Are Churches “A Major Source of Coronavirus Cases?”

The New York Times recently ran a column headlined “Churches Were Eager to Reopen. Now They Are a Major Source of Coronavirus Cases.” The lede is alarming: “The virus has infiltrated Sunday services, church meetings and youth camps. More than 650 cases have been linked to reopened religious facilities.” Here’s how the story begins: Weeks after President Trump demanded that America’s shuttered houses of worship be allowed to reopen, new outbreaks of the coronavirus are surging through churches across the …

My Great Daily Challenge As a Christian

The great daily challenge I face in Christian living is not a challenge of knowledge—I know what I need to know in order to live in a way that pleases God. It is not a challenge of discernment—there is rarely any great difficulty in distinguishing truth from error and right from wrong. It is not a challenge of ability—there is no temptation I cannot resist and no sin I cannot turn away from when I am indwelled by the Holy …

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Another One of Those Family Updates (Graduations, Cameras, Travel)

Over the past few weeks it has been interesting to see how different jurisdictions in Canada and elsewhere in the world have created and released guidelines for worship services during a pandemic. And then it has been interesting to see how different churches interpret those guidelines. Here in Ontario, we were given broad guidelines from the province that were to then be explained and enhanced by more specific versions from the various regions. But since all of these documents were …

A Mid-Year Bible-Reading Checkup (Don’t Give Up!)

Six months ago many of us were excited to kick off the year with a new Bible-reading plan. We had the plan printed out and the Bible laid open and the time set aside. We began with a lot of discipline and enthusiasm. But along the way, life happened. We missed a day here and there, then missed a week, then realized we had fallen far behind. Now, halfway through the year, many of us have given up and are …

Follow the Way You Want To Be Followed

Most of us lead, but all of us follow. God has so structured authority in this world that almost all of us are leaders in some areas of life and followers in others. Parents lead their children while following government. Managers lead their teams while following the CEO. Directors lead their organization while following the Board. Few of us are without some responsibility toward leaders and some responsibility toward followers. Following comes before leading. We are born under the first …

A Gasp of Pain, A Sigh of Relief

The lockdowns are slowly ending and churches are tentatively re-opening. Of course most are opening during vacation season so have begun with a much-reduced schedule of programming—typically Sunday morning services and not a whole lot else. But summer will soon be past and the busy fall season will be upon us. It’s safe to assume that come August or September, most churches will hope to start up the rest of their programs—youth groups and men’s breakfasts and women’s meetings and …

Sometimes It’s Best To Express Your Wisdom in Silence

The story of Apelles and the presumptuous shoemaker has been passed down through the centuries for our reflection and edification. It is a tale worth telling today. Apelles is considered one of the greatest painters of the ancient world, though none of his works have survived the ages so we can see them with our own eyes. But in his day, his reputation was well-established and he was known for his hard work, his obsession with detail, and his exquisite …

A Mid-June Family Update

After many of these family updates in which I’ve had to report, “not much has changed” I can finally say, “lots has changed.” As of today my region (Halton Region) has entered stage two of Ontario’s reopening plan. While most stores have already been allowed to open, stage 2 now permits malls, attractions, recreation facilities, restaurant patios, barbers, and so on. This is good news, though it will also begin to show how many businesses have not been able to …

How To Bear Up Under Your Burdens

We all bear burdens on our pilgrimage through this weary and wearying world. Sometimes these are burdens of temptation, when we feel the world, the flesh, and the devil arrayed against us, luring and enticing us toward some sinful thought or depraved deed. Sometimes these are burdens of guilt as we think back to a sin we committed and we grieve our folly, grieve our inner disposition away from what is good and toward what is evil. Sometimes these are …

The One About Calvinism and Evangelism

If you read enough blogs over a long enough period of time, you will inevitably begin to see patterns emerge. You will see that certain subjects are addressed time and again by writer after writer. One such article that has been written a hundred times by a hundred people, myself included probably, is the one about Calvinism and evangelism. Many Calvinists have felt the need to defend their tribe against the age-old charge that Calvinism diminishes evangelism and that Calvinists …