Christian trials

Oh, the goodness of God’s anger! That God, in his divine simplicity, has anger and is immutably angry, presupposes that God has goodness and is good. Christopher Ash and Steve Midgley state the doctrine well, “If God were not angry with evil, God could not be good. If God did not hate evil, he...
Minucius Felix and His Answers to Unbelievers The leisurely walk on the beach Marcus Minucius Felix took with his friends Octavius and Cecilius sometimes between the second and third century is reminiscent of the walk J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Hugo Dyson took on the grounds of Oxford...
It was 8 a.m. on a Saturday in Southern California while I was settling to watch my four-and-a-half-year-old son play basketball when I received a call from a sister in the Lord, Anne, dying in Minnesota. [1] We never met, but similar difficult providences had connected us for counsel and we became...
Prosper of Aquitaine and His Defense of God’s Grace The fourth-century debate between Augustine of Hippo and Pelagius left a profound mark in church history, with Pelagius’s views condemned as heresy at the ecumenical council of Ephesus in 431. In a nutshell, Augustine explained that, because of...
J. Douglas MacMillan shares how fisherman alerted him about one of his sheep stuck on a lonely cliff’s edge with nothing left to eat. And having had no water to soften and digest the food, it later died. [1] In contrast, Psalm 23 promises that God will always guide Christians where they can eat and...
Augustine of Canterbury – A Reluctant Missionary Augustine of Canterbury, often known as “the apostle of the English,” would have never made it across the Channel if it hadn’t been for the insistent prompting of Pope Gregory I. The eighth century historian Bede tells us in fact that Augustine and...
Catherine Marsh – Loving the Unloved In 1853, thousands of men arrived on the quiet Sydenham hills to build an ambitious structure: the Crystal Palace, where Charles Spurgeon later preached to a crowd of 23,654 people. Building such a capable compound, surrounded by gardens and fountains, took an...
Is it difficult for you to think about joy and suffering in the same sentence? Normally, when we are in the middle of suffering, we just want it to be over. Think of the woman who feels betrayed by her best friend, or the wife who feels betrayed by her husband. Consider the mother who longs for her...
“For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” – Romans 8:20-21 In John Milton’s classic epic, Paradise...
Adam and Eve were tempted to believe, “You will be like God,” and that lie has been deceiving us ever since. We may not self-identify as deities demanding sacrifices and overt worship, but we may fall for subtler versions. One variation combines ideas that are very common today: I have no limits. I...