By Joel A. Hess

Looking for Luther to back you up on how worship should be done? Have fun, something for everyone! To sum his thoughts up, I would say he was against keeping things the same for the sake of keeping things the same. Yet equally concerned about people who wanted to change abruptly just because they can. I can’t help but believe he would be surprised to find some church services as infotainment and others looking not too different than Rome.

By Scott Keith

Luther Under the Ban Melanchthon Hard at Work

In 1521—the same year Melanchthon married his wife—at the Diet of Worms, Martin Luther was convicted of heresy and placed under a Papal bull and an imperial ban. The ban meant that he was an outlaw and could be killed or imprisoned on sight. It was only the grace and quick thinking of his elector, Fredrick the Wise, that saved Luther’s bacon. Elector Fredrick whisked Luther off to the Wartburg castle for safe keeping. Yet, while Dr. Luther was contending with the Papal bull against him, confessing the Christian faith at Worms, and writing sermons for preaching in the Castle Church and elsewhere, Melanchthon was at work developing the first Lutheran “system” of theology. This work was destined to exert a powerful influence on the Lutheran Reformation and marks an epoch in the history of Christian theology. The work in question was entitled the Loci Communes Theologici, or Common Topics of Theology.

By Bob Hiller

One of the great joys of the sports bar is what we might call the “greatness debate.” You know how it goes: “Who is the greatest point guard in the league right now?” “If you could start a franchise with three players in the league, who would you take?” “Give me your top five post-season quarterbacks after 1980.” Beer-induced passion sets in producing delightfully aimless arguments with no real answers. Everyone has a chance to flex their sports-trivia muscles and pile on the guys with the worst answers (a position I know all too well).

By Scott Keith

Early Life and Education:

Philip(p) was born to George and Barbara Schwarzerdt in Bretten in 1497. Philip had four siblings: Anna (1499), Georg (1500 or 1501), Margarete (1506), and Barbara (1508). All were born in his grandparents’ house in the Electoral Saxon Residential town of Bretten. Melanchthon’s father, Georg Schwarzerdt, born in Heidelberg, was a master of gunnery founding and was skilled in forging lightweight, durable armor. Because of his skills, Georg was elevated to the office of electoral master of armorer and thus needed to remain in Heidelberg. Melanchthon’s mother, Barbara, came from the wealthy merchant family of Reuter.

By Joel A. Hess

This year marks the 500th year since Luther nailed his 95 reasons explaining why he objected to the selling of indulgences. We now call that seemingly ordinary day in 1517 the beginning of the reformation. While there were many who sought reform in the Church before Luther, he was the one who lit the match. God gave him the unique gift of being both highly intelligent and passionately pastoral. His enthusiasm for the Gospel and ability to communicate it was unmatched.

By Scott Keith

I wasn’t much for fairy tales when I was a wee lad, but I always did enjoy a good leprechaun story. Maybe it is because I’m part Irish (I think), or maybe it was that ever-elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that drew me in. You see, a Leprechaun is a type of fairy in Irish folklore. Leprechauns are said to be smaller-statured (though often quite muscular) men who almost always sport an impressive red beard, are snappy dressers, and love to partake in creating a little mischief (Sound like anyone else you know?).