Culture

In his Confessions, Augustine (354-430) describes mankind’s universal sinful bent as “concupiscence.” The Greek word epithumia (ἐπιθυμία) occurs 38 times in the New Testament. It describes the utter enfeebling of mankind’s freedom of will through the bondage of sin. It is the fallen nature’s inclination to wickedness, desire for immorality, and passion for iniquity, that […]

Haarlem is a beautiful little Dutch town on the River Spaarne, fifteen minutes by train from Amsterdam. Founded sometime in the 10th century, in 1245 it was granted city status or stadsrechten and was made the capital of the province of North Holland. By the 14th century, it had become a mercantile hub as a […]

When I was in seminary, the “Church Growth Movement” was just getting its sea legs.  So, of course, it was all the rage in the hallowed halls of academia—if not amongst the profs, most assuredly amongst their charges.  Filled with uninformed enthusiasm my peers tended to gobble up every fad and fancy that came down […]

The years leading up to the Scottish Disruption and those immediately afterward produced some of the most remarkable servants of God in the history of the church.  Andrew Alexander Bonar (1810-1892) was a member of that galaxy of brilliant, Reformed Scots preachers, writers, and missionaries which included his brothers John, James, and Horatius, as well […]

Every year new words and phrases find their way into our vocabulary.  Sometimes these neologisms are the result of political turns of events, like Brexit, alt-right, or newsjacking. Sometimes it is technology and digital media that introduce new words like hashtag, emoji, or listicle. Other times, it is trends in pop culture that manufactures new […]

In his classic book, The Holiness of God, R.C. Sproul bemoans the absence from our vocabulary of certain, once-familiar, King James Version words. It wasn’t so much the loss of antiquated verb forms like walketh and talketh, or sayest and mayest that bothered him. It wasn’t obsolete pronouns like thou and thee, or thy and […]

“Jeremiad.” Definition: an elaborate and prolonged lamentation; a cry of woe; and expression of righteous indignation. “Nehemiad.” Definition: an elaborate and prolonged humiliation; a cry of grief; an expression of righteous repentance. Well might we plead the case for an outpouring of Jeremiads from Reformed and Evangelical pulpits in our day. What with inhuman humanism […]

All leaders are controversial.  They invariably risk the ire of others.  Because they stand for certain things, they necessarily stand against certain things.  This causes them to stand out.  It makes them more than a little peculiar in this plain vanilla world of smothering uniformity.  G.K. Chesterton asserted, “A man with a definite belief always […]

It is one of the great ironies of our day that Christians can pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven,” and not actually mean anything by it. Indeed, it is a stunning paradox that we can live as if such a prayer could not be answered. Even worse, we can […]

In 1821, Dr. John Rippon, pastor of the New Park Street Chapel in Southwark, London, began a ministry to the homeless poor. A complex of almshouses was erected on a property adjacent to the church and the monumental task of rehabilitation was begun. Rippon wrote, “Christian compassion is driven by a holy and zealous compulsion […]


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