Divine Incomprehensibility and Man’s Knowledge of God


Can we know anything about God? The deity’s traditional designation as “incomprehensible” is apt to make the unsuspecting nervous that those who talk in such a way mean we cannot. This would be problematic, of course, because Scripture clearly indicates that we do know God, and things about God. As Jesus says in John 17.3, “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

The Benefits of Learning Latin for Regular Pastors


Benefits of Latin for “regular” pastors? Well, what’s an irregular pastor? While I’d argue Latin is beneficial to all pastors, whether those of mega, medium, or minor congregations, there are certain pastors who may never study Latin—the Irregulars. Their ministries are somewhat restricted, perhaps only to the pulpit, with staff and assistants handling many daily administrative tasks that plague the schedules of mule-pastors who carry many ministry stones on their shoulders: bulletins, frequent visitation and counseling, or unclogging toilets forgotten by the few deacons busy that week anyway.

Calvin on the Public Rites of Confession and Absolution


Lourdes, Haute Pyrénées, France: Pilgrims Praying and Confessing by the Roadside

 

This article by Clayton Hutchins was originally published in Ad Fontes Volume III, Issue 2.

 

In the third book of his Institutes, John Calvin argues that the church’s worship should begin with a corporate prayer of confession:

Besides the fact that ordinary confession has been commended by the Lord’s mouth, no one of sound mind, who weighs its usefulness, can dare disapprove it. For since in every sacred assembly we stand before the sight of God and the angels, what other beginning of our action will there be than the recognition of our own unworthiness? But that, you say, is done through every prayer; for whenever we pray for pardon, we confess our sin. Granted. But if you consider how great is our complacency, our drowsiness, or our sluggishness, you will agree with me that it would be a salutary regulation if the Christian people were to practice humbling themselves through some public rite of confession. For even though the ceremony that the Lord laid down for the Israelites was a part of the tutelage of the law, still the reality underlying it in some manner pertains also to us. And indeed, we see this custom observed with good results in well-regulated churches: that every Lord’s Day the minister frames the formula of confession in his own and the people’s name, and by it he accuses all of wickedness and implores pardon from the Lord. In short, with this key a gate to prayer is opened both to individuals in private and to all in public.[1]

Read more…