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Blog Archives: May 2017

Augustine on Justification (what you must know)

May 25, 2017
Chris Castaldo
The most significant patristic source of the Protestant Reformation was Augustine of Hippo. In centuries preceding the sixteenth, interest in Augustine had flowered, spawning a widespread attraction to his theology and the order(s) that bore his name. It’s no accident that Martin Luther was an Augustinian, as was Peter Martyr Vermigli. Moreover, we find in John Calvin’s writing, particularly his Institutes, a steady stream of citations from the old Bishop. It is interesting to see Catholics and Protestants sometimes argue about which ...

The Irony of Freedom

May 16, 2017
Chris Castaldo
Great truths often subsist in great ironies, the Cross of Christ being the supreme example. Among the many blessings that follow from the Cross is genuine freedom. I like the way Peter Martyr Vermigli (1499-1562) describes it: “Every pressure and weight involved in [God’s kingdom] has been put not on our shoulders but on those of our Lord Jesus Christ. As Isaiah prophesied of him, ‘the government will be on his shoulders.’ Note well: it does not say that the burden will be on some miserable subjects. From such a mild and gentle kingship ...

The Challenge of Preaching

May 10, 2017
Chris Castaldo
This week is the annual Workshop on Biblical Exposition at College Church, what we fondly call “spring training for preachers.” I find myself thinking about the challenges facing preachers today. The following quote from E.M. Bounds provides helpful insight into how gospel preachers should navigate such challenges. Edward McKendree Bounds (1835 – 1913) was an American Methodist minister who is chiefly remembered today for his inspirational books on prayer. He was born in Missouri in 1835 and initially studied law, which he practiced ...

Developing a “Heart” for God

May 04, 2017
Chris Castaldo
In modern parlance, “heart” and “vision” are often distinguished. We tend to associate vision with the mind while the heart is concerned with emotions. However, in the language and logic of Scripture this is not so. The heart functions as the locus of thought, the place where vision is developed. For example, the Psalmist writes, “[I] remembered songs in the night. My heart mused and my spirit inquired” (Ps. 77:6). Or, the book of Genesis tells us that prior to the flood, God noted “how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that ...