Confessing the faith

Last Sunday was the feast day of Sts. Peter and Paul, two different and yet unified confessors of the Christian faith.  Also on that day, one of my former students joined our church by adult confirmation, a rite that includes the vow to suffer all, even death, rather than renounce the teachings of the evangelical Lutheran church.  I loved how our pastor not only explored what it means to “confess” the faith, but also how he tied Teresa’s confession to that of Peter and Paul. [Read more…]

Churches that don’t baptize

Some churches that work hard to get people to “make a decision for Christ” never get around to baptizing them!   In fact, there are some ostensibly Christian bodies that don’t baptize at all.  And more that will baptize if someone asks for it, but most members don’t go to the trouble.  And according to Christian scholar Roger Olson, “one Texas megachurch pastor reported that nearly a third of the people who receive Christ in his church are never baptized. ”  [Read more…]

Making Christianity strange again

Russell Moore thinks the persecution of Christians around the world might bring American Christianity back to life.   Tagline to his post:  “Christianity in this country is big, powerful, and familiar. We need it to become strange again.” [Read more…]

Theological flowers

Calvinists sum up their theology, as well as their Dutch connections, with the acronym TULIP.  That stands for Total depravity, Unconditional election, Limited atonement, Irresistible grace, and Perseverance of the saints.

Southern Baptists are currently in the midst of a controversy between their Calvinist members and their more Arminian brethren.  So to compete with the TULIP faction, as Bill Leonard reports, the non-Calvinist Baptists have come up with a flower of their own:  POINSETTIA.  That stands for “Pursuit unconditional, Own guilt, Inclusive atonement, Natural responsibility, Spontaneous regeneration, Election available, Temperate foreknowledge, True freedom, Indestructible security, Almighty gospel.”

Your task:  Come up with a flower for other theological traditions (Catholics?  Orthodox?  Pentecostal?  Methodist?  Non-Denominational?), turning it into an acronym or a symbol for its distinct teachings and practices.  After the jump, the flower of Lutheranism. [Read more…]

Presbyterians (USA) vote to allow gay marriages

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted to revise its Book of Order to redefine marriage as being between “two persons” rather than between a man and a woman, thereby fully sanctioning gay marriages and gay weddings.  The revision must be approved by a majority of presbyteries, but congregations in states that have legalized gay marriage may now perform them. [Read more…]

Text and context on women’s ordination

The Australian theologian and Bible scholar John Kleinig said that women’s ordination used to not be a big deal for him–until he studied 1 Corinthians 14 and realized that it is far more forceful on the issue than most people realize. [Read more…]


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