Posts by Amy Mantravadi

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The mind turning in on itself
As one of the many people living with an anxiety disorder, I hope to use this article to pass along a few things I have learned which might prove beneficial to you, and as always to dispel certain misperceptions. Rather than sticking to my usual essay format, I'd like to offer a some initial...
The issue of abortion is one of the most divisive in modern political discourse. The option for a woman to end a pregnancy has been proclaimed by some to be a basic right, while others have decried it as the murder of a fellow human being. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult for so-called "pro-...
There are many ways to think about God's attributes. They can be divided between those that affirm something about God and those that deny something about God, those that are communicable to creatures ( i.e. can exist in or be communicated to them somehow) and those that are incommunicable, and...
Just south of central Dayton, Ohio, in the heart of one of the city's historic districts, is a stretch of road familiar to all the locals: A two block section of Fifth Avenue that is home to an eclectic mix of high-end restaurants, bars, oddity shops, tattoo parlors, a Goodwill, and an adult video...
Just south of central Dayton, Ohio, in the heart of one of the city's historic districts, is a stretch of road familiar to all the locals: A two block section of Fifth Avenue that is home to an eclectic mix of high-end restaurants, bars, oddity shops, tattoo parlors, a Goodwill, and an adult video...
Just south of central Dayton, Ohio, in the heart of one of the city's historic districts, is a stretch of road familiar to all the locals: A two block section of Fifth Avenue that is home to an eclectic mix of high-end restaurants, bars, oddity shops, tattoo parlors, a Goodwill, and an adult video...
I have recently been wading into the thought of the 20th century Reformed theologian Cornelius Van Til in order to consider his use of the term "limiting concept." These words appear throughout his collected works, both in his full-length books and his shorter articles. Our ability to define them...
I have recently been wading into the thought of the 20th century Reformed theologian Cornelius Van Til in order to consider his use of the term "limiting concept." These words appear throughout his collected works, both in his full-length books and his shorter articles. Our ability to define them...
I have recently been wading into the thought of the 20th century Reformed theologian Cornelius Van Til in order to consider his use of the term "limiting concept." These words appear throughout his collected works, both in his full-length books and his shorter articles. Our ability to define them...
In my first article on the topic of theology proper, I discussed why we must know the God who created us. I will now explain how we can know that God whose ways are higher than our ways, and his thoughts higher than our thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9) Christianity is a religion of revelation, and our God...
The very root and beginning of all theological study is known as theology proper or the doctrine of God. Within this field, the existence, being, and attributes of God are considered and his character is defined within the limitations common to human beings. All Christian theology (from Greek...
It’s become somewhat fashionable to say that hell is a state of mind rather than a physical location. Far more people in modern America will proclaim their belief in heaven than admit hell exists. Even so, they must both exist in relation to one another, and scripture assures us they both do. Hell...
“But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.” (1 Timothy 2:12) I begin by quoting that verse because many of you are already thinking about it. I do not blame you. It is an important and much debated verse, and the way we interpret it tends to define...
Within the early verses of Genesis, we find not only the source of the universe but also the source of every woman’s identity. The story of our first mother, Eve, has much to tell us about the purpose of women on this earth. Imago Dei The first piece of Eve’s identity is the fact that she was made...
What do we mean when we say that the Bible is the Word of God? We mean that while it was written by men, it was not the product of their independent and fallible thoughts. It was inspired by God Himself, and specifically one Person of the Godhead: the Holy Spirit. In this book, the eternal God of...
A my Mantravadi joins us this week to discuss John Bunyan's A Discourse Touching Prayer. Read her third post below: W hile John Bunyan spent much time dissecting the Apostle Paul’s statement that “I will pray with the spirit”, he by no means ignored the second part of that phrase: “I will pray with...
A my Mantravadi joins us this week to discuss John Bunyan's A Discourse Touching Prayer. Read her second post below: “There is no man nor church in the world that can come to God in prayer, but by the assistance of the Holy Spirit." “Prayer, without the heart be in it, is like a sound without life...
A my Mantravadi joins us this week to discuss John Bunyan's A Discourse Touching Prayer. Read her first post below: R eading John Bunyan’s A Discourse Touching Prayer is a real pleasure, and not only because it is the first such work I have ever read that includes the phrase, “Therefore give me...
Why should history have to make a case for itself? No one questions why we should study mathematics or science. The humanities are always having to justify their existence in a way that is not expected of other disciplines. Even so, I do not mind the question—either as a writer of historical...
The Heidelberg Catechism, penned mostly by Zacharias Ursinus and Caspar Olevianus, is among the most beloved and best written statements of Reformed Christianity. The forms of assurance discussed in this catechism fall into two broad categories: 1) those benefits which accompany union with Christ...
I n Oliver Heywood’s The Family Altar , he spends most of his time addressing the heads of household whom he presumed would institute family worship. However, not every 21st century household takes the same form as Puritan households in the 17th century. Indeed, it seems unlikely that even in that...
B.B. Warfield is well known for his writings on the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture. The rise in higher criticism and schools of thought that cast doubt upon the origins of God’s Word required Warfield to spend much of his time defending biblical authority. However, when it came to the...
T he family worship (see parts #1 , #2 ) that Oliver Heywood envisioned contained three basic elements: reading scripture, singing Psalms, and prayer. To this we might add reading from works of great theologians or famous sermons, but only as a means for explaining Scripture. They would not be the...
I n The Family Altar , the Puritan writer Oliver Heywood makes the case for family or household worship. We have already discussed Heywood’s belief that family worship is essential for the proper functioning not only of the family, but also the Church and wider society. We must now consider exactly...
"Let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me…" (Jeremiah 9:24a) That verse captures the goal of Trinitarian theology: to know the amazing God that we worship. It is a task in which we must confess our impotence, for we are limited by both our own fallible reason and the...
I f there is one Christian book that everyone seems to be talking about this year, it is The Benedict Option by Rod Dreher. Subtitled “A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation,” it discusses how can respond to changes in our culture through the development of communities loosely modeled...
The Bondage of the Will is one of Martin Luther’s most important and enduring works. It represents his greatest defense of the doctrine of predestination and was written as a response to Erasmus of Rotterdam. I have previously described the relationship between these two men and the circumstances...
“Whenever I pray, I pray for a curse upon Erasmus.” That quote appears in Martin Luther’s Table Talk, the same place where he called the Prince of the Humanists “the vilest miscreant that ever disgraced the earth” and quipped that those who do not hate Satan ought to love Erasmus. How did...
“M any speak well, but few can do well.” Thus wrote Anne Bradstreet, America’s first poet and a witness to Puritan thought. In her “Meditations Divine and Moral,” she makes a statement that speaks to both the importance of personal morality to Puritans and a certain degree of ambiguity as to how...
O ne of the most interesting things about the Puritan poet Anne Bradstreet (see posts #1...
W ithout a doubt, the political event that had the greatest impact on the life of Anne Bradstreet was the English Civil War that began in 1642 and effectively ended with the execution of King Charles I in 1649. In her poem “Of the Four Ages of Man”, an elderly man laments, “I’ve seen, and so have...
T he persecution faced by many English Puritans caused some of them to seek out the New World, where they would be able to operate according to their own religious principles and theology. The Pilgrims were famously the first such Separatists to arrive in the land that would be known as...