San Antonio: Breakaway Session D

Higher Things Talkback
Higher Things Staff

This session is about feedback. We’d like to hear your ideas about Higher Things, and we’d like to share with you what we’re thinking about for the future, and ways that Higher Things can serve you and your congregations.  

Everything You Know about Christmas Is Wrong!
The Rev. Duane Bamsch

Was Jesus born in a barn or a cave? How many inns did Bethlehem have anyway? And what were shepherds doing out in the fields in the dead of winter? Does it really matter? Join us to explore the real historical setting of Jesus’ birth. We may even break out some Christmas carols!

Pastor Bamsch serves Evangelists’ Lutheran Church in Kingsbury, Texas and is the Catechist for Sola: San Antonio. He’s also been known to sing Christmas music out of season. Often. 

Surviving College with Your Faith Intact
The Rev. Daniel Burhop

Are you getting ready to go to college soon? Trying to pick one out? Such a life change can be exhilarating and downright scary all at the same time. How will you survive? Come and hear some straight talk about issues facing Christian students on the college campus from the classroom to the frat house. Learn what to expect and how to remain rooted in Christ on campus.

Pastor Daniel Burhop serves as Campus Pastor at University Lutheran Chapel in Boulder, Colorado, and is the CCV Coordinator for Sola: San Antonio. 

Having an Informed Faith in a SpongeBob World
The Rev. Kevin Jennings

In today’s religious climate, the all-important question is inevitably, “What does this mean to ME?” And the result of this individualized subjectivity is an uninformed faith that is best illustrated by...SpongeBob SquarePants. We will focus on a slightly different question: “What does this mean?” Join us as we dust off those grammar skills and make your English teachers jump for joy! We’ll look at what words actually mean as we learn the purpose of the Word of God in worship.

Pastor Jennings serves Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Corpus Christi, Texas. 

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
The Rev. Chad Eckels

Using Dr. John Trent’s Four Personality Types (Lion, Otter, Retriever, Beaver) we will take a fun look at the kinds of people God has fashioned us to be ó and who He has re-created us to be in Christ (1 Corinthians 5:17). Come and learn about one way to celebrate our unique personality similarities and differences.

Pastor Eckels serves as Associate Pastor at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Evansville, Indiana. 

Bridezilla or the Bride of Christ?
The Rev. David Speers

The Church is described in the Scriptures as the Bride of Christ. Yet, for some, it seems that they act more like the presumptuous, sassy, “Bridezilla” divas of reality TV than the humble Bride of the Lord of heaven and earth. We will consider what it means to live patiently waiting for the Bridegroom in humility and repentance.

Pastor Speers serves St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, Altamont, Illinois. 

The Best Apologetics Tool: Your Small Catechism
The Rev. Kevin Johnson

Have you ever been asked tough questions about your faith? Were you able to put together a good defense for the truth that is in you? You have the answers and Biblical support right at your fingertips. Your Small Catechism is the best tool you have to give quick, direct and accurate answers to tough questions. Come and learn how to use it!

Pastor Johnson serves Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Carlisle, Iowa 

Mormonism Exposed!
The Rev. Brent Kuhlman

WARNING! This sectional will reveal some of the most shocking secrets of Mormonism! What do all these clean cut moral Mormons really believe? What’s the deal with their underwear, their way of “salvation,” baptisms for the dead, etc? Learn the truth of Mormonism in MORMONISM EXPOSED.

Pastor Kuhlman serves Trinity Lutheran Church, Murdock Nebraska. He grew up in Glenrock, Wyoming among a large community of Mormons. 

Jesus vs. the Jehovah’s Witnesses
The Rev. Eric Lange

Why in the world isn’t it obvious to Jehovah’s Witnesses that Jesus is God? Why would anyone want to deny this basic biblical truth? Learn why it’s important for you to know that Jesus is Jehovah, the ways that Jehovah’s Witnesses respond to traditional proofs that Jesus is God, and how to talk to them about the true Jesus when they come knocking.

Pastor Lange serves Redeemer Lutheran Church in Gresham, Oregon, is a former Jehovah’s Witness and is a doctoral candidate at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri. 

Military Service: What a Christian Needs to Know
The Rev. Joseph Murphy

Military service is a unique vocation offering many benefits, but what if you are called upon to kill an enemy: is it a sin? What is a “Just War?” Can a Christian even serve in the military without violating his conscience? Come and discover whether it is a vocation that has God’s blessing and how Christians can serve their country.

Pastor Murphy serves Grace Lutheran Church in Parker, Colorado. He is also a Chaplain in the Colorado Air National Guard, a reserve component of the Air Force. 

Wicca and Neo-Paganism: A Lutheran Response
The Rev. Larry Nichols

Witchcraft and neo-paganism have become widely accepted among many people today, especially youth. What is this craze all about anyway? What should Christians think about it? What does the Bible say? We will answer these and more of your questions about the world of the occult.

Pastor Nichols serves Our Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church, Smithfield, Rhode Island. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Higher Things and is a frequent lecturer on world religions and the occult. 

That Old Thing? A New Lord’s Prayer Each Day
The Rev. Scott Porath

Do you have problems praying the Lord’s Prayer without your mind straying to other things? You’re not alone: Luther had the same problem! We will study each petition of the Lord’s Prayer so that these familiar words bring with them more depth and understanding as our Lord teaches us in His Holy Word. Then, when you  pray the Lord’s Prayer, your meditation of “What does this mean?” will be answered by our Lord’s Word.

Pastor Porath serves Immanuel Lutheran Church, Eagle, Nebraska. 

Is Decision Theology Biblical?
The Rev. T. Clint Stark

Many (if not most) people in American Christianity today claim that a person can and must decide to believe in Jesus in order to be saved. But doesn’t that teaching contradict salvation by grace alone (sola gratia)? Where do they get this idea? Join us as we examine decision theology and decide if this teaching really is Biblical...or not. 

Pastor Stark, a former Southern Baptist, currently serves as the Associate Pastor at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Topeka, Kansas. 

Resurrection of the Body or Night of the Living Dead?
The Rev. C. Jonathan Watt

What is the resurrection of the body anyway? It certainly isn’t a nightmare like the movie The Night of the Living Dead! Scripture tells us that it is a wonderful promise of the eternal, physical life promised to us in Jesus Christ who was also dead and buried and raised again to new life.

Pastor Watt serves Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Creston, Iowa.