Resources from 2019

January

“The doctrine of the Trinity, taken literally, has no practical relevance at all.” 

—Immanuel Kant 

How great the number of modern Christians who would agree with Kant’s assessment! The Holy Trinity—if mentioned at all—seemingly has no benefit to the modern understanding other than some sort of clever formulation for an orthodoxy of the obscurant. Kelly Kapic, professor of theological studies at Covenant College, is…

It’s 8:25am on the first day back after Christmas break, and there’s a whirlwind of excitement on Delancey Street. However, no one is more excited than Sam today. It seems like it has been forever and ever since he last saw his friends. But wait! He sees a car pull up and just knows that his friend Sarah is in there. Sam leaps out of his stroller, peers around…

Jan 25

The Creator Spiritus

Why Connecting the Holy Spirit with Creation Matters

Jan 25

Putting Sin to Death

Practical Advice for Christian Living

The Kingdom Discipleship Commission (KDC) exists “to grow Tenth as a God-centered fellowship of loving disciples in Christ who apply the gospel to all of life and share a total commitment to advance the kingdom of God in our neighborhood, our city, and our world.”

Did you know such a commission exists? Established in ages past (12 years ago?), its charter was to foster spiritual growth within Tenth…

It’s 2:00 AM, and the sounds of college students are still rumbling through the house. Some are playing a game, some are laughing together as they chat, and all are enjoying the freedom that comes from no class the next morning. Eventually, the group will dwindle down to a few stubborn stragglers who keep talking, while the rest collapse and get a few hours of sleep before the next day…

February

Feb 12

Seeking Hope

Suicides on the Rise in Tenth's Backyard

In April of 2016, Olivia Kong, a junior at Wharton College, took her own life at 40th Street Station. Her death sent shockwaves through the University of Pennsylvania, as students reacted with a mix of horror, sadness, and frustration. Ultimately, her death helped bring further attention to the difficult topic of suicide, which is becoming an increasingly serious problem nationally, and a near epidemic at Penn, where fourteen students (including…

At the forefront of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) is the exhortation to go and make disciples. Jesus says that the discipling of the nations is to be done by baptizing and teaching them to observe all his commands. In other words, discipleship follows the order of baptism unto instruction and obedience, which is true of all members of God’s covenant household. This is the biblical picture of the church…

Last summer a medical and a nursing student walked into a small bodega in the Hispanic neighborhood of Hunting Park in North Philadelphia. They wore scrubs, stethoscopes around their necks, and carried a medical backpack filled with health assessment forms, educational handouts, and supplies needed to carry out basic health screens for reading a person’s blood sugar, blood pressure, and body mass index. The temperature was in the 90s and…

“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end” (Lamentations. 3:22). “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36). Both the Old and New Testaments contain the truth of God’s mercy and the command to act similarly. For the Hebrew nation, it meant obeying the law and the prophets. New Testament believers were commanded and encouraged to follow the Lord's commandments of Christ to…

Feb 28

Westminster Brass

A Brass Quintet Performing for the Glory of God

In celebration of a ministry that has spanned forty-three years, Westminster Brass, in our final season, will present a “Concert of Thanksgiving” at Tenth Presbyterian Church on Saturday, March 30, 2019, at 2:00 PM. We are truly thankful for God’s blessing on our ministry these many years and for all of the friends and acquaintances we have made during our time together. It is out of our affection for God…

March

“that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings…”

—Philippians 3:10

This is what the Easter Sacrificial Offering at Tenth Presbyterian Church is all about. Because we have experienced the power of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, which we celebrate at Easter, we give sacrificially. We give sacrificially to ministries that bring aid to those who share in…

The immeasurable significance of Holy Week is perhaps best attested by the amount of space given to recording its events in the gospels. From a total of 89 chapters in the four gospel accounts, 29 chapters are devoted to describing what Jesus said and did from Palm Sunday to Easter. Not only this, but each gospel is composed so the reader can clearly understand that there is an inexorable movement…

In our house, Easter morning is wholly unlike any other morning all year. We wake up at 4 AM, disoriented and not yet very joyful. The cat is displeased that we woke him up instead of the other way around. As we drive through the quiet city and turn on lights at church, I like to think about the women who went to see Jesus believing he was still in…

April

I have always appreciated how Dr. Goligher consistently returns us to our most fundamental reality and its principal truths. Before we think about ministry, we must first think about God. If we do not understand who the God we serve is, how can we serve God rightly and well? This attention to first truths also clarifies the proper ends to which we should be oriented. In our finite, fallen natures…

Meeting Mez McConnell is a bit like encountering a Buzzsaw. He moves quickly past the pleasantries and wants to know the story of how someone arrived where they did and what they are doing with their life. He doesn’t like small talk. Rather, he jumps into deep conversations with both feet and moves forward in ways that can catch a person off guard if not ready for a serious discussion…

We have spoken previously in a Tenth Press article about some of the ministries that we at Tenth will be supporting this year through our Easter Sacrificial Offering. As a reminder, those ministries are: SIM Galmi Hospital, Sight for Souls, Jiyii-nun, Forgotten Voices, and Rock Spring Church in Liberia. The final two ministries that round out are giving recipients this year are the Merkinch Church Plant in Scotland and the…

There hides a man within the shadows who I know all too well. He follows me day and night crying: “Come to me! For it’s only your soul you must sell!” I answered: “No, no! From outside of His presence I cannot dwell!” In a cunning manner he spoke: “You needn’t worry, for who have I to tell?” Despite the pain, I gave into his demand, and into the darkness…

May

God has been showing me through the lives of others how he brings hope and begins new work amidst grief and loss. He pointed this out to me again during our time at Hogar La Providencia (which houses John Calvin School) in Santa Marta, Colombia. The people there had just lost their visionary founder and leader, whom I had heard referred to as a “power house” multiple times—Jaime Leal, Pastor…

When a phone rings at 1:30 AM in the morning, the news is seldom good. The voice on the other end of the line spoke in official terms, “Is your brother’s name Michael?” I responded with a sheepish reply that yes, I had a brother by that name. I was informed at that moment his body had just been pulled from the river after drowning. My first thought upon hearing…

Have you ever listened to a young child talk about their world? A child sees the world with wonder and anticipation. They grasp onto small details and celebrate both the new and the familiar. Their brains work like sponges soaking up new information. They can observe and enjoy the world with eagerness and freedom when they have someone willing to guide them.

Wide Open World, or WOW, is…

Birthed in adversity when the Roman Empire was at its zenith, a fledging group of Jews surfaced near the time of the Jewish feast of Pentecost in Jerusalem. The Christian church emerged as a visible community of members who confessed the eternal Lordship of a resurrected Galilean executed at Golgotha a mere three days before he was recognized alive in the city of his death. Led by peasants turned Apostles…

June

July

Each year as we celebrate Easter, the Global Outreach Commission seeks out beneficiaries for the annual Easter Sacrificial Offering (ESO). This year we’ve partnered with seven ministries that ease the sufferings of others and faithfully proclaim the gospel around the world. As a result of the generous contributions made by the congregation, we’re pleased to announce that the ESO collected just over $87,000.  This amount will directly fund the work…

August

September

Sep 17

In Kensington, the Freedom to Serve God Boldly

A Report of the 2019 Philadelphia Summer Medical Institute

I pulled my car to the front of the church building and saw that the police had already arrived. Nick stood on the sidewalk talking to the pastor, both looking at Nick’s car with its window broken, shattered glass filling the driver’s seat, sidewalk and curb. Nick, a Philadelphia medical student and participant in the Summer Medical Institute (SMI), had parked his car beside the church the night before, and…

We are reminded of the relational realities for the early church, and the importance placed on time together, as an integral aspect of the fellowship of believers.  More specifically, Luke described in Acts 2, “…they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”  Well, when we think of “breaking of bread”, we know and embrace the vital sacrament of the Lord’s…

October

When Neil White reported to prison on May 3, 1993 after being convicted of bank fraud, he did not realize that Carville, Louisiana, not only housed a penal colony, but also the nation’s only remaining leper colony. Those suffering from Hansen’s disease (the formal name for leprosy) lived their lives in seclusion alongside prisoners—many of whom were convicted of white-collar crime. Before stealing almost $750,000 from several banks, White’s dream…

Mention of the Protestant Reformation still evokes passion 502 years after Martin Luther nailed 95 statements to the church door in Wittenburg, Germany. Luther’s “theses,” as they are commonly known, begin with a call to an ongoing personal repentance in the life of every true Christian and end with a statement of assurance grounding believers in the knowledge that “through many tribulations” they will enter the kingdom of their God.

November

Nov 5

Of Mercy and Grace

David Apple’s Mission to Philadelphia

Born in the shadow of New York City, David Apple never knew life apart from urban America. As the grandson of Russian immigrants, he quickly learned as a child that life in Patterson, New Jersey, was not for the faint of heart. His high school days at Eastside High School proved to be a challenge from the start. Apple was a bookish sort of young man—always interested in reading and…