How We Got the New Testament

This is part two on the lesson in adult catechesis on how we got the Bible.  Click here if you want to go to the Old-Testament Lesson.   The Early Church We looked at how we got the Old Testament.  The Church met in council to state which books were Scripture because three traditions had […]

How We Got the Old Testament

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This lesson is part of adult catechesis after studying the Small Catechism.  It in, we look at how we received what we call the Old Testament.  Warning: This may be upsetting, for Church history does not affirm the content of the Old Testament that most read today. —————- As a frame of reference, we start […]

Our Life with God, Lesson 11: Christian Prayer, Pt. 4: Prayers for the Sainted Dead

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After taking a look a one-lesson excursion on what it means to praise God, we again approach the topic of prayer.  Today, we examine the topic of praying for those who have died in the faith, whose souls are now in heaven.  Before we get to the “why,” we see if such praying is in […]

A Primer on the Use of Incense in the Divine Service

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By Pr. Rich Futrell Introduction The Lutheran Church deliberately chooses to worship in a historical, liturgical way. Part of this practice is simply claiming our mantle of being part of the historic, catholic Church.[1] But it is more than that. Our Augsburg Confession, Article 14, “Concerning the Mass,” states: “For ceremonies are especially needed in […]

2 Corinthians, Lesson 3: An Excursus on Confirmation

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This is an excursus that we took on the origins of Confirmation while studying 2 Corinthians. In the last lesson, Paul and Timothy referred to themselves by saying, “God has establishes us with you into Christ and has anointed us” (1 Corinthians 1:21). Their use of “you” shows that the Corinthian congregation was included in […]

“It’s a Relationship, not a Religion”

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We’ve all heard others say, “Christianity is a relationship, not a religion.” At best, that statement is incomplete; at worst, it’s deceptive. But why isn’t Christianity defined as someone’s relationship with Christ? First, we have a clear passage in Scripture that tells us that Christianity is a religion! James 1:26-27: “If anyone thinks he is […]

Understanding Five Bible Verses in a Better Way

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This is our pastor’s newsletter article for May, 2015.   We each have our favorite Bible verses, which we quote, which may even help us get through dark times. But, sometimes, the way we use a verse can cause us see God or events in ways that the original writer of that verse never meant. […]

Infant Communion and the CTCR’s Response

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This is a theological paper that our pastor originally presented at his circuit winkel in November 2011.  It looks at infant communion from the Scriptures and also from within the history of the Church.  To open or save the PDF document, click on the link below. Infant and Early Communion (with Appendix) On September 13, 2014, the Lutheran […]

Prayers for the Dead: A Scriptural and Lutheran Worldview

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Introduction The Scriptures teach us that a when a person dies, he immediately begins to experience eternity in one of two states: heaven or hell. The Christian experiences eternity as one filled with joy (heaven), although his body and soul are separated until his soul is reunited with a sinless, perfect, incorruptible body on the […]

Understanding New-Covenant Worship as the Fulfillment of the Old

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Worship before God gave Moses instructions on worship  From the dawn of time, proper worship of God involved resting from work on the Sabbath day to hear God’s Word (Genesis 2:3).  At first, that Word was proclaimed by word of mouth with no written Scriptures: Adam to Seth, Seth to Enosh, Enosh to Kenan, and […]