The Christian hope in Heaven has often been criticized for being a form of escapism. Christians believe in a time when all will be made right, therefore they exempt themselves from doing any earthly good is how the argument often goes. But, is such criticism fair? Continue reading
In C.S. Lewis’ The Lion Witch and the Wardrobe, Peter and Susan are troubled by their youngest sister Lucie’s claim she had entered a magical world through a wardrobe in a large, old house. Lucie claims their brother Edward visited this world too, but Edward denies it. Peter and Susan decide to visit the professor, who owns the house, for advice.
To their surprise, the professor says, “How do you know…your sister’s story is not true?” Continue reading
I came across an online article entitled “3 ways to harness positive psychology for a more resilient you.” This was the first way: “Expressing gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what you have – from a roof over your head to good health to people who care about you. When you acknowledge the goodness in your life, you begin to recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside yourself. In this way, gratitude helps you connect to something larger than your individual experience – whether to other people, nature, or a higher power.”
This pop psychology is not wrong. However, Christianity can give a “name” to that goodness outside ourselves better than any other worldview. Continue reading
Have you ever had a morning when the alarm went off and you hit the snooze button and pulled the sheets over your head, because you knew what lay ahead of you that day? Though I am rarely one to tarry in bed, I have had many mornings when the task list seemed insurmountable, and I was dropping balls faster than I could pick them up. How we start our day can determine how our day will unfold. Continue reading
We often hear that we are to love and pray for our enemies. But how does one do that? Psalm 4 gives us an example. Continue reading
All of us face adversity at various points in our lives. These adverse occasions take on various forms. They can be emotional, physical, economical, relational, etc. There are few people in history who have faced graver times of adversity than King David. In Psalm 4, we find David contending with his son Absalom, who has forced his father from the royal city, usurped his power, and sought to end his father’s life with the help of an army of soldiers. In the midst of his adversity, David’s response can serve as an example to us. Continue reading
Who rules the world? President Donald Trump? Chancellor Angela Merkel? Google? Jeff Bezos? The question is important, because how we answer it vastly impacts whether we have hope and to what degree of certainty we have that this hope will materialize. Continue reading
When Jesus met the woman at the well, it seemed to be an accident. The gospel writer told us previously that it was necessary for Jesus to travel through Samaria (John 4:4). Since Samaria separated Judea and Galilee, it was necessary to pass through Samaria. Yet, it was also necessary for another reason.
We come to the end of the account of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. Not only was it geographically necessary for Jesus to passthrough Samaria, it was also necessary for the salvation of a town. By all appearances, Jesus had no intention in spending time in Samaria. But, when the people incessantly ask him to stay, Jesus stays two days. As a result, many more Samaritans became believers in Jesus. (John 4:39-42)
Evangelism is rooted in neighbor love. Those who take authentic evangelism seriously do not see it as a chore or even a task; they see it as a way of living. Continue reading
The poster child of evangelism in John’s Gospel is not a Jew nor a man (in that male chauvinist society). Instead, it is a Samaritan woman, and one with a questionable past. With more zeal than any of the disciples – at least in John’s Gospel – she hastily goes out and tells her townspeople of the man she just met. Continue reading
What had started as a playful conversation all the sudden became quite serious. Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, “Go, call you husband and come back (John 4:16).” We can imagine her muttering and bumbling, “I have no husband (John 4:17).” While in her mind she may have reasoned her response to be true, yet in her heart she knew there was much more to her story. Her life had been a series of broken relationships. We can imagine the woman’s surprise when Jesus reveals his knowledge of her past, which sadly consists of five past husbands and a man she now lives with but is not her husband (John 4:18). Continue reading