Dr. Gene Edward Veith, Provost and Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, Purcellville, Virginia, and author of the book, The Spirituality of the Cross, discusses Worship in Reformation Theology with Pr. Todd Wilken (mp3, 28:28, 11.4 MB, 2010-Mar-25)
Pr. Wilken: "What do you make of the tendency now, sad to say, kind of an increasingly popular tendency, among people who have inherited this confession, this theology from the Lutheran reformation, to abandon the historic worship of the Church for, as you say, more man-centered, more me-centered, more feelings-centered methods and practices?"
Dr. Veith: "To somebody that comes from the outside into Lutheranism, who found in Lutheranism something so tremendous and so profound and so helpful in the most deepest way … it's amazing to me to see people who already have that and want to throw that away, and try to worship or practice in the way that I was leaving and found so shallow and so unhelpful ultimately. It's something that I just can't comprehend. And I think maybe it's the familiarity, and maybe they don't understand it, or they're tired of it or the grass is always greener on the other side, and it just puzzles me. I just can't understand why someone who has Lutheranism, Lutheran worship, would go to something so much less. It just staggers me."
My dear friend, Pr. Larry Peters, has written a fine piece you should read here. It raises a most interesting question in my mind about the extent to which a congregation or a Synod may honestly be considered "Lutheran." I would argue that when the documents comprising the Lutheran Symbols, the Christian Book of Concord, are no longer permitted to critique and challenge current teaching or practice; when instead our Church's Confession is relegated to the museum as an interesting artifact of what was once the case, then we have lost the right to the name "Lutheran." Whenever the Symbols are dismissed with "well, they can't mean THAT because we DO that and we're Lutherans after all," their corrective voice has been silenced and stilled. Well, not really. Rather ignored and shouted down. The voice of our fathers still rings out and it still challenges what we believe, teach, confess and practice. So are you and your congregation and your Synod ready to hear the living critique which the Symbols would offer? Then there might be hope for the Churches of the Augsburg Confession yet. If not, then shut out the lights, folks, and move on. Or, at least be honest and change the name on the door...
(HT: Issues, Etc., Blog of the Week)
Mount Sinai (mp3, 55:00, 22 MB, 2010-Mar-17)
Mount Calvary (mp3, 54:28, 21.8 MB, 2010-Mar-24)
Mount Zion (mp3, 54:29, 21.8 MB, 2010-Apr-07)
The above discussions are based on Pr. Preus' book, Why I Am a Lutheran: Jesus at the Center
Dr. Cameron MacKenzie, Professor and Chairman of Historical Theology, Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, Ind., discusses Dr. C.F.W. Walther, the Father of the LCMS, with Pr. Todd Wilken (mp3, 28:30, 11.4 MB, 2010-May-07)
Dr. Andrew Steinmann, Professor of Theology and Hebrew, Concordia University, Chicago, and author of The Concordia Commentary on Daniel (among other books), discusses what prayer is and what it isn't with Pr. Todd Wilken (mp3, 40:30, 16.2 MB, 2010-May-06)
See also Dr. John Kleinig's article, "What's the Use of Praising God?" (pdf, 12 pgs, 49.8 KB)
Issues, Etc. 24 hours of Bible Study
Wednesday, April 14 through Thursday, April 15, 2010
Luke, Dr. Arthur Just, Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, Ind (mp3, 2:00:45, 48.4 MB)
Mark, Dr Peter Scaer, Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, Ind (mp3, 2:00:38, 48.3 MB)
Ephesians, Dr Thomas Winger, Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada (mp3, 2:00:42, 48.3 MB)
Genesis, Dr Joel Heck, Concordia University-Texas, Austin, Tex. (mp3, 1:54:08, 45.7 MB)
Job, Pr Bryan Wolfmueller, Hope Lutheran Church, Aurora, Colo. (mp3, 2:00:53, 48.4 MB)
1 Corinthians, Dr Greg Lockwood, Australian Lutheran College and Seminary, North Adelaide, South Australia (mp3, 2:00:11, 48.1 MB)
John, Dr Bill Weinrich, Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, Ind (mp3, 2:02:57, 49.2 MB)
Leviticus, Dr John Kleinig, Australian Lutheran College and Seminary, North Adelaide, South Australia (mp3, 2:01:23, 48.6 MB)
Psalms, Dr Tim Saleska, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo. (mp3, 1:57:41, 47.1 MB)
Proverbs, Dr Andrew Steinmann, Concordia University-Chicago (mp3, 2:00:02, 48.1 MB)
Galatians, Dr Scott Murray, Memorial Lutheran, Houston, Tex. (mp3, 2:02:15, 49.0 MB)
Romans, Pr Bill Cwirla, Holy Trinity Lutheran, Hacienda Heights, Calif. (mp3, 1:59:48, 48.0 MB)
Are the 70 weeks of Daniel 9 a prophecy about the anti-Christ or are they about the Christ?
Dr. Andrew Steinmann, Professor of Theology and Hebrew, Concordia University, Chicago, and author of The Concordia Commentary on Daniel (among other books), discusses this topic with Pr. Todd Wilken (mp3, 54:59, 22 MB, 2010-Mar-12)
Pr. Bryan Wolfmueller, pastor of Hope Lutheran Church, Aurora, Colo., and co-host of the program, Table Talk Radio, discusses Bad Uses of the Law of God with Pr. Todd Wilken (mp3, 32:50, 13.2 MB, 2010-Mar-03)
See also Pr. Wolfmueller's article on the Five Illegal Uses of the Law.
Dr. Paul Grime, Associate Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions and Dean of the Chapel, Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, Ind., discusses Ash Wednesday and the Lenten Season with Pr. Todd Wilken (mp3, 40:29, 16.4 MB, 2010-Feb-17)
Can you make a decision for Christ?
“Have you made a decision for Christ?” One often hears this question from radio and television preachers, or even from our friends and family. “Have you invited Jesus into your heart? Have you received Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior? Have you dedicated your life to Christ?” Many churches have a “Time of Decision” at the end of their services, with altar calls and emotional appeals for the person to respond. All of these questions rotate around this same premise: the unbeliever has the ability and responsibility to choose Jesus. But is this what the Bible teaches? Can the unbeliever make a decision for Christ?
Pr. Wolfmuller: "I was in the McDonald's ... and I was there to rent a movie at the RedBox and I was standing there in line. And this older lady looks up at me and she says, 'What do you do?' I wasn't wearing my collar or anything. I was undercover just trying to get a movie. And I told her, 'I'm a Lutheran pastor.' And she said, 'Oh, I'm a Southern Baptist. What's the difference between a Lutheran and a Southern Baptist?'
"And I said, 'Well, here's one thing you might notice: I bet you at your service you have a time of decision at the end.' And she said, 'Yes, that's right.' And I said, 'And that's the time where you have an altar call and the preacher will tell people to come up and they can pray and they can dedicate their life to Christ or rededicate their life, they can hand things over to Him, they can make a decision, pray the "Sinners Prayer", et cetera, et cetera. And that's one of the highlights of your church service.' And she said, 'Yeah, it surely is.'
"'Well, we Lutherans ask a different question: The question we ask is not: Have you made a decision for Jesus? But rather, Has Jesus made a decision for you? The question is not, Have you accepted Jesus into your heart? But rather, Has Jesus accepted you into His heart? The question is not, Have you given your whole life for God? But rather, Has God given His whole life for you?'
"And this was an incredible thing, Todd, because here is this woman and I, standing in the lobby of the McDonald's, and she was crying. Tears were rolling off of her cheeks. And she says to me, 'I've never heard anything so wonderful in my whole life.'
"Now, why? Because the Gospel for her had always been a condition, it had always been something she had to do, it had always been up to her.
"And it never had had the absolute, one hundred percent assurance of knowing that it was Jesus who's done it all. It's Jesus who won her salvation. It's Jesus who's made the way open to heaven for her. And to know that and to know the answer is, Yes! Even though my faith wavers, even though I have doubts, and I have questions. Yes, Jesus has given Himself to me. Yes, He has prayed for me. Yes, He has poured out His life and His blood so that I would be His and my sins would be forgiven. And there's no question, there's no doubt, there's no room for wondering there. It's just this absolutely, wonderful, forgiving, confident-building assurance that I am the child of God, the friend of Jesus."
Read also Pr. Bryan Wolfmuller's article, "Can You Make a Decision for Christ?"
Pr. Todd Wilken reviews a sermon preached by Pr. Daniel Preus on The Baptism of Jesus. Pr. Preus (Executive Director of Luther Academy and Assistant Pastor of Hope Lutheran, St. Louis, Mo.) preached the sermon at Memorial Lutheran Church, Houston, Texas (mp3, 42:59, 17.2 MB, 2010-Jan-13)
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