The comfort of Baptism

Dr. Benjamin Mayes is working with Concordia Publishing House on the new translations of Luther’s Works.  He was researching what Luther wrote about where Christians can find comfort.  Dr. Mayes writes, “Baptism is one of the comforting things, alongside various Bible passages, that console us regarding God’s particular love for us, giving peace of conscience and certainty of salvation. See LW 51:166 for an example: “Then, in this Christian church, you have ‘the forgiveness of sins.’ This term includes baptism, consolation upon a deathbed, the sacrament of the altar, absolution, and all the comforting passages [of the gospel].”  After the jump, two powerful quotations from Luther on the comfort that we can find in Baptism. [Read more...]

D. C. legalizes marijuana, sort of

As of 12:01 a.m. today, the possession of marijuana is legal in our nation’s capital.  But it’s still illegal to sell it.  So you can have it, but you can’t buy it.  The tangled new law, with its bureaucratic twists and turns, illustrates the dilemma of a state legalizing a substance (though the District of Columbia is not a state), while  federal law (which D. C. is mostly under) still outlaws it.

It seems to me that making the possession legal while the sale is  illegal takes away the only social good that legalization might do, namely, strike a blow against organized crime.  Colorado at least, for better or worse, created a private marijuana industry.  Washington, D.C., will continue to depend on Mexican cartels and drug smugglers for its supply. [Read more...]

ISIS comes to America

New York City police arrested three men in connection with a plot to join ISIS and commit acts of terrorism in the United States, including assassinating the president. [Read more...]

Justification by faith and the physical world

More from Living by Faith by Oswald Bayer. (For earlier posts on the subject, see this  and this.)

When we no longer have to justify ourselves, observes Bayer, but know the “passive righteousness” of faith that comes from being justified by Christ, we are reconciled to ourselves (no longer having to justify ourselves); we are reconciled to God (no longer having to justify Him); we are reconciled to others (no longer having to justify them); and we are reconciled to the world (no longer having to justify existence).  This latter point is because, he says with great Lutheranness, God uses the physical world of His creation to bring to us our justification:  water, bread, wine, language, pastors.

[Read more...]

The LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM community

Wesleyan University in Connecticut has a residence hall devoted to a whole alphabet of sexual diversity:

Open House is a safe space for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Flexual, Asexual, Genderfuck, Polyamourous, Bondage/Disciple, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM communities and for people of sexually or gender dissident communities. The goals of Open House include generating interest in a celebration of queer life from the social to the political to the academic. Open House works to create a Wesleyan community that appreciates the variety and vivacity of gender, sex and sexuality.

via Housing.
[Read more...]

ISIS abducts 150 Assyrian Christians

The Assyrian Church, which is neither Catholic nor Eastern Orthodox, traces its history to the first century, all the way to the Apostles Thomas, Thaddeus, and Bartholomew.  Now, these Syrian Christians, as in those early days, are experiencing brutal persecution and martyrdom.

ISIS has rounded up 150 Assyrian Christians from Syrian villages.  Their fate is unknown at this time.   We should pray for them.   Are you seeing much outrage at what the jihadists are doing to Christians, either from the world at large or even from Western Christians? [Read more...]


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