Good Friday conjunctions

This year Good Friday falls on April 22, which is also the new environmentalist holiday of Earth Day.  (It is also “89ers’ Day,” the anniversary of the Oklahoma Land Run in 1889, as all of my fellow Oklahomans should know.)   Some churches, usually of the more liberal persuasion, are trying to honor Good Friday and Earth Day together, recommending ecological gestures to honor Christ and suggesting that Christ died for the Earth. He did die for the world.  And the… Read more

Easter and Baptism

Did you realize that you were buried in the tomb with Jesus?  And that on Easter morning when He rose from the dead, you did too?  That’s what your baptism accomplished, according to the Bible:  “having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead” (Colossians 2:12). Read more

Was Easter originally a Pagan Holiday?

The charge is that the word “Easter” derives from the name of a pagan fertility goddess “Eostre.”   It is said that Christians took over a spring festival devoted to this deity.  But this article by British historian Anthony McRoy debunks that claim: Was Easter Borrowed from a Pagan Holiday? | Christian History. Briefly, the connection to Eostre was made by the Venerable Bede, the medieval church historian, but we can find no other mention of the goddess or any festival… Read more

The impact of Holy Communion

Today is Maundy Thursday, when Passion Week takes off.   In particular, this is the commemoration of the Last Supper of our Lord with His disciples, at which He instituted the sacrament of Holy Communion. We Lutherans, of course, consider that the bread and wine convey the actual objective body and blood of the Risen Christ given for our salvation.  So of course Holy Communion is a huge deal for us, the very center of our spiritual lives, the tangible manifestation… Read more

Preserving the Union

In a review of Robert Redford’s new movie The Conspirator, about the plot to kill Lincoln, Ann Hornaday makes an interesting point, that one of the major patriotic ideals for which many Americans died in the Civil War–namely, the Union–is nearly always denigrated in movies and has faded from the American consciousness: As University of Virginia history professor Gary Gallagher gracefully proves in his book “Causes Won, Lost and Forgotten,” about how popular culture has shaped ideas about the Civil… Read more

Maundy Wednesday?

This would harmonize an alleged inconsistency in the inerrant Bible: Colin Humphreys of Cambridge University says discrepancies in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke as compared with John arose because they used an older calendar than the official Jewish one. He concluded the date was 1 April AD33. This could also mean Jesus’ arrest, interrogation and separate trials did not all take place on one night only. Prof Humphreys believes his findings could present a case for finally fixing… Read more

Pro-abortion theology

Katherine Jean Lopez quotes from “O, Beautiful,” a play by Theresa Rebeck, which is getting praise in the New York Times: ‘This is a loving, caring Jesus,” is how the director of a play involving abortion described a leading man to the New York Times. The play, written by a Notre Dame grad, recently took to stage at the University of Delaware. The dialogue includes a gal asking Christ: “Did you ever say, ‘I’m Jesus, and I say that stupid… Read more

Who pays taxes?

A news story in the Washington Post follows the Democratic party line in complaining that the rich don’t pay their fair share of taxes.  But notice how the facts get in the way of the thesis! As millions of procrastinators scramble to meet Monday’s tax-filing deadline, ponder this: The super-rich pay a lot less in taxes than they did a couple of decades ago, and nearly half of U.S. households pay no income taxes at all. The Internal Revenue Service… Read more

Protestant as one who confesses

Fred Sanders sheds some light on what “Protestant” means on the anniversary of the Protestation of Speyer, which was yesterday: Today (April 19) is the anniversary of the 1529 Protestation of Speyer, which is generally regarded as the first time that the word “Protestant” was used to refer to a religious position distinct from Roman Catholicism. A coalition of German princes and leaders refused to abide by the imperial ban on Luther’s teachings, and called instead for the free spread… Read more

Full faith and credit

Remember how government bonds have been considered a sure investment because they are backed by  “the full faith and credit” of the United States of America?  Well, the Standard & Poor bond rating agency is having its doubts about what our government’s “full faith and credit” is worth: S&P changed its outlook on the United States from “stable” to “negative” and said the federal government could lose its AAA rating if officials fail to bring spending in line with revenues…. Read more

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