Recent Viewpoints

December 25, 2018
the incarnation

Kerby Anderson On this Christmas day, I think it would be good to reflect for just a moment on the Incarnation. God became man and took on human flesh. This is a great theological wonder and mystery. Malcolm Muggeridge wrote this to describe the importance of the birth of Christ, “Thanks to the great mercy and marvel of the Incarnation, the cosmic scene is resolved into a human drama. A human drama in which God reached down to relate Himself…

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December 24, 2018
1 in 1 to 17

Kerby Anderson On this Christmas week, I thought it would be appropriate to reflect on the coming of the Messiah. The Old Testament contains hundreds of prophecies that give specific detail about the “anointed one” who is the Messiah. The prophets proclaimed that He would come to save the people. The Bible is unique in many ways, especially when it comes to fulfilled prophecy. At the time when it was written, 27 percent (1800 verses) of the Bible was prophetic….

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December 21, 2018
real St. Nicholas

Penna Dexter In his book, THE TRUE SAINT NICHOLAS, Bill Bennett tells the story of the precursor of Santa Claus. Bill Bennett spent years as a popular radio host. He’s also a former US Secretary of Education. He seeks, in this wonderful book, to teach us about Saint Nicholas and that he “matters to Christmas.” Nicholas was likely born in what is now Turkey. His parents were wealthy, devout Christians. They saw in their son’s childhood actions indications that he…

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December 21, 2018
the-adoration-of-the-shepherds-gerrit-van-honthorst

Kerby Anderson During this Christmas week, I have taken the time to discuss the theology of some of the Christmas hymns and carols that we sing. Today I would like to talk about The First Noel. It is an English song dating back to the sixteenth century. Some people believe that the First Noel was French because of the French spelling of Noel, but it is actually an English song. The French word Noël does mean “Christmas” and it is…

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December 20, 2018
Govert Flinck – Angels announcing Christ’s birth to the shepherds (1639)

Kerby Anderson It is estimated that Charles Wesley wrote over 6500 hymns. Perhaps his best-known hymn is “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing.” Over the years, it has been edited slightly, but the meaning and theology remains as he wrote it more than two centuries ago. It begins with a proclamation of the birth of Jesus: “Hark! the herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn King; Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled.” The hymn reminds us why…

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December 19, 2018
OHolyNight_Painting

Kerby Anderson This is Christmas week, and so I thought we might reflect on the hymn, “O Holy Night” by John Dwight. “O holy night! The stars are brightly shining. It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth. Long lay the world in sin and error pining, Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.” Jesus came into the world to save us and so we feel valuable and our soul feels its worth. Perhaps the most quoted…

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December 18, 2018
O Little Town of Bethlehem by Carol Sheli Cantrell2

Kerby Anderson It is almost Christmas week, and I thought it might be worthwhile to spend a moment to reflect on the words to the hymn, “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” It was written in 1867 by Phillips Brooks (an Episcopal pastor from Philadelphia). He had been in Israel two years earlier and had celebrated Christmas in Bethlehem. He wrote this song to reflect on what the night of the birth of Jesus might have been like. O little town…

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December 17, 2018

Kerby Anderson Although we usually sing the carol “Joy to the World” during the Christmas season, the hymn isn’t really about the incarnation of Jesus. Isaac Watts wrote it and has often been known as the “Father of English Hymnology.” He composed “Joy to the World” in 1719. It was originally titled “The Messiah’s Coming and Kingdom.” The original title illustrates why there is no reference to angels, shepherds, or wise men. It is really about Christ’s second coming. That…

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December 14, 2018
Transgender w: Pink Blue banner

Penna Dexter A feminist writer and podcaster named Meghan Murphy recently had her Twitter account suspended due, she thinks, to her observation that “men aren’t women.” The notice from Twitter said this was “hate speech.” This reveals the conflict between two ideologies of the left: feminism and transgenderism. Ms. Murphy maintains that the transgender ideology undermines feminism because feminism depends upon femaleness being a real gender category. If men can be women, then what is feminism?  The first iteration of…

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December 14, 2018
Jesus in Manger

Kerby Anderson The carol “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” is an English translation of a Latin hymn that is sung during Advent and Christmas. The text goes back to at least the 18th century (and perhaps much earlier) while the music put to it goes back to the 15th century. “O come, O come, Emmanuel, And ransom captive Israel. That mourns in lonely exile here, until the Son of God appear. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.”…

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December 13, 2018
Adoration_of_the_Shepherds by Gerard_van_Honthorst

Kerby Anderson One song we often sing during the Christmas season is “What Child Is This?” William Chatterton Dix wrote the lyrics in 1865 when he was an insurance company manager and had been struck by a severe illness. After a spiritual renewal in his life, he wrote a number of hymns. This one was set to the tune of the traditional English folk song, “Greensleeves.” “What child is this, who, laid to rest, on Mary’s lap is sleeping? Whom…

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