Dr. Steven Hein
Dr. Steven A. Hein currently serves as Director of The Concordia Institute for Christian Studies, an organization that offers auxiliary educational services to pastors and church gatherings across the country and in West Africa. He also serves as an affiliate professor at The Institute of Lutheran Theology and Colorado Christian University.
He has previously served for over two decades as a professor of Theology at Concordia University, Chicago. He earned his Master of Divinity from Concordia Theological Seminary, a Master of Theology in Systematic Theology fromTrinity Evangelical Divinity School and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Historical Theology from St. Louis University.
Over the past 125 years, a destructive force to the Gospel in American churches has spread among academics and lay people alike. This force is the use of the assumptions and methods of an approach to biblical interpretation known as The Historical-Critical Method, or Higher Criticism.
Most traditional children’s Christmas plays present the first and the twelfth day of Christmas together. The Epiphany account of the Magi in Matthew 2 is blended into the Christmas Story in Luke 3. This is not a recent religious novelty. It follows a long iconographic tradition that has portrayed the Star of Bethlehem and the Wise Men joining the shepherds at the Nativity of Jesus.
As we enter into another Advent Season, it is good to be reminded that doing the unlikely and unreasonable is standard procedure for our God when He dramatically advances His redemptive plan. Perhaps, however, that description is too weak. When poised to accomplish work central to His plan of salvation, the Lord God usually chooses methods that border on the outlandish and impossible.
We are all familiar with Paul’s thematic declaration in Romans that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16). The Gospel is that power because it does everything that needs to be done to save sinners. It bestows the saving gifts and works faith.
There was a great cartoon that recently appeared in the Wall Street Journal. A bewildered man is depicted in Hell standing in front of a smirking Devil with the caption: How can I be here? I didn’t believe any of this stuff.
There is a tragic parable that repeats itself all too frequently in many of our best parishes and Christian homes. While it has many variations, there are common threads that run through all its versions.
I love Robert Capon’s reference to Luke 14 as containing the Party Parables of Jesus. Luke reports Jesus at a dinner engagement instructing His Pharisee host and guests about the kind of party etiquette that reflects feasting in the Kingdom of God.
Do you know the paradox about the beloved who has the complete love of her lover? She has it all, but she always needs more. She is still in need of his love, not just reminders of his love.
The Parable of the Prodigal Son reflects some of the most outrageous aspects of the grace of God. Wretched living cannot void it and it’s gifted-ness never assumes a shred of individual merit or virtue. Even the most offensive behaviors on our part cannot cancel or diminish God’s desire to treat us with nothing but pure grace.
It was the last thesis in The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel that C.F.W. Walther declared that the Gospel must predominate the preaching and teaching of Servants of the Word. What did he mean by that, Virginia?