In 1873, Horatio Spafford penned the lyrics of one of the most-loved hymns of all time, It is Well with My Soul. But should we sing a song by one such as Spafford, in light of the fact that he is known to have promoted beliefs contrary to Scripture? This question becomes an ideal case … Continue reading Was Horatio Spafford a False Teacher When He Wrote “It is Well with My Soul”?
This post is not about the historical background to this wonderful hymn, though knowing the background is touching and makes the hymn more meaningful. This post revolves around a simple interpretive question. When Horatio Spafford penned the words “It is well with my soul” in 1876, what did he mean by those specific six words? … Continue reading What Does “It is Well with My Soul” Mean?
We are living in a time characterized by difficult decision-making. Some of those decisions are in gray areas. Whether deciding about posting a particular comment on social media, choosing how to protest an action we count unjust, or even pondering whether to meet a friend for coffee at an indoor coffee bar, many of us … Continue reading How to Decide in the Gray Areas
This week citizens of the United States are pondering once again what it means to be American. Personally, I am deeply grateful that God permitted me to grow up in this incredibly blessed nation. Some people I know, though, act like they are first Americans and only second Christians. That’s a problem. At the opposite … Continue reading America First? Reject America? Early Christians Offer a Third Way
I stumbled upon a new spiritual discipline this past year. It isn’t new in the sense that no one has ever done it before—quite to the contrary (see more below)—nor new in that I myself have never done it in the past. But it is new in the sense that this is the first time … Continue reading Quoting Scripture in the Night
Sometimes we need to spiritually step outside of our historical and cultural setting to adequately engage the demands of our own cultural moment. To this end, I offer you the earliest Christian prayer after the time of the New Testament, 1 Clement 59.3-61.3. 1 Clement is a lengthy letter written by the church in Rome to … Continue reading An Ancient Prayer to Help Us Pray into Our Cultural Moment
After two and a half months of living with Coronavirus fear and frustration, followed by a horrific image of a man with his neck pinned to the ground as his life is violently taken away from him, followed by wave after wave of protests—many peaceful, some violent—do you find yourself wondering what God requires of … Continue reading What Does God Require of Me in this Moment?
I once spoke with a teenager who had returned from a spiritually impacting week at a Christian camp. During that week the Lord had profoundly convicted her about her direction in life and she had recommitted herself to living a Christ-centered life. But when she arrived home and tried to explain to her parents what … Continue reading Spiritual Conversations at Home
One year ago, my former graduate professor and then colleague for the past 18 years shared an insightful and wise message at Talbot School of Theology’s baccalaureate service about staying faithful to Jesus after graduation. Sean McDowell summarized the main points of Dr. Wilkins’s address at his blog, and I offer this summary to the … Continue reading Staying Faithful to Jesus after Graduation: Some Sage Advice from Michael Wilkins
Do Christians have to obey their governmental leaders when such leaders issue specific declarations about: 1) where you can and cannot go, 2) what you should wear on your face, and 3) how far away you should stay from other people? What if you don’t agree that such directives make sense? The short answer is … Continue reading Civil Disobedience in an Age of Coronavirus