At The Table

Thinking about Jesus, culture, and everyday life.

Tag: God (page 1 of 2)

Understanding the Mind of God

This weekend I had the privilege of hearing Aleksey Prokopenko speak on the biblical teaching on God’s providence. The key question that this doctrine addresses is “What is God’s relationship to the universe?”. Prokopenko made a key observation at the outset of the conference: very often tend to grossly oversimplify the issue of God and his purposes. To me, this was a critical point of insight. It is, I think, one of the foundational reasons why so many people, both religious and irreligious, find conversations about a personal God’s relationship to the universe so frustrating, unrealistic, contradictory and even foolish.

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The Blessed Hand of the Ready Writer

Beloved, when you and I have seen or heard anything which God has revealed to us, let us go and write it, or make it known by some other means. God has not put the treasure into the earthen vessel merely for the vessel’s own sake, but that the treasure may afterward be poured out from it, that others may thereby be enriched. You have not been privileged to see, merely to glad your eyes and to charm your soul. You have been permitted to see, in order that you may make others see; that you may go forth and report what the Lord has allowed you to perceive.

John no sooner became the seer of Patmos, than he heard a voice that said to him, “Write!”. He could not speak to others for he was on an island, he was exiled from his fellow brethren, but he could write and he did. And often he who writes addresses a larger audience than the man who merely uses his tongue. It is a happy thing when the tongue is aided by the hand of a ready writer, and so gets a wider sphere, and a more permanent influence than if it merely uttered certain sounds and the words died away when the ear had heard them.  (C. H. Spurgeon)

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Real Change Takes Time

We are perhaps never more aware of our pace through life, as we are at the year’s end. It is a time when I realize how full the year has been; how many things have happened in such a seemingly short time. Life seems to become more and more compressed and time itself seems to bend as the months slide by, like a sleigh ride down a hill that gets steeper and steeper. And yet despite all the speed and the clutter of happenings, one of the frustrating facts that seems to hit me every year is ME. Although the scenery around me is in constant flux, I find over and over that I am still very much the same weak me that I was before.

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Grace Before Obedience

It seems to me that one of the sources of the most misunderstanding of christian thought and teaching is the Old Testament. This is especially true of the first four books of the Bible. The lack of careful reading in these sections has lead to broad and inaccurate generalizations. One such generalization is that the God of the Old Testament is completely different from the God of the New Testament.

It is stated that the God of the Old Testament is the God of law and judgement while the God of the New Testament is a God of grace and mercy. One section that completely debunks this idea is the book of Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy is an address of the people of Israel before they enter the promised land. This is a section where God takes an important moment to stop, reflect on all that has happened, and point forward to that which he desires to do for these people. Deuteronomy is a reflection of all that has come before. It is a moment when God reminds Israel of their history and identity, and his role in it all.

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The God Who Bleeds

The question of pain and suffering has been on my mind lately. It is a hard question. One that seems to push any worldview and philosophy beyond its boundaries. Anywhere we look to find a satisfactory answer, we find that the issue in question looms larger than our own powers of comprehension. Sure, some may have purely intellectual ways of answering the question, but they aren’t answers that satisfy the longing of the soul. They are answers “from the view of the balcony” and are not likely to satisfy the questions of the weary travelers on the road.

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