Friday, March 31, 2006

Check out Father Hollywood's Latest Essay

I just got a sneak previeow of an essay from Father Hollywood on those "Real Men Love Jesus" bumper stickers. It's a real thigh-slapper. I expect he's posting it on his blog today or tomorrow. Definitely worth the read. Check the blog out here.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Gottesblog takes first baby steps

OK, I'm beginning to figure this mess out. Gottesblog is gradually shaping up. Now all I have to do is get noticed. Got a few hits already, and I note that Fr. Petersen's CyberStones has noticed us, due to Fr. Fenton's Conversi ad Dominum (Fr. Fenton speaks only Latin, by the way). So we're up and running. OK, what next? Let's see . . .

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Memo to the preacher: Tell me the stories of Jesus

As a rule I don't use goofy sermon illustrations. I think most of them are stupid, actually. They get me rather steamed.

I mean, why should we get all dressed up for church, get our families there on time, teach them to sit still, make sure everyone has gone potty, etc. before church, train them to sit still for an hour or so, and generally teach them carefully over the years how to behave themselves in church, when all we hear are goofy little made-up stories to us the preacher found in a book of illustrations? You think we like hearing those anecdotes? Well, ok maybe some are shallow enough to like them, but what we'd really rather hear is the word of God. Remember that explanation of the Third Commandment?: " . . . not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it." Well, how can we, if instead of preaching it all the pastor does is string banal little stories together and try to weave out of them some moral?

I'm not against stories, mind you; it's just that the Bible is so full of stories that we don't need any of yours. So go ahead, preacher, tell stories! You want stories to illustrate Jesus' victory over sin, death, and hell? How about David and Goliath? Or Elijah and the widow? Or Daniel in the lions' den? Why, they are so appropriate, you might think they were meant to serve as illustrations of Christ! Oh wait, they were . . .

If you really want to preach Christ, then just do it! Listen, you have to explain what the Gospel pericope is talking about, then point out what it says about Christ, and then find examples of sin or faith, and if you still have time, throw in some nice illustrations from the Bible where there are plenty. And your sermon really shouldn't drone on too long, either, as much as you like to hear yourself talk. Now really, how in the world do you have any time left over for those silly little make-believe vignettes? Really, just stop with them, ok?

My First PBT

OK, so here I go.

See Eckardt. See Eckardt blog. He does not run. He blogs slowly. He is a new blogger.

But he is a quick learner, so he expecteth that he shall succeed in this endeavor, at least to some modest degree, over time, that is.

I have to figure out how this mess works first, and then I'll be spewing forth my odd musings and ponderings at random.

For now, I'll post the first profound thought of my blog, which is actually from my mother:

Nothing ever really matters very much.

Now this pbt (profound blot thought) is meant in part to smoke out the Pietists out there who will rail against the idea, saying Wait a minute, doesn't GOD matter, huh?? To which I would not even bother to reply that it isn't what that pbt really means, since that ought to go without saying. What it means is that for those who are in Christ, there is life and salvation, and therefore all things work together for good to them that love Him, etc. And if you really believed that, you would realize that this is quite a good pbt, actually, because it means everything will work itself out. So there.

Take heart. Calm yourself. It's going to be ok in the end. Nothing ever really matters very much.

Father Eckardt

a Blog from the editor of
a quarterly journal of the Evangelical-Lutheran Liturgy (