Lutherans have never laid claim to being a cool church. But now they can! Thanks to our Pasadena correspondent for this picture of “Cool Lutheran Church,” located in Cool, California.
What kind of sermon would Jesus preach if he was invited to address your local congregation? As strange as it may seem, we actually have an example of this kind of thing recorded for us in Luke chapter 4. Speaking in a Jewish synagogue, Jesus opens the scroll of the prophet Isaiah and begins to proclaim himself as the fulfillment of this ancient prophecy. On this edition of the program the hosts walk through this amazing passage, along with the complete text from Isaiah underlying it, and discuss the implications it offers for our understanding of preaching today.
The Gospel Commission
The Unfolding Mystery
Will you stand with us for a modern Reformation?
For twenty years, the White Horse Inn has been helping Christians know what they believe and why they believe it. And our efforts are having a significant effect in the pulpits and pews of many churches across America and around the world.
We’re in the final weeks of our spring fundraising efforts and we need your financial support, linking arms with us in the pursuit of a modern Reformation.
For your gift of any amount, I’ll send you a link for a free download of our brand-new Galatians Study Guide. This guide is based on our recent study of Galatians on White Horse Inn. It includes the entire White Horse Inn series, relevant Modern Reformation articles, study questions, a leader’s guide, and short audio clips for use in a group study.
Thanks for considering our need. If you can help, please send in a gift in the next two weeks to help us meet our June 30 goal.
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At the end of 2010 we began launching digital versions of Modern Reformation issues. This allows subscribers (both our print and on-line subscribers) the option of reading the magazine in its fully formatted form across a number of devices. However, we had heard from many subscribers that would like the option of downloading the issues in PDF form so they can read the digital issues of MR when they were not connected to the internet or on other e-reading devices (i.e. Kindle, Nook, etc. that can read imported PDFs). Now that option is available! In the menu bar of the digital issue there is a PDF icon that allows you to download select pages or the entire issue of Modern Reformation.
In order to access all of our digital issues (and now download PDFs), as well as access our entire on-line archive, you must be a current subscriber (print or on-line) to Modern Reformation or a partner of White Horse Inn. (If you currently are a subscriber or partner, but don’t think you have access to our MR site please contact the webmaster.)
For a free digital preview edition of our current May/June 2011 issue click on the “mini-flip” version below (or click here if Flash is not enabled)
Though many churches claim to be Christ-centered, most Christian sermons continue to present Jesus as a divine therapist, a motivating coach or as a political activist. So how does one faithfully read and study the Bible with Christ at the center? What does it mean to preach the Christ from all the Scriptures? That’s the focus of this edition of the White Horse Inn as Michael Horton talks with Dennis Johnson, author of Him We Proclaim, Preaching Christ in All the Scriptures (originally broadcast July 1, 2007).
Him We Proclaim
According to Plan
Preaching Christ in All of Scripture
Dr. Horton was recently invited to speak about Rob Bell’s book Love Wins at the Richmond Center for Christian Study in Richmond, VA. His lecture and a time of Questions & Answers are available for free download on the Center’s website.
When telling others about the message of the gospel, objections of various kinds inevitably arise. So how are we to answer the person who claims that Jesus never really died on the cross, or that the miracle stories associated with Christ are complete fabrications? The hosts discuss these questions and more as they interact with some of the claims made by skeptic Michael Shermer in his recent WHI interview. Joining the panel for this discussion is Craig Parton, author of Religion on Trial and The Defense Never Rests.
Religion on Trial
Holman QuickSource Guide to Apologetics
Resurrection iWitness iPad App
We often tell subscribers that the price of their subscription helps us to circulate nearly twice as many magazines as we have subscribers. Many of the magazines that we give away go to prisoners across the US. Today, we received a letter (and a money order to pay for his own subscription) from a prisoner in the West. I wanted to share just a brief segment of the letter with you for your encouragement:
I am a prisoner in _______ with a life sentence and I can’t tell you how much of an impact your unashamed proclamation of the sovereign grace of our God has had on my theological understanding and consequently my everyday life. Thank you for your stand on the solas and the Reformed tradition as well. I am 28 years old and grew up in the _______ ______ church family. As well intentioned as most mainline Christianity is, young men like myself need guys like you to be the unpopular voice from the past that calls the church back to the doctrines of St. Paul, the apostle of Christ.
This prisoner was introduced to Modern Reformation through the back issues that another prisoner had kept and passed along. Your gifts to Modern Reformation and White Horse Inn do more than just keep the lights on, they help change people’s lives…sometimes in the most unexpected places.
We’re in the final stretch of our mid-year appeal and your gifts make a significant difference. If you haven’t already, would you please call us at 800-890-7556 and make a donation over the phone or you can give online or by mail (White Horse Inn, 1725 Bear Valley Pkwy., Escondido CA 92027). Thank you for your support of Modern Reformation, White Horse Inn, and prisoners like this young man.
After declining several invitations, John Witherspoon (1723-94) finally accepted a call as the first pastor of Nassau Presbyterian Church and president of Princeton College. At Princeton he also taught theology, history, and philosophy to many of the new nation’s leaders, including James Madison, Aaron Burr, and a host of supreme court justices and members of Congress. Besides being the only clergyman (and college president) to sign the Declaration of Independence, Witherspoon also drafted the Articles of Confederation and gave input on the U.S. Constitution. However, his lesser-known ministry in the Church of Scotland was just as active and controversial. Before emigrating, Witherspoon wrote a Ecclesiastical Maxims, a collection of maxims that employed satire as a way of illustrating the feeble sentiments of the Kirk’s “Moderate” wing. This one is too relevant to our own day to overlook. The views he targets here are often repeated in our day and this satire reminds us that in spite of the “postmodern” advertisements, anti-confessional arguments have varied little from their “modern” script:
John Witherspoon (Ecclesiastical Characteristics, Maxim III):
“It is a necessary part of the character of a moderate man, never to speak of the Confession of Faith but with a sneer; to give sly hints, that he does not thoroughly believe it; and to make the word orthodoxy a term of contempt and reproach.
“The Confession of Faith, which we are now all laid under a disagreeable necessity to subscribe, was framed in times of hot religious zeal; and therefore it can hardly be supposed to contain any thing agreeable to our sentiments in these cool and refreshing days of moderation. So true is this, that I do not remember to have heard any moderate man speak well of it, or recommend it, in a sermon, or private discourse, in my time, And, indeed, nothing can be more ridiculous, than to make a fixed standard for opinions, which change just as the fashions of clothes and dress. No complete system can be settled for all ages, except the maxims I am now compiling and illustrating, and their great perfection lies in their being ambulatory, so that they may be applied differently, with the change of times.
“…There is one very strong particular reason why moderate men cannot love the Confession of Faith; moderation evidently implies a large share of charity, and consequently a good and favorable opinion of those that differ from our church; but a rigid adherence to the Confession of Faith, and high esteem of it, nearly borders upon, or gives great suspicion of harsh opinions of those that differ from us: and does not experience rise up and ratify this observation? Who are the narrow-minded, bigotted, uncharitable persons among us? Who are the severe censurers of those that differ in judgment? Who are the damners of the adorable Heathens, Socrates, Plato, Marcus Antonius, &c.? In fine, who are the persecutors of the inimitable heretics among ourselves? Who but the admirers of this antiquated composition, who pin their faith to other men’s sleeves, and will not endure one jot less or different belief from what their fathers had before them! It is therefore plain, that the moderate man, who desires to inclose all intelligent beings in one benevolent embrace, must have an utter abhorrence at that vile hedge of distinction, the Confession of Faith…”