Racism: One Tragic Outcome of Misunderstanding Grace

• Traditional Western Christian theology has not always served us or our world well. As a particular example of this, I would refer to our accepted understandings of “grace” and its implications. The debates between medieval Roman Catholics and the Protestant reformers focused on the nature of grace as it applied to individuals and theirContinue reading “Racism: One Tragic Outcome of Misunderstanding Grace”

CM – Another Look: The Arithmetic of Grace

The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by a mightyContinue reading “CM – Another Look: The Arithmetic of Grace”

The “No” and the “Yes” of Jesus

One of the resources I use as a Lutheran to help people understand the tradition is a small book called Baptized, We Live: Lutheranism As a Way of Life, by Daniel Erlander. One of the book’s strengths is its consistent rejection of a “theology of glory” for a “theology of the cross,” and its insistenceContinue reading “The “No” and the “Yes” of Jesus”

Breviary on the Beatitudes

Matthew 5:1-12, Kingdom NT When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the hillside and sat down. His disciples came to him. He took a deep breath, and began his teaching: “Blessings on the poor in spirit! The kingdom of heaven is yours. “Blessings on the mourners! You’re going to be comforted. “Blessings on theContinue reading “Breviary on the Beatitudes”

To be lifted up carefully and carried out of confinement

✑ When I woke up this morning, before I’d gotten out of bed, I was looking around to see what was going on in my room. Not much was going on, I’m happy to say. But there was a cricket on the glazed stone floor. He didn’t belong in the room. Crickets don’t belong inContinue reading “To be lifted up carefully and carried out of confinement”

Poetry Week: Midday Four – Chaplain Mike

What if I…? by Michael Mercer What if I… When dark and deep prevailed Breathed out an order And light broke through, awakening the world? And what if I… When heinous violence ruled Tapped a lone man’s shoulder And bid him build a lifeboat to preserve the world? And what if I… When self-reliant hubrisContinue reading “Poetry Week: Midday Four – Chaplain Mike”

Jesus blesses all the wrong people, even pastors

Note from CM: I had the privilege of going downtown to hear Nadia Bolz-Weber speak tonight. She did a couple of readings, took questions and answers, oversaw her signature “ham raffle,” and signed books and took pictures with folks afterwards. I found her humble, funny, and thoughtful. Yes, she used some words we don’t normallyContinue reading “Jesus blesses all the wrong people, even pastors”

Can this really be the gospel of “superabundant grace”?

But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different fromContinue reading “Can this really be the gospel of “superabundant grace”?”

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 somethingContinue reading “Charles H. Featherstone: Lent – By Grace Alone”