Spring 2017

Volume 17/Number 1

Welcome to another spring topical issue of Higher Things Magazine!  This time we’ve put the spotlight on EVANGELISM: the ultimate in Jesus for you and you for your neighbor. From the dinner table to the mission field, from the Divine Service to the service you give your neighbor, the pattern is crystal clear: People come to faith only through the work of the Holy Spirit through Word, water, bread and wine.  And the good news about sharing the Good News is that God may use your mouth, skills, and vocation, but it’s not up to you to save souls—that’s in His hands.

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Feel Free to Pass on the Good News!

Rev. George F. Borghardt

Did you know that Lutherans were the first “evangelicals”? There’s a reason for that and Rev. Borghardt, in his gospelly way, launches our topical issue helping us to understand what that means for us today.


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We Don’t “Do” Evangelism

Rev. Donavon Riley

The most creative evangelism efforts won’t amount to anything, asserts Rev. Riley, if we fail to look toward and point to the very ways the person and work of Christ are communicated to us: through water, Word and Supper. Essentially, evangelism is “done to us” through the Holy Spirit and that will naturally lead to our evangelism of others.


Available to subscribers: Article PDF


It’s All About the Seed, Not the Sower

Rev. Eric Brown

When we read the Parable of the Sower we tend to spend a lot of the time puzzled over why the sower seems to be so careless. Rev. Brown demystifies this parable by showing us that all we need to focus on is what Jesus is telling us: The seed is the Word of God.


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Planting and Watering

Rev. Joel Fritsche

Rev. Fritsche, an LCMS missionary in the Dominican Republic, encourages you to plant and water in light of the reality that God’s key way of reaching out to us and others is through His means of grace, no matter where the mission field is.


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Seven Apologists Every Christian Should Know, Conclusion: Declare First, Defend Second: Why Apologetics Takes a Backseat to Evangelism

Rev. Mark A. Pierson

How much of a role does apologetics play in evangelism? Find out in Rev. Pierson’s masterful conclusion to his “7 Apologists Every Christian Should Know” series.


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Third Article Evangelism

Rev. Chris Rosebrough

It’s common to hear in Christian circles that to become a Christian one must “decide” and “ask Jesus into one’s heart” in order to have some kind of conversion experience. Rev. Rosebrough reminds us via the Third Article of the Apostles Creed that this is not, in fact, how people come to Christ.


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The Liturgy: Tried and True Evangelism

Katie Hill

Whether you’ve grown up Lutheran or are new to the scene, Katie shows you there’s a not-so-secret agenda behind our church liturgy: the clear proclamation of the Gospel.


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Evangelism on the College Campus: Fish Don’t Want to Be Caught

Rev. Philip Young

As a former college ministry advisory pastor, Rev. Young has keen insight into how evangelism happens on a college campus and what results should really look like. (We think his 2012 HT Magazine article provides a such significant understanding of our topic that we are revisiting it).


Available to subscribers: Article PDF | Bible Study PDF | Leader's Guide PDF


Catechism: The Small Catechism for Evangelism

Rev. William M. Cwirla

Rev. Cwirla makes the case for keeping your catechism handy in your evangelism toolbox. Its simplicity and back-to-basics format will equip you to have answers for your friends who might be inquiring about what you believe.


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