Blog Posts by Aaron Denlinger

On Baptisms Pretended and Real

Article by   August 2015
A recent baptismal service in our church made a profound impression on our four year old daughter Kaitrin. Much to our joy, she began asking questions about baptism on the way home from morning worship, and has brought the subject... continue

Flight vs. Freedom: Calvin on Hagar (Gen. 16)

Article by   August 2015
"Hagar, servant of Sarai." So the angel of the Lord addressed the Egyptian slave (Gen. 16.8) who had the great misfortune to be drawn into Abraham and Sarah's scheme to assist the realization of God's promise (Gen. 16.1-6). Upon the... continue

Failures in Faith and Prayer: Calvin on Gen. 16.1-3

Article by   August 2015
Sarah's problem, in Calvin's estimation, was that she believed the promise of God. Or at least, that was part of her problem -- part, that is, of what actually drove her to let those very strange words pass the threshold... continue

Irenaeus on Reading and Understanding Scripture

Article by   July 2015
The second-century Church Father Irenaeus's most famous work, Against Heresies, was principally directed at the contemporary heresy of Gnosticism, especially as that movement found expression in the thought of a teacher named Valentinus in Rome. One can discern in Valentinus's... continue

True Freedom vs. Unrestrained Choices (to Marry)

Article by   July 2015
According to President Barack Obama, "we are all more free" as a result of the Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage last month -- a claim that disturbed me slightly more than images of the White House bathed in... continue

Doubt vs. Incredulity: Calvin on Gen. 15.1-21

Article by   July 2015
Given the controversies surrounding justification in his day, it's no surprise that Calvin camps out on Gen. 15.6 ("[Abraham] believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness") for a significant space of time in his commentary on... continue

The Origins of Children's Church (Or Not)

Article by   July 2015
The fine team of scholars working around the clock at Lutheran Satire have unearthed footage detailing the late Victorian era origins of Children's Church.  If you're not already familiar with Lutheran Satire, you probably should stop whatever you're doing and... continue

The Best Medicine for Fear: Calvin on Gen. 14.1-15.1

Article by   June 2015
"Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, and your exceedingly great reward." So says God to Abraham in the opening verse of Genesis 15. Upon first glance, Calvin admits, God's encouragement to Abraham "to be of good courage"... continue

The Best Medicine for Sadness: Calvin on Gen. 13.5-18

Article by   June 2015
Calvin assumes that Abraham's divorce from his nephew Lot (Gen. 13.8-9) caused the eminent patriarch considerable pain. "There is no doubt," the Reformer writes, "that the wound inflicted by that separation was very severe, since he was obliged to send... continue

Slavery, Expatriation, and Prosperity: Calvin on Gen. 11.31 - 13.4

Article by   June 2015
Scripture's account of Abraham's trip from Ur to Canaan via Haran, subsequent ramble through the Promised Land, and short but eventful stay in Egypt before rewinding his course through Canaan, provides Calvin with ample opportunity to reflect upon the nature... continue
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