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More Than a Resolution: Why I Desperately Need to Read Through the Bible In 2022

Every year around this time I write a blog encouraging people to read through the whole Bible in the coming year. I’ve been doing it since 2012 and I believe in the value of this discipline wholeheartedly. But this year feels different. It almost feels as though words like “encourage” and “commend” are entirely inadequate to a need of this urgency and immediacy. I think we are well past the time for “resolutions” and “good intentions”; I think we are at the place where a practice like this ought to be as obvious as the need for drawing breath. I...

What Is a Human Being?

Human beings are creatures of enormous dignity and worth. They are embodied souls – of the earth and uniquely inspired by God (Gen. 2:7). They are more like God than anything else he has made.[1] In Genesis 1:26 the Creator says: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26 ESV) There is some disagreement amongst theologians as to precisely...

Is the Father Greater than the Son?

Jesus says, “the Father is greater than I” (John 14:28). The Lord also admits that he does not know the time or the hour, only the Father does (Matt 24:36). Christ elsewhere says that he came “not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me” (John 6:38). In the garden, Jesus prays “not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).  These verses—and others like them—might jar us. After all, we believe in Christ’s divinity. But Jesus himself says he is less than the Father. How should we understand his words?  Historically, some understood these...

Can Governments Bind Our Consciences?

Can governments bind a Christian’s conscience? They can clearly try. But that is not the question. I want to know if governments can bind our consciences. To answer this question (and many others), we need to return to the Reformation. The Reformation in large part centred on the freedom of the conscience. Martin Luther (1483–1546) famously claimed that his conscience is bound to God’s word. His work The Freedom of the Christian centred on a particular freedom that Christians enjoy. John Calvin (1509–1564) and William Perkins (1558–1602), the father of Puritanism, also wrote on Christian freedom and the conscience in...

James Ussher and a Reformed Episcopal Church

The question of Protestantism’s relationship to the church catholic has been of scholarly interest since the sixteenth century. Roman Catholic polemics regularly highlighted the newness of the Reformation, arguing that Protestant churches were not connected to the ancient and medieval church, but were wholly novel and sectarian offshoots. Consequently, the Protestants of the Reformation and post-Reformation periods often had to address such challenges as: Where your church was before Luther? It was assumed by Roman Catholic theologians that they had the ancient pedigree of orthodoxy, and that the Protestants were heretics and schismatics and needed to be dealt with accordingly....

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