In The Screwtape Letters, Lewis offers us one side of a conversation between two demons as they correspond by sending letters back and forth. We only read the words of Screwtape, a veteran and distinguished human tempter. He writes to his nephew Wormwood, who is a novice in the trade of temptation, attempting to mentor him as Wormwood seeks to secure his first human soul for the purpose of eternal torment.
The content of Stephen’s sermon in Acts 7, which became the catalyst for his martyrdom, is notable. He began with Abraham, who was called by God as a sojourner and never possessed what God promised. He then highlighted how God worked through the abuse of Joseph to preserve Israel, and then freed his enslaved people through Moses’s exile. The persecution of the prophets throughout history, he said, culminated in the betrayal and crucifixion of the righteous one, Jesus Christ.
Inspired by Stephen’s sermon, I began to freshly reflect on the role women play throughout the Bible. Though the list could be much longer, here are 21 events—from Genesis to Revelation—in which women play key roles in redemptive history.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse
This could be fun:
It happened again. I was reading a familiar passage of Scripture—one I have read and even preached many times—and was cut afresh, surprisingly so, by the blades of mercy.
The story is likely familiar to you also. In the fourth chapter of Genesis, we are brought face to face with the depravity of man. Cain, consumed by his desires, boils over with a jealous selfishness. The dreadful result is the first example of fratricide in recorded history. Abel lies dead, and Cain is guilty.
One of the central points of Eschatological Discipleship is that biblical faithfulness requires not only the keeping of biblical commands, but also the outworking of biblical wisdom and discernment on what obedience looks like in our day. An “obedient Christian” not only takes the direct commands of God seriously, but also seeks a biblically formed outlook so that wisdom and discernment is evident in decisions where there is no clear command in Scripture.
As a teenager, I avoided standing next to my father when meeting new people because, inevitably, the new acquaintance would say, “You look just like your dad!” And I would groan and mumble something like, “Just what every girl loves to hear! You know he’s a man, right?” image.
A favorite from the archives:
Almost any time I hear a pastor speak about church growth—whether in a book, a podcast, or a conference message—I want to cringe. Not because I’m against having a large number of people as part of a congregation, but because congregation size is so often used as a defense: What we’re doing must be working since people are showing up, so God must approve, right?