Jesus was right

When a voice in the crowd asked Jesus about his greatest priority he answered with a defining call from the Torah: “Love God.” And, as its direct corollary, “Love your neighbor.” His answer still alerts us to God’s overflowing Triune love. And we get to respond to him with our own love. The apostle John …

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An Affective, Compatible Faith

I first ran into debates between Calvinists and Arminians as a young Christian. Here’s a brief overview. The Calvinists insisted that God’s sovereign rule is behind the doctrine of election. God alone choses the “elect”—those selected, unconditionally, for salvation—and all others face eternal damnation. The Arminians, on the other hand, thought this made God into …

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Steady

Haystack Rock is a monolith at the ocean edge in Cannon Beach, Oregon. It endures constant waves from the ocean side while on its beach face tourists can usually walk up to its base. I envision something like Haystack when I read about rocks of refuge in the Bible. David, for one, wrote of God …

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Finding Voice

Antwuan Malone is black. He’s a pastor. He loves Jesus. And in an online interview this Friday he asked listeners an important question. Why has the church been so passive—so silent—during the national upheaval of recent days?  I shared the question so his voice was encouraging and stirring. In the welter of angry speeches and …

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Hearing

Kris Kristofferson’s song, “Why me Lord?” caught my attention in a recent PBS Country Music series. Kristofferson wrote it after another country singer, a Christian, Connie Smith took him to church in 1973 where he heard the gospel and responded to the altar call. I don’t know if or how much Kristofferson’s faith marked the …

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Calling all hearts

Bible history offers contrasts between God-seeking hearts and hard hearts. Let’s chase some heart stories here and see what we can learn. King Saul, for one, had it all. All except a heart for God. He certainly acknowledged God. He also had a big physical presence. He was king over God’s chosen nation. But God …

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What to look for in a God

One of the most-watched US television shows in recent days was the National Football League draft. Here’s my layman’s snapshot of the basic features. Each team has many needs and a few selection slots. The “skill” selections are crucial—the passers, pass receivers, and runners. And if a team has enough skilled men their next need …

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