Category: God’s love

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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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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Seeking God

This blog is for any reader who wants to get to know God better. Why not take this season of isolation as a Godsend—as a chance to spend time with him? Through bold Bible reading? On Monday I met with Greg by video connection. He’s pastor of Harvest Community Church, near my home. He had …

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Bold humility

Good Friday is the story of God’s humility. Jesus—the Son who is one with the Father and Spirit—was mocked, despised, and crucified by the civil and religious leaders of his day. For his followers it was an upside-down event. They believed he was the Messiah who came to save Israel … and dying wasn’t an …

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Fighting Feelings

In The Spirit, the Affections, and the Christian Tradition (Coulter & Yong, eds.) E. A. Dreyer cites Classical Greek thinkers who demeaned human feelings. Plato, for one, compared human reason to a charioteer who must whip his horses—the emotions—to rule them. This distrust of feelings is still in vogue among many. But so, too, is …

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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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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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