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One More Word On Transfiguration

My preparation for Transfiguration this past week was theologically transformative. It brought together many things that I have been studying for the last 7 years, and I am now prepared to say that Transfiguration is pure gospel, and contains no law whatsoever, as Lutherans understand that dialectic. That there is not a word or suggestion of condemnation, but only of pure ...

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You Are Dust

Your pastor highly recommends this articleto explain the significance of receiving ashes on Ash Wednesday. I could not have said it better myself. Lent is a season of repentance. We need such a season. We need to receive instruction on sin, repentance and sin's remission only by the blood of Christ. The Holy Blood shed on the cross, and received in the Cup. Both! But our...

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A Retake On Hebrews 3:1 (Transfiguration)

Hebrews 3:1 "Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession ... " The preacher here addresses the baptized gathered for eucharistic worship. (That is the definition of the church.) They are "holy brothers." But this is not simply a religious or collegial address, but a recognition of who the bap...

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Restore The Eucharistic Prayer

The Eucharistic Prayer is controversial among Lutherans. The suspicion goes back Luther and his liturgical reforms. Whether Luther was right or wrong I cannot say. But there are some things I can assert on the basis of 2,000 years of liturgical history and practice. First that the Eucharistic Prayer has been in use from the beginning. The four gospels give only the simple...

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The Lord Be With You

In Lutheran liturgy the "Greeting" (The Lord be with you / and also with you) is chanted 3 times: before the Collect, at the Preface, before the dismissal. But what does it mean? What is the logic behind it? Several explanations have been offered, and there is room for interpretation, but I think we would do well to consider the "greeting" specifically Eucharistic in natu...

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Commentary On Sunday's Old Testament Lesson - Isaiah 6:1-13

And he said to me, "Go and say to this people: 'Listen and Hear! But do not understand! Look and Observe! But do not see! Make the heart of this people impenetrable and their ears to droop! Blind their eyes lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and open their hearts; and relent, and be healed." And I said, "How long O Lord?" And he said, "Until th...

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More On The Early Dating Of The Gospels

In last week's gospel we read: "And reports about him went out into every place in the surrounding region." (Luke 4:37) How interesting. What we might think of as a throwaway line may be more than that. Of what exactly did said reports consist, and how were they made? The content seems obvious, and they were no doubt transmitted by word of mouth. But does Luke mean somet...

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A Date Which Will Live In Infamy - Part 2

Since the post I wrote earlier this week entitled: A Day Which Will Live On In Infamythe news has gotten even worse. On January 22, 2019, the 46th anniversary of legally sanctioned abortion in the United States, the state of New York passed a law allowing abortion up to the day of birth. The new legislation defines a person as, "a human being who has been born and is aliv...

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More On Abortion

Our LCMS president, Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison, has madea statement condemning not only abortion, but the unspeakably wicked laws recently passed in New York and Illinois. I believe President Harrison covered all the important bases in his article except possibly for one. Namely that there are Christian women who have had abortions. What about them? While aborting a chil...

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The Perseverance Of Christian Liturgy

Christian liturgy is a study in steady. May all the Baptized be deeply impressed by its perseverance throughout time and place. In pondering such matters let us first remember that Holy Communion is Christian liturgy, and Christian liturgy is Holy Communion. Let us know, too, that all that the Baptized say and do within this sacred assemblage: the order of Service, the p...

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