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Rice and Beans Again?

November 22, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

In our home we have developed a Thanksgiving Eve tradition. We eat only rice (and sometimes beans) for dinner the night before the feasting. My pastor while I was growing up in Illinois held this tradition with his family. We don’t do this so that we would be super hunger for Thanksgiving. It is a form of fasting. As with any form of fasting, we “afflict” ourselves physically in order to stir up spiritual virtues. We pray for the growth of:... Keep Reading

Safety on Our Minds

November 16, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

When Erin and I committed to spend one year teaching at Cameroon Baptist Theological Seminary, some of our family members questioned the wisdom of subjecting our children to the risks of living in Africa for that extended period of time. Our five boys ranged in ages from one year old up to nine years old. We had to be immunized for all kinds of diseases, uncommon in America. The nearest hospital to our home was a three hour car ride on an extremely bumpy road. The water was unsafe to drink. All meat had to be soaked in bleach water to kill any potential parasites. All of our clothing had to be ironed to kill eggs and larva of bugs, which would love the opportunity to burrow into our skin. Yes, that included the cloth diapers for our one year old. Was it safe to bring our children into this environment? Safety is an American ideal. We have vast resources to keep us safe from all sorts of risks. And if we have the resources available, it would be considered foolish not to avail ourselves of these resources. In fact, it is illegal in some instances not to use safety measures (i.e. seatbelt laws).... Keep Reading

Luther and The Jews

November 9, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

October 31st was the the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg. Most of us are familiar with a little history behind the Theses: Luther wanted to debate the abuses of indulgences. But are we familiar with Luther himself? His background? What led him to dispute the abuses of the Roman Catholic Church? What impact his ministry has on our church today? In what ways might we disagree with Luther? Over these few weeks leading up to the 500th anniversary, let’s consider Luther and his teaching. I will use primarily Carl Trueman’s book, Luther on the Christian Life: Cross and Freedom, as a resource. This is part eight of a multi-part series. One of the darkest marks on the reputation of Luther is his writings and views about Jews. Trueman summarizes well Luther’s progression:... Keep Reading

Luther on Baptism and Communion

November 2, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

October 31st was the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg. Most of us are familiar with a little history behind the Theses: Luther wanted to debate the abuses of indulgences. But are we familiar with Luther himself? His background? What led him to dispute the abuses of the Roman Catholic Church? What impact his ministry has on our church today? In what ways might we disagree with Luther? Over these few weeks leading up to the 500th anniversary, let’s consider Luther and his teaching. I will use primarily Carl Trueman’s book, Luther on the Christian Life: Cross and Freedom, as a resource. This is part seven of a multi-part series. Up until this point in this series we have considered teachings of Luther that we would mostly celebrate. He championed justification by faith alone by reclaiming a biblical understanding of sin and faith. He championed the central place and power of the Word of God in both the worship gathering of the church and in the individual’s life. Luther helped refocus the church’s reception of the sacraments as means of God’s grace being extended to us. There is good reason to celebrate Luther as we recognize the 500th anniversary of his 95 Theses.... Keep Reading

Sacraments as Physical Signs of God’s Actions

October 26, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

October 31st will be the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg. Most of us are familiar with a little history behind the Theses: Luther wanted to debate the abuses of indulgences. But are we familiar with Luther himself? His background? What led him to dispute the abuses of the Roman Catholic Church? What impact his ministry has on our church today? In what ways might we disagree with Luther? Over these few weeks leading up to the 500th anniversary, let’s consider Luther and his teaching. I will use primarily Carl Trueman’s book, Luther on the Christian Life: Cross and Freedom, as a resource. This is part six of a multi-part series. Protestant churches all over the world are recognizing or celebrating this week in some manner the 500th anniversary of Luther’s 95 Theses. For many Protestants, Luther is a champion of Christian faith, especially justification by faith alone. Most Protestants, however, would be astonished to find out that Luther would think very little of their Christian practice, even while they celebrate him. What’s behind this? Divergent views of the sacraments.... Keep Reading

Daily Christian Life in the Word

October 19, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

October 31st will be the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg. Most of us are familiar with a little history behind the Theses: Luther wanted to debate the abuses of indulgences. But are we familiar with Luther himself? His background? What led him to dispute the abuses of the Roman Catholic Church? What impact his ministry has on our church today? In what ways might we disagree with Luther? Over these few weeks leading up to the 500th anniversary, let’s consider Luther and his teaching. I will use primarily Carl Trueman’s book, Luther on the Christian Life: Cross and Freedom, as a resource. This is part five of a multi-part series. What does the daily Christian life look like? That’s a question many of us wrestle with on a regular basis as we face various trials and temptations. Specific situations become the driving force behind our spiritual activities. Our aims in the study of Scripture, our prayer life, and our conversations with other believers often are centered on the most urgent need on our hearts and minds. And since we live in an age and culture of abundance, we have vast numbers of resources to address our various needs.... Keep Reading

October 31st will be the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg. Most of us are familiar with a little history behind the Theses: Luther wanted to debate the abuses of indulgences. But are we familiar with Luther himself? His background? What led him to dispute the abuses of the Roman Catholic Church? What impact his ministry has on our church today? In what ways might we disagree with Luther? Over these few weeks leading up to the 500th anniversary, let’s consider Luther and his teaching. I will use primarily Carl Trueman’s book, Luther on the Christian Life: Cross and Freedom, as a resource. This is part four of a multi-part series. Luther was led to challenge the Roman Catholic practice of indulgences because of his growing conviction that sin was moral decay and death within us and that the only condition by which we can be saved is faith in Jesus Christ. These two areas were a major shift from the medieval church that emphasized our need (and capability) to deal with our sin through the sacraments (and indulgences).... Keep Reading

The Power of the Word

October 5, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

October 31st will be the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg. Most of us are familiar with a little history behind the Theses: Luther wanted to debate the abuses of indulgences. But are we familiar with Luther himself? His background? What led him to dispute the abuses of the Roman Catholic Church? What impact his ministry has on our church today? In what ways might we disagree with Luther? Over these few weeks leading up to the 500th anniversary, let’s consider Luther and his teaching. I will use primarily Carl Trueman’s book, Luther on the Christian Life: Cross and Freedom, as a resource. This is part three of a multi-part series. Martin Luther penned the famous hymn, A Mighty Fortress is our God, in 1529. In it, Luther affirms the spiritual struggle we face with “our ancient foe,” Satan. With confidence, though, Luther states, “we tremble not for him.” Where does Luther find such confidence, especially when the world is filled with devils that threaten to undo us? The last line of the third verse reads, “his doom is sure; one little word shall fell him.”... Keep Reading

A Theologian of the Cross

September 28, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

October 31st will be the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg. Most of us are familiar with a little history behind the Theses: Luther wanted to debate the abuses of indulgences. But are we familiar with Luther himself? His background? What led him to dispute the abuses of the Roman Catholic Church? What impact his ministry has on our church today? In what ways might we disagree with Luther? Over these few weeks leading up to the 500th anniversary, let’s consider Luther and his teaching. I will use primarily Carl Trueman’s book, Luther on the Christian Life: Cross and Freedom, as a resource. This is part two of a multi-part series. One of Martin Luther’s most famous theological distinctions came six months before nailed the 95 Theses to the church door. This theological distinction is found in what is known as the Heidelberg Disputation, held in April 1517. At this disputation Luther had 40 Theses presented, mostly unpacking his new understandings of the nature of sin and the condition for salvation. The famous theological distinction comes in the 21st Thesis: A theologian of glory calls evil good and good evil. A theologian of the cross calls the thing what it actually is. A theologian of glory versus a theologian of the cross. What does Luther mean by this distinction?... Keep Reading

Why Did Luther Nail Those 95 Theses?

September 21, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

October 31st will be the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg. Most of us are familiar with a little history behind the Theses: Luther wanted to debate the abuses of indulgences. But are we familiar with Luther himself? His background? What led him to dispute the abuses of the Roman Catholic Church? What impact his ministry has on our church today? In what ways might we disagree with Luther? Over these few weeks leading up to the 500th anniversary, let’s consider Luther and his teaching. I will use primarily Carl Trueman’s book, Luther on the Christian Life: Cross and Freedom, as a resource. This is part one of a multi-part series. Martin Luther was born in 1483 in a poor mining family. His father sent him to university to study law so that Martin would not share the same financial strain. While traveling back to school in 1505, Luther was caught in a thunderstorm. When lightning struck near him, he cried out for rescue, promising to become a monk if he survived. Much to his father’s disappointment, Martin kept the promise, leaving behind law school to study theology. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1507.... Keep Reading

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