Against “Sacraments”

If “sacraments” are completely different sorts of things from the signs and rituals of cultural life, then Christianity is something completely different from culture. It is a “religious” community, an island of sanctity and miracle surrounded by a sea of profane and mechanistic nature. “Sacraments” thus both misconstrue the nature of the Church and the…

Calvin Profoundly Right and Mistaken

On these points, Calvin was both profoundly right and profoundly mistaken. He was correct because he had identified an important motif of late medieval Catholicism; there truly was a reversion to Old Covenant structures and a kind of Galatianism at work… On the other hand, Calvin was fatally wrong in suggesting that this Galatianism was…

Big and Bigger Promises

Aerius and Markita, we are all gathered here to witness you make promises to each other. You are here, and we’ve scheduled this time and place so that you can each make vows, swear oaths to each other, promising to be husband and wife until one of you dies. But in a fallen, sinful world,…

Christmas Week 2: Gospel, Worship, Community, and Mission

Introduction This week’s sermon is a conclusion to the recent series on the City of God as well as a look forward to the new things the Lord has for Trinity in the coming year. Under the virtues of faith, hope, joy, and love, we considered how these fruits of the Spirit create a community,…

Christmas Week 1: Infinite Life for the World

Introduction Christmas means that we have access to the infinite. The infinite has entered the finite (Jn. 1:1, 14). While to be creatures necessarily means limits and some finitude, to be created in the image of God, created to be companions of the Infinite originally indicated a capacity for the infinite, a capacity to share…

Fourth Sunday in Advent: Love and the City of God

Introduction We come now to the virtue of love as it fits into God’s blueprints for the city of God. Of course we could say much on this virtue, but we’ll limit ourselves to the vision of the city of God as being the family of God, bound together by the self-giving, sacrificial love of…

Christ Died for Sinners like Christopher

Great thoughts on the passing of Christopher Hitchens from Doug Wilson: Christopher knew that faithful Christians believe that it is appointed to man once to die, and after that the Judgment. He knew that we believe what Jesus taught about the reality of damnation. He also knew that we believe—for I told him—that in this…

Peter Hitchens on his brother, Christopher

                    Peter Hitchens writes of his brother, Christopher Hitchen’s death: Two pieces of verse come to mind, one from Hilaire Belloc’s ’Dedicatory Ode’ ‘From quiet homes and first beginnings, out to the undiscovered ends, there’s nothing worth the wear of winning but laughter and the love…

The Politics of Two Advents

Peter Leithart writes: Advent celebrates the coming of the King, but the Christian tradition has always recognized that the Son’s first Advent heightens our longing for his coming again.  In this respect, Augustine’s politics is a double-sided politics of Advent.  On one hand, it leaves us with anti-utopian skepticism and radical dissatisfaction with every existent…

How Fasting and Feasting Should Always Go Together

Thoughts on Advent (and all holidays) as a fast and a feast: Last, and to push this thought one step further, if we are going to celebrate seasons like Advent and Lent, we ought to do so by keeping the Lord’s Day as our standard. This means that all fasting is always forfeasting. We eat no…