The conventional wisdom assumes that education is a secularizing factor, so that the more education a person has, the less likely the person will be affiliated with a religion. But researchers have found the opposite. Sort of.
The aftermath of Thanksgiving and the advent of Advent are good times to reflect on the good things in our lives. What are you feeling especially thankful for?
The Bible connects thanksgiving with sacrifice. In the Levitical sacrificial system, gratitude to God was expressed by sacrificing an animal, bringing bread, then eating it in a feast. Later, the Bible speaks of the sacrifice of thanksgiving not just as a ritual but as a condition of the heart. It is still a sacrifice, though, since gratitude involves denial of self.
Frederick the Wise supposedly had a dream the night before Luther posted his theses in which a monk was writing on the church door with a quill pen that reached all the way to Rome and nearly knocked off the Pope's tiara. The story sounds apocryphal. But there are reasons it could be legitimate. And it would solve one of the Reformation's greatest mysteries.
The birthrate has declined 20% since 2007. And since 1973 the sperm count of men around the world has dropped by half. Scientists cannot fully explain why these things are happening. Which calls to mind P. D. James' great dystopian sci-fi novel "The Children of Men."
Sometimes the slippery slope argument is no fallacy. Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide laws do keep extending to all kinds of suffering, and where such laws are passed, the number of non-assisted suicides rises significantly. Canada now euthanizes poor people instead of helping them, and Germany has declared suicide to be a "fundamental right."
I am teaching young people in a post-confirmation class. We are studying the history of the church in general and their Lutheran church in particular. I am trying to help them learn and appreciate their spiritual heritage and realize their place in it. My goal is to build up their Christian identity by helping them cultivate a Lutheran identity. Perhaps that is the key to keeping them in the church. Read more
Now that the midterm elections are over, as sick as you may be of politics, the race for the presidency in 2024 has begun. As of this early date, who do you think should be your party's nominee for president?
People today are obsessed with their identities. But the Bible explicitly says that the identity of the Christian is not to be found in ethnicity, sex, gender, or oppression. Rather, our identity is to be found "in Christ," who identifies with us and gives us His identity. This is realized in baptism, in which we are given both our individual names and the name of the Triune God. Read more