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Topics - Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Your Turn / Self Defense
« on: June 19, 2021, 06:18:50 PM »
I've been reading "Safety First: Should Christians Bring Guns into Churches?" by Joel Biermann (LF, Winter 2020, 39-46). I find myself pondering Dr Biermann's statement that Christians should not defend themselves. I see some issues with the essay.

For example, he quotes Luther commenting on the Sermon on the Mount regarding turning the other cheek and similar passages. These quotations are from early Luther in the mid-1520s, as near as I can tell. I wonder whether Luther's mature thought on such questions has been considered. For example, Lutheran princes participated in defensive leagues because of the threats from Rome. (If memory serves, the Schmalkald Articles were drafted to facilitate such a league.) How would that factor into one's thinking about the matter of self-defense?

I find myself thinking about Nehemiah chapter 4, where the remnant is rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem while bearing arms. Also, Mordecai's drafted letter on behalf of King Ahasuerus making it legal for the Jewish people to defend themselves against any that might attack them (Esther 8 ). These might be dismissed As Old Testament texts that do not speak to the Christian life. However, these passages deserve some consideration as we simply do not dismiss the Old Testament.

As an inner city pastor, the matter of defense is not an abstract question for me. I wonder what others think.

Your Turn / Fasting Seminar
« on: June 16, 2021, 03:04:03 PM »
Greetings in Christ. Please find below links to a recent seminar I led on the practice of fasting. There is a total of four videos that include teaching, counsel, and discussion. The presentations are focused on practice and includes testimonies of someone with type-two diabetes and someone losing weight in preparation for knee replacement. The video descriptions include a link to a participants' workbook (PDF).

If you have an important matter of prayer in your life or simply want to lose your Covid pounds in an effective way, I invite you to learn about the biblical practice of fasting.

Introduction to the seminar:

Session 1 for the seminar:

Your Turn / Pure Flix: The Book of Daniel
« on: May 05, 2021, 08:39:19 PM »
We watched the 2013 drama, "The Book of Daniel" tonight. Something odd struck me. In the story of the fiery furnace, they showed the golden image (Daniel 3). It looked remarkably like images of St. Patrick or some other sainted bishop---raising his hand to make the sign of the cross and holding a crozier! Here is a link to the film on YouTube.

The image is at 23:57.

Is Pure Flix known for an anti-catholic stance? I would have guessed they would appeal to all Christian churches when presenting Bible stories but was shocked by this anachronistic and polemic-looking choice.

Your Turn / Simple Small Group Activities during Covid-19
« on: April 29, 2021, 08:17:14 AM »
Here's something we did that was simple, fun, and low risk. We had two Wildflower Walks. Churches north of us might still have time to do this.

Please share examples of small group activities you are enjoying with your congregation during Covid-19.

Your Turn / April Lutheran Heritage Playlist: Lutheran Artists
« on: April 16, 2021, 09:07:16 AM »
This month I've compiled 15 YouTube videos about various Lutheran artists. No doubt, many more might be added. I would gladly hear recommendations. I hope you enjoy the collection, which includes both short and long presentations.

Your Turn / Non-Member Funerals and Memorials
« on: April 08, 2021, 01:49:33 PM »
I find myself increasingly asked to do Non-Member Funerals as Columbus families get to know me. Had a service today for a Roman Catholic family. The person was divorced and remarried, which is perhaps why a Lutheran pastor was asked (not sure about current RC policy on that).

I wonder how many pastors are doing Non-Member Funerals and about their experiences with them. Please share.

Your Turn / A now lost Easter hymn
« on: March 15, 2021, 09:51:28 AM »
I remember singing this as a child from the 1941 Lutheran Hymnal, mostly because of the stark imagery. According to it has disappeared from recent hymnals though I find it always comes to mind for me in the Easter season. Apparently when it was published in 1809, it's violent imagery did not offend. We sang it to Unser Herrscher, a tune I love. The text is based on the conquering Messiah imagery in Isaiah 63.

1 Who is this that comes from Edom,
All His raiment stained with blood,
To the slave proclaiming freedom,
Bringing and bestowing good;
Glorious in the garb He wears,
Glorious in the spoils He bears?
2 'Tis the Saviour, now victorious,
Travelling onward in His might;
'Tis the Saviour, O how glorious,
To His people, is the sight!
Satan conquered, and the grave,
Jesus now is strong to save,
3 Why that blood His raiment staining?
'Tis the blood of many slain;
Of His foes there's none remaining,
None, the contest to maintain:
Fallen they are, no more to rise;
All their glory prostrate lies.
4 Mighty Victor, reign for ever;
Wear the crown so dearly won;
Never shall Thy people, never,
Cease to sing what Thou hast done;
Thou hast fought Thy people's foes;
Thou wilt heal Thy people's woes.

Your Turn / Women's History Month
« on: March 09, 2021, 07:25:06 AM »
Lenten greetings. I have put together a new YouTube playlist for my people and I'm sharing a link to it here. Since March is Women's History Month, the playlist feature notable Lutheran women. Unfortunately, there is a limited selection of videos for this topic on YouTube. Hopefully some others will be created in the future. God bless.

Lutheran Women.

Your Turn / Baptism Gone Wrong?
« on: February 16, 2021, 07:49:48 AM »
Here is a tragic story about a Baptism gone wrong. I wonder how the clergy practice for this form of immersion.

Your Turn / Temptation and Testing
« on: February 12, 2021, 06:46:18 PM »
Back in November there was a discussion about temptation and testing. Today I finished the catechism lesson on the Sixth Petition, which deals with that topic/distinction. Thought I'd raise it again.


Quote from: Mark Brown on November 23, 2020, 07:08:39 PM
Quote from: peter_speckhard on November 23, 2020, 02:21:13 PM
This might seem like a silly question, but Luther's catechism asserts that "God tempts no one." That seems to come straight from James. Assuming that James does not present the sedes doctrinae, what are the main other places in Scripture that demonstrate that God tempts nobody?

If there is one line in the catechism that I have a real hard time understanding, it is that one.  When I'm teaching that part I usually spend a good amount of time making a distinction between temptation and testing (and how they seem to be the same word in Greek).  It is possible to establish such a distinction, but honestly I'm never more than half convinced of my own arguments.  And then when you read something like 2 Samuel 24:1, which 1 Chronicles 21:1 apparently cleans up, it is worse.  I think I can follow James' line of thought simply that temptation - the desire to give into what your head knows is not right - always comes from the flesh.  The fact that the flesh temps, and that Satan can use the flesh, is completely our fault.  So yes James, God tempts no one, but it also feels like many a pious Christian's attempts to defend God's honor.  You know the type typically when one starts on theodicy.  And I've always felt more that God doesn't need our defense of his actions.  As Job would hear - "Just who do you think you are".  God moves in his mysterious ways, which we are told all work to the benefit of his saints.  If that means today I am tested/tempted, I must need it.

I recall reading something from Luther years ago where he stated that with temptation/testing there is the devil's purpose: to destroy faith and there is God's purpose: to strengthen faith. God does not seek to destroy faith (temptation) but God tests our faith with the idea of proving and strengthening it. (I've often used the example of a DMV agent testing a 16-year-old's driving ability. The tester does not want the testee to fail - especially when riding in the car.

Not long ago the pope raised an issue about the language of the Lord's prayer. It seems wrong to ask God to lead us not into temptation. We know that God would never lead us into temptation. We don't have to ask for that. We can pray that we don't face times of testing.

Your Turn / Luther's Hymns Collection
« on: February 11, 2021, 09:55:04 PM »
I've put together this collection of Luther's Hymns as a playlist to share with our congregation. Sharing it here so others may enjoy.

Some of you may be observing Life Sunday this weekend. I'm thinking about the sermon this weekend, which is based on Jonah 3:1--5, 10 with the topic of repentance. I wonder how others will work the matter of abortion and life into their preaching. I invite folks to share their thoughts and observations here. God bless your efforts.

One thought I've had is that we are mourning the deaths of nearly 400,000 people from Covid-19. Yet CDC Abortion Surveillance tells us that in 2018 (their latest figures) 619,591 abortions were reported in the United States that year. And the latter figure repeats year after year. Lord, have mercy.

Your Turn / Christian Response to Rioting
« on: January 11, 2021, 06:34:20 AM »
I'm sharing here introductions from two of my sermons where I commented on rioting (about four minutes total). The videos come from sermons preached on May 31, 2020 (weekend after the death of George Floyd) and January 10, 2021 (weekend after the Capitol Riot). The sermons were based on 1 Corinthians 12:3b--13 and Genesis 1:1--5 as found in the lectionary readings. I did this to compare side by side what I said about the issues and as a teaching tool for my Bible Study participants.

Your Turn / Altar Prayers/Prayers of the Church
« on: January 07, 2021, 01:19:55 PM »
Resource question: Our congregation has been using Clements H. Zeidler, Altar Prayers for the Church Year (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1962). I'm looking for a new prayer resource. I see the one-year and three-year series on the LCMS website and wonder the following.

1. Is there a print edition of these prayer on the LCMS site? Is there a master file to download them all at once?
2. Are there other similar resources available?

Your Turn / St. Lucia Buns
« on: December 18, 2020, 05:07:04 PM »
We'll, I missed St. Lucia's Day but baked some s-shaped buns with cardamom and cinnamon today. Turned out great. Perhaps we'll add these to our breakfast with St. Nicholas event after Covid-19 goes away.

I wonder whether other congregations do something for St. Lucia's Day, if not this year, then previously.

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