Following Elijah’s stunning victory over the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18, he turns his attention to drought that continued to linger over the land. Back in 1 Kings 17, Elijah had announced a drought on the land because of the apostasy of the people. They had backed into Baalism and paganism. And their failure to remain faithful to the Lord carried the judgment of God removing his word from the people, signified by the lack of rain or dew. This was also a polemic against Baal, the storm god. The Baal cycle would be broken and the LORD would show himself to be God.

"With which person in the Bible do you most identify?" This is a question I have often asked others in the church over the years. Most of us lack even enough self-awareness to able to answer the question. Others among us have a propensity to appeal to the best characters in Scripture.

Another Christmas season is upon us. As the world around us magnifies boxes and bows, decorations and displays, parades and parties, sleigh bells and snow balls, let us, as believers, magnify the Lord. At the beginning of Luke’s gospel we learn about two women—Elizabeth and Mary, who by God’s grace, did just that.

Birth Announcement 

My bookshelf is lined with prayer journals covering the years of my life beginning with childhood. Rereading them brings both joy and heartache, but most of all an overwhelming sense that I have had the privilege to bow my knees before my heavenly Father and cry out to Him in the midst of sin, suffering, and service. I’m so grateful that Scripture teaches us how to pray. I especially appreciate Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians for their inner strength and his praise for God’s immense power in Ephesians 3:14-21.

Prayer for Inner Strength

The Italian Village That Called the Protestants for Help

            Roman Catholic Bishop Pio Bagnoli couldn’t possibly have imagined the consequences of his decision when, in 1930, he removed a priest from his parish. Fr. Bernardino Mastroianni had been in Villa San Sebastiano, a small village by the Apennine Mountains, only a year. And yet, in that short time, he had won the hearts of most villagers by his acts of love and care.

Watson McMillan Hayes, Ding Limei, and the Battle for Christian Orthodoxy

            In late September 1919, eighteen students walked out of their classes at the Union theological faculty of Shandong Christian (Qilu) University. Based in Jinan, capital of Shandong, China, the university was a joint project of the American PCUSA and British Baptists.

Command these things

1 Timothy 4:11: “Command and teach these things.”

1 Timothy 5:7: “Command these things as well, so that they may be without reproach.”

1 Timothy 6:3: “Teach and urge these duties.”

This blog is adapted from Dan Doriani’s book, published in July, Work That Makes Difference.

Christians are frequently reminded to “remember the reason for Christmas,” meaning, of course, that we should turn our attention away from the cultural trappings and to the fact that Jesus was born to Mary in Bethlehem.  But this Christmas, perhaps we should fix our attention a little more closely, not just on the details of Jesus’ birth, but on the miracle of the incarnation.  In so doing, we join a great cloud of Christian witnesses, who have reflected deeply on this glorious mystery.

This week on Theology on the Go, Dr. Jonathan Master is joined by Dr. Liam Goligher, pastor of the historic Tenth Presbyterian Church in downtown Philadelphia, PA. As pastor of Tenth Presbyterian, Dr. Goligher has done much thinking and teaching on the topic of missions, and how Christians are to reach the lost. This installment of Theology on the Go gives a glimpse of some of that teaching as Dr. Goligher chats with Jonathan about the doctrine of missions.

Reformation Day is drawing near. It provides an annual opportunity for Protestant churches worldwide to fulfil the exhortation of the letter to the Hebrews: ‘Remember your leaders’ (He 13.7). It reminds us that, without in any way falling into the sin of venerating mere men, it is good for us to treasure the memory of those God has used to build the church throughout history. As we do so we ourselves will be edified by the example such men and women have left for the generations that follow them.

The much-loved hymn, ‘I greet thee who my sure Redeemer art’ – included in the Strasbourg Psalter of 1545 and attributed to John Calvin – contains the lines,

Thou hast the true and perfect gentleness,

No harshness hast Thou, and no bitterness

These words have often drawn comment, or been quoted because they point to a divine attribute we can easily overlook.

A Thanksgiving message from Bob Brady, executive director at the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.

Thank you for your support during the ExtraOrdinary Give and indeed throughout the year! Your gifts have a global impact that share the Gospel and encourage and equip the Church around the world. We are grateful for you as we join together to proclaim biblical doctrine in order to foster a Reformed awakening in today’s Church.

This combination of words appears to put the Christian on the “horns of a dilemma”.  It seems that you must, “pick your poison”.

To hold to belief in the sovereignty of God seems untenable because God somehow cannot eliminate or control the evil in the world, or, if he is sovereign, he must be choosing to not exercise this power and eliminate evil, in which case, we cannot hold that God is good or loving.  In fact, at this point, some make the case that God becomes the author of evil!  Is this the teaching of scripture?  Let’s start with what is clear: 

A colorful coat given to a boy. An evening walk on a palace roof. A red cord hung from a prostitute’s window. These brief scenes from over three thousand years ago should have no bearing on our lives today. Yet these moments were used to bring about the most important event in human history: the cross of Calvary. You could write it off as coincidence, you could minimize the significance, or you can marvel at God’s sovereignty. 

Jonathan and James welcome Caleb Cangelosi. He’s the senior pastor of Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church in Ridgeland, MS, and the director and curator of Log College Press, an online archive of mostly 18th and 19th century documents of American Presbyterian writings. Log College Press is a free resource offering thousands of PDFs written by more than seventeen hundred authors from all flavors of American Presbyterianism.