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.

January 30, 2010

available now for pre-order

michael spencer, aka "imonk," has written a book, and now the publisher and amazon.com has posted it for pre-sale. 
it will be available to purchase in september, 2010. 

i am convinced this will be one of the best books of the year, filled with insightful commentary on the impoverished state of american evangelicalism and wise counsel for better ways forward.

i encourage you to pre-order it today!

January 24, 2010

something special...

View this gallery at The Indianapolis Star: AFC Championship: Colts vs. Jets game action

I am first of all a chicago bears fan. secondly, I am a fan of football in general. I am not an indy "homer." 


but i have never seen a team like the colts that is so businesslike, so precise, so able to adapt within the game to what the other team is bringing, so able to execute when it matters. and this year, you can say that about the defense as well as the offense. 


this is something special to behold.



January 6, 2010

a joyful epiphany!

today is epiphany. the epiphany, called "theophany" in the eastern churches, celebrates the manifestation of christ to the gentiles and the visit of the wise men to the christ child.
o god, on this day you revealed your son to the nations by the leading of a star. lead us now by faith to know your presence in our lives, and bring us at last to the full vision of your glory, through your son, jesus christ our lord, who lives and reigns with you and the holy spirit, one god, now and forever.
one of the great pieces of music celebrating epiphany is bach's christmas oratorio, part VI. enjoy these excerpts as you join the Magi and believers all over the world in worshiping christ today.

I stand here at your crib
O Little Jesus, my life;
I come, bring and give you
What you have given to me.
Take it! It is my spirit and mind,
Heart, soul and courage, take it all
And may it be pleasing to you!

Chorale, J.S. Bach, Christmas Oratorio VI

January 5, 2010

praying for the imonk...

good friend michael spencer begins radiation treatments today at the markey cancer center in lexington, ky.

michael, aka "the internet monk," was diagnosed with colorectal cancer recently and had a brain tumor removed. today he returns to the cancer center to begin follow-up treatments.

you can read michael's latest update on his condition here.

please pray for michael and denise and their children at this time. and lift up all who feel the burden of his illness—friends, co-workers at their ministry, and those who have come to appreciate michael's "voice of sanity in the midst of the evangelical wilderness".

o god, 
the strength of the weak and the comfort of sufferers:
mercifully accept our prayers, 
and grant to your servant michael 
the help of your power, 
that his sickness may be turned into health, 
and our sorrow into joy; 
through jesus christ our lord.  amen. (bcp)

January 1, 2010

happy new year!

Note: this post also appears at Internet Monk, where I continue to serve as guest blogger.

Happy New Year.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…
(Eph 1:3)

On the calendar, today is the beginning of a new year and a new decade. I can’t think of a better text of Scripture upon which to meditate than this one from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.