In a previous post, I began exploring the question of why I am Lutheran, particularly with all of the choices out there among Christian denominations. While there are differences among Lutherans (a topic which I will explore in a future post), let's take a look at what makes Lutheranism in general different from other Christian … Continue reading The Lutheran Difference, Part 2
In a previous post, I began exploring the question of what makes Lutheranism different from other Christian denominations, and why that is appealing to me. I think it's especially interesting to people because I have spent time studying and teaching about religion and theology, and because I have spent time worshiping at and with many … Continue reading A Tangent: Denominationalism
As many of you know by now, I was raised in the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod. Then, as an adult I spent a great deal of time "church shopping" my way through other Christian denominations before God brought me back into the LCMS. One of the things I did not like about the LCMS … Continue reading Why Do We Do That: Vestments
At some point, while watching the History Channel, talking to friends or browsing social media, you are bound to come across a familiar refrain: "Christmas isn’t Christian! Jesus was born in the summer! December 25th was stolen from the Egyptians/Babylonians/Romans! Christmas trees are pagan! Santa is an anagram of Satan!" And once again, it's not … Continue reading Christmas Is Most Definitely NOT Pagan
The church year begins with the season of Advent, which we are in now. Advent is the season of Christmas carols, Christmas shopping, Christmas decorating and Christmas parties. But the most recognizable part of Advent, apart from the Advent wreath, is the Advent Calendar, which counts down to Christmas Day and the birth of Jesus. … Continue reading Advent… of What?
Wait, what's a liturgy? If you haven't already read this, it might help to start there and then come back. Liturgy might be an intimidatingly churchy word, but it just refers to the order of the service. It is from the Greek word leitourgia, which comes from the words leitos (public) and ergos (working). So … Continue reading A Walk Through The Liturgy
This is a re-post of an earlier writing, but I think it's an important one. And because of something I want to write about next, I think it would be good for you to read this first...A common misconception (because it is wrongly taught and spoken of in that way) is that worship refers only … Continue reading Worship Is…
In another entry for the "Why Do We Do That?" category, I thought I would talk about one of those things you likely either a) take for granted that everyone knows, or b) never noticed before: the church year. Many people aren't even aware that the church follows a different format than the "Puppy of … Continue reading The Church Year
No, really! Every fall, there seems to be a lot of confusion and debate among Christians around the topic of Halloween. In fact, the church I once served as a youth director actually split over the question of whether or not it is OK for Christians to celebrate Halloween. Look, I know that we want … Continue reading Halloween Is a Christian Holiday
In this installment of the "Why Do We Do That?" series, I hope to answer some fairly common questions about an integral part of the worship service and a primary responsibility of a pastor, the sermon. This week: What is a sermon and why do we do it? Next week: How do you decide what … Continue reading On Preaching, Part 1: What Is a Sermon?