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Friday, August 31, 2007

The Lone Moose Ranch Institute of Higher Education on a Field Trip

We had a chance to tour Concordia Publishing House and learn many interesting things about the publishing process. While walking around we discovered the original paintings of many famous pictures we got to love over the years. CPH has recently published many interesting new books and we really liked their new Sunday school curriculum "Growing in Christ" .

Monday, August 13, 2007

Yes, he's got it now

J.J. can swim!

At the Dawn of the Last Year at the Sem

Well, it’s hard to believe almost two years have passed since we moved from Tomball, Texas, to Concordia Seminary in St. Louis and started to live the lives of students of the WORD. Next year a new chapter will start again as we hope to head out to a new challenge - a church plant. What did we learn?

· This past year Chris has been given several new opportunities to hone his skills in teaching creationism. As such, he was asked to teach a six-week Bible study class entitled “Can Christians Really Believe in the Theory of Evolution?” at our field work church. The class was very well attended and he has been invited to teach a repeat class this coming November/December. Also, one of the electives he took this past spring was “Studies in Creation.” The fact that the Bible states a 6-day creation is sufficient. Nevertheless, for some people it is helpful to be able to back Scripture up with scientific data and, conversely, demonstrate the many scientific errors and absurdity of the theory of evolution). The irony is of course that he used to be an evolutionist himself, being blind to the truth while he was a secular geologist back in the 1980s. If you are interested, he is more than happy to share class and information materials as well as an article he wrote for the student newspaper “Around the Tower”.
· The Lord seems to be solidifying our understanding that there is a reciprocal relationship between a church’s doctrine and practice, and that if you change one, you will change the other too. As such, the Tiews are growing in the understanding that Lutheran churches applying classic church growth practices such as business marketing, altar calls or mega-church worship styles to increase membership are at the same time frequently diluting Lutheran doctrine—whether they realize it or not. This in turn is gradually morphing Lutheranism into just another American Evangelical denomination. There is no better explanation of the Christian faith, of what God’s Word is telling us, than in the (Lutheran) Book of Concord, which serves as the standard of the Lutheran Church in determining faithful Biblical teaching and preaching, to which I pray the Holy Spirit would lead me to adhere. Combining this historic Lutheran focus with a desire to shepherd a “Lutheran yet exciting,” church, plus hopefully someday becoming the kind of pastor of whom the individual congregant would say “he cares,” Chris wishes to leave the “church growth” part up to the Lord—and not to man-made business techniques.
· Did you know that 2/3 of Martin Luther’s works have never been translated from their German and/or Latin original versions into the English language? A huge extracurricular opportunity that the Lord has given us is that Chris has been selected by Concordia Publishing House (CPH) to be on a very small team of translators to begin translating the mountain of Luther’s “left behind” sermons and letters into the English language. This task could very well keep me busy for many years to come. In addition to this translation work, as a part-time job this past year Chris continued to do a variety of translations of theological texts for the LCMS and of business texts for a number of high-tech companies in Germany. He also had the opportunity to support the homeschool movement in Germany with interpretation and translation.
· This past school year our homeschoolers Carlotta completed 5th grade (and her third year of Latin), Jeremiah 1st grade, Mariam pre-school, and extremely active Lillian (now 16 months old) was most busy climbing, emptying out drawers, pulling books out of bookcases, jumping head first into a pool and giving us one near-heart attack after the other.

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