Results tagged “suffering” from Reformation21

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

Results tagged “suffering” from Reformation21 Blog

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 CNN.com 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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