Blame

Picture from the Whitman Mission Site Last weekend, my wife and I visited Walla Walla in Washington State.  Walla Walla is a cool little town surrounded by rolling prairie, farmland, and hills.  It is named for one of the Indian tribes that are native to the area. During our stay, we visited the Whitman Mission….

Halloween in Context—Dennis Patrick

The following is by Dennis Patrick, my father-in-law.  Dennis writes a weekly column for the Mountrail County Promoter, in which this piece originally appeared. *** It’s that time of year when pumpkins metamorphose into jack-o-lanterns and little imps provoke adults to give them candy. Halloween is here again. ​Is this really a time for celebrating…

The Beauty of Jesus—George Elliot

A few years ago, a family member gave me a book called, The Beauty of Jesus (published in 1904).  It is a compilation of sermons preached by Reverend George Elliott in the Central Methodist Episcopal Church, Detroit, Michigan.  Since receiving the book, it has sat on a bookshelf.  But I found that the title caught my…

A Testament of Devotion

About two years ago I was introduced to Christian Quakerism through the writings of its founder, George Fox.  I found Fox’s focus on the indwelling Christ spiritually rich.  I went on to read An Apology for the True Christian Divinity by Robert Barclay.  This was the first systematic presentation of Quaker beliefs. For Christmas, I received…

Fill in the Blank

Jerome (345-420 AD) was an early church father, scholar, and monk.  He is probably best known for his translation of the Bible into Latin (known as “The Vulgate” because Latin was the vulgar or common language). When Jerome was about 30 and a rising academic star, he had a dream that brought his star crashing…

Disciples and Division

Recently, I read Christian History magazine, issue 120: “Calvin, Councils, and Confessions–How the Church became the Churches.” Church history is a hobby. I identify less with a particular tradition than with anyone in Christ. I love church history because I see it as my history–Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant. Issue 120 discusses the spread of Reformed…

Spring

Great Springs National Park in Great Falls, Montana “So Isaac left there, camped in the Valley of Gerar, and lived there. Isaac reopened the water wells that had been dug in the days of his father…. Then Isaac’s slaves dug in the valley and found a well of spring water there” (Gen. 26:17-19). Isaac reopened…

Augustine: Exposition on Psalms

Augustine (354-430 AD) was a bishop in north Africa.  He remains one of the most influential thinkers in church history.  Augustine is known for books like City of God, in which he explained Rome’s fall: Rome typified the city of man which isn’t eternal.  Instead of looking to Rome, Christians look “to the city that has…

On Loving God–Bernard of Clairvaux

Bernard of Clairvaux was a monk in the 11th and 12th centuries. Bernard enjoys wide appeal.  After reading his classic, On Loving God, I understand why.  This book has a refreshing, simple focus on loving God.  It is not a work of dazzling theological argument but evokes 1 Corinthians 8:2-3: “If anyone thinks he knows anything,…

Patrick the Slave

From his brief autobiography we learn that…the Irish, then called Scots, began swooping down on the English coast, sailing up the rivers, raiding the settlements, and carrying off plunder and slaves. Among the captives was Patrick. So Ireland’s patron saint was not Irish! He had been reared a Christian. His father was a deacon, but…