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 6: Jesus Suffered

Lesson 6: Jesus Suffered

The next portion of the second article also emphasizes Jesus was a human with all of our limitations. “He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried”. There is nothing make believe here. Jesus dies. And before he dies, he suffers, alone. Two of the gospels picture him dying while believing he has […]

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Lesson 5:  Is Jesus Special? How?

Lesson 5: Is Jesus Special? How?

Creeds are not complete statements of what we believe. For the most part, they state positions the Church has taken on controversial issues. You see that easily when you examine the second article. It skips from Jesus’ birth to his death, saying nothing about his ministry. Apparently, the reason is  because believers in those days […]

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Lesson 4: All Creation is Interrelated

Lesson 4: All Creation is Interrelated

When we confess belief in a loving God who creates everything good, we acknowledge all things are unique and interrelated. Francis’ encyclical puts it this way in #86. “We understand better the importance and meaning of each creature if we contemplate it within the entirety of God’s plan…The spectacle of their countless diversities and inequalities […]

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Lesson 3: Creator of Heaven and Earth

Lesson 3: Creator of Heaven and Earth

The second observation we should make is that the creed speaks of the creation of heaven and earth. These few words make some significant points. First, God creates place. Perhaps the central point of Francis’ encyclical is that the earth is our common home. The pope emphasizes this reality is more important than any idea. […]

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Lesson 2: The Almighty is Father

Lesson 2: The Almighty is Father

To confess “I believe in God the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth” is to take a significant position in the modern world. One way to highlight this is to consider the implications in light of Pope Francis’ “Laudato Si.” The first thing that jumps out is Almighty God is described as Father. Modern […]

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Lesson 1: What is a Creed?

Lesson 1: What is a Creed?

Before we examine the Apostles’ Creed, we had better remember the roles creeds play in the Church. Obviously, the first is to state what an individual believes. “Credo” is “I believe.” That is not to claim the creed summarizes a person’s faith. It addresses items that have been controversial. Many essential items, such as Jesus’ […]

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Lesson 14: Preparing for the Pope’s Trip– Reformation

Lesson 14: Preparing for the Pope’s Trip– Reformation

Most Protestants grew up believing we were not Roman Catholics, because they worshiped Mary and did whatever the Pope told them to do. When pushed, we would insist these are just two examples of how Roman Catholics do not follow the Bible. It did not help when our friends pulled out their catechisms to look […]

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Lesson 13: Preparing for the Pope’s Trip– Church & State

Lesson 13: Preparing for the Pope’s Trip– Church & State

>Francis’ trip reminds us how much the papacy is involved in church-state relationships. He will be addressing the U.S. congress as well as the United Nations Assembly. He, undoubtedly, will be accompanied by the Vatican ambassador to the U.S. Government. A great deal of the Pope’s power developed after Constantine legitimatized the Church in the […]

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Lesson 12: Preparing for the Pope’s Visit– Curiae and Bishops

Lesson 12: Preparing for the Pope’s Visit– Curiae and Bishops

Last week, I wrote of the tension between the Pope being regarded as the first among equals and a supreme monarch. This week, I want to delve deeper into the conflict between the Roman Curiae and the College of Bishops. In order to understand what is going on with Francis, you have to understand this […]

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Lesson 11: Preparing for the Pope’s Visit– The Bishop of Rome

Lesson 11: Preparing for the Pope’s Visit– The Bishop of Rome

With Pope Francis visiting the USA from September 23 through 27, it might be well to remember a bit of the history behind the papacy. A good place to start is remembering the Church established an official clergy to check the abuse of those claiming God was speaking directly through them. Without denying the possibility […]

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