Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Studies by President Bugbee.

"Jesus, Lord of My Time?  Reflections on a Gift and its Sacred Use."
It's always time well spent to listen to Rev. Bugbee.


More good books

Here is something else we can order. On SPECIAL til the end of the month.

The CPH order came already!

The books came yesterday! In record speed--less than three weeks, to the boonies, no less.  $500.00 Canadian.  My poor husband;  I am hard to keep.

They should last a while. Two things will be gone by tonight. I don't think, I'll let them pay for it.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Dangerous Praise

"O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will tell about your praise." Psalm 51:15

By asking the Lord to open his lips, David showed how difficult it is to offer thanks to God. This is something God demands of us (Psalm 50:14).

Talking about the Lord and thanking him publicly require an extreme amount of courage and strength because the devil is constantly trying to stop people from doing this. If we could see all of Satan's traps, we would know why David prayed for the Sprit's strength and asked the Lord himself to open David's lips. He wanted to tell the devil, the world, kings, princes, and everyone about the Lord.

Many things can keep our lips shut: the fear of danger, the hope of gaining something, or even the advice of friends. The devil uses these ways to stop us from offering thanks to God, as I have often experienced in my life. And yet, at important times, when God's honor was threatened, God stood by me and opened my mouth in spite of the obstacles. The Spirit urges us on, just as Peter says, "We cannot stop talking about what we've seen and heard" (Acts 4:20). The Spirit prays to God for us with many groans (Romans 8:26). Then, the Lord opens our lips to announce his praise.

Whenever Scdriptrue talks about praising God publicly, it's talking about something extremely dangerous. This is because announcing his praise is nothing other than opposing the devil, the world, our own currupt nature, and everything evil. For how can you praise God without first declaring that the world is guilty and codemned? Anyone who condemns the world is asking to be hated and puts himself in a very dangerous situation.

From "Through Faith Alone" (365 devotional readings from Martin Luther).  I think "declare your praise" sounds better than "tell about your praise". 

In German:  "Herr tue meine Lippen auf, dass mein Mund deinen Ruhm verkuendige".  The verb "verkuendigen" is more like "proclaim", "herald", not the plain verb "tell". 

It was dangerous for Luther, too, to spread the news of Justification by Faith through Christ alone.  But this is exactly what it is about:  God will not, shall not, be robbed of his honor and praise, which is that he is the giver of all good things, including our entire salvation.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lovely Day

Listened to Dr. Kleinig's talk on "Pornography" today on Issues, etc.   He also dealt with enjoyment of a sanctified sexuality.  He tied it all together beautifully biblically, and in terms of law and gospel.  Just awesome! 

My husband and I have finished the introduction to the Formula of Concord.  So that's going well, too.

AND see what a beautiful fall day we had today.

AND a friend made me run on a track today.  What kindness.  No end to what one can be grateful for.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

You have seen it first here: Love Life Conference 5 flyer

You can click on the image and then click on your little magnifying glass on the poster to read the smaller print.

Also view info and leave messages at:  LoveLifeEdmonton.com

We got started

Husband and I started on the Lutheran Confessions with the Introduction to the Formula of Concord on page 443, because the reading plan calls for a reading of the Solid Declaration for the rest of the year.

Beginning with this introduction was a good choice, as husband loves all things historical and history is what we get here.  We read everthing to do with the Interims up to page 452.  Already we are not keeping within out two page limit.  :)  I am getting the sense that husband will be eating this up, too.  Anyways, he said he was on board with the reading plan. (Good man.)

Here is where we started.  The picture is highly compressed, so we are not breaking the copyright.  (Strange thing that printing a confession could be copyright infringement, but you never know.)

This history surrounding these documents is really truly quite breath taking.  Somebody should make a movie series.

!!! Ah, yes, the inimitable Pastor Fisk should do it.

See him talk about the importance of the Confessions again.

Monday, September 20, 2010

LWUFTBOC or "Women of Concord"?

Perhaps, the "LWUFTBOC" should be shortened to "Girls of Concord"  or "Women of Concord".

How to read the BOC?  My problem is that when I get started I don't finish.  So, perhaps, a reading plan is in order to provide a little self-control.

Here we have links to the readings divided up over 52 weeks, but that would mean reading every day and reading on a screen.  That will not work for me.

One click over we have the whole plan.  This will be better.  You can get caught up, or get a little ahead and still stay in lock-step with others.  I will print this out and put it in my LC. 

Now, that it's going to be winter, we might be able to tack that onto the Treasury readings and do it as a couple.

There is a plan!  So, it looks like we are in week 38.

Buy your book here.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

"For prayer, too, is one of the precious holy possessions whereby everything is sanctified."

Read Bishop Obare's installation sermon, today.


Also noted the discussion here:


I liked this part from Luther in relation to the discussion about "liturgy".

Prayer, Public Praise, and Thanksgiving to God (The Liturgy / Public Worship). Luther writes, "Sixth, the holy Christian people are externally recognized by prayer, public praise, and thanksgiving to God. Where you see and hear the Lord’s Prayer prayed and taught; or psalms or other spiritual songs sung, in accordance with the word of God and the true faith; also the creed, the Ten Commandments, and the catechism used in public, you may rest assured that a holy Christian people of God are present. For prayer, too, is one of the precious holy possessions whereby everything is sanctified, as St. Paul says [I Tim. 4:5]. The psalms too are nothing but prayers in which we praise, thank, and glorify God. The creed and the Ten Commandments are also God’s word and belong to the holy possession, whereby the Holy Spirit sanctifies the holy people of Christ." (AE 41, 164)

"For prayer, too, is one of the precious holy possessions whereby everything is sanctified." 
I like it a lot!

Friday, September 17, 2010


"Lutheran Women United for the Book of Concord."
 How do you like it?  Catchy?

I have read it. I have been through the Large Catechism most recently, before that the Smalcald Articles, before that the Formula of Concord (but that was last fall), before that the Epitome of the Formula, before that not much for a long time.  (No, that's not true;  from arguing on-line there was a lot of going over sections on "good works" and "third use of the law" and "free will".)

I commit myself to reading it more carefully once more, lest I preach to others...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Book of Concord: for the church library or for children in grade four?

Recently, I have had some conversations about the Book of Concord which baffle me. 

The most recent one was with some who really ought to know, educated persons in my church body.  We had not met in a while and never spoken much in depth but here we were sitting across from each other over dinner.  These kinds of meetings happen to me quite regularly these days in my role as wife of chairman M. (Mao).  LOL.

So what is this other person into these days? What is this person reading?  Cool. ...  When nobody asked me what I am doing or reading I gladly volunteered this information --  I've been reading a lot of books that have come out recently from CPH, some Giertz, some Just, the Treasury every day, some Harrison...  We talked about Matt Harrison.  Nobody has heard of him.  I filled them in.  New President.  Liturgy plus mercy, etc.

So, I tell them, there is this new, great edition of the Book of Concord, the Reader's Edition.  It has shorter sentences, has great introductions to all the documents, has color plates and some other illustrations.  The eyes of the people across from me wander away. -- Ah, not a good subject for them.

One volunteers:  "Nobody will read this sort of thing."
Me: "If you don't make it available, and encourage people to read it, they surely won't.  Those who will read this sort of thing, need to be told about it."
Other: "Well, yes."
Another: "This sort of thing might be great for the church library."
Other to Another:  look at each other agreeing.  Yes, indeed for the church library!

Says I: "No, no, no, no.  Not just for the church library. Walther said there should be a Book of Concord in every household.  It should be at hand."

This contrasts with what Myrtle has been saying.  Myrtle says, children in grade 4 should begin to become acquainted with it and read it.  Someone else, a confessional expert so to speak, said the other day.  "Yes, of course, they can start with the small catechism".  Myrtle would say that they can read the Large also.  Myrtle should know.  She is a literacy expert. 

At the least, every Lutheran should know that the book exists, what is in it, that this is very, very important and why, that he should have a copy at hand and read in it.  Get yourself a Reader's Edition from CPH!  

The Book of Concord is a great treasure.  The great doctrines, with justification by faith through Christ alone at center, are defended from all angles and attacks.  Former evangelicals, baptist... eat this up and we want to put it into the church library!

Watch this recent Youtube video by Pastor Fisk.  Such an awsome job. Thank you Pastor Fisk. 

And thank God for the Book of Concord and Pastor Fisk, and Myrtle. See the link to her booklet listed in red at the bottom.  Great points, good thinking, excellent work, super presentation.  A+.  Don't miss it.  Pass it on.

Dare to Read the Book of Concordhttp://www.justanote.com/p/contact.html

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Put in an order with CPH-- "Hymnal in every Home" Sale

Noticing that my stock of books is low in some areas, I took advantage of the sale of hymnals at CPH, today.  Below, see all that I have left.

The Book of Concords were once a box of 10 on sale.  The Large Catechisms were once a box of 20.  There are still quite a few, but I was hoping we would use them with the study guide in church, (maybe this will happen, but excellent for individual and family study, too).

So, seeing that there are no hymnals left, I ordered ten of them, and noting that there are no "Through Faith Alone" devotion books, I ordered six (one of my favorite books, altogether), and seeing that there is only one Small Catechism with Explanations, I ordered six, also.  With shipping, this is still an expensive order and will take at least four weeks to get here, maybe six.  Alas, but we are unspeakably greatful for such excellent resources.  Thank you CPH!

I would like some more Treasury's, too, but I will wait for when they are on sale, again.  I have gone through about 15 of them. I also should get some of Gene Veith's books, next.

People ask me what I do with them.  Besides enjoying them myself or with my husband, when appropriate, I sell them for what I paid for them.  Most of the time, I give them as presents for occasions or no occasions, or for having had a conversation of spiritual nature with someone. 

On a slightly different note, for our daily devotion, another picture I took this morning from my old German hymnal.

It says:  "It is God's pleasure and honor, that he wants to give much."

He also gives us so much in these beautiful books, words and songs.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

More on the preached Word--Heaven on Earth

From Heaven on Earth:

For Luther, the liturgy was the means by which God's Word came to God's people, thus the people needed to hear this life-giving Word read and preached.  Throughout the Divine Service, the Word of God dominates the liturgy from Kyrie to Gloria in Excelsis to the Scripture readings to Sanctus to Agnus Dei.  As you read Luther's description of the rite, you see his evangelical impulse bringing forth the gospel throughout the flow of the service.  For example, the Alleluia that precedes the Gospel is "the perpetual voice of the church"  responding to the gifts given in the very words of Jesus.  In the same way, the Pax Domini after the Words of Institution is considered by Luther to be a form of absolution.  Luther's perception of the Word of God was not wooden, that is, for him it was not simply the text of the Scriptures.  Rather, it is Jesus, the Word made flesh, who comes to us through preaching.  "For Luther, the word of God is not primarily a text;  it is first and foremost an oral even--the act of preaching."  This is why Luther's greatest contribution to liturgical reform was the revival of preaching.  p. 250

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Worldview Everlasting

Wow!  Pastor Fisk makes amazing videos.  I mean AMAZING!  See them on Youtube.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Living Word

Two separate quotes that have crossed my path on the subject of  the living word.

One from Luther on "A Brief Instruction on What to Look for and Expect in the Gospels."

But what a fine lot of tender and pious children we are!  In order that we might not have to study in the Sciptures and learn Christ there, we simply regard the entire Old Testament as of no account, as done for and no longer valid.  Yet it alone bears the name of Holy Scripture.  And the gospel should really not be something written, but a spoken word which brought forth the Scriptures, as Christ and the apostles have done.  This is why Christ himself did not write anything but only spoke.  He called his teaching not Scipture but gospel, meaning good news or a proclamation that is spread not by pen but by word of mouth.  So we go on and make the gospel into a law book, a teaching of commandments, changing Christ into a Moses, the One who would help us into simply an instructor.  (In Lull, p. 110)

The other one is from the book I still have not finished:  Just's "Heaven on Earth".   From page 198, he deals with "The Liturgy of the Word".

We readily speak of the Eucharist as the real presence of Christ, but we should also speak of Christ's presence in His Word.  We tend to say, properly so, that the Holy Spirit works through the Word in order to create faith.  But we need to add that faith is created because of the real presence of Jesus Christ according to both His divine and human natures.  In His Word, Christ is present in His body and soul, flesh and blood.  He is present in the Word not to feed our bodies but our souls.  The problem comes in describing this presence, and Lutheran dogmatic categories about the presence of Christ in the Word could well be more fully developed.  This presence is, or course, a mystery, but one that we affirm as part of our understanding of Christ's real presence in the liturgy.  The one present bodily in the Lord's Supper first invites us through the Gopspel and preaching.  Preaching cannot be divorced from the Sacrament, and all Christian preaching must in fact be Christological and sacramental.  This affirms our confession that Christ promised to be present by His Spirit whereever His Word is read and preached in the Church's worship.
Two things here.  It strikes me that he says that "the dogmatic categories about the presence of Christ in the Word could well be more fully developed".  You would think that with our emphasis on the external word, the means of grace, we would have this very well developed.

The other one.  Recently, I read somewhere else in Luther, that when Christians gather there should always be exposition of the word, otherwise, we can just forget about singing, ringing, reading, etc.  There should always be preaching, (i.e. "proclamation"?). 

I told this to a pastor who was mulling over the theology of requiring pastors to speak their sermons without reading them from notes. I don't know if that helped him, but it seems to me that natural speech would be more "viva vox" than reading from a book or your own sermon notes.  I also mentioned that listening to a seminarian read his sermon from his notes in a sing-song, completely put me to sleep, so that I could not even listen to it.  And I have a high tolerance for sermons and lectures, I have been told.  I can listen when others can't.  So, yes, I'd say, preach from your mind, not your notes.  Write the notes first, but get them into your heart and mind and then preach.  Anyhow.  My tow bits worth.

From Arthur Just, just a little bit more. 

Viva Vox Jesu

Viva vox Jesu--the living voice of Jesus--is what we hear when His Word is read and preached.  The Word of Jesus is both a written and an oral word.  this Word, though written in words inspired and canonically received, is also spoken and heard within a community called the bgody of Christ.  this voice is a living voice, for by it jesus Christ is present for us bodily.

This Word comes from the Word made flesh, a Word that has creative power--power to cast out demons, heal the sick, raise the dead, and release us from our sins.  With the Old Testament saints, we acknowledge that God's Word is God's food for hungry pilgrims who have journeyed in Christ through a baptism of His death and resurrection toward the final destination of full communion with Him in heaven.

This Word is interpreted within the community, broken open through preaching as hearts burn through proclamation of prophet and apostle.  At the center of our task of interpretation is the understanding that exegesis is always undertaken with preaching as central to our explication of the Scriptures, for the Scriptures wer meant to be preached.  To interpret Scriptures rightly requires a proper method of  interpretation that reflects a biblical theology of preaching.  As a result, to confess our preaching as Viva vox Jesu is also to speak of the centrality of christ in Holy Scripture.  and those who proclaim Christ's living voice suffer for that proclamation.

Ulrich Asendorf, an enlightened Luther scholar, describes the Viav vox Evangelii.  He provides a corrective to those who claim for Lutehr a narrow view of sensus literalis, which means "the literal sense."  But he begins by stating how important it is to see the Word of God as a preached Word.  Asendorf writes:

[Viva vox Evangelii is] one of the key words and catch phrases in Protestant theology.  Its common usage refers to the Word of God as kerygmatically understood.  Accordingly, God's Word is first and foremost the preached Word.  Certainly, thereby is meant one of the central concerns not only of the theology of Martin Luther but also that of the Reformation in general. 

Hughes Oliphant Old describes a very similar understanding of the Word of God among both the New Testament writers as well as the Early Church fathers.  He speaks of this as Christ's "kerygmatic presence" and cites numerous examples in the Gospels and Paul's epistles where Scripture testifies that its very nature is kerygmjatic, particularly Luke 10:16 and its parallel in Matthew 10:40.  For Old, "kerygmatic presence" simply means "that when the word of Christ is truly preached, then Christ is present."
By the way, Wikipedia has for "kerygma" this definition:

Kerygma (Greek: κήρυγμα, kérugma) is the Greek word used in the New Testament for preaching (see Luke 4:18-19, Romans 10:14, Matthew 3:1). It is related to the Greek verb κηρύσσω (kērússō), to cry or proclaim as a herald, and means proclamation, announcement, or preaching.

The New Testament teaches that as Jesus launched his public ministry he entered the synagogue and read from the scroll of Isaiah the prophet. He identified himself as the one Isaiah predicted in Isa 61 (Luke 4:17-21). The text is a programmatic statement of Jesus' ministry to preach or proclaim (Kerygma), good news to the poor and the blind and the captive.

In terms of "kerygma",  I find it hugely helpful to say that Luther did exercise a biblical criticism, as well; however, his was a kerygmatic criticism, which is that that which does not jive with the gospel, is to be subject to that which does.  Hence, James is the epistle of "straw".  He needs to fit with Paul, not Paul with James.

This viva vox, in my mind applies to Pastors and their preaching and teaching ministry, but also to the entire church as we are Christ to one another in what we say and do.  "Where two or three are gathered..."  and  "You have done it to me."   All the more let us watch what we say.  Let it be wholesome truth and proclamation.  Let it be true and kind, let it be healing, cutting both ways, let it be Christ crucified and risen. Let us look each other in the face as we say it and hear it.  Let it sink in deeply.  Let your and my face and voice and hand be the Lord's.

This probably could indeed be better developed among us Lutherans, as we don't seem to share as freely as we ought.  Let it dwell among us richly.

Cranach on early marriage

I need this link.  So it's saved here.  The subject will not go away.

It was a good discussion on what we are doing to our children by expecting them to have it all together (degree, lawpractice, house, minivan) before we let them contemplate marriage. 

It has encouraged me to support some young Christian couples to go through with their marriage plans.  Personally, I went that route myself, and don't see why I should not have.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What happened to your sin?

"The Lord has laid all our sins on him"  (Isaiah 53:6)

"Christ carried our sins in his body on the cross." (1 Peter 2:24)

"God had Christ, who was sinless, take our sin." (2 Cor. 5:21)

You must rely on these and similar verses with your whole heart.  The more your conscience torments you, the more you must rely on them.  For if you don't do this and try to quiet your conscience through your own sorrow and penance,you will never find peace of mind and will finally despair in the end.  If you try to deal with sin in your conscience, let it remain there, and continue to look at it in your heart,your sins will become too strong for you.  They will seem to live forever.  But when you think of your sins as being on Christ and boldly believe that he conquered them through his resurrection, then they are dead and gone.  Sin can't remain on Christ.  His resurrection swallowed sin up.  (AE 42:12)