The beauty of the Genesis narrative is found in the harmony of two notable features: its simplicity and its explanatory power. With straightforward prose through the pen of Moses, God reveals the origin of man and woman, providing us insight into one of the most glorious realities in the universe. Genesis 1:27 gives us a general description of the event: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created them. Male and female He created them.” Genesis 2:7-25 fills in the details: Adam was created first, placed in the garden, and given instructions on how to conduct his calling as God’s vice-regent. Continue reading “Contemporary Gender Confusion and Clarity of the Nashville Statement”
Ever since my first ministry post as a middle school ministry director in 2003, I’ve dealt regularly with Christian folks who want to know if it is acceptable for them to date an unbeliever. Often (but not always), those who are pondering this question readily acknowledge that the Bible says a Christian cannot marry a non-Christian. Nevertheless, they believe they can move down this path because (1) the Bible does not forbid dating an unbeliever; or (2) their romantic relationship can serve as a means of evangelism to the unbelieving boyfriend or girlfriend; or (3) their situation is unique; (4) a combination of some or all of the above. Continue reading “Can I Date an Unbeliever?”
Richard Steele was a Puritan minister in the mid-seventeenth century, but his work The Religious Tradesman is what you might consider a “lost classic.” Even in 1747, eighty years after its initial publication, Isaac Watts, writing in the introduction, lamented that the piece was “now very little known;” it’s popularity foundering under the disadvantages of an “ancient name” and “ancient dress.”
Nearly 300 years later, we can join in Watts’s lament. Despite excellent content, Steele’s book has received very little attention among contemporary Christian readers. Hopefully this brief review can encourage a few Christians to pick up Steele’s volume and find encouragement to attend to their daily work with renewed joy and purpose. Continue reading “‘The Religious Tradesman’ by Richard Steele”
I recently engaged in a light Twitter exchange with a few atheists after I posted the following tweet:
Christians love atheists and adherents of other religions, not because we accept their worldview, but precisely because we don’t.
— Derek Brown (@DerekBrown24) April 12, 2016
A few self-described atheists didn’t think this statement sounded too loving. One suggested that I needed to “open my heart.” Another said that “Christian love” is a joke over which no one is laughing anymore.
My point in the tweet was to highlight the truth that the Christian worldview, when truly embraced, enables a person to love those with whom they disagree. For example, as a Christian I believe the biblical doctrines about God, humanity, Christ, heaven, hell, and salvation to be true. Because of this, I do not accept worldviews like atheism, agnosticism, Buddhism, Hindusim, Islam, to name a few, because these belief systems are contrary to biblical Christianity and therefore not true. Yet the Christian worldview, while simultaneously requiring me to reject contrary worldviews as false, enables me to love atheists and those who adhere to other religions for two basic reasons. Continue reading “How Do Christians Love People With Different Worldviews?”
I recently turned 37. I enjoyed a low-key celebration with my family and received a few nice gifts. It was good. But the day came and went, and life soon moved back into a normal routine. Next year, if the Lord wills, I will celebrate my 38th birthday, and hopefully in a similar way.
Birthdays can serve as a reminder of God’s goodness in our lives. When our day arrives, we might take time to reflect on specific ways God has blessed or helped us over the past years, and use such reflection to offer heart-felt praise for his faithfulness. It is fitting to reflect often on God’s mercy, and birthdays can be a special time of remembrance and thanksgiving.
Bucket Lists and the Resurrection
But birthdays also remind us that life is marching in one direction. The death-rate among humans is 100%, and despite the massive efforts of Silicon Valley investors to defeat death, no one can truly escape it. Continue reading “Say Goodbye to Your Bucket List”