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. 

Boy touches Bible by Priscilla Du Preez unsplash

How by doing what churches told them to do -- they failed their kids.

By Judy Paulsen

Esther was one of many gracious life-long members of our church. A real salt-of-the-earth type, who with her husband had raised three kids to be successful, fully-launched adults. She was now thoroughly enjoying a bunch of grandkids, most of whom were already teenagers. But Esther was troubled by something. The focus of the sermon that week had been on God’s call to teach the faith to the next generation. I...

Mon, March 02, 2020

A stack of Bibles of different translations - Photo by Carolyn V on Unsplash

What is the Best Bible Translation?

By Glen Taylor

"What is the best Bible translation?"

As a biblical scholar, I am asked this question more than any other.

To start, I have bad news and good news. The bad news is that every translation is an interpretation. There’s no getting around it: almost every clause in the original calls for a decision about translation that affects meaning in some way. The good news is that no intentionally devious translator lies...

Mon, February 24, 2020

Portrait of Wycliffe principal Stephen Andrews in front of the Principal's Lodge

Does the Church Need Clergy?

By Stephen Andrews

We are in a season of ordinations. In January, we witnessed the ordinations of Logan Hurst, Alison Hari-Singh and Alexandra Pohlod, to mention three Wycliffe students. And soon Philip Gearing and Orvin Lao will present themselves to the bishop for the laying on of hands. There are more to come. We are expecting as many as seventeen MDiv graduates to cross the convocation stage in May. This season especially Wycliffe...

Mon, February 10, 2020

Microphone on open Bible by Arthur Miranda Unsplash

On Not Getting Anything Out of Sermons

By Joseph Mangina

This blog post is adapted and abbreviated from an article by Prof. Mangina that appeared in The Living Church, Jan. 1, 2012

Some years ago I had an interesting email exchange with a theologian friend at another institution, someone I’ve known since our days together in graduate school. We got to talking about the state of contemporary preaching. My friend asked the arresting question: “How do we get...

Mon, February 03, 2020

Broken heart shape hanging on a wire by Kelly Sikkema Unsplash

Abide with Me: Thoughts on Christian Unity

By Catherine Sider-Hamilton

What can be said about Christian unity in a month that has seen yet another church propose to split? (See: "The Methodist Church will probably split in two over homosexuality, and that's bad for all of us" )

I think about this question with increasing difficulty because there is a weight of sorrow in my heart. But it is upon us, intractably and practically, in deep divisions over marriage...

Mon, January 27, 2020

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