The Beauty of Jesus—George Elliot

A few years ago, a family member gave me a book called, The Beauty of Jesus (published in 1904).  It is a compilation of sermons preached by Reverend George Elliott in the Central Methodist Episcopal Church, Detroit, Michigan.  Since receiving the book, it has sat on a bookshelf.  But I found that the title caught my…

Staying Buried

In Genesis 34, Leah’s daughter, Dinah, is raped by Hivite Prince Shechem.  Infatuated, Shechem bargains with Jacob and his sons to make Dinah Shechem’s wife.  Jacob’s sons tell Shechem he can’t have Dinah unless he and their men are circumcised.  The Hivites agree. They will benefit by mingling with the Hebrews: flocks and possessions will…

The Back of Love’s Hand

Last night, my wife had dinner out with a friend.  I looked forward to spending the evening with my kids, doing something fun.  But one of my kids had a major behavioral malfunction. I had to discipline him.  It was the very opposite of fun.  Since then, I’ve been thinking about Hebrews 12:6, “the Lord…

Daddy’s Little Helper

My son and I restained the railing mentioned in the post below so I thought I’d repost it.  It’s been a few years, and my son is now seven.  But the truths involved still apply.  Best of all, my boy told me again how happy he was to do a project with me where we…

I’ve Been Thinking…

In light of the socio-political climate in America, the following verses have been on my mind: You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven…

On Loving God–Bernard of Clairvaux

Bernard of Clairvaux was a monk in the 11th and 12th centuries. Bernard enjoys wide appeal.  After reading his classic, On Loving God, I understand why.  This book has a refreshing, simple focus on loving God.  It is not a work of dazzling theological argument but evokes 1 Corinthians 8:2-3: “If anyone thinks he knows anything,…

Two Cities, One Gospel: Christ and Revolution

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….” This unforgettable phrase opens Dickens’s novel A Tale of Two Cities. Set in England and Paris, A Tale of Two Cities takes place just as the French Revolution gets going. On one side are the French commoners. They are enraged by the economic…

Does Love Trump Hate…of Trump?

It wouldn’t surprise me if Donald Trump’s first two weeks as president coincided with a global rise in stomach ulcers. News outlets and social media are a minefield of opinions and denouncements. Love trumps hate, they say. But I’m not sure love trumps hate of Trump. I’m not here to defend Trump. He’s a big…

Wanted: A Few Good Idiots

This past weekend,  I had the following article published in the religion section of our local paper. I posted a slightly different version on The Voice of One two years ago. Given America’s current political climate, I feel like the thoughts in this article are especially relevant. *** “The Idiot” is a book by Russian…