Laid into Suffering

In 1 Thessalonians 2:17 and 18, Paul remembers being forced to leave Thessalonica—their time cut short by a mob that attacked, abused, and jailed some of them (Acts 17:5-9).  Paul talks affectionately of their desire to return but says satan hindered them. Acts 17:13-15 tells the full story: Paul and co. went to Berea after…

Lovers of Wisdom

Now that we had it mounted and filleted—each limb splayed, pierced through, and neatly stuckto a pan—we were ready to gut it and discuss. So there it was.But we had to prove it. (Everything had to be proved).And so,ontological arguments were brought forward,arguments by design and by excellence,arguments by first cause and by teleology.One guy…

Seeding and Seeing

I assure you : Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces a large crop (John 12:24). The other night, I was reading John 12:24 to my son. I was struck by the context. A few verses earlier, some Greeks come to Jesus’s…

The Inward Journey—Gene Edwards

Last month, someone sent me a couple books. One was, The Inward Journey by Gene Edwards. The book is a work of theological imagination. A young man, Chris (short for “Christian”), finds himself thrust into a painful season. As Chris cries and prays one day, he has a series of visions guided by a figure…

No Harm?

Psalm 91 talks about living under God’s protection.  It details various dangers the believer will be kept from.  In sum, “Because you have made the LORD—my refuge, the Most High—your dwelling place, no harm will come to you” (Psalm 91:9-10). Similar sentiments are expressed in other verses.  Some take these verses at face value: if…

Dead in the Water

Not long ago, I was going about my day when a bit of pride strutted through my soul. I can’t even remember what it was about. But my reaction was, Ugh. Every thought of my mind is only evil all the time! I realized I was paraphrasing Genesis 6:5, where God is grieved he made mankind because…

Despising the Lamb

The following article appeared in our local paper last weekend. It is adapted from my booklet, Despising the Lamb: Contempt for Christ in First Samuel. *** Hophni and Phineas were priests in Old Testament times (1 Sam. 1:3). The Bible says Hophni and Phineas were wicked men (1 Sam. 2:12). Why? When someone brought a…

Life out of Death

Joseph embodies the key reality of spirituality: life out of death.  God is a God of life out of death.  This is His way.  Everything He does or creates expresses it.  If we would truly know the Lord, our experience will be marked by life out of death. Joseph’s brothers threw him into a pit…

Not My Own

I have been meditating lately on verses that say I am not my own; I belong to Jesus, body and soul.  One example is 1 Corinthians 6:19-20–“You are not your own, for you were bought at a price.” This particular verse addresses sexuality. Christians do not have the right use their bodies in any way…

Too Strong for Me

He reached down from heaven and took hold of me; He pulled me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too strong for me” (Psalm 18:16-17). I have been meditating on Psalm 18, especially the verses above.  There are a couple levels…