The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream

Lenten Mid-week Services, Wednesdays -
7 PM Central Daylight Savings Time
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

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Review: Justification Reconsidered | Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary

 WELS review - straight out of Sioux Falls Babtist Seminary.
Funny how Tomzak omitted that crucial word
Babtist on his resume.


Review: Justification Reconsidered | Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary:

"More, we always stand in danger of losing Paul’s “more radical perception of human sinfulness” (97-98) which required a Christ who comes down into our flesh, who saves us, who forgives us, who justifies us, by God’s grace alone through faith alone. That Christ gets us in and keeps us in."



'via Blog this'

GJ - The WELS reviewer also attended the Babtist seminary in Sioux Falls.

https://sfseminary.edu/about-the-seminary/our-history/

Note the typical UOJ weasel words, which mean that God forgives and saves us - universally without faith - but this becomes true when we make a decision to say it is true (following Walther's Halle Pietism).

who saves us, who forgives us, who justifies us, by God’s grace alone

UOJ Stormtroopers will correct anyone who says |Justification by Faith". They will say "Justified BY GRACE through faith", to signal their use of Walther's dogma, the WELS-ELS-ELCA-LCMS stink they market as perfume.

Although Tomzak pretends to be discussing Justification by Faith - and even uses that term - he is really talking about the dogma of the apostate denominations - UOJ. Therefore, his review is ambiguous, conflicting, and disingenuous.

 WELS hates the Book of Concord and disregards Luther,
so they drying faster than Hillary's 2016 campaign.
Oh, that is dead already? So is WELS.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Great Surgical Outcome



Chris came through the surgery just fine. There was no detectable spread so far. A microscopic test remains to be reported. The surgeon was pleased.

LI was there to meet with the surgeon and spend a long time with his mother.

The details are above my pay grade. Her main nurse was very glad to receive a copy of Creation Gardening.


Mrs. Ichabod - Operation Today


This morning my wife Christina will go to Mercy Hospital for a mastectomy. All the indications are good at this point, because testing has been improved so much lately.

Your prayers are welcome.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

A WELS MDiv Thesis So Excellent That It Shares Space with Jay Webber's Equally Verbose Nonsense in the WELS Essay Files

How bad was the first draft?
Or is this it?
PROF. JAMES P. TIEFEL, ADVISOR
WISCONSIN LUTHERAN SEMINARY
MORDOR, WISCONSIN
22 FEBRUARY 2017



http://essays.wls.wels.net/bitstream/handle/123456789/4310/Rue.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

The question has been asked, “Why just focus on the youth and worship education? Why not focus on worship education to all age groups?” While that question certainly is valid, the reason that this paper specifically focuses on the youth is because the youth are at a crucial stage in life. The older they get, the more independent they become. That is something that we cannot avoid nor should we. When our young people become more independent, the more they are attacked by the outside influences of this world and they are vulnerable to follow the evil influences of this world. The only way that teenagers will be able to combat the evil of this world is by continuing to receive nourishment from the Means of Grace. Where do our people receive the Means of Grace the most? Public worship! But if they do not understand why their WELS church worships the way they do, worship most likely will not be edifying and thus they are less likely to return. That is exactly what is happening. Our teens are leaving the church.
There’s the sound of pounding feet outside our homes and churches these days – the sound of teenagers running away from the Christian beliefs that parents and the church have taught them. Some studies estimate that less than one-third of our students who are active Christians while they’re in high school will still be active when they graduate college.
 Christian churches everywhere are losing about two-thirds of their kids during and after high school. 1 Those are daunting statistics!


One There Is Who Has Been Trying to Light the Path - 

  • Being Real, 
  • Relational, and 
  • Going Back to De-Tox



High Church and Low Comedy

Add an Alternative Ministry
and mock Christian Doctrine - good ol' Andy did it,
and it worked.


Laetare, The Fourth Sunday in Lent, 2017. John 6:1-15.
The Feeding of the Five Thousand

By Norma Boeckler


Laetare Sunday, The Fourth Sunday in Lent, 2017

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson




The Hymn #9           O Day of Rest and Gladness 
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 #316    O Living Bread from Heaven 

Our Daily Bread

The Communion Hymn #508    Thou Whose Almighty Word
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 # 50             Lord Dismiss Us 

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.


By Norma Boeckler



Our Daily Bread

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.

In this miracle Jesus displayed His ability to take care of a vast group of people when no help seemed near. People followed Him because of His miracles in healing those who were diseased. The Gospel of John consistently teaches that Jesus combined His teaching with His miracles to bolster their confidence in Him as the Son of God and Savior.

The people had been trained in the Scriptures for centuries and knew the Old Testament Promises. There were also current expectations, some of them false, some true. Those who looked for a material Kingdom of God expected a warrior king, little realizing how limited that was. Many warrior kings entered history and left an empire behind, but they are mostly forgotten and their empires are shrunken, even buried in the dust. No one would believe today that Portugal was a world empire with that most precious technology advance - maps of the ocean (perhaps from the Chinese).

Spain and Portugal battled for world dominance - now they are two of the PIGS - four countries known for debt problems (Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain). Alexander conquered the world, 300 years before Christ. As LI said, "Alexander was the last notable thing to come out of Greece."

On the other hand, Messianic expectations could be realized in some ways. One hope was abundance, especially since the history of Israel involved great suffering and want. The Messiah would bring great prosperity to people, and that has been realized in the West - even if often forgotten.

By following Jesus into an area with no food, the people showed their faith in Him. Before they could ask or figure out what to do, Jesus provided an answer.

This is where Luther's view of the Bible is especially clear. The Word can accomplish anything, from the forgiveness of sin to the feeding of a multitude. When people modify the meaning of God's Word, they emphasize what is reasonable to them. I discussed this with a Lutheran last night. Calvin placed reason above the Scriptures, which leads to such notions as people sharing their hidden food after a boy shamed them by offering his. Of course, this explanation is entirely lacking from the text, but it is reasonable for rationalistic people.

But the Creating Word can change His own laws of Creation, since those laws are part of the ongoing management system engineered into every item of this universe, from the behavior of electrons to the mothering instinct of animals. This is the very definition of a miracle - going against the natural laws.

Yesterday, in the rain, I scattered borage seed in various areas of the garden, especially among the roses. This herb, nicknamed Bee Bread, has a special quality (besides feeding bees). When borage flowers, the population of beneficial insects increases. I count on good insects to protect the roses from aphids and other destructive creatures. I did not create, engineer, or set up the management of borage, bees, and beneficials. The coordination is miraculous for those who consider how difficult management can be. But this miracle goes far beyond what God shows us in life around us.

The response of the people is easy enough to understand. "If Jesus can heal diseases, then we can trust Him in the desert." The same thinking should motivate us. "If Jesus can feed the multitude in the wilderness, then we can trust Him to provide for us as well."

Luther:
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.


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. 

What is the significance of going up on the mountain? Jesus spent time alone with His disciples. He did not need to see the multitude coming, but the disciples had a chance to see the multitudes from above, surely a breathtaking and scary sight. Many times when we look at a challenge from such a perspective, it is overwhelming.

Many saw the bad economy coming from a distance, and it proved to be even worse than expected. Add to that the changes in technology that make former jobs old-fashioned or obsolete.

This way the disciples could contemplate their doom with human reason. That vast multitude would die in the desert and they would be blamed for drawing them there.

The response of the disciples to the crisis suggests that, with how short or rude they were to Jesus.



 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? 

Luther:
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.


I put the responses in blue because they are a bit humorous in light of what we know, and they sound like so many council meetings I have attended. "How can we build an addition for cash?" Later we started a congregation with no money, no land, no chairs, no hymnals, and no building - and God provided. 

Our response toward trusting in God is often quite grumpy, as the disciples were. They were perfectly reasonable, if one omits the power of the Word, which was not an assumption in their argumentation. Nevertheless, Jesus remains friendly and simply begins the miracle.

They were in a grassy place, which means they had plenty of water from natural sources. This was an oasis, but one without food. Nothing is crueler to the stomach than drinking water with no food. It only makes the lack of food seem worse, as we discovered in school, waiting for lunch and having nothing but water fountains to fill our stomachs.

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.

The miracle begins with the giving of thanks, which reminds us of the Lord's Supper and connects both miracles. The first is a miracle for sustaining the body. The second is a miracle for strengthening our faith and the soul. Denying one denies the other, because if we cannot grasp the Word providing the Body and Blood of Christ for millions over the centuries, then we cannot comprehend Jesus feeding the multitude in the desert.

And thus it is, that man's reason quickly reduces the revelation of the Scriptures to nothing, as many eras have proven to be true. And if they is true, then man does not benefit from God's blessings but simply gets by on his own with positive thinking, management by objectives, and ginning up his self-esteem.

The efficacy of the Word is so important that it connects everything we know about the Christian Faith and God's revelation in the Scriptures. Children know this simple truth, that God's Word can do anything. Adults lose that child-like faith and harden themselves against it.

The tradition of the readings at the Easter Vigil service remind the congregation and ministers of all that God has done through the Word. His divine Word has not lost its power.

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. 

Everyone ate as much as he wished, and they were famished. Nevertheless, they gathered far more fragments than the original amount of loaves and fish. First of all, this demonstrates the miraculous abundance God provides by His Word, as Jesus suggested would happen. This way, the disciples and the crowd experienced it.

The gathering of the fragments shows that "nothing is wasted" in God's world. I try to show people that in this area. They rake up their leaves and put them neatly into bags. I grab them and spread them over my gardens. They like their pine needles but have too many, so I take wheelbarrows of them and make a soft blanket for various areas where I don't mind a more acidic soil or the scent of pine. This blanket of organic matter shields the soil from evaporation of the rain, from wind and water erosion. Then it slowly decays into the soil to be used by fungus, bacteria, earthworms, and ultimately tree and plant roots. Nothing is wasted. 

The miracle shows that no matter how much they used up, God provided even more, even though the disciples began by doubting how they could feed the multitude, even by buying food.

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.

The ending shows - and so does the rest of the chapter - that some believed and others were offended and dropped away. Jesus perfectly fulfilled certain expectations that were about before His public ministry, so they thought - "This is our anointed King. He will restore Israel." They thought they were believers, but their understanding was darkened and they did not understand Jesus' sermon on the Bread if Life.

He was re-enacting the miracle of manna during the Exodus, as clearly as possible, but they wanted man's dreams fulfilled, not God's Word revealed. This still shows His kindliness because the food was given to all, not just to those who believed in sincerity and truth.

 By Norma Boeckler


Significance for Us Today
This miracle should support our faith in the Real Presence. Many Protestants say they believe in the feeding of the multitudes by the Word, but they have trouble with This Is My Body, which is consecration by the Word. In fact, some "conservative" Lutherans still persist in saying the elements become the Body  and Blood of Christ when received, as if the consecrating Word has no effect.

Holy Communion is a great miracle, a sacrament to be valued and honored by all believers. 

Secondly, this miracle reminds us of how God provides even when nothing seems possible. For one thing, those who trust in Him and pray  for solutions to difficult problems will be guided by His Spirit in the Word to solve those difficulties or at least to take those difficulties from their hearts.

God sometimes answers in ways contrary to our wishes, but His gracious will is revealed in how He works in the end rather than at the moment. Paul Gerhardt's most difficult years were his last years, which no one would wish upon a great, sincere Christian leader and writer. But when people mention comforting hymns, his hymns come up first, and he wrote the best ones in his last years. Moreover, he is so known as Germany's poet that he continues to teach the Gospel to people even from their national or ethnic interest.

Christians do well because they do not have to have everything, that is, eat the entire feast for the 5,000 by themselves, as some would like to do. Nothing shows lack of faith more than wanting to pile up more and rob more people of the spoils to make a life seem worthwhile. 

That thankfulness and inherent frugality makes all the difference in what can be enjoyed. It increases the value of everything and makes those material things last longer and better. I told one man, who is addicted, "You must have a lot of money." He said, "No I don't." I said, "I can't afford to drink and smoke all the time. You have money for both but say you want to feed your children." Those addictions have eaten up thousands of dollars due to lost wages, fines, accidents, and injuries. It is not wonder the great and wise value addictions because they take everything from them and then give back 2% as charitable giving.


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Princeton Theological Seminary reverses decision to honor Redeemer’s Tim Keller | Religion News Service


Princeton Theological Seminary reverses decision to honor Redeemer’s Tim Keller | Religion News Service:



"Barnes said the seminary would not award the Kuyper Prize to anyone this year.

But he said that after he and Keller talked, and after discussions also with the chairs of the Kuyper Committee and the Board of Trustees, Keller had agreed to deliver the annual Kuyper Lecture on April 6 as planned.

“We are a community that does not silence voices in the church,” Barnes wrote. “In this spirit we are a school that can welcome a church leader to address one of its centers about his subject, even if we strongly disagree with his theology on ordination to ministry. Reverend Keller will be lecturing on Lesslie Newbigin and the mission of the church – not on ordination.”

Newbigin was a British theologian renowned for his writings on mission, and Keller is known for his success at “church planting.”

Barnes acknowledged that the entire episode had been “a hard conversation” but one “that a theologically diverse community can handle.”

In its announcement earlier this month that Keller had been chosen to receive the Kuyper Prize, the seminary’s Kuyper Center for Public Theology had praised Keller as “an innovative theologian and church leader, well-published author, and catalyst for urban mission in major cities around the world.”"



'via Blog this'

Luther on the Feeding of the Five Thousand, John 6.
Laetare Sunday

The Feeding of the Multitude, by Norma Boeckler



LAETARE. FOURTH SUNDAY IN LENT

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.

One Good Way To Make Christian Schools Look Bad.
Owen Paris III | denelecampbell

 This would make a great movie,
including the hiring of one guys's female friend
as a secretary for Oren Paris III - for $50,000 -
when the faculty were paid peanuts and the students lived
in Third World shacks called "dorms."


Owen Paris III | denelecampbell: "Home » Posts tagged 'Owen Paris III'

Tag Archives: Owen Paris III
Do the Ends Justify the Means?

Posted on March 4, 2017 | 2 Comments


Following 2015 charges against “19 Kids and Counting” star John Duggar for molesting his sisters and the rape of a young girl at the hands of a former employee of Rep. Justin Harris who had adopted the girl then ‘rehomed’ her to the man who would rape her, the latest moral scandal in Arkansas has to do with a scheme of kickbacks in exchange for funneling state tax dollars to a tiny religious college. Earlier this week, former Sen. Jon Woods, Ecclesia College president Oren Paris III, and a business consultant friend of the two, Randell G. Shelton, were named in federal indictments.


Former Rep. Micah Neal
Previously indicted on several counts in the same scheme, former Rep. Micah Neal entered a plea of guilty to taking kickbacks. Other indictments may follow for additional persons, one of whom is referred to as “Businessman A” and for Ecclesia College, assumed to be “Entity A.”

The federal investigation has been ongoing for a couple of years and covers a period from 2013 to 2015. Until news of the investigation leaked out in the summer of 2016, Neal had been running for county judge. He dropped out of the race, citing residency concerns as his reason. News of his indictment came later.


Former Senator Jon Woods
Woods announced in November 2015 he wouldn’t run for re-election, possibly due to knowledge of the investigation.

Here’s the set up. An Arkansas law allows leftover money from the General Improvement Fund to be allocated for pet projects in legislators’ home districts. If approved, grant requests disperse the money through economic development districts toward worthy nonprofits. It’s a system ripe for abuse.

Currently in session, the legislature is expected to take away this honey hole at the urging of our rather embarrassed governor, Asa Hutchinson, a former Congressman, head of the Drug Enforcement Agency, and more recently, head of Homeland Security.

But the cash cow is already out of the barn, at least for this highly religious group. A total of thirteen indictments against former Senator Woods alleges he committed fraud and took a bribe of $40,000 plus “an undetermined amount of cash” in exchange for helping funnel more than $350,000 to Ecclesia College, purportedly for land on which to build student housing.

But there was no need for student housing. The grant request claimed that the college needed housing due to “rapid growth.” The college with an enrollment of less than 200 mostly off-campus students already owned 200 undeveloped acres. Records show that the GIF money paid for about fifty additional acres at an inflated price. To date, no building permits have been sought to build on any of this land, so evidently the ‘urgent’ need for housing wasn’t so urgent after all.

While indictments do not constitute a conviction, chances are good that plea deals will follow. The money was there and they wanted it and they had a handy nonprofit, namely Ecclesia College, by which to obtain it. According to the indictments, as early as January 2013 these three men “devised a scheme and artifice to defraud and deprive the citizens of the honest services of a public official through bribery.”

A March 3 write-up in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reveals a tangle of people eager to get their sweaty hands on state tax dollars. Never mind that Woods and Neal, as elected officials, both swore to uphold the state’s constitution. Never mind that Paris served as president of a college presenting itself as a Christian institution. The elaborate diversions through which the money flowed portrays clear evidence these men knew they were doing something wrong.[1]"



'via Blog this'

My Birdfeeders Are Larger Than Yours

Goldfinches line up on a sunny day for their sunflower seeds.

Yesterday the rain slowly built up, from barely coming down to a steady downpour. From that point it continued on to a lengthy cloudburst that turned the backyard into a shallow lake. About four inches fell in one day.

Bird feeding continued all day, with more eating as the rain intensified. That tells me they were pessimistic about warm sunny weather arriving soon.

 Bluebirds are even more popular than goldfinches.
They love suet and worms.

Robins and doves were on the ground looking for food, which reminded me of the massive size of our bird-feeders. The entire front yard is mulched with cardboard and shredded wood, with a frosting of maple leaves (almost gone now). The backyard has about 60 bags of leaves, cardboard, some shredded wood, and pine needles. Tree stumps garnish the front and back areas, watchtowers for birds, shade for toads.

This mammoth deposit of organic matter is also home to a billion insects, from the seldom seen springtails to the obnoxious fat Japanese beetles. They also play a crucial role in the Creation Garden, because they attract and feed the birds while waging constant war on each other. Spiders are omnipresent, weaving their nets wherever convenient or - like the Walendas - working without a net. The hunting spiders are just as important and both classes are removed by the used of insecticides.

Nothing is more ironic than paying for insecticides when beneficial insects, spiders, and birds do this work for free and keep pests under control.

 Blue jays actively farm the forest,
planting acorn trees for their descendants.


Insects and spiders also contribute to decomposition. Springtails are insects and mites are spiders. The 60 bags of leaves each year are reduced by earthworms and mites working together. The earthworms pull down the leaves and the bacteria in their guts digest the leaves. The final result of earthworm labors is the casting that combines very fine soil with an increase in sweetness and nutrition for the plants. The so-called sweetness is base, or the opposite of acid soil.  Sometimes a bit acidic is good, but in general plants like a sweeter soil that releases more chemicals for them.

Naturally this rain feeds and fertilizes every aspect of the food chain, from the fungal growth to the damp rot of wood to the bloom of roses.

The younger gardening experts discovered organic or Creation Gardening late in their careers. Probably Sharon Lovejoy is the exception. My mother pooh-poohed insecticides in favor of letting the beneficial insects do their work. My 40 days in the wilderness of chemical temptation were more like 40 seconds, when I saw how much each container cost.

I can see the chemical gardeners saying, just like the Church Growthers - "You're just lazy." Trusting the Creation in the garden is just the same as trusting the Word in ecclesiastical matters. In this case there is a coin with two sides. One is the effectiveness of God's Creation, engineering, and management. The other is God's efficacious Word in the Means of Grace.

I have grown old hearing people say, "You have to have this program. Buy this program. It will work wonders." And so many programs have been pushed down upon and sold to unsuspecting congregations. "Everyone is doing this, and it really works. We even have pre-printed sermons to go with it." One was a national promotion with a Superbowl generic ad and a call-in center. The results were - 30 people phoning in to say how much they liked it - all members of the denomination.

 Mourning doves have a sad call but a peaceful demeanor.
They love seeds.


Lenski said, "Programs come and go. Only the Word builds up the congregation." Luther was even more specific. He advocated the sermon as almost the entire work of the congregation. The Lutheran Reformation was nothing more than the effect of the sermon, Luther expounding the meaning of the Gospel from the text. Whenever an issue came up, he examined the Scriptural support for or against certain issues. People grew in their knowledge and application of the Word.

 Grackles are smart-alecks, like the entire crow family.
Like crows and starlings, they devour insect pests and grubs.

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Disgrace Returns - Luther Needed To Revive the Sermon



I. The Church Postil, which Luther himself considered “The best of all his books,” was called forth by the exigency and need of the Church at the time. The majority of the preachers in those days were incapable of working out their own sermons, and were satisfied in reading the Epistle and Gospel lessons, and perhaps besides they read a sermon of another preacher to the congregation. The sermons for this purpose were those by Tauler (d. 1361) and those by Geiler of Kaisersberg (d. 1510). 

But since the latter were not in all parts evangelical Luther concluded he would himself write an explanation of the pericopes of the Church year and place the same in the hands of the preachers for their use. 

This Luther did not only because the preachers were so incompetent, but also in order to prevent the work of the fanatics and the sects, never however in order to encourage preachers in their laziness to take their sermons from his and other good books, and then never pray, never study and never read and search the Scriptures. [Church Growth Movement - nothing new.]
Volume 1, Luther's Sermons, Lenker edition.


They attack Justification by Faith at every opportunity
and promote the work of Fuller Seminary and similar wolf-lairs.
They already practice women's ordination,
which is just one of their works of the flesh.

The Glory of Knowing the Gospel of John.
The Holy Spirit Teaches through the Word

The Synodical Conference consists of Darth Vaders
teaching their Biblical ignorance  - and their hatred of the Book of Concord -
to the young and innocent,
hoping to produce more Stormtroopers.
 Higher Things is one of the para-church businesses
fostered by the LCMS, like Amway's conferences.

HT is distinctively UOJ,
and Right Rev. Heiser was thanked for speaking there,
long ago.

When I was discussing descriptions of the Gospel of John, a long-time friend, 29A, offered an addition to:

  1. The Gospel of Faith.
  2. The Gospel of Love.
  3. The Fourth Gospel.
  4. The Gospel That Soars above the Rest - the Eagle.
My friend called the Gospel of John - The Doctrinal Gospel.

That is the best title for the Gospel of John. The Apostle John wrote it, and the narratives have the most vivid you-are-there feel to them. Matthew is more formal. Mark and Luke were not apostles. That is not to lessen the importance of Matthew-Mark-Luke. The Fourth Gospel assumes we know the first three already. And yet there are reasons to elevate the Fourth Gospel above the others.
  • The Gospel of John contains sermons we only have from him. 
  • He was "the disciple Jesus loved."
  • He was steadfast at the cross when the others fled.
  • He was the son to Mary after the death and resurrection of Jesus.
  • The teaching of Jesus is clear, pointed, and easily memorized.
  • The doctrinal passages anticipate future errors and refutes them.
Bainton earned a PhD in New Testament at Yale and became their
most famous church historian.

Roland Bainton taught me that the best way to learn a new language was to use the Gospel of John. He used the Greek and matched it with the language he needed to know for his research, such as Old Polish. Bibles in every language are easy to obtain, and Bainton, as a PhD in New Testament studies, knew the Gospel well.

I tutored Little Ichabod in reading all of the Gospel of John - in Latin first - then in Greek. In both languages he could speed translate the Gospel, a chapter at a time, when we finished it. Anyone who reads John in a new language will find the phrases and sentences - many of them poetic, credal, or hymnic - difficult to forget.

Projects Timetable - Luther, More Luther, and the Dictionary


Luther's Sermons
Luther's Sermons, 8 volumes, are in Word, so the editing has begun. The idea is to make the volumes as neat and readable as possible. Each volume will start with a Best of Luther section for that volume, with quotations from the sermons and their location.

I am eliminating the superfluous outlining at the beginning of each sermon in the Lenker edition and streamlining the table of contents, which should link easily when people buy the Kindle version.

These books will be in black and white to keep the cost down. Those who order directly from me will get the author's cost plus shipping, a very large discount from Amazon's retail price.



Large and Small Catechisms
The Small Catechism does not need anything from me, beyond the text itself.

The Large Catechism is neglected, even though the "conservative" Lutherans all pledge a meaningless "quia subscription" to the Book of Concord. Pledges are meaningless about what is not taught in seminary or not known at all.

The editorial work for the Large Catechism will consist of introductory explanations for each section.

Jack Kilcrease, Roman Catholic lecturerr
and ELCA online professor of nonsense at ILT,
asked for a  graphic and inspired this one.
Born WELS and attending an ELCA college and seminary,
he is an inspiration to Jay Webber,
who is patiently leading the ELS into the bosom of ELCA,
from whence he came.


The New Lutheran Dictionary
I worked out a template so I could enter some quotations and terms in it as I work on other projects. Ambrose Bierce left an indelible impression on me, so this will be fun.