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Calvin and Marot: The Theologian and the Poet

One of the fascinating actors in the drama of the Protestant Reformation is the famed French poet Clement Marot (1496–1544), sometimes regarded as the greatest French poet of his generation. For many years he was a court poet for the sister of Francis I (1494–1547), Marguerite de Navarre (1492–1549), who committed to the reform of the church as she was, became Marot’s great patron and protector.  I was drawn to read a little about Marot after browsing through Douglas Hofstadter’s Le Ton Beau de Marot (1997). Himself a Renaissance man with proficiencies in cognitive science, physics, and comparative literature, Hofstadter wrote this...

A Christian Response to the Inhumanity of Transgressive Fiction

I’ve written in the past about dishonesty at work among the avant-garde. I say this because the “art” which often emerges from such waters is rarely objectively beautiful, technically brilliant, or conceptually ingenious. Rather, its power seems to lie in its ability to shock and flatter. But there is another kind of deceptive exhibition that appeals not so much to our vanity as it does to our fascination with the dark and the depraved. It appeals to the same impulse that welcomed gladiators, public torture trials, and the Hostel movies. Though “art” of this variety has traditionally either been banned...

John Gilmour: A Canadian Baptist Every Christian Could Learn From

It is difficult to quantify the impact that the late Rev. John Gilmour has had on the Christian faith in Canada, specifically in Baptist churches.  Born in Ayr, Scotland in 1792, despite his academic brilliance, Gilmour opted out of his formal education to become a marine merchant at the young age of nine. On one particular trip at Sea, Gilmour’s ship never returned home. It was at the time of the Napoleonic wars, and the French had captured him and his crew.  During his time in prison, Gilmour spent ample time reading and studying. He mastered the French language and...

The Sufficiency of Scripture among Aboriginal Leaders

There are few politicians or other leaders of society who would be bold enough to cite their faith in God when engaging with the federal government. Often leaders, even Christian ones, are reticent to bring their religious convictions to the forefront when engaging in politics. But when we find expressions of spiritual conviction included in public, official documents, we know that such convictions are held firmly, even if they could bring a political cost. As Canadians become confused about the history of their nation, they have often failed to understand how strongly many early Canadians held to religious convictions. For...

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