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Luther's Razor and the Sanctity of the State

by Rick Ritchie

Martin Luther was one of the most courageous men the church has known. He challenged the pretences of the day, and restored the authority of Scripture within the church. The church that bears his name owes him an inestimable debt.

[  August 31, 2006   |  comments (0)  ]


Forgive Us Our Trespasses

by Rick Ritchie

"Oh, I forgive you as a Christian, of course; but there are some things one can never forget!"

This line comes from C.S. Lewis's book The Great Divorce. While it is spoken in heaven, the character who speaks it is from hell.

[  December 19, 2005   |  comments (2)  ]


“Why do you want to know?”
God’s Two Answers to Every Question

by John Halton

In recent years, the London Men’s Convention has become one of the highlights of the year for “conservative evangelicals” in the UK. I’ve been attending the event ever since its inception in 2002, though over that time I’ve moved from being a conservative evangelical Anglican to being a Lutheran (or “Augsburg Evangelical”, if you like).

[  May 16, 2005   |  comments (1)  ]


Posthumous Tabletalk

by Rick Ritchie

It is easy when you are disenchanted with your own age to imagine that a time machine would solve all of your problems. Aside from a few choice discoveries--antibiotics and indoor plumbing to name a couple--I think that I could manage just fine without most of what the modern age has produced.

[  February 11, 2005   |  comments (0)  ]


Get a New Grid

by Rick Ritchie

“You've been learning a lot of Reformation doctrine lately. But it seems to me you are hanging Reformation doctrines onto the grid of your old theology. I think it's time to throw out your old grid and get a new one.

[  November 30, 2004   |  comments (0)  ]


Ecclesiastical PowerPoint:
A Cost/Benefit Analysis

by Steve Byrnes

There is a tradition in some churches – singing songs projected on a wall – that just doesn’t seem to fit the sensibilities of the typical, conservative Lutheran layman. The question arises: Are church-going Lutheran people just being stuck in their “churchiness” when they raise problems with the importation of new technology into the church service?

[  November 4, 2004   |  comments (20)  ]


A Bunch of Do Do

by Craig Donofrio

Today is Sunday. I woke up at about 7 A.M. to get ready for church. I looked out the window and noticed that we were in the middle of quite an ice storm. I figured that since Jesus was going to be at church and I am the pastor, I should brave the weather and get to church.

[  October 8, 2004   |  comments (1)  ]


When Polity Makes a Difference

by Rick Ritchie

In 1839, the LCMS ousted their renegade bishop. In 2004, a Los Angeles bishop is threatening to oust renegade clergy. Church government, an "indifferent" matter according to Lutheran theology, is creating a situation that could leave nobody feeling indifferent.

[  September 10, 2004   |  comments (4)  ]


Do Pastors Dream of Electric Sheep?

by Rick Ritchie

I was able to borrow a time machine in order to gather up friends from the past to discuss modern preaching, and not popular culture (a past article). Or so I thought.

[  August 20, 2004   |  comments (0)  ]


Starbucks Greek School

by Rick Ritchie

If we followed the Puritan laws, schools where you could learn Biblical Greek would be more common than Starbucks coffee houses in big cities. So why don't we have them?

[  July 27, 2004   |  comments (0)  ]


A Mighty Fortress around my Telephone

by Adam Fukushima

Among my most memorable moments as a graduate student in Germany were my encounters with the mundane and ordinary. Take, for instance, a conversation that once came up in a local beer garden.

[  July 8, 2004   |  comments (0)  ]


Old Solar Summer Reading

by Rick Ritchie

Ceaseless work is not a divinely-sanctioned pattern of life. Summer vacation offers a time to read and rediscover the vastness of the world and our place in redemption. So what books can help towards those ends?

[  June 30, 2004   |  comments (0)  ]


A Brief History of Old Solar Magazine

by Rick Ritchie

Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges once said that at a certain point in his career, he discovered that it was sometimes as important merely to describe an imagined book as it was actually to produce one.

[  June 30, 2004   |  comments (0)  ]


The Brown Witch Project

by Mark Pierson

The Da Vinci Code is one of the most preposterous books I’ve ever read. No, wait – let me correct that statement: It is THE most preposterous book I’ve ever read.

[  June 10, 2004   |  comments (0)  ]


Christian Worship in a Postmodern Culture
Part Two: Worship is not Rehab

by the Rev. William Cwirla

This series of articles is adapted from an address for a conference on Christ and Culture delivered at St. Paul Lutheran Church (ELS) in Escondido, CA, 22 May 2004.

In the postmodern, multicultural minefield in which we live, move, and have our being, the greatest temptation confronting the church is to fix things.

[  December 19, 2005   |  comments (0)  ]


The Well-Read Christian Life:
Why Bible - Lovers Should be Bibliophiles

by Rick Ritchie

The well-read life was the aspiration of bygone saints. No, not the life that was read by everyone (That was usually fantastical and morbid!), but the life that was spent reading everything.

[  June 15, 2005   |  comments (0)  ]


A Presbyterian on the Wittenberg Trail: God's Last Will and Testament

by Rick Ritchie

I never would have guessed that I would end up as an adult convert to Lutheranism. And I further would not have imagined how central the doctrine of the Lord's Supper would be to my conversion.

[  April 7, 2005   |  comments (4)  ]


Daily Prayer Books in the History of German and American Lutheranism

by the Rev. Benjamin T. G. Mayes

Daily Prayer books are those books which contain instructions and worship materials for daily prayer, usually for prayer services several times a day. In this article we wish to examine the various Daily Prayer books produced by German and American Lutherans and conclude by showing how the Brotherhood Prayer Book fits into this history.

[  February 23, 2005   |  comments (19)  ]


Books to Use to Study the Bible

by Rick Ritchie

Every Monday morning when I clean my office, I find that the same books tend to be on the floor near my workstation. My Concordia Self-Study Bible, my Strong's Concordance, my Septuagint (Greek Old Testament), my dictionary, and my hymnal.

[  December 7, 2004   |  comments (0)  ]


Christian Worship in a Postmodern Age
Part One: Cultural Iconography

by the Rev. William Cwirla

You can tell a lot about a culture by its icons, the images that capture the essential character to a culture and provide an open window to its mysteries. In eastern Orthodoxy, icons are considered “windows” into heaven, open doors to the eternal mysteries. Cultural icons are windows into the deeper mysteries of what makes us tick as a people, signs that point beyond themselves to something bigger.

[  November 24, 2004   |  comments (2)  ]


“Let’s Do Lunch”
A Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to Contemporary Religion

by John Halton

Douglas Adams' description of the three phases of civilization – “How?”, “Why?” and “Where?” – is not only funny, but is also an excellent basis for understanding the current religious situation in the West.

[  October 27, 2004   |  comments (0)  ]


Learning to Think Biblically
Part Three: Reformation Sunday

by Steve Byrnes

“The Kingdom’s ours forever” … a hope drawn from the well of the Psalms … Luther’s hope of fresh streams of water in the midst of all the peril he and all those faithful to the Gospel faced. This Psalm, Psalm 46, is a perfect choice for Reformation Sunday.

[  October 19, 2004   |  comments (0)  ]


Learning to Think Biblically
Part Two: The Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost

by Steve Byrnes

Jesus took the invitation to the dinner party — we aren’t told why. Judging from the several He attends throughout the Gospels, we might say He just likes to party. This crowd doesn’t sound like a group of people where you’d want to let your guard down though.

[  September 12, 2004   |  comments (14)  ]


Olympic Heroes

by William M. Cwirla

The 28th run of the modern Olympiad is turning me into a couch potato. OK, I know it's a bit like admitting you like Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner, but hey, where else can you watch hairy, sweaty men lifting the lead weight equivalent of a Yugo right alongside beautiful women in bathing suits diving into pools?

[  September 3, 2004   |  comments (0)  ]


Learning to Think Biblically
Part One: Diving for the Pearl of Great Price

by Steve Byrnes

Under about 65 feet of water, I had an epiphany. We were anchored off the back side of Catalina Island toward its western tip at a place called Lands End and I had been struggling with the subject Rick Ritchie and I had been discussing for this series.

[  August 10, 2004   |  comments (0)  ]


Learning to Think Theologically
Part One: 'Whatever Did They Mean?'

by Rod Rosenbladt

At a certain point in a student's time in seminary, he should begin to "think theologically." I do not mean by this that he should start thinking philosophically — let alone speculatively.

[  July 26, 2004   |  comments (0)  ]


What is Creative Repristination?

by Rick Ritchie

Must we have a church of either techno-savvy modernists or dull conservatives? No. Conservatives need to have enough backbone to become repristinators, and enough vision to become techno-savvy. It is well-known that Lutheranism was originally spread by means of the printing press, which was a technological innovation in its time.

[  June 30, 2004   |  comments (0)  ]


Griffins, English Lutherans, and other Mythological Creatures

by John Halton

This coming Sunday – the Fourth of July – my wife, our two sons and I will be admitted into membership of Christ Lutheran Church in Orpington, a suburb of south-east London.

[  June 30, 2004   |  comments (0)  ]


Traditions: Cling to Them or Drop Them?

by Charlie Mallie

Tradition. When it comes to church, most people roll their eyes at that word. For many people the word touches upon some deep disappointment or hurt. As a pastor who grew up as an unbeliever, the word means many different things to me, some of which I have actually grown to appreciate.

[  June 22, 2004   |  comments (0)  ]