CHRISTOLOGY

We confess no other God than the God we know as Mary’s Son.

 – David P. Scaer, “No Other God than Mary’s Son,” 1982 sermon for the Annunciation in In Christ: The Collected Works of David P. Scaer, Volume I: Sermons

DEVIL

The disciples should not think that they could simply flee from the world and stay safely in the small group on the narrow path. False prophets will come among them, and the confusion will make their isolation even greater. Someone stands beside me, externally a member of the community. A prophet or preacher stands there, a Christian by appearances, words, and deeds. But internally dark motives are driving him to us. Internally he is a rampaging wolf; his words are lies and his deeds deceit. He knows how to guard his secret well, but under cover he works his evil deeds. He is among us, not because faith in Jesus Christ brought him to us, but because the devil drives him into the faith-community. Perhaps he is seeking power and influence, money, fame by his own thoughts and prophecies. He seeks the world, but not the Lord Christ. He hides his dark intent in the cloak of Christian piety and knows that Christians are easy to fool. Because of his cloak of innocence, he is counting on not being unmasked. He knows well that Christians are prohibited from judging, and he will remind them of that at just the right moment! No one can see into another’s heart. So he can deceive many a person to stray from the right way. Perhaps he does not even know all this, perhaps the devil who is driving him has concealed from him the truth about himself.

 – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

EUGENICS

[The aim of eugenics is] the release and cultivation of the better racial elements in our society, and the gradual suppression, elimination and eventual extirpation of defective stocks — those human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization.

– Margaret Sanger (Founder of Planned Parenthood) quoted in the New York Times

FAITH

[The account of the nobleman in John 4:46-54] presents us with a beautiful example of the characteristics and nature of faith, namely, that it is to increase and become perfect. It portrays faith as something which does not lie quiet and idle, but is something living, restless, which either regresses or progresses, which lives and moves. If this does not happen, then it is not faith, but a dead idea in the heart about God, for true, living faith, which the Holy Spirit pours into the heart, simply cannot be idle. I say this so that no one will be secure, thinking that once he has laid hold of faith he will persist in it. What is important is not the beginning, but continuing, more and more as time goes on, and increasing and learning to know God better.

– Luther (LW 79:233)

[On 1 Peter 2:11] Even if some one has been justified by faith, he will certainly not be free of evil desires. That is why the spirit has its work cut out in quenching and quelling the desires of the flesh. The spirit has to struggle with this area unceasingly and to take care that the spirit does not offend the faith. That is also why people are deceiving themselves when they say there is no danger if they obey the desires of the flesh. A righteous faith wages war on the body and keeps it in check so that it does not do what desire demands.

– Luther (Luther Brevier, p102)

A man therefore is made a Christian, not by working, but by hearing: wherefore he that will exercise himself to righteousness, must first exercise himself in hearing the Gospel. Now when he hath heard and received the Gospel, let him give thanks to God with a joyful and a glad heart, and afterwards let him exercise himself in those good works which are commanded in the law, so that the law and works may follow the hearing of faith.

– Luther (Commentary on Galatians, 3:2)

JUSTIFICATION

Wherever the article of justification is absent, then the Church is absent…. If we lose this article, we have nothing other than infernal darkness.

– Luther (Luther Brevier, p209)


TRUTH

The lie is the death of man, his temporal and his eternal death. The lie kills nations. The most powerful nations of the world have been laid waste because of their lies. History knows of no more unsettling sight than the judgment rendered upon the people of an advanced culture who have rejected the truth and are swallowed up in a sea of lies. Where this happens, as in the case of declining pagan antiquity, religion and law, poetry and philosophy, life in marriage and family, in the state and society – in short, one sphere of life after another falls sacrifice to the power and curse of the lie. Where man can no longer bear the truth, he cannot live without the lie. Where man denies that he and others are dying, the terrible dissolution [of his culture] is held up as a glorious ascent, and decline is viewed as an advance, the likes of which has never been experienced.

– Hermann Sasse, Union and Confession

VANITY

The entrance of faith into the heart has the effect of making the believer humble in the presence of God and men. Lest we despair when listening in occasionally on our own heart, we must not forget that a poison-root of vanity remains in our heart; but as soon as it begins to stir up vain thoughts in us, we must fight it. A person who does not fight his vanity has no faith and is not a Christian.

 – C.F.W. Walther, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel