Christ Jesus “in the form of God” and “the form of a servant:” Philippians 2:5-11

  by Andrew Lindsey In Philippians 2:5-11, the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul commands us to humility. This passage calls us to follow Christ as our example of humility. It also, implicitly, holds out a promise to us. God the Father exalted Christ Jesus due to His humble obedience. We who have been united to Christ by faith (1 Cor 6:17) will share in His exaltation as we follow His example. Paul gives an argument from the greater to the less. Christ exercised humility, as Calvin notes, “[B]y abasing Himself from the highest pinnacle of glory to the lowest […]

Read More

Thomas Cranmer: The English Reformer

by Tim Scott [Look at the bottom to see our latest edition of Firm in Faith] Thomas Cranmer was born on July 2, 1489, in Nottinghamshire, England. Little is known about his early childhood but he enrolled at Jesus College, Cambridge, at age 14. He went on to spend approximately 30 years at Cambridge, earning his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees along the way. His writings from this period reveal a man who was more sympathetic to Erasmus’s humanism than he was to Martin Luther’s doctrinal reforms; and sometime around the year 1520, he became a Roman Catholic priest. Cranmer […]

Read More

The Thundering Scot: John Knox

by Daniel Scheiderer If you could look below deck on a particular French ship during an eighteen-month period in the middle of the sixteenth-century, with the Reformation in Europe well underway, you may well have encountered a haggard man among the many from Scotland. Yes, this galley slave would be working as hard as others to row the ship, but he would also be sharing Scripture with the men and throwing idolatrous images of Mary overboard. John Knox was likely born in the year 1514 and was one of many to embrace the Reformation sweeping Europe. His initial role was […]

Read More

John Calvin

by Mike Miller John Calvin remains today a controversial figure in history. He was born at Noyon, France in 1509, and grew up in a Catholic home with his lawyer father who was possibly the treasurer for the church.  His mother would die when Calvin was young. He studied at the University of Paris to become a priest, but his father’s trouble in the church would force him to a career as a lawyer. The change of career path guided him to the University of Orleans where he studied law and read the classic Greek authors. He moved back to Paris […]

Read More

Martin Luther’s Posting of the 95 Theses and Its Results

by Andrew Lindsey On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther—a monk, who was also a university professor in Bible and theology—posted the 95 Theses against indulgences on the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. The 95 Theses were originally written in Latin; these written assertions were intended to form the basis for debates among theological professors and church leaders. Two weeks after the 95 Theses were posted, however, some of Luther’s students translated the Theses into German and gave them to a printer. Soon, nearly everyone in Germany was discussing and debating the Theses. Within the 95 Theses, Luther questioned […]

Read More

From God, To God: Sola Scriptura and Soli Deo Gloria

by Daniel Scheiderer The Reformation was full of Latin terms, words like “simul justus et peccator” (at the same time just and sinner). In the previous post and this one, we are defining what are called the “Five Solas,” five Latin terms applied by Reformation theologians to summarized the major doctrinal differences between the Protestants and their Roman Catholic counterparts. Later historians and theologians have referred to the “formal” and “material” principles of the Reformation, “formal” referring to the source of doctrine and “material” to the doctrine itself. While the doctrine of “faith alone,” (sola fide) particularly in Christ alone […]

Read More

Justification: Peace with God by Grace, through Faith, in Christ Alone

  by Matthew Tellis “For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification” -Romans 5:16  The doctrine of justification is the foundation of the Reformation. Understanding justification, biblically, was pivotal in Martin Luther’s challenge to the Roman Catholic Church, and it shaped the Protestant Reformation. The Roman Catholic view of justification relies heavily on one’s own works, but we can see plainly in Scripture that we cannot justify ourselves before God (Rom 3:10-18). Romans 3:23 says that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. If, then, we cannot […]

Read More

What is Evangelism?

by Mike Miller [Note: Scroll to the bottom for the next edition of our Firm in Faith series of collected articles.] Before I start defining Evangelism, I think a story may help us to begin thinking about evangelism. I want to introduce a man named Brenden. He worked for a campus ministry at a university in the Midwest. During the spring semester, he took the time to meet once a week with an overzealous freshman after a mutual friend connected them. They spent an entire semester going through the Old Testament looking for Christ, but by the end of the […]

Read More