What about all these churches?

Reformation Day is nothing to celebrate, according to some Christians.  It marks the day Christianity was shattered into countless little sects.  We need to find unity rather than revel in things that divide us.  Luther’s breaking away from what was then one Church was a tragedy. First of all, Luther didn’t break away from the Church.  He was excommunicated!  There is a big difference.  Secondly, the Church did need reforming.  Even the Church of Rome came to admit that, finally… Read more

Are Christians Mormons?

Joel Osteen, minister of America’s largest church, joins David Barton among others Christian leaders, in believing that Mormons are Christians: Megachurch pastor, best-selling author and perennial optimist Joel Osteen has good news to share. “I see faith in America at an all-time high,” he told editors and reporters at The Washington Times on Monday. Yes, people are struggling, but “our message is so much about hope,” said Mr. Osteen, whose weekly television services are seen by 7 million people in… Read more

Swedish mysteries

We’ve been talking about Swedish literature–particularly, Bo Giertz’s The Hammer of God.   This would be a good time to discuss the latest outbreak of Swedish literature on our shores, the publishing phenomenon of Swedish mysteries.  The biggest sellers are by the late Stieg Larsson, whose “Millennium Trilogy” has sold millions, with the first title  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo being made into what looks like a blockbuster movie that will be released December 21. I started reading these as vacation… Read more

What a game

UPDATE:  The St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series!  They did to the Texas Rangers what I have seen them do over and over again to the Milwaukee Brewers, not only in the playoffs but when I lived in Wisconsin and went to lots of games.  They become just relentless, coming back again and again, even when you think you’ve put them away.  Coming up with that clutch hit just when they need it and consistently performing improbable heroics.   I… Read more

Shining with a painful love

Paul Marshall of the Hudson Institute passed along a letter he received from his friend, a Coptic bishop in Egypt. It shows the spirit of the Christians there, as they endure terrible persecution (as we have been blogging about). They aren’t about preserving their Christian culture or taking vengeance or planning violence. They remain focused, through it all, on “painful love,” working forgiveness and praying for their persecutors: Dear Friends, Thank you for sharing our difficult time. We are passing… Read more

Bailing out student loans

President Obama plans another kind of bailout: In keeping with his new campaign theme of “we can’t wait,” President Obama today will roll out a plan to put more money in the pockets of some of the nation’s 36 million student loan recipients. Obama has broad latitude in this area – certainly broader than the first two parts of his western campaign trip, underwater mortgages and subsidies for hiring veterans – because one of his early legislative initiatives was to… Read more

The Apotheosis of Steve Jobs

CNN’s religion blog asked several experts if they thought that the recently departed Steve Jobs has been turned into a secular saint.  I liked what Gary Laderman of Emory University had to say: Steve Jobs the man is dead. But Steve Jobs the myth is only growing in stature and will only continue to grow as a cultural point of reference as an inspiring model for aspiring entrepreneurs, as a compelling success story with perplexing moral commitments and as an… Read more

Anglican-Lutheran dialogue

We’ve been having our own Anglican-Lutheran dialogues on this blog.  It so happens that today a more formal discussion is taking place on a much higher level: Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana will be the site for the third installment of dialogue between the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), October 27–28. The focus for this meeting will be Contemporary Issues Facing the Church in North America. An open forum will take place… Read more

More discoveries of Bo Giertz

Justin Taylor, editor at Crossway Books, has a great post–entitled “The Best Christian Novel You Have Never Heard Of”– on the Swedish Lutheran novelist Bo Giertz.  He quotes Leland Ryken, a Wheaton professor I have known for a long time who is one of the top evangelical literary critics: Bo Giertz’s fictional work The Hammer of God is one of the best literary “finds” I have ever made. I discovered this novel-length series of three novellas while co-authoring a soon-to-be-released, co-authored (with Philip… Read more

Vatican calls for a world government

The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has issued a document on solving the world’s financial problems.  In the course of those pontifications, the Vatican committee calls for the establishment of a world government, a “world political authority.”  From the document: On the way to building a more fraternal and just human family and, even before that, a new humanism open to transcendence, Blessed John XXIII’s teaching seems especially timely. In the prophetic Encyclical Pacem in Terris of 1963, he… Read more

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