Category: Church History

Luther in 1517

Welcome to All Saints Eve, 2017—now reduced to the weirdly twisted event of Halloween. Halloween aside, many of us know this day marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther posting his Ninety-five Theses in Wittenberg, Germany. I’d love to be in Germany but having missed my chance let me at least offer a reflection in …

Read More Luther in 1517

Broken Love

Jonathan Edwards (1703-58) offered some unique and helpful insights about the Holy Spirit in his “Treatise on Grace.” Right now I’m reading Robert W. Caldwell’s study, Communion in the Spirit: The Holy Spirit as the Bond of Union in the Theology of Jonathan Edwards, where he probes the “Treatise” in his second chapter. As Edwards …

Read More Broken Love

The City of God

Augustine, the lead pastor of the church in Hippo, North Africa, spent more than a decade writing the City of God—from 413 to 426. It was his response to news that Alaric, commander of the Goths, had sacked Rome in 410. So Christians in the Roman Empire were shaken. Christians throughout the Empire, including the …

Read More The City of God

Our Ultimate End

In his lifetime Richard Sibbes’ (1577-1635) theology changed at some key points. For any who appreciate Sibbes the claim invites some attention. We know he was a lifelong learner and was ready to think for himself. As a pastor and teacher he read widely and explored the Bible both for his teaching and in his …

Read More Our Ultimate End

Today in History

Just one year from today, on October 31, 2017, we’ll celebrate the fifth century anniversary of Martin Luther’s publication in Wittenberg of 95 Theses—his 1517 protests against a church scheme to offer God’s grace in exchange for money. Is there some way I can get to Germany for the occasion? I doubt it, but stay …

Read More Today in History

Not Everyone

Jesus was very direct. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your …

Read More Not Everyone

Sibbes on Jesus

Richard Sibbes (1577-1635) loved Jesus. It spilled out in his life and sermons as an infectious joy. And today more and more kindred hearts are hearing of Sibbes. So what did Sibbes offer? The records of Gray’s Inn offer a tease. The Inn was an important residence hall and training center in central London, set …

Read More Sibbes on Jesus