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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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Preaching and Prayer

Augustine of Hippo (354-430)—famous bishop, pastor, theologian, and philosopher—was a superlative preacher. In On Christian Teaching, he shares with his brother pastors his meditations on the sacred art. This famous pastoral manual remains worthy of sustained study, the fourth chapter containing Augustine’s most developed understanding of preaching. This extract contains words that may find an abiding[…]

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Our Identity in Christ

“Who are you?” This question seems simple enough, but the answer is hopelessly entangled with our life experiences. If we happen to be singing on a mountaintop, for example, our self-understanding is backlit by a joyful radiance. But if we’re languishing in a valley, weighed down in lament, dark clouds and shadows will fill the[…]

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Developing a “Heart” for God

In modern parlance, “heart” and “vision” are often distinguished. We tend to associate vision with the mind while the heart is concerned with emotions. However, in the language and logic of Scripture, this is not so. The heart functions as the locus of thought, the place where vision is developed. For example, the Psalmist writes,[…]

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Relishing the Good Shepherd

In the opening of his classic book, The Knowledge of the Holy, A. W. Tozer memorably declares, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” In other words, our thoughts about God inform every level of our being–our hopes, dreams, fears, aspirations, what we despise, and what we[…]

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