Sunday, May 22, 2016

Graphic Novel - The Stormy Monk


It was an age of turmoil, lust and power. Kings and Popes bought and sold thrones. The Black Plague crept through the streets. The Turks were banging at the doors of Vienna. Human rights and an individual’s conscience meant nothing. Any dissent could land you in the stocks or find you facing the Inquisition and the stake. Into this time came one solitary monk  who nailed an objection to a church door and, with it, ushered the Medieval Era out and the Modern Era in, changing the course of history forever.

With humor, wit, and meticulous historic detail, playwright and storyteller Dr. Rich Melheim weaves a spell-binding tale of courage, deception, and a world about to unwravel.

Illustrated by the award-winning talents of Tim Kane, Sherwin Schwartzrock and Jonathan Koelsch, Luther: The Graphic Novel leaps from  the pages. Beginning with the hauntingly predictive martyrdom of Reformer Jan Hus, the story moves to the electrical storm that launched a young law student to the monastery. It moves from his restless quest to find peace with God, to the protesting professor nailing his objections to the Wittenberg Door 500 years ago next year. It takes you from the heretic’s trail, to Luther’s staged kidnapping, and up to and through the unlikely events that gave the protesting monk and his death-defying princes the breathing space for the reform to take hold…. And eventually split the church.

The Stormy Monk is available for $9.99 paperback or $4.99 ebook

For more information about the Stormy Monk visit here

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Free EBook: Parable of the dancing God

In this brief and easy-to-read booklet, C. Baxter Kruger vividly retells the parable of the prodigal son (including the full text of Luke 15:1-32).
His fresh interpretation focuses not on the prodigal son, but on the character of the father as it is revealed through his interaction with his two very different sons.   Baxter asks you to consider with which son you most identify--the dutiful elder brother or the wayward younger brother.   Then he helps you explore the spiritual implications of that identification.    Finally, he shows you how an examination of the father of the two sons highlights important aspects of God's character: rejoicing, compassion and more.   You'll come away from this short but profound study with new insight into the ways God the Father is at work in your own life.

Free EBook available here




Decolonize Lutheranism movement

The decolonize Lutheranism movement is a reaction to many things people say are Lutheran, which are nothing more than to do with a local or a dreamt European culture....

Those behind decolonise Lutheran focus on theology as the most important to what is Lutheran.

This is what they believe....

#decolonizeJustification
As Lutherans, our greatest gift to the world is our theology – the recognition of human beings as simultaneously sinner and saint, the theology of the cross, and our holy insistence upon the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. But most importantly, Luther’s ultimate contribution to the Christian world is his insistence on justification. If Article IV of the Augsburg Confession is the article by which the church stands or falls, if all and any are “freely justified for Christ’s sake through faith,” then this means that Christ has justified everyone and everything before God. And hence, if this is so, then no one is to be excluded – indeed, cannot be excluded – from the love and power of God: human beings, nature, earth and all stars, indeed all of the created cosmos. Attempts to do so are not only impossible, but are even a most foolish attempt to thwart the holy will of God. Therefore, Justification lays at the center of all that #decolonizeLutheranism stands for, and all that we hope to accomplish.

 #decolonizeLeadership
The time has come for marginalized communities to lead our church into the 21st century –  people of color, the disabled, all genders (women, trans, and gender nonconforming), sexualities, ages, incarceration or immigration or citizenship status, and others. Since early Christians were never bound to respectability and social perceptions of right behavior, and often boldly contradicted these standards by lifting up the lowly and the down-trodden, #decolonizeLutheranism believes that we must all do likewise. Because of this, every member of the church is to be aware of and respect all of the voices in the room, not just the most evident or numerous, for each sings a part in God’s chorus. And though we do not question the need for good order and accountability in the church, we also know that “keeping order” has often contributed to – both ignorantly and willfully – the banishment of prophetic voices from the church, and the stifling of the Holy Spirit. This must change.

 #decolonizeTheStory
As Lutherans, we cannot be defined solely by northern European, cultural identity markers. Therefore, as a movement, #decolonizeLutheranism also seeks to raise-up alternative historical and theological narratives to take center stage in our church’s culture – its liturgies, hymns, polity, worship, food, poetry, art – even ways of life together and pastoral care. By doing so not only do we hope counter notions of Lutheranism that are weighted by White Eurocentric models and theologies, but also to revitalize how we collectively express our confessional identity – thereby breathing new life and vitality into Lutheran communities across United States.

#decolonizeEvangelism
As members of the church of God, with humble courage and contrite hearts we repent of the ways that evangelism has been used as a tool of violence and oppression. Yet at the same time, if we refrain from proclaiming the story of Jesus because of the sins of the past our repentance is woefully incomplete.  Though still covered in dust and ashes and tears, God has ever promised and ever to raise us up, dust us off, dry our tears, and send us back into the world to proclaim Jesus and the Resurrection more boldly than ever before. The greatest gift that God has ever given to the Church – the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the forgiveness of sins, eternal life and power and hope in this life – is the very thing by which we live and die and love. And by thus rapturously reclaiming the apostolic mantle from the clutches of White European dominance, we may then return to the world with the same zeal as the Apostles – throwing ourselves passionately and foolishly into the world for the sake of the One whom we love so much: Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, the Risen One, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world and raises the cosmos to new and eternal life.

To discover more and join the movement visit: http://decolonizelutheranism.org/

Book: The Divine Command a new perspective on law and Gospel

Paul Althaus - The Divine Command a new perspective on law and Gospel (written in 1966)

Contents Page
  1. The problem of law and gospel 
  2. Law and command in the New Testament
  3. "In the beginning": the divine command 
  4. Through the fall, command becomes law 
  5. The gospel as end of the law 
  6. Through the gospel, law once again becomes command 
  7. The Christian life as life under the divine command
  8. Significance of the biblical moral teaching: a "third function" of the law?