White Horse Inn Blog

Know what you believe and why you believe it

Author Archive

Sanctification: “Justification in Action”?

We get a lot of great questions sent to us.  Here’s one that I’d like to address because I hear it a lot these days.  The writer asks: Here is the issue as stated: ‘Sanctification is NOT  “justification in action.”  Justification is a finished work. Sanctification is powered by regeneration, not justification.  The New Birth enables the […]

Extraordinary Gifts Through Ordinary Means

If you’re wondering whether your life counts if it consists of so many ordinary things every day, you are in good company.  After all, God works through ordinary means every day in so many ways that we often don’t even notice his involvement and our complete dependence on him in each and every moment. Typically, […]

Ordinary Excellence

Far from throwing a wet blanket on godly passion, the goal of this WHI series is to encourage an orientation and habits that foster deeper growth in grace, more effective outreach, and a more sustainable vision of loving service to others over a lifetime. But is “ordinary” a cop-out for mediocrity?  Is it a call […]

Two Kingdoms and Slavery

A few years ago I had the privilege of speaking at a conference on Karl Barth at Princeton Seminary.  In one unforgettable moment, George Harinck, history professor at the Free University of Amsterdam, explained the difference between the way members of his church (a confessionally conservative Reformed body) and the students of Barth responded to […]

Ordinary: The New Radical?

Radical.  Epic.  Revolutionary.  Transformative.  Ultimate.  Extreme.  Emergent.  Alternative.  Next.  Impactful.  On The Edge.  Beyond.  Awesome.  Legendary.  Innovative.  Breakthrough.  Everything has to have an exclamation point to catch our attention these days.  For many of us, the worst word in our vocabulary is “ordinary.”  Who wants a bumper sticker that announces to the neighborhood, “My child […]

‘In Christ Alone’ Didn’t Make the Cut

According to a recent Christianity Today online report, the worship song “In Christ Alone” didn’t make it in to the new Presbyterian Church USA hymnal. Apparently, mention of God’s wrath being satisfied by Christ’s vicarious death was the sticking point.  The hymnal committee initially wanted to include the song, but asked authors Keith Getty and […]

A Happy Birthday for the Heidelberg Catechism

I’ve just returned from Heidelberg, Germany, where I joined brothers and sisters from around the world to celebrate the 450th anniversary of the Heidelberg Catechism.  In addition to illuminating papers and warm fellowship, we enjoyed one of the city’s several museum exhibits celebrating the anniversary.  Of special note was the Heidelberg Palace exhibit, “The Power […]

Indonesia Trip Report

I have to admit that my motive for White Horse Inn trips is partly selfish. I’ve learned that I always receive more than I give of actual learning, challenge, example, and encouragement. Even though Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population, there seems to be respect for the minority Christian population. The republic’s constitution, drafted […]

Pray For Fikret

A native Turk, Fikret Bocek never imagined being anything other than a Muslim, however nominal. One day in Istanbul, a European couple gave him a Bible and he couldn’t stop reading. After graduating from Westminster Seminary California, he returned and planted a Reformed church that now has planted a number of sister churches in the […]

Message to Graduates: “You Are All Going to Die”

It’s Commencement time again. Many of us can’t remember the address at our college graduation. Occasionally, though, there are some zingers. This year the buzz is Joss Whedon’s speech on Sunday, May 26 at Wesleyan University. The full address may be found here: youtu.be/Wn866ryQ5RY. An accomplished screenwriter (“Toy Story” and “The Avengers”) and creator of […]