The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream


NT Greek Lessons - Thursdays, 7 PM.

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Bente's Historical Introductions,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Monday, March 31, 2014

LQ and Rolf Synod Frothing over Justification by Faith

Pastor Steve Brockdorf and the Rolf Synod
use the same tactics as SpenerQuest.



PART SIX: OUR FIRST THESIS ELICITS BAD BEHAVIOR (AND EVEN WORSE ARGUMENTATION)


With regard to our first thesis, the ACLC horribly miscasts an illustration used by Pr. Rydecki on a blog in an attempt to portray him—and thereby the whole diocese—as having redefined “paid” and misunderstanding faith as something other than that which receives. In so doing, they quote Luther…and then reject what Luther says!
Of course, even before they get to that error, there is the problem that the ACLC pastors feel justified in making a private writing of Pr. Rydecki’s somehow a position of the diocese based on the fact that we cite his paper, “The Forensic Appeal to the Throne of Grace” (a paper which is largely quotations of the orthodox Lutheran fathers, anyway). Their doing this is as ludicrous as convicting all Lutherans of every statement of Luther’s private writings simply because we have his catechisms and Smalcald Articles in the Book of Concord.
That said, what of the Luther quote that the ACLC sets forth and then backs away from, as well as what Pr. Rydecki posted to a blog, to which the ACLC objects?
Apparently, the ACLC did not actually read Rev. Rydecki’s paper, where he quotes Chemnitz as teaching the very thing the ACLC seems to hate so much in Pr. Rydecki’s blog post, that faith is the “using of” the benefits of Christ before God’s judgment:
Therefore, because God does not justify out of frivolity, unconcern, error, or iniquity, nor because He finds anything in man whereby he might be justified before God; and yet the just requirement of the Law must be fulfilled in those who are to be justified, Rom. 8:4, therefore a foreign righteousness must intervene—the kind of righteousness which not only with payment of penalties but also with perfect obedience to the divine law made satisfaction in such a way that it could be a propitiation for the sins of the whole world.
To this the terrified sinner, condemned by the voice of the Law, flees in true faith. This he desires, begs for, lays hold of; to this he submits himself; this he uses as his defense before the judgment seat of God and against the accusation of the Law. By regard for this and by its imputation he is justified, that is, he is absolved from the comprehensive sentence of condemnation and receives the promise of eternal life. This is what Paul is saying in Rom. 3:31: “The doctrine of the righteousness of faith does not destroy the Law but upholds it.”
Loci Theologici, vol. 2, p. 481;
quoted in Pr. Rydecki’s “Forensic Appeal,” p. 4
So, also, this from Chemnitz:
Therefore God, “who is rich in mercy” [Eph. 2:4], has had mercy upon us and has set forth a propitiation through faith in the blood of Christ, and those who flee as suppliants to this throne of grace He absolves from the comprehensive sentence of condemnation, and by the imputation of the righteousness of His Son, which they grasp in faith, He pronounces them righteous, receives them into grace, and adjudges them to be heirs of eternal life.
Loci Theologici, vol. 2, p. 482;
quoted in Pr. Rydecki’s “Forensic Appeal,” pp. 4–5
Chemnitz says that God has set forth a propitiation through faith in the blood of Christ, and that it is those who “flee” to this throne of grace whom God absolves. To “flee to the throne of grace” is the same thing as to “use Christ’s payment to satisfy one’s debt before God”…and both of these are simply to receive what Christ has earned to the end for which He earned it—the actual absolution of, justification of, imputation of righteousness to, regeneration of, bestowal of eternal life upon those who so receive it, all purely for the sake of His merit and because of His complete payment for all sins, even the sins of those who remain lost.
Again, this from Chemnitz:
Therefore the Pharisee, because he was not willing to use the benefit of this calling, but wanted to enter into judgment before the tribunal of justice, was condemned. But the publican, who was first accused at the tribunal of justice, convicted and condemned there, later by faith called out to the throne of grace and was justified.
Loci Theologici, vol. 2, p. 482;
quoted in Pr. Rydecki’s “Forensic Appeal,” p. 5
The Pharisee was unwilling to use the benefit of the calling to the throne of grace, whereas the publican by faith called out to the throne of grace.
Of course, we find the same thing in the Apology:
Now we will show that faith justifies and nothing else. Here, in the first place, readers must be taught about this point: Just as it is necessary to keep this statement—Christ is Mediator—so is it necessary to defend that faith justifies. For how will Christ be Mediator if we do not use Himas Mediator in justification?
Apology of the Augsburg Convession IV:69–70
This is what Luther was clearly saying in his quote, and what Pr. Rydecki also referred to, that one must “use Christ as Mediator in justification.” Unless the ACLC wishes also to convict Luther, Melanchthon, and Chemnitz of rejecting faith as being “the hand that receives” and, thus, supposedly redefining what is meant by Jesus’ having paid for all mankind’s sin, they have no basis for making such a claim about Pr. Rydecki, whose words are in accord with those both of the fathers and of the Confessions themselves.
Thus, the ACLC is in error when they pretend that there is a contradiction between faith as the hand that “receives” and faith as the hand that “uses,” or a contradiction between faith as passive and faith as clinging to Christ or laying hold of Christ. This is a serious error on their part, as such an error will color more and more the rest of one’s theology and practice the longer it is left unchecked. When they, further, take their leap of illogic as an excuse to attribute a non-existent error from a private writing to the whole of our diocese, the pastors of the ACLC have thereby left the realm of civil discourse.
God willing, we will continue this week with a look at the next few theses, as well as have a statement on another, related matter.


Rolf Synod Decisively Refuted - Their UOL Dogma Laid Waste by Calov, Chemnitz, and the Scriptures






Part Five: Treating Calov with respect by following his argument and paying attention to his words, Part 2

Previous articles in this series:
Part Four: Treating Calov with respect by following his argument and paying attention to his words, Part 1
Part Three: Questions of Methodology: Thoroughgoing Theology vs. ‘Slam Dunks’
Part Two: A Matter of Definition
Part One: Their Preamble and Our Preface

All of the ELDoNA's posts on the the Article of Justification have now been compiled on one page on the diocesan website:
Articles on Justification

WELS Mission Board Members Should Not Be Reading This Blog


WELS Mission gurus (aka foreclosure bandits) are not pleased that people know about their latest robbery attempt in Savoy, Illinois.

Burglars like to work with disguises (as angels of light - we are just here to help you out...the door) and under the cover of darkness.

They do not like appearing in blogs.

But they should not be reading this blog, which deals with sound doctrine and attacks their dogma.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Missing Something about the New Luther Seminary President

The PR material lavishes praise on everything about her,
except a relationship with someone else.
The unspoken word is the most important one.

The lopsided smile suggests a vain attempt
to seem happy.
Mark Jeske's is even more pronounced.
When I looked at the limited gallery in Google Images,
I thought this was a mistake - a rather feminine looking young man.
No - this was the publicity photo used earlier at Gettysburg Seminary.
The thumbnail on Google is really ambiguous.
LutherQuest is silent - so far.

The ALPB Online Forum has not noticed anything.

Steinke is the first woman to head a seminary, and Luther is mega-sized, though with serious financial problems. The last president was fired at Christmas.

A little searching showed she featured prominently in a pro-gay group. She listed her name and Gettysburg Seminary was also listed.  This is a partial list -

http://www.icpj-gettysburg.org/newsletter/201007/AU_thanks.htm


Adams Unity Coalition Thanks Contributors to Unity Events
The Adams Unity Coalition wishes to thank the following individuals and organizations for their contributions to the success of the unity events held on June 19-20.
Mark Whitney
Chrissy Habeeb
Sylvia Asante
Rev. Jeanette Leisk, St. James Lutheran Church
Rabbi Carl Choper, Interfaith Alliance of PA
Father Bernardo Pistone and Father Jonathan Sawicki, St. Francis Xavier Church
Lakshmi Viswanathan
Rev. Robin J. Steinke, Dean, Lutheran Theological Seminary 

I have not found anything through my normal searches, which suggests that the advocacy groups like Lutherans Concerned (now ReconcilingWorks) know full well and do not want to congratulate Robin and her partner too soon.

---

http://adamsunity.org/

Building Inclusive Communities

Member organizations of the Adams County Unity Coalition share an interest in building a community of respect for all peoples regardless of age, gender, class, race/ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, appearance, ability, or employment status. The Coalition provides resource-sharing and networking opportunities for member organizations and facilitates collaboration among member organizations to support our individual and collective efforts to promote peace, justice, and unity in Adams County, PA. (Read more about our goals and activities here)
Upcoming Events
The State of Hate in Pennsylvania…and the Good News
The Adams Unity Coalition will host civil rights investigator and trainer Ann Van Dyke for a presentation on the activity of hate groups in Pennsylvania and how communities can take action on Thursday, Nov. 21, at 6:30 p.m. at the YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County, 909 Fairfield Rd., Gettysburg. For more information, click here.
Recent events
November 9, 2013: Unity vigil
Over 100 people attended the Adams Unity Coalition’s unity vigil on Saturday, November 9, standing together on the steps of Gettysburg College’s Christ Chapel in support of racial justice, peace, and immigrant rights. For more information, click here.
October 5, 2013: Voices of Unity
On October 5, 2013, the Adams Unity Coalition sponsored “Voices of Unity,” a rally held on the lawn of the Lutheran Theological Seminary of Gettysburg. For more information, click here.

Laetare Sunday 2014 - The Fourth Sunday in Lent. John 6:1-15.
The Feeding of the Five Thousand



Laetare Sunday, The Fourth Sunday in Lent, 2014

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/bethany-lutheran-worship

Bethany Lutheran Church, 10 AM Central Time


The Hymn # 151 Christ the Life 2:78
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16
The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
The Epistle and Gradual 
The Gospel 
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #429 Lord Thee I Love 2:54 

Bread from Heaven

The Communion Hymn #508 Thou Whose 2:72
The Preface p. 24
The Sanctus p. 26
The Lord's Prayer p. 27
The Words of Institution
The Agnus Dei p. 28
The Nunc Dimittis p. 29
The Benediction p. 31
The Hymn # 45 Now the Hour 2:95

KJV Galatians 4:21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? 22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. 24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. 25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. 26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. 28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. 29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. 30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

KJV John 6:1 After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. 2 And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased. 3 And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. 4 And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh. 5 When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? 6 And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. 7 Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him, 9 There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? 10 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. 12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. 13 Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. 14 Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world. 15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

Fourth Sunday In Lent
Lord God, heavenly Father, who by Thy Son didst feed five thousand men in the desert with five loaves and two fishes: We beseech Thee to abide graciously also with us in the fullness of Thy blessing. Preserve us from avarice and the cares of this life, that we may seek first Thy kingdom and Thy righteousness, and in all things perceive Thy fatherly goodness, through Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God world without end. Amen.



Bread from Heaven

KJV John 6:1 After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. 2 And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.

Lately I have seen people answer this question - "Who would you spend an hour with, if you could sit on a park bench and talk to anyone in the world, past and present?"

Several have said, "Jesus."

I answered once or twice, "You can listen to Him every day, in the Word of God."

John's Gospel is the best example of that truth. The Fourth Gospel assumes the reader knows the basics from the other Gospels. He has given us, through the Holy Spirit, the most important sermons of Jesus.

Most importantly, this great supplement is written down by the disciple closest to Jesus, the one entrusted with caring for Mary His mother.

John's Gospel naturally reads like an eye-witness account, because it is - and it is personal and intimate.

There is an important explanation in the opening of this famous miracle. An enormous crowd followed Him because of the miracles He had already performed.
This is an important observation, because there is a constant reference about two numbers.
One - God has done this for all people - Creation, providing for material needs, giving His Son to pay for the sins of the world.
Two - The much smaller number who believe in Christ, are forgiven through faith in Him, have the status of saints (holy, sanctified by Him) and will enjoy eternal life if they continue in faith.

Readers and listeners will note that everyone was fed, although not everyone was a believer. In fact, this chapter of John shows that "many disciples" fell away because of Jesus' hard sayings. Who can listen to this - and they went away.
John 666 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

Although people may believe at first, they do not continue. Therefore, many are called (invited) but few are chosen (elect). 

Likewise, this Gospel miracle is generously given (without being requested) to everyone present, but not everyone appreciated it, understood it, or believed because of it.

3 And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. 4 And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh. 

This verse gives us a clue about the timing of this event and also a glimpse at how it looked for Jesus and the Twelve. They were up on a low mountain and saw the vast crowd coming around to continue being with Jesus. So, with words, we have a picture of what they saw.

5 When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? 6 And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. 7 Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.

Jesus knew what He would do, and He also knew what the disciples would say when He asked. But He asked to bring out the shortcomings of the disciples, to teach us about that miracle and also to remind us of our similar reactions.

Philip should have answered - "God will provide. And You are the Son of God." But Philip stayed within the bounds of human reason, concluding that a large sum of money would not be enough to buy the crowd a few morsels. Left unsaid is the name of the bakery that would provide the food and deliver it immediately.

Here is the state of every Christian and every congregation. I remember a "mission leader" saying, "We will build a chapel that we can turn into a doctor's office if it fails." That was before it started. They were already betting against it.

And this miracle is aimed at us as individuals, so we are not too anxious about our material needs. Even when nothing seems to be there, God is already taking care of the problem - before we even ask.

That is sad, when people act as if God needs us to ask before He can do anything. He says in Isaiah and Ephesians that He is already acting before we ask, that He provides far beyond anything we can imagine. Why does He say this? - so we are filled with confidence in Him to ask anything we need.

Thus faithful Christians have always trusted in God and they have done extraordinary things, miraculous things, by relying on Him rather than themselves. So it is oddly humorous to find church leaders relying on business practices instead and not trusting in the Gospel Promises.

God provided ways to buy land and build a chapel in New Ulm, which could have been called Ishmael Lutheran Church, because everyone was against it. One day the heating bill was paid by a check sent randomly by someone - not even a member. 

God allows us to feel the want, so we appreciate how He provides without us even comprehending how that could happen. We often have to give up on all our wisdom and work before we realize what He does in an instant.

8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him, 9 There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? 

This is the most ironic comment, since the answer to the rhetorical question is - "That is irrelevant Andrew. God can do everything with nothing, let along a tiny amount like this."

The small amount is significant. Because we start with so little - a few members, a tiny rented dirty building, a few dollars, an ordinary man entrusted with the everlasting Gospel. And God turns that into something great through His Gospel and Sacraments. 

The Gospel swept through the Roman Empire with manuscripts and preachers.

The Gospel took over Europe in the Reformation - with only "words" and the printing press. The Lutherans were nothing. They were few, poor, scattered, and persecuted. God provided the Muslims at the gates of Europe to keep the Roman Catholic emperor busy until the Lutherans got entrenched in their little zone.

Now the mission experts and Church Growth experts take the accomplishments of the past and turn them into rubble, proclaiming, "Look at how wise and great we are." 

10 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 

This is a telling detail. It was done in an orderly way, to serve the starving people for one thing. They also needed aisles to get to the fresh water. It was an oasis, because there was a lot of grass there.

11 And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. 12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.

Jesus gave thanks. Why would the Creating Word give thanks? He is God, but also as God's Son He was always obedient to the Father and did everything in accord with the Father. 

Jesus is also an example. If he gave thanks to God - as God - why should we eat without giving thanks to God, who provided the bounty for us?

This is also a foreshadowing of Holy Communion, where believers receive the Body and Blood of Christ, across the centuries, among millions. How can this be? Denying the miracle of Feeding is a denial of the Lord's Supper. And denying the Lord's Supper is a rejection of this miracle.

A miracle is not answered by - how can such things be? A miracle is something God performs because of His gracious will for us. The more we open our eyes to miracles, the more miracles we see. And those who take a rationalistic look at the Gospel see without seeing and hear without comprehending.

The essences of the Protestant Reformation comes from Luther - justification by faith alone. The Catholics opposed this. Today, the famous Babtist Rick Warren says, "Faith is not enough." Many Protestants say that, sinking right back into Romanism and works salvation. Some Lutherans like it so much, they hop the fence.

13 Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. 

Luther has a great comment on this - It shows how we should be frugal with what God has given us. Those apostates who believe nothing are entrusted with vast resources given by God. They waste them. They have no regard for them. Their only request is to have even more, so they beat the drums for estate gifts.

The churches that want to astonish everything with their luxury - gold, marble, computer screens - will often disappear faster than a morning fog. "You have to spend to grow." No - God's Word is the foundation and He will determine the results - not man.

14 Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world. 15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

This was not the time for Jesus to be proclaimed Messiah. God provided the calendar and everything was fulfilled exactly as the Old Testaments.


Luther's Laetare Sermon - Fourth Sunday in Lent - The Feeding of the Five Thousand. John 6:1-15

The Feeding of the Multitude, by Norma Boeckler



Luther's sermon for LAETARE. FOURTH SUNDAY IN LENT. John 6:1-15

German text: Erlangen edition 11:137; Walch 11:765; St. Louis 11:560.

TEXT:

John 6:1-15. After these things Jesus went away to the other side of the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. And a great multitude followed him, because they beheld the signs which he did on them that were sick. And Jesus went up into the mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. Now the passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Jesus therefore lifting up his eyes, and seeing that a great multitude cometh unto him, saith unto Philip, Whence are we to buy bread, that these may eat? And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, Two hundred shillings worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one may take a little. One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him, There is a lad here, who hath five barley loaves, and two fishes: but what are these among so many? Jesus said, Make the people sit down.

Now there was much grass in the place: So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. Jesus therefore took the loaves; and having given thanks, he distributed to them that were set down; likewise also of the fishes as much as they would. And when they were filled, he saith unto his disciples, Gather up the broken pieces which remain over, that nothing be lost. So they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with broken pieces from the five barley loaves, which remained over unto them that had eaten. When therefore the people saw the sign which he did, they said, This is of a truth the prophet that cometh into the world.

Jesus therefore perceiving that they were about to come and take him by force, to make him king, withdrew again into the mountain himself alone.

CONTENTS:

THE FEEDING OF THE FIVE THOUSAND.
I. THE FEEDING OF THE FIVE THOUSAND.

1. How Christ here teaches us faith

2. How an example of love Is presented to us here 2.

3. This miracle proves that there is nothing too small among believers that God cannot change it into an abundance

* How Christ teaches us here to be frugal 4.

II. THE SPIRITUAL MEANING OF THE FEEDING OF THE FIVE THOUSAND.

A. IN General 5.

B. In Detail. The Spiritual Meaning: 1. Of there being much grass where the five thousand were fed 6.

2. That those who were fed sat on the grass

3. Of the five loaves, with which the people were fed 8.

4. Of the two fishes 9.

5. Of the twelve baskets, filled with broken pieces of bread

6. That Philip gave counsel, and yet doubted his own counsel

7. That Andrew pointed to the lad and the loaves, and yet he doubts more than Philip

* In what the poverty of the Christian consists, and in what it does not consist 18.

I. THE FEEDING OF THE FIVE THOUSAND.

1. In today’s Gospel Christ gives us another lesson in faith, that we should not be over-anxious about our daily bread and our temporal existence, and stirs us up by means of a miracle; as though to say by his act what he says by his words in Matthew 6:33: “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” For here we see, since the people followed Christ for the sake of God’s Word and the signs, and thus sought the Kingdom of God, he did not forsake them but richly fed them. He hereby also shows that, rather than those who seek the Kingdom of God should suffer need, the grass in the desert would become wheat, or a crumb of bread would be turned into a thousand loaves; or a morsel of bread would feed as many people and just as satisfactorily as a thousand loaves; in order that the words in Matthew 4:4 might stand firm, that “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” And to confirm these words Christ is the first to be concerned about the people, as to what they should eat, and asks Philip, before they complain or ask him; so that we may indeed let him care for us, remembering that he cares more and sooner for us than we do for ourselves.

2. Secondly, he gives an example of great love, and he does this in many ways. First, in that he lets not only the pious, who followed him because of the signs and the Word, enjoy the food; but also the slaves of appetite, who only eat and drink, and seek in him temporal honor; as follows later when they disputed with him at Capernaum about the food, and he said to them in John 6:26: “Ye seek me, not because ye saw signs, but because ye ate of the loaves,” etc., also because they desired to make him king; thus here also he lets his sun shine on the evil and the good, Matthew 5:45.

Secondly, in that he bears with the rudeness and weak faith of his disciples in such a friendly manner. For that he tests Philip, who thus comes with his reason, and Andrew speaks so childishly on the subject, all is done to bring to light the imperfections of the disciples, and on the contrary to set forth his love and dealings with them in a more beautiful and loving light, to encourage us to believe in him, and to give us an example to do likewise; as the members of our body and all God’s creatures in their relation to one another teach us. For these are full of love, so that one bears with the other, helps and preserves what God has created.

3. That he now takes the five loaves and gives thanks etc., teaches that nothing is too small and insignificant for him to do for his followers, and he can indeed so bless their pittance that they have an abundance, whereas even the rich have not enough with all their riches; as Psalm 34:11 says: “They that seek Jehovah shall not want any good thing; but the rich must suffer hunger.” And Mary in her song of praise says: “The hungry he hath filled with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.” Luke 1:53.

4. Again, that he tells them so faithfully to gather up the fragments, teaches us to be frugal and to preserve and use his gifts, in order that we may not tempt God. For just as it is God’s will that we should believe when we have nothing and be assured that he will provide; so he does not desire to be tempted, nor to allow the blessings he has bestowed to be despised, or lie unused and spoil, while we expect other blessings from heaven by means of miracles. Whatever he gives, we should receive and use, and what he does not give, we should believe and expect he will bestow.

II. THE ALLEGORICAL INTERPRETATION.

5. That Christ by the miraculous feeding of the five thousand has encouraged us to partake of a spiritual food, and taught that we should seek and expect from him nourishment for the soul, is clearly proved by the whole sixth chapter of John, in which he calls himself the bread from heaven and the true food, and says: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye seek me, not because ye saw signs, but because ye ate of the loaves, and were filled. Work not for the food which perisheth, but for the food which abideth unto eternal life, which the Son of man shall give unto you.” John 6:26-27. In harmony with these words we will, explain also this evangelical history in its spiritual meaning and significance.

6. First, there was much hay or grass in the place. The Evangelist could not fail to mention that, although it appears to be unnecessary; however it signifies the Jewish people, who flourished and blossomed like the grass through their outward holiness, wisdom, honor, riches etc., as Isaiah 40:6-7, says: “All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, because the breath of Jehovah bloweth upon it; surely the people is grass.” From the Jewish people the Word of God went forth and the true food was given to us; for salvation is of the Jews, John 4:22. Now, as grass is not food for man, but for cattle; so is all the holiness of the outward Jewish righteousness nothing but food for animals, for fleshly hearts, who know and possess nothing of the Spirit.

7. The very same is taught by the people sitting on the grass; for the true saints despise outward holiness, as Paul does in Philippians 3:8, in that he counted his former righteousness to be filth and even a hindrance. Only common and hungry people receive the Word of God and are nourished by it. For here you see that neither Caiaphas nor Anna, neither the Pharisees nor the Scribes follow Christ and see Christ’s Signs; but they disregard them, they are grass and feed on grass. This miracle was also performed near the festive time of the Jewish passover; for the true Easter festival, when Christ should be offered as a sacrifice, was near, when he began to feed them with the Word of God.

8. The five loaves signify the outward, natural word formed by the voice and understood by man’s senses; for the number five signifies outward things pertaining to the five senses of man by which he lives; as also the five and five virgins illustrate in Matthew 25:1. These loaves are in the basket, that is, locked up in the Scriptures. And a lad carries them, that means the servant class and the priesthood among the Jews, who possessed the sayings of God, which were placed in their charge and entrusted to them, Romans 3:2, although they did not enjoy them. But that Christ took these into his own hands, and they were thereby blessed and increased, signifies that by Christ’s works and deeds, and not by our deeds or reason, are the Scriptures explained, rightly understood and preached.

This he gives to his disciples, and the disciples to the people. For Christ takes the Word out of the Scriptures; so all teachers receive it from Christ and give it to the people, by which is confirmed what Matthew 23:10 says: “For one is your master, even the Christ,” who sits in heaven, and he teaches all only through the mouth and the word of preachers by his: Spirit, that is, against false teachers, who teach their own wisdom.

9. The two fishes are the example and witness of the patriarchs and prophets, who are also in the basket; for by them the Apostles confirm and strengthen their doctrine and the believers like St. Paul does in Romans 4:2-6, where he cites Abraham and David etc. But there are two, because the examples of the saints are full of love, which cannot be alone, as faith can, but must go out in exercise to its neighbor. Furthermore the fishes were prepared and cooked; for such examples are indeed put to death by many sufferings and martyrdoms, so that we find nothing carnal in them, and they comfort none by a false faith in his own works, but always point to faith and put to death works and their assurance.

10. The twelve baskets of fragments are all the writings and books the Apostles and Evangelists bequeathed to us; therefore they are twelve, like the Apostles, and these books are nothing but that which remains from and has been developed out of the Old Testament. The fishes are also signified by the number five (Moses’ books); as John 21:25 says: “Even the world itself would not contain the books that should be written” concerning Christ, all which nevertheless was written and proclaimed before in the Old Testament concerning Christ.

11. That Philip gives counsel as how to feed the people with his few shillings, and yet doubts, signifies human teachers, who would gladly aid the soul with their teachings; but their conscience feels it helps nothing. For the discussion Christ here holds with his disciples takes place in order that we may see and understand that it is naturally impossible to feed so many people through our own counsel, and that this sign might be the more public. Thus he lets us also disgrace ourselves and labor with human doctrines, that we may see and understand how necessary and precious God’s Word is and how doctrines do not help the least without God’s Word.

12. That Andrew pointed out the lad and the loaves, and yet doubted still more than Philip, signifies the teachers who wish to make the people pious and to quiet them with God’s laws; but their conscience has no satisfaction or peace in them; but only becomes continually worse, until Christ comes with his Word of grace. He is the one, and he alone, who makes satisfaction, delivers from sin and death, gives peace and fullness of joy, and does it all of his own free will, gratuitously, against and above all hope and presumption, that we may know that the Gospel is devised and bestowed, not through our own merit, but out of pure grace.

13. Finally, you see in this Gospel that Christ, though he held Gospel poverty in the highest esteem and was not anxious about the morrow, as he teaches in Matthew 6:34, had still some provisions, as the two hundred shillings, the five loaves and the two fishes; in order that we may learn how such poverty and freedom from care consist not in having nothing at all, as the barefooted fanatics and monks profess, and yet they themselves do not hold to it; but it consists in a free heart and a poor spirit. For even Abraham and Isaac had great possessions, and yet they lived without worry and in poverty, like the best Christians do.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Just Like WELS - Women Are Running the Show in ELCA -
Single Woman to Head Luther Seminary

No mention of a male husband.


Robin Steinke named president of Luther Seminary

3/26/2014 12:00:00 AM
            CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The Rev. Robin J. Steinke, Gettysburg, Pa., has been named president of Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., effective June 1. Luther is one of eight seminaries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
            "I am humbled and honored to be called to this important work in the life of Luther Seminary and the church," Steinke said in a March 26 seminary release. "I am mindful of the strong legacy that is Luther Seminary. As we look forward, I believe we must work in new and nimble ways to imagine a sustainable future. This effort is complex and multifaceted, yet I can't imagine a more exciting time to be doing this creative work."
            Steinke is the first woman to be named president in the seminary's 145-year history. She succeeds the Rev. Rick Foss, who has served as interim president since December 2012.
            Steinke is dean of the seminary and a tenured professor of theological ethics and public life at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Pa., an ELCA seminary. She was assistant professor of theological ethics and public life from 2000 to 2003, and was ethics lecturer and director of the seminary's program in Washington D.C., through its Center for Theology and Public Life from 1999 to 2000. From 1999 to 2000, Steinke was associate pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in Annandale, Va., and she served an internship at Holy Trinity Lutheran in Akron, Ohio. From 1984 to 1992, she was a financial planner and training manager at American Express Financial Advisors in Atlanta, and middle school band director at Dickerson Middle School in Marietta, Ga., from 1980 to 1984.
            Prior to joining Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Steinke earned a doctorate in philosophy at the University of Cambridge, and a Master of Divinity and Master of Sacred Theology at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, an ELCA seminary. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in music education at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., one of 26 ELCA colleges and universities. Steinke has received numerous awards and participated in a variety of community and regional, national and international academic institutional service.
            Steinke co-chairs the ELCA Theological Education Advisory Council, tasked with exploring the future of theological education. She serves as an ELCA representative to The Lutheran World Federation Council and chairs their Endowment Fund. She is a member of the ELCA Ecclesiology Task Force and serves on a number of other church and academic committees. In June, she will conclude her six-year term as a commissioner for the Association of Theological Schools' Commission on Accrediting.
            "Robin is a proven leader who is uniquely qualified for this position. First and foremost, she has a strong faith and is committed to our mission of educating leaders for Christian communities," said Gus Blanchard, a member of Luther's board of directors and chair of the seminary's presidential search committee. "Her forward-looking leadership skills, ability to build strong, productive relationships, financial acumen and commitment to academic quality, ministry and mission make her a marvelous fit for Luther Seminary. We are thrilled to have her join us as our next president."
- See more at: http://www.elca.org/News-and-Events/7655#sthash.HiyY1WT5.dpuf

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Biography:
Dean of the Seminary and Professor of Ethics and Public Life, Prof. Steinke received her doctoral degree from the University of Cambridge, Great Britain after receiving two masters degrees (M.Div. and S.T.M) from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, OH and undergraduate study at Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD.

Prof. Steinke began her third five year term as Dean of the Seminary July 1, 2013. She started teaching at the Seminary in 1999 and directed the Seminary’s Washington D.C. program, known as the Lutheran Center for Theology and public Life. Favorite areas of writing and research include the changing shape of theological education, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and issues in theology and public life.

Prof. Steinke is in her 5th year serving on the Association of Theological Schools Board of Commissioners which is responsible for accreditation of the 260 plus member schools in North America. She also regularly serves as chair of accreditation visits for both ATS and the regional accreditor, MSCHE. She is an ELCA representative to the Lutheran World Federation Council and serves as chair of the LWF Endowment Fund.  She also serves as convener of the ELCA/ELCIC Deans meetings. A favorite avocation is playing the trumpet.

Education: B.A., Augustana College, Soux Falls, SD, 1980
M.Div, S.T.M.,Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, OH, 1994
Ph.D., The University of Cambridge, Great Britain, 1999

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http://gettysburgseminary.blogspot.com/2010_07_01_archive.html

Friday, July 30, 2010


LWF Unity is in Christ

Unity in Christ, by Robin J. Steinke, LWF Council member and dean, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg


I just finished my first meeting on the new council for LWF. It is such a privilege to serve the church and the mission of Christ in this capacity. I wish that each member of the ELCA could experience the genuine love of Christ experienced here across the cultural, social, economic and denominational traditions. There are clear and longstanding differences on a whole range of theological and social issues. Yet the unity of the Lutheran World Federation, a communion of churches, bears steadfast witness that our unity comes as a gift in Christ. We need not be of the same mind on any of these issues as long as we together confess Christ. I give thanks for my brothers and sisters across the communion of the LWF that we stand together as a public sign of unity in Christ in the midst of difference.

One final note, I also wish that each member of the ELCA could witness the faithful, pastoral and wise leadership exercised by Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson as he so ably served as president of LWF and presided at this assembly. There was great appreciation expressed throughout the communion of churches at this assembly for his Christ centered, biblically rooted, and confessionally sound and pastorally sensitive witness in preaching, teaching and presiding. His leadership was a powerful witness which pointed to Christ as the Center of life, faith and ministry.


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"Brett, do not rush to conclusions about our new sem prez."
"But our new bishop is another matter."
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http://www.icpj-gettysburg.org/newsletter/201007/AU_thanks.htm


Adams Unity Coalition Thanks Contributors to Unity Events
The Adams Unity Coalition wishes to thank the following individuals and organizations for their contributions to the success of the unity events held on June 19-20.
Mark Whitney
Chrissy Habeeb
Sylvia Asante
Rev. Jeanette Leisk, St. James Lutheran Church
Rabbi Carl Choper, Interfaith Alliance of PA
Father Bernardo Pistone and Father Jonathan Sawicki, St. Francis Xavier Church
Lakshmi Viswanathan
Rev. Robin J. Steinke, Dean, Lutheran Theological Seminary 

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Building Inclusive Communities

Member organizations of the Adams County Unity Coalition share an interest in building a community of respect for all peoples regardless of age, gender, class, race/ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, appearance, ability, or employment status. The Coalition provides resource-sharing and networking opportunities for member organizations and facilitates collaboration among member organizations to support our individual and collective efforts to promote peace, justice, and unity in Adams County, PA. (Read more about our goals and activities here)