Posts from the “Religion” Category

Klemet Preus, Requiescat in Pace

Posted on July 11th, 2014

Preus, Klemet I. Pastor Died July 9, 2014 at North Memorial Hospice Center in Brooklyn Center, MN. Klemet was born June 13, 1950 in Minneapolis, MN, the son of Robert D. and Donna Mae (Rockman) Preus. Klemet was a joyful theologian his entire life. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne IN, in 1972, followed by Master of Divinity (MDIV) and Master of Sacred Theology (STM) degrees from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN, in 1976 and 1979, respectively. In 1977, Klemet was ordained as a pastor in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and served congregations, in Ypsilanti, MI, Grand Forks, ND, Woodland, CA, Danville, CA and most recently, Glory of Christ Lutheran Church in Plymouth, MN (1999-2014). Klemet served…

The bore of the age

Posted on July 7th, 2014

More from Barchester Towers on preaching: No one can rid himself of the preaching clergyman. He is the bore of the age, the old man whom we Sindbads cannot shake off, the nightmare that disturbs our Sunday’s rest, the incubus that overloads our religion and makes God’s service distasteful. We are not forced into church! No: but we desire more than that. We desire not to be forced to stay away. We desire, nay, we are resolute, to enjoy the comfort of public worship, but we desire also that we may do so without an amount of tedium which ordinary human nature cannot endure with patience; that we may be able to leave the house of God without that anxious longing for escape which…

The greatest hardship

Posted on July 6th, 2014

I’m reading Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope. What a hoot! A parishioner at church has urged me for years to read it. I tried once but failed to stick with it. This time, I’m enjoying it thoroughly. There is a great section on inane preaching. I love this sentence: There is, perhaps, no greater hardship at present inflicted on mankind in civilized and free countries than the necessity of listening to sermons.

Why did pastors start pretending to be psychologists?

Posted on July 3rd, 2014

Recently we looked at the melding of psychiatry with progressivism, seeking to label those who don’t acquiesce to progressivism as unhinged fascists (“Are Conservatives Insane?”). Goldberg demonstrates that liberal theologians were quick to join this movement, transforming Christianity into therapy: A wave of liberal theologians met the psychiatrists halfway, arguing that various neuroses were the product of social alienation and that traditional religion should reorient itself toward healing them. Psychiatry— and “relevance”— became the new standards for clergy everywhere. Jonah Goldberg, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning (Kindle Locations 4305-4307). Even in conservative seminaries today, psychological terminology abounds. People don’t look to their pastor for absolution, but counseling. The pastor has had a smattering of…

Is evolution a belief system?

Posted on July 2nd, 2014

Thomas Nagel’s worthwhile book Mind and Cosmos addresses the problems with mind and reason as products of evolution. I found his writing refreshing – the rare atheist who takes the ideas of others seriously, and is willing to consider the possibility he might be wrong. His conclusion indicates his answer to the question posed in the title. I would be willing to bet that the present right-thinking consensus will come to seem laughable in a generation or two— though of course it may be replaced by a new consensus that is just as invalid. The human will to believe is inexhaustible. (p128) Indeed.

Sermo Dei: Rogate 2014

Posted on May 25th, 2014

Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!   This morning we take up a topic with a dirty word. I’m sorry, but I must use it, although it causes reviling, provoking angry and bitter responses. I console myself that since Luther used earthy language of the common man, I too may be bold. So cover the ears of your children, and steady yourselves, for the dirty word is: Religion. Nobody wants to be religious today, and the original meaning of the term perhaps reveals why. The word means to be bound to something, and thus to be obedient. The modern spirit cannot bear the idea of being bound to anything, for we wish to be free and autonomous, laws unto ourselves. Yet…

“I’m not stopping to be interviewed”

Posted on April 16th, 2014

Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, has an opinion about death, judgment day, and heaven: Mr. Bloomberg was introspective as he spoke, and seemed both restless and wistful. When he sat down for the interview, it was a few days before his 50th college reunion. His mortality has started dawning on him, at 72. And he admitted he was a bit taken aback by how many of his former classmates had been appearing in the “in memoriam” pages of his school newsletter. But if he senses that he may not have as much time left as he would like, he has little doubt about what would await him at a Judgment Day. Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking…

House Judiciary Committee statement on Religious Freedom

Posted on March 27th, 2014

Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) issued the following statement on the Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius and Conestoga Wood v. Sebelius religious freedom cases in the Supreme Court, which center around the government mandate that businesses provide insurance coverage that includes contraceptives that could end human life after conception, despite their religious beliefs.   Chairman Goodlatte:  “Our nation’s laws have long-protected the rights of people to freely exercise their religious beliefs and recognized their convictions as valuable and nonnegotiable. The Obamacare mandate at issue in the Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius and Conestoga Wood v. Sebelius cases in the Supreme Court signifies a growing willingness for federal bureaucrats and President Obama to blatantly disregard the consciences of people of faith.   “As an original co-sponsor of the broad, bipartisan Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA),…

Religion: companion and cradle of freedom

Posted on February 20th, 2014

Alexis de Tocqueville on freedom and religion: Freedom sees in religion the companion of its struggles and its triumphs, the cradle of its infancy, the divine source of its rights.  It considers religion as the safeguard of mores; and mores as the guarantee of laws and the pledge of its duration.

Mind over matter

Posted on February 17th, 2014

Which came first, matter (the universe) or mind? John Lennox, Oxford mathematician, helpfully delineates these as the two fundamental worldviews. For the atheist the ultimate reality is the universe, and for the theist the ultimate reality is God. Genesis tells us that God is primary, and the universe derivative. This worldview is the exact opposite of ancient polytheism and contemporary secularism, both of which assume that matter is primary and everything else, including mind, is derivative. John Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (p. 95)