Brock’s work at Yellowstone began while he was a professor at Indiana University. On his first trip out West in 1964, Brock stopped by the park and marveled at the hot springs, which flowed away in colorful streams that gradually cooled. He recognized that despite the harsh conditions, microbes were thriving in the water.
Brock and Freeze’s discovery earned them the 2013 Golden Goose Award in recognition of the world-changing, but unpredictable, power of curiosity-driven basic research. During the COVID-19 pandemic, National Geographic and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel profiled Brock for his contributions to tracking the disease with PCR-based tests.
Brock’s discovery of these organisms cracked open a new field of study in biology. Extremophiles, as these hardy microbes became known due to their ability to survive extreme conditions, have been found buried in deep mines, clinging to superhot vents at the bottom of the ocean, and encased in ice. They redefined the bounds of life and influenced studies of the origin of life on Earth and on other worlds.Some extremophiles turned out to belong to the Archaea, an entirely new branch of life that completely changed our understanding of the evolution of complex organisms. Brock spent most of his scientific career at the University of Wisconsin–Madison as the E. B. Fred Professor of Natural Sciences in the Department of Bacteriology. He also chaired the department from 1980 to 1983. “When we came to Wisconsin, Tom made a conscious decision that going to Yellowstone was valuable, but because the taxpayers of Wisconsin were paying him, he felt an obligation to work on — and was also interested in — the lakes of Wisconsin,” says Kathie.“Tom was a remarkably accomplished human being — great scientist for work in environmental microbiology, great conservationist for restoring the health of the land, and a natural teacher and great human being,” says Steve Carpenter, former director of the Center for Limnology.
A prolific writer, Brock authored hundreds of research papers and wrote or edited nearly two dozen books. His textbook, “Biology of Microorganisms,” which he wrote by himself in 1970, is still a mainstay of microbiology courses. It is now in its 16th edition. Not content only to write, Brock and his wife Kathie started Science Tech Publishers, an academic publishing company that operated for 12 years and published dozens of books.
In 1969, Brock and undergraduate student Hudson Freeze published their discovery of Thermus aquaticus, which they found thriving in temperatures up to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. They named the bacterium after the hot water it called home.Thermus aquaticus bacteria discovered by Brock redefined the bounds of life and influenced studies of the origin of life on Earth and on other worlds. UW–Madison
Brock and Kathie, also a microbiologist, met while she was a postdoctoral researcher on his Yellowstone team. They married in 1971, the same year Brock moved to UW–Madison, where Kathie also taught. He continued his Yellowstone work for a number of years but eventually turned his eye to his new backyard: Lake Mendota.
“Yellowstone really was a lark, like ‘Let’s go look at these hot springs for fun.’ And what starts as intellectual enjoyment becomes a full-blown project,” he says. “It blossoms from there.”
Do Pentecostals study the Bible?
Pentecostals live with the Bible. They read it every day and know many passages by heart … Many of them hardly read any books apart from the Bible’ ( The Pentecostals, pp. 321–22).
Brock is widely known for opening a new field of biology studying extremophiles — the microorganisms that survive the harshest conditions on Earth. He was the first to discover bacteria growing at nearly boiling temperatures in Yellowstone National Park.Tom Brock, a pioneering microbiologist who redefined the bounds of life, passed away at his home in Madison in April from complications following a fall. He was 94.“He had an incredible personality and persona. He was kind of bigger than himself. He was bigger than life,” says Jo Handelsman, director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and a longtime mentee, colleague and friend of Brock’s. “He just strode through life in his own way doing what he believed in. And he had very, very deep and strong beliefs, and I think that’s what I admired about him the most.”Cornell University microbiologist Steve Zinder also earned his doctorate working with Brock. He worked in Yellowstone during the lab’s last research expedition at the park before turning his attention to the sulfur cycle in Lake Mendota.His daughter Emily recalls countless hobbies her father mastered throughout his life, from piano to opera to canoeing. “He never rested on his laurels. He was always interested in starting an entirely new project and becoming a beginner again,” she says.One of the species that he discovered, Thermus aquaticus, helped usher in the modern era of molecular biology by forming the foundation of polymerase chain reaction, PCR. By easily amplifying DNA, PCR allowed the development of widespread DNA sequencing, created a ubiquitous scientific tool, and underpins today’s best tests for the COVID-19 virus.
So Brock returned with a research team and some grant money. At the time, scientists believed that life could not flourish above 160 degrees Fahrenheit. But taking samples from around and within the hot springs, Brock and his students discovered life growing in superhot streams and even in boiling pools of water.
Brock’s students remember him as a tough, but fair, mentor who sharpened their scientific and leadership skills. He trained over 30 doctoral students and 18 postdoctoral researchers.
What has Brock discovered?
Brock’s discovery of Thermus aquaticus later led to the development of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology, which uses rapid temperature cycling to exponentially amplify genetic material for analysis and manipulation.
“One thing I inherited (from Tom) is the way of directing students, in that you are not on top of them all the time, but if they need you, you are always available. This kind of freedom, and at the same time support, is something I have been using ever since,” says Carlos Pedrós-Alió, a professor at the National Center for Biotechnology in Barcelona, Spain, who earned his doctorate under Brock studying Lake Mendota’s microbes.
“He had a way of pushing things ahead and asking simple questions, which yielded results better than getting lost in the weeds,” says Zinder. “Tom loved what he did. He loved working. He loved learning things. He loved telling people about things.”On Aug. 20. 2013, Tom and Kathie Brock enjoy the fruits of their labor: 140 acres of restored prairie, oak savannah and woodlands that they established as the Pleasant Valley Conservancy in Black Earth, Wisconsin. Photo: Jeff Miller
As an ecologist, when Tom Brock first visited Yellowstone National Park in the mid 1960’s, he saw the colorful hot springs in a different way than most. He was stunned by the microbes present there that no one seemed to know anything about. His research that followed uncovered a previously unknown characteristic of life — the ability for bacteria to live in near-boiling water. The existence of these organisms would later lead to groundbreaking discoveries in the fields of microbiology and genetics. 2017 video by Craig Wild/University Communications
A celebration of Tom Brock’s life is being planned for summer or fall. Memorial contributions can be made to the charity he and Kathie founded to fund and manage their ecological restoration work at Pleasant Valley Conservancy: Savanna Oak Foundation Inc., c/o The Prairie Enthusiasts, P.O. Box 824, Viroqua, WI 54665.After his retirement from the university in 1990, Tom and Kathie set to restoring a 140-acre tract of land in the Driftless Area of Wisconsin to prairie and oak savanna. Pleasant Valley Conservancy was dedicated a State Natural Area in 2008. Always the writer, Brock wrote a two-volume history of their endeavor.
What happened to Tom Brock?
Tom Brock, a pioneering microbiologist who redefined the bounds of life, passed away at his home in Madison in April from complications following a fall. He was 94.
In 1981, Brock helped found the North Temperate Lakes Long-Term Ecological Research Network. The NTL-LTER, a unique way to fund research over decades, continues to this day, housed at the UW–Madison Center for Limnology.Common to Brock’s largest ventures — Yellowstone, Lake Mendota, publishing, land restoration — was his boundless curiosity and preternatural ability to follow that curiosity where it led, says his son Brian. Years later, the scientists developing PCR turned to the heat-resistant DNA-copying enzyme from Thermus aquaticus. To work, PCR requires near-boiling temperatures, and the resilient enzyme perfected the technique. Modern biology — from basic research through to personalized medicine and disease diagnostics — would be impossible without PCR. Unlike the simplified, if extreme, environments in Yellowstone, Lake Mendota was teeming with a complex ecosystem of microbes, plankton and fish. Brock analyzed research on the microbial cycling of nutrients in the lake from the 1920s and wrote the 1985 book “A Eutrophic Lake: Lake Mendota, Wisconsin,” which compared that early work with fresh data from his lab.Not only is Lutheran Pastor Tom Brock back in the fold after an internal church investigation found he’s still a 57-year-old virgin, but he’s finally getting around to mincing words with Lavender magazine’s John Townsend, who exposed Brock’s supposed hypocrisy.
This summer I testified before a hearing at the convention of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as they debated whether to change the definition of marriage to include homosexual couples. I explained that I am a person who struggles with same-sex attraction but the last thing I want to see is the Church endorse a behavior that hurts people in this life and which excludes them from the Kingdom in the next (I Corinthian 6:9-11).
What will help people who struggle with same-sex attraction? Of course, regular prayer, Bible reading and being in a good church, a church that has not compromised on this issue. But for most people struggling with same-sex attraction, the crucial key is accountability. I have been part of a Christian support group for those who struggle with same-sex attraction. If you Google “Exodus International” you will most likely find a group in your area where you can join other Christians who have this struggle. Also very important for me are the weekly phone calls I make to my accountability partner who helps keep me on the straight and narrow.
What did Tom Brock discover?
Brock is widely known for opening a new field of biology studying extremophiles — the microorganisms that survive the harshest conditions on Earth. He was the first to discover bacteria growing at nearly boiling temperatures in Yellowstone National Park.
I have struggled with homosexual temptation most of my life. By the grace of God I have always been celibate but the struggle for me has been intense. Sadly, the battle was also with my own denomination. In my 22 years as a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America I spoke at church conventions for the Biblical standard of celibacy for those with same-sex attraction. Sadly, in 2009 the ELCA adopted a more liberal view and began ordaining practicing homosexuals. I have left the ELCA but I continue in my television ministry to uphold the truth that homosexual behavior is sin, and the fact that I struggle with this temptation does not give me license to practice the behavior.
I was interviewed on Minneapolis radio about my struggle and the interviewer asked, “Pastor Brock, why don’t you just go with this orientation as who you are.” I responded, “I’m glad I didn’t. I’d be dead. Many men my age who went into this lifestyle are dead.” Some liberal Lutheran bishops I know believe they are being loving by affirming homosexual behavior. The truth is they are hurting people. As one old Lutheran pastor said, “They are nicing people right into hell.” I can’t tell you how grievous it was for me with my struggle to hear bishops endorse something that I knew was evil.At the Presbyterian convention, one pastor testified that the denomination should allow her to marry lesbians in her congregation because “If I don’t I will hurt them.” I responded, “No, to encourage them to engage in a behavior which will rob them of salvation, that is what will hurt them.”
Lastly, where does homosexuality come from? Is it nature (in the genes) or nurture (in one’s upbringing)? I lean toward the latter but ultimately it does not matter. Wherever it comes from, we are called upon to follow Christ and say “no” to it. As our Lord Himself stated: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).
So what does one do if one suffers from same-sex attraction? I believe the answer is: fight. Nowhere are we told the Christian life will be easy. I once heard someone say “But God would never ask you to deny something so central to your make-up as homosexuality.” I thought, “Why not?” If we believe in the doctrine of original sin – that we are all born sinners because of Adam’s fall (Romans 5) – then indeed every Christian is called to battle the sin that is so central to our make-up. One often hears “But I didn’t choose this.” I can relate. I never consciously asked to have these temptations. But most alcoholics do not wake up one morning and say “I think I’ll have a drinking problem.” Kleptomaniacs do not say “I think I’ll have a problem with shoplifting.” We may not choose our temptations in life, but we do choose what we do with our temptations. To be tempted is not sin. Jesus was tempted in Matthew 4. What we do with temptation shows whether we are endeavoring to follow Christ. And, praise God, even if we do fall under temptation, there is forgiveness when we repent and turn to Christ.I stated: “Is it not arrogant to think that we are somehow more enlightened than all the Christians who came before us?” I believe it is safest to interpret Scripture the way Christians have understood it for 2,000 years and the solid testimony of church history is against homosexual behavior. The Biblical interpretation that has led some denominations astray – notably the ELCA, Presbyterian Church USA, the Episcopal Church in America, and the United Church of Christ – maintains that the Bible does not condemn homosexual behavior per se, but only promiscuous homosexual behavior. As much as part of me – my flesh – would like to believe I can legitimately engage in homosexual behavior, the Bible remains a permanent obstacle. An objective reading of Leviticus 18:22, 20:13, Deuteronomy 22:5, Romans 1:26-27, I Corinthians 6:9-11, I Timothy 1:8-10, Jude 6,7 makes clear that the Bible’s condemnation of homosexual behavior is a blanket one. There is never the added caveat: But it is okay if you love each other. According to this latest report, the level of biblical worldview varies by the pastoral position held. Among Senior Pastors, for instance, 41% hold a biblical worldview—the highest incidence among any of the five pastoral positions studied. Next highest was the 28% among Associate Pastors. A minority of all Christian pastors thinks and acts biblically in each of the other seven categories of worldview measurement. Specifically, only 47% have a biblical worldview regarding family and the value of life; 44% concerning issues related to God, creation, and history; 43% in relation to personal faith practices; 43% when it comes to matters of sin, salvation, and one’s relationship with God; 40% pertaining to human character and human nature; and 40% when it comes to measures of lifestyle, personal behavior, and relationships.“Discovering that seven out of every eight of those pastors lack a biblical worldview helps to explain why so few among the nation’s youngest generations are developing a heart and mind for biblical principles and ways of life, and why our society seems to have run wild over the last decade,” Barna explained.
A new nationwide survey of America’s Christian pastors shows that a majority of pastors lack a biblical worldview. In fact, just slightly more than a third (37%) possess a biblical worldview and the majority—62%—hold a hybrid worldview known as Syncretism.
These shocking findings are part of the American Worldview Inventory 2022, conducted by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University and administered to Christian pastors to better understand the worldviews that drive their thinking and behavior.More than six of every 10 pastors (62%) hold a syncretistic worldview. This trend is also being seen more widely in American culture, with almost nine out of 10 U.S. adults (88%) embracing Syncretism as their primary worldview, according to a report from last year’s study of competing worldviews in the American Worldview Inventory 2021.
One of the more concerning revelations emerging from the research is the worldview of pastors who work with young people, Barna noted. The study found that only 12% of Children’s and Youth Pastors hold a biblical worldview. And among Teaching Pastors, the level of biblical worldview is a mere 13%.“Our latest research shows this is stunning erosion of biblical understanding is present even among the leaders of the Church,” Munsil said. “We need a comprehensive strategy to rebuild biblical worldview into every generation and in every part of life,” Munsil said. “For ACU, this means strategically training our students to develop a biblical worldview through their academic curriculum, spiritual formation programs, and co-curricular activities. And through CRC, we continue to identify ways to build biblical worldview throughout the church, in families and throughout our culture.”
Who is Tom Brock?
Tom Brock is one of the greatest soul singers almost no one’s ever heard of. He was a songwriter who worked with Barry White in the 1970s. He helped write songs for Gloria Scott’s 1974 album, What Am I Gonna Do. One of the songs, “A Case of Too Much Love Makin,” ended up being a minor hit on the R&B charts.
Leading the way in biblical understanding of life purpose and calling is Senior Pastors, among whom 60% are consistently biblical. A minority of the other four pastoral segments hold a biblical worldview in this area—48% of children’s and youth pastors, 41% of Associate Pastors, 36% of Teaching Pastors, and 27% of Executive Pastors.As veteran researcher and CRC Director of Research George Barna explains, “It’s just further evidence that the culture is influencing the American church much more than Christian churches are influencing the culture.”
“A person’s worldview primarily develops before the age of 13, then goes through a period of refinement during their teens and twenties. Therefore, from a worldview development perspective, a church’s most important ministers are the Children’s Pastor and the Youth Pastor,” Barna said.
Barna offered a note of hope in spite of the data. “You cannot fix something unless you know it’s broken,” he commented. “Other recent research we have conducted suggests most pastors believe that they are theologically in tune with the Bible. Perhaps these findings will cause many of them to take a careful look at how well their beliefs and behavior conform to biblical principles and commands.”According to the latest release, pastors have a biblical worldview in only one of eight worldview categories measured. Overall, 57% of all pastors think and act in consistently biblical ways regarding the purpose of life and their calling.
The latest report from the AWVI 2022 found that the prevailing worldview among pastors is best described as Syncretism, the blending of ideas and applications from a variety of holistic worldviews into a unique but inconsistent combination that represents their personal preferences.
Lowest of all is a category that might have been expected to top the list: beliefs and behaviors related to the Bible, truth, and morality. Only 39% of all pastors have a biblical worldview in this area.As Barna noted, “It certainly seems that if America is going to experience a spiritual revival, that awakening is needed just as desperately in our pulpits as in the pews.”
Brock said the group interviewed other priests who attended the support group, along with other pastors whom Brock said had served as “accountability partners” to help him avoid acting on his sexual desires. The group also asked congregation members to come forward if they had any information about Brock’s sexual behavior.
“The reality is that we’re living in an age where you can conduct background checks,” Parrish said. “I think more 12-step programs will move to that because they don’t want reporters sneaking in under an assumed name, which is what this reporter did, and have them do something like this.””It was in college when I realized, ‘Boy, I’ve got a problem here,'” he said. “But looking earlier, though, before college, looking back I can see there were some signs that there was an issue. But college is when it became more clear to me.” A conservative Lutheran pastor in Minneapolis who has preached against homosexuality said Monday that he has been attracted to men for decades, and plans to discuss his struggles on a nationally televised religious program. The Rev. Tom Brock has been on leave from Hope Lutheran Church for about six weeks, following the publication of a Lavender magazine article alleging that he attended a support group for Christians battling same-sex attraction.Brock said that when he returns, he will help expand the church’s local television program to stations in 20 cities. And he plans to incorporate his personal struggles with same-sex attraction into his televised preaching. The investigation took about five weeks, and uncovered no evidence that Brock ever had sex with another man, he said. If it had, Brock said the church would probably have asked him to resign. “The view I have is, look, I have this struggle, but there is the power of Christ to help us follow him, and if you do fall and stumble, there’s forgiveness if you repent and turn to him,” he said. “And so I hope that’s the new message that will come from all this.”Brock said that he’s struggled with same-sex attraction for decades, and has sought counseling over the years to help prevent him from engaging in sexual behavior with other men.
Townsend did not return calls for comment. He told The Associated Press that he felt Hope Lutheran had the right to reinstate Brock, and he hoped the pastor’s openness would make members of the congregation more sympathetic to gay people.
Brock criticized Lavender magazine for publishing the account of his support group membership, and said the publication probably rushed the article to coincide with the annual Twin Cities Pride festival.Brock said he attended Bethel College, where he received a degree in Biblical Studies. He said he didn’t seek out counseling while at Bethel College, but a psychology professor told him about a counselor who dealt with issues of same-sex attraction.
Rev. Tom Parrish, of Hope Lutheran Church, said Brock will remain on paid leave for at least six months and has stepped down from his position as senior pastor. Parrish, who has been named the interim senior pastor, said Brock will eventually retire to the church as a pastor, but will spend most of his time working to start a national television and radio ministry.
The delegates had assembled at the building for their annual convention, where they later voted in favor of allowing gays and lesbians in committed relationships to serve as ministers.
“[Townsend] assumed that I meant homosexual behavior,” he said. “That was his assumption, but he was wrong. There’s all kinds of stuff about falling into temptation that doesn’t involve having sex with people.”
“He’s free to do what he wants to do and say what he wants to say,” Townsend said of Brock. “But he will have less credibility on that now, I’m afraid.”
Brock said he did not disclose his struggles to Hope Lutheran Church leadership or members until after the Lavender article was published. Church leaders then created a four-person group, which included a retired police officer and an outside expert in personnel matters, to investigate whether Brock ever had sexual relations with another man, Brock said. Brock said he’s sought out help from pastors at other congregations, in addition to attending the Courage meetings. He said Courage members pray together and are “holding each other accountable to live pure lives.” Brock said Monday that his views on same-sex marriage have not changed. He said he continues to view homosexuality as a sin, and believes that people who engage in same-sex behavior and do not repent will go to hell. He also said he’s not backing down on his comments about last year’s tornado.Reporter John Townsend attended the confidential Courage support group at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Minneapolis by posing as a Baptist. The group, which goes by the name Faith in Action in Minnesota, leads confidential support groups modeled after 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous.
What percent of pastors believe in God?
A new nationwide survey of America’s Christian pastors shows that a majority of pastors lack a biblical worldview. In fact, just slightly more than a third (37%) possess a biblical worldview and the majority—62%—hold a hybrid worldview known as Syncretism.
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In the article, Townsend described Brock recounting a recent trip to Slovakia. “I fell into temptation,” the article quotes Brock as saying. “I was weak. That place has this really, really weird, demonic energy. I just got weak, and I had been so good for a long time.””They tracked down every source, every person, every accusation … and they came back with a clean bill of health,” Parrish said, adding that if the investigation had found evidence of what he called “non-biblical behavior,” Brock would have been fired.
Brock hosts a local radio show and has been a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage. After a tornado struck the Minneapolis Convention Center last August, Brock said it was an act of God designed to send a message to members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Tom James Brocker (August 25, 1942 – May 25, 2002), known as Tom Brock, was an American soul singer, born in Austin Texas. Brock worked with Barry White on the 20th Century Records label in the 1970s. He wrote songs for Gloria Scott’s 1974 album What Am I Gonna Do?, including “A Case of Too Much Love Makin”. That same year he also released his one and only album, I Love You More And More, which included a highly popular title track. The album was produced by White and Gene Page. The song “There’s Nothing in This World That Can Stop Me From Loving You” was later sampled by producer Just Blaze for the single “Girls, Girls, Girls” on Jay-Z’s album The Blueprint in 2001. This led to renewed interest in Brock, and in 2003 (a year after Brock died), the album was re-released on CD. The song “I Love You More and More” was later sampled by producer Minnesota for the single “The Panties” on Mos Def/Yasiin Bey’s album The New Danger in 2004.
Though this truth is implicit throughout the Scriptures, this emphasis is perhaps most apparent in Paul’s letters to Timothy. In these letters, Paul affirms Timothy’s role as a theologian—affirming that all of Timothy’s fellow pastors are to share in the same calling. Paul emphatically encourages Timothy concerning his reading, teaching, preaching, and study of scripture. All of this is essentially theological, as is made clear when Paul commands Timothy to “Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you” [2 Timothy 1:13-14]. Timothy is to be a teacher of others who will also teach. “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” [2 Timothy 2:2].As Paul completes his second letter to Timothy, he reaches a crescendo of concern as he commands Timothy to preach the Word, specifically instructing him to “reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction” [2 Timothy 4:2]. Why? “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths” [2 Timothy 4:3-4].Beyond all this, the preaching and teaching of the Word of God is theological from beginning to end. The preacher functions as a steward of the mysteries of God, explaining the deepest and most profound theological truths to a congregation which must be armed with the knowledge of these truths in order to grow as disciples and meet the challenge of faithfulness in the Christian life.Second, there is the external call. Baptists believe that God uses the congregation to “call out the called” to ministry. The congregation must evaluate and affirm the calling and gifts of the believer who feels called to the ministry. As a family of faith, the congregation should recognize and celebrate the gifts of ministry given to its members, and take responsibility to encourage those whom God has called to respond to that call with joy and submission.
Do only 37% of pastors have a biblical worldview?
In fact, just slightly more than a third (37%) possess a biblical worldview and the majority—62%—hold a hybrid worldview known as Syncretism.
Clearly, this will require intense and self-conscious theological thinking, study, and consideration. Paul makes this abundantly clear in writing to Titus, when he defines the duty of the overseer or pastor as one who is “holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict” [Titus 1:9]. In this single verse, Paul simultaneously affirms the apologetical and polemical facets of the pastor-theologian’s calling.
How old is Tom Brock?
Tom Brock (singer)Tom BrockDiedMay 25, 2002 (aged 59) Richmond, California, United StatesGenresSoulOccupation(s)Singer, songwriterLabels20th Century
All this is a betrayal of the pastoral calling as presented in the New Testament. Furthermore, it is a rejection of the apostolic teaching and of the biblical admonition concerning the role, and responsibilities of the pastor. Today’s pastors must recover and reclaim the pastoral calling as inherently and cheerfully theological. Otherwise, pastors will be nothing more than communicators, counselors, and managers of congregations that have been emptied of the Gospel and of biblical truth.As many observers have noted, today’s pastors are often pulled in many directions simultaneously–and the theological vocation is often lost amidst the pressing concerns of a ministry that has been reconceived as something other than what Paul intended for Timothy. The managerial revolution has left many pastors feeling more like administrators than theologians, dealing with matters of organizational theory before ever turning to the deep truths of God’s Word and the application of these truths to everyday life. The rise of therapeutic concerns within the culture means that many pastors, and many of their church members, believe that the pastoral calling is best understood as a “helping profession.” As such, the pastor is seen as someone who functions in a therapeutic role in which theology is often seen as more of a problem than a solution.In reality, there is no dimension of the pastor’s calling that is not deeply, inherently, and inescapably theological. There is no problem the pastor will encounter in counseling that is not specifically theological in character. There is no major question in ministry that does not come with deep theological dimensions and the need for careful theological application. The task of leading, feeding, and guiding the congregation is as theological as any other vocation conceivable.As Paul makes clear, the pastoral theologian must be able to defend the faith even as he identifies false teachings and makes correction by the Word of God. There is no more theological calling than this–guard the flock of God for the sake of God’s truth. The pastoral calling is inherently theological. Given the fact that the pastor is to be the teacher of the Word of God and the teacher of the Gospel, it cannot be otherwise. The idea of the pastorate as a non-theological office is inconceivable in light of the New Testament. First, there is an inward call. Through his Spirit, God speaks to those persons he has called to serve as pastors and ministers of his Church. The great Reformer Martin Luther described this inward call as “God’s voice heard by faith.” Those whom God has called know this call by a sense of leading, purpose and growing commitment.These days, many persons think of careers rather than callings. The biblical challenge to “consider your call” should be extended from the call to salvation to the call to the ministry. John Newton, famous for writing “Amazing Grace,” once remarked that “None but He who made the world can make a Minister of the Gospel.” Only God can call a true minister, and only he can grant the minister the gifts necessary for service. But the great promise of Scripture is that God does call ministers, and presents these servants as gifts to the Church. One key issue here is a common misunderstanding about the will of God. Some models of evangelical piety imply that God’s will is something difficult for us to accept. We sometimes confuse this further by talking about “surrendering” to the will of God. As Paul makes clear in Romans 12:2, the will of God is good, worthy of eager acceptance, and perfect. Those called by God to preach will be given a desire to preach as well as the gifts of preaching. Beyond this, the God-called preacher will feel the same compulsion as the great Apostle, who said, “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” [1 Corinthians 9:16, ESV] This kind of pastoral ministry—one that is inherently theological—is a calling. Certainly, all Christians are called to serve the cause of Christ. God, however, calls certain persons to serve the church as pastors and in other places of ministry. Again, Paul writes to Timothy that if a man aspires to be a pastor, “it is a fine work he aspires to do” [1 Timothy 3:1]. But how do you know if God is calling you? Consider your calling. Do you sense that God is calling you to ministry, whether as pastor or another servant of the Church? Do you burn with a compulsion to proclaim the Word, share the Gospel, and care for God’s flock? Has this call been confirmed and encouraged by those Christians who know you best?This sense of compulsion should prompt the believer to consider whether God may be calling him to the ministry. Has God gifted you with the fervent desire to preach? Has he equipped you with the gifts necessary for ministry? Do you love God’s Word and feel called to teach? Spurgeon warned those who sought his counsel not to preach if they could help it. “But,” Spurgeon continued, “if he cannot help it, and he must preach or die, then he is the man.” That sense of urgent commission is one of the central marks of an authentic call. Charles Spurgeon identified the first sign of God’s call to the ministry as “an intense, all-absorbing desire for the work.” Those called by God sense a growing compulsion to preach and teach the Word, and to minister to the people of God. Evangelism is a theological calling as well, for the very act of sharing the Gospel is, in short, a theological argument presented with goal of seeing a sinner come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. In order to be a faithful evangelist, the pastor must first understand the Gospel, and then understand the nature of the evangelist’s calling. At every step of the way, the pastor is dealing with issues that are irrefutably theological. The publisher’s get-out-hypocrisy-free card? That the gay-chastity program, sponsored by Courage, a Catholic organization, “doesn’t come anywhere near” to classic 12-step programs. “They’re mimicking on 12-step programs,” he declares.Rocheford, who says the Brock story has already received “tens of thousands of hits,” says he isn’t losing any sleep. “I live my life by what Voltaire said: ‘I don’t want everybody to like me, for I would think less of me if I did.’ “
Lavender reporter John Townsend wrote that he was referred to the program, which met at a St. Anthony church, via a Catholic priest, James Livingston. Livingston, North Memorial Hospital’s chaplain, says Townsend — a veteran Lavender writer who has also freelanced for the Star Tribune — did not identify himself as a reporter. Parrish does not dispute Brock’s struggles with homosexuality. He says that while Brock has not been public with his struggles in the three years they have worked together, “Tom has been very open about his own personal struggles” with church confidants such as himself. (Rochefort says this is yet another example of Brock having something to hide; the publisher says he downloaded the pastor’s oeuvre, and may publish them on Lavender’s website, as Queerty has already done that with the tornado video.)Brock — who appears six days a week on Christian radio station KKMS-AM — is a major “get” for the gay publication. Last year, Brock notoriously linked a tornado that struck the Minneapolis Convention Center and a nearby church to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)’s decision to accept homosexual relationships and ordain gay ministers in monogamous relationships. As the gay-oriented website Queerty put it, “Lutheran Pastor Tom Brock Blamed ELCA’s Tornado on Homosexuality. Which, Uh, He Suffers From.”
Brock has not made himself available for comment. However, Pastor Tom Parrish, Brock’s supervisor at Hope Lutheran Church, says Brock has been placed on leave during an investigation, expected to last about two weeks.
A blogger for the National Gay & Lesbian Journalists Association called the publication’s ethics “suspect.” Karl Reichert, a local publicist and former journalist, fears a far more widespread chilling effect on fellow gays who go to 12-step programs for chemical and other dependencies.
Tom Brock isn’t the first clergyman to be outed as gay after condemning gay behavior. But he may be the first outed by a reporter who faked his way into a 12-step program.
Brock — who appears six days a week on Christian radio station KKMS-AM — is a major “get” for the gay publication. Last year, Brock notoriously linked a tornado that struck the Minneapolis Convention Center and a nearby church to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)’s decision to accept homosexual relationships and ordain gay ministers in monogamous relationships. As the gay-oriented website Queerty put it, “Lutheran Pastor Tom Brock Blamed ELCA’s Tornado on Homosexuality. Which, Uh, He Suffers From.”
Father Livingston, who referred Townsend to the program, says Lavender’s decision, “wasn’t so much an ethical decision as a hate crime. They didn’t like values and belief system and went after him personally.”Programs such as Courage’s are hugely controversial; gays and allies assert they only deepen shame over natural tendencies, prolonging and amplifying psychological distress, sometimes to the point of suicide. For his part, Livingston says the programs are voluntary and “there for guys who believe in [the church’s] values and want support holding onto those values.”
Programs such as Courage’s are hugely controversial; gays and allies assert they only deepen shame over natural tendencies, prolonging and amplifying psychological distress, sometimes to the point of suicide. For his part, Livingston says the programs are voluntary and “there for guys who believe in values and want support holding onto those values.”A blogger for the National Gay & Lesbian Journalists Association called the publication’s ethics “suspect.” Karl Reichert, a local publicist and former journalist, fears a far more widespread chilling effect on fellow gays who go to 12-step programs for chemical and other dependencies.
Ironically, Rocheford is a recovering alcoholic of 27 years who attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings weekly. I asked the Lavender publisher: would he have printed Brock’s statements had the pastor confessed to sexuality struggles at Rocheford’s A.A. meeting? Presumably, the publisher’s fellow alcoholics would look dimly on anyone violating the sanctity of anonymity for any reason.
Pastor Tom Brock isn’t the first clergyman to be outed as gay after condemning gay behavior. But Brock may be the first outed by a reporter who faked his way into a confidential 12-step program. Parrish says Brock is not a hypocrite for condemning homosexual behavior while loathing it in himself. “He always held out the hope of redemption and change, but our church teaches you to struggle with it and the lord still loves you. You have to keep from giving in to it.” Reichert isn’t buying it. “My feeling is, it’s one thing if someone was placed under arrest or it occurred in a public setting. Gay Pride Week’s coming up, and it’s important to be out and honest — and with integrity. I don’t like to see hypocrisy in a public figure, but it matters how you get that information. Being in a support group is very personal. There has to be some arena for people to get support, to get help, and deal with issues.”In a cover story published Friday that’s rocketing through the national gay press, Minneapolis-based Lavender magazine exposed the Minneapolis-based pastor’s struggles and desires as recounted to a support group for gay men “struggling with chastity.”He adds, “I think anybody who has enjoyed a confidential conversation with friends over an important life issue would feel ashamed. Men in the group are stunned. I just feel very violated and betrayed.”
Father Livingston, who referred Townsend to the program, says Lavender’s decision, “wasn’t so much an ethical decision as a hate crime. They didn’t like [Brock’s] values and belief system and went after him personally.”
(Rochefort says this is yet another example of Brock having something to hide; the publisher says he downloaded the pastor’s oeuvre, and may publish them on Lavender’s website, as Queerty has already done that with the tornado video.)“In Minneapolis-St. Paul, we’re the land of 10,000 treatment programs; people go to these programs and trust they are truly anonymous,” Reichert says. “As someone who’s participated in a support group, it’s not fair to anyone in the group.” As for Lavender Magazine, Parrish says, “There are no ethics for them. They certainly violate everything I was ever taught about 12-step programs. To take on a public figure publicly, we expect that — Tom and I have gone through that before. But they’re killing a process” — the 12-step method — “that has worked for 100 years. I think it’s criminal, and I can’t rationalize it in my mind.” Rocheford, who says the Brock story has already received “tens of thousands of hits,” says he isn’t losing any sleep. “I live my life by what Voltaire said: ‘I don’t want everybody to like me, for I would think less of me if I did.’ “Tom Brock was born in Omaha, Nebraska and graduated from Bethel College in St. Paul Minnesota with a degree in Biblical and Theological Studies. He received a Masters of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was ordained a Lutheran pastor in 1979 and served Hope Lutheran Church in Minneapolis for 29 years. He served on the board of reform groups attempting to bring Biblical renewal to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America before he left that denomination over their position on issues such as abortion, homosexuality and universalism. Pastor Brock for 24 years has had a television ministry in Minneapolis and now can be seen nationwide.
What denomination is the pastor's study?
Lutheran pastor He was ordained a Lutheran pastor in 1979 and served Hope Lutheran Church in Minneapolis for 29 years.
We believe that God the Son became a man (Jesus), died for our sins and rose from the dead and through Him alone one can receive the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. We affirm the substitutionary atonement of Christ, namely, that Jesus lived a perfect life and suffered the wrath of God in our place to make payment for the sins of mankind. We affirm Christ’s bodily resurrection from the dead. We believe that faith in Christ is necessary for salvation and those without Christ will not be saved (John 14:6). We believe we are saved by the unmerited grace of God and not by our good deeds. We believe that good deeds are the evidence of our faith.We believe the Bible is the infallible Word of God, the highest authority to which the Christian submits. All theology, morality, teaching and opinion should be judged by the Holy Scriptures. We reject attempts to rewrite Scripture to eliminate masculine references for God. We view pre-marital sex, abortion, and homosexual behavior as inconsistent with God’s Word. We believe there is forgiveness for these sins, and all sin, through repentance and faith in Christ.
Well, I got this phone call recently: “Get off the ____ TV! Nobody wants to listen to that ____. Preach to your congregation, don’t bother the rest of us, you piece of ______”
Matthew 3:13-17. This story of the baptism of Jesus also shows forth the three Persons of the Trinity: the Father’s voice, the Son Jesus in the water, and the Spirit descending as a dove.Some cults, among them Jehovah’s Witnesses, teach that the Holy Spirit is not God but merely a force. But the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is also God in Acts 5:3-4, 2 Corinthians 3:17, John 4:24 and I Corinthians 2:10, 11.
Are all pastors called by God?
This kind of pastoral ministry—one that is inherently theological—is a calling. Certainly, all Christians are called to serve the cause of Christ. God, however, calls certain persons to serve the church as pastors and in other places of ministry.
The Sabbath is the one of the 10 Commandments that is not reiterated in the New Testament for Christians to keep. Many New Testament Christians were slaves and could not have kept a sabbath had they wanted to. And Paul is concerned that some of this converts are being judged by others because they are not going back to Jewish festivals and sabbaths (Colossians 2:16-23). The Sabbath is kind of like circumcision and Old Testament Jewish food laws, they been fulfilled in Christ and Christians are no longer obligated to keep them (Mark 7:19). That does not mean that there is not sound wisdom in taking one day a week to rest and serve the Lord. But to insist that it must be Saturday is not in the New Testament. We find Christians worshipping on the first day of the week in the New Testament—something big must have happened on Sunday to get them to change their worship day and that would be the resurrection of Christ.I spent many years as a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America until I led my congregation out for a more Biblical branch of Lutheranism. “Liberal” is no longer the word for the ELCA, it has become radical. Here is what I mean:
I have struggled with homosexual temptation most of my life. By the grace of God I have always been celibate but the struggle for me has been intense. Sadly, the battle was also with my own denomination. In my 22 years as a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America I spoke at church conventions for the Biblical standard of celibacy for those with same sex attraction. Sadly in 2009 the ELCA adopted a more liberal view and began ordaining practicing homosexuals. I have left the ELCA but I continue in my television ministry to uphold the truth that homosexual behavior is sin, and the fact that I struggle with this temptation does not give me license to practice the behavior.As the truth therefore was given to the Jews under a figure, so to us on the contrary truth is shown without shadows in order, first of all, that we meditate all our life on a perpetual sabbath from our works so that the Lord may operate in us by his Spirit; secondly, in order that we observe the legitimate order of the Church for listening to the word of God, for administering the sacraments, and for public prayers; thirdly, in order that we do not oppress inhumanly with work those who are subject to us. [From Instruction in Faith, Calvin’s own 1537 digest of the Institutes, sec. 8, “The Law of the Lord”].
Colossians 1:15 (see also Revelation 3:14) teaches that Jesus is “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation”. Does this word “firstborn” teach that Jesus is the first being that God the Father created? The immediate context makes such an interpretation impossible. The following verse 16 teaches that Jesus is the one through whom all things came about. Colossians 1:19 and Colossians 2:9 declare Jesus to be God and the Bible is clear that God is eternal and uncreated (Psalm 90:2). The term “firstborn” refers to Jesus priority over all creation. As the firstborn son during Biblical days inherited everything from his father, so Jesus inherits all things from His Father.
The Pastor’s Study is overseen by a board of directors who verify financial integrity. Most donations go toward buying airtime on DirecTV, Dish Network, and Minnesota stations.Notice what is going on in this comment. Lutherans believe we are saved by grace alone and not by our good works–which is gloriously true (Ephesians 2:8-9). But some Lutherans practice “grace abuse” and say “Because I’m saved by grace, I can live like the devil and do whatever I want”. Or, as the Apostle Paul put it: “Shall we continue in sin that grace might increase? May it never be!” (Romans 6:1). Yes, we are saved by grace alone, but grace never is alone, it always changes our lives. Good works do not save us, but they are the evidence that we have been saved by Christ.
Sadly, the ELCA has become the denomination of “anything I want.” Martin Luther believed that “the Bible alone” is the highest authority for the Church and he would grieve if he could see what the ELCA has become. In fact, some of us think ELCA really stands for “Everything Luther Cautioned Against.”
Recently the Christian Post reported on the ELCA promoting a prayer to “Mother God.” If you go to herchurch.org,, you will find an ELCA congregation in California which worships “Our Mother who is within us…” The church’s pastor led the women on a retreat in which she gave each a lump of clay to fashion their own Asheroth goddess statue so they could worship the “forbidden divine feminine.” My alma mater, the ELCA’s Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, held a commemoration service for the Transgender Day of Remembrance in which the transgender preacher led the students in the Lord’s Prayer, saying “Our Mother in heaven.”Leviticus 20:13 teaches that homosexual acts are “detestable” and should be punished by death. Liberals say “If you are going to be consistent, do you really want to kill homosexuals today?” Our response: Israel was a theocracy, not a democracy. We are never instructed in the Bible to impose Old Testament theocratic punishments on other forms of government. But the Apostle Paul does state in Romans 13 that all governments, even pagan governments, make laws to curb human sin. Whatever the form of government, the Bible’s point still stands: homosexual behavior is grievous to God.
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We believe the Old Testament regulations governing Sabbath observances are ceremonial, not moral, aspects of the law. As such, they are no longer in force, but have passed away along with the sacrificial system, the Levitical priesthood, and all other aspects of Moses’ law that prefigured Christ. Here are the reasons we hold this view.Our hope is that people will be set free and the Church will be edified through our television and radio programs, through the internet, through our literature, and through speaking/preaching engagements and seminars.
The question arises: If Jesus and the Father are equally God, why does Jesus say this? We respond that Jesus said these words in His incarnate state as a human being. Philippians 2:6-7 teaches that though Jesus was God, He did not grasp His equality with God but emptied Himself and became a human being. This does not mean that Jesus ceased to be God (He is fully God and fully man). It means that He did not always use His full power as God when in His earthly state.
What will help people who struggle with same sex attraction? Of course, regular prayer, Bible reading and being in a good church, a church that has not compromised on this issue. But for most people struggling with same sex attraction, the crucial key is accountability. I have been part of a Christian support group for those who struggle with same sex attraction. If you go to “Restored Hope Network” at restoredhopenetwork.org where you will most likely find a group in your area where you can join other Christians who have this struggle. Also very important for me are the weekly phone calls I make to my accountability partner who helps keep me on the straight and narrow.
5. Nowhere in the Old Testament are the Gentile nations commanded to observe the Sabbath or condemned for failing to do so. That is certainly strange if Sabbath observance were meant to be an eternal moral principle.
I Corinthians 15:28 teaches that at the end of time at the 2nd Coming of Christ, after all God’s enemies are put under Christ’s feet, “then the Son Himself will also be subjected” to God the Father. If Jesus is equally God with the Father, why does He subject Himself to the Father? We respond by saying that “subject” does not mean “inferior”. A wife is to subject herself to her husband, but his does not mean that she is any less human than her husband. So it is with the Trinity (this is called “the economy of the Trinity”). Even though Jesus is equally eternal and equally God with the Father, Jesus as the Son always subjects Himself to the Father.What are the clearest passages in the Bible that teach that Jesus is God? Perhaps the three clearest are John chapter one, Colossians chapter one and Hebrews chapter one.