Month: November 2013

Don’t Buy The Lie

What we think about God does in fact matter. It is what ultimately matters.

It may not feel like that for good stretches of a month, or a year, or 10 years, but make not mistake about it, what we think about God ultimately shapes how we react to God and how we follow God. It shapes our marriages, shapes our parenting, shapes our friendships, our work ethic, our view of self, our dreams and passions and deep soul desires. Nothing in life is left untouched and unshaped by our view of God.

I’m reminded of that as I read these two accounts. Both are from theology professors, both therefore teach the word of God, and both are from fathers that lost their daughters.

Those that have read my blog posts here know that I have followed RC Sproul Jr and his ongoing season of grief over the death of his wife and daughter. These are not about him. These are other men, like many men out there, that have found their life hit a season they hoped would never come.

You may wonder what my fascination with stories like these are, to which I would say: I’m both a father and a teacher of the word. One carries potentially the greatest pain in life (the lost of a child) and the other the greatest answer in life (the truth about God). Therefore, I read with great desire these stories of men whose fatherhood crashes against their pastoralship. I want to know – “How does their theological reflections on God shape their strength in life’s disasters.”

Enough said. I invite you to read two men’s testimony who are going through the same situation but hold vastly different theology:

What Good Grief Looks Like When A Daughter Dies” – By Ben Witherington (an Arminian pastor)

Reflections on the Loss of Our Daughter – By Fred Zaspel (a Reformed pastor)

NOTE: I have no desire here to convince you to understand God through an Arminian or Calvinist hermenuetic. I simply want to encourage you to believe that thinking, studying, and deeply reflecting on who God is within the revelation of scripture (i.e. theology) is the greatest endeavor you can do to shape your heart and life.

God Can Save!

I think every Christian in one way or another has this testimony”

“Just seven years ago, if someone had told me that I’d be writing for Christianity Today magazine about how I came to believe in God, I would have laughed out loud. If there was one thing in which I was completely secure, it was that I would never adhere to any religion—especially to evangelical Christianity, which I held in particular contempt.”

That was Kristen Powers (USA Today and Newsweek contributor, FOX Democratic commentator, Clinton White House appointee) writing in Christianity Today and explaining how it was that God invaded her life. Testimonies like this ought to remind us that God is unfailing in His ability to bring a person to saving faith. Take five minutes to read the article and find hope again for those hearts you are trying to reach.

Christianity Today Article >>> “Highly Reluctant Jesus Follower”


1) In a post-modern world, evangelism centered on an appeal for a  “better life” does not always work.

“I sometimes hear Christians talk about how terrible life must be for atheists. But our lives were not terrible. Life actually seemed pretty wonderful, filled with opportunity and good conversation and privilege”

2) Christian’s faithful stand on the issue of sex and gender will marginalize us in society – Right or wrong, this is inevitable.

“To the extent that I encountered Christians, it was in the news cycle. And inevitably they were saying something about gay people or feminists.  I didn’t feel I was missing much.”

3) While we ought to speak out for righteousness sake, if our only voice in culture is one that is anti-homosexual and anti-feminist, then we need to find a new voice. The Great Commission is a commission to proclaim the gospel.

4) God uses odd means to bring glory to himself, even means that are not biblically correct (i.e. Christian dating a non-Christian)

5) Anti-intellectualism in the church is not a plus, but a blight, on our ability to preach the gospel to the world.

“I derided Christians as anti-intellectual bigots who were too weak to face the reality that there is no rhyme or reason to the world.”

6) Engaging the mind is a great way to hook the heart.

“But then the pastor preached. I was fascinated. I had never heard a pastor talk about the things he did. Tim Keller’s sermon was intellectually rigorous, weaving in art and history and philosophy. I decided to come back to hear him again. Soon, hearing Keller speak on Sunday became the highlight of my week.”

7) Sometimes we need to get out of God’s way in people’s life.

“Then one night in 2006, on a trip to Taiwan, I woke up in what felt like a strange cross between a dream and reality. Jesus came to me and said, “Here I am.” It felt so real. I didn’t know what to make of it. I called my boyfriend, but before I had time to tell him about it, he told me he had been praying the night before and felt we were supposed to break up. So we did. Honestly, while I was upset, I was more traumatized by Jesus visiting me.”

8) Spiritual conversion is not about turning a Democrat to a Republican

“It says a lot about the family in which I grew up that one of my most pressing concerns was that Christians would try to turn me into a Republican.”

9) Sanctification is slow and God is not threatened by honest wrestling.

“The horror of the prospect of being a devout Christian crept back in almost immediately. I spent the next few months doing my best to wrestle away from God.”

10) God knows how to irresistibly win a person to Himself!

“It was pointless. Everywhere I turned, there he was. Slowly there was less fear and more joy. The Hound of Heaven had pursued me and caught me—whether I liked it or not.”