There are good reasons to dream of a white Christmas.
For one, God created crystal, blinding-white new snow to help us understand the contrast between our sinful old selves and the new persons he has made us into: “though your sins are like scarlet,they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18).
For another, the first Christmas was one of the times that angels spoke to humans on God’s behalf. And one kind of snow fun reminds us of those Christmas angels.
May your CHRISTmas celebration be blessed. Have fun and give thanks for the birth of our Savior, whether or not you have snow!
…is my big brother, Jim. He has been since I was young. Being five years older than me, he was always the epitome of what it meant to be big.
But when he was in college (and I in Jr. High) he was dramatically converted. And he became the most significant model for me in my teens and 20’s of what it meant to be a disciple of Jesus. He really lived what he believed.
He still does. He and his amazing wife, Raquel, have been church planters among the urban poor of Minneapolis for the past 15 years. I know the work they do. It is hard. It doesn’t garner much attention.
A call to preach to and live out the gospel with those struggling with generational poverty, life-controlling addictions, a…
The Permanence of Christmas, Part 3: Contemporary Articulations
From the New Testament to the present, Christian theology has celebrated that Jesus is forever the God-man. In this series, we saw first what the apostles had to say in the New Testament. Then we picked up the theme of Jesus’ continuing humanity in church history. Today we'll conclude with four present-day articulations of this doctrine.
Jesus’ Body: Not Just a Memory
Donald Macleod’s The Person of Christ is a wonderful book. If you’ve found this series on Christology interesting, Macleod’s book would be a great place to go next. There Macleod writes on Jesus’ continuing incarnation:
The body is not just a memory f…
The Permanence of Christmas, Part 2: Church History
Throughout church history, the best of Christian theology has recognized and affirmed the truth of Jesus’ continuing incarnation—the idea that Jesus didn’t simply make a 33-year cameo in the created world, but rather forever joined our humanity to his divinity and will always be fully God and fully man.
Here’s a sampling with help from Gerrit Scott Dawson’s Jesus Ascended: The Meaning of Christ’s Continuing Incarnation.
Second-century apologist Justin Martyr is explicit in affirming that after the resurrection Jesus ascended in “the flesh in which He suffered.” Justin also maintains, in opposition to his critic…
The Permanence of Christmas, Part 1: Biblical Foundations
Advent is a chance not only to celebrate Jesus’ taking of human flesh but also his keeping of it. It wasn’t a mere 33-year stint—impressive as that would have been. Jesus is forever the God-man. He is glorious not merely in assuming our human nature but in remaining our brother and continuing as the visible “image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15).
To put it in the apostle John’s language, the Word became flesh (John 1:14). His humanity isn’t a costume. The eternal divine Son didn’t simply make a cameo in the created world. He forever joined our humanity to his divinity and for all eternity will be fully God and fully man.…
Today Noël and I have been married for 40 years.
My father did the wedding and we had one man and one woman in our wedding party—Jane Roney and Billy Watson.
We chose to have no flowers in the little country church, Midway Baptist, outside Barnesville, Georgia. Just a scarlet velvet cross on the wall (that I made), and a Bible on a stand (that God wrote). Those were our decorations—the foundations of our lives. You can see them if you look carefully at this photo of the service in process.
The photographer insisted on a funny picture with Billy and my father. I wasn’t apprehensive. There were no doubts. (Notice my fist. It was for the photographer.)
An amazing progression occurs in the 3 short chapters of Habakkuk.
The book begins with the prophet protesting that God seems to be standing idly by while his people in Judah plummet into rampant evil and injustice (1:2–5).
God responds that it’s not going unnoticed, and, to Habakkuk’s surprise, God’s already attending to it—by raising up the wicked Chaldeans, “that bitter and hasty nation," to punish Judah (1:5-11).
Habakkuk protests the justice of punishing a wicked people with a people even more wicked! (1:12–2:1). The prophet is confident that God can’t answer him on this score, and so he will “look out to see what [God] will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my c…
I wrote to my 13-year-old daughter (who is attending a funeral with her mom in Georgia) that the new “signature” at the bottom of her emails has made this dad very glad. It says,
"A girl should get so lost in God, that a guy has to seek God to find her!" ~ Dannah Gresh, author.
My favorite Christmas text puts humility at the heart of Christmas. So this Christmas I am marveling at Jesus’ humility and wanting more of it myself. I’ll quote the text in a moment.
But first there are two problems. Tim Keller helps us to see one of them in a recent article in Christianity Today. He reminds us, “Humility is so shy. If you begin talking about it, it leaves” (Dec. 2008, p. 51). So an article about humility (like this one, or like his) is self-defeating, it seems. But even shy people peek out sometimes if they are treated well.
The other problem is that Jesus wasn’t humble for the same reasons we are (or should be). So how can looking at Jesus’ Christmas humility hel…
Dripping sweat on the paperback's pages, I speed-walked and read for one hour and twenty minutes holding this book in my hand so that I could finish it before my routine was over. That was two weeks ago. Since then I have been trying to figure out how to describe the way it has affected me. It’s mainly because of the Dad, Jeremiah Land.
I am talking about Leif Enger’s first novel, Peace Like a River. Abraham said I should read it. If my sons tell me to read a thing, I do—at least so far.
I fear saying something trite. I read one reviewer who said, “heartwarming.” Like a rifle bullet in the head, it’s heartwarming. The heart needs something bigger and deeper than warming. And this bo…