In 1517, a German monk nailed a piece of parchment to the door of a church in a small town called Wittenberg. His poster disputed key doctrines – 95 of them – taught by the Roman Catholic Church in that day. This moment set into motion a movement that changed the landscape of church history.
Changing the world is never easy. For Martin Luther, and for those who followed after him, the Protestant Reformation demanded extraordinary conviction and courage. Five hundred years later, in a culture ambivalent to biblical Christianity and hostile to those who herald its teachings, the conviction and courage required to be Protestant is still extraordinary. (more…)
Here at Capitol City we talk often about our longing to be an increasingly gospel-centered church. What does that mean, exactly?
When I think about that question, I am helped by comparing the role the gospel plays in a gospel-centered church to the role in plays in other churches. Here are some examples of ways different churches view and express the gospel1: (more…)
Every apple has five seed pockets – called carpals – containing one or more seeds. The exact number of seeds per apple depends on the variety of the apple and the health and vigor of the apple tree.1 Therefore, it is impossible to predict the exact number of seeds in any given apple – until you cut it open, of course. But once the apple is open, you can count – precisely and accurately – the number of seeds inside.
What can never be counted precisely nor predicted accurately is the number of apples in a seed. If an apple seed is planted in rich soil and receives the right nutrients in the right climate, allowing the plant to grow to be healthy and strong, over time that tree can produce an untold number of apples. From our perspective, it can seem like a limitless number of apples. Year after year, the tree will produce hundreds of apples – or more. Year after year, each of those apples will contain seeds, which can in turn be planted to grow more apple trees producing even more apples producing even more trees…You get the picture. (more…)
A few of you have said something. I am sure more of you have noticed but said nothing.
Since December, we’ve been preaching at Capitol City from the English Standard Version (ESV) of the Bible. For more than a decade, I’ve sat on the fence between two English Bible translations. I have read and studied personally from the ESV, while preaching from the New International Version. (A little over a year ago, I explained why I prefered to preach from the NIV.) But I sit on the fence no longer. For the foreseeable future, we’ll be preaching and teaching from the ESV at Capitol City. I wanted to share a few of the reasons why. But let me start with one reason that is not a reason we are switching… (more…)
Over the last week, as we have laid to rest two of Capitol City’s most beloved and influential saints, the words of Psalm 23 have been ringing in my head. It’s been a week of mourning and grief for all of us. But in that dark and heavy space, two images, side by side, have been a dim-but-growing light to my soul. (more…)
On Sunday morning at Capitol City, we leaned into Paul’s command – to the Ephesians and to us – to make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace (Eph 4:3). As we noted, Paul gives us three ways to pursue unity in the preceding verse: humility, gentleness, and patience. I offered some practical examples of how you and I can fight for unity. I was asked to re-share them here. (more…)
On Sunday morning at Capitol City, I quoted from a sermon Charles Spurgeon preached on 2 Corinthians 8:5, on April 5, 1891. Here’s the full text of the quote: (more…)