Rt. Rev. Dr. Paul Kofi Fynn, President of the Lutheran Church of Ghana, has been elected by the editors of Gottesdienst to receive the 2010 Sabre of Boldness award. Dr. Fynn, upon gaining theological training and steadfast dedication to confessional Lutheran theology in the United States, gave up a lucrative job with the Chicago Tribune and returned to his native land to help and shepherd the church there. In a severely resource-constrained environment, and at great personal cost and risk, he has consistently found ways to provide for the sound preaching of the Gospel and the faithful administration of the Sacraments. Often under duress and without sufficient support, he has disciplined those unfaithful to Lutheran practice and has actively supported the exercise of genuine pastoral care.
He was chosen from among four nominees, all of whom were considered "stellar." The other three:
Monique Miller, wife of the Reverend Philip Miller, a pastor in New Orleans. The Miller family lost everything in Hurricane Katrina, but elected to stay with their devastated parish. More significantly, Mrs. Miller is the mother of six young children, and has suffered four miscarriages. Her pregnancies, while not life-threatening, have nonetheless been difficult and debilitating, sometimes requiring hospitalization. Last year, in spite of this, she quietly and humbly disregarded the world’s usual and predictable advice, and instead received the blessed cross of another pregnancy, in the bold hope of presenting her husband, the Holy Church of Christ, and her God with a candidate for Holy Baptism and heir of life eternal.
Rev. Linden Wendzell, of Sabeka, Minnesota, who was forced out of his parish in Royalton, Minnesota, when conspirators in the parish succeeded in gaining enough support for his removal, after seven years of discontent resulting from such things as his consistent and dutiful refusal to allow open communion, and his pastoral admonitions to unmarried couples living in sin. Rev. Wendzell was no stranger to such perfidy, as it had forced him out of his previous parish after he had served faithfully for twelve years there.
Rev. Joseph Randrianasolo, PhD, professor at the Lutheran Graduate School of Theology in Fianarantsoa, Madagascar, who was removed from his position as academic dean by administrators who preferred the funding of the Lutheran World Federation to the bold theological stance he took for Confessional Lutheranism and against the ordination of women. Dr. Randrianasolo and his wife have also been involved in the Good Samaritan project which feeds 200 hungry children with rice every week. Though a small minority voice on the faculty, he continues unwaveringly to uphold confessional Lutheran theology in a hostile setting, and in a land beset by the challenges of an indigenous paganism.