Saturday, July 14, 2007

A Gem from the Large Catechism

It is therefore, above all things, necessary to train up and accustom young people to hold high in their estimation this commandment and others, and if they transgress, they should immediately be checked, the commandment should be presented to them, and continually be impressed, in order that they may be reared up, not only by chastisement, but also in fear and reverence to God.

The second commandment directs the conduct of "our lips and tongues toward God". The greatest abuse which this commandment censures is that of

spiritual matters which concern the conscience, when false preachers arise and deliver their lying errors for the Word of God.

Recently I was impressed by an essay which spoke about the problems that have sprung forth out of marriages between spouses of differing faiths. Have pastors and parents neglected their duty to "train up young people to hold this commandment in high estimation", when such spiritual matters are treated with indifference as a man and a woman of differing confessions unite in one flesh?

Friday, July 13, 2007

A Gem from the Large Catechism

For this reason, no person should undertake to receive or to present any thing, unless it be commanded of God, that it be acknowledged as his gift, and thanks returned to him for it, as this commandment requires. These media, therefore, for the reception of benefits through the creatures, are not to be rejected; nor should other ways and means than those which God has commanded, be sought through presumption; for this is not receiving from God, but seeking from one's self.

The media through which God delivers His gifts are God's own creatures; they are the means by which God delivers every good thing to us. (This brings to mind a joke about a fellow who sat on a roof top during a flood, rejecting the aid of a boat, a helicopter, and something else as he waited for "divine intervention" to rescue him. On second thought, maybe this was someone's sermon illustration?)

And on the flip side, good things should not be sought except through such means as God has provided and where God has directed and commanded us to look for them. God is the giver of every good thing. If we look for good things elsewhere, we fall into the same trap that Adam and Eve fell into in the Garden of Eden.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Since joining SparkPeople 35 days ago, I've lost around 25 pounds. I've mostly been watching my caloric intake (not to mention working very hard to make sure that I get 64 oz. of water every day), and I am planning to more seriously focus on the exercise portion of my fitness plan (starting with something simple like going for a walk every day).

I'm the Team Leader for two different teams, "Quick Oats" (guess what I'm trying to find a tasty way to eat...) and "Lutherans" (so far, there are five of us). I'm also walking a "Virtual 5K" on Palm Sunday.

If you'd like to join, it's easy and free. (If you say that spark_father referred you, I get SparkPoints!) :) Maybe you would like to try a:

Free Calorie Counter at

Monday, February 26, 2007

Thoughts on Mission

Pastor Weedon offers a good post entitled "Confusing the how with the what". It reminds me of the song "I love to tell the story" that never actually tells the story... Check out Weedon's post. It's well worth your time.

Friday, February 23, 2007


My wife (among others) will be very pleased to learn that I have joined her in the online health/diet/fitness program at Check it out at the link below. If you tell them that "spark_father" referred you, I get sparkpoints.

Join me at:

Get a Free Online Diet

I almost forgot: I get points if I tell you that (1) I'm not going to eat in front of the tv; (2) I'm going to get 10 minutes of cardio exercise; (3) I'm going to tell 1 person about my goals. There. Done.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Good Works are Necessary

(Article VI.)

#7 in the series:
What implications or applications may be drawn
from a quia subscription to the Book of Concord?

Good works are indeed necessary. The faith (about which the previous articles spoke) is the kind of faith that "must bring forth good fruits and good works", on account of this faith "we must do all manner of good works". Why? What sort of good works are we talking about? They are the necessary good works that are required and commanded by God.

Article VI. is quick to note what kind of necessity this is. These good works are in no way required or commanded by God as necessary for meriting salvation. These good works should by no means give someone the impression that he is "meriting favor" before God. (The good work that merited God's favor for us was done by Someone else.) The good works spoken about in Article VI. are necessary for a different purpose (than earning salvation) altogether.

So what are these good works with which God is well pleased? What are these things that God has commanded, that He wants His Christians (of necessity) to do?
**Update** Once again, I'd like to direct you to the excellent post and discussion taking place on this topic at Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions: Roundtable 7: The New Obedience.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Roundtable 6 is up at the Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions blog, and the topic is Article V. It is an excellent post, and the comments are equally worth reading. My favorite part of their post:

But how does one receive such faith? Faith does not concern itself with “finding Jesus” by somehow traveling backward through time to the historical event of Jesus’ crucifixion. Salvation was achieved on the cross at Calvary, but it was not delivered there. The “instruments” extolled in AC V (Word and Sacraments) deliver salvation, but do not accomplish it.