The Myth of Neutrality

David Mathis

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... Continue Reading

Be Careful Lest the Light in You Be Darkness

John Piper

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... Continue Reading

His Peace Upon Us—A New Blog

John Piper

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... Continue Reading

The Bible Frees Us From Being Swayed by Overstatements

John Piper

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... Continue Reading

Institutes: Life of Calvin, Part 4

David Mathis

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... Continue Reading

De Clementia, Conversion, and Cop: Life of Calvin, Part 3

David Mathis

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... Continue Reading

The Sorrows of Fathers and Sons

John Piper

Robert Louis Stevenson, the author of Treasure Island, wasborn in 1850 and raised in a Christian home in Scotland. His father wasa civil engineer and brought up his only child to know and believe theBible and the Shorter Catechism.

When Robert went to Edinburgh University, he left this childhood faithand never returned. He formed a club that had as one of its mottos,“Ignore everything that our parents taught us.” His father found thiswritten on a piece of paper and was... Continue Reading

How Long Will This Last?

Jon Bloom

A couple years ago I shared my experience of enduring a spiritual storm, a crisis of faith. Since then I’ve had the privilege of corresponding with numerous precious saints who are enduring similar storms.

A common experience is that after the initial blast of the storm, it often takes a long time to regain a sense of spiritual equilibrium. A friend wrote me recently essentially asking me how long it will take to “get past this” to feeling normal again. I thought I would share my... Continue Reading

Off to Paris: Life of Calvin, Part 2

David Mathis

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 Montmor sons, a wealthy family in Noyon that had afforded Calvin the opportunity for a private education.

In Paris, Calvin learned Latin from the respected Mathurin Cordier, who decades later would teach at the academy Calvin would found in Geneva. Under Cordier’s... Continue Reading

Born to Gerard: Life of Calvin, Part 1

David Mathis

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 him into the everyday sphere of the church.

The young Jean benefitted immensely through his father’s ecclesiastical connections. He was able to be educated privately with the children of the wealthy De Montmor family and eventually garnered church... Continue Reading