Archive for March, 2009

Full Time District Presidents

Posted in Uncategorized on March 31, 2009 by Country Preacher

We take men out of the Office of the Holy Ministry and we make them mid-level  managers.

Then we wonder why they act like it.

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Annunciation Sermon – Audio

Posted in Uncategorized on March 26, 2009 by Country Preacher

Here.

You will have to click to an external link.  I realized it wasn’t fair to bypass their website, since I wasn’t paying for the service.  They make their money from advertising, and by bypassing it, I would be keeping them from making a fair profit on this.  (See the Seventh Commandment for more on this.)

There’s a fifth Chief Part?

Posted in Uncategorized on March 18, 2009 by Country Preacher

Each year I go through a different part of the Catechism at the Midweek services.  I’ve now been here five years, so this is the fifth chief part : Confession.  (Wait, don’t the chief parts go from four to six?)

Since it only takes about two minutes to explain the virtues of the general confession, I am being more ambitious this year.  I am following Walther’s admonition that, where possible Private absolution should be re-introduced.  (He adds that where it is possible it should become the exclusive means of confession, but as Mary Poppins said, “That’s going a bit too far, don’t you think?”  No, I don’t.  I just don’t think I will get there.)

So tonight’s sermon is a ripoff of +Dr. Korby+.  (OK so pretty much all my midweek sermons this year have been – some more some less.  This one was more.  But then, you can’t really talk about Confession without ripping off Korby.  He is the undisputed Master.   Korby is the first one I heard who made the link between confession (faith)and confession(sins) as being two sides of the same coin.

This is one of the most purely doctrinal sermons I have every preached.  But it was also proclamation, and a little bit of doctrine is good during Lent.  Also, since I am attempting to introduce something new(old) and VERY different, I fell a little bit like Lucy : “I got some ‘splaining to do.”

Listen here if you like.

Unfortunately, I didn’t record the first three. (Ash Wed was the grand-poobah overview).  I will (Deo volente) post my final two.

Sermons – vaguely improved

Posted in Uncategorized on March 18, 2009 by Country Preacher

Here is tonight’s sermon.  I have it so you click directly to the file, w/o going to the mediafire page.

Click here to listen (mp3 format)

The format has changed to MP3.  It’s more of a standard, and I can now do small files that are audible.  My old MP3 encoder didn’t work so well.  The new one has much better results.   If you want a free audio editor, go to Audacity.com.

PS. The sermon download process is vaguely improved.  I can’t speak for whether my sermons have vaguely improved or not.

The Verba and the Sacrament

Posted in Uncategorized on March 17, 2009 by Country Preacher

In the Synodical catechism, regarding “The Lord’s Supper”, 23 out of 51 bible references are to the books of 1st and 2nd Corinthians. Nine more passages are from other epistles of Paul (if you include Hebrews). This means that 62% of the passages are from Paul. No problem as far as it goes. How many passages in Luther’s Small Catechism are from Paul? 1. Luther uses only the words of consecration, as recorded by “the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke and Saint Paul.” He never looks anywhere else for support, but the words of our Lord. The repeated refrain, “These words ‘given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins'” – quoted in three of four questions regarding the sacrament – is not from Paul, but exclusively from Matthew. For Luther, Paul is not the driving force in determining the nature of the sacrament (including worthiness) but Matthew. (No this is not a paid political announcement by Dr. Scaer).

“But the small Catechism is so small, what about the Large Catechism?” Fair enough. In the Large Catechism, Luther quotes NO OTHER SCRIPTURE beyond the words of consecration, until his admonition to go to the Sacrament. (Recast as question #20 in Luther’s game of “20 Questions to Prepare for the Sacrament.) In that section, he quotes Matthew (twice), Galatians and Romans. So even when Luther is discussing a need for the Sacrament, he only uses Paul 50% of the time – to point out how miserable we truly are. For the benefit of the Sacrament, see the two passages from Matthew.

In Luther’s “Confession Concerning Christ’s Supper” (AE 37), he does go through Paul verse by verse, but only to show that the references to “bread and cup” must refer to the body and blood of our Lord, not to signs or a spiritual presence. In other words, Luther’s greatest use of Paul on the supper is to defend Paul from the charge that he teaches a symbolic presence. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of Pauline Theology on the Supper. Indeed, as Luther goes through the other passages, he keeps returning to the words of our Lord, which Paul quotes.

For Luther, the entire theology of the Sacrament is found, not in Paul’s extended Corinthian Discourse, but in the Words of our Lord’s institution.

While I have always felt that Luther goes too far in rejecting John 6 as Sacramental, he does so out of a zeal for the Words of Christ himself. I would gladly give up John 6 as Sacramental, if it would cause our Synodical discussions of the Sacrament to give up Paul’s discourse and return to the Words of our Lord.

As an extreme example – one which you will likely disbelieve because of its over-the-top-icity (thank you Dr. Weinrich),  the CTCR document “Admission to the Lord’s Supper” manages to conduct a 58 page discussion of admission to the sacrament without a serious study of any of the institution accounts. The closest they come is Paul’s (of course) 1 Corinthians essay, which discusses vs. 16-22 (the setting and problems) and then skips to vs. 27-34 for a discussion of the concept of “discerning the body.” Guess which verses contain “Our Lord Jesus Christ, the same night in which he was betrayed…”? (Hint : 23-26)

In other words, we can construct an entire theology of admission to the Sacrament, without ever referencing our Lord’s institution. For you see, in modern Evangelical (the bad kind) Lutheran theology, the institution narrative only tells us what it is. We must look to other places (mostly Paul, because most Lutherans follow Luther in rejecting John 6 as Sacramental) for discerning the benefits, admission to, etc.

The practical implication is that our practice of the Sacrament is divorced from our Lord’s Institution. Jesus words solely institute. Paul’s Words tell us how to practice it. If Paul doesn’t say “no”, then there is really no reason for us to say “no” to a practice. Unfortunately, Close(d) Commun(ion) is har(d) to justif(y) without our Lord’s institution. Why? Because Closed Communion is grounded in out Lord’s institution – the words “For you” require all hearts to believe”. Without this understanding, we are woefully unprepared to explain why anyone can not simply come to the altar if they have reached the age of discretion. Paul’s directives may seem to encourage closed communion, but can be explained away by the sophist. Jesus words can not.

Fellowship Paper

Posted in LCMS on March 9, 2009 by Country Preacher

A request was made for a paper I delivered in aught 6.

Here it is.

Enjoy(?)

The name

Posted in Uncategorized on March 3, 2009 by Country Preacher

If you are not already clear on the why of my name, then you probably are not the sort to read the blog in the first place.  But you are welcome to do so anyway.

“The wild boar from the forest seeks to destroy the vineyard, an image of the triumphant church.”  This from the Papal ‘Bull’ (You’ve got that right) Exsurge Domine.  It demanded Luther recant, or face excommunication.

What others say as an insult, we proudly claim.  So a prophet does not shirk from being called a “troubler of Israel”, the follower of Christ expects to be accused of working under the authority of Beelzebub, Luther was accused of being a Wild Boar, the name which we bear – Lutheran – was first used by the opponents of Luther, after Luther’s life, the true Lutherans were called “Motley Magpies” and so on.

We’ll see how long this goes on before I get tired.  But part of the problem before was the difficulty of the blog program I was using.  This one is much nicer, so we will see what happens.

+INJ+

The Wild Boar of the Forest