Easter 5 • John 14:1–11 • May 22, 2011


Easter 5 • John 14:1–11 • May 22, 2011

by Charles Arand “And That’s the Rest of the Story” [This text provides an excellent opportunity for instruction on the Trinity. The following provides a potential pattern for how the sermon could be constructed. It moves from our knowledge of God in creation to our knowledge of the Father through Jesus Christ to the trinitarian ..

Reflections on a Soil Motif

Reflections on a Soil Motif


Reflections on a Soil Motif

Not too long ago scholars spoke of the story of salvation in the bible as “salvation- history .” In part this phrase meant that God carried out his work of salvation in history through a historical people and through historical events. This distinguished Christianity from so-called nature religions that too closely identified their gods with nature. We called that pantheism

Frankenfish Salmon

Frankenfish Salmon


Frankenfish Salmon

So, what do you think of the genetically modified salmon that has been nicknamed Frankenfish? Various news agencies reported last week that the company AquaBounty is asking the FDA to approve as safe the farm raised genetically modified salmon. It apparently grows much faster and much larger (2-3 times) than your average salmon

It’s Out!

It’s Out!


It’s Out!

A month ago or so, I mentioned that a “small catechism” version (about thirty pages or so) of Together With All Creatures: Caring for God’s Living Earth appeared in time for our church’s National Youth Gathering (on right and below). Well, this past week the “large catechism” version (on left) is now out and has been sent to our pastors and congregations. It provides a more thorough treatment of the subject. The first half explores where we fit within creation by providing brief historical overview and then developing a theology of our place within creation for today

Creation Care and Scripture

Creation Care and Scripture


Creation Care and Scripture

Last week, Concordia Seminary hosted its annual symposium and dealt with the topic regarding the function of Scripture within the church. I was asked to reflect on how I used Scripture in working on various reports for our church’s Commission on Theology and Church Relations. In other words, how did my assumptions shape or even pre-determine the outcome of those reports. In other words, I had to do some self-reflection, something I’m not sure I’m always very good at doing

Great Overview

Great Overview


Great Overview

As a systematician, I like the big picture. I like to see how all the individual pieces fit into the entire picture. It helps me to grasp—as much as I can—what’s going on. That’s partly why the field of ecology intrigues me as well

A Lesson from 1927

A Lesson from 1927


A Lesson from 1927

It’s that time of year. Most of the the birds at our feeders are house sparrows. They descend upon the feeders in flocks and consume nearly all the food within a day or so in the feeders.  So how can I get rid of them? After all, they are not as colorful as Cardinals, Goldfinches, and Indigo Buntings

More on Chickens

More on Chickens


More on Chickens

In his introduction to Wendell Berry’s recent book, Bringing it to the Table, Michael Pollan observes that one of Berry’s favorite quotes comes from British agronomist, Sir Albert Howard. He urges us to think of “the whole problem of health in soil, plant, animal and man as one great subject” (p

Wetlands in Kansas?

Wetlands in Kansas?


Wetlands in Kansas?

When I think of the great plains, I think of wide open spaces, undulating landscapes like waves of an ocean, corn and wheat. I don’t think of wetlands. Yet on my way back from a workshop in Atwood, KS (where Don and Bonnie White were wonderful hosts), I stopped at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge

Check it Out!

Check it Out!


Check it Out!

The summer issue of the Concordia Journal (published by the faculty of Concordia Seminary) has just come out and its centered on the theme of “Caring for God’s Groaning Earth.”  It’s a terrific issue (of course, I am a bit biased). In addition, it provides a balance Biblical approach to the topic. It doesn’t say everything that could be said but does chart out some directions that we need to pursue. Its contents include “The Cathedral of Creation” (by President Dale Meyer), “Caring for God’s Groaning Earth” (by yours truly), Yahweh versus Marduk: Creation Theology in Isaiah 40-55” (by Dr

It’s Hot in Kansas!

It’s Hot in Kansas!


It’s Hot in Kansas!

I like the wide open spaces of the great plains, with the wavy hills and the big sky with its incredible cloudscapes.  Perhaps it is because I don’t feel claustrophobic. Perhaps it is the size of place puts everything in perspective. This past Spring I traveled through Nebraska to see the SandHill Crane migration.  Last summer it was Iowa (I was leading a workshop in West DesMoines). This summer it is Kansas (for a workshop in Colby)

NYG—New Orleans II

NYG—New Orleans II


NYG—New Orleans II

While at the National Youth Gathering in New Orleans, a gentleman from Southern Illinois approached me after my presentation and asked, “why hasn’t the church taken the lead on issues regarding our responsibility for creation?” It is not the first time that someone has asked me that question. Their questions implied that the church should be at the forefront of advocating for the responsible care of creation. The instincts of these questioners are sound

NYG-New Orleans

NYG-New Orleans


NYG-New Orleans

This week I attended my first ever National Youth Gathering in New Orleans. I was impressed with the dedication and enthusiasm of those who played key roles in organizing the event as well as the high energy levels of the youth and and their leaders who came

Do We See Ourselves as Creatures?

Do We See Ourselves as Creatures?


Do We See Ourselves as Creatures?

A few friends have recently brought to my attention that many Christians are perhaps not accustomed seeing themselves or thinking of themselves as creatures. That’s somewhat curious. Do most people use the word “creature” to speak exclusively about nonhuman creatures? By contrast, do we refer to ourselves primarily, if not exclusively, as human beings in order to separate and distinguish ourselves from all other forms of life on earth?

God Made Room for Them—Can We?

God Made Room for Them—Can We?


God Made Room for Them—Can We?

Norman Wirzba develops the theme of extending hospitality to all of God’s creatures in his book, The Paradise of God . He notes that hospitality in the Old Testament involved in part the inviting of sojourners into the home, in brief, making room for them. God carved out spaces (land, air, water) for all of his creatures