Blog

Coram Deo & the Fourth Wall

The term coram Deo (before the sight of God) has been used for millennia as a way to remind God’s people to live worthy of our calling. Unfortunately, instead of seeing the glory of the invisible God, our eyes tend to fall upon a thousand instances of sin and brokenness—our own and that of the world. We[…]

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The Heartbeat of Apologetics

Brought up a pagan and a student of secular philosophy, Justin Martyr (c. 100 – 165) showed that his conversion was sound by risking his life to defend the faith. Indeed, he was ultimately loyal unto death—hence, the name “Martyr.” In this selection from his First Apology, written around 155, he speaks of the need for integrity[…]

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The Courage to Profess Christ

Pope Leo X was incensed that Martin Luther (1483 – 1546) had refused to face an excommunication trial in Rome. Luther had, instead, appealed his case to Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. The emperor agreed to accept the case, but then, in the winter of 1520-21, he wavered under threats from Rome. Luther’s protector, Frederick[…]

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The Imposing Force of Truth

I have enjoyed learning about the legacy of Thomas Scott (1747-1821). Scott had been a godless and lazy minister in the Church of England, at a time when many non-evangelical clergy were distinguished by their lukewarm enthusiasm for true religion. His own neglect of his duty provoked him to search the Scriptures and through this[…]

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Gospel Outreach to the Partially Evangelized

Angela’s Ashes is the autobiography of Frank McCourt who describes his life in Ireland during the 1930s and 1940s. His family lived in a hovel with one bare light bulb and bedbugs, on a dirt lane, and shared one outdoor toilet with all the neighbors. Because dad was an alcoholic and seldom found work, they subsisted[…]

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Peter Mead & Biblical Preaching

It seems like yesterday we had Dr. Peter Mead at New Covenant Church, all the way from England. You may recall his phenomenal message on John 3:1-16, titled, Alive. You thought you knew everything there was to John 3:16 didn’t you? Yeah, so did I. And then Peter started preaching. In addition to enjoying his ministry[…]

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A Preacher’s Legacy

The Reformation in England was in many ways a series of bonfires. While Hitler burned books, 16th century religious authorities and magistrates burned their writers and those who read them. One such reader was “little” Thomas Bilney (c. 1495-1531). Bilney was burned at the stake in 1531, but his influence survived into the reign of[…]

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In the Face of Death

Having sat beside and prayed with two dear friends these last few weeks who found themselves at the threshold of death, Loretta Christiansen and Yvonne Lewis,  I’m now considering what it takes to trust God in our ultimate moment of testing, a challenge that also pertains to the living. There are numerous examples of how[…]

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How the Catholic Church Became Roman

“I will build my church,” Jesus declared (Matthew 16:18). And what a magnificent and agonizing process has unfolded for two millennia. Essential to this work is the formation of living stones — men and women drawn from the quarry of sin, whose lives now testify to gospel grace. But how does Christ construct his church? One answer[…]

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Reconciling Athens & Jerusalem

I recently listened to a lecture addressing Tertullian’s enduring question, “What does Jerusalem have to do with Athens?” In other words, how does the divinely revealed gospel relate to pagan philosophy? Most people, at least in the church, will answer the question with recourse to Colossians 2:8-10. What they say about it, however, differs greatly. Here[…]

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