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Lutheran Aardvark

Confessional Lutheran theology, hagiography, philosophy, music, culture, sports, education, and whatever else is on the fevered mind of Orycteropus Afer

18 December 2005
  Merry Carnival and Happy Blogidays:
Lutheran Carnival of Blogs #13


Yep, folks. The Ol' Aardvark gets to host the (lucky?) thirteenth installment of the Lutheran Carnival. The last time I hosted, I neglected to introduce a famous (or not-so-famous) Lutheran personage. I'll not make that mistake again.

The Famous Lutheran Du Jour

Rehwinkel Family
The folks in the picture are Bessie Lee (Efner) Rehwinkel and her husband, the Rev. Dr. Alfred M. Rehwinkel, noted LCMS theologian, pastor, and professor, with their daughters Dorothy and Helen.

Yours truly spent part of his time at St. John's College, Winfield, Kansas in a dorm named for this former school president. Alfred also wrote The Flood, a book still on the shelves of many Lutheran pastors and lay people.

Dr. BessieHowever, our featured Lutheran isn't the (theological) doctor, nor either of the children, but Mrs. Doctor Rehwinkel, who was a doctor (medical) herself. Back in the days when hardly anyone had heard of a woman in medicine, Dr. Bessie practiced on the prairies of the U. S. and Canada. She was the real-life Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.

In their later years, after they'd moved into the the world of urban academia, the two joined to put together a thin book with a lengthy title: Dr. Bessie: The Life Story and Romance of a Pioneer Lady Doctor on Our Western and the Canadian Frontier. I'll not spoil it by giving any of the story away. However, it's a great read as history, biography, or romance.

And Now, On with the Carnival!

There are a number of entries this time around. I've grouped some of them around themes they share with other submissions, including Narnia, Lutheran-Calvinist differences including iconoclasm, church polity and politics, and the Advent – Christmas season. However, the "great unwashed" group with which we begin our excursion into confessional Lutheran blogging excellence is outstanding in its own right. Put things together, and you have a recipe for some great pre-Christmas reading and pondering.

A Little of This, a Little of That

Chalice§ Ask the Pastor generated a number of comments about alcohol being part of the Sacrament in his post on Communion Wine. He also answers a reader's question, Am I a Pelagian?

§ Dare to be a Sinner! says Be Strong in the Grace. The author shows how she was able to see herself, and the whole of earth, in a permanent sin condition. Once God worked this, He also showed her clearly from whence comes her help.

§ At A Beggar At The Table, Pastor Klages makes A Couple Observations involving politics and religion, all in one post! Includes his initial musings about producing the "Slapper Santa" doll in honor of the treatment Saint Nicholas gave the heretic Arius.

§ Yeah, we normally cap it with two submissions per blog, but Chaplain Dave's Newsletter has a three-part series answering the question What Do Chaplains Do Anyway? He writes that Chaplains Lead Worship, Chaplains Counsel People, and they practice regular Visitation.

§ At Cranach, Dr. Veith notes how one of his daughter's teachers shows what it means to believe in the Bible and the Lutheran confessions in Being Confessional When It Hurts.

§ In Lutheran Teachers Rock, GHP of Territorial Bloggings takes off on the above post by Dr. Veith to give his own props to those who faithfully fulfilled their vocations.

§ Here's one where the title removes any need for further commentary by the host: Theophilus' Inferno posts on "In Cold Blood," Capote, and the Human Capacity for Evil.

§ Cross Theology says that Pastors are Made, Priests are Born, which nicely distinguished between the priesthood of the baptized and the Office of the Holy Ministry.

§ Dan at Necessary Roughness, writing Cross Theology: Pastors are Made, Priests are Born, provides a series of follow-up comments to the previous entry. Then Dan looks into the circles of ecumenical "mission" work, where the Gospel sometimes doesn't make it to the ears of those targeted. In A Halftime Message, Dan offers a sample of a talk that could be given at, for example, a church basketball game.

§ Thanks to Pastor David Petersen Cyberstones for God's "Yes" to Rebellious Sons, a sermon wherein our poor stewardship of God's manifold gifts isn't met by an imperative for more and better stewardship. Rather, he uses the parable of the Prodigal Son to illustrate God's prodigious grace in Christ.

Freezing Rain§ I Think That Freezing Rain Is a Beautiful Thing, says David. Has he been playing with his little interlocking plastic blocks for too long? Find out at David Creates with Legos; God with Logos

§ Full Throttle & and Empty Gas Tank talks about a private "worship war" but he's really talking about the conscience, hopelessness, and fear in How I Feel.

§ And speaking of feelings, What You Do, Do Quickly complains in his finest Jack Webb/Joe Friday/"Just the facts" voice about bloggers letting us know their moods, meme and quiz posts, and otherwise not simply telling the reader what they are thinking in Current Mood | Annoyed.

§ Mollie Ziegler of Get Religion uses the Tookie Williams clemency case to examine how the kingdom of the left hand often finds itself using the language and coopting some of the divine order of the kingdom of the right in Talk about Mingling Church and State. The blog isn't strictly confessional Lutheran, but Mollie Z sure is.

§ Horn+Swoggled provides its normal heaping helping of parody in Satan to Workers: Do My Bidding on Halloween, reporting that megachurch volunteers aren't the only ones who need a little holiday family time. He then tells us how a Church Jettisons "Traditional" Schedule, showing how to some, even the "tradition" of regularly scheduled services is too traditional.

§ Elle the Intolerant notes the results of China's sexual revolution in China's Sexual Devolution.

Absolution§ Mrs. T. Swede of Journalistic Jargon tells us plainly — Private Confession in the LCMS: A Very Good Thing.

§ Here's another blogger where the two-post limit doesn't make sense. Kelly's Blog has been providing a series called Lord of the Vocations, wherein she examines how various characters in the film version of Lord of the Rings fulfill or fail their respective callings. Part I deals with a few of the women we meet. Dialogue between Eowyn and the hobbits contrasts their differing understandings and acceptance of their vocations in Part II. The vocations of Frodo are in Part III while Master Samwise is observed in Part IV and Part IVb. Part V is devoted to the Grey Pilgrim, Gandalf. Kelly promises more to come in the series.

§ Let's Look at Scripture for a Change! exclaims Caspar Heydenreich at Lutherans & Contraception as he examines Natural Family Planning in light of a grammatico-historical exegesis of 1 Corinthians 7:5.

§ Pastor Thomas Chryst of Preachrblog expands on an idea proposed by Dr. Veith and decries the removal of the line "If I should die before I wake" from the well-known bedtime prayer in Sheltering Children.

White Witch§ At Quicunque vult, Ste. Emily Carder the diaconatrix takes us back inside her classroom and shows how Joseph Reveals a Witch.

§ What's blogging without a rant or two? Especially Jason Peterson's Rants from a Disgruntled Lutheran in Middle-America, which involves yet another series, this one (so far) in two posts. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of Deliverance from Enemies by Grace: Evidence of Divine Monergism in the Pattern of the Kings of Judah.

§ Don't Have an Organ? Organists are hard to come by, and while we appreciate them when we have them, what do you do when they are not available? While the ideal solution is to train your own organists, the Revvin' Rev says that here is something you can do in the interim.

§ The Rev. David Juhl, aka the Uneasy Priest muses on Learning to Be Still, providing some thoughtful material and receiving comments in kind.

Sprinkle in Some Wittenberg vs. Geneva Spice

Luther Rose§ At Cyberbrethren, the Rev. McCain posits Where's Jesus? An Expression of Concern to my Calvinist Friends. However, Pastor McCain finds out that ecumenical dialogue isn't totally out of kilter when he discovers A Sane Voice in What Seemed a Pretty Wacky Calvinist Reformed World.

§ Are You Justified Because Christ Is in You, or Is Christ in You Because You Are Justified? asks Dawning Realm. The distinction provides some of the difference between many of the heirs of Calvin and Luther.

Shake in a Few Nibbles of Narnia

§ Na(r)nia Vortext Has Me Sucked In, Sort Of discusses getting sucked into the great pop culuture phenomenon of the movie Chronicles of Narnia. It also deals with some of the trepidation the disgruntled world citizen of Full Throttle experienced as he started reading the books.

Aslan§ Pastor Alms of incarnatus est laments that There Was no Blood when the Witch sacrificed Aslan and notes what a powerful theolgical statement was missed.

§ From Jottings and Such, Julie Stiegemeyer's Thoughts on Narnia also examine the books and Lewis, while comparing the Chronicles to Lord of the Rings and current trends in children's literature

§ The author of Katie's Beer provides A Peek into Narnia. The brewmistress first read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in 1978 and could only interpret the storyline through her teenage mind. In 1998, she read the book with her then 9 year old daughter and saw things through her eyes, also as a mother with strong evangelical interpretations of any book, song or movie. In 2005, she watched the movie as the mother of older children and as a confessional Lutheran Christian. She notices things this time that she never before realized. In particular, she sees the importance of well-catechized and well-educated children who are prepared to face life's battles.

Add a Dash of Doctrine and Practice

§ Several people express concerns with some of what passes for Lutheran preaching these days. Josh S, one of Here We Stand's contributors asks, Do You Ever Get the Feeling? and posits that too many sermons focus only on the basics of Law and Gospel, sin and grace and never proclaim the full council of God.

Preaching§ Meanwhile, Sean wants for real law and not some watered-down substitute as he asks (and answers), Too Much Gospel or Too Much Law? at Hot Lutheran on Lutheran Action.

§ Bob watersblogged! Waters targets what he thinks is an overall poor Lutheran understanding and application of Sanctification, saying, Surely This, Too, Is a Crisis!. He opines that not only could faulty preaching and teaching be culprits but also wonders if a later confirmation with transitional teaching moving from concrete to abstract thought wouldn't help.

§ The science-minded Dan gets into the numbers game with two posts from Random Thoughts of a Confessional Lutheran. First he parallels Five Point Calvinism with his own Five Point Lutheranism as he lists five gripes he has with the LCMS. He also tallies Three Things I Hate about Ablaze!™, making his case as to why Ablaze!™ isn't worth the trouble of starting up a fire.

§ Also questioning prevailing attitudes about outreach is Ryan Fouts of Little Loci as he asks, Missiology or Missiolatry?

Top with Warm Helpings of Advent and Christmas

§ How about keeping Advent going until Christmas Eve? Jeremy Abel of Living Among the Mysteries keeps the preparatory season alive with a look at John the Baptizer, The Unlikely Comforter.

§ From the Revvin' Rev, Pastor David Ruddat, comes Sermon — Advent 3. He refuses to point to or at stores which greet us with either "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays." Instead, he reminds us of the Christian way to "point": "When folks who are darkened with their sins or the sins they see around them say 'Look what this world is coming too!' We point to our Savior in humility and enthusiasm saying 'Look who has come to the World!'"

Christmas Day Service§ The mistletoe's not up yet here in the Alley. However, we're crunching the holiday numbers with Seasonal Math: Christ + Mass = Christmas. Here I argue that along with keeping the "Christ" in Christmas, we should remember to keep the "Mass."

§ In Putting the X Back in Xmas, Pastor Steven Billings reminds us that the "X" in Xmas stands for Christ as he discusses the greetings of the season.

§ I'm not all about theology (just mostly). Secular and sacred meet in The Unsinkable Charlie Brown, an essay occasioned by the 40th anniversary showing of the Peanuts classic.

§ Fa-la-la or folderol? The Rev. Walter Snyder's Ask the Pastor answers a question about Unbiblical Christmas Carols, showing how many of our Christmas "facts" are actually hymn writers' fictions. He also touches on The Meaning of Christmas as both word and holy day.

§ The myth of Santa Claus may no longer be a harmless part of the holiday. Many children know more about Santa than about Jesus. So says The Burr in the Burgh in I Saw Mommy Killing Santa Claus. Pastor Stiegemeyer also gives us It's Festivus for the Rest-of-Us, showing how the world celebrates "Christmas" but has neither Christ nor the Mass. He argues that they should call their holiday something else.

§ David at Cross+Wise writes that a Gospel Santa could teach us (and our kids) some valuable lessons about Christmas in Remaking Santa in the Shape of the Cross.

§ What sort of greeting were you expecting, anyway? The Old School Confessional could only say, Wow after reading the Christless "Christmas" card from his church's district office.

A Christmas Carol§ In a similar vein, Scott comments on the "Christmas Wars" at The Spirit Is Willing; the Flesh Is Weak. He correctly notes that whatever goofiness there is about greetings and public practice, what Christians face is annoyance, not true persecution as he reflects on the sermon preached Last Sunday, at Our Lutheran Church. Then, with Church Takes Purpose Driven Theology Too Far, he uses A Christmas Carol to point out yet another "ghost" providing no lasting comfort.

§ Want more on Christmas greetings? What You Do, Do Quickly provides just that in All I Want for Christmas, wherein he shows what diffences he expects between Church and state and between sacred and secular vocations.

§ Pastor Petersen of Cyberstones is similarly monomaniacal. However, the singular gift on his list isn't what you might expect. He lists All I Want for Christmas: Ambrosian Hymns.

§ So, This is Christmas, exclaims the disgruntled world citizen of Full Throttle & and Empty Gas Tank. He takes a moment or two to reflect on our proper reaction to the miracle of the Incarnation.

§ Here's a treat: A brand new blog (Pablo's Mind) offers its maiden post (Joy To The World), a brief musing about his new-found happiness surrounding Christmas.

§ Finally, at Wretched of the Earth, we find Thai New Year and Christian Thoughtlessness. Ryan uses, as a point of departure, the celebration in Thailand of a "new year" that doesn't correspond to the nation's calendar to discuss "holiday" trees, Christian cultural engagement, and the surrender of the mind.

Note: As you've seen, we received a lot of entries. If we accidentally omitted yours (or you believe it got lost in the earlier email shuffle) please notify me: aardvarkalley AT gmail DOT com
Many thanks, Herr Afer, for the unsolicited (but very appreciated) inclusion -- you, sir, ROCK. Out loud! ;-)

Wow! What a beautiful issue of the Lutheran Carnival. I loved learning about the real Dr. Quinn. Who knew?
Dr. Bessie [Lee (Efner) Rehwinkel] practiced on the prairies of the U. S. and Canada. She was the real-life Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.

While Dr. Rehwinkel was a real-life 'prairie doctor', she probably was not the basis for the "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" TV show, which was set in Colorado in the 1860s. The Dr. Quinn web site claims the TV character was a composite of several 19th century female doctors, including Emily Stowe, Elizabeth Blackwell, and Medal of Honor winner Mary Walker (plus modern TV writers' liberal/feminist PC propaganda).

Dr. Bessie Rehwinkel practiced medicine in the early 20th century.
One observation on my entry: It's not so much the problem with sanctification, really, that concerns me.

It's the problems the problems with sanctification raise for our doctrine of justification.
holy smokes, rev. dude. talk about a carnival! its gonna take me DAYS to get through all of this! thanks!
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