Doctrinal Essays

In the early days of this publication, the editors wrote a number of doctrinal essays for publication in the journal. Since that time the journal has focused exclusively on translation work. The original essays are available below. Just click a title to read more.

Mortal Sin

by Nathaniel Biebert

The topic of this article is one often misunderstood by Christians. The author carefully lays out the details of this article of doctrine, defining it for believers and unbelievers. He warns us of the dangers of willful sinning and the unrepentant life, and points us in the end to the comfort of the gospel, which alone has the power to forgive us all our sins and move us to fight, not indulge, the devil with our will.

Venial Sin

by Souksamay Phetsanghane

“Venial” is the classification given to all sins which are not mortal. In his discussion, the author points out that only believers can be said to have committed these sins, because every sin committed by an unbeliever leads to death. He also clearly states that a sin can only be termed “venial” for the sake of Christ, who has paid the penalty for all sin. Knowing that venial sins are forgiven does not give us license to continue in sin, but leads us to praise and thank our God for his infinite mercy.

Original Sin

by Benjamin Foxen

Original sin is that sin which can be traced back to our first human parents, Adam and Eve. It is that sin for which God holds the entire human race responsible. It is that sin which corrupts every human being, with the result that each of us is an enemy of God who wants always to disobey him. It is that sin for which Christ died so that mankind might be set free from sin forever.

A History of Fellowship in the WELS

by Benjamin Foxen

How has the practice of church fellowship been observed in WELS over the history of the synod? This article seeks the answer.

Cooperation in Externals

by Joshua Zarling

Cooperation in externals is a difficult topic. In this article, Joshua Zarling lays out the Biblical position of cooperation in externals.

Prayer Fellowship

by Nathaniel Biebert

Prayer is a privilege bestowed by God upon those to whom he has given faith, and accordingly it is a fruit of faith and an act of worship. Just as with all other aspects of a Christian's life, one will seek to uphold God's truth when praying with others, since his truth is the basis upon which we call on him.

What Is Fellowship?

by Caleb Bassett

This essay introduces the concepts of Christian fellowship.