To sin is to use a gift that God provided for the purpose of pointing to his glory in a way that the Creator never intended. That’s how God’s good gift of relaxation degenerates into vacations that end in frustration because they fall short of our self-centered expectations. That’s how God’s gifts of food and drink are perverted into pathways to gluttony and addiction; it’s how the gift of sex becomes twisted into lust and pornography and homosexuality, it’s how the natural world is distorted into an economic resource to be exploited without regard for human communities or the beauty of God’s creation, and on and on it goes. Each of these acts pursues the same false promise that our primeval parents swallowed in the shadow of the tree of knowledge: “You shall be as gods” (Genesis 3:5). We all want to be God.Continue reading.
How free are your choices? Do human beings possess free will? Does God determine your choices or do you? Part of the answer depends on how you define “freedom” and “free will”! With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the notions of human freedom and free will.
Does God Save People Against Their Wills?
There’s a difficult dilemma when it comes to the freedom of the human will that may have crossed your mind if you’ve ever read passages like these in the writings of the apostle Paul:
Those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. Continue reading.
Broken dreams are woven deeply into the fabric of human existence—so deeply that it’s easy for us to assume God’s plans fail, just like ours. In fact, that’s precisely what some theologians have claimed over the past few decades. According to one best-selling book from a certain Jewish rabbi, God wishes he could make everything right in the world, but he simply doesn’t possess the power to make it happen. “Even God,” the author claims, “has a hard time keeping chaos in check.”Continue reading.
Thirteen years ago, my wife and I sat at a table in a cramped office that reeked of scorched coffee and mildewed carpet. By that point in our lives, we had journeyed for nearly two years on a long and difficult road toward adoption. While social workers shuffled around us, we pored over page after page in a file that never seemed to end.Continue reading.
Chore charts. Report cards. Standardized tests. Athletic banquets. Kids are inundated with messages about their performance. Because performance—work and reward—is one of the basic structures of our lives, kids often grow up thinking, “I am what I am because of what I do . . . or because of what I’ve failed to do.” How different this message sounds from the biblical message of redemption by grace!
PROOF Pirates introduces kids to God’s amazing grace through a fun-to-read pirate story about a boy named Jesse whose parents send him on a scavenger hunt. Continue reading.