on Jesus' baptism

This Sunday, January 12th, the church celebrates the baptism of Christ. This event is recorded in all four Gospels, which clearly points to its importance. Matthew's account is given as the reading for this Sunday: Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. But…

on silence

After posting this quote from Bonhoeffer, I couldn't keep it from running around in my mind: We are so afraid of silence that we chase ourselves from one event to the next in order not to have to spend a moment alone with ourselves, in order not to have to…

to the lowly, not the exalted

Where reason is indignant, where our nature rebels, where our piety anxiously keeps us away: that is precisely where God loves to be. There he confounds the reason of the reasonable; there he aggravates our nature, our piety--that is where he wants to be, and no one can keep him…

Luther on prayer

None can believe how powerful prayer is, and what it is able to effect, but those who have learned it by experience. It is a great matter when in extreme need, to take hold on prayer. I know, whenever I have earnestly prayed, I have been amply heard, and have…

hiding behind Christ

Despite the pressures and external pressures to be more authentic or relevant, the Word that the pastor is given to speak is the objective certainty of a crucified and risen Savior of sinners.  It does not mimic the trends of the culture or emotion or entertainment. Most importantly, the Word…

on good works

It is the perversity of the world that, when we preach about forgiveness of sins by pure grace and without merit of man, it should either say we forbid good works, or else try to draw the conclusion that man may continue to live in sin and follow his own…

our yes to evil

With each one of us there is a Yes to the evil that can be held back by God’s grace alone. But God is mightier than all evil in the world. - Bo Giertz, Hammer of God …

the love of God

Surely the whole world does not grasp the tiniest syllable of the statement that God is love. No human religion can hold its own in the face of the judgment, but it is solely in the blood of Christ that we have confidence on the Day of Judgment. -- Martin…

the 'problem' with theology

I have been a student of Christian theology my entire adult life.  I have tested the waters or swum in many diverse Christian traditions from Orthodoxy, Presbyterianism/Congregationalism, Lutheranism, and Methodism/Wesleyanism.  I have well-worn, dog-eared, note-filled theology books from all those great traditions on my bookshelves.  Here's the thing…

What Happens in Worship

Lutheran worship is primarily the proclamation of the gospel in Word and sacrament. As we gather together for worship, God speaks to us in his Word. Through the preaching of his law he crushes us with the stark and painful reminder of our own sin and unworthiness; he causes us…