Summer 2017

Volume 17/Number 2

Higher Things has enjoyed another great summer of conferences, but we’ve also been busy putting together our summer issue of Higher Things Magazine, chock full of rich theology—all woven together by the sweetness of the Gospel. Each article is undergirded by the confidence we have in the gifts God gives us through Christ Jesus—gifts that bring us forgiveness, strengthen our faith and help us love our neighbor.

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Pax Domini

Rev. George F. Borghardt

Pax! That’s Latin for “peace”, which Rev. Borghardt points out is at the heart of the Divine Service. After all, forgiveness and everlasting life bring the truest peace we can have, accomplished by Christ on the cross, and delivered to us in water, Word, Body and Blood.

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The Law Only Instructs

Rev. Brian L. Kachelmeier

In Christ, we are no longer condemned by the Law because He has fulfilled its demands perfectly on our behalf. Rev. Kachelmeier chronicles God’s delivery of His Law to His people and demonstrates how the Law functions in your life as a baptized child of God.

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God’s Plan for YOU

Rev. Aaron T. Fenker

Are you waiting for a flashing neon sign from God to tell you what you’re supposed to do in this life? Thankfully God has other means that help guide you with such decisions, such as His Word, wisdom, or the counsel of others. However, as Rev. Fenker encourages us, you don’t have to fret. You’re not going to miss out on some perfect plan for your life because God has it all covered in Christ!

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Religion vs. Relationship: A Dangerous Dichotomy

Kelly Klages

Ever heard someone claim, “Christianity isn’t a religion—it’s a relationship!” That’s considered a false dichotomy because those are not two choices in opposition to one another. Kelly explains how Christianity is both a religion and a relationship and that we needn’t fear, but can embrace the term “religion.

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Back to Bach: Soli Deo Gloria

Rev. Gaven M. Mize

You might have heard at some point that Johann Sebastian Bach was a Lutheran but perhaps you don’t know much more than that. Read up a bit as Rev. Mize gives us a little more background on this famous kantor.

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Eat, Drink and Be Forgiven

Molly Buffington

Molly explains the reality of college life—that you are surrounded by worldly ideas of happiness and fulfillment. She contrasts this to our reality in Christ, where we have the freedom to enjoy our college experience, knowing that we are supplied with all the gifts we could ever want, especially forgiveness.

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Truth and Grace

Kelly Kyle

Truth and grace—these are simple terms, yet for the Christian struggling with mental health issues, they mean survival. Kelly compellingly shows how her Lutheran faith in Christ and His abundant gifts have helped her understand that God works through weakness and that in Christ we truly find our strength.

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Behold, They Stand at the Door and Knock

Joshua Ulm

If you haven’t already, at some point you’ll respond to a knock at your door and be greeted by a couple of Jehovah’s Witnesses standing there, eager to share their faith. What do they believe and how should you respond to them? Joshua hones in on some of the key contrasts and provides a few tools you can use if you encounter a Jehovah’s Witness.

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Catechism: Our Restless Hearts: The 9th and 10th Commandments

Rev. William M. Cwirla

If you think about it, the root of every sin is covetousness. I want this…I need that…So how do we battle this perpetual struggle? Rev. Cwirla reminds us that Christ has fulfilled the 9th and 10th Commandments on our behalf. We don’t have to let our “want this” or “need this” lead us into sin because we are immeasurably blessed with all we could ever truly need through Christ’s death and resurrection.

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