The Lord’s Prayer may be divided into three sections (cf. LC 188).
It begins with an invocation, “Our Father in heaven.” The middle section consists of six petitions. It ends with a doxology, “For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.”
The word invocation comes from the Latin word invocare, which means to call upon, to appeal to or to invoke in prayer. An invocation is when one calls on the name of the Lord. Continue reading
Since the beginning of the Christian church, the Lord’s Prayer has been used as a guide for daily prayer. The treatises of Tertullian, Cyprian, and Origen on the Lord’s Prayer bear witness to this.
The earliest witness, however, is the Didache. Continue reading
Now that Easter is over, this is a good opportunity to reflect on what just happened yesterday and to share some thoughts on the origin of the church calendar.
As we noted in our previous post, Christians have been celebrating Easter (or Pascha) at least since the end of the second century.
Easter was the earliest feast day on the church calendar. Continue reading
The oldest extant Easter sermon from the ancient church is a sermon preached by Melito, the bishop of Sardis in Asia Minor at the end of the second century.
This sermon gives us a taste of how Christians celebrated the feast of Pascha (the Christian Passover) in the earliest centuries of the church. Continue reading
Having seven children, I’ve seen a lot of cartoons. Every now and then, I’ll take them to the theater to see a new release that they’re dying to see.
Since one of my children is visually impaired (having vision in only one eye), we never watch 3D films. One needs both eyes for depth perception and both lenses for 3D glasses to work.
Several years ago, I realized that I had a deficient view of the Lord’s Supper because I was only looking at it through one lens. In order to perceive the depth of the significance of the Lord’s Supper, one needs to have two lenses. Continue reading
Infant baptism is forbidden unless it is commanded.
Now, that may seem obvious to most Christians, but there are some who believe that infant baptism is lawful even if it is not commanded in scripture. Continue reading
The term “liturgical theology” refers both to theology of worship and theology from worship: the former meaning doctrines about worship; the latter, doctrines derived from liturgical texts.
More recently, however, some scholars have argued that the liturgy itself is theology, indeed, primary theology (theologia prima) from which is derived all secondary theology (theologia secunda), namely, subsequent theological reflection on the liturgy.
Thus, the liturgy is primary, and formulated doctrines are secondary, derivative and subordinate.
This notion “challenges the common Reformed view that liturgy follows theology.” Continue reading
Why are Presbyterians worshiping like Anglicans? Why do some PCA churches have Ash Wednesday services? Why are they preaching the lectionary and following the church calendar?
An Episcoterian (the term used for Presbyterians who ape the Anglicans) is a relatively modern phenomenon. Continue reading
In 1550, the Scottish Reformer John Knox wrote a brief summary of the Reformed doctrine of the Lord’s Supper. Knox entitled his document
Here is briefly declared in a summary, according to the Holy Scriptures, what opinion we Christians have of the Lord’s Supper, called the Sacrament of the body and blood of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Although this statement is only seven paragraphs in length, it is, nevertheless, brimming with rich theological insights on the doctrine of the sacrament. Continue reading
What would it have been like to worship with the saints at Rome in the middle of the second century?
One can only imagine how thrilling it must have been to meet older Christians whose parents or grandparents actually knew the apostles. If only they had left us an account of what it was like to worship with the apostles!
Well, one Christian living in Rome in middle of the second century did, in fact, leave us an account of what a service of worship looked like in his day. Continue reading