Donald Trump as an evangelical

Donald Trump is calling himself an “evangelical.”  Christian columnist Michael Gerson discusses that self-identification, in the course of which he tells a great anecdote relating to (a misunderstanding of) vocation. [Read more…]

Christmas and Vocation

One thing you learn from the doctrine of vocation is that the Christian life includes what we might describe as the secular.  The realm of “Christian” does not consist just of overtly devout exercises.  Rather, it also includes our lives in the family, the workplace, and the community.  This point also applies to how we celebrate Christmas.  We are surely right to complain when Jesus is left out of the celebration of His birthday, but those who complain about the secular observances–wanting it to be just a religious holiday celebrated in church, being irked that even non-Christians are celebrating it, and complaining about all of the presents–may be missing something about the scope of Christ’s reign and the nature of vocation. [Read more…]

Still not getting Vocation

Our newspaper publishes Billy Graham’s Q&A column.  Here is a recent question from Mrs. K. W.:

DEAR DR. GRAHAM: My husband and I want to serve God, but we’re still tied down with family responsibilities and jobs. Maybe we can volunteer for some kind of mission work once our children are grown or we retire.

[Read more…]

“Conscience,” “calling,” and the new pastoral counseling

More from Terry Mattingly’s column about the new Protestant-like role of “conscience” in liberal Catholicism:   He quotes Blase Cupich, the Archbishop of Chicago, on how he counsels the divorced and remarried, gays, and others in what the Church officially considers to be a sinful lifestyle. [Read more…]

Covetousness and idolatry

In our Bible class last Sunday, in which we are studying the hymns of Martin Franzmann, this Scriptural text came up:

“For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” (Ephesians 5:5).

The question arose, in what sense is someone who is covetous also an idolater?  Think about that.  After the jump, I’ll tell you the quite illuminating explanation given by my son-in-law, Rev. Ned Moerbe.

[Read more…]

Labor & Leisure

Labor Day heralds the end of summer vocations.  Now the Fall begins and it’s back to work.  For students and teachers like me, it has always meant getting serious again and going back to the classrooms for another school year.

This year, for me, the holiday is hitting me in a completely different way since I am retiring.  All summer I have been madly busy finishing up my job, so Labor Day is heralding the beginning of my not laboring, at least in the same way I have all of my life. [Read more…]