The Glory Has Departed


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Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
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Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Expert Gardeners Are Just Like the Expert Theologians


"Larry used to rototill twice a year. Never again! The only time that you should rototill is when you are first starting your garden. This is the time to really work all that organic matter into the soil as deeply as you can. Then "never again". From that point on work the organic matter into the top 3 inches of soil using a broadfork (lift and "tease" the soil) as shown below and let the earthworms and soil microbes do the rest." 

I am helpless with laughter. Osterize and tease the soil? The plants grow in spite of their hard work in destroying the structure and life of the soil. Note the superficial mention of earthworms and soil microbes, all the while extolling the tiller and the broadfork.
Normally, I name names and take no prisoners, but I want to be more general this time. I scour the Net and bookstores for new insights into gardening, especially related to soil.

Confidentially, it has to start with soil - right? All plants grow in soil, unless someone wants to get into hydroponics and growing orchids.

Most well known gardening writers have decades of experience, and they produce a constant supply of articles and books, all of them supported with various studies and quotations from other experts - as they should.

 "No matter what you did yesterday -- or failed to do -- and no matter what you will do tomorrow, God has forgiven you."
WELS Meditations, March-May 2014, for Monday, 17 March 2014.
Comfort for unrepentant felons.


But this part is dismaying - and recently proven by several authors in a row. Here are the two horrors:

1. They have no clue about soil, soil creatures, and soil chemistry, or -
2. They have a vague idea about soil but ignore that for their superficial chatter about nothing.

Long ago, I concentrated on earthworms, which are key players, but they are the macro view while the foundational work takes place at the microscopic level - with fungi, nematodes, bacteria, and protozoa. The end result of all this is to
A. Make the soil full of nutrition that plant roots can use and... 
B. Keep that nutrition available in the root zone.

Someone who mentions soil creatures and then rototills compost into the soil is a bundle of contradictions. Martha Stewart has her followers scratching Epsom Salts into the soil - has she spent more than five seconds on the topic? Epsom Salts dissolve instantly in water, so why destroy the fungi to play in the soil?  Besides, Epsom Salts are only beneficial in limited circumstances.

Among all the gardening experts, almost no one harmonizes soil life with plant health. Nevertheless, their plants grow and people hail them as gardening gurus of the highest class. The resounding cheers echo through the compost piles only because Creation trumps the stupidity of gardening experts. The expert gardeners are incapable of overcoming the power of the invisible and unheralded workers of Creation.

Luther seldom quoted experts.
Instead, he explained the Scriptures, directly and plainly,
because the Holy Spirit in the Word is the ultimate expert.

Likewise, most religious writers have no concept about the relationship between the efficacious Word and the work of the Christian Church. The Lutherans are especially confused, vague, and self-contradictory.

Two generations of writers are the exception -

  1. Luther and his circle during the Reformation, 
  2. The Book of Concord authors and editors, their influence continuing into the new generation, with such examples as J. Gerhard.

Here and there, some Lutheran writers have read enough Luther and studied the Scriptures diligently enough to recapture Biblical theology - Henry E. Jacobs, Schmauk, Krauth. Many clergy understand these matters too, in spite of their boorish, rude, and poorly educated leaders.



The Christian faith continues from generation to generation, in spite of the bad leadership of the so-called religious experts. Historians have noted that the Christian faith remained alive because of traditional hymns or the liturgy or individual Bible study - in spite of rationalistic clergy and their wacky ideas and fads.