Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Five Resources for Lutheran Educators to Own and Read

1. William Fischer’s Teaching Law and Gospel
“It is true that threats and the demands of the law may get results, even outward obedience. But it does not prompt the good works that are pleasing in the sight of God. Only the gospel of Jesus Christ fills the sinner’s heart with such gratitude that he desires to obey God’s commandments. “I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding. –Psalm 119:32

2. A Subscription to Good News magazine
“When the devil continues to afflict you, trying to convince you that your past sins have not all been forgiven, do not become discouraged and full of despair. Consider the possibility that you are looking inward, focusing on your problems, your failures, and little or not at all on how God seeks to help you, as He says, ‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the Lord, ‘though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool’” – Isaiah 1:18 as found in Issue 30: Encouragement

3. Rev. Daniel Preus’ Why I am a Lutheran: Jesus at the center
“We do not need to live in uncertainty regarding what is true about God and our faith in Him. God does not give us truth simply so we can be correct in what we believe. God does not give us truth so we can know that we are right and those who disagree are wrong. God does not give us truth so we can ‘win the argument.’ Jesus, the Son of God, did not take on human flesh, did not become one of us, simply so we can know what is true. John tells us in his Gospel that when Jesus came into the world, He was full of truth and grace (John 1:14). Jesus brings truth for the sake of grace, that is, for the sake of God’s undeserved kindness.”

4. Dr. Gene Veith’s The Spirituality of the Cross
“If faith is not a decision nor an experience nor some inner work, and if salvation is totally the work of God, it would seem that faith too must be the work of God.
So how do we attain a saving, life-changing faith?
The answer, in Lutheran Spirituality, has to do with the so-called means of grace. We are connected to Christ and the Holy Spirit works both faith and good works in our lives by means of the Word and the Sacraments.”

5. C.F.W. Walther’s Law and Gospel
Eleventh Evening Lecture: (December 5, 1884.)
“Many solemn warnings against false teachers are found in Holy Scripture. One of the most solemn of them, if not the most solemn, is that found in Jer. 23, 22, where the Lord says regarding false teachers: “If they had stood in My counsel and had caused My people to hear My words, then they should have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings.” This shows that by teaching false doctrine a preacher may keep the souls entrusted to his care from being converted and — a result awful to contemplate! —will cause them to be eternally lost. True, the people who permit themselves to be led astray by false teachings are lost by their own fault; for in innumerable passages of His Word, God has with great earnestness warned men against false teachers and prophets and has minutely described them. Any one, then, who despises these warnings will in the end have to blame himself amidst the wails of the hereafter. Still, this does not exculpate the false prophets and teachers who proclaim false teachings. On the contrary, their guilt is increased because they did not only choose the false way for themselves, but also pointed that way to the souls entrusted to them… How will they quake with terror when the souls without number whom they have led astray and whose hearts they have poisoned will stand in the presence of God! On that day every false teacher will wish that he had never been born and will curse the day when he was inducted into the sacred office of the ministry. On that day we shall see that false teaching is not the trifling and harmless matter that people in our day think it is.”

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