Dylan Potter’s “Ministry as Leisure”

Here’s a snipped from an insightful post over at mbird.com.

“One indication that a clergy person has come under the law’s heavy hand is that they begin to eschew leisure in order to pursue what are perceived to be any number of sacred duties, aspirations, and ambitions. They fight rest because they are convinced that exhaustion in the name of a worthy cause is a sign of orthodoxy. However, clergy like this always die the death of a thousand cuts as they try to motivate themselves and their weary congregations to put a bit more effort into being a Christian. Continue reading


Ernst Kasemann on Baptism

The following quote is from Ernst Kasemann’s commentary on Romans 61-11:

Romans 6:1-11  What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?  2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?  3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Continue reading

Gehard Forde on the Charge of “Cheap Grace”

“The mistake is to think that we can remedy the charge of ‘cheap grace’ by making it expensive, by inflating the rhetoric, piling up the adverbs, reimposing the law, until the enterprise takes on the aspect of a great balloon which rises on the strength of its own hot air…

One would rather be called upon to make talk about grace as radical, as unconditional, as free and as pure as possible…  The gospel grants the ultimate possibility, not the law

It’s not ‘cheap grace’?  No!  It’s not cheap, it’s free!  ‘Cheap grace,’ you see, is not improved by making it expensive, a ‘bargain basement’ special.  It’s free.”

Gerhard Forde “Justification by Faith: a matter of death and life.”‘


The Colbert Report “Extreme Measures for Boosting Church Attendance”

“This year churches have began spending money on giveaways and prizes in hopes of boasting attendance on Easter Sunday.  At last prizes…  I mean what else were they going to lure people in with?  The promise of unconditional love and eternal salvation?  They gave that out last year!”



Phillip Cary “Why You Don’t Have to Keep Getting Transformed All the Time”

“In consumerist spirituality, the new stuff on offer is mostly new experiences, ‘transformative‘ experiences that you’re supposed to get if you don’t want to miss out on something special in your spiritual life…  Which means… that if you’ve never had the experience they’re selling, they’ll do their best to make you wonder what’s wrong with you…  You’ll be told that without you’re just an ordinary, plain Christian, lacking the extraordinary power and blessing that God wants you to have in your life… Whereas what we have, if we are nothing but ordinary Christians, is greater than all the experiences in the world.  We have Christ himself… Everything else is inessential.” Continue reading

Steven Paulson, Fanatics, “Law Creep,” & the Preacher’s Temptation

“Fanatics are convinced they have the power of the Holy Spirit, but in fact have only called themselves, and do not know the gospel…  The law always creeps in as the form of righteousness only to become the content of ‘new prophecy’ whose form is: do this and you will be the true church…  The temptation of a preacher is to be a spiritualist who receives new words from God not given in Scripture.  What does God call the preacher to do?  Preaching is God’s command, not the congregation’s own tradition.  The preacher’s call is not as Rabbi, Enthusiast, Spiritual Guide, Disciple, Prophet, or Community Organizer–What then is it?  The call is to preach law and gospel…  Fanaticism is overcome only in the proper preaching of law and gospel…”

Steven Paulson “Lutheran Theology

Beyond Deserving

“Parental love and, by extension, all mentoring love is authentic and effectual in proportion to the degree that it transcends the commonly assumed principle of the circular exchange.  All true love is a stranger to ‘this for that’…  The love that feeds the heart and mind, does in fact model itself after a dimply perceived sense of the way divine love comes to us–that is, moving in upon us first, without any presupposition of our deserving or earning anything.”

Dorothy W. Martyn “Beyond Deserving