November 10, 2018

Contemporary denial of climate change is not unlike the Galileo affair around 1610. The church and many religious leaders of that era resisted evidence of a heliocentric universe presented by Galileo, so much so that Galileo famously wrote, “My dear Kepler, I wish that we might laugh at the remarkable stupidity of the common herd. What do you have to say about the principal philosophers of this academy who are filled with the stubbornness of an asp and do not… Read more

November 2, 2018

Also Known As the Pareto Principle It’s sometimes called the Pareto Principle, named after the Italian Economist Vilfredo Pareto, who noticed that 20% of the people in Italy owned 80% of the land. The rule in its most simple phenomenological form states that 80% of effects come from 20% of the causes.  80% of Legos are sold to 20% of the customers. It’s why Lego started making giant Millennium Falcons –they realized they had super customers who would buy everything. Or… Read more

October 25, 2018

Welcome to the 501st anniversary of the Reformation! I’ll be your host, Reverend Doctor Clint Schnekloth, long-time blogger at Lutheran Confessions and therefore pseudo-expert on all things Reformation! If you’re reading this, I thank you, because in this election cycle, most of us are simply reading posts about the upcoming election, waking up startled to the president’s lies, or burying ourselves in desperate attempts at humor over at McSweeney’s. Remember the 500th? 2017 was the 500th anniversary of the Reformation…. Read more

October 15, 2018

It’s been hard lately to make pastoral or theological sense of many things. I don’t think I’m alone in hitting the creativity wall. I often feel stalled, wondering how to push through, or why to push through, towards generativity. Hitting this wall keeps me thinking about Michael Pollan’s recent book, How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence. The book is mostly a history of the conservative culture war waged… Read more

October 10, 2018

There’s a big Evangelical church in most communities. Multi-site. Well known lead pastor. Prominent location by an interstate. I imagine you may have a church like this near you. The church implements a lot of very aggressive evangelism strategies. Maybe they distribute posters in the folders at elementary school inviting the whole school to a bible study, circumventing district policies. The church unapologetically evangelizes everyone all the time, regardless of church affiliation, often using youth events as a primary evangelical… Read more

October 4, 2018

Creation and Trinity A lot of Christian theology over the centuries has been focused, not without reason, on the God-human relationship. Jesus Christ was a human being, after all, so if Christianity confesses the human being Jesus as Messiah and Lord, it makes sense a lot of thought would be invested, a lot of words spilled, on understanding how it could possibly be the case that Jesus Christ was fully God AND fully human. Lost in the shuffle, on the other hand, has… Read more

September 21, 2018

  Our first evening in Tucson is a briefing. The room is full of people committed to the work of immigrant advocacy. They spend their days protecting the rights of asylum seekers, over-seeing direct service for immigrants, and managing the resettlement program. The room also includes leaders from Tucson like Pastor Elizabeth Smith and Rocío Calderón who coordinate care visits to the Eloy Detention Center.   No briefing would be complete without charts and numbers. It is here, for example,… Read more

September 15, 2018

Bonhoeffer’s Reception of Luther: A Review Bonhoeffer’s Reception of Luther.  Michael P. DeJonge. Oxford University Press, 2017. Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran. Say it again. Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran. Although his long-standing association with his contemporary Karl Barth has sometimes led us to believe Bonhoeffer was more Barthian than Lutheran, and although evangelicals (that bastard Eric Metaxas chief among them) like to claim him for their cause, the truth is simple: Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran. DeJonge opens his book with simple… Read more

September 6, 2018

Let’s be honest. Most people don’t read the Bible. Back in the day, this was because God only spoke Latin, while the hoi polloi only spoke (or read) all the other languages (other than Latin). King James and Martin Luther fixed this, helping God speak English and German, but… more recently, nobody reads the Bible because they’re too busy keeping up with their Facebook news feed or liking pictures on Instagram. So we still have a problem. George Gallup famously… Read more

September 1, 2018

  There are two common misunderstandings of Luther’s theology. If I can correct both here, I’ll have accomplished my task. Basically, I would like to convince you that socialism is the outcome of Lutheran (and therefore Protestant) theology, and that we are now all monastics. If in addition I can convince you that Luther was (anachronistically) a Marxist, all the better. So here we go. Misunderstanding #1: Luther taught a priesthood of all believers Yes, he did teach this, or… Read more

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