Winter 2010

Winter 2010
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Table of Contents

Theology and The Simpsons

Warning: Watching The Simpsons may play an unexpected role in the development of your theological discernment. Rev. Wentzel’s humorous presentation of some of the choice theology portrayed on The Simpsons may just help you get a better grasp of your own understanding of Lutheran theology. Maybe you can finally set the record straight for Homer, who has been known to claim that Christianity is “You know, the one with all the well-meaning rules that don’t work out in real life.” D’oh!

Creation and Current Questions

Prominent atheist Richard Dawkins has asserted that the creation account in Genesis is merely one of many mythical versions since the beginning of civilization. For the Christian, however, this first book in the Scriptures is absolutely foundational to understanding the rest of God’s Word. A fundamental misunderstanding of its account can lead to the compromise of Biblical truth. Rev. Baue shows you how some of the most “relevant” questions of our day can be dealt with from the solid truths presented in the Doctrine of Creation.

Out of Many, One in Christ

“There were this Mexican and a Slovak in church one Sunday...” Sounds like the start of a bad joke but it’s the reality at Rev. Gaugert’s church. Find out the history of Evangelical Church of Doctor Martin Luther in Chicago and how God’s faithfulness has brought this unique body of believers together and sustained them, in spite of substantial cultural barriers. It’s an encouraging reminder that nothing can thwart the work of the Holy Spirit.

When Jehovah's Witnesses Come Knocking

Do you run and hide when your friendly, neighborhood Jehovah’s Witnesses pop by? Perhaps you politely open the door and listen to them give their earnest spiel, your eyes glazing over. Well try this on for size: Maybe you can equip yourself to handle their claims but more importantly, give an answer for the hope that is in YOU. Rev. Lange gives you some great foundational information and counsel as you consider your response for the next time you hear that knock on the door.

The Handiwork of God: Foundations

We live in a culture where life is attacked on many fronts. Abortion and euthanasia are two of the most prominent aggressors, but sometimes the attackers are more covert. Rev. Lamb weaves together a warm blend of family accounts and Scriptural truths in this first of four articles dealing with the preciousness of life and how we can protect it by remembering that our true value is found in Christ!

Going to Hell with Jesus

“Go to H-E-double hockey sticks!” Usually this is merely an expression of anger. For Christ, it was a vital part of His mission to conquer sin and death on your behalf. Rev. Kumm carefully handles that somewhat mysterious phrase in the Apostles’ Creed: “He descended into Hell.”The best part is that Christ’s descent has given YOU the freedom to tell the Devil where to go with his lies and accusations.

Why do Pastors Wear Vestments

In an era where pastors who wear Hawaiian shirts are seen as in touch with their congregations, it’s important to understand the tradition of vestments. Every piece has a purpose. It’s not just about the threads, it’s about the theology.

Can Modern, Rational Adults Believe in Miracles?

We carelessly throw around the word “miracle” all the time. We take it for granted. How many of us have been eyewitnesses to an actual miracle? It’s no surprise that this is one of the first areas a non-Christian will attack. Mr. Pierson’s training in apologetics (AKA defense of the faith) will help arm you to defend the rationality of believing in miracles.

Feasting with Our Lord: The Feast of Weeks

Discover through the final article in this series by Rev. Messer how type and shadow find their fulfillment yet again in the New Testament. The Feast of Weeks, also known as Pentecost, a celebration of the harvests God provided, led to the beginning of a great harvest that continues to this very day. And we get to rejoice in that each time we are part of the Divine Service.

[Not So] New Age

Over the past few years you have probably caught bits and pieces of the beliefs of Scientology due to some of its more famous followers like John Travolta or Tom Cruise. Think it’s more like science fiction than a religion? Find out by reading Rev. Sound’s thorough summary of the tenets of Scientology and his clear proclamation of the sweetness of the true Gospel.

Catechism: Prayer on the Fly

Does your mouth go dry and pasty when you are asked to pray aloud? Heart thump out of your chest? Perhaps you are deathly afraid of saying the wrong thing. Thankfully, in the name of Christ, we pray to a God who loves to hear what His children have to say. Rev. Cwirla provides some simple guidelines that will free your heart up to bring your petitions, and those of others’ before your gracious Father in Heaven.

Bible Study

We have included a simple Bible study in this issue to give you a tantalizing taste of the bountiful study resources available to you online at: http:// higherthings.org/magazine/biblestudies.html.