Blog Posts by David Mathis
A Night's Stay in Geneva: Life of Calvin, Part 5
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
The Myth of Neutrality
Institutes: Life of Calvin, Part 4
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
De Clementia, Conversion, and Cop: Life of Calvin, Part 3
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
Off to Paris: Life of Calvin, Part 2
It was 1523, and Calvin was 14 years old when he went off to university in Paris—70 miles south of his native city of Noyon. Providentially, he didn’t need to leave home alone, but went with two of the De…Continue Reading
Born to Gerard: Life of Calvin, Part 1
Five hundred years ago today, he was born Jean Cauvin in Noyon, France—about 70 miles north of Paris. His father was Gerard, son of a barrelmaker and boatman. Gerard was a lawyer, and it was his law practice that brought…Continue Reading
Hope for Sexual Strugglers
David fell in 2 Samuel 11. He saw that Bathsheba was “very beautiful,” and he followed his lusts down the slope to adultery—and then even to having her husband killed.
But by 1 Kings 1, David is able to be…Continue Reading
Strong in Another’s Strength
Laziness is not the alternative to living in your own strength. Paul talks about being strong in the strength of another.
- Ephesians 6:10: “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.”
- Colossians 1:29: “I toil [to…
How John the Baptist Handled the Attention
God gave him a message, and so he went around delivering it. “The word of God came to John”—we call him John the Baptist—and “he went into all the region around the Jordan [River], proclaiming a baptism of repentance for…Continue Reading
Sitting Where Angels Stand
What’s more impressive than standing in God’s presence? Sitting—and doing so at the right hand.
An angel said to John the Baptist’s father: “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God” (Luke 1:19). That’s noteworthy.
But more so…Continue Reading
Learning from Flawed Faith
The book of Judges—what a mess! It starts bad and gets worse and worse, then ends so poorly that it’s awkward to read in public.
Yet God put it in the Book and means it to be for “our instruction”…Continue Reading
Don't Just Be Passively Hospitable
In Romans 12:13, Paul points out that one effect of God’s mercy on his people is that they “seek to show hospitality.”
Seek. Pursue. Chase after.
They are not merely willing to be hospitablewhen someone comes to the…Continue Reading
Who's the Naked Guy and Why Does He Matter?
One puzzle in the passion story is, Who’s the young man running through the garden without his clothes on?
Mark 14:51–52 says,
And a young man followed [Jesus], with nothing but a linen cloth about his body. And they seized…
A Marriage Advice Moment with John Piper
A staff member at Bethlehem asked Pastor John what one or two main things he wants to say to an engaged couple in premarital counseling. His answer is relevant for marriages new and old:
Be joyfully, brokenheartedly, shaped by the…
The Bible's Everest
The last 12 verses of Romans 8 (verses 28–39) are the biblical Himalayas, and Romans 8:32 is Mount Everest.
[God] did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him,…
Why Finally Alive
Jesus' Humanity Now
The Permanence of Christmas, Part 3: Contemporary Articulations
From the New Testament to the present, Christian theology has celebrated that Jesus is forever the God-man. In this series, we saw first what the apostles had to say in the …Continue Reading
Jesus' Humanity Throughout History
Jesus Is Still Human
The Permanence of Christmas, Part 1: Biblical Foundations
Advent is a chance not only to celebrate Jesus’ taking of human flesh but also his keeping of it. It wasn’t a mere 33-year stint—impressive as that would have been. Jesus is…Continue Reading
From Protest to Praise
An amazing progression occurs in the 3 short chapters of Habakkuk.
The book begins with the prophet protesting that God seems to be standing idly by while his people in Judah plummet into rampant evil and injustice (1:2–5).
God responds…Continue Reading
Give Time to Your Wife
The apostle Peter writes,
Husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be…
Thank God for Martin Luther
It was a backwater German town called Eisleben on November 10, 1483—today marks 525 years.
There Martin Luther had his inauspicious beginning. He was born a poor boy, son of a coal miner. And by a strange providence, Luther died…Continue Reading
Luther's First Thesis and Last Words
491 years ago today, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg.
He wanted to debate the sale of indulgences with his fellow university professors. So he wrote in Latin.
But a nameless visionary translated the…Continue Reading