Settled in the sand. Sun on her shoulder. Sweet quiet wind across the shoreline. Steady and constant whisper of waves running wet fingers up the beach could barely touch her. Laying there, just far enough away from the fondling foam to feel its icy shock on the tips of toes. In and out, water breaking, reaching, falling back into the deep expanse.
One of the struggles I have as the pastor of a congregation as I attempt to lead, or shepherd the flock, through times of great turmoil and confusion deals with the public face of the ministry itself. On just the surface level of things, the stuff most people see, should I be the calm strong voice of unmoved determination, assuring everyone that it will be alright? Should I just mimic the words of the rest of society and say, “This too shall pass,” or, “We’re all in this together,”
“Hero/it’s a nice-boy notion that the real world’s gonna destroy./You know/it’s a Marvel-comic-book, Saturday-matinee fairytale, boy. … When they ain’t as big as life/When they ditch their second wife/ Where’s the boy to go?” (Steve Taylor, “Hero”).
John Calvin (the least entertaining of the Reformers) famously said, “From this we may gather that man’s nature, […]
Who am I? I am a daughter and sister, but not always a great one. I love my family dearly, but I am pretty bad at remembering to call regularly and check in on how everyone is doing. I am a professional, usually. I work hard at being a good leader and example, but too often I allow myself to fall into idle gossip and complaining. I am an American, but not the best. I consider it a privilege to live in this country, though I frequently fail in my civic duties.
Identity theft is a modern crime that can ruin not only a person’s bank account but their life! Simon Bunce of Hampshire, England not only had his credit-card number stolen on-line but was arrested and falsely accused of being a pedophile when his card number was used to buy child pornography. Fortunately, the story has a somewhat happy ending, as Bunce was eventually cleared by the police.
Dear God, I can’t pray to you. It wouldn’t be right. You listen to the prayers of your loyal people. Those whom you love. Those who listen to you. You want me to be good, you wanted me to act like your child, and I haven’t. You want me to honor you in thought words and deed, but my faith is not strong enough. You want me to love you above all things. I don’t. I don’t want to. And I’m not interested in making a change anytime soon. So I understand, there is no reason why you should listen to me now.
A fisherman casts his net in a wide arc upon the service of the water. As it begins to sink below the surface the boat slowly moves to trawl the net under the surface of the sea. It creates a large pocket like the mouth of a whale as it scoops up everything in its path. Eventually, when it seems weighted and full, or at least the set time has passed, they begin to haul in their load.
By – John W. Hoyum
A kind of revisionist history has come to surround the issue of “radical Lutheranism,” taking aim especially at the theology of Gerhard Forde. Forde’s work has been particularly notable in recent years for his interpretation of Luther’s law-gospel distinction, the theology of the cross, and the relevance of proclamation for Christian theology. Unfortunately, Forde’s contribution has become a symbol of encroaching liberalism in confessional Lutheran circles. Yet this narrative of blaming Forde isn’t quite accurate. An examination of the origins of “radical Lutheranism” and the details of Forde’s own background will, I hope, help to set the record straight.
Every Sunday, she was distracted by that picture. Tried not to look for too long, because it made her uncomfortable, but she couldn’t get it out of her head. And there, just on a forgotten wall down the church hall. She thought maybe they should have covered up that picture years ago, like all the other ones. But for some reason, they forgot this one.