Is “Heaven Is For Real” real?

What do we say about books like Heaven is for Real, by Chip Ingram, which claim that near death experiences give us real information about heaven? Read more here.

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In the News

How to rein in student mobs – Kyle Smith

St. Olaf bows to student mobs. Read more here.

The Church and Islam: Nostalgia for the Sixties – William Kilpatrick

Acquiring a longer view of Islam. Read more here.

Christian Publisher Says Google Banned It Over ‘Faith We Express’

The world keeps squeezing. Read more here.

In the News

ELCA head fired for once helping people overcome unwanted gay attraction – Doug Mainwaring

Only certain views allowed in the ELCA. Read more here.

From Forde’s theological autobiography:

“Indherred, the country church where I was baptized and nurtured in the faith, with its lovely spire presiding over the surrounding countryside, was a cultural center as well as a place of worship. It actually had its own orchestra and choir, performed the Messiah every year, and so on. This is important for me not only because it indicates that culture was vital to the faith I learned, but also because in my later years I have come more and more to realize that my Christology and view of the atonement probably owe as much to the hearing of Handel’s Messiah – the actual performance – as any other single source. For weeks and months before the performances – in which eventually I also participated and sometimes soloed—the parsonage rang with practices and rehearsals. I am sure that it helped to shape that which people today would like to call my ‘spirituality.’”[1]

“The recently deceased John Chancellor, sagacious news analyst and commentator, is said to have remarked once that if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans!”[2]

___________________

[1] Gerhard Forde, “The One Acted Upon,” dialog 36:1 (Winter 1997) 54.

[2] Forde, 61.

In the News

Sex Change: Physically Impossible, Psychosocially Unhelpful, and Philosophically Misguided – Ryan T. Anderson

When Harry became Sally and all that. Read more here.

Conservative posters at St. Olaf torn down – Kathryn Hinderaker

The self-righteous left strikes again. Read more here.

Luther’s Lament Concerning Legalism – Roger Salter

Luther quipped succinctly that the message of the law is “Do”, but the message of the gospel is “Done!” Read more here.

All the problems of interpreting the Bible – on two pages

The Problem:  It may seem as if Christians have only two options for how to use Scripture – either be a relativist or an inerrantist. Read more here.

Who is teaching religion at St. Olaf College?

ptPT Johnston is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the St. Olaf College Religion Department. PT (Patricia) is Roman Catholic and gender non-conforming.

As she says in a blog post: “Everyone’s biological sex is a spectrum, not a binary.”

Yet every cell in the human body marks individuals as either male or female, with males bearing an XY and females an XX chromosome.

Think of the generations that sacrificed to build a school where young men and women could find a Lutheran future!

Nigerian girls sustained by the Word

How did they survive? The Nigerian girls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014. Some of 276 who were taken were killed. A few escaped. A group of 103 were ransomed last year, and they now live at American University of Nigeria. The Wall Street Journal reports:

“A year ago, most of these young women were focused on survival—eating grass to quell their hunger, sleeping on bare ground near snakes and scorpions, sharing whispered Bible passages in defiance of their captors.

 “Some spent much of their time memorizing lengthy prayers and hymns. Others composed diary entries in their heads—their thoughts, injustices they suffered—they would later log in journals they kept hidden. In secret, they retold the story of Job, the biblical figure who was punished in a test of his faith.”

US Christianity is not shrinking – 2

Gene Veith provides further analysis of the new findings that US Christianity is not declining but moderate denominations are. Believers with “intense” faith are restless. What should churches do? Veith points to the need for churches to evangelize their own members. With which gospel? Not that of an infallible church, an inerrant scripture, or infallible feelings. Forde points the way for post-liberal Lutherans to the only “true concreteness and ‘objectivity’ in the church.”

US Christianity is not shrinking

US Christianity is growing stronger, not shrinking. But where is the Reformation concern for the pure gospel and sacraments? The ELCA has bought into relativism and yet at the same time an ecclesiastical authoritarianism. LCMC, the NALC, and the LCMS have bought into the authority of an inerrant Bible. Gerhard Forde describes the problem and points the way for “post-liberal Lutherans.”