welcome. why "weak on sanctification"?

this accusation is often made about lutheran christians. because we focus so strongly on god's justifying grace in christ, and our continual need, as "sinner-saints," to receive god's gifts of grace through word and sacrament, people say we are "weak on sanctification." i prefer to say we are strong on jesus, whose sanctifying work in our lives is the fruit of the gospel all along our lifelong journey. i would much rather focus on what he has done than on anything i might do.

the weekly discussion

each week I set forth a topic to promote discourse about some aspect of Christianity, the church, or the spiritual life. i would love to hear your perspective and thoughts on each week's subject. these discussions are usually posted on mondays, so if you missed this week's post and would like to catch up on the conversation, just scroll down and join us.

November 16, 2009

let them eat cake...

reporter: hello, today i'm with william sola, great, great, great grandson of jack sola, founder of the sola bakery company. thanks for joining us today, mr. sola.

sola: my pleasure.

reporter: you are the latest in a long line of solas to have inherited the sola bakery business. if i understand correctly, your company is now being run in quite a different way than it was in the past. can you tell us about that?

sola: that's right. we operate strictly on a kind of franchise basis now. you tell us you want to run a sola bakery, we verify that you're a true believer in the sola name, and boom! there you go, you can run your own sola bakery.

reporter: how do you go about helping these franchise owners get started in business?

sola: we give them the book.

reporter: the book?

sola: that's right, the sola bakery book.

reporter: i assume that this book contains all the directions one would need to get a bakery going—specific steps for setting up a business, company policies, the unique sola recipes, all of that?

sola: no, not really. the book is more of a history of jack sola. it lays out the background of why he started the bakery, and then tells about his life, his sayings, and the sacrifices he made to start the first sola bakery. it also contains stories about the early growth of the business, and several letters that early company managers wrote to bakeries around the area to help them with their specific problems. oh, you can find bits and pieces of various recipes in there, and fragments of policies and procedures. but mostly, it's the story of jack sola.

reporter: it doesn't contain specific company policies and the actual recipes for baking sola products? how then do you maintain quality control? how do you make sure one sola cake is like another sola cake?

sola: we don't care too much about quality control. we pretty much just give a new guy the book and let him go. he's on his own then. we think the book contains enough principles to keep him straight and faithful to the spirit of our founder, but he's free to develop his own recipes and run the business any way he wants. this has led to a whole new, exciting era in sola bakery history, and we are celebrating it with our new slogan.

reporter: and what is that?

sola: "sola bakeries: a surprise in every box."

reporter: but, doesn't that confuse people? doesn't it bother you that people don't really know what to expect when they buy a product from a sola bakery? and what if they get something really bad, or even harmful?

sola: actually, we like it that people don't know what to expect. it adds an air of spontanaeity and excitement that we think is great! here at headquarters, we just say, "let them eat cake!" and then wait to hear all the thrilling reports from the field. if a customer isn't satisfied with her local sola bakery, we figure that there are enough other franchises in the area that she can try them all until she's satisfied.

reporter: so, the sola name really doesn't indicate what kind of a product you're going to get.

sola: yes, that's right. what we can guarantee is that it will be a "sola" cake, no more, no less. beyond that, it's up for grabs.

reporter: and there you have it—william sola, president of sola bakeries, telling us that, when it comes to sola cakes, it's a surprise in every box. good night, and GOOD LUCK.

today's van gogh

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