Enemies at the Gate
The Rev. Mark Buetow
What evil forces are trying to take you down both from the outside and the inside? Come find out how the devil, the world, and your own sinful nature are trying to take you down and how they'll never win because you are in Christ who has taken them down!
Pastor Mark Buetow serves Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Du Quoin, IL is the Chief Editor of Higher Things Reflections and also the Higher Things Internet Services Executive. Oh, and you might hear him teach a little at the conference.
What Do I Say Now?
The Rev. Dr. Carl C. Fickenscher II
A friend is convinced she's going to hell because of something she did last night. Three other friends are talking at lunch about their churches' beliefs and ask what you think of them. Yet another friend, who knows you're a Christian, asks why God lets earthquakes and cyclones kill so many people. What do you say to each? We'll talk through moments like these and find wisdom to respond in a very Lutheran source: Law and Gospel.
The Rev. Dr. Carl C. Fickenscher II is Associate Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions and Dean of Pastoral Education and Placement at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, IN.
The Rev. Joseph M. Fisher
What do Tom Cruise, John Trovolta, Bart Simpson, and South Park's Chef have in common? Besdies a lack of respect for furniture, they are all members of the Church of Scientology. My mother always told me not to jump on the furniture. So we will look at some other false teachings of this destructive cult and also discuss some concerns with the internet group known as Anonymous.
Pastsor Joseph Fisher serves Pilgrim Lutheran Church in West Bend, WI.
Angels Watching Over You!
The Rev. Dr. Jonathan Naumann
The involvement of angels with the Gospel should be better known than it is. Angels were witnesses to the creation of the visible universe and rejoiced at it (Job 38.7). Find out why at this sectional. It has to do with their being witnesses to the love of God as demonstrated and displayed in human salvation. Angels were never offered redemption, but nevertheless adore God because of the love they witnessed in the redemption of humanity (Heb. 2.16) And, yes - angels are still interested in the salvation and repentance of individual sinners today (Luke 15.10 & 1 Peter 1.12). They really are watching over you!
Pastor Jonathan Naumann serves Redeemer Lutheran Church in Oakmont, PA.
The Rev. Larry Nichols
Are there really people who practice Satanism? What is it anyway? Are you not even sure that the devil is real? Come and learn how should Christians respond to this evil religion.
Pastor Larry Nichols serves Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Smithfield, RI, and has authored four books on cults, sects and world religions. Pr. Nichols also serves on the Higher Things Board of Directors.
Mormonism: Diagnosing "The Burning in My Bosom."
The Rev. L. Jay Reinke
What do you call a religion that: gives you "real religion" without real repentance; really, really believes in self-esteem; can even prove to you that it is true (that's "the burning in my bosom" part); gives you a Jesus that fits snugly inside your brain; and puts you on an escalator to godhood? Mormonism. This "born and bred in America" religion will soon be planting a temple near you, so it's time to put on our rubber gloves and conduct an examination.
Pastor Jay Reinke serves Concordia Lutheran Church in Williston, ND; Redeemer Lutheran Church in Grassy Butte, ND; and Trinity Lutheran Church in Plentywood, MT.
Lutheranism in the "Land of the Darkened"
The Rev. Kent Schaaf
The name "Sudan" means, "Land of the Darkened" and it has been in the news a lot lately with all the atrocities that are happening in the Darfur region. Yet, did you know that in this same country there is a strong Lutheran church body that is growing by leaps and bounds? Pastor Schaaf will share some of his experiences of visiting the Sudan and talk about the ways the Lutheran church is thriving even in the midst of war, chaos and persecution.
Pastor Kent Schaaf serves All Saints Lutheran Church in Charlotte, NC.
Lessons from Prince Caspian on Vocation, Christian Liberty, and the Culture Wars
Dr. Jim Tallmon
Dr. Gene Edward Veith has written a great companion volume to C.S. Lewis' classic (and recently released motion picture) Prince Caspian. This interactive book discussion will give participants an opportunity to share some of their insights regarding the myriad spiritual lessons of Prince Caspian and learn about some of the insights from Dr. Veith's book.
Dr. Jim Tallmon serves as the Youth Director at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Winchester, VA and is Professor of Rhetoric and Director of Debate at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, VA.
Can you hear me now???
Dcs. Jennie Waters
When you pray, does it ever seem like you've "lost the connection" with God? Is He there? Does He hear your prayer? Is He just not listening? Can God be deaf to our prayers? Discuss why we pray, how to pray, and where to hear God's responses to our prayers.
Deaconess Jennie Waters serves as Director of the Deaconess Program and Assistant Professor of Theology at Concordia University Chicago (a.k.a. River Forest).