Thursday, December 8, 2016

First Snow of Winter

Backyard squirrels:
"Is breakfast ready yet?"
They take up this position when I am adding seed to the feeders.
The feeding habits of our animals friends challenge my ability to predict their behavior. Last year, suet was very popular and disappeared fast. Now it is only pecked at. We had a few flakes of snow fall and melt.

I brought a bucket of popcorn home after we saw Trolls. The platform feeder overflowed with fresh popcorn. The squirrels sat on this bed of popcorn to reach the sunflower seeds above. They also stretch up from the squirrel-proof feeder to reach the seeds. I told Mrs. Ichabod, "Look at that squirrel using one feeder to reach the other. Good for stretching the abs, I guess."

The popcorn shriveled up, so I tossed it on the ground for the mourning doves. They feed the way they bathe, taking their time. They sit on the platform feeder and slowly peck away at their food. Like the squirrels, they keep an eye on the people on the other side of the window, but they are not easily spooked by our movements.

Until yesterday we only had brief threats of winter, a few nights below freezing. We had roses until December 4th, but the blooms were frost-bit. The Alaskan cold front has ended that, but some rose bushes are still green - near the house.

Seeing the large bags of deer corn, I brought one home to try on the squirrels and birds. Enthusiasm for food has been lacking, because the weather was so good. As long as they could get food from Creation, they had little interest in seeds from Walmart.



Snow and ice change this immediately, if it is cold enough. Their favorite fast-food stops, bushes and tree-bark, hide the larvae wintering there. Snow cover hides the leaves whose insulating properties still support various insects.

Our gourmet squirrels in New Ulm were very picky about their food, until we had a massive sleet storm. Then, deprived of a lot of natural food, they were willing to pick single kernels of corn from the ice.

So it is with the dominance of false doctrine. When most Lutherans lived within walking distance of a congregation using the Creeds, liturgy, Lutheran hymns, and sermons, they took spiritual food for granted. They were more concerned with the painting of the church kitchen than the doctrine being taught. After all, the changes were all to help the congregation grow.

But now the faithful Lutherans have seen the hallmarks of their faith buried under an obscuring storm of propaganda from Fuller Seminary, Willow Creek, Trinity Divinity, and the Vatican. No false doctrine is too obnoxious for the Church Growthers, who like to call themselves Church and Changers. If someone reads carefully, the horns and tail of the occult also appear.

Chemnitz observed in his Justification book that this is a good quality of false doctrine. Eventually false doctrine becomes so odious that people desire what is healthy and Scriptural. Suddenly they realize that the problems cropping up come from one source - rejection of the Word, indifference toward sound doctrine, adherence to the Anti-Gospel. What they were being taught to hate is really good, and what they were forced to consume is really toxic.






Reu Said It - On Unionism - From 2009.
Bonus Quotations from Megatron


Professor Michael Reu, taught at Wartburg Seminary (Iowa Synod, then the old ALC of 1930) for 44 years, 1899-1943.


The Old ALC of 1930 was comprised of the Buffalo Synod, the Ohio Synod, and the Iowa Synod. The Old ALC merged with the Liberal Norwegians to form The ALC (TALC) in 1960.

The LCA followed in 1962, with the Muhlenberg Tradition of the ULCA uniting with the Swedish Augustana Synod, the Finish Suomi Synod, and the Happy Danes (as contrasted with the Gloomy or Pietistic Danes).

Reu was a giant among scholars. He started out more liberal. If memory serves, he was the one who worked against inerrancy when the 1930 merger took place. Lenski in Ohio was on the opposite side, so a committee was formed to keep Lenski silent.

Reu's Luther and the Scriptures is an ironic turn, since Reu means repentance in German. The liberals never forgave Reu for backsliding into orthodoxy. The book is one of the few discussed from that era, but I also liked his lectures on fellowship. I have often quoted Reu on this subject.

"Here we discover the first mark of unionism: A difference in doctrine which hitherto has been regarded as divisive, is suddenly made to lose its divisive significance." (About the Augsburg Confession, Variata, Real Presence)
M. Reu, In the Interest of Lutheran Unity, Columbus: The Lutheran Book Concern, 1940, p. 19.
Notice how Valleskey wrote about the Reformed downplaying the Means of Grace, when the Reformed reject the Means of Grace.  A crucial difference became minor for the unionist Valleskey.

"The second mark of unionism, therefore, is this: Differences in doctrine are made to lose their divisive significance with a view to uniting hitherto separate churches." (about unification of all Protestant forces) M. Reu, In the Interest of Lutheran Unity, Columbus: The Lutheran Book Concern, 1940, p. 19.
The Jim Huebner sermon rant argues that everyone involved in outreach is united in the same good cause.

"The third mark of unionism, therefore, is this: A formula of unification is found which each of two hitherto separate churches may accept but which each of them interprets differently. An external bond is found for internally divided groups." (About Melanchthon using 1 Cor. 10:16 as the basis for uniting the Reformed and Lutherans, Luther's favorite text against the Reformed.)
M. Reu, In the Interest of Lutheran Unity, Columbus: The Lutheran Book Concern, 1940, p. 19. 1 Corinthians 10:16.
The Conference of Pussycats had to devise a formula to allow Jeske's Church and Change to invite Leonard Sweet and other New Agers to teach the Word of God to WELS. St. Louis made Sweet their featured speaker and broadcast his idiocies. Everything is "Outside the Framework of Fellowship." There is nothing to complain about - the problem has been solved. Having Roman Catholic speakers is both denied and defended. Antichrist? That is so-o-o-o 16th century.

"Doctrinal indifference is at once the root of unionism and its fruit. Whoever accepts, in theory as well as in practice, the absolute authority of the Scriptures and their unambiguousness with reference to all fundamental doctrines, must be opposed to every form of unionism."
M. Reu, In the Interest of Lutheran Unity, Columbus: The Lutheran Book Concern, 1940, p. 20.
ELCA began what the ELS, WELS, and Missouri have pursued - cooperation with all religions in worship services. Mark well how the conservative Lutherans went to Fuller Seminary to study together, after Fuller repudiated its already weak statement on inerrancy. Doctrine gets in the way of outreach, says Fuller. We have no time for that debate, says Fuller. Does that sound like Huebner, Valleskey, and the rest?

"We find this attitude of tolerance quite frequently among unionists. It is often used to assuage a troubled conscience, one's own as well as that of others; for the unionist declares that every one may continue to hold his own private convictions and merely needs to respect and tolerate those of another. This attitude is totally wrong, for it disregards two important factors: (a) in tolerating divergent doctrines one either denies the perspicuity and clarity of the Scriptures, or one grants to error the right to exist alongside of truth, or one evidences indifference over against Biblical truth by surrendering its absolute validity; and (b) in allowing two opposite views concerning one doctrine to exist side by side, one has entered upon an inclined plane which of necessity leads ever further into complete doctrinal indifference, as may plainly be seen from the most calamitous case on record, viz., the Prussian Union."
M. Reu, In the Interest of Lutheran Unity, Columbus: The Lutheran Book Concern, 1940, p. 20.
For the last few decades, those who adhered to the Scriptures and Book of Concord have been treated as slow, backwards, or dangerously destructive. One couple said, "SP Gurgel doesn't want to hear from us anymore." The synodical leadership is so deep into apostasy that they hate anyone who brings up sound doctrine. To defend clergy adultery and Church Growthery, VP Kuske and DP Robert Mueller had to drown dissent from their error in a sea of Dreck. Their LPR heroes are still active today. WELS leaders are eager to slander someone with "Eighth Commandment!" in their efforts to advance false docrine.


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GJ - Reu's ALC is now part of ELCA. Would he be impressed with ELCA today?


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rlschultz has left a new comment on your post "Luther and the Scriptures - by Michael Reu (ALC)":

It is so fitting that today's version of Pietism has doctrinal indifference as one of its trademarks. It appears to have been this way for a long time. In The Complete Timotheus Verinus, Loescher points to doctrinal indifference as one of the first traits of Pietism.

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GJ - Pietism and doctrinal indifference go together well, with a side-helping of unionism. The Pietists claim to have a heart religion, which they insist is superior to the head religion of Lutheran orthodoxy. Notice that the leading apostates of Missouri call themselves Jesus First, another hallmark of Pietism. The Church and Chicaneries talk just like Jesus First members. Yes, I kelmed this post from an earlier one.

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UNIONISM QUOTATIONS FROM THY STRONG WORD



"Front row center, among the 231 ELCA and Episcopal bishops gathered for a 'class photo' of their historic first meeting to discuss full communion, are (from left) Martin Marty, Presiding Bishops Browning [Episcopal] and Anderson [ELCA], and Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey."
The Lutheran November, 1996



"Dear Friends, AAL is committed to helping Lutherans and assisting Lutheran congregations. That has long been a primary purpose of the organization, as stated in AAL's articles of incorporation. In pursuing this intention, we've often gathered information that helps us to better serve Lutherans and their institutions."
Richard L. Gunderson, Church Membership Initiative, Narrative Summary of Findings, 1993, Aid Association for Lutherans, 4321 N Ballard Road, Appleton, WI, 54919-0001, 414-734-5721, June 30, 1993.



"To the reader: This binder contains a summary of activities and findings of the Church Membership Initiative funded by AAL. A meeting in February, 1993 at Orlando involving congregational participants and church executives was phase three. This summary focuses on the findings of phases one and two. As is the nature of such studies, emphasis is on research and statistical analysis. Such studies do provide helpful indicators. Such an approach, however, cannot directly reflect spiritual reality, which must remain with the judgment of those dispensing the means of grace. Phase four--utilization of information coming out of the first three phases--is open ended for whatever church body [ELCA, WELS, LCMS] will determine such use to be."
Rev. Wayne Borgwardt, WELS, Church Membership Initiative, Narrative Summary of Findings, 1993, Aid Association for Lutherans, 4321 N Ballard Road, Appleton, WI, 54919-0001, June 30, 1993. Five copies at Martin Luther College (WELS). BV 4523 .C48 1993 c.5



"In 1970 there were 500,000 more baptized members of Lutheran congregations than was the case in 1990. The Church Membership Initiative project was undertaken to understand and address this decline...
Contact:

  • Rev. Mary Ann Moller-Gunderson, Executive Director, Division for Congregational Ministries, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 8765 W Higgins Road, Chicago, IL, 60631, 312-380-2570; 
  • Rev. Lyle Muller, Executive Director, Board for Evangelism Services, The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, 1333 S Kirkwood Road, St. Louis, MO, 63122-7295, 314-965-9000; 
  • Rev. Wayne Borgwardt, Administrator for Worker Training, Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, 2929 N Mayfair Road, Milwaukee, WI, 53222, 414-256-3236; 
  • Mr. Douglas Olson, Aid Association for Lutherans, 4321 N Ballard Road, Appleton, WI, 54919, 414-734-5721." 

Church Membership Initiative, Narrative Summary of Findings, 1993, Aid Association for Lutherans, 4321 N Ballard Road, Appleton, WI, 54919-0001, June 30, 1993.



"The IMAGINE 2000+ A.D. symposium involved the gathering of 61 growing congregations to describe their ministry. The congregations were grouped with other congregations of similar size and ministry setting." Church Membership Initiative, Narrative Summary of Findings, 1993, Aid Association for Lutherans, 4321 N Ballard Road, Appleton, WI, 54919-0001, June 30, 1993. p. 12. "Four people from each of 61 growing congregations gathered to share their congregational development experience, to react to the utility of toolbox items uncovered in Sections 2B and 2C above, and to exchange views with church body officials. Approximately 125 church body officials [ELCA, WELS, LCMS] and other guests observed these congregations and participated in the discussions."
Church Membership Initiative, Narrative Summary of Findings, 1993, Aid Association for Lutherans, 4321 N Ballard Road, Appleton, WI, 54919-0001, June 30, 1993. p. 20.

"This does not mean that judicatory (ELCA synods, LCMS districts, WELS districts) and national expressions of the church bodies are not involved. They can play key roles in assisting congregations."
Church Membership Initiative, Narrative Summary of Findings, 1993, Aid Association for Lutherans, 4321 N Ballard Road, Appleton, WI, 54919-0001, June 30, 1993. p. 5.



"In-person interviews were held with ELCA, LCMS and WELS national office personnel who are responsible for evangelism, outreach, North American activities, and ministries to people of color." Church Membership Initiative, Narrative Summary of Findings, 1993, Aid Association for Lutherans, 4321 N Ballard Road, Appleton, WI, 54919-0001, June 30, 1993. p. 5.

"Congregational growth, stability, and decline patterns were analyzed for all Lutheran congregations within each of three church bodies (ELCA, LCMS, WELS)."
Church Membership Initiative, Narrative Summary of Findings, 1993, Aid Association for Lutherans, 4321 N Ballard Road, Appleton, WI, 54919-0001, June 30, 1993. p. 9.

"Dr. Mann remarked, 'he doubted not that there was much good in the constitution of the Melanchthon Synod; but he would not eat poisoned bread, though there was much good flour in it.'" F. Bente, American Lutheranism, 2 vols., The United Lutheran Church, Gen Synod, Gen Council, Un Syn in the South, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1919, II, p. 121.

Harkey: "We want love as much as orthodoxy, yes, a thousand times more than what some men call orthodoxy."
F. Bente, American Lutheranism, 2 vols., The United Lutheran Church, Gen Synod, Gen Council, Un Syn in the South, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1919, II, p. 121.

"In the Lutheran Observer, January 2, 1863, H. Harkey wrote: 'Some say that unity must precede union. But the Bible demands that we unite. Hence those who magnify these differences [among Lutherans] are the greatest sinners in the Church.' This has always been the view of the General Synod: union, irrespective of doctrinal differences...all endeavors at union which disregard the divine norm of Christian fellowship are anti-Scriptural."
F. Bente, American Lutheranism, 2 vols., The United Lutheran Church, Gen Synod, Gen Council, Un Syn in the South, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1919, II, p. 19.

"Unionism and indifferentism mark the character of the General Synod from its very beginning. And how could this have been otherwise? The un-Lutheran spirit of the General Synod was not so much acquired as inherited. The Pennsylvania Synod, while promoting the Pan-Lutheran union, was at the same time planning a union with the Reformed! In 1819 and 1822 resolutions were passed to this effect."
F. Bente, American Lutheranism, 2 vols., The United Lutheran Church, Gen Synod, Gen Council, Un Syn in the South, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1919, II, p. 20.

This ELCA member performed his dance at their church conference
and posted the photo.

"The unionism which prevailed in all Lutheran synods since the days of Muhlenberg was freely indulged in also by the General Synod during the whole course of her history, in various ways, especially in the exchange of fraternal delegates and the fellowship of pulpit and altar." F. Bente, American Lutheranism, 2 vols., The United Lutheran Church, Gen Synod, Gen Council, Un Syn in the South, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1919, II, p. 48. At Hagerstown, 1837, a Presbyterian, an Episcopalian, a Reformedist, and a Methodist were received as advisory members. Two Lutheran ministers preached in the Reformed church, two others in the Methodist church, and Dr. Patton, of the American Education Society, in the Lutheran church."
F. Bente, American Lutheranism, 2 vols., The United Lutheran Church, Gen Synod, Gen Council, Un Syn in the South, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1919, II, p. 50.

"Wherever Lutherans unite with the Reformed, the former gradually sink to the level of the latter. Already by declaring the differences between the two Churches irrelevant, the Lutheran truths are actually sacrificed and denied. Unionism always breaks the backbone, and outrages the conscience, of true Lutheranism. And naturally enough, the refusal to confess the Lutheran truth is but too frequently followed by eager endorsement and fanatical defense of the opposite errors."
F. Bente, American Lutheranism, 2 vols., The United Lutheran Church, Gen Synod, Gen Council, Un Syn in the South, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1919, II, p. 68.

"Dr. Luther, who, above others, certainly understood the true and proper meaning of the Augsburg Confession, and who constantly remained steadfast thereto till his end, and defended it, shortly before his death repeated his faith concerning this article with great zeal in his last Confession, where he writes thus: 'I rate as one concoction, namely, as Sacramentarians and fanatics, which they also are, all who will not believe that the Lord's bread in the Supper is His true natural body, which the godless or Judas received with the mouth, as well as did St. Peter and all [other] saints; he who will not believe this (I say) should let me alone, and hope for no fellowship with me; this is not going to be altered [thus my opinion stands, which I am not going to change]."
Formula of Concord, Epitome, Article VII, Lord's Supper, 33, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 983. Tappert, p. 575.

How choice, Thrivent is involved in promoting
Jay Webber's ELCA online seminary.


"And all these are established by the words by which Christ has instituted it, and which every one who desires to be a Christian and go to the Sacrament should know. For it is not our intention to admit to it and to administer it to those who know not what they seek, or why they come."
Fifth Part, Of The Sacrament of the Altar, #2, Large Catechism, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 753. Tappert, p. 447. [GJ - And yet, Jay Webber communes ELCA members, as ELS pastors often do, and defends the practice, even though ELCA has joint-communion with the Reformed, effectively denying the Real Presence.]

"And Paul commands that godless teachers should be avoided and execrated as cursed. Galatians 1:8; Titus 3:10. And 2 Corinthians 6:14 he says: 'Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what communion hath light with darkness?'"
Marks of Antichrist, 41, Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 517. Tappert, p. 328. Galatians 1:8; Titus 3:10; 2 Corinthians 6:14.

"A new sacred classical music radio program soon will be available to radio stations across the country. The hour-long, weekly program, called "Joy," is an inter-Lutheran project of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. "Joy" will be produced by KFUO-FM in St. Louis and will be funded by Aid Association for Lutherans, a fraternal benefit society. 'I'm excited about being involved in this project which is the first joint venture into ministry that has ever been done by these three Lutheran churches,' said the Rev. Richard Jensen, a member of ELCA communications staff and the Joy Advisory Committee. 'Joy is a program of sacred music. The focus is on the classics of sacred Christian music..."
ELCA Newsbriefs Christian News, 12-9-91, p. 2. [GJ - SP Carl Mischke lied through his teeth in denying, in writing, that this was happening. The ELCA contact, Jensen, was shocked that WELS was denying this to be true.]

"There is a 'method in our madness' in securing such a high profile speaker. Regardless of the value of the message such speakers always bring in the numbers. Generally speaking, they seem to double the attendance of a convention." [Having Charlton Heston speak at the WELS Lutherans for Life convention]
Rev. Robert Fleischmann, Commentary, National Director, WELS Lutherans for Life, 2949 N Mayfair Rd, Milwaukee, WI 53222 n.d. [GJ - Most of us like Heston a lot more than Fleischmann. That may be the reason.]

"Dedication: to a holy ministry, orthodox as Chemnitz, Calovius, Gerhard, and Krauth; spiritual and consecrated as Arndt, Spener, and Zinzendorf; active in the Master's service as Francke, Muhlenberg, Orberlin, and Passavant, this book is hopefully dedicated."
G. H. Gerberding, The Lutheran Pastor, Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1902, p. 2.

"Truthful separation is far better than dishonest union, and two churches are happier, and more kindly in their mutual relations, when their differences are frankly confessed, than when they are clouding with ambiguities and double meanings the real divergences."
Charles P. Krauth, The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology, Philadelphia: The United Lutheran Publication House, 1913 (first edition, 1871), p. 326.


"If one associates much with heretics, one finally also makes oneself partaker of their false doctrine, their lies, and their errors; for he who touches pitch soils his hands with it."
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 646.



Birds of a Feather Do Flock Together
Pictured together: Rev. Carl Mischke, Rev. Ralph Bohlmann, and Bishop Herbert Chilstrom (ELCA).
Lutheran Brotherhood, Bond, "Preparing the Church for the Next Century," Fall, 1991 68, p. 12.

"Four speakers prominent in the field of leadership research shared their perspectives. Frances Hesselbein of New York City, president and chief executive officer of the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management, spoke on 'The Challenge of Leadership.' She noted, 'The church shares the same bottom line with all voluntary and human service organizations: changed lives.'" [Note: CG enthusiasts love Drucker management books. The four leaders of the conference were: a woman, a CG icon (in the words of Rev. James Schaefer, NWL), an ultra-liberal Reformed theologian, and a historical-critical expert from an ELCA seminary which once boasted of Lenski and Leupold as professors.]
Lutheran Brotherhood, Bond, "Preparing the Church for the Next Century," Fall, 1991 68, p. 12.

"William McKinney, dean and professor of religion and society at Hartford (Connecticut) Seminary, disagreed with the popular view that conventional Protestant churches have moved from mainline to sideline." [Hartford is very Reformed and very liberal.]
Lutheran Brotherhood, Bond, "Preparing the Church for the Next Century," Fall, 1991 68, p. 12.

"George Barna of Glendale, Calif., president of the Barna Research Group, a marketing firm specializing in research for Christian churches and parachurch organizations, laid out 'The Context for Leadership' with rather challenging facts about the society the church faces today."
Lutheran Brotherhood, Bond, "Preparing the Church for the Next Century," Fall, 1991 68, p. 12.

"The Lutheran Leadership Consultation, facilitated by Lutheran Brotherhood in partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the Lutheran-Church Missouri Synod (LC-MS) and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), was the first meeting of this type that included the three major Lutheran Churches as planners and participants."
Lutheran Brotherhood, Bond, "Preparing the Church for the Next Century," Fall, 1991 68, p. 12.

"Throughout the Consultation, Walter F. Taylor, Jr., Professor of New Testament at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, explored principles and examples of leadership in the Pauline epistles." [Trinity is an ELCA seminary which sponsored an insurance funded gay seminar.]
Lutheran Brotherhood, Bond, "Preparing the Church for the Next Century," Fall, 1991 68, p. 13.

"Take the Church Membership Initiative, lavishly funded by the Aid Association for Lutherans. The 'Narrative Summary of Findings' and the 'Research Summary of Findings' (1993) reveal an approach both shallow and complacent. There is no interest at all in underlying theological maladies." Professor Kurt Marquart, "Church Growth" As Mission Paradigm, A Lutheran Assessment, Our Savior Lutheran Church, Houston: Luther Academy Monograph, 1994, p. 141f.

"Its 'overall objective' is: 'To set in motion forces that will result in annual increases in the number of members of Lutheran congregations.' Why would any confessional Lutheran wish to 'set in motion forces' for 'annual increases in ELCA membership? The introductory page already alerts one to the hollowness of the talk about 'faithfulness to the substance of Lutheranism' (p. 3), by listing an ELCA official, a pastoress, as one of the sources of further information. 'Unchurched people feel good about their faith,' we are told, and the implication is that we should too."
Professor Kurt Marquart, "Church Growth" As Mission Paradigm, A Lutheran Assessment, Our Savior Lutheran Church, Houston: Luther Academy Monograph, 1994, p. 142. [GJ - Jay Webber had Marquart as his professor. Did he pay any attention to this? Why would Jay want to study under ELCA professors and a Roman Catholic hireling?]

"The article in Christian News to which you refer escaped my attention until one of our other pastors called it to my attention soon after it appeared. Initially I even had difficulty relating to it. After thinking about it for a time I remembered that I was asked about a year ago whether the WELS would endorse or be in sponsor of such a program. My answer then was 'No" and still is. I have consistently taken the position with the fraternal benefits societies that 'pan-Lutheran' projects almost inevitably exclude us from participation because of our fellowship principles. The leadership of the fraternals has respected our position. So the statement by a member of the ELCA communications staff that this is the 'first joint venture into ministry' ever done by these three Lutheran churches is simply not factual. It has been called to the attention of those who made this statement."
President Carl H. Mischke (WELS Synodical President), Letter to Pastor James Sherod, 1-3-92. [GJ - Who lied? ELCA or WELS? I phoned the ELCA official and he was flabbergasted by this statement.]

"In such churches the occasional intrusion of authentically Lutheran doctrine, liturgy, and hymnody takes on the appearance of being a grudging gesture to a no longer useable past. The preaching of God's law and gospel gives way to the preaching of any truth that is true if it's true for you." Rev. Richard Neuhaus, (ELCA at the time), Forum Letter, 338 E 19th Street New York, NY 10003 November 26, 1989 p. 2. "Then there is the church growth movement, which has made more devastating headway in LCMS than in ELCA (although it is evident enough in the latter). Today, it is said, Missouri has three seminaries-- St. Louis, Ft Wayne, and Fuller Seminary in California, the hothouse of church growth enthusiasms. The synodical and district mission offices are frequently controlled by church growth technocrats...But the idea that Word and Sacrament ministry is somehow validated by calculable results is utterly alien to the Lutheran Reformation...The triumph of style over substance, however, is all too evident in LCMS congregations that look like Baptists with vestments. As we have noted before, second-rate Lutherans make fourth-rate Baptists."
Rev. Richard Neuhaus, (ELCA at the time), Forum Letter, 338 E 19th Street New York, NY 10003 November 26, 1989 p. 2.

"Pastors become disciples so they can make disciples. As a proud Pentecostal I thought I had everything because I belonged to a Full Gospel church. Little did I know how much I had to learn until I came together with other pastors--Baptists, Presbyterians, Plymouth Brethren, and Catholics. As a proud Pentecostal I had to become a humble elder of the church."
Juan Carlos Ortiz, Call to Discipleship, Plainfield: Logos International, 1975, p. 100.

"The orthodox character of a church is established not by its mere name nor by its outward acceptance of, and subscription to, an orthodox creed, but by the doctrine which is actually taught in its pulpits, in its theological seminaries, and in its publications. On the other hand, a church does not forfeit its orthodox character through the casual intrusion of errors, provided these are combated and eventually removed by means of doctrinal discipline." (A Brief Statement of the Missouri Synod's Doctrinal Position, 1932) Francis Pieper, The Difference Between Orthodox And Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon: St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 2. "Unionism is characterized by these marks: It fails to confess the whole truth of the divine Word; it fails to reject and denounce every opposing error; it assigns error equal right with truth and creates the impression of church fellowship and of unity of faith where they do not exist."
(Wisconsin Synod, Prayer Fellowship, Tract No. 10, 1954) Francis Pieper, The Difference Between Orthodox And Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon: St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 64.

This Does Not Describe WELS, Missouri, the Little Sect on the Prairie, or the Odious CLC (sic) - But The Confession Should Move the Leaders To Repentance
"We have no intention of yielding aught of the eternal, immutable truth of God for the sake of temporal peace, tranquility, and unity (which, moreover, is not in our power to do). Nor would such peace and unity, since it is devised against the truth and for its suppression, have any permanency. Still less are we inclined to adorn and conceal a corruption of the pure doctrine and manifest, condemned errors. But we entertain heartfelt pleasure and love for, and are on our part sincerely inclined and anxious to advance, that unity according to our utmost power, by which His glory remains to God uninjured, nothing of the divine truth of the Holy Gospel is surrendered, no room is given to the least error, poor sinners are brought to true, genuine repentance, raised up by faith, confirmed in new obedience, and thus justified and eternally saved alone through the sole merit of Christ."
(Closing of Formula of Concord, Trigl. p. 1095) Francis Pieper, The Difference Between Orthodox And Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon: St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 65.

"The third mark of unionism, therefore, is this: A formula of unification is found which each of two hitherto separate churches may accept but which each of them interprets differently. An external bond is found for internally divided groups." (About Melanchthon using 1 Cor. 10:16 as the basis for uniting the Reformed and Lutherans, Luther's favorite text against the Reformed.) M. Reu, In the Interest of Lutheran Unity, Columbus: The Lutheran Book Concern, 1940, p. 19. 1 Corinthians 10:16.      
"The second mark of unionism, therefore, is this: Differences in doctrine are made to lose their divisive significance with a view to uniting hitherto separate churches." (about unification of all Protestant forces) M. Reu, In the Interest of Lutheran Unity, Columbus: The Lutheran Book Concern, 1940, p. 19.

"Here we discover the first mark of unionism: A difference in doctrine which hitherto has been regarded as divisive, is suddenly made to lose its divisive significance." (About the Augsburg Confession, Variata, Real Presence) M. Reu, In the Interest of Lutheran Unity, Columbus: The Lutheran Book Concern, 1940, p. 19.

"Doctrinal indifference is at once the root of unionism and its fruit. Whoever accepts, in theory as well as in practice, the absolute authority of the Scriptures and their unambiguousness with reference to all fundamental doctrines, must be opposed to every form of unionism." M. Reu, In the Interest of Lutheran Unity, Columbus: The Lutheran Book Concern, 1940, p. 20.

"We find this attitude of tolerance quite frequently among unionists. It is often used to assuage a troubled conscience, one's own as well as that of others; for the unionist declares that every one may continue to hold his own private convictions and merely needs to respect and tolerate those of another. This attitude is totally wrong, for it disregards two important factors: (a) in tolerating divergent doctrines one either denies the perspicuity and clarity of the Scriptures, or one grants to error the right to exist alongside of truth, or one evidences indifference over against Biblical truth by surrendering its absolute validity; and (b) in allowing two opposite views concerning one doctrine to exist side by side, one has entered upon an inclined plane which of necess- ity leads ever further into complete doctrinal indifference, as may plainly be seen from the most calamitous case on record, viz., the Prussian Union." M. Reu, In the Interest of Lutheran Unity, Columbus: The Lutheran Book Concern, 1940, p. 20.

[Selnecker, who wrote "Ach bleib bei uns" (TLH #292) was bitterly attacked and severely persecuted by the Reformed, deposed when Augustus died, reduced to poverty, and not allowed to remain in Leipzig as a private citizen.]
Theodore E. Schmauk and C. Theodore Benze, The Confessional Principle and the Confessions, as Embodying the Evangelical Confession of the Christian Church, Philadelphia: General Council Publication Board, 1911, p. 310ff.

"The modern radical spirit which would sweep away the Formula of Concord as a Confession of the Church, will not, in the end, be curbed, until it has swept away the Augsburg Confession, and the ancient Confessions of the Church--yea, not until it has crossed the borders of Scripture itself, and swept out of the Word whatsoever is not in accord with its own critical mode of thinking. The far-sighted rationalist theologian and Dresden court preacher, Ammon, grasped the logic of a mere spirit of progress, when he said: 'Experience teaches us that those who reject a Creed, will speedily reject the Scriptures themselves.'" Theodore E. Schmauk and C. Theodore Benze, The Confessional Principle and the Confessions, as Embodying the Evangelical Confession of the Christian Church, Philadelphia: General Council Publication Board, 1911, p. 685.

"The real question is not what do you subscribe, but what do you believe and publicly teach, and what are you transmitting to those who come after? If it is the complete Lutheran faith and practice, the name and number of the standards is less important. If it is not, the burden of proof rests upon you to show that your more incomplete standard does not indicate an incomplete Lutheran faith." Theodore E. Schmauk and C. Theodore Benze, The Confessional Principle and the Confessions, as Embodying the Evangelical Confession of the Christian Church, Philadelphia: 1911, p. 890.

"The greatest single weakness, it seems to this reviewer, in Dr. Lindsell's battle line is in the area of fellowship. The soft spot is his failure to advise a fellowship practice that accords fully with Scripture, a failure that has ever been a weakness among the 'evangelicals.' Review of The Battle for the Bible, by Harold Lindsell, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1976. Armin W. Schuetze, Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly, October, 1976 73, p. 326.

"CHIEFS CONFER: Waiting their turn to speak at a recent Lutheran leadership consultation are Dr. Carl Mischke, president of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Church...Bohlmann...and ELCA Bishop Herbert W. Chilstrom. At the July 18-20 event in Snowbird, Utah, in the Wasatch Mountains, 130 Lutheran leaders gathered to articulate a 'vision of leadership' for their respective church bodies." The Lutheran, (ELCA) September 4, 1991 p. 33. [GJ - Funny how WELS did not run this news release in their magazine. Mischke's PR guy alluded to it, but he did not post the metaphorical group hug photo.]

"Before God every activity of our faith is at the same time fellowship activity in the Communion of Saints." Doctrinal Statements of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, Authorized by the Commission on Doctrinal Matters. p. 27.

"In selecting specific individuals or groups for a joint expression of faith we can do this only on the basis of their confession." Doctrinal Statements of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, Authorized by the Commission on Doctrinal Matters. p. 29.

"Dr. Martin Marty is pastor of the Missouri Synod Church of the Holy Ghost, Elk Grove, Illinois. At the same time he is associate editor of The Christian Century, a religious journal which denies the teachings of Scripture on Jesus Christ, the inspiration of the Bible, the atonement, the virgin birth, and other cardinal doctrines...Whether or not Dr. Marty as associate editor is directly responsible for the shaping of editorial policy, the fact remains that he has lent his name and sanction as a Lutheran to the blasphemies the unchristian Century prints. Again the question: How many may have had a stumbling block put in the way of their faith by this gross offense? And what will the MIssouri Synod answer for lending its membership and prestige to that kind of gross offender? Luke 17:1, 2.
E. Arnold Sitz, Entrenched Unionistic Practices, A Record of Unionistic Practice in the LCMS Authorized by the Commission on Doctrinal Matters, Wisconsin Ev. Lutheran Synod. p. 21.

"In an essay on Unionism, Dr. F. Pieper, a former president of the Missouri Synod and successor of Dr. Walther as president of Concordia Theological Seminary, St. Louis, in 1924 said to the Oregon and Washington District: 'The Holy Scriptures very emphatically and in manifold ways teach that all fellowship with false doctrine is forbidden by God and is harmful to the Church.' On II John 10, 11, he said: 'God here forbids Unionism, religious fellowship with those who are known to be false teachers.'" Carl Lawrenz, Chairman, Commission on Doctrinal Matters, Fellowship Then and Now, Concerning the Impasse in the Intersynodical Discussions on Church Fellowship, p. 20. 2 John 10, 11    
"Rev. Brenner tells us how unionists in the General Council chloroformed the conscience of the body. When they entered into working arrangements (in the distinctly religious sphere) with the Reformed churches, they glazed the matter over by reporting that 'the object of these conferences is purely that of counsel concering the problems of foreign mission-work.' Only counsel; no fellowship; just consulting with one another. Thus does the camel push its nose into the tent. Let us keep our eyes open" (p. 98ff.) Carl Lawrenz, Chairman, Commission on Doctrinal Matters, Fellowship Then and Now, Concerning the Impasse in the Intersynodical Discussions on Church Fellowship, p. 23.

"Only recently Dr. Martin Marty, a pastor of the Missouri Synod and an associate editor of the Christian Century, outlined with considerable frankness the program and methods whereby changes may be effected within church bodies that still are antiecumenical (to him this means, church bodies who decline to engage in joint worship and church work unless first confessional unity has been established). Writing in the Christian Century, he advocates a program whereby the ecumenically minded remain within their church bodies, but 'work for constructive subversion, encirclement, and infiltration, until antiecumenical forces bow to the evangelical weight of reunion.' Although they remain within their denominations, with whose principles they do not agree, they will 'somehow telegraph to the world who it is they serve and where their loyalties already lie' (Jan. 11, 1961, p. 45). These are the methods Dr. Marty openly proposes."
Carl Lawrenz, Chairman, Commission on Doctrinal Matters, Fellowship Then and Now, Concerning the Impasse in the Intersynodical Discussions on Church Fellowship, p. 27.

"Those who defend a false union assert that while practicing unionistic fellowship one can still cling firmly to the true confession, that unionism is not then synonymous with indifferentism. This is an illusion, even as experience has sufficiently shown that a false union opens the doors wide to indifferentism. And how could it be otherwise?" Adolf Hoenecke, Dogmatik III, p. 441f. Carl Lawrenz, Chairman, Commission on Doctrinal Matters, Fellowship Then and Now, Concerning the Impasse in the Intersynodical Discussions on Church Fellowship, p. 31.

"$60,000 General world relief (through C.A.R.E. and Lutheran World Relief) Rev. Kennth Strack, chairman WELS Reports and Memorials for the Fifty-fourth Biennial Convention, Milwaukee: WELS, 1997. p. 165.

"False ecumenism wants organizational unity instead of Scriptural unity." Waldo J. Werning, The Radical Nature of Christianity, Church Growth Eyes Look at the Supernatural Mission of the Christian and the Church, South Pasadena: William Carey Library, 1975, p. 101.

"Unscriptural fellowship means acceptance of differences in doctrine, which are ignored by conducting joint religious acts and worship."
Waldo J. Werning, The Radical Nature of Christianity, Church Growth Eyes Look at the Supernatural Mission of the Christian and the Church, South Pasadena: William Carey Library, 1975, p. 102f. [GJ - Werning and Bunkowske were Church Growth bedfellows at Concordia Seminary in Ft. Wayne. Now Jay Webber and Bunkowske are bedfellows at the ELCA Institute of Lutheran Theology.]


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Second Mid-Week Advent Vespers Service, 2016


Second Mid-Week Advent Vespers Service, 2016
7 PM Central Standard Time

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson



The Hymn #554          Now Rest Beneath Night's Shadow
The Order of Vespers                                              p. 41
The Psalmody                       Psalm 92                    p. 143
The Lection                           Isaiah 53
The Sermon Hymn #645       Behold a Branch             

The Sermon – The Suffering Servant

The Prayers
The Lord’s Prayer
The Collect for Grace                                            p. 45
The Hymn # 558                 All Praise to Thee  

              

Isaiah 52:13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.
14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:
15 So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.

53 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
The Suffering Servant

Today I was studying some of the Lutheran writers from the past, many largely forgotten. These were men from the history of the ELCA, so no one wants to remember their faithfulness to the Word of God. On the other hand, the Synodical Conference people (WELS-ELS-LCMS) do not want to acknowledge someone outside their own boundaries.
However, their works continue to be studied and reprinted because the truth of the Scriptures is timeless, just as the fads of the moment are locked into that era. I have watched many popular fads come and go. Nothing is so unloved as an old fad. But if something touches upon the eternal, its value is lasting and often discovered again and again.
Bach was forgotten after his era was over, but Mendelssohn said, "This musician is a genius." Now I see many people listing Bach as a favorite musician, along with the Grateful Dead and other celebrities. Bach was an orthodox Lutheran 
Moby Dick was hated in its own era and the few printed copies never really sold. When they burned in a fire, the publisher said, "No reason to reprint the lost ones, because they were not selling anyway." Decades later someone discovered the whale book again and it became required reading.  
The Suffering Servant passages of Isaiah were mysterious to the Jews for centuries, especially the reading for tonight. We can see how true that is, because the disciples did not see that before their eyes, not until all the events had unfolded. They were no different from the rest. The truth was so powerful and different that everyone was blind to it.
That is not strange, because the term King always bears the meaning of ruler and warrior. The combination is consistent throughout human history. Today many Third World rulers fashion themselves as military generals when they can fill that role or not.
Julius Caesar was first a successful Roman general, whose battles are still studied. In fact, some of his greatest successes are reproduced in animations so people can study how the descriptions of the battle looked.
As I wrote before, the concept of Messiah was wrongly associated with a soldier because descending from King David suggested battle. Judas Maccabeus and two zealot leaders after Jesus were the three Messianic pretenders who werenot the real Messiah.
The real Messiah was a different kind of King - "My Kingdom is not of this world." Jesus was not limited by the human concept of kingship. All governments fade away. All empires end. So many powerful kingdoms have passed away that people cannot remember them all.
One brilliant writer recorded the 1100 year history of the Byzantine Empire. The summary is good for three thick volumes. He wrote, "By the time I had finished this work, I was already forgetting some things that I had written in it." After all, how does one remember 11 centuries of history? And most do not know any of this.
We associate influence with power - how much territory is controlled, how many soldiers are armed, how many lethal weapons are developed. The Byzantine Empire had a liquid flame-thrower that terrified its enemies. 
The Suffering Servant is the opposite of all this. Jesus' greatest work was not one of power in the normal sense, but apparent weakness - allowing the forces of religion and state to torture and kill Him. All the worst aspects of abandonment were felt, but this was consistent with His birth. 
Instead of being born in a royal palace, He came to us in apparent weakness and poverty, so that the trappings of power would not frighten or repel us. 
Likewise, the description of Jesus in this passage can make us sympathetic with those who could not see the Messiah there - before it happened.
The passage begins with the repellent image of the tortured Servant. After the introduction, this is repeated with the question, "Who will believe our report?"
That question is repeated by Paul in Romans 10, because report is the equivalent of sermon. When people speak about how Jesus came into our world, born of a Virgin, dying for our sins, this account - sermon - report is the sermon that creates and sustains faith.
Romans 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
That is the difference between human history and the Gospel story. Human history has many variations, such as the five different reasons offered for Napoleon losing the Battle of Waterloo. But the Report is one story, God's revelation, and this story has converted millions to faith in Jesus Christ the Savior.

The Report in Isaiah is that this horrible torture and death would have a reason - suffering and dying for our sins.
This claim, at first glance, seems hard to get across - except for the worship God directed  Israel to conduct. They sacrificed spotless lambs for their sins. They acknowledged he Passover Lamb that led to their freedom from Egypt and settling in the Promised Land.
So the concept of an innocent sacrifice for sin was embedded in Israel for centuries before the Son was incarnate by the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mary. What seems illogical from the outside is clearly consistent with centuries of the Word and worship. Even today, those who know little about Judaism are aware of the Day of Atonement. That was October 11 this year.
So the purpose is well established in Isaiah 53. But the details are also spelled out so that no one can deny them. Jesus 
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
Apart from all the other details, in how many incidents do we have where this could be true? - He was punished as a wicked man, the worst kind of criminal, and yet he was buried as if He were a wealthy man of respect.
This is an example of God's wisdom, that He gives us a Report that inspires and nurtures faith. When our Old Adam, fed by sceptics and scoffers, says, "How could this all be truth," the revelation itself teaches us.
  1. All the details are correct.
  2. They occur throughout the Old Testament and are repeated in the New Testament.
  3. They teach us the love, mercy, and forgiveness of God the Father and the grace of Jesus Christ His Son, the Report witnessed by the Holy Spirit.
The Bible gives us a history that telescopes outward, far into the future - the Great Judgment - and back down to microscopic views, each and every detail necessary for us to know.  
Most important, this all shows us that we have a purpose, because this Report shows us God's purpose. We are part of His plan, in spite of suffering, health problems, rebukes, set-backs, and all kinds of anxiety.
We are still in His hands and part of His purpose, as the Word shows us.

How To Find a Graphic on Ichabod


This is an easy way to find a graphic and often a story with it, on Ichabod.

Start with Google Images and write in Ichabod the Glory

then add your search - Robert Preus


That will yield all these graphics, many of them with Robert Preus in them -

Robert Preus et al. images on Ichabod

If you "view page," you will usually find an Ichabod article associated with it.

The Forgotten J. Michael Reu - From 2012.
He Would Not Recognize the Seminary Where He Taught for the Iowa Synod/ALC - Now ELCA

Johann Michael Reu became more conservative
as he matured, so that offended his ELCA descendants.


Talbot School of Theology: Christian Educators:


Johann Michael Reu
By Mark Kvale & Robert C. Wiederaenders
Biography
Contributions to Christian Education
Bibliography

J. Michael Reu (1869-1943): Was born in Germany and immigrated to America. As an ordained Lutheran clergy, he was an educator his entire professional life, whether while teaching a class of seminarians, training lay leaders to teach Sunday School, teaching a group of confirmands, or preaching to a congregation. While he was an educator, Reu never stopped being a student. It was said of Reu, that the Bible was a love story from beginning to end, God wooing back His own and sustaining them with heavenly food. Reu understood the main task of Christian education to be telling the story of God as revealed in scripture. And for Reu, the study of scripture was more than just the pursuit of knowledge, but had to do with formation and feeding of the soul. He leaves a legacy of a man who was a teacher, pastor, student and lover of God's word.

Biography
In his forty-three years as a professor at Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, IA, Johann Michael Reu taught generations of seminary students as well as lay leaders how to be teachers. His many books and articles cover a vast array of subjects including homiletics, doctrine, catechetics, and practical and thorough discourses on how to teach Sunday School. Reu founded a graduate school at Wartburg, was committed to educating lay leaders, and was one of the first religious educators to be concerned about providing continuing education programs for pastors.

"We Knew Him" We knew him and we marveled, for the years Passing him by in decades, touched him not.


We knew him and we marveled, for he bent To labors monumental and renewed At the Well of the Word daily his strength of ten.


We knew him and we marveled, for his faith, Maugre the mind's lone eminence supreme, Was humble as flame the heart of a child may cup A-caroling sweetly forth on Holy Eve.


We knew him. Still we marvel. And we praise God for his lending who is again with God.

This poem, written in celebration of the life of J. Michael Reu, shortly after his death, bears witness to the legacy of this man, who for over forty years taught and molded people into leaders who taught the Word of God. J. Michael Reu, pastor, professor, and church leader was a person who did indeed labor monumentally at the task of not only teaching the Word, but helping future leaders develop skills as teachers themselves.

The Life of J. Michael Reu
Johann Michael Reu (pronounced "Roy"), was born on November 16, 1869, in the German village of Diebach, Bavaria. He was the youngest of ten children born to Johann Friedrich Reu and Margarete Henkelmann. Johann Friedrich was a mason and contractor, who died when Johann Michael was only two years old. Reu exhibited exceptional academic gifts at an early age, which were noticed and nourished by the village pastor. In addition to the normal confirmation instruction, this pastor took it upon himself to give Reu lessons in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew.

The pastor recognized gifts for ministry in the young Reu. The amount of money and time needed to fund and partake in a normal course of studies in preparation for service in the state church was too prohibitive for the Reu family. So, at the suggestion of the pastor, Reu entered the missionhaus in nearby Neuendettelsau, an institution that was not as expensive. This school was founded by Pastor Wilhelm Loehe, to train pastors to serve the German people who had traveled to America. William Weiblen has this to say about the approach to formation for mission espoused by Loehe, and Reu's unique giftedness to thrive in this environment:

Reu's life is also a remarkable testimony to the validity of Wilhelm Loehe's idea to provide another route to prepare people for the parish ministry. Loehe's emergency arrangement, which provided hundreds of pastors for the Lutheran church on the frontier in America, Papua New Guinea, Brazil, and other places, reminds us that the way to learning and creative service need not be bound to established models. Reu stands as a superb example of Loehe's idea that you could take a bright young student with eight to ten years of basic education, teach that student how to study and think, and the student could become a life-long learner and scholar. That is what happened to Professor Reu, for if there ever was a self-made scholar, Reu was certainly that person.

Reu studied at Neuendettelsau from 1887-1889. Reu was a superb student. He distinguished himself in biblical studies; so much so, that one of his professors appointed him as an instructor in Hebrew. In addition to being less expensive, the education that was offered at the missionhaus was considered by many to be substandard. Craig Nessan has suggested that Reu was driven by the need to prove his academic integrity. In regards to his academic abilities, William Weiblen says:

Reu was gifted with genius and discipline. It seems (he was not only gifted with a near photographic memory, but he seems to have been born with a scientific, computer-like method of classifying and organizing whatever subject he chose to research.

At the end of his studies, even though he was not even twenty years old, Reu immigrated to America to begin pastoral ministry. He was ordained and called to the "new world"- to Mendota, Illinois to be an assistant of Pastor F. Richter. After a year serving in this capacity, Reu received a call to be the solo pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Rock Falls, IL. He served in Rock Falls for nine years. On November 16, 1892, Reu married Marie Wilhelmina Schmitthenner, whom he had met in New York on arriving in America. The Reu's were married for over fifty years and raised four children. Reu engaged whole heartedly into his call as pastor in Rock Falls. Of his time there, Pilger recalls how Reu devoted quite a bit of himself to teaching the children of the parish. Unfortunately, his earliest experiences as a teacher in the parish were not always successful:

On an especially bad day … when his nerves through overwork and too late hours [were] perhaps a little frayed, when he found nothing but stupidity, looked into nothing but vacant, uncomprehending and indifferent eyes, met with nothing but ill-will, he became so exasperated, that, tears in his eyes, he rushed out of the classroom, so that Mrs. Reu had to go over to pacify first the flustered class, then her repentant husband.

This ominous start led to Reu's work in developing instructional material for Luther's Small Catechism which was to be used in the parish setting. Reu grew in his abilities as a preacher during this time and by all accounts, Immanuel Lutheran Church prospered during Reu's time as pastor.

In 1899, Reu was called to Wartburg Seminary in order to fill a position left vacant by the illness of one of the professors. Reu would remain at Wartburg for the rest of his life. Reu "hit the ground running." He was not deterred when after he had been at Wartburg for a year or two he was named business manager of the seminary, a position he held to the end of his life.

He was criticized by some professional theologians because he was not coming up with some original nuance of theology. His answer was that he was not that kind of theologian. His calling was to collate and systematize the teachings of all the Lutheran theologians and communicate this to the lay members of Lutheran congregation by way of the students he was teaching in the seminary.

At some point, Reu would have taught every course offered in the seminary: Hebrew for two years, Greek for six, Introduction to the New Testament for four, Religious Education for sixteen, Practical Methods for ten, as well as Liturgics, Homiletics, Hebrew, and Greek exegesis, Romans, Galatians, Philippians, Ephesians, Symbolics, Life of Luther, Dogmatics, and Introduction to Theology.

In one of his letters to an admirer who observed that Dr. Reu was teaching 16 hours of class a week (which was not unusual for him) he responded "Ja, and that means sixteen preparations."

In his call at Wartburg, Reu produced an astounding number of texts dealing with the subjects taught at seminary: Cathechetics, or Theory and Practice of Religious Instruction, Homiletics: A Manual of the Theory and Practice of Preaching, Lutheran Dogmatics, and Paedagogik. (He) was a demanding teacher, expecting much from his students, as he did of himself. Robert C. Olsen has this to say of Reu's expectations.

He (Reu) was a very thorough exegete, and insisted that his students be the same. The text in its original meaning, context, and train of thought - these had to be recovered with great care. He [wrote] in his Homiletics: 'If the preacher, owing to defective preparation, has no Hebrew, he may find not a substitute but a stopgap in the cross-reference Bible. As for the preacher incapable of using the Greek New Testament, he will have difficulty to prove his right to exist.

In addition to the preparation required for teaching, Reu began writing. Two early works were a collection of commentaries of Thomasius (Thomasius Old Testament Selections) and a compilation of the catechisms of The Evangelical Church of Germany from the years 1530-1600. These two works, published in 1904, marked just the beginning of a life as a prolific writer.

1904 is the year in which Reu assumed the editorial responsibility for the Kirchliche Zeitschrift, which was the theological journal of the Iowa Synod of the Lutheran church. Reu maintained this position until his death in 1943. A major part of this responsibility involved the review of books and writings. During the forty years of being editor, Reu reviewed "the astounding number of 3,631 books, almost a hundred every year, almost two a week."

Another feature of the Kirchliche Zeitschrift was Reu's observations of the current events taking place in the church. An example of this is an article entitled: "Why are So Many Members Lost to the Lutheran Church." Here is an excerpt from this article.

Would that our younger pastors would study the good old German and Scandinavian sermonic literature from confessional Lutheran pastors and that they would in addition drink liberally from a linguistic standpoint from their English Bible and from a few nobler modern secular English works! This would result in much sounder Lutheran preaching in English garb than is achieved by pouncing on the Reformed sermonic literature before they had themselves become firm in the saddle. Here the English-speaking Lutheran Church, for it is of her only that we are speaking, still has much work to do if she does not want to lose her Lutheran individuality and thereby herself contribute to the transference of her members into the Reformed church.

Reu began receiving recognition for his scholarship and writing. In 1910, Erlangen University honored him by naming Reu a Doctor of Theology. And, in 1914, the University of Leipzig elected Reu to fill the position of professor of Practical Theology. Since the university was under the direction of the state, the government had to approve his appointment. It was denied on the grounds that Reu was no longer a German citizen. Reu applied for citizenship in the United States in 1902. Later, in 1926, Reu also received an honorary Doctorate of Literature from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.

Reu believed that "sound theological understanding proceeds from solid exegetical and historical study," and was "driven to demonstrate he could provide the answer for everything by connecting it to the scriptures."

There are many stories that have become part of the lore of Reu regarding the high expectations of Reu for his seminary students. But this drive for perfection was founded on a deep respect for the Bible, the Word of God. Olsen quotes a Dr. John G. Kuethe in this regard. "It cannot be repeated too often that for Reu the Bible was a love story from beginning to end, God wooing back His own and sustaining them with heavenly food." William Weiblen has this to say about Reu in this regard;

Professor Reu directed his scholarship to helping the pastors and teachers of the church bring the liberating message of the Bible and Reformation to people of today. In other words, Reu's scholarship was pastorally centered. Scholarship, he believed, served the task of theology only if it was practical and applicable to the contemporary life of the people of God.

Weiblen continues this theme: "In other words, what one believes expresses itself in what one understands about oneself and what one does-Christian faith and life belong together. In this way Reu thought of himself as a 'practical theologian."

Reu was not a theoretical academician. He remained throughout his career a pastor, possessing a pastor's heart and desire to see the good news of Christ, and a solid understanding of Lutheran tradition transmitted and shared with all people. Running concurrent with his duties at Wartburg was a call to serve a small congregation outside of Dubuque. Most of his works regarding how to teach Sunday School and Luther's Small Catechism were based on practical experience gained in the congregation.

Reu was also highly attentive to the importance of providing on-going educational opportunities for pastors after seminary. As an educator Reu initiated the first graduate studies program at Wartburg in 1930's. Reu also initiated what is one of the oldest (if not the oldest) continuing education programs for pastors in America, the Luther Academy. Now known as the Luther Academy of the Rockies, the program began by Reu in 1937.

Reu was also heavily involved in the work of the larger Lutheran church. He served on the synodical Committee on Young Peoples' Societies and Sunday Schools. In 1920 he served as chair of the synodical Propaganda Committee, the purpose of which was to help with the German post-war relief effort. He served as delegate for the Iowa Synod to the Lutheran World Conventions in Eisenach, Germany, Copenhagen, Denmark, and Paris, France.

The Reu's celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1943. Beginning in the summer of that same year, Reu began to experience health problems, which included loss of weight. He went to the hospitals in Rochester, MN three times for tests to determine the cause of his illness. He died, quite suddenly at Rochester on the morning of October 14. Up until this last hospitalization, Reu had been active as teacher, hoping to return as soon as possible to Wartburg.

It was said of the Reu's house that it resembled more a library than a home, reflecting perhaps, Reu's deep and enduring passion for learning and for the teaching of God's word. It is quite fitting that the library at Wartburg Theological Seminary is named the Reu Memorial Library, serving as a legacy of a man who was a teacher, pastor, student, lover of God's word.

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Contributions to Christian Education
Throughout his long and storied career at Wartburg, Reu was first and foremost an educator; of his seminary students, of the people of the congregations he served, and of others whose task it was to teach. And driving all that he was as an educator, was his deep and profound love and respect and reverence of God's word.

William Streng said this about Reu's understanding of scripture and the role of education; "Reu absorbed the conviction that religious education is to 'connect the individual stories of the Bible into a connected history of salvation.'" For Reu, the study of scripture was more than just the pursuit of knowledge, but had to do with the formation and feeding of the soul. Paul Johnston cites Rue's Grundsatze zur Herestellung;

The newer pedagogy has become more and more agreed that the ultimate purpose of all instruction is by no means the transmission of the accomplishments of the present culture to the growing new generation, but the arousal of a many sided 'interest' of the soul. However, 'interest' is a personal participation of the soul in the subject which is treated in the instruction, and inner exchange of communication of the pupil with the instructional material, an intellectual association with it, an intellectual being in between, an inner immersion in it, so that the soul learns to love this material, becomes at home in it, an prefers it to other materials. Such an interest cannot be achieved nor become permanent without positive knowledge; for this reason instruction must always be given in such a way that together with it there is connected the appropriation of a certain knowledge material, which will vary in amount according to circumstances. This is not, however, the ultimate purpose of instruction, let alone the only one. The chief thing is and remains that the soul of the pupil is stimulated, so that he becomes interested in what he is learning, so that he loves it. Of individual items of knowledge he may in the future lose and forget some; once this exchange of communication between the soul and material has taken place, he will not only find his way about in it again and again, but the material also possesses enough attraction for him that he will sometime later return to it and become more and more at home in it.

Reu understood that a student's encounter with scripture was an ongoing process; "… a one-time running through the biblical historical materials can by no means produce that familiarity with them with which the young people should be equipped as they go forth into life …"

Reu held Martin Luther's Small Catechism to be of great importance in this desire to feed, form, and nurture the soul. Reu believed that Luther's understanding of God and of the central concept of being justified by grace through faith in Jesus Christ was combined with how the Small Catechism was a source of profound instruction on how to respond to that grace in one's daily life. Reu believed that the Small Catechism "teaches this truth and thereby the nature of true morality so beautifully, impressively, and forcibly as you can hardly find it anywhere else in all human literature."

What follows is Reu's preface to the tenth printing of his book, An Explanation of Dr. Martin Luther's Small Catechism.

In preparing this volume, I have been guided by the conviction that any explanation of Luther's Small Catechism should merely lead the pupil into the wealth of evangelical truth contained in the Reformer's own terse explanation. Therefore I have shunned every thought of supplementing Luther's text with additional material from dogmatics or sacred history and have followed no design of elaborating the Five Chief Parts into a theological system, possibly by constructing an overture from one part to another. Likewise I have purposely avoided giving an independent exegesis of the Catechism text proper and have regarded not the text by Luther's explanation of it as the source of material to be taught. Possibly the only departure from this principle is found in the treatment of the Second Chief Part, where several historical references are made and where the underlying outline followed by Luther is brought out. These in brief are the principles which have determined what material was to be included in the present treatment of the subject or excluded from it. I feel that by observing these principles one can best apply to the life of the child the material contained in the Catechism-and this touching the everyday life of the child is the important thing in our religious instruction.

The influence of Reu's edition of the "Small Catechism" was still used by many pastors who were trained by Reu, but began to lose its influence when the Church approved different translations of the work, which spelled the death of memorization.

As mentioned previously, during his tenure at Wartburg, Reu taught in every division of the seminary. Two of his works; Cathechetics, or Theory and Practice of Religious Instruction and Homiletics: A Manual of the Theory and Practice of Preaching , became not only staples of the educational diet of Wartburg but also proved to be influential and formative for Lutheran seminary students and scholars across the Lutheran spectrum.

Paul Johnston, in his fine article (as well as his many other writings on Reu) says this about Reu's Cathechetics, or Theory and Practice of Religious Instruction;

Reu's Catechetics was the first and is still the only work by an American Lutheran author which attempts to survey the whole field of sacred and secular educational theory and practice and then seeks to combine these different perspectives into a systematic, scholarly whole.

Reu understood the main task of Christian education to be telling the story of God, as revealed in scripture. All of his understanding was driven by this central norm. Coupled with this was Reu's grasp of the importance of knowing those whom educators would be bringing the knowledge of scripture. Included in this knowledge was an understanding of different abilities and levels of development, and different learning styles. Paul Johnson has this to say about Reu's understanding of Christian education;

Reu's educational task [was] based on emphasis on 'arousing the pupil's interest in new material by relating it to what he already knows, and the place which ideas or 'concepts' have in forming the whole content of the mind and, thus, of education.

Reu understood the importance and impact a variety of teaching styles could have on the way a student absorbed the biblical story. All the senses were important avenues for engaging the text; hearing the story, reading the story, memorization, the visual arts. Reu saw that a child approached study in different ways, with a "many-sided interest." With this in mind, Reu saw the need to be flexible and adaptable in teaching the biblical story to children. Johnston provides a quote of Reu that summarizes this understanding;

No matter how much we emphasize that the truths for faith and life which are contained in the individual stories must be pointed out and many-sided interests aroused in the child, we know also that the story has its own reality; yes, it serves us as a means of education precisely because it is a link in the chain of the events which happened for our salvation; we would not even use them as a means for education if it were to be only the garment in which ethical thoughts are clothed; then it would be better if we used fairy tales or stories from the present.

Reu's influence as a molder of Christian educators did not stop with seminary students. Reu provided an enormous amount of materials for those who taught in the parish; Sunday School teachers, those involved in confirmation, lay leaders of the congregations and those who were going abroad to serve as missionaries. Any aspect of Christian education was of great importance for Reu.

J. Michael Reu was an educator his entire professional life, whether while teaching a class of seminarians, training lay leaders to teach Sunday School, teaching a group of confirmands, or preaching to a congregation. While he was an educator, Reu never stopped being a student. William Streng provides this anecdote; "When one day a student (of Reu's) prefaced his question by saying, 'When you were a student,' Reu interrupted, 'I still am.'"

Central to Reu's understanding of Christian education was the importance of sharing the biblical story of God and of God's salvation through God's Son, Jesus Christ. Any methodology or scholarship that did not center itself on this basic goal, or take into account where those who were to be taught were in their faith journeys, or in their educational levels, was suspect. Martin H. Scharlemann shared this story that summarizes who J. Michael Reu, Christian educator, was;

I was one of Dr. Reu's graduate students while I was a pastor … in Athens, Wisconsin … One of the courses I took was called 'Some Pericopes of the Church Year.' Dr. Reu required that each study include a detailed homiletical outline. I did one on Acts 2 and entitled it, 'Undoing Babel.' When my manuscript came back, Dr. Reu … put a question next to this subject title. It read very simply,'Will your farmers in Athens understand this?'

Works Cited
Johnston, Paul I. ed., Anthology of the Theological Writings of J. Michael Reu.(Lewiston: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1997).
Johnston, Paul I. "Christian Education in the Thought of Johann Michael Reu." Concordia Theological Quarterly Volume 58: Numbers 2-3. (Fort Wayne:Concordia Theological Seminary, April-July 1994), 28. Citing Reu's Grundsätze zur Herestellung.
Kvale, Mark. A Conversation/Interview. May 2005.
Neumann, G. "We Knew Him." Johann Michael Reu: A Book of Remembrance. Kirchliche Zeitschrift 1876-1943. (Columbus: The Wartburg Press, 1945).
Nessan, Craig L., editor. The Air I Breathe is Wartburg Air: The Legacy of William H. Weiblen. (Eugene: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2003).
Pilger, A. "Johann Michael Reu." Johann Michael Reu: A Book of Remembrance. Kirchliche Zeitschrift 1876-1943. (Columbus: The Wartburg Press, 1945).
Reu, J. Michael. An Explanation of Dr. Martin Luther's Small Catechism: Together with Four Supplements, Tenth Printing. (Columbus: The Wartburg Press, 1959).
Wiederaenders, Robert C. (Ed.). In Remembrance of Reu: An Evaluation of the Life and Work of J. Michael Reu, 1869-1943 on the 100th Anniversary of His Birth by Some of His Friends and Former Students. (Dubuque: Wartburg Seminary Association, 1969).
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Bibliography
Reu, J. Michael (1959). An Explanation of Dr. Martin Luther's Small Catechism: Together with Four Supplements, Tenth Printing. Columbus: The Wartburg Press.
Reu, J. Michael ( 1926).A New English Translation of Luther's Small Catechism. Chicago: Wartburg Publishing.
Reu, J. Michael (1952).Biblical History for School and Home. Columbus: The Wartburg Press.
Reu, J. Michael (1931).Cathechetics, or Theory and Practice of Religious Instruction.3rd Edition.Chicago: Wartburg Publishing House.
Reu, J. Michael (1935).Christian Ethics. Columbus: The Lutheran Book Concern.
Reu, J. Michael (1930).Contributions of the Lutheran Church to American Life, Literature, and Culture. Chicago: Wartburg Publishing House.
Reu, J. Michael (1919). Dr. Martin Luther's Small Catechism: Together with a Selection of Short Scripture Texts, Hymns and Prayers. Chicago: Wartburg Publishing House.
Reu, J. Michael (1950). Homiletics: A Manual of the Theory and Practice of Preaching. Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House.
Reu, J. Michael (1938). How I Tell the Bible Stories to My Sunday School. Revised Edition. Chicago: Wartburg Publishing House.
Reu, J. Michael (1939). How to Teach in the Sunday School: A Teacher Training Course. Columbus: The Lutheran Book Concern.
Reu, J. Michael (1940). In the Interest of Lutheran Unity. Two Lectures: Unionism and How Can We Become Certain of Its Divine Origin? Columbus: The Lutheran Book Concern.
Reu, J. Michael (1951). Lutheran Dogmatics, Revised Edition. Dubuque.
Reu, J. Michael (1935). Lutheran Faith and Life: A Manual for the Instruction of Adults. Columbus: The Lutheran Book Concern.
Reu, J. Michael (1944). Luther and the Scriptures. Columbus: The Wartburg Press.
Reu, J. Michael (1934). Luther's German Bible: An Historical Presentation Together with a Collection of Sources. Columbus: The Lutheran Book Concern.
Reu, J. Michael (1906). Paedagogik. Dubuque.
Reu, J. Michael (1933). Sunday School Teacher Training Course. Columbus: The Lutheran Book Concern.
Reu, J. Michael (1930). The Augsburg Confession: A Collection of Sources with an Historical Introduction. Chicago: Wartburg Publishing House.
Reu, J. Michael (1932). The Book of Books: An Introduction to the Bible for Bible Classes in Sunday Schools, Academies and Colleges, and for the Christian Home. Chicago: Wartburg Publishing House.
Reu, J. Michael (1936). The Church and the Social Problem. Columbus: The Lutheran Book Concern.
Reu, J. Michael (1917). The Life of Dr. Martin Luther for the Christian Home. Chicago: Wartburg Publishing House.
Reu, J. Michael (1917). Thirty-Five Years of Luther Research. Chicago: Wartburg Publishing House.
Reu, J. Michael (1959). Thomasius Old Testament Selections. Columbus: The Wartburg Press.
Reu, J. Michael (1921). Topics for Young People's Societies. Chicago: Wartburg Publishing House.
Reu, J. Michael (1952). Two Treatises on the Means of Grace. Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House.
Reu, J. Michael (1916). Wartburg Lesson Helps for Beginners in the Sunday School and Home. Chicago: Wartburg Publishing House.
>Reu, J. Michael (1916). Wartburg Lesson Helps for Lutheran Sunday Schools: Senior Department. Chicago: Wartburg Publishing House.
Writings about Reu
Johnston, P. I. "Christian Education in the Thought of Johann Michael Reu." Concordia Theological Quarterly Volume 58: Numbers 2-3. Fort Wayne: Concordia Theological Seminary, April-July 1994. 93-111.
Johnson, P. I. (1989). An Assessment of the educational philosophy of Johann Michael Reu using the the hermeneutic paradigms of J. F. Herbart and of J. C. K. Von Hofmann and the Erlangen School (German Protestant) (Doctoral Dissertation, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, (1989). Dissertation Abstracts International, 50, 11.
Johnston, P. I. (1993). Reu's Understanding of the Small Catechism. Lutheran Quarterly, 7(4), 425-450. http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.biola.edu
Nessan, Craig L., editor. The Air I Breathe is Wartburg Air: The Legacy of William H. Weiblen. Eugene: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2003.
Neumann, G. "We Knew Him." Johann Michael Reu: A Book of Remembrance. Kirchliche Zeitschrift 1876-1943. Columbus: The Wartburg Press, 1945. 6.
Olsen, Robert C. Johann Michael Reu: 1869-1943. Dubuque: Wartburg Seminary Association, 1969.
Pilger, A. "Johann Michael Reu." Johann Michael Reu: A Book of Remembrance. Kirchliche Zeitschrift 1876-1943. Columbus: The Wartburg Press, 1945. 7-47. The definitive biography is in this final issue. As editor of the journal, Reu reviewed an average of about two books a week for forty years, and in every issue he commented on what was going on in the church and world.
Other Resources
Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, IA, has the master file on him: over 600 written out sermons, hundreds of articles, tracts, and miscellaneous writings, and of course a full file of the journal, Kirchliche Zeitschrift, and many thousands of letters.
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Excerpts from Publications
Reu, J. Michael (1938). How I Tell the Bible Stories to My Sunday School. Revised Edition. Chicago: Wartburg Publishing House. 66-67.
Chapter 4

The Soul-Life of the Sunday School Children

Summary

The body of the children (eyes, ears, nerves)

The soul-life of the children:

I. The Intellectual Life

A. Sensation (in the wide sense)

1. Sensation (in the narrow sense)

2. Perception

3. Intuition: What it is; How important it is; How the teacher can secure it

a) By showing the objects in nature

b) By visualizing the objects by means of pictures, models and maps

c) By visualizing religious truths by means of comparison with objects of the natural world

d) By visualizing the religious truths by showing them realized in the life of men

B. Conception (in the wide sense)

1. Conception (in the narrow sense)

2. The movements and associations of concepts, and the laws according to which they associate

3. The reproduction of concepts and the laws according to which they are reproduced; memory and its importance for the training of youth; fundamental rule that is to be observed in assigning material to be memorized

4. The phantasy or imagination that forms new pictures of the concepts already in the soul

5. The apperception that interprets new concepts by means of old ones; important didactic rules based upon the fact of apperception

C. Thinking (in the narrow sense)

1. The formation of conceptions

2. The formation of judgments

3. The formation of conclusions

II. The Emotional Life

A. The functions of the emotions and their importance.

B. The various forms of emotions or feelings

1. The intellectual feelings

2. The esthetic feelings

3. The moral feelings

4. The religious feelings

5. The social feelings

6. The feelings caused by consideration of others

Reu, J. Michael (1931). Cathechetics, or Theory and Practice of Religious Instruction. 3rd Edition. Chicago. Wartburg Publishing House. 221.
"The subject of religious instruction by the Church is the child or the pupil, whose instruction and education becomes her object. He must be accurately understood, and the peculiarities of his life must remain under observation if instruction and education are to be a success. The pupil is constituted of body and soul-the former his material, the latter his psychical, constituent. Materialism denies the independence of the soul, explaining psychic phenomena as mere physical, or cerebral, products. The facts of experience, however, as, for instance, the continuity of self-consciousness in face of the incessant organic changes, also in the brain; the unity of consciousness; the impossibility for a movement of material atoms to produce anything but another physical movement; the strife between soul and body and the rule of the latter by the soul,-facts such as these, and Scripture as well, require as postulate behind the motions of the brain an invisible and independent quantity, essentially different not from the brain alone but from all matter whatever, and permeating and determining the whole body. This is the being which we call soul. Accordingly two worlds essentially different from each other are merged in the pupil in wondrous union".

Reu, J. Michael (1917). Thirty Five Years of Luther Research. Chicago: Wartburg Publishing House. 91-92.
"It was in his "German Mass" that Luther declared catechetical instruction of the young as a necessary part of an evangelical Divine Service. 'One of the principal parts of a right German order of worship is a plain and good instruction of the youth,' he said. Here he also illustrated in a remarkable manner, in which way children could be brought to a correct understanding of the Ten Commandments, the Creed, the Lord's Prayer. … [We] must be astonished over the amount of time and work Luther devoted to the young and the uneducated. … He even gathered them in his house in the evening and expounded to them the meaning of these texts in such a plain and simple way that even the weakest ones could grasp the evangelical truth".

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Recommended Readings
Reu, J. Michael (1931). Cathechetics, or Theory and Practice of Religious Instruction. 3rd Edition. Chicago: Wartburg Publishing House. p. vi.
Reu writes of this text, "I can truthfully say that this textbook has grown out of scientific as well as practical study of catechetical problems extending over many years. Especially what is said concerning the various educational agencies and the distribution of material has been tested as to its practicableness either by myself or by some of my former pupils who perform all their catechetical work in English". "By the time it appeared in its third edition in 1931 it was a 658-page manual on the history, theory, and practice of education in the Lutheran church. Reu's "Catechetics" was the first and is still the only work by an American Lutheran author which attempts to survey the whole field of sacred and secular educational theory and practice and then seeks to combine these different perspectives into a systematic, scholarly whole" (Johnston, Christian Education in the thought, p. 93).
Johnston, P. I. "Christian Education in the Thought of Johann Michael Reu."Concordia Theological Quarterly Volume 58: Numbers 2-3. Fort Wayne: Concordia Theological Seminary, April-July 1994. 93-111.
See this journal article for an overview of Reu's philosophical influences and his innovative integration based upon Johnston's extensive research.
Reu, J. Michael (1938). How I Tell the Bible Stories to My Sunday School. Revised Edition. Chicago: Wartburg Publishing House.

Mark Kvale
Mark Kvale, M.Div., Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, IA, serves as pastor in the Blair Lutheran Parish (ELCA) in Blair, Wisconsin.

Robert C. Wiederaenders
Robert C. Wiederaenders (retired) was achivist at Wartburg Seminary, for the American Lutheran Church, and more recently for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. He authored several works on the history of the Lutheran church, including An Historical Guide to Lutheran Church Bodies of North America (1998, Lutheran Historical Conference). He currently lives in Dubuque, Iowa.

 Louise Johnson is now president of Wartburg Seminary.
She is apparently single,
lacking in academic and pastoral qualifications.
That is a win/win for closing the school in a few years.


'via Blog this'