Posts Tagged With: Martin Luther

Deputized with the Titus 2:1 Award

Titus 2:1 says, “But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.”


Jeremy de Haan, the man behind Sixteen Seasons, has deputized this parson with the Titus 2:1 Award.  Thank you kindly, pilgrim.  In order to celebrate, and until we can get together for a good old shindig or hoedown, he has asked me to answer the following questions:

1. If you could have dinner with any historical Christian figure, who would it be and why?

The good Doctor, Martin Luther.  That guy just was just a character.  His personality punches your spiritual nose and/or makes you chuckle on every page of his writings.  I’d be assured it wouldn’t be stuffy, or boring.  The conversation would surely be amusing and colloquial, yet profoundly theological.

2. What one burning question would you ask?

What is one thing you would have done differently, and why?

3. Where and what would you eat?

At the Black Bear in Wittenberg, of course!  It was his favorite hangout.  We’d eat something hearty like pigs feet, ox tail, or Blutwurst (blood sausage) while downing several pints of brown ale.  (Pils was not yet invented in Luther’s day.)

4. What was the last Bible verse you read?

Psalm 121:4 – “Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.”

Now it’s time for me to pass the award on to another blogger.  I reckon I’d like to keep the international exchange going, and show some support for our Reformed brothers in South Africa.  One blog offers a steady stream of doctrine and church history.  This guys drinks it up like an Indian pony at a trough in front of the saloon after a 100 mile trek at full gallop.  My award goes to Jake Griesel at Theologia est doctrina Deo vivendi per Christum.

Categories: Humor | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Pastoral Letter — Oct 27, 2013

From Pastor Riley, to the members and friends of Hope Congregational Church,

Greetings in the name of Him who is reforming His Church, bringing her to greater conformity to His will!

The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer.  Temperatures are dropping.  Perhaps spending more time indoors than we normally do in the summer months will give us time to reflect on some important topics.  The one I would like to focus on at the moment is Reformation.  Reformation is a work of God found in the Scriptures, when He conforms and reforms His Church to His will as expressed in His holy word.  In the days of Hezekiah the King there was a mighty reformation, a time of revival and smashing the idols that people had been following instead of God.  We see the same thing occur under the reign of Josiah after the book of the law was rediscovered.  There are times of blessing when the word of God is rediscovered, ignorance is uprooted, and idols are smashed for the glory of God and the blessing of His Church.

On October 31, 1517 such a work of God began through the humble protest of a conscientious monk and Bible professor at Wittenberg University named Martin Luther.  Luther95thesesIn the middle ages Christianity had overtaken Europe, although North Africa and Asia Minor (modern day Turkey), once important centers of the Christian faith, had for the most part been overrun by Islam through successive conquests.  In the Middle Ages Bibles were scarce, and if available, it was only available in the Latin Vulgate translation.  As a result, many superstitions and errors had developed to cloud and obscure the gospel of Jesus Christ based on some key mistranslated passages in the Vulgate.  A general ignorance prevailed over Christian people, who generally did not have access to the Bible and heard homilies in Latin every Sunday, a language they could not understand.  Due to the interest of Renaissance scholarship, the original Hebrew and Greek Scriptures became more widely available in western Europe for the first time.  God used these events to bring about a reform movement back to the source of truth, the Holy Scriptures, and to restore the purity of the gospel in the tenets of the Reformation: upon the Scriptures alone, in Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone, for God’s glory alone.  On Sunday, November 3rd, in the afternoon following a potluck at church, you will have an opportunity to learn more.  I would like to invite everyone, including friends, relatives and neighbors to our first ever Reformation History talk.

Church History is important to the body of Christ.  It is our history, as God’s people.  It lets us know where we’ve come from, gives us an opportunity to praise God for what He has done, warns us of the errors of the past (which tend to keep reappearing under new names), and gives us hope that the God of our fathers is the same God who leads us today.  As we follow Him, in thankfulness for what He has done in history, let us also remember that as His Church we are to be ever increasing in our knowledge and application of what He requires of us.  A watchword of the 16th century Reformation was, Semper Reformanda – “always reforming”, (from Latin.)  God has helped us until now, but we always have room for improvement.  The correct attitude toward obedience to God as His church is to always be willing to change in ways (and only in those specific ways) that God requires of us in His word, the Holy Bible.  Just as individual Christians are to be brought more and more into conformity to Christ, so it is with His Church made up of them.  May God continue to richly bless us and reform us in accordance with His word.

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Announcing: Reformation History Talk 2013

Reformation History Talk


On a providential day: October 31, 1517, a humble protest by a conscientious monk and University Bible professor named Martin Luther set off a chain of events which changed the world and altered the course of history. Let us take time to reflect on a mighty work of God in the past and its contemporary relevance.

What: First-Ever Reformation History Talk

When: Sunday, November 3rd, 2013 1:00 PM

Location: Hope Congregational Church, 40981 County Road GG, Bethune, CO

Topic: What was the Protestant Reformation? Why was it necessary? And what does it mean for us today?

Speaker: Rev. Riley Fraas

Come and join us for a discussion followed by a question and answer period and special music from the Hope Congregational Church Choir. No RSVP needed. Bring a friend. You won’t want to miss this historic occasion.

Facebook event page:

Exodus 15:1 I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

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God’s Remarkable Providence in the Sack of Rome by Charles V in 1527

“The Sack of Rome”, Year, 1527.  Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, set out to get Luther at the Diet of Worms.  Instead, in a remarkable providence, he joins forces with the German Protestants to sack Rome, making Pope Clement VII hole up in the castle of St. Angelo while Charles’ army pillages.   The Romanists were distracted from fighting against the Reformation by fighting against each other.  It was a boon to the unhindered growth and success of the Reformation.  While Charles V was busy fighting the pope and occupying Rome, the gospel was going forth with power in northern Europe.  Glory be to God.  This is an illustration of that verse, ” The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken. ” Psalm 19:15

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