Historical figures

“Sermon on the Afternoon of Christmas Day” by Martin Luther

This message, preached on December 25, 1530 is among the most poignant and well-known sermons by the German reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546). The sermon focuses on the “trust” aspect of faith that leads a person to believe not only that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, but that Christ was born for them, yes even born for you. You have heard today…

Distraction and Diversion and Attempts to Escape Despair

This post is the second blog in a series on the Pensees by Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) It’s a fairly accurate observation that 21st century people live distracted lives. The diverse forms of media, scarcely imagined in previous generations, vie for our undivided (perhaps divided?) attention. Whether messaging via smart phone, listening to music, or watching movies, we find little space for self-reflection…

Everything Will Be Yours because God Will Be Yours

This blog is part of a series on The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis’ For the last six months our church has been working through Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount. We have reached the concluding section, which, like the previous four segments, bears the familiar contrast of twos. Jesus reminds his hearers of the reality that they’ve reached a…

Church Membership that Matters

Andrew Fuller (1754–1815) was a pastor and theologian who led a decades-long ministry in 18th century England. Fuller preached through books of the Bible—covering much of the Old and New Testaments in 4 decades. He wrote extensive evangelistic tracts, some of which were 9 pages in length! Fuller even crafted messages geared for the youth in his church at a time when…

Cain, The City of Man and the City of God

Genesis 4 reveals the immediate and devastating consequences of humanity’s fall. Cain was the first son of Adam and Eve whose birth Eve seemed to look upon with optimistic anticipation—possibly believing he was the promised “seed of the woman.” But in a terrifying twist, Cain murders his brother Abel. Cain had failed to offer God the best of his harvest in worship…

Not a Fan: Steinbeck and Sinclair on Preachers and What We Can Learn From Two Books

I had the opportunity to read two well-known novels from the last century: The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (1878–1968) and The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (1902–1968). Both great works, these books made an indelible impression on an entire generation of readers. This being considered, the message both authors give is worth examining. As a pastor, I naturally take interest in…

Apt Words From an Old Dutchman

History is filled with individuals whose contributions in art, literature, science, and theology have only gained full appreciation after their death. Some found widespread popularity generations after they had passed. It is noted that Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings were hardly appealing to 19th century Europeans. Van Gogh’s brother, Theo, purchased one of his sibling’s works merely out of pity. Karl Marx believed…