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?
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
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
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
John Piper has just released a free eBook entitled: Coronavirus and Christ. (It is also available in hard-copy.) This short book is a wonderful example of the kind of theology that all of us need to lean into in the midst of crisis. After introductory chapters that focus upon the sovereignty of God, Piper offers … Continue reading Solid Theology for Times of Suffering: A New eBook by John Piper about Coronavirus
COVID-19 is spreading across the globe as I write these words. In my section of the world, people are stockpiling hand sanitizers, facemasks, toilet paper, and bottled water, and some have already self-quarantined. The focus of these efforts, naturally, is protection of self and others from the spread of the virus. But in the midst … Continue reading How Did Early Christians Respond to Plagues? Historical Reflections as the Coronavirus Spreads
I have just finished reading Lore Ferguson Wilbert’s newly published book, Handle with Care: How Jesus Redeems the Power of Touch in Life and Ministry. I will limit this review to four points of appreciation, and three points of concern. Four Points of Appreciation The author effectively highlights the pain that people experience who do … Continue reading How Much Should Christians Touch? A Book Review of Handle with Care, by Lore Ferguson Wilbert
As I reflect on the books I read in 2019, I note seven Christian books that have impacted my own Christian thinking and spiritual life more than any others. This year’s list is a bit more academic than last year’s, though it ranges from easy-to-read to serious academic. Nevertheless, these are the seven books that … Continue reading Seven Favorite Christian Books of 2019
In his classic book on sanctification, Holiness (1877), J. C. Ryle, an evangelical Anglican bishop, penned a profound paragraph on the importance of Christ being both divine and human. It is rare to encounter such devotionally-rich reflections in modern Christian literature, so I offer it to you for your meditation today.
In 19th century England, Atheists knew more about the Bible than most Christians do today. So did Liberal Anglicans, Anglo-Catholics, Unitarians, and Agnostics. So claims Timothy Larsen in A People of One Book: The Bible and the Victorians (Oxford, 2011). Larsen makes a convincing case that Victorian England was saturated with the Bible. Nineteenth century English people in general cared … Continue reading Even Atheists Knew More About the Bible Than Christians Do Today