Posts tagged "Martin Luther"
Jesus: Not Quite Your All-American Hero

Jesus: Not Quite Your All-American Hero

Babe Ruth taught me one thing: “Remember, kid,” he said, “there’s heroes, and there’s legends. Heroes get remembered, but legends never die. Follow your heart, kid, and you’ll never go wrong.” All right, sure… maybe that was the not-so-historical Great Bambino from The Sandlot talking, but still, his advice has stuck with me since I was a wee lad. I believe it was my freshman year of high school that I heard Chad Kroeger of Nickelback opine, “They say that a hero can save us, I’m not gonna stand here and wait.” And I’ll never be able to expunge from…

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Identity, Always God’s First Move… Everything Else Is Temptation

Identity, Always God’s First Move… Everything Else Is Temptation

Regardless of what you may/may not have heard, if you still haven’t looked into Pastrix, by Nadia Bolz-Weber, you’re sorely missing out. Despite the easier annotations enameled to the Denver-based Lutheran priest–the tats, the sailor’s mouth, the checkered past, the progressive politics–she’s also got some interesting (and old school) things to say about Jesus, and his violent intervention into the lives of an obstinate, self-oriented people. By default, Nadia names Nadia as sinner-in-chief in this category, as the avoider of truth, who stubbornly defies truth in order to “seen” as something–good, smart, changed, radical, funny. In her chapter on identity,…

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Man’s Prosthetic God: Technologies of Glory and the Still-Present Need for Salvation

Man’s Prosthetic God: Technologies of Glory and the Still-Present Need for Salvation

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote some thoughts on identity and freedom, prompted in part by Apple’s iPad Air commercial. So to continue the theme of ads-from-tech-companies, I thought I might also offer just some brief comments on Microsoft’s ad from the Super Bowl, which is begging for religious reflection. (If you happened to be grabbing some wings from the kitchen while it aired on Super Bowl Sunday, be sure to watch it below.)

Here are the lines from the video:

“What is technology? What can it do? How far can we go? Technology has the power to unite us. It…

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Another Week Ends: Flannery Prays, Calvin Outsells Luther, More ‘Millenials’-ism, Next-Next-Gen Gaming Consoles (PSILOVU), Backfiring Discipline, Zombie Impressionism and Noah: The Movie

Another Week Ends: Flannery Prays, Calvin Outsells Luther, More ‘Millenials’-ism, Next-Next-Gen Gaming Consoles (PSILOVU), Backfiring Discipline, Zombie Impressionism and Noah: The Movie

1. Well, we knew about Mary Flannery’s early life of training chickens to walk backward (1932); it appears that God marked O’Connor out as different from pretty early on. We remember the short stories of violent grace and brilliant essays, and we even got to read some excerpts from her year-and-a-half-long prayer journal (written while still studying for her MFA at Iowa) in September. Well, three days ago the full work was released, edited by her friend William Sessions, and The New Yorker posted a great review/primer for anyone interested in fiction, O’Connor, prayer, the South, grad school, wooden legs, etc:

She reckoned that her success…

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Halloween/Reformation Day Linkathon: Equal Opportunity Holidays, Fat Letters, Midnight Coteries, The Returned and more Lou Reed

Halloween/Reformation Day Linkathon: Equal Opportunity Holidays, Fat Letters, Midnight Coteries, The Returned and more Lou Reed

A quick grab bag in honor of the day:

1. Over at Liberate Nick Lannon reflects on the gratuity of Halloween relative to Christmas, stating from the outset that “Halloween has become more Christian than Christmas”. He’s not wrong:

“Consider the theological implications of Halloween. Halloween is the ultimate equal opportunity holiday. EVERYONE gets candy. On the surface, it’s the picture of the Gospel!  There is no checking of qualifications at the door. You come, you receive. Christmas, on the other hand… well, you know the song:  ‘He’s making a list, checking it twice, gonna find out who’s naughty or nice. Santa…

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Luther on Christian Freedom and the Bondage of the Law

Luther on Christian Freedom and the Bondage of the Law

Again, Happy Reformation Day! From his Commentary on Galatians:

Paul seemeth here to compare those that seek righteousness by the law, unto oxen that are tied to the yoke. For like as oxen draw the yoke that draw the yoke with great toil, receive nothing thereby but forage and pasture, and thereafter are appointed for slaughter: even so they that seek righteousness by the law, are captives, and oppressed with the yoke of bondage, this is, with the law, and when they have spent their strength a great while, this is their reward, that they are perpetual and miserable servants, even…

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The Reformation Redirection

The Reformation Redirection

Happy Reformation Day. If you’ve been following MBird for a while now, then you’ll not be surprised that we get pretty fired up about Reformation Day, but we might celebrate it a bit differently than you might think. For one, our major concern here is not about any particular church vs. another, or even a set of particular doctrines over and against others. Now, to be sure, we have our commitments in these areas, but fundamentally we are concerned about celebrating Reformation Day because of our need–shared across each of our contributors–to hear the pure and unadulterated Good News–the…

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On TV: John Luther Suffers For Us All

On TV: John Luther Suffers For Us All

“No, much as we would hate to admit it, we love to watch heroes suffer. And the greater the suffering and the more emphatic ability of the hero, the more we admire the hero…. I love to see heroes who fuel some kind of moral furnace inside them, who are driven to take on the evils of the world, despite the fact that the evils of the world are more powerful than them. And essentially can never be defeated, but they refuse to bow down. And in order to enjoy that aspect of the hero, you’ve got to put them…

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Identity, Division, and Luther’s “Evil Name”

Identity, Division, and Luther’s “Evil Name”

Another quick one from new Mockingbirder Win Jordan.

Muzafer Sherif’s famous “Robbers’ Cave Experiment” says that we embrace division—not just that we are happy with divisions, but that we actively seek them out. In fact, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that we develop our identities and our community by way of our divisions. (If you want proof of this, just introduce yourself as “Democrat” or “Republican” at your next mixer and see how you’re received.)

It certainly has not and is not different for the Christian. We look to theologians, churches, or denominations to define the “Faith” marker of identity….

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Tiger Woods: Theologian of Glory

Tiger Woods: Theologian of Glory

Tiger Woods’ new ad campaign (or, more accurately, Nike’s new ad campaign featuring Tiger Woods) is making the rounds. Featuring Woods staring down a put, the tagline is “Winning Takes Care of Everything,” a quote attributed to “Tiger Woods, World #1.” There has been much debate about the taste level of this ad, seeing as how Tiger Woods remains a divorcee with less than full custody of his children. Has “everything” really been taken care of? Is this an appropriate message to be sending to children?

The great Gerhard Forde (via the greater Martin Luther) talked about…

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A Lenten Devotion: The Difficulty of Receiving and the Greatness of the Giver

A Lenten Devotion: The Difficulty of Receiving and the Greatness of the Giver

‘This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.’ For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law. Then he said to them, ‘Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ Nehemiah 8:9-10

As the people weep and mourn for the sinful, law-breaking ways, Nehemiah, Ezra, and the Levites call the people to look no longer at themselves but…

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Intellectual Honesty, A Theology of the Cross, and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition

Intellectual Honesty, A Theology of the Cross, and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition

My four-year-old daughter Hazel is a Sports Illustrated subscriber. It’s a complicated issue of expiring airline miles; don’t ask. This week, the annual swimsuit edition was delivered. I remember, as a younger man, subscribing to SPORT Magazine (it was a cheaper monthly option than the weekly Sports Illustrated) and eagerly awaiting the swimsuit issue. SPORT, it should be noted, performed a service to its libido-crazed readership: it actually produced a normal sports-themed magazine to put around the models in bikinis.  In other words, when your mom looked askance at the cover, you could always complain that “it just took pages…

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The Gospel According to Hoosiers, Part 2: Hickory’s Leper and the Love that Takes No Account

The Gospel According to Hoosiers, Part 2: Hickory’s Leper and the Love that Takes No Account

In part 1, we touched on the moment where Coach Dale experienced grace from i-dotting and t-crossing extraordinaire, Ms. Myra Fleener. This installment will focus on another unlikely, yet incredibly encouraging relationship in the classic 1986 film.

The town of Hickory has a town drunk and his name is “Shooter” Flatch, who is also one of Coach Dale’s players’ father. Not only is Shooter an impossible alcoholic, he loves the game of basketball with endearing zeal, and has impressive insight into the sport. Coach Dale and Shooter have a very interesting (and hilarious) relationship. As noted in the last post, the…

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The Duality of Lance Armstrong: Simul Jerk et Humanitarian

The Duality of Lance Armstrong: Simul Jerk et Humanitarian

I have been in mourning over the revelation of cyclist Lance Armstrong’s guilt for several months now since the preponderance of evidence seemed to point toward his having indeed doped (using banned performance enhancing substances) during his seven-year Tour de France reign. Of course, the man himself finally confirmed his guilt last week during a highly publicized two-part interview/confession with Oprah Winfrey. Now I find myself at a new place with the story since I am finally viewing Armstrong (and the many other cyclists allegedly guilty of doping) through a theological lens. In fact, I found Armstrong’s confession to be…

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Rod Rosenbladt Reads Martin Luther’s Christmas Sermon

This recording of the Great Reformer’s Christmas sermon was posted by the good folks at the White Horse Inn a couple of years ago (it was dug up from their tape archives). It’s a great read and an even better listen from the lips of Dr. Rosenbladt. I should note that it isn’t one of Luther’s actual sermons but an assembly of pieces from his many Christmas writings, put together by Roland Bainton as he envisioned Luther might have preached them.