Category: Blog Posts

Mortared with Lies

In a PhD seminar, Dr. Brian Gerrish led the class through understanding where various Reformation leaders stood on the meaning and consequences of sin. John Calvin, he said, believed human beings are so captured by sin that we sin “and we like it.” Given the breadth of depth of telling lies in public these days, […]

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States are Not Denominations

One expects to be welcomed in different ways and to have different permissions as one visits religious congregations of various Christian denominations and other religions. But should a similar experience await you state-to-state? If I attend worship at a Missouri Synod Lutheran Church or a Catholic congregation, I would not expect to take communion, which […]

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Conservative and Liberal are Meaningless Labels

What do the terms “conservative” and “liberal” mean? After much reflection, I think they mean too many things to be meaningful words. Using the words to categorize and accept or dismiss others, as is often the case, is like throwing a bucket of paint on the side of a barn rather than touching up a […]

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Becoming Human Is Hard

It takes a lot of work to become and remain a human being. If we think of “human” normatively, in an ethical sense of what our species could or should be, then I’d argue it takes a lot of intentional work to become and remain human. This is so because there is a great deal […]

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One Cannot Open the Future with the Past’s Blood-rusted Key

“The sabbath was made for humankind, not humankind for the sabbath.” (Mark 2:27) Does this order also apply to texts? Are texts made for people and not people for texts? This is, obviously for any one paying attention to national debates, a live question. So-called “literal” approaches to texts claim the authority of some past […]

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Stink and Grace

Life stinks. I’m not using the word “stinks” as a value judgment. I don’t mean to invoke the scene of a child who dropped their ice cream on the ground: “Oh, Honey, that really stinks!” Or the baseball fan’s epithet when he thinks an umpire blew the call: “You stink, Ump!!” No, I’m talking about […]

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Loyalty May Be Virtue or Vice

Faithful adherence to the sovereign or lawful government; spec. of government employees. Also, in later use, enthusiastic reverence for the person and family of the sovereign. Definition of “loyalty” from the Oxford English Dictionary The meaning of the word “loyalty” has vexed me recently. At home, we watched the classic movie, All the President’s Men, […]

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Is the Future Ecumenical or Parochial?

In the aftermath of World War II, ecumenically-involved Christian churches urgently mobilized to prevent World War III. Churches that believed they were following the commandment of Christ to love one another and to discern their God-given unity organized missions, social action, and dialogue as aspects of the modern ecumenical movement from about 1908 through World […]

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Evil and Ill? Yes but…

There is evil afoot as well as some kind of mental illness regarding gun violence in the U.S. On those points I agree with those who attribute America’s excessive gun violence to evil and mental illness. But I see very differently where the evil and mental illness are located. Americans kill each other with guns […]

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Speak Up Against White Christian Nationalism

The United States is not God’s chosen nation. The United States is a nation and not a church. These truths are under attack and responding to the attack needs the attention of every person who believes these two statements are true. White Christian nationalism is one of the greatest threats facing the U.S., and it […]

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