Critical reviews (by Lutheran pastors and church musicians) of books and other resources for Christian worship, preaching, and church music from a perspective rooted in Holy Scripture, the Lutheran Confessions and good common sense. LHP Quarterly Book Review asks, "Is it worth the money to buy, the time to read, the shelf space to store, and the effort to teach?"
In addition to my own paper, in which I attempted to address my assigned topic, namely, to represent and defend a "High Church" attitude and approach to the Liturgy and worship, I would call special attention to the papers by Pr. Rick Sawyer and Pr. Bryan Wolfmueller, and to the sermon by Pr. Scott Porath. I don't highlight these several contributions to make light of the others, but simply to say that I found these to be especially helpful. I appreciated the contributions made by my colleagues, Pr. Philip Hale and Pr. David Langewisch, and I thank them for the opportunity to engage in dialogue, discussion, and debate. I thought the preaching throughout the week was quite good, and I would have liked to see the sermon that was preached on St. John 4 made available on the website; perhaps it will yet be put up there. But, all in all, quite good.
Kudos to the ACELC for organizing and sponsoring a great conference, and to the pastor and people of Trinity, Austin, for their gracious hospitality and their excellent hosting of the conference. Well done, one and all! I was impressed with the tenor of the gathering, and with the way that everything aimed at promoting and facilitating theological conversation. It was an encouragement to the rigorous engagement of the Scriptures and the Confessions, in a way that is often hailed but seldom found.
Of course, it added tremendously to my enjoyment of the conference, that my daughter and son-in-law, and three of my grandchildren, were in attendance. Can't beat that with a stick! But, in addition to the conference itself and my soak-it-up-while-you-can family time, I especially treasure the opportunity provided to share the mutual conversation and consolation of the brethren. I was reminded, again, as I have been in the past, of what a blessing and a benefit that is, and I am truly grateful to have received that good gift of God this past week.