Ken Lentz brings a German seminary education and a long history of service in the Lutheran Church to his new post as interim pastor of Mount Cross.
Originally from Ohio, he holds a classical seminary degree and a theological doctorate from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Lentz also holds degrees from Capital University and Trinity Seminary, both in Columbus, Ohio.
He served as a pastor to two churches in Germany, one in Mannheim, where he led a congregation for six months, and the other in Buxtehude, which is close to Hamburg. Lentz most recently led a 3,900-member congregation at Mountain View Lutheran Church in Ahwatukee. He has also worked as a pastor in Ohio, Michigan, California, Florida and was in Kingman, Ariz. for three years. Additionally, he taught church history at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, Calif.
Beginning Sept. 22, Lentz will begin presenting his “Back to Basics” program. Through the program he will address such questions as: “Is there a hell?” “Which is correct… water baptism or believer’s baptism?” “What is a Christian?” “What is sin?” “Who is Jesus?” “What is the resurrection?”
The class will be held at 6:15 p.m. every Tuesday for 20 weeks at Mount Cross, 601 E. Highway 260, with the programs lasting only about an hour.
Lentz offered the program to his congregation in Ahwatukee and found it well received. He said it would examine dominant biblical themes as preached and taught in mainstream American denominations. The course will take a look at the new American “postmodernity” and evaluate its impact on American spirituality.
“Postmodernity is not necessarily bad because it is marked by a new open-mindedness toward spiritual and religious experience,” Lentz said.
However, traditional biblical themes are missing, altered or misrepresented by “churches” no longer committed to biblical witness, which take the liberty to omit themes like “sin,” “hell,” “human frailty” and God’s judgment from sanitized versions of “gospel.”
He said many Americans are “moving on” without taking the time to review traditional mainline Christianity as it is presented through the teachings of the Orthodox and Roman Catholic and mainstream Protestant churches.
Lentz said his course will take a look at these traditional teachings and examining historical Christian teaching about God as Creator, the historical Jesus as one who calls to discipleship and the Spirit as the power of God guiding the church and the resurrection of Jesus as the answer to the death enigma and the goal of human history.
Anyone interested in the impact of contemporary American culture on classical orthodox Christianity is invited to attend the free Back to Basics classes. There will be handouts and PowerPoint programs offered throughout the 20-week course.
For information, call (928) 474-2552.