A Unified Protestant Confession?

The Reformation, whose 500th anniversary is next month, had as its purpose the reformation of the Church.  But one result has been the emergence of some 33,000 different church bodies.  A major criticism of the Reformation is that it has created disunity among Christians. But is theological diversity the same thing as disunity?  Are there common beliefs that all Protestants can agree to?  A multi-denominational group of conservative Protestant theologians has drawn up a document defining a Protestant consensus entitled A… Read more

Refrigerators and anti-virus software as espionage devices

  Our new cybertechnology–all linked, interconnected, and hackable–including now the “internet of things”–opens up whole new vistas for espionage.  The government is requiring that a popular anti-virus and security software program be deleted from agency computers, out of fear that its Russian maker is connected to the successor to the KGB.  And Congress is considering a bill designed to require security measures for the “internet of things,” lest government refrigerators and coffee-makers get hacked. The ban on Kaspersky cybersecurity software for government computers… Read more

Tetzel on 7 Years in Purgatory for Every Sin

I came across a sermon from Johann Tetzel, the indulgence peddler who provoked Luther’s 95 Theses.  Part of his sales pitch had to do with the popular, though unofficial, teaching that Christians must suffer 7 years in the fires of Purgatory for each sin they have committed.  Doing the math reminds us of what it was like to be a western Christian in 1516. Though Christ died for the sins of the world, according to classic Roman Catholicism, His sacrifice… Read more

The Medicare for All Act

Sen. Bernie Sanders has introduced a bill that would give free medical care to everyone. Read more

The Natural Virtues, the Theological Virtues, & the Commandments

  In thinking about “virtue ethics” and the Christian life, it is important not to confuse “virtues” with “moral truths.”  A “virtue,” which literally means “strength,” is a character trait.  A “moral truth” is an absolute tied to God’s Law.  These two can be related, but they aren’t always.  And when we consider the cultivation of virtue, we need to keep in mind the distinction between “natural virtues,” which can be taught, and the “theological virtues,” which are a gift… Read more

Most Hurricane Relief Is Faith-based 

Hurricane Irma has dissipated after killing 12 Americans and doing about $50 billion worth of damage.  The islands of the Caribbean suffered even more, with 36 dead, major devastation, and now in St. Martin utter lawlessness, as looters plunder what’s left of businesses and terrorize survivors.  But the hurricane’s toll could have been much worse.  And faith-based organizations are leading the relief effort. Hurricane Irma was headed to the U.S. mainland as a Category 5 storm, aimed right at Florida’s most… Read more

The Problem Isn’t “Too Much Gospel”

Some churches that seem to go easy on moral issues are accused of preaching “too much Gospel.” But they might not be preaching the Gospel at all. Read more

Hostility to religion grows in U.S.A. 

The United States found itself in unfamiliar company when it made the “Hall of Shame” in a report issued by International Christian Concern, a global watchdog monitoring religious persecution.  Not that the U.S. puts believers to death, as in some of the other countries, but the study expresses concern about acts of violence against people because of their religion, media attacks on religion, legal decisions restricting religious liberty, and university shut-downs of campus religious groups. Similarly, a study from the Pew Research Center on… Read more

Virtue Ethics and the Christian Life

  Given that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, why should Christians bother with good works or try to avoid sin?  This question is as old as Romans 6:1, but it continues to bedevil many Christians, from naive teenagers who think that their baptism or “decision for Christ” means that they can now sin with impunity to sophisticated theologians who flirt with antinomianism. I came across an article that I am finding very helpful… Read more

Trump turns to the Democrats

  President Trump has formed an alliance with the Democrats, to the consternation of Republicans.  Is the president “turning to the left,” as some conservatives are charging?  Or is he trying to break the logjam in Congress by forcing bipartisanship and unifying the country?  If so, will the Democrats let him? Last week, President Trump met with Congressional leaders of both parties in the Oval Office last week, discussing options for increasing the debt ceiling so that the government will not… Read more

Follow Us!