Lutherans’ Role in the Dallas Civil Rights Movement

By | Dallas, history, Lutheran Church | No Comments

In honor of Black History month, First United Lutheran Church will host
Bishop (emeritus) Mark Herbener on Sundays, February 21 and 28, from
9:15am until 10:15am. Bishop Herbener will share his reflections on the
central place played by Lutherans in the struggle for Civil Rights in
Dallas in the 1960s and 1970s.  During those years, Bishop Herbener served
as pastor of Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in the Fair Park area of Dallas,
centrally located for meetings and organizing during those years of
struggle.  All are invited!


Mt. Olive Lutheran Church – Dallas, TX

On Calvinism and “The Adjustment Bureau”

By | Current Events, history | No Comments

Two things have been rolling around in my head — Jonathan Edwards, the fiery American defender of Calvinism, and the film “The Adjustment Bureau.” By the way, I remember the movie not just because Jerry Jones was in the audience, and doesn’t he look like the aging Terence Stamp?

Actually the movie raises some “Calvinist” issues — free-will, predestination. Or even Lutheran ideas to an extent.
Interesting quick review in the film about intervention by these somewhat “angelic” beings to influence human lives under the direction of “The Chairman” at times. They supposedly left after the Renaissance as humans were able to be more self-directed. (Why wasn’t the Reformation mentioned in those freeing changes, since it probably freed more minds even more about choice than even the Renaissance?) Perhaps the emergence of Calvinism’s doctrine of predestination ran counter to the films argument about the design of “The Chairman” over human life.

But …
It is interesting that some freedom’s are given even under the angelic directors, as long as the plan is generally trending towards its destination.

This actually seems more Lutheran: one thing is predestined — God’s love — but there is a wide field of freedom because of that God choice.

I do wonder how this film will play in parts of the world (even Europe!) where individual freedom is not as vital a concept as social cohesiveness and the common good. At a time when the world is being encouraged to pursue freedom (think of the Middle Eastern demonstrations), it is interesting that a movie about the design of life toward human benefit, if not individual freedom, is playing to good-sized audiences.

“The Adjustment Bureau” is definitely a wonderful film for reflection!

“On this day …” Obama’s Inauguration

By | history, Obama, politics, Roosevelt | No Comments

Early in President Obama’s Inaugural Address, one phrase that caught my attention was: “On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.” These are such hopeful words for the nation, a nation many declare divided, a nation many experience as economically declining. The historian in me likens his words to the memorable phrases of Franklin Roosevelt, the cynic in me wonders about the promises of politicians, the faithful person in me indeed hopes for unity and peace for our nation and God’s created world. And we can continue to have hope as the Bible found its way in the Invocation, Benediction (wasn’t that engaging), Swearing-In, and the Inaugural Address itself.
And by the way, those aren’t bad words for Sunday morning worship: “On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.”