• Advent, Part 2

    Posted Dec 8th, 2017 By in Pastor Brian's Blog With | Comments Off on Advent, Part 2

    Living in a post-Christian world means that often our cultural calendars are in conflict with the church calendar. One such example of this happens every year after Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving, most Americans begin to celebrate Christmas or the Christmas season as it is often called. You hear familiar carols in the mall, sales and advertising …

  • Advent, Part 1

    Posted Dec 3rd, 2017 By in Pastor Brian's Blog With | Comments Off on Advent, Part 1

    Happy New Year! This is the first Sunday in Advent, which is regarded by Western Christianity as the beginning of the liturgical year. Sometimes Christians mistakenly think of Advent as being synonymous with the birth of Christ or with Christmas. But it really isn’t. In fact, Advent’s primary focus is on what we usually call …

  • Christ the King Sunday

    Posted Nov 26th, 2017 By in Pastor Brian's Blog With | Comments Off on Christ the King Sunday

    Ours is a day when Christianity is often reduced to a message about individual salvation and sentimental platitudes about a future place called heaven. To be sure there are individual aspects to our salvation and we do look forward to the reality of heaven to come—though in a profoundly different way than most speak of …

  • Thanksgiving

    Posted Nov 21st, 2017 By in Pastor Brian's Blog With | Comments Off on Thanksgiving

    This week an amazing thing will happen. 323 million people—give or take a few—will pause to say thank you. Of course, the object of that thanks is up for debate, but that’s a different point for a different time. With no disrespect intended for the formation of our country of for those who have served …

  • Reformation 500 – Soli Deo Gloria

    Posted Nov 8th, 2017 By in Pastor Brian's Blog With | Comments Off on Reformation 500 – Soli Deo Gloria

    At the end of every composition Johann Sebastian Bach affixed the letters SDG. They, of course, stood for Soli Deo Gloria—To God alone be the glory. He did it as a way to remind himself and those who would later see it and play it that its goal was to lift people into the heavenlies …

  • Reformation 500 – Solus Christus

    Posted Nov 2nd, 2017 By in Pastor Brian's Blog With | Comments Off on Reformation 500 – Solus Christus

    Although likely a twentieth century addition to the original three solae of the reformation — sola scriptura, sola fide, sola gratia — solus Christus — by/through/in Christ alone— accurately captures and reflects the message of the reformers. Solus Christus, like the other solae is designed to be set against something else. So Christ alone means …

  • Reformation 500 – Sola Fide

    Posted Oct 27th, 2017 By in Pastor Brian's Blog With | Comments Off on Reformation 500 – Sola Fide

    As noted when thinking about sola scriptura, most religions and religious movements have formal and material principles from which authority is derived and by which doctrines are summarized, respectively. Usually the formal principle is a text(s)—hence sola scriptura is the formal principle of the Reformation—while material principles tend to be the summary or central teaching(s) …

  • Reformation 500 – Sola Gratia

    Posted Oct 18th, 2017 By in Pastor Brian's Blog With | Comments Off on Reformation 500 – Sola Gratia

    More than anything, the Reformation began as a soteriological struggle. Medieval Christianity had degenerated so much that the gospel had become a demand to make oneself acceptable to God by improving on the infused grace received in baptism and the Lord’s supper (see Vanhoozer, Biblical Authority After Babel: Retrieving the Solas in the Spirit of …

  • Reformation 500 – Sola Scriptura

    Posted Oct 13th, 2017 By in Pastor Brian's Blog With | Comments Off on Reformation 500 – Sola Scriptura

    All religions have authoritative texts and persons to whom they look for direction and guidance. This is sometimes called the formal principle of religion. As we have noted recently in our Sunday school class, the formal principle of Orthodoxy is the Bible and sacred tradition. In Catholicism it’s the Bible and tradition and the pope …

  • Reformation 500

    Posted Oct 6th, 2017 By in Pastor Brian's Blog With | Comments Off on Reformation 500

    October is the month that Protestants usually celebrate and remember the Protestant Reformation. Although political, economic, and theological controversies were already churning beneath the surface, the date of the Reformation is usually linked with Martin Luther’s nailing of his 95 Theses on the churches in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517. These 95 Theses come in …

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