Christmas

Rowan Williams. Christ the Heart of Creation. Bloomsbury Continuum, 2018. Hardback. 304 pp. $42.99. Advent has given us room for much needed reflection on Christ’s miraculous birth. To that end, I'm happy to recommend Rowan Williams' Christ the Heart of Creation this holiday season. Williams’ book...
Have you ever wondered why Matthew 1:23 quotes Isaiah 7:14? Perhaps the ready answer is that the quote substantiates the virgin conception and birth of Christ, which is true enough. However, the text raises a number of questions. For instance, why did God promise a virgin conceived and virgin born...
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...
While rereading Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol I recently read something I had forgotten. When Jacob Marley appeared to Scrooge his body was transparent, so that Scrooge could see not only the front of his long deceased partner’s waistcoat but the back of it too! But then this line appears, “...
Think back on an exciting time in your life when you were overwhelmed with emotion at the sight of something beautiful, a sudden surprise that captured your attention, or a moment of intense grief that seemed to cause your heart to fail within you. Any scenario we might recall of such intense...
Richard D. Phillips
As 2018 draws to a close, we look back on a year in which perhaps the most pressing issue for Reformed Christians is the relationship between the church and the world. How does the church respond to cultural shifts in terms of human identity and sexuality? And what is the mission of the church when...
Of all the advent sermons I have read, none are so profound and moving as those preached by the great German Reformer, Martin Luther. Luther was accustomed to preaching in step with the liturgical calendar so as to focus on the chronology of the birth narratives. In the dedicatory section to Prince...
Sinclair Ferguson has recently released his second advent themed book, Love Came Down . Together with his previously published Child in the Manger , this has quickly become one of my favorite sources for advent meditations. That is not at all surprising, as I have found Sinclair's advent sermons to...
I love the ease with which C.S. Lewis answered objections to the Scriptural record of the the miraculous conception of the virgin Mary. In Miracles: A Preliminary Study , he wrote: "You will hear people say, 'The early Christians believed that Christ was the son of a virgin, but we know that this...
Phil Ryken
A seasonal quotation from Sermons of St. Bernard on Advent and Christmas : "Who is this Virgin so reverently saluted by the angel? and so lowly as to be espoused to a carpenter? Beautiful commingling of virginity with humility! That soul is in no small degree pleasing to God, in whom humility...