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June 2022

Dear Friends –

I am very grateful for the positive responses we receive to the video book reviews that are posted on our YouTube channel.  On the first day of every month a new review is available.  Thank you to the Lutheran pastors and theologians who are making these reviews of books of their choosing that they feel discuss issues of interest and importance.  The reviewers come from three Lutheran church bodies – NALC, LCMC, and ELCA. 

Wanting to expand this ministry, we are now making plans to develop another series of videos in which we will be asking Lutheran pastors and theologians to answer the question, What is the core of the Christian faith that we as confessional Lutherans want to maintain, preserve, and hold onto?  These videos will be geared to Lutheran lay people who are serious about their faith.  It is anticipated that they will answer such questions as these.   

What does it mean to be a confessional Lutheran?

How can I understand the Trinity?

Is it important that we call God Father?

Is it important that Jesus died for our sins?

Is it important that Jesus really did rise from the dead?

Is Jesus the only way to salvation?

Who is the person and what is the work of the Holy Spirit?

Anticipating that these videos will be concerned with the practice of the Christian life, as well as with Christian doctrine, our intention is also to address such topics as these.   

How should I read and understand the Bible?

Why is worship – including corporate worship – important?

How can I confess my sins?

How can I be certain that God loves me and forgives me?

How can I give witness to my faith without being obnoxious?

What should I say when I share my faith in Jesus?

We are looking forward to letting you know when the first of these videos is available.

While I am writing this letter this year’s week of NEXUS at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa, is wrapping up.  We are very grateful for the high level of interest and support from the friends of Lutheran CORE for this ministry, which provides a week of Bible study, theological reflection, fellowship, and ministry discernment for high schoolers.  It is also a great week of ministry and leadership training for the college students who serve as mentors.

I also want to thank you for your generous support of our Pastoral Formation Fund and I want to let you know about the first two recipients of financial assistance from this fund.  Your generosity supported a college student who went on a mission trip during the first part of the summer with CRU (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) to reach out to college students in Bologna, Italy.  He will be telling about his experiences in an article in the July issue of our newsletter, CORE Voice.  He plans on attending seminary after graduating from college.  Your generosity will also be supporting another young man who graduated from college this spring and will be enrolling in the North American Lutheran Seminary in the fall.  He has already recorded two reviews for our video book review series and will be recording a third review for September.  We look forward to hearing about his experiences in seminary.  In addition, there are two more young men in our young adults group, which meets via zoom about once a month, who are planning on enrolling in seminary after they graduate from college.

I enrolled in seminary fifty-three years ago this fall.  How much I would enjoy being able to enroll all over again and learn so many things that I did not learn the first time.

The Gospel lesson for this coming Sunday (June 19) is from Luke 8, the story of Jesus’ casting out a legion of demons from a person suffering from severe spiritual oppression.  Unfortunately, I read on Facebook from many pastors who say that they will be using this text as a springboard for talking about how we need to be more sensitive to issues of mental illness or, since a legion was a large unit in the Roman army, who will be talking about our need to join with Jesus in dismantling oppressive political power structures.  How sad.  We need a faith that connects us with the power of the Name of Jesus, rather than a faith that gives us no more to rely upon than our own, limited, human resources. 

Thank you for your ongoing prayers and gifts to Lutheran CORE, which enable us to continue our work of being a Voice for Biblical Truth and a Network for Confessing Lutherans.  Thank you for your prayers for us.  Please click here for a form that you can use to let us know how we can be praying for you.

Blessings in Christ,    

Dennis D. Nelson

Executive Director of Lutheran CORE

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Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Steve Stutz says:

    In regard to your thoughts on the Gospel text for June 19 and the temptation for preachers to neglect to deal with the reality of diabolic evil, I’d like to share my sermon, preached at Redeemer Lutheran in Houston, TX. Here’s the video link on Facebook: https://fb.watch/elAMADZ0lT/
    Let me know what you think!
    Have a great week!
    Steve Stutz

    • Dennis Dean Nelson says:

      I was blessed listening to your sermon. Thank you for sharing. Your message was a powerful reminder of Biblical truth that is often ignored. We are engaged in spiritual warfare. We have an enemy who hates us and wants to destroy the work of God. But Jesus won the decisive victory when He rose from the dead, and now He gives us spiritual armor to protect us, and we have the weapons of prayer and the Word of God to fight off the attacks of the evil one and his followers. Blessings to you in your ministry.