No “Mission” in Luther? A Re-examination (Part 1 of 3)

Colleagues, Advent is upon us, thrusting the world into a fresh year in the unfolding regime of the crucified and risen Son of God—another Annus Domini, as stubborn Christ-folk will continue to put it. In my own idiosyncratic take on the season, Advent is first and foremost a time for baptized travelers to pull off at the scenic overlook, get …

Reflections on Luther the Person, Part 2

Colleagues, Here is the second half of Rudolf Keller’s essay on Luther the human being, a sinner who trusted Christ. One of you wrote over the weekend to say that Part One was “the best thing I’ve read in the avalanche of materials on the 500th anniversary.” I trust the rest of it will be just as satisfying. A reminder …

A Reformation Day Epistle

Colleagues, The Reformation drew scant attention in Cleveland, Ohio today, its 500th anniversary notwithstanding. There were no parades in city streets, nor any Lutheran crowds flocking as once they might have to a downtown venue for a jubilant celebration. If any congregations bothered to hold their own muted liturgies, I didn’t hear about it. Mine didn’t. After all, it was a …

“Think Gospel, Preach Christ!” Lessons from Elert for Today’s Church (Part 3)

Colleagues, See below for the final installment of Ed Schroeder’s “Kerygma, Dogma, and Ethos: What We Preach, What We Confess, Who We Become.” For background I send you again to guest editor’s Stephen Hitchcock’s introduction of the piece in ThTheol 910. And again my sole suggestion as dispatching editor is that you read slowly and with care. You will come …

“Think Gospel, Preach Christ!” Lessons from Elert for Today’s Church (Part 2)

Colleagues, Here is the second installment of Ed Schroeder’s “Kerygma, Dogma, and Ethos: What We Preach, What We Confess, Who We Become.” There is much to digest here. Chew slowly, with thanks to God. Installment Three will follow in seven days. For the story behind this essay, see last week’s introduction by guest editor Stephen Hitchcock. Peace and Joy, Jerry …

Ecumenical Preaching

Colleagues, Steven Kuhl recently sent me today’s offering. It first appeared twelve years in a publication that later went out of business. You will join me, I’m sure, in agreeing with Steve about its fitness for a rerun as the monumental Reformation anniversary looms. For more on that, see the Afterword. Peace and Joy, Jerry Burce ________________________________________________ The CORE of Ecumenical Preaching …

Reading the Hurricanes

Colleagues, As it happens, I write this on Saturday, September 9. The first thing I saw on the New York Times website this morning were updates on Hurricane Irma. Photos hinted at horrors endured already on Caribbean islands. A graphic foretold of horrors to come along Florida’s Gulf Coast. I am sinfully glad right now that I live in Cleveland, Ohio. Such …

Why Jesus? A Preacher’s Mission-Minded Reflections

Colleagues, Thursday Theology went quiet this Easter season. The undersigned, responsible for pushing it out, spent one of the seven weeks in Israel, and the other six sidelined by a weird combination of unusual busyness in the job that pays and a bout of mental torpor. Finally Pentecost blew in, dislodging some cobwebs. Or so I hope. The Gospel text for most …