Due to some unforeseen circumstances, I'm taking a couple weeks off my normal blog-posting schedule. I'll try to resume normal posts on Monday, Nov. 8. In the meantime, you can check out my church's Facebook feed at facebook.com/calaisbaptist, which includes a daily inspirational video post from me and my family.
Saturday, October 24, 2020
Friday, October 23, 2020
Thursday, October 22, 2020
- Richard Baxter (1615-1691, pictured above) was one of the leading Puritan pastors in England. He reformed the practice of ministry in and around his parish of Kidderminster. His most famous book, The Reformed Pastor, describes this process. He gained tremendous influence during the English Civil War but largely failed to bring unity among the divided Christians of England. He spent much of his career suffering intermittent persecution and imprisonment.
- John Bunyan (1628-1688, pictured right) was a member of the Puritan nonconformist movement that would come to be known as “Baptists.” As a young man, he was tortured by an uneasy conscience and became convinced of his wretchedness as a sinner. It was this feeling of spiritual desperation that led him to a group of Baptists led by the pastor John Gifford. Bunyan took over the pastorate from Gifford, and became famous as a pastor and writer. He is the author of Pilgrim’s Progress, one of the most widely-published books in history, and several other important works, including his autobiography, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners.
- The King James Bible, though it later became beloved, was originally composed, at least in part, as an anti-Baptist Bible (Baptists, and some other Puritans of the time, preferred the Geneva Bible).
- The Puritan colony at Massachusetts Bay was one of the most highly-educated, literate societies in the world. Within a few years of its establishment, they founded Harvard College.
- The early Puritans in Massachusetts, in contrast to many other settlers, wanted to evangelize and do good to the Native Americans. They considered their colony a “city on a hill,” an experiment in holiness which the whole world was watching.
“I preached as never sure to preach again, as a dying man to dying men.” - Richard Baxter
“Men would sooner believe that the gospel is from heaven if they saw more such effects of it upon the hearts and lives of those who profess it. The world is better able to read the nature of religion in a man’s life than in the Bible.” - Richard Baxter
“There are no virtues wherein your example will do more, at least to abate men’s prejudice, than humility and meekness and self-denial.” - Richard Baxter
“Unity in things necessary; liberty in things unnecessary; and charity in all.” - Richard Baxter
“One leak will sink a ship: and one sin will destroy a sinner.” – John Bunyan
“In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without heart.” – John Bunyan
“Heart-work is hard work indeed. To shuffle over religious duties with a loose and careless spirit, will cost no great difficulties; but to set yourself before the Lord, and to tie up your loose and vain thoughts to a constant and serious attendance upon him: this will cost you something.” – John Flavel
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Monday, October 19, 2020
"Why are good people afflicted with hard times and calamities?... So that the human spirit may be proved, and that the strength of faithful trust and selfless love with which it cleaves to God may be shown."
- Augustine, from his book City of God (I.9)