Friday, January 27, 2012

Six Days... He meant what He said and He said what He meant.

"For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day."
 --Exodus 20:11a (NASB)

To all of those biblical relativists out there who claim that "everyone's entitled to their own interpretation of the Bible," show me a verse that says that. I say no. The Bible has one true interpretation, and if you read the Word of God with a less-than-biblical worldview, your interpretation of it will be wrong. Now, I don't claim to be an expert on anything, and I certainly don't claim to know the correct interpretation of the entire Bible, but one thing I do know. God created the universe in six days. Most Christians say, "Day doesn't mean day in Genesis; it could mean anything!" I say no. There was evening and there was morning. That only happens once a day. The Hebrew word Yom means an ordinary day. And God even gave us a sun and a moon to make it even more clear. You see, if one starts out with the non-biblical worldview that the universe is millions or billions of years old, then God couldn't have created everything in six days, for then there would have been millions or billions of years of death and suffering before the first sin (unless you believe Adam and Eve lived for millions or billions of years, in which case I recommend reading Genesis 5:5). And if death and suffering aren't the result of sin, then what's so bad about sin? So instead of altering man's fallible "scientific" theories, some choose to alter the Bible. We can't ultimately know what happened in history unless we were there, or unless we know someone who was there who told us about it. Oh, by the way, I have a Book. And according to that Book, God (the One I know who was there) created the universe 6,000-10,000 years ago in six days. That's God's story and I'm stickin' to it.

-- Jonathan

Monday, January 23, 2012

Bekah, Your Rib

     There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a maiden.” - Proverbs 30:18-19

     I received an invitation from the Brothers of Concordia to write an entry for this blog. After some reading, research, and conversation with the Brothers, I figured out exactly what I was supposed to write about for Collegiate Confession: Katie. Well, if you really want to know the specifics, Katharina von Bora Luther. So, here goes…
     Katharina von Bora Luther, aka Katie, was a wonderful woman of God who lived during the time of the Reformation. In fact, she married one of the leaders of the Reformation: Martin Luther. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Katie lived the life, so to speak… well, or at least lived the life of a nun in a convent. She heard of the great Luther and his teachings, and came to believe them as the truth. Therefore, she and some of her fellow nuns concocted, dare I say it, a “nun” too simple plan to escape the convent and become free women of God. They contacted Luther for help, and escaped the convent. Luther then found homes and husbands for many of the nuns… all except Katie.
     Katie and Luther’s love story is a fairly unique and special one. (To get the full, beautiful picture of this, I would highly recommend the book Kitty, My Rib by E. Jane Mall.) After several misunderstandings and assumptions were resolved, Katie and Luther wed. Their love for their heavenly Father and His Word helped them grow together and eventually fall in love. God blessed them with six children, and the Luther’s lived a life of service to God and His people. As I learned more about Katie, her servant’s heart became one of my favorite things about her, which leads me to the next part of this blog.
     Go back a couple blog entries and you see an article written by Matthias about finding a Katie. I would love to provide some insight into the Katie sort of world, since I’m on the other side of that story (a single confessional Lutheran, aka “Katie”, waiting for my “Martin”).
     So, what does it really take to be a Katie?
     First off, a Katie kind-heartedly serves others at any given time or opportunity. For some of you readers, the thought of a 1950’s kind of home maker probably runs through your mind: A woman cooking and cleaning, staying home with the young ones, and catering to her hubby’s needs. (See for more on how to be a “good wife”.) But in all seriousness, a Katie cares deeply for the people in her life, and does what she can to be a friend and companion to all.

     “She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks... She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.” - Proverbs 31:17, 20

     A Katie, from our (Brothers of Concordia and friends… long story) point of view, holds confessional Lutheran beliefs. She knows who C.F.W. Walther is and what he did; she probably owns a copy of the Book of Concord, or at least knows what it is; she’s met Matthew C. Harrison or is connected with him in some way. (Not to brag, but I’ve shook President Reverend Doctor Matthew C. Harrison’s hand three, count ‘em, three times! Plus, I’m facebook friends with him!) She listens to, as well as participates in, theological discussions about various topics and doctrines.

     “She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” – Proverbs 31:26

     Katie’s attitude and personality shine with joy, strength, and hope. A sense of humor, an optimistic future, and a happy countenance demonstrate this. A Katie can often be found laughing and smiling, even about the little things in life. So, smile on, women of God!

     “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come” - Proverbs 31:25

     Most importantly, a Katie loves God with all of her being, pure and simple. Her heart longs for God and His presence in her life. She spends time in Scripture, searching for God and the wisdom that He so freely gives to us. A Katie might be found sharing Bible passages, attending a prayer service, or singing the hymns of the church. God remains center of importance in her life.

     “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” – Proverbs 31:30

     Mind you, all these qualities are not always found in one girl. Some are suggestions, others examples, but all are things that we, as women of God and 21st century Katie’s, strive to be.
     Well, now you know a little bit about what we’re all talking about when we mention “finding a Katie” or “being a Katie”. You’ve heard a little bit of history about the Katie. And perhaps, you better understand what turns the wheels in these confessional Lutheran minds of ours.

-- Bekah (Guest Writer)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Respect the Name

"You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain."
--Exodus 20:7 (NASB)

One commandment that society, and even sometimes the church today, takes all too lightly is the Second. I'm guilty of taking this one lightly too, and there's no excuse for it. We wouldn't sit idly by as our friends or family became involved in robbery or murder. So when we hear people say, "Oh my [insert the name of the one who gave us life and salvation here]," why do we do nothing? We have allowed God's name to be cheapened among men. Most people say they don't even realize they say the LORD's name in this way.... I guess that's why it's in vain. Now, to my shame, I too have misused God's holy and precious name. I have no excuse. I have also sat on my taxi and ignored when people I love commit the same blasphemy. It's pitiful. The Psalmist says, "For they speak against You wickedly, And Your enemies take Your name in vain."(Psalm 139:20). By speaking the LORD's name as we would speak a four-letter curse word makes us like one of God's enemies. Why on earth would we, as Christians, tolerate this? I encourage all of you reading this blog (as well as the one writing it) to do as Matthew says in 18:15-20 and show your neighbor his fault in private, and ask him to do the same for you, but always with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15). And if your neighbor shows you your fault, remember Proverbs 13:18. "He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored."

-- Jonathan

Friday, January 20, 2012

Single and Ready to Mingle

Fellow Christians,

I know that you are probably sitting there reading and wondering the same thing as me. How is it that a six foot three, young ginger Lutheran, with dashing good looks is single on a campus where he is out womaned? Okay, maybe you were not wondering that before, but certainly you are now. Let me tell you, it is not easy dealing with the lonesomeness of being single. God Himself says in Genesis 2:18, 'It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.' I am not saying that God does not bless anyone with the gift of celibacy, He certainly does. But for those who are not blessed with such a gift it can be frustrating to be alone. It is alright though because we may rest assured that God does not want us to remain in that state.

Hymn 770 in the Lutheran Service Book, 'What a Friend We Have in Jesus' is a comforting text for me to look at when I am burdened with any tribulations. The first stanza is as follows:
'What a friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs
to bear! What a privilege to carry Everything to God in
prayer! Oh, what peace we often forfeit; Oh, what need-
less pain we bear- All because we do not carry Everything
to God in prayer!
This hymn is quite frank in saying that we should bring every concern we have to the Lord. The scripture this is based on is Matthew 7:7-8 which begins, 'Ask and it will be given to you.' So I urge all you single readers out there to pray. Pray for your future spouse, even though you may not yet know them, and pray also for your fellow bachelors and bachelorettes that their lonely days may end soon as well. To those of you who do have a significant other make prayers of thanksgiving and also prayers on behalf of your single brothers and sisters. Pray without ceasing!

So here I sit scribbling away or rather typing all by myself on a Friday night, pondering on how much longer I will walk this lonely road. It ain't easy when you have so much going for you. I mean who wouldn't like a cross country running, Lutheran essentials reading, handsome as sin strawberry blonde young chap. I guess this one goes out to you dear Katie*, when will you come be my lady?

-- Matthias

*For those who don't know Katie is a term used affectionately referring to single Lutheran lasses.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fulfilling the Great Commision

Many Christians today find themselves confused on how to live a Christian life. What does it mean to be Christian? What are we supposed to do? You are to do many things once you are born again by the power of the Holy Spirit. One of them is found in Matthew. Matthew 28:16-20 is the great commission. There are a lot of parts to the great commission that need to be evaluated. First, in verse 16 it says “But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated.” Notice that here we only have eleven disciples because Judas betrayed Jesus and hanged himself. So here we see that the writer of Matthew purposely did this to give us a sort of symbolic view. There are 12 disciples and with 11, it is incomplete. In comparison, there are 12 tribes of Israel, and with 11, it is incomplete. So Jesus leaves us here on this earth, with the uncompleted number 11 so that we may come in and accomplish what he wants us to do, and that is baptizing and teaching so that we may reach that completed number. We also see from this verse that He goes up on a mountain. And we know that when Jesus goes up on mountains, good things happen. For example, the transfiguration, the famous Sermon on the Mount, the crucifixion on Mount Calvary, and in Revelation, the next time we will see Jesus is on Mount Zion, which is Heaven. So we know for a fact that whenever Jesus goes up on mountains, we should be listening very carefully because he will be doing something outstanding. This is also what the disciples are probably thinking at this time. In verse 17, we get this picture that some of the disciples were worshipping and doubting. So although sometimes when even I worship, I doubt. I doubt that the Real Presence of Jesus is in Communion? NAH! It’s too illogical right? Although illogical, I still need to take the Word of God and what it says over what I think is logical. God knows a lot more than I do, so I trust Him and take Him at His Word. Although sometimes we doubt, we should not let our doubts keep us from the grace of God this is offered in the Word and Sacraments. In verse 18, Jesus came up to them. I think this is a cool concept because although the disciples were there, they probably weren’t looking real hard for Jesus, but instead Jesus seeks them out. This is a big Lutheran theological concept that we are sinners and cannot find and accept God but instead He continually comes down into our lives and makes us worthy. Now getting into verse 19 and 20 it says “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Now some Christian denominations disagree with this concept of “making disciples”. The command of Jesus here was to make disciples. And so usually after commands comes instructions on how to do that command, which is what Jesus has for us here. However, we cannot look at the part after the command and say this happens before this so we have to do the baptizing first, then the teaching. The words baptizing and teaching are present participles, so there is no technical order to them. Also, there is no word “and” in between the baptizing and teaching in the Greek which makes the actions interchangeable. So it doesn’t matter if you teach first, or baptize first, no matter what you are still fulfilling that command that Jesus gave us in making disciples. It is different between an adult and an infant because an infant is baptized into a life of teaching and an adult is taught and out of that teaching comes baptism and then the teaching is continued. So no matter what situation, the command is being fulfilled, and by the instructions that Jesus gave us in baptizing and teaching. In verse 20, Jesus says the comforting words “I am with you always even to the end of the age.” The words “I am with you” in Greek actually have the word order of “I you am with” which safely places us between “I am” which is God.
There will be furthur explanation to the salvific act of baptism in a furthur blog.

-- Joshua

The Law and Gospel in a Nutshell

"If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared."
-- Psalm 130:3-4 (NIV)

Growing up in a Missouri-Synod Lutheran home, I learned that John 3:16 was called the Gospel in a Nutshell, meaning that it was the basic overall Gospel message condensed into one verse. And while I don't believe in over-simplification, it's nice to have one go-to verse to rely on when you don't have time to read through half the New Testament in one sitting. I reckon John's ability to pack so much into 26 words is part of what made this the most well-known verse in Christendom.
But the above verses, while not quite as detailed and not nearly as well-known, could be called the Law and Gospel in a Nutshell. Speaking directly to the LORD, the Psalmist proclaims, "If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?" That wraps up the Law pretty well, I'd say. We are sinners. There's no way around it. And if God kept a record of the sins we commit, none of us would be able to stand under His Judgment. We are helpless and miserable sinners.... Law.
But the Psalmist continues, "But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared." We don't have to live in our sin. There is forgiveness... with God. Not with anyone else. And therefore, He is feared. God doesn't have to show us forgiveness, mercy, and boundless grace... But He does.... Gospel.
Again, while not quite as detailed as the commonly-known Gospel in a Nutshell, the Law and Gospel in a Nutshell tells the sinner what he/she needs to know. If God judged us according to our deeds, we'd be doomed... But He chooses to forgive us instead, and look not on our sins, but on the perfect sacrifice of Christ crucified for us.... All that packed into 2 small verses. Well done, Psalmist. Walther would be proud.

-- Jonathan

Friday, January 13, 2012

From Stumbling blocks to Foolishness...

"But we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness."
-- 1 Corinthians 1:23 (NASB)

For my first post, I have chosen to quote the great book of 1 Corinthians. I think that this verse, referring to the Jews and the Gentiles of the First Century, applies also to American culture today (a lot of Bible passages tend to do that). When we witness to the world, we have to "know our audience", so to speak. To the Jews of the First Century, the Gospel of Christ crucified was merely a stumbling block. Why? Because they knew their Old Testament. They knew that God created the heavens and the earth in six days several thousand years before. They knew that there was no death and suffering before the first sin of Eve and Adam. They knew they were sinful creatures in need of God's forgiveness. And they further knew that God not only could give them that forgiveness, but also that He wanted to. The Jews of the day knew full well what the Law was. And for this very reason, the Gospel was not foolishness to them. Only a stumbling block. Now the Gentiles (or the Greeks, as some translations have it) knew nothing about Genesis 1-11. God created the earth? You say sin is the cause of evil in the world? What is sin anyway? Why on earth would I need forgiveness? Forgiveness from what?... The Greeks needed to be taught Genesis and the Law before they would ever understand Christ crucified for them.

America used to be like the First Century Jews. Most Christians knew the Law, the fact that they were sinful, the origin of the universe, and the origin of sin in said universe. Preaching Christ crucified was nothing more than a stumbling block to them. No more is society like the Jews. It has become like the Greeks. In a world of moral relativism, where people believe in Darwinian evolution, millions of years, and many paths to God, no longer is Christ crucified a mere stumbling block. It's complete foolishness to them. Which is why we need to witness to people with this in mind.

-- Jonathan

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Our names are Jonathan, Matthias, and Joshua. We are students at Concordia University, Nebraska. We began this blog to express our inexperienced thoughts. We realize that there are many sites, blogs, and broadcasts that do a wonderful job at teaching and confessing the Lutheran faith, but we would just like to give readers out there the perspective of Lutheran Christian college students. As Confessional Lutherans, we acknowledge that we are sinners in need of God's forgiveness. Therefore, nothing we say should be taken as infallible unless we are quoting the Word of God. Jesus is the man we all need to look to, not simply for advice on how to live, but for Redemption. We will all do our very best to provide our readers with proper and sound teachings on the Word of God and Theology, but keep in mind that we are sinners, and we are capable of typing falsities. So please do the three of us a favor and read our blog through the lenses of Scripture. Our sinless Savior Jesus Christ sacrificed too much for us to do anything less. Thank you in advance for taking the time to read our humble blog, and may the Lord be with you all.