Matthew Henry and Thomas Watson on Idolatry

By Charlie Wingard · August 23, 2013 · 0 Comments
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“To love any thing more than God, is to make it a god.” – Thomas Watson, The Ten Commandments (Banner of Truth, 2009, first pub. 1692), 55. “Pride makes a god of self, covetousness makes a god of money, sensuality makes a god of the belly; whatever is esteemed or loved, feared or served, delighted in or depended on, more than God, that (whatever it is) we do in effect make a god of.” – Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible, vol. 1 (Macdonald, orig. published 1706), 358-359.

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Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109): A Prayer to God

By Charlie Wingard · August 23, 2013 · 0 Comments
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Intellectual genius, courage, piety, and administrative skill make Anselm of Canterbury one of the most admired Christians of his age. Born in northern Italy, he accepted the formidable task of establishing order in the English church, serving as archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of two kings who demanded the right to appoint bishops in the church.  Anselm demurred. Conflict and exiles were the stiff price he paid for his principled stand. His most famous work, Cur deus homo (usually translated, Why God Became Man) presents his doctrine of Christ’s atoning work. Sin insults God’s honor, and man is forever lost unless he makes satisfaction. But this fallen man cannot do; sin is too grave, too outrageous. Wonderfully, the Triune…

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10 Favorite Books on Preaching

By Charlie Wingard · August 22, 2013 · 2 Comments
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At a Providence Presbytery meeting earlier this month, a fellow minister and I discussed books about preaching. It reminded me of a former colleague’s request several years ago for a list of my favorite books on preaching. In no particular order, my ten favorites are: 1. The Supremacy of God in Preaching, John Piper 2. The Art of Prophesying, William Perkins 3. Christ-Centered Preaching, Bryan Chapell 4. The Christian Ministry, Charles Bridges. My favorite book about the pastor and his work. 5. The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church, Hughes Oliphant Old. I believe there are now six volumes; I have read the first three. 6. Between Two Worlds, John Stott. This is the…

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Augustine on Love of God and Neighbor

By Charlie Wingard · August 21, 2013 · 0 Comments
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(“St. Augustine in His Study” by Vittore Carpaccio, 1502) “So anyone who thinks that he has understood the divine scriptures or any part of them, but cannot by his understanding build up this double love of God and neighbor, has not yet succeeded in understanding them.” Augustine of Hippo (354-430) On Christian Teaching, 1:36

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Book Review: Why Johnny Can’t Preach by T. David Gordon

By Charlie Wingard · August 20, 2013 · 0 Comments
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Seventeenth century Puritanism produced some of Christianity’s most able preachers. Many of them received a university training that required the careful reading of texts in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. A language-based educational system prepared future ministers to find a home in biblical texts. If they tutored children of the affluent, they sharpened their expository skills. (T. David Gordon, Why Johnny Can’t Preach. P&R, 2009) The written text no longer dominates America’s educational landscape, and comparatively few students devote themselves to rigorous study of literature or ancient languages before entering seminary. Preaching suffers. T. David Gordon’s Why Johnny Can’t Preach engages the modern preacher by considering his ability both to read biblical texts and communicate compellingly their God-breathed truth. The minister’s…

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Charles Simeon: A Cure for Speaking Evil

By Charlie Wingard · August 19, 2013 · 0 Comments
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Conflict is inevitable; lack of charity isn’t. One of my heroes of Christian ministry, Charles Simeon, served Holy Trinity Church in Cambridge, England from 1782-1836. During the early years, his evangelical convictions became the target of ridicule and withering criticism, and  throughout his career, he fully engaged the theological controversies of his day.  Simeon had no fear of debate, but the trashing of reputations that often accompanies controversy gravely concerned him. If an argument’s merits won’t prevail, go after an opponent’s character when he’s absent. Debase his reputation; reduce the esteem others have for him. To fight against the temptation to speak evil of others, Simeon formulated a strategy. In a July 1817 letter, he counseled: “The longer I live,…

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From the Heidelberg Catechism for the Lord’s Day, August 18

By Charlie Wingard · August 17, 2013 · 0 Comments
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88. In how many things does true repentance or conversion consist? In two things: the dying of the old man, and the making alive of the new. 89. What is the dying of the old man? Heartfelt sorrow for sin, causing us to hate and turn from it always more and more. 90. What is the making alive of the new man? Heartfelt joy in God through Christ, causing us to take delight in living according to the will of God in all good works. 91. What are good works? Those only which proceed from true faith, and are done according to the Law of God, unto His glory, and not such as rest on our own opinion or the…

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A Prayer for the Lord’s Day, August 18

By Charlie Wingard · August 17, 2013 · 0 Comments
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ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who art always more ready to hear than we are to pray, and art wont to give more than either we desire, or deserve; Pour down upon us the abundance of thy mercy; forgiving us those things whereof our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask, but through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord. Amen. (1662 Book of Common Prayer)

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