Russell E. Saltzman is a former Lutheran pastor, transitioning to the Roman Catholic Church.

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Pope Endorses Monsanto

From First Thoughts

Along with his other dilemmas, Pope Benedict is also said to have a “genetically modified crop dilemma.” As New Scientist explained editorially: In a statement condemning opposition to GM [genetically modified] crops in rich countries as unjustified, a group of scientists including . . . . Continue Reading »

The Grave of a British Soldier

From First Thoughts

November is a strange time to reflect on the American Revolution, something more suited for July, but that is what I found myself doing touring Lexington and Concord with family over Thanksgiving while enduring a cold, uncomfortable wind. We visited many graves: Hawthorne, Alcott, Thoreau, among . . . . Continue Reading »

Why Can’t Lutherans Catch a News Break?

From First Thoughts

There are about 4,000 Lutherans living in the Republic of Chile, mostly of German descent found in two church bodies. One of those Lutherans, Pastor Martin Junge , will become the eighth general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation November 25. The LWF is a communion of 145 churches in 79 . . . . Continue Reading »

Reformation Day 2010

From First Thoughts

Lutherans celebrate Reformation Day, that day back in 1517 when Martin Luther stomped up to the Wittenberg church door and nailed up his  95 Theses . It’s a big day for us; used to be, at any rate. I don’t suppose Roman Catholics pay much attention to it, but then I wouldn’t . . . . Continue Reading »

Mean Lutherans

From First Thoughts

Over at Cranach , Gene Edward Veith (provost and professor of literature at Patrick Henry College) ponders the state of argumentation in a world of blogging, and for good reason. His . . . innocent little post has now chalked up a record 422 comments at last count. What happened is that a very . . . . Continue Reading »

Vibrantly Down-sizing

From First Thoughts

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America today took action, in the words of Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson, to position “the churchwide organization to make a vital and vibrant contribution to the ministries of this [ELCA] church and the work of partners throughout the world . . . .” . . . . Continue Reading »

Sexual Orientation, College-Style

From First Thoughts

No doubt college students have sex, though probably never as much as they would prefer, but this will likely get some parents—especially parents of students at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota—to think seriously about the “home colleging” option for their kids. . . . . Continue Reading »

Heroic LCMS Pastor Saves Pope

From First Thoughts

Here is a fun adventure  romp , a first novel by former  Newsday columnist Ray Keating.  Stephen Grant is an ex-CIA agent with notches on his pistol who, with a little bit of angst, turns his back on his secret life and becomes, get this, a pastor of the Lutheran Church-Missouri . . . . Continue Reading »

Not So Golden a Standard

From First Thoughts

Some of our readers probably like gold—with an ounce of gold above $1,300 what’s not to like—and talk of reviving the gold standard is going around. The U.S. has been off the gold standard since 1933. David C. Harper, editor of Numismatic News , reports sobering figures for people . . . . Continue Reading »