Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Our friend, Rachel-the-Most-Excellent-Photographer, came over to take some pictures of our family when Paul and Mandy were here to visit last month.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Why You Can Be Wrong Even When You're Right

or "Why It Matters That Justification Is the Chief Article"

It is unfortunate that men who have offered strong confessional Lutheran service in the Gospel have then doctrinally gone astray. How does this happen? When the chief article of justification [and I would say applying it, not just knowing it] begins to wane in one's thinking as the chief article, when it becomes just one among all the other articles of faith, the devil can use whatever articles make up one's doctrinal passion (which are good in their own right) to replace it.  Just because you're against the false teachers about whatever articles of faith are near and dear to you, that's no guarantee that the devil must throw up his hands and raise the white flag in seeking to separate you from a right faith and ministry in the righteousness of Christ.  He's demonstrated ample ability to use your passions, your commitments against the false teachers, and your zeal, to dethrone the significance of the forgiveness of sins in an all-sufficient cross of Christ.

Once dethroning the sufficiency of the righteousness of Christ as the chief article [so it's not gotten rid of, it's just no longer the center], he then works to drive a wedge between those articles of faith and issues of praxis that stir your passions, and the pure milk of the Gospel. When other heterodox traditions hold your views on your passionate articles of faith, the devil will be at work to have you view their doctrinal errors as not so bad . . . even when they involve a false understanding of justification, the central article of the Gospel.

"Going East?"
as referenced at the Redeemer conference 20 January 2014

Click on Dr Hein's name to find the whole piece.  The context is how, in the "Battle for the Bible" in the 70s, many Lutherans became so passionate for inerrancy that they siderailed justification.  They didn't get rid of the forgiveness of sins for the comfort of terrified consciences.  But it wasn't the main thing. Thing is, inerrancy is important; it mattered; it was indeed something to fight for.  But the church's focus was sometimes askew.  Sadly enough, we can still make the same mistake.  Today our passion may be missions.  Or respect for the office of the ministry.  Or liturgy.  Now, those are very important things; they are indeed things to fight for.  But even they can [gasp] become idols. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Gary's Award

for QUALITY work