Apparently, the following are the only presenters that might be available for our Continuing Education Course at Lutherhaven Retreat Center – June 8 or 15.
Choose your preferred date and 2 presenters with class.
Please let me know ASAP.
Pastor Mark Wescoatt
CONTINUING EDUCATION COURSES OFFERED - 2020
Klaus Detlev Schulz, Th.D.
For as long as humans exist they have attempted to answer these questions: what is so special about us humans? From where do we originate and what distinguishes us from the rest of creation? What are we made up of? What is our purpose and destiny in life? Philosophers, Christian theologians, anthropologists and scientists all have something to say. We will address these important questions from a biblical and theological perspective. Some topics will include:
- the origin of man - the status of man within creation
- Luther and his "Disputation on Man" (1536) - the image of God and its implications for
- Dualism: Soul and body - The battle of Spirit and flesh
- the dialogical relationship with God and with rest of creation
- Contemporary discussions on man's origin and destiny
THE DOCTRINE OF CHURCH AND FELLOWSHIP
The practice of church fellowship occurs on a number of levels: congregation, synod, or in the mission field. Church fellowship is determined by a properly understood ecclesiology. This course will examine the underlying aspects of church and fellowship with Werner Elert’s
Eucharist and Church Fellowship and CTCR statements relating to these issues. In addition to questions of church and fellowship involving pulpit and altar, inter-church services, overseas partnership, cooperation in mission and in external matters, this course also pays close attention to Christianity’s faith in the Triune God as it confronts other religions.
Biblical and confessional fidelity also pertains to a contemporary Lutheran missiology. This
course establishes and accentuates important Lutheran principles that apply to both a
mission theory and a mission practice whether in a local or a global setting. Primary sources
and documents will be studied, discussed, and evaluated. The course will follow the format
of a seminar.
THE OFFICE OF THE CHURCH
This course takes a close look at references to the pastoral office from Scripture, the
Lutheran Confessions and famous Lutheran theologians. It discusses the Old Testament
Levite priesthood, the pre- and post-Easter apostolic office and then proceeds to draw out
references to various offices in the epistles, especially in the Pastoral letters. It also looks at
the discussions on the one office of the church in Lutheranism, especially the nuances on
call and ordination offered by 19th Century Lutherans such as Vilmar, Loehe and Walther.
Finally, it includes also a discussion on 21st Century challenges to that office.
Secular ethicists argue that Christian ethics breeds intolerance, works on a system of
rewards (heaven) for good behavior and threats (hell) for bad behavior, it is repressive, and
keeps believers at an immature level. This course looks at the bible and Luther as the
source of Christian ethics to define the proper relationship between God and the believer,
faith and works, the world regiment and political use of the law, natural law and the third
use, determinism and the free will, world peace and just war. The course concludes with
important bioethical questions such as the use of contraception, in vitro fertilization,
surrogacy, abortion, withholding or withdrawing treatment, assisted suicide, euthanasia, and
WORLD-VIEWS AND RELIGIONS
North America embraces various world-views such a deism and naturalism as well as many
living religions which are in direct competition with Christianity. This course will provide
insight into a number of world-views and religions, and offer ways to address them
missiologically and apologetically.
Walter R Steele, Ph.D
Theological Evaluation of Modern Psychotherapies
This seminar examines four secular psychotherapeutic approaches and the growing field of
‘Christian Psychology” from a distinctively Lutheran theological perspective. Every
psychology is built upon a foundational anthropology. Even “Christian Psychology” is
affected by the theology of the ones developing it. The seminar will examine Psychodynamic,
Cognitive and Behavioral, Experiental, Systemic, and “Christian” psychologies and their
implications for the practice of pastoral care.
Pastoral Theology of Biblical Wisdom Literature
A seminar examining thoughtful use of biblical wisdom literature, specifically Proverbs,
Ecclesiastes and Job, in pastoral care settings. The misuse of Scripture in counseling will
also be discussed. Participants should come to the seminar with at least one specific case
study from parish life (with names and identifying information withheld).
Pastoral Theology of Romans
St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans is foundational to Lutheran Theology. It is also an
overlooked source for pastoral care and counseling. This seminar will explore the pastoral
theology of this important letter. Significant emphasis will be placed on Paul’s teaching
about identity. It is often overlooked that Paul deals with issues such as ethnic identity,
religious identity, personal identity, and group identity in this letter. In a time when identities,
other than that of the one given in baptism and expressed in unique spiritual gifts, divide
members of our congregations, this topic is of utmost importance.
Psychology of Religion in Lutheran Perspective
Here’s a topic you didn’t get at seminary! This 5-day seminar explores classical and
contemporary developments in the field of the psychology of religion. Participants will
explore one of the following texts: The Varieties of Religious Experience (William James), The
Future of an Illusion (Sigmund Freud), The Idea of the Holy (Rudolf Otto), or Young Man
Luther (Erik Erikson). An extremely important text to be discussed is: The Birth of the Living
God (Ana-Maria Rizzuto). We will also be engaged with The Righteous Mind (Jonathan Haidt)
and The Last Superstition (Edward Feser), both of which deal with “the New Atheism,” and
are helpful refutation of it. The goal is to equip the attendees to learn how to engage
significant works which correlate psychology and religion, many of which college students
will encounter and which may lead them away from the faith.
Ministry to Military Veterans and Their Families
The military family, especially those involved in combat, is a unique family. In fact, the
military can be understood as its own unique subculture, even further divided between the
various armed services. Effective, faithful ministry to these families requires an
understanding of what sets them apart. It should be remembered that the percentage of the
population that has experienced military life is much lower than in previous generations. The
signature injury in recent combat has been called Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The history of this condition will be discussed and strategies of soul care for people suffering
with PTSD will be considered. By the term given to this disorder, it might appear to some
to be simply a weakness of character. PTSD, however, is not merely a stress disorder.
Rather, there is a loss of a sense of continuity with one’s self. The importance of Identity and
the felt loss of the same will be highlighted. Strategies to connect Christian veterans with the
practical dimensions of Holy Baptism and identity “in Christ” will be explored. PTSD affects
not only the veteran but his or her family as well. Helping them cope and find healing in
Christ is also as important. This seminar is not, however, primarily about PTSD. It is not the
only issue in ministry to military families. This seminar will expose pastors, deaconesses,
and other church workers to many unique aspects of military life so that, by means of a
better understanding of the identity issues involved in military life, they can speak the gospel
clearly and effectively.
Vanity of Vanities: The Study of Ecclesiastes
This seminar will survey the current state of scholarship on the Book of Ecclesiastes so as to
gain an understanding of the various approaches to the study of this book of the bible. By
selective study of passages in Hebrew pastors will increase vocabulary, grammar and syntax
knowledge of the by means of translation. We will explore various themes in Ecclesiastes in
relation to its pastoral care usage and ways in which Ecclesiastes has been understood and
received through the centuries.
Dean O. Wenthe, Ph.D.
JUDAICA AND THE JEWISH CONTEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
Recent scholarship has benefited from the discoveries at Qumran and refined methodologies for the analysis of a variety of Second Temple texts. It has become increasingly clear that the cultural milieu of Palestine in the New Testament period was a complex mixture of Judaism and Hellenism. This fresh data provides textual, social, and political information on the world of Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus’ words and actions take on fresh meaning in light of the contexts which we can now more fully describe. Focus will fall on readings from the Talmud, Midrashim, Pesharim, Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, and Qumran documents which provide additional insights into the Biblical witness for teaching and preaching.
OLD TESTAMENT WORDS FOR NEW TESTAMENT PEOPLE: THE BOOK OF JOB AND THE PROBLEM OF HUMAN SUFFERING
This course will study the book of Job as a resource for parish ministry, particularly for the pastor’s care of those who have suffered tragedies or face death. It will seek to develop and apply the Biblical vision to the whole spectrum of human suffering from intellectual problems (theodicy) to the frequent emotional upheavals that the members of the community of faith experience as they live their lives in a fallen order.
I PETER - II PETER
This exegetical study of the first Epistle of Peter, the “Epistle of Christian Hope,” will focus on the Epistle’s rich theology which touches every aspect of Christian living in a world of hostility, uncertainty, and paganism. The unique theological formulation is seen as credal statement, with particular emphasis placed on the work of Christ and its hope-giving effect. The course will focus on the practical application of the work of Christ, the spiritual priesthood of all believers, and eschatology for the church today.
THE ROLE OF THE OLD TESTAMENT IN THE CHURCH TODAY
How does the Old Testament guide the church today? How can the laws and history of ancient Israel speak relevantly and authoritatively to the community of faith in the modern world? To answer these questions, it is crucial that the Old Testament be interpreted properly. Hermeneutics, the art and science of interpretation, becomes the key step in appropriating the Old Testament text. This course will survey the various efforts, both in academic circles and in parish setting, to formulate an adequate answer. It will seek to formulate a Lutheran and confessional perspective with a view to the actual use of the Old Testament in the preaching, teaching, and larger life of the parish.
SCRIPTURE AND SACRAMENTALITY
This course will offer hermeneutical and theological investigation of Israel’s history and the life of Jesus of Nazareth with particular focus on the Incarnation as foundation for the Scripture’s description of sacraments. The meaning of Baptism and Eucharist and their relationship to the Gospel in the context of the parish will be explored.
Roland F. Ziegler, Dr. theol.
KOLB, WENGERT – TRANSLATION OF THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS
This course will consider the Kolb-Wengert translation and apparatus and its faithfulness
and integrity to the original text, and apparatus from Die Bekenntnis-Schriften der
eveengelish-lutherischen Kirche. Historical and other contextual concerns will be
considered in this discussion. And finally, “What is the Book of Concord as recognized by
the Evangelical Lutheran Church?”
Luther’s Antinomian Disputations
“The distinction between the Law and the Gospel is a special brilliant light, which serves to
the end that God’s Word may be rightly divided and the Scriptures of the holy prophets and
apostles may be properly explained and understood.” (Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration
V,1). We will look at Luther’s “Antinomian Disputations” (published in English translation by
Lutheran Press under the title “Only the Decalogue is Eternal” in 2008) as a help in today’s
struggle to faithfully preach the word of God and rightly divide law and gospel without falling
into the errors of antinomianism and legalism.
THE LITURGICAL MOVEMENT IN THE 2Oth CENTURY
The 20th century saw great liturgical changes in Christianity. In this course, the theological
and historical assumptions driving liturgical renewal in Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism and
Lutheranism and their mutual connections are investigated and their significance for a
genuinely Lutheran theology of worship.
DOGMATIC PROLEGOMENA TODAY
Compared to material dogmatics, prolegomena seems to be rather removed from the life of
the Christian. But prolegomena as a reflection on the foundations and beginnings of
theology is important, since “a small mistake at the beginning becomes a big mistake in the
end”. Contemporary discussions about the foundations of theology, faith and reason,
general and special revelation, Christianity and other religions will be discussed.
Faith and Reason
In the Lutheran tradition, faith and reason are often opposed to each other. Man
cannot believe out of his own strength or reason. But is there not an ultimate harmony
between faith and reason? Might it even be that faith has good reason(s) to believe?
We will discuss what we mean by “faith” and “reason” and how their relationship has
been described in the past. We will look at some examples where the discussion
becomes concrete: is naturalism reasonable or is a theistic worldview reasonable; the
relationship of science and theology and of theology and history; and the question of
reason in ethical discussions. (3 CEU)
CONTINUING EDUCATION COURSES OFFERED – New Additions
Luther’s “Bondage of the Will”: Luther thought this his best book, not everybody agrees. It
not only deals with the question of the freedom of the will, but also with election, the hidden
God, and the relation of God to evil, questions that are alive today.
Apologetics in Lutheranism. What role does apologetics have among Lutherans? Is there a
specific Lutheran approach to apologetics? Exemplary, we will discuss the apologetic
questions pertaining to the resurrection of Christ.
God’s Providence. Since 2005, the term “moralistic-therapeutic deism” has been used to
describe the religion of Americans. If deism is widespread, how do we properly talk about
God’s involvement in the world and address the false notion of a world that runs by itself
and that God is absent? What is the way to properly speak about God’s universal rule?
The Pastor as Teacher
Open your Bible or turn to a page in your textbook. Read it. Ask a question. Maybe lecture.
Read again. Lecture some more. You’re teaching. Simple. That’s all there is to it, right?
The glazed over look on the face of your pupils tells you differently. The struggle for
discipline and order in our Sunday School and confirmation classes says something is not
right. The fact is that we are teaching all the time and most pastors and lay teachers receive
very little training in it. This course will help bridge the gap. We will examine our place in
teaching. We will also identify obstacles to learning and ways to overcome them.
Participants will work with the content of teaching and look for effective ways to teach it.
This course is a crash course in becoming a more effective and enthusiastic teacher.
Please let me know ASAP.
Pastor Mark Wescoatt
PO Box 70
Owasso, OK 74055