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 5: The Gospel According to Matthew

Lesson 5: The Gospel According to Matthew

If you only read Mark, you would think that the Gospel is primarily about God purifying his creation. That’s good news for people who unjustly suffer. However, from this perspective, it is easy to think God is a judge whose goal is to separate good from bad in order to cast out and destroy evil. […]

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Lesson 4: The Gospel According to Mark

Lesson 4: The Gospel According to Mark

I set out to examine what a community built around the Gospel would be like in our time and place. It made sense to begin by defining what the Gospel is. Last week I looked at Paul’s description. This week I want to see what Mark, the first of the four evangelists, says. I decided […]

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Lesson 3: The Gospel According to Paul

Lesson 3: The Gospel According to Paul

I’ve been messing around for days trying to come up with an academic key to what Paul means by the Gospel. I tried all the usual ones, like our Lutheran understanding that he is all about justification by faith. Each time I ended up conditioning my ideas with “yes, but…” Then I realized that everything […]

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Lesson 2: The Gospel

Lesson 2: The Gospel

The Gospel is like the breath we Christians draw into our bodies. It gives us life. It permeates everything we do, every decision we make, every word we speak. Yet, it is difficult to grasp. I am writing this series as I have written every series— to discover who I am, what I believe, and […]

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Lesson 1: The Gospel Community

Lesson 1: The Gospel Community

There has always been some controversy about the nature of the church. When I entered the ministry about 60 years ago, an Evangelical pastor friend of mine described the controversy as  a tension between those who see the mission as calling people to accept Jesus’ offer of eternal life against those who try to provide […]

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Lesson 14: Trust

Lesson 14: Trust

I decided to do this series when so many of my friends were in a quandary about talking to people on the other side of our deep cultural divide. Many could find no way to have decent conversations with lifetime time friends or family. All were worried about their inability to talk about community issues […]

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Lesson 13: Gay or Straight

Lesson 13: Gay or Straight

I was the kind of pastor with whom people shared their inner, often hidden lives. Early on, I became aware that almost everyone struggles with sexual issues in one way or another. I also came to realize people’s public personas were often just the opposite of their real selves. For instance, someone who was always […]

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Lesson 13: Black Lives Matter or All Lives Matter

Lesson 13: Black Lives Matter or All Lives Matter

I think I have been resisting this lesson. Being very active in the civil rights movement most of my life and raising a Haitian son, I was afraid I was too emotionally involved to trust my understanding of what is happening. Yet the only way I could ex[plain the great conflicts in our society was […]

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Lesson 12: Racism and Sexuality

Lesson 12: Racism and Sexuality

It made sense, even though it shook me up, when James Davison Hunter observed race has replaced abortion as the great divider since he wrote Cultural Wars in 1991. It rings true because the media daily reports efforts to support or oppose racial equality. It is upsetting because Hunter sees a greater threat for violence […]

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Lesson  11: Responses to the Abortion Lesson

Lesson 11: Responses to the Abortion Lesson

My attempt to come up with some guidelines for moving beyond the abortion stalemate did not work very well. I received three kinds of responses. The first felt my effort to be carefully neutral ended up being irrelevant. Lupe, who has spent time as a political prisoner and journalist, knows far better than I about […]

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