To read: “At Home in the House of My Fathers”

At Home in the House of My FathersOne book that I’ve been eager to pick up is “At Home in the House My Fathers.” The book is subtitled “Presidential Sermons, Essays, Letters, and Addresses from the Missouri Synod’s Great Era of Unity and Growth.” That’s a mouthful to say the least.

The main editor of this book is Rev. Matthew Harrison, President of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.

This book contains various sermons, essays, letters, and addresses from the first five presidents of The LCMS:

  • Carl Ferdinand Wilhelm Walther (1847-1850, 1864-1878)
  • Friedrich Conrad Dietrich Wyneken (1850-1864)
  • Heinrich Christian Schwan (1878-1899)
  • Franz August Otto Pieper (1899-1911)
  • Fredrich Pfotenhauer (1911-1935)

If you are interested in the historical writings of our Synod, this is probably the book for you.

LCMS president sends appeal to members about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

Says repeal will inhibit military chaplains

ST. LOUIS, December 17, 2010—Rev. Matthew C. Harrison, president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), sent the following e-mail message to LCMS pastors and commissioned ministers today in response to the U.S. Senate’s pending vote on the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy:

“In a surprising turn of events in the waning days of the current Congress, the effort to repeal the U.S. military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy has gained new momentum with the announcement today of support from Republican senators Scott Brown (Mass.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), and Olympia Snowe (Maine).  The repeal may be voted on in the Senate as early as tomorrow.  For a number of reasons, we encourage you to let your elected leaders know that The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod has a clear biblical position on this important issue.

“In terms of our spirituality, we are all alike sinners (Rom. 3:9ff.) in need of repentance and forgiveness.  For 2,000 years the church has welcomed sinners, but refused to affirm sin.  The saving grace of Jesus Christ and His Gospel are for all people (2 Cor. 5:19), and the only thing that separates us from this forgiveness is a lack of repentance or sorrow over our sin. We believe the repeal of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy will sorely inhibit our military chaplains’ ability to call all sinners to repentance.

“If the government normalizes homosexual behavior in our military branches—a behavior that we believe God’s Word identifies as intrinsically sinful (Rom. 1:26ff)—the implications are profound.  Military chaplains striving to carry out their responsibilities for preaching, counseling, and consoling will find themselves under the strain of having to question whether to obey God or men (Acts 5:29).

“Lastly, we express our concern as citizens that a move by the government to essentially affirm homosexual behavior within the armed forces will endanger the morale or esprit de corps—the unit cohesion and the primary mission of the military, namely, to prosecute and win the war—of the men and women who serve and willingly place themselves in harm’s way on our behalf.

“Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we urge you to share this message today with your colleagues, congregational members, and any others whom you believe would benefit from it and be moved to contact their government representatives.

“You may find the contacts for your senators and representatives here: and

“For more information on this issue, see The Lutheran Study Bible, Page 1911, on Romans 1.

“God bless you.
“Rev. Matthew C. Harrison, President
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

“Dr. Mark J. Schreiber,
CAPT, CHC, USN, (Ret.)
Director, LCMS World Mission’s Ministry to the Armed Forces”

Fall Pastor’s Conference

Tomorrow I’m off to Casper for our fall pastor’s conference. The theme of the conference is Johann Sebastian Bach: 21st Century Theologian, Kantor, and Churchman. The presenters will be Dr. J. Gordon Christensen of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Council Bluffs, Iowa, where he serves as Director of Music and Organist and Dr. Steven Hoffman, who serves as Kantor at King of Glory Lutheran Church in Cheyenne, Wyoming and St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church and Campus Center in Laramie, Wyoming. I’ll be gone Monday through Wednesday. See you on the flip side!

LCMS Convention hymn of thought

Here is my hymn of the day.

Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word (LSB #655)

Lord, keep us steadfast in Your Word;
Curb those who by deceit or sword
Would wrest the kingdom from Your Son
And bring to naught all He has done.

Lord Jesus Christ, Your pow’r make known,
For You are Lord of lords alone;
Defend Your holy Church that we
May sing Your praise eternally.

O Comforter of priceless worth,
Send peace and unity on earth;
Support us in our final strife
And lead us out of death to life.

LCMS Convention hymn of thought

As the 64th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod really got underway today, I think it fitting that certain things be kept at the forefront of the minds of the delegates.  I’ll post a hymn each day or so during the Convention which I think focuses our attention on what is at the heart of the Convention – the Gospel.

Church of God, Elect and Glorious (LSB #646)

Church of God, elect and glorious,
Holy nation, chosen race;
Called as God’s own special people,
Royal priests and heirs of grace:
Know the purpose of your calling,
Show to all His mighty deeds;
Tell of love that knows no limits,
Grace that meets all human needs.

God has called you out of darkness
Into His most marv’lous light;
Brought His truth to life within you,
Turned your blindness into sight.
Let your light so shine around you
That God’s name is glorified
And all find fresh hope and purpose
In Christ Jesus crucified.

Once you were an alien people,
Strangers to God’s heart of love;
But He brought you home in mercy,
Citizens of heav’n above.
Let His love flow out to others,
Let them feel a Father’s care;
That they too may know His welcome
And His countless blessings share.

Church of God, elect and holy,
Be the people He intends;
Strong in faith and swift to answer
Each command your Master sends:
Royal priests, fulfill your calling
Through your sacrifice and prayer;
Give your lives in joyful service—
Sing His praise, His love declare.

I particularly like the words from stanza two, “Let your light so shine around/That God’s name is glorified.”  This is my fervent prayer of the Convention – that God’s name is glorified.  That means that all persons there respect one another and that all actions made by the Synod in Convention are in lines with the Holy Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions.  If said actions are made this way, then God’s name will indeed be glorified.

Thoughts from history for the 2010 LCMS Convention

As we as The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod prepare for our 2010 Convention, I think it is wise to remember words from J.A.O. Preus, the 9th president of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.  These words come from his presidential report to the delegates of the 1977 Convention.

As a church we have been known and are still known as people who are vitally concerned that the Word of God be preached in its truth and purity, that the entire program be based upon God’s holy, inspired, inerrant, and powerful Word.  The Word brings the church into being, and the Word is truly our rule and norm for faith and life in all the activities that we carry on.  We cannot yield one jot or tittle of God’s holy Word.  And the Word is the means for carrying out our mission.  It is all we have.  It is all we need.

We have emerged from a serious doctrinal controversy, in which we are probably the only Christian church in America and probably the only Lutheran Church in the world which seriously and earnestly confronted the issues raised by modern historical-critical methods of Biblical interpretation and honestly and forthrightly dealt with them…

The strength of our beloved Synod has always been a unique blend of concern for a pure doctrine which has brought about our strong confessional stance, coupled with the overwhelming desire to carry out the Great Commission. 1

1) Quoted from A Seminary in Crisis by Paul A. Zimmerman, available from Concordia Publishing House.

HT: Issues, Etc – Web Extra: Profiles in Presidential Leadership in the LC-MS

Calls come, but not enough

This last week, Tuesday and Wednesday specifically, both of the seminaries had their vicarage assignment and candidate placement services.  Unfortunately, assignments and calls were not enough.  At Concordia Theological Seminary, it was said that there were a few vicarage-eligible men that did not receive a vicarage assignment.  This is not too terrible, as these men may petition for a delayed vicarage.  The most grievous fact is that there are approximately 30 men who, having completed their studies, having met all their requirements, and having been certified by the faculty, did not receive a call into the Office of Holy Ministry.  Of 60 eligible men from CTSFW, 21 did not receive a placement.  Lord willing, that will change and change soon. 

Rev. Matt Harrison On Friday, April 30, Rev. Matthew Harrison, Executive Director of LCMS World Relief and Human Care (and God willing, future president of The LC-MS), preached at CTSFW.  The sermon is only 6:40 in length, but I think a very well-preached sermon.  To listen to it, check out his blog here.

Thoughts on the editorial, “How Many Seminaries?”

Earlier this week, I received the latest issue of Concordia Journal from Concordia Seminary.  In there is an editorial written by seminary president Rev. Dr. Dale Meyer entitled, “How Many Seminaries?”.  There is a lot of the editorial that I agree with and I encourage you to read it.  One thing I don’t necessarily agree with is the following statement:

We have to plunge our seminarians into the Bronx, into Belize, into Hong Kong, into L.A. (some of the many places where CSL students have gone) so that they are stimulated to find in lost souls, and saved souls as well, that point where the Word can engage the context in which the live.

Since I didn’t have the opportunity to go to the Bronx, Belize, Hong Kong or L.A., does that mean that my seminary education was not as edifying as it could have been?

Another quote from his editorial has me questioning something.  President Meyer says that “Personally, I don’t see how we can continue to sustain two seminary campuses in the Midwest if current demographics, membership losses, and giving patters continue….”  Which seminary would President Meyer advocate close?  I’m sure he wouldn’t advocate Concordia Seminary, so that leaves my beloved alma mater, Concordia Theological Seminary.

Any comments from my readers?