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
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
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
Many people I know are praying for family members who are currently ill, immunocompromised, or facing other critical risks from COVID-19. Others I know are praying for those who have lost jobs or otherwise undergoing economic hardships. Some I know are praying for governmental leaders, first responders, and medical professionals who are heroically waging war … Continue reading One Way to Pray about the Coronavirus Crisis
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
Humility supports prayer, and prayer supports humility. First, humility supports prayer. Suppose that I enter into a time of prayer arrogantly. When I address my heavenly Father—who, by the way, is also the Creator, Sustainer, and Judge of all the world!—I might start addressing him casually, as though he’s my homeboy. I might start thoughtlessly … Continue reading Humility and Prayer