Thank You Notes After Christmas

Colleagues, Herewith my Thank You notes–really an open letter–to all the folks who blessed me with an essay in that Birthday Festscrift last month. Responding to each contributor in those 229 pages I did exceed my own length-limit for a regular ThTh post. But I trust you can adjust. FYI, there still are Festschrift copies available at the Crossings office. …

Darwin, Design and Christmas

Colleagues, Only in America! Only in America could this farce continue. This week we Americans have been given a definitive ruling. A judge has said: One way of comprehending about the world we live in is religion, the other way is not. Case closed. Only in America, where religion thrives, is it a no-no to be “religious” about the origin …

What is Christian Spirituality? Answer: Faith in Christ

Colleagues, Today’s ThTh posting #390 comes from Timothy Hoyer, Pastor of Gloria Dei Lutheran congregation (ELCA) in Lakewood, New York.Peace & Joy! Ed Schroeder Faith in Christ is Christian Spirituality People are trying to get closer to God. That desire to get closer to God, to feel closer to God, along with what one does to feel closer, is called …

Theological Perspectives on Max Beckmann’s Paintings

Colleauges, Now on the downhill side of “70-something” I slide more easily into nostalgia–and the occasional un-remembered surprises that come from rummaging around in ancient manila folders. Here’s one for USA Thanksgiving 2005.Background. 1984 was the hundredth anniversary of the birth of artist Max Beckmann, renowned German expressionist, pioneer of “New Objectivity,” once a guest-professor in our town (St. Louis) …

The Current Brouhaha About Intelligent Design

Colleagues, Some thoughts. Evolution or Devolution? In this week’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch, local columnist Bill McClellan–beloved whimsical homespun philosopher–made a pitch for “devolution” in the current hassle about evolution. Things do indeed change, but if evolution suggests improvement, things are really NOT getting better. Bill made that perfectly clear–at least for those of us who cherish his kind of clarity. …

Gospel Blazes in the Dark

Colleagues, I told them not to do it, but they wouldn’t listen. So Sunday last, November 6, the actual date of my 75th birthday, the Crossings folks confected a celebration. It started with a 3 p.m. “Festival Eucharist,” so they called it, at our home congregation, Bethel Lutheran here in St. Louis. Up front were my ELCA bishop Jerry Mansholt …

Luther’s 95 Theses–What Was That all About?

Colleagues, Four days hence is Reformation Day in the Lutheran Church calendar. For other Christians, who don’t see Luther’s debate proposal of October 31, 1517 as quite that important, it’s still the Eve of All Saints Day (Nov. 1). And for the secular culture of America it’s Halloween [the “E’en”–equals evening–before “All Hallows (old English for “saints”) Day,” the day …

God and Continuing Catastrophes

Colleagues, After Banda Aceh’s tsunami and New Orleans’ Katrina and Pakistan’s earthquake and the unending drumbeat of corpse after corpse in Africa, the Middle East–yes, worldwide–the cry goes up “How long, O Lord, how long?” Marie and I are reading (out loud) our way through Jeremiah these days. Not much cheer there. Most often the “good news”–there’ll be no gloom …