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  1. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I find this to be a good article on the decent into hell.

  2. The New Victor says:

    “This is why Lutheran theology, unlike other theologies, teaches Christ’s descent into hell as part of his state of exaltation, not as part of his state of humiliation.”

    What other theologies teach that?

  3. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Victor – many teach Jesus’ decent into hell as part of humiliation – Jesus went to hell to endure some punishment for us. Many charismatics and those in the Word of Faith teach this. — plus many with just a sloppy theology.

  4. Duane Arnold says:

    The traditional and historic view is the “Harrowing of Hell”… David is pretty good on this.

  5. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I hope we don’t get tangled in the weeds and miss that the article is spurred to existence in response to those who deny the descent and those who deny he’ll itself.

    In the comment section, #2 someone linked an article by Prof David Scaer reflecting on Wayne Gruden’s removal of the descent clause from his Apostles’ Creed.

  6. Xenia says:

    The Orthodox also believe and teach this.

    1500 years before the Lutherans.

  7. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Xenia – believe which part?
    BTW, Lutherans have been Christians for 2,000 years.

  8. Jean says:

    This seems so tidy until you dig deeper to what everyone here conceives of what “hell” is vs. what the early church Fathers who were the early confessors of the Creed meant by the word “hell.”

    Moreover, you could dig deep and uncover what the early Church Fathers confessed was Christ’s work in hell and see if that accords with your modern understanding of hell.

  9. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jean, what you say is true but I think it still misdirect from the purpose of the article which I see mainly stating Jesus made the descent as a part of his exaltation, his victory as described by the catechism passages to proclaim Christ’s victory over death and the devil and to assure us of this victory.
    The point is not an exhaustive study of he’ll, but what jeopardy church leaders place their congregations when the deny this.

    I guess we could discuss if this is the same hell created for the devil and his cronies later to be toss into the Lake of Fire – or is it just the holding place of the dead and the English translation screwed it up with an old archaic word “hell” that meant something else. That is a different topic.

  10. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    For those who don’t have much to do this weekend, I have attached the David Scaer article I mentioned earlier for the comment section of the original article.

    As one who reads all foot * end notes, these are exceptionally good.

  11. Eric says:

    Franklin Graham was here this week. People who were there said he gave a good clear gospel message.

    Lots of non-white people were there. The ethnic churches here were probably less aware of his record on US race relations, while the more globally-aware white churches, knowing his connection with Trump, politics, his mega-salary etc (I only know about it from sites like this), stayed away but were happy the gospel was being preached.

    19 years ago when he was here it was 3 nights in the football stadium. This time I think it was 2 nights in the basketball stadium, so the numbers aren’t what they were. I don’t think mass evangelism is as valuable as in earlier days. This tour commemorated 60 years since Billy’s 1959 tour, which was significant in Aussie church history.

    Perhaps he does more good preaching here than back in the US where his record as a political pundit may get in the way.

  12. Xenia says:

    The Orthodox Church teaches that Christ descended into Hell on Great and Holy Saturday, setting the captives free. It is a day of Christ’s victory, not His humiliation.

    In fact, the Orthodox icon for Easter depicts this very event:

    I am glad the Lutherans also believe this.

    Today Hades cries out groaning:
    I should not have accepted the Man born of Mary. He came and destroyed my power.
    He shattered the gates of brass.
    As God. He raised the souls I had held captive.
    Glory to Thy cross and resurrection, 0 Lord!
    (Vesperal Liturgy of Holy Saturday)

  13. Nathan Priddis says:

    I was looking up Tom Horn. Who is he? His online bio feels a little sparse. Does he have a wide audiance in CC?

    Any community consensus? Observations?

  14. Xenia says:

    The main hymn for Easter also references this event:

    Christ is risen from the dead,
    trampling down death by death,
    and on those in the tombs bestowing

  15. Xenia says:

    What’s more, at the liturgical moment when this happens, the church changes all the altar cloths and clerical vestments from Lenten black to Resurrection white, and this happens on Saturday, remember.
    The hymns change from gloomy to triumphant: Christ has defeated death and Satan! In some churches, the clergy comes out and sprinkles rose petals and basil leaves on the people. Actually, it’s more exciting than Easter.

    My teacher at the Orthodox Institute says that Saturday is really the Big Day, that Easter is just the proof of the pudding. (or words to that effect.)

  16. Michael says:

    I’ve never heard of him.

  17. Nathan Priddis says:


  18. Em says:

    encouraging meditation hymn IMHO

    1.” O Love that will not let me go,
    I rest my weary soul in thee;
    I give thee back the life I owe,
    That in thine ocean depths its flow
    May richer, fuller be.

    2.” O light that followest all my way,
    I yield my flickering torch to thee;
    My heart restores its borrowed ray,
    That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
    May brighter, fairer be.

    3. “O Joy that seekest me through pain,
    I cannot close my heart to thee;
    I trace the rainbow through the rain,
    And feel the promise is not vain,
    That morn shall tearless be.

    4. “O Cross that liftest up my head,
    I dare not ask to fly from thee;
    I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
    And from the ground there blossoms red
    Life that shall endless be.”

    George Matheson
    Christopher Miner

  19. Jean says:

    A Meditation on the Holy Communion

    At the last supper on the night when He was betrayed, Jesus established a new covenant with His disciples: “Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’ And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.’ ”

    In Luke’s Gospel, we have the instruction: “Do this in remembrance of me.” So, we know Jesus had instituted a rite to be continued in His Church.

    And in 1 Corinthians, Paul was given a third instruction: “Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” By adding, “as often as you drink it,” Jesus clarifies that when celebrating Holy Communion, “do this” includes not only the eating and drinking, but reciting His words in the liturgical context of a holy meal. In other words, it is the words of Jesus which promise His real presence in, with and under the bread and wine, and which distinguish this holy meal from any other meal his disciples may eat together. Like all the Gospel promises, it is a reality which is seen and experienced by faith and not by sight.

    On the other hand, faith also exercises the senses, but they are spiritual senses. Holy Communion exercises all five of our spiritual senses. When we go to Holy Communion, we come to Jesus and to His blood of sprinkling which speaks a better word than that of Abel. It is the word of the forgiveness of yours sins given to you personally and tangibly.

    You will see the body and blood of Jesus in, with and under the bread and wine with the eyes of faith. You will hear that better word that His blood speaks, from the mouth of your pastor, with the ears of the heart. You will touch his body and blood with your fingers. You will smell his body and blood with your nose. and you will taste his body and blood with your tongue: “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!”

    May everyone have a blessed worship service this weekend.

  20. Duane Arnold says:


    The icons of the harrowing of hell say it all….

  21. Xenia says:

    Duane, I never really understood the purpose of Christ’s death and resurrection until I studied that icon, and I am not exaggerating.

  22. Jerod says:


    Harvest and other mass evangelisms seem to me like a walk on Venice Beach. Lots of recommitments and recommitments of recommitments.

    Lots of whizz bang flashy things going on, a little prophecy hype,
    better-look-busy-Jesus-is-coming type of stuff. Maybe I’m just in a funk.

    How was the concert down under?

    Nearly every one of these American celebrity pastors has been caught up in stating their political opinion on some mainstream outlet. Except Andy Satanley… Stanley… Sorry. Lol.

    I don’t see the point of these things anymore. Internet killed the Revivalist Star.
    err, something.

  23. Jerod says:

    Not that anyone’s normally recommitting their life to Jesus on the Santa Monica Pier. I just mean it’s like going to watch the Freak Show or something just as strange and random. Then there’s the emotional tug and pull that always happens and wha-la! Recommitments like popcorn.

  24. Eric says:

    Agree that mass evangelism might look more fruitful than it is compared to other ministry. I know 2 people who made decisions for Christ at the 1998 gig, and both were prob on the way to faith anyway.

    The concert part of the event was enjoyed by a few ppl in my facebook feed.

    The message, as I said, was good, according to someone there. No politics, just gospel (at least for this event – he did talk about US politics on radio).

    I imagined a hypothetical meeting of Australian Christian leaders – if this is where it had started.

    “How can we share the gospel with more people?”
    “We could teach our people to share the gospel, give away evangelistic materials, share gospel videos online, have another go with Alpha etc”
    “We could hold a big rally with a gifted evangelist”
    “Ok, let’s run with that for now (talk about those other things later)”
    “Who shall we get to speak?”
    “Franklin Graham did alright the times he’s come before”
    “But his connections with Trump, his salary, the way Samaritan’s Purse took over the gig taking presents to poor kids”
    “In the 20th c we only knew him as the song of the great Billy, but now with the internet we know this other stuff”
    “And why do we need an American? We can get one of our own evangelists to do it”

    That’s how it might have happened if it had started with people representing churches here. Instead, I imagined it went like this:

    BGEA: We’re touring Australia in 2019, 60 years after the great 1959 crusade
    Churches: OK, good, we haven’t had an event like this for a while.
    Other churches: Why FG? Oh well, at least the gospel is preached.

    BG got churches to work well together back in the days when that was less common. These days in Aust churches are working together all the time (in some areas). But there’s always the tension that many leaders want their event to be the rallying point for church unity. “We need to be united. Everyone come and meet at my place!”

  25. Jerod says:

    Anyone have an opinion on Robert Greenleaf’s model of Servant Leadersip? ASking for a paper.

  26. Mud Man says:


    I’ve only skimmed Greenleaf so I have no opinion on his model. But I am a huge fan of John Maxwell. The man has a proven record and some really good gems to think on.

    “Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.”

    “The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That’s the day we truly grow up.”

    “if you don’t have peace, it isn’t because someone took it from you; you gave it away. You cannot always control what happens to you, but you can control what happens in you.”

    “Question for God every morning:

    What is the main event today? What do you want me to focus on today?”

    ― John Maxwell

    Not sure what you’re looking for, but you can’t go wrong studying and then applying Maxwell.

  27. Jerod says:

    Thanks MudMan!

  28. Anonymouse says:

    In a discussion with a fellow congregant, we wondered what percent of the body of Christ thinks that God created one specific woman for each man to marry.

    Anyone dare to hazard a guess?

    It would help both of our perspective.

  29. Anonymouse says:

    “Lutherans have been Christians for 2,000 years.“

    Care to describe this further?
    Provide a map?

  30. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Anonymouse – well we weren’t Buddhists for the first 1,500 yrs.
    Lutheran theology, doctrine and practice come from the 1st century church and the earliest scriptures.
    Over the years Lutherans have purified the false that has arisen in the church and eliminated to bring the Christian faith back to where it began.

    Some might object, but I look at it as the continual refining of gold and as the dross (the impurities of religion) come to the top – we have removed them.

  31. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Don’t be confused by the name – its like looking in the record books. Most would think the Dodgers began in 1958 when they were called the Los Angeles Dodgers – but if you look, you will see that they have been around since the modern age of the National League as the Brooklyn Dodgers, also called the Robins and a few other names.
    One team – Go Lutherans!! 🙂

  32. Michael says:

    We all claim a lineage back to the first century…while ignoring the fact that doctrines we hold developed over the centuries…it’s cute, but tedious…

  33. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael, so are you making the point that Anglicans were not Christians prior to the 16th century? A new entity or a bastard of Christianity?

  34. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Besides, someone asked me to clarify – so I did.

  35. Michael says:


    Lutherans didn’t exist until Luther, Calvinists until Calvin, and Anglicans until Cranmer.
    We all hold to some basic first century doctrines, but we need to cut out the crap that Paul was a proto Lutheran, Calvinist, Baptist or whatever…
    All of the Reformed traditions claimed an emphasis on the fathers…and all of them disagree about stuff…

  36. Michael says:


    The idea that God created one someone for everyone ignores the fact that some are called to remain unmarried…and the fact that there is no way to discern who this elusive match might be along with a host of other problems…

  37. Dan from Georgia says:

    Anonymouse: also re: the marriage thing…is there a stat out there of percentage of Christians who believe that? Seems more like Hallmark sentiment than biblical (TM) wisdom.

  38. Xenia says:

    If you find a decent Christian person who loves you and whom you also love back, then you have found the person God created for you.

  39. Xenia says:

    I also hate “God has a wonderful plan for your life.”

    Any Christian who is a sincere follower of Christ, who is part of a church, who prays regularly and who is mindful of the needs of others is fulfilling God’s wonderful plan for their lives. Maybe this is all that saying means… but those I’ve known who thought it meant more often found themselves stymied, trying to figure out what this secret plan might be. But most Christians just go on with their lives, taking things – good and evil- as they come, relying on God all the while.

  40. Xenia says:

    There is also the notion I’ve seen that if one’s life goes wrong (poverty, disease, etc) it means that somewhere in their past they made the wrong choice and deviated from God’s plan. Not that the choice was sinful, just the wrong choice. “It wasn’t God’s plan that we move to Rhode Island so Harry could take a better job, we should have stayed in Kansas and now we are suffering for not hearing God’s will for our lives” kind of thing. It’s like God is laying traps for people. “Guess My plan or SUFFER!”

  41. Xenia says:

    So basically, our life in Christ consists of toddling along, making daily decisions about things great and small. We should strive to make the most god-pleasing decisions at every turn (and prayer helps us make these decisions) but a whole lot of things are simply neutral, neither good nor evil. If we do our best and choose for God as often as possible, we have found His plan for our life. We just follow the path and see where it leads.

  42. Michael says:


    Good stuff.
    In the wake of some recent events personally, I’ve wrestled again with the issue of discerning the providence of God and His “plan for my life”.
    I have decided that it’s senseless to wonder if I was right or wrong in that discernment…things are as they are and I guess that’s the plan.

    The other thing I would note is the idea that if you make the right decisions God will “honor” them and your life will be pleasant as a result.
    Making the right decision may mean you end up on a cross or carrying one…

  43. Jean says:

    Perhaps the dichotomy is not between God’s plan and not His plan, and our wondering about that, except insofar as your heavenly calling is His plan for your life, for sure.

    But perhaps it would be more fruitful to draw the dichotomy between faith and sin. Whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. In this paradigm, a Christian would aspire to trust God and have His will worked through him, in whatever circumstances God has placed him in. This does not suggest that a Christian cannot aspire to other or better circumstances, but that his trust is in the Lord’s providential working in his life, so that he can live life without anxiety that he was supposed to be doing something else.

  44. Em says:

    Xenia @ 9:13 and Jean @ 10:03 … amen

    We’d all like to think that God has one right person designed to be our spouse… I’d like to believe God does have a preference, but to quote someone who must remain nameless here, if you are a married Christian, then that person IS your right mate. Then there is the question, if your mate leaves, are you free to marry again?

  45. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    From a man’s point of view (mine) God has laid out only 3 requirements for choosing a wife.
    1.) That she be of the opposite sex.
    2.) That she be a believer.
    3.) That she not already be the wife of someone else.

    Beyond that, the choice is yours – Ginger or Maryann?

  46. Dan from Georgia says:

    I like to think that, as Em alluded to, if you are a married Christian, then that person IS your right mate. You and your spouse may not be a perfect match, but you married that person. My wife and I are both last-borns, which is a no-no according to pop psychology Christian author Dr. Kevin Lehman. We MAKE it work. Funny how evangelicals just luuuuuuuv their pop psychology books. Poo on them!

  47. Michael says:

    I just saw that Greg Laurie has written a Johnny Cash biography.
    This…is going to get ugly…

  48. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Didn’t Laurie write a similar book about Steve McQueen? I don’t remember ugly backlash from that.

  49. Michael says:

    I intend to lead this ugly backlash…

  50. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Against him writing a book?

  51. Michael says:

    I’ll without further comment until I read it…the definitive Cash bios have already been written…

  52. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I am sure it is the usual fare put out by evangelical publishers. “Johnny Cash was a Christian. Would you like to be one too?”
    I wouldn’t get too worked up.

  53. Em says:

    I hope Glen Campbell and his guitar made it through the Pearly Gates… Hate to admit it, but last night, through a circumstantial fluke, was the first time i really listened to him… I was busy during his time on earth…

    Of course i hope Cash is there, too… ?

  54. Dan from Georgia says:

    Em, funny you mention Glen Campbell…just heard him singing “Rhinestone Cowboy” this morning on Sirius XM radio.

  55. Em says:

    Dan from GA… Funny i was listening to him…. ?
    hadn’t realised what talent he had…

  56. Dan from Georgia says:

    Em, yes he was talented. I am an avowed non-fan of today’s country music, but I have much respect for Campbell and Cash, as well as the old country-western artists.

  57. Babylon's Dread says:

    I’d not heard a Lutheran claim apostolic succession so robustly until MLD. My Baptist folk used to love to quote from J M Carroll’s Trail of Blood on this one.

    I am satisfied to let those debates roll on. For me I’ll simply be as Paul wrote ” the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all” Ro 4:16

    Yes we charismatics find our fountainhead there…

    And once in a while a clever one among us claims, no, actually we go back to Abel, “And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.” Heb 11:4.

    Either that or we began with Montanus and his kin.

    Shaba Dread

  58. Em says:

    FWIW – happened to hear “The Ninety and Nine” being sung recently – it was my grandmother’s favorite… When i hear evangelicals being disparaged by “superior” Christians, it troubles me – for them. Has the brand been distorted by today’s corporate model of a successful ministry? Perhaps, but my evangelical grandmother’s heart is expressed in in the words of that song… ending in “Rejoice I have found my sheep.” Simple minded? Perhaps, but i suspect God dearly loved those simple minded folk… And i know for a fact that there was no compromising, no overlooking the charlatans that seem to sneak in – the wolves among us – where my grandparents were concerned … It was the lost sheep, not the brand that drove them then. So?
    So maybe there’s a need to be more specific when calling out today’s use of the term……. Corrupted? Compromising? Maybe even “phony?”

  59. Mud Man says:

    Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell… Yes it’s nice to think those whose music means a lot to us will make it into the next life, but I keep thinking, “who am I to decide such things?”

    Years ago a teacher made a suggestion about praying/giving thanks over our meals. What’s more interesting is how a 75 year old woman (not a Christian) confirmed his teaching. This woman was at our home and as we gave thanks for our meal she added, “bless the cook!”

    The epiphany I had was this, my food didn’t arrive at my home by some miracle of God. I didn’t grow, tend, harvest, transport, stock it in the store or even cook it; others did these things. God’s way was for others to do all these and I would bet most of these others weren’t followers of Jesus or Christians in any way.

    I remember the story of Elijah and how God miraculously fed him in the middle of the famine he called for. First it was by birds, (where did they get the food, hmm) and then by a woman who was so stressed by the famine she was ready to die.

    God bless the cook and thank you for those who fed and brought nourishment to my home. Please prosper them and bring them closer to you!

    Thank you Johnny Cash and Glen Campbell for bringing joy to my heart through your music!

    It is “open blogging,” thank you Michael. Just some random thoughts.

  60. Em says:

    Mud man, love these Christ centered random thoughts. ?

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