Category Archives: Quotes

The Feast of the Holy Innocents and the Tyrannical Despiser of Humanity

There is something distinctly un-sentimental about the historical form that the Christian liturgical calendar has come to exhibit during the season of Christmas.  The Feast of the Nativity is immediately followed the next day by the Feast of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr.  Today (December 28) is the Feast of the Holy Innocents, the date on the calendar set aside for commemorating the children massacred following the birth of Jesus as depicted in the Gospel of Matthew (2:16-18).  In this way, the Christian liturgical calendar is simply following the brutal realism of Scripture.  The coming of the Prince of Peace sets on edge the petty tyrants of our world like Herod. Continue reading The Feast of the Holy Innocents and the Tyrannical Despiser of Humanity

The Song of the Son

With the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55) appearing as a potential reading in the lectionary last Sunday and again this coming Sunday and with the Annunciation to Mary (Luke 1:26-38) standing as the Gospel reading for the fourth Sunday of Advent, it seems timely to share an excerpt from a sermon entitled, “Let Heav’n and Nature Sing!” from my book Leaps of Faith: Continue reading The Song of the Son

Remembrance Day in the Church

In 1932, Dietrich Bonhoeffer preached in Berlin on Volkstrauertag—the German equivalent to Remembrance Day in Canada.  Interestingly, one of his main emphases throughout the sermon is that the way Memorial Day is observed in the church should differ from the way that is observed in other contexts.  I made a similar point in a 2013 article entitled, “Remembering Rightly: The Pastoral Dilemma of Remembrance Day,” although I can’t recall if I had read Bonhoeffer’s 1932 sermon at the time I wrote it. Continue reading Remembrance Day in the Church

The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind

In 1994, the historian Mark Noll published his now famous work, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind.  In the very first sentence of the opening chapter, Noll goes right for the jugular: “The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind.”1  Noll’s thesis seems to have been anticipated in some ways by the Anglican cleric and evangelical leader John Stott, who wrote the following in his 1982 book on preaching (although it should be noted that Stott’s purview seems to be much broader than evangelicalism, extending to Western Christendom as a whole): Continue reading The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind

  1. Mark A. Noll, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994), 1.