Pastor Fritz Foltz

Pastor Foltz is Pastor Emeritus of Saint James Lutheran Church in Gettysburg, PA and author of the the Frontline Study content.

Lesson 7: Unity in Diversity

Lesson 7: Unity in Diversity

The call for unity in diversity emerged as one of the hallmarks of Vatican II. It was used in a variety of contexts during the Council and remains a helpful guideline for a servant church speaking to a global society. I think it initially appeared in the first session when discussing the liturgy. Maximos IV, […]

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Lesson 6: The Dignity of Humanity

Lesson 6: The Dignity of Humanity

I am increasingly convinced Vatican II was able to lay the groundwork of a new Christian narrative for our modern age, because for the most part, it looked at our situation with a simple honesty. That honesty recognized the narrative the Church has used to identify and understand herself has changed throughout history. Consequently, it […]

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Lesson 5: The New Age

Lesson 5: The New Age

Several times a day, friends lament that they are unable to talk about important issues with people who hold opposing views. Today, one reported that Thanksgiving was awful, because family members got angry discussing politics. Another said bridge club has become uncomfortable, because you have to avoid so many topics that have become divisive. In […]

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Lesson 4: Life as a Reality Television Show

Lesson 4: Life as a Reality Television Show

Years ago, students of technology warned that everything in a technological society becomes entertainment. Usually they were speaking about the evening news, and their prescience is downright obvious there. Today, news has become 24/7 entertainment, political talk show hosts rationalize their inaccuracies by claiming they provide entertainment and not news, and every network is open […]

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Lesson 3: The Servant Church

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Lesson 2: Christian Conversation

Lesson 2: Christian Conversation

Perhaps I got ahead of myself last week. I spoke of the need for a new Christian narrative in our technological society and suggested that Vatican II offers us groundwork for developing one. Incidental to that, I observed that I feel the narratives by which Lutherans and Roman Catholics have identified and understood themselves for […]

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Lesson 1: A New Church Narrative

Lesson 1: A New Church Narrative

In marking the anniversary of the Reformation, it became clear to some of us that 500-year-old narratives really do not serve our mission to proclaim the Gospel in our own time. That has put me on a kick to consider what might be a possible new narrative to which I hope some of you will […]

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Lesson 8: The Sacrament of Holy Communion in Martin Luther’s Small Catechism

Lesson 8: The Sacrament of Holy Communion in Martin Luther’s Small Catechism

Understanding Luther’s understanding of the Sacrament of the Altar has become more relevant recently as many churches engage in a largely unnoticed ecumenical movement toward full communion. The term is almost a play on words as it primarily means efforts to develop complete relationships. However, the first steps have been official statements that two denominations […]

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Lesson 7: The Sacrament of Baptism in Martin Luther’s Small Catechism

Lesson 7: The Sacrament of Baptism in Martin Luther’s Small Catechism

You get an idea of the critical role played by the sacraments in Lutheran thought by examining Article VII of the Augsburg Confession. It defines the Holy Christian Church as “the assembly of all believers among whom the Gospel is preached in its purity and the holy sacraments are administered according to the Gospel. For […]

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Lesson 6: The Lord’s Prayer in Martin Luther’s Small Catechism

Lesson 6: The Lord’s Prayer in Martin Luther’s Small Catechism

I am going to examine the primary thoughts that appear throughout Luther’s explanation. You can study his treatment of particular petitions here. Perhaps the first thing that jumps out is Luther’s use of justification by grace through faith alone. His treatment of every petition assumes Jesus’ declaration that God knows our needs before we ask […]

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