Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra examines the fallout of a recent church discipline case.
Newton couldn’t be Cowper’s savior. But he could be his friend. Though it’s a mystery and not something I would really want to write a theological dissertation on, it seems that at times the Lord calls people like John Newton to hold the hand of his friend while simultaneously holding the hand of Jesus. His dear friend was in such despair that he could no longer cry out for mercy. It seems that Newton interceded for Cowper when he was too weak to even plead for help.
As we approach a new year, I plead with church leaders to do all they can do to minimize this risk. It is definitely important for the health of the church. But, even more, we need to do everything we can for the safety and care of the children. It’s first about them.
This holiday season, we will toss around words like “spirit,” “grace,” “peace,” and “hope.” The Bible will not let us have these ideas merely as ideas, as things. They are personal. Thus: “He himself is our peace” (Micah 5:5; Eph. 2:14) and “God is love” (1 John 4:8). Let’s not mess with ethereal virtues, no matter how Christianly gauzed. Leave ethereal virtues to vague saviors. Our Savior is incarnate!
If you’ve ever wondered, this article offers a helpful explanation.
Over the last month, there have been some pointed conversations in my denominational family about the election and the way forward, and some of them have been directed at me. But it also raises a broader question worth considering: as Christians, how should we move forward in this Christmas season and beyond?
A favorite from the archives:
Appearances to the contrary, I actually do love Christmas. I love my kids’ reactions when they open gifts. I love getting to cook a delicious meal or two (or three). I love having an excuse to listen to “This is War” (which I realize isn’t terribly festive by many people’s standards, but it’s pretty rad). But what I really love about Christmas isn’t about any of those things. It’s about the reason behind Christmas—that in the incarnation, we have the inauguration of the final phase of God’s war on sin and death.