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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Audio from the 4th Annual WPN Conference

Standing together for Life

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

10:00 am Dr. William C. Weinrich, Gnosticism--Ancient and Modern: an overview of the Gnostic worldview and gnostic writings concluding with a summary of how this heresy is appearing in modern discourse.

11:25 am Rev. Jonathan G. Lange, WPN, the Pastor in the Public Square: tells the history of the Wyoming Pastor's Network and breaks down the reason for the name. He concludes with some reflections on the pastor in the public square.

1:30 pm Dr. Maureen L. Condic, Embryology 101: presents an overview of the first week of embryonic development, centering on the unanimous scientific conclusion that a new and unique human life begins at the moment of egg-sperm fusion.

2:45 pm Dr. Weinrich, Transhumanism: introduces us to the fascinating and troubling movement which aims to evolve the human species past all bodily limitations.

4:00 pm Dr. Gregory G. Marino, Palliative Care as Pro-Life Strategy: gives an overview on the challenges of palliative care and demonstrates how it is best used to enhance not only the quality, but the length of life.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

9:15 am Dr. Maureen L. Condic, Embryonic Ethics: Explains the details of hormonal contraceptives, cloning, three-parent embryos and gene editing, helping us discern between useful science and unethical human experimentation.

10:50 am Dr. William C. Weinrich, Theology of the Body: gives an overview of the Theology of the Body and its importance for human thriving. He concludes the conference with several points that they Church should be emphasizing today.

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PRESENTERS

William C. Weinrich, D. Theol. 
is professor of early church and patristic studies at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind., where he has taught since 1975. During his tenure at the seminary, he has served as supervisor of the STM program (1986–1989), dean of the graduate school (1989–1995), and academic dean (1995–2006). He also served the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia as rector of its theological school, the Luther Academy, in Riga, Latvia (2007–2010). He served The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod as third vice-president (1998–2001) and as fifth vice-president (2001–2004). He retired at the rank of lieutenant colonel from the Indiana Air National Guard after serving as chaplain (1978–2004).
 
Dr. Weinrich received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Oklahoma (1967; Phi Beta Kappa) and his Master of Divinity degree from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo. (1972). He studied under Bo Reicke and Oscar Cullmann at the University of Basel, Switzerland, receiving the degree of Doctor of Theology in 1977. He edited the volume on Revelation for the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture series and translated two ancient Greek commentaries (Oecumenius, Andrew of Caesarea) and four Latin commentaries (Victorinus, Apringius, Caesarius of Arles, Bede) on Revelation for the Ancient Christian Texts series. Dr. Weinrich has published many articles and has lectured frequently for pastors and laity.


Maureen L. Condic, PhD
is an Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the University of Utah, School of Medicine, with an adjunct appointment in the Department of Pediatrics. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago, her doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley, and postdoctoral training at the University of Minnesota.

Since her appointment at the University of Utah in 1997, Dr. Condic's primary research focus has been the development and regeneration of the nervous system. In 1999, she was awarded the Basil O'Connor Young Investigator Award for her studies of peripheral nervous system development. In 2002, she was named a McKnight Neuroscience of Brain Disorders Investigator, in recognition of her research in the field of spinal cord repair and regeneration. Her current research involves the control of human stem cell potency and differentiation.

In addition to her scientific research, Dr. Condic teaches both graduate and medical students. Her teaching focuses primarily on embryonic development, and she is Director for Human embryology in the University of Utah, School of Medicine’s curriculum. Dr. Condic has a strong commitment to public education and science literacy. She has published and presented seminars nationally and internationally on science policy and bioethics, with recent presentations at Boston University (LaBrecque Lecture in Medical Ethics), The Social Trends Institute, Barcelona, Spain, Princeton University, The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity, Notre Dame University, Belmont Abbey College (Cuthbert Allen lecturer), Vanderbilt University, Human Life International, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, and the Council of the European Union, Kaunas, Lithuania. Dr. Condic currently resides in Salt Lake City with her husband and four children.


Dr. Gregory Marino, DO
Dr. Gregory Marino joined the Welch Cancer Center in Sheridan, WY as its hematology oncology specialist in August 2012. He moved here from Anchorage, Alaska where he had been directing a successful hematology oncology program exclusively for the native populations for the past 11 years. He worked with 229 native Alaskan villages in the 600,000 square miles throughout the state.

Dr. Marino completed medical school in Chicago and his internal medicine residency and hematology/oncology fellowship in San Diego. He is board certified in internal medicine, hematology and medical oncology and he has appointments with eight medical schools. He is passionate about his patients and has special interests in palliative care and medical education.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

CrossTalk: Blind Bartimaeus sees what the crowd misses

The Healing of the Blind of Jericho, Nicolas Poussin
Lord, have mercy upon us. Christ, have mercy upon us, Lord, have mercy upon us.

These simple words, called the Kyrie, must be ranked among the most politically incorrect parts of Christian worship. It’s mostly lost on us, but the first century denizen of Rome, knew immediately what it meant.

In the ancient world, that’s how you addressed a conquering king if you wanted to keep your head. They didn’t have freedom of speech. People that publicly said, “Caesar is not my emperor,” were likely to be executed.

In last Sunday’s gospel, the blind beggar used these words: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me” (Mark 10:47).  Not only is he implying that Jesus is his real emperor, he even highlights Jesus’ rightful claim to the throne by calling Him “Son of David!

The crowd knew it immediately and they were terrified. Their reaction was swift and to the point. “Many were admonishing him to hush up” (that’s a southerner’s translation of Mark 10:48). The emperor had informants and soldiers everywhere. Not only Bartimaeus, but all of Jericho could get into serious trouble.

But Bartimaeus wasn’t scared. He repeats is even louder! He deliberately wanted to make this confession of Jesus. Blind though he is, he sees better than most.

And while most are seeking to silence Bartimaeus to save their skins, Jesus does just the opposite. He adopts a totally regal posture. He does exactly what the emperor was known to do in his processions.

Standing still, He dispatches curriers. “Summon him,” He says. Then, asks, “What do you want me to do for you?” By this question, He claims all power and authority to do every good.

This is an electric moment! You can feel it in the air. The revolution is beginning in Jericho, 30 miles from the capitol city of Jerusalem. The crowd is large and growing. Soon, Jesus will be entering the city on a royal steed (donkey) and all of Jerusalem will be saying “Hosanna to the Son of David.

When revolution is in the air, you are forced to take a side. You will either kowtow to the rulers and power-brokers of this world, or you publicly renounce their lordship and cry out, “Christ, have mercy upon us!”

To cling to Christ and his word alone is to hate the world and be hated by it. To make peace with the power-brokers of the world is to hate Christ. There is no middle ground.

The blind beggar is the first to see it clearly. He shows us the way. “Lord, have mercy upon us,” is not a whimper. It is a battle cry. To seek the mercy of Christ is an act of defiance against the world.

Early Christians were fed to the lions for saying this. Christians facing ISIS are shot and beheaded for saying this. How much social stigma are you willing to bear to say these words?

I know how much Jesus is willing to pay. By stopping and standing and acting like the Emperor He is, He set his feet on the path to the cross like nothing before. He has just made Himself public enemy number one by helping the beggar.

He is neither ashamed to do it, nor afraid to do it. Here is a cosmic clash between Christ and the devil playing out on a crowded street. And it seems that only Bartimaeus and Jesus know what’s going on.

That’s typical of the Christian life. Ordinary, everyday events have eternal and cosmic significance. Your choices either to resist sin or to cave into it are monumental battles. Your choice to be a public Christian or to blend in with the crowd is an act of defiance or of deference with implications for your children and grandchildren.

May God grant you the vision and courage of blind Bartimaeus.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Sermon: October 14, 2018

Would You Do It?
https://www.dropbox.com/s/fyp129nkcnwp4vz/Proper%2023b.mp3?dl=0
We have found the rich man and he is us.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Friday, July 20, 2018

CrossTalk: Fight Family Strife God's Way

We live in unsettled times. Everyone, it seems, is at everyone else’s throat. It’s not just politics – although the political world has become especially ugly. We also see it in the community, at work, and in homes. It even affects the church.

One thing that happens to us is that we forget family connections. Family affection is a powerful emotion for the good. The love between mother and child, husband and wife, brothers and sisters in the home can cover over “a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).

When we remember that we are family, we remember that we are deeply connected despite the frustration of the moment. It re-centers us to think long-term. Friends may come and go, but family will always be family. Familiar memories and familiar roots bind us together.

This is even true when you first meet distant relatives. The very fact that they are family automatically opens our hearts to them. Family relationships provide a built-in starting point of love and connectedness. Remembering family relationships can help us treat one another with love, respect and forgiveness.

The Bible, in fact, reminds us that we are all one big family. Each of us can trace our ancestry back to Noah. Beyond that, we are all sons and daughters of Adam and Eve. These are more than fairy tales. It is our history, told in the Bible and proven by recent scientific studies of mitochondrial DNA.

The false claims that we evolved from primates have made many forget our family connectedness. When we forget our common genealogy, we forget to treat one another as family. That’s a tragedy.

But we can do something about it. We can teach our children the truth that every person they have ever met is a relative. We can also remind ourselves of this fact every day.

Before you act out in anger, before you bad-mouth your boss, before you write a rude comment, before you dismiss someone as a Neanderthal, remember that he or she is family.

Here’s another pro tip to fight against the seething anger of our world: Repent.

That’s right, repent! Anger and hostility toward others is always felt in proportion to our own unrepentant sins. When Cain killed Abel, it wasn’t about anything Abel did, it arose from Cain’s own sins against God. “So, Cain was very angry, and his face fell” (Gen. 4:5 ESV).

If you look honestly at your own anger, you will find that the more you confess your own sins to God and receive His forgiveness in Christ, the more peaceful and calm you can be in the face of family that sins against you.

The flipside is also true. The more unconfessed sin you are harboring within, the more easily you lash out at the littlest thing that happens to you. I am convinced that the reason our world is so filled with seething anger is because there is so much unconfessed sin.

Every day we are told by Satan not to confess sins. In arguing we are told “never admit you’re wrong.” In living we are told, “if it feels good it’s not sin.” When we follow Satan’s advice, we do not confess our sins. That makes our own anger seethe like Cain’s.

So fight back against anger in both ways: 1) Remember that everyone you meet is a member of your own family. 2) Spend a lot more time confessing your own sins than dwelling on the sins of your relatives.

The forgiveness that comes from Jesus’ cross is forgiveness that rebuilds the human family.

Monday, June 25, 2018