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North Texas Free Conference

The North Texas Free Conference is held every year at Faith Lutheran Church in Plano, Texas. The conference addresses theological issues of the day from a biblical and confessional viewpoint. Many pastors and laymen from across Texas and beyond attend each year. The following recordings and videos are for the edification of the church at large and for the sake of the Gospel.

  • Free Conference 2021   ( 3 Articles )

    Preaching Christ Crucified to the World

    The task of the Church is not to "do mission work," rather she is to "proclaim" the forgiveness of sins for Jesus' sake. Unfortunately, The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod adopted a series of "Mission Affirmations" at a convention in 1965. These "Mission Affirmations" contained some bad examples of how to "do mission work." Where did this bad theology come from? A more biblical image is that of "witness" rather than the image of "mission." In the end, the church "witnesses" the work that Christ has done--and continues to do--for the world.

    Rev. Roy Askins



    Rev Roy Askins is the managing editor of The Lutheran Witness (LW) since February 2020. He received a bachelor’s degree in pastoral ministry from Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon (2005) and a Master of Divinity from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne (2009). He holds a certificate in editing from the University of Chicago’s Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies. Askins served as pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Livingston, Texas, from 2010 to 2015, and as communications manager for the LCMS Asia Region from 2015 to 2020. He and his wife, Eliza, are blessed with seven children. They are members at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Hamel, Illinois.



  • Free Conference 2020   ( 3 Articles )

    Creation, Faith and Christ in The Old Testament

    God’s Word is powerful. God brought everything into existence by the power of His Word. Furthermore, God’s Word proclaimed that a Savior will come. This promise was fulfilled in the person and work of Jesus Christ. God’s Word directs us to honor those in authority. But when government commands us to sin, then we must obey God. God’s Word is our guide and our light pointing us to Christ alone.

    Dr. Steinmann will show us from the book of Genesis that God created everything in six days (Gen 1). Nothing exists apart from God’s creation.

    Dr. Steinmann will also talk about obedience and disobedience to government in the Book of Daniel. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego faithfully served Nebuchadnezzar. But when Nebuchadnezzar commanded that all people worship his golden statue, then the three youths did not obey the king’s command. God protected them from death in the fiery furnace (Dan 3).

    Finally, Dr. Steinmann will talk about the promise of the Savior in the book of Genesis and beyond. The Old Testament repeatedly mentions the prophesies of the coming Savior who will save and redeem God’s people. The New Testament shows how Jesus fulfilled these prophesies in His life, death, and resurrection.

    Dr. Steinmann


    Andrew Steinmann is Distinguished Professor of Theology and Hebrew at Concordia University Chicago. He holds a B.S. from the University of Cincinnati, a M.Div. from Concordia Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan.

    He has served as a parish pastor, a Bible translator, a nursing home chaplain and as a professor at several institutions. His research interests include Hebrew and Aramaic languages, apocalyptic literature, wisdom literature and biblical chronology, and the book of Genesis.

    Dr. Steinmann is the author of numerous articles in national and internationally recognized academic journals as well as seventeen books. He also served as a consultant for The Lutheran Study Bible and contributed to The Apocrypha: The Lutheran Study Edition and Lutheran Bible Companion. He is a regular guest on the radio program “Issues, Etc.” and on KFUO in St. Louis.



  • Free Conference 2019   ( 3 Articles )


    In the beginning, God created—out of nothing—everything that exists “in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible” (Col 1:16). Nothing exists apart from God’s creation. Every person and all living creatures receive their life from God and depend on His care. God created by His Word. He spoke creation into existence, forming and filling it in six days (Gen 1:1, 3, 31; Psalm 33:6, 9).

    In the beginning everything was very good, but Adam’s fall into sin brought trials, disease, and death. So, God the Father sent His only Son into the world to become man and to redeem and save us by His death and resurrection. In Christ we are a new creation (2 Cor 5:17).

    There a lot of competing accounts of how the world came into existence, such as, pantheism, atheistic evolution and theistic evolution. But all of these theories lead to unbiblical conclusions and they deny the truth in Scripture.

    Please come to the North Texas Free Conference and learn more about our Creator and Redeemer.

    Dr. Joel Heck serves Concordia University Texas, Austin, Texas, as Professor of Theology after nine years at Concordia as Vice President of Academic Services. Previously he served as pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, Valley Park, Missouri and Professor of Religion at Concordia University Wisconsin. He holds the Th.D. in Exegetical Theology from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and he teaches various religion courses at Concordia University Texas, including Old Testament, New Testament, Reformation and C. S. Lewis, including a course entitled “Narnia meets Middle Earth.” He is the author or editor of fourteen books, most recently From Atheism to Christianity: The Story of C. S. Lewis (Concordia Publishing House, 2017).

  • Free Conference 2018   ( 4 Articles )

    Faith, Culture, and Religious Freedom

    God is the author of marriage.  He is pleased when a man and a woman pledge their love and faithfulness to each other. God is also the author of life.  Every life has value because every life is created and redeemed by God.

    Unfortunately, marriage, life and family are under attack.  We are in a spiritual battle and the devil is our enemy.  But remember that Christ won victory over our enemies and He provides for us life and salvation.

    Should we get involved in politics or not?  What does it mean that we are in the world but that we are not of the world?  Should the government tell the churches what to preach?  Do we have the right to exercise our Christian freedom or not?  When must we obey God rather than man?  What should we do when we are forced to compromise our Christian freedom?

    These and many other questions will be answered at the North Texas Free Conference. Please come!  We pray that God would keep us faithful to His Word and that He would help us to be a light in a dark world all to the glory of God!

    Rev. Jonathan Lange has been married to April for 26 years.  They are the parents of nine living and three sainted children.  Ordained in 1990, he has lived in Evanston Wyoming since 1997.  He serves as pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Evanston and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Kemmerer, Wyoming.  He also serves as the Wyoming District as Life Coordinator, is a founding director of the Wyoming Pastors Network, and serves the Office of National Mission as consultant for Marriage, Life and Family.  He is also a contributor to The Federalist.

  • Free Conference 2017   ( 4 Articles )

    Luther and the Reformation

    The year 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.  On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted Ninety-Five Theses.  Instead of gaining the forgiveness of sins by the purchase of an indulgence paper, Luther argued that only the Gospel of Christ forgives sin.

    The Reformation was, first and foremost, all about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It was then, and the Reformation is still all about Jesus.  The task of the Reformation never ends.  Everyone needs to hear the good news of their Savior from sin, death and the devil.

    Come and hear more about Martin Luther and the Reformation.

    Since 2002 the Rev. Ken Schurb has served as Pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, Moberly, Missouri. A graduate of Concordia Teachers College, Seward (B.A., B.S.Ed.), Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne (M.Div., S.T.M.), and The Ohio State University (M.A., Ph.D.), he has taught as an adjunct professor at Moberly Area Community College. Previously he served as Pastor of Peace Lutheran Church, Berne, Indiana and as a professor at Concordia College, Ann Arbor.

    In The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, he has been a member of the Board for Youth Ministry, the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, and the Committee for Convention Nominations. He currently sits on the Board of Governors of Concordia Historical Institute. During the 1990s he worked for seven years as an assistant in the office of synodical President A. L. Barry. While serving in Moberly, he was a Vice-President of the Missouri District for five and a half years.

    Pastor Schurb and his wife Lana met at church in Columbus, Ohio. They have two children and two grandchildren.

  • Free Conference 2016   ( 5 Articles )

    "Every Life Has Value"

    Every Life Has Value We were shocked when we heard that Planned Parenthood sells body parts of aborted children. The truth was exposed. This is sickening and so is abortion. Where is the conscience of our nation?

    Every life has value because every life is created by God.  Every life has value because Jesus died for all.

    We are living in a spiritual warfare against life, marriage and religious freedom.  We are living in a culture of death, yet Jesus overcame death and the devil by rising from the dead.  The Gospel offers peace and strength.   May God equip us to defend those who cannot speak for themselves.  May we become lights in a dark world.

    Rev. Dr. Peter Scaer is professor at Concordia Theological Seminary since 2000. He graduated from Indiana University Bloomington (BA 1988), from Concordia Theological Seminary (M.Div., 1992) and from Notre Dame (MA 1995 and Ph.D., 2001). He served as the pastor of Emanuel Lutheran Church in Arcadia, Indiana from 1996-2000. In addition to his book on the Gospel of Luke, he has published numerous articles. He is active in Allen County Right-to-Life and in Shepherds United which defends innocent life, traditional marriage and religious liberty.

    Mike Spencer served as a pastor for 23 years before joining the staff of Life Training Institute in 2012. He travels extensively throughout the United States equipping pro-lifers on high school and university campuses, in churches and serving as the keynote at pro-life banquets and conferences. Mike is a stage 4 cancer survivor and is deeply grateful for God’s merciful healing.

    Scott Klusendorf is the founder and president of Life Training Institute which challenges and equips pro-life advocates to persuasively defend their views in the public square. Scott has appeared on nationally syndicated Christian programs and in secular talk show appearances and in over 80 debates at college and university campuses. He is the author of two books and has published numerous articles on pro-life apologetics. He is a graduate of UCLA and of Biola University (MA in Christian Apologetics).

  • Free Conference 2015   ( 5 Articles )

    "Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Thy Word"

    The Bible is the very Word of God. It points to Jesus as the heart and center of Scripture and as the key to its true meaning. Of course, there are those who see the Bible as a book of myths or fables or merely as a book of rules.  There are those who think that the concerns of our modern culture determine truth.  But the Bible alone is the final determining factor in what we believe and teach.

    God used human beings to write the Bible.  God is the author behind the authors.  Therefore, the Bible is accurate, truthful, and free of error.  God created faith in us by speaking it into being through His Word.  This same Word feeds and sustains faith in Christ.  May we hold God’s Word sacred and may we gladly hear and learn it for it points us to Jesus and it brings us comfort and peace in Christ.

    Dr. Cameron MacKenzie is a professor at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana and the chairman of the Department of Historical Theology.  Before joining the faculty in 1983, he served St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Detroit, Michigan, as pastor (1975–1983) and as headmaster of its school (1972–1983). Dr. MacKenzie received his B.A. from the University of Detroit (1969), a M.A. in History from the University of Chicago (1970), a M.A. in Classics from Wayne State University (1979), a S.T.M. in New Testament from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne (1984), and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Notre Dame (1992).

    The Rev. Dr. Martin R. Noland is the pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Evansville, Indiana.  He was the Director of Concordia Historical Institute (2002-2008), St Louis, Missouri, an associate editor of “Logia: A Journal of Lutheran Theology” (since 1996) and an officer of the Board of Directors of the Luther Academy (1993-2008) and a current board member of the Lutheran Concerns Association.  He received his M.Div. degree from Concordia Theological Seminary (1983), an S.T.M. degree from the same school (1986), and a Ph.D. degree from The Union Theological Seminary in New York (1996).

  • Free Conference 2014   ( 5 Articles )

    "Who is the Real Enemy  --  Islam or Christianity?"

    If Islam is a religion of peace then is Christianity the real enemy?  Why is Christianity attacked by Islam, by the mainstream media, and by liberal ideology?  Islam is not a religion of peace.  It is a religion of the sword.  It attempts to impose Islamic law and to purge the land of Christians.  We are in a spiritual battle against the devil and his army (Eph 6:10).  May God give us the strength to remain faithful to Him and to convert our enemy by means of the Gospel.

    Dr. Adam Francisco is currently a Professor of History at Concordia University in Irvine.  Dr. Francisco received his M. St. in 2003 and his Ph.D. in 2006 in Historical Theology and Christian-Muslim Relations from the University of Oxford.  He served as Assistant Professor of History at Concordia College—New York (2005-2007) and he served on the faculty at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne (2007-2010).  He is the author of Martin Luther and Islam:  A Study in Sixteenth-Century Polemics and Apologetics, co-editor of Theologia et Apologia:  Essays in reformation Theology and Its Defense (2007) and a contributing scholar for Modern Reformation magazine.

    Rev. Karim Baidaoui serves as a pastor, teacher, and missionary at large for “Disciples of the Way” (formerly POBLO-TX) and is involved in reaching out to our Muslim neighbors, sharing with them the Good News of Jesus Christ.  Pastor Baidaoui graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne in 2005.  He was called by the Texas District to be missionary-at-large for “People of the Book Lutheran Outreach” in Texas.  The goal of “Disciples of the Way” is to raise up leaders among Muslims and to establish churches within them.

  • Free Conference 2013   ( 5 Articles )

    Who Needs Marriage?

    The world asks this question. The life-long union of one man and one woman is under attack. Many want to redefine marriage. Some think that living together and homosexuality are the “in” thing. Others think that children of same sex parents do better than having a mom and a dad. Some see children as a burden. “Set me free in my sexuality,” they say. We are seeing right before our eyes the breakdown of marriage and family and in turn of our society. This distorts the view of Christ and the Church.

    God loves marriage and children. He is pleased when a man and a woman pledge their love and faithfulness to each other. May we be vigilant against the devil and proactive in teaching our children about God’s will for marriage and family.

    Who Needs Marriage? Five pastors speak on the following topics:

    Living by the Word: Another Look at the Bible and Homosexuality by Rev. Ryan Ogrodowicz, Victory in Christ Lutheran Church - Newark, Texas

    Marriage, Religion and Society by Rev. James Woelmer, Faith Lutheran Church - Plano, Texas

    Modern Day Concubines? Living Together Before Marriage by Rev. Mark Taylor, Faith Lutheran Church - Plano, Texas

    Luther on Marriage by Rev. Carl Roth, Grace Lutheran Church - Elgin, Texas

    Be Fruitful and Multiply: Second Thoughts on Birth Control by Rev. Mark Preus, Faith Lutheran Church - Wylie, Texas

  • Free Conference 2012   ( 5 Articles )

    Is Justification Still the Issue?

    What is the greatest threat to the church today? Is it the disintegration of the family? Is it the helter-skelter of the Church’s liturgy? Two devout Lutheran theologians present the case that justification is the article “on which the Church stands or falls.”

    Rev. Rolf D. Preus is pastor of First American Lutheran Church in Mayville, ND, Grace Lutheran Church in Crookston, MN, and First Evanger Lutheran Church in Fertile, MN. He has an STM degree from Concordia Theological Seminary, where he wrote his thesis on the doctrine of justification. He is the author of “Justification: Am I Good Enough for God?” and is currently writing the volume on justification for the Confessional Lutheran Dogmatics Series. You can read many of his papers and sermons at christforus.org. Pastor Preus and his wife Dort have one daughter and 11 sons, three of whom are Lutheran pastors, with four more currently attending Seminary.

    Pastor Preus will speak on “Justification as the Center of Christian Theology.” This paper will address, among other questions: How does the article of justification relate to the rest of Christian doctrine? Was the battle of the Reformation only important for its time, or is it still a necessary struggle? Where do Lutherans stand with regard to Rome and the Protestant sects today?

    Professor Roland Ziegler serves as Assistant Professor for Systematic Theology at Concordia Theological Seminary (CTS). Born in the state of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, he studied at the Universities of Tübingen, Erlangen, and at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Oberursel. He served as a teaching assistant at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Oberursel, a vicar in Berlin and a pastor in Konstanz. He has for several years taught the course on justification at CTS, and has through his research and writings shown a tenacious grasp of this foundational Christian teaching.

    Professor Ziegler will speak on “Was Paul a Lutheran? Current Issues Concerning the Doctrine of Justification.” The famous Anglican theologian, N.T. Wright, has claimed to offer the Church a “New Perspective on Paul.” The traditional Lutheran understanding of Romans and Galatians is being challenged. Do Wright and others help us understand that Paul was not really the “Lutheran” we view him as, or is their perspective really not so new?

  • Free Conference 2011   ( 5 Articles )

    Lutheran Hymns:
    Teaching the Faith in Both Church and Home

    The hymnal is one of the most important books in teaching the Christian faith. Hymns are simply doctrine put into poetic form. Change the hymn and you change the faith.

    Dr. Christopher Boyd Brown is assistant professor of Church History at Boston University. He received his Ph.D. in History from Harvard University (2001) and the M.Div. from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (2003). Dr. Brown is the author of Lutheran Hymns and the Success of the Reformation (Harvard, 2005) and is the general editor of the extension of Luther's Works currently being published by Concordia Publishing House.

    Dr. Brown will talk about how Lutheran hymns transformed the homes and hearts of sixteenth-century Germany. The Bohemian mining town of Joachimsthal, for example, sung hymns in the streets and homes as well as in the churches and schools. This preserved Lutheranism among them.

    Dr. Richard Stuckwisch is pastor of Emmaus Lutheran Church in South Bend, Indiana. He received his M.Div. from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne in 1993 and an S.T.M. from there in 2003. He also has a Ph.D. in Liturgical Studies from the University of Notre Dame in 2003. He is the author of numerous books and articles.

    Dr. Stuckwisch will talk about hymnody and music in American Christianity. The church's music should be Christ–centered and not man–centered. It should focus on what the people need (i.e. the forgiveness of sins) and not on what they want. It should be centered on building faith in Christ and not building up the emotions. It should be holy and not casual. It should be a common form and language for everyone (old and young, rich and poor, parents and children) and not cater to one particular generation. It should focus on God'.s gift of sacrament to us and not on man's desire to appease God through sacrifice.

  • Free Conference 2010   ( 4 Articles )

    What Is Truth?
    Scripture, Luther and the Lutheran Confessions

    What is truth? Many people today think that truth is found from within or from our culture. However, the Word of God is the only reliable and trustworthy source of truth. It clearly reveals Christ who is the way, the truth, and the life. Our Lutheran Confessions were written on the basis of the Scriptures. Luther himself confessed the truth found in God’s Word giving all glory to Christ our one and only Savior. Being Lutheran today is to believe in the truths of God’s Word as they are correctly explained and taught in the Book of Concord, and to confess and to teach this truth in a lost world.


    Rev. Dr. Scott Murray is the senior pastor of Memorial Lutheran Church & School in Houston, Texas. God has blessed him and Maryann, his wife of 23 years, with two daughters, Anastasia and Hilary. His hobbies are collecting books and recordings of classical music. He is the Vice President of the Luther Academy, an editorial associate of LOGIA, and is working on a book on Holy Scripture for the Confessional Lutheran Dogmatics Series. He is the author of numerous journal articles and also Law, Life, and the Living God published by Concordia Publishing House in 2001.

    Rev. Daniel Preus currently serves on the pastoral staff at Hope Lutheran Church in St. Louis, Missouri. Since his ordination in 1975, Rev. Preus has served congregations in Hobart, IN; Truman, MN: Oak Park, IL; and Colorado Springs, CO. From 1995-2001 he served as director of Concordia Historical Institute. In 2001 he was elected as the First Vice President of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and served in this position until 2004. Since 2005 he has been Luther Academy’s first full-time Director. He is married to Linda and has five children: Seth, Rebekah, Erik, Kirsten, and Dirk; as well as five grandchildren. Rev. Preus has authored numerous articles for publication. His most recent publication is a book entitled Why I Am A Lutheran: Jesus at the Center, published by Concordia Publishing House in 2004.

  • Free Conference 2009   ( 4 Articles )

    Who is Jesus?
    Christless Christianity in the Contemporary Church

    Contemporary Christianity wants a powerful, successful, and popular Jesus, but not a Jesus who was crucified. Therefore, Jesus is seen as a coach, therapist, buddy, political messiah, and a moral example, but not as an atoning sacrifice that satisfies God’s wrath against sin. The preacher will often focus on moral reform and progressive sanctification rather than on repentance and faith in the forgiveness of sins. The Bible is taken out of context for the purpose of a certain agenda. The Gospel is assumed and, therefore, seldom mentioned and the Sacraments are minimized. Instead of defending the faith, many want to “give their testimony” or “tell their story”.

    St. Paul determined not to know anything among the Corinthian church except Jesus Christ and Him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2). The apostle had the cross at the heart and center of the Gospel. The message of the cross may be foolish to the world, but it is the way of bringing salvation to us sinners. We are not ashamed of the Gospel. It is the power of our salvation.


    Mr. Craig Parton is a trial lawyer and partner with a law firm in Santa Barbara, California. Upon graduation from college, he spent seven years on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ. His long journey from generic American evangelicalism to confessional Lutheranism is described in his book, The Defense Never Rests: A Lawyer’s Quest for the Gospel (CPH 2003). He is also the author of Religion on Trial (Wipf & Stock 2008) and has published articles in Modern Reformation and Logia–A Journal of Lutheran Theology. He is a member of Wayfarer’s Lutheran Chapel in Fillmore, California.

    Rev. Todd Wilken is the host of the radio program Issues, Etc. (found at: www.issuesetc.org). He is also assistant pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Millstadt, Illinois. He is a graduate of Concordia Seminary in 1990. He has written articles for magazines, such as, Modern Reformation, Higher Things, and For the Life of the World. He was born and raised in Dallas, Texas.