Blog Category: Church History

John Bunyan, Joy, and Suffering

Joe Leinen | June 24, 2016

John Bunyan is best known as the author of Pilgrim’s Progress; however, he has left behind a far greater treasure than any of his books, sermons, or achievements. Perhaps the greatest gift that John Bunyan left to us was the incredible story of his joy in his sufferings for the Gospel. To understand the legacy […]

Timeless Truth in an Ancient Hymn

Daniel Stevens | May 19, 2016

Hymns are a theological repository of the church. Through hymns we make a catechism for the generations. As time goes on, hymns come to contain the doctrines most well known and most closely cherished by the people of God. By setting the truth of God to music, the church of God is united not only […]

Did the Early Church Teach Transubstantiation?

Nathan Busenitz | April 22, 2016

Today’s post is intended to answer an important question from a historical standpoint. However, it ought to be stated at the outset that Scripture must be our final authority in the determination of sound doctrine and right practice. The word “eucharist” means “thanksgiving” and was an early Christian way of referring to the celebration of the […]

Cowardice, Courage, and the Death of Cranmer

Nathan Busenitz | April 6, 2016

A brief sketch from the pages of Reformation history. Four hundred sixty years ago, on March 21, 1556, a crowd of curious spectators packed University Church in Oxford, England. They were there to witness the public recantation of one of the most well-known English Reformers, a man named Thomas Cranmer. Cranmer had been arrested by Roman […]

Augustine and Christian Joy

Michael Riccardi | April 5, 2016

Many Christians recognize the name of Augustine of Hippo from his valiant defense of the biblical doctrine of divine sovereignty against the man-centered heresy of the British monk Pelagius. And we know that the Reformers made exceedingly frequent references to Augustine’s work as they fought against the man-centeredness of the Roman Catholic Church. But what […]

The Word Made Flesh

Stephen J. Nichols | February 26, 2016

Reflections on the Release of “The Word Made Flesh: The Ligonier Statement on Christology” Someday the entire earth will resound with one singular confession: “Jesus Christ is Lord” (Phil 2:11). This short sentence is a creed, a concise statement of belief. This statement declares what we believe about Christ. Getting the doctrine of the person […]

Christmas, Controversies, and Christ

Nathan Busenitz | December 1, 2015

Mention “Christmas” and “controversy” together in the same sentence, and most evangelicals will assume you’re talking about Santa Claus, Christmas trees, or the secularization of the winter holiday season. But, from a historical perspective, a much more significant controversy surrounded Christmas for the first five centuries of church history; and its effects still linger in […]

The Monk Who Was Not Good Enough

Nathan Busenitz | October 29, 2015

It was just over 500 years ago, in the fall of 1510, that a desperate Roman Catholic monk made what he thought would be the spiritual pilgrimage of a lifetime. He had become a monk five years earlier, much to the surprise and dismay of his father, who wanted him to become a lawyer. In […]

The Fire That Fueled the Reformation

Nathan Busenitz | October 26, 2015

“Is not My word like fire?” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock? (Jer. 23:29) What caused the Reformation? Many people might answer that question by pointing to Martin Luther and his 95 Theses. But if you were to ask Luther himself, he would not point to himself or his own writings. […]

Penal Substitution and Church History

Michael J. Vlach | September 8, 2015

Since the rise of Protestant liberalism in the eighteenth century, it has become common for some to claim that penal substitution, the view that Christ died on behalf of sinners, is not a biblical doctrine. (For a clear refutation of that assertion, see here.) In recent years this position has been accompanied by assertions that […]

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