(Yesterday on the blog: All the Free and Discounted Stuff for these Difficult Times – Updated)
The New York Times has a photo gallery of the world’s most popular places devoid of people; you may need to register a free account to see it, but you don’t need to subscribe. (See also Break the Chain.)
Suddenly, 102 years later, everyone is talking about the 1918 influenza pandemic. Joe Carter gives some facts about it. “From 1917 to 1920, the virus infected one-third of the Earth’s population, which at the time was about 500 million people. If the same ratio of infections were to happen today, it would be the equivalent of 2.5 billion. That would roughly be the equivalent today of every man, woman, and child in Africa, Europe, and North America becoming infected.” (See also: COVID-19UGANDA and Can Baptism and the Lord’s Supper Go Online?.)
Brad Hambrick has some wise counsel for those who plan to use criminal or traumatic offenses as illustrations of forgiveness. “If we are going to be accurate ambassadors of the Good Shepherd, we must prioritize our ministry efforts the same way. We cannot let our zeal of the destination cause us to harm the sheep that have been entrusted to our care.”
Enjoy Joe Spring’s new poem.
Does the New Testament misquote the Old Testament? Why doesn’t the New Testament quote the Old Testament word for word? Dr. Robert Plummer answers the questions well.
Trevin Wax writes about the great humbling we are experiencing now and how such humbling can lead to happiness.
You might say this is pessimistic, but it’s also consistent with the sad, sorry story of humanity. “I want people to be different when this is over, but my theology says they will not be. Don’t get me wrong. Many people are doing many magnificent things. And will continue to do them. Many others are doing many maleficent things, and will continue to do them. But Christians should not expect that on the other side of the virus somehow we will become better humans breaking into a new experience of the created order. We’re waiting for the new creation for that to happen.”
We must be willing to have others consider us fools or fanatics, to have our words twisted and even our purest actions misrepresented. We cannot expect or even hope that we will gain the favor of God and the favor of men.
When you begin to believe that you’re the actual source of spiritual help for people rather than a conduit, you’re setting yourself up for spectacular failure. —Harold Senkbeil