Below are the most popular posts from 2013 on Esgetology. It’s an interesting mix of theology, current events, and sermons.


1. Our Lord’s Gifts Are Not Garbage


Wherever our Lord’s Supper is celebrated, Pastor, Altar Guild, and all the people should strive to treat the Communion vessels and their holy Contents with great care. At Immanuel, after all have communed, pastor and assistants eat or drink what remains, and cleanse the vessels with water. After the Divine Service, the Altar Guild lovingly washes the vessels, and pours the water used to cleanse the individual cups on the ground (not in the sewer). Our Lord’s Gifts are not garbage. Every crumb is more precious than gold, every drop more valuable than all the world’s oil.


2. Communion refused?

Discussion of Robert Benne’s objection to being “refused” Communion at an LCMS conference.


3. How do Lutherans use the Law?

The antinomian problem in American Lutheranism and Holsten Fagerberg’s helpful discussion of the third use of the Law.


4. How do you use the Divine Service settings in Lutheran Service Book?

My reply to a new pastor on how to use the liturgies in LSB.


5. The untold story of the Philadelphia Massacre

One of the most important stories of 2013, Gosnell’s “House of Horrors”


6. Kieschnick on the Papacy

LCMS President-Emeritus Kieschnick comments on the election of Pope Francis.


7. [Sermo Dei] LCMS Life Conference: We Must Help the Weak (St. Titus, Acts 20:35)

My sermon from the LCMS Life Conference held in Arlington, VA at the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.


8. [Sermo Dei] Good Friday Passion Vespers


How patient can God be? Will He not now finally say, “I’ve had enough!”? “Away with these people. Let them die, let them go to Hell, let them rot forever in Sheol, let them be desolate and forsaken, let this entire miserable race vanish and become extinct!”

But instead God the Son, our Lord Jesus, takes our side. He takes every crack of the whip, every slice of skin and skull chipped away by the thorns; He takes every drop of spittle and slap on the cheek, every splinter from the wood and bruise from the blows of fists, every hammer-blow on the spikes and the thrust of the spear – taking all this into Himself He takes our side and pleads like our lawyer to the Judge: “Father, forgive them.”


9. [Sermo Dei] Trinity 14 [Proverbs 4:10-23]


Good morals are not Christianity. Muslim and Mormon, Buddhist and Baptist can all have good morals. But good morals are not Christianity.


10. Mormonism and Reformed Christology

Mormons and the Reformed both limit the extent of Jesus’ bodily presence.


11. Contraception and Homosexuality


Acceptance of contraception leads to the acceptance of homosexuality and ultimately every form of sexual deviancy outside the created order.


12. Sermo Dei: Matins, Teacher Work Week [Nehemiah 8]


The walls of western civilization are collapsing. And with that collapse, so also the church is shattered, splintered, fragmented. Many of our parents themselves have a weak or nominal commitment to Christianity. The students entrusted to our care will go out into a world deeply hostile to everything we teach here at Immanuel.

Like the people who heard Ezra and Nehemiah, we are wall-builders. We stand amidst the crumbling walls of a once Christian society. We cannot repair everything. But for these children, and their families, we can begin to rebuild. Every day you are building up the walls of the city, every day you are shoring up the foundation. Each reiteration of the Commandments is a mixing of the mortar. Every confession of the Creed is another stone to fill in the breach, every prayer a cry to God to save this ruined city, this shattered Church, this fallen world.


13. McClean on Kieschnick on the Papacy as Antichrist

My brother in office (and faithful former servant at Immanuel) reflects on the doctrine of the papacy in light of Kieschnick’s reaction to the election of Pope Francis.


Thank you for reading Esgetology! I look forward to a wonderful 2014 with my readers.