The Commons

The Commons

Deus Absconditus

Even when we cannot glimpse the contours of our Father’s plan, he is still good. We can trust his hand even in those moments when we cannot see his face. https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/trust-hand/  

When Moses’s Wish Came True

“Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” (Num. 11:29). “Moses’s response was more than just a personal expression of humility. His answer expressed a longing of redemptive-historical proportions…” https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/moses-wish-came-true/

Before Your Suffering Comes

Before the storms of suffering blow against a person’s soul, we should try to put five foundation stones under their faith. https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/before-your-suffering-comes

Feasting in the House of Mourning ?

Under the sun no good gift is ours to keep. That’s what we learn in the house of mourning, and it’s a hard lesson. https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/funerals-better-feasts/

Trusting God for Every Tomorrow

The Bible speaks some brutally honest words for the surety of our uncertainty.   Uncertainty is certain. Or at least, so it seems to creatures like us. https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/uncertainty-is-certain

What Mercy Says in Calamity

The people listening to Jesus that day were looking for an answer that all people of all eras look for: Why this suffering? Why this evil, and why did it befall these victims? What can I do to escape from it befalling me? The answer Jesus gave accomplished, in one stroke, a number of crucial theological corrections.   https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/dont-wait-to-be-done-with-sin

Marriage amidst Quarantine

In times of trial, and because each spouse processes situations differently, it’s all too easy to take out our frustrations and anxieties on one another. https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/marriage-quarantine/

Medicine from a Cave

Enter Psalm 57, a psalm of David, written in a cave while he is actively being hunted. I imagine he could relate to feelings of isolation and fear. What does it look like for you and me to run to God as our refuge, to say along with David, “In the shadow of your wings I will take refuge till the storms of destruction pass by”? I think it looks like resting in truth and responding in faith.   https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/quarantine-hard-god-good/

Quality Discounted e-Reading for Children and Adults Alike

In this “stay home” moment, a number of publishers have steeply discounted or made several books available for free. The TGC bookstore has an extensive roster of quality titles for your to browse: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/free-discounted-books-quarantine/

Good Samaritans Amidst a Pandemic

One of the primary postures of a Christian is outward. Our salvation means that the curse of the inward curve of sin is broken, and we’re now free to turn outward—to love God and neighbor…                     https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/love-neighbor-pandemic/

Flattening the Curve

The protein-thorned crown of COVID-19 has, in a way,  silenced the noise of modern life by seizing what C. S. Lewis called “God’s megaphone”:   pain…. Physicians reflect theologically on three unique Christian contributions to COVID-19 preparations.

Anxiety, Waiting and the Coronavirus

Writing about events while they are happening is always a bit dangerous. It’s easy to encourage over-reactions and reinforce unhelpful panic in our hearts. That said, the COVID 19 coronavirus provides us with an opportunity to think about how we respond to anxiety. https://www.ccef.org/anxiety-waiting-and-the-coronavirus/      

FAQs Regarding the Coronavirus

Since the beginning of this year, we’ve been reading and hearing about a family of viruses known as coronaviruses. There are 69 species of this virus, seven of which can affect humans.   https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/what-we-know-coronavirus/

Faith, Vocation, and COVID-19

Dr. Francis Collins — the director of the NIH — is one of the most widely respected physician-geneticists in the world, and is deeply involved in containing the coronavirus pandemic…   Francis Collins speaks about the coronavirus, his faith, and an unusual friendship.

C.S. Lewis on the Coronavirus

It’s now clear that COVID-19 is a deadly serious global pandemic.  Still, C. S. Lewis’s words—written 72 years ago—ring with some relevance for us. Just replace “atomic bomb” with “coronavirus.”   https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/cs-lewis-coronavirus/

Updates from the Mission Formation Team

The Mission Formation Team (MFT) exists to guide the congregation in our missions involvement, both domestically and overseas. We desire to connect our members with opportunities for outreach in many places outside of our church campus, including Durham, Chapel Hill, and overseas. The MFT met on August 5 for a discussion that built on a greater commitment to local outreach than we have had before. We talked about a need to better know our long-standing partners. What are their needs,…

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.” Here I…

One Anothering in Women’s Ministry

Last spring, 27 or so women set off on the women’s spring retreat. I’m still humming off that weekend. In so many ways, we got moments of what CGS is about: the real Jesus, engaging real people, for the real world. From moments of hilarity (I mean belly-gut laughter!) that still make me giggle; to moments of honest heartache, wrestling with the stories Jesus has put us in; we got the opportunity to bring each other to Jesus, and Jesus…