by Gabriel N. E. Fluhrer
Reformed churches like the Orthodox Presbyterian Church have rightly frowned upon the celebration of feast days such as those found in the Church of Rome. But long before the unbiblical additions of Rome, feast days themselves were ordained by God for his old covenant people. Stated simply, the lives of the ancient Israelites were scheduled around the feasts that God prescribed in his word.
Given the monumental importance of the festal calendar in the life of Israel, it is not surprising to find that this ordering of life shaped the structures of the apostle Paul’s thinking. Indeed, his theology of resurrection life in 1 Corinthians 15 is subtly yet powerfully shaped by the festal calendar of Israel. Read more
by Chad B. Van Dixhoorn
In the mid-nineteenth century, archaeologists digging around the Palatine Hill in Rome unearthed a house that formed one part of the palace of the emperor Caligula, an unpleasant man who reigned in Rome from AD 37 until he was murdered in AD 41.
In the years following Caligula’s death, the imperial palace continued to grow, and over time this house became hidden, entombed within the foundations of the larger palace complex, and so it was preserved until its discovery in 1857. Read more
by Stephen J. Oharek
The great Protestant reformer, Martin Luther, infamously referred to the book of James as “an epistle of straw” in his preface to the German New Testament. What is less well known or talked about, is that Luther also praised the book of James in the same preface.
Luther said about James, “I praise it and hold it a good book, because it sets up no doctrine of men and lays great stress upon God’s law.” Luther did have a way of using his tongue to both bless the book of James and also to curse it. And with respect to the latter, the most devastating criticism he leveled against James was that he believed it did not teach us about Christ. Read more
by Susan Hollister
Last week a friend asked me if I would miss the Lions Community Center in New Lenox, Illinois, as our place of worship when we move into our new building in Joliet next month. “What an odd question,” I thought. “What would I miss about this community center?”
There certainly are aspects of meeting for worship here that I won’t miss, such as the occasional stale cigarette smell left over from a party the night before, the loud music we have sometimes heard through the wall during our service, and the way we have been reminded that it is time to leave after the evening service, when we have lingered too long. Read more