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In which Dad and I confess our very different kinds of struggles with prayer, explore how Jesus' prayer can become our prayer, and then tackle a bunch of questions that arise: Does prayer change God or change us? Or both or neither? Can our prayers be pure? What does God do with our mixed motives in prayer? Why does God sometimes answer no even when we ask for the sort of things He Himself seems to favor? And who are we to be advising God on how to run the universe?

Notes:

1. Paul R. Hinlicky, Luther for Evangelicals: A Reintroduction

2. Dad’s remark about my being an “expert” in re: the charismatic gift of tongues was a reference to my book A Guide to Pentecostal Movements for Lutherans.

3. Martin Luther, Large Catechism, section on the Lord’s Prayer; Lectures on Romans with Wilhelm Pauck’s introduction

4. Nietzsche mocking providence—not exactly a picnic or parking spot, but close: getting the pious believer into the carriage just before the rain starts to fall. The Antichrist, #52.

5. Augustine on God’s relation to time in Confessions XI.

6. Schleiermacher on prayer in The Christian Faith, I.47,1

7. Calvin on providence and “men most miserable,” Institutes I.17,11.

8. Karl Barth’s journal Theological Existence Today giving voice to the dialectical theology of the 1920s is discussed in Dad’s book Before Auschwitz, 180–183.

More about us at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

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