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Why Read Peter Martyr Vermigli?

Confronted by the persecution, force, and cruelty of this world, Peter Martyr Vermigli (1499–1542, pronounced Vayr-MEEL-yee,) urged Christians to leave the shadows of ignorance and recognize two realities: their identity in Christ and the sure hope of one day seeing God face to face. This, he contends, is “man’s ultimate happiness,” the delight that surpasses[…]

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Give Them Jesus

“Pastor Chris, what is the single most important need of your church?” “Catechesis,” I respond. The puzzled look that usually follows becomes an unspoken invitation to explain. “It’s a tradition that goes back to the early centuries of the church,” I tell them, “a process of prayerfully and carefully imparting the Christian faith to children and[…]

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Scripture and Faith

I recently grabbed coffee with an old friend in which conversation turned to the relationship between Scripture and faith. After hearing his numerous questions concerning biblical authority, I responded with the words of Paul in Romans 10:17: “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” In other words, Scripture is the God-appointed[…]

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The Reformation’s Legacy of Small Groups

It may come as a surprise to learn that small groups, that is, men and women gathering to study Scripture and to enjoy fellowship together, played a significant part in the sixteenth-century Reformation. This was true on the peninsula of Italy, as it was in territories north of the Alps. Many people are unaware that southern[…]

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Gospel Friendship

For the last couple of hours, I have been reading a variety of letters written by Peter Martyr Vermigli… to John Calvin, to Queen Elizabeth I, to Theodore Beza, et al. They are all fascinating for different reasons. Perhaps the most touching is his letter to the wife of Martin Bucer following Bucer’s death. Martin[…]

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A Pastor’s Prime Insight from the Land of Israel

It was time. Since the fourth century, Christians have toured the land of Israel. “It is like visiting the home of a beloved friend,” one pilgrim suggested. “No matter how well you know the person, you understand him better having experienced his native environment.” So we landed in Tel Aviv on Monday afternoon and made[…]

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The Undomesticated Deity We Desperately Desire

In Charles Schulz’s classic, It’s a Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, a memorable exchange unfolds as Linus pens his annual letter to the Great Pumpkin. “When are you going to stop believing in something that isn’t true?” inquires Charlie, to which Linus retorts, “When you stop believing in that fellow with a red suit and white beard[…]

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Your Politics and the Gospel

The resurrection of Jesus renews life with glorious purpose and inspires a new mode of living—to showcase hope, pursue justice, defend the vulnerable, and advocate on behalf of the weak—activities that revolve around a central message: “the crucified Savior is now alive!” It is an Easter morning faith that changes everything. As I prayed for[…]

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What Kind of Triumph?

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. Zechariah 9:9 (ESV) By the final week of Jesus’ life, he was famous. When he entered[…]

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