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All articles in category Ecclesiological & Pastoral

October 2017

Reformation 500: ‘Here I stand!’

On 31 October 1517, Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 theses on the door at the Castle Church, Wittenberg, Germany. Thus began the Reformation. As we will be celebrating the 500th anniversary of his act this year, it is a good opportunity to reflect on why the Reformation was needed and what message it…

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October 2017

The very practical Reformation

When people today think of the Reformation, they tend to picture Luther in monastic robes nailing a large amount of paper to the Castle Church door in Wittenburg. Or, they think of the wonderful ideas of the Reformation: justification by faith alone; Scripture alone as our supreme authority; salvation by grace alone. These ideas…

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October 2017

North America and Reformation in the Netherlands

Perhaps the Reformation’s most lasting impact on the American church has come from the Netherlands. The Reformation came later to the Netherlands than Germany and England, perhaps because of extreme persecution. The German states retained some autonomy, but there was no such protection in the Netherlands. During the Reformation era, over 50,000 Protestants were…

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September 2017

Christmas — an opportunity for the gospel

Christmas means a lot of different things to different people. For some it is a time of drunkenness, debauchery, and crime. Others feel lonely because someone forgot them. Some are weighed down under the burden of many activities and the pressure of shopping. Then there are those who are dismissive of the whole thing.…

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September 2017

Answering difficult questions (2)

Continued from Answering difficult questions (1) Jesus’ enemies often tried to trap him with ‘clever’ theological questions, such as the one about marriage and the resurrection in Mark 12:18-27. ‘Then some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to [Jesus]; and they asked him, saying: Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man’s brother dies,…

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September 2017

Talking to yourself

I have heard it said that talking to oneself is the first sign of madness. Well, if that is the case, then I am mad! And, I sincerely hope that there are many more mad people who are reading this article! I have often talked to myself. Is that such a bad thing? I…

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September 2017

Home alone: a Christian widower’s struggle

‘You don’t get married to live on your own!’ Yet, in this world of disease and death, that loneliness comes to many men and women who have spent much of their adult working-life in the joy of a deeply satisfying Christian marriage. About two years ago, my wife for four decades fell asleep in…

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September 2017

Humility: a neglected Christian virtue?

‘I bid every one among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think’, wrote the apostle Paul (Romans 12:3). An apocryphal story relates how, at the funeral of a successful businessman, tribute was paid to him, saying, ‘Bob was a self-made man, and he worshipped his maker’. Humour apart,…

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