March 31, 2007
My Brain Is Curiously Yellow
|Your Brain is Yellow|
Of all the brain types, yours is the most intellectual.
You crave mental stimulation, and your thoughts tend to very complex.
Your thoughts tend to be innovative and cutting edge, though many people don't understand them.
You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about science, architecture, and communication.
Rebellious Pastor's Wife's brain is blue. It is thanks to her that I now know my brain is yellow. I do not want to know what color my gall bladder is.
March 30, 2007
I've been on the phone with Time-Warner Cable customer service! THAT'S HOW I KNOW HELL REALLY EXISTS!
TWC: Thank you for calling Time Warner Cable. We currently have service interruptions in the following areas: North America. South America. Woodside. To hear your options, stay on the line or press one.Yes, my Lutherans, there is a hell. And the basic package starts at $39.99 a month . . .
Luther: Press one what?
TWC: To continue to our main menu, press two.
Luther: I'm still pressing one, you jackanapes!
TWC: Your call may be monitored or recorded for training and quality-control purposes.
Luther: What is this, Homeland Security? If I want my conversations listened in on, I'll call a labor union!
TWC: One moment please . . .
To better assist you, we have contrived a digital automated system of frustrating, redundant, and labyrinthine uselessness, but which enables you to speak or say anything you want, giving you the illusion of efficient, expeditious service, but which in fact accomplishes nothing.
Para Espanol, diga Espanol.
Luther: Hello, Time Warner Cable customer service?
TWC: Your call is of no importance to us, as we have no local competition. We'll be with you in . . . seventy . . . five . . . minutes
Luther: Seventy-five minutes! Ach! I'll miss Wrestlemania LXXV! Listen to me--
(Smooth jazz plays on and on and on and on.)
Luther: What is that excrescence coming from the saxophone?! I've blown better music after a dinner of Rice-a-Roni and Fruit-Loops!
TWC: Remind me to tell you about our new digital phone service, which promises to save you money every month by shortening your lifespan with all manner of technical glitches. How may I help you today?
Luther: This is Luther! I have no signal!
TWC: I'm very sorry to hear that.
Luther: No, you're not! You hate me and hope I die soon!
TWC: May I have the name and number on the account, please?
Luther: Luther, Martin, Doktor. The number begins with a 7.
TWC: I'm sorry?
Luther: What did you do now? Can we please limit your egregious foul-ups to one at a time?!
TWC: The number on the account, sir?
Luther: Look it up yourself! I can't be expected to remember everything! Numbers, numbers, everything is numbers with you people! In the name of all that is holy, I'm not a ledger sheet, you dehumanizing, bureaucratic technocrat!
TWC: I see your account now. And you say you have no signal.
Luther: No—I said the signal is coming in clear as a spring morning in Bavaria! Why else would I be wasting my time?! My miserable, execrable assistant pays $700 a month for 2,300 channels and all I see is gray fuzz! I got better reception in the Wartburg during a hailstorm!
TWC: Can I ask you to reboot the system, sir?
Luther: You can ask. I have no idea what that means, but you can ask.
TWC: Just hold down the Power button for 10 seconds.
Luther: Wait a minute. Now I have to get up! Wait a minute . . . WAIT A MINUTE!
TWC: There's no reason to shout, sir. I can hear you clearly.
Luther: Don't tell me not to shout! Shouting is what I do! I'm the king of shouting! People come from miles around just to run away in terror from my shouting!
Luther: There. I'm pressing the Power button and now I have no power. Hello? Hello? Did you hang up on me! Answer me when I'm yelling at you! I still have no signal! Now I have no power! Soon I'll have no tonsils, from all the screaming I'm about to do! Where is my Wrestlemania? Where is my Food Network? Where is my Hroswitha Does Deutschland on the Concupiscence Channel? Ach!
March 29, 2007
On a more serious note, Stallone says he is now a churchgoing Catholic.
I would prefer he were a churchgoing Lutheran, but you can't have everything.
On a still more serious note, if you're going to make cartoonish action films, is it a good thing to introduce Christian missionaries into its story line? Does this not trivialize what these good people do? Or is this the perfect vehicle to bring Christ to an otherwise spiritually comatose audience of mostly young knuckleheads?
Discuss. I must watch my DVD of Oscar, which upon repeated viewings is beginning to grow on me...
UPDATE: Here are some on-set photos of Sly as Rambo.
Dwight Schrute for President
What makes a Christian a Christian in the eyes of Mr. Dobson? Is it a matter of boisterousness? Then I am the most Christian of Christians in the history of Christianity. Or is it the manner in which one claims to have "become" a Christian?
I cannot say I have much interest in who is elected president of your country. All the candidates are simpletons, and I'm certain that every last one of them will, given time, make mothers weep, children cower, and lawyers richer.
As to whether a candidate is a true Christian—an idiot is an idiot no matter where they spend their Sunday mornings.
Frankly, if I had my druthers (although if a gun were put to my head I could not tell you exactly where my druthers were to be found, except, perhaps, in the vicinity of the adenoids), if an actor had to run for president, I would prefer the gentleman who plays Dwight Schrute on The Office. I have no idea whether he is Christian enough for Mr. Dobson—or a Christian at all. (But at least his character is secretly dating one!)
In the end, I would prefer a wise Lutheran with a sound grounding in the demands of the two kingdoms. But if no such Lutheran is viable, then I will settle for a wise Turk.
Well, given the current geopolitical crisis, maybe not a Turk. A wise Ghanaian, perhaps . . .
Atkinson: (Long pause) I wouldn’t mind . . . I’d be happy to do it.
Could it be? House and Bean reunited?! Woof!
By Faith Alone: Now and Forever
Excuses are made for me. References to my subjectivity are given. My egoism is paraded as Exhibit A for dismissing Luther as a maniac.
And so, lest there be any misunderstanding, my Lutherans, and any other interested parties who have not been brainwashed by a semipelagian worldview that cannot speak of justification without also speaking of the law: These books I have cited, and which were disputed even by the early church, should be relegated to the back of the New Testament as deuterocanonical—of some historical value but from which no doctrine is to be formulated. Just as I relegated the disputed books of the Old Testament, which the Hebrews themselves dismissed, St. Jerome following, to the back of the Hebrew canon, so we should have a second canon of New Testament writings.
"But, Herr Luther—how do you justify this? After all these many centuries, the one thing that all Christian churches could agree on is the New Testament canon. And now, you, one man, dare decide, as if by infallible authority, which books are good for doctrine and which are not?"
SILENCE, IMAGINARY INTERLOCUTOR! If I am given a fair hearing, it will be clear that what I propose is defensible historically, theologically, apologetically, and biochemically. (Although, granted, I will have a much harder time proving that last bit.)
Say someone comes up to a quick-witted Romanist and asks where he should read in the Bible to find the Gospel of this Jesus the Christ. Does this Romanist send him to Esther? To 2 Timothy? To 2 Peter? No. He sends him, perhaps, to the Gospel of John, to Luke, to Romans, to Galatians. Why? Why send this truth-seeker to some books of Holy Scripture and not to others?
Because the gospel is preached clearly in some books and not in others.
Does this Romanist send him to James? And, specifically, to that contemptible verse that proves the brother of Our Lord had no hand in it—namely, James 2:24? You know: "You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone." How can he? Although the Romanist beats Luther day and night with this verse as any tyrant does the bringer of bad news (bad for Rome, good for the rest of the world), the Church of Rome has spent the past forty years denying that it teaches justification by works! They have even produced a document with a cabal of so-called Lutherans declaring that agreement has been reached on the articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesiae.
And so our Romanist friend does not point the truth-seeker to James, but elsewhere.
Further: Does not the Church of Rome teach that there is a hierarchy of truths? "When comparing doctrines with one another, [theologians] should remember that in Catholic doctrine there exists a 'hierarchy' of truths, since they vary in their relation to the fundamental Christian faith." This is a quotation from the document Unitatis Redintegratio. These truths are grounded in various mysteries, those of the Trinity and of the Church, the document goes on to say.
And so we Lutherans say that, yes, there is a hierarchy of truths. For us the pinnacle is that the righteous died for the unrighteous. The unrighteous. We are not only justified by virtue of what Christ did on the Cross, and that alone (Rom 3:28, 5:9), outside of ourselves, and while we were still dead in our trespasses and sins, but we are also sanctified in Christ Jesus (2 Thess. 2:13, 1 Cor. 1:2). Even our sanctification is a gift of grace and not of works.
This is the good news of Jesus Christ. Anything else that is sold as the faith of Christians is false, is law, and drags us back to the bad news of penitential religion—the sisyphusean task of attempting to earn what God died to give, and which could not be earned in 10,000 lifetimes.
I am speaking not only to the papists but to the many so-called Protestants who smuggle law into the gospel of grace with their many and various legalisms. When I hear some of these jackanapes preach, I am astounded that they can transform even the reception of God's gift into a meritorious work! The gratitude that should be our fitting response to the Cross is deformed into a debt to be repaid—as if any of us could.
Justification by faith alone. This is the gospel. This is the reason Christ died and we rejoice. This is the heart, the soul, the bread, the wine of Scripture, of revelation. Anything that contradicts it, anything that competes with it, anything that obscures it should be THROWN IN THE FIRE, along with the devil and his cohorts.
And so AGAIN I SAY: Throw Jimmy in the fire. Or, at the very least, so as not to offend sensitive types, move him to the back of the book where he belongs.
And now . . . lunch.
UPDATE: James Swan's website has some interesting recently posted material regarding the canon. I feature prominently—as well I should!
March 28, 2007
Also, since not a single episode of their loony show made a lick of sense, never mind the movie they have already made, I'd like to think that they've finally figured out WHAT THE HELL WAS GOING ON and intend on informing us.
UPDATE: Empire Online has now posted this.
I eagerly await Ultimatum. Anyone who does not share my enthusiasm is obviously a Nestorian with definite Modalist tendencies.
I did not realize Ms. Spears was a Christian in the Reformed tradition. I thought she worshipped Madonna in the Kabbalist tradition or some such thing. Yes, Britney Spears has Calvinist written all over her. As well as a tattoo that reads "Do Me Now."
Nice digs for a house of worship. But would you expect anything less on Mulholland Drive? I am sure Stewardship Sunday is a hoot. I hear they have ATMs in every pew.
And I believe Reverend Brenda really cares. After all, hers is the caring ministry, so you'd think, at the very least, she would care. If anyone is going to care, it has to be Reverend Brenda. I mean come on . . .
I want to be Reverend Marty of the Kick a Semi-Pelagian Today You'll Feel Better Ministry of Bel-Air Presbyterian Church. I'm packing my bags even as we speak . . . I'm sure they wouldn't mind if I bring along a few homeless we have bouncing around New York City. After all, Reverend Brenda—she really cares.
March 27, 2007
Lutheran Church Architecture
Now we know why the Icelanders are not known for their rich artistic heritage. The interior looks like a concert hall for the undead. You could hang meat in this thing!
March 25, 2007
So what happens when we are justified? Better yet—what happens at baptism? We Lutherans retain and defend the ancient doctrine of baptismal regeneration.
What exactly is the nature of this regeneration? Is it only a proclamation of the forgiveness of sins for Christ's sake? Does it entail the gift of the Holy Spirit? If so, does not God's own presence within us effect a change within us? (How can God be anything—or anyone—but Himself?) If so, is justification both forensic/declarative and transformative?
And, as important, if there is a transformative dimension to baptism/justification, can there be a retrogression, such that another sacrament is needed to rekindle the divine spark within?
Do you see where this is leading? A strange direction for a Calvinist like Herr Leithart, no? Then again, Calvinists do not believe in baptismal regeneration. Regeneration procedes faith in the Elect. While I assume one can be regenerate from baptism on, most Calvinists demand a confession of faith as an adult as a sign of regeneration, i.e., a sign that they are Elect. This is required for church membership.
In essence, they are backward Anabaptists—first you are baptized and then you are regenerated. And so Paul is incorrect—there is not one Lord, one faith, one baptism, but two baptisms: water and the regeneration wrought by the Holy Spirit as a separate event in time. So one can be baptized and never regenerated—merely a member of the covenant who is left incapacitated, unable to meet the covenant's demands.
Discuss. I must nap.
'Get Religion' Call Your Office
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America is a member of the federation, and is in full communion with reformed, episcopal, and other denominations, making nonsense of the confessions that once gave their respective churches theological gravitas.
Notice who is NOT part of this story? Notice whose multimillion-member Lutheran church, which is in full communion with confessional Lutheran churches the world over, is a non-issue? Notice who could only have been a discordant voice in this denunciation "Lutheran-centricity"?
My miserable execrable assistant had absconded with this volume when it appeared at the house, thinking it was intended for him! In fact, it was a gift from Herr McCain to me, given that my mug is splattered all over the thing. (We did not get around to speaking about my cut of the royalties; I thought it better to consult a wide variety of legal advisers as to what my rights are in this case before opening my pie hole. That I would subject myself to the lunatic ravings and pelagian stench of lawyers should give you some idea as to the lengths I am willing to go to have my contributions recognized in cold hard cash! I have expenses! Expenses! Do you know what a keg of Dinkelacker Dark goes for these days? Throw in a pound or two of sausages and we're talking serious mazuma, moolah, oscar, pap, plaster, rivets, scratch, spondulicks, not to mention cabbage, folding green, poundage, marigolds, and C-notes!)
Be that as it may, I heartily recommend this second edition—it is most accessible, comprehensive, and enlightening. It is a historical, theological, apologetical, and spiritual course of study between hard covers. Learn what it means to be a distinctively Lutheran Christian (a name I have finally come to make peace with over these 500 years), as opposed to a pop-Evangelical mishmash stuffed with half-baked Calvinism, "once-save-always-saved" antinomianism, and Rapture-riddled dispensationalism—set to the tune of a clap-happy Trinity Broadcasting Network music video.
Should you want to listen in on some scintillating debates and discussions of the contents of this books, I advise that you hightail it to this blog.
And now . . . mud cake!
March 21, 2007
The Green Hornet
My miserable, execrable assistant remembers reading a script years and years ago that was never filmed—and with good reason. It stunk up the joint. (The original show was no great shakes either. The writing was putrid—but Lee was astonishing. Without him, the show would have gone the way of this lost masterwork.)
There is much that can be made from the Green Hornet premise: Two crime-stoppers are deprived of credit as forces for good and who must be satisfied with fighting the forces of evil as its own end, rather than for the celebrity and public acclaim it could otherwise bring them. A lesson in humility for us all. And then there's the rib-cracking martial arts, which, in a post-Matrix age, should be more fun than a barrel of Spartans.
For those of you who just can't get enough of theme music from old TV shows: Click here.
March 19, 2007
1. I, Robot
2. Minority Report
3. Blade Runner
4. The Fifth Element
6. Back to the Future
7. Heavy Metal
9. Logan's Run
10. The Jetson's
Lutheran Life Lesson No. 56: You can never go wrong with gun-metal gray.
March 18, 2007
I was struck by one passage in this report:
In some ways this level of soul-searching is not unusual for a church that sends out surveys every decade or so asking its members if they're happy with the church and its offerings.Do you see the same thing I see? Specifically: "asking its members if they're happy with the church..." and "institutional introspection."
"This institutional introspection is nothing new," said Wilhelm Graeb, head of the theology department at Berlin's Humboldt University, noting that problems aren't as dire as they may appear because some parishes could live for years off bank accounts fattened by years of church taxes.
Stop looking inward, you jackanapes! Start looking outward—namely at Christ and His Cross! That is the only thing that will save the Church in Germany—not surveys and bank accounts and mergers! ACH!
For those of you who would like to keep an eye on our brothers and sisters in the Old Country but do not speak German, an English-language website has been established for this purpose.
Although what advice can you Americans offer the Germans when there are many serious issues that remain to be addressed right here.
For example, if you are going to employ video-accompanied praise music projected onto a screen that also functions—when closed—as a hymn board for the more traditional 8:30 a.m. service, you might want to make sure the screen locks shut so it does not swing open in the middle of the pastor's sermon, smacking him in the head as he stands in the pulpit. This has been known to elicit inappropriate titters.
March 17, 2007
Imagine an above-average episode of Law & Order—that simply will not end and that has no closure. That is Zodiac, a film that goes on and on and on and on and on, trying to wear you down and break your spirit, just as the fruitless pursuit of the serial killer who terrorized California from the late 1960s into the 1970s, and who was never caught, wears out and breaks down all the police and the reporters who covered the case year after year, but who we're pretty sure it was that guy, you know that guy with the three names (but why do they always have three names?), but the handwriting evidence seemed to disprove the connection, but then, but then, there was that dead girl's sister's memory of the guy, and then the guy who survived the guy's attack who picked him out of a picture lineup—finally, I mean, after how many years?—but then the guy died—no the killer, or the guy they thought was the killer, not the other guy, the guy who survived the Zodiac's attack back in 1969 and who then disappeared—and then the DNA pointed away from that guy in 2002, so maybe it wasn't him, but everyone's pretty certain he was the guy OH JUST KILL ME NOW!
I'M THE ZODIAC! I'M THE ZODIAC! JUST MAKE IT STOP!
Brian Cox was mildly amusing as the late flamboyant mediahound lawyer Melvin Belli.
I give this film 65 theses.
March 16, 2007
Although—wait! Imdb.com says she is rumored to be returning! O joy of joys!
With Sean Connery also rumored to be returning as Indy's dad, could this be the greatest Indiana Jones flick of all? Or merely the greatest disappointment?
Let's just hope no one drops dead before this thing hits post-production!
March 15, 2007
I may have chuckled once—ONCE.
March 14, 2007
My Technicolor Dreamcoat of Arms
My motto goes without saying: Here I Stand. But my crest! My wreath! My charge, field, and mantling! All the identifying details demanded of heraldry!
And what of color? Blue is the color of truth, gold of elevation of mind, green of hope and joy. Or shall I choose puce, the color of irascible irritability?
Then there is fur! Ermine makes me itch, pean makes me puke, and vair makes me sleepy.
What of my heraldic lines, my Lutherans, my heraldic lines! Do I go wavy or raguly? Invected or indented? Embattled or engrailed?
And don't get me started on the symbols themselves: acorns and anchors, bay leaves and birdbolts, fleur-de-lis and periwinkles! I haven't been this flummoxed with indecision since the whole toothpaste debacle of 2006!
Ach! And now I am out of Fritos! The pressures of medieval living!
| My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:|
Marquess Martin the Precocious of Mabe Burnthouse
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title
| My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:|
Viscount Martin the Ambidexterous of Goosnargh Leering
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title
| My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:|
Emperor Martin the Erudite of Great Leering
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title
| My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:|
Reverend Earl Martin in the Middle of Throcking in the Hole
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title
| My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:|
Emperor Martin the Charming of Waterless St Mildred
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title
Post scriptum: I know what some of you are thinking: "Herr Luther, don't you already have a family crest? What of the famous black cross in a red heart in a white rose in a sky—"
Silence, imaginary interlocutor! That is my seal, not my crest! Besides, a man who has been dead lo these many centuries needs to keep up with the times! And what better way to do that than to revive a dead and worthless tradition intended merely to perpetuate a hierarchy based on blood, rather than achievement!
Actually, the more I think about it, the more I think I will merely buy a puzzle or something...
March 12, 2007
TV Theme Music: The Best and the Wurst
As for the best: Here is my list of the Five Greatest TV Themes:
5. Barney Miller
4. Hill Street Blues
3. Hawaii Five-O
2. Mission Impossible
1. Peter Gunn
March 11, 2007
But now that I have seen Pan's Labyrinth, I must admit to mixed feelings.
It is 1944. Franco's Falangist/Nationalist forces have defeated the Republican/Communist forces. Rebels continue to resist the new regime, however, and it is left to Captain Vidal (Sergi Lopez), the Darth Vader of this tale, to smoke out and eradicate them.
Vidal's wife, Carmen (Ariadna Gil), is big with child, presumably a son. Carmen's first husband, a tailor, was killed in the war, and the daughter from this union, Ofelia (Ivana Baquero), despises Vidal, refusing to acknowledge him as "Father."
Ofelia escapes the horrors of the new, united Spain—and the brutality of her stepfather and his comrades—through a fantasy life that casts her as the lost princess of an Underworld Realm, in which her father, the king, eagerly awaits her return from the world of mortals. Fauns, fairies, and various grotesqueries populate this realm.
Many have remarked on the extraordinary fantasy creatures and set design of Pan's Labyrinth. While impressive, I must admit that, having sat through three masterful Lord of the Rings films, I was underwhelmed. I must also point out an irony in Del Toro's morality play: While Franco's forces are unremitting sadists, without a conscience to be found anywhere (even Vidal's "love" for his wife is feigned), and the Underworld itself is portrayed as a treacherous place, in which one must tread carefully lest the taboos be broken, the rebels are presented as unvarnished heroes—which requires a credulity on our part that seems to run counter to the film's central message.
In historical reality, the Republican/Communist forces were grotesqueries of another kind, responsible for the massacre of tens of thousands of civilians—especially clergy. (Del Toro places a priest at Captain Vidal's dinner table, highlighting the Catholic Church's "blessing" of the regime. But given a choice between Franco and the Communists—well, was there a choice?)
Del Toro's overarching and quite explicit (as in "Here is the message, listen up you two making out in the back") message, that no human authority deserves our unquestioning obedience—and that even "superhuman" authority requires a certain incredulity—is as good as it goes. (I have been depicted as a rebel for much of the past five hundred years for obeying my conscience and the dictates of God's gospel and no human authority, no matter how vaunted.) But the rebels, had they succeeded in vanquishing Franco's dictatorship, would have created one even more all-encompassing and demanded an obedience of even greater fanaticism. It is too bad that Del Toro fails to question resistance's cause.
Pan's Labyrinth has scenes of raw brutality, even torture. The ending is depressing. And there is one crucial scene on which the ending of the film depends that makes no sense whatsoever, in that a key character's behavior—the captain's cook, Mercedes—is inexplicable.
And so, while I found the story sufficiently arresting—who doesn't like a clear-cut "good guys" vs. "bad guys" romp?—I found that the human monsters were almost as cartoonish as the superhuman ones, and both sets grew tiresome after a short while.
It is with decided disappointment that I give Pan's Labyrinth a counter-critical 65 theses.
The Astronaut Farmer
But with Billy Bob Thornton, instead, it is a delightful, moving, funny, goofy, inspiring piece of family-friendly entertainment, the likes of which I have not seen for some time.
A former NASA pilot (Thornton) who left his chosen profession upon the suicide of his father decides nevertheless to pursue his dream of space flight—by building a rocket inside a silo in the midst of his 350-acre Texas ranch.
Given the love and support of his waitress wife, played with poise and grace by the lovely Virginia Madsen, and his three children (who actually speak and act like children, not like 40-year-old wisecracking midgets), who can stop this dreamer?
Why the government, for one. The bank, for another. With $600,000 in debts, the local bank threatens to foreclose on the Astronaut Farmer's property. With the PATRIOT Act not taking kindly to 10,000 pounds of high-grade rocket fuel being purchased for private use, the FBI and the FAA threaten not only to shut the Astronaut Farmer down but to take him out permanently. Throw in the mainstream media, who are alerted to this modern-day Don Quixote by a lawyer eager to give the Astronaut Farmer some leverage by conjuring up public support, and you have a circus like only our culture can produce.
This paeon to the American Dream is also about the state of such dreaming post-9/11. Is the government just doing its duty in protecting the nation from some nut who could be building a ballistic missile in his backyard—or has to overstepped its bounds in squelching the most compelling and appealing of all American sttributes, the will to wonder "What if?"
And when does one man's dream become an obsessive, self-destructive nightmare?
Yes, you must suspend your disbelief for this film to work its magic; but that is not so difficult, I promise you. There is an innocence and Capra-esque energy that will captivate you, heart and soul. And Billy Bob Thornton's man-on-a-mission earnestness, tempered by just the right touch of "What demons possess me?" self-doubt, makes for a credible performance in an albeit incredible story. (And yes, it is possible to quibble with the deus ex machina that provides an escape from the corner the writers had written themselves in, but who wants to be known as a quibbler?)
As Bruce Dern, in the role of the Astronaut Farmer's father-in-law, says: "You didn't just get your family to eat together; you got them to dream together." So be sure to take your family to see The Astronaut Farmer—and share a dream, if just for two hours.
I give this film 90 theses.
March 07, 2007
Children and Holy Communion
Lutherans have struggled over the age of First Communion/Confirmation for some time now. There has also been some argument over whether Confirmation should simply be eliminated as a rite/sacrament.
I think we Lutherans should continue this discussion. I believe Mr. Leithart is correct when he says our practice is a manifestation of our belief about the nature of the church and the new Adam, the new humanity, which is the fruit of Christ's breaking down the wall that had previously separated us according to nation, language, gender, age, and ability.
I would like especially to hear from some pastors on this issue, and their experience ministering to and nurturing families within the church—the uber-family of God.
Read This or I Shall Smash You
Let us look at the situation this way: There are as many Lutherans in the United States today as there are Swedes in Sweden—9,000,000.
We are a country within a country. Our cultural, political, economic, and, most important, spiritual influence should be felt to a much greater degree than it is. I know we are a quiet and unobtrusive people—we don't shout from the rooftops, or rain down fire and brimstone on street corners, or push "get-blessed-quick" schemes through TV preachers. But must quiet equate to invisible?
March 02, 2007
I Am More Uniquer Than You
I am the opposite of an exemplar, as no one can imitate me without suffering chronic hormonal and prostatic difficulties, leading to severe personality disorders and an interminable bladder condition!
My personality is so rare that I may donate it to science—perhaps even have it blasted into space along with James Doohan's remains! (But what will I pack it in? Ach—Tupperware keeps everything fresh.)
|Your Personality is Very Rare (INTJ)|
Your personality type is logical, uncompromising, independent, and nonconformist.
Only about 3% of all people have your personality, including 2% of all women and 4% of all men.
You are Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, and Judging.
March 01, 2007
I eagerly await the next act of religio con artistry: perhaps discovery of the ruins of the take-out joint that secretly catered the feeding of the 5,000 . . .