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Of Priests, Pastors, and Prophets

With the five hundred and third anniversary of the inception of the Protestant Reformation upon us, it will do us good to remember that the Reformation was not simply a defense of sola Scriptura and the rediscovery of the doctrine of justification by faith alone–it was a reformation in worship and ecclesiology. Since Rome had rooted its sacerdotalism (i.e., priesthood) i...

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Pastor to Pastor

A man preparing for pastoral ministry needs not only the scientific tools to learn the multi-variegated aspects of theology--he also needs the skill of experienced men to teach him how to weave them into the fabric of his ministry to a congregation. It is one thing to know the doctrine of God with scholastic and categorical precision; it is quite another thing to know how ...

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The Shoulders of Giants, the Counsel of the Wise

Giant Shoulder Standing

If the church is to be rooted in the timeless truths of God’s word, it needs leaders who are standing on the shoulders of giants in whom the Spirit of God was at work. If pastors are to navigate the overwhelming challenges of an increasingly secular and antagonistic society–not to mention the internal attacks from strong willed and self-seeking individuals within the c...

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Cancelling the Weapons of "Cancel Culture"

Cancelled

In recent years, our society has rapidly embraced what has come to be known as the "cancel culture." If someone has said or done something--at any point in his or her life--that cuts across the grain of the suppose moral rectitude of society, he or she is swiftly excoriated to the point of irremediable social ostracization. An immediate sentence is determined by the masses...

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The Mystery of Godliness

Paul teaches that Jesus Christ is the source of all godliness. There is no godliness apart from Him. His Person and saving work is the singular and exclusive source of that godliness that God requires and provides. Our God gives what He requires of Himself by coming in the Person of Christ. ...

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The Rarest Commodity

Rarest

When we come to Christ, we learn to live in a way that is pleasing to God. We seek after His instruction and walk in His ways. Jesus is the rarest commodity–the eternal wisdom of God and sole source of righteousness and life. It is Him we must seek, find, and acquire more than any other commodities we may come to possess in life....

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Teaching a Barber to Pray

Peter the Barber is one of the most interesting figures in church history. He was not like so many othersof whom we have accounts in the annals of church historya theological giant. He did not start any charitable organization or initiate a movement to liberate an oppressed people. He was Martin Luther's barber (and, apparently was quit committed to the bowl cut!). In 1535...

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Augustine, Psalm 32, and the Grace of Justification

scales

Lately, as I have been reading through Augustine's Expositions of the Psalms, I have been struck afresh by how central God's free, unmerited, saving grace in Christ is throughout his theology. Though he is not always clear about justification being a legal act on the part of God, Augustine, nevertheless, makes numerous statements about the acceptance of a sinner before the...

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When Speaking About Jesus' Bride

It has become all too common for men and women to attack the church for all of the ways in which they believe that the church has failed. Almost every day professing believers rant online about the failures of "the evangelical church," "the Reformed church," "the Western church," etc. While recognizing that all of these categories are somewhat artificially manufactured, th...

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The Way of the Kingdom

I have always been astonished by the magnitude of Jesus' last miracle prior to His atoning death on the cross. As His attackers came to take Him by force, Simon Peter stood ready to defend His Master. With sword drawn, he struck the ear of Malcus, the servant of the High Priest. F.W. Krummacher notes the sense in which most professing believers would respond had they bee...

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