An ELCA Bishop Writes to a Former ELCA Pastor

Back in April, Pastor David J. Baer wrote to Bishop David Zellmer of the South Dakota Synod, ELCA, thanking him for releasing Immanuel Lutheran Church,  Whitewood, from the ELCA, and informing him that he was resigning from the ELCA roster, having been accepted into the NALC, along with the church. Four months later, Bishop Zellmer responds, telling…

North American Lutheran Church

The NALC had its first regular convention last week, and elected John Bradosky as bishop. It seeks to carry on the legacy of the old ALC and LCA, it appears, positioning itself as a middle way between Missouri and the ELCA. See Gene Veith, NALC webpage, RNS story.

“The Theology of the Body”

Bishop Jean Laffitte, secretary of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family, in concerned that some people are over-sexualizing what has become known as John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body” (but which JP2 had called the “Theology of Human Love”). Full interview.

“Formed in Christ”

The Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary has come under fire for teaching “spiritual formation.” In a recent article in the Adventist Review, three faculty members discuss what they teach, and why they’ve agreed to avoid the term “spiritual formation,” in favor of “Biblical spirituality.” I took Joe Kidder’s class on spiritual formation last summer, kind of…

What Is Contemplation?

I like Thomas Merton’s description of what contemplation is, and what it is not. What he says is in keeping with the great majority of writers in the history of Christian spirituality. I’d refer you to the first couple of chapters of his book, New Seeds of Contemplation. For Merton, it really is “spiritual wonder.”…

The AFA on Religious Liberty

Here’s what a leading figure in the AFA thinks about religious liberty. And here. And here. No religious freedom for Muslims. No mosques in the US. No Muslims in the military. States should be able to establish churches. About the author of those posts: Bryan Fischer is the Director of Issue Analysis for Government and…

The Alabama Immigration Law Does What …?

Catholic and liberal Protestant bishops in Alabama are making all kinds of hysterical accusations against that state’s new immigration law. “This new Alabama law makes it illegal for a Catholic priest to baptize, hear the confession of, celebrate the anointing of the sick with, or preach the word of God to, an undocumented immigrant. Nor…

Blue Laws in North Dakota

From the Fargo-Morehead Forum: LEAFY SPURGE: To all those North Dakotans who cling to the myth that partial Sunday opening (noon for most businesses) somehow honors a Sabbath day. If individual North Dakotans opt to avoid retail stores or entertainment venues on their Sabbath, more power to them. The state’s relaxing of Sunday morning closing…

Raw Milk

Some folks are upset with some government agents who raided a seller of raw milk. “We believe this was an ILLEGAL raid being conducted mob-style by government thugs who respect no law and no rights,” they say. Well, yes, I think they should have produced a warrant and read him his rights. But it is…

KofC Buys JP2CC in DC

The Knights of Columbus are purchasing the John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, DC, from the Archdiocese of Detroit. Detroit? Yes, that’s who backed the 60,000,000+ center that never became the leading force for evangelization they had hoped.

An Interfaith Response to Governor Perry’s “Response”

A bunch of us affiliated with the Coalition of Mutual Respect signed a statement of concern. Read it here. One of Houston’s greatest strengths is its religious diversity.  As part of the Anti-Defamation League’s Coalition for Mutual Respect, we are keenly sensitive to the fact that Houstonians may pray differently or not pray at all. …

Government Redefines “Religious Organizations”

Big news is that the Obama administration has said that health insurers must provide birth control. Articles about this say there is a conscience clause to protect religious organizations. But the clause reads thus: Group health plans sponsored by certain religious employers, and group health insurance coverage in connection with such plans, are exempt from…