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

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The Holy Family

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Of the Passover festival in Jerusalem, St. Luke concisely reports, “When the festival was ended, Jesus stayed behind but his parents did not know it” (2:43). Of course they didn’t know it. They are parents. What makes anyone think they knew anything at all? The twelve-year-old Jesus decided to . . . . Continue Reading »

David's Sin, David's Son

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The son of David has no name, none that the author of Second Samuel thought to record. Yet this son of David will die for David’s sin. (2 Sam. Chapters 11-12) The story of the unnamed son of David is a disturbing one, and disgusting in scale. It starts with David, great king of Israel, and it . . . . Continue Reading »

Refugees

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In 1975 I decided I was going to get me a refugee, and I did. A lot of them it turned out, two related families, ten people altogether, not counting the 11-year-old boy I got later who became my son. Saigon fell in April and the U.S. evacuated upwards of 136,000 South Vietnamese to the United . . . . Continue Reading »

Divorce and Communion

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There were only two occasions in my life as a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) that required disciplinary ministry with a church member. One was gossip; the other was sex. The first didn’t get beyond private admonition by the pastor, me. That’s what the pastor does in . . . . Continue Reading »

Trashing Luther

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Theological hobbyists of a hyper-Catholic sort continue to misconstrue Luther’s “errors.” Oh, I hardly think he was error-free, but (having recently been one) I know Lutherans who pretty much think he was essentially infallible. But I also know Catholics (me having recently become one) who . . . . Continue Reading »

Kim Davis and the Mess She's In

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Once upon a time I was a sworn officer of the State of Kansas, occupying a statutory office as deputy secretary of state for legislative matters. I had to take an oath before I could sign my name to anything that pertained to the job. (Somewhere I think there is still a photograph of the occasion, . . . . Continue Reading »

Dieting

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It is time for some late summer lighthearted fun, except our household is dieting. We have gone low carb, paleo, eggplant. Yes, I know, eggplant doesn’t belong to a paleo diet. It’s cultivated. Fruits, berries, nuts, and wild roots are paleo. But with only four or so carbohydrates to a cup, . . . . Continue Reading »

Tourists at a Tragedy

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Vacation this year took us to Fredericksburg, Virginia just to see a ridge known as Marye’s Heights. It was there, December, 13, 1862, that a Union brigade of II Corps attacked the Confederate left, two thousand entrenched Rebels positioned behind a four-foot high stone wall bordering a narrow lane. Enhanced here and there by field fortifications, the wall was a perfect defense. Originally known as Telegraph Road, the lane was forever after called the Sunken Road. Continue Reading »