Blog Posts

Getting to the h(e)art of forgiveness

It’s happened again. Another celebrity has been subjected to Internet mob justice. Comedian Kevin Hart was recently invited to host the 2019 Academy Awards. Predictably, masses of people began scrolling through records of everything Hart had ever said or written to find dirt on…

The cost of prayer

How much would you pay for a prayer? That is the question that was asked in a recent edition of The Atlantic magazine by Sigal Samuel. The article carried the following sub-heading: “In India, thousands are embracing apps that allow them to pay for…

Dangerous certainty

In 1954, psychologist Leon Festinger read a story in his local newspaper headlined “Prophecy from planet Clarion call to city: flee that flood.” The prophecy emanated from Chicago housewife Dorothy Martin, who, through an experiment with automatic writing, received a warning that the earth…

Devilish devices

Every now and again, a biblical phrase is lifted out of context to teach things that the writer never intended. Despite President Lincoln’s bold claims, Jesus’ words about a house divided had nothing to do with the American Civil War. Biblical phrases like, “I…

Angels with flats

Have you ever wondered about the verse that suggests a stranger might be an angel in disguise? Or, at least, the verse that is sometimes interpreted that way? I am speaking of Hebrews 13:2: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby…

Final judgement: Real, certain, irreversible

You may be unaware, but if you’re reading this, you survive the apocalypse. Again. American numerologist, David Meade, recently predicted that the rapture would take place on 23 April 2018. It was a complex prediction, involving Bible codes, astrological constellations, and newspaper exegesis. On…

Reviews

Review: Fight!

I was first introduced to Preston Sprinkle through his book Charis, which tackles the enormity of God’s grace toward his people. Since then, I have come to respect Dr. Sprinkle. I have found him to be a theologian who really challenges my thinking. Even…

Review: Praying Together

“What is the best book on ____________?” I see and hear that question asked all the time. You fill in the blank: spiritual warfare, baptism, the local church, preaching, etc. It’s a question, of course, that invites highly subjective answers. Where I might recommend…

Hymn Stories

Hymnody: “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder”

James Milton Black (1856–1938) was an American hymnist, youth leader and Sunday school teacher. It is said that Black had a great passion for reaching children with the gospel. One day, while on his way to a meeting, Black cut through an alleyway in…

Hymnody: “This is My Father’s World”

“He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD” (Psalm 33:5). Maltbie Davenport Babcock was an American Presbyterian clergyman and hymn writer in the 19th century. He was born on 3 August 1858 and died on 18…

Hymnody: “Day by Day”

Lina Sandell (1832–1903) was a Swedish hymnist and the daughter of Lutheran minister, Jonas Sandell. She greatly loved her father, and since she was a frail child, she frequently spent a great deal of time with him in his study rather than outside with…