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[February 9, 2016 | No Comment | ]

by Mathew Block
In the days leading up to His crucifixion, Jesus makes a particularly angry speech against the religious leaders in Jerusalem (Matthew 23:1-39). There Jesus condemns the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and teachers of the Law, pronouncing “Seven Woes” and condemning these men as “snakes” and “vipers.” He even suggests that, had they been alive, they would have joined in the murder of those Old Testament prophets who died violent deaths. Jesus’ anger at their sin is palpable, and his declaration of coming judgment nigh unbearable. “Upon you will …


In: Feature Stories, Headline, Table Talk

[December 9, 2015 | No Comment | ]

by Mathew Block
For several weeks leading up to Christmas, the Church commemorates a season called Advent. The word comes from a variant of the Latin word for “to come,” and refers to the prophesied coming of Christ. Consequently, in Advent Christians do two things: we remember the waiting of the faithful for the First Coming of the Messiah—the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem two millennia ago. But we do not merely remember a past event. No, we also look forward to Christ’s Second Coming at the end of all things.
The …


In: Feature Stories, Headline, Table Talk

[October 16, 2015 | No Comment | ]

by Mathew Block
“Our churches teach that people cannot be justified before God by their own strength, merits, or works. People are freely justified for Christ’s sake, through faith, when they believe that they are received into favour and that their sins are forgiven for Christ’s sake. By His death, Christ made satisfaction for our sins. God counts this faith for righteousness in His sight.”
So speaks the fourth article of the Augsburg Confession (the primary Lutheran statement of faith, presented to Emperor Charles V on June 25, 1530). There were many …


In: Feature Stories, Headline, Table Talk

[August 17, 2015 | No Comment | ]

Editor’s note: An image layering problem resulted in the province of Quebec being unintentionally hidden from view in the print edition of the July/August 2015 issue of The Canadian Lutheran. We apologize for the error. You can download a corrected pdf of the article here.
by Mathew Block
Lutheran Church–Canada has released statistics for the 2013 year and they show the largest drop in baptized membership in recent years. In 2013, LCC congregations reported 62,649 baptized members—a drop of more than 2,500 members, or approximately 4%, from the previous year’s reported membership. …


In: Feature Stories, Headline, Table Talk

[June 30, 2015 | No Comment | ]

by Mathew Block
I grew up in Saskatchewan, so you can understand when I say I don’t have much mountain climbing experience. But I have been lucky enough on a couple of occasions, while visiting more topologically diverse provinces, to do a bit of hiking in the mountains.
If you’ve ever had similar opportunities, you know there’s nothing quite like reaching the summit. The process of getting there may be slow and arduous, but the payoff is worth it. From the mountain heights you can see forever, and suddenly you understand what …


In: Feature Stories, Headline, Table Talk

[April 6, 2015 | No Comment | ]

by Mathew Block
“I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive. But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.”
– Ecclesiastes 4:2-3 –
It is a grim passage we read here. Solomon, that King of Israel renowned for his great wisdom, looks upon the things of earth and despairs in the meaninglessness of it all. Wealth, wisdom, and even family fail to satisfy in the end. We spend …


In: Feature Stories, Headline, Table Talk