The Wycliffe Blog - Vestigia Dei

Vestigia Dei  – is a Latin term meaning “traces of God.” As a theological term it is associated with natural theology – that is, the view that there are vestiges of God within creation. We’ve chosen this term as the title of the Wycliffe College blog because our hope is that through these writings, readers might glimpse evidences for God as our writers interact with the wider world. 

Church top by Akira Hojo Unsplash

On Returning to the New World

By Chris Seitz

Europeans generally think of Americans as very religious. They see things like a public swearing-in with a hand on the Bible and read a lot into that—even as it is somewhat of a formality that may have no obvious religious significance for those taking an oath. “So help me God”—this is less a final declaration freighted with Christian significance than a necessary legal obligation.

To be sure churches dot the...

Mon, January 20, 2020

A piggy bank - Photo by Fabian Blank on Unsplash

Money

By Ann Jervis

Jesus talked a lot about money. Though I haven’t done the accounting, I suspect that money is one of his primary topics. Think of Jesus’ parables: the lost coin, the two debtors, the rich man and Lazarus, the Pharisee and the tax collector, the talents, and so on.

Jesus’ talk about money may partly be rooted in who his listeners were. When he taught in Galilee, Jesus’ listeners were people...

Mon, January 13, 2020

Silhouette of man walking on a broken wall

The Broken Wall

By Stephen Andrews

When the announcement was made in 2012 that the then-Bishop of Durham, Justin Welby, was to be made the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury, those who knew him praised the decision, heralding him as a peace-maker at a time of deep division in the Church and in the world. Indeed, reconciliation has become a hallmark of his ministry as Archbishop. He has written, “In a world plagued by conflict and division,...

Mon, January 06, 2020

Stephen Chester

Faithful Preaching of the New Testament Involves the Old Testament

By Stephen Chester

A basic failing in much Christian preaching and teaching about the New Testament is not explaining to congregations the rich relationships between what the New Testament authors say and Old Testament texts.

In class the other day we were discussing the crucifixion narrative in John’s Gospel. John 19:29 records that when Jesus was on the cross he was given sour wine to drink: “they put a sponge full of wine...

Mon, December 16, 2019

Glen Taylor, Professor of Scripture and Global Christianity at Wycliffe College

Nine Steps from Biblical Text to Biblical Sermon

By Glen Taylor

The process of developing a sermon by drawing meaning out of a biblical text (also known as exegesis) does not have to be complicated. Having preached and taught preaching for decades, I’d like to offer nine simple steps (with suggested amounts of time to invest in each) that can take a conscientious preacher (or Bible teacher) from biblical text to message with confidence.

1. Pray for a reverent, disciplined, attentive...

Mon, December 09, 2019

19th-century woman reading in an interior oil painting

Have you got what it takes to interpret Scripture?

By Marion Taylor

Hidden away in the November 1921 edition of Nazarene Messenger, the official paper of the early Church of the Nazarene in Los Angeles, is an article titled “Qualifications of an Interpreter” written by Olive May Winchester (1879-1947). Winchester was well-qualified to write about what it takes to interpret Scripture. She had an undergraduate degree in Semitic languages from Radcliffe Ladies College, a college associated with Harvard (1902); a Bachelor of...

Mon, December 02, 2019

Sculpture of Homeless Jesus by Timothy P. Schmalz

Lessons on the World Day of the Poor: Pope Francis and the anonymous Jesus

By David Kupp

I found Jesus a seven-minute walk from Wycliffe College. At first, I could not quite recognize him. Lying on a park bench, thickly covered with an old blanket, he was layered with snow. As I sat down on the bench beside him, though, I noticed his feet. The gaping instep wounds gave me pause, and then the crucifixion “aha.”

Though hard and bronzed, the life-sized sculpture invites a rest on...

Mon, November 25, 2019

Young woman holding textbook over her face

Advice for combining study with employment

By Ephraim Radner

I often tell my doctoral students that if they have an outside job of more than 10 to 15 hours per week, the chances are that their dissertation will be the worse for it, or that it might not get done at all. Experience seems to confirm this advice. But not always. Besides which, students have to live, provide for their families, pay back loans. That is, having a job...

Mon, November 18, 2019

wooden cross on a blank wall

The hard work of forgiveness and reconciliation

By Wanda Malcolm

We are a people who have been made right in our relationship with God through the sacrificial life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The path we’ve travelled in being made right is the path of forgiveness and reconciliation; it’s what it means to be Christians. We are loved by God who longs to forgive and be reconciled with us. This marks us indelibly as a forgiven people.

How odd...

Mon, November 11, 2019

John Newton Stain Glass Window (credit: Adam Jones from Kelowna, BC, Canada)

The call to ministry: some eighteenth century advice

By Thomas Power

You may be familiar with Rev. John Newton (1725-1807) as the author of the famous hymn, Amazing Grace. What you may not know is that he came to have an important ministry as a spiritual director, primarily through letter writing. Many people wrote to him for advice and he replied giving counsel and direction on a variety of matters, such as grace, temptation, evil, Christian character, vanity, sin, and sorrow....

Mon, November 04, 2019