Greetings From the Editor
June 15, 2017 – 7:20 am | No Comment

by Jin H. Han

The most important detail about a robed man nailing the Ninety-Five Theses on a church door is that the Reformation was not about starting a new church but about reclaiming what God had in mind for the world. Luther’s notion of liberty is grippingly captured in his treatise on Christian liberty (1520), in which a Christian is declared to be “subject to none.” It reiterates a call of the gospel for all believers so that we may all work together to battle injustice in our society in the name of the reign of God.

Subject to none but God, we are here only to serve God, and clearly the theme, liberty, binds us together.

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Summer 2017 PDF Online
August 12, 2017 – 7:00 am | No Comment

Dear Subscribers:

Our Summer 2017 issue PDF is now available. After logging in, you may:

  1. click on the ‘ALL ISSUES (PDFs)’ tab above, then
  2. click on ‘The Living Pulpit: Volume 26, Summer 2017 — Liberty’ under the ‘Volume 26 – 2017’ heading

or click here.

Thank you for your patience.

Jin H. Han
Editor-in-Chief

Luther and the Freeing Word
June 15, 2017 – 7:29 am | No Comment
Luther and the Freeing Word

by Erik M. Heen

The characteristic Lutheran “spirituality” centered in service to the neighbor, often expressed in the slogan “freed to serve,” is succinctly articulated in Luther’s 1520 treatise “Freedom of the Christian.” The slogan raises fundamental questions: “How are we freed?” “From what are we freed?” and “How is it that ‘service’ most characterizes freedom?” Luther concludes that though the “Word” is the means God uses to liberate humanity from Sin, “faith” is the agent that moves the focus of one’s attention off of self and on to one’s neighbor-in-need.

Subject to None
June 15, 2017 – 7:28 am | No Comment
Subject to None

by Petra Carlsson Redell

In this article, Rev. Doc. Petra Carlsson Redell reflects over two Lutheran ideas, namely the Lutheran notion of grace and the idea of the priesthood of all believers. Redell suggests that if these notions are treated with care, they may help us spread the love of God and the inspiration of the Spirit in the political and social reality of our time.

Exploring Paradoxical Christian Freedom in 2017
June 15, 2017 – 7:27 am | No Comment
Exploring Paradoxical Christian Freedom in 2017

by Jonathan Linman

Rooted in a robust, nuanced, and expansive understanding of Christian freedom, Martin Luther’s famous paradox, paraphrased as “subject to none, subject to all,” forms the foundation for Lutheran social ethics which continue to resonate with profound relevance in our day, five hundred years after the beginning of the Reformation.

Liberty: Finding and Maintaining Our Voice
June 15, 2017 – 7:26 am | No Comment
Liberty: Finding and Maintaining Our Voice

by Donald L. Odom

Does Christian liberty suggest our freedom in Christ allows us to be passive concerning the least, last and the lost? What is our responsibility as Christians towards the disinherited and disenfranchised, and what does Christ’s love look like when we remain silent while others around us struggle? Christian liberty requires work within the Body of Christ to speak loudly and recurrently for the invisible and voiceless.

Two Minds, One Voice, One Prayer: Martin Luther and Johann Sebastian Bach
June 15, 2017 – 7:25 am | No Comment
Two Minds, One Voice, One Prayer: Martin Luther and Johann Sebastian Bach

by Jill Schaeffer

This essay suggests how the works of two deeply faithful and creative men, born two centuries apart, may generate a single act of worship. Martin Luther’s commentary on The Lord’s Prayer is joined wordlessly with Johann Sebastian Bach’s chorale on The Lord’s Prayer in the Clavier-Übung, more commonly known as The German Organ Mass. Luther’s influence on Bach’s music was pervasive and indelible. This particular influence on Bach’s compositions is well timed with Reformation celebrations in the town of Eisenach in 1739.

Preaching and Teaching the Reformation in 2017
June 15, 2017 – 7:24 am | No Comment
Preaching and Teaching the Reformation in 2017

by Douglas S. Stivison

The Protestant Reformation not only changed forever the course of Christian belief and worship, it also elevated respect for individual conscience and honest inquiry. To preach faithfully in a contemporary Protestant pulpit demands that we help our parishioners appreciate the priceless and revolutionary concept that is the foundation of Reformed worship – freedom of conscience.

Book Review: Be My Witness: The Great Commission for Preachers by Marvin A. McMickle
June 15, 2017 – 7:23 am | No Comment
Book Review: Be My Witness: The Great Commission for Preachers by Marvin A. McMickle

by Daryl Bloodsaw

Marvin A. McMickle‘s latest book is required reading for today’s preachers and ministers in the church who oftentimes find themselves boxed in with nowhere to turn when discerning what to preach from Sunday to Sunday. He offers prescriptive approaches to flinging open the doors of our imagination by realizing that while there may be pressing issues in our churches that must be addressed, there are also local, national, and international issues begging for attention.

Comparative Books Review and Movie Review
June 15, 2017 – 7:22 am | No Comment
Comparative Books Review and Movie Review

by Neal D. Presa

The subversive beauty that lurks in the human story, which gives witness to the power of the hidden Christ, who is real in our speaking and in our living can be seen in comparing the works of Shūsaku Endō, Makoto Fujimura, and Martin Scorsese.

Quotations from Scripture and Other Writings Related to Martin Luther
June 15, 2017 – 7:21 am | No Comment
Quotations from Scripture and Other Writings Related to Martin Luther

by Darla Turlington

Quotations from the Bible and secular writings that pastors and others may find useful in sermons, essays, or other venues.

Greetings From the Editor
June 15, 2017 – 7:20 am | No Comment
Greetings From the Editor

by Jin H. Han

The most important detail about a robed man nailing the Ninety-Five Theses on a church door is that the Reformation was not about starting a new church but about reclaiming what God had in mind for the world. Luther’s notion of liberty is grippingly captured in his treatise on Christian liberty (1520), in which a Christian is declared to be “subject to none.” It reiterates a call of the gospel for all believers so that we may all work together to battle injustice in our society in the name of the reign of God.

Subject to none but God, we are here only to serve God, and clearly the theme, liberty, binds us together.

An Introduction and Examination of Isaiah 11
March 1, 2017 – 9:29 pm | No Comment
An Introduction and Examination of Isaiah 11

by Cleotha Robertson

Occurring against the backdrop of King Ahaz’s reign from 732 to 715 BCE, Isa. 11 is the hopeful prophecy of a Davidic Ruler who will arise from the lineage of Jesse. This Davidic ruler will fear the Lord, practice justice, establish peace, slay the wicked, and restore the oppressed remnant of Judah and Israel. For the Body of Christ, this prophecy is and will be fulfilled in our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus!

Lasting Shalom: A Word from Isaiah and Jeremiah
March 1, 2017 – 9:28 pm | No Comment
Lasting <em>Shalom</em>: A Word from Isaiah and Jeremiah

by John W. Herbst

We live in an age of distrust, far from Isaiah’s ideal. Individually and collectively, people seek security. The church needs to promote Isaiah’s solutions to local and global disharmony: concentration on God’s ways and values, and the promotion of justice for all people, everywhere. It is only in knowledge and justice that our society will experience true shalom.