Why Assume That Joseph Was Old?

The portrayal of St. Joseph as an old man is not from the Bible but was put forward by those arguing for Mary’s perpetual virginity. Read more

An LCMS Murder

A man identified as the “youth pastor” of Grace Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Chester, Virginia, shot to death his wife, his step-daughter, and her boyfriend on Thanksgiving. First of all, the perpetrator, Christopher R. Gattis, 58, is NOT a pastor of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.  His name is not on the roster of synod, which means he is not a member of the ordained ministry, nor is he commissioned as a called teacher, director of Christian education, or lay minister. Apparently,… Read more

A New Cranach Painting Has Also Been Authenticated

Leonardo da Vinci is not the only Renaissance artist to have a new work added to his canon.  So has Lucas Cranach, Luther’s good friend and the patron of this blog! A painting entitled “Portrait of a Lady and Her Son” has just been attributed to Cranach.  As with the Leonardo “Savior of the World,” it existed in numerous copies.  Queen Victoria gave this particular painting as a gift to her husband, Prince Albert, who hailed from Germany and was… Read more

Taxpayers Have Been Paying Congressmen’s Sex Settlements

Now that the sexual harassment and abuse of women is coming out of the closet, we are learning that elected officials are among the prime offenders.  And it turns out that taxpayers have been paying the settlement money to cover up the offenses! Since 1997, taxpayers have paid $17 million to settle workplace disputes.  How much of this money is for sexual harassment complaints is not known, since some of the payments would have been for discrimination charges and other issues. But we do know that some… Read more

Thanksgiving Days and Thanksgiving Feasts in the Bible

Thanksgiving is, of course, a national holiday.  But devoting specific days for the purpose of giving thanks and giving thanks by eating a ritual feast have strong Biblical precedent. This came to mind because of a column by Billy Graham carried in the Oklahoma City newspaper.  A fifth grader asked him if they celebrated Thanksgiving like we do. In the Old Testament, the people celebrated several times of thanksgiving (usually called “feasts” or “festivals”). Three were especially important: Passover and… Read more

How Turkeys Built America (and Why They Are Called “Turkeys”)

There is a reason why the turkey, the centerpiece of most Thanksgiving feasts, has such resonance for Americans. Read more

Luther’s Theology of Beauty

  During this Reformation quincentenary anniversary, Martin Luther has been credited and blamed for all kinds of things–reforming the church, starting Protestantism, starting secularism, promoting oppression, promoting freedom, and on and on.  But Luther was primarily a theologian, with greater depth, nuance, and sophistication than many scholars realize.  The greatness of Luther as a thinker is abundantly evident in Mark C. Mattes’ new book Martin Luther’s Theology of Beauty (Baker Academic). Mattes has Luther interacting not only with Plato, Augustine, and Aquinas,… Read more

Finding the remains of the Buddha?

Archaeologists think they might have found the remains of the Buddha. They discovered a ceramic box in Jingchuan County, China, that contains cremated human remains.  The box is inscribed with the date 1013. Gautama Buddha is thought to have lived from 563 B.C. to 483 B.C., not 1013 A.D., and in India, not China.  But it turns out that Buddha’s ashes were widely distributed and venerated.  They even had a name: śarīra. The ceramic box had an inscription describing the… Read more

The Church in the Wilderness

  The Old Testament speaks of the New Testament, and the narrative of the Children of Israel speaks of the Church.  Of course, they primarily give us the history of the Jews, to whom the true God revealed Himself and made Himself a people, from whom would be born the Messiah, the Son of God.  But there are parallels between God’s people then and God’s people today. Both last Sunday’s Bible Class and sermon underscored those connections, which I knew, but… Read more

Environmentalism vs. Children

Some environmentalists have revived the notion that having children is immoral, contributing to global warming and the destruction of the environment. Heather Wilhelm, in Population Panic Returns: Left Revives Argument that Procreation Is Immoral | National Review, quotes some of the headlines: “Science proves kids are bad for Earth. Morality suggests we stop having them.” (NBC) “Want to Slow Global Warming? Researchers Look to Family Planning.” (NPR) “Having Children Brings High Carbon Impact.”  (New York Times) “Having children is one of the… Read more

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