Articles by David Mathis
Why were Jesus' disciples so wigged out when he stilled the sea? Already afraid of the great storm, you'd think they might have been calmed by Jesus' calming of the waves. But it seemed to have the opposite effect. Mark…Continue Reading
Here is Moses’ amazing monotheistic appeal to the people of Israel at the edge of the Promised Land, after 40 years of wilderness wandering.
Ask now of the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that…
Who do you identify with in the Passion narratives?
Of course, as good Christians, we say Jesus. He’s the good guy, our protagonist. As we relive the story, we pull for him, and against his enemies. And a long list…Continue Reading
Who else would call Noah’s ark “a floating zoo of creepy-crawlies”? Sam Crabtree is a skilled turner of curious phrases and has the rare gift of never being boring. His most recent article wrestles with how to be both green…Continue Reading
Jesus keeps us off balance. We think we know that perfection is a fastball of justice, and he throws us the curveball of grace.
When I read Matthew 5:48 abstracted from it’s context, I’m thinking mainly in terms of justice.… Continue Reading
Advent is my yearly reminder to brush up on Christology, the doctrine of the person of Christ. I’ve found it helpful to approach the subject under three headings:
- Jesus as Lord (fully divine)
- Jesus as Savior (fully human)
- Jesus as…
A sinner can’t over-drink at God’s oasis—the fountain of life in the cross of his Son. Calvin explains:
[In the Bible] we read not of any having been blamed for drinking too much of the fountain of living water; on… Continue Reading
The Hebrew Scriptures point to Jesus in a myriad of ways. One way is narrative patterns, like the one in Esther 9:1:
On the very day when the enemies of the Jews hoped to gain the mastery over them, the…
Fellow complementarians, try framing the gender debate in three categories instead of two.
Feminists and egalitarians love it when everything to their right is cast as one monolithic "complementarianism." But authentic complementarians need to highlight that there is not only…Continue Reading
Calvin fell deathly ill in the winter of 1558 at age 49. He thought he was at death’s doorstep and so turned his few remaining energies to the final revision of his Institutes. Until this time, he hadn’t been…Continue Reading
T.H.L. Parker calls 1553–1554 Calvin’s “fateful years.” According to Parker, this was when “two large storms blew from different quarters and raged simultaneously.” One was Calvin’s battle with the libertines; the other was the infamous Servetus affair.
The Genevan air…Continue Reading
After a golden three-year exile, Calvin returned to the city that expelled him. He didn’t jump at the opportunity but went reluctantly, feeling constrained by God’s will to resume the work.
It was September, 1541 when he stepped back into…Continue Reading
Calvin spent the happiest years of his life outside Geneva. It started in April of 1538 when Calvin and fellow reformer William Farel were expelled from Geneva.
Their eager reforms were moving quicker than the city council was ready for.…Continue Reading
William Farel was the fiery redhead who cursed John Calvin’s ivory-tower life in Strasbourg and twisted his arm to stay in Geneva. Here’s the story.
Having published his Institutes, which were immediately successful, Calvin left Basel, still a fugitive…Continue Reading
Calvin wrote as a fugitive. Exiled from France, he eventually settled in Basel where he found enough leisure to put together the first edition of his Institutes of the Christian Religion.
The first edition debuted in March of 1536…Continue Reading
Calvin was growing disillusioned with humanism while studying law in Bourges in 1531 when his father died. Freed from dad’s expectations of making law his profession, Calvin packed his bags for Paris to resume his theological pursuits.
It was 1532,…Continue Reading