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What Are Corporate Apologies?

…as a careful, genuinely corporate exercise there can be great value in approving statements of shared repentance, but as a genre of complaint and rebuke, public apologies are normally misguided and misleading. And what does that look like in real life? Here are several questions to ask as you reflect on a statement of corporate repentance or ponder making a corporate apology yourself. Continue reading at The Gospel Coalition.

Book Recommendation: Dementia: Living in the Memories of God

Having spent years learning the neurobiological underpinnings of dementia, I found myself frustrated when all my knowledge of pathophysiology didn’t really help my patients live better lives (not really) nor their families care for them well. Something was lacking. Seeking to bring theology to bear on the crippling condition of dementia, John Swinton writes in Dementia: Living in the Memories of God, “Dementia is a communal and relational condition that involves but cannot be defined by neurological decline.” He doesn’t…

The American Gospel

A review from The Gospel Coalition: The haunting question left with me after watching this documentary was: why is it so easy for Christians to overlook Jesus? Drawing on pastors from every corner of the US, and telling the story of rank and file believers, “American Gospel” presents a series of reflections on the state of the church in contemporary America. Leaders and academics across various denominations and seminaries – male and female, black, white and Latino – give us…

Book Recommendation: The Imperfect Disciple

“My heart,” writes Jared Wilson in The Imperfect Disciple, “is a haunted house – broken, ramshackle, weathered and boarded-up and filled with the mournful sound of the Hound of Heaven howling through the slats” (p. 22). Wilson wanted to write a book on discipleship that didn’t cast its readers into a spiral of guilt and frustration, and so, along with stories of his own failures and struggles, he welcomes us to explore “grace for people who can’t get their act…

The Grandeur and Grief in Losing Tyler

In the span of a few short hours, I felt the tension of Christianity: God is good, but life is hard. I marveled at God’s grandeur and mourned the presence of grief. When my heart is overwhelmed with this uncomfortable paradox, I’m grateful the Bible has a language I can use: lament. https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/may-his-cancer-heal-millions

What Made “#TylerStrong” ?

“The gravitational pull of Tyler’s winsome spirit, his interest in others, and his unflappable courage attracted fans from all walks of life. …People marveled at his attitude and wondered, How is he so strong?  As Tyler’s pastor for 10 years, I can tell you. It’s simple but profound: Tyler loved Jesus. That’s it. And it made him #TylerStrong.”

Evangelism and Discipleship

“Can you believe what they’re doing?” “I’m glad we don’t do that.” Differentiating self from not-self is probably one of the earliest lessons we learn in life. There’s actually a point in an infant’s life when she can’t distinguish between herself and her mother. At some point along the way, she learns that she is “me, here, now,” growing in understanding of identity, space, and time. The other major frame of reference one learns in tandem is “you, there, then.”…

Interrupted by Jesus

I imagine a woman peering out of her window as two people meander through the streets of Bethlehem. One of them appears to be pregnant and riding on a donkey led by the other. She doesn’t recognize them. One of her children pulls at the hem of her robe and, picking him up, turns away from the window. She sings a song and bounces him, forgetting about the two wayfarers. I imagine a man standing outside his home one evening…

A Declaration of Faithful Disobedience from a Chinese Pastor

Over 100 members of Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, China, were arrested beginning Sunday, December 9. At the time of publication of this translation, arrests are still being made. Among those taken away were Pastor Wang Yi, senior pastor of Early Rain, and his wife, Jiang Rong, who have not been heard from since Sunday. Foreseeing this circumstance, Pastor Wang Yi wrote the declaration below to be published by his church should he be detained for more than 48…

The Mystery of the Gospel

“To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.” (Ephesians 6:18-20, emphasis added) In a few short days, we will celebrate the birth of Jesus, who is “God with us.” Somehow, we can…

Know Who You Are Not

If you are in Christ, you are not who you were. As John Newton, a slavetrader turned pastor, once wrote, “I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am.” https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/know-who-you-are-not

Cast in Darkness

In her autobiographical account of bipolar disorder, Kathryn Green-McCreight describes her writing as an engagement with “the darkness that was often my only perceived companion.” She is not alone in identifying darkness as a place of great suffering – Jesus himself did so too (Matthew 8:12, 22:13, 25:30). Here there is nothing to illuminate that which threatens and assails. There is no light of life nor warmth of companionship. In darkness, we cannot see behind us to remember from where…

Waiting

Adam and Eve had long since fallen, though sin remained. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had ceased their seeking and wandering, though Israel hadn’t yet found what it was looking for. Joseph’s dreams had faded away into history, though a dream of shalom persisted. The thunder of Mount Sinai had become a distant memory, though the law remained steadfast. The walls of Jerusalem were toppled, though God remained sovereign. The voices of the prophets had been silenced, though their words echoed…

Hope Amidst Cynics, Escapists, and Optimists

Aldous Huxley imagined a utopian society in which the purpose of all living was pleasure. People were endlessly gratified with new products, new games, an addictive drug called soma, and abundant and seemingly inconsequential sex. Such a society was constructed and maintained by others who found it the best way to maintain power and resist the chaos that existed beyond the society’s borders in the wilderness. Huxley actually had a far more dour view of our own world. “Maybe this world,” referring…

Confession and Forgiveness

The Seven A’s of Confession: Address everyone involved. Avoid “if,” “but” and “maybe.” Admit specifically. Acknowledge the hurt. Accept the consequences. Alter your behavior. Ask for forgiveness. The Four Promises of Forgiveness: I will not dwell on this incident. I will not bring this incident up and use it against you. I will not talk to others about this incident. I will not allow this incident to stand between us or hinder our personal relationship. Continue reading at The Gospel…

Suicide and Mental Health in the Church

More than half (55%) of churchgoers say people in their community are more likely to gossip about a suicide than to help a victim’s family. And few churchgoers say their church takes specific steps to address suicide or has resources to assist those experiencing a mental health crisis. A quarter (24%) of churchgoers say their church has shared a testimony in the past year of someone who has struggled with mental illness or thoughts of suicide. Fewer (22%) say the…

“I Was Far Too Easily Pleased”

From Desiring God and John Piper — “…These felt like competing motives. I could aim to make God look great, or I could aim at my own satisfaction. I did not have a framework of thought where these two motives fit together. They seemed like alternatives….” https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/i-was-far-too-easily-pleased

When the Future You Planned for Never Comes

Here is a mature Christian perspective, dealing with Real People having to deal with the brokenness of our Real World, in utter dependence upon the Real Jesus.  No pablum here… https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/when-the-future-you-planned-for-never-comes  
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