Thursday, December 10, 2009

Free Course on Practical Theology

I cannot recommend this blog enough - for both Lutheran pastors and laypeople.

Pastor Cota, who serves St. John Lutheran Church and Trinity Lutheran Church in Suring, Wisconsin, has been laying out some wonderful practical theology lately - especially in matters of worship and what it means to be a contemporary American Lutheran - all in a concise and well-written format. These articles are almost like tracts in a weblog format.

For example, you can find:

Outstanding stuff!

I'm humbled to serve alongside such men in the ministerium of the LCMS who have the gift of teaching with such clarity and succinctness.


Rev. Paul Beisel said...

Amen! This looks awesome. Didn't even know Cota had a blog.

Rev. Shane R. Cota said...

Fr. Beane,

Thanks for the endorsement. I am a little bit embarassed, because it is not that great! I'm just trying to address some concerns in the parish. But if they help anyone else, praise Jesus, guy! ;-)

Some more practical concerns are forthcoming!

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Fr. Shane:

I think there is a good likelihood that a lot of our parishes have many of the same concerns - especially given the common struggles American Lutheranism has had over the last century and a half to be true to our confessions in the face of a religious culture that is at odds with an Evangelical Catholic ethos.

Count me as a fan.

PTL, guy!

Libertas said...

Dear Rev. Beane and Rev. Cota,

I hope to get your thoughts on a few practical considerations concerning the LCMS and sanctification.

I will start by pasting part of Thesis VII from Walther's 'The Proper Distiction....':

"Let us pass on to the apostolic epistles, especially to that addressed to the Romans, which contains the Christian doctrine in its entirety. What do we find in the first three chapters? The sharpest preaching of the Law. This is followed, towards the end of the third chapter and in chapters 4 and 5, by the doctrine of justification — nothing but that. Beginning at chapter 6, the apostle treats of nothing else than sanctification. Here we have a true pattern of the correct sequence: first the Law, threatening men with the wrath of God. This is followed by an instruction regarding the things we are to do after we have become new men. The prophets, too, when they wished to convert people, began by preaching the Law to them. When the chastenings of the Law had taken effect, they comforted the poor sinners. As to the apostles, no sooner had their hearers shown that they were alarmed than they seemed to know nothing else to do for them than to comfort them and pronounce absolution to them. Not until that had been done, would they say to their people: “Now you must show your gratitude toward God.” They did not issue orders; they did not threaten when their orders were disregarded, but they pleaded and besought their hearers by the mercy of God to act like Christians."

Now to my questions.
1. Is there a tendency among Lutheran pastors, even confessional ones, to neglect the teaching/preaching of ethics, the exhortation to sanctification and good works, "to act like Christians?"

2. Am I misinterpreting Walther when I think that he views the exhortation to good works and sanctification as a continuation of the gospel message? Exhortation to sanctification and good works is not a preaching of the law. The exhortation for sanctification is a continuation of the gospel message which SHOULD (I'm not intending to shout here)follow the preaching of repentance (law) and justification (the first aspect of the gospel message)?

3. Am I completely out in left field on this one?

Thanks for your time and consideration.

Deacon Latif Haki Gaba, SSP said...

Cota says: "I am a little bit embarrassed."

That is one of Beane's many talents. When he does it to me, I'm usually too embarrassed to even comment.