Blog update & our FaceBook page

Cranach_Gesetz_und_Gnade_Gotha

BeliefNet, having purchased Patheos, is planning a new look and new features for its family of blogs.  So watch for changes here at Cranach.  For example, you might notice a difference in how the illustrations are presented.

Actually, that is a minor change I was asked to make as part of the Patheos social media initiative.  In addition to my personal FaceBook page, I have an author page that I set up for this blog.  I have shamefully neglected it.  But no more!

At the urging of my Patheos editor and former student, Bart Gingerich, I am going to develop it into an active companion to this blog.  Not only will I put up links to current Cranach posts, I will include extra features:  background information about the Cranach blog, popular posts from the past, a forum for discussing the blog.

Visit the page, like it, post the links on your FaceBook page, and hopefully this will help bring back that sense of community we had back in the blog’s Golden Age.

 

Back in the U.S.A.

statue-of-liberty-1462952369yo4We’re back from Finland.  We had a wonderful time, were well-received, and learned a lot.  We met a number of inspiring Christians, including some very devoted confessional Lutherans, in that supposedly secularist nation.  I have a great deal to tell you.  Right now, my priority is recovering from jet lag!  But it’s good to be back in the good old U. S. of A.

Thanks for sticking with this blog over the two weeks I was away.  Even though some of my posts were written far in advance and so weren’t as timely as I usually try to make them, readership was up.  I appreciate that.

More on our Scandinavian adventures in the days ahead.

After the jump, I offer a tribute to how I am feeling about my country. [Read more…]

Dispatch from Finland

640px-Luther_Church,_Helsinki,_insideWe are in Finland, safe and sound.  We are having a good and fascinating time.  The church situation here is complicated, but don’t believe what you hear about the utter secularism of Scandinavia.  We are meeting some very vibrant and very solid Lutheran Christians who are true inspirations.  And, yes, they are reaping lots of Muslim converts to Christianity.  But I’ll tell you more when I get back.

Thanks for sticking with the blog while I’m gone.  I may be able to post more than I thought I could.

 

Photo of Luther Church, a confessional congregation attended by over 200 people each Sunday by Abc10 – Oma teos, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49178504

I’m off to Finland

Helsinki_from_sea_with_Cathedral_and_Finnair_SkywheelToday my wife and I fly off to Finland.  I will be giving lectures at an apologetics conference and speaking at two universities.  I’ll also be meeting with the confessional Lutherans there, including Rev. Jujana Puhjola.

Earlier, I was in Denmark and Norway, and then Denmark again.  As I said then, the image of the secularist Scandinavians is not completely true.  I have been meeting lots of very devoted Christians.  My book Spirituality of the Cross has been translated into the Scandinavian languages and it’s getting some readers.  I am touched at the thought that I might be used in some measure to be part of a revival of Christianity–indeed, Lutheran Christianity–among the delightful people in these fascinating countries.

So what does this mean for the blog?  I am not going to take away from my Scandinavian moments by constantly monitoring the internet and blogging all the time.  I am not sure of my internet connections, seeing as how at least part of the time I’ll be in the deep woods.  But I’ll post when I can.  I probably won’t be able to post as many items every day.  There may be days when I don’t post any at all.  But I’ve got some very interesting posts scheduled to come up through the week.  I’ll be back in the states the first of May.

You might say a prayer for us from time to time.

 

Photograph of Helsinki with Lutheran Cathedral and Finnair Skywheel by Kotivalo (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Live-blogging the Inauguration

Trump_Inaugural_Logo.svgBeing unable to resist significant moments in history, I’ll be watching the Inauguration ceremonies today and making comments here.

Things get started at 9:30 a.m. ET, with the actual inauguration ceremony starting at about 11:30 a.m. ET.  The swearing in will be at noon, whereupon Donald Trump will give his inaugural address.  I’ll be devoting most of my live-blogging to the speech.  Please join me with comments of your own.

On Saturday from 10:00-11:00 a.m. will be the Interfaith Prayer Service at the National Pantheon, I mean, the National Cathedral.  I can’t bear to watch that, but if you do, feel free to report on it by making a comment to this post.

After the jump, a schedule of the day’s activities.

UPDATE:  Here is a transcript of the speech.

[Read more…]

Top 10 Cranach posts of 2016

Cranach's sealI know you are sick of holidays and want to get back to normality, but I can’t resist New Years retrospectives.  Other blogs are looking back at their top posts of last year, based on the number of page views, so I did too.

The most popular posts are from years ago, but somehow they got into Google’s algorithm.  Now, if anybody in the whole world wonders, “Why do some people say ‘Merry Christmas’ and others say ‘Happy Christmas’?” Google takes them to Cranach.  The same with St. Patrick’s prayer.  And I think my post on Hector & Achilles must be linked on a study guide somewhere.

Otherwise, the election, particularly the Republican primaries, dominated our readers’ interests.  I’m glad my review of the memoir by Tom Oden, who died later in the year, got quite a bit of attention.

Pageviews on a particular post go up because they are linked to on other web sites and because they are widely shared on social media.  So I’m glad our discussions here can have a reach beyond our blog.

See the top 10 posts after the jump. [Read more…]