Blog Posts

The seven sayings: Security

Every year, the Human Development Report Office for the United Nations Development Programme releases a report focusing on a particular area of human development. In 1994, the report focused on human security and identified seven key areas associated with human security: economic, food, health,…

The seven sayings: Victory

We tend to place a great deal of value in last words. Perhaps you can still vividly recall the last thing a loved one said to you before they died. Perhaps you have been inspired by the last words of a public figure. Sometimes,…

The seven sayings: Suffering

A recent CNN news clip showed reporter Gary Tuchman outside an Ohio megachurch, where vehicles were streaming out of the parking lot. One woman stopped her car and rolled down her window to speak to him. “Can I ask you about your decision to…

The seven sayings: Atonement

In April 1984, police arrived at Rafael Ruiz’s home to inform him that he was a suspect in a sexual assault investigation. Professing his innocence, Ruiz complied fully with the investigation. Formally charged, Ruiz was offered a plea deal in which he could accept…

The seven sayings: Love

When Man of Steel was released in 2013, director Zack Snyder was asked about some of the obvious artistic parallels between Superman and Jesus Christ. Snyder replied, “The Christ-like parallels, I didn’t make this stuff up. That is the tried-and-true Superman metaphor. So rather…

The seven sayings: Salvation

In April 1994, Milwaukee pastor, Roy Ratcliff, received a phone call from a local prison warden. The warden informed him that a prisoner wished to be baptised and asked if he would be willing to perform the rite. Intrigued, and never having been involved…

Reviews

Review: Unfollow

It began in 1991. A local independent Baptist Church in Kansas began picketing at a nearby park popular with gay men. Citing Romans 1:32, the protestors paraded handmade signs proclaiming that gays deserve death.

The church’s pastor, Fred Phelps, had taught his small flock that loving one’s neighbour meant warning them of judgement to come. “We always equated love with rebuke. As long as we believed our words to be truthful, we were free to rebuke the rest of the world at any time, in any place, and in any way we wanted.” Before long, protests expanded to include demonstrations at the funerals of gay people, military veterans, and disaster victims. The church believed that these deaths were divine punishment for a nation with corrupt values. They alone knew the truth and were God’s vehicles for warning the nation of coming destruction.

Review—What’s a Girl Worth?

Rachael Denhollander was the first woman to publicly accuse Larry Nassar, former USA Gymnastics doctor, of sexual assault. What’s a Girl Worth? is her story of survival, unmasking Nassar as a sexual predator, and the institutional cover-ups that allowed him to perpetrate his behaviour for more than twenty years. It is a gripping, if at times uncomfortable, read, detailing her childhood, her gymnastics career, Nassar’s assault at the Michigan State University clinic, the long road that led to her speaking out, and the victory that the survivors achieved after the lengthy investigation and trial process.

Hymn Stories

Hymnody: “Blest Be the Tie that Binds”

John Fawcett was born on 6 January 1740. Orphaned at age 12, he gained an appreciation for Scripture, and for Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, from a young age, but it was under the ministry of George Whitfield in 1755 that he came to faith….

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…