Church History 101: The Highlights of Twenty Centuries

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  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Reformation Heritage Books (May 27, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601784767
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601784766
  • Product Dimensions: 3.9 x 0.3 x 5.9 inches

Church History 101 is to whet the appetite for further reading in church history.  It’s written by an outstanding trio of Sinclair B. Ferguson, Joel R. Beeke, and Michael A.G. Haykin.

It’s really highlights of twenty centuries of church history, ranging from the first century to the twentieth.  I believe the authors of this little book have done well in what they have highlighted.  Of course, with a book this size, some are going to be disappointed.  But it’s only to whet the appetite by highlighting twenty centuries.

One constant: when the church strayed from the pure gospel of Jesus Christ, she lost its witness and became corrupted.  And when the church returned to the pure gospel of Jesus Christ, she restored her witness and experienced revival.

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The Church and Politics

I am writing as a concerned citizen of two kingdoms–the kingdom of man and the kingdom of God.

As a citizen of the kingdom of man, I have a responsibility to submit to the government, “For their is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” (Romans 13:1 ESV).  I must also pray for the governing authorities (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

However, I am also a citizen of the kingdom of God.  As a citizen of the kingdom of God, living in the kingdom of man, I am not to be of the kingdom of man (John 18:36).

Yes, I have a civil responsibility, but when the kingdom of man goes against the kingdom of God, I must side with the kingdom of God (Acts 5:29).

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention also that the church should not seek to assert its authority or thirst for power through political means.  When the church does, it is no longer the church of Jesus Christ.

It’s more like the church that the 16th century reformers protested.

As a citizen of the kingdom of God, my orders come from above, from the teachings of Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords.

We need a revival.

The church accomplishes her mission not by the might of political leaders, but by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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Immigration Policy, Jeff Sessions, Romans 13, and the Image of God

Recently, Attorney General Jeff Sessions quoted Romans 13 to justify the Trump’s Administration policy of separating parents from their children.

Everyone has been weighing in on AG Sessions’ use of Romans 13–from the media to the pulpit.

I simply caution the use of the Judeo-Christian Scriptures to justify actions and policies that dehumanize, discriminate, and destroy human lives.

Every human being bears the image of God, whether they were born in the United States of America or not.  When God looks at humans, he sees those who have been created in his image (Genesis 1:26-28).

A wise Hebrew proverb reads, “Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God” (Proverb 14:31 NIV).

My prayer is that the current administration will make policies and take actions that will honor God and not insult or show contempt for God.

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A Countercultural Church

When the church of Jesus Christ is in step with the Spirit of Christ, it is countercultural to a culture that is against the values of Christ.

The culture will take note.  The culture will notice a people that is different (Acts 4:13 and 17:6).

Culture will be confounded.

Why?

Because culture will see a people that is markedly different.

Now the church needs to reconsider its impact on culture and continually assess its witness for Christ.

We simply cannot impact and win culture for Christ by being like culture.

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