Well, This Is Going To Be Awkward!

Awkwardness is a cultural phenomenon. Jump over to Google and begin to search for “awkward” and you’ll soon find lists, photos and videos of awkward everything–awkward family photos, awkward celebrity moments, awkward missed high-fives, awkward moments in history, and pretty much anything else that could possibly be considered awkward. Even my kids know what it is to be awkward. It is not unusual for them to blurt out in one of those moments, “AW-kward!” They don’t know a whole lot …

A La Carte (1/28)

Faith in Crisis – You’ll have to be sure to read all the way to the end of this article from Iain Campbell. He begins by reflecting on how depressing the news has been lately, and then searches for hope. It will start your week in just the right way. No Better Critics – “I’m a female veteran. I deployed to Anbar Province, Iraq. When I was active duty, I was 5’6, 130 pounds, and scored nearly perfect on my …

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Pleasing Grief and Mournful Joy

John Newton was a slave-trader turned hymn-writer, a man who underwent a miraculous transformation that saw him leave behind a life of immorality and depravity to pursue the calling of a minister of the gospel. The amazing grace that had unexpectedly but permanently “saved a wretch like me” was his joy and meditation for the rest of his days, the topic of a thousand sermons, hymns, prayers and letters. Newton was an insightful pastor who was adept at peering deep …

The Excitement and the Anticipation

Over the past few years I have had opportunity to attend a lot of Christian conferences, sometimes to sit and learn but more commonly in a kind of official capacity as a speaker or reporter. From either perspective I enjoy them most of the time. I will grant that without some vigilance we can overdo it and allow conferences to feed a kind of celebrityism, but I am convinced that they have their time and place and can be genuinely …

The Essential: Pride

This is the tenth installment in a series on theological terms. See previous posts on the terms theology, Trinity, creation, man, Fall, common grace, sin, righteousness, and faith. Pride is the chief of all sins, as well as the chief cause of all sin. We learn from the prophet Ezekiel that this was the most essential problem with Sodom (16:49-50), and Paul teaches us that this is the sin that brought condemnation on the devil himself (1 Timothy 3:6). C. …

A La Carte (8/14)

To Suffer Faithfully – “We sometimes tend to focus on those aspects of the Christian life (spontaneity, starry-eyed-ness, passionate intensity…) in which the younger seem to have an advantage over the older, but there are a bunch of other aspects in which the very experiences that knock some of the shine off our youthful naivety are exactly the things that equip us to be better at enduring.” Guidelines to Narrative – “If you’ve ever begun to read through the Old …

An Angry God

What makes you angry? We all have triggers, don’t we? We all have certain contexts and situations, certain affronts to our dignity or pride that stoke the anger within. I know a lot about anger, as Aileen can no doubt attest. When she and I talk about God’s grace in our lives, and evidence of it, she will often point this out–that God has mellowed me, taken away that anger that often bubbled within and occasionally boiled over. When I …

A La Carte (6/27)

Problems with Unconditional Forgiveness – “While automatic forgiveness sounds like an antidote to bitterness, this is not the case. Those who try and simply dismiss grave offenses, apart from resting in the justice of God, often encounter emotional and theological problems. Here is an incomplete list of problems that sometimes arise from unconditional forgiveness.” Nourish and Cherish – Rick Thomas takes a look at Ephesians 5 and what it means for a husband to nourish and cherish his wife. Don’t …

4 Kinds of Guilt

In The Big Fight, a new book from The Christian Book Company (edited by Richard Perkins and Tim Thornborough), Richard Coekin has a helpful section on guilt. Writing specifically to men, he highlights four different kinds of guilt men (or women) may experience. 1. Many men don’t feel guilty before God when they should! The Psalmist observed: An announcement is within my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: there is no fear of God before his eyes. For in …

Love Covers a Multitude of Sins

In wisdom and love God does not leave his people to live this life alone, but rather calls us into community. One of the sad inevitabilities of living in community is that we will sin against one another. The invitation to Christian community is an invitation to be tested by other people’s sin and weakness. There are many ways to react badly when sinned against by another Christian. Some of us tend to react with sulking and feeling sorry for …