Packers/Bears; Steelers/Jets

The playoffs have gotten very interesting, especially for us Packer fans. Green Bay utterly destroyed top-seeded Atlanta. They never even had to punt! The Packers seem like a relentless machine. And now they will play their division arch-rivals the Chicago Bears, who defeated all of the ex-Packers in Seattle, with the prize a trip to the Super Bowl. Those teams both know each other very, very well. They split the two games they played this season, the last one being… Read more

The Incarnation is not enough

Yet another good sermon from Pastor Douthwaite: Last week we heard that after John baptized Jesus in the Jordan River, the heavens opened, the Spirit of God descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove, and a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matt 3:17). This week, we hear what John did and proclaimed after that. When he now sees Jesus, he points to Him and proclaims: “Behold, the Lamb… Read more

The Bible in one sentence

Dane Ortlund asked a number of prominent evangelical pastors and writers to sum up the Bible in one sentence.  Here is a sampling (see more at the link): Dan Block: God was so covenantally committed to the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him may have eternal life! Craig Blomberg: God is in the process of recreating the universe which has been corrupted by sin and has made it possible for all those… Read more

Why democracy is in trouble

Herbert London, a conservative academic drawing on Plato and others, gives six reasons why he thinks American democracy is in trouble: First, and perhaps most notably, a democratic republic depends on an educated populace and adherence to certain norms of behavior. It is evident, however, that Americans have a far greater interest in amusing themselves than in educating themselves. Even the extraordinary number of college graduates reveals little about educational attainment since so many are trained in incapacity. Many colleges… Read more

Forbidden descriptions

Now pundits are drawing back from their initial claims that Sarah Palin and company were responsible for the Tucson shootings, since it’s evident that the gunman Jared Loughner was simply mentally ill and never paid attention to political rhetoric.  But now they are attacking Palin for describing the way she was blamed for the killings as a “blood libel.” That phrase specifically refers to the old anti-semitic libel that Jews mix the blood of Christian children in their matzoh balls. … Read more

Theological bankruptcy

Christianity Today has a thoughtful editorial on the bankruptcy of the Crystal Cathedral and what that means (or should mean) for contemporary Christianity: This past October, the megachurch prototype of the late 20th century filed for bankruptcy. A 24 percent drop in donations and a $50-$100 million debt owed to more than 550 creditors forced the Crystal Cathedral to file. It was a poignant moment in the history of modern evangelicalism. Robert H. Schuller’s famous Crystal Cathedral was built on… Read more

Anger at God leads to atheism

Joe Carter reports on a study that shows that atheists are angry at a God they don’t believe exists.  Or, rather, their anger at God motivated them not to believe in Him: A new set of studies in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology finds that atheists and agnostics report anger toward God either in the past or anger focused on a hypothetical image of what they imagine God must be like. Julie Exline, a psychologist at Case Western… Read more

Frodo & Vocation

The Lord of the Rings is another tale about vocation, as John Ortberg realizes: My daughter and I were re-watching Lord of the Rings before Christmas. At one point, on the last part of the journey through Mordor, Frodo turns to Sam and tells him how badly he wishes he did not have to be the one to carry the Ring. Being the Ring-Bearer was a difficult and dangerous role. He took it up voluntarily; he knew it was a… Read more

Vocation gone wild

This is from a couple of years ago, but Carl Vehse just found it and brought it to my attention.  It’s from Pastor Petersen at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Ft. Wayne, IN.  It’s an account of vocation gone wild: I recently had a mild encounter with a German friend of mine. I wanted him to turn down the heat in a public building, of which he is a member. I didnt feel quite right doing it, since I was a… Read more

Two meanings of “faith”

Thanks to FWS who pointed us to this post from LCMS president Matthew Harrison quoting the German theologian and enemy of Nazism Hermann Sasse (who quotes Werner Elert): Werner Elert repeatedly drew our attention to the fundamental difference between the Roman Catholic and Evangelical Lutheran understandings about ecclesiastical confessions of doctrine. It consists in this, that the Roman doctrinal confession has the form of an imperative, while the Lutheran has the form of an indicative. Roman dogma is a command… Read more

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