Where is the love?
‘The answer to Question 4 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism – God is a spirit, infinite, eternal, unchangeable in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth – But where is the Love? God is Love (1 John 4:8). It is not as if the framers of the Shorter Catechism didn’t know this. So why omit it?’
Take the plunge
This one has some simple, yet helpful, advice about taking our conversation beyond small talk and into something more refreshing.
I could never do that
‘Some of us struggle with boundaries and say yes too often. Some of us really do need to take a rest. And of course, there are actual “can’ts.” We have physical limitations. Your medical condition may prevent you from serving in a very hot climate or a very polluted city. Your bad back may keep you in a bed for long stretches. You might not be able to sing a note on key, or your tongue might be unable to trill those r’s, no matter how hard you practice. But the truth is, sometimes we say, I can’t when really what we mean is I won’t. It just feels so much better–to ourselves and the people around us–to say I can’t.’
Disclosing past sexual sin in a dating relationship
‘Taking your relationship to a more serious level knowing your potential spouse has an inaccurate view of your history is unwise and unloving. Sharing your past serves them by providing an honest picture of who you are. Our past need not define us, but it does shape us. Sin’s effects can emerge in marriage, so if your dating partner is going to become one with you (Gen. 2:24), that person deserves to make the decision with eyes wide open.’
Health Wealth and Heterosexuality: Why orthodox Christianity will pay a price for the wrongs of the Prosperity Gospel
‘It seems clear that orthodox evangelicals are going to be swept up by the culture for our historic inability to shut down, and repudiate, the over-realised eschatology found within many influential Pentecostal groups. And we’re going to pay the price for this not because of their over-realised wealth theology, nor because of their over-realised health theology, but because of their over-realised sexuality theology.’
Loving our Muslim neighbours at the end of Ramadan
‘I knew Eid El Fitr was getting close when Mt Pasta-Rice-Oil appeared. My office in Cairo was behind a shopping mall. During the final days of Ramadan, fatigued shoppers emerged with shopping trolleys overflowing with pasta, oil and rice, delicately manoeuvring them to the car before Mt Pasta-Rice-Oil erupted onto the footpath.’
From the archive: ‘But it looks beautiful’
‘Given that nobody in Oldham is walking several miles to collect water for the day from a well, things probably looked in fairly good shape. They had just recounted a story about some homeless bloke with some gaping hole in his leg, with something oozing out of it and who was almost certain to die from it left as it was. They mentioned that nobody would help in any way because to access medical care would cost them money. Wandering around Oldham, you’re not likely to see that sort of thing – the NHS doesn’t cost us anything at the point of use so helping someone to get medical care isn’t much of a bind. Things on the face of it, by comparison to where they had been, seemed OK.’