Justification in Nickel Words

Colleagues, For this week’s Thursday Theology, we have again raided the pages of Gospel Blazes in the Dark, the festschrift for Ed Schroeder that we first mentioned in ThTheol #702 (Topic: Plain Speaking). In fact, this week’s essay follows closely on the heels of #702, in which Timothy Hoyer reflected on Ed’s urgent call for preachers and theologians alike to use “nickel words,” …

Images of Christ, Part 2

Colleagues, This week we send along the continuation of Fr. Joest J. Mnemba’s 23-year-old reflection on how to help hearers in his native Malawi “get” the Gospel. “Who is Jesus Christ for us?” he asks as he wraps things up below; and when he reveals in his footnotes that Robert W. Bertram supervised his doctoral dissertation at the Lutheran School …

Images of Christ

Colleagues, This week and next we offer you successive installments of an essay one of us plucked from Gospel Blazes in the Dark, the mini-trove of papers we told you about in ThTheol #702 (http://www.crossings.org/thursday/2011/thur112411.shtml). The author is the Rev. Dr. Joest J. Mnemba, a Roman Catholic diocesan priest in Malawi who, back in the ’80s, earned a doctorate at …

Christmas Eve Preaching

Colleagues, This week we’re giving you a sermon to read. Here’s why. Many among us preach for a living. This means that one of the vocation’s great challenges is presently breathing down our necks. It’s the sermon on Christmas Eve, a time when churches, at least in America, are fuller than at any other time save Easter morning. This is …

Preview of Next Month’s Fourth International Crossings Conference

Colleagues, Five years ago, in January, 2007, some 150 pastors, laypersons, seminarians, and theologians gathered in Belleville, Illinois, across the river from St. Louis, for the first-ever conference of the Crossings community, whatever that amorphous designation might mean. The meeting was billed somewhat grandly though also accurately as an “international” conference. John (Joe) Strelan of the Lutheran Church of Australia …

Plain Speaking

Colleagues, Seven years ago the Crossings board commissioned a festschrift to help celebrate Ed Schroeder’s 75th birthday. 17 contributors sent in an assortment of essays and one hymn. Editors Steven Kuhl, Sherman Lee, and Robin Morgan assembled them under the title “Gospel Blazes in the Dark: A Festival of Writing Sparked in Honor of Edward H. Schroeder,” and got 100 …

The End of the Line: It’s All About Faith and the Promise

Colleagues, Today is Martin Luther’s 528th birthday. Last Sunday was my 81st. Eighty-one. That’s three times three times three times three. The trinitarian number to the fourth power, the number of the New Testament gospels. Seven hundred is one hundred times the Sabbath number. So it’s in the numbers. A fitting time to bring Thursday Theology over my name to …

Theology of the Cross. Richard Koenig in memoriam

Colleagues, This post was in the pipeline before I learned of Dick Koenig’s dying earlier this week on the very cusp of October 31, Reformation Day (aka the Eve of All Saints Day), turning into All Saints Day, November 1. What marvelous timing for one of the knights exemplar during the Missouri Synod wars of a generation ago. Among his …

A “Lutheran” Spirituality

Colleagues, Pastor Trevor Faggotter from Australia has been needling me for some time to do a ThTh review of John Kleinig’s book proposing a “Lutheran” spirituality. After temporizing way too long I asked him to do it. He has. Here it is. Key, says Trevor, for Kleinig is Luther’s understanding of the posture of “faith” being the posture of receptivity. …