The Gospel For Those Broken By The Church

Be sure to check out other resources from Dr. Rosenbladt and apologetics materials from Dr. John Warwick Montgomery at the 1517 Legacy Project.

This MP3 of the recording of Dr. Rosenbladt’s presentation is tailor-made for all those folks who are “mad” at and “sad” about Christianity BECAUSE they have been “baited and switched” by the church.

If the Ten Commandments were not impossible enough, the preaching of Christian behavior, of Christian ethics, of Christian living, can drive a Christian into despairing unbelief. Not happy unbelief. Tragic, despairing, sad unbelief. (It is not unlike the [unhappy] Christian equivalent of “Jack Mormons” – those who finally admit to themselves and others that they can’t live up to the demands of this non-Christian cult’s laws, and excuse themselves from the whole sheebang.) A diet of this stuff from pulpit, from curriculum, from a Christian reading list, can do a work on a Christian that is (at least over the long haul) “faith destroying.”

In this staggeringly potent presentation, Dr. Rosenbladt tackles what plagues many ‘recovering Christians’. Sticking to his unchanging theme of 200-proof Gospel, using his own history as an agnostic “outsider” to Christianity, Dr. Rosenbladt delivers the grace of the cross with all its potency, undiluted. If you’ve struggled with your faith in your church because of what you’re seeing and hearing (and maybe don’t even go to church anymore), you don’t want to miss this powerful address – an unabashed analysis of the church today and what it is doing to many believers – from one who has experienced it himself.

Are we Christians saved the same way we were when we were baptized into Christ, or when we came to acknowledge Christ’s shed blood and His righteousness as all we had in the face of God’s holy law? That all of our supposed “virtue” – Christian or pagan – is just like so many old menstrual garments (to use the Bible phrase)? But that God imputes to those who trust Christ’s cross the true righteousness of Christ Himself? We are pretty sure that unbelievers who come to believe this are instantly justified in God’s sight, declared as if innocent, adopted as sons or daughters, forgiven of all sin, given eternal life, etc. But are Christians still saved that freely? Or are we not? We are pretty clear that imputed righteousness saves sinners. But can the imputed righteousness of Christ save a Christian? And can it save him or her all by itself? Or no?

For all of you who have been given morality lessons instead of the Gospel, hear how Dr. Rod Rosenbladt succinctly presents Christianity as first and foremost a genuine truth claim about Christ as our righteous substitute, instead of a never ending list of popular religious recipes for personal success.

Download the MP3 file.

Download the PDF formatted for a regular sheet of paper.

Download the PDF formatted for a booklet.

Dr. Rod Rosenbladt on “The Gospel For Those Broken By The Church” fromFaith Lutheran Church on Vimeo.

Be sure to also check out the sequel, Christianity in Five Verses:

This lecture by Dr. Rod Rosenbladt given in the Concordia University Chapel on February 14 of 2011 is what we are considering the long awaited sequel to the “The Gospel For Those Broken By The Church.” Once again it is some of his finest work. Though he didn’t set out to create such a sequel, you will notice Dr. Rosenbladt borrows from his former presentation throughout this new one.

What we are affinitively calling “Christianity In Five Verses” could rightfully be titled “The Gospel” or “What is Christianity?” This powerful lecture goes right to the center of what the Christian faith is, cutting through all the claptrap and fluff that so often diverts us from the core message of the Scriptures. Dr. Rosenbladt clearly and concisely lays down Gospel right from the text of the Scriptures and contrasts this message with what often masquerades as the Gospel. This is a must-listen for every Christian, but especially for pastors and teachers charged with teaching and preaching God’s Word, and for those actively involved in sharing their faith with others.

We recommend this lecture at least as much as we do “The Gospel For Those Broken By The Church.” It is similarly being made available for free. Download it, share it with others without restriction, post it on your blog or Facebook wall. All we ask is that if you do, please include a link back to our website here at the 1517 Legacy Project.

But whatever you do, don’t miss this one. It is only a little over 22 minutes long.

DOWNLOAD Christianity in Five Verses (MP3)

Easter Tuesday ’12 – Luke 24:36-48

10. April 2012
Easter Tuesday
Luke 24:36-48

Peace is an elusive thing. True peace, that is. Some people find peace in the bottle. Some find peace only in death. Others find peace by a babbling brook or under the cool shade of the willow tree. Peace. That is, until the bottle runs dry, or its time to go back to your stress-filled work, or when death never seems to come. Peace is an elusive thing.

The disciples were not at peace. They were anxious, sorrowful, and confused. Was Jesus dead or alive? Should they grieving or rejoicing that His body was not in the Arimathean’s tomb? Would they be next to hang on the tree like their friend Jesus? Would they resort to hanging themselves like poor Judas? No peace here. No peace in the upper room. And like us, the bottle, the shade, or even death was not a source of peace. They were sore afraid.

They remind us of the shepherds who heard the announcement of Christ’s birth. Calmly guiding their sheep to pastures green and then… Angels we have heard on high, sweetly singing o’er the plain at the dear Savior’s birth. Except the shepherds were scared out of their boots. The angel announced “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

No doubt this announcement was terrifying and comforting at the same time. The glory of God was a terrifying thing. No one sees God’s face and lives. Even the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night was not approached. No one entered into the holiest place but once a year blindfolded for fear of witnessing God’s glory.  Moses’ face was bleached bright white, shining as the sun when he was even near God’s presence.

Glory is terrifying. The thought of beholding this glory face to face, well, that’s downright horrific. What will God think of me? (I know and I’m paralyzed.) What will happen to me? (I’m sure its death.) How is that God has come and visited me? (He’ll probably execute judgment on the spot.)

Shepherds and disciples are scared witless at the great things God has done. The Son of God, begotten from eternity, is born in flesh and blood of St. Mary. Awesome and terrifying. Christ, the King of the Jews, murdered for being God in the flesh, dying to fulfill the Father’s will, to forgive you every sin. Awesome and terrifying.

Still, the angel’s proclaimed “And on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Peace! True peace. That ought to be comforting, right? Maybe. Peace for those with whom he is pleased. Who’s that? Shepherds who announce the dear Christ-child’s birth? Magi traveling from afar? Does it include you and I?

So also, the disciples wondered: where is that peace now? The bringer of peace has died. The leaders of the Jews still will torment us. The memory of our friend and Lord will haunt us. Nothing will give us peace. Not the bottle, not the cool of the day, and not even death. We’re petrified without hope.

As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. And He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in you hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”

Peace. Where? In Christ. Not the absent or spirit of Jesus, no, but in the body of Jesus. A body with hands and feet. Behold, He is risen and has pierced hands and feet! Awesome and terrifying. So much so, they were still disbelieving for joy and marveling. Peace. Where? In Christ who eats broiled fish. Who ate before the disciples as only the alive one can.

Peace. Where? In His witness. He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations.

Peace? In Jesus, who died and rose just as He said He would. In Jesus, who fulfilled everything written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms. In Jesus, by whose resurrected body and blood we have life. In Jesus who proclaims to you forgiveness of sins in His own name. Peace with God once more is made. O Lord, have mercy!

This is the kind of peace the world cannot give. Not from the bottle, not from a beautiful spring day, and not even from death. Peace from Jesus. Peace in Him. Peace in the resurrected Christ.

In Name of the Father, + Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Rev. Christopher R. Gillespie
Grace Lutheran Church
Dyer, Indiana