Letters to the Editor (Sleepovers, New Calvinism, Disability, Prayer, and more)

It has been far too long since I have put together a collection of Letters to the Editor. I am remedying that today by sharing just a few of the many letters that have poured in over the last few weeks. I hope you enjoy them. Letters on Vlog: Why My Family Still Doesn’t Do Sleepovers My wife and I have the same convictions about no sleep overs. Once you let the genie out of the bottle, so to speak, …

Victims and Victimizers and a Sin-Sick World

Aileen and I have developed a shared passion for photography, especially for landscape photography. A little while ago, she began to follow various landscape photographers on Instagram and made an interesting observation: almost all of them are men. She began to wonder why, so asked Google and found an interesting answer. In the first place, landscape photography tends to involve lugging heavy equipment far into the wilderness, a task that men typically find easier than women. Second, it often involves …

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The State of Evangelicalism in America and all that Blah Blah Blah

I have grown accustomed to hearing about the horrific state of evangelicalism in the United States of America. The 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation has seemed to add some new fuel to that fire, a fresh opportunity to bemoan the sorry state of the church today. It has apparently become almost a pastime among conservative Christians—and perhaps especially Calvinistic Christians—to lament what the church is, rather than what she ought to be. I’ve come to think y’all are being …

Joyfully Lifting Malformed Hands in Worship

There are many reasons I love being a Christian, but right up there is being able to learn from others how to think in mature, biblical ways. Recently my friends Ewan and Rachel welcomed a new baby boy into their family, and immediately experienced a shock as they realized he had a significant physical malformation. They soon sent a letter to their church (Grace Fellowship Church Don Mills) to introduce their son and tell about his condition. I received their …

Why We Can Rejoice that Marriage Will End

Perhaps the most difficult thing to accept about marriage is that marriage will end–that it is, in the words of John Piper, merely momentary. I get 20 or 30 or maybe 60 years with Aileen as my wife, then the rest of eternity without. Honestly, I struggle to see how this can be a good thing. Aileen and I experience such joy together, such pleasure, such friendship and unity. How can heaven be better than earth if we are married …

How We Worshipped: Reformation Sunday

Every now and again I like to share an order of worship from Grace Fellowship Church. This service’s cast of characters included Paul (our lead pastor) as the preacher and service leader, Josh as the lead worshipper, and Murray as the elder who led the pastoral prayer. Our band consisted of guitar, piano, and drums accompanying one male and one female vocalist. The various elements of the service are in bold with the name of the person who led the …

No Better (or Worse) Time To Be Disabled

I acknowledge this is a bit of a weird question, but bear with me for just a minute: Has there ever been a better time to be disabled? I don’t mean to be smart, and I don’t mean to be cute. What I mean to say is that I am not aware of any society that has ever taken better care of its disabled members. And here I am thinking particularly of people with cognitive disabilities, though I’m sure we …

Why I’m Thankful To Be Protestant

It’s Reformation Day today. And no ordinary Reformation Day, either. This is the 500th anniversary of the day Martin Luther unintentionally began what would become a worldwide, world-transforming movement. And on this day I’m reflecting on some of my recent travels and how they’ve reinforced my gratitude for the work of Luther and the other Reformers. Here’s the video in YouTube and Facebook formats, followed by a transcript. Rush Transcript Happy Reformation Day. Is that a thing, Happy Reformation Day? …

Why Are You Friends with Your Friends?

Are you friends with your friends for the sake of your friends? Or are you friends with your friends for the sake of yourself? I suspect you don’t really know while you derive some clear benefit from the relationship. As long as the relationship is gain, not loss, as long as it enhances your reputation instead of diminishes it, you probably don’t really know. A friend and I were recently considering some mutual acquaintances who had fallen on hard times. …

So Who Was Praying?

I am utterly confident that prayer works, but am far less certain about how prayer works. God invites and commands us to come to him with our petitions, our requests. He promises that he hears them, that through the intercession of the Spirit he perfects them, and that it is his joy to answer them. He gives us the things we long for, though not always in the way we ask and often not in the time we ask. Still, …