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 17: Faith, Hope, and Love In Decision Making

Lesson 17: Faith, Hope, and Love In Decision Making

It’s fine to speak of Christianity being unconditional love all the way down. It’s exhilarating to read St. Isaac of Syria write of even Hell being filled with God’s love. However, it is frustrating when various Christian groups totally disagree on what comprises loving actions in real life and death situations. And it is downright […]

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Lesson 16: Incarnation

Lesson 16: Incarnation

I always thought of myself as a member of the “theology of the cross” school. Paul and Kerry, through brief exchanges on this site, have helped me see the limitations of this tradition, how it has led too many people to put themselves down as contemptible sinners unworthy of God’s grace. At least in our […]

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Lesson 14: Christian Love Involves Suffering

Lesson 14: Christian Love Involves Suffering

I have been receiving so many thoughtful responses to Dr. King’s sermon that I decided to address them in the lesson next week. However, I thought it would be helpful to present his conclusion before doing that. Everyone of the responses acknowledged Jesus called on individuals to return good for evil. Almost all questioned how […]

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Lesson 13: How We Love Our Enemies

Lesson 13: How We Love Our Enemies

I’d like to continue citing Martin Luther King’s sermon, “Love Your Enemies,” because it describes forgiveness as an inherent characteristic of the Christian love narrative. Whenever I hear the most powerful man in the world claim to love everybody and in the next breath brag he can not think of anything he has done for […]

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Lesson 12:  Why We Love Our Enemies

Lesson 12: Why We Love Our Enemies

Throughout my ministry, I have repeatedly reread two works in addition to the scriptures: Dostoyevsky’s Brothers Karamazov and Martin Luther King’s “Loving Your Enemies.“ Both express the love narrative I think the Church desperately needs to use in understanding and identifying herself. The latter is a sermon Dr. King wrote while jailed for committing nonviolent civil […]

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Lesson 11: Love As A Change Agent

Lesson 11: Love As A Change Agent

A terribly significant reason for modern Christians using the love narrative to identify and understand themselves is usually ignored. When people rather blandly proclaim “God loves you, love one another,” they are usually thinking of love as not insisting on your own way or compassionately caring for other people.  Most regard this as the tolerance […]

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Lesson 10: The Love Narrative and Conventional Wisdom

Lesson 10: The Love Narrative and Conventional Wisdom

Many of the best Christians I know have been accused of not knowing how the world operates. In truth, every one of them knows all too well how things work. They just think Jesus shows a better way. Conventional wisdom that passes for sophistication nowadays is really pretty cynical and fatalistic. It believes science’s ability […]

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Lesson 9: New Love Narrative

Lesson 9: New Love Narrative

Before turning to the specific contents of a modern Christian narrative it might be worthwhile once again to point out that this in no way distorts the Gospel message. To give thought to words and ideas that make sense to people living in our time is not surrender to worldly values or agendas. It is […]

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The Phone Call

The Phone Call

I found drama a very effective way to poclaim the modern Christian narrative. I cannot remember the situation when I wrote this the following dialogue sermon for Christmas Eve. I do recall a number of people reported it spoke directly to them. In fact, one said hearing it was a life changing experience. The Phone […]

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