There has always been animosity toward the church and the Christian faith. This article highlights some of the earliest critiques levelled at Christians, but also how such Christians committed themselves to clearing away prejudices and misunderstandings about God. The author in this way calls the church today not to function as an island to itself, as shady bats, frogs, and worms, but to engage our critics, and to do so with conviction and passion.
This article discusses what catechism instruction for newcomers to the church might look like. It gleans certain points from a booklet written by the church father Augustine, titled On Instructing Beginners in the Faith. The main points raised concern the catechumen, the catechist, the material that should be addressed, and the need to aim instruciton at both the head and the heart.
Should catechism instruction (catechesis) be something left merely to the minister? This article shows how the church in the time of the Reformation well understood that the education of the youth of the church was an event in which the church as a whole was involved. The author provides a sample catechism service, and then also suggestions as to how to make catechism teaching prominent in the members' minds.
Can we see remnants of the image of God in unbelievers? What about in Christians? To what extent is restoration to the image of God actually possible? This article surveys the high origins of man as image-bearer, the depths to which man fell, and what a restored image of God looks like.
The Lord considers safety to be of utmost importance for his children. He therefore calls for parents to create a safe environment for their children. This article discusses this, also with Deuteronomy 22:8 in view.
If a Christian today can feel like such a stranger in his community, should he then hold to a private faith? This article addresses this question, and explains that if you allow your faith to be pushed to the private sphere, it will have a massive impact on your life as a whole. Ultimately, private faith is no faith. The only defensible answer to secularization is to let one's faith permeate all of his life.
How well do you hear the Word of God? This article considers the modern-day challenges to our hearing the Word well, whether in church or in the home. It highlights the thought patterns of many toward certain parts of Scripture that are deemed less relevant for the church today. It offers some methods of reading Scripture in order that one can gain a renewed appreciation for all parts of the Bible.
This article offers an overview of the life and work of the Reformer Guillaume Farel. It explains his acceptance of the doctrine of sola scriptura, a public debate he had with Erasmus, his publication of a dogmatics, and his interactions with John Calvin.
This article gives thought to how to give catechism instruction to the disabled. It points to the responsibility of the consistory for the instruction of the youth, and then provides several important points about the instruction.
What is believing? This article explores this question, suggesting that believing is only true when there is trust. Believing is a matter of full confidence. The Bible uses this kind of language (e.g., Hebrews 11:1).
This is an article about the sovereignty of God. It considers various questions related to this subject, along with the biblical support for the doctrine. It grieves the devaluing of the doctrine in our times, considering some of the history of thought on the matter. It also discusses the correspondence between God’s sovereignty and predestination, the power of sin, and the humiliation of Christ in his incarnation. It also considers how God is involved in the suffering of man.
What do we mean when we address God as Father? This article explains that when the Bible speaks about God the Father it refers to him in his relationship with the Son, creation, and the believer as the adopted child.