Archives for June 2015
In commemoration of St. Peter and St. Paul today, we are posting an excerpt from Michael Middendorf’s commentary on St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans. Romans 1–8 articulates the meaning of the Greek text of Romans in its original context for the benefit of the church and world today. Though a theologically thorough and high level commentary, it is not overly technical and is accessible for lay readers as well as pastors and scholars. Middendorf’s commentary provides insights that will enhance the understanding and effectiveness of those who have the privilege of proclaiming Paul’s most famous letter.
The presentation of the Augsburg Confession was a decisive moment, one long in coming. It is important to understand the history leading up to the Imperial Meeting at Augsburg [on June 25, 1530]. Nine years earlier, on April 18, 1521, at the Imperial Meeting in Worms, Charles V had listened as Martin Luther refused to recant his teachings, saying, “I cannot and will not recant. I cannot do otherwise. Here I stand. God help me. Amen.” Now Charles was watching as the most important rules in his German territories confessed their faith openly and courageously in spite of the threats to their lives from both the government and the Church.
The Augsburg Confession was intentionally crafted to present a gentle and peaceful response to the emperor. It was intended only to speak for Saxony. However, as various German leaders read it they indicated that they, too, wanted to sign their names and make it their Confession.
So on June 25, 1530, courageous Lutheran laymen confessed their faith and told the emperor and the Roman Church what they believed, taught, and confessed. They relied on the promise of God’s Word, as contained in Psalm 119:46, “I will also speak of Your testimonies before kings and shall not be put to shame.” The Augsburg Confession was presented as a statement of biblical truth and a proposal for true unity in the Christian faith. It has never been withdrawn.
As the Supreme Court continues deliberations regarding same-sex marriage, we offer this excursus from Gregory Lockwood’s commentary on 1 Corinthians. Here Dr. Lockwood speaks about Scripture’s view of homosexuality and how the Christian should respond in love.
[Scripture’s condemnation of homosexuality] seems intolerably harsh to our modern culture. Attempts to promote “gay” and lesbian “rights” have persuaded many, even in the Christian church, that the homosexual lifestyle is a culturally acceptable alternative to heterosexual relationships. The movement has been fueled by the rise of negative critical attitudes toward the Scriptures. [Read more…] about What Does the Bible Say about Homosexuality?