Coming Attractions!

Beginning September 4, the Wednesday (morning and evening) women’s Bible study will embark on a study of the book of Hosea, using the 12-week study written by Lydia Brownback for the Knowing The Bible series of studies. This study will be co-led by Jana Henry and Barbaranne Kelly.

Why did we choose Hosea? We have been studying New Testament epistles for the past few years, and were wanting to return to the Old Testament. We firmly believe that “All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the [wo]man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (1 Tim 3:16-17). In seeking to balance our diet of scripture studies, we are turning to this Old Testament prophet.

But, why Hosea? When there are so many Old Testament books from which to choose, why this one specifically? Last year we studied 1 John, which is saturated with the love of God. In choosing Hosea, we will still be studying the love of God: a love which relentlessly pursues its beloved. Hosea highlights the holiness and depth of God’s love for his people. But Hosea also demonstrates how very unlovable God’s people are when he first sets his love on them—on us. “In this is love, not that we have loved God, but that he loved us…” (1 John 4:10). We will learn how prone our hearts are to wander from our loving God and to seek satisfaction in spiritual adultery. And yet, even though we wander, God pursues us with holy, redemptive, covenant love, again and again… and again. Though we wander from God, he does not abandon us!

And I will punish her for the feast days of the Baals
    when she burned offerings to them
and adorned herself with her ring and jewelry,
    and went after her lovers
    and forgot me, declares the Lord.

Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
and bring her into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.
And there I will give her her vineyards
and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.

(Hosea 2:13-15, bold print mine)

We look forward to this study and hope you will consider joining us. Since we are using a published study, we must order the books for each of you who register. Please register soon (click here to register), so that we can be sure to have enough books for everyone!

1 John P2R, Week 15

In this week’s passage of 1 John we are continuing in the theme of love, with the addition of abiding: God abiding in us, and we abiding in him. This segues into knowing, which leads to seeing and testifying “that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.” We then curve back to confession and abiding, which will lead full circle back to love in next week’s passage. And so, this week we have more of a train of thought, even though it circles back to love, rather than a tight spiral of one thought. Continue reading “1 John P2R, Week 15”

1 John P2R, Week 14

This week’s portion of 1 John is again split between two different, but not unrelated, thoughts. Last week John began warning us to not believe every spirit because of the many antichrists that have gone out into the world. We continue with that line of thought now from verses 4 to 6, and so John’s inclination to write in sharp contrasts gives us a lot of “us versus them” language. His entire epistle is a study in contrasts, but verses 4-6 are literally packed with you/them, they/we, them/us. Also in verse 4 we find the familiar encouragement that “he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” Continue reading “1 John P2R, Week 14”

Church History Lesson 5

(The link to the Burk Parson talk at Ligonier is in the sidebar under Church History)

 

The Puritans Desire to Reform the Church of England

The Puritans wished to see in­stalled in every parish an earnest and spiritually minded pastor able to preach. They demanded the abolition of the clerical dress then in vogue; of kneeling at the Lord’s Supper; of the ring ceremony at weddings; and of the use of the sign of the cross at baptism.

In the clerical dress then in use they saw the claim of the clergy to powers which reminded them of the power of Catholic priests. In kneeling at the Lord’s Supper they saw adoration of the physical pres­ence of Christ as taught in the Catholic doctrine of transubstan­tiation.

Before long they went even further in their demands for the purification of the Church. They wished to see in each parish, elders chosen to exercise discipline. They wished to have the ministers chosen by the people, and the office of bishop abolished. All ministers, they believed, should be on an equal footing. This amounted to a de­mand for the presbyterian form of church government in place of the Episcopalian.

Although the Puritans objected strongly to the episcopal form of church government and to many of the rites and ceremonies of the Church of England, they were strongly opposed to separation from that Church. They wished to stay in that Church and to reform it from within, molding it after the pattern of Calvin’s church in Geneva.

The Separatists or Congrega­tionalists Leave the Church of England

The Separatists were also Puri­tans, but they were radical. They saw that the process of reforming the Episcopal Church of England from within would at best be long and tedious, if not entirely hopeless. They therefore separated themselves from the Church of England and became known as Separatists or Dissenters. In the matter of church government they believed not only that each local church or congregation is a com­plete church in itself; but also that no church should have anything to say about any other church. Be­cause they believed that all local churches should be independent of each other, they were called Con­gregationalists or Independents. All Puritans, both those who re­mained in the Church of England and those who separated from it, were Calvinists in doctrine.

 

A New English Bible Is Ob­tained through Puritan Effort

In 1603 James I succeeded Eliza­beth upon the throne of England. At once the Puritans addressed to the new king a petition in which they set forth some very moderate requests. A conference between bishops and Puritans was held in the presence of the king. No changes in the affairs of the Church desired by the Puritans were granted. But one thing of very great importance was granted — a new translation of the Bible. The result was the King James Bible, published in 1611. This Bible is the translation which has until recent times been in universal use among all English-speaking people. Continue reading “Church History Lesson 5”