Blog

What Would You Like for Christmas?

What would you like to receive for Christmas? You are by now familiar with the wish lists of the important people in your life—a spouse, children, siblings, friends. But what does the Lord’s Christmas list include, the gifts that God intends to give his people? How about this? How about a big branch from Israel?[…]

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Special Event: Lessons and Carols

You are cordially invited to join us at New Covenant Church, Naperville on Sunday, December 9 at 3:00 PM for our annual Lessons and Carols service under the direction of Greg Wheatley. This year we are delighted to have soprano, Grace Canfield, along with our adult choir. The Festival of Lessons and Carols is a worship service celebrating[…]

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Advent and Peace

How does Advent contribute to peace? The Church univocally confesses that it comes through the Babe in the manger whom we call Lord. This is the bedrock on which true peace is established. But in what way is incarnational peace ‘spread to all the earth abroad’? Here is an example from history. Friar Antonio de[…]

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Philosophy and the Christian

Should Christians study Philosophy? In view of the Apostle Paul’s caution in Colossians 1:28 (“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit…”), many Christians assume the answer is no. Such an aversion is compounded by Martin Luther’s reaction to scholastic theologians and their methods—the “pig theologians,” as he called them, for[…]

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Are you Connected?

God fits us into his temple as living stones.  It is in discovering this reality—the building of God, in which we live, and move, and have our being—that we come alive.  It is not by getting our own way, but rather by fitting into something sacred, ancient and massive. Here is how C. S. Lewis[…]

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Living as the Church

How should the Church function? This question has been part of our consideration in the Wednesday evening Men’s study. It turns out that the model of church employed by a community has profound implications on the way we approach ministry. In what follows, I will survey the basic conceptions of the Church from the last[…]

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Is the Reformation Still Necessary?

It’s an oft-repeated question: is the Reformation still necessary? On this Reformation Day, it is proper to consider how the gospel renewal impulse of yesteryear applies to our present moment in history. Central to the Reformation was the fact that God places us before his unbroken gaze. We who were once separated from Christ—strangers to[…]

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The Marks of a True Disciple

Amy Carmichael (1867 – 1951) served in India as a missionary from Northern Ireland. Shocked to discover that poor girls were “donated” to Hindu temples to be trained as cult prostitutes, she devoted herself to saving children from religious prostitution and infanticide. Founding the Dohnavur Fellowship1 in 1901, her work became well-known through her many books,[…]

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Marks of Gospel Renewal

J. I. Packer, writing in God in our Midst (Ann Arbor, 1987, 24-35), proposes that, among the variety of God’s ways, five constants appear in all biblical revivals: 1.  Awareness of God’s presence: “The first and fundamental feature in renewal is the sense that God has drawn awesomely near in his holiness, mercy and might.” 2.  Responsiveness[…]

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Scripture and Faith

I recently grabbed coffee with a friend in which conversation turned toward the relationship of Scripture and faith. After listening to numerous questions and some objections to biblical authority, my basic point was the same as Paul’s in Romans 10:17: “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Scripture is the God-appointed[…]

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