Thanksgiving in the United States is one of my favorite holidays. I used to view it as the only holiday still untainted by secularism and materialism. But that was before football took over. Now, for many of us, largely because of the national obsession with American-style football, the most thanks that gets expressed on our … Continue reading Thankfulness in Christ
Here’s what C.S. Lewis wrote in 1948 for people struggling with anxiety about living with the threat of atomic bombs. His comments apply to our current period of unrest: In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. “How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted … Continue reading What Might C. S. Lewis Say About Covid-19 Anxiety?
How can you identify that you have a problem with pride? Following are 14 diagnostic questions that I recently adapted from a set of “rules” (advice) written by 17th-century clergyman Jeremy Taylor to help Christians grow in humility. Personally, I have returned a dozen or more times to Taylor’s advice over the past 25 years, … Continue reading Diagnosing Pride: A Checklist
Here is my favorite passage from George Müller, the man of prayer and leader of orphan houses (1805-1898). This reading was originally a single passage that I have broken into five paragraphs. On Making Sure Your Soul is Happy in the Lord The welfare of our families, the prosperity of our business, our work and … Continue reading My Favorite Passage on the Christian Life from George Müller
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?
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
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
“Paul’s fourth missionary journey? I thought he went on three missionary journeys!” Yes, according to Acts, Paul embarked on three missionary journeys. Then he was imprisoned in Palestine for a couple years, transported under guard via ship to Rome (a journey that included a shipwreck on Malta), and spent a couple more years under house … Continue reading Paul’s 4th Missionary Journey (and I don’t mean his trip to Rome)