Relics Remain

It is a general, if unstated, assumption among moderns that whatever the causes of the Reformation might have been, they must be long past. Often, however, that assumption is ill-founded. In fact, the fundamental causes for the Reformation (e.g., the Roman denial . . . Continue reading →

Heidelberg 94 and 95: What Does God Require In The First Commandment?

On one level it’s easy to tell the difference between idols and the God who is. We did not fabricate him and we cannot change or kill him. He just is (Gen 1:1; Exodus 3:14). Idols, on the other hand, are not necessarily. An idol might exist or it might not exist. Its existence, as such, is contingent upon the will of its human creator. Of course, we confess with the Apostle Paul that “an idol has no real existence” (1 Cor 8:4). Whether we fabricate them with our hands, in our minds, or in our hearts, idols change. They come and go. When they disappoint us, we chuck them and make another hoping for a better outcome. Continue reading →

Heidelberg 80: We Don’t Need Any Footnotes

In one of the Humphrey Bogart’s (1899–1957) most famous scenes, from Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) he asks some bandits, who were claimed to be Mexican Federal Police, to show their badges, Their famous reply, which has been oft misquoted, was: . . . Continue reading →

Deuteronomy 6:4-9: Our God Is One

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be . . . Continue reading →

Economics, Trust, Imputation, and Worth (Updated)

Shocking as it may be, courses in medieval history and theology do not always have immediate relevance to late modern society. There is a theme in medieval history and theology, however, that does illumine what is happening to the global economy. Since . . . Continue reading →

Heidelcast 34: Jesus On A Pizza

Heidelcast

Alleged manifestations of our Lord have been claimed for a long time since the close of the apostolic period. It is even more common for artists to represent what they imagine his likeness to have been in paintings. So widely accepted are . . . Continue reading →

Could Instruments Be Idols?

Friday, in the Medieval-Reformation course I gave a lecture on Calvin’s doctrine of worship during which a student asked about instruments. I replied that Calvin (and most of the Reformed) would have viewed the introduction of instruments into the service the same . . . Continue reading →

Idolatry Isn’t Just An Ancient Superstition

The evolutionary tendency in modern thought has inclined the church to think of idolatry as a superstitious habit of primitive peoples which has no place in the scientifically sophisticated modern mind. A lack of technological development is often mistakenly equated with a . . . Continue reading →