Showing posts from December, 2018

Good News of Great Joy

I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. — Luke 2:10  — More than anything else, our celebration of Christmas ought to be characterized by joy .  We should thank God that he doesn’t call us to be Stoics; i.e. , he doesn’t call us to stifle all feeling. There are Christians who seem to think that demonstrations of emotion are unspiritual, that spirituality is pure rationality .  But while emotional ism may be unspiritual, emotion per se is not.  The various ways in which God deals with us inevitably evoke different emotions (love, joy, fear, guilt, peace, etc.).  The natural emotional response to the message the angel brought the shepherds was joy .  “I bring good news of great joy.”   This is how we should receive the message, as well, the message of our Savior’s birth.  Even still.  Even after more than two-thousand years.  Of all the causes for joy (and there are many) none is greater than the joy of our salvation—the joy of knowing and being

Contending for the Faith

“Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” — Jude 3 The Christian faith has many adversaries, both within and outside the church.   This was true in Jude’s day, and it’s no less true in our own.   Of the two, however, the internal foes may pose the greater threat, because they’re more deceptive.   A skeptic who openly denies the faith and argues against it—say, a Christopher Hitchens or a Sam Harris—is easily recognized as a foe.   So is a persecutor like a Diocletian or a Stalin or a soldier of Allah waving the black flag of ISIS.   The internal foes, however, are more difficult to recognize.   The danger they pose is subtle.   They claim to be friends of the faith but are in fact its mortal enemies.   I’m referring specifically to heretics—those who reject the truth as it’s revealed in Scripture and teach lies instead