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Effective Compassion



Reformed Theological Seminary’s Institute of Theology and Public Life invites you to an upcoming course: Effective Compassion  July 28-29, 2017 Featuring Brian Fikkert, co-author When Helping Hurts The biblical admonition to care for our neighbors in need is clear. But how should we help? How can we ensure that our compassion for...

The Book of Esther: A Silence so Loud, it is Deafening



In recent days I have spent a good amount of time studying the Book of Esther and I have fallen in love with this amazing book once again.  It is regularly treated like the annoying younger sibling who constantly tags along when we want to hang out with our friends.  Regrettably, the value and even the canonicity of Esther is regularly...

The Great Feast



“On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,  of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.” Isaiah 25:6 When God brought Israel through the Sea, and entered covenant with them at Sinai, the elders ate and drank with him.  “They saw the God...

Strengthening Faith



Consider three scenarios— Scenario I.  An intelligent, believing friend of yours is a regular reader of the New York Times Review of Books. In nearly every edition there appears (so it seems) a review of a book that purports to explain some feature of the world, its inhabitants, or the world itself in purely naturalistic terms. In...

The Best Wine



On the way to a wedding, what do you look forward to?  Food?  Yes. Good fun and joy?  Definitely.  Dancing?  Maybe...  Jesus chose to do his first “sign” at a wedding.  Marriage is a choice gift of God, so we celebrate.  Jesus did not kill the joy. The problem of the lack of wine was...

A Tale of Two Parties



It’s the height of summer and thus the peak of the party season. So why do people go to parties? It seems to me that there are two main reasons. Sometimes people go because they like what the party has to offer. They like the people, the food, the drinks, the music. And sometimes they go because they are afraid of what will happen if they...

Uses of Philosophy



What is philosophy? Through its long history, philosophy has been understood variously. For purposes of this essay, we will take it to be a clarifying discipline, a way of approaching problems of a certain kind by analyzing, by breaking problems into smaller and smaller bits. Before philosophy answers, it asks. The point of querying isn’t...

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