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Category: The Church

Grand Juncture

The great questions of life — Who am I? Where did I come from? Is there meaning and purpose? Where is God in suffering? — all intersect and are resolved only in communion. Preaching, when it understands itself, is invitation and preparation for communion. Fruitful service, rather than the justification for communion, only arises from it. Whatever does not arise from faith, no matter how impressive to the world, is sin. Real friendship happens only in communion. Every ending points back to communion. Every communicant participates in the new future that God stands ever ready to give to those who look to him in trust. The Christian life is retailing every day what we lay up for ourselves in communion.

God in Ordinary

Daily bread reminds us that God’s goodness presents itself to us in ordinary means.  Every leaf and blade of grass and fading flower glorifies Him.  This same God has established ordinary means in his Church to sustain us.  The best preparation for miracles is to learn to enjoy God’s goodness in the ordinary.

The Ministry of Stability

Not to ignore the depraved state of our political discourse, this painting of Nero’s Torches reminds us that the Church went forward even under that criminally insane emperor, despite his martyrdom of the Church’s greatest leaders Peter and Paul. As our culture-Protestants blow about with every wind of doctrine, breathlessly pursuing a world that passes away, that despises them all the more through every accommodation, I admire the steadiness of the Roman Church that continues through the centuries while nations rise and fall. “Better to be a Roman Catholic than one of our Neo-Protestants.” (Barth) At least they believe something definite. Without an anchor in the eternal, we cannot withstand the battering of wind, waves, and current. “The whole Church…

The God Who Hides

I am tired of this lament, “Oh no, the Church is all old people … it is about to expire if we don’t get busy.” You are looking in the wrong direction. The Church descends from Abel, who always appears in this world as weak. It is not we who sustain the Church but the Church that sustains us. Our Lord is always victorious, though invisible in the vulnerable. Welcome Advent. Welcome the Lord who hides himself.

Signs of an Evil Peace

Putting asunder what God has joined; Joining together what God has put asunder; Like Christ and Satan; Christ and anti-Christ; Christ and the rebellious world; Grace and license; God’s approval and the godless’ approval; No other gods and any other gods; The Holy Spirit and any other spirit; When the Church’s theological conviction can fit on the bumper sticker “whatever”; A peace that fosters indifference where God has promised to punish indifference; A peace that makes no distinction where God has commanded to make a distinction; A peace that in the name of conscience fosters a stupefying of conscience; A peace that fosters complacency to sin and false teaching in the name of love; A peace that elicits these words…