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Joe Rogan and the Search for Transcendence

Living in Montreal, I am used to encountering deeply secular people. No heaven above, no hell below, no God at all. Can you even show me one solid piece of evidence for your God? Why would you believe in old debunked myths? These are the kinds of questions they ask. How does one share the hope of the gospel with such people? Depending on the particular stripe of unbelief, it may be to poke holes in the materialist fortress, to point out self-evident echoes of eternity in their own beliefs, to show the moral implications of atheism, or any number...

Hermenegild: The Story of an Unfamiliar Martyr

In 579 Hermenegild son of King Leuvigild of Spain rebelled against his father and set up his own kingdom in the south, centred on the city of Seville. Hermenegild had just converted from Arianism to Nicene Christianity; his father however remained Arian. Leuvigild was displeased by his son’s conversion, for political reasons as much as for religious ones: his Arianism made him in a religious sense the enemy of the neighbouring Nicene kingdoms (Francia, Galicia and the Eastern Empire). This difference of creed did not usually prevent him from making agreements and alliances with these Nicene neighbours, but it did...

“Where is the God of Marston Moor and Naseby?”

Learning the craft of writing church history involves learning a number of different, but related skills: chronological humility, self-awareness of various interpretative horizons, a close attention to tradition and thus a listening ear, a fascination with people and a delight in asking questions, a devotion to the Lord of history and his people, to name a few. Being aware of horizons Consider the awareness of horizons: this is a basic skill that needs to be taught from the outset and to which one must return again and again. There is the horizon of the historical fact/event/person/text—the historical context in which...

How Thomas Cranmer Helped Shape Particular Baptist Piety

As a Calvinistic Baptist I owe a significant debt to early Anglicanism. My seventeenth-century forebears learned much of their Reformed theology from Reformed ministers in the Church of England and it was in the heart of that body that they were nurtured on the spirituality of the Reformation. And in the earliest days of that state Church no figure exercised as great an influence as Thomas Cranmer (1489–1556), the first Reformed Archbishop of Canterbury.[1] Kenneth Brownell, an American who is pastoring in London, England, has argued that Thomas Cranmer’s influence on the English-speaking Protestant world has been greater than any...

“Blessed liberty”

The tradition of Baptist political theology is usually taken to originate with A Short Declaration of the Mystery of Iniquity (1612) by the English General Baptist Thomas Helwys (ca.1550–ca.1616). Along with John Smyth (ca.1570–1612), Helwys had established a congregation in the town of Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, that was not part of the state church, namely, the Church of England. They refused to accept anyone into the membership of the church unless that person could give a credible testimony of saving faith. Their congregation was part of a number of churches, now known as Separatists, who were seeking to return to a...

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