Monthly Archives: September 2015

Where Christ is Present

Where Christ is Present

Where Christ is Present: A Theology for All Seasons on the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation edited by John Warwick Montgomery and Gene Edward Veith

I love theology and church history, so was excited to be invited to review Where Christ Is Present: A Theology for All Seasons on the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. However, nothing in the invitation or summary suggested that it was a Lutheran apologetic. I was surprised and somewhat put off when the authors took strong positions favoring Lutheran theology as they contrasted it with other theologies. Some of the contrasts were respectful; others less so.

That being said, I very much enjoyed the read. The authors offered excellent summaries of various theologies of Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Calvinism, and Weslyanism, as contrasted with Lutheran beliefs. My favorite chapter was the one on the various understandings of salvation by Rod Rosenbladt. It answered a lot of questions that were never addressed in my theology or church history classes. Other authors contrasted the differing theologies on the Lord’s Supper, baptism, grace, and vocation. I also enjoyed the introductory chapters on the Reformation itself. The book was well documented with excellent endnotes and bibiliography.

I found the book easy to read, but I have a graduate degree in theology. I think it would be a bit denser for the average layperson, but I don’t think it would be overwhelming. If you have always wondered why different churches take different approaches to these issues, this would be an excellent resource. Just keep an open mind and look at it as a comparative theology rather than a Lutheran marketing tool. The only reason for the 4-star rating is the fact that the Lutheran apologetic aspect was not clearly disclosed and was too dominant for my taste.

Last Chance Hero by Cathleen Armstrong| Fiction Friday

Last Chance Hero by Cathleen Armstrong

Last Chance Hero by Cathleen Armstrong

Things are happening in Last Chance, New Mexico. Dr. Jessica MacLeod has opened a medical office right on Main Street, and high school hero Andy Ryan has returned from the NFL to coach the high school football team. Which is significant because Last Chance is a football town, and the residents expect Andy to repeat the winning streak he was part of as a high school player. Jessica could care less. She’s never been to a football game and never wants to go to one. How can she settle in to Last Chance if she isn’t a football fan?

Last Chance Hero features all of the characters we’ve come to love: Elizabeth, Lainie and Ray, Kaitlyn and Olivia, Chris and Sarah, Juanita, Rita and more. And it introduces us to two new captivating characters. I read this book with great sadness. You see, it’s the last in the series. I’m going to miss these friends and their ongoing, captivating stories. And I’m looking forward to Cathy’s next books. She’s an author who is here to stay!

If you haven’t read the entire series, now would be a great time to start!

Welcome to Last Chance

One More Last Chance

At Home in Last Chance

I’m Done!

This afternoon I pressed send on my final paper for my final class for my Master of Arts in Theology (Biblical Studies) from Fuller Theological Seminary, Bay Area! I was able to walk in the graduation in June, but with one class remaining over the summer, it seemed a bit anti-climactic. And wouldn’t you know, this was one of the most tedious classes I’ve taken. Yes, even accounting for the senioritis I experienced.

Working on my master’s degree has been one of my major efforts at pursuing splendor. I started the program at the age of 59, taking one class per quarter. My idea was that I really wanted to learn this time. In my previous degrees (BA and MPH), I worked full time, even while pursuing a master’s degree in the 1970s. I never felt that I learned much. My goal was to finish. This time I was free to devote more time and energy to my classes, and to move slowly. There was no job goal. No urgency. Just the desire to learn all I could and be enriched from each class.

Now what? What I know so far is “more of same.” More writing, speaking, and personal ministry. However, I also believe God will open new doors for me and perhaps even point me in a new direction. I’m excited and ready for my next adventure. All I know for sure is that it won’t include retirement – much to my husband’s disappointment.