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Can a distinction between the religious and governmental realms hashed out in the sixteenth century be remotely useful for us today? Well, we give it an honest try. If in the past the danger was religion invading the realm of the state and making use of violent coercion to advance its ultimate goals, today the danger (at least in the parts of the world we've lived in) is the other way around: the state attempting to assert itself in realms of conscience, mind, and ultimate salvation. We explore totalizing ideologies and share our insights on how to keep on distinguishing the two kingdoms for the good of all people, whatever their religion or politics.


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1. Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes about secularism and the French vs. American revolutions in “Inheritance and Decay” in Ethics

2. Alasdair MacIntyre observes how “we’re all liberals now” in Whose Justice? Which Rationality?

3. John Locke’s political essays mentioned in this episode are the Second Treatise on Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration

4. Dad calls Robert Benne a liberal in his essay “Luther and Liberalism” in A Report from the Front Lines: Conversations on Public Theology, A Festschrift in Honor of Robert Benne

5. John Witte Jr. discusses early Lutheran political theology in Law and Protestantism: The Legal Teachings of the Lutheran Reformation

6. Robert P. Ericksen, Theologians under Hitler

7. Martin Luther reminds us that the kingdom of God will come regardless of our efforts or obstructions in the Small Catechism

8. The excerpt of the song goes “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss,” and it’s from “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by The Who. If you didn’t already know that, you should probably drop everything and go listen to the album Who’s Next

9. Here’s a link to info about the memoir I mentioned (still forthcoming, but if you sign up for my Theology & a Recipe e-newsletter you’ll be notified about publication details… plus, of course, you’ll get Theology & a Recipe), as well as an article I wrote called “A Primer on Luther’s Politics

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You think it's obvious to keep religion and government separate—but for nearly all of human history, it's been anything but that! In this episode Dad and I sort through the landscape of 16th century Europe to scout out the source of Luther's distinction between the "two kingdoms": the lefthand kingdom where God rules by law, coercion, and public authority, and the righthand kingdom where God rules by the gospel of Jesus Christ through word and sacrament. There are so many ways to do church-and-state wrong that we barely scratch the surface! So stay tuned for the next episode, when we'll bring the two kingdoms into the 20th and 21st centuries to see what mischief (to say the least) has come about by failing to distinguish them properly closer to our time.


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1. Ulrich Duchrow, Christenheit und Weltverantwortung

2. Augustine, The City of God

3. Martin Luther's writings on this topic include: On Temporal Authority; Admonition to Peace; Whether Soldiers, Too, Can Be Saved; On War against the Turk. See also his eight Invocavit sermons on returning to Karlstadt's violent reforms in Wittenberg while Luther was impounded in the Wartburg. All available in the Luther's Works series.

4. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, "Heritage and Decay," in Ethics

5. Paul R. Hinlicky, Luther vs. Pope Leo

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And you thought Joshua was bad! In this episode I undertake to persuade Dad that the other-least-popular book of the Old Testament is not just an arcane collection of burnt offerings and sin offerings and wave offerings but in fact is the metaphysical substrate of the gospel itself. (Spoiler alert: he is won over.) Have a listen for a new perspective on "detestable" animals, mixed fibers, death on account of blasphemy, liver lobes, and so much more!


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1. As mentioned before, Dad has a forthcoming commentary in the Brazos series on the book of Joshua.

2. Dad mentions the stroke he had two years ago in this episode; in case you missed it, a bonus episode from last year recounts that experience

3. Ephraim Radner, Leviticus

4. Luther’s commentary on Deuteronomy (specifically ch. 7) deals with the question of who exactly the commands in the Bible are addressed to

5. The only two appearances of Leviticus in the Revised Common Lectionary are Epiphany 7 and Proper 25, both in Year A, both from ch. 19

6. Mary Douglas, Leviticus as Literature

7. The hymn is indeed “There is a Fountain Filled with Blood” but the author is William Cowper, not Isaac Watts.

8. More enthusing from me about Leviticus: “Learning to Love Leviticus” (yup, I loved the alliteration so much I stole it from myself to give this episode the same title); a brief review of Douglas’s Leviticus as Literature (scroll to the bottom of the page); commentary on the intra-Pentateuchal discussion between Jesus and the scribe in Mark 12:28–34; and an issue of my e-newsletter Theology & a Recipe devoted to “Discerning Walls with Leviticus” (plus an awesome pair of recipes for Hot Quiche and Cold Tomato Soup!).

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Poor Anselm

Poor Anselm, the favorite medieval-scholastic whipping boy of apparently enlightened moderns. Outraged at the attack on Anselm's honor, Dad and I endeavor to make satisfaction for his slandered reputation, give the best and most charitable account of his atonement theory, make some slight tweaks to it in a Lutheran-ish direction while taking serious issue with Gustaf Aulén's attempt to do the same, and overall make the case that the Anselmian concern for justice and recompense is not nearly as foreign to our sensibilities nowadays as his cultured despisers like to claim.


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1. Anselm of Canterbury’s Cur Deus Homo can be found in A Scholastic Miscellany

2. Gustaf Aulén, Christus Victor

3. Karl Barth, Anselm: Fides Quaerens Intellectum

4. The Nominalists, from the Latin nomen (“name”), were a school of late medieval philosophers who held that concepts do not exist in reality (opposing the position of the “realists”) but are only names that human beings create to categorize or classify really existing things or persons. As Dad explains to students: “To me, the tree stump along the Appalachian Trail is a chair, but to a termite, it’s a meal.” While we’re at it, Dad—who once described himself as anti-Kantian par excellence, has co-authored a book arguing that Kant is just Plato continued by other means, and has written another book on the confrontation between biblical and philosophical monotheism in the Arian controversy (Divine Complexity)—discusses the various atonement “theories” in chapter 3 of Luther and the Beloved Community.

5. The divine dei in Greek means “it is necessary”

6. Anselm’s definition of God as “that than which nothing greater can be conceived” is found in his work the Proslogion

7. Brandt Jean’s victim-impact statement

8. Friedrich Nietzsche talks about the “evil genius” of God dying for His debtors in Beyond Good and Evil

9. A major source for Luther’s christology is his Confession Concerning Christ’s Supper

10. The Tome of Leo is a patristic document supporting the two natures of Christ but at the cost of assigning very different duties to each nature in a hermetically sealed kind of way

11. admirabile commercium = joyful exchange (in Latin)

12. Peter Abelard gave his version of “atonement” theology in his commentary on Romans, an excerpt of which is also in A Scholastic Miscellany

13. Gerhard O. Forde, “The Work of Christ: Atonement as Actual Event,” in Christian Dogmatics vol. 2

14. Hans Urs von Balthasar writes about Luther’s doctrine of atonement in Theo-Drama vol. 4

15. Gustaf Aulén’s later book is The Faith of the Christian Church

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Welcome to the second season of Queen of the Sciences! We begin our conversations in 2020 with a deep dive into the foolishness and stumbling block that is the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Overfamiliar today as a religious symbol, the cross was once the supreme declaration that the person thereon was trash, subhuman, and beyond redemption—certainly not capable of redeeming others. We try to imagine ourselves back into the shame of crucifixion, examine its uses in Roman political control, and explore how the death of God upon it can possibly become the source of eternal life.


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1. Ernst Käsemann, “The Saving Significance of the Death of Jesus,” in Perspectives on Paul

2. Martin Hengel, Crucifixion

3. Philip Freeman, Julius Caesar (both the quote from Cicero and the description of Caesar’s use of crucifixions)

4. Fleming Rutledge, The Crucifixion

5. Maasai Creed (“the hyenas did not touch him”)

6. Ferdinand Schlingensiepen, Dietrich Bonhoeffer 1906–1945

7. Eberhard Bethge, Dietrich Bonhoeffer

8. Plato, The Phaedo

9. “Alexamenos worships his god

10. Deuteronomy 21:22–23, “And if a man has committed a crime punishable by death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God. You shall not defile your land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance.”

11. Galatians 3:13, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.’”

12. “Propitiation” = reconciliation to God by satisfying his wrath. “Expiation” = reconciliation to God by removal of the cause of offense, namely sin.

13. Gerhard O. Forde, “The Work of Christ: Atonement as Actual Event,” in Christian Dogmatics vol. 2

14. Philip Melanchthon, Apology to the Augsburg Confession, Art. 4 on “why Christ is necessary”

15. Calvin, Institutes vol. 1, Book One, Chapter I: “The Knowledge of God and That of Ourselves Are Connected. How They Are Interrelated”

16. Luther, Galatians commentary, Luther’s Works vol. 26, pp. 276–291, on Christ’s taking the world’s sin into himself

17. Romans 3:25b, “This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.”

18. John Newton, “Amazing Grace

19. Nietzsche, “God on a cross is the transvaluation of all values,” in The Antichrist

20. George Lindbeck, The Nature of Doctrine

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This is a talk I gave to the ministry team at United Church in Malmö, Sweden—a congregation of the Swedish Evangelical Mission within the Church of Sweden—about the interrelationship of revival and church, some cases studies in charismatic movements in Lutheranism, and rubrics for discerning true, God-given revival.

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Here's the second of two lectures on the distinction between law and gospel that I gave at the Johannelund School of Theology in Uppsala, Sweden, in October 2019.

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Here's the first part of a two-part lecture on the distinction between law and gospel that I gave at the Johannelund School of Theology in Uppsala, Sweden, in October 2019.

Don't forget to listen to the second part!

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Paul R. Hinlicky (aka Dad) presents "How the Holy Spirit Disappeared in Lutheranism" at the Braaten-Benne Lectures in Theology in Indianapolis on August 6, 2019.

Dad gave this talk, "Struck Down But Not Destroyed," at the 2019 conference of the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology on the theme "What's the Good of Humanity?"

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The Sermon on the Mount is the address by which Jesus makes us children of God, and tells us what that means for our words, bodies, and relationships... or does it? Can anyone actually live this way? Maybe it's just for the experts and the aspirational. Or maybe it's a clever rhetorical ploy to make us see our sin but doesn't actually place any claims on us. Any maybe it doesn't matter one way or another because the words are so familiar we can hardly even hear them anymore. Tune in for a refresher course on the most famous and influential sermon in all of human history.

In other news, we're nearing the end of our first season! But don't worry, there will be some bonus episodes between now and when we resume in January 2020. In the meanwhile, drop us a line at our respective websites (see below) or leave a comment here to let us know what you liked and what you didn't, questions or follow-up, and suggestions for next season's topics. Also, don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes (or Apple Podcasts as I guess we're supposed to call in now) and tell a friend about the show!


1. The Sermon on the Mount appears in Matthew 5–7; see also the Sermon on the Boat in Mark 4:1–34 and the Sermon on the Plain in Luke 6:17–49.

2. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discipleship

3. Thomas Jefferson, The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth

4. Some Anabaptist interpretations in Christianity and Revolution: Radical Christian Testimonies, 1520–1650

5. Martin Luther, Commentary on the Sermon on the Mount

6. I'll be giving a talk on the Sermon on the Mount at the June 2020 conference of the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology.

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In this episode we revisit the early church, earlier even than Athanasius in fact, to gaze upon the martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas... only to discover Perpetua gazing right back at us, with an unbearable intensity. This early martyr story is extraordinary and powerful in its own right, but it also touches on a lot of neuralgic issues for our society today, and ultimately confounds all our attempts to claim any identity for ourselves than the one Perpetua claimed: christiana.

In other news, we're nearing the end of our first season! Drop us a line or leave a comment here to let us know what you liked and what you didn't, questions or follow-up, and suggestions for next season's topics. Also, don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes (or Apple Podcasts as I guess we're supposed to call in now) and tell a friend about the show!

1. The Passion of the Holy Martyrs Perpetua and Felicitas

2. Dad talks about this story in Beloved Community, pp. 87–93

3. Karl Barth said Nein! (“no”) originally to natural theology (and Emil Brunner), but you can borrow it whenever heresy rears its ugly head.

4. For more on the theological evaluation of Montanism and how Perpetua, Felicitas, and Tertullian fit into the story, see Cecil M. Robeck’s Prophecy in Carthage.

5. “He descended into hell” appears in the Apostles’ Creed, the Latin of which is uncertain: either ad infernos (“to hell”) or ad inferos (“to the underworld”). The idea draws on I Peter 3:18–20: “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey.”

6. For more on the sacrificed children in Carthage, see Jon D. Levenson’s The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son (highly recommended anyway—a phenomenal book)

7. Augustine’s three sermons on the feast day of Perpetua and Felicitas

8. You can get a summary by Elizabeth A. Goodine of contemporary academic studies on Perpetua at the World Religions and Spirituality site.

9. Sojourner Truth, “Ain’t I a Woman?

10. J. Louis Martyn in his commentary on Galatians 3:28 translates the clause “there is no ‘male and female’” (and rather than or). He argues that the author of the formula (possibly not Paul) drew upon Genesis 1:27, thereby saying that “in baptism the structure of the original creation had been set aside” (p. 376).

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Usually, when a person asks what or who makes for a person, it's to dehumanize some person or group of persons. Our intention in this episode is to head in the opposite direction. Dad takes us on a worldwind tour of Western civilization (which, frankly, he often does) to see that what counts as personhood or humanity has been under dispute from the get-go and continues to be disputed up to this very day. Meanwhile, I explore the striking fact that, in the doctrine of the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are called "persons"—coincidence or not? (Not.) What does trinitarian personhood imply about human personhood? And could a robust nature-person distinction actually solve all the besetting problems of the modern world?!

1. Locus classicus = classical location or point, namely the verse of Scripture that is the foundation for a doctrine. For imago dei ( = image of God), it’s Genesis 1:26–28; see also Genesis 9:6.

2. The Mesopotamian creation epic is Enuma Elish

3. Plato records Socrates’ attempt to die without the interference of hysterical women in Phaedo

4. The things I’ve written mentioned in this episode are: “Blessed Are the Barren” and Woman, Women, and the Priesthood in the Trinitarian Theology of Elisabeth Behr-Sigel

5. Dad discusses Leibniz vs. Voltaire & Spinoza in Paths Not Taken

6. John Locke, Second Treatise of Government

7. Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence

8. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan

9. For more on the Lincoln-Douglas debates, see Harry V. Jaffa, A New Birth Of Freedom: Abraham Lincoln and the Coming of the Civil War

10. In this episode we both said that US law granted that enslaved Africans could be counted as 2/3 of a human in the census, but the actual number was 3/5 of a human (which is even less than what we remembered). Let us state for the record that all persons of African descent are 100% human.

11. Vladimir Lossky, In the Image and Likeness of God

12. Plato discusses the Forms in The Republic

13. Aristotle theorizes about “natural slaves” in Politics

14. Fritz Oehlschlaeger, Procreative Ethics

15. René Descartes ruined everything with his mind/thing distinction in Meditations On First Philosophy

16. Luther, Disputation against Scholastic Theology

17. Here’s the extraordinary story of the paralyzed man

18. "Leiblichkeit ist das Ende der Werke Gottes" (Bodiliness is the goal of the work of God) —Friedrich Christoph Oetinger

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Following up our last episode on "Faith to the Aid of Reason," here we take a look at a case study of someone who did just that. Samuel Štefan Osuský was the leading theologian of the Slovak Lutheran Church in the first half of the twentieth century, serving for periods as the bishop of the western district and as seminary professor as well as being a renowned preacher. Over the course of his life he oscillated between two poles: a humanist working to build the kingdom of God here and now with an outlook of progressive optimism, and a prophet critiquing fantasies of church and state alike needing to hear the startling word of God's self-disclosure in the gospel. Which side he landed on had a lot to do with, for example, whether it was World War I, World War II, or communist tyranny on the one hand, or peacetime with steadily developing democratic institutions on the other. Do the genres fit the times, or do we need to mix things up? How did faith help Osuský in times of reason in crisis, and how did a commitment to reason serve his faith?

1. The full story of Osuský can be found in Dad's book: Between Humanist Philosophy and Apocalyptic Theology: The Twentieth-Century Sojourn of Samuel Štefan Osuský

2. Osuský's essay "The Philosophy of Bolshevism, Fascism, and Hitlerism" can be found in Lutheran Forum 43/4 (2009): 50–55 and 44/1 (2010): 50–58 or online here.

3. H. Richard Niebuhr, Christ and Culture

4. I've written a memoir of the first year our family spent in Slovakia from 1993 to 1994. No publication information to share just yet, but take a sneak peek here, and if you sign up there for my "Theology & a Recipe" newsletter, you'll be informed when it's on the presses!

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In this episode I give voice to my cri de coeur that argumentation, debate, and even discussion have been ruled out of court by the present cultural currents, which reduce us to disputing sources instead of drawing out implications of facts, and in which every witness reads as either will-to-power or advertising. Who shall rescue us from this mind of death and how? Does reason need faith's help nowadays? If so, how can we bring it to bear in civil contexts where we cannot presume, much less impose, convictions of faith? Dad advises epistemological humility and interpersonal charity—easier said than done. Follow our conversation if you too are wondering how on earth to say anything anymore.

1. Tertullian is attributed with the expression credo quia absurdum, but on investigation I found out that he didn’t really say it quite like that.

2. Anselm did actually say fides quaerens intellectum (faith seeking understanding) in his Proslogion. Whew!

3. Not quite sure about Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” But a good line, whoever said it first.

4. Reinhold Niebuhr discusses the limitation of the social sciences in The Nature and Destiny of Man

5. Arnold Kling, The Three Languages of Politics

6. Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

7. Gilles Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy

8. Plato talks about how lousy a form of knowledge pistis (faith) is in The Republic

9. For Bonhoeffer's discussion of reason and faith in his Ethics, see pp. 339–341 of this edition, and the opening chapter for more on God’s love for the world.

10. Thomas Aquinas’s insistence on treating your opponent’s argument with charity and understanding is exemplified in the formal method of disputation he employs; see pretty much anything in his Summa Theologiae

11. “Hinlicky’s Law” paraphrases this into a hermeneutical rule: “You are not permitted to criticize until you can restate an opponent’s position with such sympathy and insight that, were your opponent present, she would exclaim, ‘That’s it! I couldn’t have said it better myself!’ Then and only then may you criticize because then and only then are you dealing with the real thing, not a convenient fiction of your own imagination.”

12. Michelle Obama is the first lady who said: “When they go low, we go high.” (See everywhere on the internet.)

13. The Martyrdom of Polycarp

14. For Luther on pacifism and civil resistance, see my article “Martin Luther, Pacifist?”

15. See Dad’s Beloved Community pp. 42–55 for more on the ubiquity of believing in human reason and pp. 82-84 on the tripartite form of knowledge with subject, object, and audience.

16. President Lincoln spoke most famously and eloquently about the cost of slavery extracted by the war from white Americans in his Second Inaugural Address.

17. Michael Rectenwald, Springtime for Snowflakes

18. For Kant on the subject-object split, see Frederick Beiser, The Fate of Reason

19. Auguste Comte, Introduction to Positive Philosophy

20. Charles Saunders Peirce, "How to Make Our Ideas Clear"

21. For more on the denominational competitiveness lurking behind theories of church history, see my article “Beggars All: A Lutheran View of the 2017 Reformation Anniversary,” in Remembering the Reformation

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As theologian Alfred Loisy once quipped, "Jesus came proclaiming the Kingdom, and what arrived was the Church." If nothing else gets people excited about theology, talk about the church usually does—though not always in a good way. The Nicene Creed's description of the church as "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic" seems more an exercise in wishful thinking than anything else.

Is the church a betrayal of Christianity or its proper expression? If the latter, what is the right expression of that expression? Does the church sin or only its members? Can you be a Christian without the church? After wading through a lot of ecclesiological pain, Dad and I conclude this episode with a testimony as to why we continue to "go to church."


1. Healing Memories: Reconciling in Christ: Report of the Lutheran-Mennonite International Study Commission

2. A title so nice Dad used it twice: Luther and the Beloved Community (2010) and Beloved Community (2015)

3. Josiah Royce discusses "beloved community" in The Problem of Christianity

4. Tillich discusses "spiritual community" in vol. 3 of his Systematic Theology

5. Augustine, The City of God

6. Andy Crouch talks about singing involving love of God with heart, mind, soul, and strength in The Tech-Wise Family

8. Though I didn't mention it on the show, Charles Williams wrote a remarkable novel on the possibility of Christians bearing one another's burdens through time, Descent into Hell.

Oh, wait, there's a third member of the Trinity! In this episode we shower a little love on the much-neglected Holy Spirit, following the story of how the Christian doctrine of the Trinity parted company from the Neoplatonic Triad, and why the issue at stake is not just the Spirit's divinity but the Spirit's personhood. But this personal divine Spirit is also holy—suggesting that there are spirits that are unholy. Who and what are they, how should we think about them, and what does that mean for Christian ministry here and around the world?


1. Although we say Platonism and Neoplatonism, the really important philosophical figure here is not Plato but Plotinus. Read his Enneads here.

2. Our favorite book on Neoplatonism and its persistence in Western culture is Lovejoy's The Great Chain of Being

3. For more on the development of trinitarian doctrine regarding the Holy Spirit, see Dad's Beloved Community, ch. 4, and on demonology, see ch. 4 of The Substance of the Faith.

4. Basil the Great, On the Holy Spirit

5. On Beelzebul and the unforgivable sin, Mark 3:22–30

6. Two books to introduce you to exorcism and healing ministry in Madagascar are Rich's The Fifohazana and Bennett's I Am Not Afraid.

7. Here's something I've written on prosperity gospel and another piece on preaching the Trinity.

8. Luther, Small Catechism, 3rd article of the Creed on the Holy Spirit

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Who can or should get baptized, at what age, and how? Is baptism our work or God's work? How can you remember your baptism when you don't remember getting baptized—or how should you think about a baptism you do remember when you've fallen away from the faith and then returned?

In this episode Dad and I try to move the conversation beyond petty legalisms of all kinds toward a strong teaching and practice of baptism with some real heft to it and prospects for ecumenical agreement to boot. No one can accuse us of aiming too low...

1. On liturgical renewal, see Aidan Kavanaugh, The Shape of Baptism.

2. For more on the difference between John’s baptism and Christian baptism, see my article “Water Baptism and Spirit Baptism in Luke-Acts: Another Reading of the Evidence.” More generally on the topic of baptism, see my article “Still Life with Baptism.”

3. The Greek word that means both “from above” and “again” in John 3:7 is ἄνωθεν (anōthen).

4. For Luther on baptism, see “Concerning Rebaptism” in Luther’s Works vol. 40 and the relevant section in the Large Catechism; note also his invocation of Deuteronomy in the Introduction to the Large Catechism: “And if this were not sufficient to admonish us to read the Catechism daily, yet we should feel sufficiently constrained by the command of God alone, who solemnly enjoins in Deut. 6:6ff that we should always meditate upon His precepts, sitting, walking, standing, lying down, and rising, and have them before our eyes and in our hands as a constant mark and sign.”

5. For more on worship in Luther’s Wittenberg, see Martin Brecht, Martin Luther: Shaping and Defining the Reformation 1521–1532, chapter 7, pp. 251-292.

6. The Latin phrase ordo salutis means “order of salvation” and refers to the various schemas of the precise order in which the various stages of salvation have to take place.

7. For Dad on baptism, see Beloved Community, Chapter 3, pp. 19 –292.

8. Karl Barth discusses “indiscriminate infant baptism” in Church Dogmatics IV.4 pp. 1–39; see Dad's discussion of it in Beloved Community, 270–281.

9. Volkskirche means the “people’s church,” defined primarily by its relationship to the state and, in Nazi Germany, by ethnicity. Bekennende Kirche means “confessing church,” and refers to the protest community that Dietrich Bonhoeffer among others belonged to against a political and racial basis for church.

10. For Menno Simons, see Dad's Beloved Community, pp. 260-270.

11. Timothy George is the Dean of Beeson Divinity School and has done lots of great work to interpret the Reformation for American Baptists especially; see for example his book Theology of the Reformers.

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Why only two-thirds? In this episode we look at a specific aspect of the immensely complex literary work known as the Acts of the Apostles: namely, the Holy Spirit’s gathering in of all human communities that have been estranged from God. The story begins with the Spirit’s gathering of the Jews, moves on to Samaritans and proselytes, then Gentiles in the form of Cornelius the centurion… at which point you might think all the possibilities have been covered. But wait! There’s one more group. Any guesses? You’d have to read Luke-Acts pretty closely to figure it out. Or you could just listen and we’ll give away the answer for free.


1. Ernst Haenchen, The Acts of the Apostles

2. “Wie es eigentlich gewesen ist” (or sometimes "wie es eigentlich geschehen ist"): Dad quoted this bit of German, which means “how it actually was/happened,” as the ideal to which the discipline of history aspires.

3. Oscar Cullmann, Christ and Time

4. Hans Conzelman, Acts of the Apostles

5. Krister Stendahl, Paul among Jews and Gentiles

6. Ernst Käsemann, Perspectives on Paul

7. Joseph Fitzmyer, The Acts of the Apostles

8. Cheryl Peterson, Who Is the Church?

9. Paul R. Hinlicky, Beloved Community (see especially pp. 348–355 where he talks about Peterson’s book)

10. The Institute for Ecumenical Research in Strasbourg undertakes scholarly and dialogue work with other Christian churches on behalf of the world’s Lutherans. I worked there for 7½ years and continue as a Visiting Professor. For resources specifically on Lutheran-Pentecostal dialogue, take a look here, or check out my book, A Guide to Pentecostal Movements for Lutherans.

11. We talked briefly about the difference between “apocalyptic” and “salvation history.” For more about this, see Lutheran and the Beloved Community, ch. 7.

12. Pentecost = Shavuot in the Jewish tradition.

13. Troy Troftgruben is my Acts guru and teaches at Wartburg Theological Seminary. He’s working on a book on Acts… we’ll let you know as soon as it’s out! In the meanwhile, check out his book Rooted and Renewing.

14. Sarah Ruden, Paul among the People

15. For more on this topic generally, see my articles “The Second Pentecost” and “The Acts of St. Alban’s in Strasbourg.”

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It's the championship fight! Just kidding. It's just the opposite, in fact—an exhortation to the warm embrace of both Testaments by Christians and how they mutually illuminate one another. In this episode we look at all the ways Christians have done the Old Testament wrong—and man, they are legion—en route to commending a more excellent way. We tackle outright rejection of the OT, artificially forcing the OT to say things Christians want it to say, and even piously keeping hands off out of respect for Jewish believers. But how to get it right? Have a listen!


1. On gnosticism and docetism, see Dad’s book Divine Complexity, chapters 2 and 3.

2. Some of my reflections on the problems in the Christian relationship to the Old Testament are in this article “The Top Ten Reasons the Lectionary Sucks and Five Half-Assed Solutions” and in my review of Luther’s Jews by Thomas Kaufmann.

3. Donald H. Juel, Messianic Exegesis.

4. For commentary on the New Perspective on Paul, see Dad’s book Luther and the Beloved Community, chapter 7.

5. For a critique of 19th-century progressivist history of religions theories, see Dad’s Between Humanist Philosophy and Apocalyptic Theology, chapter 1.

6. Harnack, Marcion: The Gospel of the Alien God.

7. Neusner, Judaism in the Beginning of Christianity.

8. Lincoln, Gettysburg Address and Second Inaugural.

9. Richard Lischer talks about Martin Luther King’s use of Scripture in The Preacher King.

10. Deanna Thompson, Deuteronomy.

11. Jenson, Ezekiel.

12. Ephraim Radner, Time and The Word

13. Martin Luther, “How Christians Should Regard Moses” and “A Brief Instruction on What to Look for and Expect in the Gospels,” both in Luther’s Works vol. 35.

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