Author: Michael Milton

The Exaltation of Humility

Are we who we portray ourselves to be? And does it matter? In Hamlet: The Tragedy of the Prince of Denmark, the chief counsel to the murderous king, Claudius, tells us his son, Laertes: This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.”[1] “To thine own self be true,” is a rebuke to Laertes who is in disastrous contest for Ophelia. It could be a reproof to all of us. We know ourselves as we think of ourselves. Others see us...

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The Beauty of Submission in Marriage

Some may think it unwise to raise the subject of “submission” in marriage, much less to commend it as the essential virtue for happiness between husband and wife. And, yet, commend I do. Nay, I urge it. Indeed, you dismiss the divinely revealed truth of submissiveness in the marital union at your own peril and to certain regret. But we must be careful to warn the reader: that uneasy shifting in our emotional pews upon hearing the word uttered in a lectionary reading, the embarrassment we might occasionally feel when we hear a preacher broach the unpopular, if not...

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The Central Figure in the Protestant Reformation: An Essay on its 500th Anniversary

The Central Figure in the Reformation There will be many special services throughout the worldwide Christian Church remembering the spiritual revival in the life of a priest and theology professor from Wittenberg. In our own town, for the remembrance of the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation (1517-1648), churches will host special musical guests, speakers, scholars, and plenty of Sola Celebration (the “Five Solas” of the Reformation: “Sola,” or “alone, or with nothing else” includes Scripture Alone, Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Christ Alone, and God’s Glory Alone). The Reformation is not merely a Protestant birthday. Indeed, the Church of...

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A Cajun Wedding: A Parable About Getting into Heaven

Today’s text represents the third in a series of temple parables that draw a distinction between a faux-faith and a true faith. Previously Jesus taught in the temple about different kinds of sons, different kinds of tenants, and now he will talk about different kinds of wedding guests. In this parable, Jesus likens the kingdom of heaven to a king’s invitation to a wedding feast. There are two great responses to the wedding invitation. Most intriguingly, the several features of those invited are underscored by our Savior. And in doing so, he distinguishes between authentic faith and superficial religion....

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In The Company of Sinners: How God Creates Trophies of Grace from Portraits of Pain

Are we more than the sum of our greatest sin? Are we identified by our past failures or a legacy yet unwritten? When I hear Tom Waite’s folk song, Shiver Me Timbers, I’m Sailing Away—recorded with success by both James Taylor and Bette Midler—I think of my father. “I’m leaving my family; I’m leaving my friends, My body is at home, but my hearts is in the wind; And the clouds are like headlines In the new front-page sky Shiver me timbers, I’m sailing away.”[1] My father was born in 1908. He was born to a family suffering from...

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