The Crossings Blog

Thursday Theology -full listing Crossings Film Series
  • From Finland: Gospel-driven Joy as a Mission Strategy
    Co-missioners, Twelve and a half years ago a number of us had the great privilege and equal pleasure of meeting a young Finnish expatriate named Jukka Kaariainen. He was one of three keynoters at our 2010 Crossings Conference, having been recommended for that role by Ed Schroeder. Raised in China by Finnish missionaries, Jukka at the ...
  • On the Question of Salvation Outside the Church: Luther vs. Luther (Part 3 of 3)
    Co-missioners, Don’t think for a moment to skip today’s finale to the essay we started feeding you two weeks ago. We think you’ll wind up as refreshed as we were in the wonder of God’s will for humankind in Christ. Our thanks again to Kurt Hendel for his permission to republish this piece. It calls for the ...
  • On the Question of Salvation Outside the Church: Luther vs. Luther (Part 2 of 3)
    Co-missioners, Here is the second installment of an essay by Kurt Hendel, first published by the journal Currents in Theology and Mission in 2008. If you haven’t worked through last week’s first installment, you’ll want to do that before you dig in here. And dig you should. Carefully. Thoroughly. For one thing, you’ll be refreshed in some ...
  • On the Question of Salvation Outside the Church: Luther vs. Luther (Part 1 of 3)
    Co-missioners, Time was when would-be Lutheran pastors were required to learn a smattering of Latin on their way through school. Those who did will have encountered the following phrase at some point in their studies: Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. “Outside the Church there is no salvation.” Later they ran into grief with their confirmation classes (or ...
  • What Preachers are For
    Co-missioners, This past Sunday, July 31, was the final day of pastoral service for Jerry Burce, our distinguished chief editor here at Thursday Theology. He enters retirement this week at the end of a long and fruitful career as a parish pastor, the last twenty-eight years of which were spent at Messiah Lutheran Church in Fairview ...
  • The Neighborhood of Jesus (A Homily on Luke 10:25-37)
    Co-missioners, Our food for thought this week is a gift from the Rev. Dr. Steven Kuhl—a homily on the parable of the Good Samaritan from the 5th Sunday after Pentecost. As you’ll see, Steve focuses on the narrative sleight-of-hand that gives this parable its subversive power. When the self-justifying lawyer asks “Who is my neighbor?” he ...
  • How Bach Set the Gospel to Music (A Book Review)
    Co-missioners, This week we bring you a review of James Runcie’s 2022 novel The Great Passion, which depicts Bach’s composition of his St. Matthew Passion against a background colored by grief and loss. The review is by another Matthew—in this case, Matt Metevelis, an ELCA pastor and chaplain in Las Vegas, Nevada, who has written many ...
  • Jesus Pressing His Luck (A Layperson’s Sermon on John 17)
    Co-missioners, In the run-up to this year’s Seventh Sunday of Easter, our editor, Jerry Burce, was dreading the prospect of having to preach again on the high priestly prayer of John 17. He decided instead to invite his congregant Christopher Neumann—layperson and frequent writer for Thursday Theology—to embark on his first-ever adventure in preaching. The result, ...
  • Raising Christian Children in a Secular World
    Co-missioners, Carol Braun writes this week about an issue that surely weighs on countless Christians parents in 2022. Her candor will refresh you. So will her gritty trust in the One who gave his life for every child or grandchild that you happen to know and love.  Peace and Joy, The Crossings Community __________________________________________________________________ Raising Christian Children in a Secular ...
  • A Time for American Repentance (Part 2)
    Co-missioners, In this second half of David Krause’s essay on America’s original sin of racial genocide, he breaks down the aspects of our national culture that can draw us away from Christ and away from our calling to love our neighbor as ourselves. He then lays out specific suggestions for incorporating repentance for the national sin ...