the cross, and the like are still apparent. But, my friends, whoever regards these innocent things as vestiges of the papacy knows neither what the papacy is, nor what the Bible teaches. The very fact that the Lutheran Reformation was not aimed at indifferent adiaphora, but retained those things which were in harmony with God's Word, shows that it was not a disorderly revolution, but a Biblical reformation; for whatever did not agree with God's Word was unrelentingly cleansed from the church by the Lutheran Reformation even though it seemed to glow with angelic holiness."
Neither was Walther concerned about offending those who called such ceremonies, liturgy, vestments, and customs "catholic." Walther was not concerned about offense nor was he concerned that others might "misunderstand" what they saw and heard in the Missouri Synod on Sunday morning. To a Synod convention he proclaimed: "We refuse to be guided by those who are offended by our church customs. We adhere to them all the more firmly when someone wants to cause us to have a guilty conscience on account of them. It is truly distressing that many of our fellow Christians find the difference between Lutheranism and Papism in outward things. It is a pity and a dreadful cowardice when one sacrifices the good ancient church customs to please the deluded American sects, lest they accuse us of being papistic (i.e., too catholic!). Indeed! Am I to be afraid of a Methodist, who perverts the saving Word, or be ashamed in the matter of my good cause, and not rather rejoice that the sects can tell by our ceremonies that I do not belong to them? We are not insisting that there be uniformity of perception or feeling or of taste among all believing Christians neither dare anyone demand that all be minded as he is. Nevertheless it remains true that the Lutheran liturgy distinguishes Lutheran worship from the worship of other churches to such an extend that the houses of worship of the latter look like lecture halls in which the hearers are addressed or instructed (Will Weedon noted if he were writing today, he'd no doubt add: they look like movie theaters in which the hearers are entertained!), while our churches are in truth houses of prayer in which Christians serve the great God publicly before the world."
The fuller quote from C.F.W. Walther:
"We know and firmly hold that the character, the soul of Lutheranism, is not found in outward observances but in the pure doctrine. If a congregation had the most beautiful ceremonies in the very best order, but did not have the pure doctrine, it would be anything but Lutheran. We have from the beginning spoken earnestly of good ceremonies, not as though the important thing were outward forms, but rather to make use of our liberty in these things. For true Lutherans know that although one does not have to have these things (because there is no divine command to have them), one may nevertheless have them because good ceremonies are lovely and beautiful and are not forbidden in the Word of God. Therefore the Lutheran church has not abolished "outward ornaments, candles, altar cloths, statues and similar ornaments," [AP XXIV] but has left them free. The sects proceeded differently because they did not know how to distinguish between what is commanded, forbidden, and left free in the Word of God. We remind only of the mad actions of Carlstadt and of his adherents and followers in Germany and in Switzerland. We on our part have retained the ceremonies and church ornaments in order to prove by our actions that we have a correct understanding of Christian liberty, and know how to conduct ourselves in things which are neither commanded nor forbidden by God.
We refuse to be guided by those who are offended by our church customs. We adhere to them all the more firmly when someone wants to cause us to have a guilty conscience on account of them. The Roman antichristendom enslaves poor consciences by imposing human ordinances on them with the command: "You must keep such and such a thing!"; the sects enslave consciences by forbidding and branding as sin what God has left free. Unfortunately, also many of our Lutheran Christians are still without a true understanding of their liberty. This is demonstrated by their aversion to ceremonies.
It is truly distressing that many of our fellow Christians find the difference between Lutheranism and Roman Catholicism in outward things. It is a pity and dreadful cowardice when a person sacrifices the good ancient church customs to please the deluded American denominations just so they won't accuse us of being Roman Catholic! Indeed! Am I to be afraid of a Methodist, who perverts the saving Word, or be ashamed in the matter of my good cause, and not rather rejoice that they can tell by our ceremonies that I do not belong to them?
It is too bad that such entirely different ceremonies prevail in our Synod, and that no liturgy at all has yet been introduced in many congregations. The prejudice especially against the responsive chanting of pastor and congregations is of course still very great with many people -- this does not, however, alter the fact that it is very foolish. The pious church father Augustine said, "Qui cantat, bis orat--he who sings prays twice."
This finds its application also in the matter of the liturgy. Why should congregations or individuals in the congregation want to retain their prejudices? How foolish that would be! For first of all it is clear from the words of St. Paul (1 Cor. 14:16) that the congregations of his time had a similar custom. It has been the custom in the Lutheran Church for 250 years. It creates a solemn impression on the Christian mind when one is reminded by the solemnity of the divine service that one is in the house of God, in childlike love to their heavenly Father, also give expression to their joy in such a lovely manner.
We are not insisting that there be uniformity in perception or feeling or taste among all believing Christians-neither dare anyone demand that all be minded as he. Nevertheless, it remains true that the Lutheran liturgy distinguishes Lutheran worship from the worship of other churches to such an extent that the houses of worship of the latter look like lecture halls in which the hearers are merely addressed or instructed, while our churches are in truth houses of prayer in which Christians serve the great God publicly before the world.
Uniformity of ceremonies (perhaps according to the Saxon Church order published by the Synod, which is the simplest among the many Lutheran church orders) would be highly desirable because of its usefulness. A poor slave of the pope finds one and same form of service, no matter where he goes, by which he at once recognizes his church.
With us it is different. Whoever comes from Germany without a true understanding of the doctrine often has to look for his church for a long time, and many have already been lost to our church because of this search. How different it would be if the entire Lutheran church had a uniform form of worship! This would, of course, first of all yield only an external advantage, however, one which is by no means unimportant. Has not many a Lutheran already kept his distance from the sects because he saw at the Lord's Supper they broke the bread instead of distributing wafers?
The objection: "What would be the use of uniformity of ceremonies?" was answered with the counter question, "What is the use of a flag on the battlefield? Even though a soldier cannot defeat the enemy with it, he nevertheless sees by the flag where he belongs. We ought not to refuse to walk in the footsteps of our fathers. They were so far removed from being ashamed of the good ceremonies that they publicly confess in the passage quoted: "It is not true that we do away with all such external ornaments."
(mp3, 35:06, 14 MB, 2011-July-13)
(mp3, 42:26, 17 MB, 2011-July-13)
Pastor (now President) Matthew Harrison discusses the Lord's Supper with Pastor Todd Wilken (originally broadcast on Sunday, 2005-Mar-20)
Issues, Etc., Classics (before June 30, 2008) originated at KFUO-AM in St. Louis, and were broadcast on other stations around the country. Phone number and address mentioned are no longer valid.
Pastor Hans Fiene of River of Life Lutheran, Channahon, Ill. and Pastor David Boisclair of Faith & Bethesda Lutheran, St. Louis, Mo. discuss Matthew 13:24-30, “The Parable of the Weeds” with Pastor Todd Wilken. (mp3, 54:43, 22.0 MB, 2011-July-14)
Pastor Kirk Clayton of Zion Lutheran, Mascoutah, Ill, and Pastor Christopher Esget of Immanuel Lutheran, Alexandria, Va. discuss Luke 14:15-24 with Pastor Todd Wilken (mp3, 54:29, 21.9 MB, 2011-Jun-30)
Master H is 3 years old! The Sacrament of Holy Baptism.
Additional comments by Pr. Randy Asburry:
Who says young children "can't" learn the Catechism by heart? That's a claim foisted on parents, teachers, and pastors by many who would rather leave such learning for later years and upper grades - the time when such learning by heart is much, much more difficult.
But this father shows that children - quite young children - can and do learn the Catechism by heart. Not only is this funny and cute, but it's also impressive and worthy of all imitation. And take special note of the great expressiveness with which this young lad recites the Catechism part on Baptism. While this little guy may not "understand" every term or concept which he speaks now, such learning and growing will take place for all of his life. Here he shows that the vessel is well prepared for being filled with the draft of God's meaningful Word.
See also President Harrison's article, "Preaching Is All About You"
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