Donavon Riley is a Lutheran pastor, conference speaker, author, Online Content Director for Higher Things, a contributing writer at 1517 Legacy Project, Christ Hold Fast, and LOGIA. Pastor Riley co-hosts the podcast: 'The Higher Things Simul Cast'. He is pastor of Saint John Lutheran Church in Webster, MN. A graduate of Concordia Universities in St. Paul, Minnesota and Portland, Oregon, Pastor Riley received his seminary and post-graduate education at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. He colloquized into the LC-MS from the ELCA in 2008. He is married to Annie, and is the father of four children: Owen, Alma, Hoshea, and Hallel.
Why confess sin? Is it so we can get rewarded by God? A little extra grace or material good for our troubles, maybe. Maybe, if we make a good confession, we can earn forgiveness? But, how much sin must we confess before we get what's coming to us?
The Gospel is simple to confess. That is, we are justified by faith alone, through Christ alone, without the works of the Law. And so long as we don't add any limits, measures, or conditions to this, the Gospel is easy to confess to others.
In Martin Luther's Small Catechism he borrows a line from St. Augustine about what defines a "god." A god is whatever you fear, love, and trust above all things.
In this edition of Theology Unscripted Donavon Riley answers a question about "Is Christ in the Old Testament?"
The author, Flannery O'Connor, said, "All I can say about my love of God is, Lord help me in my lack of it." O'Connor's characters often betray their true nature from behind a mask of good-hearted religiousity.
In this edition of Theology Unscripted Donavon Riley answers the question "Is Faith A Gift?"
He who created the heavens and the earth is adored by angels, shepherds, magi, and cows. That's the Christmas message the Church has preached, confessed, and sung for more than two thousand years.
God's grace and mercy in Jesus Christ calls all sinners to a celebration. A "those who sat in darkness have seen a great light" kind of celebration. A "come to Bethlehem and see the new-born Savior" revelry.
It's hard wired into our brain. We can't help ourselves. When we imagine God's character, discuss our beliefs, and chew on the big picture questions about life, the universe, and everything else...
We all do it. It comes naturally to every human being. Since the Fall, every man and woman, every child, everyone imagines he can use experience and knowledge to figure out God. Specifically, to be God in God's place.