The New Edition of Luther’s Small Catechism

Concordia Publishing House has just released Luther’s Small Catechism with Explanation, 2017 Edition.  This updates the blue book familiar to confirmands, published in 1991 with 296 pages, with even more Biblical prooftexts, more educational and devotional resources, and applications to contemporary issues.  The new edition comes in at 432 pages. Technically, I am told, the word “catechism” refers to the texts that have been fundamental to Christian instruction since the days of the early church:  the Ten Commandments, the Apostle’s Creed, and… Read more

ISIS Loses Its Capital & Nearly All of Its Territory

In news you might have missed, the ISIS capital of Raqqa in Syria has fallen to U.S.-supported militias.  Back in July, allied forces in Iraq liberated the prize possession of ISIS:  Mosul, the third-largest city in that country with a population of 1.7 million.  Raqqa has a population of about 220,500.  ISIS has lost nearly 90% of the territory that it held in 2014. This is significant because ISIS–the acronym standing for “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria”– claims to have re-instituted the… Read more

From “Sologamy” to Marriage as Vocation

Jim Priest, a family columnist for the Daily Oklahoman, discussed “sologamy,” the  growing practice of marrying oneself.  A woman or a man (usually a woman) who has decided to remain single dresses up in wedding garb, invites guests, and has a ceremony, complete with a ring, cake, and reception. Priest quotes a young woman in a wedding dress who has just pledged her love for herself: “I told my relatives and friends that if I had not found my soul mate I… Read more

Pastors’ Housing Allowance Tax Break Overturned

The tax break given to pastors for their housing allowance has been thrown out by a Wisconsin federal court.  When the ruling goes into effect–whether there will be an injunction preventing pastors from claiming the break immediately or whether the ruling will be stayed pending appeal–will be decided in a separate hearing on the “remedy” scheduled for October 30. If this information gives you a sense of déjà vu,  the same court and the same judge made the same ruling back… Read more

How Luther Challenges Protestants

Martin Luther challenged and continues to challenge Roman Catholic theology in some profound ways. But he also challenged and continues to challenge the various Protestant theologies that followed in his wake. Read more

Why Leftists Are Now Silencing Liberals

Campus leftists have long been silencing conservative speakers.  Now they have started to silence liberal speakers.  Students at William & Mary shouted down and forced the cancellation of a speech by an official of the American Civil Liberties Union.  The incident is a reminder that hardcore leftists, by their own admission, don’t believe in civil liberties, free speech, or freedom in general, which they deride as “liberal bourgeois values.” Last month, Claire Gastañaga, executive director of the Virginia chapter of the American… Read more

The Greatest Critic of Both Modernism & Postmodernism

One noteworthy element in our new book Authentic Christianity:  How Lutheran Theology Speaks to the Postmodern World is our telling the story and drawing on the insights of J. G. Hamann.  This 18th century thinker is being hailed today as perhaps the greatest critic of what would become both modernism and postmodernism.  The basis of that critique was a very sophisticated application of Lutheran theology. Johann Georg Hamann (1730–1788) was very influential in his day–having a strong impact on Goethe, Kierkegaard, and… Read more

Sex Is a Big Deal

The Sexual Revolution overthrew all moral teachings and cultural attitudes that put limits on sexual behavior. In the 1960’s, 1970’s, and 1980’s, it was commonplace to hear that “sex is no big deal.” Read more

Quotations From Our New Book

More shameless promotion of my new book with Trevor Sutton, Authentic Christianity:  How Lutheran Theology Speaks to the Postmodern World. . . .Concordia Publishing House has been tweeting nicely formatted quotations from the book at  #AuthenticChristianity500. Take a look: Read more

Could the ancients not perceive the color “blue”?

Homer famously speaks of “the wine-dark sea.”  That’s a beautiful description.  Except that wine isn’t blue, and the sea isn’t red or purple.  (Homer describes sheep as also being the color of wine; honey is green; and the sky is bronze.)  In fact, there isn’t even a word in ancient Greek for blue! Nor is the color “blue” mentioned in the New Testament, though many other colors are.  There are two words in the Old Testament that are translated “blue,” but… Read more

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