• What Churches Can Learn From Jane Austen

    CassandraAusten-JaneAusten(c.1810)_hiresDon’t worry – it’s not soteriology or anything. There is no evidence that Jane Austen possessed saving faith, so taking theological tips from her doesn’t make sense.

    But as a brilliant novelist, she understood people. Society might be different now than it was two hundred years ago: human nature is the same. And it’s Austen’s keen insight into people’s thought and behavior patterns that leave lessons for pastors, congregations, and individual members in our churches today. Here is one lesson from each of her three best-loved novels. Continue reading

  • Searching for Adam?

    What is the root of our existence? Was there an Adam and Eve? Is their world a lost world, just beginning to be recovered?

    How we answer these questions has vast implications for our theology and practice of life. It defines who we are, what God has done, and who God is. The gospel is connected to Genesis: there is the first Adam and the second Adam. Christ, the Eternal Son was intimately involved in the creative origin of humanity: “for by him all things were created… all things were created through him and for him.” (Colossians 1:16) Continue reading

  • Reasons To Get Married In School

    snowy hugGetting married during school is a multi-generational tradition in my family. Grandpa started it: many aunts, uncles, and siblings on both sides have also made it a habit. So we have heard all the usual objections: “You’re too young;” “It’s financially unwise;” “You won’t finish your degree;” “Babies will end your career before you can start it;” and so on. Some people have assumed that the weddings must be shotgun weddings — why else would you get married before you have a degree and a job? Others think that parents will indulge and provide financial support until there is enough money for a nice house. A few think that home must have been a horrible place for us to make such a reckless choice. Continue reading

  • James Gilmour of Mongolia

    Gilmour_in_Chinese_DressOriginally from outside of Glasgow, Gilmour (1843–1891) decided to dedicate his life to bringing the gospel to the people of Mongolia. His giftedness and zeal were evident to his friends in college, and some were surprised that he would choose to work in obscurity in a physically difficult place. From his base in Peking (Beijing), Gilmour repeatedly went into Mongolia with little equipment, encouragement, few or no companions, but strong conviction:

    “I have been thinking lately over some of the inducements we have to live for Christ, and to confess Him and preach Him before men, not conferring with flesh and blood. Why should we be trammelled by the opinions and customs of men? Continue reading

  • Reading as Parenting

    Laura_Muntz_Lyall_-_Interesting_Story_-_Google_Art_Project When we think about parenting, the word “books” probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But reading to our children is a fundamental aspect of parenting little people, though we rarely talk about it in the context of raising children.

    Most of us are already reading to our children. It is something that mothers in particular already do, whether it’s the classic bedtime story or another scenario. Thinking carefully about reading to our kids can help us do it better in a way that will help us and them better steward the gift of intellect that God gives each one of us. John Stodt said that “the secret of holy living lies in the mind.” Books help us steward our children’s minds because it is what we know and understand that drives and directs how we feel and what we do. Reading out loud to our children is a potentially a powerful parenting tool when it is done intentionally and biblically. Here are five reasons to read out loud to our kids. Continue reading

  • Compassion without Compromise

    The North American shift towards the expectation of the celebration of sexual sin and brokenness is continuing unabated. So what do you do, what will you do when you are asked to celebrate it? How do you respond, how will you respond to those who argue that the pursuit of sin can be reconciled with identification with Christ? How do you, and will you minister to your family members or friends who have been captivated and persuaded of the rightness of spiritually devastating “alternative” lifestyles? How do you deal with your own struggles with sexual sin? Continue reading