It seems we have forgotten that debate is a skill set. It is an art form that requires continuous refinement and strengthening, or it withers and dies. To be confronted by a dissenting opinion, to listen and understand an argument you don’t agree with, and to respond with a reasoned, factual rebuttal is a crucial part of any intellectual growth. Alas…the art of the rebuttal is slowly dying.

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.

A couple of weeks ago some yahoo was threatening to destroy all the white Jesus paintings and statues because they fit the white supremacy narrative. My first reaction was the same as most over-exaggerations of our racial division in this country; how silly. But after further thought and listening, I came to see that his perception is not irrational. A black person might indeed have bad feelings toward the near unanimity of a European looking Jesus on the walls of homes and churches where African Americans were inhumanely treated up until the 60’s.  Quite honestly, I would hate to let a white Jesus stop a person from believing in the real Jesus.

In a world where most people get their news from social media, anyone with a cell phone is an amateur cameraman, and individuals take to Facebook and Twitter to inform each other of current events, is it really a wonder that we have a hard time discerning what is true? Even our major news outlets read more like opinion than fact, intentionally leaning into overt biases and promoting their own agendas. In a recent interview on Hardcore History Addendum, former journalist Dan Carlin points out, “the democratization of the media has led to the democratization of truth.”

Quiet air.

Hangs there. Invisible to the eye who looks upon. Heavy upon the chest of those who breathe it. She tries not to inhale that quiet air that she cannot see. It stings the back of her tongue thickly swamping shallow into her lung. Drowning in the quiet air, gasping at the hidden tears bleeding down the back of her throat. Concentrate and no one sees. Metal air in, hope breathed out.