Archives For Theology

Photo of Grandpa, age 90, at my daughter's 3rd birthday partyThis past Labor Day found us racing away from a relaxing visit to the zoo to dealing with the shock, grief, and preparation that comes with the passing of a dear, loved one.  My grandpa, who lived an incredible 91 years, passed away in his home.

Death is something that we tend to fear, the death of others and especially our own death.  I can honestly say that I’m not sure if I fear it or not.  Unfortunately, the thought of death is usually only thrust upon us in times like these, when we’re least prepared for it.  Although Grandpa was old, he was fairly independent and in pretty good health for his age.

My mind is inevitably drawn to thoughts of my own death.  Will I be ready?  Will I be afraid?  I’d like to think that, knowing what I believe, I can be completely free of fear from death.  But I’m not.  I’m afraid of the unknown, for even though Scripture has told us much about what lies ahead, there are still so many questions. Continue Reading…

A while back I wondered if I was a pushy, judgmental legalist.  I had been involved in a conversation with someone who said, “You’re just hard to read.  Honestly, I feel like, what am I going to do wrong next when I’m around you.”


On the other hand, part of me was glad to know that he was feeling convicted, at least in part, when around me.

The discussion revolved around a behavior that I thought was dangerous to his spiritual health.  When he didn’t respond too well to it I sought some wisdom from a friend of mine and loved what he had to say. Continue Reading…

“One dream replaces another and the circle of discontentment starts all over again.”  This is just one of many sum-up-our-culture-in-a-sentence lines that fill the pages of Stephen Altrogge’s new book “The Greener Grass Conspiracy.” (affiliate)  And it’s true. Continue Reading…

Sojourn CD Release Good Friday 2011-86

I have nothing but immense respect for a group of musicians, songwriters, and church leaders from a vibrant community of worship.

I first heard about them with their Advent Songs project (one of the best recordings of Christmas music I’ve ever heard), then was blown away by the first installment of Over the Grave – The Hymns of Isaac Watts, am in love with their split EP that was recently released, and now they’ve done it again. Continue Reading…

Carl Olof Rosenius preaching in Betlehemskyrkan in StockholmAn accurate balance between Law and Gospel is at the forefront of many Lutherans’ minds.  And, although we might not realize it, that same balance exists in our hearts every day.

I’ve recently been reading the thin but power-packed book, “The Believer Free from the Law” by Carl Olaf Rosenius, a man of great heritage within the Free Lutheran history.  It has both challenged and convicted me regarding the constant struggle I have with judgement and grace.  This summary of the juxtaposition of my unfaithfulness and God’s never-changing character is fantastic:

In the heart of God there is an eternal satisfaction with the merit of the Son alone, an eternal grace, an eternal good pleasure in what the only begotten Son has done; but in my heart there is a continual variation and strife between faith and unbelief, a continual alternating of light and darkness.  In heaven there is an everlasting song of praise to the victory of the Lamb, but here below on earth only brief moments of increased light, joy, and songs of praise.

In God’s great book my account is forever balanced, but my little passbook, my conscience, seldom corresponds with God’s account, for we have an enemy who continually makes new entries of debt against us in order to disturb and terrify us.  But praised be God, that the covenant of grace is in His heart perfect, firm and undisturbed; that He does not count our sins against us; and that He does not judge us according to the law, although we ourselves do.

My conscience indeed seldom corresponds with God’s account.  Jesus, help me understand Grace more and more, so I can apply it to both myself and others.

What have you been reading lately that has challenged and encouraged you?  How has God shown a clearer picture of Grace to you in your life?

(photo from the Wikimedia Commons)