Posts by Patrick Ramsey

Posts by

Note: Read more from the author's "Runner in a Race" series here. One of the many lessons I learned from my cross-country ski coach was to keep my head up and look ahead when skiing, particularly when skiing up a steep hill. Going up a sharp incline is hard work, and it is natural to look down when...
One of the most anticipated races of the 1984 summer Olympics was the women’s 3000m, featuring the American Mary Decker and the South African Zola Budd. Decker—who had won a 3000m at the World Championships the preceding year—was favored to win the gold medal, and Budd knew she could not beat the...
When struggling halfway through a marathon, the last thing you want to do is make running harder than it has to be. No sane runner would stop mid-race, put on a 30-pound weight belt, and then keep going. It is true that some runners train with weights to increase their strength and stamina, but...
In the middle of a long race, doubt can be a killer. Realizing how far you have to go, the present ache in your body can make finishing seem unlikely. Doubt then quickly transforms itself into certainty and you give up. Likewise, it is with the Christian life. If we doubt our ability to trust and...
The midday sun beating down upon him was becoming unbearable. Having just passed the 13-mile marker, with 13 more miles to go, he wondered what he was thinking when he signed up to run a marathon. At the 18 th mile, his run is a brisk walk. One mile later, his brisk walk is no longer brisk...
Although it was over twenty-five years ago, I still remember a track race one of my older brothers ran during his senior year. He was scheduled to run the final 800m race at the Nova Scotia Provincial Track Meet. There were two heats for the final and unfortunately, my brother was placed in the...
When I ran track in high school, I competed in the 800m and 1500m races. My teammates competed in different races. The sprinters ran the 100m and 200m, while the long-distance runners ran the 3000m and 5000m. Although we all ran on the same track, we had our own particular races to run. As...
During my school days in Nova Scotia, Canada, I competed in cross-country ski races. Cross-country skiing is a relatively unpopular sport in Canada, and Nova Scotia is one of the nation’s smaller provinces. That combination meant that sometimes the competition wasn’t very stiff. In fact, in one...
As we saw last time , a Christian is like a runner in a race in that he must run. Obviously, a runner doesn’t take a seat in the stands when the starting pistol goes off. He runs. How does a Christian run? By trusting and obeying the Lord Jesus. Paul equates finishing the race with having kept the...
Quoting his beloved mother, Forest Gump famously compared life to a box of chocolates: "You never know what you’re gonna get." But what about the life of the Christian? To what can we liken it? In the New Testament, we find the Christian life often compared to a race. Paul used this metaphor both...
Christmas is the time of year we remember and celebrate the birth of the long-awaited Son of the David, who would (and has) saved us from our sins. But did you know that the first Christmas almost didn’t happen? The virgin birth (or better virgin conception) produced a significant problem that...
Over a hundred and forty years ago, J.C. Ryle wrote that “heart-trouble” is the most common thing in the world. He also said that no one is exempt from it, and that there is nothing that we can do to avoid it. The world has changed quite a bit since Ryle penned those words, but his observations...
God is slandered daily. Satan, who is a liar and the father of lies, makes sure of it. One of his favorite lies to spread about God is that he doesn’t love us, that he wants nothing more than for us to suffer and die. Satan wants us to think that God is more like the elder brother than the father...
"The Wrath Of The Seas" by Ivan Aivazovsky
Death is an ugly, harsh reality that we try hard to hide and ignore. We do not want to think about it or live our life in light of it. The current pandemic, however, has made it difficult to disregard, as the death toll continues to rise day after day. We would be wise, therefore, to take the time...
Editor's Note: Find previous entries in this series at the end of this article. The law/gospel hermeneutic wrongly separates the Bible's indicatives from its imperatives. That's the first problem that we addressed in our last article . But there's a second problem with this hermeneutic: It tends to...
Editor's Note: Find previous entries in this series at the end of this article. In this article, we will look at one key reason the law/gospel hermeneutic is problematic, and then another reason in a subsequent article. The law/gospel hermeneutic is problematic because it separates what Scripture...
The coronavirus is another stark reminder that we are mortal. We are all going to die, one way or another, but in moments like these we are forced to consider the reality of our own death. For the vast majority of us, there is a good chance that this virus will not claim our lives... but you never...
Editor's note: This is part 2 in this series. Read part 1 here . The law/gospel distinction is sometimes used to distinguish between the commands and promises in the Scriptures. Anthony Burgess noted that “some Divines” taught that the law is every command and the gospel is every promise found...
The law/gospel distinction is a well-known and an important theological distinction in Protestant and Reformed circles. Unfortunately, a lot of confusion exists surrounding it, in part because further distinctions are not always properly made. And these further distinctions are necessary because...
Richard Vines was a member of the Westminster Assembly and was considered one of the Assembly’s finest preachers. He preached a sermon on Ephesians 4:14-15 before the Mayor and court of Aldermen of London in 1644 entitled “The Impostures of Seducing Teachers Discovered.” Apparently not everyone was...