What Happens Now?

In a recent TED talk, Michael Tilson Thomas explained how we got where we are musically. He also shared a concern that he has as a conductor and composer: what happens when the music stops, especially recorded music? What happens when a person has been listening to a canned piece of music and it ends? When the emotion is still there, but, unlike a hundred years ago, there is no one with whom we can share it at the time. There is no relationship between the musician and the listener, because the music was recorded in another time and another place. There is no corporate delight in the music because it came through ear buds. Continue reading

McEwen on Gospel Proclamation

The gospel preacher is one who proclaims,

“Christ is All in All. If he insists on a divine attribute, he declares how it shines forth in Christ with the brightest excellence. If on a promise, he explains, how in Christ it is Yes and Amen. If on a command, he inculcates the necessity of obedience, by motives drawn from Jesus Christ; and how impossible it is for us to obey, without first being united to Him as the head of all vital influences. Christ is the Beginning, Christ is the End; Christ is the Middle, Christ is the All…

We preach Christ Jesus the Lord, the only all-sufficient Savior, every way adapted to your need, whoever you are. Continue reading

Boston and the Gospel for Everyone

I’m a church historian, and have a particular interest in Scottish Presbyterianism — especially the period of the Marrow controversy. It took place in the Scottish church of the 1700’s, not over bone marrow transplants, but over a book with the trendy 1640’s Puritan title The Marrow of Modern Divinity. The present day title equivalent would be something like “The Heart of Contemporary Theology.” The book addressed the twin errors of legalism and antinomianism among English Christians, calling them to a biblical understanding of the role and relationship of the law and the gospel, with all its implications for daily Christian living.

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Fearless Life vs Foolish Death

Having recently gotten back in touch with a good number of Patrick Henry College friends reminded me of a chapel we shared hearing God’s Word from Psalm 49: “Fearless Life vs Foolish Death”:

Just this past year I had the opportunity to preach this passage as a sermon in a church here in Michigan, not knowing it would be the last time I would preach to one of the teenage girls. Not long afterwards she was killed in a car accident. Her reflections on this passage were read at the funeral, an encouraging, yet sobering moment. I wept as in her death I was reminded again of the pressing importance of the call to gospel ministry:

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? How are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?” Romans 10:13-15

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