September 21, 2020

Guest Blogger: Patrick Kyle on Issues, Etc., Lutherans and the New Media

Patrick Kyle is a good friend of this website and I’ve asked him to share the exciting news of the Lutheran return to the airwaves with Issues, Etc. and much more. Here’s Partrick:

Among Lutherans there is a long running half joke about how we are always twenty five years behind the times . If you are familiar with the Lutheran church, especially the more conservative Synods, you understand why I say this statement is only half joking. We are pretty insular. This is both good and bad. It is good in that we have, for the most part, avoided some of the excesses and fads that have raged across evangelicalism. The down side is that the Lutherans have not participated much in the Churches’ conversation at large. The Lutheran church is heir to many great treasures of the Reformation that we have been content to keep amongst ourselves. No longer.

This past Monday Pirate Christian Radio ( started its online broadcast. The creation of PCR was to provide a platform for the return of the cancelled radio program Issues Etc., which had fallen victim to synodical politics in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. ( Instead of recounting the whole drama, those who are interested can Google Issues Etc. and get the backstory.) For those of you who have never heard IE, it is a great show and worth a listen. They have a knack for hosting great guests. Later this week they will have John Warwick Montgomery on the show. Intelligent discussion and penetrating commentary make this show on par with the White Horse Inn.

In addition to the resurrected IE show, the station is streaming reruns of the White Horse Inn radio program. A number of pastors will have their sermons broadcast as regular features. I am particularly excited about this. There are some great preachers that faithfully serve in small parishes that lack the resources to share their gifted pulpits. CPR will enable these pastors to be heard by a much wider audience. ( If you get the chance, check out Pastor Bill Cwirla on Holy Trinity Pulpit.)

A number of new and promising shows are debuting and more will be added. One of these is entitled SOCO, ( an acronym for South Orange County Outreach. ) This show is the fruit of the labors of Mr. Dave Atkinson, who at great personal sacrifice and expense has brought in some world renown speakers, Gene Veith, Uwe Siemon Netto, Craig Parton, Dr. Rod Rosenbladt, and others to do conferences at local churches in Southern California. These lectures will be aired on the SOCO program and are not to be missed.

One project that I am discussing with the producers would be to record the daily offices of Matins, Vespers, and Compline as sung by local congregations and air them. We are still in the discussion phase, but this gives you an idea of the possibilities and scope of this endeavor.

These are exciting times in the Lutheran wing of the church. Finally, Confessional Lutherans will have a voice, not muzzled by the weight of Synodical control, and be able to project their ideas into an arena that is so often bound by the twin horizons of Calvinism and Arminianism. At last we are rejoining the conversation of the church at large on a more popular level.


  1. As a Lutheran in exile, it’s ministries like PCR that provide (at least momentary) balance in a sea of tumultous evangelicalism.

    Incidentally, for more discussion along the same trajectory as the insularity of Lutherans, see Mark Noll’s great article “The Lutheran Difference”.

  2. As and also Lutheran exile and having a bit of Lutheran moment reading this I wanted to point out a topic I wrote on a while back.

    This one is not as Luther-Christ-centric as some of my other topics but its one I need to resurface someday to the top of my BLOG.

    I am still hoping that someday Mike will place me on his BLOG roll ;). If he does then I will know that I have finally arrived!!!!!!!

    Jon Spadino

  3. Do you mean Michael? 🙂

  4. Yes, Michael … or Mr. Spencer…. Whatever it takes!

  5. I’m delighted to see Issues, Etc. returning with such a positive agenda of increasing Lutheran engagement with the wider church. As I posted on my own blog at one point, I was a little concerned that aspects of how the relaunch was taking place would lead the “new” IE to be more concerned with fighting internal LCMS battles, and from what I’ve seen so far my fears were unfounded. Must check out the podcast at some point.

  6. Dear Friends,

    I am so pleased that Pirate Christian Radio is getting traction.

    We use a company to host our content that specializes in online radio. Our opening day, we did something that they never have experienced from anyone with our package (which is higher end) – we exceeded our maximum.

    We are bringing Christ centered, monergistic, grace oriented content to ears that have not heard and many ears that continually want to hear the Gospel.

    We are experiencing birth and growth pains right now, so be patient as we gain more programming and also iron out unforeseen technical wrinkles.

    If you have any suggestions or questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

    God’s Peace
    Rev. Craig Donofrio
    Pirate Christian Radio Manager

  7. Just listened to the SOCO show and heard William Cwirla’s presentation ‘Sin- Original and Actual’

    Absolutely stunning. If you can in any way find time to listen to it, I wholeheatedly urge you to.
    His discussion of the church as hospice where we come to die has again left me almost speechless. What a treasure

  8. The synod I belong to is in communion with the LC-MS and I need to say I do not understand what’s going on in our sister church.
    Actually, I am not sure I even care, because it is extremly hard to get unbiased info on those issues (no pun intended).

    I think that isolationism has been a real plague to confessional Lutheranism. Things are slowly changing in Europe, but not quickly enough, I am afraid…
    Anyway, the LC-MS is not the “permission-giver” it used to be in the worldwide confessional Lutheran community, and that’s probably a good thing.

  9. As an actual member of the LC-MS, I can only say that we truly are in a post denominational age where every pastor and parishioner seems to do what is right in his own sight.

    Our Confessions seem to mean little to too many.

  10. The image of Lutherans as “25 years behind the times” has never been quite so sadly evident as in the current LC-MS Commission on Worship emphasis on the evangelical worship model to “reach the lost.” Every time I read the post-evangelical blogs I want to scream: are Lutherans in high places reading this? How could they read this and still think CCM (offered, of course without diluting our Lutheran theological core – not possible)is the holy manna that will grow Christ’s church? I don’t get how poeple can’t see how backward and behind this is. There is a Post-evangelical movement and we are just now deciding to vallidate the evangelical movement with offical synodical sanction. AAARGH!

  11. Julie,

    There are many of your brothers and sisters in the LCMS that agree with you and have fought vigorously to prevent our churches from degenerating into pop Christianity. We are winning on many fronts, and Christian Pirate Radio is just one example of that.

  12. The way to really see Lutherans’ time shift is to go to a contemporary service at one and look at the copyright dates on the praise choruses. You’ll see lots of 1982, 1979, and 1990, but not much in the way of 2007 or 2002.