Lutherans For Life Life Quotes

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Some people have a love of their fellow man in their hearts, and others require a light anesthetic.
Garrison Keillor (Life among the Lutherans)
Lutheranism restricted itself to an exclusively ecclesiastical and theological character, while Calvinism put its impress in and outside the church upon every aspect of human life.
Abraham Kuyper (Christianity: Total World And Life System)
whatever the Roman Church may be otherwise, she wants to be and also is church of the cross, church of the Crucified, whose sacrificial death plays a greater part in its life and thought than in many Protestant Churches.
Herman Sasse (Letters to Lutheran Pastors: Volume 1)
The Lutheran formula for a good life: commit as many as sins as possible then absolve yourself of all accountability by saying, “But I believe!” No wonder Lutheranism became so popular.
Adam Weishaupt (Evangelical Protestants: Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know)
From my father I heard only these words: "But you were born for such a day as this." He closed the book and my mother joined him in embracing me. They prayed over me and they gave me a blessing. And some blessings, like the one my conservative Christian parents gave to their soon-to-be-Lutheran pastor daughter who had put them through hell, are the kind of blessings that stay with you for the rest of your life. The kind you can't speak of without crying all over again.
Nadia Bolz-Weber (Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint)
But although it is the case that anyone who contends that in the Catholic medieval civilization of Europe woman was on the whole reckoned as the second—not the first—sex, can support his view by examples which appear conclusive, yet it is equally certain that women who in one way or another possessed more than average ability were given a chance of developing their talents and exercising them with a freedom from interference which would be inconceivable in a society molded by Lutheranism or Calvinism. Both the one-sided Lutheran eulogy of a snug family life and the Calvinistic hatred of spiritual charm, of the imaginative and poetical element in religion, and especially the Calvinists’ glorification of the industrious accumulation of capital and their belief in economic success as a peculiar favor bestowed on God’s elect—all this resulted in a contempt for specially feminine intellectual qualities: intuition, a psychological sense manifesting itself in tact and a gentle dignity in the courtesies of life, discretion, and feeling in the work of Christian charity.
Sigrid Undset (Stages on the Road)
Shish kebab. Sugarloaf. Sheboygan. Whenever life called for foul language, Aughenbaugh broke into a reserve of quaint midwestern euphemisms. There seemed to be hundreds, rarely repeated. My grandfather had met few Lutherans. He wondered if they were handed some kind of list to memorize as children.
Michael Chabon (Moonglow)
Little by little, as you came to know her better in the weeks that followed, you discovered that eye to eye on nearly everything of any importance. Your politics were the same, most of the books you cared about were the same books, and you had familiar attitudes about what you wanted out of life: love, work, and children- with money and possessions far down on the list. Much to your relief, your personalities were nothing alike. She laughed more than you did, she was freer and more outgoing than you were, she was wormer than you were, and yet, all the way down at the bottom, at the nethermost point where you were joined together, you felt that you had met another version of yourself- but one that was more fully evolved than you were, better able to express what you kept bottled up inside you, a saner being. You adored her, and for the first time in your life, the person you adored adored you back. You came from entirely different worlds, a young Lutheran girl from Minnesota and a not so young Jew from New York, but just two and a half months after your chance encounter on February twenty-third thirty years ago, you decided to move in together. Until then, every decision you had made about women had been a wrong decision- but not this one.
Paul Auster (Winter Journal)
Anticommunist dissidents who labored hard to overthrow the GDR were soon voicing their disappointments about German reunification. One noted Lutheran clergyman commented: "We fell into the tyranny of money. The way wealth is distributed in this society [capitalist Germany] is something I find very hard to take." Another Lutheran pastor said: "We East Germans had no real picture of what life was like in the West. We had no idea how competitive it would be .... Unabashed greed and economic power are the levers that move this society. The spiritual values that are essential to human happiness are being lost or made to seem trivial. Everything is buy, earn, sell
Michael Parenti (Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism)
The only means for averting the divine chastisement that takes the shape of warfare is, however, repentance from moral and spiritual evildoing; the peace movements of the West would therefore be well advised to direct their activities towards fostering respect for the human life created at conception in the womb, for God's law with respect to marital and family life and the ordering of human affairs in general, and above all for the true religion revealed in the Sacred Scriptures.
John R. Stephenson (Eschatology)
I grew up with the strong impression that a person became spiritual by attending to these gray-area rules. For the life of me, I could not figure out much difference between the dispensations of Law and Grace. My visits to other churches have convinced me that this ladder-like approach to spirituality is nearly universal. Catholics, Mennonites, Churches of Christ, Lutherans, and Southern Baptists all have their own custom agenda of legalism. You gain the church’s, and presumably God’s, approval by following the prescribed pattern.
Philip Yancey (What's So Amazing About Grace?)
if we are justified we will have that nature of God that will increasingly and inevitably express itself in forgiveness, just as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven us, we will be able to pray, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matt. 6:12). The Lutherans says: “We are justified by faith alone, but not by a faith which is alone.” It is always faith and life: first, the life of God within; then faith; then, the expression of the inner, divine life in what we do. The conclusion is: if we do not forgive, we are not forgiven. We are not justified. We are not God’s children, regardless of what our profession may be.
James Montgomery Boice (The Parables of Jesus)
That’s the way it is in Hungary, this is a small country, everybody’s related. I think that it’s likely that if we really looked into it deeply, we two would dig up some connection.” “Of course, your grandmother and mine were both women. Here in Hungary that’s sufficient basis for a relationship, assuming that one’s opinions and interests are the same. In this case, our opinions, our views of the world, our ideas of life are not the same, so let’s leave this examination of relations and family trees… I will confess, I did feel a certain sympathy for you, Town Clerk, whence the confidential tone. But if Kardics is your uncle and Szentkálnay, the leading evil-doer, is your father-in-law, it’s certainly going to be hard for us to see eye to eye. Hungary’s a dunghill of relationships and scandals. It’s a swamp, and anything that is planted on it either becomes acclimatised or dies. Plants that like this damp soil put out enormous flowers, and those that don’t like it are sucked under the mud. So if you don’t mind, I really don't think there’s much hope of finding that we’re related.” “What was your mother's maiden name?” “In the first place, I'm a Lutheran, my family’s from the highlands of Szepes county. So straight away, I feel it’s impossible for the threads to have woven in such a way as to join us to the Kopjáss and Szentkálnay clans. Anyway, my mother’s name was Malatinszky.” “Malatinszky?” exclaimed the Town Clerk. “My mother was Zsuzsánna Bátay...” “A Bátay from Vér in Szabolcs?” “No, the family’s from Gömör County. And her mother was an Éva Malatinszky.” “It’s preposterous!
Zsigmond Móricz (Rokonok)
Meanwhile in Wichita, Kansas, Dr. George Tiller, one of the few doctors who performs late-term abortions—only about 1 percent of all procedures but crucial when, for instance, a fetus develops without a brain—is shot in both arms by a female picketer. He recovers and continues serving women who come to him from many states. I finally meet Dr. Tiller in 2008 at a New York gathering of Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health. I ask him if he has ever helped a woman who was protesting at his clinic. He says: “Of course, I’m there to help them, not to add to their troubles. They probably already feel guilty.” In 2009 Dr. Tiller is shot in the head at close range by a male activist hiding inside the Lutheran church where the Tiller family worships each Sunday. This is done in the name of being “pro-life.
Gloria Steinem (My Life on the Road)
The community of faith does not need brilliant personalities but faithful servants of Jesus and of one another. It does not lack the former, but the latter. The community of faith will place its confidence only in the simple servant of the Word of Jesus, because it knows that it will then be guided not by human wisdom and human conceit, but by the Word of the Good Shepherd. The question of spiritual trust, which is so closely connected with the question of authority, is decided by the faithfulness with which people serve Jesus Christ, never by the extraordinary gifts they possess. Authority in pastoral care can be found only in the servants of Jesus who seek no authority of their own, but who are Christians one to another, obedient to the authority of the Word.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, paragraph 92)
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Life Together and Prayerbook of the Bible (Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, Vol 5))
Getting sober never felt like I had pulled myself up by my own spiritual bootstraps. It felt instead like I was on one path toward self-destruction and God pulled me off of it by the scruff of my collar, me hopelessly kicking and flailing and saying, “Screw you. I’ll take the destruction please.” God looked at tiny, little red-faced me and said, “that’s adorable,” and then plunked me down on an entirely different path. I am like a Lutheran Nikita. I was allowed not to die in exchange for working for God. I’d get a life back, a rich one I’d never have chosen out of a catalog, a life where I would marry a nice man, go to college, have a couple babies, attend seminary, become ordained as a Lutheran Pastor, and start a church. I’d get my life back, but eventually I’d have to work for God. I’d have to become God’s bitch.
Nadia Bolz-Weber (Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint)
In modern church life, we often leave the nave to have "fellowship" with one another at social functions in the basement, and we are sometimes invited to "fun and fellowship" at games nights or congregational picnics. These are inappropriate usages of the word "fellowship" (which translates the New Testament κοινωνία), for the human interaction that takes place in church basements and public parks can be shared without a qualm with Christians of other confession and even with the irreligious and pagans. True κοινωνία begins with baptismal admission into the church (δι' οὗ ἐκλήθητε εἰς κοινωνίαν τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ 'Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν, 1 Cor 1:9) and culminates in the fellowship granted through common partaking of the holy things; as such, it is entirely distinct from all Adamic-earthly gatherings, being the supernatural product of divine monergism.
John R. Stephenson (The Lord's Supper)
Bless me, readers, for I have published. It's been five years since my last book. Greetings, fellow sinners! If you picked up a copy of this book, it means you are either: 1) wracked with guilt and are looking for penance, or 2) need to spend over $10.00 at the airport newsstand so you can use your credit card. Either way, welcome to Stephen Colbert's Midnight Confessions. As America's foremost TV Catholic, it was natural for me to do a segment inspired by the church. After all, the Catholic Church and late night TV actually have a lot in common: our shows last about an hour, we're obsessed with reaching younger demographics, and the hosts are almost always men. This religious-adjacent tome contains all my favorite confessions from The Late Show. These are things that aren't necessarily sins, but I do feel guilty about them. For instance, repackaging material from the show and selling it in a book. I've always been a big fan of confession. The confessional is a great place to go to relieve yourself of your sins. Unless you're claustrophobic, in which case it's a suffocating death trap of despair! And while most confession books just give you run-of-the-mill mortal sins, I go one step further and provide you with mortal sins, venial sins, deadly sins, and even sins of omission (Notice that the previous sentence didn't have a period!) This book is a throwback to a simpler life when people would go to a priest to confess their sins. As opposed to how it's done now - getting drunk and weeping to Andy Cohen on Bravo. Confessing your sins is a great way to get things off your chest. Second only to waxing. The only downside is that you get introduced to it as a kid, before you have any juicy sins to confess. Oh, you stole a cookie? That's adorable, Becky. Come back when you total your dad's Chevy. Now you might be asking yourself, "What if I'm not Catholic - can I still enjoy this book?" Of course. After all, no matter what religion you are - be it Jewish, Muslim, Lutheran, Pagan, or SoulCycle - we all have things to feel guilty about. For example, not being Catholic.
Stephen Colbert (Stephen Colbert's Midnight Confessions)
New Year’s Day It is on account of Your mercy alone, O Lord, that I am not consumed, because Your compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. Abide with me, O God, throughout the coming year. Be my guide in all my perplexities, my strength in my weakness, my ever-ready help in all my troubles. Forgive me all my sins. O Sabaoth Lord, look down from heaven and in grace behold and visit Your holy Church, which You have chosen for Your own. Preserve for us Your saving Word and Sacraments, that Your vine may send out its boughs from sea to sea and its branches to the uttermost parts of the earth. Look graciously upon our nation and all the nations of the world, and bless them with peace. Grant to all that are in authority wisdom and courage to rule in such a way that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty. To You, almighty Creator and gracious God, I commit this nation, my church, my family and loved ones, and myself. Abide with me. With Your grace and mercy preserve me whole—soul and body—blameless to the coming of my Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. (76)
J.W. Acker (Lutheran Book of Prayer)
Heaven's eucharistic irruption into earthly space and time prompted classical Lutheranism not to join the Reformed and Anabaptists in their campaign of iconoclasm which rendered Christian churches little different in external appearance from Islamic mosques. While conceding the adiaphorous quality of images representing various aspects of the Incarnate Life, as early as his conflict with Karlstadt the Reformer defended the appropriateness of the crucifix and sculptures of Mary with the Christ Child. Orthodox Lutheran architecture and church decor attested the confession of our Lord's presence among His own in the means of grace, forging a style which goes hand in hand with precious doctrinal substance. Increasing accommodation to the North American Puritan milieu over the past century has led to a loss of the genuinely Lutheran understanding of the altar as a monument to the atonement, which is Christ's throne in our midst. ... If our chancels' decoration (or stark lack thereof) bespeaks the absence of our Lord and His celestial companions, can we be surprised at waning faith in the real presence and at waxing conviction of the rightfulness of an open communion practice? A deliberate opting for Puritanism's aesthetic barrenness can only make the reclaiming of Lutheran substance an even harder struggle.
John R. Stephenson (The Lord's Supper)
Even though they were not fervent about their faith, Jobs’s parents wanted him to have a religious upbringing, so they took him to the Lutheran church most Sundays. That came to an end when he was thirteen. In July 1968 Life magazine published a shocking cover showing a pair of starving children in Biafra. Jobs took it to Sunday school and confronted the church’s pastor. “If I raise my finger, will God know which one I’m going to raise even before I do it?” The pastor answered, “Yes, God knows everything.” Jobs then pulled out the Life cover and asked, “Well, does God know about this and what’s going to happen to those children?” “Steve, I know you don’t understand, but yes, God knows about that.” Jobs announced that he didn’t want to have anything to do with worshipping such a God, and he never went back to church. He did, however, spend years studying and trying to practice the tenets of Zen Buddhism. Reflecting years later on his spiritual feelings, he said that religion was at its best when it emphasized spiritual experiences rather than received dogma. “The juice goes out of Christianity when it becomes too based on faith rather than on living like Jesus or seeing the world as Jesus saw it,” he told me. “I think different religions are different doors to the same house. Sometimes I think the house exists, and sometimes I don’t. It’s the great mystery.
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
...he [Perry Hildebrandt] broached the subject of goodness and its relation to intelligence. He'd come to the reception for selfless reasons, but he now saw that he might get not only a free buzz but free advise from, as it were, two professionals. 'I suppose what I'm asking,' he said, 'is whether goodness can ever truly be its own reward, or whether, consciously or not, it always serves some personal instrumentality.' Reverend Walsh [Trinity Lutheran] and the rabbi [Meyer] exchanged glances in which Perry detected pleasant surprise. It gratified him to upset their expectations of a fifteen-year-old. 'Adam may have a different answer,' the rabbi said, but in the Jewish faith there is really only one measure of righteousness: Do you celebrate God and obey His commandments?' 'That would suggest,' Perry said, 'that goodness and God are essentially synonymous.' 'That's the idea,' the rabbi said. 'In biblical times, when God manifested Himself more directly. He could seem like quite the hard-ass--striking people blind for trivial offenses, telling Abraham to kill his son. But the essence of the Jewish faith is that God does what He does, and we obey Him.' 'So, in other words, it doesn't matter what a righteous person's private thoughts are, so long as he obeys the letter of God's commandments?' 'And worships Him, yes. Of course, at the level of folk wisdom, a man can be righteous without being a -mensch.- I'm sure you see this, too, Adam--the pious man who makes everyone around him miserable. That might be what Perry is asking about.' 'My question,' Perry said, 'is whether we can ever escape our selfishness. Even if you bring in God, and make him the measure of goodness, the person who worships and obeys Him still wants something for himself. He enjoys the feeling of being righteous, or he wants eternal life, or what have you. If you're smart enough to think about it, there's always some selfish angle.' The rabbi smiled. 'There may be no way around it, when you put it like that. But we "bring in God," as you say--for the believer, of course, it's God who brought -us- in--to establish a moral order in which your question becomes irrelevant. When obedience is the defining principle, we don't need to police every little private thought we might have.' 'I think there's more to Perry's question, though,' Reverend Walsh said. 'I think he is pointing to sinfulness, which is our fundamental condition. In Christian faith, only one man has ever exemplified perfect goodness, and he was the Son of God. The rest of us can only hope for glimmers of what it's like to be truly good. When we perform an act of charity, or forgive an enemy, we feel the goodness of Christ in our hearts. We all have an innate capability to recognize true goodness, but we're also full of sin, and those two parts of us are constantly at war.' 'Exactly,' Perry said. 'How do I know if I'm really being good or if I'm just pursuing a sinful advantage?' 'The answer, I would say, is by listening to your heart. Only your heart can tell you what your true motive is--whether it partakes of Christ. I think my position is similar to Rabbi Meyer's. The reason we need faith--in our case, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ--is that it gives us a rock-solid basis for evaluating our actions. Only through faith in the perfection of our Savior, only by comparing our actions to his example, only by experiencing his living presence in our hearts, can we hope to be forgiven for the more selfish thoughts we might have. Only faith in Christ redeems us. Without him, we're lost in a sea of second-guessing our motives.
Jonathan Franzen (Crossroads)
Within the West, the big social inventions have always been happy to define the individual. At various times and to various degrees, social programming has had a ready answer to the question of what the good life meant: being a good Christian, a good citizen, rich, an A student, or a good manager or employee. Imagine defining yourself instead as someone who defines institutions rather than being defined by them. Then imagine what sort of social invention you would have to engage in to create something akin to a school, a church, a government, or a business that would facilitate the person you aspire to be. No Lutheran will ever be as fully expressed as Martin Luther. No Mormon will ever realize her potential the way that Joseph Smith did. No Muslim will ever be more righteous than Mohammed. No Christian will ever be more perfect than Christ, no Jew more law abiding than Moses. Millions – even billions – of people do honor these amazing men by following their example, trying to emulate them. Yet what is interesting is that if a person were really intent on following their example they would refuse to be constrained by their example. That is, if you really want to imitate Joseph Smith or Mohammed or Martin Luther you would never become a Mormon or Muslim or Lutheran. You would, instead, start your own religion in which you subordinate tradition to your own convictions and revelations. You would trust in yourself enough to create rather than imitate. If that sounds irreligious to you, you are wrong. No follower of these men is more religious than they were. (And of course at the time, most people thought of these men as heretics, not true prophets.) Progress is the product of invention. Specifically, progress depends on social invention that subordinates the past to the future, that changes what has been created by past generations in order to realize what is possible for future generations.
Ron Davison (The Fourth Economy: Inventing Western Civilization)
Robert Askins Brings ‘Hand to God’ to Broadway Chad Batka for The New York Times Robert Askins at the Booth Theater, where his play “Hand to God” opens on Tuesday. By MICHAEL PAULSON The conceit is zany: In a church basement, a group of adolescents gathers (mostly at the insistence of their parents) to make puppets that will spread the Christian message, but one of the puppets turns out to be more demonic than divine. The result — a dark comedy with the can-puppets-really-do-that raunchiness of “Avenue Q” and can-people-really-say-that outrageousness of “The Book of Mormon” — is “Hand to God,” a new play that is among the more improbable entrants in the packed competition for Broadway audiences over the next few weeks. Given the irreverence of some of the material — at one point stuffed animals are mutilated in ways that replicate the torments of Catholic martyrs — it is perhaps not a surprise to discover that the play’s author, Robert Askins, was nicknamed “Dirty Rob” as an undergraduate at Baylor, a Baptist-affiliated university where the sexual explicitness and violence of his early scripts raised eyebrows. But Mr. Askins had also been a lone male soloist in the children’s choir at St. John Lutheran of Cypress, Tex. — a child who discovered early that singing was a way to make the stern church ladies smile. His earliest performances were in a deeply religious world, and his writings since then have been a complex reaction to that upbringing. “It’s kind of frustrating in life to be like, ‘I’m a playwright,’ and watch people’s face fall, because they associate plays with phenomenally dull, didactic, poetic grad-schoolery, where everything takes too long and tediously explores the beauty in ourselves,” he said in a recent interview. “It’s not church, even though it feels like church a lot when we go these days.” The journey to Broadway, where “Hand to God” opens on Tuesday at the Booth Theater, still seems unlikely to Mr. Askins, 34, who works as a bartender in Brooklyn and says he can’t afford to see Broadway shows, despite his newfound prominence. He seems simultaneously enthralled by and contemptuous of contemporary theater, the world in which he has chosen to make his life; during a walk from the Cobble Hill coffee shop where he sometimes writes to the Park Slope restaurant where he tends bar, he quoted Nietzsche and Derrida, described himself as “deeply weird,” and swore like, well, a satanic sock-puppet. “If there were no laughs in the show, I’d think there was something wrong with him,” said the actor Steven Boyer, who won raves in earlier “Hand to God” productions as Jason, a grief-stricken adolescent with a meek demeanor and an angry-puppet pal. “But anybody who is able to write about such serious stuff and be as hilarious as it is, I’m not worried about their mental health.” Mr. Askins’s interest in the performing arts began when he was a boy attending rural Texas churches affiliated with the conservative Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod denomination; he recalls the worshipers as “deeply conservative, old farm folks, stone-faced, pride and suffering, and the only time anybody ever really livened up was when the children’s choir would perform.” “My grandmother had a cross-stitch that said, ‘God respects me when I work, but he loves me when I sing,’ and so I got into that,” he said. “For somebody who enjoys performance, that was the way in.” The church also had a puppet ministry — an effort to teach children about the Bible by use of puppets — and when Mr. Askins’s mother, a nurse, began running the program, he enlisted to help. He would perform shows for other children at preschools and vacation Bible camps. “The shows are wacky, but it was fun,” he said. “They’re badly written attempts to bring children to Jesus.” Not all of his formative encounters with puppets were positive. Particularly scarring: D
Dear heavenly Father, blessed are those who hear Your Word and fear You, for they seek Your grace and righteousness. Move us to praise and worship You with joyful hearts because of Your Word, Jesus, that we might inherit life everlasting. Amen.
Anonymous (The Lutheran Study Bible: English Standard Version)
If Lutheranism is to be Lutheran, we must recapture our comfort level with the catholic shape of our identity and this means learning not to run instinctively from words like the Mass or from the sacramental practice of our baptismal life in private confession.
His theological work found expression not only in opposition to the church politics of National Socialism, but also in the ongoing crucial debate with key elements of National Socialist ideology and of its understanding of the state. In this regard, he distanced himself either explicitly or implicitly from such Lutheran theologians as Paul Althaus, Werner Elert, Friedrich Gogarten, and Emanuel Hirsch, who in various ways accorded the priceless gift of theological legitimation to the Third Reich by interpreting the historical and natural realities of human life in an utterly un-Lutheran way—that is, as direct or indirect manifestations of the law of God.
Konrad Hammann (Rudolf Bultmann: a Biography)
If I start on a film and right away know the structure - where it's going, the plot - I don't trust it," Pete says. "I feel like the only reason we're able to find some of these unique ideas, characters, and story twists is through discovery. And, by definition, 'discovery' means you don't know the answer when you start. This could just be my Lutheran, Scandinavian upbringing, but I believe life should not be easy. We're meant to push ourselves and try new things - which will definitely make us feel uncomfortable. Living through a few big catastrophes helps. After people survived A Bug's Life and Toy Story 2, they realized the pressure led to some pretty cool ideas
Ed Catmull
Instead of insisting that human beings attain perfection, Lutheran spirituality begins by facing up to imperfection. We cannot perfect our conduct, try as we might. We cannot understand God through our own intellects. We cannot become one with God. Instead of human beings having to do these things, Lutheran spirituality teaches that God does them for us—He becomes one with us in Jesus Christ; He reveals Himself to our feeble understandings by His Word; He forgives our conduct and, in Christ, lives the perfect life for us.
Gene Edward Veith Jr. (Spirituality of the Cross Revised Edition: The Way of the First Evangelicals)
On June 15, 1904, an annual gala was held on the passenger ship as it steamed up the East River, with about 1,400 people from St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. Consisting mostly of German immigrants, the boat was packed with women and children, and when a small fire started on the ship shortly after the trip began, faulty equipment was unable to put it out or stop it from spreading. On top of that, the lifeboats were tied up and the crew, which never conducted emergency drills, was unprepared for a potential disaster. When parents put life preservers on their children and then had them enter the water, they soon learned that the life preservers were also faulty and didn’t float. As the disaster unfolded, over 1,000 passengers burned to death or drowned, many swept under the water by the East River’s current and weighed down by heavy wool clothing. Few people on board knew how to swim, exacerbating the situation, and eventually the overcrowded decks began to collapse, crushing some unfortunate victims. In the end, the General Slocum sank in shallow water while hundreds of corpses drifted ashore, and the fallout was immediate. The captain was indicted for criminal negligence and manslaughter, and the ship’s owner was also charged. While the captain would receive a 10 year sentence, the company in charge of the General Slocum got off with a light fine. In a somewhat fitting postscript, the ship was salvaged and converted into a barge, only to sink once again during a heavy storm in 1911.
Charles River Editors (The Sinking of the General Slocum: The History of New York City’s Deadliest Maritime Disaster)
Lutherans are evangelical in the historical sense of the term. Lutherans openly confess and proclaim the Gospel. Not just to some people. Not just to white people. Not just to Germans, Norwegians, and Swedes. Not just to rich suburbanites. And not only from nine to eleven on Sunday mornings. Lutherans share the good news of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection with all people all the time. Open
A. Trevor Sutton (Being Lutheran)
Many feel a civic obligation to pay church tax, up to 1.5 per cent of their salary depending on the municipality, as though this is just another tax that must be paid to keep Denmark the great nation that it is. As a result, the country has a Lutheran state church financed via taxes, but only 28 per cent of Danes believe in any kind of life after death, according to a survey by the country’s Palliative Knowledge Centre (in the US it’s 81 per cent). Just 16 per cent believe in heaven (the figure rises to 88 per cent in the US).
Helen Russell (The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World's Happiest Country)
The universal tendency of our times is to “get together.” Isolation in church life is regarded as intolerable. Those who keep themselves separate for the sake of the truth are denounced as bigots. The well-being and prosperity of the Church is sought in the merger of church bodies even at the cost of truth. Sad to say, this destructive virus of unionism has infected also many Lutheran circles. This modern striving after external union despite spiritual disunion brings to one’s mind the words that God spoke to Israel by the prophet Isaiah: “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the Lord of Hosts, Him you shall honor as holy. Let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread” [Isaiah 8:12–13].
Matthew C. Harrison (At Home in the House of My Father)
Theology is not some sort of esoteric, quasi-philosophical muttering. Theology is about daily life.
A. Trevor Sutton (Being Lutheran)
This is the case even among those considered to be conservative and evangelical thinkers. Stanley Grenz once asserted, “In this manner the Christian vision of God as the social Trinity and our creation to be the imago Dei provides the transcendent basis for the human ethical ideal as life-in-community. Consequently the reciprocal, perichoretic dynamic of the Triune God is the cosmic reference point for the idea of society itself.”[5] But the obscurity and debate that continue to surround the imago Dei or “image of God” hardly serve as conclusive proof that God intends the divine reality and being somehow to be normative for humanity. Mercifully, not all theologians have adopted this misuse of the trinitarian reality. Richard Bauckham quite rightly observes that “true human community comes about not as an image of the Trinitarian fellowship, but as the Spirit makes us like Jesus in his community with the Father and with others.”[6] The hard fact is that neither Scripture nor the Lutheran Confessions ever offer the mystery of the trinitarian Godhead as the model or even a model for Christian living or the shape of Christian life. As the saying goes, “God is God, and you’re not.”[7] The Christian life is shaped not by God’s trinitarian nature as model, but by God’s revealed word and work in us.[8]
Joel D. Biermann (A Case for Character: Towards a Lutheran Virtue Ethics)
You don’t have to call me nigger. You don’t have to tell me that black lives don’t matter. All you have to do is do what the Lutheran church has been doing for five hundred years. Introduce me to Jesus. He looks nothing like me, so I’m left thinking he can’t possibly be for me. If he looks like all the folks who have, in fact, told me that black lives don’t matter, how can I trust that he believes my life matters? This Jesus who doesn’t look like he was born in Nazareth in the Roman province of Palestine, who doesn’t look like a Jew from the Middle East. This Jesus who looks like you, not me. You have taught a five-year-old me that I am not like the creator of the universe—but you are. You and he look like cousins, as if you played together as children, as if he just dropped you off on his way to see the rest of your family.
lenny duncan (Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the US)
I finally meet Dr. Tiller in 2008 at a New York gathering of Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health. I ask him if he has ever helped a woman who was protesting at his clinic. He says: “Of course, I’m there to help them, not to add to their troubles. They probably already feel guilty.” In 2009 Dr. Tiller is shot in the head at close range by a male activist hiding inside the Lutheran church where the Tiller family worships each Sunday. This is done in the name of being “pro-life.” •
Gloria Steinem (My Life on the Road)
He knew something was deeply wrong with the church as it then existed, and not just with the Reichskirche and the German Christians, but with the best of the church, with the Confessing Church, and with the current form of Christianity in Germany in general. He felt that what was especially missing from the life of Christians in Germany was the day-to-day reality of dying to self, of following Christ with every ounce of one’s being in every moment, in every part of one’s life. This dedication and fire existed among pietist groups like the Herrnhüter, but he thought that they bordered on being “works” oriented and overly “religious” in the Barthian sense. They had pushed away from the “world” too much, had pushed away the very best of culture and education in a way that he didn’t feel was right. Christ must be brought into every square inch of the world and the culture, but one’s faith must be shining and bright and pure and robust. It must be free of cant and “phraseology” and mere religiosity, or the Christ whom one was bringing into the world and the culture was not Christ at all, but a tawdry man-made counterfeit. Bonhoeffer advocated a Christianity that seemed too worldly for traditional Lutheran conservatives and too pietistic for theological liberals. He was too much something for everyone, so both sides misunderstood and criticized him.
Eric Metaxas (Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy)
Pierre asked his confessor: “Is it a sin to marry someone you don’t love?” Father Moineau was a square-faced, heavyset priest in his fifties. His study in the College des Ames contained more books than Sylvie’s father’s shop. He was a rather prissy intellectual, but he enjoyed the company of young men, and he was popular with the students. He knew all about the work Pierre was doing for Cardinal Charles. “Certainly not,” Moineau said. His voice was a rich baritone somewhat roughened by a fondness for strong Canary wine. “Noblemen are obliged so to do. It might even be a sin for a king to marry someone he did love.” He chuckled. He liked paradoxes, as did all the teachers. But Pierre was in a serious mood. “I’m going to wreck Sylvie’s life.” Moineau was fond of Pierre, and clearly would have liked their intimacy to be physical, but he had quickly understood that Pierre was not one of those men who loved men, and had never done anything more than pat him affectionately on the back. Now Moineau caught his tone and became somber. “I see that,” he said. “And you want to know whether you would be doing God’s will.” “Exactly.” Pierre was not often troubled by his conscience, but he had never done anyone as much harm as he was about to do to Sylvie. “Listen to me,” said Moineau. “Four years ago a terrible error was committed. It is known as the Pacification of Augsburg, and it is a treaty that allows individual German provinces to choose to follow the heresy of Lutheranism, if their ruler so wishes. For the first time, there are places in the world where it is not a crime to be a Protestant. This is a catastrophe for the Christian faith.” Pierre said in Latin: “Cuius regio, eius religio.” This was the slogan of the Augsburg treaty, and it meant: “Whose realm, his religion.” Moineau continued: “In signing the agreement, the emperor Charles V hoped to end religious conflict. But what has happened? Earlier this year the accursed Queen Elizabeth of England imposed Protestantism on her wretched subjects, who are now deprived of the consolation of the sacraments. Tolerance is spreading. This is the horrible truth.” “And we have to do whatever we can to stop it.
Ken Follett (A Column of Fire)
Who can understand this? Philosophy is unequal to it. Only faith can grasp so high a mystery. This is the foolishness of the cross which is hid from the wise and prudent. Reason must retire. She cannot understand that "God hides his power in weakness, his wisdom in folly, his goodness in severity, his justice in sins, his mercy in anger." How amazing that God in Christ should do all this; that the Most High, the Most Holy should be All Loving too; that the ineffable Majesty should stoop to take upon himself our flesh, subject to hunger and cold, death and desperation. We see him lying in the feedbag of a donkey, laboring in a carpenter's shop, dying a derelict under the sins of the world. The gospel is not so much a miracle as a marvel, and every line is suffused with wonder.
Roland H. Bainton (Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther)
In justification, God imputes or counts over to the sinner the righteousness of Christ. In sanctification, God imparts the righteousness of the new life. Justification is what God does for the believer; sanctification is what His Spirit does in him. Justification being purely an act of God, is instantaneous and complete; sanctification being a work in which man has a share, is progressive. Justification takes away the guilt of sin; sanctification gradually takes away its power. Sanctification begins with justification. So soon as the sinner believes he is justified; but just so soon as he believes, he also has the beginnings of a new life.
G.H. Gerberding (The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church)
People are made to realize the uncertainty and unsatisfactoriness of the affairs of this life. By losses, diseases, bereavements, or bitter disappointments, God seeks to wean them from their worldly idols.
G.H. Gerberding (The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church)
The scene lends itself to a dramatic portrayal. Here was Charles, heir of a long line of Catholic sovereigns--of Maximilian the romantic, of Ferdinand the Catholic, of Isabella the orthodox--scion of the house of Hapsburg, lord of Austria, Burgundy, the Low Countries, Spain, and Naples, Holy Roman Emperor, ruling over a vaster domain than any save Charlemagne, symbol of the medieval unities, incarnation of a glorious if vanishing heritage; and here before him stood a simple monk, a miner's son, with nothing to sustain him save his own faith in the Word of God. Here the past and the future were met. Some would see at this point the beginning of modern times. The contrast is real enough. Luther himself was sensible of it in a measure. He was well aware that he had not been reared as the son of Pharaoh's daughter, but what overpowered him was not as much that he stood in the presence of the emperor as this, that he and the emperor alike were called upon to answer before Almighty God.
Roland H. Bainton (Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther)
Community life, not a dreamy ideal, said Bonhoeffer, but an often difficult initiation into the “divine reality” that is the church. That is, the church exists as a brotherhood established by Christ, even if it doesn’t feel like it in a given moment. The martyred Lutheran pastor taught that struggles within the community are a gift of God’s grace, because they force its members to reckon with the reality of their kinship, despite their brokenness. A community that cannot face its faults and love each other through to healing is not truly Christian.
Rod Dreher (The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation)
Thus when George Konrád wrote somewhat sententiously that ‘no thinking person should want to drive others from positions of political power in order to occupy them for himself’, he was acknowledging a simple truth—no ‘thinking person’ was in a position there and then to do any such thing. This same appreciation of the grim facts of life also forms a backdrop to the opposition’s insistence on non-violence: not only in Czechoslovakia, where passivity in the face of authority had a long history; or in the GDR, where the Lutheran Church was increasingly influential in opposition circles; but even in Poland, where it represented for Michnik and others both a pragmatic and an ethical bar to dangerous and pointless ‘adventures’.
Tony Judt (Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945)
Luther and the Reformers said that you were not saved by your works, but rather by your faith in Christ Jesus. The only mediator of salvation was Jesus and it was only through him that we could come to eternal life.
Carsten J. Ludder (Being Lutheran Today: A Layperson’S Guide to Our History, Belief and Practice)
Again, if Scripture is the ultimate authority, how should it be interpreted? Lutherans and Anglicans tended to say that interpretations should follow the broad themes of the gospel that unite all parts of the Bible (yet long, arduous discussions between Lutheran and Anglican theologians in the 1530s resulted mostly in frustration at the inability to find a common expression of their faith). Most of the Anabaptists held that the key to interpreting Scripture was to follow New Testament commands literally, and especially to imitate the life of Christ, while reading the Old Testament symbolically. Many Reformed Protestants approached the Bible as a unified whole, but with special emphasis on the way that Old Testament revelation, especially God’s covenant with Abraham, led to New Testament realities like God’s covenanting with individuals, churches, and nations (though some who were not Reformed flatly denied that God any longer covenanted with nations).
Mark A. Noll (Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity)
And when life hands you lemons, you don’t pansy out, whimpering, ‘Well, I guess lemonade is good, too.’ No! You yell back at life: ‘I don’t want your damn lemonade. Or lemon meringue pie. If I see a lemon, I’ll beat it with a stick.’ Then you chuck those lemons right back at life.
Kris Knorr (Through the Knothole (The Stories of the Lutheran Ladies Circle #2))
11You make known to me athe path of life; in your presence there is bfullness of joy; at your right hand are cpleasures forevermore.
Anonymous (The Lutheran Study Bible: English Standard Version)
Listeners: listen theologically to the music of the Divine Service, recognizing that it is present as part of a tightly integrated whole, where word and music, speech and song are united in one purpose—to point us to Christ and His redemptive work, to the One who has come that we “may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
Daniel Zager (Lutheran Music and Meaning)
If it was possible to objectively measure the spiritual life of a city—through the language of its municipal charter, the legislative influence of its church leaders, the ratio of religious institutions to residents, its weekly church attendance, the judicious enforcement of Blue Laws, and so forth—then Berlin (with Montevideo and San Francisco) would have to be considered as one of the most faithless—or heathen—cities in the Western world. Much of the unvirtuous Berlin ethos can be explained by global events (the mass influx of French Huguenots and Central European Jews; the rise of modern capitalism) and ideological shifts (the weakening of Lutheran doctrine; trickle-down faith in scientific inquiry and Nietzschean vitalism); but, mostly by the creation of a self-conscious urban identity.
Mel Gordon (Voluptuous Panic: The Erotic World of Weimar Berlin)
The indigent Astor was buried three days after his death, in the Lutheran section of All Faiths Cemetery in Middle Village, Queens, at the same time as a handful of other men who had died at the almshouse that week.4 Not a potter’s field burial, but not far from it. Within these unassuming boundaries unfolds a life that is as much a part of the American immigrant story as the kind celebrated by Horatio Alger in his nineteenth-century up-by-the-bootstraps fantasies. It’s a harder story, though, and one more commonly shared. Not all bootstraps go up, no matter how hard you pull.
Anderson Cooper (Astor: The Rise and Fall of an American Fortune)
Since the initial bestowal of the forgiveness of sins coincides with the fallen creature's passage from spiritual death to eternal life, both it and its renewal in absolution and Holy communion are inseparable from God's consequent action to preserve the life restored in Christ. And because bodily death stems from the sin whose seat is in the soul, apprehending the forgiveness of sins necessarily flowers in the resurrection of the body which suffers death for the soul's offense.
John R. Stephenson (The Lord's Supper)
When my mother heard about the lunchbox fight, she put me into a private school up the block, St. Stephens Lutheran. The structure, the uniforms, the Christian grounding—it was all supposed to help wash away that defiance. And it worked for a time.
Michael K. Williams (Scenes from My Life: A Memoir)
Wesley insisted on preaching the law to Christians because the law is God’s means of crafting a holy people. But Wesley knew the perils of the law as well as any Lutheran ever did. He was well aware that the preaching of the law brings with it certain dangers: legalism, condemnation, and pharisaic judgmentalism. So he placed his preaching of the law in the context of free grace. Grace first, then law. The result of this combination, in this order, is the dynamo that drives Wesleyan spirituality.
Fred Sanders (Wesley on the Christian Life: The Heart Renewed in Love)
Lord Jesus, You came into the world to seek and to save those who were separated from Your love. It is with a heavy and aching heart that I come to You, the Savior of sinners, imploring You to restore to saving faith my erring child. O Lord, my heart is breaking as I realize that my son (daughter) is following the way of unrepentant sinners, which always leads to condemnation. Save him (her), O Lord, save him (her). You have, in Your vast mercy performed many wonders, and I pray that You would lead back all the erring lambs who have wandered away from Your fold. O Lord, if by any fault or neglect of my own I have caused him (her) to have strayed from You, I beg of Your mercy that You would forgive me. Guide me by Your Holy Word, and show me how to share Your love, mercy, and forgiveness. Draw all of us closer to You in faith. If it be Your will, let this erring child be returned so that our hearts are filled again with Your peace and Your joy. Unite us with You in faith, and abide in our hearts both now and forevermore as our loving, compassionate, and forgiving Savior. In Your holy name I pray. Amen. (132) FOR ONE WHO HAS STRAYED FROM THE FAITH Lord Jesus Christ, You are the friend of sinners, the shepherd who seeks the lost sheep. I come to You, Lord, in humble repentance, as one who was lost and dead in sin. Yet, by Your grace I was baptized into the name of the triune God and made an heir of everlasting life. You have blessed me with the nourishment of Word and Sacrament, where I receive constant forgiveness and the power of the Spirit to renew my life. As You have gifted me, O Lord, so work Your salvation for (name), who at this time seems far away from Your cross and the Word of God. Lord, You know all things; You know how Satan works to deceive, how he would lead even the elect away if he could. He uses our selfish natures to make us believe that it is okay to do things our way, to trust our own judgment, to ignore Your commands. Bring (name) to the judgment of Your Law, so that he (she) may see the condemnation of sin and
J.W. Acker (Lutheran Book of Prayer)
So, when a young German cleric, who had fled religious persecution in the Fatherland to seek asylum in the New World, wished to tell his story and expose the clandestine Nazi domination of the Lutheran Church in Germany, the FBI was immediately engaged to arrange his secret meeting(s) with the most eminent anti-Nazi story-teller in the U.S., Kressmann Taylor, who took his real life story and fictionalized it into this, her next book, Until That Day, published in 1942.
Kathrine Kressmann Taylor (Day of No Return)
Christians can relax a bit about the world and its politics: not to the point of indifference or insouciance or irresponsibility, but in the firm conviction that, at the extremity of the world’s agony and at the summit of its glories, Jesus remains Lord. The primary responsibility of Christian disciples is to remain faithful to the bold proclamation of that great truth, which is the truth that the world most urgently needs to hear.” 7 Or, as John Henry Newman put it, “[ The Church’s task is] not to turn the whole earth into a heaven, but to bring down a heaven upon earth.” 8 Christians, then, have the task of leading the world to the truth about itself. But in our time—as in the time of Diognetus—the world doesn’t want to hear it. The world hates the story Christians tell. It no longer believes in “sin.” It doesn’t understand the forgiveness of sinners. It finds the ideas of a personal God, immortality, grace, miracles, the Incarnation, the Resurrection, and the whole architecture of the sacraments and the “supernatural” more and more implausible. It sneers at the restraints the Gospel places on appetites and ego. And in place of the Christian narrative of history, it lowers the human horizon to a relentless now of distractions, desires, and suppressed questions about meaning. This empty shell of a life leads in small, anesthetic steps to nihilism: In effect, the “truth” of our time in the world seems to be that there is no truth, that life has no point, and that asking the big questions is for suckers. The Lutheran theologian Robert Jenson has observed that we live in a world that has lost its story. 9 Thus the Church’s task is to tell and retell the world its story, whether it claims to be interested or not.
Charles J. Chaput (Strangers in a Strange Land: Living the Catholic Faith in a Post-Christian World)
Vocation is far more than work-life integration, bridging the chasm between personal and professional; it is the integration of heaven and earth, God’s work and our work, family and faith, daily life and divine power, culture and the Christian life. Vocation reveals the spirituality of everyday life.
Gene Edward Veith Jr. (Authentic Christianity: How Lutheran Theology Speaks to a Postmodern World)
Instead of tinkering with style, for better or worse, churches need to deal, in a serious way, with the content of their teaching. Specifically, they need to find effective ways to rescue people from their life-and-death spiritual problems, particularly those that are characteristic of our age.
Gene Edward Veith Jr. (Authentic Christianity: How Lutheran Theology Speaks to a Postmodern World)
The secular realm, in all of its secularity, belongs to God, who rules it with His providential care, His created order, and His Law. The spiritual realm is also God’s, and He governs it with His Word, His redemption, and His Gospel. Christians are to live out their faith in the world, applying God’s moral law by improving the lives of their neighbors and faithfully carrying out their vocations. Meanwhile, they grow in their faith by Word and Sacrament and are prepared for a life that never ends in the kingdom of heaven.
Gene Edward Veith Jr. (Authentic Christianity: How Lutheran Theology Speaks to a Postmodern World)
The biblical revelation of God is more complex than the partial truths human beings are able to grasp by themselves. God is utterly transcendent, more so than the Deists and abstract philosophers realize. At the same time, He also does dwell within the hearts of His children. But there is another truth that is often forgotten today, one that Lutherans especially emphasize: God became a human being, in the flesh. And He continues to manifest Himself through physical means—the water of Holy Baptism and the bread and wine of Holy Communion—and by filling the world and the most mundane spheres of ordinary life.
Gene Edward Veith Jr. (Authentic Christianity: How Lutheran Theology Speaks to a Postmodern World)
And, to be certain, God did not merely descend into creation to wallow in dust. He came to redeem a sin-shackled creation and bring eternal life in the midst of death. God put on human flesh in order to restore human flesh. He descended into the depths of a fallen world in order to lift it up out of the muck and mire of sin.
Gene Edward Veith Jr. (Authentic Christianity: How Lutheran Theology Speaks to a Postmodern World)
Pure doctrine is generally interpreted to be an indifferent thing while a life which evidences good works is of major importance.
Matthew C. Harrison (Closed Communion? Admission to the Lord's Supper in Biblical Lutheran Perspective)
But the truth is, I was also born in Missouri, the “Show-Me” state, into a Lutheran/Episcopalian/Jewish home, and attended Catholic school, which gave me enough theories about The Other Side and the journey of the soul to keep me perpetually confused if I had simply believed everything I heard without questioning it.
Sylvia Browne (Life On the Other Side: A Psychic's Tour of the Afterlife)
In this we advance nothing new, but embrace and repeat the declaration which the ancient orthodox church has drawn from the holy Scriptures, and transmitted uncorrupted to us, namely, that this divine virtue, life, power, majesty, and glory, have been given to the assumed human nature in Christ.
Leonard Hutter (Compend of Lutheran Theology)
My suspicion is that many of us long for a great musical figure like Bach to have been a great thinker who conveys immortal thoughts on the human condition that are personal, modern, and individual to him. But as far as I can tell from the historical evidence, Bach’s (essentially orthodox Lutheran) world- and life views were suprapersonal, premodern, and not individual to him.
Michael Marissen (Bach against Modernity)
Better, I decided after much thought and much reading of history, to live a decent life and behave well toward other people. Better not to worry about the Christian Americans, the Catholics, the Lutherans, or whatever. Each denomination seemed to think that it had the truth and the only truth and its people were going to bliss in heaven while everyone else went to eternal torment in hell.
Octavia E. Butler (Parable of the Talents (Earthseed, #2))
it is worth pausing to consider the oddity of the charge that Protestantism drove God out of everyday life. After all, it was Luther’s intention to do just the opposite—to bring Christianity out of the monasteries and private masses of the chantry chapels into the ordinary life of the layman. To be sure, hearing priests chant in a foreign language behind an altar screen may have induced a certain frisson, but the Lutheran farmer lustily singing psalms in German while he ploughed his fields surely had a fuller sense of the presence of God in his work and in the world. The magisterial Reformers sought to transform the notion of the “spiritual kingdom” from an institutional realm of the clergy alone to a dimension of existence animating every aspect of a Christian’s life.
W. Bradford Littlejohn (The Two Kingdoms: A Guide for the Perplexed (Davenant Guides Book 2))