Harry Potter And The Allure Of A Magical World

The Harry Potter movies were enchanting movies (pun intended). They are shot through with overt theological themes: ontology, good and evil, cosmology, sin, and redemption. Part way through one of them, I remembered something that Bob Godfrey once said, something that I . . . Continue reading →

Between The Evangelical Circus And Deconstruction

This has been a strange week in Lake Wobegon. No sooner had the news emerged that an evangelical megachurch, James River Church (Springfield, MO) hired a male stripper/sword swallower—who, according to Julie Roys, “moonlights as a pole-dancing striptease artist at gay nightclubs”—to . . . Continue reading →

Fed By Christ Or The Person Next To Me?

One of the recurring questions I get is about the meaning of body in 1 Corinthians 11:28. The question is whether “discerning the body” in Paul’s narrative refers to “being cognizant of the congregation” or to discerning Christ’s physical, actual body and blood, . . . Continue reading →

Sola Scriptura In The Reformed Reformation

In 1518, Bucer had heard Martin Luther’s famous Heidelberg Disputation as a young friar in the Dominican monastery. Eventually, he himself became the major reformer in the strategic city of Strasbourg. Particularly intriguing is how the Reformation caught fire there, at least . . . Continue reading →

For Weekly Communion

How often should a Reformed congregation observe holy communion? This question has occasionally troubled Reformed churches. Most of the evidence suggests that the ancient church observed communion weekly. John Calvin wanted to celebrate communion weekly but the Genevan city council refused him . . . Continue reading →

Irenaeus Did Not Teach A Romanist Doctrine Of Eucharistic Sacrifice

When the minister consecrates (i.e., sets apart for sacred use) the elements of the Lord’s Supper (i.e., bread and wine), what happens? Does the substance of the elements change? Does the bread become something other than it was? Does it become the . . . Continue reading →

New Resource Page: On Holy Communion

Holy communion (the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist) is one of the two sacraments instituted by Christ (Matt 26:26–29; Mark 14:22–25; Luke 22:14–23; 1 Cor 11:23–34). In the Reformed tradition whereas Baptism is regarded as the sacrament of initiation into the visible church, . . . Continue reading →

Should Lay People Administer The Sacraments?

A correspondent wrote to ask whether Christian laity should administer the sacraments? This is an ancient question, though typically we face it in a different form. In the Reformation, Calvin dealt with this question because midwives would administer baptism to infants in . . . Continue reading →

Défense Du Baptême Des Enfants

Cet essai a d’abord été écrit sous forme de livret vers 1988 pour ma congrégation à Kansas City comme une explication simple de la doctrine réformée du baptême des enfants pour ceux qui ne sont pas familiers avec notre théologie et notre pratique. Pour des explications et des réponses plus détaillées, voir les annexes ci-dessous. Continue reading →

Video: What Is Baptism?

The Rev Mr Scott McDermand is a graduate of Westminster Seminary California (MA, MDiv). He is pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Bad Axe, Michigan. A native of San Diego and a former baseball player, Scott served as full-time pulpit supply at Alpine . . . Continue reading →

The Lord’s Supper Is Not Penance

In our course on the Reformed Confessions the end of the semester brings us near the end of the Belgic Confession, to article 35 on the Lord’s Supper. It is a marvelous confession of what God’s Word teaches us about the nature . . . Continue reading →