On This Day Patrick Hamilton Burned at the Stake

On this leap day in the year 1528 Patrick Hamilton, the first Protestant reformer of Scotland, was martyred.  A proponent of Lutheran thought, Hamilton’s bold preaching and the events surrounding his martyrdom sparked the wildfire commonly referred to as the Scottish Reformation.

Hamilton was born in 1504 the second son of Sir Patrick Hamilton and Catherine Stewart in the village of Stonehouse in South Lanarkshire, Scotland.  He likely spent his early years studying at the royal burgh of Linlithgow before, at age twelve, being appointed titular (that is, in formality, not practice) Abbot of Fearn Abbey, Ross-shire.  The young abbot used the income he collected from his position to pay for his study at the University of Paris, where he graduated as a Master of the Arts in 1520.  It was during his time at the University of Paris where Hamilton was first introduced to the writings of Martin Luther, the much discussed and debated theologian of the time–writings he would later defend to the death.  Continue reading

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Today Marks the Beginning of Lent

“By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”
-Genesis 3:19 

Today, across the world, millions of people spanning numerous racial and cultural boundaries will gather to commemorate Ash Wednesday, the start of the period of Lent in the liturgical year.  From now until Easter Sunday, faithful followers of Christ from all over the face of the earth will begin preparation for the Holy Week in penitence through prayer, repentance, fasting, and various other worshipful practices.  But where will the evangelicals be?  Traditionally, very few evangelical denominations observe Lent (or any other events of the liturgical calendar outside of Christmas and Easter).  This is saddening.  The liturgical calendar presents a plethora of opportunities for the Church to worship the Lord in a variety of manners throughout the year, effectively encouraging the Christ follower to encounter God in new and enriching ways.  The practice of penitence during the period of Lent is one such way.  Continue reading

On This Day in Christian History

You ever sit and wonder how we got this Christianity thing we have today?  Ever imagine just how many people have dedicated their whole lives to preserve and progress the faith throughout the centuries?  What did men and women like Saint Athanasius, Lottie Moon, or Reuben Archer Torrey do that makes them so revered and remembered?  If you have ever asked yourself these or similar questions, this may be just the thing for you.

On This Day In Christian History will be an ongoing series of short posts commemorating the events in history that have made Christianity what it is today.  These events will span throughout the ages, touching on varying degrees of importance and obscurity, from the Christianization of the Roman Empire under Constantine to the baptism of Jagiello, king of the Lithuanians.  My hope is that the reader will be both enlightened and entertained as we reconnect with our roots, remembering all those who have come before us.  So, without further adieu, come, let us remember together.  Continue reading

On Romance

[This article is dedicated to Emma Keithley.  May you take to heart my thoughts, as your older brother, that you may not make the same mistakes that I have.  May your love be wiser and greater than mine.]

Valentine’s Day is a week away!  To reassure you, this is not another article on the mindless consumerism of America.  I will not be talking to you about the corporate conspiracy theories in the creation of marketable holidays so that makers of little candy hearts and over-the-top cheesy greeting cards can meet their quota to stay in business another year.  Nor will this be the rant of a young, single male on everything that is wrong with our culture’s take on relationships and love.  No, this will be a celebration of the beauty of romance.

First a disclaimer: I am under the influence of more old school romance.  I don’t know if I watched too many old movies or read too many old books, but I am uneasy about some of the more modern “romantic comedies” or romantic stories that are popular today.  I am not even sure if the way I see romantic relationships is necessarily the “right” way to do things; it just appeals to me more and I believe I have good reason, which have come my way, to be honest, at the cost of my failed attempts with romance.

Continue reading

Moody’s NEW Vision?

In a recent chapel Moody’s president, Dr. Paul Nyquist, unveiled his vision for our beloved institution’s future.  His message, originally presented live to the Chicago campus early last month (found here), was one of continuing to hold firm to Moody’s roots of spreading biblical truth while seeking to do so in ways that utilize the technological advancements of a modern world.  Put precisely, Dr. Nyquist shared the vision as follows:

Across the globe, cultures and generations, Moody will equip people with the truth of God’s Word, using new technology, in an agile and innovative community.

This, taken at face value, is a noble pursuit that has the full support of this particular student.  The manner by which Dr. Nyquist aims to go about doing this, however, seems contradictory to the goal itself.  How so?  As expressed in the president’s message to the student body, Moody plans to move forward in following this new direction by expanding both its radio and publishing branches.  In fact, Dr. Nyquist revealed plans for the construction of a new $20 million facility to house both the radio and publishing departments.  These are said new technologies that Moody plans to utilize “in an agile and innovative community”.  Perhaps radio was considered new to D.L. Moody himself, or publishing to Luther, but these mediums are far from new to the world in which we preside today.  Continue reading