all in sin

The story of the flight of Katie von Bora from her convent and her arrival at Wittenberg, where she eventually married Martin Luther, is well-known. Few are acquainted with the person who engineered the flight, Ursula von Münsterberg, granddaughter of King George of Poděbrady of Bohemia and cousin...
This Church Discipline series focused on guiding members in need of repentance by formal levels of rebuke. But the hopeful prayer of elders at each point of censure along the way is that it need never go further, especially not to the final act of excommunication. Proverbs 25:11-12 reads, A word...
Reformed, confessional theologians often point out that discipline is one of three signs of a true church. [1] Highlighting this distinguishing mark, my seminary professor once rhetorically asked our class, “How many true churches are out there?” The Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF) chapter 30...
The right preaching of the Gospel, the right administration of the sacraments and church discipline have together been held, among Protestants, as the key marks of any true church. And though the third mark, church discipline, has sadly been neglected in modern evangelicalism (greatly damaging the...
In 381 the Council of Constantinople wrote the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed. In that creed we find the attributes of the Church. The famous line says that the church is “one, holy, catholic and apostolic.” However, in the days of the Reformation disputes arose. The Roman Catholics contested the...
Back in 1959 a short book appeared under the title The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner . It was the fictional account of a troubled teenager who took up running to deal with his inner troubles and it was later turned into a movie under the same title. I have often wondered if there might be...
Ray Heiple
Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens (Rom. 9:18). In the well-known story of Israel’s exodus from Egypt, God is described as hardening Pharaoh’s heart so that Pharaoh disobeys God. In point of fact, ten times God is said to harden Pharaoh’s heart, six times it...
The ability to ‘read the room’ is a really good life skill to have. What do I mean? Oftentimes one may get themselves in a fair bit of trouble if they, in whatever varied situation they find themselves in, are unable to grasp the particular demeanor or emotional temperature of the gathering...
An old spiritual laments, “Nobody knows the troubles I’ve seen, nobody knows my sorrows.” A modern rock song languishes, “You don’t know how it feels to be me!” But Jesus does . In Matthew 26:36-46 , Jesus’s agonizing, lonely prayers in Gethsemane show the hellish human suffering of His soul before...
Have you heard that ancient Chinese curse which parents would proclaim on only the most disobedient of their children? The parent, looking at their bad kid, would proclaim: “O, may you live in interesting times!” Turn on the news and you may be tempted to think that that curse is our reality -...