Bringing the gospel to Perugia and Umbria

Perugia is a university city of around 170,000 people. It is the chief city of the region called Umbria and has a very old story that predates the beginnings of the rise of the Rome itself. In fact Perugia is an Etruscan city. The Etruscans were the people dominating central Italy before the Romans. 

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Andrea Ferrari
Union with Christ: The Bride's Benefit

I love weddings. In my years as a pastor, I have had the opportunity to officiate nearly fifty, including my own daughter's. They are a privilege to perform because they mark some of the most memorable moments of people's lives. On that special day, a man and a woman publicly exchange vows, pledging their undying loyalty to one another and placing themselves in an irrevocable covenant as long as they both shall live. Nothing is quite like a wedding ceremony, because it creates a union between two people unlike any other.  

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Michael Brown
Giovanni Diodati: An Italian at Dordt

In 1618, the situation in Europe was tense. The Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) was only a natural consequence of the religious and political conflicts of the previous century. On top of this, the Protestant camp was becoming dangerously divided by what many recognized as a semi-Pelagian tendency at best – an attempt to attribute our salvation to anything other than Christ alone, by grace alone, and through faith alone.

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Simonetta Carr
Lucca: Cradle of the Reformation

It was on 18 April 1521 that Luther appeared before the powers of this world and, ostensibly, the next, at the Diet of Worms. It was there he announced publicly the formal cause of the Reformation, sola Scriptura...Twenty years later we find another man facing some of the same questions. He was not German but Italian...

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R. Scott Clark
How Good Friday Bears Good Fruit in Our Lives

Today is Good Friday, that day recognized by the Christian church in remembrance of our Lord’s death on the cross the Friday before he was raised from the dead. During the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century, many Reformed churches continued to celebrate this day on the church calendar, gathering together for worship to hear the gospel proclaimed.

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Michael Brown
The Promise for Doing Missions

Christ has promised to be with his church in all of his authority until the great day of his return. He has already been victorious in his conquest over sin, Satan and death. Our task is to be faithful in announcing his victory throughout the world and instructing those who receive it. 

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Michael Brown
The Means of Doing Missions

We do not need more movements, more conferences, and more celebrities. We do not need the next big thing. What we need are more churches committed to the way disciples have been made since the Apostles planted a church in Jerusalem two thousand years ago: the slow-going, unspectacular, ordinary ministry of Word and sacrament, where God is raising dead sinners and creating a living communion of saints.

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Michael BrownComment
The Goal of Doing Missions

Last week, we considered the basis of doing missions from our Lord's Great Commission in Matthew 28. This week, we turn our attention to the goal of missions. After declaring the basis for doing missions ("All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me", v.18), the Lord Jesus commanded his apostles to "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations" (v.19a). The reason Christ sends his church into the world by his authority is to make disciples. 

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Michael BrownComment
The Basis for Doing Missions

Nowadays, ordinary is a bad word. In a culture that is constantly looking for the next big thing, who wants what is ordinary? We want the spectacular. We want what is bigger, better, and exciting. We desire extraordinary gadgets, extraordinary kids, and extraordinary lives. To feel validated as a person, one must not settle for what is ordinary. Our approach to church is not much different. 

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Michael Brown Comments
The Italian Reformation

There is a sense in which we could say that the Protestant Reformation began in Italy. There were of course so-called “forerunners” of the Reformation in other countries, such as England, France, and Germany, but the extent of discontent in the peninsula with the policies of the papacy and with the unclarity of Roman Catholic theology seems unparalleled.

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Simonetta CarrComment
God Gives a Gift to His Church in Turin

At the Synod of Dort in 1619, the pastors, professors, and elders who served as delegates drafted the Form of Subscription to the Three Forms of Unity. This Form, which is still in use today in several Reformed denominations around the world, was designed to hold officers in the local church accountable for their beliefs. Ministers, elders and deacons were required to uphold the confessional standards of the Reformation.

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Ivan ForteComment
Let Us Live Cheerfully, for the Second Adam has Come!

In Italy, as in America, the annual season of Christmas (Natale in Italian) is a time of festivity and liveliness. Streets are decorated, shoppers fill the stores, and enormous Christmas trees are erected in public squares. Despite the commercialism, craziness and comedown, people still manage to enjoy important family traditions. Parties are attended, food is prepared, and pleasure is taken in watching the anticipation build in the hearts of little ones.

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Michael BrownComment
A Light from the Shadows

During the first half of the sixteenth century, the Protestant Reformation gained some traction in Italy. Discussions about the new ideas taught by Martin Luther and John Calvin buzzed in Italian universities and monasteries during the 1520s and 1530s. Protestant books poured in to the country through Venice, a city that had a long history of resistance to the power of the papacy. The result was that many Italians, even a few Roman Catholic cardinals, began to hear of and embrace the doctrine of justification by faith alone.

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Michael Brown Comment