Luther’s Infamous “On the Jews.” An Assessment (Part 2)

  Co-missioners, This week we bring you Part 2 of Kurt Hendel’s essay on Luther and the Jews. As he laid out in Part 1 last week, Kurt’s goal here is “to summarize Luther’s attitude toward and comments about the Jews, analyze the potential reasons why he wrote what he did, and offer necessary critiques,” while keeping in …

Luther’s Infamous “On the Jews.” An Assessment (Part 1)

  Co-missioners, An eruption of racist slaughter left ten people dead in Buffalo last week. On Sunday another was killed and more were injured at a church in Laguna Woods, California, for the sin of being Taiwanese. Anyone inclined to think in Martin Luther’s categories will refer to this as the raging of the devil.  Comes a dreadful …

As War Rages in Ukraine: Fresh Thoughts on Forgiveness, Peacemaking, Love

Co-missioners, This week our editor, Jerry Burce, interrupts our publication schedule to pass along three items that caught his attention in recent days and weeks.  The first two pertain to the war in Ukraine. We’ve said nothing about this in Thursday Theology so far. “Chalk that up,” says Jerry, “to a diffidence born of distance from anything remotely …

Law/Gospel and the Life of the Mind

Co-missioners, Last November we introduced you to a new contributor, Dr. George Heider, adding the hope that we’d hear from him again soon. We do so today, in a piece that comes with a special introduction by Bruce Modahl. Bruce, a member of our current editorial team, is the one to thank for having brought Dr. Heider …

“Reconciled—So Let’s Pray!” A Reflection on Luke 11:5-13

Co-missioners, Today we follow up Carol Braun’s reflection of last week with one by another lay writer, Chris Neumann. Both prepared these for a series of midweek prayer services that unfolded over Zoom this past Lent. The series was organized by our Thursday Theology editor, Jerry Burce, for the congregation he serves in Fairview Park, Ohio. The title …

infant baptism

Easter at Ground Level—A Meditation on Baptism

Co-missioners, Christ is risen indeed! So we heard on Sunday and will continue to hear for the next several weeks, with reminders aplenty to take this fact and put it present use. This week we see Carol Braun doing precisely this in a meditation she offered at a midweek Lenten service last month. Her topic was baptism. Her …

The Good News of Jesus Our Judge (An Easter Sermon)

Co-missioners, For the purposes of Thursday Theology, today’s topic is best addressed in essay form. As it is, we deliver it via yet another sermon, this one preached at an Easter Festival service three years ago. It’s not a standard Easter sermon. Hence our daring to trouble you with it. You’ll find little if any reference to an …

Devotion to Jesus? Service to the Poor? An Interpretation of John 12:1-8

Co-missioners, Today’s offering features Steve Kuhl probing a key question that surfaced in lots of churches this past Sunday through the Gospel reading for the day. This was St. John’s account of Mary, the sister of Lazarus, anointing Jesus’ feet. Steve observed in a note to us that the matters at issue here will resurface in the Gospel …

Perilous Children: Notes from the Lutheran/Jewish/Evangelical Frontier

Co-missioners, We lifted the lead title of today’s post from the final paragraph of the essay it delivers. The essay’s author is Jill Peláez Baumgaerter. It includes a profound contribution by her friend, Rabbi Yehiel Poupko. Their subject is the Holocaust, or, more pointedly, the children it consumed.  Children were shot, bombed, and burned to death in Ukraine …

A Review of Robert Jenson’s A Theology in Outline

Co-missioners,

This week Bruce Modahl reviews a little book by one of the most prominent American Lutheran theologians of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. As Bruce suggests, it might prompt some interesting and profitable discussion in the circles you think and pray with. At its heart is a question that all of us are bound to ask this Lent: how can we help our 21st century neighbors hear the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection as Good News for them?