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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Peter W. Marty

Marty, a pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Davenport, Iowa, lectures and writes frequently on faith matters.

Articles by Peter W. Marty:
  • Justice
    Jesus more interested in providing what people need, not deserve
  • Mercy
    It is at the heart of God, the deepest quality of God's compassion
  • Generosity
    It has nothing to do with means and everything to do with desire
  • Promise
    It brings something new into being; fosters a whole new relationship
  • Miracles
    Unanticipated signs God lives, Christ is Lord, suffering not last word
  • Redemption
    We can’t free ourselves — that’s done outside us by God
  • Faith
    It’s saying yes with one’s heart to a God worth trusting
  • Reconciliation
    Nothing will be quite right until estrangement on both sides has been mended
  • Permanently poor
    Those in poverty need to be loved, not thought of as a problem to be solved
  • Guns in a culture of idolatry
    To stand with those who die by violence is to stand with nonviolence champion Jesus
  • Sunday morning segregation
    Reversing church color lines is the Jesus — not politically correct — thing to do
  • The sadness of suicide
    Our concern should be to help people retrieve hope, meaning for their lives
  • God language
    To limit references to male-only words flies in the face of God’s presence in world
  • Getting angry with God
    Right type of anger has rightful place in our lives — just don’t let it fester
  • Leaving church behind
    Losing friends from life we find meaningful prompts a critical look at faith practice
  • The Ten Words
    Commandments are less rules to be followed than a way of life to be walked
  • Science and faith
    Data and human experience complement each other
  • Who gets saved?
    Believers have responsibility to testify to help others know God’s love is for all
  • Sorting out heaven and hell
    Heaven is about God, not us, and is more than getting our needs satisfied
  • God's plan
    Lord may work in mysterious ways, but there’s no evidence of nonsensical ways
  • Closing in on death
    Honesty, presence aid in letting go of life to behold glorious other one
  • Shame on you
    To come out of hiding and speak to shame is a powerful experience
  • Talking about homosexuality
    Keep recalling your connection to real people with real lives
  • Talking about Christ
    Faith never private project, even with some highly personal dimensions
  • Letting go
    Jesus wants us to release our grip on all kinds of obstacles, possessions
  • Talking about prayer
    Deepening key relationships may be best way to get better at prayer
  • Flashes of envy
    It grows out of resentment — there is a begrudging quality to it
  • The wind-down
    One way or another, worshipers take the church experience with them
  • That interesting meal
    The feast no money can buy, no person can fully comprehend
  • Passing the peace
    It involves taking honest interest in eyes, life of one we're greeting
  • Loving others on our knees
    Despite feelings, words can fail us; Spirit will stand in for you
  • The offering experience
    Offerings glorify God - you get to view your life as a blessing and gift
  • The sermon
    Often just an earful of talk about God; folks want encounter with God
  • Into our ears
    Luther pushed for oral experience of word of God in worship
  • Moved to sing
    The greater delight is in pleasing God through our unity of voice
  • Getting situated
    Entering church, finding your place are part of the wonder of worship
  • The windup
    Decision to get up, going to church becomes more complex, still basic
  • Open the eyes of my heart, Lord
    It could be that Emmaus serves as a symbolic place for our faith lives
  • Changing course
    Love can break chains of dogged certainty, soften calcified heart
  • An incognito Lord
    Destiny of all rests on how we attend to voices at bottom of human pile
  • Host and guest
    Both delight in the significance and profound humanity of each other
  • Getting what we never deserve
    Prodigal son parable really about dad's character, unconditional love
  • A face that shines
    God's otherwise unseen presence, glory were mirrored in the face of Moses
  • To be a guide
    This is a beautiful story that breathes all kinds of life
  • Stockpiling life
    We never seem to have enough and prospect of shortfall frightens us silly
  • Climbing down
    With blessing of salvation, Zacchaeus completely refocuses his life
  • A God bent on relationship
    Storyline of Bible is one of a radically different kind of faith
  • The art of trusting
    Christians fasten their trust onto the biblical promises of God
  • Part mystery, part mess
    Unity over uniformity in the church
  • Inhaling the Spirit
    We receive the Spirit as a gift — it is not found, obtained or possessed
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