20 Posts from 2020

It hardly needs to be said: 2020 rode like a rollercoaster for most of us, and so far 2021 is looking more or less the same. And yet through it all, our Lord has remained faithful. As Simonetta reminded us (via Třanovský) the other day...

His love abundant far exceeds
the volume of a whole year's needs;

Thank you for joining us at reformation21. God's love certainly exceeded the needs and challenges of the year. In case you missed out, here are just 20 articles that we appreciated in 2020:

1. "Living with Anxiety" by Amy Mantravadi

"Although this condition can be very isolating, we know that those who are in Christ are never alone. His Spirit is with us constantly. We can speak to God at every moment, and we know that He is working to bring about our good in everything. We also know that the redemption of our bodies is nigh, and God will be glorified in our weakness." 

2. "Christ, Fully-Human" by Adam Parker

"The point that Owen makes is that everything in the ministry of Jesus Christ that testified to his person was done by the Spirit. The Spirit was even with him in the end of his ministry. 'By him was he directed, strengthened, and comforted, in his whole course,—in all his temptations, troubles, and sufferings, from first to last'"

3. "Jesus, the Prostitutes, and Transgender Outreach" by Richard Phillips

"The Pharisees criticized Jesus because he humanized the sinners, and in this Jesus did set an example for us all. But Jesus never normalized sin, but called it only a sickness for which he offered himself as the cure."

4. "Home Visitation: The Worst of Times, the Best of Times" by Chad Van Dixhorn

"Of course this is work, and we will not all be able to add to what we are doing. But it is huge win if, one way or another, we can share a gospel of good news in a troubled world... we can all be ambitious in using what time, energy and opportunity God does give us."

5. "In the Pandemic, Give Thanks" by Gethin Jones

"So even in these difficult, dark, sore days, let us give thanks. Let us gratefully commune with God as redeemed ones, united to Christ Jesus — for that is what God wants."

6. "Coronavirus and the Church: Compliant, or Uncreative?" by Terry Johnson

"It has become cliché to say that we are loving our neighbors by closing our public services. Do our neighbors not need the prayers of the gathered church? Do our members not need the strength and refuge that the church’s public services provide during unsettling times?"

7. "The Right to Be Believed" by Matt Holst

"So, brothers and sisters, do not receive a bad report of a Christian and treat it like the Gospel... In equal measure, and by the same principle, we ought never simply dismiss out-of-hand the accusation brought to us."

8. "Was the Nuclear Family a Mistake?" by Justin Poythress

"And so, generation after generation, century after century, God has given us the illustration of the nuclear family so that we can see what we will enjoy with Him and His people forever."

9. "'American Gospel' Gets It Right by Joseph Randall"

"I highly recommend American Gospel: Christ Crucfied. They get the cross right in every way: God killed Jesus so that sinners might be saved from eternal death and destruction in Hell; and God damned Jesus on the cross so that we will never be damned, but rather enjoy fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore in God’s very presence."

10. "Eight Reflections on Racism and Riots" by Brian Najapfour

"My heart was grieved by what happened to Floyd, but my heart was equally grieved by the destruction caused by lawless rioters. We should all listen well to what God says, 'Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.'"

11. "Dwelling Among Those Who Hate Peace" by Jonathan Landry Cruse

"The cross is God’s answer to a world of violence. A world that hates peace. The cross is God’s answer to a world where injustice seemingly reigns supreme. We see how seriously God takes justice at Calvary."

12. "Ordinary Time" by Simonetta Carr

"Ordinary Time is then a wonderful opportunity to continue to reflect on the weighty realities of Christ’s Incarnation, Resurrection, and Ascension, and on the comfort and power he has given us through His Spirit."

13. "A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance" by Carl Trueman

"People come and people go—some great, some small—but the church goes on; the gates of hell shall not prevail – even as the faithful stalwarts of a previous generation take their bows and have their exits. This is both a time to mourn and a time to dance, as the older generation passes from the scene, but a new generation takes up the mantle of the gospel."

14. "Notes from the Revolution" by Brad Green

"Christians should seek justice in our present situation, and speak to the various pressing issues of our day. Yet as we do so, we would be wise to heed Scripture and take our cues from thinkers other than Karl Marx."

15. "The War of the Words" by Mike Myers

"If there is any biblical mandate for polemics, [2 Cor 10:3-6] is it. On the one hand this forbids us from quickly labeling opposing viewpoints as ad hominem. On the other hand, we who engage in necessary polemics must remember that if we cause offense, if our words scandalize the heart, the cause must be the truth, the goal holiness, and the result Christ’s glory and the good of the Church."

16. "The Radical Society" by Zack Groff

"How glorious will that great family reunion be in heaven, when we all as the family of God gather together in never-ending praise to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost? Cultivate the roots of that heavenly society now such that you will be able all the more to enjoy the reality which will commence when Heaven and Earth meet in the Person of Jesus Christ at His glorious return."

17. "Via Media: Factual or Fanciful?" by Gillis Harp

"In short, it is essential to recognize that the notion of the via media that emerged during the mid-nineteenth century represented a substantial departure from mainstream Anglican views accepted for roughly three hundred years."

18. "What About B.O.B.s?" by Josh Irby

"I am now convinced that reading Big Old Books (B.O.B.s) is a useful habit for all Christians, especially those who desire to understand our current culture and engage it with the good news of Christ."

19. "Three(ish) Views of Contraception" by Ben Franks

"While Christians take a variety of stances on contraception today, this diversity of opinion and practice is a relatively recent historical development." 

20. Contra Cremation by Peter Van Doodewaard

"For millennia we Christians have gently buried our dead. Let us keep the faith, eyes fixed on Jesus, who died for our sins, was buried, and was raised on the third day."

Ben Ciavolella is a student at Westminster Theological Seminary. He works as a publishing assistant and editor for the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.