What We Believe
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July 2020 New Horizons

It’s Colombia, Not Columbia

 

Contents

It’s Colombia, Not Columbia

And Behold, I Am with You Always

A Christian Response to Death

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It’s Colombia, Not Columbia

“It’s Colombia, not Columbia.” Although I stood with my feet planted on the ground in this beautiful Latin American country, the popular t-shirt staring me in the face spoke volumes about just how little I knew about it. In preparation for addressing Reformed Christians in Colombia on the topic of Christian education, I had written “Columbia” on all of my lessons. What I found out in my week teaching in Colombia on behalf of Mobile Training Mobile Corps of the Committee on Foreign Missions (CFM) was not just the correct spelling and pronunciation of the name, but the commitment of the Reformed Christians in that land to Jesus Christ. I also learned more about the efforts of CFM in seeking to assist these believers so that more confessional Presbyterian churches might be established in Colombia. Eager Questions Douglas Clawson, associate general secretary of CFM, and I arrived in Bucaramanga, population one million, for a conference hosted by the three Reformed Christian Churches in the... Read more

And Behold, I Am with You Always

“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). Jesus is with his people. Our faith and our evangelism depend entirely upon his presence. The church that Jesus said he would build would utterly fall and the Great Commission fail if he left us to struggle on alone. His ascension does not mean that he is absent: by his Spirit, in all his power and glory, the Lord himself is with us and in us and for us. And if God is for us, can anyone be against us? “Behold,” Jesus says. By faith, he calls his church to see and to observe, not only that he is risen, but that he is with us. And if he is with us, his Word and Spirit should be evidently at work in us. What a gracious thing it is to perceive Jesus in and with his church in Karamoja, Uganda! I Am with You Against the Powers of Darkness Much has changed in the twenty years that the OPC has labored in Karamoja. We are all so thankful that cattle raiding has mostly stopped for now and that there is peace in the region. It... Read more

A Christian Response to Death

One of the most striking and memorable of William Blake’s many wonderful paintings is The Body of Abel Found by Adam and Eve . Here the artist imagines the moment when Adam and Eve find the corpse of Abel, the first victim not simply of murder but of fratricide. To the left, Cain, terrified either by what he has done or the fact that he has been discovered, flees the scene, his head surrounded by fire, symbolizing judgment, and the background—a dark, volcanic sky—intensifying this. To the right, a horrified Adam stares in disbelief and accusation at his fleeing son. And in front of Adam, Eve bows in disconsolate despair over Abel’s body. Her face is hidden, but that simply enhances the agony of the moment: Blake knew that a mother’s grief in such circumstances transcends any artist’s ability to give it expression. The hiddenness of her tears reveals the depth of her agony. The painting is, of course, a work of the poet’s imagination. The Bible does not record the pain and sorrow that... Read more

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