Family

The parable of the unmerciful servant recorded in Matthew 18:23-34 clarifies that the one who professes to be a Christian must forgive his fellow Christian (his or her “brother”) on the basis of God’s forgiveness of the Christian’s sin. This is not complicated, although it is a miracle that it can...
I could tell the young man standing in front of me was deeply concerned. It didn’t take long to find out why. A friend of his from another church was having a difficult time with the church’s leadership. He felt his friend had experienced an injustice. He wanted to help but didn’t know how and he...
Whatever Queen Elizabeth I might have expected by inviting Edward Dering to preach a Lenten sermon in her presence, it was certainly not an outspoken rebuke. Edward Dering was a young, promising preacher, with an outstanding reputation as a Greek scholar. Elizabeth had heard him speak six years...
I once read a book about how to read good literature. The author made a clear assertion. He said a meal is never just a meal. Now, I am not a lit scholar. I don’t want to argue for the veracity or falsity of his claim. But I would say that the Lord’s Supper is never just a meal. The Lord’s Supper...
The Psalmist certainly professes a great truth when he remarks “how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity.” But if we’re honest, this passage can often sound like an unattainable rhetorical ideal; not a commonly celebrated experience. Perfect unity within the body of Christ has got...
In a 1986 speech President Ronald Reagan said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government, and I'm here to help.’” A lot of Americans appreciated Reagan’s humorous point because sometimes government does more to harm than to help. Many Americans, however,...
It is never easy to watch someone walk away from their profession of faith in Christ. It is never easy to go through the disciplinary process which may culminate in excommunication. It’s never easy and it is always painful. And when one and likely both of these things happen you can’t help but...
In Spain, Martin Luther’s message met the immediate and fierce opposition of both the Roman Catholic Church and the Spanish rulers, Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella of Castile. To repress it, they had already a powerful tool at hand: the Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition,...
In the late 1990s, my wife and I persuaded a widowed neighbor to join us one Sunday at the faithful Presbyterian church downtown. A standout preacher of the Reformed faith was filling the pulpit. Our neighbor, a serious believer, liked the preaching well enough. It was the recitation of the Apostle...
Anne Cooke Bacon made her mark on the Church of England in 1563, when she translated John Jewel’s Apologia Ecclesiae Anglicanae, which became a statement of faith for the Church of England under Elizabeth I.