Tell about a Saint

Today is All Saints’ Day.  It commemorates the Christians who have gone before us and the way Christians can help each other in the “communion of saints.”  Use this space to tell about a “saint” who impacted your life.  Not anybody famous.  I’d like to hear about a regular, everyday Christian who helped build up your faith.

Who split the Church?

I’ve been reading some Reformation Day reflections by Roman Catholics, some of whom have expressed a little grudging appreciation for Luther, while blaming him for splitting the Church.  (You can find some here.) But Luther was excommunicated.  Why?  Because he criticized the sale of indulgences.  In the case that precipitated his nailing the theses to the door, a salesman named Tetzel was participating in a manifestly corrupt venture–having to do ecclesiastical bribery and simony–that was theologically untenable. Here is an... Read more

Death is better than Taxes

The estate tax kicks back in on December 31, unless Bush’s tax cuts are extended.  Reportedly,  some elderly folks who want to give a big inheritance to their children planning to discontinue  life-saving medical treatments so as to die before that date.  So says Wyoming Congressional representative Cynthia Lummis, reporting that she is hearing this from some of her constituents, specifically, children of those who are planning their deaths.  See   Wyoming Rep. Lummis: Estate tax rise has some planning... Read more

Nail your theses onto this blog

In honor of Reformation Day on Sunday, let’s make our own theses for the Reformation of today’s church and post them not on a church door but, in accord with our new information technology, here on this blog. A thesis is ONE SENTENCE, stating a position you would be willing to defend. I will start, posting some sentences, one per comment, drawing on a couple of my recent rants. I am aware that some people will have different opinions and... Read more

Discuss the theses here

Take a thesis you want to discuss from the thread above, copy and paste it into a comment on this post, and talk about it, whether to expand upon the point or agree with it or take issue with it or whatever. (Again, do that here rather than interrupt the growing list of theses.) [UPDATE:  Stop hi-jacking this thread to continue the notorious 637-comment argument of weeks ago.  I’m going to start deleting comments.  (Mike, I’m not talking about you. ... Read more

Grisham’s latest hero is a Lutheran pastor

Lutheran pastors must be considered cool, at least in popular fiction.  There is the one in Warrior Monk.  Now bestselling author John Grisham features one in his latest blockbust of legal suspense, The Confession.  From a review in the Washington Post: The novel opens with a classic noir situation in which an ordinary Joe finds himself suddenly thrust by fate into a nightmare. In this case, our flummoxed hero is the Rev. Keith Schroeder, pastor of a Lutheran church in... Read more

Outsourcing jobs to America

The good thing about becoming a Third World country is that foreign countries will outsource their manufacturing to us.  From The Washington Post: GREER, S.C. – When German automaker BMW put out the call recently to hire a thousand factory workers here, the people who responded reflected the upheaval occurring in the U.S. economy. Among the applicants: a former manager of a major distribution center for Target; a consultant who oversaw construction projects in four Western states; a supervisor at... Read more

Political dysfunction

Robert J. Samuelson on why are political divisions are growing, even as most Americans get along with each other pretty well, despite their political differences: It’s not that the public has become sharply polarized. In 2010, 42 percent of Americans call themselves conservative, 35 percent moderates and 20 percent liberals, reports Gallup. In 1992, the figures were 43, 36 and 17 percent. So there’s a widening disconnect between the polarized political system and the less-polarized public. There are at least... Read more

Bringing the Reformation to Protestantism

The original Reformation, whose anniversary we mark on October 31, began in 1517 as an attempt to bring medieval Catholicism back to the Gospel, the Bible, and Vocation. It has occurred to me that today the various Protestant churches need that same Reformation. THE GOSPEL. Luther nailed his theses on the church door to challenge the practice of selling indulgences. In effect, people were told to give their money to the church, whereupon they would get to go straight to... Read more

Bringing on America’s Fall

Editorial cartoonist Tom Toles has an amusing bit about how we can blame our politicians for everything: You don’t have to consult any experts; you can see with your own eyes what is happening under the Obama administration. The leaves, ALL OF THEM, are coming off the trees! Sure, you can try to dress that up in pretty colors, but Obama promised GROWTH, and what we’re getting instead are BARE BRANCHES! Our homes used to be places where we could... Read more
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