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Blog Archives: August 2016

Martin Luther: Wrestler with God

August 31, 2016
Chris Castaldo
Although Martin Luther (1483-1546) entered the world during the Renaissance, his early years in Mansfeld, Germany showed little evidence of cultural rebirth. Plagues, thieves, and a folk culture rife with sinister spirits meant that many lived in a constant fear of death. European society of this era commonly blended paganism with Christian tradition, creating a fantastically dark Christianity mingled with superstition. In Germany the blowing wind, flowing streams, and tall trees of the forest were thought to be animated by malevolent beings ...

The Persuasive Power of God’s Word

August 24, 2016
Chris Castaldo
I am currently reading one of the most enjoyable books I have read in years. It is titled Brand Luther: How an Unheralded Monk Turned His Small Town into a Center of Publishing, Made Himself the Most Famous Man in Europe—and Started the Protestant Reformation, by Andrew Pettegree. How is that for a subtitle? I suppose this is right up my alley as lover of theology and one who grew up in a family-owned printshop. I intend to share some highlights from this work in the coming weeks. For now, however, I will present a particular point that ...

The Challenge of Ministry to Today’s Students (and what we should do about it)

August 17, 2016
Chris Castaldo
Every fall since 1998, Tom McBride and Ron Nief of Beloit College in Wisconsin have released their Mindset List to “look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college.” The list originated as a way to remind teachers to make sure their cultural references connected with students in the classroom. For example, No. 6 on the Class of 2002 list is this factoid: “They were 11 when the Soviet Union broke apart, and do not remember the Cold War.” Thus, such concepts must be explained to incoming freshmen (assuming ...

The Authority of Christian Tradition: How Catholics and Protestants Disagree

August 10, 2016
Chris Castaldo
In our new book, The Unfinished Reformation: What Unites and Divides Catholics and Protestants after 500 Years, Gregg Allison and I seek to explain where the lines of agreement and difference fall between Catholics and Protestants. Of all the questions surrounding this subject, perhaps the most frequently asked is the following: “What is the fundamental difference? When you boil it down, where do Catholics and Protestants disagree?” The simple answer is that we differ in our understanding of what properly constitutes Christian “authority,” ...

The Supremacy of Jesus

August 03, 2016
Chris Castaldo
The following post is from Ray Ortlund. Read it thoughtfully; it just might change your life! “You turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” 1 Thessalonians 1:9 You and I are not integrated, unified, whole persons. Our hearts are multi-divided. There is a board room in every heart. Big table. Leather chairs. Coffee. Bottled water. Whiteboard. A committee sits around the table. There is the social self, the private self, the work self, the sexual self, the recreational self, the religious self, and others. The committee ...