“Why do Lutherans do THAT?” – A Preview


I’ve changed my relationship status.

As most of you who are reading this know, I used to write under the moniker of The Evangelical Orphan. I changed my blog to reflect my embrace of a church tradition.

I was “saved” (made a decision for Christ, walked the aisle at an altar call, was baptized by immersion in the name of the Father, Son and Spirit) at a non-denominational church in Southern California back in 1974. Since then, I have served in several churches, and studied historical theology in many contexts. My journey has led me to Costa Mesa, Minneapolis, Antioch, Canterbury, the outskirts of Rome, Geneva … and finally to Wittenberg. I am now serving as a vicar in a Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod, for those scoring at home). I believe the doctrines and practices of classical Lutheranism are the most faithful to those of historic, orthodox Christianity.

There is SO much I want to say about my new family! But for now, I choose to begin by offering some articles in conjunction with a class I’ll be teaching at Christ’s Greenfield Lutheran Church during Eastertide (Sundays, April 23-May 21, 10:30a). The course is entitled Understanding Lutheran WorshipIt’s for those who don’t know much about Lutheranism (or historical Christian worship in a broader sense), and for those who have been Lutherans for a long time, but may not completely grasp how rich their tradition really is!

U L W logo

Topics to be covered:

  • How We “Do” (Liturgy) Our Worship (order of service)
  • How We Esteem the Word in Worship (the Bible, yes … but more?)
  • How We Do and View Confession and Absolution
  • How We Celebrate the Lord’s Supper
  • How We Celebrate Baptism

I’ll be sharing about these topics with an unabashed agenda: To see more followers of Jesus Christ embrace a comprehensively richer, wholistic, edifying and Biblical spirituality, rooted deeply in the historic practices of the church through the ages. I have been extraordinarily blessed to be led to a deeper understanding of and engagement in these five areas. I’d like to think that the same blessings might be in store for you.

I’ll be back right after Easter Sunday with the first installment. Until then, you might ask yourself this question: When the church gathers, what is supposed to happen? Why do we do what we do, and in the orders we choose? Can we do whatever we feel like, or are we beholden to any principles or practices? (The first time someone asked me this question, my life started to change…)

Blessing on your Holy Week celebrations!

Bill Hartley


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