Author: R N Frost

Fear and Faith

Fear is the muscular sibling of the current global pandemic. Fear, in fact, is even bigger as it stretches well beyond the actual reach of COVID-19. It can rule our hearts even if it doesn’t touch our health. It stirs our impulses to hide, to hoard, to fixate on media and social news, and to …

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Defeating Death

Jesus, God’s Son, became a man so he could die. Amazing … but why that extreme? The writer of Hebrews answered, “[T]hat through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery” [Heb. 2:14-15]. …

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Bonhoeffer on Bible Reading

I’m reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s little book, Life Together, on Christian community. He promoted reading the Bible as a whole. It’s something worth noting. He wrote that narrow readings—reflecting on just one or two verses—will always have value. It allows believers to discover the depth available in any part of the Bible. But this approach can’t …

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Spirituality

Philip Sheldrake’s book, Spirituality: A Brief History, is a good read. Yet it raises a question near the end. What do we mean by “spiritual” if we apply the term to a variety of faiths, as he does, including Christianity and various forms of Zen Buddhism and Hinduism? With that question in mind I’ve done …

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The Flesh

Someone recently asked me about Paul’s use of “flesh” in his New Testament letters. It’s a good question. The term sarx—“flesh”—in Paul’s era meant “muscular tissues.” Or, with animals, their “meat.” But Paul clearly had more in mind as he linked human “sinful passions” to “the flesh” (e.g. Ro. 7:5). So that sin engages our …

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Power & Love

I enjoyed a six-week internship at Christianity Today magazine many years ago. The Army paid for it as I returned to civilian life after two years as a draftee. At the same time Richard Nixon was impeached for his role in the Watergate burglary cover-up. Back then the CT offices were just a block from …

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Encouraged?

Last night I watched the Washington State High School football championship. Our local team won so our crowd was ecstatic: undefeated! Smiles were everywhere. At least on our side of the stadium. Not so much on the other side where their crowd slipped away quietly, many before the game ended. The world is full of …

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Thanksgiving for Jealousy

I’m writing this on Thanksgiving and I’m thankful for a number of blessings. I’m thinking, especially, of the joy that comes with faith. As God’s children we enjoy God’s self-offerings: his Word; his salvation; his Spirit-to-spirit communion; his steady providence; his rich creativity; his love; and his jealousy. Thankful for God’s jealousy? Yes, and please …

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A Christian’s Charter

Our title is taken from a sermon series in Richard Sibbes’ Works (vol. 4) where “charter” spoke of a set of formal rights. The thought was inspired by a Bible text, 1 Corinthians 3:21-23, where Sibbes found a set of benefits for Christians who are “one with Christ” (p.29). Sibbes began with the promise, “all …

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Heart Talk

What do we talk about? About our family? Work? Sports? Politics? Weather? Fishing? Money? Favorite apps? Food? This simple question invites reflection because our words display our hearts. As Jesus said: “For from within, out of the heart of man come [thoughts, words, and deeds]” (Mark 7:21-22). Forgive my brackets. He actually said, “evil thoughts, …

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