Must I Forgive THIS Sin?

The first step towards forgiving is committing to forgive, but to do that, I need to know: must I forgive this offense? Part 2 of “Forgive Intentional Sin—Don’t Just Manage Emotions.” In my last post on What Forgiving Isn’t, I shared six substitutes that masquerade as forgiving, but which merely manage emotions for a time. […]

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What Forgiving Isn’t: 5 Stand-ins that Masquerade as Forgiving

Forgiving isn’t always what we think it is. Part 1 of “Forgive Intentional Sin—Don’t Just Manage Emotions.” Forgiving isn’t managing emotions. Most Christians know Jesus taught that we must forgive. But when anger and hurt linger, we sometimes turn to forgiveness substitutes that merely manage our emotions—and not all that well. Here are five stand-ins […]

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Does God send good people to hell?

A reader asks this about good people: There seem to be a lot of good people doing kind things out there; it’s hard to believe they will be condemned to hell because the only way there is Jesus. I reconcile myself with knowing my Savior is 100% good. But does God send good people to […]

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Conscience Says Abraham Wrong? Answering Rachel Held Evans, Part 5

Does God expect us to deny our conscience by accepting the story of Abraham’s near-sacrifice of Isaac? This is my fifth and final post addressing Rachel Held Evans’s October 2014 blog post,“I would fail Abraham’s test (and I bet you would too).” Her main argument (as I understand it) is this: The conscience “God … […]

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Do God’s Motives Matter? Answering Rachel Held Evans, Part 4

If God’s defining characteristic is supposed to be love, why would he ask Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac? Do God’s motives matter? In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet spurns Mr. Darcy’s marriage proposal despite his vast wealth and enviable social standing. Why? Because, she declares, Darcy had ruined the romantic prospects of her […]

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What made Abraham Different? Answering Rachel Held Evans: Part 3

Rachel Held Evans says if she’d been Abraham, she’d have sooner been struck dead than obeyed; what made Abraham different? In The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sir Henry Baskerville fumes at a hotel waiter over losing two boots a maid was to have polished: a new brown boot the night before and now an old […]

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Abraham & Human Sacrifice? Answering Rachel Held Evans, Part 2

Did Rachel Held Evans miss cultural facts about the binding of Isaac and human sacrifice? As I read Rachel Held Evans’s blog, “I would fail Abraham’s test (and I bet you would too),” I was reminded of Dorothy Sayers’s mystery novel, Strong Poison. In it, Harriet Vane stands accused of murder with substantial evidence against her. The police […]

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Was Abraham Wrong? Answering Rachel Held Evans, Part 1

Does conscience require us to stamp the story of Abraham’s near-sacrifice of Isaac as unhistorical or Abraham wrong and a moral failure? Best-selling author Rachel Held Evans has a popular blog, speaks frequently, and has published three books through the Christian publishers Thomas Nelson and Zondervan. One of her blogs garnered a lot of attention: “I […]

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Witnessing to Darwinists

Slightly smirking, he asked, “Don’t Christians believe God created the earth in six days?” He was a Jewish atheist scientist with a PhD. And a staunch Darwinist. We stood outside a laboratory of green-mirrored walls next to a man-made pond. There damp turtles rested on rocks and orange-and-white koi darted beneath the floating, round leaves […]

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God’s Hidden Blessings

Our twenty-one-year-old Green Machine (aka Honda Accord) won’t pass the next California smog test, so we’re car shopping. (We save oodles of money by driving a car till it or Sacramento calls it quits. Since I don’t commute, that can take years.) As we drove into the big parking lots with rows of shiny cars, […]

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What’s So Good about Royal Psalms?

What is a royal psalm anyway? And why should we care? Just as today we hear many types of songs—love songs, anthems, lullabies, ballads, odes, rap and more—so the ancient Hebrews heard many types of psalms—royal psalms, wisdom songs, laments, thanksgiving songs, hymns, confidence songs, and more. Knowing a psalm’s type helps us know how to […]

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Psalm 2: Hope in the Midst of Injustice

Terrorists murder and maim. Con artists bilk the elderly. The rich exploit the poor. Abusers scar children. The promiscuous mock the chaste. Liars lock the innocent behind bars. Those who’ve sworn to uphold justice overturn it. What is our hope in the midst of injustice? Psalm 2 tells us. It’s a psalm originally composed for […]

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