Friday Sermon | Lecture by Bryan Wolfmueller

frisermonNovember 2, 2018.

It has been a long time since we’ve done a “Friday Sermon” post. Today, I thought it would be nice to share a lengthy lecture by Bryan Wolfmueller, pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in Aurora, Colorado. Pr. Wolfmueller gave this lecture last year around the time of Reformation Sunday as a guest speaker at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Cheyenne, WY.

Given in honor of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017, this lecture takes on many of the popular ideologies that stand against the church in our days.

If you’d like to see the handouts discussed in the video, click here.

Lecture on the Combat of World-Views, Bumper Sticker Theology, and the Anti-Catechism

I hope you enjoy this lecture and find it helpful.

In Christ Jesus,

Friday Sermon | “The Conscience” Bryan Wolfmueller


frisermonToday we will be pulling from the archives of IssuesETC, where we find Pr Todd Wilken interviewing Pr Bryan Woflmueller on the topic of the Conscience. If you only have time to listen to one of the parts, skip to part 2; however, I encourage you to listen to both parts of this topic.

If you are not familiar with IssuesETC, they are an online radio program that covers a wide range of topics from a decidedly Lutheran perspective.

Bryan Wolfmueller is a pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in Aurora, Colorado (

He has a number of theological hobbies, including:

Bryan, his wife and four children live in Aurora, Colorado.

Bryan has a pipe, and it trying to start smoking it, but just doesn’t have the discipline. He enjoys walking around outside, reading the first ten pages of all kinds of books. He has a curious interest in productivity blogs.


0115. The Conscience, Part 1: Three Pictures of the Conscience – Pr. Bryan Wolfmueller, 1/11/17 (link)


0243. The Conscience, Part 2: Four Things the Conscience Knows and Four Things that Inform the Conscience – Pr. Bryan Wolfmueller, 1/24/17 (link)


Jude 24-25 (ESV) Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

In Christ Jesus,

True Worship: Faith Wrestling with Despair by Rev Flamme

It has been quite a while since we’ve posted things other than Discernment in Music (DiM). I’m working on some plans for creating more music-related content throughout the week to support the DiM work and hopefully to provide our readers some variety in materials within the scope of music and theology. Normally when we do a Friday Sermon post it’s an audio/video of a good sermon. Today we’ll have an article by Rev. A. Brian Flamme, and a recent sermon he preached at Hope Lutheran Church in Aurora, CO. Since the two are not on the same topic, the sermon will be posted separately.

True Worship: Faith Wrestling with Despair by Rev. A. Brian Flamme

Posted December 15, 2015
by Rev. A. Brian Flamme

The world obsesses over worship. Workaholics pour their waking moments into obtaining the all-important nest egg. Intellectuals strive after ideologies that master the transcendent mysteries of the universe. Muslims are taught by their Koran to compel obedience to their god through intimidation and murder.[i] These are only some of the ways that world’s worship bows down and renders service to what’s perceived as worthy.

The world’s worship ranges from venial to noble. It can be found it in the mountain monasteries of the Buddhist monks and the American football stadium on Sunday afternoon. Obsessions of the world are all too often nothing more than counterfeit worship. The devil and his demons are intent on making sure that every ounce of your attention is consumed.[ii] They’ll give you anything but the true God to fear, love, and trust.

What about the Christians? Don’t they worship the real God? Even the trappings of Christian worship can deteriorate into pagan sacrifice. How? By thinking the offerings of time, attention, money, and works demanded by the demons are also what God desires. This captivity to works has also borne the name “Christian worship.” This was the state of Christendom at the time of the Lutheran Reformation. Men, women, and children were coerced to pay priests to render the sacrifices of the mass so they could be saved from an angry and vengeful God. They agonized over the obedience and works of righteousness demanded by the papacy, even to the point of despair.

What was neglected was the one thing needful: a Savior who paid the price for sin. Thanks be to God that he will not suffer his Word to be silent. For the sake of mercy, not sacrifice, he sent faithful pastors like Luther, who held forth the incarnate Son of God promised by the Prophets, Apostles, and Evangelists. The proclamation of Jesus’ Word is the center and foundation of authentic Christian worship.

It’s been remarked that Luther and the Lutheran Reformation didn’t have an explicit or sophisticated theology of worship.[iii] This seems to be fair, as Luther never goes out of his way to articulate an  liturgical philosophy to govern the rites and rituals of the church. Nor does he spend protracted time researching and pouring over the words “worship” and “liturgy” to establish an independent theological concept. Instead, Luther rejoiced in preaching repentance and faith, Law and Gospel, and expounding upon Christ’s institutions of Baptism and the Supper. You can find all this summed up in his Small and Large Catechisms.[iv]

You might think this fixation on preaching Jesus might lead to a neglect of the liturgy. Maybe people would talk about theology, but never actually make it to church. Does neglect of “liturgical theology” lead to a neglect of the liturgy? Not for the reformers. As the princes at Augsburg confessed, “Our churches are falsely accused of abolishing the Mass. In fact, the Mass is retained among us and is celebrated with the greatest reverence.”[v] But this wasn’t a “mass” held captive to the doctrines of men which denied the blood of Jesus to the people. Nor did it imagine that meriting God’s favor without faith could be accomplished through the magical performance of churchly rites.

Luther explains, “We therefore first assert: It is not now nor ever has been our intention to abolish the liturgical service of God completely, but rather to purify the one that is now in use from the wretched accretions which corrupt it and to point out an evangelical use. We cannot deny that the mass, i.e., the communion of bread and wine, is a rite divinely instituted by Christ himself and that it was observed first by Christ and then by the apostles, quite simply and evangelically without any additions.”[vi] You can see Luther’s desire to resist anything that conflicted with Christ’s institutions in the Scriptures. Luther was confident that as long as the Scriptures and their doctrine was preached and believed, Christian worship would necessarily happen. He writes, “And this is the sum of the matter: Let everything be done so that the Word may have free course instead of the prattling and rattling that has been the rule up to now. We can spare everything except the Word.”[vii]

Jesus established an office in the world for forgiving sins (John 20:21–23). He established his Baptism and Supper to be received in the lives of real people (Mark 16:16; Matt. 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-26) and not merely to be objects of contemplation. Luther writes, “Places, times, persons, and the entire outward order of worship have therefore been instituted and appointed in order that God’s Word may exert its power publicly.”[viii] What does it look like when God’s Word exerts its power publicly? Babies are baptized. Sins are forgiven. The Scriptures are preached and prayers and hymns spring off Christian lips. It looks like the Divine Service you attend every Sunday!

True Christian worship is under attack. “For where God’s Word is preached, accepted, or believed, and bears fruit, there the holy and precious cross will also not be far behind.”[ix] Sufferings in this life must come. The demons rage when their counterfeit worship is displaced by godly preaching. The world loves placating their false gods too much to tolerate the call to repentance. Concerning these enemies of Christ, Philip Melanchthon writes, “Nowhere do they teach that sins are pardoned freely for Christ’s sake and that by this faith we may obtain the remission of sins. Thus they obscure the glory of Christ, rob consciences of sure consolation, and destroy true worship, that is, the exercise of faith wrestling with despair.”[x]

Faith wrestling with despair is Christian worship. Faith wrestling against despair runs to Jesus in the face of sin and death. The Scriptures are full of examples. It was faith wrestling against despair that led Mary to ignore the chores of the day so she could sit at her Lord’s feet to be comforted with his preaching (Luke 10:38-42). It was faith wrestling against despair that pushed Jairus to rush from his dying daughter’s side to beg Jesus to restore her life (Mark 5:21-43). It was faith wrestling with despair that caused the criminal crucified next to Jesus to ask that he be remembered when his Lord entered into his kingdom (Luke 23:39-43). This is Christian worship. Because it rests in Jesus and his Word, it will never be put to shame.

The Rev. A. Brian Flamme is a pastor at Hope Lutheran Church, Aurora, CO.

[i] Koran 9:5. Besides the Koran itself demanding the repentance of unbelievers through violence, Martin Luther identifies the connection between Islam and murder in 1529. In On War Against the Turk, Luther saw that proselytization into the Muslim faith often came at the edge of the sword. He writes, “Thus when the spirit of lies had taken possession of Mohammed, and the devil had murdered men’s souls with his Koran and had destroyed the faith of Christians, he had to go on and take the sword and set about to murder their bodies. The Turkish faith, then, has not made its progress by perching and the working of miracles, but by the sword and by murder…” (LW 46:179). Though there are certainly “moderate Muslims” who resist violence against unbelievers, they are inconsistent with critical elements of Mohamed’s own history of pushing his novel faith on others through bloodshed on the Arab Peninsula not to mention the clear precepts of the Koran. I believe that Luther’s assessment of Islam’s murderous pretentions remains accurate and instructive for Christians today.

[ii] In Luther’s explanation of the Third Petition of the Lord’s Prayer, Luther identifies the work of the devil as fighting against God’s will: That his kingdom would come into our lives through the preaching of his Word. See also 1 Timothy 4:1

[iii] Walter E. Bruzen, “Forward,” in Worship in the Name of Jesus, by Peter Brunner, trans. M.H. Bertram (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1968), 7–8.

[iv] The best places in the Catechisms to learn about Lutheran worship would be the first three Commandments, the Third article of the Creed, the first three Petitions of the Lord’s Prayer, and, of course, the sections on Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. There you’ll find everything that you need to know about what worship was all about for the reformers. Thanks be to God that it continues to be our confession today!

[v] AC XXIV, 1 (Kolb-Wengert, 69).

[vi] An Order of Mass and Communion, LW 53:20

[vii] Concerning the Order of Public Worship, LW 53:14

[viii] LC I, 94 (Kolb-Wengert, 399).

[ix] LC III, 65 (Kolb-Wengert, 448-449)

[x] Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope, 44 (Kolb-Wengert, 338).

Friday Sermon | “Becoming Lutheran from Evangelicalism” by Bryan Wolfmueller


Today, we are going to be looking at a lecture given by Pr. Bryan Wolfmeuller. The video was posted to YouTube back in February of 2013. For those of you who are not Lutheran, I encourage you to listen because I believe Bryan does a great job of describing the problem of modern-day evangelicalism and their confusion of Law and Gospel.

Pr. Bryan Wolfmueller is involved in several online projects, but in none of them does he really talk about himself. Here is the “about” information on his personal blog:

Pastor Bryan Wolfmueller: husband, father of four, pastor of Hope in Aurora, CO, co-host of Table Talk Radio, fan of the distinction of law and Gospel.

God’s Word is AWESOME
(Becoming Lutheran from Evangelicalism)

Pr. Bryan Wolfmueller shares his experience of coming out of Evangelicalism using the framework of Psalm 119 and also Law and Gospel. He speaks of the treasure that is the Word of God and Lutheran doctrine, treasure for the soul that is despairing from the effects of Evangelical beliefs.

Lecture Text

Psalm 119:17-24 (ESV) | Gimel

17 Deal bountifully with your servant,
    that I may live and keep your word.
18 Open my eyes, that I may behold
    wondrous things out of your law.
19 I am a sojourner on the earth;
    hide not your commandments from me!
20 My soul is consumed with longing
    for your rules at all times.
21 You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones,
    who wander from your commandments.
22 Take away from me scorn and contempt,
    for I have kept your testimonies.
23 Even though princes sit plotting against me,
    your servant will meditate on your statutes.
24 Your testimonies are my delight;
    they are my counselors.

Some additional resources:

Our journey out of evangelicalism into Lutheran doctrine took a different path than Pr Wolfmueller’s. This was such a blessing to me.

2 Thessalonians 3:16 (ESV) Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way.The Lord be with you all.

In Christ Jesus,

Friday Sermon | Sola Scriptura

Today we’ll be watching a lecture provided by Chris Rosebrough of Pirate Christian Radio and Pastor at Kongsvinger Lutheran Church. The lecture took place on October 30, 2015 at the “Road to Reformation” Seminar in Grand Forks, ND. The video comes to us via Worldview Everlasting (WEtv).

Traditions of old can certainly be valuable. The writings of the early Church Fathers are also very valuable. However, both tradition and the writings of theologians are ‘trumped’ by the Word of God. In other words, when we confess the ‘Word Alone’ we are not confessing that we should reject everything of old from the Christian church, but rather that the traditions of the past and the things of the present are subjugated to the Word of God. The Word of God has the last say and is our source for doctrine, practice, and life

In the following lecture, Pastor Rosebrough does an overview of “The Word Alone,” as well as shows its practical application in the church today.