The Crusades, the Inquisition, and Protestants

President Obama told the National Prayer Breakfast that Christianity, like Islam today, has been used to justify violence, mentioning particularly the Crusades and the Inquisition, historical episodes that are always being brought up against Christians.  It’s kind of strange, though, for us heirs of the Reformation to be blamed for those particular incidents. [Read more...]

Luther, Madison, and the Two Kingdoms

Rev. Matthew Harrison, the president of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, discusses a letter President James Madison sent to a Lutheran pastor in 1821 upon reading one of his sermons:

It is a pleasing and persuasive example of pious zeal, united with pure benevolence and of a cordial attachment to a particular creed, untinctured with sectarian illiberality. It illustrates the excellence of a system which, by a due distinction, to which the genius and courage of Luther led the way, between what is due to Caesar and what is due God, best promotes the discharge of both obligations. The experience of the United States is a happy disproof of the error so long rooted in the unenlightened minds of well-meaning Christians, as well as in the corrupt hearts of persecuting usurpers, that without a legal incorporation of religious and civil polity, neither could be supported. A mutual independence is found most friendly to practical Religion, to social harmony, and to political prosperity.

 President Harrison then goes on to give a very clear and perceptive explanation of the Doctrine of the  Two Kingdoms, which Madison was picking up on, which gives an alternative both to the view that the church should try to rule the world and the view that Christians should withdraw from that world. [Read more...]

A new Lutheran blog at Patheos

Rev. Jordan Cooper’s blog, Just and Sinner, has moved to Patheos.  An AALC pastor (a confessional body in fellowship with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod), he is a fixture at Pirate Christian Radio and Issues, Etc.  He is a convert to Lutheranism and tells his story here.

This makes three Lutherans on the Patheos Evangelical channel, along with Rebecca Florence Miller.

Nadia Bolz Weber’s blog Sarcastic Lutheran is part of the Progressive Christian Channel, for some reason.

It’s time for a Lutheran channel!

Cranach’s “Christ Blessing the Children”

One of my favorite Cranach paintings is “Christ Blessing the Children.”  See a discussion after the break.



HT:  Rev. Anthony R. Voltattorni, Young Children Saying The Same Thing As Christ | Alien Righteousness.  (Read this post for a modern-day application.)

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“Two Kingdoms” from another Lutheran at Patheos

Another Lutheran joins me here at Patheos, Rebecca Florence Miller.   She has made a splash already with her post Why Christians Should Stand Up for Atheists,  which makes the case that religious liberty is for everyone, including those who reject religion.   (Atheists are reportedly astounded that a conservative Christians is standing up for them, but that should happen more than it usually does on an issue like this.)  But I leave you, after the jump, with a post that explains very well the Lutheran doctrine of culture and social engagement:  The Two Kingdoms. [Read more...]

Protestants who believe in Purgatory

Some Protestants, including some evangelicals, are trying to bring back the belief in Purgatory.  After the jump, read details and then my thoughts on the matter. [Read more...]