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 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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Lesson 5: The Third Article of the Apostles’ Creed in Martin Luther’s Small Catechism

Lesson 5: The Third Article of the Apostles’ Creed in Martin Luther’s Small Catechism

This is one of the best statements of Luther’s signature theological principle, justification by grace through faith alone. Implications of the doctrine have permeated every other explanation in the Small Catechism. At this place, we get the full effect. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness […]

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Lesson 4: The Second Article of the Apostles’ Creed in Martin Luther’s Small Catechism

Lesson 4: The Second Article of the Apostles’ Creed in Martin Luther’s Small Catechism

Luther’s explanation is a beautiful short statement of the Gospel. He conveys the unbounded joy associated with this good news by placing it in the context of an individual hearing it for the first time. All seems to have been done “for me.” There is pure relief that everything is going to be all right. […]

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Lesson 3: The First Article of the Apostles’ Creed in Martin Luther’s Small Catechism

Lesson 3: The First Article of the Apostles’ Creed in Martin Luther’s Small Catechism

Luther’s explanation of the Creed’s first article is another classic. He uses everyday language to interpret creation as God’s ongoing action to provide for all our needs, protect us from all dangers, and preserve us through all changes. This is far from the deism most of our contemporaries associate with creation in which God sets […]

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