John Calvin, the Frenchman who became one of the most famous Christian theologians and controversial figures in history, initially wanted nothing more from life than to study and write in ivory tower academia in the 16th century. Intrigued by the nascent Reformation, he first fled Paris to avoid punishment for heresy, and then was shamed… Read More Sacralism and Calvin’s Geneva
Students of antiquity stumble over important questions. To accept any ancient work such as the Bible as a valid historical document we must understand the basics of daily life in the Bible. It is unfortunate, or exciting depending upon your point of view, that the Bible encompasses over 2,000 years, thousands of square miles and… Read More Timekeeping in the Ancient Mediterranean and Near East
No study of the New Testament is complete without a study of the government of Palestine in the first century AD, and no study of the government of Palestine in that period is complete without a study of the Sanhedrin. The term Sanhedrin is derived from the Greek phrase for “gathering place” and is not… Read More The Sanhedrin
Each man has only one life and most that I have known start out with big dreams; dreams of riches, influence, and the ability to change the world and make it a better place. Some of these dreams are dashed early, many are dashed later, and most are modified into something far more humble by… Read More Adoniram Judson, a simple man used mightily by a mighty God
The 20th century was one of superlatives, both good and bad. The invention of the airplane, the landing on the moon and the advances in medicine, communication, and in almost every field of science were breathtaking. People today live longer, healthier and more productive and secure lives than ever before. Unfortunately, the utter devastation of… Read More What political developments of the 20th century had the greatest impact on the church?
The name Jonathan Edwards is the first many people remember when discussing the Great Awakening. His signature sermon, Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God, delivered 8 July 1741 in Enfield, Connecticut, was electrifying; with wails and cries in the congregation and the fear of God on the lips of His people. It is… Read More Why Was the Preaching of Jonathan Edwards So Effective?
In Exodus 33:3 God promised to take the Hebrews, recently freed from slavery in Egypt, to a “land flowing with milk and honey.” During my trip to Israel in March of 1995 when I approached Jerusalem, I was a little skeptical of the “milk and honey” description. Much of the land is dry and hilly,… Read More The Land of Milk and Honey – Agriculture in Ancient Israel
Luther’s allegiance to the Holy Bible (solo Scriptura) as the ultimate source of authority in Christianity was the most important point of his theology. It is hard for Christians in the 21st century to imagine how the first 350 years of the faith must have been, when the only Bible available was the Old Testament,… Read More What Was the Most Important Part of Luther’s Theology?
In Leviathan, English philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) characterized the life of man as “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”. He was referring to the trials of his own day, as well as those of the decades preceding him, the time of the Reformation. European life in the late 15th century certainly fit Hobbes description. Under… Read More Preparation for the Reformation
Ours is a day of self-indulgence, where we are promised to “have it our way” and told “you deserve a break today”. Famous songs trumpet “I did it my way” and anything and everything, from privacy to health care to “self-expression”, has become a right. Few would argue for self-denial and some even hold that… Read More The Benadictines