Indulgences and Purgatory in Martin Luther’s 95 Theses

This Fall will be the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. It began on October 31, 1517, when a 33-year old German Roman Catholic monk and theologian named Martin Luther published his Ninety-Five Theses, also called the “Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences.” This document was ninety-five numbered statements. Most of them are one or two lines in length. In them, Luther presents objections and some confirmations of Catholic soteriology as it pertains mostly to ind … [Read more...]

The L. A. Times Says We Need to Look in the Mirror

Patheos blogger here at the Progressive Christian Channel, Adam Erickson, just now posted a disturbing citation from The Los Angeles Times concerning Russiagate. Adam concludes his post, "James Comey: Lies, Truth, and American Courage," as follows:"If Russia did attempt to change the outcome of the U.S. election, it learned how to do so from watching the U.S. The Los Angeles Times reports that, “The U.S. has a long history of attempting to influence presidential elections in other countries – … [Read more...]

“Why People Resist Being Persuaded”

This month's issue of Christianity Today magazine has what I think is an excellent and brief article by Christine Herman entitled "Why People Resist Being Persuaded." Interestingly, she is a PhD chemist turned public radio journalist and freelance science writer. Christine begins this piece as follows:"The problem with persuasion is not just that people are stubborn; people change their minds all the time about all sorts of things. The real challenge arises when someone's beliefs are tied to … [Read more...]

What a Pity: No More Christian Bookstores

Christian bookstores were an important part of my Christian growth. I used to love to scour the books on the shelves in Christian bookstores. And I often struck up a relationship with store owners or employees. Sure, I shopped at secular bookstores, too. But I bought most of my theological books at Christian bookstores. It was an education that I got in no other place--thumbing through books that presented varying theological positions. I didn't get that in my church. It proclaimed a certain … [Read more...]