Monthly Archives: May 2012

  • Canon of Scripture, part 2

    How do you know which books are supposed to be in the Bible and which ones are not? Why was the amount of books somehow locked and the key tossed after the first century? If we wanted to, could we add another book or two, something perhaps written by one of our contemporaries? Who would be the judge? What would be the criteria? Michael Kruger’s Canon Revisited takes up these issues and more.

    Kruger’s first chapter is long. But it is long because it needs to be and because he covers a lot of real estate. It doesn’t feel like a bad movie that drags on. In this chapter he focuses on one approach to determining the books of the Bible: Canon as community determined. The best known representative of this position is the Roman Catholic church. But there are others. … Read More »

  • The Canon of Scripture, part 1

    Why is the gospel of John in our Bibles but not the gospel of Judas? Why do you read a letter with Timothy’s name on it but reject the one with Thomas’s? Why do Roman Catholics regard the apocrypha as God’s authoritative word but you don’t? When did the New Testament books all come together as we possess them now? And why did they come together? These questions and many others get to the heart of the issue of the canon of Scripture. For many Christians, these are questions that are either never asked or assumed to have a universal answer. That is, I would suggest, like so many other things, a good and a bad thing.

    Canon is word that comes to us by way of Greek and originally referred to a measuring rod. It later became a word that … Read More »

  • The Lord’s Prayer

    The Lord’s Prayer also gives evidence to the richness of the communion of the saints.

    “Why do you pray the Lord’s prayer in your church?” she asked me. It’s a question I get from time to time. Perhaps you have even wanted to ask it yourself. Honestly, I feel a little weird defending the practice of reciting the Lord’s Prayer in our services.  No one seems to mind when an elder prays one of Paul’s prayers or when we recite the Psalms, but when the Lord’s Prayer comes out, the super-sensitive-Roman Catholic-meters start going wild.  This was driven home to me recently when I heard a message wherein the preacher mocked churches that pray the Lord’s Prayer.  Hopefully, this will not only explain why we do what we do, but also encourage you and infuse your prayer life with freshness.

    Jesus instructed … Read More »

    Posted in: Pastor Brian's Blog
  • On Confessionalism

    We Believe…This morning we will be using the Nicene Creed as a means of affirming and confessing our faith together in our public worship of God. We have also used and will continue to use the Apostles’ and Athanasian Creeds. This practice raises a number of questions. Let’s try and tackle the questions, “What are the documents?” and “Why are we not using the Bible?” These are the sorts of questions that well- meaning and thoughtful Christians have been asking for a long time.

    The short answer to the first question is that these are historic expressions of the Christian faith handed down to us by the church, which codify for us what Christians believe and why we believe it. Christians believe certain things about what the Bible teaches. If we reject those things we may be well-meaning and nice folks, … Read More »

    Posted in: Pastor Brian's Blog