Samuel P. Schuldheisz is Pastor at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Huntington Beach, CA. He graduated from Concordia University Irvine in 2004. He and his wife, Natasha, have two children, Zoe and Jonah. His reading, research, and writing interests focus on The Inklings, Imaginative Apologetics, and the intersection of theology and literature.
In the Northern Hemisphere December and January are months of darkness. Shadows lengthen. Light wains. Darkness deepens. But the night of the world is pierced by the birth of Jesus who is God of God and Light of Light. As John proclaims, “In him was life, and the life was the light of men.”
Recovery, escape, and consolation. These are the essential elements of a good fairy story, writes J.R.R. Tolkien. As air, water, and food are to humanity, so are recovery, escape, and consolation to the fairy tale.
God made Adam and Eve in His perfect, holy image; He placed them in Eden to live in His rest, peace, and goodness; and He gave them His Word. And they failed to keep it. God chose Abraham to be the father of many nations; God made a covenant with him all while he was asleep, and He formed life in Sarah’s barren womb.
Along with reading good stories, I’ve always enjoyed watching good movies, especially when they are full of imagination, drama, and adventure. Consider the classic World War II movie, The Great Escape.
Martin Luther was a man of many titles: pastor, professor, hymn-writer, theologian, and reformer, just to name a few. There is, however, another title that often goes unnoticed: Martin Luther was a storyteller.
On October 31st, 1517, Martin Luther could never have imagined how far the Lutheran Reformation would spread as he posted his 95 theses. Recently, there has been a flurry of new Luther publications, for the scholar and the layman alike.
Jesus begins and ends His earthly ministry with the promise of recovery. In the synagogue in Nazareth Jesus read the prophet Isaiah, sat down, and declared Scripture fulfilled.
In Tolkien’s literary world of Middle-earth, the wicked armies of Mordor marched upon Minas Tirith and the beacons of Gondor were lit, sounding the alarm and calling for aid from Rohan.
Happy Himmelfahrt Day! Himmelfahrt is German for Ascension Day, which we celebrated last Sunday, May 28. Forty days after His resurrection from the dead, Jesus ascended.
J.R.R. Tolkien was a philologist in the fullest sense of the word. Words were his livelihood, and one of his great loves. When it came to language, Tolkien was a consummate perfectionist, yet he was always able to find joy, satisfaction, and humor in his work with languages