Garrison Keillor on kinds of Christianity

Garrison Keillor has written a humorous, yet touching column about Christianity.  He starts by lambasting some immoral Christians in the news.  But then he recalls his own less worldly evangelical upbringing.  And finally he writes about his current high church Anglicanism.

Best line:  “I love my neighbor as myself, but only because I don’t much care for myself.”

Big finish:  “For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endures to all generations. And wherever two Corinthians are gathered together, there he is in the midst of them.”

Read it all, linked after the break. [Read more…]

A Lutheran exorcist

Harold Ristau is a pastor in the Lutheran Church of Canada (with which the LCMS is in fellowship).  And he is an exorcist, with extensive experience in casting out demons.

He has written a book on the subject, with an introduction by John Kleinig, the great Australian writer on Lutheran spirituality.  I’ve sampled Rev. Ristau’s book and found it scary, fascinating, and strangely encouraging. [Read more…]

The Holy Spirit

Sunday was Pentecost, fifty days after Easter, commemorating the day that the Holy Spirit was given to the Church.  The Holy Spirit may be the most mysterious person of the Trinity–the revealer rather than the revealed; not the Savior, but the one who brings us to the Savior; not the prime object of faith, but the creator of faith.

After the jump, what we need to believe about the Holy Spirit, and what it means.   [Read more…]

Deleting “He descended into Hell” from the Apostles’ Creed

I have learned that there is a movement to delete the line about Christ descending into Hell from the Apostles’ Creed.  Those who wish to do this are called “deletionists,” or “neo-deletionists.”

The phrase in question can be interpreted in a number of different ways, but it is certainly part of the Apostle’s Creed.  I remember as a child going to Methodist churches that don’t include it.

Lots of Christians don’t have creeds at all, but if you do have a creed–that is, if you are confessing your doctrinal agreement with the historical Christian church–it makes no sense to delete part of it!

[Read more…]

The Republican party has joined the other side

The Washington Post has an article about the dilemma conservative Christians are facing in having to choose between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.  (Only about a third of evangelicals say they support the Republican nominee.)  The piece has two memorable quotes:

“This year the Republican Party has not just surrendered on the culture wars, they’ve joined the other side.” Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

“I got the idea of ‘Who would Jesus have voted for, Herod or Pilate?’ and probably neither one, and that’s where I feel we’re at here.” Pastor Gary Fuller


[Read more…]

You can’t understand Bach apart from his Lutheranism

You can’t fully understand Bach’s music apart from its context in the Lutheran liturgy and its emotions in Lutheran piety.  So says Yale music historian Markus Rathey in, of all places, the Wall Street Journal. [Read more…]