White Horse Inn Blog

Know what you believe and why you believe it

Calvin At A Glance

Our friends at Books at a Glance have interviewed Mike Horton on his recent work on Calvin and Christian piety:

 

For its value in both historical theology and Christian living Crossway’s Theologians on the Christian Life series was a terrific idea. Of course such a series cannot go long before it includes a volume on the great Reformer John Calvin. If our count is right, Michael Horton’s Calvin on the Christian Life: Glorifying and Enjoying God Forever is the fifth volume in this series, and an important contribution it is. Horton reflects a close acquaintance with the Reformer, his writings, and his times, and his portrait of Calvin that accents this more pastoral dimension is a landmark event. He is here today to talk about his work.

Books At a Glance:
John Calvin is often thought of as a theological giant, which he was. And he is sometimes considered for his model carefulness in biblical exegesis. But he is not very often thought of as a pastoral theologian, a theologian with deep concerns for the Christian life. Is this because so many have not read Calvinsufficiently? Or is it rather that they just have not read Calvin really at all? That is, how pervasive are these concerns in Calvin’s writings?

Horton:
I think you’ve put your finger on a popular impression out there, even among many Christians. I have to say, though, that it’s astonishing, given the fact that not a single doctrine or passage is explained without some connection to Christian living. Doctrine and life are interwoven in a tapestry that he calls “piety.” In this, he simply follows the ancient church fathers and the better medieval writers. He says that there’s no point in knowledge that “merely flits about in the brain.” As rigorously thoughtful as Calvin is, it’s all in service to the formation of Christian disciples. In my view at least, Calvin is the most insightful non-inspired teacher on the Christian life of anyone I’ve ever read. His brilliance lies not in creative innovation, but in his remarkable grasp of Scripture and the whole history of Christian teaching and his ability to synthesize the best insights, distilling them for his own age. As he himself said, the goal of all instruction is edification.

If you’d like to read the rest of the interview (and maybe read a few summaries!), click here.

WHI-1210 | Taking Every Thought Captive

How are we to raise up the next generation of Christians to think seriously about their faith if they haven’t been taught how to think in the first place? How are we to keep our kids in the faith if they are constantly propagandized by the messages in movies, advertisements, or college classrooms? The apostle Paul calls us to “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,” but how are we to accomplish this task? I’ll be discussing this important topic with Christopher Perrin, Aaron Larson, and Joelle Hodge, publishers of The Art of Argument by Classical Academic Press (original air date, Oct. 14, 2012).

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PROGRAM AUDIO


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RECOMMENDED BOOKS

The Art of Argument
Larson & Hodge
The Argument Builder
Shelly Johnson

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WHI-1209 | Giving Up Gimmicks

If you visit a typical youth program at the average evangelical church, you’ll no doubt observe an emphasis on fun and entertainment. Yet most Christian teens are ignorant about the basic message of Scripture, and statistics show that the majority of them will abandon church after high school. Youth ministry in a society driven by entertainment—that’s the subject I’ll be discussing with Brian Cosby, author of Giving Up Gimmicks: Reclaiming Youth Ministry from an Entertainment Culture (original air date, May 6, 2012).

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Boredom
WHI-1110

WHI-1208 | Sustainable Discipleship

How should we disciple young adults? Though some are aware of the problems with entertainment based youth ministry, many are fearful that content based or catechetical approaches will leave kids bored and disengaged. Is this actually true, or should we challenge these assumptions? I’ll be discussing these important questions with Derek Rishmawy and Brian Thomas.

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Trees or Tumbleweeds
Michael Horton
Working on Our Grammar
William Willimon

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Souls in Transition
Christian Smith
Grounded in the Gospel
Packer & Parrett
Almost Christian
Kenda Creasy Dean

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Funny Church Signs

This one courtesy of @darinmstone: “That’s an awful name for a church!”

WHI-1207 | Keeping Our Kids, Part 2

Continuing the conversation, Greg Koukl, Brett Kunkle, and I discuss the importance of preparing our youth for a life of faith in a secular age. Not only should they be taught what they believe and why, but before they leave home, they should also be given some basic training in how to communicate their faith and how to answer those with opposing points of view.

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Questions of Faith
Shane Rosenthal

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Tactics
Greg Koukl

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Funny Church Signs 2



Saw this one on Twitter today (ht @rbj_ii)

Funny Church Signs

We’re resurrecting an old category: funny church signs!

Here are a few good ones. Send in your submissions!


 

 

WHI-1206 | Keeping Our Kids, Part 1

On this edition of White Horse Inn, I’ll talk with Greg Koukl and Brett Kunkle from Stand to Reason about various strategies of passing the faith on to the next generation. In particular, Brett discusses his own crisis of faith during his first semester of college and how that crisis affects his unique approach toward youth ministry.

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PROGRAM AUDIO


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RECOMMENDED BOOKS

Tactics
Greg Koukl

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The Gospel and “Brown vs Board of Education”

Today marks the 60th anniversary of “Brown vs Board of Education,” the U.S. Supreme Court decision which struck down state-sanctioned segregation in U.S. public schools and marked a significant turning point in the Civil Rights movement. In many ways, the 60th anniversary of Brown highlights a curious contradiction in American society. It reveals both our knowledge of what we ought to be, and our consistent inability to become it. Although we need just laws to restrain the sin of racism, laws can’t heal the sin of racism. Although this ruling is so many years old, our public and private school systems are more segregated now than they have been in four decades.

But here’s the good news. The gospel heals the sin of racism. The gospel alone gives us power to see one another in a way that the world cannot, and to love one another in a way that the world cannot. Thousands of years before the supreme court ever decided that segregation was unconstitutional, the Church already knew that segregation was unbiblical. And thousands of years before our government ever attempted to unify diverse people by the letter of the law, the Lord had already unified diverse people in Christ by the power of the Spirit. Even the Civil Rights movement, which helped champion desegregation (at a time when it was unpopular do to so) found its fundamental root, support, and guiding orientation within the Church.

During this time, let’s remember that desegregation is not the U.S. Supreme Court’s idea, it is our God’s idea! So let’s thank our God for revealing his intention that people from every ethnicity should “dwell together in unity,” to the glory of His name. (Ps. 133) Let’s thank Him that in Christ He has “torn down the dividing wall of hostility” between the races (Eph. 2:14),  uniquely making this unity a glorious reality. Let’s thank Him that we as the church have access to something that the world does not, a redemptive power that is not from this world.

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Mika Edmondson serves as the pastor of New City Fellowship OPC, a cross-cultural church plant in inner city Grand Rapids.

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