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What Luther Says

Lutherandom Musings Along Memory Lane (Saturday 10/19/2013)

Remember when Saturday mornings used to be so much fun when you were a kid?

For me, I'd usually stay up as late as I could the night before (after what I thought was such a "hard" and "long" week at school), and then sleep in as late as I wanted to on Saturday morning.

The best part? Whether Dad would make us breakfast or not (his French Toast!), the even better part of my Saturday mornings growing up was plopping myself down in front of our TV to watch cartoon after cartoon! You know, the kind that were only on once-a-week and not available in an instant through YouTube and/or Netflix?

I thought about that recently and decided it might be cool to come up with a new weekly tradition of sorts for us adults to enjoy each and every Saturday morning now that we're all grown up (ok, at least some of us anyway). I mean, isn't it time for us to look forward to Saturday mornings again?

Besides, it will be good for us to recall that childlike faith in fun and laughter if only for a few moments each week. You'll remember that laughter was for Luther a sign of divine grace and also an antidote against the devil.

From the very beginning, humor had been a theological topic for Martin Luther, embracing the dramatic scope of his whole world view. He himself explained: "When I was unable to chase away the devil with serious words of with the Scripture, I often expelled him with pranks." And so this unique concept is born! Who's with me?

No, it's not flashy, and it will hardly grab and hold your attention like a classic episode of the Care Bears, G.I. Joe, Thundercats, or Voltron would, but these "Lutherandom Musings Along Memory Lane" should satisfy the Confessional Lutheran's appetite for a balanced breakfast that includes Vitamin A (Amusement), Vitamin B (Best of the Blogs), Vitamin C (Confessional), Vitamin D (Doctrine), and Vitamin E (Everything Else).

Each Saturday morning, God willing, I'll do my best to share some of the things I remember coming across in my unpredictable journey through Cyberspace during the week (hence, the "Along Memory Lane" part). Of course, this is also where the things you send me via email (if any) will show up too.

Ok, enough with all the commercials! Let's get the show started already, shall we?

8:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN A (AMUSEMENT): Have you heard about the "Strange Fire Conference" that just took place in Southern California from October 16th-October 18th? It was hosted by John MacArthur's Grace Community Church and drew some big names from the American Evangelical movement today. However, I have to say that despite my well-documented issues with MacArthur aside (and I pray that this DOES NOT give him or his ministry any kind of tacit approval), the focus of the entire conference was an important one as its sole intent was to expose the contemporary "Emerging Church" and "Charismatic" movement in Christianity today. So, for that reason, and that reason alone, I commend MacArthur and those in attendance for standing up to be heard on this topic. At the same time, I'm surprised at John MacArthur's hypocrisy, and that's why I've place this in the "Amusement" category today. Actually, it's not funny. It would be funny if it wasn't so tragic. What do I mean? Well, I know I haven't published a piece on the Lutheran perspective on Bible prophecy yet, and even though the Lutheran view differs significantly from that of John MacArthur and many others who are Dispensationalists, there is something that Mr. MacArthur has taught recently about the end times that is so un-Biblical (regardless of your view) that it's dangerous and irresponsible! You can read about it here. Like I said, it would be funny if it weren't so tragic.

I thought I would highlight this "How To" video from Lutheran Satire titled "How To Speak In Tongues" as an appropriate follow-up to the previous dose of Vitamin A. WARNING: Not for the faint of heart of if you believe "Thou Shall Not Offend..." is the Eleventh Commandment.

9:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN C (CONFESSIONAL): So why do Lutherans take Jesus at His word when he says, "This is my body," but not when he says "I am the door?" It seems like a contradiction, but perhaps it’s just your bad hermeneutic! Be warned, this episode of Worldview Everlasting will take on Calvinists and Arminians alike as Pastor Jonathan Fisk explains the plain meaning of Scripture when it comes to the Lord’s Supper and the real presence.

James 1:22-24 "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing." Now I understand why Martin Luther wasn't so found of James. It's too easy for our fallen, fleshly, old Adam to want to read "works righteousness" into that text. When we approach God's Word seeking a true assessment of ourselves, and the law crushes us under the reality of our sin, the intention is that by being hearers of that word we would be doers of the word and run to, cling to, Christ. Luther puts it like this: "After the Law has humbled, terrified and completely crushed you, so that you are on the brink of despair, then see to it that you know how to use the Law correctly; for its function and use is not only to disclose the sin and wrath of God but also to drive us to Christ."

Ok, so I'm going to give you another dose of Vitamin C today, because I love you that much. If you're not already aware of this, the Book of Concord (BOC) is available online, but with one cool feature. As you are reading the Augsburg Confession and the Apology to the Augsburg Confession, you will see to the right "Confession-Confutation-Defense" links. This is a reference to the Augsburg Confession, the Roman Catholic reply, called the "Confutation" and then the Defense, which is the Lutheran Apology, or Defense, of the Augsburg Confession. Pastor Paul McCain and Norm Fisher have provided a method to read each article of the confession, view the Roman response in the Confutation, then view the associated article in the Defense. Note that the Confutation is NOT in the Book of Concord, but is a document written by the Roman Church in response to the presentation of the Augsburg Confession.

Sorry, but that's all I have for you this week.

In a Lutheran Layman's terms, now that your belly's full and you're wide awake, go outside and play!

Grace and peace to you and yours!

[NOTE: As you know, I am a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is not consistent with Lutheran doctrine -- in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word -- so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray. Thank you in advance for your time and help. Grace and peace to you and yours!]


About JKR

Christian. Husband. Father. Friend.

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Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums and social media is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all arrive at the truth of God's Word (myself included), then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!

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