The Sweet Torture of Sunday Morning

From Web Exclusives

On Easter Sunday afternoon, the Reverend Gardner Calvin Taylor, age ninety-six, slipped away from this world to a better one, for “a taller town than Rome and an older place than Eden,” as he was wont to refer to heaven. His passing marks the end of an era in the history of the American pulpit. Often called the “dean of black preachers,” in reality Taylor transcended racial, social, and denominational categories. At his death, tributes poured in from all across the spectrum—from President Obama to conservative Southern Baptists. What made Gardner Taylor so great? Continue Reading »

The Fierce Christ of Easter Faith

From Web Exclusives

Yesterday, on Easter Sunday, many sermons were preached from John 11 on Jesus’s raising of Lazarus of Bethany from the dead. John 11:25-26 is one of the great resurrection texts of the New Testament. The Book of Common Prayer includes it in the “Order for the Burial of the Dead”: “I am the . . . . Continue Reading »

George Herbert in Lent

From Web Exclusives

The Anglican pastor and poet George Herbert died of tuberculosis on March 1, 1633, just one month shy of his fortieth birthday. Like his famous contemporary and friend John Donne and his nineteenth-century American echo Emily Dickinson, Herbert did not publish his poems during his lifetime. From . . . . Continue Reading »

Introduction to the First ECT Statement

From Web Exclusives

In 1534, Abbot Paul Bachmann published a virulent anti-Protestant booklet entitled “A Punch in the Mouth for the Lutheran Lying Wide-Gaping Throats.” Not to be outdone, the Protestant court chaplain, Jerome Rauscher, responded with a treatise of his own, titled “One Hundred Select, Great, Shameless, Fat, Well-Swilled, Stinking, Papistical Lies.” Continue Reading »

Reading Luke with the Reformers

From Web Exclusives

When Archbishop Thomas Cranmer published the first edition of the Book of Common Prayer in 1549, he included this prayer as a collect for the Feast Day of Saint Luke:Almighty God, who called Luke the Physician—whose praise is in his Gospel—to be a physician of the soul: May it please you by the . . . . Continue Reading »

When Africa Bleeds

From Web Exclusives

Seldom in recent memory has the Western world seemed more united than on January 11, 2015, when an estimated 1.5 million people, including forty-four world leaders, flooded the streets of Paris to protest the atrocities carried out by Islamist terrorists at the offices of the French weekly satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Who can forget the impressive show of unity—with the notable absence of the top constitutional officers of the United States—as Christian, Jewish, and Muslim lead Continue Reading »

Engaging John Together

From Web Exclusives

Not long ago I participated in a conference, “Engaging the Gospel of John, Engaging One Another: Catholics, Orthodox, and Evangelicals.” This conference was sponsored by Paradosis Center, a fellowship of Catholics, Orthodox, and Evangelicals committed to theology and Scripture within the Great Tradition.  Continue Reading »

Jesus on Safari

From Web Exclusives

It has been nearly ten years since Jaroslav Pelikan died and a full twenty-five since he completed The Christian Tradition, his five-volume, 2,100-page history of “what the church of Jesus Christ believes, teaches, and confesses on the basis of the Word of God.” Who was Jaroslav Pelikan, and why does his work remain so important for serious Christian scholarship today? Continue Reading »

God of Fire, Man of Prayer

From Web Exclusives

Birmingham is a post-Civil War city founded in 1871 in response to the discovery of one of the world’s richest mineral deposits of iron, coal, and limestone. The abundance of these raw materials led to a thriving steel industry, and Birmingham became the “Pittsburgh of the South.” In the early twentieth century, the leaders of Birmingham commissioned a statue of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire and the forge, to represent the city at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. Today, Vulcan stands 56-feet tall high atop Red Mountain overlooking the city, a symbol of Birmingham’s history. Colossus-like, Vulcan is the largest cast-iron statue in the world, welcoming thousands of visitors every day from near and far. Continue Reading »

Spurgeon at Year’s End

From Web Exclusives

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) was a cigar-smoking Baptist pastor in Victorian London whose influence, even in his own lifetime, extended far beyond the bounds of his own nation and denomination. Known as “the boy wonder of the fens” for his notable preaching in the villages of Cambridgeshire, Spurgeon took London by storm when he was only nineteen years of age. Continue Reading »