Reformation21

Reformation21

One pandemic leads to another. Because our lives are never compartmentalized, we can expect that the effects of a global epidemic will not be limited to the metrics of active cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. We know that natural disasters, such as hurricanes and wildfires, have far more wide-...
“Now greet the swiftly changing year with joy and penitence sincere; rejoice, rejoice, with thanks embrace another year of grace.” [1] This is how 17th-century Polish hymn-writer Jiří Třanovský (1592-1637, also known as Tranoscius) encouraged Christians to greet the year. Easy for him to say, we...
Church history can be of great help to us as we try to understand our calling to faithful Christian living in the times in which we live. In particular, it is helpful to remind ourselves in the year 2020 that we are not the first generation of believers to experience an outbreak of infectious...
What is gospel ministry? It’s a deceptively simple question. So much of modern church life is described as a ministry of some sort , but biblically speaking there is rather narrow meaning to the idea. The equivalent of the English word “ministry” is absent from both biblical Hebrew and Greek. In...
Early in my pastoral ministry, a thoughtful young man came with an interesting question while our congregation was in the midst of celebrating the Advent season. The question arose from a hymn sung during a Lord's Day worship service: the Isaac Watts classic, "Joy to the World." The question was, "...
Note: To read the previous entry in this series, click here. Christianity did not emerge in a vacuum. It was established in the face of opposition on all sides. [1] The religions of the Roman world stood in stark contrast to the doctrine and life of the early Christians. Indeed, Christianity...
One of the current charges leveled against Christians (largely on social media) is that Christians are being selfish by insisting on worshiping even in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. One could put the argument like this: Participating in unecessary social activities that risk perpetuating the...
It’s been a tough year. After a long battle against an unpredictable virus, a violent summer, and a contested Presidential election, there is a general feeling of weariness with 2020 and a relief that it’s almost over, as if January 1 could dispel all our problems. In reality, we know that a turn...
“Thou shalt not kill” (Exo. 20:13) The sixth commandment requires that we preserve our lives and the lives of others. This does not prohibit self-defense, lawful war, or capital punishment, but it certainly forbids us to harm ourselves and others. To put it positively, the commandment tells us to...
Last month at the Conciliar Post , writer John Ehrett offered a thoughtful review of Carl's latest book, The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self . As he puts it: "It isn’t every Christian writer who can understand (and compellingly articulate) the salient differences between Frankfurt School...