Reverend Christopher I. Thoma

is a Lutheran pastor, author, public speaker, and cultural critic. He drinks whisky, is allergic to sharks, has a 4th-degree black belt in Monopoly, is relatively unmoved by scary movies, and drives a Jeep Wrangler he pretends is the Millennium Falcon.

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Reverend Thoma has written a number of notable volumes on pastoral care, liturgy, and Christian suffering. His two-volume devotional collection entitled The Cruciform Way: A Steady Cadence of Christ for Life enjoys notable endorsements from Charlie Kirk, Sheriff David Clarke, Lt. General Gerry Boykin, and others.

On a lighter side, he is the author of two children’s books, Tea with the Moon and There’s a Bug on the Floor, as well as the four-volume, 2000-page collection entitled The Angels’ Portion: A Clergyman’s Whisk(e)y Narrative. Having garnered attention in the field of distilled spirits, he enjoys forewords and endorsements from the likes of Dinesh D’Souza (Author and Filmmaker), Stephen Beam (Founder & Master Distiller of Limestone Branch Distillery), Don Sutcliffe (Founder & Master Distiller of The Exceptional by Sutcliffe and Son), Mark Gillespie (Executive Producer and Host of Whisky Cast), and others.

Likely the real mind behind the incandescent light bulb, I’m betting Thoma invented the skull that goes on top of the Hurst floor shifter, too. He’s a remarkable man. A glass of whiskey in one hand, a Bible in the other, AC/DC blaring at ear bleed levels—Thoma is my kind of Reverend… If he writes something, read it.

THAYRONE X, Host of On the Edge”

“The Cruciform Way is a great source of encouragement for Christians today as they navigate the confusion of our culture, and Pastor Thoma does a great job with providing rich inspiration for his readers.” —CHARLIE KIRK, Founder and President of Turning Point USA

“Another brilliant work by Reverend Thoma! Ours is a nation and world trying to push God into the margins. But God won’t be pushed, and He reminds us of this through preachers like Reverend Thoma… In short, Reverend Thoma uses The Cruciform Way to come down from the pulpit, take the reader by the hand, and walk them back to the only One who gives real hope: Jesus Christ.” —SHERIFF (Ret.) DAVID CLARKE, Former Milwaukee County Sheriff

Thoma is incredibly clever, being careful with his wit and sorting his words so that the reader can’t resist the lure of his narrative style. But often in the midst of his humorism, one realizes he’s not just having fun. He’s teaching, too, and as he does, he reveals a friendly depth as a storyteller that’s refreshing for our day. His observations in all things—literature, family, culture, theology, politics, you name it—cause one to stop and think more intently than before. By the end of each review (if that’s at all what you can call each of the chapters in this delightful volume), you will have discovered something of yourself and the world in which you dwell, and you’ll be better for it.” —DINESH D’SOUZA, Author and Filmmaker

In the Bible, the Greek word for “angel” is ἄγγελος (angelos). It means, quite literally, “messenger.” It is the root of the word εὐαγγέλιον (euangelion), which is “evangelical” or “good news,” which is also translated as “Gospel.” In the Book of Revelation, the pastors of the churches are called angels because they serve as messengers. Pastors are the ones tasked with preaching and teaching the Good News of Jesus Christ.

All that being said, distillers refer to the portion of whisky that evaporates during the aging process as the “angels’ share” or sometimes the “angels’ portion.” The longer a whisky ages, the more the angels appear to take, sometimes being greedy enough to steal away as much as forty percent of a full barrel.

Reverend Thoma really likes his whisky, and so, as you can see, the name fits.

In the end, there are few things in this life that Reverend Thoma claims to truly love. His Lord, his wife, his children, his family (both biological and “chosen”)—these all hold that station. There are few things in this life that he admits enjoying just enough that they call with regularity across the chasm between love and delight, petitioning a more prominent place in his life. Whisky is one of those things.

The Angels’ Portion—a full-bodied demonstration of Reverend Thoma’s skills as a humorist—is principally dedicated to exploring life with a whisky in hand, while simultaneously fulfilling the the ancient words, “Τὰ ἅγια τοις ἁγίοις,” which is, “The holy things for the holy ones.”

Cruciform Stuff is a gathering of theological commentary on everything that is “life.” Each of the observations you discover will have first served as a thought-filled, Gospel-induced introduction for the eNewsletter Reverend Thoma sends out to his own congregation each and every week.

Yes, he writes and sends a newsletter every week. Indeed, this is often a monumental task. Yes, it is worth every bit of the effort.

Keeping a steady cadence of communication with the people in his care is something he considers to be of high importance, and with the avenues provided by email and social media, the possibility and potency for such things is amplified.

Reverend Thoma has been doing this since 2015, and over the course of the years, the results have far exceeded what he could have ever imagined. Just by communicating, a renaissance of Christian commitment has occurred, and with that, good things continue to happen—namely, a much deeper and more vivid understanding of who we are in Christ, and by His grace, the muscle for tackling some fairly formidable challenges.

What is written is never planned. Reverend Thoma types whatever comes to mind in the moment. He stops when he stops. Still, there’s no denying that the results serve according to the grander plan mentioned before—which is simply to give a steady stream of God’s Word to the people in my care.

These are things that a Christian pastor should be speaking to his people on a regular basis. Reverend Thoma shares them with you hoping they can (and will) serve beyond the borders of his own little church and school in Hartland, Michigan.

More from Reverend Thoma

The Angels’ Portion, Vol. I

Did you know that Darth Vader prefers Lagavulin? Were you aware that Santa Claus keeps a bottle of Caol Ila on the shelf? Have you heard that Scoresby was squeezed from the very veins of the Devil himself? Emerging from the mind of a surprising whisky connoisseur, The Angels’ Portion is a substantial assortment of whisky reviews like none you’ve ever read before. By means of storytelling, and with charming wit and vibrant style, Reverend Christopher I. Thoma shepherds the reader toward a divine insight: If you don’t like whisky, it may only be because you haven’t danced with the right bottle.

Thoma knows his spirits… The Angels’ Portion is a kind of tithe—a tax we pay on the time it takes to get things right… Praise be!

Thomas Lynch
author of The Sin Eater and The Undertaking

Ten Ways to Kill a Pastor

A collection of short stories, Ten Ways to Kill a Pastor peeks behind the curtain and shines a light into what has become for so many in ministry, a very dark place. From abusive members to impossible schedules often resulting in failing health and family decay, Ten Ways presents church-goers with an opportunity for personal reflection as well as gives voice to the often undetectable “hurts” lurking behind the pastor’s smile.

Each chapter being a mirror of a pastor’s soul, I highly recommend this as a resource to be studied and discussed by pastors and laypeople alike.

Chairman of Systematics, Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana

There’s a Bug on the Floor

It appears that something terrible, horrible, frighteningly dreadful has invaded the quiet little home of an innocent family. Oh, what to do in the face of such terror?! This whimsical little tale, illustrated by Meghan Antkowiak, teaches that misinformation and worry have the potential for making the smallest of concerns appear enormous. Stop. Take a breath. Investigate. You may discover that your terrible something is really nothing at all.

Tea with the Moon

Tea with the Moon tells the whimsical tale of a little girl who, when her father calls for her to come inside after a long day of play, is unwilling to go; that is, until he reminds her of the ill-minded insects that will soon be on the scene to snatch her blood and make her itch. Everyone likes to have fun. But in order to have fun again tomorrow, there are things we need to be mindful of and do today.

The Angels’ Portion, Vol II

At just shy of 700 glorious pages, the Reverend is back and better than ever in this follow up edition to the popular The Angels’ Portion: A Clergyman’s Whisk(e)y Narrative. Here in Volume II, Thoma mesmerizes readers once again as he carries them along in exploration of “aqua vitae” through his signature style of vivacious storytelling.

This is one of the most entertaining whisky books I have had the pleasure of reading—humorous and informative at the same time.

Scotch Trooper

Type One Confessional

Type One Confessional explores in narrative form the struggle to reconcile God’s love in times of crisis. In particular, Reverend Thoma speaks directly to the unexpected and life-altering calamity of his seven-year-old daughter’s diagnosis with Type 1 Diabetes. He does this in a semi-fictional way—that is, each of the events included in the volume is true, and yet, even though the back-and-forth engagements between the Creator and one of His pastors are fictionalized, the content within arises from the Word of God—the place where God’s voice is heard clearly and where He meets each human being with the promise of His love in the midst of the darkness of uncertainty.

Thoma shows us that while God has unique plans for every individual, through the work of Christ, a wonderful plan has already unfolded that is universal in scope and beneficial for all.

Former Quarterback for the Detroit Lions and author of Real Men Do Cry

The Cruciform Way, Vol. I

To be cruciform is to be cross-shaped. The cruciform way is the life born from and shaped by a faith lived in clear sight of Jesus Christ, the One who hung upon Calvary’s cross for the magnificent rescue of a world of dreadful transgressors. A collection of weekly devotions examining various aspects of the Christian life, The Cruciform Way: A Steady Cadence of Christ for Life labors to stir the Spirit-enabled skill for receiving both joy and sorrow, leisure and struggle, all through the Gospel lens of Christ and the certainty of His victory and forgiveness.

The Cruciform Way is the most practical devotional available today. Pastor Thoma captures the issues and answers the questions that most Christians ponder while living their faith.

-Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin
U.S. Army (Ret), Former Commander of the U.S. Army Special Forces & Founding Member of Delta Force

Things I wish I Could Say But Can’t Because I’m a Pastor

A great gift for the pastor in your life, this is a lined notebook for journaling—because journaling is therapeutic. Not only can it be an avenue for recording one’s joys, but it can be a healthy means for processing frustrations—especially when, as a pastor, you serve beneath the daily expectation that you’ll happily receive every gritty and ill-intended word or deed with smiling passivity. Something to be kept at the ready on one’s desk, this journal is a pastor’s opportunity to betray the truth hidden behind the smile. So, go ahead and write what you’re thinking. Have fun. Keep it clean. Or don’t. God already knows what you’re going to scribble onto these pages, anyway.

The Angels’ Portion, Vol. III

“The stories,” Reverend Thoma writes, “are never applied to the whiskies. The whiskies reveal the stories… Sometimes the story includes Darth Vader. Another time there may be a shark named Gary, or an unfortunate brawl with Santa Claus at Walmart.” As it was with The Angels’ Portion Volumes I and II, so goes Volume III. Thoma, with his signature style and creativity, never fails to delight nor lose pace in his effort to enlighten and entertain.

Much like a Glencairn glass of your favorite spirit, this is a hard book to put down.

Contributor for Bourbon and Banter

Feeding the Lambs

Rev. Christopher Thoma explores the depths of worship and its relevance in the lives of children while offering insights which encourage teachers of children to celebrate ancient rites and ceremonies as time-tested tools for building faith.

This book is a must-read for anyone wishing to explore the riches of worship as it relates to serving the Good News of Jesus Christ to young people today.

Senior Assistant to the President, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

Kids in the Divine Service

The Word of God we receive in worship goes with us, out into the world and into our everyday callings as parents and children. Kids in the Divine Service is written for parents and children to read and talk about together. Although some of the vocabulary and concepts may be best understood by children 10 years of age and older, there are many parts of Kids in the Divine Service which can be understood, experienced and appreciated by younger children. Whether a child reads or is read to, parents and children are encouraged to work through the bulletin inserts together and answer questions as they arise. Parents will probably learn something, too.

A Record of People I Know in Need of an Exorcism

There are those people you meet who remind you that the devil and his underlings are indeed prowling. Their heads don’t always spin around. They don’t necessarily spray green vomit onto your clerical collar. They don’t necessarily speak in uninterpretable tongues. But you’re certain they’re possessed nonetheless. Keep an eye on them. Better yet, use this little volume to record their names and the evidences of their possession by the unholy, so that when it comes time to present a case for exorcism before the spiritual authorities, there will be no doubt that the subjects identified within aren’t just inconsiderate jerks who regularly treat you like garbage, but rather are flesh puppets for darker beings.

Reverend Christopher I. Thoma serves as Senior Pastor of Our Savior Evangelical Lutheran Church & School in Hartland, Michigan.

Having become deeply involved in Church and State issues, Thoma regularly engages with executive, legislative, and judicial leaders at the local, state, and federal levels. He labors in this way not only to bring the concerns of the Church to the forefront of government but to carry back knowledge and resources to his congregation and the Christian community at large.

Thoma is involved with various action committees. He is the Executive Director of “The Body of Christ and the Public Square” conference. Additionally, he is often called upon to speak at various political conferences, Right to Life and Lutherans for Life assemblies, and theological symposia. Thoma partners with tier-one thinkers,

frequently sharing the stage with prominent newsmakers such as Ben Shapiro, Dennis Prager, Dinesh D’Souza, Candace Owens, Charlie Kirk, and others.

Thoma continues to be a guest on podcasts and radio broadcasts to speak to current political and cultural issues. He is an avid writer, having written various volumes on pastoral care, liturgy, and Christian suffering. His two-volume devotional collection entitled The Cruciform Way: A Steady Cadence of Christ for Life enjoys notable endorsements from Charlie Kirk, Sheriff David Clarke, Lt. General Gerry Boykin, and others. On a lighter side, he authored two children’s books, Tea with the Moon and There’s a Bug on the Floor, also the four-volume collection entitled The Angels’ Portion: A Clergyman’s Whisky Narrative, which exemplifies his abilities as a humorist. Having garnered attention in the field of distilled spirits, he enjoys forewords and endorsements from the likes of Dinesh D’Souza (Author and Filmmaker), Stephen Beam (Founder & Master Distiller of Limestone Branch Distillery), Don Sutcliffe (Founder & Master Distiller of The Exceptional by Sutcliffe and Son), Mark Gillespie (Executive Producer and Host of Whisky Cast), and others.

Reverend Thoma’s essays have been included in a variety of collected works. He is a hymnographer and poet, a steady contributor to various magazines and newspapers, and offers regular content for theological and political news media outlets. He provides a consistent stream of information on social media, maintains a fixed segment on metro-Detroit radio entitled “A Minute to Stop and Think,” and is currently pursuing his doctorate at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.

In the spring of 2017, Reverend Thoma was awarded a Distinguished Fellowship from Salt & Light Global Wilberforce Academy, an extension of the Great Lakes Justice Center. In January 2021, he was appointed the religious liberty liaison for the English District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

Reverend Thoma is married to Jennifer, and together they have four children—Joshua, Madeline, Harrison, and Evelyn.

Social Media

Reverend Thoma got rid of Twitter before Twitter got rid of him. He continues with Facebook and MeWe. Although, we’re pretty sure Facebook is likely to jettison him someday, too. With that, you can still keep up with him at AngelsPortion.com and CruciformStuff.com.