First Things RSS Feed - Timothy George
Timothy George is dean of Beeson Divinity School of Samford University and general editor of the Reformation Commentary on Scripture.en-usCopyright 2016 First Things. All Rights Reserved.firstname.lastname@example.org (The Editors)email@example.com (The Editors)Fri, 21 Oct 2016 09:03:44 -0400https://d25wp47b6tla3u.cloudfront.net/img/favicon-196.pngFirst Things RSS Feed Image
60Packer at Ninetyhttps://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2016/10/packer-at-ninety
Mon, 17 Oct 2016 06:00:00 -0400 Several years ago Alister McGrath and I had a conversation about our friend, J. I. Packer, his influence on us, and the role he has played as a leading evangelical theologian and teacher within the worldwide Christian movement. Out of that conversation emerged a conference in honor of Packer’s eightieth birthday, held at Beeson Divinity School in 2006, and a subsequent book,
J. I. Packer and the Evangelical Future
. This past summer, Packer turned ninety years of age. Next month, in San Antonio, he will again be recognized at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society as scholars review the significance of his life and work as a theologian, ecumenist, and churchman. Who, then, is J. I. Packer?
The Eternity of Godhttps://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2016/10/the-eternity-of-god
Mon, 03 Oct 2016 06:00:00 -0400The Scottish theologian James B. Torrance (1923-2003) published in 1997 a brief but brilliant book titled
Worship, Community and the Triune God of Grace
. The doctrine of grace, Torrance noted, is directly related to two of the primary divine attributes, God’s holiness and his love. But each of them implies a third: the eternity of God. For God would be less than perfect—that is to say, less than God—if either his holiness or his love had come into being at a certain point within God’s own divine life. To say that God is “the Maker of heaven and earth” is to claim that God antedates everything that exists outside of himself. “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God” (Ps 90:2).
]]>Lund and the Quest for Christian Unityhttps://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2016/09/lund-and-the-quest-for-christian-unity
Mon, 19 Sep 2016 06:00:00 -0400Next month, on October 31, the eve of All Saints Day, Pope Francis will visit Lund, Sweden, to participate with Lutheran church leaders in a joint ecumenical commemoration of the Reformation. October 31 is Reformation Day on Protestant church calendars, and this year it will mark the 499
anniversary of Martin Luther’s posting of the 95 Theses on the Castle Church door at Wittenberg. The Pope’s presence at the prayer service in Lund Cathedral (
), a church where Christians have worshiped for more than one thousand years, will be followed by a larger gathering at nearby Malmö. This historic occasion, which will launch a full year of Reformation remembrances, will doubtless be the most talked about ecumenical event of 2016.
]]>Hans Friedrich Grohs: From Bereavement to Benedictionhttps://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2016/09/hans-friedrich-grohs-from-bereavement-to-benediction
Mon, 05 Sep 2016 06:00:00 -0400Hans Friedrich Grohs (1892-1981) was an accomplished artist who belonged to the second generation of German Expressionist painters. His life’s work, which survives in several thousand pieces of art, is a remarkable testimony to creativity, courage, and faith in an apocalyptic world of violence, death, and moral collapse. He was born four years after Kaiser Wilhelm II ascended the German imperial throne; he died nearly a century later, in the same decade that witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany. He was drafted as a soldier in both world wars and experienced firsthand the Nazi reign of terror in between. Few artists have lived so fully, or recorded so faithfully, such a vast sweep of human history.
]]>James Earl Massey: Steward of the Storyhttps://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2016/07/james-earl-massey-steward-of-the-story
Mon, 25 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0400I first heard the voice of James Earl Massey when I was a theological student at Harvard Divinity School and he was the stated preacher for the Christian Brotherhood Hour, a weekly international broadcast sponsored by the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana). In those days, homiletics was not a regular part of the curriculum at Harvard. As a young minister with a small pastoral charge, I was eager to learn all I could about the craft of preaching, especially in a multi-racial, inner-city congregation. James Earl Massey was different than any other radio preacher I had ever heard. His diction was perfect, his command of the English language was superb, and his style was lively and compelling, though never marked by ostentation. He also had a way of getting on the inside of a biblical text, of unraveling it, so to speak, not the way a botanist would study a leaf in a laboratory, but like a great singer offering a distinctive rendition of a famous song.
]]>The Reformation, a Tragic Necessityhttps://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2016/07/the-reformation-a-tragic-necessity
Mon, 11 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0400Jaroslav Pelikan
(1923-2006) was the greatest historian of Christian
doctrine since Adolf von Harnack, and he was both more comprehensive and more sympathetic to the tradition he studied than was the great scion of German liberal Protestantism. Pelikan also had a knack for framing profound and complex issues in short, memorable statements. “Jesus Christ is too important to be left to the theologians,” he once wrote. Again, “Tradition is the living faith of the dead; traditionalism is the dead faith of the living.” In 1959, on the eve of the Second Vatican Council, he coined another phrase of continuing relevance when he wrote of “the tragic necessity of the Reformation.”
]]>Bystanders to Genocidehttps://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2016/06/bystanders-to-genocide
Mon, 27 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0400The
visit of Pope Francis
to the Republic of Armenia, the first nation formally to adopt the Christian faith, has once again raised what is euphemistically called in Turkey “the Armenian matter.” This is all the more the case because last year, marking the one hundredth anniversary of the start of the Armenian genocide—the slaughter of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Turks in 1915—the pope dared to use the G-word. In response, Turkey recalled its ambassador from the Vatican (only to reinstate him this past February) and warned the Holy Father “not to make similar mistakes again.”
]]>The Bible Cause at 200https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2016/06/the-bible-cause-at-200
Tue, 14 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0400Two hundred years ago this Spring, on May 11, 1816, representatives from local Bible societies around the country gathered in New York City to establish the American Bible Society (ABS). Elias Boudinot was chosen as the first president. He had previously served as president of the Continental Congress and director of the U.S. Mint. In 1821 he was succeeded by Supreme Court Justice John Jay. Francis Scott Key, who wrote “The Star Spangled Banner,” was also among the founders.
]]>The One Really Interesting Storyhttps://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2016/05/the-one-really-interesting-story
Mon, 30 May 2016 00:00:00 -0400 The Book of Acts opens with two events of great salvation-historical importance: the going up of Jesus from earth into heaven (the Ascension), and the coming down of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples (Pentecost). Both events are commemorated by Christians in this season of the year. Jesus’s resurrection from the dead inaugurated God’s new beginning, which the New Testament calls “the last days.” In Jesus Christ, the future has invaded the present, and Christians are those “on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come” (1 Cor. 10:11). Jesus’s Ascension into heaven does not mean that he is absent from his followers, but rather that he is present to them in another form.
]]>Francis: A Springtime Sainthttps://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2016/05/francis-a-springtime-saint
Mon, 16 May 2016 00:00:00 -0400He shone in his days as a morning star in the midst of the clouds.
~Pope Gregory IX at the canonization of St. Francis of Assisi (1228)