Thursday, March 28, 2013

Celebrating Golden Anniversary

The Creation Research Society Continues Another 50 Years – The Fundamentalists Followed the LCMS
Christian News, April 1, 2013

Congratulations to the Creation Research Society as it celebrates its Golden Anniversary.

The title page of the Winter 2013 Creation Research Quarterly (Volume 29, Number 3) says: “Haec Credimus For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and all that in them is, and rested on the seventh. -- Exodus 20:11.”

This issue reprints the lead story from the November 18, 1963 Lutheran News “Scientist Says Genesis Creation is Historical ‘The Creation Concept’” by Walter E. Lammerts, founding president of the Creation Research Society.

In 1963 few newspapers and magazines, other than Lutheran News, gave the Creation Research Society much publicity.

Hardly any publication other that Lutheran News would publish the CRS president’s “The Creation Concept.” Most of those who the organized conservatives in the LCMS today, who want Christian News to close, consider the great heroes of the LCMS’ “Battle for  the Bible’ did not promote the Creation Research Society and publicly expose and protest against those in the LCMS promoting evolution. During the last 50 years the editor’s congregation has asked LCMS conventions to call for the removal of evolutionists from the LCMS clergy roster.  Note “Evolution Tolerated in Concordia University System” in this issue.

This issue of CN reprints from the latest Creation Research Society Quarterly the “Statement of Belief” of the CRS. CN has often published it during the last 50 years. It is in the chapter on creation and evolution the CN editor’s Baal or God published in 1965. The Christian News Encyclopedia has some of the many articles CN has published by Dr. David Kaufmann who served for many years as the secretary at the Creation Research Society. He has suggested that Creation vs. Evolution debates be held at both LCMS seminaries and all schools in the Concordia University System.

This August 12-16 Dr. Kaufmann is scheduled to speak at a 5-day Bible and Christianity Today Seminar at Camp Trinity, New Haven, Missouri. Bible texts on the doctrine of Creation and the latest research that affirms creation vs. evolution. He will also lecture on “burn calories . . . not gasoline.” Kaufmann is the author of A Lutheran Catechism on Abortion and Homosexuality.

All Christian publications and blogs, particularly Lutheran, on this 50th anniversary of the Creation Research Society, should at least publish the Statement of Belief of the CRS and its address: Creation Research Society, 6801 N. Highway 89, Chino Valley, AZ 86323 More of the CRS were members of the LCMS than any other denomination. Long before today’s Fundamentalists began opposing evolution, affirming 6 24 hour day creation and the inerrancy of the Bible, the LCMS was insisting on the position taken by scripture. Martin Luther and the Lutheran Confessions the Fundamentalists followed the LCMS, not vice-versa.
May the CRS continue for another 50 years.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Christ, the Promised Savior of the World

by Pastor Norman Bahlow
Christian News, March 25, 2013

After hurricane Sandy and the tragic events at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, as well as many other national and international con­flicts and calamities--including the worldwide abortion of over a billion babies in the last 90 years and the attempt to change God’s design of the male/female union in marriage into an ungodly samisen “relationship” –a person may well ask if there is any real hope for our troubled world.
The Holy Bible of the Old and New Testament makes it clear that there is, indeed, hope for mankind through the Person and work of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who is the promised Savior of the world. According to the Biblical worldview, God created a perfectly good universe by His Word and Spirit in six days. On the sixth day God made man in His own righteous image, giv­ing him dominion over the Earth. He blessed Adam and his wife, Eve, and told them to be fruitful and multiply, to fill the Earth and subdue it, giving  them dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the Earth. God also put man in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it. As the first two people on Earth, how­ever, Adam and Eve disobeyed their Creator by eating forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God permitted the fallen angel, Satan, who is an evil spirit and is also called the devil, to speak to Eve through a serpent and to tempt her to eat of the forbidden tree.
When Eve listened to the devil, the father of lies, and ate of the forbidden fruit, she gave some of it to Adam, who also ate of it. Sin, death, and the devil then began to plague the world. God caused thorns and thistles to grow, and the painful results of man’s disobedience to God began to take effect.
But God in His mercy spoke to Adam and Eve and promised them - and us - a Savior who would be born of a woman, and who would win the victory oversin, death, and over that murderous and accusing adversary, the devil, and his other fallen angels or demons.
According to the predictions of Moses and God’s other prophets in the Old Testament, and as revealed more fully in the New Testament writings of the apostles and evangelists, the promised Savior of the world is Jesus Christ,  whose birth some 2,000 years ago marks the beginning of our Christian cal­endar and the final segment of world history.
Jesus Christ (“Christ” means “Messiah” or the “Anointed One”) is, accord­ing to the Bible, a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (whose othername was Israel). Jesus is also, according to His human nature, a descen­dant of Israel’s great king David. The prophet Isaiah was inspired by God towrite of Christ’s birth of a virgin as well as His deity as “Immanuel,” which means “God with us.” He said that “the government shall be upon His shoul­ders, and His name shall be called, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,  Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah, chapter 9, verse 6).” The prophet Micah foretold that this great Savior and eternal Ruler would be born in Bethlehem of Judea.
As Matthew and Luke wrote about in the New Testament, Jesus Christ was conceived in the womb of Mary, a Jewish virgin, by the power of God’s Holy Spirit. In this way the Son of God, through whom and for whom all things were made, entered the world “in the fullness of time” by being born of a woman, born under the Law, to be the Redeemer and Savior of sinners who could not save themselves.
Jesus, whose name means “the Lord saves” or “Yahweh is salvation,” grew up in Nazareth of Galilee. People knew Him as a member of the family of Joseph and Mary, Joseph being a carpenter. Jesus began His public ministry at about the age of 30, calling sinners to repentance and to faith in Him, for the Kingdom of Heaven (that is, of God) was at hand. His forerunner, John the baptizer, had prepared people for the coming of Jesus, the “Mightier One,” who would baptize those who received Him with the Holy Spirit of God and those who would reject Him with unquenchable fire on the day of judg­ment. Christ’s many great miracles of healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, making the deaf to hear, cleansing lepers, casting out demons, raisingthe dead, calming storms, feeding thousands of hungry people with a few fish and loaves of bread, etc., all testify to His identity as the Son of the living God, who came into the world to seek and to save sinners.
As our substitute, Christ kept God’s Holy Law perfectly for all of us, resist­ing every temptation of the devil. In fulfillment of God’s plan of salvation, He also suffered and died on a cross outside of Jerusalem, taking upon Himself the curse of God’s Law that we deserved as fallen sinners. (Isaiah 53; Galatians 3 & 4; Hebrews 9, 10 & 13) Everyone, therefore, who trusts in the merit of Christ’s perfect obedience and in His sacrificial death on the crossfor the sins of the world, and who also believes in His resurrection from the dead on the third day after His burial in a nearby tomb, receives God’s full and free forgiveness and is “justified” (declared by God to be righteous in His sight for the sake of our righteous, sin atoning Savior, Jesus Christ).
Through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, into whose saving death and res­urrection we are baptized, we receive the gift of God’s Holy Spirit and are made members of Christ’s “body,” the Church. Believers in Christ are all in the family of believing Abraham, who trusted God’s promise that through hisseed the promised Savior--all nations would be blessed. (Galatians 3; Romans 4 & 5)
Although Christians still face temptations that come from the devil, the world, and the remnants of their old sinful nature, God provides the preach­ing and teaching of the Biblical word of Christ, baptism, and the Lord’s Supper as instituted by the Savior and risen Lord of the Church to nourish and strengthen their God-given faith and life. Before Christ ascended into heaven forty days after His resurrection from the dead, He commanded His followers to go and make disciples of all nations, beginning in Jerusalem.
   They were told to baptize people in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Three Persons in One Divine Being, commonly referred to as the “Trinity,” the “Three-in-One God), and they were to teach   people everywhere to observe all that Christ had commanded them (Matthew 28; Acts 1). Jesus promised to be with His disciples to the end of the age, also in the midst of persecution and suffering, in the urgent mission and ministry of the Church among all nations.
   Christ, who is now enthroned at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, promised to return suddenly on the clouds of heaven in power and great glory on the last day. He will raise up all who have died and will be the Judge of the living and the dead (Matthew 25; John 5:21-29).
   As God’s forgiven and merciful children, all true believers in Christ will inherit God’s glorious kingdom of everlasting life and blessing. God’s redeemed children will live in a new world free from bondage to decay, and they will worship and serve the one true God in righteousness, joy, and peace forever (John 3:16; Matthew 25; Romans 8; Revelation 21 & 22).
   False prophets, however, and all other unrepentant, unbelieving sinners will be sent to the eternal hell of fire, which was originally prepared only for the devil and his evil angels (Matthew 25; Revelation 19, 20, & 21).
   The salvation of fallen sinners is, therefore, by God’s undeserved grace and mercy alone, for Christ’s sake, through faith alone. As evidence of our faith in Christ, the only Savior of the world, we are led and empowered byGod’s Word and Spirit to begin here in this very troubled world to thank and praise, serve and obey the one and only gracious God who, in Christ, first loved us and forgave us of all our sins.
   To God alone be the glory! A joyous and blessed new year of Christian faith, hope, and love to all in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit!
   Pastor Bahlow lives in Festus, MO, and is a retired minister of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. He is a member of Grace Lutheran Church in DeSoto, MO, and still preaches and leads Bible classes as opportunities arise. He may be contacted at (314)686-0950.
(St. Louis MetroVoice, February 2013)

Thursday, March 14, 2013


All Eyes On Rome - New Pope - Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (Pope Francis)
Christian News, March 18, 2013

The 115 Roman CatholicCardinals on March 13 chose Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (Pope Frances) fromArgentina to be the new pope.

All eyes were on Rome. Both the religious and secular press have been filled with stories about the Papacy. Even Lutherans who claim to be confessional are almost falling over themselves as they praise Pope Benedict XVI.

“The Dean of Theologians,” a report in the March 11, 2013 Christian News had these subheads: “Does Logia Believe the Papacy is the Anti-Christ?” Logia’s, John Stephenson, a theologian highly regarded by high church confessional Lutherans in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod writes: “If Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) is not the ‘dean’ of theologians of a worldwide guild of theologians of those confessions which believe the Christian religion is true, I don’t know who else could be nominated for the honorific position.” Stephenson has the support of the high church organized Lutherans who despise Christian News. Rev. William Weedon, brought in by LCMS President Matthew Harrison to serve as the LCMS Director of Worship and LCMS International Center Chaplain, commented on the ALPB Forum: “I very much appreciated this article by Dr. Stephenson, reflecting on Pope Benedict XVI.

Father Richard John Neuhaus, who was close to Bishop Joseph Ratzinger and then a strong supporter of Pope Benedict XVI, was highly praised at this year’s symposium at Concordia Seminary, Ft. Wayne where Christian News was ridiculed and laughed at for opposing Neuhaus, an LCMS pastor who joined the Roman Catholic  Church. Father Neuhaus denied the inerrancy of the Bible, justification by faith alone, and was a Universalist ever since his student days at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.
Surveys show that many maintain that the Roman Catholic Cardinals now meeting in Rome should first of all address the sex abuse and financial scandals in Rome. Even some Roman Catholic authorities claim that as many as 50 percent of Roman Catholic seminarians and priests may be homosexuals.  CN has said ever since it began in 1962 that the biggest scandal in Rome is the promotion of Biblical higher criticism, universalism, and evolution.

This issue of CN has “A Call for Vatican II” and the theological issues the Roman Catholic bishops from around the world should be addressing.

The Athanasian Creed
Rome still rejects the three solas of the 16 century Reformation: Scripture Alone, Faith Alone, and Grace Alone.  Rome today along with most of Protestantism, including Lutheranism rejects the Athanasian Creed which begins: “Whosoever will be saved before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic (i.e. universal, Christian) faith.

“Which faith, except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.

“And the catholic faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity.”

Rome today, along with most of Protestantism no longer insists that Christianity is the only saving faith.  Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, and other non-Christians all are supposed to believe in the true God.

The Roman Catholic Wanderer this year published a series of articles opposing the “myth” of Scripture Alone. Now it has begun a series “Debunking the Second Myth – Sola Fide.” The series in the March 7, 2013 Wanderer is titled “Our Lord Jesus Christ Refuted Luther.” The Roman Catholic publication says: “It is quite evident that when Luther said that this faith alone was sufficient to save him even if he committed adultery a hundred times a day and as many murders, he was demonstrably wrong to put it extremely charitably. To put it less charitably, he was on the road to Hell, purely and simply.” The Wanderer quotes Jesus: “If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”

This issue of Christian News includes “A Call for Vatican III”. It is a documentary on the Roman Catholic Church today. It includes “Pope Will Not Undo the ‘New Religion’” by Bishop Richard Williamson, “Bishop Williamson Told the Truth About Rome’s ‘New Theology’”, “Catholic Theologians Attack Christianity,” “Tunnel Vision,” “In Support of What Bishop Richardson Said About the New Theology In Rome – A QUESTION OF FRAUD”, by Kurt Marquart; “A Roman Victory”, by Martin Scharlemann, “Bishop Challenging Rome’s New Theology”, “ ‘Greatest Theologian’ Rejects the God of Christianity,” “Let’s Ask Scripture and Tradition About Scripture and Tradition,” by Kurt Marquart,  “Bow  Before the Dictator of History and Not Any Pope,” “Bishop Strossmayer’s Speech in the Vatican Council of 1870,” “Catholic Theologians Attack Christianity”, and “Officially Approved by Rome – Some  Anti-Scriptural and Anti-Christian Views In the Jerome Biblical Commentary.”

Thursday, March 7, 2013

"The Dean of Theologians"

Does Logia Believe the Papacy Is the Anti-Christ?
Logia’s John Stephenson on Pope Benedict XVI
Christian News, March 11, 2013,  Vol. 51, No. 10
“If  Joseph Ratzinger  (Pope Benedict  XVI) is not the ‘dean’ of theologians of a worldwide guild of theologians of those confessions which believe the Christian religion  is  true, I  don’t know who  else could be nominated for the honorific position” writes Logia  writes  Logia  Contributing Editor, John Stephenson. Dr. Stephenson is Professor of Historical Theology at Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary (CLTS) in St. Catherine’s, Ontario. He is one of the Lutheran Church-Canada’s (LCC) representatives on the Working Group for discussions between LCC and the Canadian Conference of Catholic bishops.
The February 25, 2013 CN published a report and photo about this group. “Roman Catholics and Confessional Lutherans Explore Deeper Ties” and “Meeting, Yes! Deeper Ties,  No!” in the February 18 CN commented on such meetings.
Rev. William Weedon, LCMS Director of Worship, LCMS International Center Chaplain commented on the ALPB Forum: “I very much appreciated this article by Dr. Stephenson, reflecting on Pope Benedict XVI.”
CN has often said that when Lutherans and Roman Catholics meet they should discuss higher criticism of the Bible, evolution, the historicity of the Bible, justification by faith alone, Purgatory and the Papacy.
Stephenson writes in his praise of the Pope in Logia:
Since the Second World War, a variety of theologians have enjoyed the spotlight of their colleagues’ attention. In the realm of Protestantism none has gained the stature of Karl Barth. Among Ratzinger’s fellow Roman Catholics, Karl Rahner and Hans Urs von Balthasar enjoyed their season of fame, but Rahner’s thought is governed by philosophy, while Balthasar (though he had some good things to say) took off into flights of unwarranted speculation. What has impressed many Lutherans about Ratzinger is his rootedness in Scripture and the ancient Fathers and his quiet Christocentric focus. It is not without reason that, in his official reaction to Benedict XVI’s laying down the papal office, Bishop Hans-Jörg Voigt of the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church in Germany (SELK) noted that many of Ratzinger’s positions have been “startlingly close [durchaus nahe] to those of confessional Lutheranism” (selk_news February 11, 2013).
The works of Joseph Ratzinger have featured noticeably in the text and footnotes of my own writings over the past three decades, oftentimes in the context of agreement, but not seldom in a setting of debate (Auseinandersetzung) where the Lutheran dogmatician (understandably) fails to see eye to eye with his Roman Catholic counterpart. Yet, although some big issues remain to be ironed out (and perhaps they will remain unresolved this side of eternity), a major fruit of the Ecumenical Movement has been the advent of greater charity in theological debate, and Ratzinger himself has been exemplary in the courtesy he displays to those who disagree with him.
Whenever I speak at Brock University (St. Catharine, Ontario), I aim to accomplish two things in any specific address: first, and obviously, to express something distinctively Lutheran; and, secondly (especially given that Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary—the institution with which I am a professor—is the only Christian institution on campus), I aim to say something that speaks for and to all believing Christians, and that therefore belongs under the heading of C. S. Lewis’s “Mere Christianity.”
As Ratzinger (especially during his quarter century as chief doctrinal spokesman for his church body) has himself said much that is distinctively Roman Catholic, I find it remarkable that he has crowned his tenure as Pope with the publication of a trilogy—Jesus of Nazareth—that represents a beautiful, clear, and powerful witness to Mere Christianity.
A couple of years ago, a seminarian from our German sister church who was having supper at our home with his wife, told me of the positive reception the first two volumes Ratzinger’s Jesus of Nazareth was having in the SELK, with Bishop Emeritus Jobst Schöne leading the charge of appreciation. But, this student said, many professional New Testament scholars were upset that a non-specialist had made an uninvited foray into their discipline. After all, surely the subject-matter is too complicated and obscure, something inaccessible to the man in the street…
Well, as I recently argued in a review published in the journal of our two Canadian faculties, Ratzinger’s Jesus of Nazareth is a product of sterling scholarship that represents a literary triumph of Mere Christianity, a work in which believing Christians of all confessions may rejoice. Remarkably, just a few months ago the now retiring Pope held a copy of Lutheran Theological Review 24 (in which my review appeared) in his hands. He asked an American prelate working in the Vatican’s State Department to write me a letter of appreciation, noting especially Benedict’s thanks at my remark that he had “provided an ecumenical solution to an ecumenical problem.”
Debate (Auseinandersetzung) will, of course, continue, and I hope that another Roman Catholic theologian of Ratzinger’s stature will emerge to carry on his work. But, as a frail and exhausted man stricken in years now passes into the annals of history while remaining for a while alive on earth, I express my appreciation, admiration, sympathy, and prayers. And if, as talks between the Vatican and the International Lutheran Council continue, a panel of our theologians should soon sit across from their Roman Catholic counterparts somewhere in the Eternal City and this aged churchman and scholar should shuffle into the room, I would be most interested in what he might yet have to contribute to the discussion.
x x x
Christian News Disagrees with Logia
CN does not share the enthusiasm of many Lutheran  high church theologians hailed as conservatives for such theologians as Karl Barth, Karl Rahner, and Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI). This does not make the CN editor, as some high church hyper-euro Lutherans maintain, “A Fundamentalist.”
Karl Barth rejected the doctrine of the Trinity and physical resurrection of Christ as a fact which happened in real calendar history and not his realm of Geschichte. Olav Valen-Sendstad in The Word That Can Never Die, published by CPH in 1966, shows that Karl Barth denied the Trinity. Karl Rahner in his book The Trinity denies the scriptural doctrine of the Trinity and espoused the ancient heresy of model monarchianism. It was reviewed in the May 18, 1970 Christian News and reprinted on p. 595 of A Christian Handbook on Vital Issues. Through the years CN has reviewed books by Pope Benedict XVI which show that he promotes the destructive views of Biblical higher criticism and universalism. He supports evolution. He protected the many homosexual clergymen in the Roman Catholic clergy. The October 18, 2010 and February 18, 2013 issues of Christian News reprinted from the September 2010 Free Presbyterian Magazine “Does the Pope Believe in the Resurrection?” It quotes from the Pope’s main writings and shows that “Ratzinger flatly denied the fundamental biblical truth of the resurrection of the body.” The high church and hyper-euro Lutherans who defend the Pope refuse to read what CN has published during the last 50 years about the liberal theology now tolerated and  promoted within the Roman Catholic Church. Logia may consider Pope Benedict XVI “the ‘dean’ of theologians of a worldwide guild of theologians of those which believe the Christian religion is true.” Christian News does not. CN still accepts what the Lutheran Confessions  and the LCMS’s official Brief Statement say about the Papacy being the Anti-Christ. Does Logia?