How We Worshipped: A Sunday in October

Every now and again I like to share an order of worship from Grace Fellowship Church. This service’s cast of characters included Paul (our lead pastor) as the preacher, Josh as the lead worshipper, Peter (one of our Assistant Ministers) as the service leader, Thushara (one of our deacons) as Scripture-reader, and Steve as the elder who led the Scripture-reading and pastoral prayer. Our band consisted of guitar, piano, cajon, and accordion accompanying one male and two female vocalists. The …

What’s the Purpose of … Pastors?

The Bible knows nothing of lone Christians, of believers who are willfully independent from a local church. Rather, Christians gather in communities to worship together and serve one another. And as God commands his people to gather in community, he also commands them to be led—led by men called and qualified as pastors or elders (terms the Bible uses interchangeably). As we progress through a series of questions  about things we as Christians often take for granted, we now come …

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Calvinist

In some ways it seems like the New Calvinism has been around for a very long time. In other ways, it seems like it’s still a brand new thing. Whatever the case, it has lasted enough now that people are beginning to trace its roots, evaluate its accomplishments, and project its future. While this has mostly been done through books, blogs, and magazines, Les Lanphere has chosen to do it through film. His crowd-funded documentary Calvinist has just been released …

Heroes, Hagiography, and Villainy

There was a time, and it was not so very long ago, that we wanted heroes who were flawless. We would look to the past to find people who had an outsized impact on our world and prepare biographies tipped well in the direction of hagiography. We might read a thousand or two thousand pages on a great statesman or theologian and never encounter more than a cursory examination of their shortcomings. Even if we did, those flaws might be …

What’s the Purpose of … the Church?

Whatever else we may know about Christians, we know this: Christians are supposed to go to church. Every Sunday, Christians gather together to worship God and spend time in fellowship. But do we actually know why we do this? Do we pause to consider the purpose of the local church? In this series of articles we are considering the purpose of many things we may take for granted, and so far we have looked at marriage, sex, and children. Today …

Death to the One-Year Rule!

There is no sin that cannot be overcome, no transgression that cannot be put to death, no consequence so grave it cannot be undone in 365 days. At least, that’s what you might think as you read about pastors and other Christian leaders who rise, fall, and rise again. It’s the unwritten but often-followed “one-year rule.” Every month, or every few months, at least, we hear of another pastor or ministry leader who has been exposed as a fraud, an …

A Day in the Mountains of Switzerland

Because the weather on Tuesday was wet and gross, we spent most of it combing through museums in Basel and Zurich. We ended up visiting two day’s worth of museums in one, which left today wide open. We decided to make the most of it by heading for the mountains. We left our Airbnb outside Zurich and headed for Luzern and Engelberg. I thought I’d share a few photos I snapped along the way. Tomorrow we visit Konstanz, Germany to …

Searching for Treasures in Swiss Castles, Museums, and Churches

Where yesterday was spent driving through the Swiss countryside and mountain ranges, today was spent in castles, museums, and churches. We were looking for objects related to Anabaptists, Desiderius Erasmus and Ulrich Zwingli. The locations delivered! Here’s how the day went… (But first, thanks to Logos for sponsoring this trip. Please check out their church history bundles to assist your studies of church history.) The night sky in Eggiwil, Switzerland. A post shared by Tim Challies (@challies) on Sep 25, 2017 …

Learning to Be Rich

There is no individual and no group the Bible does not address. Through its pages God speaks to husbands and wives, children and adults, masters and slaves, Jews and Gentiles. As we read the Bible we often find ourselves wondering if and how a particular instruction applies to us. How do I, as a man, deal with a passage targeted at women? How do I, as a Gentile, interpret a passage meant specifically for Jews? What do I do when …

Some Views from Switzerland

As you know, I’ve been traveling through Switzerland for my EPIC church history project. Today we had no museums to visit (since they are all closed on Mondays). Instead we drove from Geneva to Bern, and followed a circuitous but scenic route. Here are a few shots I took along the way. I am now convinced that Switzerland must be the most beautiful place in the world. A beautiful morning at Lake Geneva. A post shared by Tim Challies (@challies) …