December 2013 Archives

A Year End Editorial

Article by   December 2013
There's something about the close of another year that encourages reflection. Maybe it's only for a moment in an awkward silence among visiting relatives. Maybe it's a day away at the end of a winter's vacation. But all of us engage in--or ought to anyway--some kind of reflection on the previous year's activities. continue

Making a List, Checking it Twice

Article by   December 2013
Here is a list of some notable and favourite books of 2013. We're not so ambitious to announce a 'book of the year' winner. These are books thrown together by our editors and some of our staff writers and contributors. It's a list that includes books we've either read, intend to read over the Christmas and Hogmanay 'holidays', or dream of the day that we might finally have the chance to read. They're mostly brand new books and we've attempted to keep the parameters within the 2013 window, though there are some small infractions! You can take the list as a recommendation, a help in how to cash in on an Amazon gift card you might receive in your stocking, or simply as a peek into what fascinates us here at Ref21. Merry Christmas and have a blessed New Years! continue

Paul and the Law

Article by   December 2013
Brian S. Rosner, Paul and the Law: Keeping the Commandments of God. NSBT 31; Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 2013, 249 pp. $24.00./£15.00The apostle Peter famously said that "in all [Paul's] letters ... there are some things ... that are hard... continue

The Mystery of the Incarnation

Article by   December 2013
Many things in life fill us with wonder; our world is full of profound mysteries, but the greatest mystery of all is the mystery of the incarnation. One of the profoundest statements of this mystery is 1 Timothy 3:16: "And by common confession great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, was vindicated in the Spirit, Beheld by angels, proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, taken up in glory."(1) This verse concludes a section in which Paul's has discussed the church and her office bearers. As the church is the pillar and support of the truth, the focus of her life and message is the Lord Jesus Christ. continue

Presbyterians and American Culture

Article by   December 2013
Bradley, J. Longfield, Presbyterians and American Culture: A History. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2013. xiii + 262 pp. $30.00In the introduction of the republication of Charles Hodge's What is Darwinism? co-editors Mark Noll and David Livingstone contend that Hodge's... continue

Never Always Winter

Article by   December 2013
In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C. S. Lewis describes Narnia as a place where it is "always winter, but never Christmas." This is a perfect way to explain to a child (and to the rest of us) what cold despair and degradation look like. "Always winter"-- everything is frozen, dead, unable to grow or green; "never Christmas" -- no gifts, no family meals together, no warmth from the fire, nothing to which to look forward. continue

Family Worship and Its Benefits

Article by   December 2013
Family worship. I know your reaction when you read those two words. I used to have the same response! Whenever that term or one like it was mentioned, I would inwardly cringe. Similar to the reaction many of us have when the word evangelism is uttered. Guilt begins to creep in, our shoulders begin to ache, and our spirits sink. We know that we don't practice family worship as often as we should. On some days we are not sure why. On other days we have a bag of ready excuses. continue
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