Show Archive

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May 9th, 2016

Posted at 7:00am

Tune in to Episode 32 - Part 2! Lutherans confess that it is enough for unity in the church for the Gospel to be preached in its purity and the Sacraments to be administered rightly (AC VII). And then, as sinners, we turn around and use this very call for unity as a tool to divide "us" from "them." We create subcultures, identify target markets for outreach, and decide who is worthy enough to be graced by unity with us.
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May 7th, 2016

Posted at 6:00pm

Lutherans confess that it is enough for unity in the church for the Gospel to be preached in its purity and the Sacraments to be administered rightly (AC VII). And then, as sinners, we turn around and use this very call for unity as a tool to divide "us" from "them." We create subcultures, identify target markets for outreach, and decide who is worthy enough to be graced by unity with us.
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April 14th, 2016

Posted at 7:00am

The power of the resurrection is the power of freedom to hope all things, forgive all things, believe all things...to point everyone to Christ, to say, "There's our God, there's our Lord. This is what he's done for you too. Receive it, believe it, enjoy it, be satisfied by it...because it's everything."

April 6th, 2016

Posted at 7:00am

We have a tendency to understand absolution as a transaction -- we repent and confess and then we're given forgiveness. Because forgiveness is what God gives sinners, but only once they've repented and confessed (enough), right? Squirm with Sandra this week as Pastor Riley drives home the point that it's not too much Gospel that leads people to sin, but they sin because they don't believe the Gospel. We are so free in Christ that we don't even need to confess to be forgiven because it's a gift given -- for free.

March 29th, 2016

Posted at 7:00pm

But the Church should keep in mine the news that we have a God who put on human flesh and became one of us in Christ Jesus. He showed the disciples His own scars. He gives us His Body and Blood to eat and drink for the forgiveness of ALL our sins.

March 22nd, 2016

Posted at 7:00am

We tell people to stop sinning, or they're really gonna get it. And so they obey (outwardly)...but out of fear of God's impending wrath. The Law is what makes us repent and stop sinning, and then the Gospel forgives the sin we've repented of. And then, in theory, we get better and sin less, but only out of fear of punishment. What's missing in this way of thinking is Christ, and we end up with a Christianity that is less and less dependent on Jesus and relies more on our own self-improvement efforts apart from the Gospel. But what Christ crucified demonstrates is God's love for us while we were still sinners, which leads us back to Him -- even when we sin again -- because He deals with us differently. He forgives us. .

March 15th, 2016

Posted at 7:00pm

In spite of what many bureaucrats of various forms say, evangelism doesn't necessarily need a program or special event to take place. It's what's going on when one sinner simply tells another what Christ has done for them. When we make a confession of faith, it shouldn't be about how we have improved our lives by following Christ, but just bearing witness to what we have received from Christ and what He's also done to save them. Now let's go where we can get more of this forgiveness on a regular basis - in His gifts for us in Word and Sacrament.

March 8th, 2016

Posted at 7:00am

When Christians only talk about sin in theory rather than as specific sins attached to real people we know and we fail to be appropriately transparent about our own sinfulness and its forgiveness in Christ, Christianity quickly becomes a very superficial religion of looking good. People feel like they have to put on an act of being perfect. We keep our struggles with despair to ourselves. And sin becomes something to hide rather than confess. But the reality is that God is love, He is for us. He seeks us out, even when we hide from Him. And He forgives all our sins.

March 2nd, 2016

Posted at 7:00am

For freedom Christ has set us free...really? Because that's pretty scary. As new people in baptism, we have been given the entire kingdom of heaven and all of Christ's own righteousness before the Law. But as sinners, we're always looking for the catch, for something we can do to ensure God's favor.

February 23rd, 2016

Posted at 7:00pm

For generations, teaching young people in the church has been centered around imparting information in tidy lessons and examining a young person's ability to recite answers in front of an audience. But many young people still leave church, often with lingering unanswered questions about their faith and lacking the connections to get faithful answers.
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