Blog

The Gospel According to La Bohème

You’ll probably not be surprised to hear that I have a particular passion for Italian art and artists, even though I make no claim to being an expert in such things. But as my pinky ring is my witness, I know what I like! One of my very favorite Italian works is La Bohème, composed by[…]

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The Kingdom Has a Speed

The kingdom has a speed. Some have called it a “spiritual speed.” It’s a different speed from the frantic pace we generally maintain in our technological world. It is, if you will, three miles per hour—the speed we walk, the speed at which Jesus walked, and therefore the speed that the love of God walks.[…]

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How to Conquer an Empire without Even Trying

Caesarea, a major city of the Roman Empire, had recently been afflicted by famine and war. When the plague hit in the early fourth century, the already-weakened people living there were devastated. Men and women began fleeing for safety in the countryside.1 However, at least one group decided to stay behind and risk their lives—the Christians.[…]

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Living on the Battlefield

“God has called us not to a playground, but to a battlefield.” My friend Scott Mackenzie of Edinburgh stated this while we were in Bible college. Even though we were young and untested in spiritual combat, his words rang true then, and they resonate even more today. Along with many fans of J.R.R. Tolkien, I[…]

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Thinking for God’s Glory

Having said goodbye to my two oldest boys this week who left for a new year at college, I find myself pondering one of the great legacies of the Reformed tradition: “thinking for God’s glory.” In this vision, every area of life is to be brought under the lordship of Christ, and every legitimate discipline[…]

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A Time for Lament

By now we have heard the horrifying details. An 18-year-old gunman barricaded himself inside a fourth-grade classroom in Uvalde, Texas, and opened fire, killing 19 children and two adults, before being killed by law enforcement. This is just the latest mass shooting in America. Our minds and hearts are numb. It seems all has been[…]

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Gospel Friendship

For the last few hours, I have been reading a variety of letters written by Peter Martyr Vermigli… to John Calvin, to Queen Elizabeth I, to Theodore Beza, et al. They are all fascinating for different reasons. Perhaps the most touching, though, is his letter to the wife of Martin Bucer following Bucer’s death. Martin[…]

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Compassion from God

Augustine’s first literary work as bishop was a two-book reply to certain questions about biblical interpretation. The questions had been sent to him by the successor of Ambrose in Milan, Simplician, who had also previously mentored Augustine during a season of spiritual difficulty. This following extract on divine mercy comes from Augustine’s answer to Simplician (in[…]

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Seven Questions to Ask Ourselves on Reformation Sunday

1. Ad Fontes. Do we read the Bible as often as we read books about the Bible? 2. Sola Scriptura. Is Scripture the supreme authority to which we direct thoughtful attention each day? 3. The Priesthood of Believers. Do our neighbors and friends see in us a commitment to gospel ministry worked out in a regular routine of service?[…]

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The Reformation’s Legacy of Small Groups

It may come as a surprise to learn that small groups, that is, men and women gathering to study Scripture and to enjoy fellowship together, played a significant part in the sixteenth-century Reformation. This was true on the peninsula of Italy, as it was in territories north of the Alps. Many people are unaware that southern[…]

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