Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Thinking About Polycarp

The discussion and comments going on concerning the forced conversion to Islam of two Fox News reporters at Gene Edward Veith’s site had me thinking about St. Polycarp yesterday. Polycarp was a disciple of John the evangelist and may been one of the last church fathers to actually have heard eye witness accounts of Jesus’ earthly ministry.

Polycarp is known for a number of writings but none are more important than his Letter to the Philippians in which he refutes the Gnostic argument that the Incarnation and Resurrection were real physical events and not simple moral teachings or some kind mythology.

A second importance to his Letter to the Philippians is the fact it is considered to be the first to quote the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, The Acts of the Apostles, and the first letters of both John and Peter.

Last night I looked over my copy of Eusebius’s Church History as translated by Paul L. Maier. Under the section covering the Martyrdom Of Polycarp I counted no less than six times Polycarp could have denied Christ thereby saving himself a martyr’s death. All he had to do is swear by Caesar’s fortune and he could have gone free, at least for a little while. “Just curse Christ and I will let you go” the governor told him. But St. Polycarp replied “For eighty six years I have been his servant, and he has never done me wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who has saved me?”

The two Fox News reporters that were released over the weekend were forced to convert to Islam with a gun pointed at the back of their heads. (Peaceful Mohammedans? Nope, but that is a discussion for another post or at least a rehash of previous ones.)

I for one am glad we have the saints, not for their intercession as the Romans would suppose, but rather as examples of faithfulness to the saints still living within a fallen and corrupt world. See Augustana XXI for more on that subject. We should look to and up to the martyrs’ faith that caused them to sing the first hymns of the Church on the way to their deaths. We should look to St. Polycarp’s bold confession after being told he would be burned alive; “you threaten me with fire that burns for a time and is quickly extinguished. Yet a fire that you know nothing about awaits the wicked in the judgment to come and eternal punishment. But what are you waiting for? Do what you will.” and say I hope I would be as bold in my confession.

I hope that I never experience what those two Fox reporters did. That being said, I hope that my faith would be as strong as that of St. Polycarp, and can say “do what you will” if that were to happen to me.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

New Nursery Program?

Lark News is reporting that some churches are trying out a two tiered nursery system. For a small fee, parents who have the means can upgrade, for a measly $15, to a first class nursery program. A pastor who is obviously a very good business leader is quoted as saying "If we can offer 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. worship times, why not first class and economy class Sunday school?"

Why am I bringing this up? Well, tonight I will chair the monthly board of education meeting. Yep, the nursery falls under my dominion. It is course, my preference to have the little ragamuffins in the sanctuary during the Divine Service. But, if the parents think that they are just too young to "get it" or the children are just too unruly, well, why not help out?

I'm also thinking we could use this program to purchase that new icon for the nursery. Right now the religious art in the nursery is pitiful with pathetic cardboard cutouts of this and that. With more iconography the little crumb crunchers might understand tsinfulnnful state and actually want to attend the Divine Service!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Lutheran Carnival XXX

Lutheran Carnival XXX is up and running at the carnival's home site. Be sure to stop in, say howdy and tell Random Dan what a great job he did!

Friday, August 11, 2006

You Don't Say...

You scored as Luther.
You are Martin Luther. You'll stick with the words of Scripture, and defend this with earthy expressions. You believe in an orthodox Christology. You believe that the bread and wine are the Body and Blood of Christ, but aren't too sure about where he goes after the meal, and so you don't accept reservation of the Blessed Sacrament or Eucharistic devotions.



Roman Catholic








Eucharistic theology
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So, who didn't want me to review the small catechism because doctrine and the confessions are too hard? Hmm...

HT: Territorial Bloggings

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Should Laity Teach Doctrine?

Because I chair the Board of Education I get to hear some pretty interesting things. Some things are good while some things make me want to pound my head against a wall. The following falls into the latter category.

The latest is that I should not be reviewing, with my high school class, the small catechism. The reason I was given recently was that the small catechism should only be taught by the head of the household. "At church, it should only be taught by the pastor."I was informed, "you see, Dr. Luther was using a double entendre when he is speaking of the head of the household. He was really saying that only the pastor should teach the catechism. The confessions are too complicated for the laity. Besides, they (the Confessions) are really written by and for trained theologians." I just love it when people get out their crystal ball and tell me what people really meant to say when they said this or that.

Would anyone like to chime in on this one? I personally think the laity needs to pay a little more attention to the confessions. I believe that more than half if not most of all our problems in the Church today are because we no longer understand what it is that we teach and confess. To hear anyone say that the confessions are too hard to understand is baffling to me!

Update: I put this in the same catagory as those who said I couldn't possibly teach high school kids because I don't have children of my own. "You won't be able to relate to them and your just too old (at the time I was 36)to do that." This came from a bunch of people that liked the idea of college students (who were not Lutheran, had never read the BOC, and never so much as wanted to join our congregation) teaching their kids because they were more "in tune" with youth. It was crucial that the kids have someone their own age to hang out with. What a load of...The "tribe apart" mentality is just a washed out idea left over from people the forgot the sixties ended decades ago.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

First Post In A While

Well, it's been a little bit since I posted. Between going to Alaska for a couple of weeks and coming back to work and playing catch up, I've just now started to get caught up.

Last week I got to meet with a manufacture representative that directlcompeteses with a product line that my workplace supports. This meeting was necessary as the soulless dominion of corporate orthodoxy just doesn't always play nice. The soulless ones just don't seem to understand that we are a customer and not their minions. That being said, we are looking at a new way of meeting our customers needs. The meeting last week is a big step in that direction. The phrase of the week was cautious optimism. It was a good week!

B, as soon as I get a little breather, I will answer that Ablaze! question you had for me.

As soon as I get over my little "bug" (which I believe could be developed into a eugenic weapon as biological warfare goes) I promise I will post more.

This week I'm in Nashville, TN attending a metrology symposium. What a hoot! But at least I'll get some free time in the hotel to catch up on posting.