What is Providence?

In today’s Christian sub-culture, it is common for people to claim that just about anything unusual is a miracle. People talk about the “miracle of childbirth” or they speak of the raise they got at work as “miraculous” because it was unexpected and beneficial in its timing. Recovery from a disease or surgery is also… Read More

The Church Oppressed and Subjugated

“And the nose of Yahweh burned against Israel and he sold them into the hand of the Philistines and into the hand of the Sons of Amon. They subjugated and oppressed the Sons of Israel in that year — even for eighteen years all of the Sons of Israel who are beyond the Jordan in… Read More

A Faithful Father

Repeatedly, the Bible speaks of God as “Father,” and while we sometimes think of this as a New Testament distinction, we find this language in the Old Testament as well — God is the Father of Israel (Hosea 11:1), the father of the Messiah (Psalm 89:26), and the father of the fatherless (Psalm 68:5). Nevertheless,… Read More

When Civil Servants Aren’t 

In the western world, Wikipedia suggest that the term “Civil Service” goes back to 1829 and the expansion of the British Empire — namely that the British government needed people with administrative and managerial skills to manage the resources, the production, and the commerce that took place in their various colonies. The basic principle behind… Read More

Spiritual Discernment

“Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’ Turning, she said to him in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means ‘Teacher’).” (John 20:16) One of the very curious things about the resurrected Christ is that people don’t always recognize him when they first encounter him. Certainly one could suggest that this may be attached to the terrible grief that those… Read More

Ability and Will

One of the most basic principles of logic is that “Ought does not yield Is.” In other words, just because things “ought” to be a certain way does not mean that they will be that way. To assume this to be the case is what is called the “moralistic fallacy” and it would be the… Read More

For My Body and My Soul

“Throw down your burden on Yahweh; he will provide for you and he will never permit that righteousness be swayed.” (Psalm 55:23 {verse 22 in English Bibles}) Not only does the catechism promise that God governs all things and that he even uses evil events for the good of our salvation and sanctification as believers,… Read More

Turned Toward My Good

One of the great contributions that the Heidelberg Catechism brings to the table of Reformed confessions is that it is so very much first-person and pastoral in nature. As I have noted before, instead of speaking in the abstract, it uses words like “I” and “me” and “my” to convey spiritual truth. And the language… Read More

Eternal Government

For most of us, the first thing that comes to mind when we hear the word “government” is the government of elected officials that oversee our federal, state, and local communities. These governments seem to be ever-changing between republicans, democrats, and the occasional independent candidate. Despite the varying opinions that people have regarding the laws… Read More

Ex Nihilo: Everything from Nothing

One element of the Christian faith that makes it differ from religious and non-religious beliefs around the world is the idea that all of creation was created out of nothing by an eternal and changeless God. Pantheistic religions like Buddhism argues for a pre-existent natural realm that is an expression of the divine, Greek religions… Read More

True and Eternal

“Yahweh is the true God; he is the God of the living and the eternal King. The earth shakes from his wrath and the nations cannot bear his curse.” (Jeremiah 10:10) There are many adjectives that are applied to God: mighty, glorious, faithful, etc… but perhaps two of the most common and most important are… Read More

God Said It and Yes, That Settles It

God Said it and Yes, that Settles It: An open letter in response to Adam Hamilton, on the United Methodist decision on the question of homosexuality in the church. (Dr. Hamilton’s Original Post can be found here) One of the benefits of the internet age is that it has allowed communication and ideas to be… Read More

The Art of Dissection and High School Biology

If I ever had any aspirations of going into the field of medicine, High School Biology class dashed them to the wind. Now, mind you, I attended a little Public High School in rural Harford County, Maryland and so “state-of-the-art” was little more than a series of spelling words for us. Nevertheless, we had biology… Read More

God Revealed

You will notice that in question 25 of the Catechism, when asked about the Trinity, the answer begins with the language of “because God revealed…” At first, that might seem like a simple enough phrase and one that is not that important, yet, from the perspective of the Christian faith, it is of significant value.… Read More

Only One God

“Hear of Israel, Yahweh our God, Yahweh is One.” (Deuteronomy 6:4) “You believe that God is one? You do well; the demons believe that also…and they tremble.” (James 2:19) “A mediator means there is more than one, but God is one.” (Galatians 3:20) “And now, Yahweh our God, please save us from his hand, that… Read More

I Smell Hell!

It is said that the American evangelist, Peter Cartwright (1785-1872), would pronounce these words when he arrived in a new town to preach: “I smell Hell!” And, much like the other revivalists of his era, he would find a place to set up and he would preach to whomever would listen. And indeed, people would… Read More

Trinitarian Theology

There are many different religions in this world of ours and sadly, there are many different people who claim that all religions are simply different cultural expressions of the same faith. Of course, the latter portion of that statement is utterly irrational as all of these different religions are mutually exclusive in nature, but that… Read More

There is Intellectual Content to the Christian Faith

Soapbox time… One of the things that really bugs me is when people believe that they can believe whatever they want to believe and yet still be called a “Christian.” True, there are certain things that are disagreed upon within the Christian faith — subject and mode of baptism, forms of liturgy, and the nature… Read More

Do We Really Need Seminaries?

Let me preface what I am about to say with the statement that I had an exceptional experience in a formal seminary atmosphere. In RTS, Jackson, I had the privilege of sitting under some men who were pastors at heart but who were also exceptional thinkers, communicators, and authors. I also made some friendships that… Read More

Nothing is Truly Free

It’s been closing in on twenty years since my wife and I packed our bags and moved from rural Maryland to Jackson, Mississippi so that I could attend seminary. And though that seems like almost another life, one question I was asked stands out still today. You see, part of my application to attend seminary… Read More

Forgiveness, Everlasting Righteousness, and Salvations for Others and for Me

One of the beauties of the Heidelberg Catechism is that much of its language is found in the first person — “I” believe this to be true or that applies to “me.” Unlike many of the other Reformed Catechisms and Confessions, this makes Heidelberg stand out as a very personal and intimate profession of belief… Read More

A Sincere Trust

Remember those days when you were first learning to swim, perhaps with your father or mother standing beside the swimming pool, encouraging you to jump in and they would catch you? Perhaps it was learning to ride a two-wheeled bike for the first time and your parent (or maybe a trusted older sibling) was keeping… Read More