Friday, November 30, 2007

Good Is Called Evil And Evil Good

The picture in the post is the upcoming issue of Time that will be dated December 3rd.

Notice the two people that Time has pictured to portray the opposite ends of the spectrum of good and evil, Adolph Hitler and Mahatma Gandhi.

This weekend I’ll teach my high school class what we mean when we say that justification is the doctrine on which the Church stands of falls. The old Lutherans confessed the doctrine of justification against the semi-Pelagian views of the Roman church which believed that we poor sinful creature cooperated in our salvation by the merit of our works. Read Article IV of the Augustana;

Article IV: Of Justification.
1] Also they teach that men cannot be justified before God by their own strength, merits, or works, but are freely justified for 2] Christ's sake, through faith, when they believe that they are received into favor, and that their sins are forgiven for Christ's sake, who, by His death, has made satisfaction for our sins. 3] This faith God imputes for righteousness in His sight. Rom. 3 and 4.

What I find amusing from my confessional Christian prospective (is there anything else with me?) is where Time has placed Gandhi. Where Gandhi belongs is right next to Hitler instead of being positioned across from him. What I also understand, clear and plain as can be, is that right beneath Gandhi, right beneath Hitler, belongs yours truly as well.

There is only one individual that can be considered good, Jesus Christ the God-man who was nail to the cursed tree for bad people like Gandhi, for bad people like Hitler, and (thanks be to God!) for bad people like Frank who all too often mistakenly looks to his own works as well.

But the world being what it is, will call good evil and will call evil good. Time magazine is certainly of this world.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Allah Bear Is Not Happy

This one’s for the missus who loves all things teddy bear;

From those peaceful Mohammadians, who think justice for a gang rape victim is 200 lashes, comes this story from Sudan:
A British primary school teacher arrested in Sudan faces up to 40 lashes for blasphemy after letting her class of 7-year-olds name a teddy bear Muhammad.

Ok, naming a teddy bear Muhammad is bad. But the question I have is; was the bear a moderate Mohammadian bear?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Lutheran Carnival LXIII

The Lutheran Carnival LXIII is now up and running at the Barb the Evil Genius after a brief delay because of her evil computer trying to eat said Carnival. Be sure to stop by, say howdy, and thank her for doing such a great job!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

X-Mas Devotions For Unchurched Peoples

From the Reporter, (the official newspaper of the LC-MS) comes this little "gem";

Revolutionary Christmas, a 32-day set of devotions written for those who are “unchurched” or nonbelievers. Developed as an outreach tool by the ministry staff of Jefferson Hills Church, an LCMS congregation in Imperial, Mo., the new devotions are written “to engage the alienated or disconnected reader in finding the true meaning behind the Christmas story,” according to Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM), St. Louis, which is distributing the set of prayers free via its Web site.

If the mission meetings that I am so privileged to attend are any indication, our beloved synod's newest non-program type of evangelism will fail miserably. What I hear over and over both from the district as well as mission minded circuit types, is that we need to meet people where they are at and not scare them away by bringing up “church” stuff. Sure they’re welcome, the “unchurched,” in fact they’re so welcome we’ll make sure our Sunday morning gatherings virtually indistinguishable from a high school glee club meeting.

And another thing, does anybody recognize Jefferson Hills Church? You should if you read this blog! These are the good folks that I wrote a post about last June. Jefferson Hills Church was the group that was inviting people to renew their baptism under a program entitled “Dunk’d”. This in spite of the fact that the Church catholic, and Lutherans specifically confess that we believe in one baptism for the remission of sins.

For the record, Jefferson Hills Church described themselves this way on their blog before the link was pulled: "Jefferson Hills Church is a Multi-Site Church specifically designed for people who don't go to church." Yeah, I agree.

So, now we are letting these yahoos write devotions? Maybe we should give Tom Cruise a call to see if he’ll help us reach that the Operating Thetan demographic trying to break free from their engrams and Xenu. Just a thought.

Friday, November 09, 2007

What Does This Have To Do With Sunday School Class?

"You are aware that I'm not really a wizard? And he said yes I'm aware of that. What I want you to do is to use your acting skills to portray a wizard for the duration of the film. So I said ok. And I said to myself, hmm, how would I do that? And this is what I did; I imagined what it would be like to be a wizard, and then I pretended and acted in that way on the day. How did I know what to say? They had my lines written down on a script. How did I know where to stand? People showed me.”

Any ideas on why this video was talked about in my Sunday school class?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Lutheran Carnival LXII

The sixty-second edition of the Lutheran Carnival is up and running at the Rebellious Pastor's Wife. Be sure to stop by, say howdy, and thank her for doing such a great job!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Another Great Weekend

Yep, I had another great weekend with the youth last weekend. We finished our study on the canon and discussed how all of Scripture points to Christ and His work on the cross. Our discussion was really part two of our look at Revelation and what the old Lutherans as well as the church fathers thought of the Antilegomena texts. It’s funny how engaged teenagers can get over the most complicated theological issues when you don’t treat them like they are idiots, really.

Anyways, we finished up by discussing how some groups have develop entire theological doctrines around the book of Revelation that are in direct conflict with the Gospels and the very words of Christ.
So how should we read Revelation? Well, carefully and always through the Christological lens. There certainly those who think that all good theology comes from Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, but for some strange reason I just like Matthew or Luke or John. I guess I’m funny like that.

So we concluded our study by saying that we would all be better off if we paid closer attention to the Torah, the Gospels, and the Psalms instead of focusing all our energies on figuring out if George Bush or Dick Cheney hold the position of Anti-Christ (Just kidding folks, Fred Rogers passed away years ago).
Too often we all think we’ve outgrown the Gospels and we hunger for something more substantial. When we get to that point, we need to worry less about dragons and rebuilt temples and reread the reason our Lord was nailed to the cursed tree because of our sin.
We concluded by assembling ice cream awesomeness. The last picture is of Betty and her rendition of a Living Creature from Ezekiel drawn on the back of a pizza box.