Is Life Really Too Short?

I’ve heard this from blue collar iron workers to white color businessmen. “Life is too short to partake of cheap beer, cigars,” or any other condiment of our existence. But is it? Continue reading

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A Boat with Billowed Sail

Whether it’s Peter, Paul, and Mary’s 1963 “Puff the Magic Dragon,” or the 1977 – rather annoying – song by Styx “Come Sail Away” or the 1980 – less annoying – song by Christopher Cross “Sail Away”, images of the sea captivate. But this is not about the sea but about a synod. Continue reading

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Mothers Don’t Let Your Babies Grow up to be Presbyterians

So sang Willie and Waylon about cowboys, buy you can be a Confessional Lutheran and be a cowboy. The same can’t be said of being a Presbyterian. Never the twain shall meet. The thing conservative Presbyterians are closest to meeting is Unitarianism. I say this after visiting Redeemer Presbyterian, Austin, Texas. Continue reading

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Execrabilis     

That is the title of a papal bull of 1460. Its name comes from the opening word of the Latin text declaring it “execrable” to appeal to a council concerning a papal ruling.  No confessional Lutheran is a Catholic, big “C” but we are Execrabilis. Continue reading

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Two Blogs in One: Another Letter Not from the Trashcan & Bombs Away

This is a June 27, 2000 letter I sent to the Austin American Statesman, and they published it. They titled it.  Medicated society 

       We now have a pill to kill children in the womb (‘FDA approves abortion pill,’ Sept. 29). This is in addition to a pill to keep children from being conceived and one to control them if they do manage to somehow escape the other two. Pity we have yet to make a pill to control adults who cannot control themselves. Rev. Paul R. Harris, Austin Continue reading

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Luther in a Second Language

In reading Albrecht Peters’ Ten Commandments I was surprised by some of what he told me Luther believed, taught, or confessed. At first I thought this might be due to the translator, but it was Holger K. Sonntag whom I know to be a native German speaker and a faithful theologian. So, look out 2017. Us non-German speakers may be surprised by the German Luther. Continue reading

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Visit to a Calvinistic Baptist Church – A High Point

Finally, after visiting a Pentecostal Church, a Bible Church, a Wisconsin Synod Lutheran Church, Redeemer Presbyterian, and St. Albert the Great Catholic church, I heard the Gospel proclaimed clearly, more than once, and not as adjunct to something else. It was at High Pointe Baptist Church, Austin, Texas. Continue reading

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Send Me Romans and I’ll Send You John or Money – An Open Letter to All Missionaries Seeking Money

I have been bombarded in the last two years with LCMS pastors seeking funding for their mission field. My response is “Send me the Book of Romans.” Continue reading

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A Laughing Matter that isn’t Funny

I have a thirty-year-old cartoon in my files from Christianity Today. It depicts an absolutely frazzled man on the edge of a bed, phone plastered to his ear, with a freaked-out expression. The caption is: “My wife just left me, I lost my job, I need surgery, and my spirits have hit bottom! Pastor, you’ve gotta help me. What’s the difference between pre-, post, and amillennialism?” That is a laughing matter that isn’t. Continue reading

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Spiritual Pornography?

I know I have a blog referring to Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion as spiritual pornography (3-13-08), and I’m sure I have referred to Guideposts magazine that way in Bible Classes. I note that no pastor worth his salt would not confront a Playboy magazine lying on a member’s coffee table, but many, myself included, have let Guideposts so slumber. I did so under the rubric of how to treat sleeping dogs and the fact that Guideposts was usually found in the homes of the elderly who have long known that dog as a pet. Then I read it. Continue reading

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