What’s all this fuss about Self-Identifying?

I think the fuss started when the leader of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP stepped down after self-identifying as a black person. You can, indeed, should and must, self-identify your gender, and a pox on your house if you are only binary in this regard. You have to accept the full scope of identity captured in the acronym, while new to me as little as 3 years ago now rolls off the tongue, LGBTQ.  And why is there such a fuss over this? Pastors have been dealing with this for centuries. Continue reading

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What do Seminex, Kloha, and ELDONA have in common?

The answer to this query comes from me, but it is based on an article written by the Reverend Doctor David Scaer. It is good to know not everyone is asleep at the switch at the seminaries, not everyone is willing to set silently by as the theology of Seminex walks the halls of conservative Lutheranism again unmolested. Continue reading

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Playing First Century in Red Pantaloons

Krister Stendahl, a Swedish Lutheran theologian, gave a lecture at an Episcopalian seminary in 1982. It was on Romans. I was in attendance. I remember thinking either this man is too smart for me to understand or so stupid he ought not to be believed. Continue reading

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Finally Free

For 34 years AAL, then Thrivent for Lutherans, then Thrivent for Christians provided me with a desk diary each year, gratias, free of charge, on the arm, or maybe not. It was always in varying shades of red except in 2005. Then it was purple or if you’re hyper sensitive to church colors, violet.  Continue reading

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Halloween: Not Just for Pagans Anymore

This is a bonus blog. It’s a sermon from the year 2000.  It’s always on my website, but because the pamphleteers are out again trying to bind the consciences of Christians, I’m reposting it here. Continue reading

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The Fabricated Luther

In Dr. Uwe Siemon-Netto’s helpful 1993 book The Fabricated Luther he shows how it takes a misreading of history to lay Hitler and Nazism at the feet of Luther. But the Luther fabricated by William Shirer in his 1960 book The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich didn’t do as much damage as the Luther fabricated by today’s LCMS. Continue reading

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Why a Good Host Doesn’t Use the Word Host

Here is a letter – surprise, surprise – that wasn’t relegated to the trash can by its receipts. The The Lutheran Witness published it in the October 2017 issue. Continue reading

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A Barmecidian Feast – Visit to an Episcopal Church

The title comes from a tale in The Arabian Nights. A Barmecidian Feast is an expression that refers to anything that promises much and delivers little. It comes from the story of a very rich host who would invite beggars to his resplendent home for a feast only to serve them empty plates. They would each go along not wishing to appear so silly as to not see and taste such fine food. Continue reading

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Civil Religion Casts a Creed

Surely you’ve seen this sign. It is popular in Austin, no wonder at that. Austinites confess their faith on bumpers, shirts, body parts and now a yard sign. Continue reading

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Coupage Coal Miner’s Communion, and Mutage

The 1970 book Wines for Everyone says this. “It would be neat to say that there is only one kind of bad wine but a million sorts of good. Unfortunately, this is untrue, for the ingenuity of some wine merchants is such that are many sorts of rubbishy wine, that is, wines which have no individuality, no character. Some are made by mixing a little good wine with much bad and giving it the name of good. This is called in France, where it is a custom of enormous antiquity, coupage. The result of the operation is that the best qualities of the good are destroyed without a trace” (11). Continue reading

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