Blog

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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Divine Compassion

Augustine’s first literary work as bishop was a two-book reply to certain questions about biblical interpretation. The questions were sent to him by the successor of Ambrose in Milan, Simplician, who had previously mentored Augustine during a season of spiritual distress. This following selection from Augustine’s work is part of his answer to Simplician’s question[…]

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Preaching and Prayer

Augustine of Hippo (354-430)—famous bishop, pastor, theologian, and philosopher—was a superlative preacher. In On Christian Teaching, he shares with his brother pastors his meditations on the sacred art. This famous pastoral manual remains worthy of sustained study, the fourth chapter containing Augustine’s most developed understanding of preaching. This extract contains words that may find an abiding[…]

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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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