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 1: The Moral Crisis

Lesson 1: The Moral Crisis

Why is Michael Sandel’s introduction to ethics the most popular class at Harvard? What led “China Newsweek” to name Sandel the most influential foreign figure of the year 2011? How come my classes report using Sandel’s book has provoked some of our most exciting discussions? I suspect the answer has something to do with the […]

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Lesson 4: Funeral Practices

Lesson 4: Funeral Practices

One of the wonderful functions the traditional Church plays is to mark life’s passages. In a society in which many people have nobody to share their celebrations and griefs, the Christian community blesses birth with baptism, the transition into adulthood with confirmation, the start of a new family with marriage, and death with the funeral. […]

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Lesson 3: Resurrection of the Body

Lesson 3: Resurrection of the Body

Each Sunday many of us profess we believe in the resurrection of the body. We assert Jesus was resurrected in body as well as spirit. He ate with his friends, allowed them to touch him, and showed them the marks of his crucifixion. The resurrected Christ was the same person who loved them during their […]

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Lesson 2: Natural Death

Lesson 2: Natural Death

Another practical concern related to the resurrection of the body is what modern technology has done to our concept of natural death. Most of our customs about the end of life were based on accepting God’s will for our natural deaths. Suicide was a major sin, sometimes defined as the unforgivable sin, because it rejected […]

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Lesson 1: Cremation

Lesson 1: Cremation

One of the most frequent questions asked throughout my ministry was whether cremation was acceptable. So when one of our participants suggested we look at it and other end- of- life issues, I welcomed the chance. The issue centers on our belief in the Resurrection of the Body and illustrates how theological and practical issues […]

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Lesson 18: So Where is the Basis for Ethics Found?

Lesson 18: So Where is the Basis for Ethics Found?

I began suggesting people often claim they go to Church to find a basis for ethics. Public figures on television often try to show their morality by reporting, “I grew up in Church.” I then suggested these people are often speaking of learning laws that are taught at Church, laws they can take with them […]

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Lesson 17: Does Jesus Base Ethics on Laws of Creation?

Lesson 17: Does Jesus Base Ethics on Laws of Creation?

Last week, I suggested that people who are going to church to find a basis for ethics are often disappointed when they find churches do not agree on fundamental laws. In fact, the seekers often believe some of the laws they hear are immoral. The churches seem to reflect the many different stories in a […]

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Lesson 16:  Law – The Basis for Ethics

Lesson 16: Law – The Basis for Ethics

Another practical reason people give for going to Church is the desire to find moral guidance. They believe religion provides a basis for ethics and send their children to learn right and wrong as they did. For most this means learning laws, such as the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, and Jesus’ call to love […]

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Lesson 15:  Forgiveness – A Way to Healthy Relationships

Lesson 15: Forgiveness – A Way to Healthy Relationships

There are two ways to understand forgiveness. The first focuses on it as a law that calls on us to repress our natural human instincts in order to do what God wants. It usually ends up either dividing people between those who obey and those who do not. Or, it promotes confession of sin over […]

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Lesson 14:  Gratitude– Finding Time to Give Thanks

Lesson 14: Gratitude– Finding Time to Give Thanks

If you read much about thanksgiving, you constantly come across statements, such as “Ninety-nine percent of the time, we have an opportunity to be grateful for something. We just don’t notice it. We go through our days in a daze… The gifts or blessings of life are always there but if we are not aware […]

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