Showing posts from December, 2010

The Humble King Who Rules the Nations: A Christmas Meditation

(by Dr. J. Mark Beach, professor of Dogmatics and Ministerial Studies at Mid-America Reformed Seminary, author of "Piety's Wisdom: A Summary of Calvin's Institute" and "Christ and the Covenant")

Christmas hardly has a chance nowadays! The community of unbelief has trampled underfoot the meaning of Immanuel - God with us. The community of faith, of course, still knows the meaning of Christmas. Luke 2 - the more earthly perspective on Christmas - shows us David's descendants (Mary and Joseph) scurrying off to Bethlehem because the Roman king ordered them to do so. Caesar taxes them to oppress them. It's a story of humiliation and obscurity which highlights the ordinary humanness of Christ's birth, of God come in the flesh, even amidst the stench of a barn.

By contrast, Revelation 12 - the more heavenly perspective on Christmas - presents David's descendents (the woman about to give birth) shining forth with the glory of the celestial bodies a…

The Gain of Godliness

by Terry Johnson (a Tabletalk article on August 2009 available at

Rich people are materialistic. We all know it. All they care about is their money and things. Or so I thought. My background consists of a blue-collar neighborhood and an inner-city high school in Southern California. My quick judgment of wealthy people, when first I encountered them, was that they were superficial, worldly, and materialistic. They were caught up in things and appearances. They lacked the simplicity of the virtuous poor, the salt of the earth, among whom I numbered myself.

“The love of money is the root of all sorts of evil,” says the apostle (1 Tim. 6:10, NASB). He warns not of money per se, but the “love of money,” and “longing for it.” He addresses not the rich so much as “those who want to get rich” (v. 9), among whom we could add those desperate to hang on to their money or multiply their money and become richer yet.

The money problem that the…