Reverend Christopher I. Thoma
is a Lutheran pastor, author, public speaker, and cultural critic. He 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.
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.
“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 Filmaker
The Angels’ Portion
Reverend Thoma is a Lutheran pastor. He thoroughly enjoys whisky. Yes, really.
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.”
The Cruciform Way
Reverend Thoma explains:
“God is good, even when it seems the terrors of mortality are befalling us. That’s an essential aspect of the Christian faith—the fact that Jesus has stepped into the darkness for us.
“A major theme of the Bible is the affronting knowledge of human beings’ inabilities to free themselves from the darkness. In my humble opinion, the myth of human moral progress or innate goodness dies more and more each time I read the news. With that, I’ll just say rather straightforwardly that the most valuable thinkers in the Christian communities are the ones who can admit that any optimism about the capability of human nature against the darkness of Sin, Death, and the devil is, as the Book of Ecclesiastes says, ‘the sacrifice of fools’ (5:1).
“And so, when we consider the darkness, when we look into it, we are taught by the Word of God to understand it rightly. It permeates not only the world, but also our very selves, and we are helpless against it.
“That’s why a regular, deep, substantive devotional life is crucial. We need to know just what it means that Jesus has stepped onto the scene—that God has taken upon Himself human flesh and reached into His world. Serving us, loving us, caring for us, He calls Himself the Light of the world. He makes sure that we know—and He proves it over and over and over again—that He is the only One who can venture into this darkness and dispel it.
“And He does.
“His birth, His life, His suffering, His cross, His resurrection, His ascension—these events change everything, almost as if the world was spinning in one direction, and then suddenly it was reversed.
“Because Jesus changes everything, faith in Him changes everything, too. Terror isn’t dominating. Hope is there. We have certainty because we have Jesus.
“This is to be the innermost message of all devotional resources made available to Christians. It is the Good News that we need every day of our lives—not just twice a year at Christmas and Easter, but at 2:13 AM on a Tuesday in February, or at 6:47 PM on a Friday in October.
“The Cruciform Way is designed to be far more than a brief devotional rendezvous. It digs deeper than that. It requires a little more contemplation of the ‘self,’ while at the same time promising to help steady you with the same divine muscle that has steadied believers throughout the history of Man. It does this remembering that life is short, but eternity is long—timeless, in fact. And its ultimate goal: A Gospel that gives and emboldens a faith that will keep the heart and mind of the believer in Christ Jesus, our Lord, for and into this eternity.” Introduction, Volume II
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.
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.
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 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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 issues pertaining to church and state, Thoma engages regularly 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 directs the annual “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 an invited guest on podcasts and radio broadcasts to speak to current political and cultural issues. He is an avid writer, having 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 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 a number of theological and political news media outlets. He provides a consistent stream of information through his blogs and by way of social media, and he maintains a fixed segment on metro-Detroit radio entitled “A Minute to Stop and Think.”
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 of 2021, he was appointed as 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.