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Blog Archives: September 2016

Justification: A Ground Level View

September 28, 2016
Chris Castaldo
This Sunday we’ll consider the doctrine of justification. Our investigation begins in Sunday school, which tells the story of Luther’s Reformation (9:15am) followed by a sermon on Romans 4:1-12. Before addressing the subject from the perspectives of Paul and Luther, however, I would like to share the experience of my friend, Andy Brucato, who encountered God’s justifying grace in the 1960’s: This “good news” of salvation by faith, and not by rule keeping, was unknown to me as a Catholic child growing up in the Bronx. Back then my life was ...

Pope Francis Visits Assisi: An Ongoing Stigmata

September 21, 2016
Chris Castaldo
Pope Francis is making history this week. He is visiting Assisi, the Italian town famously associated with his namesake, St. Francis. The purpose of the visit is to participate in a gathering of leaders from different religions hosted by the Community of Sant’ Egidio. It was thirty years ago when Pope John Paul II convened the First World Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi, back in 1986 (pictured above). You have seen the photograph of colorfully clad clerics from a variety of religious backgrounds, including the Dalai Lama, standing ...

The Unfinished Reformation

September 13, 2016
Chris Castaldo
This week marks the official release of our book, The Unfinished Reformation, which I’ve had the privilege of coauthoring with Dr. Gregg Allison. It’s been a delight to work with Gregg, who exemplifies the uncommon calling of the pastor-theologian. Here is a synopsis of the book, followed by descriptions from some early reviewers. We pray that it will inspire and equip you to embody the life-changing message of the gospel. Five hundred years ago, a Catholic monk nailed a list of grievances on the door of a church in Germany and launched a ...

Inspired by God

September 07, 2016
Chris Castaldo
I recently grabbed coffee with a friend in which conversation turned toward the role of Scripture in the Christian life. We reflected on the way God extends redeeming power through the Bible. As Paul put it in Romans 10:17: “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Our discussion reminded me of the reason why we have decided to embark on the Community Bible Experience initiative at NCC. Our desire is to not only get into the Word, but to get the Word into us, which is why we have created the following questions to ...