Here we are, at our new digs at Patheos. For longtime readers wondering what has happened, read this explanation. For new readers, welcome to Cranach.
You can read about the blog, about me, and about our patron saint (if we had patron saints) Lucas Cranach in the various tabs at the top of the page. Suffice it to say for now that this is a “web log” in the old sense of interesting things I’ve found on the internet. Also that I am interested in all kinds of things, so that you will find here posts on current events, the arts, politics, history, technology, sports, books, movies, theology, and on and on. This is also a discussion blog. That is, college professor that I am, I like to pose questions, problems, and issues in need of thinking through, and enlist your aid in talking about them in the comment threads.
In the course of the more than six years this blog has been going, we have built up a virtual community of readers and commenters. They represent quite a range of personalities and perspectives, and though the discussions sometimes can get heated, there is an underlying friendliness and camaraderie for the most part. You get to know the different people who comment and look forward to seeing what they have to say. Sometimes the community has become more than virtual, as people some to interact with each other apart from just this blog, via e-mail or FaceBook or even in person.
The other thing you need to know about this blog is that I and many of the commenters are Lutherans. I keep insisting that this is not a “Lutheran blog” as such, as we have people of many different beliefs and no beliefs tuning in here. But Lutheran theology accounts for quite a bit of the things I blog about. Lutherans have a theology of culture: The doctrine of the Two Kingdoms sees God’s work in both the sacred and the secular realms. And the doctrine of vocation shows how Christians can live out their faith in the world, in multiple ways, all in love and service to their neighbors. Lutherans also have a strong emphasis on Christ and on His atoning work on the Cross “for you.” This Gospel is not just for the time when you first became a Christian way back when, but is for every moment of the Christian life, as we continually repent of our sins and receive His grace and forgiveness. Lutheran theology is also highly sacramental, with Christ bringing Himself and His gospel to us through Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and the Word of God. Other Lutheran distinctives flow out of all of this: the distinction between Law & Gospel, the Theology of the Cross vs. the Theology of Glory, liturgical worship, the church year, Christian liberty, and more.
You don’t have to be a Lutheran to benefit from Lutheran theology or to enjoy participating in this blog. You don’t get the Lutheran perspective much in English-speaking Christianity or in American evangelicalism (though “evangelical” is the proper term for Lutheran theology, just as “reformed” is the proper term for Calvinist theology). So I appreciate the people at Patheos for including it here.
Longtime readers, chime in here. Introduce yourselves, the Cranach community, and this blog (including why you frequent it and any customs, lore, and protocols they might like to know) to our new Patheos neighbors.