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Category: Ministry

Gotta Get Out More

Jesus says we are to be salt and light. Salty German Lutheran pastor Helmut Thielicke declared amidst Berlin’s ruins, “… do not groan about being a solitary Christian, a small minority in a far greater pagan environment; you have been called to assault the whole godless mass… how often the power of this one grain of salt turns out to be mightily effective! [But you can’t stay in the salt cellar.] … You must get out, or else you will never find out that this is true. Your inner life grows in doing the tasks your Lord has set for you, but certainly never in the salt cellar.” (You Can Begin Again) Take the risk.

Saint Values

Gregory of Nanzianzus (330 – 389 A.D.) was a temperamental saint — melancholy and reclusive, yet right up there with Luther on the short list of great theologians with a great sense of humor. He laughs at those things that make God laugh (Psalm 2). His Oration 33 (380 A.D.) — is especially rich in “nothing new under the sun” perspectives.  He, struggled, as we do, with the announcement, “oh no! (or yippee! — as the case may be), the Church’s numbers are declining”, as though something tragically unusual has happened.  Gregory provides a view through a wider lens. Throughout most of his life, Arian heretics vastly outnumbered the Orthodox – the Emperor was Arian, as well as most of the bishops.…

Hull it Out

In light of the Supreme Court’s decision establishing gay “marriage”– I remain mindful of Wolfhart Pannenberg’s response to my question 23 years ago, “What’s a Christian minister to do in a situation where almost no one agrees that Jesus is the Truth?” With fist raised, “Resist! Resist! Resist! Resist! Resist!” was his answer. I get tired, but that is still the right answer. The Church has always gone forward in the midst of storms and temptations. Why should our day be any different? “Hull it out.” “It is well with us, if we can ride out a storm at anchor; that is, lie still and expect, and surrender ourselves to God, and anchor in that confidence, till the storm blow over.…