Category: Sin and Salvation

Optimistic or Alive?

A number of scholars have commented on Augustine’s “pessimism.” The label has also been attached to Martin Luther and John Calvin who shared Augustine’s belief in Original Sin. That is, they all affirmed the Bible teaching that humanity died in Adam. So that no one has spiritual life without new birth. Jesus supported this when …

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Real

C.S. Lewis wrote about grass “as hard as diamonds” that wouldn’t bend when the protagonist of his story walked among the trees in a forest glade. Each blade was like a nail. At the same time a bird pushed the grass aside and was spattered by dew that had been as firm as glass to …

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Disappointed

We’ve all been disappointed. And the source of that disappointment is often a person we trust and care for. Someone we expected would say yes said no. When we waited for a text or phone call it never came. When we offered a tender gift it didn’t draw a “thank you” or even a smile. …

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Don Quixote

Most of us have heard of Cervantes’ story of Don Quixote and the windmill. Quixote wanted to joust with a “giant”—actually a spinning windmill—so he galloped ahead with his lance taking aim. Of course he lost the joust: the windmill shattered the lance and knocked him off his horse. So what do we make of …

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Walking Worthy

In the Bible Jesus is presented as the source and sustainer of life. For all of life and all the time. Jesus spoke of this in John 15:5, “Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” His imagery of a …

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A Problem

Let’s think about Genesis 12-16—of God’s promise of a son to Abram and Sarai. This son extended God’s blessing promise made to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:15. And, as we now know, the birth anticipated a son born of Abram’s lineage centuries later: Jesus, the Son of God. The plan started badly. As the …

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Pompeii

Luca and Anca spent the day with me visiting the ruins of Pompeii near Naples. Then the next day Luca and I visited the Naples archealogical museum where most of the artifacts of Pompeii’s destruction from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius are on display. I was surprised by my response to the experience. Let me …

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Point-Counterpoint

The apostle Paul hated counterfeits. He knew when he launched new churches opponents of the faith would soon pop up with false teachings. Some even followed him directly—as in his trip from Thessalonica to Berea—just to stir chaos (Acts 17:13). Jesus anticipated this sort of thing in his parable of the weeds (Matt. 13:24-43): “The …

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Investing

“Start making retirement investments as soon as you start earning!” This was a Law of the Medes and the Persians, inviolable and unchanging. That truth—and its corollary, that compounding interest is magical—was the stuff of high school economics in my day. With a lifetime of steady investments we would retire in style. And this was …

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