The Sin of Niceness

“I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. (Revelation 3: 15-16) A dear friend … Continue reading

Remember Thrivent? Planned Parenthood does.

Remember Thrivent? Planned Parenthood does. And I do, too. If you are struggling to recall the details of the events from the not-all-that-distant past, let me remind you…because the current smog hovering above Planned Parenthood and releasing of the undercover … Continue reading

A lion? You’re kidding, right?

A lion? You are kidding, right? You’re outraged over the killing and beheading of a lion – even feverishly so – and with heartfelt concern for international justice you are considering Zimbabwe’s demand for extradition of the American citizen who … Continue reading

America the Christological

“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the LORD: look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug…” Isaiah 51:1 I’m assuming almost right away that folks will … Continue reading

Three Examples of How Lutherans Deny Justification by Faith Alone: A Response – Part Two of Two

This is the second part of my response to the blog article, “How Lutherans Implicitly Deny Faith Alone in Christ Alone.” Three Examples of How Lutherans Deny Justification by Faith Alone: A Response – Part Two of Two 3) Loss … Continue reading

The Call Process Primer

Calling a new pastor is a great and glorious occasion.  It can however be a hard time as well.  Your congregation is going through a lot of things after losing its pastor.  There is grief in many situations at his … Continue reading

Lutherans and Zombies – More Stuff to Annoy the Pietists

There at the dinner table her song began as expected, being carried along by a mesmerizing joy afforded only to three-year-olds. But no sooner than the songstress had woven her whimsical serenade—ever briefly, ever swiftly—did the course change and life … Continue reading

An Initial, but Visceral, Response to the Murder of the Jordanian Pilot

The following may or may not be of any use to you, except perhaps to say, “Hey, look at what that pastor wrote. He said something that could get him on some government list.” Well, whatever. If I see it show … Continue reading

Lutheran Worship

What does it mean to “worship God?” It is precisely that question Lutherans are asking and at the same time are offering answers. One approach at answering the question at hand is with a negative answer, what worship is not. … Continue reading

The Church in Need – A Hard Look at Giving – Guest post by Vanessa

Thanks to Vanessa for this guest post.  For more by Vanessa check out her regular blog: Bible, Beer, and Babies. No one likes to talk about money. I know of no church elder, pastor or lay member who enjoys standing in front … Continue reading

“A Mighty Fortress is Our God” — Sermon for Reformation Sunday

Reverend Christopher I. Thoma + Text and Theme: Lutheran Service Book, Hymn 656, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” (The Preaching of the Gospel for this feast takes a different form than what is our usual practice. The intention is to … Continue reading

In the Town, but Not of the World

Here in the commonwealth of Virginia, we moved Concordia Lutheran Mission from Lexington to Buena Vista because we were led to find a great rental property.  We have now worshipped in our new location three Sundays, including today.  One of … Continue reading

Climbing the High Dive

Every year in January my congregation holds a special assembly. We call this gathering our “Getting Organized” meeting. At the meeting this past year, I presented the results of an informal survey I conducted. Essentially, I called the local Methodist, … Continue reading

Dorky Jip – FiveTwo’s Definition of Worship

Wait a second… Did I read that right? The FiveTwo folks are asking on their website “What does worship mean?” But the definition given so succinctly reads: “Worship is everything we do in response to God.” So, holy worship is … Continue reading

If you are a pietist …

IF YOU ARE A PIETIST, FOR THE SAKE OF THE LUTHERANS, PLEASE REMAIN ONE. PLEASE. As you can see from the photo, the bottle is nearly empty. That’s not entirely my fault. I purchased this whisky on my way to … Continue reading

Hey, Pastors! Get in the Game! (Right to Life)

I was asked by Right To Life of Livingston County Michigan to write a “brief” article, and these were the simple parameters given in the email: “We would like your article to address how to reach other pastors to attend … Continue reading

Great Stuff — Thrivent Has Directly Funded Planned Parenthood and NARAL

By Pr. Michael Schuermann Found at Thrivent Financial promotes itself as “a faith-based, not-for-profit membership organization nearly 2.5 million members strong.” Thrivent confesses to do business in this way: “Being membership-owned, Thrivent Financial does what’s best for our members, supporting the … Continue reading

My First Time — An experience of Private Confession and Absolution

I was scared. I wasn’t sure what I would say. Could I really be honest? I wanted to do it but wasn’t sure if I was ready. You may have heard of it, but thought it wasn’t for you. You … Continue reading

The Divine Service Can Be Like Going to Mars

Have you ever been to a foreign country where the language and customs of its people were utterly strange to you? Visiting some countries is nearly an extraterrestrial experience and interestingly enough, going to the divine service for the first … Continue reading

Lutherans: The Confessing Church

Lutherans confess their faith in Christ; that is, we actively give reasons for the hope of Christ in us. Evidence of this is clearly seen with the Book of Concord which spans fifty years and displays the profound seriousness Luther … Continue reading

Guns, Commandments, and a paper Caesar.

Gun control seems to be a big topic politically in our nation.  Among the fallout from the horrid shooting in Newtown, politicians have set their cross-hairs on guns again.  This is certainly a topic by which people can very passionately … Continue reading

Steadfast on Campus — The Spirituality of the Dross

If you’re looking for the opposite of what Gene Veith describes as The Spirituality of the Cross, here it is!  Since dross rhymes with cross and, in as much as dross is waste matter, I think “The Spirituality of the … Continue reading

Women in combat? The Law has been changed – But the original question must still be answered by Rev. William Foy

Associate Editor’s note:  This article is a guest article by Rev. William Foy, pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Valparaiso, IN.  He was my wife’s pastor and is also the godparent of my second child.  As a former … Continue reading

Human Machines, Free Will, and Moral Evil

There’s a popular view on love and free will that I regularly encounter. It goes something like this: In order for love to be genuine, the agent has to have the ability to choose not to love. Unless there is freedom of one’s … Continue reading

The Baptist: a conversation

B: “Well, we don’t really agree with you. You see, we don’t add to the Scriptures. We only use the original King James Version. And we don’t add the idea that Baptism can save.” Me: “That’s very interesting. I also … Continue reading