29 October 2012

New Lutheran Quote of the Day

To common sense it may well seem that one must choose between the whole church and the whole truth. The more people are to be included, the more the truth will have to be diluted to what they hold in common. On the other hand, the more truth is salvaged, the more people will have to be defined out of the church. But this inverse proportion is deceiving. AC VII defies the illusion by keeping the whole church firmly anchored in the whole truth. That is, of course, biblical. Since there is one God, one truth, and one faith, and since faith is in every case the work and gift of the Holy Spirit, it follows that the Holy Spirit works the same faith in all believers. To the extent we are Christians at all, we are true Christians. Whatever is in us above, beyond, or against the one faith does not come from the Spirit, and is therefore not faith but a mere conceit of the flesh.—Prof. Kurt Marquart, The Church, p. 68.

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

Thus Christ also calls Himself the vine, and His believers the branches. Faith unites a person with Christ, binding them together as a branch to the vine. So it is not faith that does great things, but Christ, who is grasped through faith.—C. F. W. Walther, God Grant It!, p. 870.

Patristic Quote of the Day

Pardon's frequency shows us that in our case there is never a time for anger, since God pardons us for all sins in their entirety by His gft rather than by our merit. Nor should we be excused from the requirement of giving pardon that number of times, since through the grace of the Gospel God has granted us pardon without measure.—St. Hilary of Poitiers, On Matthew, 18.10.

24 October 2012

How to make a beagle happy?

Do her regular half-hour walk twice! After a tasty dinner of eggplant parmesan and fried apples, Cindi and I put her harness and leash on and headed out. It was the perfect evening for it. The sun was just beginning to set, the sky was stunning. Cirrus clouds looked like feathers that had been dipped in orange and red. And Lucy wasn't really walking tonight. She was prancing. For a bonus on the final round? She got to see a rabbit. Which means, of course, that she had to be DRAGGED home the rest of the way. No prancing then. Now she's completely worn out and snuggling in her bed beside the fireplace. And we enjoyed an hour's walk and conversation as we watched the hound having a jolly good time.

New Lutheran Quote of the Day

The lines of church fellowship, it will be remembered, run not directly between individuals, but by way of the uniting center, that is, the church's pure marks. Individuals are in fellowship with one another by way of their pulpits and altars.—Prof. Kurt Marquart, The Church, p. 66

[Weedon caveat: did he leave out the font on purpose? It complicates and muddies matters, but the font must also be considered.]

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

He [our Lord] is the eternal Wisdom whom nothing outwits and the eternal Might whom nothing can overwhelm.—C. F. W. Walther, God Grant It!, p. 827.

Patristic Quote of the Day

You appear to yourself to be rich. Yet if you have not God, what do you have? And a poor man, if he has God, what does he not have?—St. Augustine, Sermons on Selected Lessons of the New Testament, 28.5

23 October 2012

On Romans 3

We also hosted a local pericopal study at the IC today and Dr. Fritz Baue held forth on the epistle for the Reformation festival: Romans 3:19-28. It struck me in a way that it had not previously that the "surprise" in these verses is that GOD sets forth the propitiation/hilasterion. In Paganism one thinks of it working the other direction: you propitiate the offended Deity. But St. Paul actually inverts that. God puts forth the Propitiation, namely, His Son, so that by faith in His blood we be justified. The directionality is Him reaching us salvation in our Lord Jesus, not vice-versa.

In today's Office of National Mission Devotion

we were working through Augsburg Confession XXIII: the marriage of priests. It struck me how utterly powerful the Scriptures were to these men and how what the papal party was proposing simply could not overcome the clarity of God's own express words.  Think of it:

from 1 Corinthians 9:  "Have we not power to lead about a sister a wife as other Apostles, and as the brethren of The Lord, and Cephas?"

from 1 Corinthians 7:  "Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband... But if they cannot contain, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn."

from 1 Timothy 3: "A bishop, then, must be blameless, the husband of one wife..."

from 1 Timothy 4:  "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils...forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving."

from Hebrews 13:  "Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled."

Just as exactly with their challenge in Article XXII to the withholding of the chalice, so here: Scripture is simply abundantly, expressly, incontrovertibly clear. And if someone in the name of the Church dares to controvene what Scripture expressly teaches, so much the worse for that fellow. We abide by the Sacred Scriptures.

20 October 2012

Well, mate...

...here are two sites from Down Under that are sure to bless your socks off. Enjoy!

The work of our beloved Dr. Kleinig.

Liturgical goodies from the Lutheran Church of Australia.

Yeah, he's adorable...

Chapel Homily for St. Luke's Day by Dr. Stephenson

St Luke 2012
Lk 10:1-9

Lots of people regard the quarter of the New Testament that comes from Luke’s pen as much more the work of a novelist than of a historian. Oh, yes, as fiction they’ll rate the Gospel and Acts up there with Tolstoy and Tolkien, but any suggestion, however diffident, that Luke is recording hard fact will produce temper tantrums, to say the least.

On these premises and in this company, confession that Luke was a diligent researcher who told it how it is and even personally witnessed some segments of his narrative will produce cheers, not jeers; so, unless I repeat this claim on public television or a university campus, it’s a rather cheap statement to make.

But is the issue of Luke’s accuracy as a reporter such a big deal anyway? Didn’t a famous industrialist once dismiss history as “bunk”? …Okay, mindboggling stuff might have happened long centuries ago, but isn’t it, by definition, passé, boring, one big yawn?

Well, the philosopher Lessing was less than honest when he said that, even if Jesus did rise from His grave on the third day, this fact would have no relevance for our view of the world. You don’t need much of an IQ to see through the holes of what isn’t even an argument. Lessing here belongs in the same ballpark as a politician who crosses his heart and assures us that he accepts, de fide (as a matter of faith, no less!), that human life in the image of God begins at conception, but nevertheless adamantly refuses to persuade anyone of this fact and aggressively insists that he will do all he can to keep the abortion industry going at full blast.

In fact, Luke put his personal integrity and even his life on the line when he released his two books under the heading of history plain and simple. Just as fury, violence, and even death met Christ and His apostles when they claimed to speak truth, so the tradition makes sense that Luke sealed his witness with his blood, dying as a martyr at the ripe old age of 84.

What Luke writes about the past surges up with tremendous force to impact the present. Is it an accident that many pious Christians know by heart the songs of Zechariah, Mary, and Simeon from the infancy narratives, so that we should blush if we can’t sing these canticles without a hymnal? Do not the Benedictus, the Magnificat, and the Nunc Dimittis rejoice in an abiding gift that will endure forever?

Why has the Church, since time immemorial, read a little snippet from the mission of the Seventy as the Gospel for this day? Weren’t the labours of the Seventy a mere flash in the pan, the doings of a few weeks at most? After all, those sent out in the mission that began at Pentecost are allowed to carry luggage and extra clothing?

Well, even though the mission we just heard of lasted only a short time, the Seventy themselves most likely continued in active ministry throughout the first generation of the Church. According to Eusebius, Matthias, who replaced Judas, began his public service of our Lord in this group. And as the very number Seventy kindles memories of the nations dispersed from Babel and thus gets us attuned to the worldwide mission commissioned by the risen Christ, it somehow goes with the flow when Eusebius reports that the apostle Thomas dispatched another member of the Seventy to the kingdom of Edessa.

And today’s focus on the Seventy beautifully fits into Luke’s overall picture of the Exalted Lord’s only having begun, during the brief years of His earthly lifetime, to do and to teach (Ac 1:1)! Jesus still sends out authorised labourers into His harvest, He still gives evidence through the spoken and sacramental Gospel that the Kingdom of God has arrived in such a way that it can’t be turned back. In our small way, ACNA and the Missouri Synod are instruments in this ongoing speaking and acting of Christ Jesus; our communities are part of the church history past of which Luke wrote the first chapters and also active players in church history in the making.

As we give thanks for Luke this day, we would do well to plunge ourselves with vigour into the true tale he tells, acknowledging that his two volumes of history make all the difference in the world for our present; rejoicing that, as we permit the Lord to keep the narrative going through our feeble efforts, we enjoy blessed communion with Luke and all the characters he depicts; and realising that, as we look forward to someday enjoying his company and sharing in his reward, we may also share his fate here below.

19 October 2012

On Sanitive

Just a thought: there is a breed of modern Lutheran that is rather allergic to the sanitive lingo for salvation despite its use in the Symbols and throughout Church history and much of the history of Lutheran preaching. They oppose to it the death/resurrection language instead.

It occurred to me that the key is to proper use of the sanitive image is to recognize the severity of the illness: it is unto death. I think of the marvelous way that the Preface from the old Swedish Mass put it:

...for all Your benefits and especially for that one Thou didst unto us when we were in so bad a case that nought but death and eternal damnation awaited us and no creature in heaven or on earth could help us, then Thou didst send forth Thine only-begotten Son, who is of the same divine nature as Thyself, didst suffer Him to become man, born of the Virgin Mary, and didst lay on Him our sin, giving Him into death that we might not all die eternally.

So bad a case indeed. There is NO cure, NO human remedy, NO angelic solution. NO hope, NO treatment, NO future.

Apart from Christ. Apart from the Great Physician. For this Physician defeats the sin in us that is unto death and the death in us that is the growth of sin. His "healing" of us is more than a little help so feel better!  His healing of us is literally bringing us out of the shadow of death and into a life that never ends - the life that IS communion with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

18 October 2012

New Lutheran Quote of the Day

It is not enough, therefore, to understand heterodoxy only or mainly psychologically, in terms of human ignorance, ambition, illusion, or even malice. These are trifles compared to the super-human malignities that lurk behind and exploit them in constant counter-thrusts against the saving work of God. Not flesh and blood are the real enemy, but "principalities and power," against which no human ingenuity avails but only the armory of God.—Prof. Kurt Marquart, The Church, p. 67.

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

In His Word He offers men Christ's benefactions, in Christ's benefactions the forgiveness of sins and His divine grace, and in His divine grace eternal life and salvation. It follows, then, that the Lord God earnestly seeks their saved, as He reveals in His Word, Isaiah 65:2: "I hold out My hands all the day long to a disobedient people," that is, He woos them ardently to Him and yearns to gather them beneath His wings.—Blessed Johann Gerhard, Postilla II: 211.

Patristic Quote of the Day

The call that is through Christ is to be extended openly throughout the whole world. The net of Gospel preaching seeks to gather together people out of every nation.... Likewise the power of preaching and the marvelous and intricate teaching of the sacred doctrine, which the apostles, as good fishermen, wove together, draw people from every nation and gather them together to God.—St. Cyril of Alexandria, Fragment 171.

17 October 2012

Proverbs 17:15

The Lutherans Symbols state that when we come across the word "justify" in Scripture it can mean one of two things: declaring righteous or making righteous.  The Apology famously concludes:  "Scripture speaks both ways."  There are those who have denied that the meaning "declaring righteous" is present. But then, look at Proverbs 17:15

"He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the Lord."

Here "justify" CANNOT mean "make righteous." For he who would make the wicked become righteous would be anything but an abomination to the Lord!  Here it must mean "declares righteous." The human who dares to assert of an evil person: that evil person is righteous is as abominable as the man who says of one who is righteous: "that man is condemned."

But then, how can the Lord Himself do what He condemns? How do you square Romans 4:5 with Proverbs 17:15? I'd suggest that the difference is in the doer of the verbs. God (and so God in the flesh) CAN do what a mere human being CANNOT do. And His "saying" makes what He says so.

Apocrypha Quote

O death, how bitter is the reminder of you to one who lives at peace among his possessions, to a man without distractions who is prosperous in everything and who still has the vigor to enjoy his food.
O death, how welcome is your sentence to one who is in need and is failing in strength, very old and distracted over everything, to one who is contrary and has lost his patience.—Ecclesiasticus 41:1,2

New Lutheran Quote of the Day

By his partaking of the Sacrament in a church a Christian declares that the confession of that church is his confession. Since a man cannot at the same time hold two differing confessions, he cannot communicate in two churches of differing confessions. If anyone does this nevertheless, he denies his own confession or has none at all.—Werner Elert, Eucharist and Church Fellowship, p. 182.

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

If we wish to understand the wedding garment as that righteousness which stands before God and makes us acceptable, it is singly and alone the righteousness of Christ that is imputed to us through faith. But if we wish to understand the wedding garment as the entire adornment of the true Christ, then it is faith and its fruits, such as love, humility, gentleness, patience, and the life—for all these are well pleasing to God in those who believe in Him; and it is their beautiful finery. May God grant us all this through His Holy Spirit. Amen.—Blessed Johann Gerhard, Postilla II:214.

Patristic Quote of the Day

Let every friend of Christ keep the Lord's Day, the resurrection day, as a festival. For it is the queen and chief of all the days of the week.—St. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Magnesians IX

16 October 2012

Apocrypha Gem

For in everything, O Lord, You have exalted and glorified Your people; and You have not neglected to help them at every time and in every place.—Wisdom 19:22

New Lutheran Quote of the Day

There is only one church, as there is only one faith and one Gospel (Eph. 4:4.5). Orthodoxy—that is doctrinal and sacramental conformity to this one faith—is the divinely willed condition of the Church. Heterodoxy, on the other hand, opposes other teachings to the one doctrinal, sacramental truth, and so disfigures the one faith according to alien and illicit patterns. Such false teachings and teachers are to be clearly renounced and abandoned.—Prof. Kurt Marquart, The Church, p. 59.

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

Adam transgressed God's command and thereby plunged himself and all his descendants into eternal destruction; but, nevertheless, by true repentance he returned again to God.

David committed murder and adultery and, nonetheless, returned to God in true repentance.

Manasseh filled Jerusalem with innocent blood yet, through genuine repentance, he was released from his sins.

Peter denied Christ yet was still received again into grace because he had done true repentance.

Many such examples are given in the divine writings of the Old and New Testament for the comforting of the repentant—because that which the Lord God did for them He will fulfill for us as well.—Blessed Johann Gerhard, Postilla II, p. 204.

Patristic Quote of the Day

Let the pilgrim city of King Christ bear in mind that among her enemies lie hidden those who are destined to be fellow citizens, so that she may not think it is a fruitless labor to bear what they inflict as enemies until they become confessors of the faith.—St. Augustine, City of God, 1.35.

Chapel Homily by Dr. Lehenbauer

Shared with his permission. Read and be blessed!

More than a Maybe
Amos 5: 6-7. 10-15
(IC Chapel:  10/16/12)

Imagine being privy to the following conversation between a pastor and his troubled parishioner:

Pastor:  Good morning, Frank.  What’s on your mind this morning?
Frank:    For some reason, pastor, my conscience has really been bothering me lately.  All I can think about is what a rotten, selfish person I’ve been for most of my life.  If I tell God  I’m really, really sorry, do you think he will forgive me? 
Pastor:  Hmmm, maybe.
Frank:    I just look at myself in the mirror these days and pretty much hate myself for the person I’ve become.  Do you really think that God could love and use a miserable sinner like me?
Pastor:  Hmmm, maybe.
Frank:    Frankly, pastor, I’ve never spent too much time thinking about heaven and hell—I’ve been obsessed with making money, getting ahead, moving up the corporate ladder.  But I’ve been going to a lot of funerals lately, and I don’t like to think about what’s going to happen to me when I die.  Do you think there’s any hope that I might make it to heaven, in spite of everything I’ve done?
Pastor:  Hmmm, maybe.
Frank:   Pastor, I know you must be very busy and have lots of important things to do—but do you think I could come back next week and talk to you again?
Pastor:  Hmmm, maybe.  Check with my secretary—I don’t want to make any promises I can’t keep. 
Frank:   Um, OK, thanks, pastor.  See you next week—maybe?

On a scale of zero to ten, how would you rate this pastor’s ability to proclaim and apply the comforting, saving, healing Gospel of Jesus Christ?

At first glance (or maybe even at second or third glance), you might be tempted to rate the Prophet Amos about the same way.  The first words out of the mouth of this shepherd-turned-preacher are these:  “The Lord roars from Zion… the pastures of the shepherds mourn, and the top of Mount Carmel withers.”   Amos begins by all of Israel’s neighbors one by one, pronouncing God’s unsparing judgment on them all.  And just when Judah and Israel start smirking self-righteously, look out!  The Lion of Judah thunders against his own people:  “For three transgressions and for four,” says the Lord through Amos, “I will not revoke the punishment, because my own people have rejected the law of the Lord.  They have not kept his statutes, but their lies have led them astray.”

Martin Luther called Amos a “violent” prophet.  No prophet, says Luther, “has so little in the way of promises and so much in the way of denunciations and threats.”   Amos, says Luther, is aptly named, since “Amos” means “burden,” and this prophet does almost nothing but burden people with the guilt of their sin and the threat of God’s sure and certain punishment. 

There is, to be sure, a little Gospel in Amos, but so scarce and guarded is that Gospel that it almost comes across as Law.  The first real hint of the Gospel in Amos comes at the end of today’s Scripture reading, where Amos says:  “Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; then the Lord God of hosts will be with you, as you have said…It may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.” 

The word “maybe,” as our poor, troubled parishioner knows, is not exactly a powerful, calming, soothing Gospel word.  But, frankly, it’s the best Amos has to offer after five straight chapters of fire and brimstone:  “Maybe, just maybe, God will have mercy on you if you repent.  Maybe, just maybe, God will stay his fearsome hand of judgment and spare you, for the sake of his grace alone. “

What I’m about to say probably borders on heresy, but as the Christian apologist G. K. Chesterton liked to say, every real and radical truth of the Christian faith borders on heresy.  What we learn from Amos, perhaps, is that even a little Gospel is better than no Gospel.  If you’re drowning in the ocean and the icy waves are engulfing you, even the faintest sound of the rescue helicopter’s wings is better than no sound at all.  If you’re lost in the woods in the black of the night with the mercury falling and the wild creatures howling, even the tiniest flicker of a search party’s flashlight is better than no flicker at all.  If you’re dying of inoperable cancer, even a whisper of a rumor of a possible new treatment is better than no whisper at all.  And when you’re knocking desperately, almost hopelessly, on heaven’s door, even the slightest crack, however narrow, is better than having the door slammed in your face and hearing it bolted shut from the other side. 

Maybe, says Amos, just maybe there is some hope even now for you miserable, proud, smug, self-righteous, hypocritical sinners who oppress the poor and stomp on the needy and disregard God’s law and commands.  That’s how patient and merciful your God is; as rotten as you are, he may not have written you off completely yet.  Seek good, not evil; repent and seek the living God.  He has shown mercy in the past, when no mercy was deserved.  Cast yourselves and your sins on Him, and hope against all hope, that He will be merciful yet again. 

What Amos teaches us, it seems to me, is the true and Biblical meaning of faith.  Faith is hoping against all hope, trusting in a God who should by all rights damn us to hell, clinging to a God who sometimes looks to us like the devil, hanging on to God’s “maybe” as if it were the surest word we have ever heard—because in Jesus Christ, it is the surest Word we have ever heard. 

The Gospel itself, of course, is never a “maybe.”  As Paul says, all God’s promises find their sure and certain “Yes!” in Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 1:20).  But God, in his wisdom, knowing our human condition, knowing the way our twisted hearts and minds work, sometimes delivers those promises to us in ways that test and challenge our faith precisely in order to elicit a cry of faith and a confession of faith.  If you think about it, Jesus himself says some pretty strange-sounding things to seeker-sinners in the Gospels:  to the Syro-Phoenician woman, to the rich young man, to the woman at the well.  He sometimes preaches a strange-sounding Gospel.  But even a strange-sounding Gospel, as long as it is true Gospel, is better than no Gospel at all.  And if you’re desperate enough to keep on listening, even to someone like Amos, that Gospel gets louder and clearer the more you listen. 

Amos begins with God roaring like a lion out of Zion.  This is how Amos ends:  “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord,…when the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and the hills shall flow with it.  I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel, and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine, they shall make gardens and eat their fruit.  I will plant them on their land, and they shall never again be uprooted out of the Land that I have given them, says the Lord your God.”  No maybe’s there.  No maybe’s anywhere when we put our trust only and completely in Jesus Christ.  Jesus turns this roaring Lion into a Lamb.  Jesus is the Lion who became a Lamb, the Lamb of God who was slain for the sins of the whole world, and that includes all of your sins, every single one.  To Him be the glory forever and ever.  Amen. 

15 October 2012

New Lutheran Quote of the Day

Any "paramountcy of unity" which makes truth secondary, is pseudo-ecclesial.—Prof. Kurt Marquart, The Church, pp. 57, 58.

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

In the Lord's Supper we receive the true body of Christ, which He gave unto death for our sins; and we receive the true blood of Christ, which He shed as payment for our sins. Therefore, as surely as we eat of Christ's body and drink His blood is as surely as we can be confident that Christ wishes to grant us that which He achieved by shedding His blood, namely, the forgiveness of sins.—Blessed Johann Gerhard, Postilla II:204.

Patristic Quote of the Day

Not for His own glory, but for their salvation He was doing all things.—St. John Chrysostom, Homily on Matthew 45:1-2

13 October 2012


Cindi had her concert with the Collinsville Chorale last night - their broadway concert. That is never my favorite of their concerts, but this time the music was more to my liking and it was a good evening. Cindi did a nice job with her solo and small group work.

When we got back home, some friends dropped in for wine and cheese. When we heard whooping from Bekah's room we decided we'd best watch the rest of the Card's amazing comeback. It was hard to settle down and go to sleep after that!

Today I was a bit dismayed when we got an early rain shower, but the sun finally peeped out enough to dry the grass and I was still able to get both lawns mowed and weed-wacked. Also swept the driveways, vacuumed the garage, filled the bird feeders and the bird bath (why, I'm not sure. Supposed to rain again tonight).

A pot of coffee is just finishing brewing. Life is good. I love Saturdays.

12 October 2012

Apocrypha Gem

The righteous live forever and their reward is with the Lord; the Most High takes care of them. Therefore they receive a glorious crown and a beautiful diadem from the hand of the Lord, because with his right hand he will cover them and with his arm he will shield them.—Wisdom 5:15,16

New Lutheran Quote of the Day

God's "alien work" of smashing all smugness and self-righteousness by His Law is not done for its own sake, but for the sake of God's "proper," life-giving work through the Gospel. The Law prepares the way for the Gospel, and the Gospel presupposes that the Law has done, and is doing, its work.—Prof. Kurt Marquart, The Church, pp. 54,55.

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

Only one thing remains in this world for which they [Christians] hope: to behold what they believe and perfectly enjoy what they already have.—C. F. W. Walther, God Grant It!, p. 781.

Patristic Quote of the Day

One and the same Lord, who is greater than the temple, greater than Solomon, and greater than Jonah, confers gifts upon men; that is, His own presence and the resurrection from the dead. He does not change God; He proclaims not another Father but that very same one who always has more to measure out to those of His household.—St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 4.9.2

11 October 2012

Apocrypha Gem

Those who trust in him will understand truth, and the faithful will abide with him in love, because grace and mercy are upon his holy ones, and he watches over his chosen.—Wisdom 3:9

New Lutheran Quote of the Day

Falsehoods are many, the truth is but one. It is best, therefore, to speak of the various aspects of the evangelic truth or doctrine not as "doctrines" but as "articles" or "parts."—Prof. Kurt Marquart, The Church, p. 52.

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

[On 1 Tim 3:1ff.] They [St. John Chrysostom and Dr. Luther] take these words of the apostle negatively and not positively, so that a bishop is not bound to have a wife but is bound not to have more women along with his lawful wife. In this way the word "must" does not pertain to the word "wife" but to the word "one." This does not bring the simple and absolute necessity of marriage, as if that man could not be a bishop who was unmarried. Instead, it brings in the freedom to marry, nevertheless restricted to the laws that govern it, namely, that a bishop not be polygamous if he wishes to be married.—Blessed Johann Gerhard, On the Ministry II, p. 192.

Patristic Quote of the Day

How shall someone you despise offer himself to you for healing if he thinks he will be an object of contempt, not of compassion, to his physician?—St. Ambrose, On Repentance 1.2

10 October 2012

Patristic Quote of the Day

For here is great misery, proud man! But there is greater mercy, a humble God! Take this love, therefore, as the end that is set before you, to which you are to refer all that you say, and, whatever you narrate, narrate it in such a manner that he to whom you are discoursing on hearing may believe, on believing may hope, on hoping may love.

Moreover, it is on the gound of that very severity of God, by which the hearts of mortals are agitated with a most wholesome terror, that love is to be built up; so that, rejoicing that he is loved by Him whom he fears, man may have boldness to love Him in return, and yet at the same time be afraid to displease His love toward himself, even should he be able to do so with impunity.

—St. Augustine, On Catechizing, par. 8 & 9.

Update on Jo

Thanks, all, for the prayers for Jo. They took her back around 8:30, began surgery around 9:30 and finished up around 5:30. Dr. seemed pleased, but much will depend on how she reacts. She has a HISTORY of reacting poorly after surgery. So, if you wouldn't mind, please continue prayers for her. Dr. did seem convinced that in time she'd experience a relief from her near crippling pain.

09 October 2012

He's so good...

...how about a SECOND and longer Old Lutheran Quote today?

The contempt of death and the gratitude for it (i.e., for how God uses the devil's work to eliminate the devil's work!), proclaimed by the apostle and the saints, is the goal and perfection toward which the whole life of Christians should strive, even though very few are so perfect. Thus in the Epistle to the Romans Paul also calls Christians righteous, holy, and free from sin, not because they are, but because they have begun to be and should become people of this kind by making constant progress. For even saintly men have been frightened by death and the judgments of God...

Therefore such people should be consoled and encouraged, first through Christ Himself, who, in order to omit nothing that one could desire from the most pious priest, not only underwent death for us to overcome it for us and to make it deserving of our contempt, but also, for the sake of the weak in faith, took upon Himself, overcame, and sanctified the very fear of death, lest such fear be scorned to our damnation. Otherwise it is truly a sin to be unwilling to die and to bear death. Therefore consider. What more should the most merciful Savior have done but did not do? He took sin completely away. He left death, but He left it conquered. Besides, He made the fear of death harmless—the fear one has even though death has been conquered and should not be feared.  (Luther on Hebrews 2 again)

New Lutheran Quote of the Day

The contrast in AC VII, it must be remembered, is not between the Gospel and other articles of doctrine, but between the Gospel, all of it, and "human traditions or rites and ceremonies instituted by men."—Prof. Kurt Marquart, The Church, p. 51.

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

God does not compel men to salvation by force and fear, but by this pleasing spectacle of His mercy and love He moves and draws through love all whom He will save.—Blessed Martin Luther, Lectures on Hebrews 2.

Patristic Quote of the Day

That by the grace of God He should taste death for every man, not for the faithful only, but even for the whole world: for He indeed died for all.—St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Hebrews 2.

08 October 2012

Apocrypha Gem

But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment will ever touch them.—Wisdom 3:1

New Lutheran Quote of the Day

The Gospel is "purely" taught and the Sacraments are "rightly" administered if and only if they conform to the apostolic norm.—Prof. Kurt Marquart, The Church, p. 50.

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

They [ministers] shall not burden the ill with long, bothersome words, but shall remind, teach, and comfort them briefly with a few comforting verses of Holy Scripture, especially if they are very weak.—Blessed Johann Gerhard, citing the Church Constitution of Electoral Saxony in The Ministry II, 139.

Patristic Quote of the Day

The Son is such as the Father is because He has all that is the Father's.—St. Athanasius, Four Discourses against the Arians, 3.6

07 October 2012

The blue of a crisp

October sky is simply beyond compare. Especially, the deep blue against the turning leaves. That and the smell of wood smoke. It puts a spring in the step, does it not? As I went for a walk today around our neighborhood, so many memories of past beautiful Octobers came crowding to the mind. Always, always, though, the chief memory of this time of the year is visiting my grandparent's home and traipsing with my cousins around the woods as the leaves drift down, the light dies too fast for all the activities we had planned, and the warmth of the wood stove in the kitchen, fragrant with corn bread and other goodies, as the darkness finally forces us back inside.

06 October 2012

Yesterday, I was truly blessed

to get a bit more than 1/2 hour with Dr. Kleinig all to myself. Wow. So many things I need to jot down notes on, but one thing he expressed that I absolutely loved:

We have tended to speak in terms of the sacramental as God's doing and the sacrificial as our response. He suggested that we must not forget that the sacrificial is also the action of the Trinity:

Even as the Father sends the Son, who sends the Spirit, to give us life which consists of the Spirit uniting us in saving faith to the Son, so that the Son as perfect representative Man might present us in and with Himself to the Father.

The sacrificial is also the act of the Trinity in which He carries us along!  

05 October 2012

Check out CPH's Videos on the Apocrypha

...You might even recognize a familiar face or two!


04 October 2012

Go, Pr. Bender!

And you thought the man was only a catechetical genius...

New Lutheran Quote of the Day

By the holy mysteries of his saving Gospel the Trinity of Persons in the unity of substance draws us into a personal communion so intimate and sublime as to surpass all human understanding. The church is "the brotherhood" (1 Pet 2:17); and by virtue of the Incarnation she is the Brotherhood of God and man (Mt. 12:46–50; Jn. 20:17; Heb. 2:11–17).—Prof. Kurt Marquart, The Church, p. 49.

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

The visitation of the sick had to be commended to the minister of the church for this reason: because they especially must be lifted up by the comfort of the Gospel and armed against the terror of death.—Blessed Johann Gerhard, On the Ministry II, p. 139.

Patristic Quote of the Day

God is one, Christ is one, His Church is one, and the faith is one, and the people are joined into a substantial unity of body by the cement of concord.—St. Cyprian, On the Unity of the Church, 23.

03 October 2012

An early birthday feast

Cindi prepared for Meaghan and myself a birthday feast tonight. Oh, my! We had chicken curry over cauliflower rice; broccoli; fried apples with cinnamon; pumpkin spice muffins slathered in kerry gold; cantaloup from our garden; and we topped it off with a blackberry cobbler (from some of those blackberries Cindi and I picked last summer). Major yums!

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

In this administration of church discipline, one must not indulge his personal emotions, but rather must direct all things to the single goal of the conversion and salvation of the fallen.—Blessed Johann Gerhard, On the Ministry II, p. 132.

Patristic Quote of the Day

Which is more serious: to commit a sin of the flesh (few are found without such sins) or to deny the Son of God by oath, into which sin we know Peter fell? Repentance followed denial, and after repentance, mercy was given him, for He who foretold that he would deny Him did not expel him from apostleship.—St. Gregory the Great (Book 7, Letter 53)

02 October 2012

New Lutheran Quote of the Day

But church fellowship is by definition something to do with churches. It cannot "compute" footloose individuals except by derivation from and connection to churches. The normative marks, after all, attach to and identify not individuals but the church.—Prof. Kurt Marquart, The Church, p. 46.

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

Those who teach uprightly but live wickedly again destroy with their bad behavior what they are building with genuine doctrine. They build heaven with their words; hell with their life. They consecrate their tongue to God, their soul to the devil.—Blessed Johann Gerhard, On the Ministry II, p. 117.

Patristic Quote of the Day

A marvelous thing! We are evil. yet we have a good Father. What could be clearer? We have heard our proper name: 'You then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children.' See what kind of Father our Lord shows them, whom He called evil. 'How much more will your Father?' Father of whom? Undoubtedly of those who are evil. And what kind of Father? 'No one is good except God alone.'—St. Augustine, Sermons on Selected Lessons of the New Testament, 11.2

01 October 2012

Happy 47th birthday

to Dee Quade, Cindi's youngest sister. We love you, Dee! We just can't believe that YOU are old (too).

Funeral Thoughts

...Pr. Gleason did a beautiful job today bringing comfort from God's Word to hurting souls...Seeing the triplets bid their farewell brought back sharply to Cindi and to me memories of my three nieces saying their untimely farewells to my brother...A blend of successes and failures: seeing families that I managed to bring comfort to and families I utterly failed to comfort at all. God forgive!...Hearing about Ryton's thoughts and my heart falling right out, how can a child bear such thoughts? Strengthen your little tousled head angel, O Lord to bear what he must bear–he is destined to be one of Your pain-bearers...Wishing someway to take hold of Amy and Bill's pain and take it away...Mike, words fail. I cannot even begin to imagine...Thank you, Lord, for each day you have given to Cindi and me. May we never take a one of them for granted!...Thanksgiving that Bill's mom and his Uncle and Aunt didn't have to bear this sorrow...Prayers for healing for all the family: for Mike and the triplets, Billie, Julie, Amy and Bill, and Mike's mom and dad..."Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints." Thank you, Pr Messer.