Lutherans, Calvinists, & Evangelicals on vocation

Tim Keller, the well-respected pastor of Redeemer Prebyterian Church in New York, City, has written a book about vocation entitled Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work.  I haven’t read it yet, though I’m ordering it, but from what I’ve heard and read on the preview at Amazon (click the link), it looks promising.  Also, he “gets” what Luther is saying and expresses warm appreciation for the Lutheran doctrine of vocation.  What intrigues me is what he says about the different emphases of Lutheran, Calvinist, Evangelical, and Mainline Protestant treatments of vocation and the Christian’s life in the world.  After the jump, see what he says in an interview in Christianity Today. [Read more…]

How to interrogate a terrorist

Interesting piece from the BBC about how the FBI conducts interrogations of terrorist suspects.  And it doesn’t involve torture. [Read more…]

News & updates

Somebody hacked into the Twitter account of the Associated Press, no less, and put out word that there were explosions in the White House that injured the president.  That sent the stock market into a tailspin, but it recovered when the story turned out to be a hoax.

Charges have been dropped for the Elvis impersonator who was accused of sending ricin-laced letters to the president, a senator, and a judge.  Investigators have another suspect, a rival of the first one.

The surviving Boston Marathon bomber was charged for the federal crime of using weapons of mass destruction.  He will not be treated as an enemy combatant.  He was read his rights.  The charge indicated that he may face the death penalty.  (Massachusetts does not have the death penalty–though state legislators unsuccessfully tried to re-instate it for the bomber–but the federal government can still execute people.)

Church vs. children’s sports

There was a time (I’m sounding old) when community activities were never planned on Sunday mornings.  There was never such a thing as a soccer or little league practice scheduled for the time when most families were in church.  That has changed.  Now children’s sporting events are routinely scheduled on Sunday mornings.  In fact, new research suggests that children’s sports contributes significantly to the decline in church attendance.

My question:  Why would Christian parents let their kids be in sports when that keeps them from going to church? [Read more…]

Repercussions of the Boston bombings

I suspect that the Boston Marathon bombings may complicate the two big issues facing Congress right now.  On gun control, I daresay that when the citizens of Boston and its environs were told to stay inside and not to open their doors to anyone other than a uniformed police officer because a terrorist is roaming around somewhere, those who owned firearms were glad they did and many of those who did not wished they did.  On immigration, the bombings reminded us that the issue is not just about letting Mexican workers in and letting them stay.  It also needs to be about immigrants such as the bombers and keeping them out.  Do you agree that this may shift public opinion on those two issues?  What other repercussions do you see?

The German state church

Mathew Block, in the course of correcting a media error, explains that the Protestant state church of Germany is NOT Lutheran, but a federation of Protestant churches with a number of different theologies, including particularly the “Prussian Union,” which drove confessional Lutherans to Australia and America:

Two days ago, the Catholic Herald posted a story about Pope Francis meeting with Rev. Dr. Nikolaus Schneider. The article is entitled “Lutheran pastor meets Pope Francis in Rome,” and the text of the article also refers to Dr. Schneider as a Lutheran pastor. There’s just one problem, as the friend who brought this story to my attention noted: Dr. Schneider isn’t Lutheran.

You’d be forgiven for thinking so. He is, after all, President of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany. And surely the Evangelical Church in Germany is Lutheran, right?

It depends. The thing English speakers often miss is that the Evangelical Church in Germany (which formed in 1948) is actually a federation of separate church bodies in Germany rather than a unified denomination itself. [Read more…]


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