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Gregory of Nyssa and Fathomless Wonder

When I speak with a friend, I cannot fully grasp what he thinks and feels. I do not directly experience their day, their well-being, their slight muscle soreness, their previous conversations, their sleep level, and their past experiences. I cannot fathom someone’s daily experience of work, family, friends, medicine, pain, happiness, and much more besides. I do not know how he cares for his sister and regrets treating his father unkindly. I do not know the thousand experiences that made him what he is today. He cannot either. Our limits are such that we cannot even know ourselves fully. In...

What If We Had 50 Years Before The Outbreak Of Formal Persecution In Canada?

Around the year AD 63 the Apostle Peter wrote a letter to some Christians living in northern Asia Minor who were beginning to experience the first headwinds of social and state persecution at the hands of the Romans. They were not yet being arrested nor had the practice of their faith been criminalized but they were facing legitimate discrimination. Thomas R. Schreiner characterizes their various difficulties saying: “The only specific suffering noted is discrimination and mistreatment and verbal abuse from former colleagues and friends”[1] The Apostle Peter wrote to stabilize these congregations so as to preserve their active Gospel witness...

On Despair

I Verses I made once glowing with content; Tearful, alas, sad songs must I begin. See how the Muses grieftorn bid me write, And with unfeigned tears these elegies drench my face. But them at least my fear that friends might tread my path Companions still Could not keep silent: they were once My Green youth’s glory; now in my sad old age They comfort me. For age has come unlooked for, hastened by ills, And anguish sternly adds its years to mine; My head is white before its time, my skin hangs loose About my tremulous frame: I am...

Amnesia and Prayer

This week God quietly answered a very big prayer that I had been praying almost every day for several months. I thought it was impossible for God to provide exactly what I was praying for. As you can tell, I still have a lot of growing to do as a Christian. Just to be clear, I did not doubt any doctrine about God being omnipotent. The problem was that I did not think the result that I was praying for could happen. With that said, here are four further thoughts on prayer. First, you generally only count a “yes” from...

Strategy Is not Enough (Or Why We Should Pray for Revival)

Jared Wilson was recently asked, what would it take “to bring graciousness to our evangelical subcultures.” He didn’t know the answer but said, “it might need to be revival.”  After hearing of this brief exchange, I started reflecting on how we cannot ourselves transform sinful hearts. We cannot strategize our way to spiritual transformation. Strategy is not enough. We can build institutions and proclaim the truth, but we cannot expect everyone to be persuaded.  What we need is revival. We Plant, God Grows Wilson describes such revival as “The Holy Spirit interrupting us and reordering us with his surprising power.”...

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