Showing posts with label Faithfulness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Faithfulness. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Egyptian Allies and Righteous Judgment

The broken reed is one of the Old Testament’s more striking and memorable metaphors. I remember coming across it for the first time in the account of Assyria’s siege of Jerusalem during the reign of Hezekiah, which appears several times in the Old Testament, probably the lengthiest being in 2 Kings.

The backstory is this: The king of Assyria, the great world power of that day, had besieged and conquered Samaria, the capital of the northern kingdom. He carried away tens of thousands of Israelites captive, dispersing them throughout the cities of the Medes and the rest of his vast empire. Eight years later, when Sennacherib had received the Assyrian throne, he determined to finish the job begun by his predecessor.

Assyria set its sights on the southern kingdom of Judah.

Tuesday, March 05, 2024

To Die a Virgin

Ed Shaw is attracted to men. Out of love for Jesus Christ, he never acts on those impulses. He hopes and expects to die a virgin.

That gives him enormous credibility as the author of 2015’s The Plausibility Problem: The Church and Same-Sex Attraction, in which Shaw affirms the scriptural basis for the orthodox Christian position on homosexuality.

In doing so, Shaw has a challenge for the church.

Friday, May 12, 2023

Too Hot to Handle: Debby Boone Theology

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

“It can’t be wrong, when it feels so right.”

— Debby Boone, You Light
Up My Life

Immanuel Can: Okay, Tom. Remember that song?

Tom:hated the song, but I was wildly infatuated with Debby. I think I even had her poster on the wall in the basement bedroom I shared with my younger brother. I could just barely slide a female pop star (completely and decorously attired, I hasten to add, in a beige dress that did up at the neck and went down to her ankles) past my parents because “She’s a Christian!” Of course, I was all of sixteen at the time. Sadly, nothing permanent came of that little obsession: Debby has since married a fellow believer and, unlike many celebrities, has stuck with it going on forty years now. Good on her.

IC: Uh … right.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Amalekites Revisited

I love looking at Old Testament stories and tracing history through its books. Sometimes I try to draw practical lessons from the things that happened in times past. Other times I leave that process mostly to the reader. Some lessons are more obvious than others, and we don’t always need to be beaten with a 2×4 to register what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell us.

Early last year we published a post I entitled “The Prototypical Enemy”. It concerned the Amalekites and their relationship with the nation of Israel over a 900-year period. In that post, I tried to link together a bunch of different scriptures to present a history of the Amalekite people. It was a lengthy one, so I left most of the practical applications to the reader.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Too Hot to Handle: He Ain’t Baptist, He’s My Brother

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Tom: Quick quiz, IC: How many different local churches have you been part of? I’m not counting churches you’ve visited, but just those you would have considered “my church” for a period of time; churches in which it would have been notable to others if you weren’t there.

Immanuel Can: Um … rather more than most people, I suspect. I’ve been regarded, for some time, as a regular attendee of … I make it 14. I might be missing one or two. My youth and early adult years were marked by a lot of moving around, so it wasn’t a product of unhappiness in most cases. How about you?

Tom: Eight. Second question: How many of those churches were in the same town as one of the others?

Sunday, June 16, 2019

The Day of Big Things

A handful of times throughout our earth’s history God has made major public statements. Big things.

The Bible records a number of these great and unambiguous events: the Flood; the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah; and Israel’s delivery from Egypt, passage through the Red Sea and miraculous conquest of Canaan. Even when Israel and Judah went into their various captivities, God still made appearances to miraculously shut the mouths of lions, walk around in fiery furnaces and write on the walls of pagan kings.

Then came the first century miracles of Jesus, and later his apostles. Big things.

Friday, May 04, 2018

Too Hot to Handle: Debby Boone Theology

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Good Wine

Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.”

The system is a cheat. Not news, I know.

Apart from Christ, people inevitably act in what they perceive to be their own best interests, and never mind the rest of us. The master of the feast at the wedding in Cana was telling the bridegroom the oldest tale in the human storybook.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Thursday, August 13, 2015

“I Looked for a Man …”

The Bible is filled with the stories of people who we would fairly call ‘servants of God’ — men and women who did great things at pivotal moments and who are forever enshrined in both the Old and New Testaments as examples and stalwarts.

Biblically-undocumented servants fill the annals of secular history too — people who gave their lives in the pursuit of God’s work; men like George Mueller or Jim Elliot come to mind. But there are thousands of others who bore the title ‘servant of God’ with distinction by changing the course of nations and standing for God at needful times.

Then there are those of us who are Christians today and aspire to be worthy of the grand title ‘servant of God’ in our generations.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Nothing To Fear

Some years ago I drove through upstate New York on my way to visit a client in Massachusetts. The road rose and fell as we wove our way through the Adirondack Mountains and I was amused to see signs like the one pictured on a regular basis; there were dozens of them. I wondered about them a fair bit as we drove because really, if you’re driving a car over a mountain pass with vertical drops on the immediate left and right side of the car and you see a plane approaching the front windshield, well, what exactly does one do aside from brace for impact?

Where I live and work there is not a single one of these signs. There never has been and I dare say there never will be and the reason is pretty simple: There are no mountains here at all. So even though it is always good advice to be wary of low flying aircraft, the warning is only needed and provided when there is an actual risk that there could possibly be an impact. Seems simple enough, doesn’t it?