January 17, 2008

The distinguished journalist Uwe Siemon-Netto has written an article for an Asian publication on the huge appeal in Asian cultures of Johann Sebastian Bach. The article includes specific accounts of people converting to Christianity through his music: Maruyama is passionate about Bach – she attributes her conversion from Buddhism to Christianity to his music. “When I play a fugue, I can hear Bach talking to God,” she told Metro Lutheran, a monthly church paper in the Twin Cities. . …. Read more

January 17, 2008

In an interview with a Nevada editorial board, Barack Obama did something rather unique for Democrats, praising and associating himself with Ronald Reagan. From Politico blogger Ben Smith: “Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not, and a way that Bill Clinton did not,” he said, describing Reagan as appealing to a sentiment that, “We want clarity, we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism nad entrepreneurship that had… Read more

January 17, 2008

Three different GOP winners in three different races, and now Romney is being hailed as the front-runner. But he may be. Remember that these primaries and caucuses are not sporting events, despite the way they are treated by the press. Someone might “win” with 39% of the vote, but the “losers” are also picking up delegates. Because Romney finished second in the other races (plus won the inexplicably ignored Wyoming caucuses), he has more delegates than any of the other… Read more

January 17, 2008

Here is an interesting story about a Lutheran pastor who played a key role in the overthrow of communism in East Germany. That country, with its bloody and seemingly omnipresent secret police, the Stasi, was probably more hard-core than the former Soviet Union. The Reuters story about Rev. Christian Fuhrer was occasioned by his recent retirement from his congregation. HT: Darren Jones Read more

January 16, 2008

FW wrote this comment on yesterday’s witnessing post: I literally got goosebumps reading this post. I daily am forced in my vocation ( ok i am a sinner and do few things that are NOT self centered by choice) to deal with and witness to homosexuals, transgenders, drug addicts, very religious pentecostals who are in reality terrified of God, truly good and pious people who do not have Jesus and all those other people who look exactly like me in… Read more

January 16, 2008

Thanks to Frank Sonnek for alerting me to this piece by literary critic Stanley Fish, trying to figure out what the value is of literary study.  He begins with a fine reading of some lines from George Herbert, and he nails Herbert’s Reformation emphasis on how Christ does EVERYTHING for our salvation. Fish became a big postmodernist theorist, but he was also a first-rate George Herbert critic.  In fact, he was, like me, an early promoter of a Reformation reading… Read more

January 16, 2008

An Iranian filmmaker has made a movie depicting the life of Jesus according to Islam. The film, “Jesus, the Spirit of God” depicts Him as a prophet, not as the incarnate God, and it denies that He was actually crucified. According to the movie and to the Koran, God snatched Jesus up to Heaven at the last minute and put Judas on the cross instead. According to Islam, God did not die for sinners; sinners have to die for God…. Read more

January 16, 2008

I wasn’t really planning to get into American Idol again, but here I am. I’ll live-blog it: Not stories! They are doing to a talent show what they did to the Olympics, giving all this human-interest background so we’ll get involved with the characters rather than concentrating on the performances. A guy who lost 200 pounds. . . An immigrant who loves America. . .A teenaged girl who has to take care of her wheel-chair bound mother. . . A… Read more

January 15, 2008

Related to yesterday’s post on people looking to their Christ-likeness for the assurance of their salvation is the insistence that I keep hearing that the best witness to the Gospel is the example of our lives. You know, all that “use words only if necessary,” but I-don’t-have-to-say-anything-about-Jesus-just-impress-unbelievers-with-my-virtues talk. First of all, as the Bible explains, faith comes from hearing of the Word. Someone who sees a Christian do Christian things will have no idea what any of it is about… Read more

January 15, 2008

Dr. Rod Rosenbladt’s classic presentation for people who have been ground down and chewed up by their experience in the church, “The Gospel for Those Broken by the Church,” is available as a downloadable MP3 file from New Reformation Press. Click here. HT: Internetmonk, on the issue of the assurance of salvation posted about yesterday, recommended Dr. Rosenbladt’s talk and linked to New Reformation Press, who is making it available. Read more

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