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Blog Archives: July 2018

Christian Endurance: The Beauty of Weathered Hands

July 31, 2018
Andrew Fulton
“May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience” (Colossians 1:11 ESV) As a former college pastor, I’ve spent a lot of time observing young Christians’ hands, and here’s what I’ve found. They know their way around a smartphone. They text message at lightning speed. They are ready to labor for a cause. But you know what they lack? Wrinkles, and scars, and droopy skin, and gnarled knuckles. They aren’t weathered. In general, younger Christians fail to see that following Jesus is more ...

In the Face of Death

July 26, 2018
Chris Castaldo
Having sat beside and prayed with two dear friends these last few weeks who found themselves at the threshold of death, Loretta Christiansen and Yvonne Lewis,  I’m now considering what it takes to trust God in our ultimate moment of testing, a challenge that also pertains to the living. There are numerous examples of how saints have faced this challenge through the centuries. Here is one of them. Pastor and philanthropist, George Müller (1805 – 1898) is most renowned for his work among the orphans of Bristol, England, and the trust in God ...

How the Catholic Church Became Roman

July 19, 2018
Chris Castaldo
“I will build my church,” Jesus declared (Matthew 16:18). And what a magnificent and agonizing process has unfolded for two millennia. Essential to this work is the formation of living stones — men and women drawn from the quarry of sin, whose lives now testify to gospel grace. But how does Christ construct his church? One answer is suggested inside the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, in letters six feet tall, where Christ’s promise is written in Latin: “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church . . .” Illumined by ...

Reconciling Athens & Jerusalem

July 10, 2018
Chris Castaldo
I recently listened to a lecture addressing Tertullian’s enduring question, “What does Jerusalem have to do with Athens?” In other words, how does the divinely revealed gospel relate to pagan philosophy? Most people, at least in the church, will answer the question with recourse to Colossians 2:8-10. What they say about it, however, differs greatly. Here is the Colossians text, followed by some reflection on its implications for contemporary faith. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human ...

Building by Example

July 05, 2018
Chris Castaldo
Evangelical in his doctrine and steadfast in his convictions, J. C. Ryle (1816-1900) was a prolific writer and faithful pastor. In 1880 he became the first Bishop of Liverpool at the age of 64. Regarded as the leader of the Evangelical group in the Church of England, he was noted both for the robust advocacy of his views and for the gracious warmth of his personal relations. His successor as bishop described him as “that man of granite, with the heart of a child.” Yet his 38 years of parish ministry had taught Ryle much about human nature, ...