An unfinished outline on a Finnish theologian: Mannermaa, theosis and Lutheran-Russian Orthodox dialog

NOTE: This is something about Luther’s concept of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that I was working on last month, before I learned my proposal had been accepted for the Illinois History Conference sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum — and my priorities changed! Now I have to crash my paper, … Continue reading An unfinished outline on a Finnish theologian: Mannermaa, theosis and Lutheran-Russian Orthodox dialog

How ‘holy envy’ enhances religious pluralism and guards against spiritual shoplifting or appropriation

I’ve been thinking lately about the concept of “holy envy” and the Swedish academic who coined the term. That’s partly because I worry that the whole idea of pluralism — both religious and secular — is under sustained attack now at home and abroad. I feel like we’re crying in the wilderness, and a little … Continue reading How ‘holy envy’ enhances religious pluralism and guards against spiritual shoplifting or appropriation

A Franciscan take on the presence of God in all of God’s creation — including brother wolf … and all of us

Second of two posts looking ahead to the new liturgical year and making new (church) year’s resolutions. For the earlier post, link HERE. Fr. Richard Rohr’s daily meditation for Friday poses a theological question I want to work on in the coming year. I don’t know exactly what to call it, and I want to … Continue reading A Franciscan take on the presence of God in all of God’s creation — including brother wolf … and all of us

Theologian N.T. Wright rethinks ‘multi-ethnic, polychrome, mutually supportive’ early church, justification by faith

We’re still quarantining magazines as they come into the house, and when I was going through them last night, a billboarded pull quote from British theologian N.T. Wright in a back issue of Christian Century jumped up off the page, snuggled up to me and wanted me to adopt it and give it a forever … Continue reading Theologian N.T. Wright rethinks ‘multi-ethnic, polychrome, mutually supportive’ early church, justification by faith

‘Letting grace renew us’ — a little book by a Swedish dean of Harvard Divinity and the transformative power of the Holy Spirit

When we got our mail out of quarantine earlier this week, a little volume by Krister Stendahl titled Energy for Life: Reflections on the Theme “Come Holy Spirit — Renew the Whole Creation” tumbled out. Perhaps I should explain. The mail wasn’t directed to self-isolate by the Sangamon County Public Health Department, of course, but … Continue reading ‘Letting grace renew us’ — a little book by a Swedish dean of Harvard Divinity and the transformative power of the Holy Spirit

Spiritual direction journal — July

Copy of an email sent tonight (Saturday) to my spiritual director. Lightly edited in the interest of making sense and removing obvious illiteracies. Hi Sister — Just a quick note — quicker than usual this month — to confirm that unless I hear otherwise from you, I’ll be calling you Monday at 2:30 p.m. for our … Continue reading Spiritual direction journal — July

Phillip Cary on Luther — sola scriptura with a twist of performance anxiety

Now here’s a guy who’s on my wavelength … Phillip Cary, who teaches philosophy at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pa., has a book out with the somewhat daunting title The Meaning of Protestant Theology: Luther, Augustine, and the Gospel That Gives Us Christ. I hadn’t heard of him before, but I saw a review … Continue reading Phillip Cary on Luther — sola scriptura with a twist of performance anxiety

Was Luther a mystic? Hard to say. But an offhand Latin pun and a Lutheran T-shirt offer a new way of thinking about it

I have begun to preach and lecture once more; in fact, yesterday I preached in your place. … Christ lives; and we are Christs — with and without the apostrophe (Christi sumus in nominativo et genitivo).” Martin Luther to Johannes Bugenhagen, 5 July 1537, trans. Jaroslav Pelikan. Latin puns aren’t everybody’s idea of a good … Continue reading Was Luther a mystic? Hard to say. But an offhand Latin pun and a Lutheran T-shirt offer a new way of thinking about it

A Bonhoeffer moment and a barstool conversation between Luther, Bonhoeffer and a Finnish theologian — links and quotes for future reference

This article in Sojourners magazine — “Is Today a Bonhoeffer Moment?” — appeared last year in February, but I never got around to reading it. Then it popped up today on my Facebook timeline. I’m excerpting it and parking here for future reference. (Something I may want to keep in mind, also for future reference: … Continue reading A Bonhoeffer moment and a barstool conversation between Luther, Bonhoeffer and a Finnish theologian — links and quotes for future reference