Typhoon kills thousands

One of the most powerful storms ever recorded hit the Philippines, killing some 10,000 people.  Go here to help.

After the jump, details about the storm, the difference between hurricanes and typhoons, and some Lutheran connections. [Read more…]

An audio of Flannery O’Connor reading a story

Thanks to Colin Cutler for alerting me to this recording of Flannery O’Connor reading one of her signature stories.  WARNING:  O’Connor is one of the pre-eminent Christian fiction writers of the past century, but she is not for the faint of heart.  After the jump, some excerpts from an essay of hers that tells what she’s up to, and then the link to the audio of her reading “A Good Man Is Hard to Find.” [Read more…]

The NFL’s corruption

Brutal bullying.  Murder charges.  Rape.  Suicides.  Scrambled brains.  Just another week in the NFL.  Pulitzer Prize winning sportswriter Thomas Boswell loves professional football, but he is dismayed at what the NFL has seemingly become.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised.  Of course the game creates a market for “mean jocks” and criminal-types.  The notion of the athlete as a role model may be outmoded in today’s sports culture.  Can or should anything be done about all of this?  Consider Mr. Boswell’s catalog of corruption after the jump. [Read more…]

Allowing divorced Catholics to take Communion?

Pope Francis and the Roman Catholic hierarchy are reportedly re-considering the practice of denying Communion to Catholics who have  divorced and remarried.

Details after the jump.  Notice in the church debates over the issue how we can see Rome’s teaching that the Sacrament is for those who are holy, rather than for those who need the forgiveness of sins.  We also see Rome’s opposition to divorce, while still allowing divorce-like annulments. [Read more…]

A children’s book on vocation

My daughter, Deaconness Mary Moerbe, has just published a children’s book on vocation!  Luther was insistent that being a child is a vocation, that even very young children have callings from God.  This book shows kids how God serves them through other people (especially their parents) and how God also serves other people through them.  What an important and yet strangely neglected topic!

Mary’s book is entitled How Can I Help? God’s Calling For Kids.  It is written beautifully, has wonderful illustrations, and is published by Concordia Publishing House.  I wrote an introduction.  At the Amazon site, linked above, you can sample it with the “look inside” feature.  After the jump, an overview and ordering links. [Read more…]

Speedfaithing

You know about speed dating.  A man and a woman sit down together for 3-8 minutes (depending on how it’s set up) to see if they hit it off, then move to a new table for 3-8 minutes with someone else.  Now there is speedfaithing, in which people go to different tables to hear from advocates of different religions, who have 10 minutes to make their case.

After the jump, a news story about speedfaithing in Irvine, California, along with a challenge for you commenters. I’m struck more, though, about the last sentence of the story and what it reveals about what people, including this atheist, think religion is all about.  ” ‘I’m a good person,'” says the atheist representative, “‘ and I don’t necessarily need religion to show I’m a good person.’ ”  OK.  Then there are the Christian tables for all of us bad persons; that is, sinners. [Read more…]