Comment

Lectures Reflecting A Christian World and Life View

areopagus poster (1).jpg

This week, we have the privilege of hearing from Dr. Craig Bartholomew, who will deliver our spring lecture this Thursday. Dr. Bartholomew serves as Director of the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics, and is senior research fellow at Tyndale House (Cambridge, UK). Previously, Dr. Bartholomew has also served as H. Evan Runner Professor of Philosophy at Redeemer University College, and written a number of books including The Drama of Scripture (with Michael Goheen), Beyond the Modern Age: An Archeology of Contemporary Culture (with the Dutch economist, Bob Goudzwaard), and Contours of the Kuyperian Tradition: A Systematic Introduction. In his lecture, Dr. Bartholomew will explore the foundational role the Christian Doctrine of Creation plays in our engagement in the sciences.  

Dr. Bartholomew's lecture is representative of the kinds of lectures that Areopagus seeks to bring to the university. In my time at Iowa State University, we have had speakers address the topics of race and the criminal justice system, delight in the academic pursuit, and the Christian notion of vocation. Of all the things we could do, we choose to bring in speakers, and address these topics, for two reasons:

1. Because Areopagus exists to minister to the university

2. As a witness to the all encompassing nature of the rule of Christ and the Kingdom of God

First, we see our annual lecture as a blessing to the university and one of the means by which we minister to it. In bringing top scholars and experienced practitioners to the campus to speak to their work, we strive to challenge students, faculty, and staff, and contribute to their intellectual, practical, and spiritual development. Our lectures serve to challenge those who come to consider their world and life view, and how it intersects with their studies, research, future plans, and end-goals (telos). Furthermore, our lecture functions as a window in the unique place of our reformed campus ministry at the university, and an invitation to further explore the Christian faith with us. 

However, as the second point makes clear, our lectures seek to provide a witness to the fact that Christ has called his people to go out into every corner of the earth--and every sphere of life--witnessing to his already-not yet kingdom through faithful obedience and service. We have been called to unfurl the latent potential embedded in God's great created universe, to proclaim the good news of Christ, His Kingdom, and the restoration of all the cosmos to its intended purpose(s), and we have been renewed and empowered by the Holy Spirit to do both of these things. So we invite speakers who reflect this holistic mission and grand vision--professors, lawyers, authors, teachers, ministers, ethicists, and engineers (and in the future, God willing, artists and athletes, politicians and businesspeople, and so many more)--and make it clear that the gospel is good news for everyone in every area of life for all of creation. 

So if you are in the Ames area this Thursday, drop on by. We would love to have you and for you to hear about our great God, the beauty of His creation, the impetus it provides for science, and the hope of the gospel. Check out the Facebook advert HERE, or further explore our website to learn more about Areopagus at Iowa State. 

 

Comment

Comment

A Call to Reformed Discipleship

R.B. Kuiper Header.jpeg

"Occasionally a voice is raised among us to the effect that the sole task of the church is to bring the gospel to the unsaved. How foolish! If the Christian Reformed Church should take that position, the day would not be far off when, for lack of a strong home base, it would find itself incapable of effective evangelism. [1]"
 

In my last post, we examined R.B. Kuiper's understanding of the motivations for evangelism, and gave a call for reformed churches to passionately pursue evangelism. This week, we turn our attention to that which undergirds the evangelistic efforts of the church (as institute and organism): discipleship.

If the church is going to engage in evangelism well, her members must be built up in the faith; matured through faithful teaching (orthodoxy) and practice (orthopraxy). The creeds, confessions, and the redemptive-historical trajectory of Scripture (Creation, Fall, Redemption, Consummation) are not simply fences for testing whether one is "Christian" or "reformed," but also powerful tools for helping us better understand Scripture, and find our place in the unfolding drama of redemptive history. Furthermore, they challenge us to practice charity, unity, loving-service, and faithfulness in every sphere of life.  

Discipleship takes the shape of family worship, of catechesis, and participation in corporate worship. Through such activities--which serve to shape our hearts and minds--we are equipped for evangelism and service (living out the virtues of Christ). We can neither afford to ignore the formative impact of these tools and practices--rejecting them as antiquated, outdated, or irrelevant--nor fail to participate in them because we are "too busy" or "disinterested." 

Sadly, as Kuiper points out, this is all too often the case:

There are churches round about us, evangelical churches at that, which strongly stress evangelism but neglect almost entirely the religious education of their own children and the building up of the adult members in the faith. [2]

The consequence? Kuiper goes on to describe how such a failure leads to a down diminution of the doctrine of the church, and the gospel itself. Like the pendulum of a great clock, church history reveals the way the church has swung between periods of great evangelistic fervor and doctrinal controversy. For the purposes of his book, Kuiper reflects on the rise of protestant liberalism and the social gospel, which arose in the wake of the Second Great Awakening. A lack of discipleship can lead to the "adjustment of Christian message," "a willingness to remove the offense of the gospel," and the watering down of worship.  

However, a lack of discipleship can also lead to other consequences: namely, the degrading, distress, and disillusionment of the faith among new Christians. I cannot count the number of times in which I've witnessed new Christians thrust into the evangelistic endeavor only to be beaten down by the questions, objections, and/or ridicule of non-Christians (let alone the physical, emotional, and spiritual effort it takes to do such work). How can one be expected to be prepared to give a reason for the hope they have (1 Peter 3:15) so that they are not tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine and the cunning and craftiness of those who oppose the Christian faith (Eph. 4:14) unless they are being trained in sound doctrine and practices that reflect Christ and the kingdom of God? 

It's important that our churches not become lax in adult education: participation in worship, Bible study, mentorship, and Sunday school. It's important that we continue to catechize our young people, and to engage in family worship. It may require reorienting our lives, cutting things out of our busy schedules, or being creative in the ways we engage in such things, but neglecting these things is not an option. Both are part and parcel of God's calling for the church, and central to her fulfilling her mission in the world. 

Evangelism and discipleship exist in a delicate balance. Failure to do one affects the other. This ultimately leads our churches down the broad road that begins with impotent witness, followed by sickness, and ending in death. However, if we make it our mission to glorify God in both evangelism and disicpleship--both as individuals and the church--we will find ourselves on the narrow way towards powerful witness, flourishing, and blessing. So, may we take up the task not only of reformed evangelism, but also reformed discipleship.  

 

[1] R.B. Kuiper, To Be or Not to Be Reformed (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1959), 82-83
[2] Kuiper, To Be or Not to Be Reformed, 82. 

 

Comment

Comment

A Call to Reformed Evangelism

Kuiper Book Spine.jpg

"The more consistently Reformed a church is, the more active will it be in evangelism."

This is a simple, yet profound, statement from the former Westminster Seminary professor and president of Calvin Seminary, R.B. Kuiper. The connections between Reformed theology and evangelism are so strong that, according to Kuiper, no one has a greater incentive for engaging in evangelism. Why? Because for the Reformed, everything revolves around the glory of the Triune God, and this includes evangelism. 

As Kuiper puts it:

Reformed evangelism is God-centered. The danger is ever present that evangelism will become man-centered. In many instances that has occurred. The salvation of souls is often regarded as the one end of evangelism. It is most certainly an end of evangelism, and an important one, but it is by no means the ultimate end...[Evangelism] is a means to a more comprehensive end—the growth of the body of Christ, the church. That again is a means to a still more comprehensive end—the coming of Christ’s kingdom in every domain of life. And that is a means to the highest of all ends—the glory of God.

In his book, To Be or Not To Be Reformed, Kuiper begins by laying out the more common apologetic for Reformed evangelism: Election. In light of God's gracious choosing of people from every tribe, tongue, and nation (people group), Reformed Christians should approach evangelism with confidence in both the universal gospel and universal church; a message of good news for all peoples and a church of those united to Christ from all peoples. The good news is that the good shepherds sheep hear his voice, they follow him, and no one can steal them away (John 10). 

However, it is his second argument--the glory of God--that I find particularly fascinating and compelling. In this argument, Kuiper cuts through the dualism that often marks evangelical approaches to evangelism (the saving of souls for heaven), while also challenging Kuyperian neo-calvinists (Christ's lordship over every sphere of life). And he does so, not by tearing anyone or anything down, but rather by building up, stacking telos upon telos until he reaches the chief end of humanity: to glorify God. Evangelism serves the building of the Church, and the building of the Church provides the foundation for witnessing to the Kingdom of God in all of life, and such witness fulfills our created purpose as image-bearers of God in His world. 

Notice, too, what is at the heart of this chain leading to the glory of God: the Church. As institute, the church fulfills her calling to proclaim the gospel and administer the sacraments, sending out the church, as organism, to fulfill her comprehensive calling as witnesses to Christ and the Kingdom. Below is an illustration that may articulate this point better:

Untitled.jpeg

So if we are committed to being consistently Reformed, we must engage in evangelism: "But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? (Rom. 10:14, NLT)" It is not an option, nor is it a burden. Rather it is a serious responsibility and incredible opportunity. However, beyond this, we must engage in evangelism because it ultimately serves as a vital way to glorify God. Through the faithful word and deed proclamation of the gospel, we will see the body of Christ, the Church, grow, and the Kingdom advance in the lives of those who entrust themselves to the good and gracious king, Jesus Christ.  

 

*Next week, we will reflect on a brief warning Kuiper presents at the end of this chapter on evangelism in the CRC. 

 

 

 

Comment

Comment

A Vision of the Future For the Church (and University) Today

Reformational Theology.jpg

"We must therefore try to rehabilitate for our times the vivid expectation of the early Christians. For beleaguered communities of believers today, hard-pressed by poverty, oppression, and persecution, the consummation holds out hope for a 'sabbath rest' (Heb. 4:9-10). But the 'new order' also offers abundant opportunities for a renewed pursuit of the cultural mandate. There will be times of exuberant worship, face to face with our Lord, no longer restricted to a temple (Rev. 21:22)...But there will also be time for gardening in this Paradise, for constructive activities in this City, time for reading those good books we somehow never get around to, for finishing those half-written letters, for removing the incompletes on our academic transcripts. As my chemistry professor once put it: an eternity to continue running laboratory experiments, probing the unfathomable wonders of creation...In Christ 'all things are [ours]' (1 Cor. 3:21-23). For 'the meek...shall inherit the earth' (Matt. 5:5). Now already all this, and more, is ours in hope--and someday in perfection."
-Gordon Spykman, Reformational Theology: A New Paradigm for Doing Dogmatics (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1992)

Comment

Comment

Forging a Third Way: On Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Theological Journey

MLK Preaching.jpg

"Old systems of exploitation and oppression are passing away and new systems of justice and equality are being born. In a real sense ours is a great time in which to be alive. Therefore I am not yet discouraged about the future. Granted that the easygoing optimism of yesterday is impossible. Granted that we face a world crisis which often leaves us standing amid the surging murmur of life’s restless sea. But every crisis has both its dangers and its opportunities. Each can spell either salvation or doom. In a dark, confused world the spirit of God may yet reign supreme." [1]

This quotation comes from an article written by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for an ongoing series in Christian Century on the theme: "How My Mind Has Changed." In it, King chronicle his intellectual and spiritual development, revealing the third way he sought between the fundamentalism he grew up with and the liberalism he adopted early in his adult years; a third way that synthesized theological systems and was contextualized to his experience and circumstances in the American South of the 1950s and 60s. 

Having been raised in a strict fundamentalism tradition, King found the allure of liberalism, with its "devotion to the search for truth, its insistence on an open and analytical mind, its refusal to abandon the best light of reason," intellectually satisfying. Through his early life and time at seminary, King uncritically accepted the teachings of Protestant Liberalism with its gospel of love working through reason. However, the more King examined the Scriptures, the world around him, and began to engage the social issues of his day, he quickly found theological liberalism wanting:

It was mainly the liberal doctrine of man that I began to question. The more I observed the tragedies of history and man’s shameful inclination to choose the low road, the more I came to see the depths and strength of sin...[I became] aware of the complexity of human motives and the reality of sin on every level of man’s existence. Moreover, I came to recognize the complexity of man’s social involvement and the glaring reality of collective evil. I came to feel that liberalism had been all too sentimental concerning human nature and that it leaned toward a false idealism. I also came to see that liberalism’s superficial optimism concerning human nature caused it to overlook the fact that reason is darkened by sin.

Much of this came to light through King's study of Reinhold Niebuhr and the neo-orthodox movement. Neo-orthodoxy presented a sobering assessment of humanity's sinfulness, and the insufficiency (or, rather, inability) of human reason properly applied to solve the problems of the age. For the neo-orthodox, one needed more than objective truths or reason, one needed an "encounter" with Christ. And, yet, King could not completely give himself theologically and intellectually over to neo-orthodoxy. Instead, he sought a third way that synthesized the "truths" of both: reason and experience, love and power, tangible and spiritual. What this yielded, in terms of the gospel, was a holistic vision that encompassed the "whole man":

The gospel at its best deals with the whole man, not only his soul but his body, not only his spiritual well-being, but his material well-being. Any religion that professes to be concerned about the souls of men and is not concerned about the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them and the social conditions that cripple them is a spiritually moribund religion awaiting burial.

Whether one agrees with his theological perspectives or not, King's critiques and journey can prove instructive for us today as we seek to proclaim the power of the Gospel--the good news concerning Christ and the Kingdom of God--over and against the hate, racism, and injustice that persist in our age. We must wrestle seriously not only with Scripture, but also with the evils of our age, and the struggles faced by our fellow human beings. We must recognize our presuppositions and the presuppositions of those we encounter. We must consider how to formulate a theology that is not merely concerned with biblical orthodoxy, but also orthopraxy (belief and practice). 

I'm convinced that our hope is firmly rooted in a concern for the "whole man," for we believe that God in the person and work of Christ is at work redeeming and reconciling all things to himself. Our Gospel is one that celebrates the truth that grace restores nature, broken and marred as it is by sin. This restoration includes, but is not limited to, human nature and our relationship with the Triune God. It also includes the restoration of institutions, systems, and the creation itself as the church (institute) proclaims the gospel and administers the sacraments, and the church (organic) is sent out to serve the risen Christ in all spheres of life. Redeemed and renewed by the power of the Spirit, we can live out our divine callings and begin to see glimmers of the future to come: a world radiating with love, righteousness, justice, and peace. 

And we can pursue this with a sure hope, because we know (to borrow and slightly amend Dr. King's words) that in a dark, confused world the Spirit of God does, and will, reign supreme. 

 

[1] This and subsequent quotations from "Pilgrimage to Nonviolence," by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Christian Century 77 (April 1960), 439-441. 

Comment

Comment

A New Year, A New Semester, A New Study

C&C Graphic 2.jpeg

"What is remarkable [about Deuteronomy] is the detailed extent to which God has utilized this legal instrument of human kingdoms for the definition and administration of his own redemptive reign over his people."
-Meredith Kline, The Treaty of the Great King[1]

Standing on the precipice of the land God had promised, the people of Israel stop. They stop to covenant with God--to renew their relationship with the One who chose them out of all the peoples of the world, delivered them out of slavery in Egypt, and brought them to this place flowing with milk and honey--and remember their calling given by God.  

Covenant lies at the heart of, and is the foundation for, all biblical religion. As Gordon Spkyman writes:

Covenantal religion defines the fundamental structures undergirding all human relationships and every societal calling. It is not limited to a few highly "spiritual" moments in life--the birth of a covenant child, the sacramental signs and seals of the covenant, covenant training, or the covenant community at worship. It embraces every earthly institution--marriage, schooling, labor, social service, science, art, even politics. [2]

Thus, Israel was intended to be a "display people," a contrast (covenantal) community guided by the creational will and ways of the Lord God. And Deuteronomy, as a covenantal document, would provide the foundation for the life of this people, balancing an open-ended vision of the kingdom of God (the restoration of God's rule in the world) with practical provisions for dealing with a frail and fallen people. [3]. Through faithfulness to God expressed in obedience to his law, flourishing would come to the people and the land. 

However, there is more to the story than that. Blessedness and flourishing were not intended merely for Israel, but rather, were to be extended to the ends of the earth; to all peoples. Israel was chosen for service, or, to put it another way: Israel was chosen for a calling. Deuteronomy serves as a "call to communal transformation not merely for their own sake as God's people but also for the sake of her often hostile neighbors" by way of justice and grace [4].   

As we begin a new year and a new semester, we also begin a new study, considering the ongoing significance of this book--Deuteronomy--for us today. Because, as those united to Christ, the Chosen One and True Israel of God, we are grafted into the spiritual history and heritage of those who renewed the covenant at Gerizim and Ebal. How does this book display the progressive unfolding of God's redemptive work and how does it speak into our contemporary context? What should our modern, Western churches look like as we seek to faithfully live out the biblical story, and into our calling as those covenanting with the Triune God? How do we live in the world--amidst the joys and sorrows of those around us--for its flourishing, without losing our distinctiveness? How do we remember, celebrate, and trust our God, and what does it look like to reflect justice, grace, and truth to our neighbors, classmates, co-workers, family, and friends? 

These are some of the themes, topics, and questions we will examine this semester in our study, entitled, "Covenant and Calling: A Missional Study of Deuteronomy." Meets at 7PM in the Memorial Union, Room 3517. 

 

[1] Meredith Kline, Treaty of the Great King (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1963), 41-42.
[2] Gordon Spykman, Reformational Theology: A New Paradigm (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1992), 359. 
[3] J.G. McConville, Deuteronomy (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002)
[4] Mark R. Glanville, "A Missional Reading of Deuteronomy: Communities of Gratitude, Celebration, and Justice," in Reading the Bible Missionally, ed. Michael W. Goheen (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2016), 124. 

Comment

Comment

A Year in Review: 2017

2017 .jpg

Each year, we look back at the most popular blog posts and make recommendations for reading over the winter break (and beyond). Below are the most popular posts from this past year as well as a few book recommendations for the upcoming year. 

BLOG POSTS

A Doubleshot of Bavincks (A Guest Post at the Kuyperian Commentary)
(April 8, 2017)

Reformed and Always Reforming
(May 3, 2017)

With Eyes That See, and Hearts of Love: Wisdom on Sharing the Gospel from J.H. Bavinck
(August 24, 2017)

Recovering the Priesthood of Believers
(November 8, 2017)

BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

Contours of the Kuyperian Tradition: A Systematic Introduction by Craig Bartholomew (IVP Academic)
This book serves as a great introduction not only to the work of Abraham Kuyper, but also some of his contemporaries and successors. Writing in a clear  and engaging manner, Bartholomew has given the church a tremendous gift in the form of this book, providing a standard for the study of the Kuyperian tradition for years to come. 

Reformational Theology: A New Paradigm for Doing Dogmatics by Gordon Spykman (Eerdmans)
I began reading this book earlier this fall as a possible text for the Areopagus Leadership Training Initiative (ALTI). And while the jury is still out on whether it will be one of the main texts for ALTI, I have no reservations about recommending it to anyone seriously wanting to study theology through a Christian/Reformational philosophical lens. Though it may dense at times, it is well worth the work, and bears the fruit of a renewed vision for a Christian world and life view founded upon the Word of God. 

The Works of Raymond Chandler and Ross MacDonald (Doubleday: Black Lizard)
If you like detective fiction and haven't read either Raymond Chandler or Ross MacDonald, you need to pick up some of their work. Through the work of their private eyes, these two authors give us a picture into sin, corruption, and injustice at work in the world, and the hard, gritty work necessary to bring some semblance of redemption/resolution. They're always entertaining reads, but can prove to be reflective as well. 

An Introduction to the Science of Missions by J.H. Bavinck (P&R Publishing)
The last recommendation is a work by the late missiologist, J.H. Bavinck. In this book, Bavinck lays the foundation for engaging in missions in a way that takes theology, culture, and history seriously. This book is extremely practical for anyone engaged in vocational ministry, as well as those who desire to engage others with the gospel of Christ (whether next door or around the world). Few books have been as helpful and encouraging to me in my own ministry. 

There are also a few books I'm looking forward to tackling in the new year, including: Awaiting the King: Reforming Public Theology (James K.A. Smith), Gospel Witness (Joseph Boot), and Dune (Frank Herbert).

 

BONUS: MUSIC To CHECK OUT

Caroline Cobb: a Home & a Hunger

Lissie

 

I hope you find these resources and recommendations helpful and a blessing to you as we wrap up 2017 and look ahead to what the Lord has in store in 2018. If you find any of these particularly helpful or encouraging, please leave a note below, or send us an email. We would love to hear from you. Also, if you have any recommendations of your own, please feel free to add them to the comment section. 

Comment

Comment

Annual Areopagus Semester-End Christmas Party

Last week, we hosted the annual Areopagus semester-end Christmas party. I wanted to post a few of the pictures from that night (just click on the image to scroll through). They can also be viewed at our Facebook page, here.

As 2017 wraps up, we rejoice in the ways God has worked in and through Areopagus to reflect the gospel and a Christian worldview into the university. We celebrate the new students who have found a home in our ministry and at Trinity Christian Reformed Church. And we praise God for the start of our new leadership training program (ALTI) and the students participating in it.   

We also look forward to seeing how God is going to work in the year to come. In particular, we are looking forward to our spring lecture (featuring Dr. Craig Bartholomew), the Dordt Day of Encouragement, and our Bible study series entitled "Covenant and Calling: A Missional Reading of Deuteronomy." Join us in praying for God to use these to further his mission in the lives of his people, on the Iowa State University campus, around the world, and in all facets of life.  

From all of us at Areopagus, we thank you for your partnership and support of the ministry. Merry Christmas!

Comment

Comment

Forget to Remember: Smartphones, Liturgy, and Embodying the Story

Smartphone on Bible.jpg

"He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children."

"Hello Siri. Show me the law of God."

"Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands."

"Okay Google. What was the exodus?"

"They would not be like their ancestors--a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him. (Ps. 78:5-8)"

The practice (art?) of remembering seems to be a relic of the past, relegated to the dustbin of outdated cultural practices. With the advent of the smartphone came instantaneous access to information that has no parallel in history. Don't remember that Bible verse? Simply look it up on Google. Cannot recall that event? Check it on wikipedia. Struggling to bring those instructions to mind? Search for them on Bing (wait, that's not right, nobody uses Bing...I digress). 

And while having such unfettered access to information can be a exciting prospect and liberating experience, it also comes with unintended consequences that have a tremendous bearing on our faith. 

Psalm 78 reminds us that throughout history, remembering has been important for faithfulness to God. The passing down of stories of God's mighty works and powerful words of promise were intended to instill this faithfulness in the next generation. Why? So that they would not follow in the path of their ancestors who frequently forgot to remember and strayed from God. And so the collective memory of the people of God was passed down from generation to generation through storytelling, memorization, and practice (liturgy).

The same is true for Christians throughout history. The liturgy served as a means of telling the story of God, His mission, and the gospel in the context of corporate worship. Furthermore, catechesis ingrained the truths and promises of God on the hearts and minds of children so that as they grew up among the covenant community, they would remember the Lord's deeds and keep his commands. 

However, we are on a precipice today, looking over into the abyss that is the screen of our smartphones, tablets, and computers. No longer needing to remember--to embody truths, stories, and, calling--we become empty while having everything at our fingertips. To put another way, our devices cause us to "unstoried" beings whose primary (or perhaps sole) orientation is the present. And a people without a story, a people lacking an embodiment of history or a vision of the future are a people bound to forget their God, his works, and his ways. Such a people will become behold to, and enslaved by, the present, which can lead to all sorts of sinfulness (see 1-2 Kings, and a number of the Old Testament prophets).  

This is why it is important to remember. To place oneself in the unfolding story of redemptive history. To memorize Scripture. To engage in the liturgy; that weekly practice in which we are reminded of, and further embedded in, the story of God's covenant people--one of creation, fall, redemption, and new creation. Recurring patterns of confession, assurance, proclamation, and commissioning help to offset the formative practice of swiping right and calling out to the disembodied beings within our devices for the answers to our questions. 

It is easy to despair, disparaging the impact of modern technology on life and faith practice. Considering the low rate of biblical literacy today, and the growing indifference and non-religious identification of young people today, it is easy to imagine things only getting worse. Yet, I find it is equally easy to imagine renewal and reformation in our patterns, habits, and practices as we pass down the immeasurable riches of God's grace given to us in Christ to the next generation, so that they might put their trust in the Lord and follow his commands. 

The question is: What does that future require of you in this present? 

Comment