12 Aug 2015

The Witness of Lightning and the Lightning Bug

It’s remarkable how much a clear night can help one gain a bit of peace and solitude. That is, once the security lights stopped showing the world that I was standing out on our driveway. While taking in the night view, my wandering thoughts were interrupted by a flash of light in the corner of my eye. Adjusting my head for a better view brought the realization that a lightning storm was rolling in. Lest

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29 Jul 2015

Patience: Natural Heart’s-Ivy

Perhaps this is merely my experience, but I grew up hearing that some prayers were dangerous. The prayers for things such as greater boldness in witnessing, further opportunities to give, or greater love for the person who’s a thorn in your side. These prayers have a way of being answered, or rather, of creating opportunities to outwork the desires apparently behind our prayers. Naturally, these opportunities feel uncomfortable and, at times, even hurt a little.

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01 Jul 2015

Be Comforted In Your Smallness

Our day-to-day lives constantly involve measuring size. Heading to bed we consciously (or unconsciously) determined the length of our sleep. At breakfast, we count calories (if on an appropriate diet) or at least guesstimate how much oatmeal to put in the bowl, or butter on the toast. Then there’s the time it’ll take to get to work, how long the gas will last in the vehicle, the number of items on the to-do list .

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17 Jun 2015

Holding Fast

“ ‘The star-glass?’ muttered Frodo, as one answering out of sleep, hardly comprehending. ‘Why yes! Why had I forgotten it? A light when all other lights go out! And now indeed light alone can help us.’ ”1 The interplay between light and dark is an ongoing part of our lives. In the literal sense, we live in a world where the regular appearance of both provides a measure of regulation to our activities. Figuratively though,

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16 Jun 2015

Here We Raise Our Ebenezer: Conciliar Post After One Year

In honor of Conciliar Post’s one year anniversary, we asked the editorial team to reflect on the past year. You can read Managing Editor Jacob Prahlow’s reflections in his post “How Now Shall We Speak?“. Here is what some other members of the Conciliar Post team had to say: Jody Byrkett Senior Editor Fleeting as days are, it is a bit strange to find that three hundred and sixty-five of them can feel both long and

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03 Jun 2015

Evading Life

O weariness of men who turn from GOD To the grandeur of your mind and the glory of your action, To arts and inventions and daring enterprises, To schemes of human greatness thoroughly discredited, Binding the earth and the water to your service, Exploiting the seas and developing the mountains, Dividing the stars into common and preferred, Engaged in devising the perfect refrigerator, Engaged in working out a rational morality, Engaged in printing as many

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20 May 2015

Growing Young (Or, Becoming Like Children)

“ ‘I’ll be darned!’ said Douglas. ‘I never thought of that. That’s brilliant! It’s true. Old people never were children!’ ‘And it’s kind of sad,’ said Tom sitting still. ‘There’s nothing we can do to help them.’ ”1 If you’ve read Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine before, then you probably recognize this poignant surmise on aging. Ten year-old Tom’s insight is based on his interactions with the seventy-two year old Mrs. Bentley, a widow who moved

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07 May 2015

Round Table: Baptism

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20) Since Jesus’ delivery of this Great

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06 May 2015

Thou Hast Not Left Me Here Without Grace

O my crucified but never wholly mortified sinfulness! O my life-long damage and daily shame! O my indwelling and besetting sins! O the tormenting slavery of a sinful heart! Destroy, O God, the dark guest within who hidden presence makes my life a hell.1 This the final post in a series focused on God’s forgiveness. Not that three articles are enough to cover the topic—far from it. However, they should help lay the groundwork for

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22 Apr 2015

Mercy: It’s Seriously Wonderful

I have seen the purity and beauty of thy perfect law, the happiness of those in whose heart it reigns, the calm dignity of the walk to which it calls, yet I daily violate and contemn its precepts. Thy loving Spirit strives within me, brings me Scripture warnings, speaks in startling providences, allures by secret whispers, yet I choose devices and desires to my own hurt, impiously resent, grieve, and provoke him to abandon me.1

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08 Apr 2015

Wilt Thou Forgive That Sin?

Glorious and Holy God, Provocations against thy divine majesty have filled my whole life. My offenses have been countless and aggravated. Conscience has rebuked me, friends have admonished me, the examples of others have reproached me, thy rod has chastised me, thy kindnesses allure me.1 The Resurrection was celebrated on Sunday, but now, it’s Wednesday. The festivities are over and a fresh week begun. And while this week provides new opportunities for faithful service, it

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01 Apr 2015

Round Table: Resurrection

This week, Western Christians celebrate Holy Week, the last days of Jesus Christ on earth before his crucifixion at the hands of Pontius Pilate, torturous suffering on a cross, and death. Of course, the story of Christ does not end there, but continues on Sunday with Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. This act—the defeat of death—became the launching point of the Christian faith, the linchpin of the Gospel: God has come to earth and he

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25 Mar 2015

When Aslan Isn’t Moving

As I look out my window, the ground is brown with hints of green breaking through. Without doubt, spring is arriving. Aslan is most definitely on the move. Highlighting the changing seasons is the fact that, a couple weeks ago, this same view was a sheet of white.  And it’s this sheet of white that’s intriguing to me. You see, across the road is a tree farm. The owners apparently operate under the philosophy of

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11 Mar 2015

Pursuing The Rainbow’s End

If I ever need a reminder to be careful about my pretensions to sophistication, I can always fall back on my love of country music. Every so often though, even this guilty pleasure comes to good account. Case in point, Keith Urban’s Days Go By. Urban’s song wrestles with the same aspect of time considered in my last article, namely the way time seems to fly. In turn, he suggests a specific view for approaching

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25 Feb 2015

Time’s End

Time is fascinating. Paradoxically, it both moves quickly and slowly, there is plenty of it and yet never enough. Embracing both of these realities is needed to live well. On the one hand, we need keep our focus on the end toward which time is headed if we’re to live well. At the same time, this focus should drive us back the present moment and the direction that has been given for the moment to

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11 Feb 2015

Hasting Days

The endless cycle of idea and action, Endless invention, endless experiment, Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness; Knowledge of speech, but not of silence; Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word. All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance, All our ignorance brings us nearer to death, But nearness to death no nearer to God.1 During a recent reading of Eliot’s Choruses from “The Rock”, the busyness of my life came

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28 Jan 2015

Covenant Children Today: Physical or Spiritual? | Book Review

Baptism. Until you’ve looked into the issue, it might seem like one of those odd topics that some people love to discuss, but in the end the answer you land on isn’t super important. At least that’s what I had thought. Recently though, I decided that Baptism was a topic that deserved a closer look. Towards that end, I borrowed a couple books and got to reading. The first of these books was Alan Conner’s

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14 Jan 2015

Everyday Warrior

I am learning a lot about Sam Gamgee on this journey. First he was a conspirator, now he’s a jester. He’ll end up by becoming a wizard—or a warrior!1 Foreshadowing—it’s part of what makes stories worth re-reading. While you may not always catch it the first time through, additional readings can highlight the hints that the author left to key you into what was coming. In Frodo’s quip above, we have an example of foreshadowing

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31 Dec 2014

Broken Or Crushed?

Milton’s Satan famously quipped that “The mind is its own place, and in itself / Can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n.” (b.1 l.254-255)1 The hubris required to make this statement is emphasized when Satan rejoices in his removal from God: “since he / Who now is sov’reign can dispose and bid / What shall be right: farthest from him is best / Whom reason hath equaled, force hath made supreme /

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17 Dec 2014

“He Never Repaid Me In Like Kind”

In A Little Exercise For Young Theologians, Helmut Thielicke warns beginning theology students against abusing their new-found knowledge. This warning was prompted by the Church, which was “concerned very rightly for our spiritual health.”1 The concern Thielicke references highlights the nature of the Church. The Church is not just a collection of people but, in some sense, a distinct organism. At least this is the picture Paul provides when he states that God “gave the

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