The Small Catechism of Martin Luther by Philip Hoppe

Pastor Philip Hoppe has made a very nice use of Prezi to introduce people to the Small Catechism. Any Lutheran will find handy uses for this with fellow church members, family, friends, online acquaintances, and others.

Transcript of The Small Catechism

The Small Catechism
A book of questions and answers that answers briefly the question, “What does the Bible teach?”
Written by Martin Luther because he found most people did not know the basics of the faith.
Written for fathers and pastors to teach their familes and flocks.
What is the Small Catechism?
Shows how God’s people are to live.
Reveals that we do not live as we should.
Leads us to despair of earning our own salvation.
Leaves us in need of a Savior outside of ourselves.
The Ten Commandments
Reveals to us our Savior God
Reveals to us that he is Triune, three persons in one God.
The Father creates, The Son redeems, The Holy Spirit sanctifies

The Creed
Teaches us about life with God.
Teaches us how to talk to our Heavenly Father.
Tells us what is important in this world and the next.
Teaches us how God first brings us the salvation Jesus won for us at the cross.
Reveals that our old man has been killed.
Reveals that a new man has been raised up to live a new life.
The Sacrament of
Holy Baptism
Reminds us what to do with the sins that continue after Baptism
Reminds us that pastors are given to us in order that forgiveness might be delivered to us so that we can live with a clear conscience.
Confession
Assures us that Christ comes to us in his Body and Blood
Reveals to us why weekly gathering to receive this gift is critical to faith.
Proclaims Christ’s death until He comes.
The Lord’s Supper
Daily Prayers
Morning
Evening
Asking a Blessing
Returning Thanks
Table of Duties
Pastor and People
Government and Citizens
Husbands and Wives
Parents and Children
Bosses and Employees
Youth
Widows
Everyone
Christian Questions
with Their Answers
A series of questions that leads one through what the catechism has taught them about faith and life in preparation for receiving the Lord’s Supper.
The Lord’s Prayer

 

HT, T.R. Halverson, lutherancatechism.com

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, A Man of Conscience by Malcolm Muggeridge

This piece from Plough is  excerpted from the book A Third Testament, and is based on a 1974 CBC television series by the same name.

 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer photograph National German Archive

 

An excerpt:

It is an awesome thought that the eighteen months or so that Bonhoeffer spent as a prisoner in Tegel Prison was spiritually the richest, and intellectually and artistically the most fertile, period of his life. All his circumstances prior to his imprisonment were conducive to him becoming a useful and enlightened citizen. Indeed, he had already become a pillar of the Confessional Church – a teacher, preacher and scholar of growing renown, inside Germany and abroad. All this (and I do not mean it disparagingly at all) was to be expected from so honorable and honest a product of a God-fearing, cultivated, upper-middle-class home.

In his cell, however, the theologian became a mystic, the pastor became a martyr, and the teacher produced, in his Letters and Papers from Prison, one of the great contemporary classics of Christian literature. It is very difficult indeed for a twentieth-century mind to accept, or even grasp, the notion of the blessedness of affliction. Bonhoeffer provides us with a perfect object lesson. His greatness grew directly out of his affliction, and through the very hopelessness of his earthly state, he was able to generate hope at a dark moment in history, when it was most sorely needed, comforting and heartening many.

When Bonhoeffer heard in prison that the plot of July 1944 had failed, he realized that Hitler, having miraculously survived the assassination attempt, would be merciless in liquidating the conspirators. Now he knew that, in human terms, their cause was lost. God had overruled their earthly purpose, and nothing remained for him but to come to terms, once and for all, with the Cross. In the plot’s failure lay his triumph, as in losing his life he would gain it. This is beautifully conveyed in his last writings in prison.

I have never regretted my decision in the summer of 1939 to return to Germany, for I’m firmly convinced – however strange it may seem – that my life has followed a straight and unbroken course, at any rate in its outward conduct. It has been an uninterrupted enrichment of experience, for which I can only be thankful. If I were to end my life here in these conditions, that would have a meaning that I think I could understand.

Do click here to read this classic piece on Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

The Spread of the Gospel!

How far did the Church spread in the first century? Who took the Gospel to Ukraine in the AD 60s? Ethiopia in the 4th century? China in the 7th century? Greenland in the 11th century? What was happening with Christianity in the 300s? 600s? 900s? The Spread of the Gospel Map is a powerful visual depiction of the most important movement in history: the spread of Christianity. Charting the geographic progress of the Gospel over the last 2,000 years, this map shows the missionary journeys of the apostles, the outposts of the early church, the hotbeds of persecution, the staging grounds of the Church’s major theological battles, and more. Be reminded of the power of the Gospel to transform “every nation and tribe and language and people,” and be inspired by the legacies of the brave brothers and sisters who faithfully carried the Gospel of Christ to the farthest ends of the earth. Go here to learn more about it.

“From Heaven the Angel Troop Came Near”

luther from heaven

In Bethlehem, David’s town of old,
As Prophet Micah has foretold;
’Tis the Lord Jesus Christ, I wis,
Who of you all the Savior is.
And ye may well break out in mirth,
That God is one with you henceforth;
For he is born your flesh and blood—
Your brother is the eternal Good.
What can death do to you, or sin?
The true God is to you come in.
Let hell and Satan raging go—
The Son of God’s your comrade now.
He will nor can from you go hence;
Set you in him your confidence.
Let many battle on you make,
Defy them—he cannot forsake.
At last you must approval win,
For you are now of God’s own kin,
For this thank God, ever and aye,
Content and patient all the day. Amen

 

Martin Luther

Luther: diligently learn the Word of God

Luther Bibel

“You should diligently learn the Word of God and by no means imagine that you know it. Let him who is able to read take a psalm in the morning, or some other chapter of Scripture, and study it for a while. This is what I do. When I get up in the morning, I pray and recite the Ten Commandments, the Creed, and the Lord’s Prayer with the children, adding any one of the psalms. I do this only to keep myself well acquainted with these matters, and I do not want to let the mildew of the notion grow that I know them well enough. The devil is a greater rascal than you think he is. You do as yet not know what sort of fellow he is and what a desperate rogue you are. His definite design is to get you tired of the Word and in this way to draw you away from it. This is his aim.”

-Martin Luther (WA 32, 64f.).

Luther’s ‘Becoming’ Prayer

Mountains

“This life therefore is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness, not health, but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it, the process is not yet finished, but it is going on, this is not the end, but it is the road. All does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified.”

-Martin Luther