The date of November 22, 1963—50 years ago tomorrow—is forever etched on the American consciousness as the date of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. I imagine that most Americans remained in a state of shock beginning shortly after 12:30 p.m. (CT) that Friday, when Walter Cronkite broke the story, and into the long weekend which culminated in the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby on live television Sunday morning. I myself was only four years old at the time, and have no direct recollection of those days, but I felt their reverberations throughout the rest of the ’60s. It was such a momentous event, coming as it did at the height of Cold War and arousing suspicions that still persist, that I wouldn’t be surprised if it was some time before most Americans realized that President Kennedy was not the only important 20th century figure to die on the 22nd of that month.
I have often said that there are two kinds of faith. First, a faith in which you indeed believe that Christ is such a man as he is described and proclaimed here and in all the Gospels, but do not believe that he is such a man for you, and are in doubt whether you have any part in him and think: Yes, he is such a man to others, to Peter, Paul, and the blessed saints; but who knows that he is such to me and that I may expect the same from him and may confide in it, as these saints did?
Behold, this faith is nothing, it does not receive Christ nor enjoy him, neither can it feel any love and affection for him or from him. It is a faith about Christ and not in or of Christ, a faith which the devils also have as well as evil men….
Such a faith will work in you love for Christ and joy in him, and good works will naturally follow. If they do not, faith is surely not present; for where faith is, there the Holy Ghost is and must work love and good works.
[Martin Luther, sermon, “First Sunday in Advent,” on Matthew 21:1-9, in John Nicholas Lenker, ed., Sermons of Martin Luther, Volume 1, (Grand Rapids, MI, USA: Baker Book House, reprinted n.d.), 21-22.]
Today I uploaded a post to Midwest Christian Outreach, Inc.‘s (MCOI’s) blog, “The Crux,” titled “Honor Thy Fathers.” It’s about how most evangelicals have in recent times departed from the tradition of the Reformation by ignoring the church fathers. Some of it will be familiar if you’ve read my previous posts containing citations from ancient Christian writers.
The following video was prepared for the 2006 national conference (September 29-October 1) held by John Piper’s Desiring God ministry. The 2006 conference took its name from David Wells’ recent book, Above All Earthly Pow’rs: Christ in a Postmodern World, (Grand Rapids, MI, USA: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2005). Wells (Ph.D., University of Manchester) is a professor of historical and systematic theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, Massachusetts.
You can also view this video on Desiring God’s web site, where you will find a page linking to videos of interviews with other conference speakers.