As secular society observes Halloween and Christians prepare for All Saints’ Day, this excerpt from Luther’s sermon on Luke 24:36–47 (included in his Church Postil) on ghosts or “wandering spirits” seems appropriate. Luther believed in apparitions—but as a trick of the devil intended to subvert the faith of Christians. Read on for the reformer’s perspective and for his call to fight such apparitions not with sharpened stakes or garlic but with the only trustworthy weapons at the disposal of God’s saints: God’s Word and faith. [Read more…] about Luther on Ghosts
Archives for October 2015
Volume 67 of the American Edition of Luther’s Works (released this past summer) completes the translation of Luther’s “commentary” on the Gospel of Matthew as delivered in sermons (vol. 68) and in his Annotations on Matthew 1–18 (vol. 67). Taken together, these writings are the reformer’s most substantial continuous engagement with St. Matthew’s Gospel or indeed with any of the Synoptics. [Read more…] about Luther’s Works Vol. 67 Reveals Luther’s Preaching Style
In honor of the Church’s commemoration of Dorcas, Lydia, and Phoebe on October 25, we’ve posted below an excerpt from Cynthia Lumley’s essay, “Phoebe: A Role Model for Deaconesses Today,” as found in Women Pastors? The Ordination of Women in Biblical Lutheran Perspective.
For the first time in English, pastors, scholars, and historians can explore a crucial text in the process of the ongoing reformation of the German churches. The 1569 Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel Church Order (Chemnitz’s Works Vol. 9) was prepared by Martin Chemnitz and Jacob Andreae, two men who would go on to craft the Formula of Concord. This Church Order reveals not only what those who confessed the Augsburg Confession believed, but how the Lutheran Reformation put that faith into action and handed down the faith by means of orderly worship, church governance, and education. In a modern context, this volume’s combination of doctrine and practice may provide new solutions for the church’s challenges regarding Christian education, formation of Christians who stand in their confession against worldly influences, and congregational leadership. [Read more…] about Announcing the Release of Chemnitz’s Church Order
Rev. Dr. Michael Eschelbach is professor of Theology and Philosophy at Concordia University Irvine. Prior to joining the faculty of CUI, Dr. Eschelbach taught at Concordia University Chicago for fourteen years and served as a parish pastor before his professorship. An active writer and speaker, Dr. Eschelbach has published articles, Bible studies, devotions, and now The Big Book of New Testament Questions and Answers! We decided the book’s 2,000+ questions weren’t enough—so here’s a Q&A that takes you behind the scenes of the Big Book.
The Big Book of New Testament Questions and Answers is just like the title says—it’s huge! How did you come up with so many detailed questions for this new resource?
I teach a survey course on the New Testament at Concordia University. During the first six years I taught the course, I required students to submit at least two questions for each class meeting as we worked our way through the entire New Testament. Over the years I kept gathering, sorting, and combining those questions. The final product of that process was 120 pages of questions, just as the students had asked them.
In your experience, what New Testament book causes the most confusion? (Revelation is a given!)
Romans and Ephesians generate a lot of questions because of their teaching about predestination. First Corinthians generates a lot of questions because of the long list of problems that Paul was responding to, which may or may not be similar to problems in our time. Our culture makes it nearly impossible for people to grasp what the New Testament says about gender and relationships, so those passages generate both questions and complaints.
How have your various callings in the ministry (pastor, professor) shaped the way you approached the development of The Big Book? [Read more…] about Q&A with Michael Eschelbach