Category: The Spiritual Life

Jesus on Believing, 2 of 5

This is the second of five reflections on John’s gospel. John featured Jesus’ purpose to invite people to “believe” and have eternal life (John 20:31). In this post we look at the encounter between Jesus and Nicodemus in John 2:23 to 3:36. Verse 2:23—“many believed in his [Jesus’] name”—seems a hopeful start but, “Jesus on …

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Shared Values

Vladimir Putin wants higher historic ranking. To be an Alexander the Great. Or Julius Caesar, Napoleon, or, especially, a Joseph Stalin. None achieved character awards, but they didn’t care. All had three qualities that, together, made them dominant figures in their time. And having this triad of abilities, their appetite for power over others flourished …

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A bride for Jesus

Richard Sibbes’ portrayal of faith was trinitarian and Christ-centered. An English Puritan (1577-1635), he shared a deep concern about a question still alive today. How do we engage God? Do we matter to him? And if so, what does he want from us?  Sibbes’ answer was biblical and personal. God the Father wants a bride …

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Finding Grace

In Gentle and Lowly Dane Ortlund wrote, “He [Jesus] sends his grace to us, personally, individually, eternally. Indeed, he sends himself—there’s no such ‘thing’ as grace …” (p.211).  Yes, Jesus shares God’s grace with us by the Spirit, so divine grace is his expansive love. And while we may recognize many special acts of divine grace, together …

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Affective Lives

“What do you mean by ‘affective theology?’ I’ve never heard of it before I met you.” This was the lead line of the Spreading Goodness entry for June 4, 2018. In that piece—and I invite readers to visit there—I explained why I adopted this uncommon phrasing. I also use the phrase “heart-based spirituality” to say the same …

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