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Xrysostom: Click here for pronunciation

Welcome to Xrysostom, a cosmic collision of theology and religion, humor, music, art, friendship, computing, culture, and more. Most graphics on this page are clickable, so don't miss the buried links, secret messages, and enlarged pictures. You can jump down using this index, but I invite you to scroll along from top to bottom, instead.

Index of this page: My World
Lutheran Theology | General Religion and Theology
Culture | Fun'n'Games
A Few of My Friends | Computing and the Net
Head on to visit Holy Cross | or "Ask the Pastor"

Click for pronunciation I'm glad you found me! Snyder's the name: My folks named me Walter Phillip; my friends call me Walt (and I've been called a lot of other things during my years on earth). If you wish to remain formal, call me Pastor Snyder. I'll also answer to Reverend Snyder or Father Snyder. You can write me, too.

This page is a clearing house for what interests me, and through it, I've found many other people who shared my interests. I also tend to treat this as a "bully pulpit" (to quote Teddy Roosevelt), where I can say what I want how I want. Follow the text links or click on the pix to find what's stashed around here. In case you were wondering, I'm the son of the other Pastor Walter Snyder. He "died in the saddle," a parish pastor, at St. James' Lutheran Church, Honey Grove, Texas until the end.

I'm a Lutheran pastor and theologian, an author, a newspaper columnist for the local paper, an occasional humorist, and generally enjoy all life has to offer. Special joy comes from my family, and of all my earthly blessings, they are the most precious. I like where I live, and encourage you to see for yourself.

Bio of Saint John Chrysostom The Lord Jesus is the center of my life. Expressing his love in writing, preaching, and teaching is a gift He has given me. I enjoy reading and arguing (er, discussing) Lutheran theology, as well as other Christian (and non-Christian) POVs. General and church history are always a trip. I can always lose myself reading a good book or a newspaper.

When I'm not busy with anything else, you can usually find me banging on my 'puter or hanging on the Net, where I've made a number of good new friends while keeping up with a lot of the old ones. Not the least of my joys is the humor to be found out here, including some I've contributed myself. I also love classical music and the traditional hymnody of the Western Church -- but that doesn't stop me from also liking a lot of the newer stuff.

Before we go farther, I should explain the moniker. Xrysostom is Greek for "Golden Mouth." I took the name to honor St. John Chrysostom, who was given the title by the early Church because of his masterful preaching. I also like the name because I enjoy preaching and public speaking, and am occasionally halfway good at it. Click on the title graphic for pronunciation and a welcome message in .wav format.

Hot Links and Cool Commentary

This is where I take you to some of my favorite places and let you meet some of the people I know. Additional links may be found at the end of most of these sections. Enjoy!

1. My World and Welcome to It

My immediate world is the community of Emma, Missouri, sitting near Interstate 70 about halfway between Kansas City and Columbia -- only a few minutes away from the town of Concordia. All of this is in the Western half of the Show Me State state of Missouri.

I'm pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Emma. You can visit Holy Cross (or my former Texas congregations -- and see some of the touristy things to do back there) by taking a brief side-trip to Lutherland. You can also visit St. Paul Lutheran High School, from which my father and my older daughter graduated.

James Byrd Vigil from the Houston Chronicle I went to high school in Gallup, New Mexico and graduated in 1975. I went to St. John's College now closed and not to be confused with other St. John's colleges and universities) in Winfield, Kansas. For my pastoral training, I attended Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri. Since ordination, I have done continuing education there and at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana. As I mentioned above, I was pastor in Jasper and Woodville, Texas before moving to Emma. Sad to say, I was in Jasper during the death of James Byrd, Jr. and the subsequent media frenzy and trials. Yet I'm also glad I was there, both to witness and to be a part of the healing process. That's me in this picture, with younger daughter Laura and her friend Kaylah Beard.

If you're planning a trip here or elsewhere, you'd better check the weather. For that matter, this link will find the weather wherever you are. If you search hard enough, you might even find out what's happening on Mars.

And if outer space isn't bizarre enough for you, head for Washington, D.C. to check up on our elected officials -- and maybe drop them a line. And if you desire, you can send them (or me) snail mail.

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2. The Heart of My Matters: Lutheran Theology

The core teaching of the Lutheran Church is that we are all sinners who are saved by grace alone, through faith in Christ Jesus. You can also compare Lutheranism to other churches. If you want to know still more, "Ask the Pastor!"

Martin Luther by Cranach, text by Project Wittenberg

I'm a member of The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LCMS), which is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. You may be interested in finding out who we are and what we believe. You can also discover more about the Missouri District of The LC-MS.

Many of our early documents are translated and accessible through Project Wittenberg. Some modern theological writings are posted by Semper Reformanda.

The Lutherans even had a number of insurance and investment companies to themselves. The two larger, Lutheran Brotherhood (LB) and Aid Association for Lutherans (AAL) merged into the new Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. You can find all sorts of infobits on their pages.

More Godtalk

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3. General Religion and Theology

If you're interested in the Bible, creationism, reading Classical Christianity, or other Christian theology, the Web can be your tool for discovery.

I'm won't make an exhaustive list here. If you want to find a lot more of the technical stuff, pay a visit to Fides Quarens Internetum and find more religion than you can shake Moses' staff at on this "super page" of theology. You can also browse the Christian Resources page.

There's a lot of religious discussion via E-mail through some of the groups on H-Net (Humanities Online). The U.S. religion group I belong to is called H-Amrel. And if you're looking to find a church body or a specific congregation, the Church Locator can help.

At Christian Connections (TCM), you'll find resources for all ages. The Bibfeldt link has some under-currents in theology or mission, but you'll have to go to the Humor section to make the jumps.

Best of the Christian Web The Best of the Christian Web offers you the opportunity to search their reviewed and rated sites. You can perform boolean searches right from this page, or can go to their page for even more. Sites are categorized, and the browser is offered opportunities to view pages from many different traditions and ministries. If they like your page, they might put you on their list of "must visits."

Want to find out more about some part of Holy Scripture? Try the Bible Search from Gospel Communications Network.

The Bible Gateway(TM)
A Service of
Gospel Communications
Network (Gospelcom)

Other Languages:





Search word(s):


When I'm doing serious study, a major tool is my Logos Bible Software for Greek, Hebrew, and English resources galore. I added the Lutheran Confessions (Book of Concord) CD-ROM collection from Northwestern Publishing House to aid my specific studies and research.

Still more Christian Godtalk - also Non-Christian links; even Christian Computing

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4. Readin' and Writin' and Groovin' to the Tunes

A. Most people think the Net's all modern and high tech. Yet places like Project Gutenberg are trying to take the old texts from the public domain and upload them to their domain. Here's where you can go to read the classics. If sports literature is your bag, H-Net sponsors an E-mail forum and Web site called Arete.

Unless you want to repeat the mistakes of the past, you can also brush up on your history. One good place to start is with the History Channel.

The big newspaper in these parts is the Kansas City Star. The boss hoss newspaper I left behind in Texas, the Houston Chronicle, on Sunday takes two men and a strong boy to haul that sucker home. I also jump across the pond to read the Electronic Telegraph.

B. I used to read (and write for) The Jasper Newsboy. Now that I'm in Missouri, our local news comes from the Sweet Springs Herald and the Concordian (coincidentally from the town of Concordia, Missouri). Not online, and considerably smaller than the Star, the Chronicle, or the Telegraph, it now bears the stigma of carrying my "Ask the Pastor" (ATP) column, in each Wednesday's issue.

You can read ATP in ASCII text without a subscription. Another option is to subscribe to the column by email -- which means that you get to miss having to look at my picture at the top of each page. Past issues have dealt with baptism, original sin, humor, beer, and over 250 other topics. See if I've already answered your question and, if not, write to ask me. You can also read what the Newsboy wrote about me.

Luther Rose I also coauthored (with my father) of a book called What Do Lutherans Believe? A Study Guide in Christian Teaching for Adults. It is designed for review of Lutheran doctrine by members of our church and also to be used in instruction classes for those in the process of becoming Lutherans. WDLB is available from Oshkosh Church Supply, Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The toll-free phone number is 1-800-236-8724.

You can also browse Lutheran Best Sellers or Writings by Martin Luther, or you can start your own search now:

In Association with

Lutheran Composer Johann Sebastian Bach C. Lutheran composer J. S. Bach not only gave us his music, he also gave us this abbreviation on almost every composition: "SDG", which stood for "Soli Deo Gloria (to God alone the glory)." Bach sure had his priorities right. We just aren't sure how he looked, as these three pictures of him show considerable variety in interpretation.

Bach's claim was that all music should give honor to the Lord. He was not the first Lutheran to exalt music; the Lutheran Church was known as a singing church from its beginning. Martin Luther himself wrote many hymns and set much of the liturgy to music. The Year of Our Lord 2000 marked the 250th anniversary of Bach's death. In his honor, I posted a paper on Bach as Theologian. You can also order from the catalog of the Essential J. S. Bach or browse an entire entire Bach Store at, which also offers a number of Bach books.

I order a lot of religious and classical music (and the occasional Neil Young, ZZ Top, Monkees, or The Who CD) from BMG Music. If you want to meet a real live musician, visit my Net friend Walter Krueger, see where he teaches, and follow his wonderful musical links. A wealth of music from "across the pond" is to be found at OrchestraNET, the official web site of The Association of British Orchestras.

More Cultured Pursuits

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5. But Seriously, Folks - Let's Get Silly

Laughter may not be the best medicine - but you can do it and drive without getting arrested. I enjoy the artistic humor of Churches Ad Hoc and the quirkiness of Rich Diesslin.

For the antidote to too much political correctness, I go to the zoo with Heather and her two mommies (the pictures are gorgeous, too). For folks who like their religion with a chuckle and an edge, I might recommend The Door (if you promise not to sue me). Then you can head over to the Bibfeldt page, a theologian harder to sight (and harder to get rid of) than Elvis.

Of course there's more to life's fun than laughter and joke-telling. Eating, drinking, radio, TV, sports, movies, and the like all contribute. So along with more humor sites, you might also want to look for some of these on my Fun'n'Games page.

Ultimately, however, I end up saying my prayers, grabbing my rubber chicken, then heading off to the Religious Humor List (REHU-L), which also has its own Web page. There you can meet more of my friends. It also has me as a co-moderator (lucky group).

More Fun Things To See and Do

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6. A Few of My Friends


One of the first people I got to know on the Net was professor, poet, and pundit Greg Singleton. He's on even more E-mail lists than I am, and is responsible for founding quite a few of them.

An older friend (tho' a younger man) is Keith Chuvala, who calls himself "An Expatriate Kansas PC Techno-Geek Deep in the Heart of Texas." In other words, he went from running the computers of Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas. He now works for NASA subcontractor United Space Alliance in the Houston area. Keith and I are alumni of St. John's College, Winfield, Kansas, where I made more friends than anyplace else in the world. It's closed now, but in my heart, the Eagle still flies.

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7. Computer Stuff

If you're reading this, you're using a computer. I spend too much time on my own PC. It's a built-to-order with an Intel Pentium II ® 450 MHz processor. I do my own HTML coding using First Page from Evrsoft, a wonderful free HTML editor.

A lot of my time on the Net is taken up with discussion lists such as provided by CAT 41, where lists such as Table Talk give me a chance to discuss substantive, orthodox, Confessional, liturgical Lutheran theology. I also haunt other lists, so keep an eye out for me.

I also edit in the Open Directory Project. As such, I add and catalogue sites in certain areas to make your searching and browsing easier. If you're looking for something, begin a search

or poke around for yourself

Browse Open Directory
Bishop Moz Arts
Kids and Teens

Of course, this is just a start. There are online computer magazines, manufacturers' Web sites, 3rd party hardware and software dealers, and just about anything else remotely connected to computing.

More Christian Computing

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The End of the Road (U-turns Allowed)

Start Over, Move On, or Say Goodbye:

Back to the Top of the Page

Back to My World and Welcome to It

Back to The Heart of My Matters: Lutheran Theology or on to more Lutheran Links

Back to General Religion and Theology or on to more Christian or General Theology

Back to Readin' and Writin' and Groovin' to the Tunes or on to more Culture

Back to But Seriously, Folks or have more Fun'n'Games

Back to A Few of My Friends

Back to Tools of the Cybertrade or on to Christian Computing

Head on to visit Holy Cross

Check the archives of "Ask the Pastor," then send him your question

Say "Auf Wiedersehen" to Xrysostom

Y'all come back now, hear?

These pages were designed and written by Walter P. Snyder. If you have comments, send them to These pages were originally written in July of 1996.

Xrysostom home page and sub-pages © 1996-2005 by Walter P. Snyder. Last updates 5 March 2005.