The mysterious case of Marguerite Périer
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The mysterious case of Marguerite Périer

The miraculous healing of a 12-year-old girl brought the French army to a standstill in 1656. The girl was Marguerite Périer. She was Blaise Pascal’s niece and a boarding student at an abbey just outside of Paris called Port-Royal-des-Champs. Marguerite was suffering from an incurable physical ailment: an eye abscess. Several doctors had examined the…

EVIL, Backwards
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EVIL, Backwards

There are three kinds of people in the church today: deists, dualists and devoted. In 2005, sociologists Smith and Lundquist coined the phrase “Moral Therapeutic Deism” to describe a belief of American teenagers: religion is about being “good” (culturally defined) so that one can be happy; God is a minimally involved Creator. It’s an individualistic…

Coren’s conversion
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Coren’s conversion

“My core beliefs haven’t changed,” Michael Coren says. But “I can’t imagine who I was spiritually eight years ago.” The landscape of personal faith can change over time. Scandal, abuse, disillusionment and burnout are just a few of the deconstruction triggers prompting Christians to re-examine what we believe and why. It’s a process that usually…

A doctrine of time
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A doctrine of time

As mentioned in my previous column, the Canons of Dort (1619) were formulated as an orthodox Calvinist response to purported errors in theology taught by Jacob Arminius (1560 – 1609). Although the theological differences between Arminians and Calvinists were (and are) complicated, they fundamentally hinge on different claims about the sovereignty of God. Calvinists claim…

Tiptoe Through the TULIP(s)
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Tiptoe Through the TULIP(s)

The Three Forms of Unity is a collective name for the Belgic Confession (1561), the Heidelberg Catechism (1563) and the Canons of Dort (1619) which reflect the teachings of Calvinism and which are accepted as official doctrinal statements by many Calvinist churches, including the Christian Reformed Church (CRC). Anyone seeking an official position (minister, elder, deacon) in the CRC must…