By Paul Koch

“Will you instruct both young and old in the chief articles of Christian doctrine, will you forgive the sins of the those who repent, and will you promised never to divulge the sins confessed to you? Will you minister faithfully to the sick and dying, and will you demonstrate to the Church a constant and ready ministry centered in the Gospel? Will you admonish and encourage the people to a lively confidence in Christ and in holy living?”

By Paul Koch

Ever since my first foray into the study of theology proper, I have heard professors and pastors alike say that the church’s liturgy can operate as a sort of safety net for Gospel. After all, the liturgy contains confession and absolution, leads through the reading of the Word, and culminates in the Sacrament of the Altar. Therefore, if everything else is a complete wreck—if the hymns that are sung are weak and repetitive nonsense meant only to pull at the heart strings; if the people sitting around you are bothersome and annoying little twits; if the sermon preached misses the mark, wandering off into a pointless Bible study or self-help pep talk; you would still have the body and blood of Christ, the forgiveness of sins, the Gospel, so you would be okay.

By Paul Koch

In 1849 Wilhelm Löhe wrote an examination of the relationship between the pastoral office as it comes to us from the pages of the New Testament and the congregations that hold firm to those very Scriptures. He made note of a trend he had observed in the church, a trend that I fear has never abated, a trend that does great damage among the people of God.

By Paul Koch

I often joke around with some of my colleagues that the reason I default to the historic liturgy of the church along with an established lectionary system is that I’m lazy. I don’t want to try and figure out some sort of creative thematic series, so I just open up the book and follow the next lesson that is prescribed. I don’t have the confidence to write out my own confession or proper preface nor the time to do so, so I just use what has been used since long before I was ordained into the ministry.

By Bob Hiller

The devil wants to be your preacher. He wants to get into the pulpit on Sunday morning and entertain you, make you feel good, convict you of all sorts of wrong doing, and inspire you to do better. He wants to make you laugh, cry, and sing. He wants to captivate your hearts and leave you feeling like you can conquer the world. Sure, he wants you to be miserable on the way to hell, but if he can get you to enjoy the ride before the car crashes, that suits him just fine. So long as you don’t trust in Jesus, the devil is happy to be your preacher.