Peace-Loving Believers in an Age of Violence, Part 2

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Just war advocates normally base their stance upon passages revealing the divine origin and approval of government and its functions. Romans 13:1–7 forms the anchoring text for developing their view of governmental authority in the lives of Christians. The apostle Paul represents the government as a divinely constituted authority (vv. 1, 2). Hodge argues that

It was to Paul a matter of little importance whether the Roman emperor was appointed by the senate, the army, or the people; whether the assumption of the imperial authority by Caesar was just or unjust, or whether his successors had a legitimate claim to the throne or not.

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Making Use of Providence

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In his excellent book, Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts, Jerry Bridges wrestles with the doctrine of God’s Providence as it relates to the difficult circumstances of life.  Bridges summarizes the doctrine of God’s Providence this way: God’s “constant care for and His absolute rule over all His creation for His own glory and the good of His people.”

For the sake of understanding, he goes on, “…note the absolute terms: constant care, absolute rule, all creation.  Nothing, not even the smallest virus, escapes his care and control.”

To the ears of some, the idea that not even the smallest virus escapes God’s care and control may sound like a fairly radical (and perhaps ridiculous) idea.  … Continue reading

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Peace-Loving Believers in an Age of Violence, Part 1

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Scripture disallows seeking peace at any price. Some apologists argue that even believers must draw the line somewhere to stand up to the forces of evil. Wherever one stands, Christians need to be pro-active. As Friesen, Langan, and Stassen observe in their introduction to Just Peacemaking: Ten Practices for Abolishing War, “terrorism requires more than an ethic that says terrorism is unjust, it requires an ethic that points to practices that prevent it.”[1] Some events create a time for war rather than a time for peace — when it would be un-Christian to not act unspeakably toward someone, perhaps a terrorist or terrorist organization.… Continue reading

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A Broken Marriage and a Gracious God

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Yesterday, my wife Noelle and I celebrated our seventeenth wedding anniversary.  It’s an utterly remarkable thing to us, especially considering the fact that just eight years ago we were estranged from one another and headed for a divorce.

We had been married for nine years at that point.  By the summer of 2009, I found myself regularly pleading with the Lord to save our marriage, as we were in really bad shape.  We didn’t trust one another.  We weren’t listening to one another.  We weren’t handling the pressure of life and ministry well.  And we were desperately trying to maintain the appearance of having it all together. … Continue reading

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Reprise: You’re Using It Wrong: 1 Peter 3:7

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One of the most counter cultural elements of the Christian life is the living out of the youredoingitwrongbiblically mandated roles within marriage.  The notion that wives should submit to their husbands is often met with shrieks of patriarchy and misogyny, without ever considering that there is not one single command directed to husbands to compel their wives to submit; in fact they are commanded to not be harsh with them (Col 3:19).  And the notion that husbands are to live sacrificially for their wives (Eph 5:25) and are solely responsible for supporting his whole family (1 Tim 5:8) are equally unpopular. … Continue reading

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