Monthly Archives: March 2014

Bearing False Witness

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“Over and above our own body, spouse, and temporal possessions, we still have another treasure – honor and good reputation.  We cannot do without these.  For it is intolerable to live among people in open shame and general contempt.  Therefore, God does not want the reputation, good name, and upright character of our neighbor to be taken away or diminished, just as with his money and possessions.”

~Luther’s Large Catechism, comments on the Eighth Commandment

This is a post that I have not been looking forward to writing, but it is an issue that needs to be raised.  Since coming to the seminary one problem has continued to bother me and it relates to how we, as seminarians and faculty, talk about those with whom we disagree.

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The Inspiration Section & Placebo Jesus

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“For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great sings and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.”
~Matthew 24:24

This past weekend Jenny and I took the kids to one of our favorite local bookstores just to have some browsing time.  But while we were there I noticed something strange.  My favorite section, the “Religion” section, had its name changed.  Now it was no longer the “Religion” section.  It was the “Inspiration” section.  There were still some religious books there – titles by C. S. Lewis, the Dalai Lama, and Reza Aslan – but there were also countless hallmark-style books; tiny volumes with collected quotes from various religious and philosophical works that were personally affirming and encouraging.  Other titles were self-help in nature, focusing on finding inner peace, financial stability, and so forth.  All were lumped together in one section.

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