Luther and Calvin’s Quiet Discussions in Heaven

Was Calvin influenced by the writings or ministry of "the Initiator" of the Reformation?

“Much remains uncertain about which of Luther’s works Calvin read and which of Calvin’s works Luther read. It is, however, clear that Calvin had knowledge of the controversies that surrounded Luther’s theological writings and debates and that Luther read Calvin on certain theological issues.”   Those who cherish the Reformation have often sought out what,... Continue Reading

Katy Perry Missed the Gospel of Grace

How did Perry’s experience in church leave her so jaded?

It grieved me to hear Perry talk about her sterile religious experience, because I know that I too have been guilty of over-emphasizing morality in my own youth ministry. I have been so focused on my “flannel graph Bible lessons” and my rules about sex and social media discipline, that I have failed to share... Continue Reading

Laura Story On The Legacy Of Parenting

The singer-songwriter, a worship leader at Perimeter Church, talks about her strengths and weaknesses as a mother.

About 10 years ago, Martin was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and that’s changed our lives substantially. He lives with a vision deficit and a memory deficit. So we were asking the question, God, do these disabilities and the nature of our lives prohibit us from being parents? The more we sensed the green light... Continue Reading

Survey: On Most Moral Issues Americans Are More Permissive Than Ever

A large percentage of people who consider themselves to be Christians consider behaviors that the Bible clearly states are sinful and immoral to be “morally acceptable.”

For whatever reason, we are failing to be faithful to Christ and his call to proclaim the gospel when we allow Scripture to be perverted and rejected by those who claim to be our fellow believers. Given the choice, many people would certainly prefer to be able to endorse fornication, polygamy, and suicide, and so... Continue Reading

Five Reasons Church Members Attend Church Less Frequently

The local church, the messy local church, is what God has used as His primary instrument to make disciples. But commitment is waning among many church members.

If we truly expect to make a difference in our communities and our families, members of local churches need to have at least the same level of commitment as members of sports teams. After all, the mission of each local church is far more important. At least it should be.   About 20 years ago,... Continue Reading

10 Ways To Know If You’re On The Wrong Seat In The Bus

If you’re wondering about your role on a church staff, here are some indicators of that possibility.

You find yourself easily annoyed with little things. The smallest things can get on our nerves when our nerves are already on edge. You wonder what it would take to prepare for another role. You might even have checked out other training, other degrees, etc., already.   Jim Collins’ book, Good to Great, popularized the concept of “getting... Continue Reading

Cloud of Witnesses: Peter Martyr Vermigli (1499-1562) – the European Reformer

Convinced that a reformation of the church could only be the fruit of a serious study of Scriptures, Vermigli remained true to his calling of teacher until the end, both in the classrooms and in his writings.

After his death, his teachings and writings continued to remain vital in shaping the Protestant Reformation in Europe, as many of his pupils went on to train a future generation of leaders and worked on important documents of the Protestant church, such as the Heidelberg Catechism and the Canons of Dordt. While his name became... Continue Reading

Physician-Assisted Suicide Tells People Like Me That Our Lives Are No Longer Worth Living

The legalization of physician-assisted suicide sends the message that it is better to be dead than disabled. Do I lack dignity because I lack physical independence?

Many people talk about a culture of life in regards to abortion, but it applies to end-of-life issues as well. Rather than affirming that suicide becomes permissible when one is faced with a disabling condition, these times of vulnerability are exactly when we must remind each other that our lives are always valuable, in spite... Continue Reading

James Comey: The Fall of a Niebuhrian

Comey wrote his undergraduate thesis on Niebuhr

Comey’s thesis treats Niebuhr’s writings as a kind of wisdom literature for Christian office seekers. “Every aspiring world leader,” he advised, should study “Niebuhr’s classic statement of the human condition.”   Last fall, my students were reading Reinhold Niebuhr’s 1952 classic, “The Irony of American History,” when the renowned theologian’s title came alive for them:... Continue Reading

Early Parole Rejected For Former Bishop Heather Cook

Heather Cook, the former Episcopal bishop who pled guilty to criminal charges in connection with a drunk-driving crash, will remain in prison

Commission chairman David Blumberg said the two commissioners who ruled on the case told him one reason they denied Cook parole was that she “took no responsibility” and “showed no remorse” for her actions during the 90-minute hearing.   Heather Cook, the former Episcopal bishop who is serving a seven-year prison sentence for a drunk-driving... Continue Reading