He Buried 200 Church Members

Pastors must prepare people to die to the glory of Christ.

The gospel doesn’t ignore death but defeats it. Our culture likes to minimize, medicate, and throw up a mist before the pain of death. We temper the language and try to forget about its reality. But the truth of the matter is that our hearts are the main instruments in our own funeral parade. When... Continue Reading

John Calvin: A Model for Ministers

Did Calvin leave behind a pattern in his life and labors for us to imitate? Yes, especially from his manner of life and his method of preaching.

As a university student, it is said that he demonstrated a maturity beyond his years. In the providence of God, he had able teachers who marked his life with discipline and intellectual development. In 1528 he graduated with the degree Master of Arts. He was eighteen years of age.”   Typically when someone hears the... Continue Reading

This Dogma Won’t Hunt: Feinstein, Durbin, Sanders, and the New Religious Test for Office

Senators need to be reminded that the Constitution says there shall be no religious test for public office

“Feinstein claimed that many on her side are uncomfortable with dogma shaping a person’s view of the law and, presumably, the person’s worldview. This, we should note, would probably mean about 25% of the population in the United States, who are among the more religious and shape their lives around that faith.”   Christians will... Continue Reading

I Am A Racist

A response to a church member who asked why we should as a church study the matter of racial reconciliation.

I am, in fact, more a racist than I had ever dreamed possible and I want to be rid of this sin.  If it’s in me, it is likely in many of us in Immanuel.  So I look forward to an educational and edifying, albeit painful, series of Bible studies on racial reconciliation in Immanuel... Continue Reading

Katherine Parr – an Influential Queen

Katherine Parr was an intelligent and highly literate woman, a capable ruler, and a promoter of religious reform.

Katherine’s administrative abilities shone in the summer of 1544, when King Henry led a military expedition and left her in charge as queen-regent. She proved herself capable, signing five royal proclamations (mostly war-related) and addressing other important issues. This appointment created jealousies at court, increased by her limited experience and by her evangelical convictions. These... Continue Reading

Calvin’s Life: The Servetus Affair

To lay the death of Servetus at Calvin’s feet is simply to read the evidence of history through an anti-Calvinistic lens and that is not good history.

What also seems to emerge from a study of his life and character is an obsession with John Calvin. Sometime after 1540 Servetus wrote Calvin at least thirty letters. He was apparently seeking to engage Calvin in a Trinitarian debate.  He even asked Calvin if he wanted him to come to Geneva. Calvin ignored the... Continue Reading

Calvin’s Life: The French Missionaries

Calvin was engrossed in mission works across Europe and other places.

In a personal letter to Heinrich Bullinger (Oct. 1, 1560), Calvin himself wrote: “In Normandy our brethren are preaching in public, because no private house is capable of containing an audience of three or four thousand persons. There is greater liberty in Poitou, Saintonge, and the whole of Gascony.” It was a staggering enterprise.  ... Continue Reading

The Good Thing Harvey Washed Away

For a stunning moment the world has stopped fighting against each other and started fighting for each other. It’s breathtaking.

Take note world. You don’t need to wait for a devastating disaster to love. You don’t need to wait until your neighbors are drowning to reach across the color, religious, nationality, political boundaries. This world is suffering a different kind of storm, one far more dangerous than Harvey–a storm of hatred. Let’s refuse to let... Continue Reading

Conservative Elder: Liberal Church Leaders Don’t Speak For Me

My church does not speak for me.

Membership in mainline churches, including the PC(USA), is declining. A key reason conservatives are fleeing the PC(USA) is the church’s regular public statements and positions that are at odds with their views and values. This is one of the challenges of being a member of a mainline denomination — any of them, not just Presbyterian.... Continue Reading

The Secret of John Calvin’s Greatness

Calvin’s greatness was not in his service to himself but in his surrender to God

B. B. Warfield recognized: “Here we have the secret of Calvin’s greatness and the source of his strength unveiled to us. No man ever had a profounder sense of God than he; no man ever more unreservedly surrendered himself to the Divine direction.” This is Calvin’s greatness—his constant surrender to God.   John Calvin was a... Continue Reading