rush toward repentance

“Carson, you shouldn’t mess with the blinds when you are in bed,” I said to my four-year-old as I straightened the wildly askew blinds above his window.

Through his tears, he said, “I know, but I wanted to see outside.”

It was late, yet some of the neighborhood kids were playing in the yard outside his room. Always inquisitive, Carson wanted to see who was still awake at this late hour – and especially what game they were playing.

“I realize you wanted to see outside, Bud, but its late and you need to be asleep.”

The whole conversation started with his tearful admission to me that he had “broken” his window. Fortunately, tangled and twisted window blinds are easy enough to fix. My heart warmed to my little guy, clearly affected as he was by his misbehavior. Carson knows that he shouldn’t touch the blinds above his window, especially at night when he should be sleeping.

I pressed just a bit, wanting to clarify the rules. “I know you wanted to see outside, but remember that the blinds are fragile. When you are in bed, you need to sleep. And don’t touch the blinds, okay?” (more…)

the courage to be protestant

In 1517, a German monk nailed a piece of parchment to the door of a church in a small town called Wittenberg. His poster disputed key doctrines – 95 of them – taught by the Roman Catholic Church in that day. This moment set into motion a movement that changed the landscape of church history.

Changing the world is never easy. For Martin Luther, and for those who followed after him, the Protestant Reformation demanded extraordinary conviction and courage. Five hundred years later, in a culture ambivalent to biblical Christianity and hostile to those who herald its teachings, the conviction and courage required to be Protestant is still extraordinary. (more…)

the “wrong” side of history

“You’re on the wrong side of history.” This rhetorical jab, often thrown at those attempting to maintain a biblical view of marriage and human sexuality even as the surrounding culture moves further from that view, is a handy way to say, “Hurry up. You’re going to lose the debate eventually, so why not give up now?” When the tide of culture is turning, and when the new moral “normal” seems inevitable, this can feel like a foreceful argument, indeed.

But there is one problem: What makes us think that today is the day we should judge the right side or the wrong side of history? Yes, what we view as true and right and good today is different than it was even 100 years ago. But what if our view changes once again? And it will change once again. (more…)

a prayer for believing the gospel more

Gracious Father:

Forgive me for my faltering faith in the gospel. Consistently I live below its privileges, contentedly playing with mudpies in the slums when a holiday at sea is on offer. I fail to apply its rich benefits every day. I fail to see myself as you see me, and I fail to live with the joy and thanksgiving that should characterize your children.

I know this is true, Father, because of how I respond to criticism. (more…)