Church

“Whatever does not proceed from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23b). Suppose that several young couples decide to live in community. Questions arise. Shall we try to live near each other? If so, where? In the city or the suburbs? What is our view of child safety? Is the goal to remove risks or to teach...
“Life will get worse.” What if that were one half of a ubiquitous Christian bumper sticker? “Follow me to Jesus. Life will get worse.” Maybe a little tacky, but it would be truth in advertising. To follow the Man of sorrows is to enter a life of sorrows. It is this lesson Calvin works out his...
Rosa Young – Committed to Serve At the turn of the twentieth century, many civil rights advocates fought to create better communities and lives for Black Americans. They did it mostly through politics, essays, and discussions. Rosa Young – a name still largely unknown– did it through education, the...
I remember the first time I saw John Calvin’s personal seal—an outstretched hand holding a heart—in a hallway on the campus of Calvin College, now University, in Grand Rapids. Surrounding the upheld heart are the words of his motto, in Latin or English: Cor Meum Tibi Offero, Domine, Prompter et...
A beautiful singing voice is amazing. But then again the whole notion of music can be unfathomable. Maybe you think that is an overstatement or editorial license. But think about it. How can some people with aphasia, a communication disorder, sing with fluency? We see the same phenomenon with those...
Bo Giertz – True Pastor and Insightful Writer In 1927, Bo Harald Giertz had an audience with Queen Victoria of Sweden, who had been a patient of his father Knut. Knowing that Bo was studying theology, and that he was a top student, she asked if he wanted to become a professor. He replied he just...
“Sticks and stones make break my bones, but words can never hurt me”. Living in a hyper-critical age, we all know this truism to be false. Words do hurt. In our fallenness, criticism comes all too naturally. It feels so good, so right. (“I know better than that person!” “I need to say this in order...
Sharon Sampson
Be Hospitable! In Romans 12:13, Paul says, “seek to show hospitality.” When we think of the “one-another” commands of Scripture, certainly the idea of hospitality comes to mind. The word itself comes from the Latin hospes , meaning guest, visitor, or stranger. Sometimes talks and books on this...
Johann Gerhard – Pastor and Teacher in Troubling Times Johann Gerhard is often seen as the third pillar of the Lutheran tradition, after Martin Luther and Martin Chemnitz (author of the Formula of Concord and the Examination of the Council of Trent). Gerhard is considered the foremost Lutheran...
The Christian, having his whole being grasped by the gospel of God’s Son, no longer lives like a master with many servants, demanding they each please and satisfy him. No. The Christian is now a freeborn slave, a servant who lends himself out freely to many masters. Galatians 5:13 encapsulates this...