September 23, 2017

Another Look: Luther on Good Works

Note from CM: I was going to save this post for October, when we will focus almost exclusively on the Reformation, this being its 500th anniversary. But right now, as I posted last week, I am reading Inhabiting the Cruciform God, by Michael J. Gorman, a book that reorients the whole idea of justification around […]

Losers Who Just Keep Walking

Triumphalism is a terrible thing. I heard an unexpected sermon yesterday from a guest preacher in a church we visited. The church is a traditional old Midwest Protestant congregation, not known, at least in recent memory, for their religious enthusiasm or expressiveness. Sunday’s speaker was from a quite different ecclesiastical milieu. The congregation seemed to […]

Another Look: My Ambiguous Apologetic

I confess. I have no apologetic. There is no defending God. There is no proving his way is right. To do so would require that I understand God, that I can substantiate the claims of truth my faith calls me to hold. I can explain what I believe well enough. I can demonstrate to a […]

Frances and Lenny: When All That’s Left Is Love

Frances died last week. Her family all said she missed her husband Lenny since his death a few years ago, and would be happy to be at peace and reunited with him. Frances and Lenny were faithful Roman Catholic members of a city parish. At her funeral, the priest said Frances especially loved to share […]

Another Look: Luther on Good Works

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that counts is faith working through love. • Galatians 5:2, NRSV For Christ at the last day will not ask how much you have prayed, fasted, pilgrimaged, done this or that for yourself, but how much good you have done to others, […]

Pete Enns on trusting our beliefs more than trusting God

One of the books I’m anticipating most in 2016 in Peter Enns’s The Sin of Certainty: Why God Desires Our Trust More Than Our “Correct” Beliefs, due out in early April. I believe it will be a great gift to those with the courage to question. For several years now, Pete has been on a journey, […]

Charles H. Featherstone: Lent – By Grace Alone

Note from CM: I preached on Abraham from Genesis 15 last Sunday. I love what Charles says about the patriarch here, and wish I had said it half as well as he does. • • • What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something […]

A shepherd’s ambiguous apologetic

I confess. I have no apologetic. There is no defending God. There is no proving his way is right. To do so would require that I understand God, that I can substantiate the claims of truth my faith calls me to hold. I can explain what I believe well enough. I can demonstrate to a […]

Miguel Ruiz: How Do You Become a Christian?

I feel like sometimes we begin to take the basics of our faith for granted.  Often when we get tunnel visioned on the peripheral responsibilities of our mission, the Gospel itself even gets assumed, confused, or forgotten.  But here is something I have not heard discussed in a good while:  If somebody expressed interest, or […]

My Outlook, My Faith, and My Hope

When people ask, “What do you believe?” I recite the Apostles’ Creed. In my opinion, there is no better summary of the gospel than that simple, narrative-oriented statement. This is my story. But I was thinking today that I might like to have a more personal statement, one that not only outlines the objective story […]