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This year I have grown weary with the hierarchies and echelons of growth in the gospel. I have tired of the corner markets and church-speak. I have wished there were more places where Christians could be tired and weary and wait or even just be okay—knowing that their time there might be longer or harder or deeper than they knew. And that we didn’t all rush to cheer them up, make them look on the bright side, try to rescue them from the depths of what God might be leading them into, keeping them in the shallowness of faith. An unchecked faith is not the faith I want to have.
The man on the island. Perhaps you’ve encountered him in a friend’s argument against Christianity. Maybe you’ve even voiced the objection yourself.
How could a good and loving God condemn to hell someone who’s never heard of him?
When it comes to this emotionally vexing issue, there are two dominant positions among professing Christians: inclusivism and exclusivism. While both views maintain that Jesus is the only way to God, only one insists on the necessity of conscious faith in him.
As a young 18-year-old Christian who is interested in politics, this election season has been soul-crushing. I have felt betrayed. I have listened to demagoguery. I have watched leaders compromise conviction for political power. It’s been disillusioning, to say the least. How could this happen? The conference speakers provided some insight as to how we got here.
Then I got to share once again with Gideon the good news. Even though the Devil is cunning and evil, God’s plan to send Jesus to rescue us from sin was decided between the Father, the Son, and the Spirit before they ever made the ground that sneaky old snake slithered on. The crucifixion and resurrection wasn’t a “back-up” plan. It was THE plan—crafted by an all-knowing and all-powerful God.
If you ever go to see the John Knox statue at St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, you won’t come away with warm and fuzzy feelings. Knox, in statue and in Scottish historical memory, comes off as stern, formidable, and unapproachable. To admirers, he was also a man of deep principle and driven conviction. Still, our conventional Knox can seem hard and cold.
Dan Darling shares some wisdom for prospective writers.
A favorite from the archives:
Most of the time, I think you can fairly chalk up our failures to the curse at work. From the moment we fell, our work became hindered by thorns and thistles preventing us from reaping the fruit of our labors (Gen. 3:17-18). We work hard, but our work falls short.
None of us are exempt from this reality; it is the way the world is wired in light of our sin.
But we should probably be careful to avoid pinning all our failures on the curse.
Sometimes it’s just because we just don’t try to do a good job.