The witch’s knife plunged deep into the lion’s heart, and the majestic creature quivered and died. For a few seconds, complete silence descended on the movie theater. A slight sniffling beside me broke the stillness, and that’s when I heard my 9-year-old daughter whisper a rather profound word of wisdom to her friend—wisdom that reminds us of an important truth about the New Testament Gospels.Continue reading.
This weekend, millions of Americans will once again endure the filing and, in some cases, the payment of taxes.
Taxation has never been particularly popular among Americans, having once incited several dozen Bostonians to dress up as Mohawk braves and toss tea into a harbor. Continue reading.
With few exceptions, even the most skeptical scholars admit that Jesus was crucified—and with good reason. Not only the authors of the New Testament but also later Christian writers, the Roman historian Tacitus, and quite likely the Jewish historian Josephus mention the crucifixion of Jesus. And it’s highly unlikely that first-century Christians would have fabricated such a shameful fate for the founder of their faith. In the first century A.D., crucifixion represented the darkest possible path to death, after all.
In fact, it is almost impossible for contemporary people to comprehend the full obscenity of crucifixion in the ancient world.Continue reading.
In late March, 1807, the British slave trade came to an end. One of the key figures in the battle against the British slave trade was an evangelical Christian named William Wilberforce.
Wilberforce was short—about five feet, three inches in stature—and suffered from poor health, but he was eloquent and witty. He became a member of Parliament at the age of twenty-one. Then, in the mid-1780s, he committed his life to Jesus Christ. Deeply convicted by his own patterns of arrogance and self-centeredness, he began to consider leaving his position in Parliament.Continue reading.
This week, in the year AD 461, Patrick of Ireland passed away. Ever since the early seventeenth century, churches have designated March 17 as St. Patrick’s Day. Prohibitions on feasting during the season of Lent were traditionally lifted on this day, and green had been associated with Ireland at least as early as the seventeenth century. The result has been a tradition of kisses and pinches, partying and wearing emerald hues on March 17.
But Patrick wasn’t actually Irish, and no pinches or parties or shades of green played any significant role in his story, as far as anyone knows. His story does, however, have much to do with forgiveness, faithfulness, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the words of Michael A.G. Haykin, this man’s
incredible understanding of the Great Commission and his passion for mission and evangelism [were] in western Christianity in the fifth century almost completely unique.
So who was Patrick? How and why should we celebrate his life? Or should we? Take a look at this two-minute video to find out!
Not a Saint, Not Irish, But a Faithful Proclaimer of God’s Good News
If you’re interested in learning more about the history of Christianity, consider this book and video series. To learn more about Patrick in particular, I recommend this book by Michael A.G. Haykin.
Discuss in the Comments:
What did you learn about the history of Christianity that you may not have known before? How should Patrick’s choice to return to his captors with the gospel shape your life? Think about ways that your church or community group might celebrate this day in a way that focuses on Patrick’s gospel passion.