Friday, February 19, 2016

Conference: The Great Commission Summitt

The Great Commission Summit exists to teach, equip and connect pastors and church leaders to be effective ministers of the Gospel amid the changing dynamic of global Christianity.

"To Christianize cannot be the same as to Westernize."  - Vitalino Simalox

Concordia University Irvine, guided by the Great Commission of Christ Jesus and the Lutheran Confessions, empowers students through the liberal arts and professional studies for lives of learning, service and leadership.

Dates June 9-10, 2016

All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.  (2 Corinthians 5:18)
Paul tells us that God did two things to him.
First, God reconciled Paul to Himself through Christ,
and second, He gave Paul the ministry of reconciliation. What an incredible statement. We are reconciled to be reconcilers.

In our communities opportunities abound for reconciliation.
Person to person.
Church to community.
Church to church.
There are needs for reconciliation between races and classes.
Great Commission Summit 16 will focus on the two calls to reconciliation -
how those calls are being answered in the Global South -
and what God would have us do in our local callings.

Featured Presenter
Femi B. Adeleye has been involved in student ministry with the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) for more than thirty years. He is now IFES Associate General Secretary for Partnership & Collaboration, working to nurture nationally led Christian student witness that will produce a new generation of leaders for the church and nations of Africa and beyond. Born in Nigeria, he is currently based in Ghana.

For more information and to view the presentations of the Great Commission Summit in 2014 visit

Book: Getting to know Jesus - using the six core teachings of the bible

Getting to Know Jesus: Using the Six Core Teachings of the Bible to Grow in a Deeper Relationship with Jesus by Pastor Paul Schult

Getting to Know Jesus connects the dots between knowing the right Bible answers and having a real relationship with Jesus Christ. The six core teachings in Martin Luther’s Small Catechism summarize the most critical truths of the Bible. However, the heart of the Bible is not just to know the right answers; it is to know Jesus. Drawing on his personal experience as a pastor, the author unpacks six core teachings of the Bible in easy-to-understand relationship language. You will discover a deeper meaning in worship, prayer, Bible study, and personal devotions and be more deeply connected to Jesus. Plus, you’ll be better prepared to talk to family and friends about your relationship with Jesus in a clear and personal way. Ideal for new Christians, new church members, or small groups.

What others are saying about Getting to know Jesus
“This book reads like a conversation. It anticipates questions. Makes you glad you were about to ask. And offers keen biblical insight. I couldn’t help feeling like I was sitting with a trusted friend over a cup of coffee who was ready to tell a story or answer a question to help me. I recommend this book to anyone on the journey or to anyone helping others on the journey of Getting to Know Jesus.”
Pastor Jock Ficken, Executive Director, Pastoral Leadership Institute, Wheaton, IL

“Outstanding! Paul has given us a wonderful tool for helping understand the six chief parts of Luther’s Catechism from the framework of a relationship with Jesus. I love it! Getting to Know Jesus is easy to read and uses simple, contemporary concepts! It is definitely a tool that we will use within the ministry of Concordia. Thank you, Paul!”
Bill Tucker, Sr. Pastor, Concordia Lutheran Church, San Antonio, TX

“Knowing about Jesus is good, but knowing Jesus is the real gift. Rev. Paul Schult gives us a refreshing and faithful pathway for knowing Jesus better via the treasures of the six chief parts of Luther’s Small Catechism. Using rich relational language and analogies, Paul brings correct doctrine to life and helps us embrace and apply it to everyday life.”
Greg Finke, Dwelling 1:14

“Pastor Paul Schult is a pastor’s pastor—relational to the core with a firm commitment to the enduring truth of God’s Word and its applicability to everyday life. This “little handbook” for transmitting those truths to the next generation should find a welcome place in any congregation trying to find the right marriage of doctrine and pastoral care in adult discipleship.”
Scott Seidler, Pastor, Concordia Lutheran Church, Kirkwood, MO

“Getting to Know Jesus helps the reader see Luther’s Catechism in a fresh and exciting way—focused on a God that loves us and seeks to restore us in our relationship with our creator. Drawing on lessons learned from daily life and from modern scholars as well, the book makes deep theological concepts accessible to all. Finally there is a book about the Catechism I can highly recommend to my whole congregation!”
Mark Schulz, Pastor, Trinity Lutheran Church, Lisle, IL

“Paul has given a fresh framework of relationship for the core teachings of the faith. His contrasts, pithy turns of phrase and jewels of quotes are worth your time. As a pastor who himself prays to know Jesus better and help others to do so, this a fresh tool in that God-designed calling.”
Jeff Schrank, Pastor, Phoenix, AZ

“Pastor Schult does a fantastic job in sharing the truths of God’s love in a simple and straightforward way. This book would be very helpful to people who are introducing a loved one to the Christian faith. The personal reflection questions at the end of each chapter compel the reader not to pass a quiz on content, but to let the word of Christ dwell in them richly. This book is a homerun and I joyfully recommend it.”
Tim Klinkenberg, Pastor, St. John Lutheran, Orange, CA

“Once in a great while, a book comes along and makes things make sense. Getting to Know Jesus is such a book. It is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand who Jesus is and why he wants a relationship with all people. If you are looking for fresh material for your adult confirmation class, or you just want to make the understanding of doctrine more personal for you and your learners, this book is for you. After reading these pages you will come to know Jesus and his desire for you to “live in a deep, genuine, life-giving, and personal relationship” with him.”
Joel Koerschen, Executive Director of Education, CNH District, LCMS

“Disciples seek to get to know Jesus better each day of their life on earth. This book is a terrific step in the journey for the infant and mature disciple alike. I found this book helped me grow in the core teachings of the Bible and strengthened my faith in the love of Jesus that is shared within these pages.”
Greg Griffith, Pastor, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Macomb, MI

“As a psychologist, I have spent a lifetime attempting to understand and to mend relationships. As Paul Schult has stated in his excellent book, relationship is the essence of life. Paul goes on to describe the foundational relationship that each of us, either today or sometime in the future, must establish and nurture—the relationship with Jesus. Reading this will greatly assist everyone, no matter where they currently are in the journey with Jesus. I highly recommend it.”
Dr. James Osterhaus, Senior Partner, TAG Consulting, Fairfax, VA

“Paul Schult brings profound Christian doctrine alive with practical, down-to-earth pastoral insight. Getting to Know Jesus is relevant and readable—a great new tool to teach and share the Gospel.”
Ted Laesch, Senior Pastor, Chapel of the Cross Lutheran Church, St. Louis, MO

“I’ve known and admired Paul Schult for fifteen years as his friend and consultant. Getting to Know Jesus is a superb book. In explaining theology from a highly relational and practical perspective, Paul has taken a subject that is too often overly academic and made it accessible to the average person. I hope this book reaches a large audience, as it certainly deserves it!”
Kevin Graham Ford, Principal of TAG Consulting, and author of The Secret Sauce: Creating a Winning Culture

“I’ve had the opportunity to use this resource three times to teach adult confirmation. I intend on using it more. Why? It connects the head of faith with the heart of faith! Pastor Schult rightly reminds the reader that being a Christian means more than having the right answers. It’s about being in an active, ongoing relationship with the Lord. Using the Six Chief Parts of Luther’s Small Catechism, Pastor Schult clearly demonstrates these Biblical truths in a way 21st Century Americans will easily understand. This book is a great resource and long overdue!”
Jason Auringer, Pastor, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Wentzville, MO

“I have admired Paul as a pastor, teacher, and leader for the past fifteen years while doing life and ministry together. Now, I am so pleased to admire my friend as author. Nobody gets to the heart of the matter quite like Paul. God has blessed him with the gift of making the complex simple, and in so doing, wonderful! This book zeroes in on the ultimate area of life that matters most—knowing Jesus!”
Chuck Schlie, Pastor, Messiah Lutheran Church, Weldon Spring, MO

“I’ve known Paul Schult for ten years, and I can promise you that by reading this book, you’ll see a reflection of his heart as a pastor. More importantly, you’ll see a reflection of the heart of God. Getting to know Jesus isn’t something you do once or even five times. It’s a lifelong relationship, and this book will serve as an instrument for you, no matter what stage of that relationship you’re in.”
Mark Rouland, Pastor, Zion Lutheran Church, Harvester, MO

Video Presentation related to the book

Paul Schult - An Idea for Teaching The Six Chief Parts from Christ Church Lutheran on Vimeo.

Ideas for Pentecost Sunday worship

Following is a collection links for ideas to assist with planning worship for Pentecost

Pinterest - a visual display of various ideas

LCA worship resources

Ministry Matters 

Billabong worship resources

Rethink Worship resources

re:Worship worship resources

Fairchild and Blair worship resources

Uniting Church of Australia worship resources

Reformed worship resources

Kids Friendly worship resources

Liturgy by TLW

Living Lutheran resources

Bach Pentecost Cantatas

Lisa's liturgies for small churches

If you have further recommendations or are willing to share your own resources please feel free to email them to

Book: The Missional Church in perspective - mapping trends and shaping the conversation

The Missional Church in perspective by Craig Van Gelder  and Dwight J Zscheile

CONTENTSPart 1 - The history and development of missional conversation
Concepts influencing the missional conversation
Revisiting the seminal work missional church
Mapping the missional conversation

Part 2 - Perspectives that extend the missional conversation
Expanding and enriching the theological frameworks
Missional engagement with culture in a globalized world
Missional practices of church life and leadership

What others are saying about the book:
"The term 'missional' has been adopted by a wide variety of traditions and attached to many add-on programs. This book brings much-needed clarity to a confused picture. It is no rehash of familiar material but rather breaks new ground and leaves the reader with an appetite for more!"--Eddie Gibbs, Fuller Theological Seminary

"This book is the most precise, informed, and uncompromising parsing to date of the history of the concept of 'missional' both as a sensibility and as a form of praxis. Like all good historical analyses, it provides not only a basis for understanding where we have been but also a well-honed tool for considering where we may need and want to go next."--Phyllis Tickle, author, The Great Emergence

"Concertgoers are familiar with the cacophonous roar that precedes great orchestral performances as musicians tune their instruments. When the conductor takes the stand, however, these same instruments--now focused on a musical score--produce music. The Missional Church in Perspective provides sheet music for all those who want to participate in the missional symphony. The book's scholarship and synthesis qualify it to be a common score for us all."--Reggie McNeal, Leadership Network

"This book is a veritable morphology of the term 'missional.' As such it provides both conceptual tools with which to assess the impact of missional ideas on the Western church and a map that helps us chart possible future trajectories of what is clearly one of the most important movements in our times."--Alan Hirsch, Forge Mission Training Network

"A helpful and well-researched work that traces and evaluates streams within the missional church conversation, showing a wide awareness from evangelical, mainline, and historical sources. I have found a new required textbook for my missional church class."--Ed Stetzer, LifeWay Research; missiologist

"It is a rare book that can clearly and cogently describe a highly complex field while also setting a bold course for the future. The Missional Church in Perspective does precisely this. I have little doubt that it will serve as a centerpiece for the missional conversation for the next decade and beyond."--Jack Reese, Abilene Christian University

Sermon and Bible Study series: Where love comes to life

BIG IDEAS FOR THE SERIESMission life flows out of who God is and who we are becoming.
EXPLANATION OF THE BIG IDEAA missional life participates in the shared life of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As a consequence, we are transformed to be a community where God's love comes to life. The same love that transforms us is drawing our families, neighbours and friends into new life in Christ; thus we are compelled to include and invite all people to belong to God's family.
PURPOSE OF THE SERIESTo help people grow in their understanding and participation in the mission of God in the world.
Over five weeks, discover why a missional life is where love comes to life.
  • WHERE LOVE COMES TO LIFE - introduction to the series

  • To download the package and for further information visit 

Article: Preaching Repentance by James Nestingen

Preaching Repentance by James Nestingen

The article covers:

  • Preaching repentance is a problem
  • Repentance and the law
  • The Gospel and repentance
  • Repentance and the preacher

To read the article in full visit

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Book: 20th Century Lutheran theologians

20th Century Lutheran theologians

This collection of essays examines important twentieth-century Lutheran theologians, including European and North American voices.
Each essay provides an overview of the life and thought of important confessional Lutherans who shaped theology with an ecumenical, world-wide impact. The focus here is not on later twentieth-century figures but earlier ones, selected similar to the spirit manifest in Karl Barth's contention »lest we forget where contemporary theology came from« (Protestant Theology From Rousseau to Ritschl).
The essays composed over the last five years were initiated by Lutheran Quarterly in order to assess our recent past as we move into a new millennium. The goal of each author, each a leading theologian, has been to describe each thinker's life and vocation and how each thinker's work continues to impact theology today.

The theologians included are:

  • Francis Pieper (1852 – 1931)  by David P. Scaer
  • John Philipp Koehler (1859 – 1951) by Michael J. Albrecht
  • Karl Holl (1866 – 1926) by Gregory A. Walter
  • Ole Hallesby (1879 – 1961) by Torleiv Austad
  • Werner Elert (1885 – 1954) by Matthew Becker
  • Paul Althaus (1888 – 1966) by Hans Schwarz
  • Hermann Sasse (1895 – 1976) by John T. Pless
  • Hans Joachim Iwand (1899 – 1960) by Gregory A. Walter
  • Edmund Schlink (1903 – 1984) by Matthew Becker
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906 – 1945) by Richard H.  Bliese
  • Ernst K√§semann (1906 – 1998) by Roy A. Harrisville
  • Helmut Thielicke (1908 – 1986) by John T. Pless
  • Gustaf Wingren (1910 – 2000) by Mary Elizabeth Anderson
  • Gerhard Ebeling (1912 – 2001)  by Mark D. Menacher

Book: 19th Century Lutheran theologians

19th Century Lutheran Theologians
This collection of essays, a companion volume to the book, Twentieth-Century Lutheran Theologians (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013), examines important nineteenth-century figures from the perspective of contemporary European and North-American scholars.
Each essay provides an overview of the life and central ideas of a key Lutheran/Protestant theologian who has had a significant impact on theological reflection down to the present. The focus here is on those thinkers who were active between 1799 (the year when Schleiermacher's Speeches appeared) and the First World War. These are individuals who deserve repeated examination, whose insights are still worth pondering today, and whose theological positions help us to understand better "where contemporary theology has come from" (Karl Barth).
All of the essays were initiated by the journal Lutheran Quarterly in order to assess our theological heritage as we move further into a new millennium. The goal of the authors, each a leading theologian, has been to describe a given thinker's life and vocation and how that person's work continues to impact theology today.

The theologians covered include:

  • Friedrich Schleiermacher (Christine Helmer; Northwestern University)
  • Georg Hegel (Mark Mattes; Grand View University, Des Moines)
  • F. C. Baur (Mark Seifried; Concordia Seminary, St. Louis)
  • J. T. Beck (Roy Harrisville Sr.; Luther Seminary, St. Paul [emeritus])
  • Adolf von Harless (Lutz Mohaupt; University of Hamburg [emeritus])
  • Nikolai F. S. Grundtvig (Anders Holm; University of Copenhagen)
  • W. Loehe (David Ratke; Lenoir-Rhyne University)
  • J. C. K. von Hofmann (Matthew Becker,Valparaiso University )
  • Gottfried Thomasius (Hans Schwarz; University of Regensburg [emeritus])
  • C. F. W. Walther  (Christoph Barnbrock; Theological Hochschule Oberuersel)
  • S. Kierkegaard (Carl Hughes; Texas Lutheran University)
  • Theodosius Harnack (Christoffer Grundmann, Valparaiso University) 
  • Albrecht Ritschl (Darrell Jodock; Gustavus Adolphus [emeritus])
  • C. P. Krauth (Mark Oldenburg; Gettysburg Seminary)
  • Martin Kaehler (Carl Braaten; Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago [emeritus])
  • Nathan Soederblom (Dietz Lange; University of Goettingen)

Friday, February 05, 2016

Book: Brand Luther

Brand Luther: How an Unheralded Monk Turned His Small Town into a Center of Publishing, Made Himself the Most Famous Man in Europe and Started the Protestant Reformation

A revolutionary look at Martin Luther, the Reformation, and the birth of publishing, on the eve of the Reformation’s 500th anniversary

When Martin Luther posted his “theses” on the door of the Wittenberg church in 1517, protesting corrupt practices, he was virtually unknown. Within months, his ideas spread across Germany, then all of Europe; within years, their author was not just famous, but infamous, responsible for catalyzing the violent wave of religious reform that would come to be known as the Protestant Reformation and engulfing Europe in decades of bloody war.

Luther came of age with the printing press, and the path to glory of neither one was obvious to the casual observer of the time. Printing was, and is, a risky business—the questions were how to know how much to print and how to get there before the competition. Pettegree illustrates Luther's great gifts not simply as a theologian, but as a communicator, indeed, as the world's first mass-media figure, its first brand. He recognized in printing the power of pamphlets, written in the colloquial German of everyday people, to win the battle of ideas.

But that wasn't enough—not just words, but the medium itself was the message. Fatefully, Luther had a partner in the form of artist and businessman Lucas Cranach, who together with Wittenberg’s printers created the distinctive look of Luther's pamphlets. Together, Luther and Cranach created a product that spread like wildfire—it was both incredibly successful and widely imitated. Soon Germany was overwhelmed by a blizzard of pamphlets, with Wittenberg at its heart; the Reformation itself would blaze on for more than a hundred years.

Publishing in advance of the Reformation’s 500th anniversary, Brand Luther fuses the history of religion, of printing, and of capitalism—the literal marketplace of ideas—into one enthralling story, revolutionizing our understanding of one of the pivotal figures and eras in human history.

Editorial Reviews

“There is very little serious academic work that explicitly explores the role of printing in the rise of Protestantism. Brand Luther fills that gap. It is an insightful and highly scholarly book but it’s very readable at the same time. It is a well-researched book that provides deep analysis of the rise of Protestantism. It should be on university curriculums for history. It is a must-read for everyone interested in the history of Europe and religion. Pettegree’s scholarship is unmatched in its insight, scholarly value, and authority.”—The Washington Post Book Review 

“A remarkable story, thoroughly researched and clearly told, and one sure to change the way we think about the early Reformation.”—Washington Post
“Pettegree expertly guides us through Luther's years and achievements…. Most of all, though, Pettegree deserves credit for his fresh slant on the Reformation and his dynamic storytelling….And as this absorbing and illuminating book capably shows, after Luther, print and public communication—and indeed, religion—would never be the same again.”—Weekly Standard 

“Pettegree…shines light on an overlooked talent of [the Reformation’s] main progenitor…Brand Luther shows how Wittenberg’s most famous son took keen interest not only in the content of his books, but also in how they were manufactured, designed, and marketed.”—Christianity Today 

“Pettegree admirably presents Luther, warts and all. But in the final analysis, he asks whether printing created Luther and the Protestant Reformation or Luther created mass media through his shrewd manipulation and adaptation of the printing industry to his specific needs. This book argues both—it’s hard to separate one from the other since the rising success of printing as well as Protestantism seemed to go hand in hand. Well researched and well written, this essential book is for anyone remotely interested in Luther or early modern technology.” –Library Journal

"Well researched and well written, this essential book is for anyone remotely interested in Luther or early modern technology."—Sandra Collins, Byzantine Catholic Seminary Lib., Pittsburgh

“A cogent and authoritative overview of Martin Luther (1483-1546) and of the burgeoning printing industry that disseminated his ideas….An informative history of a man of ‘adamantine strengths and…very human weaknesses’ who incited a theological revolution.”- Kirkus

“Authoritative and beautifully written, Pettegree’s book provides a radical take on a revolutionary figure.”- Bruce Gordon, Yale Divinity School, author of Calvin

“Andrew Pettegree draws on a lifetime’s scholarly engagement with the history of the book to offer us a fresh way of looking at Luther and his times. Of all the many new books which will commemorate the momentous events of 1517, this will be one of the most original: not just a biography of Martin Luther, but a study which uses the printing industry as a lens through which to view his extraordinary achievement as writer and inspiration of the movement which reshaped European religion.”-Diarmaid MacCulloch, author of The Reformation: A History and Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years

“This perceptive and engaging analysis of the German Reformation highlights the fruitful interweaving of Martin Luther’s skills as a preacher, writer, and publicist and the burgeoning printing industry. Pettegree’s lucid and persuasive account offers unparalleled insight into this outstanding early modern example of effective use of communication techniques that allowed Luther’s message to take hold.”-Karin Maag, Professor of History and Director, H. Henry Meeter Center for Calvin Studies, Calvin College and English editor and translator of The Reformation and the Book 

“Andrew Pettegree brings his expert knowledge of the sixteenth-century book business to bear on the old crux of ‘printing and the Reformation.’ Many images of Luther will appear in the next few years, and this one is particularly intriguing. Pettegree’s Luther understood the importance of the new medium and the new format in which his message was expressed. He was not an artless voice declaiming against the whirlwind, as he sometimes portrayed himself. Rather he was an astute publicist for a message that he firmly believed was much greater than himself.”-Euan Cameron, Union Theological Seminary; author of The European Reformation 

Brand Luther is an important recasting of the history of Martin Luther and the rise of the German Reformation. Without reducing the role of religious ideas or the power of personal faith, Andrew Pettegree demonstrates how Luther was able to harness and exploit the emerging power of print in order to broadcast his message of religious reform and ultimately bring about a transformation of European Christianity. Pettegree tells both sides of the story with equal vigour and understanding, moving between Luther the reformer, the relentless weaver of words, and the emerging forms of early modern media. The result is a book that does not just commemorate the Reformation but helps us to view its history in a completely different way.”-C. Scott Dixon, author of Protestants: A History from Wittenberg to Pennsylvania 

Brand Luther tells two tales. The first is an engaging biography of the German reformer Martin Luther. The second is a stimulating account of the first time the printing press helped shape a mass movement. Andrew Pettegree deftly combines these two stories to show how an abstract academic dispute grew into the Reformation that divided western Christendom. This is history-writing at its best!”-Dr. Amy Nelson Burnett, Paula and D.B. Varner Professor of History, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

“Andrew Pettegree’s Brand Luther brings new excitement and insight to the persistent question of why Martin Luther’s calls for reform revolutionized western Christianity when earlier critiques had not.  Drawing on his deep knowledge of the Protestant Reformation and the early modern printing industry, Pettegree has crafted a compelling narrative that conveys the excitement, chaos, and uncertainty of the first decades of the Protestant Reformation.  In Pettegree’s incisive telling, the Reformation is just as crucially a “commercial revolution” as a theological one.  He presents Luther as an innovative, forward-thinking mover of the print industry whose mastery of the new medium of print transformed both Christianity and the business of printing.  Pettegree places the interactions among Luther, the emerging print industry, and the economic development of the city of Wittenberg at the center of the Reformation drama, returning a sense of suspense to a well-known story and emphasizing the fact that Luther’s success and long-lasting influence was never a foregone conclusion.”-Karen E. Spierling, editor, Calvin and the Book: The Evolution of the Printed Word in Reformed Protestantism