"The Preacher sought
to find delightful words
and to write
words of truth
I have been having this conversation a lot with friends recently--when my writing comes up I keep shaking my head and repeating my apology for how pathetic it has been.
Some adults never mature through the adolescent problem of dread, so they adopt a view of cynicism as a coping mechanism against their inability to see the world as redeemable, which view they convince themselves and others is a more elevated and intellectual view of life. It’s my argument that this bullying of hope is simply selfishness and weakness and is only overcome by humility and the Gospel.
I spend the majority of my time in Bible study re-learning things I thought I knew, and this is especially the case in the Old Testament. I’ve written before of the story of King David and how I learned that he wasn’t the paragon of virtue I was taught that he was. In the same way, the prophet Elijah isn’t without his flaws. The real point is, if we don’t see these men as flawed, we miss the real point of their stories.
Call me Icarus. My God-given name is Adam, and what’s unfortunate is I’ve always lived up to that name. The miracle came when God broke my rebellion and named me Christian, but when I began to suffer, the miracle seemed like wishful thinking.
This was a paper I submitted for a Systematic Theology class at Seminary a while back, but I never published it here because it is flawed. It can be verbose, broad-brushing, lacking detail and subtlety, and annoying to anyone currently suffering. And yet, I stand by the thesis. God allows evil in order to have something to redeem, to start a holy war that would reveal His character and glory for all to see. But that is a hard pill to swallow.
Zophar is the final guy in the debate segment. This is his last speech, and we still have one more segment to go through, so he doesn’t speak in the last one. Why? There are a lot of answers, but it’s probably because he just shuts up.
Jonathan Edwards’s view on the causes of conversion and revival is more biblical than Charles Finney’s because Edwards maintains the biblical tension of God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility in conversion—between God’s immediate and mediate actions—while Charles Finney loses that tension by overemphasizing the responsibility of man and the mediated nature of God’s work, and thereby loses grip on some key doctrines like the depravity of man and the sovereignty of God.
The mind is a power for great good and great evil, and it is our obligation to master it, to teach it the way it should go, otherwise it will lead us astray; and the main way to train and lead the mind is through developing and memorizing creeds.
Augustine’s view of the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man is more biblical than Cassian’s because he honors the paradox of compatibilism presented in the biblical text while Cassian charges ahead too far into the mystery of God’s character and ends up diverting from other biblical doctrines, like original sin and the free will of man, in order to make this paradox more comprehensible.
It’s a little hard to believe that life is really just about a single choice. Actually, sometimes it’s impossible to believe—because often there is a third way. But what the Christian Gospel claims is that there is no third way, that among the millions of layers of complexity in life, there really are only two paths you can take. This, to the secularist, is illogical—the perfect example of the black and white logical fallacy.
I don't live the life of a serial adulterer.
Four weeks ago I was standing on a beach on the coast of Georgia, watching the full moon rise over the water, bearing my soul to a dear brother in Christ about my sin, the foolish pride of my heart that led me to question God and doubt His goodness, grace, and mercy; but today my thoughts are the exact opposite, and I find it an odd coincidence that I'm here, on yet another beach...
We Bible readers often like to make fun of Israel because they are so pathetic. They’re easy to make fun of. But sometimes it hits a little too close to home.
As many of you know, I've been through an extended period of suffering. It’s hard to communicate it to people who have never endured chronic illness, but it truly broke me. It broke my spirit and it caused me to ask questions I’m not meant to find answers for.
I have fallen off (the writing bandwagon, that is), and I had almost decided not to get back on. To blog or not to blog? That was my question—drama and sentimentality included.
In reading Making Sense of the Old Testament by Tremper Longman (what a name! Tremper Longman!), I stumbled across this bit on the Proverbs and I thought it the best summary of how the book works.
For me, being a Christian, one of the hardest questions to answer is also the most important question people can ask me: What does it mean to be a Christian? It’s like asking a hippopotamus what it’s like to be a hippo.
A while back I wrote on the Sullenness of the In-Between, exploring the emotional angst of the crossroads in life, and I naïvely thought that was that. But life continues to frustrate me: my dreams get dashed, my hope wavers, my faith flames out, and I often wonder how to go on—specifically, how I’m supposed to keep dreaming.
As the plane bumped onto the ground, I realized I’d just seen something that would change my life forever.
I just had to look at the ground. The lady in front of me was wearing knee-high black leather boots that had a little metal tag on the back with fine print that read “The Frye Company” and I thought how nice they were, and then I thought how Haddie will never wear those.
I’ve been having this debate with myself for a while about skeptics. If you spend any time at all reading and listening to skeptics, you’ve probably asked yourself the same question I keep asking myself. What makes them so desperate and earnest and, I guess, alive?
There’s this big, old oak tree on the outside of the long corner of North Oak Street Extension that has a big scar on it from where this guy my dad went to high school with crashed his car into it over 30 years ago.
We Americans don’t gather around the fire and hear grandpa tell us our story anymore and that makes us feel “free” to create our own. But with that freedom comes ignorance and confusion. We’ve forgotten our True story, and it’s my constant passion to call people to the fire to hear the way things really are.