Category: Salvation

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Finding Humor and Hope in the Graveyard

This might sound morbid to some people, but I’ve always been fascinated by the subject of death. As a youth, I found funerals much more interesting than weddings. And growing up in the Roman Catholic tradition, I thought Catholic funerals were particularly remarkable ceremonies. I can still remember the unique smell of incense filling the church at the first funeral…

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Memento Mori: Facing Our Mortality

As a child, the first time death hit home for me was when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. And even though more than 50 years have passed, I still distinctly remember two things about the event. First, I remember the shock and sadness expressed by my parents when they heard of the president’s death. My parents were…

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“The Martian”: The Ultimate Rescue Mission

This Friday, the film adaptation of Andy Weir’s highly successful debut novel The Martian hits theaters. In anticipation of the film’s release, I met with editor Sandra Dimas to discuss how The Martian might help remind others of a different kind of rescue mission. Sandra: In The Martian, astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is stranded on Mars by his crewmates…

How to Think about Near-Death Experiences

Stories of heavenly visions, like the one at the center of the upcoming film Heaven Is for Real (based on the near-death experience of a four-year-old Nebraska boy), can have a powerful effect on people. They can inspire our imaginations, tug on our emotions, and stir our spirits because they address one of the most haunting questions humans face (or…

Engaging in Christ-Centered Conversation

Last week, my colleague Krista Bontrager shared her insights into Son of God and the TV mini-series from which the film was derived. Whether or not you choose to see Son of God in theatres (or any of the other faith-based films coming out this year), movies like this can provide a window of opportunity to discuss Christ with others.…

Biblical Eschatology and the Good News of Christmas

Along with festive celebrations and traditions, Christmastime also brings with it a more serious focus on hope. Charities and ministries strive to uplift those who are struggling to make ends meet and the message of peace on earth is prevalent. In a secular context, Santa Claus often embodies hope for a better, more caring world. But when all is said…

Jonathan Edwards: An Awakening of Heart and Mind, Part 1

A sense of God’s majesty combined with desire for deep spiritual intimacy characterizes one of America’s greatest evangelical thinkers.1 Known as the theologian of God’s sovereignty, Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758) made enduring contributions in the fields of theology, philosophy, and the psychology of religion. A nurturing pastor, frontier missionary, and bold revivalist preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ, Edwards exemplifies…

Halloween and Other Hot Topics

Halloween. The September 11 attacks. Global warming. Hot topics can present a troubling challenge, even in a culture that values freedom of speech. Do we ignore touchy issues and avoid all confrontation, or do we engage in verbal warfare with the opposition?

Theologian of Grace: St. Augustine, Part 8

Roman Catholicism and historic Protestantism both claim Augustine as one of their own. On one hand, his theological views concerning the nature of the church and the sacraments (arising from the Donatist controversy) significantly influenced the development of Roman Catholic theology. On the other hand, his theological perspective of the nature of original sin, the absolute necessity of grace in…