Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
A bit of history…
Monday, November 28, 2011
With the beginning of Volume 6,
In response to an expressed need,
The content of http://LHPQBR.blogspot.com
Readers that wish to receive only our forwards
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A Blessed New Church Year to all!
Saturday, November 26, 2011
The resurrection changed everything. "But for the resurrection," writes Mark J. Edwards, "there would have been no reason to argue for a union of two natures in the person of Christ, let alone for a dyad or triad in the Godhead. All that he had said and done in the course of his earthly ministry would have sat well enough with the character of a prophet who excelled such predecessors as Isaiah and John the Baptist only in power and closeness to God."
Where Volume 2 focuses on the person of Christ, Volume 3 focuses on His work for us and our salvation in his crucifixion and Resurrection.
Christian catechesis abounds in resources to teach the Apostles' Creed. Let us hear from ancient pastors how Scripture presents the truths we confess in the Nicene Creed.
When was the church founded? Jesus spoke of the kingdom of God and not of a religious organization subsequently called church. We don't find in the Gospels expressions which make reference to the foundation of a new religious community, a new and distinct community of followers of Jesus. But after the resurrection of Jesus, his followers, as a result of his express command, gather together not only those from the people of Israel but men and women of all nations.
Readers should note:
Gilmore, Rachel. 'Tis the Season: Church Celebrations for Advent and Christmas. Valley Forge: Judson Press, 2011. 110 Pages. Paper. $14.99. www.judsonpress.com (L)
Rachel Gilmore is back for another resource book for churches. We reviewed here previous release favorably (http://lhpqbr.blogspot.com/2009/12/noted-review.html).
'Tis includes church celebrations intended as worship services (Part 1), multigenerational celebrations (Part 2), and celebrations that could be adapted for different circumstances (Part 3). Reproducible Resources and Handouts are provided in the Appendix and online (http://www.judsonpress.com/free_download_book_excerpts.cfm).
I would not personally be comfortable using the "services" as outlined in the resource guide. Nor, must I say, would my congregation. Perhaps this is an example of the cultural and practical differences between Lutheran and Baptist Christians. Perhaps it is more than that.
American Baptist Churches USA do ordain women (xii). The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod refuses to do so on the basis of the New Testament. This author appears to have a high regard for Scripture. Thanks be to God! However, the Gospel does not predominate in the content of the services (12, 20). The Gospel is shared, and often is the last word, but it does not have place as the primary message. In a service of hope, we are directed to our own prayers rather than to Christ as our first stop and resting place. The Interactive Service (13ff) has much in common in structure with an Anglican service of Lessons and Carols, but the inclusion of "We Three Kings," while popular and well-known, shows a toleration for things added to Scripture. (The Wise men were not kings, were not from the orient, and were not necessarily three in number.) Call me picky if you will, but if I'm worshiping in Spirit and in truth, there is no room for error.
Parts 2 and 3 may be more useful for liturgical Lutheran congregations that want some creative options for members of the congregation to be occupied in between an Advent supper and Vespers or Evening Prayer. Various options in the text present "stations" for groups to visit, not unlike a VBS experience with multi-age groups. This time, include parents and grandparents!
I commend the author's inclusion of Townend's "How Deep the Father's Love for Us" (24), Chapter 10's carol history (43), and the honest fact-checking behind rumors about "The Twelve Days of Christmas" (79). The volume may be worth the purchase simply because of the Biblical symbolism handout for "The Twelve Days of Christmas" (108).
Rachel Gilmore is a creative writer who wants depth of experience for Christians at Christmas and as Christians prepare for Christmas during the season of Advent. She is to be commended for this sourcebook. If she is currently considering one for Lent and Easter, I would recommend more research into historic Christian practices and adapting them for modern use in Baptist and other Christian congregations.
Not every resource in the book has to be used. Pick one to start. Not every resource in the book has to be used as-is. Modify with the author's blessing to fit your Christian community of faith. Grow in faith and knowledge of Christ this Christmas season!
The Rev. Paul J Cain is Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming, Headmaster of Martin Luther Grammar School, a member of the Board of Directors of The Consortium for Classical and Lutheran Education, Wyoming District Worship Chairman, and Editor of QBR.
In Ten Things They Never Told Me about Jesus, John Bell explores facets of the personal life, relationships, and ministry of Jesus, which are seldom the stuff of preaching or conversation, but which are all rooted in the Gospels and are necessary if we are to be freed from the passive stereotypes that still dominate thinking about Christ.
Much of the book is rooted in encounters with people on the periphery of religious life and in situations where politeness was not a prerequisite for discussing faith. (Publisher's website)
Liam Lawton is widely known for his spiritual and inspirational music, which has touched the lives of many thousands of people across the world. In The Hope Prayer, he has created a beautiful book of over forty new prayers-each one expressed in his distinctive and illuminating voice. Including selected song lyrics, this book will take the reader on a comforting journey of the soul, across all kinds of terrain.
Here are prayers of friendship, love, death, healing, illness, calm, inspiration, marriage, Christmas, providence, remembering, working, celebrating life-all brought together through the theme of hope.
The Hope Prayer is a book to be treasured, offering strength, sustenance and wisdom for today's challenging world. (Publisher's website)
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011