Glory Unveiled

XIX. The glory of his Person may be considered, partly in reference to the divine nature; partly, to the human. The former is nothing else than a most illustrious assertion, vindication, and display of the Divine majesty of Christ, reflected from the . . . Continue reading →

Heidelberg 50: Christ Reigns Now (1)

It is basic to historic Christian teaching and confession that Jesus is reigning and ruling now. In the sixth article of the Apostles’ Creed all Christians confess, “He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.” . . . Continue reading →

Augustine On Christ’s Present Reign

3. Therefore let the Church of Christ, the city of the great King, full of grace, prolific of offspring, let her say what the prophecy uttered about her so long before by the mouth of this pious mother confesses, “My heart is . . . Continue reading →

What Is The Church’s Big Mac?

The end of the semester is followed by the holidays so I just saw this post (HT: Aquila Report) discussing the declining fortunes of McDonalds restaurantsamong Millennials and comparing them to the church. The author notes “More people are wanting a customized, . . . Continue reading →

Heidelberg 51: The Glory Of A King Distant And Near

Difficult as it may be for those who live within “the Beltway” (as if there is only one city in the world with a beltway) to imagine, many Americans have never visited the American capitol. For many Americans the capitol is distant . . . Continue reading →

Waters: What Is And Is Not Kingdom Work

One further problem with this approach is that virtually any activity can become “kingdom work.” McKnight commends a Chicago, Ill. congregation that opened and operated a laundromat, “health facilities,” a gym, and a “pizza joint” for the wider community. He sees these . . . Continue reading →

The Gospel Is Not Social

Between Monasticism And Transformation

Like Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768–1834) before him, Rauschenbusch’s Pietism had not equipped him to address the challenges before him. Like Schleiermacher, Rauschenbusch turned to the liberals for answers. He synthesized his Pietist theology with Albrecht Ritschl’s theology of the Kingdom of God. The Social Gospel movement wanted to bring about the Kingdom of God on earth. Their optimistic eschatology (doctrine of last things) told them that they could do it. They were inspired by the Modern idea of the universal brotherhood of humanity and the universal fatherhood of God. As many others before them had done the Social Gospel movement harassed the Christian faith to their social agenda. Continue reading →

Heidelberg 83: Christ Gave The Keys To The Church

This imagery is a challenge to our late-modern assumptions. We might assume that, of course, God must be happy to have us, that the kingdom of God must be inclusive. Such an assumption, however pervasive it has become in the modern age, is foreign to Scripture. In Scriptural teaching we are by nature rebels, at odds with God and excluded from his kingdom. Apart from Christ our righteous substitute and our king, we have no status before God except as condemned before the king. Therefore we very much need the gates to the Kingdom of Heaven to be opened for us. Continue reading →

Heidelberg 85: Church Discipline Is The Second Key Of The Kingdom

In our late-modern (liquid), nominalist, it is widely regarded that truth claims and official acts are nothing but the exercise of power for personal gain. In other words, we live in a time of great suspicion. Whereas the dominant question of the . . . Continue reading →

Berkhof On The Kingdom Of God

The Kingdom of God is primarily an eschatological concept. The fundamental idea of the Kingdom in Scripture is not that of a restored theocratic kingdom of God in Christ—which is essentially a kingdom of Israel—, as the Premillenarians claim; neither is it . . . Continue reading →

Whose Kingdom, Which King, And Why Do The Nations Rage?

The first time I remember reading Psalm 2 it was in my hometown newspaper, now known as the Lincoln Journal Star. If memory serves, it appeared every week, probably in the Sunday edition, which, as every paper carrier knows, is the largest . . . Continue reading →

Seeker, Franchise, Or Reforming: Moving Beyond Some Current Models In Reformed Church Planting To Recover The Whole Mission

The need is great, the mission is great but our God is greater and his grace is greater than all our sin and weakness. Pray for the harvest. Organize for the mission (to plant churches) and ask yourself where your congregation falls in the seeker — franchise — reforming continuum: is there a passion for the whole mission? Continue reading →