All Posts (Page 37)

All Posts (Page 37)

Writing Down Our Thoughts

It is a well-known fact that the spiritually facile New England pastor and revival leader, Jonathan Edwards, was taught by his father to write down almost every new thought he had, a method he practiced throughout his life. His “Miscellanies” are now an invaluable source of wisdom. In his written out thoughts are found the embryonic form for many of his sermons and books. I keep a “Commonplace Book” as well, as so many did in the past. And though…

A Thief in the Night

A friend of mine slept through a robbery in his own home. His wife wasn’t so comatose. In fact, when the man entered their bedroom, she immediately began chasing him down the hall. With this lady on his tail, he didn’t steal much but trouble. Meanwhile, back in the sack, my friend snored away, totally oblivious to the whole ordeal. The day of the Lord will also come like a thief in the night. Are you ready? Now brothers, about…

Caught in Our Shame: Comments on the Recent Barna Report

The recent Barna report on evangelical beliefs in mainline churches is almost too excruciating to read. In the report, statistics concerning the 12 largest denominations are tallied. Barna polled 6,038 adults with random telephone interviews nationwide. Tim Ellsworth of the Baptist Press summarized the findings. I have included the pertinent data: The study’s findings identify an alarmingly high number of church members whose beliefs fall far short of orthodox Christianity. For example, 41 percent of all adults surveyed believed in…

Entertainment Evangelism, a Response to a News Reporter

Hello, this is B____ L_____, religion reporter for the W_____ E____. I am writing an analysis story on a trend we see hear of "entertainment evangelism." D____ C____ of Current Thoughts and Trends magazine said you would be a good person to talk with. In a couple of weeks, a group called "Impact World Tours" affiliated with Youth with a Mission will have a crusade here. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the group but they will put on…

If God is Good, Why Do So Many Bad Things Happen?

My visit to the small apartment of an oriental couple in the Chicago suburbs was disturbing. Here was a man who had innocently gone to work one day, but was caught in the crossfire of a gunfight. He was paralyzed from the neck down. What do you say to a man like that? “If God is all-powerful and is also good, why is there pain in the world?” The question is among the most difficult to answer, especially when we…

Is God Angry Anymore?

When I was in public high school, we had to read part of a famous sermon called Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, by Jonathan Edwards. He graphically pictured sinners as spiders dangling by a thread over the fire of Hell. He also asserted that God is angrier at this moment with some who are living than with others who are already in Hell. Do you believe that? Is God angry? I don’t believe my teacher thought so.…

Knowing You’re In

There was a troubled look on the student’s face as I finished my talk. “I believe that Christ is who He says He is,” he stated, “but I just don’t know if I am really a Christian. What if I’m deceiving myself?” The question is a reasonable. After all, God put up a huge billboard in 1 Corinthians 6:9 that says, “DO NOT BE DECEIVED!” So, how do you know you’re a Christian? First be sure that you understand the…

The Island of Nis

James, the youth: Must Christians always be narrow? The wiser Mr. Brockton: Christians are both pluralists and exclusivists simultaneously. James: Do you mean that Christians accept other religions and faiths? Mr. Brockton: We permit them to be wrong. My story will explain. The island of Nis was considered a religion-free zone, and most of the younger inhabitants had not even as much as heard of formal religion. To be sure, some primitive ancestors had ventured that way in earlier days,…

The Lofty Grosart

James, the youth: Must all those who call themselves Christians understand the Bible? The elderly and wise Mr. Brockton: No, only those who will go to heaven. To call oneself a Christian is not the same as being one. James: But I call myself a Christian—no, rather, I am a Christian, and I don’t understand very much of the Bible at all. Brockton: How do you know that you are a Christian? James: The Bible states that those who radically…

The Way to God

Years ago, two cousins were visiting near the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia. Although they were told by their parents not to venture into the swamp, they disobeyed. As the sun was setting, they decided to head home in hopes that their absence would not be detected. Neither boy made it back. When they were found dead a few days later, a note was attached to one of the boys. It read, “I thought I knew the way, but I was…

The Whisperer, The KJVer, and Other Types of Group Prayer Participants You Dont Want to Be

My first opportunity to pray in a group came when some of my fellow students and I were standing in a circle, holding hands. The leader told us we could either pray or squeeze the hand of the person next to us. I was a squeezer that day. Since then, I have enjoyed praying and hearing others pray hundreds of times in both planned and impromptu settings. However, I have learned through my mistakes and the conduct of others that…

The World Trade Center and Our First Acts

The wilting sadness of the World Trade Center tragedy—the dead bodies in the dust, the people jumping out of windows, the angst of the traumatized, the weary searching, the yearning eyes of family members, the apparent senselessness of it all—leave disturbing imprints on our American soul. What are we to do? First, we should pity all who do not know Christ. We will all die, but not all will die in such a tragic manner. Some who perished are now…