Heidelberg 123: The Second Petition—Your Kingdom Come (1)


What this all means is that how one understands the kingdom is very closely related to one’s eschatology. This is the often unspoken assumption behind the too-often heated debate over the kingdom in confessional Reformed circles. Most everyone in the contemporary intra-Reformed agrees that Christ is reigning now, that he is sovereign now, but the disagreement comes over the implications of that reign. We all agree that the kingdom has been inaugurated and that it has earthly manifestations but where we disagree is where to look for those manifestations. Since the late 19th century, those who have been influenced by what has come to be called “neo-Calvinism” (neo is Greek for new) have sometimes argued that Christ’s reign is such that the kingdom is manifested in everything than any Christian does for the sake of Christ. This is a more expansive way of speaking of the implications of the kingdom of God than was traditionally used. Those who take the narrower view, tend to associate the manifestation of the kingdom of God on the earth with the visible institutional church. Continue reading →

The Holy Catholic Church Or A Holy Catholic Church?

sanctam catholicam ecclesiam

Recently I received a query about which English translation of the 9th article of the Apostles’ Creed is correct: “a holy catholic church” or the holy catholic church”? As far as I can tell the evidence is overwhelmingly on the side of . . . Continue reading →

Perkins On Churches And Sects

As for the assemblies of Anabaptists, Libertines, Antinomies, Tritheists, Arians, Samosatenians, they are no Churches of God, but conspiracies of monstrous heretics judicially condemned in the primitive Church, and again by the malice of Satan renewed and revived in this age. The . . . Continue reading →

Heidelberg Catechism 122: What It Means To Say “Hallowed Be Your Name”


Our familiarity with the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9–13) might give us the impression that it is rudimentary. It is not. Right at the outset we are confronted with a challenge. The first petition is not quite what we might think. There is . . . Continue reading →

Heidelberg Catechism 120–21: Christians Have A Father In Heaven (Updated)


Recently I watched a film about the extension of the telegraph from Omaha to California. It was the original Twitter. Telegrams were short, stylized forms of communication but they were immensely powerful. Like the extension of the railroads, the telegraph helped to . . . Continue reading →

Heidelberg 118–119: We Ask For All Necessities


I grew up on the Plains. It is not easy for Plainsmen to ask for help. The Plains are the home of rugged individualism, which was a very useful trait for settlers who turned over ground for the first time. Farms were . . . Continue reading →

Peter Martyr On Law And Gospel (Revised)

There be some which divide the holy Scriptures into four parts, and describe some books as well of the Old Testament as of the New to laws, some to histories, some to prophecies, and other some again to wisdom. But it is . . . Continue reading →

In The Middle Of The Slippery Slope

…But lay all that aside for now. I introduce the case because it forces us to focus on the logical implications of abolishing the conjugal understanding of marriage in our law and replacing it with the revisionist idea of marriage as sexual-romantic . . . Continue reading →