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…]

The political implications of Ascension Day

Ascension Day, May 5, commemorating Christ’s taking His place in the Godhead at the right hand of God the Father, is an important holiday.  Because of His Ascension, Christ fills all things.  Thus, He can be present in the Lord’s Supper; thus, He is present with His church; thus, He rules over all things.  After the jump, read what St. Paul says about the Ascension and read two more striking essays on the holiday, including what Douglas Farrow says about the political implications (so to speak) of Christ’s ascension. [Read more…]

Theology & beer

A trend today is holding Bible studies, outreach ministries, and theological discussions in pubs, with the accompaniment of good beer.  I’ve spoken at some of those.

But talking about faith with what is sometimes called “the Lutheran beverage” is not a new phenomenon.  It goes way back, according to an article in Journal Sentinel from Milwaukee (natch!), and was especially instrumental in the Reformation.  (I would add to the article’s examples the importance of the White Horse Inn in Cambridge, where luminaries of the English Reformation such as Tyndale, Coverdale,  Barnes, and Cranmer, met to discuss the latest writings out of Wittenberg.  That English tavern is where the radio show got its name.)

Favorite takeaway from the article:  Catholic countries drank wine; Reformation countries drank beer.

What do you think about this today?  Should a church sponsor such events, or does it work better on the parachurch level, as informal gatherings, or when the theological discussions over a pint occur naturally among friends?  Or do you think the combination of alcohol and religion is totally inappropriate? [Read more…]

Christians’ transition from majority to minority

Josh Daffern says that all of the current controversies Christians are facing over religious liberty, sexuality, and the like are all symptoms of something bigger:  “The biggest issue American Evangelicals will face for the next 50 years is how we handle our transition from a moral majority to a prophetic minority.” [Read more…]


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