Sunday, October 11, 2020

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Book Review

 Book Review: Live Not by Lies by Rod Dreher (2020)

Live Not by Lies is a powerful and quite timely book written by an outstanding columnist and Orthodox believer. It should find its way onto every Lutheran's shelf. 

See Pastor Carnehl's Goodreads review here:

And his YouTube review here:

And, check out this article by Rod Dreher:

Monday, September 28, 2020

Immanuel's Tuesday Class (9/29/20)



"The Crusaders before Jerusalem"
by N. C. Wyeth (1924)

Scriptural Starting Points

Matthew 16:24-26 (ESV): Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

John 15:13 (KJV): Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.


Crusader crosses cover a wall at the Church of the Holy 
Sepulchre, Jerusalem (Photo by Rev. Carnehl)

- The crusades were “penitential war pilgrimages”

- 1095 marked the call to crusade from Pope Urban II, and the last military order of crusaders was established and disbanded in 1890. 

- Where? Eastern Mediterranean (i.e. the Levant), Baltic shoreline, North Africa, the Iberian Peninsula (i.e. Spain and Portugal), Poland, Hungary, the Balkans (i.e. modern-day Albania, Bosnia, etc.), and within Western Europe (i.e. Italy, France, and Germany)

- Who? Kings, knights, peasants, priests and eventually professional soldiers from Western Europe carried out crusades against Muslims, pagan Wends, Balts, Lithuanians, Mongols, Cathars, Hussites, and other “heretics.”

- What’s the big deal?  Today the Crusades are commonly held up as among the worst episodes in Christian history. However, there is so much confusion and mis-information regarding these “penitential war pilgrimages.” 

"The Battle of Dorylaeum" by Gustave Dore (1877)

Overview of Crusades

- First Crusade (1095 - 1099) captured Jerusalem, “Christ’s Patromony”

- Second Crusade (1147 - 1149) ended in disaster, except for the capture of Lisbon and decisive defeat of the Muslims there in 1147

- The Baltic Crusades (1147 on and off until 1316) was a series of drawn-out campaigns against various groups in the Baltic region

- Third Crusade (1189 - 1192), immortalized by King Richard the Lionheart, captured major Muslim cities, but failed to capture Jerusalem

- Fourth Crusade (1202 - 1204) was a disaster that led to the sack of Constantinople

- Albigensian Crusade (1209 - 1229) was essentially an act of genocide against a sect of Gnostic Christians living in southern France

- Children’s Crusade (1212) was a march to Italy with several thousand French and German youth that were attempting to reach the Holy Land. It ended with the children either starving, returning to their families, or being sold into slavery. 

- Fifth Crusade (1217 - 1221) was an attempt to capture Egypt and secure a base for future campaigns. After some initial victories, it ended in severe defeat. 

- Sixth Crusade (1228 - 1229) acquired Jerusalem and Bethlehem for the Kingdom of Jerusalem, more through diplomatic maneuvering than warfare. 

- Seventh Crusade (1248 - 1254) was another disastrous attempt at taking Egypt as a springboard to further action in the Holy Land.

- Eighth Crusade (1270) was the attempt by Saint Louis (King Louis IX) to seize Tunis.

- Ninth Crusade (1271 - 1272) was a series of successful Crusader raids in the Holy Land led by Edward I (“Longshanks”) of England. 

"Crusaders Capture Jerusalem" from the 
Description of the Holy Land, 14th century

1096: The First Crusade 

"The Church of the Holy Sepulchre" by Dean Cornwell (c. 1926)


- Crusading was considered an act of love: our idea of “violence” as inherently bad is a modern sensibility. The ancients and medievals had the view that violence was a morally neutral force and could be positively harnessed for protection, liberation, and discipline or negatively used for coercion, destruction, and evil.   

- Crusading was considered penitential: the act of crusading was seen as purifying and sanctifying. 

- Crusading was exceedingly costly: Most crusaders lost substantial sums of money, not to mention lands and possessions, in “taking up the cross.”

- Crusading was seen as liberation: the goal was the recovery and defense of Christian people and land in the East. 

- Crusading was a product of the medieval world view: It’s difficult for us to even remotely understand the crusading fervor of the time. It’s strange to us that so many “mystics” of the Church in the middle ages preached the crusades: Bernard of Clairvaux, Bridget of Sweden, and Catherine of Siena.  

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Friday, September 25, 2020

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Immanuel's Tuesday Class (9/22/20)

 The History of the Church:

The Investiture Controversy

1059 - 1122

Myers, Philip Van Ness (1905), 
A medieval king investing a bishop with the symbols of office

Biblical Starting Points:

Matthew 16:16-19 (NKJV) - Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.  And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.  And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Romans 13:1-7 (NKJV) -  Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.


We have come across these two passages again and again in our Tuesday Bible classes. They are verses of seminal significance throughout Christian history, and even today, they are widely debated! The two questions we must ask are, 1) What is the role of the Office of the Apostle Peter, and 2) What is the role of the Office of Emperor?

Interrelated questions would be: Is the Pope higher than the "governing authorities?" Does the Pope have the right to meddle in temporal affairs? Do emperors and kings answer to the Pope? 

All of these questions created major controversy in the early Middle Ages. What we will see is that the so-called "Investiture Controversy" was much more about absolute papal power than almost anything else. 

Caesar's Coin by Peter Paul Rubens (1612-1614)


Investiture: from the Latin investitura, "the investing of a power or authority," taken from the verb investio, "to clothe, to cover;" the formal bestowal of a prescriptive right. 

In the Middle Ages, the act of investiture was when the emperor or ruling nobility formally installed newly appointed church officials, giving them a staff and a ring and saying, "Accipe Ecclesiam tuam," that is, "Receive the church."  

Simony: taken from the name Simon Magus in Acts 8, simony is the buying or selling of church property, including land, buildings, relics, and offices. In the Middle Ages it was very broadly defined as any privately lay-owned church property. A Medievalist, Catherine Boyd, writes, "When a reformer in the eleventh century used the term 'simony,' he had before his eyes this whole complex of mercenary transactions which resulted from the growth of the proprietary system of churches and the extension of the proprietary idea to the parishes. It will be noted that the clergy as well as the laity exercised proprietary rights over the lower churches, treating them as if they were their private property and disposing of their revenues as if they were private income." 

Celibacy: from Latin caelebs, "unmarried, single," broadly defined in the Middle Ages as total abstinence from sexual/marital relations. Up until the 11th century, there was a popularly-accepted tradition of married priests, especially in Germany. Reforming popes in the 11th and 12th centuries were continually fighting against the sexual profligacy of monks and priests in Europe. This included marital intimacy, obviously accepted by Protestants and Orthodox for their pastors today. 

Key People: 

Pope Leo IX (1002 - 1054): a major reforming pope, Leo held a momentous synod (the "Easter Synod") of 1049 where, accompanied with Emperor Henry III, he once again called for clerical celibacy and an end to simony. His disagreements with the patriarch of Constantinople, Michael Cerularius, led to the so-called "Great Schism" of 1054. 

Pope Nicholas II (c. 990 - 1061): his papacy chiefly concerns us for the significant change that Nicholas spearheaded with his bishops gathered at a council in Rome in 1059. They decided to change the election procedure for popes. Up until this point, the election of popes had not always occurred in the same way; they were essentially chosen by their predecessors (up until the Constantinian era), then chosen by the Emperor and aristocracy of Rome and the Holy Roman Empire, and then, starting in 1059, by the cardinals themselves. This was a victory for the curia who took away more power from the princes. 

Peter Damian (c. 988 - 1073): declared to be a "Doctor of the Church" in 1828, St Peter Damian was a Benedictine monk and later Cardinal. His was a more moderate voice during the reforming movements of the 11th century. His 1051 work called the "Book of Gomorrah" is a scathing indictment of priestly abuses during his day. 

Humbert of Moyenmoutier (c. 1000 - 1061): a revolutionary monk, cardinal, and papal legate who was responsible for the excommunication of Michael Cerularius in 1054, precipitating the so-called "Great Schism." Humbert was a (perhaps the) chief supporter of papal supremacy during the battles against simony in the mid-11th century, and he was instrumental in the decisions behind the 1059 synod which changed the election procedure for popes. He wrote the fiercest and most important work against simony: Three Books against the Simoniacs

Pope Gregory VII (c. 1015 - 1085): THE key figure during the Investiture Controversy, Gregory (born Hildebrand of Sovana) is most famous today for the hard line he took against Emperor Henry IV, excommunicating him multiple times and insisting that simony and lay investiture (the investing of bishops by lay rulers) undermined the Church. Above all, Gregory hoped to free the church from all secular power. 

Emperor Henry IV (c. 1050 - 1106): ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1084 to his deposition in 1105 and the chief opponent of Pope Gregory VII. He believed that as emperor he was God's representative on earth, chosen to act as "vicar" over affairs of church and state. This severely clashed with the reformers' view of the papacy. 

Emperor Henry V (c. 1081 - 1125): son of Henry IV, he deposed his father in 1105 and allied himself with his father's enemies. The German princes opposed him and conflict erupted. In 1122 he signed the Concordat of Worms with Pope Calixtus II. It eliminated lay investiture but gave secular rulers some symbolic role in investiture and allowed them some influence during appointment. 


The importance of the Investiture Controversy probably can't be overstated. It changed the Middle Ages in Europe, and thus, it changed the Western world. The actual process of investiture was a technicality: the papal focus during this period was on authority and power. By taking away the secular ruler's right of investing, that is, installing church officials, the Pope communicated that even the highest ruler of the land had no authority directly from God. The Pope was supreme in matters secular and religious, and is therefore like a father to the emperor. T.M. Parker writes, "Lay investiture, the juridical act symbolised by the giving of the episcopal ring and staff to the elected bishop, was the means by which the 'honour' of a bishopric was conferred, and this demonstrated in the most vivid way possible the control claimed by the temporal power over local church, accompanied as it was by the spoken formula, Accipe ecclesiam tuam." Nicholas II had forbidden lay investiture in 1059, though it was not very precise. Gregory VII in 1075 made it more overt, but it was most firmly expressed in the Concordat of Worms in 1122. 

The point is, starting with these reformer popes in the 11th century, the absolutism of papal supremacy over the universal church (including Byzantium) and all secular authority (including the Holy Roman Emperor) was codified. Gregory's Dictatus Papae (Papal Dictates) of 1075 included 27 principles that changed the papacy forever. I take them from Wikipedia: 

  1. The Roman Church was founded solely by God.
  2. Only the Pope can with right be called "Universal".
  3. He alone can depose or reinstate bishops.
  4. All bishops are below his Legate in council, even if a lower grade, and he can pass sentence of deposition against them.
  5. The Pope may depose the absent.
  6. Among other things, we ought not to remain in the same house with those excommunicated by him.
  7. For him alone is it lawful, according to the needs of the time, to make new laws, to assemble together new congregations, to make an abbey of a canonry, and, on the other hand, to divide a rich bishopric and unite the poor ones.
  8. He alone may use the Imperial Insignia.
  9. All princes shall kiss the feet of the Pope alone.
  10. His name alone shall be spoken in the churches.
  11. His title is unique in the world.
  12. It may be permitted to him to depose emperors.
  13. It may be permitted to him to transfer bishops, if need be.
  14. He has the power to ordain the clerk of any parish he wishes.
  15. He who is ordained by the Pope may preside over another church, but may not hold a subordinate position. Such a person may not receive a higher clerical grade from any other bishop.
  16. No synod shall be called a "General Synod" without his order.
  17. No chapter and no book shall be considered canonical without his authority.
  18. A sentence passed by him may be retracted by no one. He alone may retract it.
  19. He himself may be judged by no one.
  20. No one shall dare to condemn any person who appeals to the Apostolic Chair.
  21. The more important cases of every church should be referred to the Apostolic See.
  22. The Roman Church has never erred. Nor will it err, to all eternity--Scripture being witness.
  23. The Roman Pontiff, if he has been canonically ordained, is undoubtedly made holy by the merits of St. Peter, St. Ennodius Bishop of Pavia bearing witness, and many holy fathers agreeing with him. As it is contained in the decrees of Pope St. Symmachus.
  24. By his command and consent, it may be lawful for subordinates to bring accusations.
  25. He may depose and reinstate bishops without assembling a Synod.
  26. He who is not at peace with the Roman Church shall not be considered "catholic".
  27. He may absolve subjects from their fealty to wicked men.

The historian G. Barraclough might be helpful here: "Rejecting the ancient doctrine that kings were sent by God, either as leaders of the righteous or as a scourge for the wicked, Gregory turned his back on the Christian dogmas of passive obedience and non-resistance. One of the most penetrating of Gregory's critics picked out the essential novelty of the pope's position, when he wrote: 'Christ alone, in unison with God, can give or take away dominion, according to the Scriptures; but Hildebrand teaches that he himself has authority over kings and kingdoms, and can do that which, according to the Psalmist, can be done by God alone, who abases the one and elevates the other.'" 

The 11th century was the seminal moment in Western Christendom for the advancement of papal prestige and power, and it should be remembered that this reform movement was radical. There was a weighty opposition, headed by prominent bishops. Such opposition led, eventually, to the revolt and reform of the 16th century. 

The Cathedral of Worms, where the 
Concordat of Worms was signed in 1122

Friday, September 18, 2020

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Sunday, August 30, 2020

 Click HERE to download a copy of the Service for October 18, 2020 - St. Luke.