Monthly Archives: November 2017

  • Christ the King Sunday

    Ours is a day when Christianity is often reduced to a message about individual salvation and sentimental platitudes about a future place called heaven. To be sure there are individual aspects to our salvation and we do look forward to the reality of heaven to come—though in a profoundly different way than most speak of it. But there is more to our faith than “being saved” or “going to heaven.”

    When Jesus began his ministry his charter was simple. He came “proclaiming the gospel (good news) of God” Mark tells us (Mark 1:14). What is that good news? “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” At the heart of Jesus’ message; at the heart of his vocation; that which he came to accomplish and establish is the kingdom of God.

    Kingdom … Read More »

  • Thanksgiving

    This week an amazing thing will happen. 323 million people—give or take a few—will pause to say thank you. Of course, the object of that thanks is up for debate, but that’s a different point for a different time. With no disrespect intended for the formation of our country of for those who have served or died for it, I must admit that of all the civic holidays we have in America, I think Thanksgiving is my favorite. I don’t know what it is. The vibe on Thanksgiving is just different from the Fourth of July or from Memorial Day. I enjoy being with family and friends and the food, but there is something more about Thanksgiving. Something that invites one to look around and take in just how much we really have. Sure, we might not have as much or … Read More »

    Posted in: Pastor Brian's Blog
  • Reformation 500 – Soli Deo Gloria

    At the end of every composition Johann Sebastian Bach affixed the letters SDG. They, of course, stood for Soli Deo Gloria—To God alone be the glory. He did it as a way to remind himself and those who would later see it and play it that its goal was to lift people into the heavenlies and direct their thoughts and attention to God alone. And the apostle Paul did the same. In a sweeping summary statement encapsulating every area of our lives he says, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). The verse is really amazing. Evidently there is a way to dishonor God in the things and way we eat and drink. The most menial task of our existence is elevated to a canvas for the … Read More »

    Posted in: Pastor Brian's Blog
  • Reformation 500 – Solus Christus

    Although likely a twentieth century addition to the original three solae of the reformation — sola scriptura, sola fide, sola gratia — solus Christus — by/through/in Christ alone— accurately captures and reflects the message of the reformers. Solus Christus, like the other solae is designed to be set against something else. So Christ alone means that Christ’s person and work is sufficient to save sinners and there is no need for additional assistance, whether from a priest, Mary, the church, or ourselves. It suggests that Christ is all we need to be right with God. It seeks to place Christ at the center of everything. He is the one about whom sola sciptura speaks. He is the one from whom we receive grace. And he is the one in whom our faith is placed. Solus Christus means: Christ at the … Read More »

    Posted in: Pastor Brian's Blog