December 12, 2017

Conditions Ripe for Catechesis

By Chaplain Mike In the preface to Martin Luther’s Small Catechism, the Reformer describes the conditions of Biblical and theological understanding among the people of his day. Martin Luther, to all faithful and godly pastors and preachers: grace, mercy, and peace be yours in Jesus Christ, our Lord. The deplorable, miserable conditions which I recently […]

“My Lord Katie”

By Chaplain Mike If someone wanted to do an intriguing Hollywood historical drama about a strong woman, holding her own in momentous times, he or she could do worse than to produce a film about Katharina von Bora, the nun who became Martin Luther’s wife. Today, December 20, she is commemorated by Lutherans on their […]

A Bible You’d Never Find at the Christian Bookstore

By Chaplain Mike Let’s say you walk into your local bookstore looking for a Bible. You scan the shelves and examine various translations and editions. Many contain 66 books: 39 in the OT and 27 in the NT. In some Bibles there is a section between the OT and NT with additional books called, “Apocrypha” […]

The Real “Santa Claus”

By Chaplain Mike In this morning’s post, we talked about the difference between Biblical Christianity and the “Disney-ized” version so prevalent in America today. Another example of turning a classic tale into a shallow, sentimentalized version for mass consumption (more in our culture than in the church) is what we have done to the story […]

Preparing to Honor the Saints

By Chaplain Mike In some traditions, All Saints’ Day was celebrated on Nov. 1, while others will honor the saints this coming Sunday, the first in November. All Saints’ may be compared to American national holidays like Veterans Day or Memorial Day. On it we remember and honor the lives, faithfulness, deeds, teachings, and martyrdoms […]

“For you we face death all day long”

By Chaplain Mike A current article in Foreign Policy magazine by Eden Naby and Jamsheed K. Chosky makes the following startling observation: There is now an alarming possibility that there will be no significant Christian communities in Iraq or Iran by century’s end. The statistics are sobering: The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that […]

Reformation Day Rock

By Chaplain Mike Thanks to a status update on Facebook by friend Bill Cwirla, Lutheran pastor extraordinaire and IM Liturgical Gangsta, I discovered a great YouTube channel called History for Music Lovers by historyteachers that does music videos to teach about historical events and people. I think they are really well done, and a fun […]

Reformation Sunday

By Chaplain Mike The Festival of the Reformation Reformation Day is a liturgical festival celebrated by Lutheran and Reformed churches on the final Sunday in October. It commemorates Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses on door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany on Oct 31, 1517. This act, calling for debate on issues of corruption […]

Concerning Halloween by James B. Jordan

Note from Chaplain Mike: This was Michael Spencer’s favorite article on Halloween. Thanks to James B. Jordan for giving us permission to reprint it as we prepare to celebrate our first Halloween since Michael’s death. It has become routine in October for some Christian schools to send out letters warning parents about the evils of […]

An Unprecedented Opportunity: “God in America”

By Chaplain Mike I have not been able to watch much of Frontline’s “God in America” series on PBS in recent days. But I definitely plan to do so. The little that I have seen was remarkable television, even more so because of the pervasive drought of thoughtful religious discussion on the airwaves. I hope […]