Hi, I’ve recently been invited to blog at Planet Augsburg, all undeserving but very kind of the management. My name is James, and I’ve been replying as janky-o, but my handle here will be WretchedMan (If I’ve done this right) – somebody had already taken theoldadam. I attend Bethany Lutheran in Naperville, an outstanding example of a confessional church, with two solid pastors, a full-time cantor who is second to none, and a liturgy which is a showcase of what the divine service is all about. If you’re ever in town, stop by. Drop me a note, and we can go together.

A bit of background. My father is a Presbyterian minister and is an example of all that is best in Presbyterians, the greatest man I have known. The PCUSA has been in decline for decades having lost respect for the authority of the Bible. That, along with my innate astringency and the feeling that something was missing in churches I saw left me wandering for years, never really fitting into a congregation. I ran across Bethany four or five years ago and discovered what was missing: An unwavering respect for and focus on the message of the scripture, on Christ crucified for the sins of men. I still don’t fit in – I don’t smoke cigars, I don’t eat meat and I love science. But it doesn’t matter. I am fed scripture, I am taught the law and the gospel, my sins are forgiven, I have sublime music to listen to or sing, and I am comforted. Thanks be to God!