A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Thursday, June 08, 2023

A Prophet with Honor: Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Harlem (Episode 6)

In 1930, Dietrich spends a year in New York City. He spends time in Harlem with the black community there. One of the shocking incidents that happens to Bonhoeffer is that one night he and an African American friend are refused service at a restaurant because of his friend's skin color. Bonhoeffer cannot fathom this.

In this episode of A Prophet with Honor, Pidge and Allan reflect on Dietrich's time in Harlem and how it transformed his life and theology.

Wednesday, June 07, 2023

Today In Christian History: The Death of Franz Xaver Gruber - Author of "Silent Night"

Franz Xaver Gruber (1787-1863) was an Austrian musician and composer, best known for his timeless Christmas carol, "Silent Night" (originally titled "Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht" in German). Born on November 25, 1787, in the village of Hochburg-Ach, near Salzburg, Austria, Gruber displayed a talent for music from a young age.

Tuesday, June 06, 2023

Calmly Considered: A Discussion on Deconstruction

On this episode of Calmly Considered, Michael and Allan discuss deconstruction particularly as it relates to religion and faith. What is deconstruction? Is it new or something that's been around for a long time? Is deconstruction present in the Bible? Was Jesus a deconstructionist?



Monday, June 05, 2023

Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Religionless Christianity

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German theologian and pastor, introduced the notion of "religionless Christianity" in his writings. He first mentioned it in his letters from prison, where he was held captive for his opposition to Hitler and the Nazis during World War II. However, Bonhoeffer was executed in 1945 before he could fully develop and elaborate on what he meant by the terminology.

Thursday, June 01, 2023

Today in Christian History: The Death of Reinhold Niebuhr

Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971) was an influential American theologian, ethicist, and public intellectual. He was born on June 21, 1892, in Wright City, Missouri. Niebuhr was raised in a religious household and developed a deep interest in theology from a young age. After completing his undergraduate studies at Elmhurst College and Eden Theological Seminary, Niebuhr pursued further education at Yale Divinity School. He obtained his Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1914 and was ordained as a pastor in the Evangelical Synod of North America. Niebuhr's early career was dedicated to pastoral work, serving as a pastor in Detroit and then in a German-speaking congregation in St. Louis. However, his theological and intellectual pursuits soon led him to explore broader issues beyond the confines of the church.

A Prophet with Honor: Dietrich Bonhoeffer in America (Episode 5)

In 1930, Dietrich comes to the United States for a year of study at Union Theological Seminary in New York. It will be a formative experience that he will take back to Germany.

In episode five of fifteen, Pidge and Allan reflect on Bonhoeffer’s transformative experience in America.

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Courageous Conversations: Immigration, the Bible, and Current Realities

On this episode of Courageous Conversations, we interview Christy Staats of the National Immigration Forum. We discuss the current situation at the border between the United States and Mexico and separate fact from fiction. Christy also offers a Christian perspective on immigration and how the followers of Jesus can respond to those seeking asylum.



Friday, May 26, 2023

Mythology Demythologized: Fentanyl and Immigration

Immigration Myth: Massive amounts of fentanyl are brought in by illegal immigrants.


#1: Most fentanyl in the U.S. is produced by pharmaceutical companies in the United States (example, Johnson and Johnson in Cincinnati). Law enforcement officials near these production plants brace themselves for a spike in overdoses when these companies release their next batch as people with prescriptions will sell them to make money.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

A Prophet with Honor: Dietrich Bonhoeffer - 1938-1945 (Episode 4)

In 1939, Dietrich Bonhoeffer travels to New York for a second time hoping to avoid being drafted into the German army. When he arrives he immediately begins to regret it, feeling he has abandoned his friends and the cause of the resistance. Six weeks later, he returns to Germany to continue the struggle.

Episode four of A Prophet with Honor, looks at Dietrich Bonhoeffer's life as a secret agent for the resistance until his imprisonment and execution.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Dietrich Bonhoeffer 1906-1945: Martyr, Thinker, Man of Resistance

Ferdinand Schlingensiepen's meticulously researched and beautifully written biography, Dietrich Bonhoeffer 1906-1945, offers an insightful and profound exploration into the life and legacy of one of the 20th century's most remarkable theologians. Schlingensiepen's masterful storytelling combined with his deep understanding of Bonhoeffer's thought make this biography a must-read for anyone interested in the intersection of faith, ethics, and resistance.

Faith May Not Always Be a Strangely Warming Experience

Today is Aldersgate Day. On Aldersgate Day, Methodists commemorate John Wesley's experience of conversion or the assurance of his faith on May 24, 1738. Of that experience, Wesley writes in his journal,

Thursday, May 18, 2023

A Prophet with Honor: Dietrich Bonhoeffer - 1933-1937 (Episode 3)

In January 1933, Adolf Hitler is made Chancellor of Germany. Two days later, while Dietrich is giving a radio address critical of the Nazis, the broadcast is taken off the air and Bonhoeffer has a direct encounter with Hitler's fascism.

On episode three of A Prophet with Honor, Allan and Pidge highlight the important events of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's life from 1933-1937.

Ascension and God's Accommodation

Today is Ascension Day. For many Christians, Ascension Day is no big deal. As a Christian holiday, it doesn’t compare to our celebrations of Christmas and Easter; but Ascension is a critical part of Jesus’ ministry. In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creed, the church affirms Jesus crucified, dead, buried, and risen. But the creeds also say Jesus ascended into heaven. This is the necessary climax of Jesus’ ministry because the Ascension effectively brings Jesus’ earthly ministry to its end.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Politics and Left/Right Authoritarianism: Two Brothers From the Same Mother*

The horseshoe theory of politics is a political theory that suggests the political spectrum is not a straight line, but rather a horseshoe-shaped curve. The horseshoe theory posits that the far-left and the far-right of the political spectrum are more alike than they are different, and that they both share common characteristics such as authoritarianism and a desire for radical change.

The horseshoe theory has its roots in the early 20th century and was first proposed by French philosopher Jean-Pierre Faye in his 1962 book, Langages totalitaires (Totalitarian Languages). The theory gained wider recognition in the 1990s with the rise of extreme right and extreme left movements in Europe and the United States.

Friday, May 12, 2023

A Prophet with Honor: Dietrich Bonhoeffer - 1906-1932 (Episode 2)

On April 1, 1933, the Nazis proclaimed a boycott of Jewish businesses in Germany in an attempt to intimidate German Jews and discourage others from doing business with Jews. The morning of April 1st, Dietrich's 91 year old grandmother, Julie went into town passing Nazi guards entering a Jewish owned department store and purchasing what she desired. She said, “No one is going to tell where I can and cannot shop.”

In the second of fifteen episodes on Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Allan and Pidge converse over the important details of Dietrich's Life from his birth in 1906 to the eve of Hitler's rise to power in Germany.

Tuesday, May 09, 2023

Calmly Considered: The Mainstream Media-- Purveyors of Truth or Peddlers of Propaganda?

On this episode of Calmly Considered, Michael and Allan discuss today's media in America and whether or not it can be trusted to give to the public a reliable picture of newsworthy events. They also ponder the implications for Christians who believe in telling and discerning the truth in a world of information overload.



Episode Visuals: Media Bias Chart, Ground News.

Thursday, May 04, 2023

A Prophet with Honor: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Post World War I Germany (Episode 1)

I am excited to post the first of fifteen weekly podcasts on German pastor and theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. A new episode will be posted every Thursday. I hope you enjoy the series.
In this first of fifteen episodes on the life and witness of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Allan and Dr. Pidge Bannin discuss the reasons for the rise of Hitler and the Nazis after the First World War (1914-1918), and why Bonhoeffer was able to recognize the threat while many other Christians were not.

Monday, May 01, 2023

Word Revisited: Major Matters on the Minor Prophets

On this episode of Word Revisited, Allan interviews Dr. David W. Baker, Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio. The conversation centers around the minor prophets. Why are they referred to as minor? What are the major themes of these twelve preachers? What is their relevance for us today?

Dr. Baker is that author and editor of numerous books on the Old Testament which can be found on his Amazon author page.