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 14: Love Enemies

Lesson 14: Love Enemies

My intention was to draw up marks of a gospel community, intending to come up with characteristics of a community that followed Christ Jesus. It seemed simply common sense to begin with accounts of what Jesus himself identified as his message. It quickly became evident to me that a primary mark of Jesus’ message and […]

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Lesson 13: Sharing Wealth

Lesson 13: Sharing Wealth

After reading the gospels, you realize the early church understood their relationship with the Risen Christ meant they could continue enjoying the community they shared with Jesus of Nazareth. Even a casual reading of the first chapters of Acts indicates this is what happened. The Jerusalem community is pictured going together for worship in the […]

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Lesson 12: Now

Lesson 12: Now

I suspect most people think the role of the Church is to offer the means of grace made available by Christ Jesus. They associate this primarily with local gatherings where people worship but also with the larger, even international institutions to which these belong. Some might also speak of the Church as a theoretical body […]

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Lesson 11: The Gospel Community in History

Lesson 11: The Gospel Community in History

Last week, I suggested there is a subversive aspect to the Gospel. “Counterculture” might be a better word as it conveys promoting values that are counter to those of the establishment but not necessarily working actively for its overthrow. Even better would be “prophetic” if it conveyed using Jesus’ teachings to critique society. Certainly, the […]

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Lesson 10: Community in the Gospel

Lesson 10: Community in the Gospel

Let’s get back to defining the Gospel in preparation for thinking about what a Gospel Community might be in our time and place. I started doing that by trying to identify the common features in the four gospels and Paul. Then I got diverted when I naturally turned to John 3:16 which many regard as […]

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Lesson 9: More on Heaven

Lesson 9: More on Heaven

I was surprised when last week’s diversion brought even more comments about heaven. After sharing them in conversation with friends, I‘ve decided this is a bigger issue than I thought. I was chided good-naturedly for not realizing there are plenty of Christians who do believe in a pre-Copernican concept of heaven. At least, they think […]

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Lesson 8: The Gospel

Lesson 8: The Gospel

This one is late because I was caught off guard. I thought it would be easy to dash something off quickly, then I sent last week’s short essay to a list of people with a paragraph that included “Remember all four (gospels) were written before the Copernican revolution. Let me look next week at ways […]

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Lesson 7: The Gospel According to John

Lesson 7: The Gospel According to John

Remember I am looking at the four gospels, one at a time. Doing that with John, you quickly see quite a difference from the other three. John offers intellectual reflection. If the others express Jesus’ oneness with God by proclaiming him God’s Son, John portrays him as the incarnation of the Word. Usually, I would […]

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Lesson 6: The Gospel According to Luke

Lesson 6: The Gospel According to Luke

If Matthew adds mercy to Mark’s power, Luke goes a step further and presents the Gospel as grace. Right from the beginning, the message is a gift to those regarded at the far end of God’s care. It is good news to the poor, not the poor in spirit. It is addressed to women as […]

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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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