Weekly Thoughts

We Are as We Love

Richard Sibbes (1577 – 1635) was an influential English Puritan leader during the early years of the seventeenth century. Above all, he was known as a great preacher. The following excerpt comes from his exposition of Philippians 3:18. Sibbes encourages his hearers to realize that affections, or passions, are necessary for God’s children. He goes[…]

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Philoxenia

“Hospitality” If you were living in the Apostle Paul’s day you would have expressed the concept with the word “philoxenia” (e.g., Heb 13:2). This Greek word is derived from two other words: philos (love) and xenos (stranger or alien). It is a fascinating combination when you think about it—love for a stranger. Why would we[…]

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Inspiration to Live Coram Deo

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 examples of sin and brokenness, our own and that of[…]

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The Irony of Freedom

Great truths often subsist in great ironies, the Cross of Christ being the supreme example. Among the many blessings that follow from the Cross is genuine freedom. I like the way Peter Martyr Vermigli (1499-1562) describes it: “I do not think that anyone who has tasted the sweetness of Christ’s sovereignty (la soavita di questa[…]

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How Christians (Should) Learn from the Past

It was George Santayana (1863 – 1952), the Spanish born philosopher, poet, and novelist, who famously said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” I have yet to meet someone who disagrees with Santayana’s dictum. But, we might ask, what is required of one who desires to learn from the past? This[…]

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Why Do People Become Catholic? A Response to R.R. Reno

R.R. Reno, Editor of FIRST THINGS, recently wrote an insightful article on reasons why people are drawn to the Catholic Church. I always enjoy reading Reno, particularly his cultural analysis. And since this subject is in my bailiwick, I read his observations with great interest. Here is how Reno introduces his post: My Protestant friends[…]

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Catholic Believers as Brothers and Sisters in Christ

A reader posed the following question to me: Chris, how can you clearly articulate some of the significant differences in doctrine between evangelical Protestants and Roman Catholics and yet continue to call Catholic believers “brothers and sisters in Christ”? For many of the Reformers, the doctrinal differences led to quite different conclusions about where Roman[…]

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Is Religious Dialogue with Catholics Desirable?

To many evangelical Protestants the word “dialogue” is akin to the word “ecumenism,” which, in their lexicon, is another way of saying “theological compromise.” These individuals fear that such discussion is simply a prelude to suppressing genuine differences in a lowest-common-denominator approach to unity. In fact, over the years I have noticed a fascinating phenomenon[…]

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