Saturday, February 21, 2009

Here's a Rosenkoetter family send off if I ever saw one! The kids suggested chocolate chip pancakes to Heather, and they were busy making them when I woke up this morning. (Note the shape of the pancake on the right. Heather is so creative!)

Into Africa

So what does it take to go to Africa? Let's see...

In reality, that big black bag is almost all for the local LCMS missionary (Rev. Glenn Fluegge)'s family. My traveling companions split up the stuff to carry over!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What is meant by two kinds of human righteousness? Theologically, to be righteous is to be human as God envisioned in creation, and again in redemption. One might modify the Athanasian dictum to say, ‘‘God became fully human that we might become fully human.’’ The distinction between two kinds of righteousness rests upon the observation that there are two dimensions to being a human creature. One dimension involves our life with God, especially in the matters of death and salvation. The other dimension involves our life with God’s creatures and our activity in this world. In the former we receive righteousness before God through faith on account of Christ. In the latter, we achieve righteousness in the eyes of the world by works when we carry out our God-given responsibilities.
-- Arand, Charles P., "Two Kinds of Righteousness as a Framework for Law and Gospel in the Apology," Lutheran Quarterly 3 (Autumn 2000): 281-308.

Monday, February 16, 2009

God's Mission is My Mission

Our personal involvement in God's mission takes place wherever we are - wherever God has placed us. Each of us, in our "station" or "calling" in life, is called to serve God and bear witness to his grace - whether as child, parent, husband, wife, citizen, employee, employer, government official, soldier, police officer, teacher, construction worker. As we serve faithfully "as to the Lord" (Ephesians 6:7), opportunities will arise to testify by word and deed to the hope that is within us as a result of our faith in Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:15). On our shrinking planet, God provides numerous opportunities for witness and service where we live and far beyond."
-- A Theological Statement on Mission, Saint Louis, MO: LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations, 1991.

God's Mission is for Everyone

As it strives to bring Christ's love and forgiveness to everyone, the church is reminded constantly of its own need for that same love and forgiveness. God's mission is to and for everyone - including those who claim it as their own. Because they "daily sin much and surely deserve nothing but punishment" (Small Catechism, The Lord's Prayer), God's people, daily living in their Baptism, need to look to Christ's cross for forgiveness to be renewed and invigorated for their God-given task.

-- A Theological Statement on Mission, Saint Louis, MO: LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations, 1991.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Truly Ablaze - Who is an Evangelist? You Are!

"Taken to the extreme, a successful Ablaze! Movement implies that LC-MS World Mission would no longer be needed. What would replace LC-MS World Mission would be a sustainable movement of Christian people from the pews in which they sit, with the single objective of joining the thousands of Christians before them in telling all the unbelievers the words of Christ."
-- David J. Vaughn, "A Policy Analysis of the Ablaze! Movement", Missio Apostolica. Vol XVI, No. 2 (Issue 32), November 2009. The Lutheran Society for Missiology, Inc.: 2008.

NOTE: For anyone desiring more information on the Lutheran Society for Missiology, click here.

Monday, February 9, 2009

"The interpreter does not interpret the Scriptures, but the Scriptures interpret the interpreter."
-- Oswald Bayer, Autoritat und Kritik: zur Kermeneutik und Wissenschaftstheorie. Tubingen: J. C. B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck), 1991.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

On "Meat Sacrificed to Idols" II

"Thus we think about the mass. But in all these matters we will want to beware lest we make binding what should be free, or make sinners of those who may do some things differently or omit others. All that matters is that the Words of Institution should be kept intact and that everything should be done by faith. For these rites are supposed to be for Christians, i.e., children of the "free woman" [Gal. 4:31], who observe them voluntarily and from the heart, but are free to change them how and when ever they may wish. Therefore, it is not in these matters that anyone should either seek to establish as law some indispensable form by which he might ensnare or harass consciences. Nor do we find any evidence for such an established rite, either in teh early fathers or in the primitive church, but only in the Roman church. But even if they had decreed anything in this matter as a law, we would not have to observe it, because these things neither can nor should be bound by laws. Further, even if different people make use of different rites, let no one judge or despise the other, but every man be fully persuaded in his own mind [Rom. 14:5]. Let us feel and think the same, even though we may act differently. And let us approve each other's rites lest schisms and sects should result from this diversity in rites - as has happened in the Roman church. For external rites, even though we cannot do without them - just as we cannot do without food or drink - do not commend us to God, even as food does not commend us to him [1 Cor. 8:8]."

-- An excerpt of Martin Luther's "An Order of Mass and Communion for the Church at Wittenberg" taken from Luther's Works: American Edition, vol. 53, Concordia Publishing House, 31.

On "Meat Sacrificed to Idols"

"Therefore, I have used neither authority nor pressure. Nor did I make any innovations. For I have been hesitant and fearful, partly because of the weak in faith, who cannot suddenly exchange an old and accustomed order of worship for a new and unusual one, and more so because of the fickle and fastidious spirits who rush in like unclean swine without faith or reason, and who delight only in novelty and tire of it as quickly, when it has worn off. Such people are a nuisance even in other affairs, but in spiritual matters, they are absolutely unbearable. Nonetheless, at the risk of bursting with anger, I must bear with them, unless I want to let the gospel itself be denied to the people."
-- An excerpt of Martin Luther's "An Order of Mass and Communion for the Church at Wittenberg" taken from Luther's Works: American Edition, vol. 53, Concordia Publishing House, 19.

Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol's temple, won't he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall. -- excerpt from 1 Corinthians 8:1-13