Results tagged “Suffering” from Reformation21

Healing in Dayton

Article by   August 2019
Just south of central Dayton, Ohio, in the heart of one of the city's historic districts, is a stretch of road familiar to all the locals: A two block section of Fifth Avenue that is home to an eclectic mix... continue

Rejoice in the Midst of Suffering?

Article by   March 2015
We only need to read the headlines in the morning paper or turn on the evening news to have confirmed what we already know to be true, suffering is an ever-present companion in this world. As a result of the Fall, every individual throughout the history of humanity has known suffering and Christians are not exempt from this experience. Rather, in many ways the suffering Christians are called to endure can even be greater (John 15:20) than that which the unbeliever endures in this world. continue

Joining the Resistance: Lament and the Kingdom [Part 4]

Article by   February 2015
In previous posts, I have suggested that the question of suffering before God needs to remain an open question - a question that we, along with the Psalmists, bring before God in the midst of our grief, anger, and confusion. All of this relates to prayer. But it also relates to action - action in a world in which God is king, and yet we groan and wait for his kingdom to come in fullness. continue

Divine Providence: Occupying The Mysterious Middle [Part 3]

Article by   February 2015
How can we avoid the extremes of monocausal fatalism, on the one hand, and open theism which insists that some events are "pointless" even to God, on the other? As I immersed myself in the Psalms after my cancer diagnosis, I came to see the value of the much-maligned "classical distinctions" in historic Christian theology. This realization may come as a surprise to some as caricatures abound of classical approaches to divine providence. Sometimes these caricatures come from its contemporary opponents. They usually paint it as portraying an unfeeling Sovereign Tyrant, thus presenting a doctrine that lacks pastoral empathy and fails to confess the dynamic, passionate God of the Bible continue

Avoiding the Dead Ends of Providence: Monocausal Fatalism and Open Theism [Part 2]

Article by   February 2015
As I explored in the previous article in this series, my cancer diagnosis forced me to join the Psalmists in prayer more deeply than I had ever done before. I prayed the Psalms - especially Psalms of laments - with others and in solitude. And I noticed that as they pray to the good and Almighty God, they are also unafraid to question God, to ask why he does not appear to be fulfilling his promises. continue

Lament: Self-Indulgent Whining, or Faithful Complaints? [Part 1]

Article by   February 2015
Who likes a complainer? Complainers are unsettling to be around. Holiday meals ruined by laborious and endless complaints about how life has shortchanged them - the car that broke down too early, the college that should have given admission, the nurse who should have done the job better. A few hours with a complainer are just about enough to make one want to write an anonymous note: "DON'T YOU HAVE ANYTHING TO BE THANKFUL FOR??" continue

Modern Opposition to Divine Blessedness [Part 3]

Article by   January 2015
The doctrine of divine impassibility has been much discussed, and it deserves to be: it is crucial for the Christian church to be able to confess the right thing about the omnipotent God precisely at this point, at the foot of the cross where the rulers of this age crucified the Lord of Glory (1 Cor 2:8). For most of Christian history, theologians considered it utterly axiomatic that the divine nature was not capable of suffering continue

The Christian, Torture and Intercessory Prayer

Article by   December 2014
So the government authorizes, or the apparatus of the state undertakes, torture. So what? We live in a fallen world and we are not surprised that criminal activity insidiously seeps into the highest reaches of public authority and command. We are realists, we are not shaken. Of course, we may also not be shaken for other reasons which are equally theologically revealing. Exposed to the discourse of the 'war on terror', from news to TV shows and movies, it is likely that we live as citizens in fear. Our fear may be under control, but its control is technological. Surveillance, security, screening, and suspicion are the guarantors of our fragile peace. continue

Finding Gratitude in Unlikely Places: A Thanksgiving Reflection

Article by   November 2014
Within Christian circles, it seems verboten to mention death and thanks in the same sentence, which is a shame, really. Death, no doubt, is an evil intrusion on God's good order, and, as Dylan Thomas wrote, we have every reason to rage against the dying of the light. But death also has a purifying quality--it burns away the dross of thanklessness. It makes the simple seem sacred, and the prosaic extraordinary. At least, it can do so if we develop the habit of looking at life through death. continue

Ministry to Those Suffering Domestic Abuse

Article by   November 2014
We now come to the final article in this series. Here we will discuss hurdles victims face on the path to healing, faulty and harmful approaches to "helping" those who suffer abuse, and a few suggestions on how to minister the victims of domestic abuse. Tragically, at least one in four women experiences violence from her partner at some point in her adult life. And tragically, that rate is no different among Christian homes and homes of other faiths or no faith. In fact, research shows that Christian women stay far longer in the abusive context and in far more severe abuse than their non-Christian counterparts. continue

Those Suffering Domestic Violence

Article by   October 2014
The month of October has been designated Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The goal of this month is to raise public awareness about domestic violence and to educate communities and individuals on how to recognize, prevent, and respond to domestic violence. This article is part two in a series on domestic violence. We began the series by defining domestic abuse, its widespread nature, and its threat to children, along with the frequency and duration of statistically documented cases of domestic abuse. In this article we will briefly discuss the victims and/or survivors of domestic abuse. continue

Extracting Nectar From a Painted Rose

Article by   November 2013
A few years ago, Harvard scholar and author, James Wood, wrote a review of Bart Ehrman's, God's Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question--Why We Suffer, entitled "Holiday in Hellmouth." Wood is an eloquent, penetrating, and insightful thinker and his relatively brief review is perhaps the best, most concise, and accessible articulation of what many see as the "problem" with "the problem of evil" and the various responses that have been offered to it. Wood is rightly repulsed by any discussion of the problem of evil that remains within the cold confines of academia. He loathes the "sterile laboratories of the professional theodicists, where white-coated philosophers quite often crush suffering down to the logician's granules of P and Q." For him, as for most, the "problem of evil" is located, not in the ivory tower, but in the intense tension that is naturally felt between the incalculable amount of suffering in this world and the existence of God. continue

Nor the Heart of Man Imagined

Article by   September 2013
The problem of suffering, sin and evil, in its myriad forms, is the most difficult problem that any Christian faces. The problem is sometimes construed too abstractly, as if it were only an intellectual problem. But it isn't. It is an intensely human problem, a pastoral problem, a global problem, a problem that everyone lives and breathes. Anyone who lives in this world, daily, even multiple times per day, recognizes the reality of evil and suffering in this world. Suffering is a universal iron blanket that covers the entirety of the world; it affects everyone, it presses down on us with relentless pressure, and it never abates. The effects of suffering and evil squeeze on us with such massive weight, that they threaten to crush us and render us virtually paralyzed. continue

A Christian Perspective on The Newtown Shooting

Article by   December 2012
This past Friday, a twenty-year-old man entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut with loaded weapons and brutally murdered twenty-six people. A majority of the victims were kindergarteners. Wickedness to this degree takes one's breath away. The otherwise peaceful rural town in southwestern Connecticut has become a place of inexpressible grief, confusion, and sadness. So how are we, as Christians, to think about this atrocity? How are we to make sense of this diabolical act of unspeakable violence and terror? How do we think Christianly about these horrific events? continue

Death, the Final Boundary

Article by   September 2006
It is arguable that the last hundred years have witnessed an interesting reversal in Western society, where the great taboo of the Victorian era and the great obsession of the same period have dramatically switched places. The great taboo for... continue

How Long, O Lord?

Article by   September 2006
The Welsh have not (generally) adopted that legacy of Platonism in post-Renaissance culture, commonly called "the stiff upper-lip." The Welsh, you see, give voice to their complaints with reckless abandonment. Typical here is Wales's most famous twentieth century poet... continue

Contemplating Katrina

Article by   June 2006
We Christians are caught in a dilemma: it is captured succinctly by Amos: "Does disaster come to a city, unless the LORD has done it?" (Amos 3:6). It is simply not an option for us to remove God from the... continue

London Burning

Article by   June 2006
Lisa and I believe that from the day our children first arrive in our home, our calling is to prepare them for the day when they will leave. It takes a long time for them fully to learn what it... continue

A Husband Looks at Genesis 3:16

Article by   June 2006
Genesis 3:15 gives one of the Bible's greatest promises. It is God's curse against the serpent, and his first proclamation of the gospel: "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he... continue

Rarely, Rarely Comest Thou Spirit of Delight

Article by   July 2005
Rarely, rarely comest thou,Spirit of Delight!Wherefore hast thou left me nowMany a day and night?Many a weary night and day'Tis since thou art fled away.--P.B. Shelley So wrote the poet, Shelley, suggesting that life had darker moments more than brighter... continue

Results tagged “Suffering” from Reformation21 Blog

The Cost of Discipleship

Article by   September 2019
How much are you willing to give to God? Your time? Your money? What about everything? This month, the Alliance is proud to feature The Cost of Discipleship by James Boice. We hope it will serve as a helpful reminder to those... continue

Healing in Dayton

Article by   August 2019
Just south of central Dayton, Ohio, in the heart of one of the city's historic districts, is a stretch of road familiar to all the locals: A two block section of Fifth Avenue that is home to an eclectic mix... continue

Strength from Weakness

Article by   June 2019
No words can express the sadness I have felt upon news of the failing health of David Powlison. Dr. Powlison has been one of the great gifts God has given to the church. His book Seeing Through New Eyes is... continue

The Good, the Bad and the Providence of God

Article by   April 2019
Johannes Maccovius, in his Theological Distinctions, treated the subject of the Divine providence toward the righteous and toward the wicked with the maxim, "In this life, what happens to good people is never bad and what happens to bad people is... continue

Sticking Your Tongue Out at Suffering

Article by   March 2019
On the surface, Paul's observation in Philippians 1:14 that "most of the brothers" in Rome--where Paul was chained to a member of the imperial guard awaiting the outcome of his judicial appeal to the emperor Nero--had become "more confident... continue

All the Hell You Shall Ever Have

Article by   February 2019
For the better part of my Christian life, I've had a visceral reaction--driven by internal disapproval--whenever I've heard someone describe the hardships he or she experienced in life in the following ways: "It was like hell on earth," or... continue

3 Crosses of Discipleship

Article by   January 2019
Recently, my pastor has started a Men's Bible Study series on discipleship by examining a classic passage for discipleship: In Luke 9:22-24, Jesus said, "The Son of Man must suffer many things; He must be rejected by the elders,... continue

Why Ask Why?

Article by   December 2018
One of the most difficult things for a Christian worker to do is to wade into the midst of grief with a congregant. There we sit, feeling helpless and disarmed, watching the person across the table from us fall... continue

The Persecution Driven Life

Article by   August 2018
John Hooper, the English Reformer and pastor, was burned at the stake for his unwavering stand upon the truth of Scripture. In 1555, just three weeks prior to his martyrdom, John Hooper gave the following charge in a letter:... continue

Truth in Minor Keys

Article by   May 2018
At the risk of being labeled a musical snob, I venture a comment or two on one of the twentieth century's greatest composers, the centenary of whose birth we celebrate this year--Dmitri Shostakovich (1906 - 1975). He is to... continue

Lion in our Midst: A Eulogy for R. C. Sproul

Article by   December 2017
Our prayers today are with the family of R.C. Sproul, who has been called home to glory. Read his eulogy below, written by Rick Phillips...We grieve today at the news of R. C. Sproul's departure from this life, while so... continue

Sharing in Christ's Suffering

Article by   November 2017
No one wants to suffer. When suffering comes to us for following Christ, we are surprised, even shocked and dismayed, especially when our lives have been comfortable. How could our communities or families consider us in the wrong? Why... continue

Conflict, Comfort and the Cross

Article by   November 2017
Last week, a gunman entered First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas and killed 26 people, wounding 20 others. The massacre was brutal and left what will surely be scars on all of those who survived, many of whom were... continue

Cruciform Suffering

Article by   May 2017
The fact that the incarnate Son of God "learned obedience" (Heb. 5:8) is an essential aspect of Jesus' human nature and so is indispensable to sound Christology and soteriology. Apart from the cross itself, the clearest example we have of... continue

These Present Sufferings

Article by   May 2017
As I write, the United Kingdom is still reeling from the latest terrorist atrocity to be unleashed in one of our major cities. It was particularly horrific in that it was deliberately targeted at children and teenagers attending a... continue

Affliction Evangelism

Article by   May 2017
"This light momentary affliction," Paul writes, "is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison" (2 Cor. 4:17). Paul's use of the singular noun "affliction" in 2 Cor. 4:7 is intriguing. Paul doesn't say afflictions (plural),... continue

Shusaku's Silence

Article by   November 2016
Some readers may be curious about the forthcoming Martin Scorsese film, Silence. The story follows two Jesuit priests (played by Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who leave Portugal in order to discover the fate of Father Ferreira (Liam Neeson), a... continue

Faith is a Gift (But Not That Kind of Gift!)

Article by   October 2016
Any theological system worth its salt affirms that faith is a gift from God rather than the exercise of some innate power of the human soul. But that affirmation can be misleading, particularly so if one's notion of "gift"... continue

Jesus, the True and Greater Gardener - from Nick Batzig

Article by   September 2014
The Scriptures tell us that the Son of God began His sufferings in a Garden and brought them to a close in a Garden. That is an absolutely amazing display of God's wisdom. After all, Jesus is the second Adam... continue

God, Politics, and Evil

Article by   October 2012
Strange things happen in the days leading up to a national election. This morning's case was courtesy of the center article at which reads "When 'God's Will,' Rape and Pregnancy Collide" (Caution: the article contains explicit details). Whatever political hiccup has... continue

Princeton This Weekend

Article by   November 2011
No, not for college football! Rather, the Princeton Regional Conference on Reformed Theology is taking place - with Drs. Ligon Duncan and D.A. Carson. The topic? Suffering, Scripture, and the grace of God. In other words, an event you don't... continue

Fearless Leader

Article by   April 2008
Ligon Duncan has published a book called Fear Not, the compilation of several address he gave recently on the topic of death and dying at First Presbyterian Church, Jackson.... continue

Sharing Christ's Sufferings

Article by   April 2008
The newest volume in Crossway's Preaching the Word commentary series is David Helm's 1 & 2 Peter and Jude.  I expect most preachers will know this series of expositional commentaries, which is edited by Kent Hughes.  David Helm is one... continue
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