If you find yourself in a love-hate relationship with the concept of “liberalism,” part of the reason may be the schizophrenic history of the concept. Lights went on for me in reading Dinesh D’Souza’s distinction between two liberalisms.
It's helpful to distinguish between two types of liberalism. One is the classical liberalism of the American founding. Call this Liberalism 1, which is reflected in such principles as the right to vote, to assemble freely, to trade with others and keep the fruits of one's labor, to practice one's religion, to tolerate different political and religious views, and so on.
Then there is the modern liberalism that developed in the Wes…
On his birthday, let John Newton (author of "Amazing Grace") tell us why there aren't any perfect pastors.
In my imagination, I sometimes fancy I could [create] a perfect minister. I take the eloquence of ______, the knowledge of ______, the zeal of ______, and the pastoral meekness, tenderness, and piety of ______. Then, putting them all together into one man, I say to myself, “This would be a perfect minister.”
Now there is One, who, if he chose to, could actually do this; but he never did it. He has seen fit to do otherwise, and to divide these gifts to every man severally as he will. (Richard Cecil, Memoirs of the Rev. John Newton, p. 107.)
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 from France, in the Summer of 1536 to make for Strasbourg where he could pursue a life of study and writing while tucked away under the pastoral care of famed reformer Martin Bucer. (Bucer had come to the Reformed faith after seeing Martin Luther defend his emerging Protestant doctrine at the Heidelberg Disputation in 1518.)
However, Calvin and his traveling companions (which included his brother Antoine) discovered that the direct wa…
Is feigning neutrality a good strategy in telling a nonbeliever about Jesus? In his Apologetics to the Glory of God, John Frame argues that doing so is not only unwise but dishonest.
To tell an unbeliever that we can reason with him on a neutral basis, however that claim might help to attract his attention, is a lie. Indeed, it is a lie of the most serious kind, for it falsifies the very heart of the gospel—that Jesus Christ is Lord. For one thing, there is no neutrality. Our witness is either God’s wisdom or the world’s foolishness. There is nothing in between. For another thing, even if neutrality were possible, that route would be forbidden to us. (7)
For one of t…
No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. 35 Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. 36 If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light. (Luke 11:33-36)
Just before these verses, Jesus says, “Something greater than Solomon is here . . . Something greater than Jonah is here” (Luke 11:31-32). That is, the wisdom of Jesus …
Muslim-Christian relations are troubled, important, and necessary. The necessary navigation of these important, troubled waters requires a trusted, Gospel-saturated, experienced, courageous follower of Jesus. I only know a few such trusted navigators.
One of them has been blogging for about six weeks now. The blog is called His Peace Upon Us. I have read enough and I know him well enough to recommend him to you. Here is what he says about himself at the blog:
I am a Christian follower of Jesus who loves the people of the Middle East. The basic premise of this blog is that we cannot love those we do not know. So I am hopeful that this blog is one way Muslims and Christians…
Being convinced that the Bible as we have it is God’s choice for the world is pervasively decisive in how we think about a thousand things.
I’m not referring only what the Bible teaches on a thousand things, but also what kinds of writing the Bible is made up of, and the fact that it is writing at all.
It makes a huge difference in how you think about reading and education if you are convinced that God thought it was good to communicate with the world through a book. There are dozens of foolish ideas about education that we will be protected from by simply thinking God was wise in using a book.
And it makes a huge difference in how you think about many things if you are convin…
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 and was a relatively short book—nothing close to the 1000-plus pages of the final edition. The first edition was designed to be small enough to fit into a minister’s coat pocket so it could be carried and referenced at any time in any place.
He would later write, “All I had in mind was to hand on some elementary teaching by which anyone who had been touched by an interest in religion might be formed to true godliness. I labored at the task especially for o…
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, at age 23, when Calvin published his first book, a commentary on Seneca’s De Clementia. He hoped it would make for a celebrated inauguration to the guild, but it didn’t sell like he dreamed.
In 1533, now some 16 years after Luther posted his 95 theses (and inadvertently launched the Reformation), Calvin was in Paris, certainly now converted and a Protestant. His friend Nicholas Cop delivered a catalytic All Saints’ Day convocation address…
Robert Louis Stevenson, the author of Treasure Island, was born in 1850 and raised in a Christian home in Scotland. His father was a civil engineer and brought up his only child to know and believe the Bible and the Shorter Catechism.
When Robert went to Edinburgh University, he left this childhood faith and never returned. He formed a club that had as one of its mottos, “Ignore everything that our parents taught us.” His father found this written on a piece of paper and was informed by Robert that he no longer believed in the Christian faith...
Read the rest of the article.