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: God’s Presence in the Word (Part 2)

Lesson 6: God’s Presence in the Word (Part 2)

As usual, writing these lessons has taken me where I never expected to find myself. When I started the series, I fully intended to examine all the different ways that God is present in the Word. That would have been pretty easy as I am somewhat “known for” reminding people how important the spoken Word […]

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Lesson 5: God’s Presence in the Word

Lesson 5: God’s Presence in the Word

I belong to a tradition that claims God is primarily present among us in the spoken Word. It acknowledges the importance of the sacraments, but thinks they are ordinary water, bread, and wine unless accompanied by the Word. So, too, it recognizes the Bible as God’s Word in a secondary sort of way until someone […]

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Lesson 4: Presence in Baptism

Lesson 4: Presence in Baptism

I’ve been suggesting that our primary two considerations about the divine presence among us are God’s promise and our accurate testimony. A sacrament by definition involves the promise of God’s presence. Baptism, like Communion, is a means of grace because Jesus promised that he would be there participating in the action. The Church witnesses to […]

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Lesson 3: God’s Presence in the Communion Meal

Lesson 3: God’s Presence in the Communion Meal

If you asked most Christians about God’s presence, I suspect they would think you were talking about the Sacrament of Holy Communion. That is a good thing in as much as the meal is the central act of our worship and therefore should be where the divine is most manifest. However, it is also terribly […]

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Lesson 2: Presence as Promise

Lesson 2: Presence as Promise

This series has not gone as I expected. My original plan was to critique as many theories about God’s presence in this world as I could find. I was thinking of word and sacrament, grain of the universe, Body of Christ, and that sort of thing. Things ran amok when I began by reading Ellul […]

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Lesson 1: The Question of God’s Presence

Lesson 1: The Question of God’s Presence

As I have previously confessed, these online lessons have addressed my own questions. Finding myself recently echoing the psalmists’ pleas for God to speak up and reveal himself in our present brutal society, I decided to do a series on God’s presence. As I was preparing by reviewing Jacques Ellul’s book, Presence in Modern Society, […]

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Gandhi Letter to Hitler

Gandhi Letter to Hitler

A friend sent this letter Gandhi sent Hitler at Christmas in 1940. I think it is worth contemplating with an open and honest heart. It reminds me of an article my son and I read in Foreign Affairs while writing our book. It documented that far more international and national conflicts have been settled by […]

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God Cleanses Ten Lepers

God Cleanses Ten Lepers

NB: I decided to post this sermon as it is somewhat of a response to the lessons on Bonhoeffer.  A friend challenged me to address the present political situation in a sermon to a peace church. This was the result. Luke 17: 11-19 —  On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region […]

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Lesson 8: Final Thoughts on Bonhoeffer

Lesson 8: Final Thoughts on Bonhoeffer

I really have been overwhelmed rereading Bonhoeffer. As I have repeatedly reported, I was not that impressed when I first studied him in divinity school. At that time, I was caught up in the civil rights movement and naively felt we had learned how to speak truth to power. Now, I feel he has a […]

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Lesson 7:  Letters and Papers from Prison (Part 4): Conclusions and Consequences

Lesson 7: Letters and Papers from Prison (Part 4): Conclusions and Consequences

Throughout his writings, Bonhoeffer repeatedly contends the Church must commit herself to living in complete honesty and by the standards found in the scriptures if she is to save the world from self-destruction. Only in this way can she avoid the sickening religiosity that ignores the real dangers in a modern evil culture. In the […]

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