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First Look at Concordia Commentary: 2 Samuel

Following closely on the heels of the commentary on 1 Samuel, the next volume of the Concordia Commentary series will be 2 Samuel. Andrew Steinmann, author of 1 Samuel as well as Daniel, Proverbs, and Ezra and Nehemiah in the Concordia Commentary series, returns to write this forthcoming volume. He extends his work from 1(…)

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How Healthy is Your Church?

How healthy is my church? The answer depends on one’s perspective. Some describe a healthy church from a psychological viewpoint. They evaluate how well the congregation works together as a family system. This can be a useful way to evaluate any group of people in a system. Others describe a healthy church by its characteristics.(…)

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Q&A with John Pless

Rev. John T. Pless is assistant professor of pastoral ministry and missions at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and is a visiting professor at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Pretoria, South Africa. He is also the author of Handling the Word of Truth: Law and Gospel in the Church Today, Praying Luther’s Small Catechism,(…)

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First Look: Closed Communion?

The faithful practice of closed Communion is challenged in our day both culturally and ecclesiastically. As Western culture continues to careen down a path of individualism and autonomy, the privatization of faith leads many to regard participation in the Sacrament as a matter of personal entitlement. But the issue of admission to the Lord’s Supper(…)

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First Look: Defending Luther’s Reformation

In the face of attacks against Luther, the Lutheran Church, and the Reformation, the Church as a whole must be equipped to intelligently address these modern criticisms. Defending Luther’s Reformation: The Ongoing Significance of the Reformation at the 500th Anniversary of the Ninety-five Theses, is an anthology of essays that will do just that. Defending(…)

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First Look: The Necessary Distinction

What happens when the distinction between the Law and Gospel in the Bible is blurred? Arrogant sinners gain a false sense of security toward God based on their own works and self-righteousness. Broken sinners see God’s lofty standards and despair that they will ever be free of their guilt and sin. Congregations begin adopting the(…)

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First Look: Confessing the Gospel: A Lutheran Approach to Systematic Theology

Confessing the Gospel: A Lutheran Approach to Systematic Theology is a new, two-volume dogmatics that is the culmination of a decades-long project that began in the 1980s. It has been almost a century since the Missouri Synod last published a new dogmatics, the most recent being Francis Pieper’s three-volume Christliche Dogmatik, which was published between(…)

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First Look: Martin Luther’s Basic Exegetical Writings

Luther’s Reformation is often seen through the lens of his formal theological writings, such as the Ninety-Five Theses, Babylonian Captivity of the Church, Freedom of a Christian, and Bondage of the Will. These important and significant works belong to any study of the Reformation. Often overlooked, however, are Luther’s many lectures, sermons, and commentaries on(…)

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C. F. W. Walther on pastoral care of the sick

In his monumental work American-Lutheran Pastoral Theology, C. F. W. Walther addresses everything necessary for the pastor faithfully to carry out his call to minister to God’s people. In addition to guidance for sermon preparation and delivery, proper use of the Sacraments, proper exercise of church discipline, education of the youth, and other topics, Walther(…)

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Q&A with Dr. Alvin J. Schmidt, Author of Hallmarks of Lutheran Identity

Since the time Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Lutheran theology has survived centuries of political, religious, and societal pressures that challenged its foundational teachings. But this question remains: Do Lutherans today understand their theological heritage well enough to maintain and defend their unique beliefs when outside pressures dismiss them(…)

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