and he went out, not knowing

  "and he went out, not knowing" (Hebrews 11:8, KJV) Last night, our group was studying Genesis chapter 12, and the calling of Abraham. Such a remarkable story, the more you think of it. We were struck again by the radical nature of the call - leave everything, and go to the land I'll show... Continue Reading →

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We get a completely new set of people

Thomas Long, writing in his book Accompany Them With Singing: The Christian Funeral, imagines a funeral for a wife and mother named Annette. The funeral he imagines is, like so many others, "sweet and nostalgic", featuring readings of Psalm 23 and Proverbs 31, and celebrating that she "was a good woman, a good Christian". He... Continue Reading →

The necessity of contemplating beauty

Melinda Selmys, from her book Sexual Authenticity: "Beauty is not largely an irrelevant addendum to the life of the soul. It is through beauty that we come to understand the appeal of heaven. The atheist can't get excited about sitting around forever with the big man on the throne. The sexual sinner can't imagine an... Continue Reading →

the art of a good death

Thomas Long, in his book Accompany Them With Singing: The Christian Funeral, takes on Elisabeth Kubler-Ross' classic On Death and Dying. One objection: "the implication in Kubler-Ross's work that knowledge of impending death somehow drives people rapidly up the stairway of emotional and ethical development is a fiction of the therapeutic culture." "The fact is... Continue Reading →

confronting suffering

From Christian Wiman's 2007 essay, Gazing into the Abyss¬†about his return to God, partly through his diagnosis with terminal cancer: "I was not wrong all those years to believe that suffering is at the very center of our existence, and that there can be no untranquilized life that does not fully confront this fact. The... Continue Reading →

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