Teach Us to Number Our Days

“Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90: 12).
This verse is often treated as if it were a proverb that means, “Life is short, so live wisely.” But in the context of the whole psalm, it means mu…

Can Christians Pray the Imprecations of Psalm 69?

Psalm 69 presents familiar elements of lament and praise, but in a particularly pointed and vivid way. The suffering is poignant, the praise strong, the imprecations severe, and the anticipations of Christ detailed. The psalm is primarily a series of …

What Does Semper Reformanda Mean?

The phrase ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda (the church reformed, always reforming) has been used so often as to make it a motto or slogan. People have used it to support a surprising array of theological and ecclesiastical programs and purposes….

What Does Semper Reformanda Mean?

The phrase ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda (the church reformed, always reforming) has been used so often as to make it a motto or slogan. People have used it to support a surprising array of theological and ecclesiastical programs and purposes….

Why I Love the Psalms

At a recent conference, I was asked what my favorite book of the Bible is. My initial reaction was to wonder if that was a bad question. Should we not like all of the Word of God equally? Then I thought that I should cooperate, and I asked myself what…

The Myth of Influence

In the March 7, 1998, issue of the Los Angeles Times, the Religion section featured an article entitled, “L.A.-Area Seminary Teachers Gather to Ponder the Truth.” For the fourth year, the Skirball Institute on American Values drew five seminaries toge…

Martin Luther’s 7 Characteristics of the Church

The Word
“First, the holy Christian people are recognized by their possession of the holy word of God.” Martin Luther always returned to the foundational importance of the Scriptures and the gospel in his approach to any doctrinal question. The church…

Why Did the Reformers Conclude that Reform Was Urgent and Necessary in the 16th Century?

The church is always in need of reform. Even in the New Testament, we see Jesus rebuking Peter, and we see Paul correcting the Corinthians. Since Christians are always sinners, the church will always need reform. The question for us, however, is when d…

John Calvin on the Necessity for Reforming the Church

More than 450 years ago, a request came to John Calvin to write on the character of and need for reform in the Church. The circumstances were quite different from those that inspired other writings of Calvin, and enable us to see other dimensions of h…

5 Themes on Providence from the Psalms

In 1557, John Calvin published his large commentary on the book of Psalms. In the English translation, this commentary runs to five substantial volumes. This commentary reflects a life lived with the Psalter. He loved the psalms: he knew them, studied…