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Issue 8 ~February 2009

at Work

A Message from:
A Message from:
t t e r Issue 8 ~February 2009 at Work A Message from: Mission The mission
Mission The mission of the Institute of Lutheran Theology is to educate and prepare ordained
Mission
The mission of the Institute of Lutheran
Theology is to educate and prepare
ordained and lay Lutheran leaders,
followers of Jesus Christ, for
evangelical vocations SO THAT: they
may walk in the WAY of Jesus Christ,
know the TRUTH which is Christ, and
witness their resurrected LIFE in Christ
for all to see.
Contact Us:
Institute of Lutheran Theology
910 4th St
Brookings, SD 57006
605-692-9337

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“Greetings in the Name of Christ”

The Institute of Lutheran Theology is heading in a definite theological direction characterized by these affirmations: *We are theological realists, believing that the Triune God is not merely a structure of human consciousness, but exists apart from human awareness, perception, conception and language. *We are semantic realists, believing that theological language does not merely express the depth of human being or emotion, but rather makes truth-claims about God, and what God has done for us in Christ Jesus. *We advocate theophysical causation, believing that talk of God’s mighty acts in history does not merely express the depth of human being and consciousness, but rather declares that God has causal powers, that some natural events would not occur in the way they do apart from God’s power. *We advocate a Lutheran theology of nature,

believing that good Lutheran theology cannot merely isolate divine activity within the arena of language, but that the natural course of the universe itself must be understood as a fundamental place where God’s power and love are present. *We hold to the internal clarity of Scripture, believing that Scripture is not merely a text from the ancient world whose meaning is obscure and only discernible through application of new scholarly approaches to the text, but that Scripture is in itself clear, that any obscurity on Scripture’s part is due to the fallenness of human nature. *All of these assertions place us in some tension with presuppositions that have operated in Lutheran theology over the last two centuries. The last assertion, in particular, shall raise eyebrows in our time. We believe that just as God is clearly at

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www.instituteoflutherantheology.org email:admin@instituteoflutherantheology.org Institute of Lutheran Theology
www.instituteoflutherantheology.org
email:admin@instituteoflutherantheology.org
Institute of Lutheran Theology
I n s t i t u t e o f L u t h
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work in the universe whether or not human beings recognize it or not, so too is Christ clearly at the center of Scripture whether human beings can perceive it or not.

Scripture whether human beings can perceive it or not. Student’s of ILT Pastor Tom Walker, IL

Student’s of ILT

Pastor Tom Walker,

IL T

D e a n

o f Ad min is tr a tio n

We ask all of you to join with us in this exciting program of retrieving a robust confessional Lutheran theology for our time. We need your prayers, recommendations for students, your presence in our classes, and your financial support!

You won’t want to miss our annual Mount Carmel Event June 7 - 10 Alexandria
You won’t want to miss
our annual
Mount Carmel Event
June 7 - 10
Alexandria MN
Set these dates aside and
watch for more info to
come!

Fourteen people are in various stages of discernment about becoming students at the Institute of Lutheran Theology next fall. The number of inquirers is roughly double that figure. During December and January the number of inquiries has nearly tripled over previous months. These are very good signs for being able to have a good student body next fall when the pastoral training programs start.

A key factor for getting off the ground next fall will be good support for student financial aid. Because the ILT is not yet accredited, students will not have access to standard financial aid resources and student loans.

We will need individuals, congregations, and private foundations that are willing to step forward with funding to help our students with the cost of attending school. Because the ILT enables the families to stay where they are and for students and student spouses to continue to work at their jobs, this need will not be at the level of most students attending seminary. However, some assistance will be necessary .

We are right now in the process of putting together student grant and loan funds. If you would be willing to help us with this important work, please contact us right away. You can reach us by phone at 605-692- 9337 or by email at: admin@instituteoflutherantheology .org

right away. You can reach us by phone at 605-692- 9337 or by email at: admin@instituteoflutherantheology
Why I Support ILT B y D o u g l a s M o
Why I Support ILT
B y
D o u g l a s
M o r t o n

I am a confessional Lutheran

pastor in The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (TLC-MS). I support my church body and its universities and seminaries. Yet, at the same time, I support the Institute of Lutheran Theology. Here are my reasons why:

I have not always been LC-MS.

As a matter of fact, I have roots in the church bodies that make up the present ELCA. I was baptized and brought to faith in Christ in the old United Lutheran Church in America (ULCA). I received my Sunday School education, was Confirmed, and received my college education in The American Lutheran Church (TALC). However, in the early to middle 1970s I came see, what I believed, was the handwriting on the wall for my old church bodies. Thus, I ended up going to Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, a seminary in The Lutheran Church

– Missouri Synod. Ultimately I

joined the LC-MS in 1979 shortly

before my graduation. I do not regret my decision.

In the 1970s I was looking for a confessional Lutheran school where the entire faculty held the Scriptures in high regard. I did not believe I could find one such school in the church bodies of my youth.

Yes, there may have been schools where individual professors held a very high regard for the Scriptures and the Confessions, but it was at Concordia Seminary where I met an entire faculty who willingly placed themselves under the authority of the Scriptures. In these Scriptures Christ spoke his word of law and gospel. This faculty held to the Lutheran Confessions because (quia) they agreed with the Scriptures, not in so far as (quatenus) they thought they agreed with the Scriptures.

I find the Institute of Lutheran Theology to be a school where the faculty also has a high regard for the sacred Scriptures and have bound themselves to the Lutheran Confessions. Had something like ILT been around in the 1970s, I may have sought it out as a way to further my Christian education and as a route into the Holy Ministry.

This is not to say that, as a pastor in The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, I agree totally with all the nuances on doctrine that make up the teaching staff of the Institute. We may have certain differences. These are things we can always discuss in a manner that befits those who have bound themselves to Holy Scripture and to the Lutheran Confessions.

What I do find in the Institute, and in its teachers, is a refreshing view of the Holy Scriptures and faithfulness to the Lutheran Confessions. For this reason I have not only supported the Institute financially, but have also sought to help it in other ways.

In our day there is an erosion of Christian truth in many of the denominations and seminaries. This is one of the reasons why it is encouraging to see the formation of the Institute of Lutheran Theology . We need more schools like it in order to train both lay people in life-giving Scriptural doctrine, as well as in training pastors for the office of the Holy Ministry.

Above are the reasons why I support the Institute of Lutheran Theology. It is a breath of fresh air in an often stagnate and degenerating theological climate that makes up many main line denominations and seminaries. My prayers are with you ILT! So are my financial support and my help in any way I can. God has some great things in store for you. Also, through you, God has some great things in store for the Lutheran Church, the greater Christian Church, and the world at large.

910 4th St Brookings, SD 57006 Ph: (605) 692 9337 Fax: (605) 692 1460 email:

910 4th St

Brookings, SD 57006

Ph: (605) 692 9337

Fax: (605) 692 1460

email: admin@instituteoflutherantheology.org www.instituteoflutherantheology.org

A r c h i v e d

C o u r s e s

Dennis Bielfeldt, Luther: An Opinionated Introduction” Dr. Dennis Bielfeldt teases from Luther some of his best thinking about the nature of church, of the sacraments, of ordination, and of human suffering. This four part series will also include an overview of Luther's life and times.

Mark Mattes, Philippians” This course examines the Apostle Paul's letter to the Church at Philippi. We will discover the source of his joy as faith in Christ in spite of his imprisonment.

James Nestingen, Teaching the Catechism” Dr. Nestingen directs this course especially to parents of young children to encourage them to again use this teaching tool to provide youth with the foundation of basic Christian teachings.

James Nestingen, Lutheran Confessional Writings” This course is an eleven week introduction to the history and theology behind The Book of Concord, the founding documents of the Lutheran tradition.

Gregory Peterson, Science & Theology” This course introduces students to the problems bequeathed to theology by the rise of the natural and social sciences. It examines, from a Lutheran standpoint, the plausibility of God in our scientific age.

Stephen Turnbull, “

In this course we will explore the radical good news of the crucified Jesus and the revolutionary letter that Paul wrote to defend it. The book of Galatians has a history of shaking up the church. Could it be that God wants to use it to shake you up?

Galatians”

Up c o mi n g L a y Co u r s e s
Up c o mi n g
L a y
Co u r s e s
(Course times are CST)
"The Pursuit of the Paranormal"
by Fred Baltz
Sunday Nights -
March 15 - April 26, 7:30-8:30 pm
“Luther: The Three Great Treatises”
by Jim Nestingen
Monday Nights -
starting March 16, 7:30 pm
“The Screwtape Letters of C.S. Lewis”
by Paul Spaulding
Tuesday Nights -
March 17 - April 28, 7:30-8:30 pm
Register with Nikki Berreth,
Assistant to CEO & Provost
605-692-9337

For more information on the courses, check out our website: www.instituteoflutherantheology.org

Financial Challenges of 2009 2009 proves to be a challenging year for all non-profit groups

Financial Challenges of 2009

2009 proves to be a challenging year for all non-profit groups relying upon support of donations in these tough economic times. With the down-fall of the stock market, the housing market crashing, the great loss across the country of jobs and numerous companies being forced to down- size and re-strategize their business position, the Institute of Lutheran Theology is also feeling the pinch. ILT has seen the loss of the financial support by the WordAlone Network for the 2009 budget year. This is a loss of $15,000 from our budget that we did not anticipate.

While we are at a critical point in forming our programming, we are in more need than ever to see the continued support of prayer and financial contributions from those excited by the education and change provided by the Institute of Lutheran Theology. Your donations are crucial! Even a monthly contribution of $25 from every supporter of ILT would make a difference. We operate on a very tight operational budget dedicating only $140,000 total compensation toward annual staff salaries.

Our staff of seven is paid out of this line to carry out the daily business of working toward getting our program accredited with ATS, bringing on Designated Teaching Centers, carrying out the Christian Life Series lay educational offerings, our newsletter distribution, and speaking engagements of the Institute. When compared to similar organizations, the Institute is proud to operate on minimal salary lines which allows us to dedicate our financial support to the task of providing confessionally-based, scripturally- grounded education to lay and pastoral preparation.

For supporters who are also Thrivent Financial for Lutherans members, please consider utilizing your GivingPlus matching dollars to support the Institute. This is free money that derives from matching donated dollars to eligible, qualifying Lutheran programs recognized by Thrivent Financial. ILT is a recognized, eligible program. Thrivent Financial will match $1 for each $2 contributed toward the Institute of Lutheran Theology up to a matched gift of $300 per year. Individuals can donate monthly, quarterly or a one-time gift and have the gift(s) be eligible for matching.

Gift forms are available by contacting the Institute business office at:

admin@instituteoflutherantheology.

org or by calling 605-692-9337.

Donations are accepted online at:

www.instituteoflutherantheology.org

or by mail to:

Institute of Lutheran Theology 910 4 th St Brookings, SD 57006

Faculty & Staff Notes Dennis Bielfeldt had published "The Draft Social Statement on Human Sexuality:

Faculty & Staff Notes

Dennis Bielfeldt had published

"The Draft Social Statement on

Human Sexuality: How not to

Derive 'Ought' from 'Is’”, Oct 2008,

The Journal of Lutheran Ethics

(

article.asp?k=806

his translation of Anna Briskina’s,

“Die finnische Lutherforschung”

recently appeared as, “The

Finnish Luther Research,"

Lutheran Quarterly 22 (2008), 16-

39. Bielfeldt keynoted at St.

Matthew Lutheran in Galena IL,

delivered three addresses at the

Canadian Association of Lutheran

Churches Annual Meeting in

Cochrane, Alberta, and in January

2009 traveled to Marengo, IA,

giving a day-long theology

conference where he delivered

three addresses around the

theme, “Reclaiming our Lutheran

Heritage: Five important

Theological Themes Lutherans

have Lost.” Bielfeldt also

continues to post to his academic

theological blog:

http://disputationes.blogspot.com .

http://archive.elca.org/jle/

).

In addition,

The Substance of the Faith:

Luther’s Doctrinal Theology for

Today , by Dennis Bielfeldt, Mickey

Mattox, and Paul Hinlicky was

published earlier in 2008 by

Augsburg/Fortress Press.

Greg Peterson had published “In Praise of Folly? Theology and the University.” Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science 43(3): 563- 577, “Maintaining Respectability: Response to Nicholaos Jones.” Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science 43(3): 593-8, and “Uniqueness, The Image of God, and the Problem of Method: Engaging Van Huyssteen.” Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science 43(2): 467-474. Also he presented “Neurospirituality: A Lutheran/Protestant Perspective” at the Conference on Neuroscience & Spiritual Practices: Transforming the Embodied Mind, October 12-14, Claremont School of Theology, Claremont CA, “Are Evolutionary/ Cognitive Theories of Religion Relevant for Philosophy of Religion?” at the American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Chicago IL., November 1-3, 2008, and Neuroscience, Transcendence, and Moral Exemplars,” at the American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Chicago IL., November 1-3, 2008.

Jim Nestingen taught a course at the Northwest House of Studies in November and December and now is teaching a graduate course at Concordia Seminary, Fort Wayne.

Harold Schlachtenhaufen published Faith Ethics in 2008 Author House, Bloomington, IN.

Staff

Tom Walker traveled with Dennis Bielfeldt to Edmonton, Alberta, to meet with officials from Concordia Lutheran Seminary in Edmonton, Alberta in November, and returned for meetings in January 2009.

Randy Freund and Nikki Berreth represented ILT at the WordAlone Theological Conference in Golden Valley, MN in November.

Doug Dillner represented ILT at German Days at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and attended two WordAlone Board meetings.

Our Board of Regents Hon. G. Barry Anderson Rev. Dr. Dennis Bielfeldt ~ CEO Dr.
Our Board of Regents
Hon. G. Barry Anderson
Rev. Dr. Dennis Bielfeldt ~ CEO
Dr. Doug Dillner ~ President/Chair
Mr. Paul Erickson
Dr. Hans Hillerbrand
Dr. Jack Preus
Mr. Fred Schickendanz
Dr. Uwe Siemon-Netto
Rev. Kip Tyler
(Dr. George Forell ~ Advisor)
(Gov. Al Quie ~ Advisor)