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Editor’s Note – Christian Apologetics

Written by | April, 2011
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* From the editor —

Editor Note on Christian Apologetics by Jamie Arndt

Mr. James Arndt, a graduate of Immanuel Lutheran College, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, taught for some years in our Christian Day Schools. He and his wife Rachel with their children Caleb and Audrey reside in Madison, Wisconsin, where they are members of our CLC congregation, Peace Thru Christ Lutheran Church and School, in Middleton, WI.

Perhaps our readers have noticed that within the wider “Christian” camp these days there appears to be an increasing interest in the subject of apologetics. For example, various seminars on “Christian Apologetics” have been advertised by other church denominations and have been and are being held across the land.

I think it’s safe to say that most of us, including your editor, have rarely given much thought to this particular branch of theology. Yet we have thought much—and preached much—about how Jesus’ disciples have the calling and privilege to witness to their Savior and His gospel, including defending the teachings of God’s Word and their Christian faith based on that Word. Such “witness” and/or “defense” of the faith is a form of apologetics.

That said, religious encyclopedias, dictionaries, and the like have quite a bit more to say on the topic. Here are some excerpts from one such: “Christian Apologetics is the scientific vindication of the truth and absoluteness of the Christian religion against unbelief…The term ‘Apology’ denotes an argument in defense of a doctrine that has been attacked…The philosophical approach vindicates such fundamentals of Christianity as the doctrine of God, of man’s ethical obligation, and the like, on the basis of pure reason….” (Lutheran Cyclopedia, p. 41f).

Indeed, it can be a challenging—and yes, spiritually dangerous—undertaking to defend the faith “on the basis of pure reason.” However, a Bible-believing and thus Bible-based Christian apologist/defender of the faith recognizes the dangers and carefully steers clear of them.

As is clear in his accompanying first article, Mr. Arndt wants to lead us carefully through some of the finer points of a truly Christian approach toward apologetics. We thank him for his willingness to share these thought-provoking studies with us.

May God the Holy Spirit bless each of us with a more confident and thus an even more bold witness to and defense of our holy Christian faith.

Editor Note: The Huntsman

Written by | March, 2011
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Read the Article: The Huntsman

Dear readers:

The unusual linguistic approach in this article is not common fare on these pages. However, to our thinking it is quite an effective way to convey particular spiritual truth(s)—in this case, godly contrition and repentance.

With the apostle Paul each of us can make the “chief of sinners” claim (1 Timothy 1:15); yet, as Psalm 51 has it, when we acknowledge our transgressions, God’s Spirit restores to us the joy of His salvation so that, in turn, we can teach transgressors His ways, and sinners shall be converted to the Lord (vv. 12-13).

And as far as the article content is concerned, yet another penitential psalm of King David affords enlightening parallels in such words as these: I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. For my loins are full of inflammation, and there is no soundness in my flesh. I am feeble and severely broken; I groan because of the turmoil of my heart….Those also who seek my life lay snares for me; those who seek my hurt speak of destruction, and plan deception all the day long….For in You, O LORD, I hope; You will hear, O Lord my God. For I said, “Hear me, lest they rejoice over me, lest, when my foot slips, they exalt themselves against me.” For I am ready to fall, and my sorrow is continually before me. For I will declare my iniquity; I will be in anguish over my sin. But my enemies are vigorous, and they are strong; and those who hate me wrongfully have multiplied. Those also who render evil for good, they are my adversaries, because I follow what is good. Do not forsake me, O LORD; O my God, be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!           Psalm 38:6-8, 12, 15-22

—The Editor

(Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson,
 Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.)

Editors Note: An “Open Door” in Australia

Written by | March, 2011
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Read Article – An “Open Door” in Australia

From the Editor:

* We thank Pastor Em. Daniel Fleischer, Oakdale, Minn. for this report; Pastor Fleischer, who pastored a number of CLC congregations from 1963-2010 (and served as CLC President 1982-2002), has been a primary liaison for the CLC with Mr. Stiller, as well as with many other contacts over the years.

* Dr. C.F.W. Walther (1811-1887) was a founding father and prominent theologian of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LC-MS) in its confessionally-sound early years; Prof. Egbert Schaller (1904-1971) served in the public ministry beginning in 1926; he severed fellowship with the Wisconsin Ev. Lutheran Synod in 1959 for confessional reasons and became one of the founding fathers of the CLC in 1960; Bethany Seminary Dean Norman A. Madson (1886-1962) served as pastor and Professor in the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS) beginning in 1925; for confessional reasons he had become a member of the CLC in its fledgling years before the Lord took him home to Himself. Michael Sydow (1941-2009) served the Lord in the CLC pastoral and teaching ministry beginning in 1965. It was in the mid 1980s that Prof. Sydow published a translation of Martin Luther’s Small Catechism.

* Your editor has also had some happy back-and-forths with Mr. Stiller. After providing him with copies of some back issues of the Lutheran Spokesman, as well as our recent book introducing Dean Madson to later generation CLCers, Tim wrote to thank us. Even as he plans to use one or more of Dean Madson’s sermons in the future, he adds: “We wish to convey to you our great joy and thankfulness for sending to us some back issues of the Spokesman. They reveal how the merciful Lord has provided for His faithful in your country and through the CLC elsewhere. For us they have been a source of encouragement for fellowship and involvement in the CLC, yes, even if God wills it, for myself to study and serve Him in the ministry eventually.” – Let our prayers ascend to the throne of God in behalf of this opportunity to share the gospel with like-minded confessors of Christ “on the other side of the world.”

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