Category: The Gospel and the Christian Life

Try Listening

There are many things you can do today to demonstrate care and concern for others, but few are as impactful as listening. I remember as a child once on a boat asking a question to my uncle. While he was in the middle of giving his answer, I asked another question. His response, “If you would be quiet and listen for a moment, you would learn something.” Although at the moment I did not perceive it as good advice, his statement has stuck with me for years. What he knew and I needed to learn: listening is foundational in...

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Nothing to Complain About

Of all the sins that are grievous to the Lord (and there are plenty of them in our hearts and lives), I have recently been sensitive to the fact that we are all quick to gloss over two of the most serious–namely, ingratitude and complaining. It was these sins in particular that marked Israel’s sojourning through the wilderness. Moses tells us, in Numbers 11:1, “The people complained in the hearing of the Lord about their misfortunes, and when the Lord heard it, his anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some outlying parts of the camp.” Unthankfulness for all...

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The Warfare Worldview of Ephesians

When was the last time you prayed against the devil? Or, attributed your physical pain or emotional vexations to a demonic spirit? If it has been some time (or never), it’s probably because you live in the 21st Century America, where the evils of the world—moral and natural—are explained by biological factors and scientific calculation. But if you lived in 16th Century Europe, it would be a different story. In the Medieval period, ghosts and goblins, spirits and demons were regularly blamed for spiritual and physical tribulations. In that world, God and the angelic realm were not excluded from...

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An Open Letter to the Sexual Sufferer

Dear friend, How do you rebuild after sexual victimization? To experience such evil devastates so many aspects of who you are. Your expectations about life are forever darkened. Primal fears of danger awaken. In time they will ebb; they may even go dormant; but they will not go extinct until the day when you have no more reasons to fear. How do you ever come to terms with betrayal and violation at the hands of an evildoer? There are no easy answers or quick solutions. Other people—who genuinely care, who want to be helpful—often don’t really understand. Pain and...

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Ten Things You Should Know about Teenagers

1. Teenagers are coming of age in a post-Christian world. Twenty-first-century teenagers are the first to grow up in a post-Christian context. In the past nineteen years, culture’s attitude toward religion and morality has shifted dramatically. But what’s new to you is normal to today’s teenagers. We were born, bred, and are now steeped in an unprecedented religious climate. We do not take the gospel for granted. 2. Teenagers are the most technologically savvy generation. But the world hasn’t just changed religiously in the last nineteen years—it’s also experienced massive and global technological changes. Unlike older generations, teens do...

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