Pastor Fritz Foltz

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

Paint Yourself into the Nativity

Paint Yourself into the Nativity

Shortly after we were married, Faith Ann and I purchased a small Renaissance painting of Christ’s nativity, Hugo van der Goes’ “The Adoration of the Child Jesus.” It is a triptych done on three wooden panels so it can sit on a table or altar. Jesus occupies the middle of the center panel, lying on […]

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Here I Come!

Here I Come!

All Advent, we have been praying, “Stir up your power, O Lord, and come. Stir up your power, O God, and come.” Now on Christmas Eve, we hear God’s reply, “Okay. Here I come.” We jump back. We are afraid. Will we be able to control God if he really does stir up his power? […]

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Lesson 11: The Resurrection of the Body and the Life Everlasting

Lesson 11: The Resurrection of the Body and the Life Everlasting

The creed ends with the affirmation that we shall share Jesus’ resurrection. Although there is some concern about when this will take place, there is agreement that Jesus’ resurrection appearances, as recorded in the Bible, indicate what ours shall be like. The gospels begin by anticipating our following Jesus in the near future. In fact, […]

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Lesson 10: The Forgiveness of Sin

Lesson 10: The Forgiveness of Sin

At first, it might seem strange that belief in the forgiveness of sins appears so prominently in the Creed. Sin is not a popular topic in the modern world. To acknowledge a mistake is a sign of weakness. A failure is simply a learning experience on the way to success. We should be emphasizing the […]

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Lesson 9: Alive In The Spirit

Lesson 9: Alive In The Spirit

Christians believe the Risen Christ is still among us. The Creed lists several ways this takes place in its third article that describes the work of the Holy Spirit. Whereas the Old Testament claims that Spirit filled certain leaders, the New Testament proclaims Pentecost made Christ available to all believers. Significantly, the article first mentions […]

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Lesson 8: Resurrection is Hope

Lesson 8: Resurrection is Hope

Most of us can’t help ourselves when we speak the last part of the Second Article, “On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.” Conditioned by simplistic popular ideas, we think […]

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Lesson 7: Descended into Hell

Lesson 7: Descended into Hell

A close examination of this phrase can help us gain some perspective on what is involved in using a 2000 year-old creed. When I was young, I thought it meant I had to believe in hell. That made me uncomfortable in high school when I heard evangelists like Billy Graham base their ministry on the […]

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Lesson 6: Jesus Suffered

Lesson 6: Jesus Suffered

The next portion of the second article also emphasizes Jesus was a human with all of our limitations. “He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried”. There is nothing make believe here. Jesus dies. And before he dies, he suffers, alone. Two of the gospels picture him dying while believing he has […]

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Lesson 5:  Is Jesus Special? How?

Lesson 5: Is Jesus Special? How?

Creeds are not complete statements of what we believe. For the most part, they state positions the Church has taken on controversial issues. You see that easily when you examine the second article. It skips from Jesus’ birth to his death, saying nothing about his ministry. Apparently, the reason is  because believers in those days […]

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Lesson 4: All Creation is Interrelated

Lesson 4: All Creation is Interrelated

When we confess belief in a loving God who creates everything good, we acknowledge all things are unique and interrelated. Francis’ encyclical puts it this way in #86. “We understand better the importance and meaning of each creature if we contemplate it within the entirety of God’s plan…The spectacle of their countless diversities and inequalities […]

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