Church

Has the church has missed God’s plan for spiritual growth? Conventional wisdom promotes pragmatic self-help schemes, elaborate church programs, and charismatic leaders. But what if God actually authorized a simpler way? Early Christians committed to expository preaching, fellowship, and prayers (...
The visible church is an institution. Like any other organization the church has structure. Anyone who takes the Bible seriously realizes that the gathered community of God has leaders, doctrine, and rules for membership. As unpopular as it might be to say, Christianity is a religion and the...
“A Christian without a church is a Christian in trouble.” [i] Like a lion hoping to snatch prey that wanders alone Satan aims to devour professing Christians who are disconnected from God’s family. We need the church. To become persuaded of this truth we need to know what the church is. It isn’t an...
The topic of civil government is complicated; not so much because of what the Bible says about it but because of our disparate political opinions and experiences. The civic convictions of Christians seem to depend on which party is presently in office. When our party is in control we have a more...
Paulus Orosius – A Forgotten Augustinian Historian “In the next little light smiles that pleader of Christian times, of whose Latin work Augustine availed himself.” [1] This is how Dante described his brief encounter, in Paradise, with an ancient historian whose name apparently needed no mention...
None of us need to be convinced of how difficult it is to tame the tongue. It is likely that you have already failed today. But in the midst of knowing how hard it is to tame the tongue, we need to be reminded of why it’s so difficult and where to go for help. James 3:1-12 points us in the right...
There’s great comfort for the child of God in studying the doctrine of God’s providence. Knowing that “all things, in fact, come to us not by chance but by his fatherly hand” (Heidelberg Catechism A. 27), encourages the believer to not despair when darkness comes, thank God when blessings bloom,...
Cyril Lucaris – A Contested Reformer On June 27, 1638, a man was ordered to board a boat, presumably to move to a different location. Instead, the boat had barely left shore when some guards strangled him and threw his body overboard. This man, Cyril Lucaris, had risen to the highest rank in the...
I was recently struck anew by reading Genesis 26. It’s the story of Isaac dwelling in Gerar. The story is familiar. We might read it in “like father, like son” fashion. As Abraham told Abimelech that Sarah was his sister, Isaac did the same. Yes, we sometimes learn from our parents. Even the...
Jacques Lefèvre D’Etaples – An Early French Reformer The life of Jacques Lefèvre D’Etaples ran almost parallel to that of Martin Luther. Born around 1455 (28 years before Luther), Lefèvre died in 1536, when Luther was still teaching, preaching, and establishing churches. In 1512, when Luther...