Categories
Theology

Christian Counseling and God’s Transcendence

Millard Erickson on how God’s transcendence changes the way we counsel people:

We will look for genuinely transcendent working by God. Thus we will not expect only those things that can be accomplished by natural means…We will not neglect prayer for his guidance or special intervention. Thus, for example, Christian counseling will not differ from other types of counseling (naturalistic or humanistic) only in being preceded by a brief prayer. There will be the anticipation that God, in response to faith and prayer, will work in ways not humanly predictable or achievable.

– Millard Erickson, Christian Theology, 345; emphasis added.

Categories
Theology

Rob Bell interviewed by Martin Bashir

Sorry for my absence lately.  Things have been busy around here!  Check out this interview of Rob Bell by Martin Bashir on MSNBC. I don’t know if Bashir is a Christian, but he lays it on thick–and good. I’ve really never seen Bell so uncomfortable before. Ever.

Categories
Life

Stop telling me how to be better. Tell me to live like I’m new.

“This stuff seems so easy to remember and do.”  That was what a friend of mine said during a men’s time before church a couple Sundays ago.  He, of course, is single (which is not a crime, mind you).  He was referring to what we had just learned from a sermon on DVD about being a godly husband.  I was sitting to his left and a tad behind his periphery.  As he went on, I was shaking my head.

One of our pastors, who leads the time, was smiling. He said, “James is saying, ‘NO WAY.'”  “You have no idea,” I said with a smile.

My friend went on: “Oh, I know. I realize it’s probably really difficult.  I’m just saying.”

Probably? I’m just saying…

Our little men’s group knows that being a godly husband is infinitely more than just dos and don’ts.  I’m reminded of that as I read The Masculine Mandate, by Rick Phillips.  It’s not your average book for Christian men. It’s more than that. It’s not chapter after chapter of stuff for a guy to do in order to be a better man, husband, and father. It’s a book with theology and wisdom about how to become what Christ has created men to be. It’s a book about being a redeemed man, husband, and father.  I’m tired of being told how to be better by some author who thinks he has the secret to a great marriage. Honestly, I just want to be challenged to live like I’m new — because that’s what I am.

I don’t have the book in front of me now, otherwise I’d quote Rick and stop rambling. Hopefully I’ll have time to review it when I’m finished.  But for now, I can say one thing — and I’m sure most Christian husbands would agree: I am continually aware of my inadequacies as a husband.  What’s encouraging is that life and marriage are not sprints. No, they are long marathons. I need a lot of grace to do this right, and what a joy that God gives grace beyond measure.

Before I sign off, I want to say something to my wife (I hope she reads this…I might have to tell her):

Carly, I want to say, in front of all five people who read this blog, that other than Jesus, nothing delights me more in this world than you. I apologize for not always showing that with my words, my actions, and my desires. Thank you for your grace, your forgiveness, and your patience as I become the man God has already made me to be. It’s a marathon, darling, and there’s no one else in this world I’d rather run it with than you.  I love you.

Categories
Life

Do your words give life or bring death?

Paul David Tripp has said, “You have never spoken a neutral word in your life. Your words have the power of life and death in them.” This morning, Proverbs 12:18, made that come to life for me:

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Lord, help me to speak words that are sweet to the ears of those around me. Let me speak life to people, and not death.

Categories
Life

Brian Welch: “I am Second”

Here’s the powerful story of Brian “Head” Welch, former member of the band Korn.  Brian was saved by Jesus a few years ago. Here, he tells about his journey from addiction to hardcore drugs to finding true satisfaction in Jesus Christ.