Saturday, February 25, 2006

Has the Lutheran Carnival already been passed by? I'm starting to wonder about this because a significant plurality of the posts for the carnival are coming from two bloggers, and all the rest are just people who are posting because I have berated them to do so. I was honestly hoping this thing would grow, but it has turned into something I didn't wish it to be. I thought it would be a wonderful idea to cover the vast territory of confessional Lutheran blogging in one place. Have blog aggregators already passed the carnival by?

Thus, I need people to answer a few questions to help me determine where we need to go:

1. If you once contributed on a regular basis but no longer do so, why?

2. If you contribute regularly to the carnival, why?

3. If you have never contributed to the carnival, why not?

4. Should the carnival continue to exist? Why or why not?

5. If it should continue, what ideas do you have to increase participation in the carnival?

6. Should we add a few more people to help run this thing?

All in all, you opinions are appreciated. You can either leave you answers in the comment line or email them to me at daniel DOT sellers DOT gmail DOT com. If you email them to me, put "carnival survey" in the subject line. I really appreciate all who answer this, and I will use it to determine where to go from here. If you would link to this post from your own blogs, I would greatly appreciate it.

Also, this is your first notice to send in a post for Carnival XIX. Be Strong in the Grace is hosting.
Lutheran Carnival XVIII is now up at Full Throttle and an Empty Gas Tank.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Would anyone like to guess why I am in a funk? Let's make it multiple choice and see what you all think.

  1. My main spiritual mentor, a man who I relied upon for advice, and was even comforted just by knowing he was there died.
  2. I interviewed for a job and got beat out by someone else.
  3. My throat hurts and I think I'm getting sick.

Which one of these many things is causing my funk? You guess, and I'll just sit here and curse Murphy.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Reapeat after me: the Gospel is always a Promise.

When you read the confessions, you see that the argument for law and gospel isn't discussed in those terms, but law and promise.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The more I think about it, the more I realize that much of this blog is just me daring the SP to excommunicate me. As I as reading the archives, I did everything short of calling him the antichrist and just waiting for the hammer to fall. As you can see, nothing has happened.

I am waiting with anticipation for the Ablaze(TM)! Flamethrower. I think it would be appropriate.

What is Lutheran missiology? After thinking about it for a while, it is having kids and living your faith in such a way that people look at you and ask "Why are you like that?" Rather than spend money on a program that even the Methodists rejected, we should be using the money to encourage parents to once again teach the faith to their children, quit using Sunday School as a crutch and teaching people to live out their faith in their lives. So now I've said my peace, will a defender of Ablaze(TM)! try telling me with a straight face how Ablaze(TM)! is faithful to Scripture and the Confessions? Let me give you a hint: It's up to you to prove it. You're the innovators.
The hunt for Lutheran Carnival hosts is on once again. If you have given any thought to hosting the carnival, take a look at the dates and pick one. You won't regret it. I think.

I wish these blogs had a funny button.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

You scored as The Argument. You are the Argument sketch. You seem normal, but then one wonders if you really are when they get to know you.

The Argument


The Dead Parrot


Nudge, Nudge


The Logician


Bring Out Your Dead


Holy Hand Grenade


Burn The Witch


How Not to be Seen


The Bridge of Death


Knights of the Round Table


Which Monty Python Sketch Are You?
created with
You scored as Sir Galahad. Sir Galahad the Chaste, that's who you are. By the way, Zoot has been very bad, it appears she needs a good spanking.

Sir Galahad


Sir Bedevere


Sir Lancelot


The Black Knight


King Arthur


Knight Who Says "Ni"


Sir Robin


Which Monty Python Knight Are You?
created with

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

You scored as Babylon 5 (Babylon 5). The universe is erupting into war and your government picks the wrong side. How much worse could things get? It doesnâ??t matter, because no matter what you have your friends and youâ??ll do the right thing. In the end that will be all that matters. Now if only the Psi Cops would leave you alone.

Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)


Moya (Farscape)


Deep Space Nine (Star Trek)


Serenity (Firefly)


Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda)


Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica)


Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)


Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix)


FBI's X-Files Division (The X-Files)


SG-1 (Stargate)


Bebop (Cowboy Bebop)


Enterprise D (Star Trek)


Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? (pics)
created with

Just so you know, this quiz rocks. I have watched many a sci fi show, and Babylon 5 is still my favorite because it mirrors reality better than any other show I know.

HT: Bunnie

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Lutheran Carnival XVII: Septuagesima

One of the neat things about having old hymnals is that some Sundays have these extremely cool names which no one ever uses.

Nikolaus Selnecker is someone you probably never heard of, yet he was instrumental in the meetings that eventually let to the Formula of Concord. He was also a musician and hymnwriter, and had many of the characteristics of his teacher and mentor, Phillip Melanchthon.

Now on to the carnival!

TheMrs of The Moose Report starts us off with a humorous post called Hamming Tremble with my Earring. She recounts communication collapse due to plugged ears.

Dr. Christopher Atwood of Three Hierarchies gives us the post The Promise, Ex Opere Operato, and Performative Word in Luther's Thought . Continuing his series on the Babylonian Captivity of the Church, CPA explains how Luther's understanding of the sacraments as promises is the key to understanding both the compatibility of the saving role of the sacraments with justification by faith alone, and the error in thinking they save ex opere operato simply in virtue of being performed.

Mrs T. Swede (a brave woman) of Journalistic Jargon sends in a post entitled On the Blending of Christianity with Islam. Interesting information has been disseminated from Africa, where, in some countries where Christians and Muslims had clashed in wars for decades, the two religions have merged into one called "Chrislam." Excerpts are taken from the article (at and elaborated on, regarding the reasons behind blending these two religions. Mrs. T. Swede asks the questions (1) Can this blending really last successfully? and (2) What are the spiritual implications of worshipping two deities as if they were the same when we, as learned Christians, know they are not? A link is provided to the blog of a lady who has done more research into the religion of Islam. The quotes and commentary provided there are excellent for greater understanding of the religion of Islam.

The Aardvark of Aardvark Alley has been busy because he sent not one, but two posts. The first, The Presentation of Our Lord, he continues posting the feasts and commemorations of the liturgical calendar, this time including some of the history and theological significance of the Presentation of Our Lord in the temple and the Purification of Mary. In his second submission, Building a Lutheran Presence; Part 1, the Aardvark provides common sense ways for Lutheran bloggers to improve their sites, hold on to readers, and generally enhance the quality of their content and layout. He promises to continue with ways to increase visibility and attract new readers.

A newer blog that has popped up recently, Luther Library, seeks to encourage the reading of good books by confessional Lutheran pastors, church workers, and lay people through regular reviews and recommendations. This sounds like an excellent idea to me. It submitted the posts The Great Jesus Debates and The Defense Never Rests. The crew at Luther Library hopes to continue writing considerably more reviews than can be noted in any one carnival entry. This means that any number of good reviews won't be mentioned during the Carnival, so browsers are encouraged to read through the other entries, as well. Two of the several new posts are a review of The Great Jesus Debates, a study of early Christology, and The Defense Never Rests, the story of one man's pilgrimage from American Evangelicalism to confessional Lutheranism.

Pr. Snyder at Ask the Pastor also sends two posts. In his first, Hating the Messenger, Hating the Message?, he examines the problems some people have with their pastors that are outside the realm of what the Lord calls His ministers to be. Pastor Snyder uses the Bible and church history to sort out the differences among practicing what one preaches, Scriptural mandates for pastors, and individual freedom and personal differences. In his second post, Laughing, Crying, Living, Dying, Pastor Snyder answers a question about a possible Scriptural connection to the expression " Cry at a birth and rejoice at a funeral." He shows that while this folk proverb contains some truth, it finds its full meaning only in Christ.

TKls2myhrt of Be Strong in the Grace also send in a couple of posts. You can't underestimate the value of a caffeine buzz and a good cupholder asks the question "Coffee in church?" and goes from there. The second post, Baptism Dialogue, she discusses some of the comments thrown around on this post on Cranach.

On her other blog, Katie's Beer, she gives us Distraction driven from church. It it, she tells the tale of a couple who were not allowed to take their young grandchild into a church because he might be a distraction.

Vicar Charles Lehmann of Drowning Myself Whenever I Can also sends two posts. The first, a Sermon for Transfiguration, shows us that Jesus' glory does not come on the Mount of Transfiguration, but on the cross. His glory is the forgiveness of your sins. In his second A Devotion for Exodus 14 (uncut), he reminds us that The Exodus isn't just about the Israelites. It's about you.

Dan at Necessary Roughness also sends two posts. First, he gives us Onward Christian Environmentalists. He discusses the diversion of time by evangelical leaders from preaching the Gospel to supporting federal legislation to cap emissions from vehicles and plants. In his second post, Listening to Luther, he reviews Listening to Luther, a CD from Concordia Publishing House that contains recitation of the small catechism and the six catechetical hymns.

Sean at Hot Lutheran on Lutheran Action sends his post Habits and the Church. This post speaks out against everything you heard in Sunday school or youth group, insisting that going to church out of habit might actually be a good thing!

Kelly at Kelly's Blog submits two posts about the same painting she is working on. The first, New painting is coming along! asks a question: How does a young Lutheran artist deal with winter in Canada? By staying inside and painting on really big canvases. Kelly at Kelly's Blog posts some work-in-progress pictures of a painting series based on the saints of Hebrews 11. Abel is the subject of painting #1. In the post A Bit About Able, is an explanation of the painting. (ed. While I'm not an artist, the painting is turning out wonderfully).

Pr. Klages of A Beggar At The Table, also sends two posts: Pelagius, Part 1 and Pelagius, Part 2. He chips away at Pelagius and the effects of his teachings in this two-part post.

The Terrible Swede send his post called A Chime of Bells.... He shares general church-bell history, more specifically of his church, Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran (LCMS), downtown Wichita, Kansas. He includes pictures of his best friend, Dan the Geologist, playing (ed. more like mutilating) "A Mighty Fortress", a glance at some of the bells and the new pulling rope.

Elle of IntolerantElle blesses us with a post called Evolution Sunday. She reports on 10,200 clergy who are making it a point to celebrated the birthday of Charles Darwin this Sunday.

Josh of Here We Stand didn't submit these two posts, but I'm putting them in here anyway. His posts A Broken Family and Ethnic Boundaries both discuss the Doctrine of the Church and unity.

Finally, I add the post Strange Days to this. For those who ask, the thank you isn't sarcastic. It came out of a discussion we had on Thursday.

Thus ends this edition of the Lutheran Carnival. Karl at Full Throttle and an Empty Gas tank hosts the Carnival next. Consider this a preliminary reminder: Posts are due by Friday, February 24th. Also, I will be staring to look to fill the slots for Carnivals XXI-XXX shortly. Look for an announcement on the Lutheran Carnival site soon.

Friday, February 10, 2006

We are living in strange days, my friends. We are living in a time when there are LCMS pastors and district presidents (and even a synodical president) are being charged with teaching a faulty Christology. We are living in a time where many of the major minds of the ELCA are either Roman Catholic or are out doing their own thing independent of the ELCA. We are living in a time where pastors feel threatened enough to form a ministerium within the LCMS as a buffer against error. We live in a time where people have to go so far as to separate themselves from the synod by forming independent Lutheran churches. We live in a time where organizations are slowly counting for less and less, and the number of Jeremiahs increase weekly if not daily. We are living in a time where "mainstream" groups link to some of the nutiest websites dealing with religion. We are living in a time where it is hard to cling to the confessions.

Thanks to Pastor Hoger for the inspiration.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

There are currently four submissions to the Lutheran Carnival. Four. Don't make me close this thing down before we reach XX. Send your submissions in to lutherancarnival AT gmail DOT com.

Monday, February 06, 2006

I finally got to adding a couple of blogs I should have added a while ago. Dohhh!

Now the swede is defending his thesis by saying the military gives its troops a version of Folgers instant coffee. If he's going to rag on me about tea bags, I can rag on him about the wimpy instant coffee. For a guy who claims to know about tactics, he sure doesn't act like it.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Apparently, a few of you are clueless about chai tea.

Anything that is bitter and doesn't have at least 5% alcohol by volume isn't worth drinking. By this rule of mine (a rule I believe all should follow), Bailey's is worth drinking but coffee isn't. Hops are acceptable since they are a vital part of beer. I think anyone who drinks bitter liquids without alcohol is doing penance for some deep, dark sin in their lives.
How was my day at work? I'm glad you asked. I was in my office with a box of chai tea which I bought because it is heavily spiced. The way you make chai is to make the tea and then add milk to it. You end up with 3/4ths tea and 1/4 milk. I didn't have any milk, so I went and bought some. 2%. Yummy. The first cup was quite good. The milk brings a nice balance to the spice and makes the spices much more subtle. If you like balanced flavors, go for it. It was so good, I had to have a second cup. I had the second cup, and suddenly my stomach wasn't quite as happy. It felt a little weird, but I ate lunch and didn't feel any ill effects. After a couple of hours, I decided to make a third cup of chai, and that's when it hit me. My stomach decided it didn't like me any more, and I was in pain before I finished the tea. Thirty minutes after that, I was on my way to the throne to take my seat as king of the office. I normally don't eat much dairy anyway. I have some skim milk and a bowl of cereal for breakfast and the occasional glass of milk. I eat a lot of cheese, and I do like ice cream, but that's an occasional thing. I just think I can't process milk the way I used to. I used to drink 2-3 glasses a day easy. Not any more apparently. I will survive and figure out what I can and can't have. Kind of like alcohol, I'll get to know my limits.

Friday, February 03, 2006

I need to make sure to announce that I am accepting entries for the Lutheran Carnival right now. I am hosting it here, so send your entries to lutherancarnival AT gmail DOT com. The correct format is appreciated.
Your results:
You are Spock
Beverly Crusher
James T. Kirk (Captain)
Mr. Scott
Will Riker
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
Geordi LaForge
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
Jean-Luc Picard
Deanna Troi
Mr. Sulu
You are skilled in knowledge and logic.
You believe that the needs of the many
outweigh the needs of the few.
Click here to take the "Which Star Trek character are you?" quiz...

How come I am not all that surprised by this. I always liked Spock and the Vulcans as a race in general.

HT: Chaz