Tuesday, January 22, 2008

New doorstop!

I found a really great deal on Charles Porterfield Krauth's "The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology". It came in the mail today, and I think a small house could have been built with the trees used to print this thing: 840+ pages.

Here's a brief outline of his life:

1823 - Born at Martinsburg, Berkeley County, Virginia

1831-1839 - Attended Gettysburg Gymnasuim, which later became Pennsylvania College

1839-1841 - Attended Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

1841 - Licensed to preach by the Maryland Synod (18 years old)

1871 - "Conservative Reformation and Its Theology" published

1841-1883(+)- Pastor of many congregations, recipient of several honorary doctorates, author of innumerable books and scholarly articles.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sacramentarians and serpents and sin, OH MY!

I'm currently reading the Marburg Colloquy proceedings. This is a series of transcripts (kind of) from a two day debate between the Swiss Zwinglians and German Lutherans concerning primarily the Eucharist. The Zwinglians could not get past Christ's words "This is My Body", and Luther would not let them. I am reminded while reading this of the bronze serpent in Numbers:

Numbers 21:6-9

6 And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died.
7 So the people came to Moses and said, "We have sinned, because we have spoken against the Lord and you; intercede with the Lord, that He may remove the serpents from us." And Moses interceded for the people.
8 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Make for yourself a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he shall live."
9 And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived.

The Lord here promises to rescue His people from certain death by having them look at a bronze serpent.

That's all. Let's take a little while to digest that.

"O that Thou wouldst rend the heavens and come down..."

At the Jordan River, you can see where this happened. God the Father did rend the heavens, and looked down upon His Beloved, God the Son. And the Third Person of the Trinity did come down in the form of a dove to mark Christ at His baptism. Here, the Father says too all history, to all doubters, to all Jews, Muslims, Hindus, believers and unbelievers:

"This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well-pleased"

"But Jesus was just a good man, a great teacher, an example for us". No, the Almighty Creator of the universe tells all of us here that this is His Beloved Son, in Whom He is well-pleased.

Well, what comfort do these words, spoken directly to Christ nearly 2000 years ago, have for us? The comfort for us lies in that they were NOT spoken directly to US. Those two little words "In Whom" should ring joyfully in our ears. Because we clothe ourselves with Christ in our Baptism, God the Father sees only Christ when He looks at us, and God Himself has just told us that He is well-pleased with His Beloved Son.

When the judgement comes, as John the Baptist has just told us it surely will (and soon), we will be counted, not with the chaff, but with the good grain because we are in Christ in our Baptism. That is where our hope lies.

When we read "In Whom", we should hear "For You". That promise is for you and it is for me.


This is part of the tail end of my Sunday School lesson for today. The text was Matthew 3:13-17

We can and should, not unlike the founders of this state, shout "Remember the Jordan"!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

We'll see if this lasts...

The title is the first sentence from Luther's "Against the Heavenly Prophets in the Matter of Images and Sacraments" (not the "Devil is shuddering" part). It describes, appropriately I think, the changes in my life throughout the past 5 years. If you knew me then, and know me now, you'd know.

I use lots of " ( ) ". I thought I'd let you know now.

Hopefully I can keep this up. It has been nice keeping up with my cuz and new cuz in Nebraska this way (abundleofmyrrh.blogspot.com), and I imagine it'll be nice to keep up with what'll be going on with me in the next 4 years.

Don't know what's up? See here --> Concordia Theological Seminary

W.T. Odom

p.s. I think adding the "T" looks more distinguished, no? I already feel like an early 19th century theologian...now if I only had cholera.