Posts tagged “Trinity

Sermo Dei: Holy Trinity 2017

Posted on June 11th, 2017

Holy Trinity Isaiah 6:1-7 June 11, A+D 2017 I love the Athanasian Creed. The mystery of the Trinity – three coequal persons who each are God and yet there is one God – and then the mystery of the incarnation, that God the Son assumed our human flesh into His person – the more we know the less we understand; all we are left with is adoration. And yet I find the Athanasian Creed terrifying. It demands that not only my mind be conformed to God’s Word, but my life and deeds too. The books will be opened and I will be judged. Those who have done good will go into everlasting life; those who have done evil will go into everlasting condemnation. It’s…

Sermo Dei: Holy Trinity 2015

Posted on May 31st, 2015

The stillness of a pleasant evening was interrupted by the repeated crackle of electric death. Last Monday night Kassie and I were giving the new pastor and his fiancée a tour of the church and school, and as we walked the grounds I was surprised that one of our neighbors would have a bug zapper. It’s an ingenious device. Other traps lure prey in with an offer—meat on a bear trap, cheese or peanut butter on a mouse trap; once the offer is taken, the mechanism is tripped and death ensues. But with a bug zapper, the prize itself is what kills. The alluring light becomes the means of execution. Long ago, the devil speculated that human beings could be destroyed the same way.…

Sermo Dei: Trinity 2014

Posted on June 15th, 2014

Nicodemus came by night. (John 3:1-17) No mere time reference, Nicodemus is walking in the dark. You know the darkness. You’ve felt it, casting a pall over your mind, a shadow over your heart. The darkness burns like acid in your esophagus. In the darkness you lust, in the darkness you lament, in the darkness you plot revenge, in the darkness you seethe with anger and resentment. Besides all this, there is a spiritual darkness that demands of God, “How can these things be?” Creation. Marriage and sexuality. Abortion. These are all areas today where people hear the Word of God and scoff: “How can these things be?” Science—from the Latin word scientia meaning knowledge, understanding—pure science observes the world and finds evidence of…

Sermo Dei: Trinity Sunday 2013 [Isaiah 6:1-7]

Posted on May 27th, 2013

“Woe is me, for I am lost!” Have you ever felt that way? I certainly have. Isaiah’s words from the Old Testament lesson for today are not given their full force. Isaiah is not lost in the sense that he just needs to stop and ask for directions, download the map update for his GPS or get a better signal from the satellite. The NKJ gets closer with the translation “undone.” “Woe is me, for I am undone.” But a good Hebrew lexicon gives you a much more straightforward rendering: destroyed. “Woe is me, for I am destroyed” – I have come to my end, I am ruined, I will cease to exist. It’s what you would say at the brink of death. If…

“Trinitarian Christians”?

Posted on October 22nd, 2011

As in the 2008 presidential campaign, Mormonism is going to be in the news as long as Mitt Romney remains a candidate in the 2012 race for President. At GetReligion, Terry Mattingly addresses coverage by the Associated Press comparing Mormon teachings to “conservative Protestant” doctrine. Interesting is the repeated phrase “Trinitarian Christians” in Mattingly’s post. Such a phrase implies that there are other kinds of Christians who don’t believe in the Trinity. By any conventional definition, however, there are no non-Trinitarian Christians. Besides their aberrant views on Jesus Christ, Baptism, and the authority of Scripture (to name a few), one of the reasons Mormons are not Christians is because they reject the catholic, orthodox teaching that there is one God in three Persons, the…

The biggest problem with "Relevant Church" is not the Sex Challenge

Posted on February 23rd, 2008

Along with everybody else, I snickered at the news of the so-called Relevant Church‘s “Sex Challenge.” I was particularly jarred by the notion that the unmarried were being asked to abstain from sex for only thirty days. Given tomorrow’s Epistle in the traditional calendar (Eph. 5.1-9), I thought I’d start off my homily blasting that. (Hey, I know that sex sells, too.) Fortunately, I had the good sense to go look at their website before actually doing it, because I think they make a pretty good point in recognizing that a lot of single people have the default practice of sexual activity before marriage, and that they in fact do advocate total abstinence. But, then I looked deeper, and found something far more disturbing…

Trinity Sunday Sermon: John 3:1-15

Posted on June 6th, 2007

A member of Immanuel who has now fallen asleep in Christ once said to me that when he first came to Immanuel, Pr. Mensing, who was pastor here for many years in the middle of the last century, conducted a service that seemed very “catholic” to him; but when Pr. Mensing began to preach, he knew he was in the right place. Even some Lutherans have not been exposed to a full Lutheran service, and when they are, it sometimes gets labeled “catholic.” This is not a new concern. C.F.W. Walther, one of the Saxon Lutherans who emigrated to America in the nineteenth century, and who became the first president of the Missouri Synod, once wrote: Whenever the divine service once again follows the…

For me He slays His Son?

Posted on April 4th, 2007

Pastor William Weedon on his excellent blog had a very negative reaction against the words, “Since for me He slays His Son, God must have compassion,” found in the new version of “Jesus, I Will Ponder Now” (LSB 440). I was troubled by them as well, but since then have reversed my thinking. I agree that the translation is indefensible. The question now is whether or not such language is theologically justifiable. Our Lord on the night when He was betrayed quotes Zech. 13.7, “I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.” Clearly it is the LORD of Hosts who strikes the Shepherd in that text. St. Augustine in On the Trinity used this text to show the…