Essay / On This Day

Today William Laud was Beheaded (1645)

William Laud was the Archbishop of Canterbury under Charles I. He was a devout and learned Christian with many good qualities, but as the leading bishop of the Church of England in turbulent times, he adopted authoritarian strategies that put him on a collision course

Essay / On This Day

Today is Zwingli’s Birthday

Today in 1484, Swiss reformer Ulrich Zwingli was born, about 40 days after Martin Luther. Zwingli was a well-trained scholar (Universities of Vienna and Basel) and had the early reputation of being the best Greek student north of the Alps. But he was essentially a

Essay / Theology

The Gist of the Lesson

R. A. Torrey wrote dozens of books, oversaw academics at the two greatest Bible Institutes in America, and carried out a round-the-world preaching tour that made headlines in big cities on five continents. He was a busy man and he worked on a grand scale.

Essay / Theology

R. A. Torrey's Greatest Sermons

R. A. Torrey (1856-1928) was the most important evangelist between Dwight L. Moody and Billy Graham. In the eighty years since his death, his fame has declined, so that he is no longer a household name. But his name is still powerful: you can hardly

Essay / Theology

Oscillating, Not Vacillating: Simeon at Both Extremes

Charles Simeon knew the secret of staying centered on the Gospel even when the centrifugal forces of controversy conspired to knock him off balance. His approach was classically described by HCG Moule in his Simeon biography (starting around page 96). Simeon’s main goal in all

Essay / Philosophy

Worldview Anomalies, Recalcitrant Facts and the Image of God

Once upon a time there was a man who thought he was dead. His wife tried everything she could to convince him he was very much alive. But try as she may, he would not change his mind. After several weeks of this, she finally

Essay / Culture

Catholicity, Race and Sunday Morning

For the last 1600 years, Christians have confessed belief in the ‘one holy catholic and apostolic church’. The ‘catholic’ bit of that confession makes many Protestants fidgety, but it need not. Its etymology renders it simply ‘according to the whole’. Catholicity gets at the universal

Essay / Misc.

You Can't Spell

At a party recently, all the kids discovered a tetherball post in the host’s backyard. Waiting for the inevitable minor head injury that was sure to follow, I was musing pessimistically, “you can’t spell tetherball without the letters H, E, R, T.” Even worse, I

Essay / Theology

The Pope on Hope

On Nov. 30, Pope Benedict XVI issued the second encyclical of his pontificate. Spe Salvi, “saved by hope,” is a thoughtful and stimulating document by this elderly bishop of Rome. We shouldn’t expect anything less from Joseph Ratzinger, who would have been one of the

Essay / Theology

Dante's Ante-Purgatory

For many Protestant Christians today the doctrine of Purgatory (especially in its medieval articulation) is blatantly wrong. The need for such a place is mainly the result of the medieval concepts of debt, penalty and merit (of Christ and the saints). To a medieval theologian

Essay / Philosophy

How Did Jesus Argue? Jesus & Logic

Today there is widespread indifference to, even downright hostility towards logic and the fundamental laws that govern it. We are sometimes told that logic is a Western construction invented by DWEM’s (Dead White European Males such as Aristotle), that in a postmodern world, story and

Essay / Theology

Ecumenical Honesty, Finally!

On July 10, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released a document entitled “Responses to some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church.” You may have heard about it already even if you have not read the document itself.