Roger Williams Banished

On this day in history–October 9, 1635, Roger Williams was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony because he questioned the colony’s politicized religion. In 1644, Williams went on to write The Bloody Tenent of Persecution, which laid out his critique of civil states enforcing religious doctrine or practice and his constructive case for religious freedom. In the preface to that book, Williams summarized his basic arguments: First. That the blood of so many hundred thousand souls of protestants and papists, spilt in the wars of present and former ages, for their respective consciences, is not required nor accepted by Jesus Christ … Continue reading Roger Williams Banished

Review of ‘Families and Faith’ by Vern L. Bengtson, Norella M. Putney, and Susan C. Harris

 Vern L. Bengtson, Norella M. Putney, and Susan C. Harris, Families and Faith: How Religion Is Passed Down Across Generations (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013). Hardback / Kindle For four generations now, the men in my family have been named George Wood, though each has a different middle name. My grandfather (G1), father (G2), and I (G3) also are ordained ministers in the Assemblies of God. Someday, I would love to see my son (G4) give his son (G5?) our common first name. I would even love to see him (them?) become a minister. (My wife is not so … Continue reading Review of ‘Families and Faith’ by Vern L. Bengtson, Norella M. Putney, and Susan C. Harris

Council of Chalcedon

On this day in history–October 8, 451–the Council of Chalcedon convened. The council met to resolve theological disputes about how Jesus Christ’s divinity related to his humanity. After several weeks of deliberation, it concluded that Jesus Christ is one person with two natures.  So, following the saintly fathers, we all with one voice teach the confession of one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: the same perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity, the same truly God and truly man, of a rational soul and a body; consubstantial with the Father as regards his divinity, and the same … Continue reading Council of Chalcedon

The Battle of Lepanto

    On this day in history–October 7, 1571–the Holy League defeated the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto. Michael Novak calls Lepanto the first of “Two Battles that Saved the West.” G. K. Chesterton wrote a poem about the battle in 1915, which includes an allusion to Don Quixote at the end. Here it is: —– Lepanto White founts falling in the Courts of the sun, And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run; There is laughter like the fountains in that face of all men feared, It stirs the forest darkness, the darkness of his … Continue reading The Battle of Lepanto

Review of ‘Flourishing Faith’ by Chad Brand

 Chad Brand, Flourishing Faith: A Baptist Primer on Work, Economics, and Civic Stewardship (Grand Rapids, MI: Christian’s Library Press, 2012). Paperback/ Kindle Flourishing Faith by Chad Brand is a primer on political economy from a Baptist perspective. It was commissioned by the Acton Institute and was the first of four similar volumes to appear, the others being written from Pentecostal, Wesleyan, and Reformed perspectives. I have reviewed the Pentecostal primer and will review the Wesleyan one soon. The Reformed primer has not been published yet. Brand’s book has several strengths. First, it is clearly and succinctly written, as should be … Continue reading Review of ‘Flourishing Faith’ by Chad Brand