• Church

    The Münster Rebellion: Unveiling the Forgotten Chapter in Church History

    Understanding history is not merely an exercise in nostalgia or intellectual curiosity. History holds profound significance for Christians today. Studying the past provides invaluable insights into the events that have shaped the course of society and the church. When we study the events and individuals that have influenced the church throughout the centuries, we can gain a deeper understanding of present-day dilemmas. Furthermore, the positive examples in church history can inspire us through the unwavering devotion and resilience of those who have gone before us. One captivating (although lesser known) chapter in church history is the sad tale of the Münster Rebellion. This compelling story unfolds as a complex narrative, blending religious zeal, political turmoil, and the pursuit of the utopian ideals of a kingdom on earth. When we unravel the lessons embedded within this tragedy, we find a few key takeaways that are worthy of contemplation. Although there is…

  • Church,  New Testament,  Theology

    The Historic Connection between Easter and Baptism

    Easter is one of the most significant celebrations for the Christian, marking the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. This celebration of Christ’s resurrection is arguably the centerpiece of the Christian life. After all, if Christ has not been raised, our faith is futile and we are still in our sins (1 Cor 15:17). It is no wonder that Easter is one of the most joyous occasions of the Christian life! A lesser-known part of the Easter celebration is its historic connection to baptism. Traditionally, Easter was recognized as a prime time for the baptism of new coverts. The association between a believer’s baptism and Christ’s resurrection was viewed as central. But, it was not an issue that was without differing opinions. The Easter Baptism Debate in the Early Church Leo I was bishop of Rome from 440 to 461 AD. Also known as Leo the Great, Leo exercised…

  • Old Testament

    Are Kings and Chronicles the Same?

    Many an English Bible reader has read the book of kings (also known as 1 & 2 Kings) only to feel they are reading a repeat of the same stories in the very next book, Chronicles (1 & 2 Chronicles). I remember the first time I read through the Bible, I was somewhat frustrated by all the repetition. I did not agree with the Greek translator of Chronicles, who calls Chronicles παραλειπομένων (“of the things left out”). It certainly doesn’t feel like Chronicles is talking about the things left out of Kings. What is the difference between Kings and Chronicles? Are they repeated histories that just both happened to make it into the Canon? Big Picture Differences between Kings and Chronicles The book of Kings covers a period of approximately four centuries, from the death of King David (ca. 970 BC) to the Babylonian exile of 587/6 BC. It is…

  • Old Testament

    Calendar, the Bible, and Ancient Israel

    A calendar is a cultural convention of tracking extended time. It is internalized without much thought by a culture, but it is interesting (and important) to note that calendars have changed significantly over time. In fact, it may come as a surprise to some readers that the current method for date reckoning that Western nations use is called the Gregorian calendar, which was recently (1582 AD) put into place by Pope Gregory XIII to improve the former Julian calendar, which had been used utilized since the time of domination by the Roman Empire. The Julian calendar, named after Julius Caesar (40s BC), was largely accurate but was off by about 1 day per 100 years. Thus, Pope Gregory instituted a new calendar that would align even more precisely with the times and seasons, and would avoid having a regression (however slight it may be). So, the present calendar we use…

  • Apologetics,  Christian Living,  Culture,  Ethics

    Early Christian Opposition to Abortion

    Honestly, I am not surprised when some people claim to be Christians yet support abortion. I guess I am used to people claiming to be Christians while denying that claim by supporting all sorts of immoral nonsense. It is easy to claim to be a Christian. However, in contrast to many false believers who claim Jesus, real Christians are marked by commitment to Christ and His commandments. Real Christians are committed to the teachings of Jesus (John 13:35; 1 John 2:3) as well the teachings of Scripture as a whole (2 Tim 3:14-17). So, although I have seen my fair share of self-identifying Christians support abortion, I must admit I was a bit surprised recently when I saw a pastor of a megachurch come out and say abortion and Christianity are completely compatible. Of course a Christian analysis of this situation would affirm that abortion remains incompatible with a Christian…

  • Church

    Why Do the Dates for Easter Change?

    Growing up I was always frustrated that Easter was always on different days of the year. In contrast to Christmas or Thanksgiving, Easter always seemed to change. Sometimes it was in March, sometimes in was in April. How is one to make sense of it all? There is actually a method of behind the madness. And the method goes back a long time into history. If you compare all of the possible dates for Easter, you will observe that Easter can occur on any Sunday March 22 through April 25. Why between those dates? Easter and the Council of Nicaea It can be traced back to 325 AD, when the Council of Nicaea decreed that Easter was to be celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox (which falls on March 21). The reason the Council of Nicaea took up the issue, was because…

  • Culture

    Marxism, Neo-Marxism, and the Goal of Destruction

    Last century the world saw over 100 million deaths thanks to the communist worldview of Marxism. You would think that such a lesson would be unforgettable. However, the Western world has not only forgotten such a lesson, but according to BBC News, Karl Marx was voted as the greatest thinker of the millennium ahead of Albert Einstein! Because of Marxism’s continued influence, it is imperative for Christians to know about it. We must recognize it, be able to decry its evil, and we must warn our churches about Marxism’s seductive and sinful promises. The Beginnings of Marxism Marxism is associated with the man himself, Karl Marx (1818–1883). Marx was born to a nominal Christian family, but he converted to atheism very early. Unsurprisingly, his atheism colored many of his views throughout his life. Marx studied the philosophy of Georg W. F. Hegel at the University of Berlin. Hegel had quite…

  • Culture,  Theology

    A Brief History of Prisons and Their Failure

    On a recent episode of The Briefing, Al Mohler discussed New York’s plan to spend $9 billion on building new prisons. Mohler included a brief discussion of the history of prisons which inspired me to do a little more research on the issue. Throughout most of human history, prisons were meant to be a temporary arrangement. Prisons in the ancient world were a place where a suspect was to be held while waiting for his case to be heard. For example, Leviticus 24:10-12 mentions the imprisonment of an individual until the verdict had been reached, and the judgment was then administered (cf. Num 15:32-36). Similarly, in ancient Mesopotamian practice, a suspect was often held in the temple until his trial. This pattern is continued in the New Testament era where prisoners were either held until their case was clarified (Acts 5:17-25; 16:23-24), or debtors were kept while they or their…

  • Church

    A Man of Whom the World Was Not Worthy

    In life there are few men and women who exemplify what could be called true greatness. This kind of greatness often defies definition and is instead understood by seeing the character within the narrative which makes them special. Today I want to share with you the story of someone who exemplified this kind of character. His name is Eric Liddell. Liddell’s story may be known to some from the 1981 movie, Chariots of Fire. The movie relates Liddell’s story, how at the age of 22 he climbed the ranks of the world’s best 100m sprinters—one of the favorites to win the 1924 Olympics in Paris. However, Liddell learned that his heat of the 100m was set for a Sunday (Liddell was a Christian who refused to participate in athletics on Sundays). To shorten a story which ought not to be shortened, he switched events, giving himself 6 months to train…